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Stay up to date with Portobello Place in Chartridge, Buckinghamshire

To find out about the latest goings-on here in our beautiful care home near Chesham, keep an eye on this news page. Our articles offer insight into daily life in our residential care home in Buckinghamshire, with a wide variety of events, activities and entertainment taking place each week for those living here in Chartridge for residential care, respite care and day care. Keep an eye on our Facebook page too for regular updates!

Recipe of the Week - French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
10 ingredients
Produce
2 Bay leaves, dried
1 Parsley or thyme, Fresh leaves
3 sprigs Thyme, fresh
1 1/4 kg Yellow onions, brown
Baking & spices
2 tbsp Flour
1 Salt and pepper
Bread & baked goods
6 slices French baguette
Dairy
100 g Butter, unsalted
100 g Gruyere
Beer, wine & spirits
3/4 cup White wine, dry

CARAMELISE ONIONS

1. Melt butter in a heavy based casserole pot over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add onions and stir to coat in butter.

2. 30 min on medium low: Turn heat down to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes stirring every few minutes, until the onions have softened and are semi transparent. 

3. Salt, 20 min on medium high: Turn heat up to medium or medium high. Add salt, and cook for a further 20 - 30 minutes, stirring more regularly, until onions are deep golden and sweet.

MAKE SOUP:

1. Deglaze: Add wine, then simmer rapidly for 2 minutes until mostly evaporated, stirring to scrape the bottom of the pot.

2. Flour: Sprinkle flour over the onion and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add broth & herbs: Add broth, thyme and bay leaves. 

4. Simmer: Cover, lower heat so it's simmering gently then simmer for 30 minutes. 

5. Serve: Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Top with 1 or 2 slices of cheesy toast.

CHEESE TOAST:

1. Preheat grill / broiler to high.Toast each side of bread until light golden.

2. Top bread with cheese, then grill until melted and some brown spots appear.

 Recipe Notes:

1. Onions - halve them then cut from the top to bottom. It makes them hold their shape better when cooking and you don't get stringy bits. But it's not a big deal! Half the onions in the video were accidentally cut the other way.

2. Wine is used to deglaze the pot here, to get the brown stuff off the base of the pot and also the wine adds flavour into the soup broth. It's fine to skip it - the beef broth ends up having the same deglazing effect.

Any non-sweet, non-woody wine is fine. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris are what I use.

3. Broth/stock - French Onion Soup can be made with chicken or beef broth. It is more commonly made with beef stock, from what I have observed.

Use a good quality beef stock. I personally do not recommend mainstream brands from major supermarkets in Australia. I use Maggie Beer and Moredough from Harris Farms, , or private labels from butchers.

It is better to use chicken or vegetable broth rather than sub-standard beef broth.

Best to use low salt and add salt if required.

4. Bread - The idea with the recipe is that you can use a spoon to cut through the bread into the soup to eat it. So it's best not to use chewy artisan breads like sourdough. The softer the crumb, the better. Even a thick standard sandwich bread would work!


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A wonderful view from Portobello Place care home near Chesham

We’re incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful and peaceful spot here at Portobello Place care home in Chartridge, as if you head down to the very end of our home’s gardens, all you see is greenery.

That’s because just behind us is a wonderful view of the Pednor Valley and Chiltern Hills – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – as well as the family-owned Chartridge Park Golf Club.

This exclusive 18-hole golf club is incredibly popular with golfers of all abilities, and the facility also plays host to weddings, corporate events and other private functions. In fact, it's one of the most popular venues in the area, with people travelling from all over Buckinghamshire to come here, including from High Wycombe and Beaconsfield, Amersham and Tring.

Here at Portobello Place, we’re especially grateful for the uninterrupted view of rolling hills and unspoilt countryside – even with wintry weather on the way, what could be better?

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Recipe of the Week - Cocktail Time

This week in the run up to Christmas, we thought we would share some classic cocktails that will be available from our Bar Bistro.

We'll be serving...

Portobello G&T
Method:
2floz Portobello Gin
5 floz Tonic Water

Ice and a wedge of lime to garnish

Classic Martini
Method:
3floz Portobello Gin
1floz Dry Vermouth
Shake in a cocktail shaker, pour into a glass and garnish with olives and a twist of fresh lemon rind

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Recipe of the Week - Chicken Chasseur




Another French classic often not done properly, very easy all in one pot.




