Monday, 21 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Saturday, 19 December 2009
For a Sunday roast or entertaining guests, stuffed leg of lamb will become a real favourite. It is quick and easy and if you have your own favourite stuffing recipe you can change the flavour every time you make it by adding seasonal herbs and varying the spices.
75g dried apricots, chopped
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges plus the juice of 1 orange
75g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1tbsp ground allspice
50g fresh breadcrumbs
50g Bulgar wheat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 leg of lamb about 2 kg, boned
For the gravy
175ml white wine
300 mls lamb stock (chicken stock will do)
1tbsp redcurrant jelly
To make the stuffing
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened
Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, except the lamb
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4
Pack the majority of the stuffing down the leg, lengthwise, then roll the meat up and tie it with string at intervals of 1 inch
Put the rest of the stuffing in a heatproof dish, add 1tbsp hot water and set aside
To cook the lamb
Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting tin, add some freshly ground pepper
Roast, allowing 55 minutes per kilo
30 minutes before the end of cooking time, place the extra stuffing in the oven
At the end of cooking, rest the lamb under foil for 20 minutes
To make the sauce
Skim the fat from the roasting tin, place the tin over a moderate heat and stir in the wine
Bring to the boil and boil briskly until slightly thickened. Whisk in the redcurrant jelly
Season and serve with the lamb
To accompany the lamb
New potatoes tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with chopped Rosemary and roasted in their skins
Parsnip puree. Peel and chop 500g of parsnips, boil in salted water until soft. Drain and puree with 2tbsp double cream and freshly grated nutmeg.
If you are entertaining guests, prepare the Lamb the day before and remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Souffles are easy to make as long as a few rules are followed. To produce a hot souffle, egg whites are stiffly whisked and folded into a thick flavoured sauce then cooked in a straight sided dish. The consistency of the sauce is crucial. It must be soft enough so the whisked eggs can be folded into it. If it is too thick the souffle will not rise properly. If it is too thin, it will knock the air out of the whisked egg whites and it will not rise properly. Under or over whisking the egg whites will also result in a poorly risen souffle. Follow the instructions below for a delicious cheese souffle.
225ml whole milk
1 slice onion
1 small carrot
1/2 celery stick sliced
1 bay leaf
25g salted butter
1tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
25g plain flour
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 eggs separated + 2 extra egg whites
115 cheddar cheese, grated, salt and black pepper.
Put the milk, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and pepper corns in a small saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat , cover and set aside to infuse for around 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the milk.
Brush a 1.4 litre souffle dish all over with melted butter, taking it right up to the top, and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the base and sides of the dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C 350F gas mark 4. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a minute or two, stirring continuously. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk.
Return the pan to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously. Continue to cook the sauce for 5 minutes, until it thickens, then lower the heat, stir briefly and simmer the sauce gently for around 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Beat the eggs, mustard, egg yolks, cheddar cheese and the seasoning into the sauce, reserving a tablespoon of the cheese.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold 2 tablespoons of the whisked egg whites into the cheese sauce, then carefully fold in the remaining whisked egg whites, using a cutting and folding action. Be careful not to over mix, but make sure there are no visible flecks of egg white.
Gently pour the souffle mixture into the prepared dish. Using a table or palette knife, pierce the surface of the souffle 1in in from the edge of the dish and carefully move the knife in a circle around the edge of the mixture to release any trapped air bubbles and ensure that the souffle rises evenly.
Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the souffle and bake for around 30 minutes until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
Do not open the oven door to check on the souffle for at least 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Add 1-2 tbsp of chopped fresh mixed herbs with the cheese or use Stilton instead of the Cheddar.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Monday, 7 December 2009
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Chocolate Tart with Whisky Ice Cream
For the pastry
210g plain flour
120g cold unsalted butter
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tbsp cold water
For the filling
200g dark chocolate
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
For the ice cream
7 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
150ml double cream
1. Put the flour into a food processor and add the cold butter. Mix until it resembles breadcrumbs and then add the sugar. Pulse and then add the egg-yolk and water.
2. Remove the mixture. Bring it together into a smooth pastry, being careful not to overwork it. Wrap it in cling-film and refrigerate for an hour.
