Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas Starter idea

Goats cheese and spiced pear salad


I tasted this in a restaurant one night and thought ‘I have to make this’. It was first time I had tasted goat’s cheese… yum!! The dressing is as close as I could remember and after a few attempts this one worked best. I have put in recipe to use spices of your choice, I use whatever jumps out at me when I open the cupboard. You can simply use All Spice!




Serves 4:
Packet of filo pastry
2 tins of quartered pears
300g Goat's cheese
fresh rocket
Pine nuts
Sun dried tomatoes
All spice

Dressing:
50ml balsamic vinegar
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of oyster sauce
Tablespoon of honey
Sea salt & black pepper
Glass of red wine
Glug of olive oil
                                            

Method


  1. Open and drain the pears, cut the quarters into half again and sprinkle well with spices. Place on an oiled baking tray and bung into a preheated oven of 180ºc. They will take 30 mins or so to soften up and coloured.

  1. Take out the Filo Pastry and follow the instructions on the packet. Season the Goat's cheese with black pepper. You are looking to make parcels with a goat’s cheese filling. However you wish to parcel them up is up to you. Place in oven for 15 mins or until they are nice and golden and crispy.

  1. In the meantime making the dressing couldn’t be easier. Pour the glass of wine into a pan and boil until it has reduced by at least half, take of the heat. In a clean empty jam jar pour the rest of the ingredients in, season well and with the lid tightly on give a good shake. Add in the cooled, reduced wine and shake again. It will be ready to spoon over. Toast the pine nuts.

  1. To plate up, place a handful of washed rocket leaves on centre of plate with the goat’s cheese parcel on top. Place the spiced pears around in clock number fashion with the sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle over with toasted pine nuts and spoon over some dressing.

                                                        

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Smells Like Christmas

Mulled Wine


There is nothing like the smell of mulled wine about the house to really get me into a Christmas mood. It just fills the house with every scent that sums up this time of year. When the weather outside is frightful then a glass of this will warm the cockles of your heart. There is no point in boiling the life out of all your wine and boiling off the alcohol so that's why its best to make a syrup at the start then add the rest of the wine to it and just keep warm.


3-4 clementines
1 lemon
1 lime
1 cinnamon stick
1 nutmeg
2 star anise
3 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
6 cloves
1teaspoon of vanilla essence 
275g caster sugar
2 bottles of good red wine

Method

  • With a speedy peeler, peel large sections off the clementines, lemon and lime.
  • Add these to a large pot and squeeze out the juice of the clementines, lemon and lime with your hand. Add the sugar and a glass of red wine and turn up the heat. To this add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaves, 1 star anise and grate in the nutmeg.
  • Stir in well and bring to the boil and rapid boil for about 5 mins or until thickened then turn the heat down to half and add in the rest of the wine along with the 2nd star anise. 
  • When heated keep it warm and just ladle out into glasses to serve. (If topping up with more wine just add more sugar to taste)
Mulled Wine

And there we have it, a taste an smell of Christmas with this wonderful mulled wine




Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Breakfast Pizza


Breakfast Pizza
Now you may be thinking, ‘what is healthy about a pizza for breakfast?’, let me explain… Pizza dough is bread, the same mix will make a loaf of plain white bread, it is just rolled out and baked different. For most people it is normal to have grilled or baked sausage, bacon, pudding, mushrooms with eggs for breakfast, along with bread, a tomato based sauce and a little cheese… well here it is combined in all its glory. I see this as a treat breakfast or a brunch, I normally make it when I have visitors, just so they have something they are not used to seeing and by God it never fails.
I have used a boiled egg, sliced, but there is nothing stopping you from frying a regular egg then cutting it up and putting over as a topping or crack a few quails eggs over the top.

