food blogging, food photography, pickles, recipes, restaurant food, savoury, terrine, thefoodygrail.com

Chicken Terrine with Sweet Pickle.

Chicken Terrine.
Chicken Terrine with Asparagus, Pistachio and Black Pudding. Served with a Sweet Pickle.

A moist Chicken Terrine, that is so easy to make, you won’t buy from the Deli’ ever again. For those that don’t like liver this Terrine is worth a try – as it doesn’t contain any.

Ingredients:

Terrine: Serves 8-12
Non-stick loaf tin with approx’ outer measurement of 25cm x 13cm x 6cm.
500g chicken thigh meat – (weight without skin and bone)
120g or 2 slices of black pudding – cut into small cubes.
1 red onion – finely chopped.
knob of butter.
1 large egg – beaten.
100ml double cream.
50g crushed pistachio nuts. (don’t grind)
1 tsp salt.
1 tsp black pepper.
Dessert spoon of chopped Thyme.
Dessert spoon of chopped Tarragon.
2 tabls Madeira wine. (optional)

For lining and layering the tin:
12-14 rashers of streaky bacon.
3 bay leaf.
1 medium carrot.
6 Asparagus spears.

Sweet Pickle:
100g cauliflower – break or cut into small florets.
5 radish sliced.
50g red pepper – diced.
3 spring onion – sliced.
100g cucumber – remove seeds and cut into thick slices.
Coarse salt.

For the pickle sauce:
250ml white wine vinegar.
2 tsps Tumeric.
1 tsp ground Coriander.
2 tsps English mustard.
1 tsp Mustard seeds.
1/2 tsp ground Cumin.
4 heaped tsps Cornflour.
80g of sugar.

Garnish:
Sprigs of fresh Dill.
1 large red or yellow pepper roasted – skin and seeds removed then sliced.
Fresh slices of crusty bread – toasted. Bread of your choice.

Method/cook:
Start by making the pickle first. Veg’ has to be salted for 24 hours.
Add all your prepared vegetables to a bowl.
Generously sprinkle with coarse salt and mix.
Add the veg’ and salt mix to a colander and sit over a bowl – cover with a cloth.
Leave the covered veg’ for 24 hours in a cool place.
After 24 hours rinse the salted veg’ in cold water. Set aside.
Now prepare the pickle sauce.
Mix the spices, mustard and cornflour with 2 tabls of the vinegar. Make a paste.
In a pan, bring the remaining vinegar and sugar to a boil – then simmer.
Add the spice and cornflour mix to the simmering vinegar – whisk until thickened.
Taste the pickle sauce. If more sweetness is required add a little more sugar, a teaspoon at a time, until you are happy with the flavour. 80g of sugar is usually enough, but everyone’s taste buds are different.
When you are happy with the sauce, remove from heat, and stir in your rinsed veg’ Place your Sweet Pickle into a sterilised jar or airtight container. Leave to cool.

Chicken Terrine:
Peel carrot and cut into 3 lengths. Cut each length into thin strips. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool and set aside. (see image)
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Blanch the Asparagus spears in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool and Set aside.
Lightly fry the onion in the butter until soft.
Add the black pudding cubes to the onion and fry for 3 minutes. Set aside and cool.
Add your chicken meat to a food processor and blitz until smooth – about a minute.
Empty blitzed chicken meat into a mixing bowl.
Tip: Place your mixing bowl over crushed ice to keep the meat cool.
To the chicken, mix in the beaten egg followed by the cream.
Now add the salt, pepper, herbs, cooked black pudding, pistachio nuts and the Madeira – thoroughly mix. Set aside.
Line your loaf tin with streaky bacon, leaving a 5cm overlap all the way around. The overlap can be folded over to seal the top of the terrine later.
Time to layer your Terrine.
Put a layer of the chicken mix in the base of the loaf tin.
Now layer all of your Asparagus onto the chicken layer – lightly press down.
Add another layer of chicken mix over the Asparagus – smooth with a spoon.
Add your slices of carrot to create a layer of carrot.
Add the rest of the chicken mix over the carrot layer and smooth with a spoon.
Fold over the overlaps of streaky bacon, so the final layer of chicken mix is covered. Place 3 bay leaves on top (see image) and seal the top with a layer of tin foil.
_V2A6908
Cook your Terrine in a Bain Marie – see below.  Gas 4 or 180°C/350°F for 1hr 30 mins with the foil on. Then cook a further 30 mins’ without the foil.
Once cooked, remove the Terrine from the oven and cover with a fresh piece of foil. Sit in a clean tray and place a weight on top. I use an oblong glass dish filled with water. Use a brick if you have one. Leave to cool and refrigerate over night.
To turn the Terrine out, run a thin bladed knife all around the edge of the Terrine. Turn the Terrine over onto a board or plate and turn out – give a tap or shake (See image)
_V2A6922

Bain Marie method: Place your loaf tin, with prepared Terrine, in a roasting tray and top up with boiling water until water reaches half way up the loaf tin.
Tip: Place your roasting tray, with loaf tin, in the oven then add the boiling water – much safer than lifting a tray with boiling water sloshing around.