Oven preheated to 170c

Preparation time 20minutes

Cooking time 1 ½ hours




Ingredients

2-3 tbsp olive oil

2oz butter

1-2 oz plain flour

Salt and pepper

4 Large chicken legs cut in half

1 large chopped onion

2 crushed garlic cloves

2 tbsp tomato puree

1x 400grm tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh chopped Tarragon

Lots of fresh chopped parsley

1 bay leaf

½ bottle dry white wine

½lb sliced mushrooms

500ml good chicken stock




Method

1. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and dust with the flour.

2. In a frying pan add a little oil and fry the chicken pieces slowly so they colour lightly. Once all the chicken has been fried place in a casserole dish. You only need to colour not cook the chicken at this stage.

3. In the same pan, add a little more oil and all the butter. Fry your onions lightly then add your garlic and mushrooms cook for 2-3 minutes gently.

4. Put the tomato puree in and stir, then pour in the white wine until it all bubbles. Pour into the casserole dish with the chicken.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, tarragon, bay leaf and the chicken stock.

6. Place in the pre heated oven for 1 hour covered, then the remaining ½ hour uncovered.

7. After this time, take out and check for seasoning, and sprinkle with lots of chopped parsley before you serve.


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Recipe of the Week - Beef Bourguignon

Cooking time 2.5 hours - preheat oven to 170C. Preparation time 30-40 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Serve with a lovely creamy mash or new boiled buttered potatoes with lots of fresh chopped parsley, along with some green leaf vegetables of your choice.

Ingredients
- 4lb Good quality braising steak cut into 1” dice. (shin of beef if you can find it)
- 8oz fatty bacon cut into strips
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 bottle of good red wine
- 6 tbsp brandy (optional)
- 3 tsp tomato puree
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2oz butter
- 1lb peeled baby onions
- 1lb small button mushrooms
- 3-4 tbsp plain flour
- 6 tbsp veg oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Chopped parsley

Method
1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and roll the beef in the flour, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat a frying pan and fry the pieces of beef in a little oil until light brown - do this gently so it doesn’t burn.
3. Put the beef into a casserole dish.
4. Tip out the oil from your pan and add a bit of fresh oil. Fry the chopped onions, bacon and garlic until soft and lightly brown.
5. Add the tomato puree and pour in about ¼ bottle red wine to deglaze all the sediments from the pan. Stir and pour the contents into the casserole dish with the beef, then pour the rest of the wine in from the bottle.
6. If it doesn’t cover all the beef, just top it up with a little water. Add bay leaves and thyme.
7. Bring to a simmer, place a lid on the dish and place in the oven for two hours.
8. After two hours, take a fresh pan with a little oil and gently fry the baby onions and mushrooms until brown.
9. Carefully take your casserole dish out of the oven and add the mushrooms, onions and brandy if using.
10. Place into the oven for a further ½ hour or until the beef is tender to your liking.
11. You may want to thicken the casserole to your liking, in which case, simply mix some cornflour with some cold water, stir gently and pour in slowly until the dish reaches the thickness you require.
12. To serve, check seasoning, remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks, stir in the butter and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

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Recipe of the Week - Mille-Feuille

Oven temperature preset to 180C - cooking time 20 – 30 minutes

Ingredients - 2 x packet pre-rolled puff pastry
- 1 x beaten egg for egg wash
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling
- 1 pint double cream
- 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp icing sugar plus extra for dusting
- 8oz mixed berries

Method
1. Unfold the puff pastry sheets, place one sheet on a lined baking sheet big enough to accommodate the sheet comfortably.
2. Egg wash the pastry sheet on the tray and then place the other sheet on top, egg wash the top side and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
3. Chill for 20 minutes, then place in the preheated oven and cook until golden. It should puff up like a pillow, being careful that your oven doesn’t colour it too much.
4. Take out when its ready and allow to cool.
5. Whip the double cream with the vanilla and icing sugar to firm peaks.
6. When the pastry has chilled completely, place it onto your table and with a serrated knife, cut across the middle horizontally. Place the top half on your tabletop and the bottom half on the platter you intend to serve it on.
7. Place the whipped flavoured cream all over the bottom half of the pastry and sprinkle over your fruits.
8. Place the other half on top, shiny side up.
9. Dust with icing sugar, serve and enjoy.

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Lovely lunches close to home at Chartridge Lodge

Just on the outskirts of Chesham and not too far from Portobello Place, you’ll find Chartridge Lodge. The building started out as a private house dating from the start of the last century, but having been transformed in the 1960s, it’s now primarily a hotel, conference centre and wedding venue but there’s also a fantastic restaurant there, open for lunches, dinners and afternoon tea.

