Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chocolate Truffles

Christmas recipe makes: 2 dozen

Calories per truffle: 65

Preparation time: 30 – 60 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

Suitable for freezing

Christmas recipe ingredients:

Truffle Mixture:

* chocolate, bitter, plain or milk 225g (8 oz)
* double cream, 75 ml (3 fl oz)
* brandy, 75 ml (3 fl oz)
or rum,orange liqueur, coffee liqueur, coconut liqueur

Rolled Truffles:

* cocoa powder
* chopped nuts
* coconut, dessicated or grated
* chocolate vermicelli or grated choclate for rolling

Dipped Truffles:

* chocolate, plain, milk or white (350 g (12 oz)
or mixture of all three

Christmas recipe instructions:

1. Truffle Mixture: Add the cream to grated chocolate and melt in a bowl over water at boiling point, stirring until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken.
2. Add your alcohol of choice and whisk until the mixture is strong enough to stay 'up' when a strand of mixture is pulled up by the whisk. Then put the mixture into a shallow tin (covered) and cool till firm.
3. Rolled Truffles: Place teaspoonful size amounts of truffle mixture onto a tray sprinkled with cocoa powder and roll into ball shapes. Alternatively you can substitute the cocoa with grated chocolate, chopped nuts, coconut, or chocolate vermicelli. Cool in a refrigerator for at least two hours.
4. Dipped Truffles: Roll the truffle mixture into 2.5 cm (1 inch) size balls and freeze overnight until rock hard. [If you wish you could push some edible decor into the balls before cooling, such as nuts, ginger or cherries.]
5. Prepare some melted chocolate over water at boiling point. If you can, check the temperature is in the range 46-49 degrees centigrade (115-120 F) or for white chocolate, 43 degrees centigrade.
6. Taking two or three truffles at a time, use cocktail sticks to dip them into the melted chocolate before placing them on non-stick paper. Transfer to a refrigerator for cooling for at least two hours to harden. Repeat for the remaining truffles.
7. Present the truffles in paper cases and store in boxes. Keep in a refrigerator for up to ten days.

Fragrant Indian Brittle


• Vegetable oil for greasing parchment paper
• 1 teaspoon green cardamom pods (about 8 pods)
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/4 cup mild honey
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 1/4 cup water
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped (4 1/2 oz)
• 1/2 cup shelled pistachios (not dyed red; 2 1/4 oz), coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds (preferably with skin; 2 oz)

Special equipment: parchment paper; a candy thermometer

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly oil 2 (16- by 12-inch) sheets of parchment paper with vegetable oil and put 1 sheet, oiled side up, on a heatproof work surface.

Crush cardamom pods with side of a large heavy knife and scrape out seeds, discarding pods. Coarsely crush seeds with mortar and pestle or side of heavy knife.

Bring sugar, honey, corn syrup, water, crushed cardamom seeds, and salt to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, then boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture registers 350°F on thermometer, about 9 minutes.

Add nuts and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture returns to a boil, about 1 minute. Carefully pour hot caramel mixture onto parchment on work surface (use caution when pouring hot liquids) and carefully cover with remaining sheet of parchment, oiled side down. Immediately roll out mixture between parchment sheets, pressing firmly with a large wooden rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick (use caution; mixture will still be hot). If brittle hardens before it is thin enough, transfer to a large baking sheet (still between parchment sheets) and warm brittle in oven 5 minutes to soften, then continue rolling to 1/4 inch thick.

Cool brittle until firm enough to hold its shape but still pliable, 2 to 5 minutes, then remove top sheet of parchment. Lightly oil blade of a large heavy knife or a pizza cutter and score surface of brittle into 1 1/2-inch squares. If brittle hardens too much to score, transfer to a large baking sheet and warm on parchment, uncovered, until surface softens, about 5 minutes, then immediately score remaining lines. Cool brittle completely, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Invert brittle and peel off bottom sheet of parchment, then break into pieces.

Brittle keeps in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper, at room temperature 1 month.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cow Tongue

I really want to try this!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chicken, Tomato and Yogurt curry

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
from The River Cottage Family Cookbook

Serves 4

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 1 to 2 hours

To prepare this curry, you make a sauce from vegetables and spices first, then add the meat and stew it. The sauce is then thickened with yoghurt, and the sweetness of the curry is balanced with a little sour lime juice.

