By Beverly, 31-Oct-2012 10:21:00
This is a comfort dish if I ever I saw one. The clocks have changed, it's dark by four and it's frosty in the mornings. This was going to be a pie but I didn't get to the pastry stage. So it is a sort of pie filling with roasted boiled potatoes, packed with grainy mustard and parsley.
Ham, pea and mustard hash
Two packs of picked ham hock meat or boil up and pick one yourself (see Potato passim) or you could use a couple of cooked gammon steaks
One onion, diced
Splash of olive oil
250g frozen peas cooked through
About half a litre of white sauce
1 tablespoonful of wholegrain mustard
1 small bunch of flat leaved parsley, chopped
Two large potatoes boiled and chopped into fork size pieces
One tablespoonful of olive oil, one of vegetable oil
Fry the onion in a little olive oil and then add the ham and fry until it gains a little colour. Stir in the peas, then the white sauce and the mustard and parsley. Check the seasoning.
Fry the potato pieces in the hot oil, season and serve the two together, scattered with parsley.
By Beverly, 22-Oct-2012 13:44:00
It's dank and dark and I want comfort food that teases your tastebuds and leaves you with a warm glow. I adapted this recipe for a chilli beef from one I found in a magazine. The key difference is that this is made with minced beef so the finished dish was more like a spicey, meaty soup. I served this with garlic bread but you could have gone for tortilla or couscous.
One pot chilli, squash and sweetcorn beef
500g minced beef
two tablespoonfuls of olive oil
two small red onions, finely chopped
2 red peppers finely chopped
1 small can of drained sweetcorn
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
two cloves of garlic finely chopped
zest of half an orange
half a stick of cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoonful of smoked paprika
1 teaspoonful of ground allspice
half a litre of stock
1 small squash, peeled and chopped into cubes of about two centimetres
1 teaspoonful of ground cumin
In a heat proof pot, fry the minced beef and then put to drain on a plate lined with kitchen towel. Wipe out the pot and then heat up the oil and fry the onions, garlic, the spices and then the peppers. When it is all cooked through, add the mince back in and stir in the orange zest, cinnamon stick, the squash and the drained corn. Pour over the stock, season and put in a 180 degree C oven for about half an hour until the squash is cooked through. Serve with soured cream and coriander or flat parsley sprinkled over the top for a further splash of colour.
By Beverly, 15-Oct-2012 10:29:00
I have been a bit quiet on the happy p - partly overloaded with other stuff to do and partly because I went off experimenting in the kitchen and made something that I had to chuck in the bin. The reject dish was Farinata - a gram or chick pea flour sort of bread recommended by baker Mark Hix in his new book. My version was a nasty solid jelly like creation - not quite the bready texture that I imagined he would have been expecting.
Anyway, I recovered from failure and made this pear clafoutis for Sunday lunch pudding this week. Clafoutis (the 's' is silent, if you are saying this out loud) is a classic French fruit and batter pudding, one of the few hot baked puddings of French cuisine. It comes from the Limousin and is traditionally made with cherries. Whisking up the egg whites separately makes this a much lighter pudding than an English batter pudding.
I had pears, very pretty pears, sitting in the fruit bowl and so made it up with that but plums are wonderful too.
It was not a huge success in my household, to be honest, as my family don't like what they call 'wet food' and the batter is crispy on the top but just a little soggy underneath. I liked it, but principally because I love cooked pears and the one thing I can tell you is it was a lot nicer than my rejected Farinata!
Unsalted butter for greasing the dish. You need a round fairly shallow dish and butter it well.
75g plain flour
75g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated, whites whisked to stiff peaks
2 tablespoonfuls of kirsch or other appropriate fruit based liqueur
400g prepared fruit - in this case pears - peeled, cored and chopped into mouthsized chunks
icing sugar for dusting over the top
Mix the flour and the sugar together. Mix the egg yolks and the milk together. Add the liquids to the solids and fold in the egg whites. Put the buttered dish into a pre-heated 190 degree C oven for a few minutes and then pour in a bottom layer of batter, arrange the fruit and then pour the rest over. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until it is puffed up and, most importantly, set. Serve dusted with icing sugar, with cream.
By Beverly, 08-Oct-2012 08:24:00
I like to think this is the essence of 'Homeland' food, a series which started again last night on Channel Four and whose first episode was largely set in Beirut. Certainly, the inspiration for this kind of Middle Eastern bolognese came partly from Yotam Ottolenghi, as always with food like this. The dish was probably not very authentic as it was cooked in my Oxford kitchen, but I did use the za'atar which I wrote about last month to give it as authentic as possible a Middle Eastern twang. I thought it made a nice change from Bolognese and served it with cous cous...
One aubergine, cubed, salted and then rinsed off after half an hour
200g of minced lamb
One can of chopped tomatoes
One can of chick peas
A handful of chard leaves, rinsed and ribboned, the tough bits cut off and finely sliced
A dash of tabasco
Half a fresh chilli
Half a teaspoon of ground coriander
Half a teaspoon of ground cumin
One red onion, finely diced
Two finely chopped cloves of garlic
One teaspoon of za'atar or similar spice mix
Fry the onion, the garlic, the chilli and the spices in a hot pan in a little olive oil and then when the onions are brown, add the mince, keeping the pan hot and doing lots of good cheffy shaking to stop the meat from sticking and ensure it is cooked through. Pour off some of the fat if it looks a bit greasy - use one of the empty tin cans from the tomatoes or the chick peas. Add the aubergine cubes to the mix, then the canned chick peas and tomatoes. Cook on the stove top for a good half hour, add a dash of water if it needs it and then finally stir in the ribboned chard for the last five minutes. Season and serve with cous cous, quinoa, bulghur or rice.
By Beverly, 05-Oct-2012 07:00:00
This is a traybake version of a scone and a brilliant solution to making a tray of scones in a hurry. I am addicted to Mary Berry's cheese scone recipe which makes something delicious to serve with soup or salad in a hurry. This is an extension of that, in that it's a traybake which you can mark up to produce 12 pieces of scone. You can fiddle about with the recipe too - add sun-dried or those 'blush' tomatoes or herbs for an extra punch of flavour. The other good thing about this recipe is that I made it in one of those silicone roasting trays so I didn't even have to grease or line a tray. I used a 30cm by 20cm tray.
450g of self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoonful of salt
200g grated mature cheddar
100g chopped black or green olives, or sun dried tomatoes (see above)
2 eggs made up to 300mls with milk
25g Parmesan grated for the top
I actually worked this mixture by hand as it is so easy to do - keep it light and airy and then when it all comes together, gently push it into the tin and press it flattish. You don't even have to roll it out...mark it into 12 pieces with a deep slash of the knife.
Brush the top with milk and then bake at 230 degrees C for 15 minutes and then sprinkle the Parmesan on and put it back into the oven for a further five. It should be well risen and golden. Let it cool on a wire rack and then cut it into squares.
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