Sparkles, Spangles and my Chef Extraordinaire!

So, the sparkly spangly thing is really a bit incidental. This is just my new little reminder to myself to get up in the morning, don the sparkles and spangles and look on the bright side of life amongst all the current angst. This tale is actually all about my very own Chef Extraordinaire, my lovey husband of an enormous number of years, the good Mr Fletcher. 


It is fair to say that both husband and I are not too bad in the kitchen, rustling up some sort of very tasty morsel on a regular basis, whether that is using the more limited facilities available on our boat, or our more well-equipped home kitchen. But over the last year it is definitely the good Mr F that takes home the prize for the best culinary creativeness and expertise! Over the course of 2020 we gradually became what people seem to refer to as 'Flexitarian' e.g. mostly vegan or vegetarian with the occasional inclusion of meat or chicken here and there. Now this is where dear husband has wholeheartedly embraced the entire concept. Now, not only do we have a well-stocked library of old favourites such as Jamie O, Delia Smith, Mary Berry, Weber, and countless Waitrose magazine cut outs, but these are also joined by some equally well-thumbed Deliciously Ella, Healthy Pear and Bosh cookbooks as well. These mostly vegan books have been an absolute revelation and quite honestly, Mr F's resulting kitchen creations have become even more fabulous as a result.


So, my newly crowned Chef Extraordinaire is one of these people who just absolutely loves a recipe, especially a new one. Equally he can also see how he can blend two separate but similar recipes into just one, adding a little touch of flair along the way of course. This is exactly what happened recently when he produced an amazingly delicious creation that originally hailed from one recipe found on an old Waitrose card and one from a book by Dr Michael Mosley. The result is truly scrumptious; a really hearty Mushroom and Chestnut medley of goodness and yumminess, equally at home served with some rice and a green salad, or some more indulgent buttery baked garlic mash and greens.


If you are interested in giving it a go, you will find the recipe below. In the meantime, I think that I am just going to wander into the kitchen where enticing smells are wafting and much tinkering is clearly going on....following which I will take me and a load of sparkles and spangles upstairs to my Zoom studio for my Wednesday evening Pilates class!


The Fletcher's Mushroom and Chestnut Medley


15g dried porcini mushrooms


2 tbsp olive oil


1 thinly sliced medium onion


400g chestnut/mixed mushrooms sliced


2 fat garic cloves peeled and crushed


1 vegatable stock cube


180g cooked peeled chestnuts 


100ml red wine


2 tbsp tomatoe puree


1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves


2 bay leaves


1 tsp Porcini mushroom paste


115g pack baby spinach (optional)


4 tsp cornflour


3 tbsp creme frais or plant based alternative


Soak the dried mushrooms in 500ml of just boiled water. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.


Heat the oil and gently fry the onion and fresh mushrooms until the onion is softened and the mushrooms lightly browned.


Add the crushed garlic and cook for a few seconds more before adding the soaked porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid.


Add the vegetable stock cube and stir in the chestnuts, wine, tomatoe puree, thyme, bay leaves and porcini paste. Season with salt and pepper.


Bring to a simmer, cover pan loosely and cook for about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.


Mix cornflour to a smooth paste with a little cold water and then stir into the pan. Cook for a few minutes more until thick and glossy.


Add spinach if using and cook until wilted. Swirl in the cream.


Enjoy and cheerio for now!


Jane F x


PS. If you would like to join my livestream online Pilates classes just get in touch via my contact page....or keep your eye out for when I may be starting back running Pilates classes in Leicestershire at Market Harborough, East Farndon and Medbourne, or in Northamptonshire at Cranford, Orlingbury and Broughton.

This entry was posted on January 13, 2021