Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Christmas dinner this year was what we no laughingly refer to as 'The Pasty' - my interpretation of Raymond Blanc's Pheasant Pithiviers. I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, and rather than reproduce it, I have linked to the video from his 'Kitchen Secrets' programme that explains how to make it, about 10.30 in. It took 3 days, but was very nice and looked splendid. Essentially, it is confit pheasant legs mixed with pan-roasted pheasant breasts, chestnuts, onion, garlic, cranberries and mushrooms, then sandwiched between 2 sheets of all-butter puff pastry. This is deep-glazed with salted egg yolk, baked, and served with a delicious Pheasant, Port and Madeira gravy made from the carcase. Made a change from turkey!
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
If you are looking for a last-minute Christmas gift to make, then this is a doddle. It isn't realy fudge, but ends up as a fudgy treat. You need to melt 8oz of unsalted butter and a cup (American measure, sorry) of smooth peanut butter in a pot or microwave. Let the mix cook for a minute or two. Stir in a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a pound of icing sugar. It will go crumbly and stiff and difficult to beat. This is normal! Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment and press the warm mixture evenly into the base. Cover it with another sheet of parchment and this makes it easier to press down and 'squidge' - technical term there. Allow to set and chill in the fridge for a good couple of hours or overnight. Cut into small pieces - it is rich and sweet. You can drizzle with melted chocolate too if liked. Best eaten with a syringe of insulin by your side and a defibrillator.
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Sea2Sea (check it out, he's cycling from the West to East Coast of the States to raise money for US and UK veterans). This is an easy one to do and tuck away. If you can open packs and heat a pan of water, you can make this. In a bowl over gently simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the bottom), melt 200g of milk chocolate, 100g dark chocolate, 100g butter, 100g of golden syrup until smooth and amalgamated. Don't rush this stage, keep the heat low, and leave it be, with just a little gentle stirring towards the end. You don't want it to go grainy - oh no! Then, add 200g of rich tea biscuits or shortbread biscuits, broken up (either by hand or by bashing in a plastic bag with a rolling pin) and 170g of dried cranberrries. You can also add around 60g of your choice of nut, such as pistachios, pecans or almonds. Mix gently until everything is coated and then spread into a 20cm sq baking tin, lined with cling film. Allow to set, then dredge with cocoa powder and cut into squares - this should yield 16 medium or 12 large pieces - or cut them into small bite-sized pieces and pack into cellophane bags for a yummy home-made Christmas pressie.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
original recipe on the Good Food website - a nice way to use ubiquitous salmon, and filling and comforting as the nights get colder. You could vary this endlessly - use leeks, spinach, Swiss chard or mushrooms instead of broccoli, and chicken or ham instead of salmon (though I'd probably lightly cook the chicken first).
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
this recipe from David Lebovitz is for you. It is also low in fat - hurrah! (erm....we'll just gloss over the sugar, eh?). This makes a large quantity, and it will keep for a week or so in the fridge to anoint chocolate pear pudding (as we did tonight), ice cream, pancakes, banana splits - or just spooned from the bowl......! The recipe calls for corn syrup but I used the much more British ingredient, glorious golden syrup. "Out of the strong came forth sweetness" and all that. Anyway, do yourself a favour, make this, and dive in.
Saturday, 19 November 2011
this recipe on Nigel's recent 'Simple Cooking' series, I knew I had to make it. It is a variation on Piedmontese Peppers, where the halved peppers are stuffed with cherry tomatoes and garlic. You make basil oil by blitzing a lot of fresh basil with olive oil, spoon over the peppers and tomatoes, and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the peppers are soft and juicy. Serve with orechiette pasta, dressed in the remaining basil oil and the juices from the baking tin. A delightful dish. It would work with regular peppers, I'm sure, but do try to get the ramiro ones
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Sunday, 30 October 2011
Friday, 28 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
Anyway, make these buns, and they will make you smile all day. based on a recipe by Ina Garten, they can be found on any number of blogs, but here is a link to the Food Network recipe from her show. Follow the advice in the comments boxes - cut back the amount of butter and sugar a wee bit, and I reduced the cinnamon too - 3 teaspoons would be overwhelming. Also, DO NOT let them sit for too long before turning out, as the molten butter and sugar quickly sets rock hard, and you will be chipping them out with a pick-axe.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Monday, 17 October 2011
Monday, 10 October 2011
a recipe - do try it.