Serving:
Serve a slice of the chilled Terrine with your Sweet Pickle.
Garnish with slices of roasted red/yellow pepper and sprigs of fresh dill.
Toasted and buttered bread of your choice.
Tip: Pick some of the veg’ out of the pickle and blend the rest. It makes a great sauce.

food blogging

Spiced Lamb and Couscous Rösti with Mini Pita Bread.

Spiced lamb
Spiced Lamb and Couscous Rösti. Served with a Mint and Pomegranate Yoghurt, Mini Pita Bread and Sweet Potato.

A rustic dish with the added originality of the couscous röstis. The Pita bread is so simple to make you will be knocking them out in the hundreds…well maybe a few dozen. Although a traditional Pita is typically a leavened bread, my recipe dispenses with the yeast and uses plain flour. If you can’t make fresh Pita – with Sir Philip Green size pockets – with this recipe, find yourself a Greek baker.

Ingredients:

Spiced Lamb:
400g diced lamb shoulder.
1/2 red onion.
1 chilli – sliced. (medium hot)
400g chopped tomatoes – tinned is fine.
4 tabls olive/veg oil.
1 tsp turmeric.
1 tsp cumin.
3 crushed cardamons.
3 heaped dessert spoons of tomato puree.
3 cloves of garlic – sliced.
200ml chicken stock.
Seasoning – salt and black pepper.

Mini Pitta Bread: (makes 6 x 10cm pittas)
100g plain Flour – sieved.
100g yoghurt.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda – sieved.
3 tsps Chia seeds – optional.

Couscous Röstis: (makes 6)
90g dried couscous.
90ml hot chicken stock.
1 tsp ground coriander.
1 beaten egg.
Drizzle of olive oil for cooking.
5-10g butter for cooking.
Seasoning – salt and pepper.

Mint and Pomegranate Yoghurt:
4 large dessert spoons of yoghurt.
Seeds from 1/4 of a pomegranate.
7 fresh mint leaves – finely chopped.
3 tsps lemon juice.
Seasoning – salt and pepper.

Side of Sweet potato:
1 medium sweet potato cut into 8 wedges.
Drizzle of olive oil.
Seasoning – salt and pepper.

Method/cook:

Spiced Lamb:
Set oven to gas 3 or 160°C/325°F (you will need a oven proof pan with lid)
Warm the oil in a pan.
Add the spices and the sliced chilli, lightly cook for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and diced onion and lightly fry until soft. Add more oil if needed.
Note: Spices can burn easily if the oil is to hot – gentle heat at first will prevent this.
When the onion is soft add the diced lamb and fry for 2 minutes.
Now add the tomato puree and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place a lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins’ at gas 3 or 160°C/325°F.
Note: Use oven proof dish if you don’t have a pan with a lid.
After 1 hour 40 mins’ the lamb should be tender. When cooked set aside.
Tip: The lamb can be cooked the day before and warmed up when needed. Tastes even better when all the flavours are left to infuse overnight. Store in a refrigerator when cooled.

Mini Pittas:
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the yoghurt and form into a dough. Set aside for 1 hour to rest – important.
Note: Don’t over work the dough. Just bring the ingredients together
and add a touch more flour if it is too wet. This particular dough is quite sticky and is normal.
After resting, place the dough on a floured surface and separate into 6 equal pieces. To do this, make a 6 inch sausage shape and divide in half, then divide each half into thirds.
Flour your hands and roll each piece of dough into a ball. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball of dough into a 10 cm diameter circle. (See image)
_V2A6815

Once your pita dough has been shaped, heat up a griddle pan.
When the griddle is hot place two pita dough rounds in the pan.
(See image)
_V2A6817
As soon as you see bubbles appearing on the top of the dough turn it over.
Leave to cook and puff up to create the pockets.
As you can see from the image the dough puffs up beautifully.
Once the dough has puffed up turn again to slightly brown if needed.
Set all your cooked pita bread aside.
Note: As soon as the top of the dough begins to bubble, turn it over. Don’t let the initial bubbles become to large, as when you turn the pita over you will get uneven cooking on one side.

Couscous Röstis:
Soak the dried couscous in the hot stock. Cover with cling film and leave to cool.
When the couscous has cooled mix in the coriander, seasoning and beaten egg.
Cook in metal rings with olive oil and a touch of butter.. (See image)
_V2A6809
Two dessert spoons of the couscous mixture for each ring will make 6 röstis.
Cook the first side for 1 minute then remove the rings.
When the first side is golden brown turn over and cook until golden brown.
(see image)
_V2A6813
When you have cooked all your röstis – set aside.
Tip: Wipe the pan clean after cooking each röstis or batch. This stops the next batch becoming to brown and tasting of burnt butter.

Mint and Pomegranate Yoghurt:
Mix all the ingredients together – simple as that.

