30 Sept 2012

FOR MY WONDERFUL HUSBAND HIS CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF CUSTARD TART WITH RASPBERRY JAM AND COCONUT DUSTING


 
FOR MY GORGEOUS HUSBAND

INGREDIENTS
350g plain flour
160g butter
170g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp water

15 egg yolks
170g caster sugar
1000ml double cream
Handful desiccated coconut
4 tbsp raspberry jam

Mix the flour and caster sugar and then rub in the butter to a breadcrumb consistency, add the egg yolks and bring together to a tight pastry, if it is too tight, add the water and bring together into a ball, clingfilm and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out and line a greased tin, blind bake the pastry at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, then remove the baking beans and lining and bake for another 3 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 120 degrees.

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy then whisk in the double cream.  Sieve and place in a glass jug ready to pour.

Spread the raspberry jam over the bottom of the blind baked pastry case, pour over the custard and place in the oven for approx 45 minutes or until the custard is almost set and just has a wobbly.  Take out of the oven and dust with grated nutmeg and leave to cool.

CUSTARD TART


 
RICH CREAMY CUSTARD TARTS
 
INGREDIENTS
FOR THE PASTRY
350g plain flour
160g butter
2 tbsp water
170g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
 
FOR THE CUSTARD
15 egg yolks (keep the whites)
170g caster sugar
1000ml double cream
Grated nutmeg
 
To make the pastry gently rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the sugar, beat the egg yolks with the water and mix into the pastry and bring together to form a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least one hour.
 
Roll out and line your pastry tin or tins, line the pastry and bake using baking beans or rice for 10 minutes at 180 degrees, then remove the baking beans and bake the pastry cases for another 3 minutes, turn the oven down to 120 degrees.
 
To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale in colour, thick and creamy, whisk in the double cream and then pass through a sieve, place in a glass jug and then gently pour into your blind baked pastry cases.  Cook for approx 45 minutes or until the custard is just set but still has a little wobble.  Dust with some grated nutmeg.
 
With the reserved egg whites, I either freeze until I need them for the next batch of meringues or I make a lemon meringue the next day.
 
 
 
 

CRAB AND WHITE WINE LINGUINE

 
 
 
A REALLY QUICK AND EASY SUPPER
 
 
(Serves 4)|
INGREDIENTS
500g linguine
ooil
1 tsp butter
1 shallot fine diced
1 fat clove garlic grated
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 lrg red chilli de seeded fine chopped
1 whole crab or fresh dressed crab
20 mussels cleaned (optional)
1/2 lemon juiced
100ml dry white wine
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
75ml double cream (optional)
 
Bring a large deep pan of seasoned water to the boil and cook the linguine, approx 10 minutes, meanwhile heat the ooil and butter in a frying pan, and gently soften the shallot and garlic for a few minutes. 
 
Add the white wine and mussels, reduce by half, remove the mussels and stir in some of the lemon juice, crab meat and chilli, season to taste, adjust with more lemon juice if needed and then add the flat leaf parsley, drain the linguine and toss in some ooil and season with a pinch of nutmeg, (optional).  Mix the linguine with the crab and serve with the mussels, sprinkle over some more flat leaf parsley and sliced red chilli and enjoy.
 
For a rich creamy version add the double cream at the same time as the crab meat and chilli.
 
 
 

29 Sept 2012

SUMPTIOUS VELOUTE FISH PIE

 
 
 
SUMPTUOUS HOMELY COMFORTING FISH PIE WITH NATURAL SMOKED HADDOCK, COD, MUSSELS, PRAWNS, WILD ALASKAN SALMON AND SCALLOPS IN A WHITE WINE AND CREAMY VELOUTE SAUCE TOPPED WITH RICH BUTTERY MASHED POTATO
 
(Serves 4-6) 
 
INGREDIENTS
300g natural smoked haddock
300g cod fillet or similar
300g wild Alaskan salmon
8 scallops (optional)
8 raw shell on prawns (1/2 shelled)
18 fresh mussels
1kg King Edward potatoes
100g butter
100ml double cream
Salt and Pepper
ooil
1 bunch flat leaf parsley

FOR THE VELOUTE SAUCE
1ltr fish stock
400ml dry white wine
300ml double cream
1 shallot fine diced
50g butter for the sauce
15g butter for the roux
15g flour for the roux


First if you can make the fish stock, do by peeling half the prawns and pan fry in a tbsp of butter and ooil, with a diced shallot & 500g of white fish bones.  Add 1200ml water and gently simmer for 30 minutes, strain, season and return back to the pan.  Using prawn shells in making your fish stock gives it a wonderful depth of flavour and colour.


Gently poach the fish, peeled prawns and scallops in turn in the fish stock, they will only take approx 1 minute and do not need to be completely cooked.   Remove from the stock very gently and place on a plate.  Strain the stock and reserve.  Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil, season and place in your peeled King Edward potatoes to boil until tender.  Drain and pass through a ricer back in to the warm pan, with some warm butter and cream, mix well and season.

