Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cheesy broccoli pasta bake

Serves 4
280g penne
280g broccoli, cut into florets
25g butter
25g plain flour
300ml milk
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
140g mature cheddar, grated

Cook the pasta, steam the broccoli on top for 4-5 mins until tender. Drain well, then heat the grill.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 min, then gradually add the milk, stirring well between each addition. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 2 mins, before stirring in the mustard, half the cheese and seasoning.

Mix the pasta and broccoli into the sauce and spoon into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the remaining cheese and place under a hot grill for 3-4 mins until golden and bubbling.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Simple Roast Guinea Fowl

1 onion, cut into wedges, through the root
2 carrots, quartered lengthways
1 large potato, cut into bite-size chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 guinea fowl
1 tbsp butter at room temperature, plus 2 tsp for the gravy
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
few thyme sprigs
300ml chicken stock
100ml white or red wine
2 tsp plain flour
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly or creme fresh

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the vegetables with the oil and some seasoning in a large flameproof roasting tin. Place the bird on top of the veg, lift the breast skin and insert some butter Season generously, then roast for 40 mins.

Remove from the oven and give the veg a stir while adding the garlic and thyme. Pour 200ml stock and the wine over the veg and return to oven to roast for another 20 mins or so until the bird is cooked through and the juices run clear.

Remove the bird, place on a serving plate, cover with foil to keep warm and leave to rest. Turn the oven up to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and roast the veg for a further 15 mins until tender.

Remove the veg with a slotted spoon and transfer to the serving plate with the bird. Mix 2 tsp butter and flour in a small bowl to form a smooth paste. Place the roasting tin with all the cooking juices, plus any resting juices, on the hob. Whisk the paste and redcurrant jelly into the juices until dissolved, then add the remaining stock and extra seasoning, if you like. Bubble for a few mins until the sauce thickens. Slice and serve the guinea fowl, crisp bacon and the veg with the sauce on the side.
-------------------------------------------
As a variation, I reduced the cooking liquid and added some cream and sauted Chestnut Mushrooms to make the sauce.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Spicy Garlic Broccoli

Cooking time:  about 10 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons sesame oil
5 spring onions - roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1 x 2" piece of ginger - finely chopped
1 - 2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
400g broccoli - roughly chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce


1] Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.
2] Add in the spring onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry for about a minute.
3] Stir in the chilli flakes and then add the broccoli.
4] Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the water to help the broccoli cook through.
5] When the broccoli is al dente, stir in the soy sauce and salt and pepper.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cauliflower Cheese - Felicity Cloake

1 litre milk
½ an onion
1 clove
1 bay leaf
75g butter
50g plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 medium cauliflower
4 slices white bread, in breadcrumbs
100g tasty Lancashire cheese, grated
75ml double cream
Nutmeg, grated
25g cheddar cheese, grated

1. Put the milk in a small pan and poke the clove into the onion. Add this, a pinch of salt and the bay leaf to the milk and heat gently to a simmer. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes, then remove the onion and bay leaf.

2. Melt 50g butter in a medium pan over a medium-low heat, and stir in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes until it smells biscuity, then add the milk, one ladle at a time, stirring it in until you have a smooth sauce. Turn the heat right down and leave to simmer for 15–20 minutes until thick.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil them for 4 minutes, until just tender. Drain thoroughly and keep warm.

4. Melt most of the remaining butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the cauliflower until slightly browned and caramelised. Season and spoon into a baking dish, then put the rest of the butter into the pan, add the breadcrumbs and fry until crunchy and golden. Season. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

5. Stir the Lancashire into the sauce until it melts, and then add the cream, a grating of nutmeg and season to taste. Pour over the cauliflower. Top with the grated cheddar, followed by the breadcrumbs, and grill until golden and bubbling.

From the Guardian

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Joe Wicks Chicken & mozzarella salad with warm tomato dressing

Prep 15 Mins
Cook 20 Mins
Serves 4

1.25 litres chicken stock
4 skinless chicken breasts
5 tbsp olive oil
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 large sprigs of rosemary, needles only
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
16 cherry tomatoes, roughly halved
salt and pepper
6 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 avocados, stoned and cut into wedges
2 x 110g balls of mozzarella, torn into large chunks

To Serve
2 large handfuls of rocket
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• Pour the chicken stock into a large lidded saucepan and bring it to the boil. Slide in the chicken breasts – if the liquid doesn’t cover them, add a little more stock or water. Bring back up to the boil, clamp on the lid and then reduce to a low heat. Cook the chicken breasts on a very low simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the chicken in the warm stock for a further 10 minutes with the lid still on.

