27 Nov 2012
This is one of my husbands favourite toasted sandwiches, I love making this for him as I love to see him stuff his face and just nod his head and make mmmm, yummy sounds while he devours this sandwich. That is the whole point of cooking for me.
2 ciabatta rolls
4 slices of Swiss or Monterrey Jack cheese
12 slice of fresh deli pastrami or rare beef or corned beef
4 tbsp sauerkraut cabbage, squeezed.
For the Reuben (thousand Island) sauce
4 tbsp mayo
2 tbsp tommy k
A pinch of paprika
1 tsp horseradish
1/2 small onion fine diced or grated
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch celery salt (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a panni grill which is easiest or a plancer or the oven, slice open the cibatta rolls and spread some butter on each side, on the base cover with a ton of the pastrami or beef or corned beef if using, now place the cheese slices followed by the sauerkraut and then on the lid of the ciabatta smother generously with the Reuben sauce, sandwich together and place on your panni press if you have one and cook for 5 minutes until the ciabatta is hot and toasted with the cheese oozing out the sides, if you don't have a panni press use the oven or a flat top plancher and turn over half way, it does exactly the same job but just takes 5 minutes or so longer.
Now cut in half and enjoy a fabulous sandwich full of flavour and crunch with a great layer of textures, I never fancied this sandwich, but recently in the USA, my husband had it again and this time I had a bite and was quiet smitten, hence it has recently been a weekly lunch in our household.
22 Nov 2012
Lamb neck fillet marinated in ooil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper, pan seared fast to keep the lamb juicy and tender. Loaded into a large pitta bread with raw onion, lettuce, white cabbage, garlic, Greek pickled chillies, a must have, mayonnaise and chilli sauce. I love a good homemade kebab I want a messy mouthful so I get hot meat, crunchy onion, crisp salad, a bolt of chilli and creamy garlic mayonnaise with the comfort of the pitta holding all together.
LOVE MAKING THIS IN ADVANCE SO THAT ON OUR DATE NIGHT IF WE FANCY A TAKEAWAY WE CAN WITHOUT THE COST AND WITHOUT THE WORRY OF QUALITY
( serves 4)
4 large pittas or wraps
2 neck fillets trimmed cut into chunks
1 tbsp oregano
1 very lrg pinch of salt
1 lrg pinch white pepper
3 garlic cloves diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 glug ooil
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Sliced raw onion
Shredded white cabbage
12 Greek pickled chilli peppers
4 tbsp garlic mayo
Skewered marinated lamb chunks, makes for quick and easy cooking
Fabulous juicy top notch kebab without any concerns of quality, I have been making this for my husband and he is so happy as now we have instant kebabs on demand, and in the freezer. I portion the meat and make the pittas and freeze them together so when he says he fancies a kebab I can say me too and we have a fairly healthy kebab with fabulous fresh salad and do not feel cheated in anyway, we have all the flavour and full control over the quality, perfect.
18 Nov 2012
LOVE LOVE LOVE EATING BURRITOS
I WILL NEVER BECOME TIRED OF EATING BURRITOS SUCH A GLORIOUS MOUTHFULL OF FLAVOURS AND SUCH A WIDE VARIATIONS OF FILLINGS
FOR THE SMOKEY CHARRED SALSA
3 fresh plum tomatoes
1 fresh green jalapeno or chilli
2 cloves of garlic
1 lrg pinch of sea salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped coriander
TO MAKE THE SALSA
Place the tomatoes, a jalapeno or green chilli and a couple of cloves of garlic, skin on in a hot non stick pan and char the skins. Remove the garlic skin and place all the ingredients in to a pestle and mortar, you can blend this in a blender but you will not get the same beautiful flavour you get from using a pestle and mortar.
Once you have pounded the tomatoes, chilli and garlic, (skin off), add the coriander and pound until you have a nice salsa, season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to then heat this salsa up and keep some reserved for the finished dish.
