Saturday, 30 July 2011

Tempura bacon with Wensleydale & cranberry dip


 Baking powder, plain white flour, bacon, salt, ice water.
cream cheese, wensleydale with cranberries, soured cream.
Tempura batter must be very cold and very fresh - put a jug of ice water in the freezer whilst you heat up the oil for frying and only add the water at the last possible second.

1) This recipe works best with pre-grilled, cold bacon. To make the batter mix 250g of flour, 10g of baking powder and a pinch of salt, then whisk through the water a little at a time until the batter is liquid enough to coat your finger.

2) Dip the bacon in the batter and drop into the hot oil for 1-2 minutes

3) To prepare the dip, crumble the Wensleydale and cranberry cheese into a tablespoon of cream cheese and a tablespoon of soured cream and warm on a low heat.

Chilli chai teacakes


225 strong white bread flour, 225  
   strong wholemeal flour, 55g butter
 cut into small pieces, 7g yeast, 30g
  caster sugar, 170g dried fruits,
 300ml milk, salt, 2 teapigs chilli chai teabags.
Teapigs make, without a doubt the best tea I have ever tasted - unlike most tea it comes in tea temples (little silk bags, not paper) and contains real tea-leaves (not dust). Gorgeous tea also makes gorgeous teacakes so give Teapigs a try.

1) Warm 300ml milk and add 2 chilli chai tea temples to infuse in the milk.

2) Sift together the 2 flours, yeast and a pinch of salt and rub in the butter.

3) Stir through the dried fruits (I used cranberry, sultana and raisins) and make a well in the centre of the bowl. Pour in the tea infused milk and mix through until a dough is formed.

4) Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth, then set to rest somewhere warm in a covered bowl for 2 hours (or until the dough has doubled in size)

5) Knock back the dough and knead again for a further 5 minutes on a floured surface before separating into 8 dough balls. Leave to rise for an hour before baking for 15 minutes.

These teacakes will keep for 2-3 days but are best toasted and eaten the same day.

Earl Grey tea loaf


   75g raisins, 75g sultanas, 75g currants, 300ml Earl Grey, 250g
   self- raising flour, 200g brown sugar, 1 egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, 
Teapigs make, without a doubt the best tea I have ever tasted - unlike most tea it comes in tea temples (little silk bags, not paper) and contains real tea-leaves (not dust). Gorgeous tea also makes gorgeous tea loaf so give Teapigs a try.

1) Soak the raisins, sultanas and currants overnight in 300ml of Earl Grey tea.

2) Add the flour, sugar, a beaten egg a teaspoon of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour in the tea and fruit and mix with a spatula until the batter is smooth.

3) Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).

Hula hoop croutons


Ready salted Hula Hoops, cream cheese.

   Suggested served with Cauliflower and parmeggian soup.
This is not so much a recipe as a fun serving suggestion!

1) Scoop cream cheese into the centre of each Hula hoop and slice off the excess.

2) Float onto the soup - this works perfectly with the cauliflower cheese soup but you could experiment with others.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Spaghetti Bolognaise


Spaghetti, Quorn mince (or beef or lamb mince), passata tomatoes, 1 white onion, basil oil, butter,
   basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, red wine, peccorino cheese
I must admit, I change my recipe for spaghetti bolognaise every year - sometimes adding a little spice, sometimes adding sun dried tomatoes or olives. I have continued to fine-tune it but I think that after 16 years of cooking it I have finally rested upon the perfect combination of flavours.

1) Put half a bulb (yes that's bulb, not clove!) of garlic into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

2) Finely dice one white onion and sautee in a tablespoon of basil oil and a teaspoon of butter until they have completely softened. Add a glass of red wine, some finely chopped basil, oregano and parsley and stir through.

3) If you are making this with meat - brown the mince and strain off all of the meat juices before adding it to the pan. If you are making this with Quorn - add the Quorn mince from frozen and stir through.

4) Put your spaghetti on to boil in hot, salted water.

5) Stir the passata tomatoes through the Quorn mince and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Leave on a low heat until the spaghetti is cooked, then strain the spaghetti and add to the pan.

6) Stir through on a low heat for a further 2-3 minutes and then remove the roast garlic from the oven. Once roasted, it can be squeezed from the skin like a puree - mince the garlic in a press and stir through the spaghetti.

