22 Jan 2019
Zero Carbs with BareNaked Noodles
Gorgeous bowl of goodness, fragrant hot, sweet and sour this beautiful bowl of abundance delivers more than a meal. Loaded with lots of good for you ingredients that love you back, this is a winner dinner all round, even more so because you can tailor make it to what ever vegetables you have in the fridge or growing in the garden larder, the base broth can stay the same making this a quick and varied dish ready in minutes.
My fridge is never without a large kilner jar of homemade chicken stock with chunks of braised chicken sitting in the bottom of the jelly, this makes for speedy good for you suppers in minutes giving you more time to spend with the family or with yourself.
1ltr homemade chicken stock
1 chicken quartered
1 bay leaf
1 carrot rough chopped
1 leek rough chopped
2 sticks celery rough chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig of thyme
Sea salt and pepper
1 star anise
6 sichuan peppercorns crushed
1 lemongrass bashed
2" ginger grated
2" turmeric grated (1tsp ground)
2 green chillies finely sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 lime juiced
1 tsp harrisa paste
1 tbsp tom yum paste
1 tsp tamarind pulp
200ml coconut milk
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
2 ptn rice noodles
2 handfuls greens
1 carrot juillenned
1 leek finely sliced
1 handful watercress
1 boiled egg just set yolk
1 tsp sesame oil
2 glorious free range eggs
The Perfect Mollet Egg
Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil, add your room temperature eggs and set the timer for 6 minutes, 6.20 minutes for large eggs, this is important do not guess the time. As soon as the time is up drain the hot water away and fill the pan with cold water, drain again and re-fill with cold water again, leave for a minute then remove from the pan and leave on the side until needed, any extra cooked eggs can be stored in the fridge. These are great just set boiled eggs and can be used just the same as hard boiled eggs.
Homemade chicken stock
Place all the ingredients for the chicken stock in a deep pan and bring to a gently simmer for a couple of hours, strain, reserve some of the chicken meat for this meal or reserve for others, season the stock to taste.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or according to cooking instructions on the packet, drain and run under cold water then toss in a dash of sesame oil, reserve to one side.
Bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer, add the lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, chillies, star anise, sichuan peppercorns, palm sugar, lemon juice, coconut milk, shrimp paste, tom yum, harissa, tamarind pulp, soy, shaoxing and fish sauce. Adjust the taste using the lime juice and palm sugar.
In your serving bowls place the noodles, carrots, greens, watercress, leek and some of the chicken then ladle over the broth and you are good to go
Perfect poached egg everytime!
The Secret is in the Method
I have tried so many times to make the prefect poached egg, I whisked the vinegar water, cracked in the egg and more than often ended up with an egg white octopus and seperate yolk! After watching a cooking program I saw that I was not using a bowl to slip the egg in the simmering water, I was cracking the egg in directly, turns out that is the secret! by pouring the egg in to the simmering vortex of water from a bowl your guaranteed a successful beautiful presentable poached egg...so simple when you know how.
Prep Time 5 minutes / Cooking Time 3-5 minutes
1 fresh egg cracked into a bowl
1 deep pan of simmering water
50 ml white wine vinegar
Bring the pan of water to a gentle simmer, add the vinegar and gently whisk to create a vortex in the centre and then pour in the egg from the bowl, the egg will swirl around gently with the vortex allowing the egg white to swirl around the yolk to create a perfect poached egg. Cook gently for around 3-5 minutes depending on how runny you like your yolk,
You can check the egg by removing with a slotted spoon and gently prodding to see how wobbly the egg is, the firmer the bounce back the more cooked the egg is. Remember the poached egg will continue to cook for a minute once it is taken from the water and served.
Get Ahead Eggs
You can poach your eggs ahead of time, once cooked, plunge the poached eggs in to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process, when your ready to serve gently place the eggs back into a pan of just simmering water for one minute to warm back through.
That's it Perfect...
