Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spiced Apple Muffins - ( with Dairy Free conversion)

You will need:
200g plain flour
15ml baking powder
7.5ml ground all spice
Pinch of salt
1 large apple
55ml oil - corn or vegetable
55g light soft brown sugar
1 medium egg (beaten)
200ml milk ( or water for dairy free)
Preheat oven to 200OC/400OF/Gas6. Combine flour, baking powder, mixed spice and salt in a large bowl.
Peel core and chop apple. Fold apple into flour mixture.
Mix oil , sugar, egg and milk in another bowl, then pour over flour mixture. Fold ingredients together, be careful not to over mix as this will result in heavy muffins.
Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.
Serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hot Blackberry and Apple Souffles

This is from the Farmer's Market Cookbook by Ysanne Spevack. Again its quite a difficult recipe, and as with most souffles, you need to get it to the table as soon as it gets out of the oven. It tastes completely fab, and is a really pretty pink colour.....

Makes 6
Butter for greasing
150g/ 5oz cater sugar
350g/ 120z blackberries
1 large cooking apple peeled and diced
grated zest and juice of one orange
3 egg whites
icing sugar for dusting

1. preheat the oven to 200C. Generously grease six 150ml ramikins with butter and dust with caster sugar, shaking out the excess sugar.
2. Put a beking sheet in the oven to heat. Cook the blackberries, apple, and orange zest and juice in a pan for about 10 minutes or until the apple has pulped down well. Pres through a sieve into a bowl. You can keep what is left in the sieve to stir in to yoghurt or have with icecream. Stir in 50g of the caster sugar in to the liquid. Set aside to cool.
3.Put a spoonful of the fruit puree in to each ramakin and spread evenly. Put these dishes to one side.
4. Place the egg whites in a grease- free bowl and whisk to stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining caster sugar to make a stiff, glossy meringue mixture.
5. Fold in the remaining fruit puree and sppon the flavoured meringue into the prepared dishes. Level the tops with a paette knife and run a table knife around the edge of each dish.
6. Place the dishes on the hot baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the souffles have risen well and are lightly browned. Dust the tops with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Jamie Oliver's Rioja poached fillet steak with potato and swede mash

Jamie Oliver did this in his book "jamie's kitcten" with barolo instead of rioja and celeriac mash instead of sede and potato....I find this book one of his most difficult and it is definately not a recipe for everyday, but I cooked it for a speical occasion for a sympathetic audiance ( becaue the sause did split at the end) and they loved it. I served it with green beans too.
Serves 41/2 swede3 large potatoes sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 x 150gr / fillet steaks, preferably organic and well marbled 570ml / 1 pint chicken stock 1/2 bottle Rioja5 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole 1 small bunch fresh thyme 6 whole peppercorns 100gr / 3 1/2oz butter
First peel the swede and potato. Cut into rough 2cm/1 inch dice. Half fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil. Take another pan which will snugly fit your 4 steaks later, and add your chicken stock, wine, garlic, bunch of thyme, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Bring this to the boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. By this time your pan of boiling water should be ready so add your celeriac, cover with a lid and boil fast for 15 to 20 minutes until it's tender.
Place your 4 steaks side by side into the simmering wine and stock, making sure they are well covered by the liquid. Add a little water if needed, but if the pan is nice and snug the steaks should be well covered. As soon as they are in the pan, it generally takes about 6 minutes to cook rare, 8 minutes for medium and 10 minutes for medium to well done. Depending on the thickness of the steaks and how cold they were when you put them in, there's always a bit of leeway in the timing, so the best thing to do is give them a little pinch to check how soft they are in the middle. Cover the pan with a lid, half on,
When cooked to your liking remove them to a warm plate, cover and leave them to rest for a couple of minutes while you drain your cooked vegin a colander. Place it back in the pan adding half the butter. Mash to a smooth puree and season well to taste.
To make a light sauce all you need is 2 wineglasses full of the poaching liquor - you can freeze the rest. Bring this to a fast boil, then remove the thyme and peppercorns, and mash up the garlic which will be soft and sweet. Allow to boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, season to taste and add the rest of the butter. Shake the pan lightly so the melted butter dissolves into the wine - this will make it a shiny lightly thickened sauce. Do not reboil as it will split. Serve each steak with a bit of mash and a little sauce. any leftover cooking liquor can be sieved and kept in the freezer to use again to make gravy from the goodness left in the roasting tray.

