By Beverly, 28-Nov-2012 09:00:00
This looks hilariously like an armadillo but actually it's two pork tenderloin fillets, one on top of the other and stuffed with no soak, stoned prunes, wrapped in pancetta, tied up with string and roasted. The result was a joint that was relatively easy to slice and had nice layers. You need a delicate hand with the roasting or the pork dries out as it is a very lean piece of meat. I used my meat thermometer to ensure that the pork was cooked and then let the joint rest. This piece took about 40 minutes at 180 degrees C.
I deglazed the pan with marsala and squished up remaining bits of prunes to make a fruity gravy to serve on the side. This came to the table accompanied by shredded Savoy cabbage and little cubes of potatoes roasted with herbs and garlic in a butter/lard combination of fats.
If you had a really large tenderloin joint, I would suggest that you slice it virtually into two and push the prunes into the middle and then wrap in pancetta or bacon. Reduce the cooking time accordingly.
By Beverly, 26-Nov-2012 12:06:00
A complete ring the changes supper, this. Roasted duck crown, basted for the last half hour with pomegranate molasses and served with a rice and quinoa salad stirred through with pomegranate seeds. Because it was just the crown, I roasted it in one small dish but did research other recipes which also allowed the duck to sit in pomegranate juice which would have upped the fruitiness even further. I also served this with a little green stir fry so the whole supper was wonderfully colourful and flavoursome.
Duck, around here at the moment, seems appropriate. We have had a flood warning as the Thames has spilled over its banks and water is approaching from all directions. We are stocked up with food and drink and I have every intention of taking to my bed in the attic if I have to...
By Beverly, 10-Nov-2012 10:00:00
It's my eldest daughter's 18th birthday in December and I have been practising cakes as she has requested a homemade cake which will be taken to a restaurant and plated up by a chef so I feel the pressure is on to produce something not quite as rustic as I normally produce in the homemade cake department.
She and I were inspired by lovely Lorraine Pascale's two suggestions for fancy cakes, one that was surrounded by chocolate cigarillos and the other that has stripes throughout the cake mix. I consulted Mary Berry on the subject (in her book, sadly, not in real life) and found that she dots the two colours together to produce a marble cake, while Lorraine manages the tiger stripes through piping or spooning the two different mixes, one on top of each other until the tin is full.
The cake mix itself is a sort of chiffon cake, beloved of the bakers on The Great British Bake-Off. This was my first attempt. I hope to refine it further before the final beauteous production but there is only so much cake we can eat around here!
Stripey chocolate orange and vanilla cake
Makes a 24cm round cake
250ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing the tin, or use a silicone mould or waxed paper baking cases
250g caster sugar
100ml semi-skimmed milk
A few drops of vanilla extract
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
1 orange, zested with a microplane
Mix the whole lot together in a food mixer. Divide it in half and add the orange zest and cocoa powder to one half. Either pipe or take two identical soup spoons and spoon alternate spoonfuls of the mixture into a sponge tin until you have run out of the mixture. Bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour, keeping a close eye on it at the end as it suddenly goes from sticky to cooked.
My next incarnation with it will see it split into two, sandwiched and covered in orange chocolate buttercream with chocolate cigarillos around the outside and candles on the top. Phew!
By Beverly, 09-Nov-2012 10:00:00
This joint of outdoor reared pork belly was under £5 and fed four of us easily for Sunday lunch. It's such an unappealing looking piece of meat in its raw state, sitting on a slab in the butcher's, that it's easy to overlook it in favour of shoulder or loin.
However, tender slow cooking in the oven brings out all the flavour, gives you enough crackling to stop the family arguments and lovely melting meat. I used a recipe from The Ginger Pig and served this with roasted beetroots, carrots, onions and potatoes, quartered and placed under the joint. The whole lot went into a 170 degree C oven for an hour, back down to 150 degrees for four hours and then, having rescued the veg and kept them warm, I let the crackling finish off at 180 degrees for about another half an hour. Delicious, nutritious and economical...
By Beverly, 06-Nov-2012 10:12:00
To celebrate all things American on Election day over the pond today, here is a quintessentially American invention, the peanut butter pancake. Surprisingly peanut buttery and pancakey, I liked the mixture of sweet and salt and crunchy and smooth. I give you the measurements in both cups and grams for you to choose when measuring out but as long as the proportion of ingredients remains roughly the same, they should come out fine.
If you want to keep up with the US election as it unfolds (first read today's Matt cartoon in the Daily Telegraph), here is the Hatched-It take on the whole thing.
Peanut butter pancakes
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
100g of peanut butter (I used crunchy because I like texture)
2 tablespoonfuls of sugar
2 tablespoonfuls of oil
200 mls of milk
Mix up the ingredients to form a nice batter and cook in a pancake pan or on a griddle.
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