Monday, 27 August 2012

Torshi Seer (7 year garlic)

Pickled garlic. My Friend Grammy told me about this. I have not tried it yet but I am going to as soon as I can get some good garlic. We are growing it on the allotment but that won't be ready yet. Not sure if I can wait 7 years though! The recipe comes from Tumericsaffron as does the photo.

7-8 garlic bulbs, remove the outer dried skins
2-3 cups vinegar/fill to the rim
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons honey

Place the bulbs in a completely dry glass jar.
Add salt and honey to the vinegar in a separate glass bowl. Mix well.
Pour the mixture over the cloves. Add more vinegar if needed. All the cloves should be covered by vinegar.
Cover the lid with the plastic wrap and close tight.
Place in a cool and dark place. They'll be ready to serve after a couple of years so that they can age, and the seven year seer torshis are known for their great appetizing taste.

Hummingbird Cake

Serves 16 - 24
This is quite a solid tray bake cake. A bit like a carrot cake.

375g self-raising flour, sifted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
375g brown sugar
75g desiccated coconut
100g walnuts, finely chopped
660g crushed pineapple, well drained
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs
300ml vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Icing
100g cream cheese, at room temperature
50g unsalted butter, softened
225g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a large slab pan (approximately 30cm x 20cm x 5cm).
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and cinnamon. Add the sugar, coconut, walnuts, pineapple, banana, eggs and oil and give it a really good mix.
3. Spread the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed in the middle (if the cake ends up browning too quickly during cooking, cover with foil).
4. Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
5. For the icing, combine the cream cheese, butter, icing and vanilla using a hand-held mixer or freestanding mixer. Beat until smooth. Spread on top of the cooled cake.

Sticky lemon chicken

Serves 4.

A quick and easy chicken dish to serve with either rice or potatoes and veg. Very moist and very tasty.

4 chicken breast fillets with skin, about 150g/5oz each
1 large lemon
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or a generous sprinkling of dried
1½ tbsp clear honey

Preheat the grill to high and lightly oil a shallow heatproof dish. Put the chicken in the dish, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 minutes. While the chicken is grilling, cut four thin slices from the lemon.
Turn the chicken fillets over and put a slice of lemon on top of each one. Sprinkle over the thyme and a little more seasoning, then drizzle with the honey. Squeeze over the juice from the remaining lemon and spoon round 2 tbsp water. Return to the grill for 10 minutes more, until the chicken is golden and cooked all the way through. Serve the chicken and the sticky juices with rice or potatoes and a green veg - broccoli or leeks are good.

Rich pizza and pasta sauce

A sauce to use up all those ripe tomatoes. Freezes well. Use for pasta dishes and pizza topping.

2lb ripe tomatoes
2tbsp olive oil
4oz onions
2cloves garlic
2tbsp tomato puree
1tbsp dried oregano
2tbsp fresh basil
1 bay leaf
1oz caster sugar
2tbs salt and pepper

Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic for 8 minutes until soft. Add everything else. I sometimes add a dash of red wine.
Simmer gently for 30 – 40 mins stir occasionally.
Freezes well.

Tourtiere, a Quebec specialty - Meat Pie

Servings:   4

A French Canadian pork pie served hot. (Can also be served cold)

Make dough for double crust pie, chill, wrapped, for 1 hour
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb. ground pork
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chicken stock (I use homemade)
1/2 teasp. salt
1/2 teasp. thyme
1/4 teasp. ground allspice
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons fresh bread crumbs

In a saucepan cook onion & celery in butter over mod. heat, stirring frequently, for 4 mins. Add garlic and cook the mix for 2 mins. Add the pork and cook stirring until pork changes color. Add the chicken stock, the thyme, salt, allspice and bay leaf and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 mins. Let it cool and stir in breadcrumbs.
Roll ball of dough into 9-inch round,fit it into a 7-inch pie plate & spoon pork mixture into it. Roll smaller ball of dough into 7.5 inch round and lay on top of the filling. Press edges together to seal pie and trim excess dough. Make a 1/2 inch X in the center, brush dough with egg glaze (1 egg, beaten with 2 Tablesp. cream) and bake the tourtiere in the lower third of a preheated oven (425 degrees F) for 10 mins. Reduce heat to moderately hot (375 degrees F), transfer the tourtiere to the middle of the oven and bake it for 25 mins. more, or until crust is golden.

