Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pork Cheeks with butter beans and chorizo

We often cook dishes that have a Spanish influence and this is one of our most popular....

  • Prep time: 10 minutes Serves eight
  • Cook time: 2 hours Preheat oven to 150˚C

1.5 kg pork cheeks (about 3/4 per person)
300gms spicy chorizo sliced
4 tbs olive oil
4 clove garlic, chopped
2 large Spanish onions chopped
2 tbs wine or cider vinegar
2 x 400gm tins chopped tomatoes
 2 x 400 gm tins butter beans
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
½ tsp dried oregano
tsp thyme
2 tsp smoked paprika (I use 1 x hot smoked 1 x sweet smoked)
500ml water
24 cherry tomatoes
Chopped parsley

1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot, brown all the meats then remove
2. Add the onions and sweat until softened with thyme and oregano.
3. Add garlic, then return the meat to the  pot and combine with all the other ingredients except the cherry tomatoes and parsley.
4. Bring to boil then cover and place in oven at 150˚C for at least 2 hours.
5. Add cherry tomatoes half an hour before the end of cooking time.
6. Correct seasoning according to taste and add a big handful of chopped parsley.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chicken, Mango and Quinoa salad

At Maison Laurent we try our best to cater for most special dietary requirements and are always on the lookout for tasty recipes. Here's a great GLUTEN FREE summer salad I picked up online recently from Diana Henry. As is often the case the original quantities have been altered slightly, so feel free to make your own changes as well.

Serves four as a main course

200g black lentils 
200g quinoa (white) 
1 just-ripe mango 
a big handful of rocket and any other peppery leaves
600g cooked mini chicken fillets, sliced 
15g mint leaves
For the dressing:
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar 
4 tsp honey 
8 tbsp rapeseed oil or groundnut oil 
½ tsp garam masala 
1 tsp korma curry powder 
6 tbsp single cream
Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. Toast the quinoa in a dry frying-pan for two minutes, then put in a saucepan, add boiling water, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile peel the mango and slice off the cheeks. Cut the cheeks into slices about the thickness of a pound coin. It is very difficult to remove the flesh nearer the stone neatly, so just use the cheeks for this dish and use the remaining flesh for something else.
Mix everything for the dressing together and season.

Drain the lentils, rinse them in hot water, and toss in a serving-bowl with the drained quinoa. When cool add salad leaves, mango, mint and season well.  Stir in half the dressing add the chicken and drizzle the remaining dressing over everything.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seared Duck Breast with Honey and Cider vinegar

Serves 4

2 duck breasts (180-200g each)
2 tsp Chinese five spice
Tsp black pepper
2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cider vinegar
240ml homemade chicken stock
1 glass red wine
8 star anise

 Score the skin on each duck breast with 6-8 parallel incisions, without cutting into the meat.
Mix five spice, ground black pepper and 1tbsp salt together and rub thoroughly all over the meat side of the duck breasts. Rub remaining salt into the skin. Place in a dish skin side down, cover with clingfilm and marinate for a few hours, or overnight.

Reduce the red wine with star anise by about a third then add chicken stock and reduce again by half. (if not using homemade stock make sure low salt stock or it will be too salty).

To sear the duck, place in a cold non-stick frying pan, skin side down. Place the frying pan onto a high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes. Skin should be golden brown and crisp. Turn and cook the other side for  5 more minutes then remove to an oven tray and place in the oven for  15 minutes at 80˚C. (this should give medium rare meat).
 Discard most of the fat from the frying pan, add the honey and let it bubble, then add the cider vinegar followed by the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer to reduce again (5-10 minutes). Check flavour and adjust seasoning. Return duck to the pan with meat juices  and simmer again for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently to glaze.

Remove duck breasts, slice each duck breast into 1cm thick slices, add any meat juices back to the sauce and serve. Serve with sautéed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Chinese Five spice powder seasoning mix using either ground or whole spices.

·         1 tsp. ground Szechwan pepper
·         1 tsp. ground star anise
·         1-1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
·         1/2 tsp. ground cloves
·         1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         1/2 tsp. salt
·         1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
Preparation: Grind all the ingredients if using whole spices then keep in small airtight container.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A variation on Imam Bayildi

....or spiced aubergine salad to you and me! A fabulous summer starter or just serve in a big bowl with crusty bread for supper.

Spiced Aubergine Salad
Serves 4 for a supper dish or up to 10 as a starter.

2 large aubergines
100ml olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
8 ripe tomatoes, skinned and coarsely chopped
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp cayenne
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp currants
2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander

You’ll also need: -
Greek yoghurt
Handful of mint leaves


Cut the aubergines into 1cm cubes. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with 2 tsp of salt. Mix and leave to drain for 30-40 mins.