Take a tsp of butter and ooil and gently fry the shallot to soften but not colour.  Add the white wine and boil rapidly until reduced to a few tablespoons.  Add the fish stock and reduce by half, keep the heat high and add the cream and reduce by half again, now turn the heat down to a gently simmer and whisk in the rest of the butter, taste and season.  Now to thicken this veloute for the fish pie, melt the butter and add the flour, stir well and cook on low heat for a couple of minutes, add the veloute a ladle at a time to the roux and stir well, once all the veloute is incorporated cook on a low heat for a few minutes, if it is too thick add some fish stock or milk to loosen slightly, you want a fairly tight sauce to hold the fish in the pie.

To assemble the fish pie or pies, place your poached fish, mashed potato and veloute sauce in a line on your worktop, place some of the veloute into your pie dish, then layer some poached fish, repeat 3 or 4 times being generous with the veloute, top with your mashed potato and place in a pre heated oven at 190 degrees for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and hot. 

Five minutes before serving, place 100ml of white wine in a sauce pan and bring to a good simmer, add the mussels and shell on prawns, place the lid on and steam for a couple of minutes until open and tender.  At the same time heat a non stick frying pan, place a tsp of butter and tbsp of ooil in the hot hot pan and sear the poached scallops for 45-60 seconds on each side, basting and then when serving your fish pie top with the steamed mussels and seared scallops and the poached shell on prawns for not only for extra flavour and a touch of luxury but for that sumptuous decoration of decadence for your fish pie.

 

28 Sept 2012

SIMPLE CRISPY THIN CRUST ROASTED RED PEPPER PESTO MARSCAPONE AND PLUM TOMATO PIZZA


 
INGREDIENTS
 
FOR THE DOUGH (makes 2)
400g 00 or plain flour
100g semolina
7g dried yeast
1 generous pinch of salt
325ml luke warm water
2 tbsp ooil
1 pinch sugar

A really simple and fantastic everyday pizza dough, place the flour and semolina on your work top and make a well in the centre.  In a jug mix the water, ooil, sugar and yeast together, let sit for 5 minutes so that the warm water activates the yeast and the sugar feeds it, slowly pour into the the well and mix slowly into the flour until all the mixture comes together to make a dough ball.  Knead for five minutes, if you want thin crust roll out the dough and use immediatly, if you want a more light and deep pan dough,, then leave your dough in a oiled clingflimed bowl to rise until doubled in size and then knock back and roll ou the dough and use.

FOR THE PESTO BASE
2 red peppers skinned
ooil
100g pecarino cheese fine grated
30g toasted pine nuts
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Take your peppers and on a flame from your hob or grill blacken the skin of the peppers all over, then place in a bowl and cover with clingfilm to keep the heat in and this will help remove the skin of the peppers by steaming while they also become soft.  After 10 minutes of so take off the clingfilm and peel off the skin, take off all the flesh of the peppers, descarding the seeds and place in the blender, with the pine nuts and some ooil, blitz, add more ooil if needed you want a slightly loose paste, add the cheese and season to taste.

TOPPINGS
4 fresh plum tomato's
200g marscapone cheese or fresh mozzarella
10 fresh basil leaves
1 fresh sliced chillies
Fine grated Parmesan cheese

Roll out your pizza dough to the shape and depth you want, spread from the centre you pesto base, and then layer on your toppings, I like to work from the centre out, reserve the basil leaves for serving.  In a pre heated oven 200 degrees, pre heat our baking stone or sheet and then place your pizza on and cook for 7-10 minutes for a crispy thin crust or 15-20 minutes for deep pan.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle on torn basil leaves and a drizzle of ooil and enjoy.

24 Sept 2012

LOVE MY GARDEN LATE SUMMER VEGETABLES

 
OUR GLORIOUS ITALIAN TOMATO PLANTS

 
A SAMPLE OF THE 186 TOMATO PLANTS IN MY GARDEN FOR FRESH
TOMATOES, PASSATA, TOMATO KETCHUP AND CHUTNEY'S

 
FABULOUS GARDEN PEAS MORE PEAS PLEASE


 
LOVE MY LETTUCE PERPETUAL LETTUCE WHICH IS VERY HELPFUL AS
THE CHICKENS SEEM TO THINK WE GROW THIS FOR THEM !!!

 
RHUBARB MY HUSBANDS TREASURE

 
FABULOUS CHERRY PLUMS THIS YEAR ONCE AGAIN, 3rd TIME WE LOST THE CROP DUE TO SEVER WINDS, BUT THEN ONE MAGICAL MORNING AND MANY MORE SINCE WE HAVE HAD A SQUIRREL COME AND PICK THE LEFT OVER PLUMS  AND SIT ON TOP OF THE CHICKEN RUN ROOF EATING THE PLUM, THAT IS SO WONDERFUL WATCH THAT WE ALMOST DON'T MIND LOSING OUR CROP AGAIN...
 