3. Next take a 25cm flan ring, roll out the pastry quite finely and carefully line the ring, trimming off the edges. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Prick the base of the pastry all over, then line with tin-foil and fill with beans or rice and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the beans/rice and cook for a further 5 minutes. The pastry should be light golden brown in colour.
5. To Make the Filling, melt the butter and chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the egg-yolks, whole egg and the sugar. Now fold the chocolate mix into the egg mixture and place into the pastry case.
6. Cook in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Check the tart as it may need a little longer. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes.
7. To Make the Ice-cream: Whisk the sugar and eggs in a bowl. In a saucepan add the milk and bring to the boil. Pour the milk over the egg mixture.
8. Now place the mixture into a clean saucepan and heat to make a custard. Remove and allow to cool. Add the whisky and cream. It is now ready to put into an ice-cream machine.
9. Serve the hot chocolate tart with the whisky ice-cream and a sprig of mint.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Korma is quite a mild curry and doesn't need a lot of accompaniments, but it is nice with either Nann bread or Chapati.
12 large raw tiger prawns, peeled
1tsp ground Turmeric
2tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2tsp grated Ginger
2tbsp ground Almonds
150ml plain yoghurt
150ml Chicken or fish stock
1tsp ground Cumin
1tsp ground Chilli
1tbsp ground Coriander
3 Cardamom pods, crushed
De vein the prawns, rub them with Turmeric and leave aside for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, or a wok and fry the onions and Ginger for 2 minutes until soft. Add the rest of the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the prawns and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the prawns and cook for a further 5 minutes until the prawns turn pink.
Sprinkle with toasted Almonds and serve with coconut rice.
250g Basmati rice
150ml can coconut milk
4 Cloves, slightly crushed
2 Cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 Cinnamon stick
Wash the rice thoroughly, in a sieve, under cold running water
Put rice in a saucepan with 6fl oz water, coconut milk, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom and salt
Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes
Place a lid on the saucepan and leave it for a further 5 minutes
By this time all the water should be absorbed
Fluff up the rice
Serve immediately with curry
If you don't like, or cannot eat prawns, make it with diced chicken. It may need, depending on the size of the dice, another 5-7 minutes more cooking time and the chicken should be added just after the spices.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Deliver your own
How do you fancy making your own Pizza from scratch ? Straight from the oven, lovely fresh ingredients, topped with bubbling Mozzarella, on a thin and crispy base what could be nicer ? Its a lot easier than you think, less expensive and the list of toppings is endless.
For a quick pizza you can use, Pitta bread,Naan bread or Focaccia for the base but, if you make your own base, it is not too difficult and much more satisfying.
1lb 2oz strong white flour + extra to dust
2 x 7g sachets fast action dried yeast
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for greasing
2 tsp salt
Tip the flour into a large bowl
Add the yeast to one side and 2 teaspoons of salt to the other
Make a well in the centre and pour in 10 1/2fl oz of cold water and the olive oil
Mix with one hand until well combined
Transfer the dough to your work surface and knead well for about 5 minutes, until smooth
Seperate the dough into 3 balls
Put them on a floured plate, sprinkle with flour and cover with clingfilm
Leave them to rest for 20 minutes
After resting them, roll each ball to a 10 inch round
Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper
Cover with the topping of your choice and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes
Tomato for the base
Shop bought Pasatta makes an excellent tomato topping, as does chopped, fresh tomatoes, but, making your own fresh tomato sauce is probably the best for flavour.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
1.25 kg ripe red tomatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
15 fresh Basil leaves (torn)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan
Add the onion and garlic, gently cook for 5 minutes
Add the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 the Basil
Add salt and pepper and simmer (stirring now and then), without a lid for 1 1/2 hours until the liquid has almost evaporated
Add the rest of the basil and cool before use
Suggestions for toppings
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella. Simple but delicious.
Peppers and olives
Chorizo sausage and fresh tomato
Mushrooms and shredded duck
Red onion and Brie
Chicken and chillies
Spiced minced beef
Goats cheese and asparagus
Goats cheese and spinach
Parma ham and Gruyere cheese
Chilli and salsa
Pizza is particularly good with a relish or chutney and a dressed salad
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
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