Tuesday, 24 January 2012
500g (1 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
110g (4 oz) fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 green pepper, julienned
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
For marinade: In a dish or bowl, blend cornflour with rice wine (or dry sherry); stir in lemon juice, soy sauce, chillies, ginger and garlic. Blend and stir in chicken strips to coat. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.
In a wok or large frying pan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan until the seeds are a golden brown colour. Remove seeds and set aside.
To same wok or frying pan, add sesame oil and vegetable oil and heat slowly.
Drain chicken, reserving marinade, and stir-fry in wok a few pieces at a time, until browned. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add mushrooms, water chestnuts and green pepper to same wok or frying pan and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spring onions and stir-fry 1 minute more.
Return chicken to pan, together with reserved marinade and bean sprouts, if using and stir over medium high heat for another 2 to 4 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly coated with the sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve immediately.
2 spring onions, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
For the filling you will need 2 eating apples, peeled and cut into thin slices and 3 tbsp raspberry jam.
Top with flaked almonds before baking and brush with warm apricot jam when you remove it from the oven.
For the pastry
4 oz cold butter, cubed
8 oz plain flour
1 oz icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
Rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Sieve the icing sugar into the mixture and stir to combine.
Add the beaten egg and bring it together with your hands, forming a dough, rest the dough in the fridge while you make the almond sponge.
For the sponge
200 g butter, softened
220 caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
220 g ground almonds
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, stir in the vanilla and lemon zest.
Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating the mixture between each addition.
Fold in the flour and ground almonds until it has all been incorporated.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C
Grease a loose bottom flan tin with a little butter. I used a 8" x 10" rectangular tin but a 10" round tin works just as well.
Roll out the pastry and line the flan tin.
Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the base of the pastry and lay the sliced apple on top of the jam.
Spoon on the almond sponge mix and even over the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes until the sponge is golden and bounces back when pushed.
Remove from the oven and brush with a little warmed apricot jam.
Leave to stand 10 minutes before serving.
Monday, 9 January 2012
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
200g soft goats cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 small red onion, finely sliced
100 g chopped walnuts (hazlenuts are also good)
Pre-heat the oven to 200C
Cut out 5" rounds from the puff pastry, lay them on a baking tray.
Spoon 1 tsp maple syrup on each pastry round and spread to 1/2" from the edge of the pastry.
Scatter over some red onion slices and top with a slice of goats cheese.
Press some chopped walnuts into the cheese and spoon over 1/2 tsp of maple syrup.
Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and risen.
Sunday, 18 December 2011
I use salted butter, which seems to enhance the flavour.
They are very easy to make and keep for about 1 week in an airtight container.
6oz plain flour
6oz salted butter, softened
3oz golden caster sugar
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Seive the flour and add to the semolina, gradually add to the creamed butter and sugar until a dough is formed (this can all be done in a food mixer).
Pre-heat the oven to 150C
Roll the dough lightly to form a round to fit a 20cm fluted tin, press into the tin and prick all over with a fork.
Bake for 1 hour until the shortbread is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. Before the shortbread cools completely mark out wedges with a sharp knife.
Break into wedges and store in an airtight container.
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