 
 
THESE ARE OUR OLIVE TRESS, THIS YEAR'S YIELD HAS JUST BEEN TAKEN IN MINUTES BY A LARGE FLOCK OF BLUE TIT'S !!!! THEY ARE IN THE TREES IN THE PHOTO BUT HARD TO SEE, LAST YEAR THEY TOOK ALL OUR CHERRY PLUMS FROM OUR TREE IN A MATTER OF MINUTES.  ARRGH!!!
 

21 Sept 2012

MY NEW TOY A MEAT SLICER

 
SO THEY SAY BOYS AND THEIR TOYS, OOOH SOOO EXCITED WITH MY NEW SMALL COMMERCIAL MEAT SLICER, WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF BEING DELIVERED I HAD MY HAM AND BACON OUT OF THE FRIDGE AND SLICE SLICE SLICE, LOVE IT !!!


 
LOVE MY MEAT SLICER, I  KNOW, I KNOW BUT IF YOU THINK THIS IS SAD
YOU REALLY SHOULD SEE ME IN ANY DELI, BUTCHERS, ASIAN STORE, CATERING STOCKIST AND FOOD SUPPLIERS TO THE TRADE...

TEMPURA PRAWNS AND AUBERGINE WITH A WASABI SESAME SOY DIPPING SAUCE

 
GORGEOUS CRISPY TEMPURA WITH A FABULOUS DIPPING SAUCE
 
INGREDIENTS
1 bunch samphire
10 fresh raw prawns shell on
1 aubergine sliced in half moons
 
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
3 drops of sesame oil
1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar
1 pea size of wasabi paste
1 small red chilli sliced
 
FOR THE TEMPURA BATTER
100g cornflour
150g plain flour
10g baking powder
50ml-100ml iced soda water or beer
2ltr oil for frying
 
THE DIPPING SAUCE
In a small dipping bowl place the wasabi paste in the centre, pour in the soy sauce and brown rice vinegar, using a chop stick swirl the wasabi around once in a figure of eight.  Add the sesame oil and then sprinkle the sliced chilli on top.  What is really nice about this dip is that the toasted sesame oil clings to the dipped tempura after it has been dipped in the wasabi soy.
 
THE PRAWNS AND AUBERGINE
First peel the shells of the body only of the prawns leaving the end of the tail on and the head for presentation and extra flavour if you like to suck the prawn heads.  Slice the aubergine in half and then into half inch thick slices, season well with salt and be ready to use immediately.
 
TO MAKE THE TEMPURA BATTER
Mix the cornflour, plain flour and baking powder together, start with pouring in 50ml of the iced soda or beer and slightly mix with chopsticks, you don't want to mix to well as pockets of dry flour are what puff out while frying and create the classic tempura, you are looking for a medium thin batter, so add more iced soda or beer if needed.
 
Heat the oil to 200 degrees, dip the aubergine in the tempura batter and fry for a couple of minutes, drain on kitchen paper, then repeat for the prawns, serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
 
 

SEASONAL APPLE TART WITH CREME PATISSIERE

 
FABULOUS SEASONAL APPLE TART

 
INGREDIENTS
 
4 eating apples sliced
2 tbsp apricot jam
 
CREME PATISSIERE
6 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
30g cornflour
550ml milk
1 vanilla pod split
15g butter
 
Whisk the egg yolks and then add half the sugar and whisk till pale and creamy, sift in the cornflour and mix together.  Add the milk, remaining sugar and split vanilla pod and seeds into a saucepan and bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar, then strain.  Pour the hot strained milk over the egg yolks stirring fast and constantly, add back to the saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes stirring all the time, the mix will become smooth and thick, stir in the butter at this stage and leave to cool in a fresh bowl.  Cover the top of the bowl with clingfilm, this is to stop a skin forming. 
 
SWEET PASTRY
350g plain flour
pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter chilled diced
100g icing sugar
2 eggs beaten
 
Sift the flour and salt on to your work top, pull up into a mound, make a well in the centre and put the butter there, using a pecking action with your fingertips and thumb work the butter only until it is soft, add the sugar into the butter and mix together, now add the eggs to the butter and mix well, now start to incorporate the flour by knocking it into the butter mixture gradually using a chopping action until you have a rough dough.  Bring together and knead a couple of times to make the dough smooth, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
 
Roll out the pastry and line your tin and then place the tin in the fridge for a further 10 minutes.  Blind bake the pastry case with baking beans for 10 minutes at 190 degrees, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
 
Place the creme patissiere in the bottom of the pastry case and place the sliced apples in ever decreasing circles on top, bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes or until the apples are golden and the pastry is cooked.  Melt the apricot jam and pass through a sieve then brush over the apples to give a sweet shine.