As Chartridge Lodge is so close by and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, we love popping over for an hour or two for a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a little walk around. It really is a stunning place and as it’s just a mile down the road, it’s almost right on our doorstep!

Here in our Buckinghamshire care home, it’s great having such a wonderful place so close by – although our food here at Portobello Place is truly exceptional, it’s always nice to have the odd change of scenery – Chartridge Lodge offers just that.


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Recipe of the Week - Paella Valenciana

Paella is the dish and Paellera is the pan it’s cooked in. You can make it with just fish or meat, or it can even be made vegetarian. In the photo, it’s cooked in a large roasting pan for about 10 hungry family members at home on our firepit. Follow this recipe until you get a feel for it, and you can omit or add ingredients as you wish. You cook this in an oven at 200°c for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. Allow it to rest for a good ten minutes covered with a clean tea towel.

Ingredients (to serve six)
- 500g long-grain American rice (normally made with paella rice)
- 1 litre warm chicken stock (you may need a little more or less)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus some more to drizzle over)
- ½ chicken cut into pieces
- 200g chorizo cut into small slices
- 500g rindless belly of pork cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1kg monkfish (or any other firm fish like snapper) cut into small pieces
- 500g squid cut into small pieces
- 250g peeled raw prawns
- ½ bag cleaned and scrubbed mussels
- 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
- 6 Mediterranean king prawns (cooked)
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 red pepper cut into long strips, fried in a little oil
- 1 green chopped pepper
- 2 chopped garlic cloves garlic
- A handful of cooked peas
- 6 lemon wedges
- 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 pinch of saffron soaked in a little white wine or water for five minutes
- Sea salt to taste

Method
1. Firstly, put your oven on to 200°C.
2. Get your pan on the heat and add the olive oil.
3. Add your onions, garlic and green peppers, and cook until soft.
4. Add your chicken, chorizo, belly of pork and monkfish – lightly cook for five minutes.
5. Stir in the rice then add in the tomatoes and saffron, complete with wine/water.
6. Add the raw prawns and mussels, mixing well.
7. Add the stock – this should come just over the rice by about half an inch.
8. Bring to a gentle simmer slowly, being careful that nothing burns. At this stage, check the seasoning by adding the salt – be careful with this and don’t forget, you can always season more later.
9. Place the paella in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
10. Once it’s ready, you can taste the rice fortenderness, sprinkle with the peas and parsley, then add the cooked Mediterranean prawns, fried red pepper strips and lemon wedges to the top of the dish in a decorative manner.
11. Place the paella back into the oven for a few minutes to warm it through.
12. Take out of the oven and cover with the tea towel. Before serving, drizzle lightly with olive oil.

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2020

2019

December

30th January Events at Portobello Place 20th Recipe of the Week - Malteser Christmas Pudding 16th Our rich local history, shown off in style at Amersham Museum 9th Inspired and Stimulating Events at Portobello Place 6th Recipe of the Week - Spiced Lebkuchen 2nd A visit from Amersham Rock Choir

November

29th Recipe of the Week - French Onion Soup 26th A wonderful view from Portobello Place care home near Chesham 22nd Recipe of the Week - Cocktail Time 15th Recipe of the Week - Chicken Chasseur 8th Recipe of the Week - Beef Bourguignon 1st Recipe of the Week - Mille-Feuille

October

28th Lovely lunches close to home at Chartridge Lodge 25th Recipe of the Week - Paella Valenciana 18th Recipe of the Week - Spanish Omelette 14th Wondrous wildlife accessible to all 11th Recipe of the Week - Sweet and Sour Chicken 4th Recipe of the Week - Sesame Prawn Toast 1st Walter Rothschild's legacy, right near our Chartridge care home

September

27th Recipe of the Week - La Boqueria 20th Recipe of the Week - Classic Caesar Salad 13th Recipe of the Week - Berry Delight Dessert 10th Inspired and stimulating events at Portobello Place 6th Recipe of the Week - Portobello Mushrooms on Toast

August

18th Some of the best Chilterns countryside near our home

July

30th A trip to the world's oldest original model village 17th Practically perfect performances right on our doorstep

June

28th Proud to sponsor Chess Vale Bowls Club in Chesham 19th A stunning National Trust park just a stone’s throw from Portobello Place

May

16th Welcome to Portobello Place care home in Chartridge!