7) Serve with shaved pecorino and a sprinkling of parsley.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Breaded broccoli

Broccoli, breadcrumbs, black pepper, coriander, egg
I love breaded broccoli with dipping sauce - I ordinarily make Thai sweet chilli sauce, or plum sauce but in this case I served it with Levi Roots Fiery Guava dipping sauce.

1) Using old, slightly stale bread - pulse in the blender until fine crumbs are produced.

2) Add in some finely chopped coriander, freshly ground black pepper and tip out into a shallow dish.

3) Whisk an egg and dip the your broccoli florets into the egg, ensuring the head of the broccoli is covered, then roll in the breadcrumbs.

4) Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (or deep fry if you really must) until golden brown and serve.

Creamed Kale with pork balls

Kale, sausage meat, double cream, butter, 1 whisked egg, parmigiano, linguine
This makes a great side dish but it's also fantastic if you stir through some linguine or spaghetti and have it as a main course. 

1) Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan and stir through the kale.

2) Form the sausage meat into small meatballs and add into the pan

3) Stir through, adding cream as the kale begins to soften and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. I like to also add a little whisked egg to thicken the sauce and sprinkle with parmeggian.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Lavender Jam


   1 cup lavender flowers,
1 lemon, 4 cups jam sugar.

You can now buy my lavender jam (UK shipping only)
In celebration of my 100th recipe I thought I would actually make something that can be served on toast!!
It's up to you whether you would like to use fresh or dried lavender - dried lavender will give you a more intense flavour but it requires preparation of course. Once you have picked the lavender, tie the stems together and hang upside down in a cool place for about a month.

Remember to shake the lavender well in case of bugs!

1) Add the lavender to 1 pint of of water and bring to the boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to help the flavour infuse. Strain the lavender from the water and discard the lavender.

2) Add the juice of 1 lemon to the liquid, return to the pan along with 4 cups of jam sugar and turn up the heat.

3) If you want this jam to be thick-set like a jelly, then bring to a strong rolling boil for 4 - 8 minutes. If you would prefer a more runny jam or syrup for glazing then don't allow it to bubble up for more than 2 minutes. A good test is to put a spoon in the fridge, drip a little of the mixture onto it and then allow it to set to room temperature. If within a few seconds it has reached the desired thickness (i.e you can turn it upside down without it dripping off the spoon) you're good to go!

4) Strain into hot sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool and set.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Stewed rhubarb & blackcurrant


Rhubarb, blackcurrants, muscovado sugar, coconut yoghurt.
1) Slice the rhubarb into chunks and add to a roasting pan with the blackcurrants.

2) Sprinkle with muscovado sugar and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once.

3) Best served hot with a generous dollop of Rachel's Organic coconut yoghurt.

Roast beef & beef dripping vegetables


Beef joint, sweet potato, butternut squash, olive oil.
1) Halve and de-seed the butternut squash, remove the seeds and dice the flesh into large chunks.

2) Peel and dice the sweet potato into equally sized chunks and arrange in a roasting tin around the joint of beef.

3) Roast in the oven for an hour (unless you have a particularly enormous joint - this was 850 grammes), basting the meat and stirring the veg in order to coat the vegetables in the meat juices every 15 minutes.

4) Slice the beef and serve - ideal with horseradish or dijon mustard.

Fritata-esque sausages on toast


  2 eggs, bread, 2 sausages, butter.

This is a recipe which I first made with sausage meat, chorizo, sauteed onions and chillis, served on a big doorstep of ciabatta. I will update the picture as such ASAP but here is a quick "breakfast" version that I knocked up for my husband, who has a disgusting appetite for regular sliced bread, bless his soul. Or lack of soul... *mutters incoherently about crap bread*
The focus of this dish is undoubtedly the sausage, and what better way to experiment? The Northumberland Sausage Collection have some truly mindboggling varieties such as 
llama & lavender, moroccon camel, pork & locust, pork & BBQ worm, Northumbrian goat, merlot & cracked black pepper as well as the more traditional pork & apple and pork & leek varieties.

1) Remove the skin from the sausages and roll the sausage filling into small meatballs. Drop into a frying pan with a small knob of butter and shallow fry for 3 minutes before dropping 2 eggs over the top.

2) Using a spatula, keep the edges of the eggs from spreading - essentially you are setting the sausages in the egg but the meat fat and butter will create a sort of scrambled egg effect around the edges despite the more solid fried egg appearance in the centre. The best of both worlds!