LEMON MERINGUE TART

 
MMMMMMMM
 
INGREDIENTS
 
FOR THE LEMON FILLING
2 level tbsp cornflour
100g caster sugar
2 lemons zested
175ml lemon juice (5-7 lemons)
150ml water
85g butter chilled diced
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg beaten

Place the cornflour, lemon zest and sugar in a sauce pan and mix well.  Add the lemon juice and water and mix well.  Bring up to a gently simmer and keep stirring constantly until thick, smooth and shinny.  Take off the heat and stir in the butter until melted and the beat in the eggs yolks and beaten egg, beat quickly and when all incorporated place the pan back onto the heat and cook for a couple of minutes until thick and smooth again, take off the heat and leave to one side.
FOR THE MERINGUE
2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
 
A clean bowl is essential, I wipe my bowl round with a wedge lemon and dry with paper roll.  Whisk the egg whites on a medium setting until soft peaks then add the sugar one tbsp at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

FOR THE SWEET PASTRY
350g plain flour
small pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
2 eggs beaten

In a bowl mix the butter until soft, mix in the sugar and the eggs until smooth, then gently mix in the flour and salt and slowly bring together to form a rough dough ball, knead a couple of times gently till smooth, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour, roll out and line your tart tins.

Blind bake the pastry tarts for 10 minutes at 190 degrees then for a further 5 minutes without the baking paper and beans. 

Place the lemon meringue filling in the pastry tart and top with the meringue, place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the peaks of the meringue are golden.

JAPANESE TEMPURA OYSTERS WITH SOY SAKE MIRIN DRESSING AND SPRING ONIONS, CHILLI'S AND GINGER

 
JUICY PLUMP OYSTERS IN CRISPY TEMPURA BATTER SERVED BACK IN THEIR SHELLS WITH A DRIZZLE OF SOY AND SAKE DIPPING SAUCE AND TOPPED WITH SPRING ONIONS, GINGER, CHILLI'S AND CORIANDER
 
INGREDIENTS
 
12 fresh oysters shucked (juice kept)
100ml light soy sauce
30ml sake1 tsp sugar
1 spring onion fine sliced
1 red chilli fine diced
1 inch ginger fine diced
2 stems coriander fine chopped
2ltrs oil for frying
Paper roll for draining
 
FOR THE TEMPURA BATTER
100g corn flour
150g plain flour
10g baking powder
50ml-100ml iced soda water or beer
 
Make the dressing for the oysters by placing the soy sauce, sugar and sake into a sauce pan and bringing up to a gently simmer until the sugar has dissolved, take off the heat and reserve ready to pour over the oysters once cooked.
 
Have the chopped coriander, ginger, chillies and spring onions ready to sprinkle over the cooked oysters.
 
Shuck the oysters, remove from their shell and drain off all the liquid into a jug and reserve, place the oysters in the fridge, meanwhile, make the tempura batter, in a bowl place all the dry ingredients, pour in the reserved oyster juice and approx 50ml to start of iced cold soda water or beer and mix in a little with chopsticks, you are looking for a medium thin batter, add more iced cold water or beer if you need to loosen the batter.  You do not want too mix well, you need lots of large flour lumps still in the mix, this will then create the lovely crispy light tempura batter when fried. 
 
Clean the shells and place on your plates ready to be filled with the cooked oysters and sauce.
 
Heat the oil too 200 degrees, take each oyster one at a time and coat well in the the tempura batter and gently lay into the hot oil, cook for a minute or so until the tempura is all crispy and spiky and a light golden colour, take the oysters and drain onto paper roll and then  place into the oyster shells.
 
Take your sake soy sauce reduction and drizzle sauce and pour over your oysters and sprinkle over the chopped chillies, spring onions and coriander to finish.
 
 

19 Sept 2012

CHOCOLATE MISSIPPI MUD PIE CAKE WITH A RICH GANACHE TOPPED WITH THICK WHIPPED CREAM AND CHOCOLATE


 
RICH CHOCOLATE PASTRY FILLED WITH A MOIST CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPED OFF WITH THICK WHIPPED CREAM AND CHOCOLATE

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE PASTRY
225g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
140g butter
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cold water

Mix the cocoa powder with the flour, rub in the butter, stir in the sugar and the mixture will start to come together as a ball of pastry, if it is a little dry add the water and form in to a ball.  wrap in clingfilm and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.

On a slightly dusted surface roll out the pastry and line your tin approx 8".  Place some baking paper on top of the pastry and fill with baking beans and blind bake at 190 degrees for 15 minutes, then take out the baking beans and reduce the oven to 160 degrees and cook the pastry for another 5 minutes.

FOR THE GANACHE FILLING
175g butter
350g soft dark brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tbsp cocoa powder
150g 70%+ chocolate
300ml double cream

FOR THE TOPPING
600ml double cream, whipped stiff
50g grated chocolate

Cream the butter and sugar together and then gradually beat in one egg at a time, then add the cocoa powder.  Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a double boiler, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then add with the cream to the mixture.  Pour into the pastry case and place in the oven for 45 minutes until just wobbly set.  Leave to cool and then top with the whipped cream and grated chocolate or crushed flakes.



