Sunday, 7 December 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Even though my mum made chips in a proper chip pan when I was a kid, the oven method seems so much easier and the chips, sprinkled with a little sea salt, are just as delicious. And for the full retro effect: tinned processed peas. Yum!!!
Sunday, 7 September 2008
It ends up with a soft, shuddery, spongy top, and a pool of lemon curd type sauce underneath.
Beat 4oz soft butter into 10oz sugar. Mix in 4 egg yolks. Then gradually add, beating well as you go, 400ml milk and 4 heaped tablespoons of plain flour (as much as you can get on the spoon, I mean). Then add the grated rind and juice of two lemons. Finally, in another bowl, whisk up the egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the mixture, then transfer it all into a 2 litre buttered ovenproof dish. Bake in the oven at 180c for 25-30 minutes.
If you feel like it, lay some naughty surprise eggs on top of the mixture!
Top with creamy mashed potatoes, and pattern the surface as you like. Add some cheese too.
Bake for about half an hour until its hot and the cheese is bubbly. Await surprised yelps of "hey there's an egg in here!" from your guests ..
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, grated or diced
2 onions, diced
2 cups peas
2 spoons curry paste (I used Pataks madras and it turned out really spicy!)
1 spoon sundried tomato paste
At the end - a generous squeeze of lemon, and plenty of salt.
I also added a sprinkle of fennel seeds and some mustard seeds too.
Soften the veg in a pan with 2 tbsp oil. Fry gently for a bit then add the curry paste, tomato paste and stock. Put the lid on and simmer it all until the veg is all cooked, and there is no excess liquid left.
Take a sheet of ready made puff pastry and divide it into 12 squares. Roll each one out until it is large enough to cut out a circle (I used a 4" diameter bowl to cut round). In goes a spoon of curry, fold it over and seal the edges. Place your little pasties onto a baking sheet - don't forget to grease it!! Bake at 220c for 15-20 minutes.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Monday, 18 August 2008
Hollow out some giant tomatoes & peppers, stand them in a roasting dish and sprinkle with some salt & pep.
Brown a chopped onion, some garlic and add 500g minced lamb. Add cinnamon, sundried tomato paste, and a can of chopped tomatoes. (Some dill or mint would also be good but I didn't have any). Then add 250g rice, some stock and simmer away until the rice is almost cooked. The mixture should then be thick and easy to spoon into the peppers & tomatoes. Pour a little olive oil over, put the lids on and cook in a low oven for an hour and a half.
Friday, 15 August 2008
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp green curry paste
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove
1 red pepper, diced
1 stalk Lemon grass, roughly chopped into large chunks
2 cm piece Ginger, roughly chopped
800g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, roughly chopped
400ml coconut milk
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tsp dark Soy sauce
1 handful Coriander, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 handful baby pea aubergines
1 lime, juice only
Basmati rice, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a wok and add the curry paste and sugar. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Add the garlic, red pepper, lemon grass and ginger. 2. Brown the chicken thighs in the wok, then stir in the coconut milk, lime leaves, fish sauce, soy sauce and coriander. Place the lid on and allow to simmer under a low heat for 25-30 minutes. 3. Stir in the pea aubergines and cook for 5-6 minutes, until tender. Squeeze in the lime juice to taste. 4. Serve the curry with basmati rice and a sprinkling of chopped coriander.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Sunday, 10 August 2008
You really can make stew however you like but I like to use proper stewing beef, and lots of root vegetables. This stew is meant to be plain and just taste of the meat and the veg - you could of course make this with garlic, and herbs, and wine, but that would be a different kind of dish altogether. So just go with me on this one!
Over quite a strong flame, heat some oil and fry onion and/or leek, then add the meat and brown it. Add a big spoonful of flour, and stir that in. Let it go brown and start to stick to the pan. Then add a bit of stock, stir well to dislodge all the brown crusty bits. Add chunks of carrots, swede, parsnips and turnip. If you like, a handful of pearl barley. Then pour in some good beef stock, bring up to a simmer and stick it in a gentle oven for four hours.
