baklava, desserts, food blogging, food photography, panna cotta, recipes, restaurant food, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Wild Blackberry and Baklava Dessert.

Wild Blackberry Panna Cotta and Baklava Dessert.
Blackberry Panna Cotta with an Apricot and Nut Baklava.
Served with Whipped Cream, Sharon Fruit and a Blackberry Sauce.

British hedgerow meets Italian cream meets Ottoman delight.
Wild Blackberries are growing in abundance here in England at the moment. I don’t think I have ever seen so many fruits – it’s a bumper year.
After a few hours picking and culling the little black jewels, I put 500g of fruit to one side and froze the rest.
The recipe for today is a Wild Blackberry Panna Cotta with an apricot and nut Baklava. Served with whipped cream, Sharon fruit and a Blackberry sauce.
This dessert can be made in advance, chilled in the refrigerator and served when ready.

Ingredients:

Blackberry Panna Cotta: (makes 5 150ml desserts)
500ml double cream.
200ml skimmed milk.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
1/2 tsp agar agar or setting agent of your choice.
300g fresh blackberries.
70g sugar.
4 tabls water.

Blackberry Sauce:
200g fresh blackberries.
25g sugar.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
2 tabls water.

Apricot and Nut Baklava: ( makes 20 x 25 tray bake)
15 20cm x 25cm sheets of filo pastry.
300g ground mixed nuts (100g each of walnuts, hazelnuts and almond)
180g melted butter.
150g dried apricots – pureed in a food processor.

for the Baklava syrup:
100g sugar.
210 ml water.
180g honey.

Garnish:
2 ripe Sharon fruits.
15 fresh blackberries.
125ml double or whipping cream.

Method/cook:

Blackberry Panna Cotta:
Add the blackberries, water and sugar to a pan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn down the heat, add the agar agar, simmer for 4 minutes.
Next, blend the blackberry and agar agar mix then pass through a fine sieve. Set aside.
Bring the milk and double cream to just boiling. Thoroughly whisk in the blackberry and agar agar mix.
When combined, divide into five 150ml dariole moulds. Leave to set overnight.
When set, and ready to serve, loosen the at the edges then dip the moulds in hot water for 1 minute. Turn out your Panna cottas on to serving plates.

Blackberry Sauce:
Put all the ingredients into a pan.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes.
Once simmered, pass through a sieve and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator.

Apricot and Nut Baklava:
Set oven to gas 3 or 160°C/325°F
In your baking tray, place a single sheet of filo pastry and brush well with butter.
Do this with a further 4 sheets of filo – brushing each layer with plenty butter.
Now add a layer of ground nuts Approx’ 8 tabls’ and a layer of apricots. (see image)
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Add a layer of filo and press down. (see image)
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Now brush with butter and again add a further 4 layers of well buttered filo.
Add a further layer of nuts, followed by 5 more buttered layers of filo pastry.
Bake in the oven for 45 mins’ to 60 mins’ until golden brown.

Now make the Baklava syrup:
Place all ingredients in to a pan, stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
Once boiled, turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Once the Baklava has baked, cut in to squares. Leave to cool and then pour over the warm Baklava syrup.
Leave to soak for several hours – preferably overnight.
(see image – minus a few irresistible squares)
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Serving:
Turn out your Panna Cottas on to serving plates.
Add two squares of Baklava.
Spoon on ripe Sharon fruit.
Top your Panna Cotta with whipped cream and Blackberry sauce.
Garnish with fresh blackberries.
Optional: top cream with roasted ground mixed nuts.

Enjoy.

bread, broth, food blogging, food photography, oxtail, pickles, quenelles, recipes, restaurant food, savoury, soup, thefoodygrail.com

Glazed Oxtail with Prawn Quenelles, Oxtail Broth and Pickled Radish. Accompanied by Mini Miso buns.

Glazed oxtail in an oxtail broth.
A rich glazed oxtail dish with prawn quenelles, pickled radish and mini miso buns.