FOR THE BURRITO FILLING
400g left over roast chicken
100g good quality bbq sauce
8 x 10-12"" flour tortilla
200g grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese
1 ice gem leaves separated
200g sour cream
40 slice's of jalapenos peppers
1 tin of re-fried beans
TO ASSEMBLE YOUR BURRITO
I find it is much easier to have all the ingredients ready to use, then assembly just takes a couple of seconds to serve which helps keep the burritos hot.
Place the chicken and bbq sauce in a pan and gently warm through, keep ticking over until you are ready to use it.
Warm the re-fried beans in a pan with a tbsp of water and bring to simmer then turn down to tick over, add a lrg handful of cheese and stir in well.
Place the ice gem leaves on a plate with the jalapenos, put a spoon in the sour cream pot and a spoon
TO MAKE THE HABANERO PICO DE GALLO
2 fresh tomatoes de-seeded, fine diced
1 small onion finely diced
1 habanero chilli finely diced
1 spring onion finely diced
1 bunch fresh coriander rough chopped
1/2 lime juiced
1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and season with the lime juice, salt and pepper.
FOR THE GUACAMOLE
1 ripe hass avocado
1 spring onion
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
1/2 tomato de-seeded
1 chilli de-seeded
Sea salt and black pepper
Place the avocado in the pestle add the rest of the ingredients and pound to a chunky consistency, season to taste.
TO MAKE THE BURRITO
Heat the tortillas in a warm oven or microwave for a minute or so just to warm them so that they are soft and easy to work with.
For each burrito, place two flour tortillas 1/3 over lapping on you worktop, spread the re-fried beans in the centre and spread out to the left and right, add some more cheese if you want at this stage.
Now place your bbq chicken on top, followed by the hot smokey salsa, ice gems, jalapenos, habanero pico de gallo, guacamole and finish off with some sour cream.
Now to wrap the burrito, take the side nearest to you and roll over half way and pull back just a little, now take each side and fold in, still holding the ends, place your thumbs behind the side you have already folded and roll over the rest of the filling, lift and place on your plate, finish off with a drizzle of the hot salsa.
16 Nov 2012
LOVELY MOIST SOFT ALMOND FINGERS LAYERED WITH MARZIPAN & JAM
(makes 12 large fingers)
For the pastry (you can freeze what you don't use)
450g plain flour
110g butter cold & grated
100g lard cold diced
1 pinch salt
180ml ice cold water
For the almond butter
115g butter melted
115g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
115g plain flour
75g ground almonds
toasted flaked almonds
1 tsp almond essence
2 tbsp raspberry jam
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees/fan 180, beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until thick, creamy and light in colour, slowly pour in the melted butter and mix in with the ground almonds and almond essence.
TO MAKE THE PASTRY
Place the flour in a large bowl with the salt, grate the butter into the flour and cut in with a knife. Mix in the diced lard, then make a well in the centre and add the water, using your hand mix the water into the pastry to form a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and finish bring the dough together, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. There is more pastry than you need for this recipe, so I like to roll out the spare pastry to a baking dish sizes, cover in baking paper and roll up and place in the freezer for when I need it next. Roll out the pastry to cover just the base of your baking tin. I used a 2lb loaf tin, greased with butter and the bottom lined with baking paper.
Place the pastry on the bottom of your lined tin, spread the jam evenly over the base. My husband likes me to then place a sheet of rolled out marzipan on top of the pastry base, pour the almond frangipane on top and finish off with a generous handful of toasted almonds. Bake for approx 30 minutes until set and slightly springy. Leave to cool and once cooled slice in to fingers and enjoy.
14 Nov 2012
CHAR GRILLED RIB EYE SERVED ON TOP OF SAUTEED ONIONS AND MUSHROOMS WITH ROASTED GARLIC ROOSTER POTATOES WITH CHARRED CORN ON THE COB
2 x 24oz rib eye steaks (I know decadent)!!!