Monday, 3 October 2011
recipe on Epicurious. This would work with loads of other fruit combos - apple and blackberry, naturally, but pear and blueberry would be nice too.
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Monday, 5 September 2011
'The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook' is a really good publication with what seems to me to be authentic North Indian home cooking. The Black Pepper Chicken curry I cooked tonight was WONderful! It was a dryish curry, which I partnered with a nice recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for Potato and Chard Curry, and simple boiled basmati. I shan't reproduce the recipe here in full, as it is copyright, but to give an idea,skinless chicken pieces are marinated in lemon juice, ground ginger, turmeric and LOTS of ground black pepper. A paste is made of onion, garlic and fresh ginger. Cloves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods are assembled, along with more ground black pepper. The chicken is fried in a wok along with the paste and whole spices and some water to just cover. The dish is simmered under chicken is tender and water has reduced to cover the chicken in the spicy paste. Lots of chopped coriander is stirred through just before serving - delicious! Get the book for some really simple, achievable North Indian food.
Friday, 26 August 2011
this recipe on Waitrose's site. This recommends using home-made lemon curd, which would be perfection, but I didn't have the time. Instead, I used Wilkinson's of Tiptree's bought stuff - it is very good, made with whole egg, butter and Sicilian lemons. Not cheap. But worth it. Also, forgive the picture. I was too knackered to take photos last night, and it disappeared this morning before I thought to ask someone to take a snap, so this pic from Waitrose will have to do.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Monday, 15 August 2011
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
Monday, 8 August 2011
Saturday, 6 August 2011
4 sweetcorn cobs, each cut into 3 pieces
200g red lentils
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 good teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric
8 green cardamom pods, bashed
2-3 finely chopped chillies, depending on how hot you like it
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 tablespoons mango or other fruity chutney
250ml veg stock or water
juice of 1 lemon
handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1.Boil a pan of water. Rinse and drain the lentils, add to the pan and boil for 3-4 minutes then simmer for approx 30-40 minutes until cooked. Drain.
2.Boil the sweetcorn for 10 minutes in salted water and drain. Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
3.Add the spices and chillies to the onions and cook for a further 3 minutes.
4.Add the corn and tomatoes and fry for 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, stock or water, mango chutney and drained lentils, simmer for a further 5 minutes. If needed add a little more water or stock. Add the coriander leaves at the end and serve with rice or naan bread.
I also like some frizzled shallots or onion on top of my lentil curries - just slice thinly and fry quickly in oil until deep golden brown and beginning to go crisp. Drain well and sprinkle over the finished dish. You CAN buy ready-crisped shallots in chinese groceries if you want to save time.
Friday, 5 August 2011
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Monday, 1 August 2011
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
Saturday, 9 July 2011
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Friday, 1 July 2011
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Sunday, 26 June 2011
Being an old Lakeland recipe, there is none of this metric nonsense:
12oz mixed dried fruit of your choice - I used sultanas, currants, raisins and chopped mixed peel
12floz hot strong tea - whatever rocks your boat, but I used proper builders' tea
10oz self-raising flour
4oz soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 large egg, beaten
The night before (or early in the morning) soak the fruits in the hot tea. They will soak most of it up and go lovely and plump. Next day or that afterfnoon, simply stir everything else in, tip into a 2lb lightly-greased loaf tin (the two long ends lined with baking parchment) and bake at 150C fan or equivalent for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. This keeps very well, wrapped in greaseproof and foil, and it will keep getting moister as the week progresses. If not on a low-fat regime, give yourself a treat and serve in thick slices spread with good butter with a cup of tea.
You can vary this basic recipe - add chopped candied ginger and dried ginger instead of the mixed spice with maybe a ginger tisane to soak the fruit. All cinnamon and some grated apple to replace the mixed peel. Use Earl Grey and dried figs with some crushed cardamom seeds. Or a fruit tea and dried cranberries. Darjeeling and glace cherries to replace some of the fruit. Experiment!