Side of Sweet potato:
Place wedges in a roasting tin.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast your sweet potato wedges in a hot oven at gas 7 or 220°C/425°F for 35-40 minutes.

Serving:
Stack three röstis, per person, with the spiced lamb between each layer.
Serve with the Pita bread, sweet potato and yoghurt.
Enjoy.

cooking, desserts, food blogging, food photography, ice cream, recipes, restaurant food, sponge pudding, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge with Irish Liqueur Ice Cream

Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge Pudding
Ginger and Apricot Steamed Sponge with Irish Liqueur Ice Cream.

Who doesn’t love a warm steamy pudding? I have been called a puddin’ from time to time (pudding originally from the Latin botellus, meaning “small sausage”) so, make what you will of that.

Ingredients: (Makes 6 – 8cm x 5cm puddings)

Sponge:
175g softened butter.
175g caster sugar.
175g self raising flour – sieved.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda – sieved.
3 large eggs – room temperature.

6 individual pudding moulds – 8cm x 5cm.
Butter for greasing.
8 fresh ripe apricots.
50g stem ginger – chopped. (See recipe below or buy ready made)
6 tsps golden syrup.

Ice Cream: (for ice cream maker. I use a MEDION MD16223 maker)
150ml semi skimmed milk.
320ml double cream.
50g sugar.
50ml Irish Cream Liqueur.
Tip: If you want a stronger alcohol taste add more liqueur and reduce the milk by the same amount – ie: extra 20ml liqueur reduce milk by 20ml.

Stem Ginger recipe and stock syrup:
260g peeled fresh ginger – sliced.
400ml water.

Stock Syrup:
500ml water.
200g sugar.
1 slice of orange.
1 slice of lemon.
1 bay leaf.
3 cardamon pods.
3 cloves.
5cm cinnamon stick.

Method/cook:

Ice Cream:
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer – leave to cool.
Once cooled add the mixture to ice cream maker to churn.
After approx’ 50 minutes it will form a soft ice cream.
Transfer soft ice cream to a plastic container – with lid – and pop in the freezer for several hours.
Note: Ice cream made with ice cream makers still need to be popped into a freezer – don’t expect the ice cream maker to give you a finished product. Once the ice cream reaches an almost frozen state the mixing paddle will stop turning, but not all the mixture is frozen. Add this extra freezing time to your timings. Ice cream makers with integrated compressor are best.

Stem Ginger:
In a pan, with a lid, simmer the sliced ginger in the 400ml of water until soft – 40-60 mins’. Be careful that the pan doesn’t boil dry.
While the ginger simmers make the stock syrup.
Put all the stock syrup ingredients into a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
When the ginger is soft add the stock syrup and simmer until liquid is reduced by half and syrup thickens.
Store in sterilised jam jars.

Sponge: 
Firstly prepare the pudding moulds.
Grease each mould with butter.
Pop a small amount of chopped stem ginger into the bottom of each mould.
Add a teaspoon of golden syrup to the bottom of each mould.
Slice 6 apricots and line each mould. (See image)
_V2A6300

Once the moulds are lined, prepare the sponge mix.
Crack the eggs into a dish and beat with a fork until well mixed. Set aside.
Seive the flour and bicarb’ of soda together. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar with an electric whisk – or use a wooden spoon if you feel that you need a work out.
Once the butter and sugar are well creamed add the beaten egg a little at a time.
Once all the egg has been incorporated fold in the sieved flour and bicarb’ of soda.
Divide sponge mixture between the 6 moulds. (see iamge)
Note: Chilled eggs will cause the mixture to split, so use eggs that have been stored at room temperature. If the mixture splits before all the egg has been added, mix in a dessert spoon or two of the sieved flour – this should fix it.
_V2A6304
Cover each pudding with parchment paper and then a piece of tin foil. Secure with elastic bands. (see images)
_V2A6301
Note the fold in the parchment paper – this is to allow the sponges to rise during steaming.
_V2A6305

Steam the sponges for 35-40 mins.
To steam the sponges, line the base of a large pan with baking beans or a wire trivet.
Just cover the beans or trivet with water and bring to a simmer.
Add the sealed puddings to the simmering water and top up with boiling water so the level reaches half way up the pudding moulds. (see image)
_V2A6307
Put a lid on the pan and steam the puddings for 35-40 minutes on a low flame.
Once cooked, remove parchment paper and foil. Turn out onto plates and serve with the ice cream, fresh apricot slices and fresh cream.
Enjoy.

duck breast, food blogging, food photography, recipes, savoury

Duck Breast with Rhubarb and Orange Chutney

duck with rhubarb and orange chutney.
Duck breast served with spiced stuffed peppers and a rhubarb and orange chutney.

You’d be ‘quackers’ not to try this for yourself.

Ingredients:  (serves two)
2 duck breasts.
seasoning – salt and pepper.

Chutney:
1 stick rhubarb.
Juice of 1 large orange.
Zest of half an orange.
1/4 onion – diced.
1/2 clove garlic – crushed.
100ml chicken stock.
1 dessert spoon of mango chutney.
2 tsps sugar.
1 dessert spoon of olive/veg’ oil.
seasoning – salt and pepper.