At the end, taste it to see if you want to add salt or a few gravy granules, which will also thicken it a bit more, and make it nice and brown. Add a handful of peas and then make your dumplings. I used perhaps 2 cups of flour and would normally add about a cup of suet to that - although (shh) funnily enough, today I forgot to put the suet in and they were still great! Add a heaped teaspoon of baking powder, even if you used self raising flour. This is how you get them fluffy and light. Season with salt and pepper, and perhaps some dry mustard powder too. Add water until a soft dough is formed. Drop balls of the dough into the bubbling stew and let it all simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes. They will puff up like clouds, floating on top.
Serve in big bowls, perhaps with some mash and a little blob of horseradish, and eat with a spoon. Mmmm.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Soften a small chopped onion, a pepper, and some crushed garlic in olive oil. After a few minutes, add bits of spicy sausage, (any you like at all, I used sweet chilli ones) and chicken. When that is all cooked on the outside, add about half a tin of chopped tomatoes, and mix them in. Then add paella rice, and mix in.
Put the kettle on, and get a jug. Into the jug, lob a spoonful of turmeric (unless of course you do have saffron), a dollop of sundried tomato paste, and marigold stock powder. Add the boiling water and you have a very delicious stock - add it to the pan. I used a whole 500g bag of rice and it took about 2.5 pints of water, but just keep tasting and testing as you go along. When it looked like there were about 5 minutes to go, I added raw prawns. That was it.
This really is optional, but when it's on the plate, squeeze some lemon over it, and drizzle with olive oil. Finally, grate over fresh parmesan (I apologise to any passing frowning Spanish people), a grind of black pepper, and jump in.
Monday, 5 May 2008
Cook in a hot oven for about 40 minutes, and eat with vanilla ice cream!
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Get some madiera cake, and chuck some in the bottom of the sundae glass. Stick a knife in to cut it up a bit. Then some soft raspberries. Not traditional for spring I know, but I love them. Squash them into the cake, a little.
Then, some pieces of peach. Then, vanilla ice cream. Then, some really nice raspberry sauce, and on top of that, some thick cream.
And finally ... the obligatory flake.
When it is just about done, you can stick a few veggie sausages on top and cook them for a bit. When you know you have about 10 minutes to go, put slices of mozzarella on top too.
To prepare the garlic and chilli bread, mix garlic puree (two generous spoonfuls please) into a block of soft butter. Chop atleast 4 red chillies finely and mix them in. Daub the butter generously into the slits in the bread. Wrap it in foil and give it a good 20 minutes.
Serve with pasta and grate parmesan on top.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
I made this version, for two people. Begin by heating a blob of olive oil in a small pan. If you have the inclination, fry some chopped garlic in the oil first, and remove and chuck it away when it is brown. It makes the oil all garlicky. Then add some chopped bacon or pancetta, and fry it until done. A further optional step here is then to add a generous splash of white wine, and let it boil and bubble away. It leaves another nice flavour behind.
Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti as usual. While it is cooking, get a bowl and mix in it three egg yolks, about half a cup of cream, salt and pepper, and about a handful of grated parmesan cheese. When the spag is done, drain it quick and return to the hot pan, off the heat. Chuck in the bacon and the oil it was sizzling in. Waste no time in adding the egg yolk, cream and cheese mixture. Stir and mix it well, and the heat in the pan should be enough for the sauce to cook and smoothly coat each strand of spaghetti, without overcooking and turning into scrambled egg. Eat it with more cheese and perhaps some black pepper on top. Heaven.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Everyone seems to cook this at a different temperature; I did it at 150c, or gas mark 2. I cut 4 medium potatoes into thin slices and put them into the dish, adding salt and pepper over each layer. I then poured about half a pint of a blend of milk and cream, with a teaspoon of garlic paste mixed in, over it all. It was cooked after an hour and 15 minutes.
Cheese is an obvious possibility and would be very nice, but I am absolutely convinced it is not necessary.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Sunday, 17 February 2008
My version did differ in some ways: 1) I used red wine, not white. 2) I left the carrots in, because I like them .. when this was done on Nigella Bites, she fished them out. 3) I added cinnamon because I like it, in Greek dishes. 4) I halved the recipe.