One-pan Spanish fish stew

Serves 4.

A really tasty fish and prawn stew with potatoes all cooked in one pot on top of the cooker. Everyone here had seconds.

NB. I used cod in my recipe and extra garlic. I also did not include the chick peas as I didn't realise we had run out until it was too late. we had freshly baked rolls to mop up all the juices.

handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
zest and juice 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil , plus extra to serve
1 medium onion , finely sliced
500g floury potatoes , cut into small chunks, no larger than 2cm cubes
1 tsp paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 fish stock cube
200g raw peeled king prawns
½ a 410g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
500g skinless fish fillets, cut into very large chunks

In a small bowl, mix the parsley with ½ the garlic and lemon zest, then set aside. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan. Throw in the onion and potatoes, cover the pan, then sweat everything for about 5 mins until the onion has softened. Add the remaining oil, garlic and spices, then cook for 2 mins more.
Pour over the lemon juice and sizzle for a moment. Add the tomatoes, ½ a can of water and crumble in the stock. Season with a little salt, then cover the pan. Simmer everything for 15-20 mins until the potatoes are just cooked. 
Stir through the prawns and chickpeas, then nestle the fish chunks into the top of the stew. Reduce the heat and recover the pan, then cook for about 8 mins, stirring very gently once or twice. When the fish is just cooked through, remove from the heat, scatter with the parsley mix, then bring the dish to the table with the bottle of olive oil for drizzling over and some crusty bread, if you want. 

Caramel shortbread fingers


Also known as Millionaires shortbread. Cuts in to 32 fingers.

4oz magarine
2oz caster sugar
8oz SR flour
Filling: 1 small tin condensed milk, 4oz margarine, 4oz caster sugar, 2tbsp syrup.
6oz good chocolate

Heat oven to Gas mark 4, grease a 7 x 11 inch shallow tin.
Cream margarine and sugar, sieve flour and fold in. Press the mixture into the tin and bake for 15-20 mins.
Filling: Place all ingredients in a saucepan and boil very gently, stirring continuously for about 10 mins.
Spread the caramel over the cooked base.
When the caramel is set, melt the chocolate and spread over. Cut into 32 pieces.

One-pan prawn pilau

An easy prawn and rice dish that's not too hot. Serves 4.

2 tbsp korma curry paste (Patak's is good)
1 small onion , finely chopped
300g basmati rice , rinsed and drained
700ml chicken stock made from a cube
150g pack cooked peeled prawns , defrosted if frozen
cupful frozen peas
1 red chilli , sliced into rings
handful coriander leaves, chopped

Heat a large wide pan and dry-fry the curry paste with the onions for 4-5 mins until the onion begins to soften. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat in the curry paste. Add the stock, then bring to the boil.
Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low. Leave the rice to simmer slowly for 12-15 mins until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Turn off the heat and stir in the prawns, peas and chilli. Cover the pan and leave to stand for 5 mins.
Fluff up the rice grains with a fork and season if you want. Scatter over the coriander and serve with lemon wedges.

Creamy baked haddock & tatties

A variation on a fish pie with a crispy potato topping. serves 4.

400g smoked haddock (undyed is better, but not essential), skinned and chopped into chunks
1 trimmed leek , finely sliced
handful of parsley , chopped
142ml carton double cream
2 medium baking potatoes , about 200g/7oz each, skin on, sliced as thinly as possible

Firstly assemble the dish. Scatter the haddock, leek and parsley over the bottom of a shallow microwavable dish and mix together with your fingers or a spoon. Drizzle over half the cream and 5 tablespoons of water. Lay the potato slices over the fish and leeks and drizzle over the remaining cream. Season the potatoes with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.
Put the grill on high. Cover the dish with cling film and pierce it a few times. Microwave the pie on the highest setting for 8-10 minutes until everything's bubbling away and the potatoes are tender when poked with a knife. Whip off the cling film and put the dish under the grill until the potatoes are golden. Leave to rest for a minute, then serve straight from the dish. 