Makes up to 6 pizzas:
500g strong flour
300ml skimmed milk
1 sachet of baker’s yeast
Pinch of salt

Per pizza:
 2-3 sausages
2-3 rashers
1-2 boiled eggs
4-5 mushrooms
4-5 slices of black pudding
Pasta sauce
Cheddar cheese


Method


Heat milk gently in a saucepan, add the yeast and stir until dissolved.
Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Make a well in middle and add the milk with dissolved yeast.
Mix together using a spoon, it should be quite sticky. Empty out onto a lightly floured work surface, kneed it for 10 mins and bop back into bowl and cover with Clingfilm for 20 mins+.
Punch out the air, it can be used right away or wrap in Clingfilm and keep in fridge.
When using pull off a ball smaller than a tennis ball and roll it out as thinly as possible, don’t worry about perfect circles.
Part-grill the sausages, rashers and black pudding and cut up into bite sized pieces, slice the                               mushrooms.
Pop the base onto an oiled pizza tray and lightly spoon on some pasta sauce, grate a small amount of cheese of your choice over the top (I just use low fat cheddar), add the toppings.

15-20 mins in a HOT oven will make a lovely crispy breakfast pizza.


Tuile Baskets

Tuile Baskets

These little baskets not only look great but taste so good! They dont have to be made into baskets if you dont want the hassle they can be kept as wee biscuits instead.



Makes 20 biscuits or ten baskets:
125g of flaked almonds
125g of caster sugar
2 drops of vanilla extract
25g melted butter
2 egg whites
20g of plain flour

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the almonds, sugar, vanilla extract and egg whites.
  2. Pour in the melted butter and stir well. Cover with cling-film and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day sift in the flour and stir until well incorporated. 
  4. On a non-stick baking tray spoon out small amounts and flatten out to a thin layer with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bung into a preheated oven at 150 degrees for about 18-20 mins, they should be golden all over.
  6. At this point they can be left as biscuits, however if you want baskets shape them in little bowls or ramekins while they are still warm.
  7. When cooled fill with freshly whipped cream and top with berries of your choice. 


Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Homemade battered fish n’ chips


Homemade fish n’ chips can sound and feel daunting until you actually try it out. I can promise that after you see how easy and tasty it is you’ll be hooked (excuse the pun). Delicious served with mushy minted peas.



Serves 4:

4 medium fillets of white fish (cod, haddock, whiting etc)
Sea salt & black pepper
1 litre of good vegetable oil

1kg scrubbed potatoes skins left on

8oZ of plain flour and some for coating
3 heaped tablespoons of baking soda
284ml of a good beer/ larger

Method



1.      Making sure the fillets are free of bones cut them into 2-inch wide strips. Season well and set aside. Preheat oven to 150ºc.

2.      Thinly chip the potatoes, skins and all.

3.      To make the batter, in a mixing bowl sift in the flour, add a pinch of salt and baking soda. Pour in the beer/larger and whisk together looking for a double cream consistency. Let it foam up or rise.

  1. Half fill a wok with good quality vegetable oil and put it on a medium-high heat (it shouldn’t get too hot too quick).

  1. Pop a chip into the oil, if it rises to the oil is ready. Remove the chip. Dip a piece of fish into a shallow bowl of flour, coating it right round then straight into the batter, again coating it fully. Carefully lower it into the hot oil. You could maybe have 2 or 3 pieces in at the one time. Give them a few mins ant turn them over in the oil using kitchen tongs. Once golden on both sides remove carefully (again) onto a baking tray and pop into the oven. (This will both finish the cooking off and dry off some of the oil making it dry and fluffy not oily and soggy).

  1. Repeat for remainder of fish. Once fish are all into the oven carefully put chips into the fish oil. When golden remove using a large slotted spoon.

  1. Serve with wedges of lemon, salt and plenty of vinegar.



Red Cabbage

Braised red cabbage and bramley apple in cider vinegar

This is a gorgeous accompaniment to any pork dish. It is sweet but has a sharpness that really works. Even my dogs love it!!