“Oxtail and Prawns!!” I hear you exclaim. The same indignation, to my choice of ingredients, was forthcoming from two family members. Not one to take umbrage, I set out to offer them the ‘proof in the pudding’ as it were.
Later that day, the soothsayers of culinary fusion were not only eating ‘oxtail and prawns’ but their negative words also.

Ingredients:

Oxtail: makes approx’ 1.5 litres of broth.
600g oxtail or 4-6 cuts of oxtail.
270g celery or 4-5 sticks – chopped.
150g red onion or 2 small red onions – chopped.
150g carrot or 1 large carrot – peeled and sliced.
50g unsalted butter.
1.2 litre of rich beef stock. One Knorr rich beef stock pot is fine.
1/2 litre of water.
3 tsps tomato puree.
2 bay leaves.
2 sprigs of fresh thyme.
2 tsps chopped parsley.
2 garlic cloves – sliced.

Glaze:
300ml rich beef stock. Half a Knorr rich beef stock pot is fine.
3 dessert spoons of honey.
2 dessert spoons white wine vinegar.
1 dessert spoon of light soy sauce.
Black pepper to season.

Prawn Quenelles: makes approx’ twelve if using teaspoons.
200g cooked prawns.
20ml double cream.
1 egg white.
1/2 tsp wasabi paste.
Seasoning – salt and pepper.

Pickled Radish:
4-5 radish sliced.
1 level dessert spoon of sea salt.
50ml white wine vinegar.
1 1/2 dessert spoons of sugar.

Mini Miso Buns: makes approx’ 12 buns.
200g strong bread flour.
125ml warm water.
1 tsp sugar.
7g fresh yeast or 1 dessert spoon of dried yeast or 1 tsp of easy yeast.
2 tsps ground coriander.
2 heaped tsps miso paste.
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tabls of water for egg wash.
1 tsp of caraway or sesame seeds.
Extra flour for kneading.

Garnish:
1 spring onion cut in to fine strips.

Method/cook:

Oxtail:
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C/425°F.
Place cuts of oxtail in a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and roast in the oven until well browned. Aprox’ 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the oxtails roast start to prepare the broth.
Melt the butter in a large pan.
Add the celery, onion and carrot to the butter and sweat until soft.
Next, add the tomato puree and cook out for several minutes.
Add the stock, water, herbs and garlic and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering remove from the heat.
When the oxtails have roasted, add them to the broth and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the oxtail meat is tender.
When the oxtails are cooked turn off the heat and leave the broth and oxtails to cool in the pan. Once cooled remove the oxtails and set aside.
Season the broth with salt and pepper. Blend the broth with a hand blender and pass through a sieve. Set aside.

Mini Miso Buns: (Don’t add salt as the miso paste is salty.)
Firstly mix the flour with the coriander – set aside.
If using fresh yeast or active dried yeast, dissolve yeast with the warm water and the sugar.
After yeast has fermented, and frothed up, add to the flour and coriander. Form a dough and kneed for 5 minutes.
Place dough in a floured bowl. Cover the dough and leave to prove, in a warm place, until doubled in size.
Next, on a floured surface, roll out the dough to approx’ 13cm x 11cm. Spread with miso paste (see image)
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Fold the dough over a 1/3 (see image)
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Fold the dough over another 1/3 to create an oblong (see image)
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Spread more miso paste over the top half. (see image)
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Fold the bottom half of the dough up over the top half. (see image)
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Roll out the pastry to approx’ 20cm x 30cm. (see image)
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Roll up the pastry in to a sausage shape. (see image)
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Once rolled, cut in to 10-12 slices. (see image)
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Lightly dust each slice with flour and press down with the palm of your hand. (see image)
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Place your dough portions on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with caraway or sesame seeds. Leave to prove and double in size. (See image)
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Once proved, bake at gas 7 or 220°C/425°F for 20 minutes.
Once baked place on a cooling rack. (See image)

Once cooled, store the buns in an airtight container.