Lemon Curd


soft spreadable lemon curd. Makes 1 jar.

2 Eggs,
50g butter
80g white sugar
2tsp corn flour
juice and zest of 1 large lemon or 2 small.

Put the whole lot in a saucepan over a low to moderate heat and beat the hell out of it until it turns into lemon curd. Do not stop beating or you will get bits of cooked white egg. Takes approx 3 minutes. Pour into a sterilised jar and leave to cool. Store in the fridge.

Cherry and almond cake


A rich cake mixture with a lovely glazed topping of cherries and almonds. Cuts into 16 squares.

Cake mixture;
6oz soft margarine
5oz S/R flour
1 teasp baking powder
6oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
half teasp almond essence
2oz ground almonds

8oz glace cherries
3oz flaked almonds
2oz butter
2oz caster sugar

Line an 8inch square cake tin with grease proof paper. Scatter over cherries and nuts. Put butter and sugar into a pan and melt, pour toffee type mixture over cherries and nuts. Put all cake ingredients ina bowl and mix well. Spoon into tin over cherries. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour at gas mark 3.

My potato salad


2/3lb Jersey potatoes
1 red onion
2/3 stalks of celery
handful of radishes
1/2 Green pepper
Tbsp Heinz Salad cream
Enough mayonaise to coat (to your taste)

Boil unpeeled potatoes in salted water, for approx 15 minutes. Leave to cool then chop into small pieces. Leave skins on.
Chop all vegetables into tiny pieces and add to potato.
Stir in mayonaise and salad cream until required consistancy.

Sometimes I add either chopped hard bolied egg or tiny pieces of very crispy bacon.

Veritys very special chocolate cake

Servings:   10/12

A really rich, double chocolate cake, decorated with chocolate curls.

200g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
50g Cocoa Powder
275g Caster sugar
175g Soft Butter
2 Eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla Essence
80ml Sour Cream
125ml Boiling Water
175g Milk Chocolate
Small quantity Dark chocolate and white chocolate

Oven Gas Mark 5 or 170
Line a 2lb loaf tin with paper
Mix everything together apart from the water. (the order of adding the ingredients isn't important) Mix well.
Add the boiling water slowly bit by bit. Mix well.
Add the chocolate chopped up in pieces.
Pour into tin and bake for 60 to 75 minutes. You may need to turn it.
garnish all over with 3 different coloured chocolate curls.

Farmhouse Chicken

1 skinless chicken breast per person.

1 carrot and 1 leek per person

3 large mushrooms

3/4 pint of chicken stock and a spoon of plain flour and some oil.

Fry chicken breasts in oil to seal. Place in large oven proof dish. Chop up carrots and leeks and fry in oil for a few minutes. Add the flour and pour over the stock. Stir until it boils, add the mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes. Pour it all over the chicken. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes at gas mark 2. Easy as anything and really nice! Serve with mashed potato and runner beans and swede.

Fairy cakes

small iced cakes - Makes 12

4oz butter

40z caster sugar

40z self raising flour

2 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Sift flour and gradually fold into the mixture. Divide mixture into 12 paper cup cases. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes on gas mark 5. You can add little sweets or fruits to this mixture and ice them with glace icing in any colour that takes your fancy.

Lemon drizzle cake.

Servings:   makes 30 squares

Level of difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 tsp Baking powder
4 eggs
4 tbsp Milk
2 Lemons, grated zest only
For the crunchy topping
175g granulated sugar
2 Lemons, juice only

1. Cut a rectangle of non-stick baking parchment to fit the base and sides of a 30 x 23 x 4 cm roasting tin. Grease the tin and line with the paper, pushing it neatly into the corners of the tin. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 2.

2. Measure all the ingredients for the tray bake into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes, until well blended.

3. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all of the mixture. Level the top gently with the back of the spatula.

4. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and is beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.

5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift it out of the tin while still in its lining paper. Carefully remove the paper and put the tray bake onto a wire rack placed over a tray.

6. To make the crunchy topping, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small bowl to give a runny consistency. Spoon this mixture evenly over the tray bake whilst it is still just warm. Cut into squares when cold and store in an airtight tin.