18 Sept 2012

SUMPTUOUS PLUM AND ALMOND TART

 
SUMPTUOUS SWEET PLUM & ALMOND TART
THIS IS SUCH A GREAT COMBINATION THAT REALLY BELONGS TOGETHER, OUR HOME GROWN PLUMS TASTED SO SWEET AND ALMOST HAD A RHUBARB FLAVOUR THAT WAS SO GORGEOUS WITH THE ALMOND FILLING, BEST SERVED WARM WITH LOTS OF THICK CREAM OR CREME FRAICHE
 
 
 
INGREDIENTS
2 large sweet dark plums
100g butter cubed & cold
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
1 egg
FOR THE PASTRY
190g plain flour
8g sugar
112g butter
1/2 beaten egg
2 tbsp cold water
 
Mix the sugar and flour together in a large bowl, rub in the butter until you have fine breadcrumbs, mix the egg with the water and then add to the flour and bring together to form a ball, turn out onto a lightly dusted floured surface and knead a couple of times very gently and don't over work the dough.  Flatten the ball slightly and wrap in clingfilm and chill for half an hour.  Roll out and line your pastry tin or individual tartlet tins.
 
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, beat in the egg well and then fold in the ground almonds.  Take the plums, remove the seed and slice.
 
Fill the tarts half way with the almond paste and place the plums on top.  Bake individual tarts for 15-20 minutes or a large tart for approx 30 minutes. 

HOME HONEY BAKED HAM AND GRUYERE QUICHE

 
VERY LIGHT BAKED HONEY HAM AND GRUYERE QUICHE WITH CRACKLING RENDERED LARD PASTRY
 
 
HOME BAKED HONEY GLAZED HAM
 
 
HOMEMADE ROAST CRACKLING LARD
 
INGREDIENTS
300g ham torn by hand
50g pancetta diced
1 tbsp butter & ooil
4 eggs
350ml double cream
100g Gruyere grated
1 pinch grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper
 
FOR THE PASTRY
110g butter cold
100g lard
450g plain flour
1 good pinch of salt
180ml cold water
 
Place the flour in a mixer or large bowl and cut the lard into the pastry, grate the butter into the flour and then using a cutting action mix the butter into the flour and lard.  Add the salt to the water and then add the water to the flour and bring together in to a ball, do not over work or knead the pastry, this will give you a cross between rough puff flaky pastry and short crust, as the chunks of lard melt into the flour that will create the flaky puff layers.
 
Roll the pastry out and place in your quiche tin, blind bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees, then take out the baking beans, turn oven down to 160 degrees and pop the pastry case back in the oven for 5 minutes.
 
Pan fry the lardons in the butter and ooil, then tip out onto kitchen roll to drain.  Place in the bottom of the pastry case with the ham.
 
THE EGG CUSTARD
Place the eggs and cream in a bowl and whisk well, season and stir in the grated cheese.  Pour into the pastry case over the ham and lardons, and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until just set.  Leave to cool for five minutes before serving.
 

HEAVENLY CHOCOLATE GANACHE MOUSSE

 
QUICK AND SIMPLE YET DIVINE
 
INGREDIENTS
175g butter
350g soft brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tbsp cocoa powder
150g plain 70%+ chocolate
300ml single cream
 
Beat the butter and sugar together till pale and smooth, slowly beat one egg in at a time till smooth then add the cocoa powder.  Melt the chocolate slowly over a double boiler, add to the creamed butter and sugar with the cream and mix well.  Poor into glasses and chill in the fridge.

17 Sept 2012

CREAMY WHITE WINE AND MUSHROOM CHICKEN


WONDERFUL MOORISH CREAMY MUSHROOM AND WHITE WINE SAUCE OVER SUCCULENT JUICY CHICKEN WITH BUTTERY MASHED POTATO
 
INGREDIENTS
2 chicken breasts
200g le rustic Camembert
Salt pepper
 
FOR THE SAUCE
10 chestnut mushrooms sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ooil
1 garlic clove grated
1 onion fine diced
1 tbsp chicken jelly stock
300ml water
100ml dry white wine
300ml dbl cream

FOR THE MASHED POTATO
6 king lrg Kng Edward potatoes
3 tbsp butter and seasoning to taste

Pan fry on a medium heat the diced onions in the butter and ooil until soft, add the garlic and mushrooms, pan fry for 10 minutes, take out two tbsp of the mixture and reserve for stuffing in the chicken, add the white wine and simmer for a minute, add the chicken stock, 300ml water and reduce by half then add the double cream and bring just to a simmer to tick over, taste and season.  Take the chicken breast and slice a pocket in the thick end of the breast, season with salt and pepper in the pocket then stuff one tbsp of the reserved pan fried mushrooms into the pocket and place a chunk of the le rustic in the pocket too.  Pan fry the chicken in a hot pan and then when 3/4 cooked place 50ml of water in the pan and place a lid on the pan to seal in the steam, turn the heat down and let the chicken finish of in the steam bath, this calms the cooking process down and allows the juices to relax back into the chicken under steam. 