Stuffed Mini Peppers:
8 mini sweet peppers – washed.
80g couscous.
110ml hot chicken stock.
1/4 onion finely diced.
1 button mushroom finely chopped.
1/2 chilli finely diced.
1/2 tsp turmeric.
1/2 tsp ground coriander.
1/2 tsp paprika.
4 dessert spoons olive/veg’ oil.

1 dessert spoon of mango chutney.
2 sun-dried tomatoes – chopped.
seasoning – salt and pepper.
drizzle of olive/veg’ oil for roasting peppers.

Garnish/salad:
1 bunch of watercress – washed.
zest of 1/2 an orange.
1/2 chilli sliced.
2 sun-dried tomatoes – sliced.
Drizzle of olive oil.

Method/cook:
Firstly prepare the stuffed peppers.
In a heat proof dish add your hot chicken stock ( bring the stock to a simmer) to the dry couscous. Leave to soak for ten minutes.
Add oil and spices to a frying pan and gently warm – don’t overheat as the spices will burn.
Add onion, chilli and mushroom to the warm spices and cook until onions are soft. Add a touch more oil if the pan becomes dry.
Once the onions are soft, add the contents of the pan, the sun-dried tomatoes and mango chutney, to the soaked couscous. Season with salt and pepper and thoroughly mix. (Keep the pan for cooking chutney as it contains a residue of flavour.}
Cut the top off the peppers – see image:

_V2A4705

Stuff the peppers with the couscous mix and place in a baking tray.
Replace the tops and secure with cocktail sticks.
Wrap a ring of foil around the peppers to keep them upright – see image:
_V2A4708

Drizzle your peppers with oil and roast for 30 minutes at  gas 6 or 200°C / 400°F.
When the peppers are cooked, carefully trim off any stalks from their bottoms. Keep warm.

Rhubarb and Orange Chutney: 
In the frying pan add the oil, onion and garlic – lightly fry until onions are soft.
Then, add the orange juice, zest, rhubarb, stock, mango chutney and sugar – place a lid on the pan and gently cook until rhubarb is soft.
Once the rhubarb is soft blend the ingredients and season with salt and pepper – set aside.

The Duck Breast:
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C / 425°F
Score along the skin of each duck breast – 6 to 8 cuts on each breast.
Season each breast with salt and pepper.
Place both duck breast skin side down in a medium hot frying pan.
Fry duck breasts until skin is golden brown.
When skin is golden brown, seal the flesh sides of duck breast and place in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes – if you like your meat pink. 20 minutes for well cooked but not over done.
When cooked, leave to rest for 4 minutes before slicing.

Garnish/salad:
Mix together your washed watercress, orange zest, sliced chilli.

Serving:
Slice your cooked duck breast and serve with the stuffed peppers, watercress salad and rhubarb and orange chutney.
Garnish with slices of sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil.

Enjoy this simple but tasty dish.

cake, desserts, food blogging, fruit, gateaux, layer cake, recipes, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Chocolate Layer Cake

One for the Chocoholic…well a slice at least.

Chocolate sponge dessert.
A moreish chocolate sponge cake with layers of summer fruits and fresh cream. Crème de Cassis and a chocolate cream, flavoured with star anise, add a touch of luxury.

Well, I had to make something sweet to show off my latest charity shop purchases – Two retro jugs, a 60’s glass plate and a nondescript little pot – all for a tenner.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Genoise Sponge:
4 eggs.
115g caster sugar.
90g plain flour.
25g cocoa powder.
55g melted butter.
1tsp vanilla extract/flavouring.

Chocolate Cream Coating:
400g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa.
300ml milk.
100ml double cream.
2 tsp sugar.
3 star anise.

Fruit Filling and Sauce:
500g Frozen summer berries – use mixed fresh berries if you like.
100g sugar.
Juice of 1/2 a lemon.
5 tablespoons of Crème de Cassis. Or use Blackcurrant juice if you prefer.
4 tbls cold water.
4 tsps cornflour mixed with 5 tbls cold water.

Cream For Filling:
100ml whipped cream.

Chocolate Flakes/scrolls:
200g Dark chocolate:

Garnish to serve:
Fresh summer fruits – I chose raspberries.
300ml Double creme.

Method/cook:

Chocolate Genoise Sponge:
Grease and line a 20cm x 25cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Set oven to gas mark 6 or 400°f/200°c
Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl – set aside.
In a small dish mix together the melted butter and vanilla – set aside.
Crack the eggs into a heat proof bowl, add the sugar, and whisk over a pan of simmering hot water, with a electric whisk, for 5 minutes.
When the egg and sugar mixture has thickened and increased in volume, to ribbon stage, remove from the heat.
Using a balloon whisk, gently fold half of your sieved flour and cocoa powder, and half of your melted butter mix into the egg mixture.
Fold the remaining flour, cocoa and melted butter into the egg mixture.
Pour sponge mix into prepared cake tin.
Bake at gas mark 6 or 400°f/200°c for 20-30 minutes on middle shelf.
Once baked leave to cool.

