Being hopelessly addicted to Christmas as I am, I have one ask of my family and that is that we all come together to celebrate at Christmas. I get so excited…..I decorate the house within an inch of itself, get a lovely tree delivered from a Christmas Tree farm and trim it with twinkly clear tiny lights from my beautiful ever growing collection of ornaments. I buy too many presents for my loved ones, spend time to wrap and ribbon them so they sit prettily under the tree and of course cook up a storm; but last Christmas even I have to admit I really over did the food. Luckily I realised my excess before I’d cooked all the spatchcock so I held six back (yes six!!!) from our family feast, and still there was too much!. I am pleased to say I have now cooked the last spatchcock left over from Christmas.
Aron and I had a rare Sunday at home with no real ‘to dos’ other than the usual chores to prepare for the busy working week ahead. I was laying down some duck confit in preparation for a meal to be shared in a few weeks with like- minded duck loving friends & thought that a sauce made from duck meat, dried porcini & fresh mushrooms, served with home-made egg pasta would make a tasty Sunday dinner. I then remembered the remaining spatchcock lurking in the freezer & decided to use it instead of the duck.
First I baked the spatchcock. I stuffed it with fresh thyme & rosemary and rubbed it over with an emulsion made of crushed juniper berries, a star anise, seasoning & olive oil.
The sauce was made of the meat of the spatchcock, soaked porcini, fresh mushrooms, celery, onion, garlic, cooked with olive oil, white wine, chicken stock. Seasoning, zest of half a lemon and cream were added.
Egg pasta is so easy, all you have to remember is 100g of flour to 1 egg. Bring together and knead for 6 – 10 mins (dependent on skill level) to release the gluten. Rest for 30 mins covered and then pass through a pasta machine and cut to desired shape.
I sprinkle with semolina flour and then leave to dry before briefly cooking in salted boiling water.
The result was a really pleasing meal for a cold winter night; earthy, creamy spatchcock & mushroom sauce with silky light pasta served with a generous grating of reggiano cheese. Lip smacking!
Unlike Aron, I held back from the tempting moist chocolate and beetroot brownies made using Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s fabulous recipe which was introduced to me by my dear, talented friend and blogger FJB – do yourself a favour and check out her always interesting & entertaining blog ‘A Bellingen Diary’ – it is a treat, just like these brownies.
What a luxury…to spend a day at home enjoying my kitchen and cooking accoutrement, preparing simple & comforting food, and finishing off the Christmas spactchcock. Days like this are so satisfying; they feed my passion (or is it my addiction?) & excite me for my next food adventure. July is a busy family birthday month so there is bound to be something to share.