I tried the completely unauthentic but delicious crumbled feta and fresh oregano mixture as a topping - do not consider eating this without it! What a lovely bowlful of steaming, meaty, winey, herby, pastary, cheesey JOY this made.
Friday, 15 February 2008
We also had bits of toast with it, but fried bread is a great possibility. Then we had coffee, croissants and jam for afters. Please note that as my holiday activities centred around walking, cycling and swimming, this level of Famous Five style calorie intake was simply a nourishing, necessary evil.
Sunday, 3 February 2008
Begin with any kind of cake; plain madeira is ok but a cake on a toffee or fudgey theme is better. Add some toffee or fudge sauce, then slices of banana. Sprinkle over some chocolate buttons. Perhaps some chocolate sauce, at any stage, if you prefer.
When you have layered cake, banana and toffee / fudge in satisfactory proportions, pile on some vanilla ice cream. Finally, big dollops of cream, and shards from a broken flake bar.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Cut 4 big potatoes into chunks, and boil them until only just done. Toss them in ginger & garlic paste, salt, and some turmeric.
Heat oil and fry a chopped onion until soft. Add the potato cubes. Fry it and let them go a bit brown and crusty here and there. Then add a tin of drained chickpeas, and cook until they are hot. Add a bag of washed fresh spinach leaves, which you have shredded and chopped.
Cook until it is all done. This is a dry dish, and goes well with a curry with lots of sauce. But you could add tomatoes and/or coconut milk if you wanted.
300g plain yoghurt
Couple of spoons tomato puree
Big blob garlic puree
Big blob ginger puree
Spoonful of salt
Generous sprinkle of chilli
Couple of spoonfuls tikka powder
Juice of half a lemon
Let the meat sit in this overnight, or all day.
To make the sauce, get a big pan and chop 8 onions. Fry them slowly in oil for about an hour, until they are soft and golden. Then add:
Spoonful of curry paste
Blobs of ginger & garlic puree
Chilli as desired
Stir, and cook a bit more. Then add:
A carton of passata
A tin of coconut milk
About 100g ground almonds
Blitz it all with a stick blender. Add water if it is too thick. Mine was really thick, and it was bubbling and splutters were going about 2 feet into the air, so I had to make it a bit runnier.
Taste, and you will probably need to add salt. I also added a spoonful of sugar. I was considering adding yoghurt and/or cream at this stage but decided these were unnecessary.
It is now time to cook the marinaded meat, like in the picture. Get your oven as hot as you dare. (I had to take my necklace off, because every time I opened the door, it heated the metal up and burned me.. thats how hard and daring I am.) Anyway. Mine was set at 250c. Lay the meat out in a roasting tin. I added some chunks of pepper too. I also added the remains of the marinade to the sauce (which was just ticking over gently with the lid on at this point).
The meat must have roasted for about 15 minutes. I took it out when it started to get charred, as you can see.
Simply transfer the entire contents of the roasting tin into the sauce. You now have Chicken Tikka Masala!
Eat it with rice, onion bhajis, naan bread, a vegetable dish, and some red wine ....
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Saturday, 12 January 2008
1) Make chocolate sauce. Melt it down gently and don't overheat. Remove from heat as soon as (or marginally before) it has all melted. Gently stir in some cream. The sauce is done. While still warm, spoon it over ice cream, or sundaes, or any passing good-looking gentlemen.
2) Cool any leftover sauce, and use it the next day to make chocolate truffles! It should have a soft, fudgy texture. Use a teaspoon to carve out nuggets and lumps, then roll them in cocoa powder. The shape really does not matter. Pile onto a small dish or plate. Slightly erotic to eat (melting, velvety stickiness, and licking fingers, etc ..)
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Thursday, 3 January 2008
Biscuit, well, cracker. Cheese (brie). Chutney (spicy onion).
Biscuit (digestive). Cheese (cheddar). Pickle (Branston).
Biscuit. Cheese (potted Stilton). Chutney (mango).
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
Pasta. Cheese. Tomatas. Oven.