Herb Recipes: Starters

RABBIT TERRINE

1 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped

1 medium-sized rabbit, cut into joints

3 tablesp melted lard

Bouquet garni

Cold water

¼ lb fat bacon pieces Rabbit liver

2 Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, peeled, cored and quartered

½ lb pork, minced

¼ lb pork sausagemeat

1 teasp chopped marjoram

1 tablesp chopped parsley

4 tablesp white wine

Salt and pepper

¾ lb lean streaky or back bacon rashers, de-rinded

Gently fry onion and rabbit joints in melted lard for about 5 min, add bouquet garni and sufficient cold water to cover, bring to the boil, put lid on pan, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove rabbit and, when cool, take flesh from bones. Mince the bacon pieces, rabbit, rabbit liver and apples, mix together with all the other ingredients, except the bacon rashers. Line a terrine, mould, or fireproof dish with the bacon rashers, fill with the terrine mixture, cover with foil. Bake in a low oven 150°C, 300°F, Mark 2, for VA-Wi hours. Leave to get cold, turn out and serve.

12 helpings

PORKY TERRINE

1 lb pig’s liver

½ lb belly of pork

4 oz fat bacon

1 oz lard

6 onions, finely chopped

4 oz cranberry jelly

1 oz cornflour

¼ teasp cayenne pepper, or to taste

¼ teasp black pepper

1 level teasp salt

1 rounded teasp chopped marjoram, less if dried Grated rind of 1 small orange

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 sherry glass dry red wine

3 tablesp sherry

3 bay leaves

Mince the liver, pork and bacon together. Melt the lard and fry the onions until softened, but not browned. To the onions add the minced meats, and cranberry jelly. Mix together in a basin the cornflour, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, marjoram, orange rind and crushed garlic, stir in the wine and sherry; mix thoroughly. Add this mixture to that already in the pan, and stir over a low heat for 5 min. Butter a shallow brown earthenware dish and place the mixture in it. Smooth the top with a damp knife, and lay the three bay leaves on top. Put the dish into a roasting tin containing water and bake at 180°C, 350°F, Mark 4, for 1 – 1 ¼ hours. Allow to get cold and serve straight from dish accompanied by hot buttered toast.

12 helpings

CHICKEN LIVER PATE

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

8 oz chicken livers

1 oz butter

1 teasp any herb that suits your fancy (lemon verbena,

tarragon, mint, for example) Salt and pepper

3 oz butter, creamed

1 dessertsp brandy

Clarified butter

Fry garlic and onion in butter until beginning to turn golden; add livers, herb, seasoning, fry for another 3 minutes. Cool, chop finely, sieve or blend, and work in the creamed butter. Add the brandy, put into a china pot and coat with clarified butter. Serve with hot buttered toast or crumpets.

4 helpings

CHEESE PATE 1 oz butter 1 oz plain flour ¾ pt milk

4 oz grated Cheddar cheese 1 level tablesp mayonnaise 3 gherkins, chopped Salt and pepper

1 level dessertsp chopped chervil or chives or tarragon or lovage

Melt butter, cook flour for a minute, gradually add milk, bring to boil, stirring, cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in cheese, then the other ingredients. Make sure the cheese melts. Turn into a china pot, cover and leave until chilled. Serve with hot buttered toast.

3 helpings

LANSDOWNE SOUP

2 peppercorns, crushed

1 small sprig parsley

A little fresh thyme

A little basil

½ pt milk

1 bay leaf

Small sprig rosemary

1 oz butter

1 lb onions, sliced thinly

1 oz flour

1 ½ pt white stock

(can be made with a chicken stock cube) Salt and pepper Chopped chives

Wash herbs, put with crushed peppercorns in the milk; warm gently, but do not allow to boil, then let milk cool; leave about 10 minutes, strain. Melt butter, add onions and cook over low heat until they are soft but not browned. Stir in flour, cook, stirring, for 2-3 min. Slowly add stock, bring to boil. Cook 2 min, add strained milk and re-heat but do not boil. Season to taste. Serve garnished with chives.

6 helpings

NETTLE POTTAGE

2 oz butter

2 oz oatmeal

2 pt vegetable stock, milk or water

Salt and pepper

5—6 heaped tablesp finely-chopped young nettles

Melt butter in pan and fry the oatmeal until crisp and browned. Add the stock, bring to the boil, stirring. Sprinkle in seasoning, toss in the nettles, return to the boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 10—15 minutes.

4 helpings

SORREL SOUP

2 oz butter

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

6—8 oz fresh sorrel leaves, finely chopped

2 pt white stock

Salt and black pepper

12 oz potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

2 tablesp cream

1 rounded tablesp chopped chervil

Melt butter, fry onions until tender, add sorrel, stock and seasoning. Simmer 10 minutes, add potatoes; cook 30 minutes, sieve or blend, re-heat, stir in cream. Serve garnished with chervil. If the soup is served cold, swirl the cream in it just before serving.

4 helpings

MINTED SUMMER SOUP

1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 x 5-oz cartons natural yogurt 5—6 sprigs fresh mint Seasoning to taste

Mint leaves for garnish

Put cucumber, yogurt and mint sprigs in blender, blend until smooth. Add seasoning, cover bowl and leave in a cool place to chill. Serve garnished with mint leaves.

4 helpings

TOMATO JUICE COCKTAIL Fresh or canned tomato juice

Finely-chopped chervil or basil or parsley (can be put through blender)

Mix herb with juice, stir and leave to blend flavours for at least 30 min. Serve at room temperature, or chilled, garnished with leaves or sprigs of the herb chosen.

LENTEN CHAMP

1 lb potatoes, peeled and quartered

8 oz young nettle tops, chopped

Salt and pepper

Butter

Boil potatoes until tender, drain and mash. Wash nettles, cook in very little water until tender, drain and chop. Mix potatoes and nettles, season to taste. Serve in portions. Champ is eaten by making a well in each portion, putting butter in the hole, and dipping each spoonful of vegetable into the butter before eating. Chives can replace nettles if preferred.

4 helpings

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