TIP: Wear gloves while shredding the cabbage, as the dye can be hard so scrub off your fingers.
Serves 4:                                                                             

1 small red cabbage
1bramley apple
150g butter
150g light brown sugar
150ml cider vinegar
Pinch of ground white cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Sea salt & black pepper                                                       

Method


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºc

  1. Cut cabbage into quarters, core and finely shred. Peel and core the bramley apple and finely slice it. Set aside.

  1. In an ovenproof saucepan add the butter, vinegar and sugar and dissolve the sugar over a medium heat. Add in the cinnamon and cloves and season with salt and pepper.

  1. Toss in the cabbage and apple coating it all. Place lid on saucepan or wet crumpled greaseproof paper and bung into oven.

  1. Bake for about an hour stirring occasionally until tender and the apple has all but dissolved. Lift off the lid or paper and bake for a further 10-15 mins so the remaining liquid has reduced to a syrup.

3 fine chicks!

Mother hen has been very busy showing the chicks the ropes, how to look for food and scratch around the earth for a good spot for a dust bath. it has been very enjoyable viewing.


She really is a good mother and very protective of them.
Out of 13 eggs we only got 3 chicks which was a poor return but in saying that, maybe for the first batch it is enough to break us in gently.





They really are so cute and after about 4 or 5 weeks apparently we will be able to determine the sex off them.
Maybe a male about the place will keep the others in line as some of the hens we have are so brazen and pick on mother hen here!! 


Buffalo wings!

Hot Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

Since the closure of Luigi Malones in Limerick I have severely missed their legendary Buffalo wings so I decided to try making my own. I have searched the web looking for the ingredients of the wonderful sauce that is over them but with no success apart from a few guesses and most people recommending 'Franks' sauce. I tried Franks sauce but it just didn't hit the spot the way Luigi's did or The Elephant & Castle restaurant in Temple Bar in Dublin. So my mission was to piece together some of the guesses and add my own trials and errors. I came up with this and for me and those who have sampled, this is pretty damn close, if not bang on the money. For those who haven't tried these you should really try these... they weren't kept secret for no reason!!!




Serves 2 (as part of a main course)
serves 4 (as starter):

1 tray of chicken wings (normally contains 16)
A light sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)

50g butter
6 tablespoons of cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of tobasco sauce (4 if you like it hotter)
3tablespoons of tomato puree
Half a lemon

A few sticks of celery

For the Blue Cheese Dip:(you can buy this dip made up but this version is so good)
3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise 
3 tablespoons of sour cream
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Finely chopped parsley
Small clove of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese
Sea salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dip and place in the fridge for an hour before needed.
  2. The chicken wings need to be cut at the 2 joints (into 3 pieces but discard the wing tip) with a heavy sharp knife. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper if using it.


  1. Deep fry in batches for about 10 mins per batch until cooked through and nice and crispy, they can be kept in a warm oven until all batches are deep fried (i usually do them in 3 batches).
  2. In the meantime in a saucepan gently melt down the butter then add the cider vinegar, tobasco sauce and the tomato puree and whisk it together until combined. Squeeze in the half a lemon at the end.
  3. In a large bowl place the cooked wings and pour over the sauce and toss to give a good even coat. 
  4. Serve with the cooling Blue Cheese Dip and a few sticks of celery.




Monday, 28 November 2011

White Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake

In a recent competition my white chocolate cheesecake got hailed as a 'revelation' by one judge Elke O'Mahony Which really got me smiling. 
This cheesecake is just as simple to make as my Malteaser one and After Eight one and equally as delicious. The great thing about these cheesecakes is the can be made in advance, even the day before which will take the pressure off if you have a few for dinner. In this recipe i'm using Oaty biscuits for the base but you can use whatever ones you like. The Oaty ones give a great bite and don't gel too tightly together.



Serves 6-8:
1 pint of double cream
300g soft cheese
3 oz sugar
15 oatmeal biscuits
2 oz butter
200g white chocolate

Method

Put the oatmeal biscuits into a large strong sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin or put through a blender to crush up. Melt down the butter over a medium heat and pour over the crushed biscuits in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Put the mix into ring moulds on a baking sheet or a spring release cake tin and firm down to form a compact even layer. Place in a fridge for a half hour.