4-6 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3cm/1in piece root ginger
2 garlic cloves
1-2 mild green chillies
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100ml/3½fl oz water
1 free-range chicken, jointed into 8 pieces, or 8 thighs and/or drumsticks
2 tbsp yoghurt
1 lime (or lemon)
a small bunch of coriander leaves
cooked rice, to serve

1. To skin the tomatoes, nick the skin of each tomato with the point of a sharp knife, then put the tomatoes in a bowl next to the sink and pour over some very hot water from the kettle to cover. Count to 20, then carefully pour away the water. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, halve the tomatoes, squeeze out most of the pips and juice into an empty bowl, and discard. Chop the flesh roughly and put it down on a plate to one side.
2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Fry the onion in the vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low to medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring from time to time so that it turns an even golden brown. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
3. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the ginger and the garlic.
4. Slit the chilli using a sharp knife. Slice the flesh away from the cluster of seeds in the middle. Avoid touching any part of the chilli with your fingers if you can, as it is very easy to get chilli in your eyes, and that will sting. You can use a fork to hold the chilli down or wear rubber gloves. Chop the chilli finely.
5. Measure the ground spices into a teacup. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan, stir them around and fry for another minute or so. If you want your curry to be hot as well as spicy, include some or all of the chilli seeds. Then add the spices in the cup into the onions. Fry the spices for a minute or two, stirring all the time so that they do not stick. Add some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Pour in the water and the tomatoes, bring to the boil, turn down the heat a little and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes.
7. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir them around so they are covered with the sauce. Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down and let the chicken cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chicken thighs will take longer to cook than breast pieces.
8. Now add the yoghurt to the chicken and stir it in. When the sauce is gently bubbling again, scoop up a little in a teaspoon, blow it cool and taste it. The sauce will probably taste quite sweet because of the tomatoes. Cut the lime in half and squeeze its juice into the sauce. Stir and taste again, and decide whether you want to add the second half.
9. Finally, chop the fresh coriander leaves and sprinkle them on to the curry just before you serve it with the rice.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whole sea bass with ginger and garlic

Serves 2

2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
2 small or one medium sea bass, gutted and scaled
1 satsuma
1 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Mix the ginger and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the fish with this mixture, and place in a baking dish. Squeeze the juice from the satsuma and mix with the oil. Pour over the fish. Bake for 10 minutes for small fish, 16 minutes for medium.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hot and Sour Beef

For 2

250 Tender Steak
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Shallot finely chopped
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
Dried Red Chilli seed, crushed (Quantity up to you...)

Optional for the sour - 2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice (1 fresh lime)

1] Grill the Steak, on a non stick griddle would be good, to your preference (it really should be rare, but each to your own on that one).

2] When the Steak is cooked, let it rest on a board and pour the juices from the pan into a bowl.

3] Mix the Fish Sauce, Shallot, Sugar and Chilli seeds into the bowl and stir/mash well.

4] Slice the Steak into really thin strips and mix into the bowl... It should still be warm at this point.

Serve on a bed of Rice, or Spicy Fried Cabbage etc

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Curried Roast Chicken, Durban Style

I think this is a Madhur Jaffey.
Serves 3 to 4

1 whole chicken (1.75kg), skinned
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
5 cm piece peeled ginger, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 small fresh green chilies, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Freshly ground black pepper

1] Cut two deep diagonal slits, down to the bone, in each chicken breast and one in each leg and thigh. Place chicken, breast side up, on a sheet of heavy-duty foil large enough to enclose it. Place in a roasting pan.
2] Place lemon juice, ginger, garlic, chilies, salt, oil, cumin and coriander in a blender and process to a thick puree. Rub puree over chicken, inside and out, and into slits. Set chicken aside for 30 minutes.
3] Heat oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6. Dust chicken with chili powder and black pepper, enclose in foil and crimp to seal. Roast for 1 hour.
4] Open foil and baste chicken. Return, uncovered, to oven for 15 minutes, basting twice more. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Pour juices from foil into a small dish and serve alongside chicken.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chicken and Sweetcorn Potato Cakes

Makes 4-6

100 ml milk
1 egg
35 g plain flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
225 g potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
110 g onion, skinned and thinly sliced
110 g cooked chicken, finely chopped
3 oz sweetcorn
butter and vegetable oil for frying

1] Whisk the milk and eggs together, then beat in the flour and a pinch of salt, until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

2] Blanch the potato and onion together in a pan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and press out as much liquid as possible using a clean tea towel. Let the potato and onion cool.