• Meanwhile, make the dressing. Pour 4½ tablespoons of the oil into a saucepan and add the spring onions, rosemary, garlic, red chilli and tomatoes along with a good grinding of salt and pepper. Place the saucepan over a medium to low heat and cook for 10 minutes, being sure not to let the oil get too hot. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture to sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

• Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-to-high heat. When it is hot, tip in the breadcrumbs and fry for about 3 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a clean piece of kitchen roll to drain off the excess oil.

• Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the stock and tear it up with your hands or a couple of forks. Place the chicken on a large serving plate along with the avocado and mozzarella chunks. Spoon over the warm tomato dressing, then top with the rocket and the fried breadcrumbs. I like to serve this salad with a little balsamic vinegar on the side.


NOTE: I use left over roast chicken to put this dish together rather than taking time to do the poaching first step...

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Nigel Slaters really juicy, spicy Pork meatballs

a handful of smoked bacon or pancetta
500g minced pork
groundnut oil

For the seasoning
2 shallots or 4 small spring onions
3 or 4 small, hot, red chillies
a small bunch of coriander
4 lime leaves or 2 thick stalks of lemon grass
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

Chop the shallots or spring onions finely, then chop the chillies even finer, first removing the seeds if you don't like things too hot. Scrub the roots of the coriander and chop them and the leaves finely, discarding the stems. Roll the lime leaves up and shred them finely, then chop them; if you are using lemon grass, discard the coarse outer leaves, then chop the tender inside leaves very thinly. All this can be done in a food processor

Chop the bacon or pancetta and add it, with the seasoning above, to the minced pork. Mix in a good pinch of salt, then cover with clingfilm (otherwise it will taint everything in your fridge) and leave to rest and chill for half an hour or more

Shape the seasoned pork into small balls. The size is up to you. If you flatten them slightly you will get more of that delectable savoury crust when you fry them. I tend to start with a ball of mince the size of a walnut in its shell, then flatten it slightly. To cook them, you will need to warm a little oil in a heavy frying pan, then lay the meatballs in - without crowding them - and let them colour enticingly on both sides before turning the heat down a bit and letting them cook all the way through. You should find them done after four or five minutes. Test one by breaking it open: the centre should be juicy but not especially pink.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Lamb Kofta

Kofta

400g mince lamb
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala

Masala Sauce

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated (3-4cm)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
1 chilli, chopped
½ tsp chilli powder
200g or ½ tin of plum tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

1] In a large mixing bowl add the mince lamb, salt, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala, and mix using your hands to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.

2] Rub a little oil on to your hands to stop the mixture sticking to your hands.

3] Take a small amount of the meat and roll in your palms to make a meatball. Ensure it is smooth all over and set to one side.

4] Heat the oil in a frying pan. Carefully fry the meatballs (kofta) in batches so they brown and crisp up all over.

5] Remove the kofta using a slotted spoon and set them on some kitchen paper to drain.

6] Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the onions and garlic and gently cook down until the onions turn a dark golden brown colour.

7] Reduce the heat and add the ginger and chopped chilli, stir and add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, fenugreek and chilli powder.

8] Stir together and leave to cook gently so the onions and tomatoes melt together with the spices creating a wonderfully thick aromatic paste.

9] Add the kofta to the pan and coat with the sauce for a few minutes. Add enough boiling water to get the consistency of sauce you want. Bring it all to the boil and turn the heat off. Leave the kofta to absorb the juices from the sauce for 5-10 minutes.

10] Throw in the garam masala and corinander before serving.

From: www.harighotra.co.uk

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Lamb and Coconut Curry

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

900g Lamb - trimmed and cubed

2 Onions, roughly chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed

2 Green Chillies, finely chopped

1 tbsp grated Fresh Ginger

1 tbsp Ground Turmeric

1½ tbsp Garam Masala

1½ tbsp Ground Cumin

1 tbsp Chilli Powder

1 tbsp Plain Flour

6 large Tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tin of Coconut Milk

600ml Chicken Stock

250g baby Spinach leaves (or a couple of lumps of frozen)

200g Plain yoghurt


Heat a large saucepan and add one tablespoon of the Vegetable Oil and then the Lamb. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the Lamb is golden-brown all over, then remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of Vegetable Oil. Add the Onions, Garlic, Chillies and Ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden and softened.

