Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Short Break

Hi all

I am currently taking a short break from posting as I am doing a bit of travelling. Normal service will resume on Tuesday 1st of September.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Vintage Recipe

As it was written in 1928

Cashmere Chutney


3 1/2 lb apples, cored but not peeled

1 lb stoned raisins

1 lb dates

1 1/2 lbs sugar

1 Spanish onion, cut in slices

2 oz garlic

2 oz ground ginger

2 oz salt

1 small tea spoonful Cayenne pepper


Cut all up and put into pan (excepting dates, must be stoned and cut small. Cover with brown vinegar and boil until the apples are tender. Add dates and boil for 5 minutes more. Bottle when cold.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Courgette Frittatas


8 Eggs
240 g soured cream
2 tbsp finely chopped, fresh chives
1 large, yellow courgette, coarsely grated
1 large, green courgette, coarsely grated
25 g finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp roughly chopped Chives

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 5

Lightly oil 2 x 12 hole muffin tins

Whisk the eggs with 2/3 of the soured cream in a large bowl, until smooth. Stir in the Chives, courgettes and cheese. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Turn onto a wire rack to cool and serve at room temperature, with a spoonful of soured cream sprinkled with fresh chives.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Something For The Weekend

If you grow your own courgettes, you will probably have an abundance now. Courgette soup is an ideal way of using them up. It's very light and summery and the mint provides a bit of a zing. Even if you don't grow your own, Courgettes are very reasonably priced at the moment.

Creamy Courgette Soup With Mint

450 g courgettes, chopped
50 g butter
110 g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
850 ml chicken stock
150 ml single cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Small bunch fresh mint , leaves only
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the onions and gently fry until softened, about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and potatoes, stir to combine. Sweat all the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes until tender.

Cool the mixture and blend until smooth. Reheat gently, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add the cream.
Blend the olive oil and mint leaves together until smooth. Season with salt, add a pinch of sugar.

Serve hot with a drizzle of the blended oil and mint.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Easy Peasy Black Cherry Trifle

Children and adults will love this dessert and it could not be easier. This recipe serves 8-10 people but if kept in the fridge tastes even better the next day.

Cherry trifle is a bit lighter than the 'retro' sherry trifle I am sure we all remember. It contains jelly, ready made custard and tinned fruit and the end result is unbelievably good. Eaten cold straight from the fridge, its a great Summer dessert. You can also make it with tinned raspberries and raspberry jelly using the raspberries and juice for the jelly and decorate the top with a few fresh raspberries.

1 packet trifle sponges
2 black cherry jellies
1 large carton ready made custard
2 tins pitted, black cherries in juice
250ml double cream
25 g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp Kirsch (optional and for adults only)

Make the jelly using the juice from the cherries to replace some of the water needed. If using Kirsch add it to the jelly .

Arrange the trifle sponges around the bottom of a large (clear if possible) bowl and gently pour over the sponge, being careful not to break them. Leave in the fridge until set.

Remove the trifle from the fridge and pour over the custard, smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Return the bowl to the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks, this is best done with a balloon whisk as there is less chance of over beating it.

Top the trifle with the cream and decorate the top with the cherries, Sprinkle with toasted almonds and keep refrigerated until just before serving.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Chocolate Nut Cluster Cups
A quick and easy tea-time treat

200 g milk chocolate
210 g flaked almonds, toasted
95 g raisins
75 g dried apricot, finely chopped

Melt the chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine

Spoon the mixture into cake cups or a greased bun tin and leave to set in the fridge.

For a great dessert Chocolate fruit and nut clusters also go well with a ball of ice-cream

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Something for the weekend

Coq Au Vin
With buttered new potatoes


18 chicken thighs, skinless, bone in
250g smoked bacon, chopped
18 small onions or shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 sprigs Thyme, 3 sprigs parsley and 2 Bay leaves, tied together with string
4tbsp seasoned flour
100g butter
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp tomato puree
1 bottle red wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
250g Button mushrooms, whole

2kg new potatoes
50g butter


Toss the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour. Melt the butter in a heavy casserole or lidded saute pan. Brown the chicken thighs on all sides, until golden brown, this is best done in two batches rather than overcrowd the pan.

Remove the chicken and set it aside.

Heat the olive oil in the same pan and add the chopped bacon, celery, carrot, onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes then add the tomato puree.

Return the chicken to the pan, place the herbs in the middle and pour over the bottle of wine. bring up to a simmer and place in the oven.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender.

After 30 minutes add the mushrooms to the pot and stir to combine. Cook for a further 20-30 minutes.

Before serving remove the chicken from the pot and keep warm.

Remove and discard the herb bundle.

To thicken the sauce, mix some of the seasoned flour with butter. Add to the sauce a little at a time until it thickens slightly. Return the chicken to the pot.

Serve with buttered new potatoes and crusty bread.

Seafood Paella

Paella is the taste of Summer for me.  As soon as the sun is out so is the paella pan. I cooked this one on the hob, using two burners but i...