In a heat proof bowl melt 190g of the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Keep 10g aside to shave over the top at the end.

Place the soft cheese and sugar into a bowl and pour in the double cream. Whisk this mix until it starts to firm. Add in the melted chocolate and fold into the mixture. Spoon the mixture over the top of biscuit base and shave some white choc over the top. Refrigerate until needed.





And there we have it, a very simple recipe for white chocolate cheesecake

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Chef du Jour

Head Chef Experience


On Tuesday 22nd of November I had the chance of having a head chef experience in No.5 Fenns Quay in Cork City. I had entered a Chef du Jour competition I had spotted through Facebook that Head Chef Kate Lawlor had very cleverly put together where entrants emailed her with a 4 course menu of their choosing which had to be under 22.50euro per person. So I thought i'd give it a go.

My menu as follows:


Amuse Bouche- Cherry tomato stuffed with basil pesto and goats cheese on a salted cracker 

Starter- Mussels in cider, bacon and garlic

Mains- Slow roasted pork belly in sage and garlic, potato and horseradish puree, braised red cabbage and bramley apple with a mulled wine Jus

Dessert- A trio of desserts- White chocolate cheesecake, mixed berry and rum crumble, meringue tower with vanilla cream and strawberries.

So a few weeks later I got an email to tell me that my menu had been chosen along with a menu by Jeni Pimm from Co. Waterford, I had been given the first night and Jeni the second. I emailed off my Recipes in full to Head Chef Kate and let the excitement kick in by broadcasting my news all over Facebook and Twitter, all that was left to do was practice my dishes and wait.
Prep work

On Tuesday morning I headed down to Cork City with the help of Tiffany (my rather posh Sat Nav) and had a quick lunch with Kate in the restaurant and then took a walk around the city and into the English market, which I could have spent all day in to be honest- I will be back! Then back to the restaurant to get started on prep work for the evenings service.
Before 'Kick-off'

Hard at work with Head Chef Kate


The kitchen staff were more than friendly and I felt like I had just slotted into their team, nothing was any trouble for them to help me with, Especially when I messed up my first attempt of making my meringues through nerves. But they calmly talked me through it and second batch turned out perfect.
Plating up

Amuse Bouche


There was a few ingredients missing from my recipes which, for me, made a few elements of the mains not turn out how I had wanted and how I knew would have been superb. No cider vinegar or cloves for the Braised cabbage which I really knew that snap was missing when tasting it and had to improvised on the mulled wine Jus which was a world away from how mine usually is, a rich, deep red glossy and nearly syrupy Jus which sets the taste buds dancing. Unfortunately what we came up with was weak and looked split, nice flavour but not my creation. And lastly the potatoes were really not up to how I would have liked them, I had wanted a smooth creamy puree but ended up with mash with lumps... And I know I was there as acting Head Chef and should have protested more on these subjects but with nerves and the whole new experience of it all I let it go.
 Mussels with bacon and garlic

Plating up the mains


The good folk that turned out to taste my meal were such a lovely bunch of people. some were chefs and others restauranters  and the comments i got of them at the end really blew me away. One chef had said that my standard was up there with fine dining restaurant standards and another lady said she'd be happy to serve my food in any of her establishments. I came away from the night with a great sense of achievement and a score of 3.5.
Taking a break and taking in the great comments

Awarded my stars with Kate




Jeni was up next night and from the pictures I seen on twitter cooked up a storm of beautiful looking dishes along with an extra treat of Petits Fours for the judges. Jeni scored a whopping 4.5 and I really do wish her all the best for the future and really hope she enjoyed her night as much as I did, Hats off to you Jeni and congrats!!!


There have been a few reviews of the nights from some of the judges Elke O'Mahony and with Billy Lyons just simply click on their names to have a read.