For the mashed potato, peel and boil the potatoes until tender, drain and sprinkle with a hint of salt, pass through a ricer back into a hot pan with some or lots of butter and mix well, season to taste with white pepper and salt and sometimes I love to add a dash of vinegar, which is what my fab nan always did.
 
Serve the chicken on top of the butter mashed potato with a generous serving of the mushroom cream sauce over the top of the chicken.

16 Sept 2012

GLORIOUS ROAST PORK AND CRACKLING WITH CAULIFLOWER CHEESE AND SUMPTIOUS STOCK GRAVY

 
THE BEST EVER ROAST CRACKLING BELLY PORK WITH RICH CREAMY CAULIFLOWER CHEESE AND THE MOST EXCELLENT SPEEDY ROASTED VEG GRAVY
 
INGREDIENTS
1 side of fresh belly pork (approx 10")
3 tbsp from the dripping bowl
1 tbsp salt
1 cauliflower
200ml double cream
100g strong cheddar cheese
Pinch grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
 
FOR THE GRAVY
2 courgette large chunks
1 small onion fine diced
5 small onions whole
6 small red onions whole
1/2 bulb garlic whole
2 yellow pepper large chunks
2 green pepper large chunks
1 glug ooil
 
CRACKING CRACKLING
Heat the oven and roasting tray to 220 degrees, take your side of belly pork and make sure it is completely dry, rub generously with salt.  Place in the pre heated oiled roasting tin and cook for approx 30 minutes and then turn the heat down to 200 degrees for the next 20 minutes, and at the same time add your vegetables to be roasted, after the 20 minutes turn the heat down to 160 degrees for a final 10 minutes of cooking.  I like to rest my meat covered on a hot plate for 5-10 minutes. 
 
FABULOUS GRAVY
Pan fry the diced onion in a dash of ooil and butter, add 1/3 of the roasted vegetables and 100ml wine, reduce by half and then add 500ml water or chicken stock and all of the roasting juices scraped from the tin, I also pour in any juices from the rested meat, add a tbsp of double cream then simmer and reduce a little and season to taste. Pour though a sieve and return the gravy to the pan, if you want to thicken slightly either reduce further or use a tsp of cornflour. 
 
QUICK CHEATS CAULIFLOWER CHEESE PUREE 
Steam or boil a cauliflower until very tender, puree in a blender till smooth, season to taste, reserve a couple of tbsp of the cooking water in case you need to loosen the puree.  Heat the cream in a pan, once simmering add the cheese and stir well, season with grated nutmeg and white pepper and salt to your taste.  Add the cauliflower puree into the rich creamy cheese sauce and keep warm as when this cools it will set, this makes great croquettes.
 
 

11 Sept 2012

RICH BUTTER VANILLA BLUEBERRY AND CHOCOLATE FLOWERPOT MUFFINS


 
FABULOUS FLOWERPOT BAKING CASES
 
INGREDIENTS
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs
4oz self raising flour
5ml pure vanilla
6 chunks plain 70%+ chocolate
100g fresh blueberries
 
Quick and simple cakes, cream the butter and sugar together until light and pale in colour, add the eggs one at a time and beat well, add the vanilla and then slowly fold in the flour.  Beat the cake batter for a few minutes until a beautiful creamy cake batter.
 
Take the silicon flowerpot molds and place 1 tbsp of cake batter into the mould, then place in the chocolate and some blueberries, top off with another dollop of cake batter, place in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until springy to touch.

DECADANT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TORTE CAKE


 
DEEP RICH VELVETY DECADENT SUMPTUOUS DARK CHOCOLATE TORTE TOPPED WITH AMARETTO WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES AND COINTREAU DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES AND 100% DARK CHOCOLATE LATTICE DECORATION
 
INGREDIENTS
FOR THE SHORTBREAD BASE
170g plain flour
115g butter chopped
60g caster sugar
 
By hand is the key here, place the flour in a large bowl and add the butter and rub the butter and flour together gently with your finger tips until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency.  Take your cake tin and grease, tip in the shortbread crumbs and then push down firmly to create the base.  Cook at 180 degrees for approx 20 minutes, you want to keep the shortbread rather pale and the edges will catch just ever so.  Leave to cool on  a cake rack, once cooled place on parchment paper and place the tin back over the shortbread, line the sides only with cling film ready to fill with the chocolate torte.
 
THE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TORTE
600ml double cream
425g plain 70%+ chocolate
 
So simple yet so divine, in a bain marie melt the chocolate slowly, take off the heat as soon as 90% melted and leave to cool for 10 minutes.  Once cooled pour the cream in to a large bowl ready to whisk, whisk until medium soft peeks form, slowly pour in the chocolate and fold in until all the mixture is the same colour.  Place on top of the shortbread base, pushing down to remove any air bubbles and smooth, place in the fridge to set.
 