Prawn Quenelles:
Place prawns, egg white, wusabi and seasoning in a food processor.
Blitz to a smooth paste.
Add the cream and blitz until thoroughly combined.
Using two teaspoons, form quenelles with the prawn mix.
Steam the quenelles in a bamboo steamer over a pan of simmering water for 4 minutes. (see image)
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Note: If you don’t have a steamer, poach the quenelles
in simmering water.
When the quenelles are cooked, remove from the steamer, and set aside.

Pickled Radish:
In a dish, sprinkle the slices of radish with the salt.
Leave for 2 hours and drain off any liquid.
Rinse the radish in cold water and then dry.
Heat the vinegar and sugar in a pan. Once boiling pour over the radish.
Leave the radish for 1-2 hours to pickle. Set aside.

Glaze:
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C/425°F
Place all the glaze ingredients in to a saute pan and bring to a simmer.
Add the previously cooked oxtails.
Spoon over the glaze and place in the oven to re-heat.
Cook the oxtails in the glaze for 35-40 mins. Baste at 10 minute intervals.
When the oxtails are heated, remove the pan from the oven, place on the hob, and continue to reduce the glaze for several minutes while basting the oxtails.
Set aside and keep warm.

Now that all the prep is done it’s time to put the dish together.

Re-heat the broth and the quenelles.
Place a ladle full of broth in to each of your warm serving bowls.
Place a glazed oxtail in to each bowl, followed by portions of quenelles and pickled radish.
Garnish with spring onion and drizzle with extra glaze.

Enjoy.

food blogging, food photography, steak pie, steak pudding, thefoodygrail.com

Baked Steak and Madeira Pudding with a Cauliflower and Mustard Purée.

steak pudding
Baked Steak and Madeira Pudding.

Steak pudding is a British classic. It can be baked, as in this recipe, or steamed.
Fit for any high class ‘gastropub’ this meaty main, with a rich gravy, will not disappoint.
Served with a cauliflower and mustard purée, roasted fennel, sweet shallots, Girolle mushrooms and a side of chunky fries.

Ingredients: (makes four puddings)

Beef Filling:
400g diced stewing beef.
50g seasoned flour.
500ml beef stock.
100ml madeira wine.
2-3 tbls olive oil.
1/2 onion – chopped.
3 button mushrooms – halved and sliced.
15cm stick of celery diced.
1 bay leaf.
1 tsp fresh thyme.
1 tsp fresh parsley.
Seasoning – salt and black pepper.

4 small pickled gherkins – diced. Set aside for later.

Suet Pastry:
350g self raising flour.
75g butter.
100g veg’ suet.
1 level tsp salt.
150ml cold water.
Extra flour for rolling out dough.
Extra butter for greasing moulds.

Roasted Shallots:
12 shallots – peeled.
Drizzle of olive oil.
Seasoning.
1 dessert spoon of sugar.
Tip: Trim the root end, don’t remove it, as the shallots will fall apart when roasting. You want them to keep there shape.

Cauliflower and Mustard Purée:
1/2 cauliflower – cut in to florets.
Seasoning.
Drizzle of olive oil.
2 tsps of English or French mustard.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.

Roast Fennel:
1 fennel bulb – sliced.
Drizzle of olive oil.
Seasoning.
2 tsps dried Marjoram.

Girolle Mushrooms:
20 Girolle mushrooms. Brush off any dirt and remove any stork ends that are blemished. Don’t wash them.
Knob of butter.
Seasoning.
Squeeze of lemon.

Chunky Fries:
3-4 potatoes cut in to chunky fries.
Vegetable oil for deep frying.

Fresh Fennel Herb and Thyme to garnish. Or just use fresh parsley.