I think what Kate has done here is such a fantastic and creative opportunity for the 'average Joe' like myself, I wish to thank her for the experience and wish her all the best with her wonderful establishment.
This has really given me a boost of confidence with my cooking and will only drive me onwards and upwards, I am still unsure if I would like to pursue a career in a kitchen as cooking for me is all about relaxing and enjoying taking the time to produce the food you want to produce but all in all it really was a fantastic night I will never forget and a wonderful head chef experience




Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Chocolate Fondant


Chocolate Fondant

Heaven

If there was ever a dessert that could be sent down for pure naughtiness... this is it! Although, it is so naughty and sexy, that just the look of it would melt the Judges heart and have him buckle at the knees with desire. This dessert could aid in bank robberies, casino hoists and possible world domination! Ok that is enough of my gibberish... but in all fairness it is a damn nice dessert. Normally it is made with pure dark (70%cocoa) chocolate but in my opinion it is very rich so I have put in some white chocolate it take that sharpness away. You can also make a pure white chocolate fondant in the same method. 

Serves 4:
150g unsalted butter
100g dark (70% cocoa)
50g white chocolate
3 eggs
75g caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200c. Grease the insides of the moulds or ramekins with some butter and then lightly dust with some flour, tip out excess out flour. Cut a small disk of parchment paper and line the bottom of each mould or ramekin. 
  • Cube the butter and break the chocolate into pieces, gently melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water) and then allow to cool slightly.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl whisk the eggs with the caster sugar and when the chocolate mix has cooled slightly whisk it into the egg mix.
  • Sift the flour on top of the mix and fold into the mix with a spatula.
  • Divide the mix into the moulds or ramekins three quarter ways up. If making in advance they can be placed in the fridge for 24 hours. (just bring back to room temp before popping into the oven).
  • Cook the fondants in the middle of the oven for 7 mins in moulds or 12 mins in ramekins. The sides should be firm but the middles soft to touch. Run a sharp knife around the outside and carefully turn out onto a serving plate. Best way to do this is hold a plate upside down on top of the mould and flip the whole thing over, lift off the mould and remove the parchment paper.
  • Serve with cream or ice-cream.



Chocolate Fondant




Sunday, 2 October 2011

Masterchef Competition!!!

*Win Win Win*




The 'Masterchef Kitchen Bible' is such a fantastic book, it has got everything you need to know about ingredients, skills, preparation and cooking and all in one beautifully presented book. This book is a must have edition to anyone's collection, aiding anyone from a complete novice to a confident home cook.

It starts with Modern Classic Recipes and alternative twists, everything from soups to roasts to puddings. Then it moves onto recipes and winning dishes from through the years of Masterchef, dishes that really have the 'wow factor'. The second half of the book starts with kitchen essentials and then goes through all fish, meat and poultry with information on the cuts, flavour pairings and 'in season'. Next up is every kind of vegetable, herb and spice imaginable, again giving great flavour pairings so you will never go wrong with home cooking. It then gives a run through dried foods (pasta, rice and grains etc) and finishes with basic skills and a more detailed list of flavour pairings.

I have a brand new copy of this book to give away to one lucky person!!


* All you have to do is go to the bottom of the page and become a Follower where it says 'Join This Site', those who are already followers will automatically be placed in the draw.*


 The winner will be drawn at random when I reach 70 followers, so get following and get sharing. The lucky winner will be announced on Facebook and Twitter and will be Emailed for posting details.


This really is a fantastic book full of great information and stunning pictures. 





Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Red Velvet



Red Velvet

Cupcakes

Lately a friend on Facebook Asked me would I make a Red Velvet cake and put up the recipe and pictures and insisted that it had cream cheese frosting (fussy, I know!!). Now the problem is when I make a cake I normally scoff the lot so i thought I'd make these cup cakes instead... you see this way I can still scoff the lot but convince myself that it was only a few cupcakes... not just a pretty face!!! Niamh, apologies these are about 6 weeks late however, All good things come to those who wait (and nag a little).



