Food from the Hill

A London food fanatic, living on Telegraph Hill

Feta, Peas and Lemon

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A Warm Salad of Peas, Feta and Lemon

I had a variation of this salad at Redhook, a gem of a seafood and steak restaurant in Farringdon.  I chose it as an accompaniment to a juicy rib-eye steak, but this recipe is a great option to accompany a spring lunch, maybe a herby roasted chicken or a perfectly cooked pink leg of lamb.

Ingredients to make enough to serve as a side dish for 4 people:

  • 1 banana shallot, shredded into long thin strips
  • A large good glug of good olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  • 120g of a good quality creamy feta cheese, crumbled
  • 500g frozen peas (I use petit pois)
  • 8-10 basil leaves, shredded

Now put the apron on and start by …

  1. In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and shallots.  Heat very gently until the shallots are soft and translucent.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, zest and lemon thyme leaves and season to taste.  You are making a warm dressing.  Add more lemon juice to taste if needed.
  3. Cook the peas to the instructions on the packet.  Drain well and add your lemon dressing.
  4. Stir well and then add the shredded basil leaves and crumbled feta.
  5. I’d suggest serving this salad immediately s the the peas will discolour slightly if left in the dressing for too long. Great served with roasted meats such as lamb or chicken.

Tuck in and enjoy!

Onion and Brandy Soup

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Onion and Brandy Soup

This soup was made for myself and a friend one Sunday afternoon when there was a surplus of onions left over in the veg box …

Ingredients to make enough to serve 2 hungry people:

  • 2 large white onions, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, cut into 3 inch pieces, then finely sliced length ways
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (you could use dried thyme instead – my thyme was a little past it’s best and practically dried anyway!)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (I used a 10 year old cider brandy that I found lingering at the back of my cupboard)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
  • 1 litre of very good beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to season (I found that the soup in this instance did not need any extra seasoning)

Now put the apron on and start by …

  1. Getting out a saucepan and adding  the oil, onions, leeks, thyme, salt and sugar.  Fry on a very gentle heat, stirring for a few minutes.
  2. Make a cartouche by cutting a round piece of grease proof paper, slightly larger than your saucepan. Run under the tap and scrunch into a ball.  Unfold and use this to cover your onion mix in the pan.  The paper should sit on top of the onion.
  3. Caramelise the onions very slowly on a low heat for 40 minutes, until very soft.  Check every 10 minutes and if you think the pan is too dry, add in a tablespoon of the beef stock to add some liquid.
  4. After 40 minutes, increase the heat to a high heat and add the Brandy.  Cook on a high heat for 1 minute to evaporate off some of the alcohol.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute.
  6. Increase the heat to full and add the beef stock and stir until the soup boils.
  7. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
  8. Check the seasoning, just in case!
  9. Serve with toasted french bread and melted Gruyere if you’re after a french style soup.
  10. This soup goes wonderfully with a cold crisp glass of Champagne.

Tuck in and enjoy!