Cherry cupcakes

4oz butter or margarine
4oz sugar
4 oz self raising flour
2 eggs
4oz icing sugar
1/2 pot glace cherries
cherry jam ( I like St Dalfour or Bonne Maman)
vanilla essence
heat the oven to 180C

Mix the butter, sugar flour and eggs in a bowl until you have a smooth creamy mixture. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and 3 tablespoon cherry jam. Mix the jam and essance in so it marbles through the mixture without blending in.

Spoon the mixture into little cake cases, and bake for 15mins or until golden brown. When cool make a thick icing with the sieved icing sugar and a little water ( try a teaspoon at a time) and decorate with a half glace cheery. ( Just call me Mr Kipling!)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Roast Pumpkin Soup

4 lunch portions, 6 starter portions

A pumpkin ( the one I used was about 6inch diameter)
2 leeks
1 onion
1 stick celery
a few sprigs thyme
1 pint of vegetable stock
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
1 clove garlic

Chop the pumpkin flesh in to chunks and bake with a little olive oil in the oven at 180 C for about 40 minutes. While this happening cook the chopped up leek, onion and celery in a little butter and olive oil in a lidded suacepan on a low heat till soft and slightly caramelised. add the crushed garlic, chopped thyme and roast pumpkin in the saucepan and cook lightly for 5 minutes. Blend until an even texture with a blender, then add 200ml milk. make up 1 pint of vegetable stock and stir in slowly until the soup is your desired consistancy.. season to taste.

Jamie Oliver's Summer Tray-Baked Fish

This is really great and really nutritious as nothing is too over cooked, and minumum of fat to cook it...
Serves 4
700g new potatoes, scrubbed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A large handful of runner beans, sliced into 5cm pieces
A large handful of green beans, tops trimmed
2 handfuls of frozen peas
55g butter
Extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, zested and halved
A handful of fresh basil
A handful of fresh fennel tops or dill
4 fillets of sea bass, scaled, filleted and boned
Preheat the oven to 230C. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the new potatoes and cook for 10 -12 minutes until they are nearly done. Add all the bens to the pan and cook for another 4 minutes. Then drain the potatoes and beans in a colander. Put the in an appropriately sized roasting tray and add your peas, the butter a little drizzle of oil and the zest and juice of lemons. Season lightly with salt and the pepper and toss together while still warm so the flavours are absorbed.
Chop up half the herbs and add to the tray. Score the sea bass fillets lightly on the skin. Rub each fillet with black pepper and a little olive oil, and stuff the scores with the remaining herbs. Lay the fish flesh side down on the veg. Put in the preheated oven and cook for about 10-15 mins until the fish is just cooked and the veg is soft. Don’t forget the juices at the bottle of the tray - it makes a really nice sa uce poured over the rest.

Courgette, Ham and Cheese tart

I made up this tart using Delia's pastry recipe. It was a really nice light dinner.
Makes 6 oz (175 g) finished weight of pastry – enough to line a 7 or 8 inch (18 or 20 cm) flan or quiche tin
Ingredients4 oz (110 g) plain flour
pinch of salt
2 oz (50 g) softened butterBegin by sifting the flour and pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve as high as possible, so that they get a really good airing before you begin. Now add the lard and butter, cut into smallish lumps, then take a knife and begin to cut the fat into the flour. Go on doing this until it looks fairly evenly blended, then begin to rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips only and being as light as possible. As you gently rub the fat into the flour, lift it up high and let it fall back into the bowl, which again means that all the time air is being incorporated, but do this just long enough to make the mixture crumbly with a few odd lumps here and there.
Now sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water in, then, with a knife, start bringing the dough together, using the knife to make it cling. Then discard the knife and, finally, bring it together with your fingertips. When enough liquid is added, the pastry should leave the bowl fairly clean. If this hasn't happened, then add a spot more water. Now place the pastry in a polythene bag and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest.

Pastry from above
A Courgette
3 slices of ham
100g Cheese - I used a mixture of cheddar and pecarino
2 eggs
75ml milk
Preheat the oven to 180 C
Roll out the pastry in to a flan tin, prick it and brush with beaten egg, and bake the tart blind until it is a very light gold. (About 10 minutes)While the tart is baking beat together two eggs, 100g of Cheese and 75ml milk. Cut half a courgette in to ribbons with a potato peeler. arrange the ribbons in the pastry case, and arrange some ham over the top in strips. Then pour the egg mixture over the top. Bake until the tart has set and the flling turns golden. Serve with a salad.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nigel Slater's Roast Chicken Legs with Honey and Orange