Makes 12:
100g self raising flour
15g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

115g softened butter
115g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 teaspoons of red food colouring

For the frosting:
200g cream cheese
200ml double cream
6 tablespoons of icing sugar



Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c. Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
  • In a large mixing bowl sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. To this add the softened butter, caster sugar, eggs and the food colouring (be very careful with this as it stains anything it touches). Mix all together with a wooden spoon or with a slow setting on a electric hand mixer.
  • When well combined spoon the mixture into the muffin cases up to just over half way.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mins, they are ready when you can press them gently and they spring back. Take out and cool on a wire rack.
  • For the frosting, in a bowl gently whisk together the cream cheese and icing sugar then add the double cream. whisk until slightly stiffened.
  • Pipe the cream on top of the cupcakes in what ever designs you like... get the kids involved! Everyone will love Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Homemade stock

3 Homemade Stocks-Video Recipes At The Bottom

Making your own stock may seem pretty pointless to some people as you can readily buy stock cubes and stock pots in most shops but I gotta say to those people... Shhhh! Ah no I can understand that, however, if you have the ingredients and the knowhow then why not. Lets face it, it ts coming into that time of year again where we all love some comfort food, looking out at the driving rain. Stews, soups and risottos all call for some good stock and homemade stock is the perfect base to these wonderful comfort foods! I freeze my portions in Zip-Lock Bags as to not waste space in my freezer.


Ok, first up is my 'Emergency vegetable stock'... by emergency I mean thay you have a dinner in mind, just about to start cooking and realise you have no stock. This recipe will pull you out of a hole and in under 15 minutes!

Emergency Veg Stock 
Makes 1 litre of stock:
1 carrot
1 onion
2 stalks of celery
1 fat clove of garlic
1 bay leaf

Method
  • Grate the carrot, onion and celery. Mince the garlic and tear or finely shred the bay leaf.
  • Pour some oil into a medium saucepan and add all the ingredients and gently sweat off for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Pour a litre of water into the sucepan and turn the heat up full to bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Strain in a sieve and voila you have an instant stock to add to your recipe.

Next up is a handy chicken stock which has a delicate flavour, it wont over power your dish just give it depth of flavour.

Chicken Stock

Makes 4-6 litres of stock:
1 large cooked chicken carcass and leg bones
1 large carrot
1 large onion
2 celery stalk
1 leek
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
10-12 whole black peppercorns

Method

  • Roughly chop the carrot, onion, celery and leek. Place them into a large stock pot along with the chicken carcass and bones. Gently tear the bay leaves and add them along with the thyme and pepper corns.
  • Pour in cold water until it covers the pots contents by 2 inches. Place onto a hot hob and bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours.
  • Check occasionally and skim any froth off the top.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature and pour through a sieve to strain it. Then devide into required portions (I use 500ml portions) and freeze in Zip lock bags.



Beef Stock

Makes 4-6 litres of stock:
1-1.5kg of beef bones
2 large carrots
2 large onions
2 celery stalk
1 leek
2 bay leaves
A splash of white wine
10-12 whole black peppercorns

Method

  • Place the bones into an oven dish and drizzle with a little oil and roast in a hot oven for 45 mins, then add one chopped carrot and one chopped onion and roast for a further 10 mins.
  • With a slotted spoon add the contents of the dish to a stock pot, pour the oils into a bowl and discard.
  • De-glaze the oven dish with a splash of white wine and pour all the crusty bits into the stock pot, add in a litre of water and place on a hot hob and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 10 mins then add in the rest of the chopped veg along with the bay leaves and the peppercorns.
  • Pour in cold water until it covers the pots contents by 2 inches. Place onto a hot hob and bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer for 3 1/2-4 hours.
  • Check occasionally and skim off any froth off the top.
  • When simmered, strain into another large pot and let cool to room temperature, place into the fridge over night.
  • The remaining fat will rise to the top and form a crust at the top. Remove this and either freeze in portions or place back onto a hot hob and boil for 20 mins to rerduce and strengthed the flavour.