Method/cook:

Steak Filling:
Set oven to Gas 4 or 180°C/350°F.
Coat your diced Steak in the seasoned flour – set aside.
In a sauté pan, soften and lightly brown the onion, button mushroom and celery in 1 tabls of oil. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same pan add another tabls of olive oil and brown your seasoned steak.
Note: If the pan becomes dry add another tablespoon of olive oil.
When the steak has browned add the Madeira wine and flame to burn off the alcohol.
Tip: At arms length, tilt pan toward flame so that the Madeira catches light – be careful, as the flame will initially be vigorous before the alcohol burns off.
Now add the stock, herbs and seasoning. Stir and bring the contents of the pan to a simmer, pop on a lid and place in the oven for 2 hours to cook – or until the meat is tender.
When the meat is cooked, now in a rich gravy, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Suet Pastry:
In a bowl mix the flour, suet and salt.
Now rub in the chilled butter until dispersed into the flour mix.
Add the water and combine in to a dough.
Now line the individual pudding/dariole moulds. I used 8cm x 5cm moulds.
Firstly, grease your moulds with butter.
Divide pastry in to four portions.
On a floured surface, roll out each portion of the dough to a 20cm circle. (see image)_V2A7660
Line each, greased, mould with a pastry circle. Press the pastry in to the bottom and around the sides of each mould. Remove any air pockets in the base. (see image)
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Trim off excess pastry and set aside to make pastry lids. (see image)
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Now roll out trimmed pastry portions to 15cm circles. Cut out pastry lids using a mould as a template. (see images)
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Chill your lined moulds and pastry lids for 1 hour.

Filling the puddings:
Remove the pieces of cooled steak from the gravy. Break any large pieces of steak in to smaller pieces.
Place pieces of steak into the base of your lined moulds – fill only 1/3. Top with a few chopped gherkins. (See image)
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Now add a dessert spoon of the gravy that the meat was cooked in.
Top with more meat and gherkins then finish with a dessert spoon of gravy. Keep the remaining gravy for serving later.
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Wet the edges of the pastry around the top of the moulds and top with pastry lids – press the edges to create a seal. With a knife, make holes in the lids. (see image)
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Bake your puddings for 35-40 minutes at Gas 6 or 200°C/400°F.
Tip: The puddings can be prepared a couple of days in advance and baked on the day.

With the puddings made, the rest, being the veg’ and garnish, is very easy indeed.

Cauliflower and Mustard Purée:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C/375°F.
Place your florets of cauliflower in a baking tray.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cover with tin foil and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked.
Once cauliflower is cooked, blend in a food processor along with the mustard and lemon juice. Set aside.

Roasted Shallots:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C/375°F.
Place your peeled shallots in a roasting tray.
Drizzle with oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Roast for 30-40 minutes until onions are soft and golden brown. Turn several times during roasting so that the shallots turn a golden brown all over.
Once cooked – set aside.

Roasted Fennel:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C/375°F.
Place slices of Fennel in a roasting tray.
Drizzle with oil, season and sprinkle with marjoram.
Roast for 35-45 minutes.
Once cooked – set aside.

Girolle Mushrooms: (Cook these just before serving)
Lightly fry the girolles in butter.
Season with salt and pepper.
Finish with a squeeze of lemon.

Fresh Fennel Herb and Fresh Thyme for garnish.

Tip: The cauliflower, fennel and shallots can be cooked at the same time as the steak, at Gas 4 or 180°C/350°F. They will take longer to cook, as the oven temperature is lower, but it can save on the overall cooking time.
The vegetables can also be prepared and cooked in advance and warmed up at the same time the steak puddings are baking.

To Serve:
Put your fries on to cook in a deep fryer.
Heat up the gravy left from cooking the steak.
Tip: The gravy can be blended and sieved for a smooth texture – I prefer to leave it.
Spoon some of the hot gravy on to your serving plates.
Arrange your cooked steak puddings, cauliflower puree, veg’ and garnish.
Serve with a side of chunky fries and glass of red wine. Enjoy.

chocolate, chocolate cream, desserts, food blogging, food photography, ice cream, licorice, liquorice, recipes, restaurant food, sweets, thefoodygrail.com

Fruit Tart with Liquorice Ice Cream and Blackcurrant Jelly.

fruit tart with liquorice ice cream
Fruit Tart with Liquorice Ice Cream. Served with Chocolate Cream and Blackcurrant Jelly

A melt in the mouth sweet pastry filled with a tangy fruit compote and topped with a dark chocolate cream. But it doesn’t stop there; Jelly and ice cream will take you back to your childhood…Mmm liquorice and blackcurrant.