TO MAKE THE TRUFFLES
WHITE CHOCOLATE
200g white chocolate
1 tbsp amaretto
100ml double cream
1 tbsp butter
 
PLAIN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
200g dark chocolate 70%+
100ml double cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cointreau
 
Melt the butter and cream in a bain marie gently, once almost simmering add the chocolate and melt, when melted add the amaretto and stir in well, pour into a lined small tin and place int the fridge to set for a couple of hours.  After set using teaspoons form into balls best you can and place on a plate lined with baking paper, place back into the fridge to set for another 30minutes, then roll into balls and place back into the fridge, meanwhile melt some white chocolate in the bain marie and roll the balls in the chocolate and place back on the parchment paper, drizzle over any left over chocolate to make random patterns on the truffles, set in the fridge.  These will keep a soft centre.  Place on top of the truffle torte as decoration or serve on their own.  To make some chocolate lattice to decorate the cake all I did was melt some dark chocolate in a bain marie and then drizzle lattice knots on to the baking paper and place in the fridge to set, to remove use a baking spatula and lift off.
 
 

10 Sept 2012

SOOOO EXCITING ASSEMBLEY OF OUR PIG ARK READY TO RECEIVE OUR GLOUCESTER OLD SPOT X SADDLE BACK GILT WEANERS FOR OUR URBAN MINI MINI SMALL HOLDING

 
FANTASTIC ARDINGLY ARK COMPANY SETTING UP OUR MADE TO ORDER ARK WE HAVE HAD DOORS PUT IN EACH END SO THAT WHEN WE MOVE THE ARK, AS IT IS ON SKI'S WE CAN SITU THE ARK INBETWEEN TWO PADDOCKS WITH EASE

 

 
OSCAR INSPECTING HIS PIG ARK WITH OUR LITTLE WOODEN PIG THAT OSCAR'S BEST FRIEND CHOSE FOR HIM A FEW YEARS AGO

 
CHILLI DOG, LOTTIE AND GARDEN PIG INSPECTING THE NEW ARK
 
SO EXCITING WE ARE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ARRIVAL OF OUR SADDLE BACK X GLOUCESTER OLD SPOT RARE BREED GILT WEANERS, WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A SMALL PLOT OF LAND FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND STILL CANT FIND WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR, SO WE ARE GOING TO START WITH OUR GARDEN AT HOME, WE ARE GOING TO BE URBAN MINI MINI SMALL HOLDERS, WE ALREADY HAVE OUR GORGEOUS CHICKENS AND ALL OUR VEGETABLES, SO HERE GOES THE NEXT STAGE, OUR FIRST PIGS, SOO EXCITING !!!

6 Sept 2012

JAMON SERRANO WIND DRYING HANGING IN THE PORCH FOR THE NEXT YEAR BECOMING YUMMY

 
SO EXCITING TO PUT A WHOLE HAM IN SALT FOR 3.5 DAYS PER KILO KNOWING THAT THIS IS THE START OF A YEAR OF PREPARATION FOR SOME FANTASTIC GORGEOUS HOME CURED JAMON

 
24 DAYS UP AND OUT COMES THE LEG OF PORK READY FOR NEXT STAGE OF PREPARATION TOWARDS BECOMING JAMON

 
YIPPEE FINAL STAGE WRAPPED IN MUSLIN AND NOTHING ELSE LEFT TO DO NOW BUT TALK TO HER AND LET HER WIND DRY FOR THE NEXT YEAR BEFORE WE GET TO UNVEIL AND TASTE THE REWARD OF THE PAST YEAR

INGREDIENTS
6kg curing/table salt
1 wooden crate & lid 2" smaller
1 10kg weight
1 bottle white wine vinegar
2 muslin cloths
5ft string
1 hook
1 date tag

Take your leg of pork, boned out, rub salt generously all over in and out of the leg, then in the box make a thick bed of salt, place the pork leg in and then cover completely with the salt, make sure that there is at least 2" of salt on top, place the wooden lid on and the weight on top to help compress the salt and pork.  Keep in a cool place for the duration of time.  A small tray under the wooden box is essential as after a week or two a small amount of liquid will seep out.

2nd STAGE
24 days past, remove the leg of pork from is salty bed and wash off well with cold water, pat dry the rub the jamon thoroughly and generously with white wine vinegar, pat dry and then wrap in muslin cloth 2 cloths thick, this is so that is is just thick enough to protect from greedy pests but thin enough to allow air to dry out the jamon.  I tie my muslin bundled jamon up with some butchers string and make a loop at one end then I like to tie a label to my jamon with the date and length of time cured and time to wind dry.  Hang somewhere where the rain will not really touch the jamon, if you want to hang in a tree in the garden then I suggest that you place a simple wire cage around your jamon so no squirrels or birds feel the need to help themselves before you can!