Tuesday, 6 September 2011

My Loaf, It's 50/50

Homemade Bread

50/50 Honey and Seeded Loaf


When I say my loaf is 50/50 im not just completely talking about my head!! This Homemade Bread is one of the nicest I have made, as plain white bread normally plays havoc with my stomac I altered this recipe to suit my needs... that is the beauty of home cooking you can chop and change recipes to suit yourself.. they are not written in stone! So this bread consists of half white flour and half wholemeal flour. This is one of the first ever 'homemade' things I made... I'm glad I did!





Makes two medium or one large loaf:

225g strong white flour
225g wholemeal flour
275ml lukewarm water
7g sachet of bakers yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of mixed seeds
3 tablespoons of olive oil
A splash of milk to glaze


Half and half flour

The shaped dough left to proof
After an hour it had risen
Punching out the air
Glazing with milk


Method

  • Pour the strong white flour and the wholemeal flour into a large mixing bowl, add in the yeast and the seeds and give this all a good stir around.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the olive oil, honey and the water and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. It should be soft but not sticky.
  • Form the dough into a ball in the bowl then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth. Place the dough into a clean oiled bowl, cover with a damp teatowel and let the dough rise in a warm spot in the kitchen until it has doubled in size.. this normally takes about an hour.
  • When the dough has risen 'punch' the air out of it in the bowl then remove it onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for a minute. Devide the dough in half and shape them however you please (see pictures).
  • Place them onto an oiled baking sheet and cover again with the teatowel until they have almost doubled in size.
  • In the meantime preheat your oven to 200c. When the loaves have almost doubled in size brush a thin layer of milk over them and and bake for about 25 mins until golden in colour. To know if your loaf is cooked through there should be a hallow sound when you tap the underside.
  • Cool them on a wire rack... if you can resist the temptation, although not many can for homemade bread

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Homemade Pizza Video Recipe

My First Video Recipe

Ok, I have decided to do a few videos of some Basics in Home Cooking. These are for people looking to get into some cooking or just looking for new fresh ideas!
First up is how to make a very simple and basic homemade pizza.. this will be a huge hit for all the family.


So here is the recipe and the link to watch the video, I hope you enjoy it and excuse the nerves :)

Makes up to 6 pizzas:

500g strong flour
300ml skimmed milk
1 sachet of bakers yeast

Pinch of salt


Method


1.      Heat milk gently in a saucepan, add the yeast and stir until dissolved.

  1. Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Make a well in middle and add the milk with dissolved yeast.

  1. Mix together using a spoon, it should be quite sticky. Empty out onto a lightly floured work surface, kneed it for 10 mins and bop back into bowl and cover with Clingfilm for 20 mins.

  1. Punch out the air, it can be used right away or wrap in Clingfilm and keep in fridge.

  1. When using pull off a ball smaller than a tennis ball and roll it out as thinly as possible, don’t worry about perfect circles.

  1. Pop it onto a oiled pizza tray and lightly spoon on some pasta sauce, grate over some cheese of your choice (I just use low fat cheddar), and add the toppings of your choice.

  1. 15-20 mins in a HOT oven will make a lovely crispy pizza.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Yorkshire Puds


Yorkshire Puddings


Want to hear something good... Yorkshire puddings are so easy to make... its ridiculous!! They make a great addition to any Sunday roast (especially beef). Give these a try and you wont look back!


Makes 10-12:
1 mug of milk
Just under 1 mug of plain flour
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Olive oil





Method

  • While the oven is on for your roast place in a muffin tray to heat it.
  • Put all the ingredients into a liquidizer with a pinch of salt and whiz until smooth or alternatively you can whisk until smooth (bit of elbow grease)!! 
  • Remove the hot bun tray from the oven and pour a little olive oil into each compartment. Now pour the batter into each compartment up to half full.
  • Place the full tray into the oven for 15 mins at 220c but DO NOT open the door until they are cooked, risen and golden or they wont rise as well as they should.
  • Left over batter can be use for pancakes Monday morning! But for now you have gorgeous 

    Yorkshire Puddings


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