Meanwhile, heat 50ml of olive oil in a pan and fry the onions until golden.

Add the tomatoes and spices. Stew gently for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the garlic and take off the heat.

Stir in the currants.

Tip the aubergines into a clean tea towel and gently squeeze them dry.

Put the remaining 50ml of olive oil in a large frying pan and heat until smoking. Add the aubergines and stir-fry briskly until thoroughly golden and cooked through.

Into this stir in the onion and tomato mixture, add the fresh herbs.

Tip everything into a bowl and leave to cool. Taste and add salt & pepper, if needed.

Serve with a bowl of yoghurt containing fresh chopped mint through it and a few dashes of Tabasco or for a starter use a small ring to make it look neat and then drizzle with oil and scatter with coriander.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Salmon with a Saffron Couscous Crust and Tomato and Olive Vinaigrette

Anyone staying at Maison Laurent will not fail to see our large collection of cookery books. Sometimes we simply draw inspiration from them but on other occasions no changes are necessary. This recipe from Delia Smith is one of those that needs no tweeking!

The recipe works like a dream and is very simple to prepare. The couscous crust encases the salmon and keeps all the fragrant juices inside, intact. Serve with something fresh and green like green beans and asparagus or perhaps some fresh shelled peas. Buttery mint and chive new potatoes will make it a perfect main course for summer entertaining.

Salmon with a Saffron Couscous Crust and Tomato & Olive Vinaigrette
Serving: 4 | Prep: 15 min | Cooking: 25 min
Salmon Fillets (120-150g)  4
Saffron 1 pinch
Couscous 150 g
Dry White Wine 200 ml
Egg 1
Salt & Pepper
Chopped Tomatoes 225 g
Pitted Olives 75 g
Garlic Clove 1
White Wine Vinegar 1 tablespoon
Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 6 tablespoons
Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley 1 tablespoon
Wholegrain Mustard 1 teaspoon

1 . Heat up the wine to a simmer and add the saffron, give it a stir & add some salt & pepper
2 . Place the couscous in a bowl and pour the wine & saffron in too, mixing it all together and let stand.
3 . De-skin the salmon if necessary
4 . Beat the egg
5 . Dip the salmon in the egg wash and the coat it evenly in the couscous
6 . For the vinaigrette, crush the garlic in a pestle & mortar, then add the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil & mustard. Give it all a good mix.
7 . Then add the tomatoes (peeled, de-seeded & chopped), kalamata olives and the parsley
8 . Cook the salmon for 15-20 in an oven at 190C


 Thank you Delia. This is a classic from her Summer Collection and is also in her Fish Collection.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Boned and stuffed leg of chicken with mustard sauce


4 chicken leg and thigh pieces skinned and part-boned (leave the tip of leg bone intact)

12-16 thin rashers of lightly smoked bacon

1 teaspoon chopped tarragon/1 teaspoon chopped parsley

4 mushrooms

1 shallot

Zest of half a lemon

2 tbs breadcrumbs

2 tbs white wine

1 tbs cream


For sauce

1 shallot

150 ml white wine

100 ml chicken stock

150 ml cream

1 tbs Dijon mustard

Chives or tarragon


Fry the chopped shallot in a little butter until soft then add the breadcrumbs and fry for a few minutes. Add the  chopped mushrooms and fry for a few minutes more before adding wine and lemon zest. Reduce down for about 5 minutes then add the cream  tarragon and parsley and season with salt and pepper

When the mixture is cool stuff the legs and wrap each leg with bacon. Roast at 180˚C for 20-25 minutes  and then rest for 5 minutes.

To make the sauce reduce the chicken stock and white wine with the chopped shallot until syrupy. Add the cream and simmer gently. Whisk in the mustard and sieve. Finally add meat juices and serve with the chicken. Cut the thigh into three and stand the rest of the leg up. Garnish with chives or tarragon and serve on a bed of shredded leeks.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jam doughnut muffins...

Here is a recipe we often put on as a breakfast special at Maison Laurent. They are really easy taste wonderful.

Doughnut Muffins – makes about 18 minis or 12 standard

140g golden caster sugar (granulated is also okay)
Extra white caster sugar for dusting
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs beaten
140g melted butter
Raspberry jam

Heat the oven to 190˚C. Lightly grease muffin tin (or use silicon one). Put the sugar flour and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and mix to combine. Whisk together the eggs, yogurt and vanilla and tip into the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Fold in with a metal spoon to combine.

Fill the muffin holes just over half way then add a small dollop of jam to the centre.  Fill up with the remaining mixture and bake for 16 mins until risen, golden and springy.

Leave to cool for about 5 minutes the lift out and roll in white caster sugar.