Add the Turmeric, Garam Masala, Cumin and Chilli Powder and fry, stirring well, for one minute.

Add the Flour and stir for a further minute.

Add the Tomatoes and Coconut Milk and heat to bring to a simmer.

Add the Lamb and enough Chicken Stock to just cover the Lamb. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and release any residue at the bottom of the pan.

Heat the mixture until simmering, then cover and cook on a low heat for about one hour, or until the Lamb is tender and cooked through.

Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce, then add the Spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.

Add the Yoghurt, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pork Mince and Curly Kale

For 2 servings

• Finely chopped Onion, about half a large one
• Finely chopped fresh Garlic Cloves, 2 or 3
• Finely chopped fresh Ginger Root, to taste
• A few chopped fresh Tomatoes (spinkle with Salt and Pepper while they wait to be added to the wok)
• Oil of your choice to fry off the above (Olive Oil for this test)
• Vegetable Stock - 400mls or so
• Minced Pork
• Curly Kale (remove the woody stalk bits)

1] Gently fry the Onions, 10 mins or so. Turn up the heat and add the Garlic and Ginger, stir for a couple of minutes.
2] Add the Pork and keep stirring and breaking the mince up. Don't cook it too much or the Pork will tighten up.
3] Add the Tomatoes, stir for a bit, then add the Veg Stock. Let it come to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
4] Stir in the Kale, make sure there is still enough liquid, then cover for 3 minutes.

I finished this test off with some grated fresh Red Chilli and Soya Sauce and served on rice. Noodles would work better maybe with the lovely sauce from the pan.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin








































• Brown Sugar
• 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
• Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
• Fresh Rosemary finally chopped
• Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
• 1 boneless Pork Loin, excess fat trimmed
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 6 slices bacon

For the cooking liquid
• 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
• White Wine
• Chicken Stock
• Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
• Dijon or Whole Grain Mustard
• Zest and Juice of 1 orange (I used two Clementines)

1] In a small bowl, combine the Sugar, Garlic, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper. Season Pork Loin with  the Sugar mixture, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides.

2] Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Pork Loin, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep gently moving the Pork around so it doesn't stick and start breaking up.

3] Wrap the Bacon around the Pork and place in the Slow Cooker.

4] In the pan gently fry the crushed Garlic and deglaze with the White Wine. Stir in the Zest, Juice and Mustard. Pour into the slow cooker and add the stock.

5] Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

6] Take the pork out to rest and strain the cooking juices into a pan. Reduce some of these juices for a lovely gravy while you get on and do the veg.

Note to self - Slow cooker was set to Medium for 3 hours - This resulted in the Pork being flaky and unslicable, lovely and moist though - Next time set to Low for 4 hours.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Perfect Beef Stew

Fom Felicity Cloakes article on The Guardian website.

800g shin of beef

2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Beef dripping, butter or oil

2 onions, sliced

300ml beef stock

300ml stout 

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunky slices

2 small turnips, peeled and cut into chunks

For the dumplings:

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g suet

Small bunch of chives and parsley, finely chopped

1. Trim the beef of its outer sinew and cut into large chunks. Toss with the seasoned flour to coat. Heat a heavy-bottomed casserole or pan on a medium flame and add a knob of dripping or butter, or a couple of tablespoons of oil. Brown the meat in batches, adding more fat if necessary – be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or it will boil in its own juices – then transfer to a bowl. Scrape the bottom of the pan regularly to prevent any residue from burning.

2. Once all the meat is browned, add some more fat to the pan and cook the onions until soft and slightly browned. Add them to the beef and then pour in a little stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add the beef and onions, the rest of the stock and the stout, season, and add the herbs. Bring to the boil, then partially cover, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for two hours.

3. Add the carrots and turnips, and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Leave to cool, overnight if possible, and then lift the solidified fat off the top and bring to a simmer.