Chocolate Cream Coating:
Break 200g of the chocolate into small pieces and place into a pan along with the milk, cream, sugar and star anise. Bring to a simmer and gently stir the ingredients until all the chocolate has melted. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and leave for 5 minutes for the star anise to impart a subtle aniseed flavour.
After the 5 minutes, remove milk and chocolate mix from the heat. Strain to remove star anise and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Melt the rest of the chocolate (200g) in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted add to the cooled milk mixture and whisk by hand to incorporate all the ingredients into a chocolate cream. It will thicken to a fudge texture as it cools further.

Fruit Filling and Sauce:
Place all ingredients, except cornflour and water mix, into a pan.
Place pan, with lid, on a low heat and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.
Once the the ingredients are simmering stir in the cornflour and water mix.
As soon as the fruit mixture thickens, remove from the heat and place in a clean bowl to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate until chilled through.

Chocolate Flakes/scrolls:
Melt chocolate, in a heat proof bowl, over simmering hot water.
Once melted, pour chocolate onto work surface, marble slab – or, as I do, a piece of slate. See image:_V2A4098
Leave the chocolate to set at room temperature.
Note: If the chocolate is too cold it won’t form scrolls/shavings so don’t be tempted to speed up the cooling by placing it in the refrigerator.
When the chocolate has set, scrape a knife along the surface of the chocolate to create the shavings. See Image:_V2A4106
Use the blade of the knife, horizontal against chocolate, and drag from top to bottom across the surface of the chocolate. Keep the top of the knife slightly tilted towards you. Don’t dig the blade into the chocolate, just add enough pressure to create the scrolls/shavings.
Keep scraping across the chocolate until you have enough flakes/scrolls to cover the cake – top and sides. Transfer the choc’ flakes/scrolls to a clean tray and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Building The Cake:
For the final cake I cut 4 oblong sponge slices- approx’ 12cm x 22cm and 2cm in thickness. See image:_V2A4094
Drizzle each slice of sponge with Crème de Cassis or blackcurrant juice. See Image:_V2A4096
Pipe, narrow, lines of cream onto three of the slices and spoon fruit filling between the lines of cream. See image:_V2A4099

Now stack the sponges to create the layers – lightly firm and remove any cream that may ooze out. See Image:_V2A4101

Cover the stacked sponge with the chocolate cream: See image:_V2A4103

Now cover your cake with your chilled chocolate flakes/scrolls.
Finally, pass the remaining fruit filling through a fine sieve to be served as a sauce.

Tip: If the sauce is to thick after chilling just add a little more Crème de Cassis or blackcurrant juice.

Serve:
Serve your final cake with fresh pouring cream, fresh fruits of your choice and the fruit sauce.
Enjoy.

cooking, food blogging, food photography, pork, stir-fry, thefoodygrail.com

Pork Fillet and Scallops

Pork and scallops are a classic combination. Served with a sweet and spicy sauce this dish is one of my favourites.

Pork Fillet
Pork Fillet with a sweet and spicy sauce. Served with rice noodles, scallops, shiitake mushrooms and griddled spring onions.

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 pork fillet trimmed.

Marinade/sauce:
6g grated ginger.
6 dessert spoons of honey.
6 dessert spoons of red wine vinegar.
6 dessert spoons of light soy sauce.
2 dessert spoons of dark soy sauce.
4 dessert spoons of olive oil or veg’ oil
1 red chilli sliced including seeds. Use 2 chillies if you like it hot.
Juice of 1 lemon.
1 tsp five spice.
1/2 tsp ground black pepper.
100ml fresh apple juice.

Garnish:
4 fresh scallops with roe. Removed from shells and cleaned.
6 spring onions – trimmed.
10-14 Shiitake mushrooms.
Drizzle of olive oil for cooking.
100g Dried rice noodles.

Stir-fry Vegetables: Anything you like but I use:
4 florets of cauliflower sliced.
12 sugar-snap peas.
2 spring onions sliced.
1/2 chilli sliced.
1/4 of Chinese lettuce sliced/chiffonade.
2 dessert spoons olive oil or veg’ oil.
1 dessert spoon of light Soy sauce.

Method/cook:

Marinading the pork:
Firstly, place all marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
Cut the pork fillet in half and add to the marinade.
Leave the pork to marinade for two hours or over night.

Cooking the pork:
Once the pork fillet has marinaded remove from the marinade. Keep the marinade to one side for the sauce.
Drizzle the pork with olive oil, or veg’ oil, and seal in a hot frying pan.
Place the sealed pork in a preheated oven for 20 minutes – gas 7 or 220°C/425°F
When cooked, remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Cooking Garnish:
On a griddle pan lightly brown the spring onions in a little olive oil. Set aside and keep warm
Lightly fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil. Set aside and keep warm.
Fry the scallops and roe in olive oil for two minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
Cover your rice noodles with boiling water and leave for 10-12 minutes until softened. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Cooking Stir-fry:
In a wok heat up the oil.
Add cauliflower, spring onion and chilli and fry for 1 minute.
Add half a cup of water and continue to cook for a further minute.
Add the sugar-snap peas and cook for 1 minute.
Add the Chinese lettuce and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.
Serve.