3] Stir the chicken into the batter with the sweetcorn, potato and onion, and add seasoning to taste. (I like to add a bit of smoked paprika)

4] Heat 0.5 cm butter and oil in a frying pan. Spoon heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, flatten and fry for about 4 minutes on each side.

5] Drain well and keep warm, uncovered, in a low oven. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Potato and Leek Soup with Blue Cheese

2 Medium leeks, washed and sliced
200g Potatoes, peeled and diced
25g Butter
Olive Oil
25g Plain Flour
500ml Stock, either chicken or vegetable
Ground black pepper
2 Bay leaves
50g Blue cheese

1] Saute the leeks for 4 minutes in the butter and a little oil.

2] Add the flour, stir and cook for a few minutes.

3] Add the stock, bay leaves and potatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potato is cooked.

4] Season the mixture with black pepper.

5] Remove the bay leaves , add half the cheese and blitz the soup till smooth.

6] Return the soup to the pan and bring back to the boil, adding any extra water as necessary to thin the soup.

7] Serve the soup in warm bowls and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

You can use any cheese you like.
Garlic croutons are good on top as well.

Potato Leek Cheese Soup


* olive oil
* 200 ml leeks, white and green tender parts diced
* 100 ml celery, diced
* 200 g potatoes, peeled and diced
* 400 ml water
* 100 ml milk
* 100 ml cream
* 50 ml parmesan cheese
* 6 ml flour
* salt and pepper

1. In a dutch oven or soup pot, add oil and cook leeks and celery for 5 minutes.
2. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 5 more minutes
3. Add potatoes and water; bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat, cook for 15 mins then stir in milk and cream, salt and pepper.
5. Simmer 10 more minutes.
6. Just before serving, add cheese and cook 1 min more.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary Roast Potatoes

Rub the chicken inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and sit in the fridge for an hour plus. Remove from the fridge half an hour before cooking.

Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.

Put the potatoes into the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute. Remove the lemon and garlic. Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so their outsides get fluffy.

While the lemon is still hot, stab it about all over with a knife tip.

Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Push the garlic cloves, the whole lemon and the thyme into the cavity, then put the chicken into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate. Some fat should have cooked out of it into the roasting tray, so toss the potatoes into this with the rosemary leaves. Shake the tray around, then make a gap in the centre of the potatoes and put the chicken back in.

Cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are nice and golden.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Roasted beetroot and carrots with goats' cheese

by Antony Worrall Thompson
from Saturday Kitchen

Serves 4

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

200g/7oz baby beetroot
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
230g/8oz carrots, cut into 3cm chunks
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
225g/8oz young goats' cheese
a few sprigs fresh thyme
200g/7oz salad leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Place the beetroot onto a roasting tray and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Place into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
4. Add the carrots and garlic and toss to coat with the oil before returning to the oven for a further 15 minutes until tender.
5. Remove beetroot from the tray and allow to cool slightly before squeezing the beetroot out of their skins.
6. Place in a bowl along with the roasted carrots.
7. Meanwhile to make the dressing, add the sherry vinegar to the pan to deglaze.
8. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, then whisk in the olive oil.
9. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Add the goats' cheese, salad leaves and leaves from the thyme sprigs to the beetroot and carrots.
11. Add the warm dressing to the salad and toss to combine.
12. Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Honey roasted Beetroot

670g large cooked beetroot, unvinegared
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp clear honey

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cut each beetroot into 4-6 wedges and arrange in a large roasting tin. Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour over the beetroot. Season well, and toss together so all the beetroot is thoroughly coated in the dressing. Roast for 25 mins until the beetroot is sticky and glazed.