4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings by sifting the flour into a bowl and adding the rest of the ingredients and just enough cold water to bring it together into a dough. Roll it into 6 dumplings and add these to the stew. Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes, then check the seasoning of the gravy, and serve with steamed greens.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Chicken & Pea Risotto

Another left-over Chicken dish…

• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 onion chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 190g Risotto rice

• 1 small glass white wine
• 500ml Chicken Stock (warm before adding)
• Cooked Chicken breasts, chopped
• 1 tbsp thyme leaf
• 100g frozen peas
• Crispy Bacon to scatter on top
• 2 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

1] Heat oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 min more, until it starts to look transparent. Pour in the wine and keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.


2] Add the stock and simmer until the rice is just tender. Stir through the chicken, thyme and peas, then cook for 2 mins or until the chicken is warmed through. Add the crème fraîche and Parmesan with some seasoning, then remove from the heat. Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 2 mins before serving with extra Parmesan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pasta with Yellow Pepper Sauce

Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups diced sweet onion
2 leeks, white part only, diced
4 Yellow bell peppers, cleaned of all seeds and pulp sliced very thin
Salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to sprinkle over the finished dish


1] In a large sauté pan heat oil over medium to medium high heat and add onions and leeks. Cook stirring occasionally for eight minutes adjusting heat so that leeks don’t brown. Add peppers, salt, pepper and thyme and stir. Lower heat and cook covered for five minutes. Add a cup of water and cook covered for five more minutes. Add another cup of water and cook covered for another five minutes.

2] Using a blender puree the mixture until very smooth. If too thick, add a little water. Pour back into pan.

3] Cook pasta according to package directions until slightly less than done. (Reserve pasta water, do not drain).

4] Place pasta in with sauce and cook over medium heat adding small ladles of pasta water until pasta is fully cooked and sauce is the proper constancy. Remove from heat and mix in as much Parmesan cheese to your tastes - Careful not to overpower the sweet yellow pepper flavour.

Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese over each portion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Slow cooked Ox Cheeks in Wine

 3 Ox Cheeks
 2 Carrots, chopped
 2 Celery, chopped
 1 Onion, chopped
 2 Garlic Cloves 
 500ml of Red Wine
 1 Clove
 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
 750ml of Beef Stock
 2 Bay Leaves
 1 Star Anise
 1 tsp Thyme
 2 tbsp of Tomato Purée
 2 Anchovies
 100g of Plain Flour, seasoned with a generous grinding of salt
 Salt
 Black Pepper
 Flat-leaf Parsley, to serve

1] Trim any excess fat off the ox cheeks and place this fat into a large pan. Place over a moderate heat and allow the fat to melt and render down.
2] While this is happening, cut each cheek into six even pieces and dust lightly and evenly with the seasoned flour.
3] Once the fat has completely rendered down, increase the heat and add the ox cheeks to the hot fat, browning all over until dark and golden. You may need to add a little extra oil if the pan is too dry. Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside to cool.
4] Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
5] Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the same pan over a moderate-low heat and sweat down in the residual fat until soft and lightly caramelised.
6] Increase the heat and add the meat back to the pan along with the tomato purée. Mix together so that the ox cheeks and vegetables are coated in the purée and cook out for 2–3 minutes.
7] Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping the base of the pan to mix in all the caramelised meat and vegetables. Add the wine, clove, cinnamon, stock, thyme, star anise, bay and anchovies then bring everything to the boil.
8] Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
9] After this time check the meat to ensure the cheeks are very tender, but not falling apart. Return to the oven, turn off the heat and leave to sit for 30 minutes for the flavours to improve.
10] To serve, reheat either in the oven or on the stove and season to taste, serve hot with mashed potato or soft polenta.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lion’s Mane Pork Balls with sweet chilli dipping sauce



Pork Balls
100g/3½oz glutinous rice (I used Basmati and it came out a bit more spikey, but in a fun way visually ;)
350g/12oz pork mince
2 garlic
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine
1½ tbsp fresh chopped coriander
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


You can season the pork with anything you fancy, you don't need to stick to the ingredients above...

Dipping Sauce
3 tsp caster sugar
1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
1½ tbsp light soy sauce
2 small shallots
1-2 small red chillies
3 tsp sesame oil

Garnish
small bunch spring onions
1 cucumber
1 lemon

1. Whisk up all the ingredients for the Pork Balls, then add the pork and gently massage it all together with your fingers. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Best to have the sink filled with some warm water to deal with the pork fat on your hands after doing this ;)

2. Meanwhile make the dipping sauce. Mix together the sugar, sherry vinegar and soy sauce until the sugar dissolves. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together until combined. Cover with cling film and leave to infuse, stirring occasionally.