Serving:
Put your saved marinade into a frying pan and heat on a medium heat until reduced by half. This will create a sweet and spicy sauce.
Re-heat your noodles and serve with slices of your cooked pork, your cooked garnish and stir-fry vegetables.
Enjoy.

desserts, food blogging, restaurant food, tarts

Custard Tart

Custard Tart
Deep Filled Custard Tart with Toffee Sauce, Glazed Bananas and a Sultana Syrup.

A wonderful dessert to follow a Sunday lunch.

Pastry: (for six tarts)
300g plain flour.
180g unsalted butter – cold.
1 large egg.
70g caster sugar.
2-3 tabls cold water.
Pinch of salt.

Egg Custard:
3 eggs.
30g caster sugar.
400ml whole milk.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Fresh nutmeg for grating.

Toffee Sauce:
100g sugar.
300ml double cream.
50g butter.

Sultana Syrup:
200ml water.
3 dessert spoons of sugar.
bay leaf.
3 cloves.
slice of lemon.
slice of orange.
50g of sultanas.

Glazed Bananas:
3 small ripe bananas.
15g of icing sugar and some for dusting.

Hazelnuts optional.

Method/Cook:

Pastry:
Add flour and salt to a bowl and rub in the cold butter to a fine crumb.
Lightly hand whisk the egg and sugar together.
Add the egg and sugar mixture to the flour mix to form a dough.
If needed, add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is a little dry.
Once the dough is made place in the refrigerator to chill – 1 hour.
Divide pastry into 6 equal portions.
Roll out each portion of pastry and line six round 9cm/3.5″ baking rings. I use non-stick egg rings with a depth of 4cm/1.5″
After lining rings with pastry ‘bake blind’ (see note) for 10 minutes at gas 6 or 400°F / 204°C. After 10 minutes remove parchment paper and baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Once tart cases are baked remove from the oven and leave to cool – do not remove the rings at this point.
Note: Baking blind. Line your uncooked pastry cases with parchment paper, bottom and sides, fill each ring with baking beans or dried peas. This stops the pastry from rising at the base and falling in at the sides.

Custard filling:
Lightly hand whisk the eggs and the sugar together in a bowl.
Heat the milk and vanilla in a pan until just warm.
Pour the warm milk onto your egg and sugar mixture and hand whisk together.
Transfer the mixture to a pouring jug and pour into your cooled pastry tart cases.
Once you have filled your pastry cases with custard, grate the top of each tart with fresh nutmeg.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until custard has set. Gas 6 or 400°F / 204°C.
When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.

Toffee Sauce:
Place sugar in a thick bottomed pan over a low heat – do not stir as sugar will crystallize before turning to a caramel.
When the sugar melts and starts to turn a golden brown remove from the heat.
Add the cream and butter – be careful at this point as the caramel is extremely hot and will bubble up as you add the cream.
On a low heat continue to stir until all the ingredients have formed a smooth sauce.
Note: On adding the cream, some of the the caramel will go hard and sticky. This caramel will melt as you stir cook the sauce out.
Once ready set aside.

Sultana Syrup:
Place all the ingredients except the sultanas in a pan.
Bring to a simmer and simmer for a further ten minutes.
Add the sultans and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Leave to cool.

Glazed Bananas:
Slice bananas into 5mm / 1/4″ slices and place on a non-stick baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Dust each slice with icing sugar and place under a medium grill until each slice turns a light golden brown. Or us a blowtorch if you have one.

To Serve:
Top your cooked tarts with a little of the toffee sauce and serve with the glazed bananas and sultana syrup. Dust with icing sugar.
Hazelnuts can be used to garnish for a little extra texture.
Note: The toffee sauce and syrup can be served warm as can the tart – enjoy.

bread, celebration, chocolate, Easter, food blogging, thefoodygrail.com

Chocolate and Orange Easter Bread

Easter Bread. Chocolate and Orange.
Chocolate and orange Easter Bread.

A sweet treat for Easter – or any occasion really.
This recipe is my own and, with a method similar to baking a Stollen, is very easy to make. It uses a simple fortified dough (containing eggs and butter) and takes little kneading. Give it a go.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
10″ or 25.5cm non-stick baking tin – greased and lined with parchment paper.
600g Strong Flour – plus some for kneading.
150ml warm milk – blood temperature.
200g unsalted butter – must be unsalted.
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk.
2 tsps salt.
2 tabls caster sugar.
25g dried active yeast or 50g fresh yeast.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Butter for greasing.

Filling:
180g Chocolate spread.
55g crushed Pistachio nuts.
Zest from 3 large oranges.