3rd STAGE  (Will update when jamon is ready)
On this jamon I am not there yet, but the first time you do this it is so scary and so exciting, I had a champagne un-veiling ceremony!  When you come to un-wrap your jamon don't panic if there are animal casings on the outside of the muslin, that is what it was there for to protect, so it has done its job.  Take the jamon down and there will be a black mould like appearance, place the jamon in a dry sink and cover with lots and lots of white wine vinegar be very generous and scrub off all the unpleasant looking marks, don't be shy with the vinegar, once cleaned and looking rather like a whole jamon leg pat dry and then it is ready to start to enjoy.  DO NOT EAT THE OUTSIDE SKIN.  When carving the jamon start at one spot and then remove the first full layer of area you want to slice, then remove the outside of the jamon where you are going to shave off the jamon.  I like to keep the exposed edible jamon just lightly covered with some baking paper or muslin square in order to keep of flies and I often leave the whole leg in a carving stand on my kitchen side or in the fridge if really hot.  I also keep the jamon knife by the meat as several times a day I will pass the jamon and opps there goes another mini slice mmmmmm.  Will update with photos in a year when there...

5 Sept 2012

HOME SALT AND SUGAR CURED BELLY BACON

 
LOCAL FREE RANGE BELLY PORK COVERED COMPLETELY IN SALT FOR 10 DAYS

 
FIRST COOKED BACON FROM OUR HOME CURED BELLIES
 
INGREDIENTS
1 side of belly pork free range
1 kg curing salt (fine table salt will do)
300g soft brown sugar
3 tbsp fresh black pepper
1 large plastic tub with lid
 
Pat dry the side of belly pork and place in the plastic tub pour over half the salt and half the sugar and half of the black pepper, rub the belly all over thoroughly into ever nook and crannie, then make a bed with some of the salt in the plastic tub, place the belly on and then scooch up the remaining salt around the belly and on top so that the belly is covered in salt. 
 
Leave in the fridge for 24hrs, if it is winter time the belly pork can live outside in a garage or out house, you don't want outside temp's higher than 8 degrees.  After 24hrs take out the belly pork and just brush off the wet salt, this is from all the liquid that has been pulled out of the belly by the salt, and wipe out the plastic box, repeat the salt process again but this time you can leave the belly in the fridge anything from 5 days to 14 days, however after 10 days the bacon will become very salty and then require soaking before use, but will keep for almost 4 months.  For this recipe I cured the belly for 10 days and it is fantastic a tiny bit salty which I do love, but next time I will cure for 7 days and go from there.  I did not think we would eat a whole belly within a month or two, however it has been 3 weeks and I already have another belly in salt lol.
 
SMOKING
If you want smoked bacon, you will need a cold smoker to do this in and I recommend 24hrs cold smoking at 5 degrees and under, this is easily achieved if you have the proper equipment, home made is easy to make, you will need a leaf burner dustbin with chimney vent and a smoker box with a wide hose that you can connect to the dustbin via the chimney so that the oak smoke will cool on its journey from the smoker box into the dustbin and then vent out of the holes in the bottom.
 
You can buy some great smokers on line, and at reasonable prices, but I feel half the fun of the experience is in the adaptation of every day items for very little cost with maxium results.

4 Sept 2012

PAN FRIED DOUBLE PORK CHOP WITH CALVADOS BRANDY CREAM SAUCE

 
LOVE THIS DISH, GORGEOUS LOCAL FREE RANGE PORK SEASONED AND SEARED THEN SLOWLY COOKED IN CIDER. TOPPED WITH A GLORIOUS CALVADOS APPLE BRANDY AND CREAM SAUCE REDUCTION
 
INGREDIENTS
1 dbl cut pork chop (one bone two meat sides)
1 tsp butter
1 dash ooil
1 shallot fine diced
1 garlic clove grated
1 apple peeled fine diced
2 cans of cider
2 carrots halved length ways
1 stick celery fine chopped
2 baby leeks whole
1 tsp chicken stock
100ml double cream
100ml calvados brandy
 
In a deep saucepan melt the butter and ooil and gently soften the shallot, garlic and apple.  Add the cider and bring to just a simmer, meanwhile rub the pork chop with some ooil and season with salt and pepper both sides, in a hot frying pan sear both sides of the chop, approx 2 minutes each side.  Remove and rest on a dish for 7 minutes or so, so that all the juices will collect and the meat rests, then add to the just simmering cider stock and cook for one and a half hours.  After one hour add the carrots and leeks to the stock.
 
To serve remove the pork chop, carrots and leeks, place on a hot plate and cover with foil to keep warm, turn up the heat on the cider stock and reduce by a third, add the calvados and chicken stock and carry on reducing for a couple of minutes, turn the heat down and add the double cream, taste and season with black pepper and salt as needed, if the sauce is not of a slightly thick coating consistency you can add 1 tsp of corn flour in 1 tbsp of water to the sauce to thicken slightly.  Serve the rested chop with the veg, I also like mashed potato sometimes as a base and then top with the gorgeous stock reduction sauce.