I’ve really enjoyed cooking this week as we’ve been experimenting with the Waitrose Duchy Organic Range. We’re supporting the Soil Association’s campaign “Organic September” and so the Duchy Organic Range was a perfect place to start.
Monday’s menu consisted of: Lamb Meatballs with chargrilled broccoli and rice. Originally it was supposed to be pork mince but sadly it had to be exchanged for lamb as the pork was out of stock, but it was a lovely alternative to the pork albeit a little strong. The only addition that I wish I had made would have been to add a little mint to the mixture. The broccoli was outstanding. Generally we buy frozen broccoli but this was so incredibly tasty once it was baked, we’re going to try and get it every month from Waitrose now when Andy has to pop to Colchester for any of his fishkeeping items as it’s too tasty not to.
Tuesday we went Oriental. Tenderloin Pork Fillet with Bok Choi and Lemongrass Rice. This is one of my favourite meals. Instead of spending a fortune at the local take away Andy will make this for me when I have a craving for something Chinese. The smells that radiate from the kitchen are just like the delightful waft you get when you pass the local restaurant. I love the sticky sweet sauce that accompanies the dish with the crunchiness of the bok choi. It’s indulgence at it’s best. 450g organic free range pork fillet is just £6.75 at Waitrose and well worth every penny. Sales of Waitrose Duchy Organic products provide a donation to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. So you don’t only get amazing quality you are helping UK charities – bonus!
Wednesdays delight was Pan Fried Pork Medallions (again from the Pork Fillet) with Creamy Tarragon Sauce and New Potatoes. We substituted the creme fraiche for the Duchy Organic Thick and Creamy Yogurt, and Tarragon from our own garden. This dish is very much a comfort food dish and using leeks as the base is incredibly light, rather than using onions and purely onions.
Here’s the recipe if you fancy trying it out for yourself!
Pan Fried Pork Medallions with Creamy Tarragon Sauce – Serves 2
300g Pork Fillet (sliced into medallions)
350g New Potatoes (we used organic baby potatoes)
2 cups shredded leek (from our garden)
1 large sprig of Tarragon (again from our garden)
2 tbsp thick and creamy yogurt
100ml chicken stock
Fill a large saucepan with boiling water, add potatoes (chopped in half) and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook until you can slip a knife into them (about 12 mins). Drain and leave to one side.
Pick off the tarragon leaves from the sprig and finely chop. Mix 100ml of boiling water with chicken stock cube.
Cut the leek lengthways and then shared widthways finely. Remove traces of fat from the pork fillet. Slice pork into medallions 2cm thick. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat 1tbsp oil over a high heat in a large frying pan and stir fry the leek for 4 mins with 1/4 tsp salt. Remove from pan when soft enough to eat. In the same pan add another tbsp of oil and brown the meat on both sides. Once the meat is brown, pour in the stock. Add the chopped tarragon and stir well to get any meaty bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce the liquid by 1/3.
Turn the heat to low, add the yogurt and stir. Make sure the sauce doesn’t boil because this will curdle the yogurt.
Allow everything to warm through for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Pile potatoes on plate with leeks on top, then add pork medallions drizzling over the warm tarragon sauce over it all.
Thursday saw us use pork loin steaks, and so Andy produced Pork with Mustard Mushrooms. We used organic onions, organic leeks, duchy organic chestnut mushrooms, pork loins, potatoes and dijon mustard. 90% of the ingredients from the same organic range and wow, they made an amazing team.
Friday we decided to leave the meat alone and wanted to use the organic vegetables we’d purchased and so decided on a goat’s cheese couscous salad served with carrots and beans. The red wine vinegar and shallot dressing on this meal is one of the best. Combine that with the crispy goats cheese and you have a winning meal.
Saturday was one of my favourites. This is generally one dish I try and produce at least once a month but because I can never seem to get hold of the taleggio cheese that the recipe wants you to use, I haven’t made it for a long time. However, I saw the Mature Organic Cheddar Cheese (4 strength) and couldn’t resist teaming it up with the Broccoli and Cauliflower Florets to make it again. With a few small pieces of Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton added into the topping before it was baked made my mouth water. When it’s ready to serve it’s crispy on the top due to the breadcrumbs and creamy with the mix of cheese, pasta and vegetables. You eat this with a caper and tomato salsa and you’re in foodie heaven.
Sunday and we decided not only to swap a meal (we had bacon, eggs and mushrooms for breakfast) but to make a dessert too. We still had a Butterscotch yogurt, and the most crumbly Stem Ginger Biscuits left, so I made a butterscotch mousse layered dessert just to end the week on a high.
Butterscotch and Stem Ginger Delight – Makes 2-3 deserts
Take 6 of the biscuits and crush them up. Put them to one side.
Combine butter, sugar and 100ml of the cream and heat on a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is light golden colour.
Whisk egg whites until they form a peak, and slowly whisk in the caster sugar until the egg whites are white and silky rather than light and airy with holes. Slowly fold in the rest of the cream and yogurt, then the butterscotch mixture. You don’t have to add all the butterscotch sauce to the mix so just use as much as you feel is necessary.
Layer the crushed biscuits and mousse into serving dishes and chill for a few hours. If you have butterscotch sauce left, lightly drizzle on top just before you serve.
If you like your mousse to be firmer, add 1 more egg white and 1 more tablespoon of sugar at the beginning and follow the recipe from there.
Each day we paired our meals with delicious wines from the Waitrose Cellar:
This wine is for dishes like the lamb meatballs. It’s full bodied, and very fruity. Matching it with anything lighter than lamb just wouldn’t work. It would also be sensational served with an open venison lasagne
Although I’m not a huge wine fan, these wines seemed to work really well with these particular dishes. My top wine though had to be the Domaine Zind Humbrecht Zind which with it’s honey flavour bought out the butterscotch beautifully in the desert. It’s not a sickly sweet wine thankfully as with the dessert being particularly sweet, the wine would have overpowered it but medium dry set it off magnificently.
Overall changing one meal to organic wasn’t too much of an effort and well within anyone’s remit should they wish to do the same. The price of the items might be slightly higher but for the welfare of the animals and for the fresh produce provided in it’s natural state (the carrots came still attached to the carrot tops) it’s been well worth it.
Have you ever gone organic? What are your views on it?