12 Jan 2019
Fabulously easy to make crackers that are super healthy for you too, loaded with So Good For You ingredients, Turmeric gives anti inflammatory protection, is an antioxidant, speeds up wound healing and relieves arthritis, diabetes support by lowering blood sugar reversing insulin resistance, helps with depression and cholesterol. Flaxseeds are loaded with omega 3 ALA fats, huge wallop of fiber and low in carbs, high protein along with vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium which gives you healthy skin and hair, lowers cholesterol, supports digestive health and are highly antioxidant and finally Chia seeds super high in fiber, supports digestive and heart health, supports diabetes because their rich in alpha-linolenic acid which helps lower excessive fat in the blood and supports strong bones and teeth.
(Makes approx 24)
1 cup of ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 clove garlic grated optional
1/3 cup of water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan optional
At this point you can add any extra flavour you like, I often add some chilli flakes or cumin and if I want to use these crackers for dipping with a lovely fresh bowl of salsa I will add fresh coriander and lime juice to compliment the salsa dip.
Pre heat your oven to 150 degrees C, combine all ingredients in a bowl, lay some baking paper on your work top enough to cover your baking sheet, cut a second sheet the same size, this is going to save clearing up! Take your ball of flaxseed dough and place in the centre of the baking sheet, place the second sheet on top and press down to flatten the dough out a little.
Take your rolling pin and roll the dough through the paper, hence no floury work top to clean down! Roll as thin as you dare, cracker thin. Peel off the top baking paper and using a knife or pizza cutter score the dough in to your crackers, this can be triangles for corn chips style or long and thin for more fancy presentation or just your standard squares.
Slide your baking sheet on to your baking tray and pop in the oven, these crackers will take 40 minutes to bake to perfection, if you feel they are not crisp enough leave for a further five minutes or so.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack and these are best enjoyed on the day, but they will keep for a week in a air tight tin, they just loose a little of their crispy cracker, but the flavour is still there. Enjoy.
Thai Coconut Tom Yum
A bowl of abundant nourishment, this soup sings to my soul. Health boosting chicken penicillin bone broth infused with fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic, spring onions, chillies, rose harrisa, tom yum sambal, coconut milk, lime juice, lemongrass, watercress, asparagus and shredded chicken a hearty meal that loves you back.
My geeky science bit...
THIS MEAL GIVES THIS TO YOUR BODY
Chicken bone stock is so good for you, the broth water has calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, trace minerals, chodroitin sulphates and glucosamine, these latter two ingredients are expensive to buy as supplements, but they are found naturally in bone broths. You need magnesium so your body and convert vitamin D into it's active form so that it can in turn be used to absorb calcium. We only need around 400mg of calcium a day, but the RDA says 1200mg, the reason for this is that we do not absorb all the calcium we eat, but if you have a balanced diet the extra calcium you absorb can lead to kidney stones and calcium in the blood stream and heart disease, chicken stock is anti viral, anti bacterial and scientifically proven to be 25% as effective as penicillin.
Asparagus vitamin B6, C, E, K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, beta carotene, iron, fibre, stimulates your kidneys, phosphorous, potassium, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, selenium, chromium, enhances ability of insulin to transport to glucose from your blood cells to amino acids.
Garlic allicin and selenium, cleans the liver, King of healing foods, fights food poisoning, stomach bugs bacteria, anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal, reduces risks of clots and cholesterol blood pressure and improves circulation.
Chilli eaten in large quantities is high in vitamin C, carotene, vitamin B, B6, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Onion vitamin C, B6, folic acid, phenolic so flavonoids, anti inflammatory, lowers cholesterol and is an anti oxidant.
Watercress purifies blood, gives you iodine when eaten raw, vitamin A, anti bacterial mustard oils, betacarotenes, iron, phenethy, isothiocganate, vitamin C, E.
Celery has coumarins, potassium and vitamin C.
Carrots juiced are a detox cleaner for healthy liver and kidney functions, anti bacterial and anti viral, protect capillaries, chest, skin and eyes, vitamin C, E, A and B2.
(Makes one serving)
500ml chicken stock
(recipe for stock below)
Large handful organic watercress chopped
6 stems of asparagus chopped
1 spring onion sliced
1 red chilli chopped
1 clove garlic grated
1 tsp fine chopped lemongrass
1/2 tsp fresh grated turmeric
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp harissa
2 tsp tom yum sambal
1/2 can coconut milk
1/2 line juiced
CHICKEN BONE STOCK
1 organic free rooting chicken
1 onion quartered
3 sticks celery
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig rosemary
10 black peppercorns
Pinch sea salt
I make this chicken stock every week and keep in my fridge so I have quick easy and sumptuous food to hand, this also means I can have a meal ready in under five minutes from the fridge if I so want.