3. With wet hands, roll the pork mixture into walnut-sized balls and then roll in the rice to coat
evenly.

4. Line the base of the top section of a steamer with greaseproof paper, (I used lengths of leeks as I didn’t have any greaseproof paper… worked just fine…) then steam the balls in batches for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Once cooked, skewer the pork balls, three at a time, onto wooden skewers and arrange on a serving platter.

Serve with the dipping sauce and garnish with shredded spring onion, cucumber and lemon wedges.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Butternut Squash 'Healthyish' Cake

A lovely moist and naturally sweet cake. Play around with the amount of Muscovado vs Sultanas - the first version I tried was a bit to overly sweet... But I don't have a sweet tooth...

75g Wholegrain Spelt flour, (unrefined with all the goodness)
1½ tsp Baking Powder,
160g Butternut squash, roasted and blitzed (just put the whole Squash in the oven on a backing tray, medium temp for about 40 mins until a skewer/knife slides in and out of the flesh easily and clean. Your choice whether to leave the caramelized skin on before you blitz it, but do top/tail it and de-seed it!)
75g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar (unrefined with all the goodness)
75g Softened butter
2 Eggs, medium
30g Sultanas
Grated zest of an Orange
Half of the Orange, juice squeezed into the mix

Pre-heat oven to 190°C

1] Line a 20cm round shallow tin with baking paper and grease.
2] Sieve the Flour & Baking Powder into a bowl and hand mix in the Muscovado Sugar and Sultanas.
3] Add the Butter, Eggs, Orange Juice and Zest then spatula/spoon hand work it together until blended.
4] Add the Butternut Squash. You will have to judge how much, to get a not too wet texture.
5] Pour into the tin and level.
6] Bake in the centre of oven for 20 - 25 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
7] Allow to cool for 10 mins in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack.

Substitute roasted Parsnip for the Butternut Squash for an earthier flavour. Just put them on a baking tray, unpeeled/untrimmed, drizzled with some Oil/Salt/Pepper. Trim the tops and blitz.

Try adding in spices such as All-Spice, ground Roasted Cumin, Ginger etc when you mix up the Flour & Baking Powder.

Extra experiments to be done replacing the Butter with Coconut Oil/Solids...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spicy Tofu Stir-Fry

Tofu Marinade
• 1 pack of firm tofu, cubed
• 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
• 2 Cloves Garlic, crushed 
• 1 teaspoon crushed Chilli flakes
• Generous dollop of runny Honey
• Splash of Light Soy Sauce


Veg

• 1 Onion, sliced, caramelised

• 1 Red Pepper, roasted, peeled, sliced
• Carrot
• Mushrooms
• Fennel

• Sesame Oil
• Soy Sauce





Drain the marinade liquid into your wok and fry off to get a rich spicy base.

Thinly slice the Fennel and place on a dry griddle pan.

Fry off the veg and add the Tofu.

Stir in the Red Peppers and Onions.

Serve and finish off with some Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce.

We had some cooked Rice, so we added that - In hindsight this would have been better off fried separately.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Potatoes Dauphinoise

Serves 6 - 8

8 Yukon Gold or Rooster Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices (about 3 lbs.) (Don't wash/rinse the slices).
500ml Double Cream
5 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
1 sprig of Thyme
1 sprig of Rosemary
Salt and Peppe
Freshly ground Nutmeg (go easy)
Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1] Place the Potatoes in a large pot and add the Cream, 4 of the Garlic cloves, and the herbs. Season with Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg.

2] Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and discard the Garlic and Herbs.

3] Use the remaining Garlic clove to rub around the inside of a large oven proof gratin dish. Butter the inside of the gratin dish so that it is evenly coated.

