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Author Archives: andyskitchen

Nettle Risotto

A few weeks ago, I shared my recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup. Using this recipe you can make a delicious Nettle Risotto, a perfect light meal for summer.

My delicious Nettle Risotto

Nettle Risotto (Serves two)

Ingredients 

  • 250g arborio rice
  • 1 litre of chicken stock. You may not need all of this but I like my risotto loose
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons of Stinging Nettle Soup
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium egg

Method

  • Lightly fry the onion in the olive oil until it is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until all of the grains have taken on the oil.
  • Add a ladle of the stock and stir over a medium heat until all of the stock has been absorbed. Add another ladle of stock, then another, repeating this process until the rice is nice and creamy but still firm. Don’t forget to keep tasting and adjusting the seasoning.
  • Once the rice has reached the right texture stir in the nettle soup a spoon at a time. Keep stirring for a further two minutes, and again check the seasoning. You can now serve your risotto.
  • If you wish you can now poach and egg, and serve on top of the risotto. This will make it even creamier.

Stinging Nettle Soup

Here’s my favourite recipe for Nettle Soup. I hope that you enjoy making and eating it.

When gathering nettles please make sure that you avoid nettles at the side of the road, and also nettles which are on footpaths or where you find plenty of dog walkers (for obvious reasons). You only need to pick the tops or the young leaves, and please make sure that you wear gloves.

It’s best to gather the nettles in the spring — if you leave them into the summer months they will be very tough, and you cannot guarantee removing the sting once boiled.

If you save some of this soup you can use it to make a lovely creamy Nettle Risotto — but that’s another post!

Cooking with a sting!

Cooking with a sting!

Stinging Nettle Soup

Ingredients 

  • ½ bag of young nettle tops and leaves
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 1 pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper

Get cooking!

  1. Firstly wash the nettles and drain thoroughly.
  2. Next soften the onion and garlic, in a little bit of oil or butter, until translucent.
  3. Once nice and soft add the stock and the nettles. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for roughly 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  4. Now process until very smooth, and add back to the saucepan. Bring to the boil and reduce if you like your soup thicker, or add more stock if you like your soup looser.
  5. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and add the nutmeg if you like.

Love, Andy’s Kitchen

My Classic Toad In The Hole

Toad in the hole For me, there is no other food that says “Great English Dishes” than Toad In The Hole served with mash potato and a lovely rich onion gravy.

But why is it called Toad In The Hole? Well, below is a brief explanation from Wikipedia.

“The origin of the name “Toad-in-the-Hole” is often disputed. Many suggestions are that the dish’s resemblance to a toad sticking its head out of a hole provide the dish with its somewhat unusual name. In the middle of the 19th century many discoveries of living toads in marble, stones and coal were reported which proved to be untrue. An 1861 recipe by Charles Elme Francatelli does not mention sausages, instead including as an ingredient ’6d. or 1s. worth of bits and pieces of any kind of meat, which are to be had  at night when the day’s sale is over.‘ A wartime variation on the original uses pieces of Spam in place of sausages.”

The recipe below is just a lovely plain one, but you can tweak it by adding a teaspoonful of horseradish sauce or English Mustard to the batter mix. You could even add some dried herbs like oregano,thyme or rosemary — please experiment and let us know any tweaks that have worked for you.

Now, the trick to a good Yorkshire Pudding is heat. You really must have the oven and oil really hot before putting in any batter.

Ingredients

  • 300ml liquid (water,milk or beer)
  • 125g plain flour
  • A teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs (free range preferable)
  •  Ground black pepper
  • 450g (6-8) sausages of your choice
  •  2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a hollow in the centre and add the eggs.
  2. Mix whilst gradually adding the liquid. Use a whisk to beat out any lumps of flour.
  3. Leave the batter to stand. The longer you can leave it the better. I personally make my batter the night before and then leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. Heat the oven to 220 degrees (Gas mark 7).
  5. Heat the lard or cooking oil in a high sided roasting tin, add the sausages and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Place the roasting tin over a high flame until the fat smokes (the pan and oil must be very hot), pour in the batter and return to the oven.Bake for 25 – 30 minutes and serve.

Please let us have your thoughts and I hope you enjoy cooking this lovely dish.

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