Glaze:
1/4 jar of Apricot jam.

Decoration:
1 packet of mini eggs.

Method:
In a large bowl stir 50g of butter into the warm milk.
When the butter has melted into the milk add the yeast, sugar and 2 heaped tablespoons of flour – taken from the 600g of flour that you have already weighed.
Tip: To remove any lumps of flour from the ferment – lightly whisk with a hand whisk.
Leave the milk and yeast mixture to ferment for 30-40 minutes. The mixture will bubble and quadruple in size.
In a second large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt and rub in the remaining 150g of butter, until all the butter has dispersed into the flour. Make a well in the centre.
In a separate bowl lightly whisk, with a fork, the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.
When the ferment is ready add, with the eggs and vanilla, to the flour and butter mix.
Combine all the ingredients into a dough. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.
Once kneaded, put the dough into a floured bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size.
Note: The first prove can take 2 hours.
Note: Unsalted butter is essential for the ferment, as salt will prevent yeast from activating.
Note: If you think that the dough is a little dry, add a touch more warm milk. If it’s to wet/sticky add a touch more flour.

Rolling the dough:

Once the dough has proved, roll out, on a lightly floured surface, into an oblong shape, approx’ 18″ x 13″ or 46cm x 33cm (see image 1 – below) and 1/4″ or 6mm in thickness.
Once rolled out to the required size, cover with chocolate spread and sprinkle with crushed pistachio nuts and the zest of the oranges. (see image 2 – below)
Roll up the dough into a sausage shape. Once rolled continue to roll the dough back and forth lightly stretching the length to approx’ 21″ or 53cm.  (See image 3 below.)
Once rolled to the desired length, trim 1/2″ or 1cm off each end.
Now, with a sharp knife, cut the dough into even pieces – approx’ 1 and a 1/4″ or 3.5cm in length.
Arrange the cut pieces of dough in a greased and lined baking tin. (see image 4 – below)
Cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours.
Once proved bake in a preheated oven on Gas 6 or 190°C / 375°F for 30-35 minutes.

Note: Don’t cram the baking tin with cut dough pieces – leave room for the dough to expand while proving. Any pieces that won’t fit in the tin just bake as separate buns and have with a cuppa’.

Glazing:

When Easter Bread is baked, remove from the oven.
Gently heat 4 tablespoons of Apricot jam in a pan until melted and liquid.
Remove the, warm, baked Easter Bread from the baking tin place on a wire rack.
Spoon the melted apricot jam over the warm bread, and using a pastry brush, make sure that the top and sides are covered with the apricot glaze.
Leave to cool, then store in an airtight container.

Decorate with mini eggs, if you so wish. Enjoy.

Image 1.                                                                   Image 2.
_V2A1836   _V2A1837

Image 3.                                                                                          Image 4.
_V2A1838    _V2A1842

bread, food blogging, soup

Celery, Leek and Potato Soup with Walnut Bread

Soup and bread.
Two for one – a tasty soup accompanied with a crusty walnut bread.

Whatever the time of year, I do like a warm comforting  soup.  I got to share a bowl with my neighbour today as we both put the world to rights – well it makes a change from talking about the weather.

Ingredients:

Soup: (makes approx’ 2 litres.)
2 1/2 pints or 1.420 litres of chicken stock.
50g butter.
1/2 leek.
1 onion.
5 sticks of celery.
5g fresh parsley.
sprig of fresh thyme.
4 medium sized or 800g of potatoes. Peeled and cut into quarters.
Salt and white pepper for seasoning.
Small pot of Crème Friâche.
Fresh parsley for garnish.

Walnut Bread: (makes a 10″ x 5.5″ loaf)
300g strong flour.
1/2 tsp salt
150ml warm water.
2 tsps. dried active yeast or 5g of fresh yeast.
55g crushed walnuts.
1 egg for glazing.
3g grated parmesan (optional)
Veg’ Oil for greasing tray.

Method/cook:

Soup:
In a large pan melt the butter.
Sweat off the celery, leek and onion until soft.
Add the potatoes, parsley, thyme and chicken stock.
Bring the contents of the pan to a simmer.
Once simmering, place a lid on the pan, and cook for 20 minutes – or until the potatoes are cooked.
When the potatoes are cooked blend the contents of the pan with a hand blender until smooth.
Once blended, season with salt and pepper.

Serve:
Serve with Crème Friâche and a sprig of parsley.

Walnut Bread:
Set oven to gas 8 or 230°C /450°F
Mix active yeast with 150ml warm water – leave to ferment for 15 minutes.
Combine flour and walnuts into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add salt to the edge of the flour – not in the centre.
Once active yeast has begun to froth add to the flour and mix to a dough.
On a lightly floured work surface, need the dough for 10 minutes or until you have a smooth dough.
Once needed, place dough into a floured bowl.
Cover with a damp cloth or cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Once dough has doubled in size – need again for a further 2 minutes.
Shape dough into a slipper/sausage shape approx’ 8″ long.
Place shaped dough onto a greased and floured baking tray.
Brush with beaten egg, cover with a damp cloth or cling film, and leave to prove again until doubled in size.
Once doubled in size bake in the middle of the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Tip: Before baking, grate parmesan cheese over the top of the risen dough.