4] Put the Potatoes and Cream into the gratin dish. Cook for 40 minutes until the mixture is brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Basic Bread recipe

Basic Bread recipe

400g Strong White Bread Flour
100g Wholemeal Flour
15g Dried Active Yeast
Sugar or Honey
10g Salt
350ml Tepid Water
Olive Oil

1] Put the Yeast in a small bowl, add some Sugar or Honey and a dash of tepid water. Let it sit in a warm place until it froths up nicely.
2] Measure out your Flour and add the Salt, mixing it in.
3] Add the Yeast and mix through, and quickly add the Water. The Salt will kill the Yeast, so move fast.
4] Stir with a fork. You can use your hands, but it gets a bit messy.
5] When it starts coming together, turn it out onto the work surface. Add a glug of Olive Oil into the mixing bowl.
6] Using your hands, start working it into a ball, adding more Flour or Water as needed.
7] When the dough has lost it stickiness start kneading and stretching the dough for about 5 minutes.
8] Form the dough into a ball.
9] Roll the dough ball around in the Olive Oil and cover it with Cling Film.
10] Let it rest in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
11] Pull the dough out and gently knead it again for a minute or so.
12] Oil or Flour whatever loaf tin/tray/saucepan you are going to cook it in, dust the top with Flour and cover it with a tea towel. Place the pan/pot/loaf tin in the oven. This is important, as when you take the tea towel off the colder air hitting the yeast warmed dough will make it collapse, so it's best to not move the raised dough around from place to place.
13] When the dough has risen under the tea towel, put the oven on a low heat for a few minutes, then gently remove the tea towel. Shut the oven door gently and turn the heat up to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and set the timer to 15 minutes.
14] After 15, revolve the pan/pot/loaf tin 180 degrees.
15] Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it with your fingers. Let the loaf rest on a wire rack for about half an hour.

























If you have the time, do a second prove in the bowl before you do the final proving in the pan/pot/loaf tin.

Play around with the ratio of White and Wholemeal Flour.

Add in some finely chopped herbs to the dry flour mix.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clementine & Almond Torte - (with versions)

Gluten Free (no flour)

1lb Clementine (about 6 fruit)
1x 250g pack of Ground Almonds
50g Sugar
6 Eggs (Chicken or Duck, see versions below)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1] In a pot big enough to fit all the Clementine in a single layer. Cover with water and bring to the boil.

2] Reduce the heat so it simmers gently for 2 hours. Give the fruit a gentle stir every now and then, try not to break the fruit, and check the water level. Top it up with a little boiling water if you want to. You really don't want this pot to burn… It's horrible to clean (from personal experience…)

3] After 2 hours strain the fruit, keeping the liquid, and let them cool.

4] Once the fruit have cooled, slice them in half over the bowl you have strained the cooking juice into as they will drip lots of goodness. Remove and discard any pips. Some have none, some have one, some have two. Drop the cut fruit into a food processor as you de-pip them.

5] Get the oven on, set it to 375°F / 190°C / Gas Mark 5.

6] Whiz up the fruit in the food processor until smooth. Keep whizzing and add in an Egg one at a time, I suggest 5 as we have to judge the consistency. Add in half of the juicy cooking water.

7] Add in the Almonds, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt and the splash of Vanilla Extract.

8] Judgement time. You will probably want to add more of the cooking water, and possibly another Egg.

9] Grease a 6 inch spring-side-loaded baking pan with a generous amount of butter, or line it with baking paper, greased.

10] Pour the lovely gloop into your baking pan and put in the oven.

11] Check on after 20 mins and turn the pan through 180 degrees. Overall you are looking at a cook time of 45-50 minutes until it gets a nice soft brown colour on the top. You can check this by poking a skewer/toothpick in the middle - when it comes out clean, it's done. If the top crust is burning too soon, slip some foil over the top.

12] When cooked, or even 5 minutes before, turn the oven off and leave the door open for a good ten minutes. I have found that the Torte can collapse with the sudden change in air temperature if you rush it out of the oven.

13] When you are happy with the Torte, remove it from the pan and let it rest on a wire rack.

14] It seems to set/taste better a couple of days after you cook this, so plan ahead.

Version 2 - No Nuts
For an Almond free recipe, add another Duck Egg or two and double the amount of Baking Powder.
The Duck Eggs definitely make for a richer 'custard'.

Version 3 - Added Lime Zing
Throw in a whole Lime to the starting boil off situation - This will obviously need careful handling with de-pipping before you throw it in to be whizzed up with the Clementines.

Version 4 - I bought too many Clementines - Added Zing
The veg guys at the market were doing big bowls of Clementines for £2 - So I boiled off the first lot as above, then mashed/sieved this batch and used it as the cooking water for the second batch - Nicely intense.

Untested - Add into the first boil off:
Cinnamon Stick
Star Enisse
Fresh Ginger
Whole Red Chilli