Serves 2
2 Chicken Legs
olive or groundnut oil
2 heaped tbsps honey
2 medium sized oranges
Preheat the oven to 200 C, Gas 6.
Put the chicken drumsticks into a roasting tin and drizzle over a little oil- just enough to moisten them and form a thin flim on the bottom of the pan.
Add the honey. Cut one of the oranges in half and slice the other thickly. Squeeze the halved orange over the drumsticks , then tuck the slices and the empty orange shells under the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in an oven preheated to 200 C Gas 6 for 50 minutes to an hour, turning once or twice during cooking, until thoroughly sticky.
I'm going to serve this with rice rice, green eans and courgettes tonight!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Jamie Oliver's Slow-cooked Shoulder of Lamb with Roasted Vegetables

This recipe is from Jamie's Dinners. Its meant to serve 6-8, so you can easily have enough for a sunday lunch - ( we had it with mash, which soaked up all the juices, just great) and then make other things with the rest of the meat for one and two meals. I made it yesterday with a smaller shoulder than in the recipe, so we have enough to make in to a curry ( with the liquid and veg from the same dish) tonight. I will just added some curry powder probably, as the gravy already has a lot of flavour, maybe some spinach too though...

2 1/4 kg lamb shoulder
olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1 head garlic, broken into clove
fresh rosemary sprigs
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, cut into pieces
1 large leek, trimmed and cut
800 g tinned whole tomatoes
2 bay leaves
fresh thyme sprigs
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
375 ml red wine
Preheat oven to 200 Degrees C (400 Degrees F).

Rub leg with oil, salt and pepper.
Put into roasting tray.
Using a sharp knife make small incisions all over the lamb and poke rosemary leaves and quartered gralic cloves in.
Add rest of garlic cloves, onions, carrots, celery, leeks and fresh tomatoes to the tray.
Tuck remaining herbs under the meat.
Pour tinned tomatoes over the top, followed by the wine. Cover tray tightly with double layer of foil.
Put into oven, turning down temperature to 170 Degrees C (300 Degrees F). Cook 3.5 to 4 hours.

To serve pull bits of meat of the bone, and serv e in bowls with the veg and mash...yum yum

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ciabatta breadmaker recipe

Ciabatta breadmaker recipe
1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Place ingredients into the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and Start.Dough will be quite sticky and wet once cycle is completed, resist the temptation to add more flour.arrange on an oiled baking sheet, and cook for 20 minutes or until golden in a very hot oven (230C)
Part of the fun witht his bread is making different flavours - here are a few of my favourites...
Lavender Bread - sprinkle lavender flowers and rock salt on top

Thyme Bread - sprinkle thyme leaves and rock salt on top, can be done with rosemary and other herbs too.
Pesto bread - spread pesto thickly over a half height loaf, then cover completely with some more dough so it doesnt burn.
Cheese bread - sprinkle grate cheese on top
sundried tomato bread - add chopped up sundried tomato to the dough

Pork and Apple casserole

I made this for friends last night. Its delicous, and the kind of recipe you can stick in and forget about. I served it with a thyme and a lavender bread made from a ciabatta recipe ( listed above).

1 tbsp olive oil
450g/1lb pork, diced
2 cloves of garlic,
chopped1 onion,
2 carrots roughly chopped
6 salad potatoes cut in half
teaspoon dijon mustard
sliced2 eating apples, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
290ml/½ pint apple juice
290ml/½ pint vegetable stock
pinch of sage
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in an ovenproof dish, add the diced pork and brown lightly. Add the garlic and onion to the pork and cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the apples, carrots, potatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add the apple juice, vegetable stock and mustard. Keep stirring until thick and then add the sage, salt and pepper.
4. Place the dish in the oven at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 2½ hours.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quesadilla Recipe

We made these fab, very simple quesadillas for lunch...Babyfrog loved them too, and she was able to help make them
2 tortillas per person
grated cheddar cheese

Paint the passata on the tortillas with a pastry brush, sprinkle cheese over one side, the fold the tortilla in half. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan, then heat the folded tortilla on both sides til oil is needed if you have a non stick pan.

Apparently you can do these with lots of things, I'm going to try guacamole next time!