3) Once the eggs have cooked, use a fish slice to carefully remove from the pan and rest on your lightly toasted bread.

Submitted for Sausage Summer.

Salmon en papillote


   Salmon fillet,curly kale, lemon, butter, thyme, garlic,
chilli, ginger
1) halve and de-seed a chilli, peel and slice a knob of ginger and add into a pan with a generous knob of butter. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and add some thyme. 

2) Remove the chilli and ginger, then add in 3 crushed garlic cloves. Once the garlic has sizzled, remove from the heat and sieve out the thyme and garlic.

3) Tear off a sheet of tin foil big enough to completely enclose your fish. Add a generous handful of curly kale and rest the fish on top of the kale. Spoon on some of the flavoured butter and draw the foil closed like a cornish pasty.

4) Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and serve - I served with boiled exquisa potatoes with a knob of butter.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Spinach & goji berry broth

400g spinach leaves, 1 cup goji berries, 1 carrot, vegetable stock, 3 cloves garlic, chilli flakes, butter.
When I'm sick I always go to this as a little pick me up - goji berries are chock full of antioxidants, iron, zinc and masses of vitamin c. A true superfruit!

1) Peel and finely dice the carrots and add to a pan with a little knob of butter and 3 cloves of minced garlic. As the garlic begins to sizzle, add 200ml vegetable stock and stir through.

2) After 5 minutes, add a handful of goji berries and the spinach and stir through.

3) Serve with a sprinkle of chilli flakes.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Sun dried tomato & roast vegetable conchiglie


   Sun dried tomatoes, tomato passata, 4 garlic cloves, aubergine, courgette, parmigiano, conchiglie pasta 
1) Slice the aubergine into thick slices and rest in a colander. Sprinkle with salt to draw out the bitter juices. After 20 minutes, rinse off the juice and pat dry. 

2) Cut the aubergine into chunks and roast in the oven along with some sliced and quartered chunks of courgette. If your sun dried tomatoes are marinated with oil - use some of the oil to drizzle on the vegetables before roasting.

3) Using the same oil - add some into a pan and crush 4 cloves of white garlic into it. It has a wonderfully rich flavour but keep the heat low as this type of oil will burn very easily. Don't use the oil if it contains vinegar or herbs or spices as these flavours will likely burn too and leave you with a bitter mess!
Add the tomato passata and stir through.

4) Finely slice the sun dried tomatoes and add to the pan, along with the roasted vegetables. You shouldn't need to season further due to the intensity of the sun dried tomatoes (and bear in mind this will be topped with parmeggian too!) but this is entirely to taste.

5) Boil the conchiglie for 10-15 minutes in boiling salted water. Strain the pasta and stir it into the sauce, spinkle with shaved parmeggian and serve.

If you can't bear the thought of eating a vegetarian dish, why not stir through some parma ham?

Butternut squash & beetroot kebabs


   Butternut squash, halloumi, beetroot,
  1lb plums, 50g sugar, 3 cloves garlic, 4 scotch bonnet chillis, ginger root, lime juice
Following on from my soba noodles with plum sauce recipe - if you have any leftover plum sauce it makes a fabulously sticky kebab marinade!

1) Slice the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds and slice out the flesh. Cut into chunks and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, drizzled with plum sauce.

2) Once the squash has part cooked, slide onto kebab skewers along with chunks of beetroot and halloumi. Drizzle with a generous proportion of the plum sauce and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Tapenade stuffed aubergine


  Kamalata olives, sun dried tomatoes,
 capers, olive oil, aubergine,

Following on from my Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade - this is a great way to use up leftovers!

1) Finely slice an aubergine and rest the slices in a sieve before sprinkling with salt. This will draw out the bitter liquid - rinse them after 15 minutes and pat dry.

2) Spread the aubergine with tapenade and layer with another slice of aubergine. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before topping with parmeggian. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes and serve.

Soba noodles with plum sauce

1lb plums, 50g sugar, 3 cloves garlic, 4 scotch bonnet chillis, ginger root, lime juice, yoghurt, soba noodles, spinach, red bell pepper, courgette, Quorn chicken/chicken 
1) To make the plum sauce, cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Add into a saucepan with 50g of sugar and a cup of water. Stir through until the sugar has dissolved.