Place all the stock ingredients in a deep pan and gently simmer for an hour or so, take off the heat when you can pull on a bone and it gently pulls away from the chicken. Leave the chicken to cool in the broth, this will allow some of the stock to soak back into the chicken ensuring you have the juiciest chicken. Once cooled remove the chicken and this is personal I keep the legs whole for other meals and then pick all the rest of the meat, this I use a little in my broths and for other meals during the week. I place the stock in a glass jug in the fridge, when you go to use the stock for the first time the fat will have salidfied, this I remove and give to my dogs, now your stock is ready to become so many meals, chicken broth, tom yum soup, thai laksa, pho, ramen, coconut chicken soup amoung many suggestions.
To make you chicken broth heat 500ml in a pan when gently simmering add the harrisa, tom yum, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, garlic, lime juice, coconut milk, chicken and asparagus, this will only take 2-3 minutes to warm up, meanwhile in your bowl put the chopped watercress, chilli and spring onion, pour over the hot chicken stock and enjoy.
This is also great and super speedy as a cup of soup and easily transported as food on the go.
4 Jan 2019
Christmas Left Overs
I think I might love Christmas Day leftovers just as much as Christmas dinner itself. This pie is a celebration of the glorious turkey in a outstanding crumbly flakey suet crust pastry, filled with a creamy rich velvety stock sauce and succulent left over roast turkey with left over roasted veggies this is a hug in pastry.
Best Ever Suet Crust Pastry
(This makes 1 large pie crust)
330g supreme self raising flour
100g cold butter grated
130g atora suet or fresh lamb suet
Water as needed (150ml+)
1 tsp salt and white pepper
Make the pastry first so that it can rest in the fridge. Place all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl and very gently mix, you do not want to over work the mix as this will make it rubbery, and this pastry is the best ever because it is light and crispy with a flakey texture finished off with a hint of almost dumpling texture underneath, that soaks up the gorgeous braise stake gravy. Add the water a glug at a time probably 150ml ish and just crush the pastry mix together, wrap in paper and plonk in the fridge until needed.
The Pie Filling1 onion finely diced
1 garlic finely diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flour
Left over veggies finely chopped
Left over turkey stock gravy
300ml double cream
Left over turkey dark and white meat
Himalayan sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat a skillet medium add the butter and olive oil, soften the onion and garlic for five minutes then add the left over veggies and cook for a further five minutes, add the flour and cook out for a couple of minutes then add the turkey stock gravy a generous glug at a time whisking in until smooth before you add the rest, stop when you have a medium thick emulsion, add the turkey and double cream and bring to a gentle simmer for ten minutes, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and turkey stock if needed. Leave to cool.
Pre heat your oven 200 C / 392 F. Roll out your pastry and line your pie tin, place in the cooled turkey pie filling, egg wash the top of the pie dish, roll out and pop on the suet pie crust lid, crimp the sides and egg wash the top, I always love to decorate the top of my pies with a hint of personality, egg wash and bake for around 30 minutes until golden brown.
3 Jan 2019
Baked Eggs, Ham, Spinach and Cream Super Easy Crowd Pleaser
This is a wonderful decadent breakfast dish, beautiful Wiltshire ham, butter braised onions, garlic, mushrooms and spinach set with a rich egg, double cream and parmesan sauce, every spoonful is a sumptuous joy, keep these portioned to a standard small ramekin as they are so rich you can’t eat any more than one! This is a great easy crowd pleaser keeping holiday pressure to a minimum, you can easily cook 12-24 in one easy batch.
Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 16-18 minutes
200g fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 shallot finely diced
1 glug olive oil
200g chopped mushrooms
200g torn fresh ham of the bone
750ml double cream
6 organic eggs
Himalayan sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 180 C / 356 F, place a large deep roasting tin 3/4 filled with boiling water in the oven. Heat a skillet medium hot, add the butter and olive oil sauté the onions and garlic for around five minutes then add the mushrooms for a further couple of minutes, take off the heat and add the spinach, stir through to wilt, add the ham and stir in, divide between the six ramekins crack one egg into each ramekin then top up with cream, season with a hint of salt and pepper.
Place each ramekin in to your bain marie roasting tin in the oven and bake for 14 minutes for soft gooey runny eggs or 18 minutes for just set whites with a mollet just set yolk. That’s it, remove and serve immediately, these are almost as good as leftovers cold from the fridge.
1 Jan 2019
There is a reason you don’t have to meddle with some of the true classics, this is a simple but awesome show stopper dinner that is quite simple to prepare and very easy to execute when you have the formula, something I spend my spare time on, learning and researching cooking history finding old methods that equal successful executions of exquisite meals through simple cooking.
The Key To Success is all in The 2's ...
220 C / 428 F for 20 minutes, 200 C / 392 F for 20 minutes & 20 minutes resting
If you want to cook your wellington rare then either cook as one whole piece of fillet 800g - 1kg at the instructions above or if cooking as two wellingtons then lower the first cooking time to 15 minutes not 20 minutes at 220 C / 428 F.
The Rough Puff Pastry
330g self raising flour
1 pinch Himalayan sea salt
2 x 400g centre cut fillet steak
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
200g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 pinch Himalayan sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
6 slices Parma ham optional
1 beaten egg for wash
First make the rough puff pastry, place all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl and bring together to a rough ball, roll out to a 1/2 " thick rectangle, slice the butter into 12 slices, place 3 butter slices on the top first half of the rolled out pastry and fold up the bottom half covering the butter, turn the folded pastry 90 degrees and roll out to rectangle again, repeat 3 more times, wrap in parchment paper or cloth and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make the mushroom pate.
This is roughly how your rough puff pastry will look inside, all the layers of butter are what will melt and make your rough puff, puff up and become light, melt in the mouth pastry.
The Mushroom Pate
Heat a skillet medium hot, add the butter and olive oil, add the onions and garlic and soften for five minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes, remove from the pan and leave to one side to cool, meanwhile place the skillet back on the heat, turn up to hot, sear the fillet steak until browned all over, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Pre heat your oven 220 C degrees
Roll out your pastry to a large thin rectangle, twice so that the pastry will cover the beef fillets when wrapped up, you do not want any excessive overlapping of the pastry, maybe a centimetre or so as to much overlapping will cook soggy, trim off as much excess as you dare. If using the Parma ham lay a blanket over the pastry then spread the mushroom pate on the pastry up to a inch or so away from the edges of the pastry, place the fillet of seared beef in the centre of the pastry and bring the left and right side up and over the fillet to cover, now hug the ends of the pastry parcel around the end of the beef fillet, trim off as much excess pastry as you dare, turn the parcel over so that the Wellington is now sitting seam side down and using your hands hug/tuck the minimal excess pastry back under the Wellington parcel.
Cooking The Wellington
Place your beef Wellington parcel on a pre heated baking sheet, egg wash generously all over and place in your pre heated hot oven, once in do not touch or open that door! After a 20 minutes at 220 C / 428 F, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees C / 392 F, and quickly turn the Wellington 180 degrees in the oven, cook for a further 20 minute as soon as your timer alerts you take your Beef Wellington out of the oven and leave to rest on the side for another 20 minutes, this gives you time to fuss with any side dishes you want to serve with this dish. Resting is as important as cooking.
That's it, you Beef Wellington is now ready to carve and serve perfectly rare medium and juicy to your family or guests. It really is a beautifully simple dish when you have the perfect cooking method.
Rich Port & Chanterelles Gravy
1 shallot finely diced
1 clove garlic finely diced
100g chanterelles torn
1 tbsp olive oil
300ml rich beef stock
Quick and easy sauce that is so rich and deep in flavour, in a saucepan add a tbsp of the butter and olive oil, soften the shallots and garlic for five or so minutes, add the mushroom and sear for a few minutes, add the port and reduce by half, add the beef stock and reduce by one third, take off the heat, add the butter and stir until melted.