Friday, September 08, 2006

white chocolate mousse

a great white chocolate mousse recipe is
1/2 a pint pot double cream1/2 a pint pot greek yoghurt1 bar of white chocolate.
whip up the cream til stiff peaks, fod in in the yoghurt, melt the white chocolate, and stir in then yummy!
I've not tried it with dark chocolate - let me know if you do...if you are feeling fancy you can make some caramel and arrange it in jagged edges on the top...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Damson Gin/ Damson Vodka

There were some damsons in my local farm shop this week, so we made this....for christmas presents! YUM YUM - just buy the cheaperst gin to make it - or you can use vodka too

Take a litre bottle of gin, and drink half a litre
Cut or prick the damsons and drop into the half-empty bottle so that they displace the remaining gin to near the top.
Add one wine goblet of sugar (approx 150g).
All you have to do now is turn or agitate the bottle daily for a week, then weekly for a month or two ... by which time it will be ready to drink (but it is really best kept until the next winter).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Magnolia cupcake recipe - converted to brit measurements

The Magnolia Bakery Cupcake Recipe Preheat Oven: 350 degrees 180 C

F Cupcake Ingredients 8oz 225g unsalted butter, softened.
8oz 225g sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6oz 180g self-rising flour
6oz 180g all-purpose flour
8fl oz 250ml Whole Milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing Ingredients 8oz 225g unsalted butter, softened
800g confectionary sugar (powdered sugar)
4floz 125mlWhole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

TIPS: If you have a stand mixer (like a Bosch, or Kitchen Aid) this recipe is much quicker to make. Using whole milk makes the taste of the cupcakes and icing much smoother. I tried using Skim milk and whipping cream just to test it out and whole milk makes a much better flavor. Cupcake Directions 1. Whip butter until very smooth in texture 2. Add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth in texture 3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating very well between each addition 4. In separate bowl, mix the 2 flours together 5. In separate bowl, mix Milk and Vanilla 6. Add flour mixture and milk mixture 1 cup at a time to Butter mixture. Beating very well between each addition. 7. Spoon into lined cupcake pan (approx. ¼ c batter per cupcake) 8. Bake for 20-22 minutes in pre heated over (350 degrees F) Cool cupcakes before frosting (or else the frosting will fall off) You can also make 3 – 9” rounds with cupcake batter. Just make sure you grease and flour each pan. Icing Directions 1. Whip butter until smooth 2. Add ½ of sugar (4 cups), 1 cup at a time. Beating well between each addition. 3. Add Milk, and Vanilla 4. Add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beating well between each addition. 5. Add a few drops of food coloring to icing 6. Beat icing well, until good spreading consistency. 7. Over-beating is hard to do with this icing. Frost the cupcakes and then sprinkle them with sprinkles.

I'd just like to add to the post below that these were worth the extra faff from the usual fairy cake recipe, and that half the icing amount stated is ample!

Jamie Oliver - Beef stew

I cooked this tonight - we had people round for dinner. Its one of our favourites - it so easy, just stick it in and ignore it. Our 2 year old loves it too. I added some couscous at the end tonight instead of the potatoes
Jools's Favorite Beef Stew
(Serves 4) Olive oil

A knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves
1-3/4 lb stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into 2 inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour, to dust
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and halved
1/2 a butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly diced
Optional: a handful of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved
1 lb small potatoes
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1/2 a bottle of red wine
1-1/4 cups beef or vegetable stock
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
A handful of rosemary, leaves picked
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pt or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4--it depends on what cut of meat you're using and how fresh it is. The only way to test is to mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it's ready. Once it's cooked, you can turn the oven down to about 225°F and just hold it there until you're ready to eat it.
The best way to serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of French red wine and some really fresh warmed bread. Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over the stew before eating. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference--as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance

Nigella's cream cheese brownies

I made these on friday, they were so delicious and moist I'd definately recommend them! The cream cheese isnt as weird as it sounds, and once they were cool, you couldn't really taste it...
125g dark chocolate
125g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g plain flour
pinch of salt
200g *cold* Philadelphia cream cheese
23cm square tin, 4cm deep, greased and lined
preheat oven to 180/gas 4
melt chocolate and butter over low heat in a heavy based pan. Beat the eggs with sugar and vanilla. Measure the flour into another bowl and add salt. When the chocolate has all but completely melted, take the pan off the heat - the residual heat in the mixture will finish it off. Leave for a bit to cool slightly before beating in the eggs and sugar. Finally add the flour, and beat till smooth.pour half the mixture into the tin, slice the Philly as thinly as you can and put it on the mixture in the tin, pour the remaining mixture over the top. Smooth the mix so that all the cream cheese is covered.bake for about 20 minutes - the top should be slightly paled and dry, but a skewer should reveal a slightly sticky centre. Cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into little squares.the first slice out will almost certainly be botched - so look on it as the cook's treat!