2) As the plums begin to soften, peel and slice a root of ginger and add into the pan along with 3 crushed garlic cloves and a squeeze of lime.

3) Remove the seeds and stalks from 4 scotch bonnet chillis, slice in half and add into the pan. Stirring frequently, allow the mixture to reduce and the sauce to thicken, then pass through a sieve - leaving the ginger and the chilli and fruit skins seperate from the liquid.

This sweet, fiery sauce is best served in a stir fry but would also go wonderfully with duck, or as a marinade for kebabs like my butternut squash and beetroot kebabs.

4) Add the Quorn chicken pieces to a pan along with a generous helping of the plum sauce and some julienne slices of courgette and bell pepper.

5) Cook the soba noodles in hot salted water for 5 minutes, then add to the pan along with a few generous handfuls of spinach.

6) Stir through until the sauce has coated everything and the spinach has just begun to wilt, then serve topped with yoghurt. Personally I think Rachel's Organic Greek style coconut yoghurt is absolutely PERFECT for this dish.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Olive & sun dried tomato lavash


  Plain flour, butter, 1 egg white, sugar, salt, Kamalata olives, sun dried tomatoes, capers, olive oil, spinach, mozarella
Following on from my Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade - this is a great way to use up leftovers!

1) To make the lavash dough stir by hand 300g flour, sugar and salt. Add 150ml warm water and 30g melted butter, followed by 1 whisked egg white.

2) Kneed the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and rest in a lightly oiled bowl for an hour.

3) Separate the dough into 8 - 10 smaller balls and roll out thinly on a floured surface and transfer to a pizza stone/baking tray

4) Spread the tapenade onto the dough and top with small chunks of mozarella.

5) Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, add a handful of spinach and fold in half

6) Return to the oven for a final 5 minutes and serve

Monday, 18 July 2011

Turkey roulade with apple & cranberry


 Turkey steak, braeburn apples, dried cranberries.
1) Peel and de-core 2 apples and dice the apple flesh

2) Give the turkey steak a good bashing with a rolling pin, then spread a layer of diced apples and cranberries over them.

3) Roll up the turkey and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

I served this with parmeggian mash and honey roast parsnips.

Sun dried tomato tapenade


  Kamalata olives, sun dried tomatoes, capers, olive oil
Tapenade is traditionally made with olives, pickled capers and anchovies. Personally I do not like fish so I skip the anchovies and replace the strong, salty flavour with sun dried tomato which works equally as well.

1) Pit the olives (for the love of Bowie don't buy pre-pitted olives, especially from a jar. They have no flavour and the consistency of rubber) and remove the stalks of the capers.

2) Add into a blender along with the tomatoes and capers. I mix 3 parts olives to 1 part tomatoes and capers but this should be entirely to taste.

I served this with La Brea olive loaf but watch out for a future recipe using this tapenade!

Baked Camembert


   Camembert (I always buy Le Rustique by Jean Verrier)
If you like fondue - baked camembert is the perfect dip for you!

1) Remove the cheese from the box and slice the top layer of rind with a hot, sharp knife. 

2) Replace the "lid" of the cheese and return the cheese to the box.

3) Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, then serve with crudites.

I served this with Fudge's cheese straws with black pepper and mature cheddar  but it would also go wonderfully with carrot batons, sliced bell peppers or if you're insane, celery *shudders* (there should be no excuse for celery, it is repugnant)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Sweet chilli soba noodles


Soba noodles, broccoli, goji berries, sweetcorn, rice vinegar, garlic, salt, lime, lemon, honey, 2 serrano chillis, 2 birds eye chillis.

1) To make the sweet chilli sauce: deseed and finely dice the chillis then add into a pan with a good splash of rice vinegar, 3 cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently and then turn down the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens.
Squeeze in some lemon and lime juice to taste.

2) Steam some broccoli florets

3) Drop the soba noodles into into hot water and add a handful of goji berries and sweetcorn. Goji berries taste repulsive when dried, but once they have rehydrated they become sweet and delicious. After 7 minutes strain the water from the noodles and stir in the sweet chilli sauce and broccoli.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Pesto stuffed chicken


Linguine, garden peas, pea shoots, basil, garlic, basil oil, pine nuts, cream cheese, chicken, bacon.
Following from my previous recipe - Linguine with pea pesto, this is a good serving suggestion, using the same creamy pesto to stuff the chicken.