1 large onion sliced
6 rooster potato's large rough diced
10 cloves garlic rough chopped
200ml oil (1/2 for onions & 1/2 for potatoes)
2 fresh corn on the cobs
1glug ooil and tbsp butter
Sea salt and pepper for seasoning
Rough chop the rooster potatoes and par boil for 10 minutes, at the same time and in the same pan, par boil the corn on the cob. Drain, place the corn to one side and then toss the potatoes in half the oil and place in a pre-heated oven 200 degrees for 30 minutes, in the last 10 minutes add the garlic to the roasting potatoes.
Meanwhile heat some ooil and butter in a pan and saute the onions and mushrooms on a low heat to gently cook and then leave on tick over until you are ready to serve.
Once the potatoes have been roasting for 20 minutes, add the garlic to the potato's and pre heat a flat top plancher, griddle or non stick pan, season the steaks with salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil, sear, caramelise each steak for approx two minutes on each side until sealed and place on a baking tray and place in the oven to cook for 8 minutes.
Now place the corn on the cob on the plancer to caramelise, you have 8 minutes as the same for the potatoes, and the steaks, all should come together wonderfully, I take the steak out first, wrap in foil and rest while I place the onions and mushrooms on the plate, followed by the potatoes and any extra roasted garlic, I then dish up the corn onto my plate, cover in butter and ground pepper, then I place the steak on top of the sauteed mushroom and onions and spill over all the resting juices and enjoy.
A quick and simple supper in under 10 minutes
Ingredients1 10" flour tortilla
1 cooking chorizo sliced into disks
1/4 red and green bell peppers sliced
1/2 small onion sliced
100g ish of grated cheese
(I use a equal mix of Monetary Jack, Mozzarella and Cheddar medium)
1 bunch coriander rough torn
1 habanero chilli de-seeded sliced
In a non stick pan, no need for oil, fry the chorizo, meanwhile place the tortilla under the grill for a one to two minutes to just slightly crisp, keep your eyes on it as they burn very quickly. Take out and layer on the peppers, onions followed by the cheese, pop back under the grill to melt. You can melt this in the microwave instead but you will not have the depth of flavour you get from the grill where it browns off some of the cheese and tortilla.
Once the cheese has melted sprinkle on the chilli, coriander and pan fried chorizo then drizzle over the cooking oil that the chorizo released, this is a fantastic bonus of flavours from the paprika and pork fat. I never waste this, if I don't need it immediately I will pour it into a small bowl and keep in the fridge to use as a flavour boost or when feeling really naughty spread on crispy sour dough toast...
12 Nov 2012
NOT THE BEST PHOTO BUT I JUST WANTED TO EAT IT...
There is nothing like the first mouthful of a fantastic juicy homemade ground chuck steak burger with American cheese and crispy sweetcure bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion, no pickle for me!
(makes 12 x 114g burgers)
1 kg ground chuck steak 85/15
350g ground rib eye steak
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 onion rough sliced
4 rashers of Oscar Mayer's streaky smoked bacon
TOPPINGS PER BURGER
2 slices Monteray Jack cheese slices
4 rashers sweetcure smoked bacon
2 slices fresh tomatoes
1/2 iced gem lettuce
1 thick slice of onion
1 red chilli
1 massive dollop tk
1 sesame toasted bun
I love to mince my chuck/rib eye steak meat, I find by mincing the chuck steak and ribeye steaks myself I know I am going to have the best quality burger and I can control the quantity of fat that goes into the burger. I like to mince twice and on the second mince I add all the seasoning and additional ingredients through the mincer so that they will have a even spread throughout the burger.
Then there is the bun!!! We must not forget the bun either, this is a very important part of the burger, I have not yet found in the UK or made a great bun so the quest is still full on there. For the bun at the moment I like a American seeded style bun, that I butter and then griddle on the flat top and flatten slightly as I don't want lots of fluffy bread with my burger.
Take the chuck and ribeye steak and cut into rough chunks, place in the mince with the onion, jalapenos and bacon, now to mince a second time, place all the mince meat back through the mincer, this will give your burger that fine texture, not a course grainy texture. Now I season the mince, mix and squidge together with my hands, I like to make a tiny Pattie and pan fry to check for seasoning. When I am happy I make 12 roughly equal balls. Cut some grease proof paper and place a ball on one side cover and with a burger weight or large spatula press down to the thickness your want, I sometimes like mini fat burgers or thin larger burgers so I can double up in a bun, which actually means I can double up on the cheese and bacon!