Note: If using ‘easy cook yeast’ follow instructions on the packet.

food blogging, pork cheeks

Pork Cheeks

Pork cheeks are tender and delicious. Served with an apple and Madeira sauce.

Pork Cheeks.
Pork cheeks served with an apple and Madeira sauce. Accompanied with roasted beetroot, parsnips, mashed potatoes and apple crisps.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

For braising the cheeks:
8-12 pork cheeks.
1/2 red onion – chopped.
1/4 of a fresh leek – sliced.
1 stick of celery – chopped.
1 Bay leaf.
Sprig of thyme.
Sprig of parsley.
Knob of butter.
2 tbls olive oil.
900ml of beef stock.
2 cloves of garlic – no need to peel.

Madeira and apple sauce:
1/2 red onion – chopped.
4 chestnut or button mushrooms – sliced.
1 tbls red wine vinegar.
Knob of butter.
100ml Madeira wine.
100ml fresh apple juice.
salt and black pepper for seasoning.
pinch of sugar.
All the stock/liquor left over from cooking the cheeks. (strained)

Accompaniments:
5 medium potatoes for mash.
Pinch of nutmeg – optional.
3 parsnips.
3 fresh beetroot.
2 apples.
1/2 lemon.
Fresh thyme.
Salt and pepper for seasoning.

Method:
Heat your oven to gas 4 or 180°C / 350°F
Remove the silver sinewy membrane from the pork cheeks. A filleting knife is ideal as you can remove the membrane like removing skin from a fillet of fish. Place pork cheek sinew side down and slide the blade of the knife between sinew and the meat of the cheeks.

In a non-stick sauté pan seal and lightly brown the pork cheeks in the olive oil.
Once sealed, remove pork cheeks from the pan and set aside.
Pour any excess oil out of the sauté pan.
Now add the butter, onion, celery and leek to the sauté pan and lightly fry until just starting to brown.
When onion, celery and leek are starting to brown add the sealed pork cheeks, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and garlic to the pan.
Bring contents of sauté pan to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Once simmering, place a lid on your sauté pan and cook the cheeks for two hours in the oven.
When the pork cheeks are cooked, remove the cheeks from the cooking liquor/stock and set aside.
Strain the cooking liquor/stock. Skim off any grease with a small spoon and set the stock aside to make the sauce later.

Note: If you don’t have a sauté pan suitable for the oven – just use a casserole dish.

Note: If you have space in your oven, cook the beetroot and parsnips at the same time as your pork cheeks. If not, cook the pork cheeks first as they take 2 hours.  You also need the cooking liquor/stock from the pork cheeks to complete the dish.

Beetroot:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Place whole, unskinned, beetroots in a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven.
Depending on the size, they will take 1 hour to 2 hours to cook. Once cooked, set aside.

Parsnips:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Half and quarter the parsnips.
Place on a baking tray – drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
When the parsnips are cooked set aside for later.
Tip: Before placing in the oven, Sprinkle parsnips with brown sugar for extra sweetness.

Mashed potatoes:
Peel and quarter potatoes.
Place in a pan and cover with cold water.
Bring pan of potatoes to a gentle rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Drain potatoes, add a knob of butter, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher or ricer.
Set mash aside for later.

Note: If you want gloopy ‘chefs mash’ add cream and more butter – I find with this dish the Madeira sauce is rich enough without the use of cream and excesses of butter..

Apple crisps:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Note: You can prepare these the day before and store in an airtight container.

Have ready a bowl of cold water containing a squeeze of lemon.
Slice apples (3-4mm thick) and remove any pips. Place apple slices in the bowl of water and lemon – this stops the apples from going brown.
Dry apple slices and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
Bake until crisp for 40-50 minutes.

Madeira and Apple sauce: (the stock/liquor from the cooked pork cheeks is used to complete the sauce)
Melt butter in a frying/sauté pan.
Fry onion and mushroom until soft and lightly brown.
Add red wine vinegar and reduce.
Add Madeira wine and flame to burn off the alcohol. (flame Madeira by turning up the heat and tilting edge of the pan toward the hob flame – or use a kitchen blow torch.)
Once the alcohol has burned off, add the apple juice, a pinch of sugar and all of the, strained, stock from the cooked pork cheeks. Reduce sauce by a quarter.
Note: I like to leave the red onion and mushroom in the final sauce, but you can strain it if you prefer.

Serving:
Heat the Madeira sauce and add the cooked pork cheeks – thoroughly heat until the cheeks are piping hot.
Warm your cooked beetroot, parsnips and mashed potatoes.
Serve with a side of apple crisps.
Tip: Sprinkle tender shoots of fresh Thyme over each plate.

Tip: The pork cheeks can be cooked a day in advance – let them cool and store the cheeks and strained stock in a refrigerator.