1) Slice a pocket into the side of the chicken breast with a paring knife and stuff with two teaspoons of the pesto mix.

2) Seal the chicken with 2 - 3 slices of thin smoked bacon (or parma ham) and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Linguine with pea pesto


Linguine, garden peas, pea shoots, basil, garlic, basil oil, pine nuts, cream cheese.
1) Finely slice a good handful of fresh basil leaves and add to a mortar bowl.
Sautee 1 clove of garlic in basil oil and add to the mortar bowl along with a pinch of salt and a handful of pine nuts. Grind thoroughly and then stir in a tablespoon of cream cheese.

2) Drop the linguine into salted boiling water for 10 minutes, adding a handful of garden peas during the last 2 minutes.

3) Stir through the creamy pesto and serve, topped with peashoots and pine nuts

Basil Hummus

Chickpeas (dried or canned), garlic, sesame seeds, salt, basil leaves, basil oil, pine nuts
1) If you are using dried chickpeas leave them to soak in cold water for a minimum of 6 hours (ideally 10-12) and cook them for 1 1/2 hours, changing the water frequently to avoid a bitter aftertaste.

2) If using canned chickpeas drain them and rinse well with cold water. It's entirely your choice whether you shell the chickpeas first - personally I prefer a bit of texture!

3) Place your cooked / canned chickpeas into a blender or mortar and pestle along with two tablespoons of water and pulse. Add two tablespoons of water and pulse thoroughly

4) Finely slice a good handful of fresh basil leaves and add to a mortar bowl. Sautee 1 clove of garlic in basil oil and add to the mortar bowl along with a pinch of salt and a handful of pine nuts.
Grind thoroughly and stir into the hummus.

I served this with marinated olives (for the love of Bowie don't buy pitted olives, especially not soaked in brine, they're the flavour and texture of rubber! Buy whole ones and pit them right before eating them) and Fudge's cheese straws with black pepper and mature cheddar.

Basil dip



Basil, garlic, basil oil, pine nuts, cream cheese.
1) Finely slice a good handful of fresh basil leaves and add to a mortar bowl.

2) Sautee 1 clove of garlic in basil oil and add to the mortar bowl along with a pinch of salt and a handful of pine nuts.

3) Grind thoroughly and then stir into cream cheese.

I served this with Fudge's cheese straws with mature cheddar and black pepper.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Croque Madame


  Bread, ham, gruyere, mustard, butter, egg, cream cheese.
1) Butter one slice of bread and lay it butter side down on a baking tray. Spread the other side with cream cheese and grainy mustard. Layer with ham and gruyere.

2) Spread cream cheese and grainy mustard onto another slice of bread and put this on top of the ham and gruyere with the plain side facing up.

3) Press the bread with your fingertips so that a shallow well forms in the centre - the idea being that the crust is high enough for the egg not to slide off.

4) Crack an egg and drop into the centre of the bread. If the egg white has pooled in the centre then it will take too long to cook so  try to keep the well as shallow as possible and spread the white fairly evenly across the bread.

5) Bake in the oven until the egg white has just begun to form. Serve with a knife and fork!

This dish may take some practise as you want the yolk to remain liquid so that when you cut into the sandwich it flows into the melted cheese and ham. Some people prefer to fry the egg separately and add to the top of the bread - personally I think the sandwich is improved by the egg soaking into the bread a little before it crisps.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Butternut squash risotto



Risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano - I would recommend carnaroli), vegetable stock, white onion, garlic, sage, rosemary, butter, butternut squash, brandy.  
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol (white wine, brandy or vermouth produce the best flavours) and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time.

1) Peel the butternut squash, slice it in half and remove the seeds before cutting it into chunks. Melt a little butter and chopped sage leaves and stir the butternut squash into it. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

2) Separate 5 cloves of garlic from the bulb and roast in the oven for 30 minutes (within the skin) Squeeze the garlic from the skin and stir into a pint of vegetable stock.

3) Melt a knob of butter in a pan and add some chopped sage and rosemary leaves and half a finely diced white onion. Soften the onions for about a minute and then stir in the risotto rice. Stir until the rice becomes transparent, revealing a white dot in the centre and pour in a glass of brandy.

4) Once the alcohol has cooked off, stir through the stock one ladleful at a time, adding the roasted butternut squash with the second ladle of stock.

5) Serve once the rice has softened and the starch has created a creamy sauce.

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