Cook your gorgeous burger on a plancher, ribbed or flat is fine, or a non-stick frying pan, I prefer a flat plancher. Pre-heat your plancer and then place your burger on the flat top after 2-3minutes I turn my burger as it will be caramelised and sealed and then I place my steak/burger weight on, the reason for this is to speed up the cooking and not to loose too much juice, at the same time I place the bacon on the flat top to crisp up, as soon as the bacon is cooked, remove and leave to one side. As soon as the burger is cooked I top with my choice of cheese, Monetary Jack is my 1st choice at the moment...
To steam melt the cheese just before serving place a dome over the burger with a dash of water to create a steam bath, this really works well and stops you over cooking the burger while melting the gooey cheese, quite a important technique in burger cooking. Take off the grill and top with bacon and then in the lid top with your lettuce, tomatoes slices, onion, chillies and tomato ketchup.
This is a burger that requires the tuck and roll, enjoy, we did...
10 Nov 2012
TACOS... THE BEST FOOD, PAN FRIED CHORIZO AND CRISPY POTATO WITH SOUR CREAM, GAUCAMOLE AND CHILLI SALSA PICANTE SALAD
(makes 10 tacos)
CHORIZO & POTATO FILLING
2 roosters red potatoes peeled fine diced
2 cooking chorizos diced
1 clove garlic fine chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Side dishes of sour cream and jalapenos
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Side dishes of sour cream and jalapenos
Heat the ooil and pan fry the potatoes for 10 minutes, I like to let them catch a little so you get some crispy edges and some soft potatoes, add the chorizo and let all the oils from the chorizo infuse the potatoes, add the garlic and cook on for a few minutes until the potatoes are soft, taste and season with salt and black pepper.
Small bunch of coriander
1 spring onion
1/2 tomato de-seeded
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 squeeze of lime juice
1 ripe avocado
TOMATO CHILLI SALSA
2 large tomato's de-seeded fine chopped
1 spring onion fine chopped
1 small bunch coriander chopped
1 red chilli fine diced
1 squeeze of lime juice
Fresh ground black pepper
Sometimes I just add all the ingredients together like a pico de gallo and other times I like to pound all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar to make a more saucy style salsa.
1 cup of masa (on line Casa Mexico)
1/2 cup of water approx
Quick and easy to make, mix the some of the water in to the masa to make a stiff dough, bring to a ball. Tear off a golf ball size and place between two sheets of clingfilm, or baking paper. Roll out to approx 6" disk or use a tortilla press.
8" cast iron tortilla cooker (Casa Mexico). A non stick frying pan will do the same job. To cook the soft corn tortillas, just cook for approx 1 minute each side and place in a tortilla warmer or wrap in a warm tea towel to keep the warm.
The best way to eat tacos is to overfill the taco, overfill your face and overfill your belly...
300g chillies your choice depending on how hot you want the jelly
1 ltr waters
1 bag of jam sugar
5 small jam jars
Very quick and simple to make. Place all your chillies in a saucepan and add the water, simmer for 30 minutes and once all the chillies are soft. Take off the heat and pour into a jelly/jam draining net bag and collect all the juices in bowl.
I like to speed this process up by squeezing the pulp in the net to extract all of the liquid rather than leave it to drain for a few hours. Add the stock to a heavy based pan or a jam pan and I like to add a couple of tablespoons of the pulp to the stock as well. Add the bag of sugar to the stock and stir until dissolved. Bring the chilli stock up to a rolling boil for approx 6 minutes, I use a jam thermometer to check the chilli jam has reached the temperature for gentle setting, you can after 4 minutes take a teaspoon of the jelly and place on a saucer, after a minute tip the saucer and the jelly should move very slowly and have the consistency you would want. Turn off the heat and ladle into warm sterilised jars from the oven.
These will keep for up to a year un-opened, once opened keep in the fridge and use within a couple of months. Chilli jelly goes with everything.
9 Nov 2012
One of my many favourite dishes to eat, I just love every mouthful.
1 kg lamb
1 large onion fine diced
3 cloves garlic find diced
1 glass dry white wine
3 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tsp fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and ground black pepper
FOR THE BECHAMEL
100g plain flour
1ltr whole milk
200g Gruyere grated
2 egg yolks beaten
1 whole egg beaten
QUICK COOKING GUIDE
Soften onions, brown the lamb, drain lamb in a sieve, return to pan add the wine to de-glaze, add rest of ingredients, not the salt. Simmer for 1 hour, season, make bechamel and pan fry the aubergines. In a roasting tin layer lamb, aubergine, repeat three times and finish off with bechamel and bake 1hr.
IN MORE DETAIL
Soften the onions in some ooil for approx 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a few minutes. Brown of the lamb and then tip into a sieve to drain, add back to the pan with the onions and garlic, pour in the wine to de-glaze and once almost evaporated add the tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, cinnamon and tomato puree and simmer for approx 1 hour until you have a medium consistency, season.
While the lamb is simmering away slice the aubergines to 1/2 inch thickness, discs or lengths, I like to slice discs as I find when dishing up for lots of people the moussaka serves more evenly rather than pulling out long lengths of aubergine that you have to cut through. Sprinkle generously with salt and drizzle with ooil, in batches in a hot pan sear both sides of the aubergine.
Now to make the bechamel, I like to make this while I am searing the aubergines as it cuts down on the preparation time. Melt the butter gently, add the flour and stir in well, cook on low heat for a couple of minutes to help cook out the flour. Start to add the milk a big glug at a time and stir in well each time, once all the milk has been added gently bring the bechamel up to almost a simmer and cook for 20 minutes stirring almost all the time, while searing the aubergine. Take off the heat and add almost all of the grated cheese, reserving a little for the top, taste and season with salt and white pepper. If you want a more cheesy bechamel just add more cheese. Beat the egg yolks and whole egg together and slowly drizzle in to the bechamel whisking all the time. Now you are ready to assemble the beautiful moussaka.
Layer some of the lamb on the bottom of the roasting tin, then a layer of aubergines, repeat again and then once more and finish of the final layer with bechamel, sprinkle the remaining grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven for approx 1 hr ish until pipping hot and golden all over, then serve with a chunk of garlic bread and some watercress and spinach salad, just perfect...
5 Nov 2012
Week three of our pigs at home, they are now coming up for 12wks old and have such great characters, Ginger Ninja is so friendly, and what gentleman he lets Lemongrass bite his ear and shove him out of the food and he lets her have more than her fair share... This I feel is a bit like my fabulous husband, he always gives me the very best, but I always make sure he actually gets the very best bits of everything.
Lemon grass gently biting Ginger to get more food...
Head to head as always for breakfast and dinner time, what one snout gets the other must have too!!!
Ginger after my massage, he just loves a good cuddle and a good scratch, he just flops down and lets me pamper him, he stays laying for quite a few minutes after just relaxing and enjoying the afterglow of the rub, my husband says he is going to go and lie in the mud too...
Love him Ginger grunting to say thank you for his daily massage.
We are so pleased that we have gone ahead and had our pigs in our garden, we were very concerned about not allowing a smell and our neighbours reaction as we are URBAN, but we have received so much support and well wishes from our neighbours and distant neighbours we did not know, so in all having the pigs has brought our neighbours closer to us and in a positive way.
Week 3 and all going fab, we have had 5 x the rain fall in Oct and Nov of last year already, the local golf course at the bottom of the road is closed for the week and we have mud mud mud... But the pigs and I love it The pigs do have some high ground as well as wet ground therefore all going well. However I do feel the mothering need to go in and dandy brush off the dried mud off their faces but I have noticed that they are washing their faces in the water troughs after every afternoon feed and after a day of rooting, they seem clean and tidy without any of my help !