Ingredients: Makes 6 tarts.

Liquorice Ice Cream: (makes approx’ 500ml)
3 egg yolks.
75g sugar.
300ml whole milk.
30ml double cream.
20g skimmed milk powder.
1/4 tsp salt.
1 tsp vanilla extract.
1 1/2 tspns liquorice powder.
1 tsp liquorice syrup.
1g ice cream stabiliser. (Optional)

Pastry for tart cases:
200g plain flour.
125g chilled butter.
50g caster sugar.
1 beaten egg.
Pinch of salt.

Blackcurrant Jelly:
100ml blackcurrant cordial (50% juice).
100ml summer fruit juice.
1 level tsp Agar Agar or jelling agent you prefer.
Note: I prefer agar agar as it sets to a gel at room temperature and makes wonderful soft jellies.

Fruit Compote:
180g Frozen summer fruits.
3 dessert spoons sugar.
Juice of 1/2 lemon.
3 tbls of cold water.
1 heaped tsp of cornflour.

Chocolate Cream:
150g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
110ml skimmed milk.
35ml double cream.
1 1/2 tsps sugar.
1 tsp vanilla extract.

Garnish:
6 fresh strawberries
6 sprigs of mint.
Zest of 1 large orange.
Or use fresh fruits of your choice.

Method/cook:

Ice Cream:
Mix 2 dessert spoons of the sugar with the ice cream stabiliser. Set aside.
In a thick bottomed pan heat the milk, cream, milk powder, salt vanilla, liquorice powder and syrup to 82°C / 180°F. Note: Bring to a simmer if you don’t have a thermometer.
When the milk mixture has reached the required temperature, remove from the heat, and leave to cool for 3 mins’. Stir in the sugar and stabiliser mix.
With a whisk, cream together your egg yolks and remaining sugar in a heat proof bowl.
Now add your hot milk mixture to the egg yolks and sugar to create a custard – combine with a hand whisk.
Note: Make sure that your milk mixture isn’t to hot as it will scramble the egg.
Pour the custard back into your thick bottomed pan, and on a low heat, stir until the custard thickens. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon remove from the heat.
Note: If you have a thermometer. Heat and stir the custard to 60°C / 140°F and cook until the custard has thickened, about 5 mins’.
Strain the custard into a clean bowl and leave to cool.
Once cool refrigerate until chilled.
Once chilled, churn your custard in an ice cream maker.
Store your finished ice cream in a suitable container in the freezer.
Note: You can make this ice cream without the stabiliser but it will freeze to a firmer texture.

Jelly:
Heat all the ingredients to just boiling.
Pour the hot fruit liquid into an oblong mould or dish, lined with cling film. Pop any bubbles that may form. Set aside to set. (See image)
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Tart Pastry cases:
Rub the chilled butter into the flour and salt.
Combine the sugar and the beaten egg.
Make a dough by combining the the egg mix to the flour mix.
Wrap in cling film and chill until pastry is firm.
Note: Initially this pastry mix is quite sticky. Have some extra flour ready to sprinkle over your hands when combining into a dough. Refrigerate the dough overnight, if you can, as it will help when it comes to rolling out.
When the dough has chilled divide into 6 equal portions and roll each piece into a circle – large enough to line 10cm tart cases.
Line six 10 cm tart cases with pastry. Bake blind for 10 minutes at gas 6 or 200°C/400°F
After 10 mins’ remove tart case from the oven. Remove parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 5 mins’ at gas 3 or 160°C/325°F.
Once baked remove from oven and leave to cool.
Note: Baking blind – line uncooked pastry tarts with parchment and weight down with baking beans, dried peas or rice. This stops the bases of the tarts rising (See image)
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Fruit Compote:
Except for the cornflour, in a pan, heat all the ingredients to a simmer.
Mix the cornflour with 2 tabls of water and add to the simmering fruit mixture.
When fruit mixture thickens remove from the heat and set aside to chill.
Note: Don’t be tempted to add extra sugar to the compote. A slight tang or sourness is required to balance out the overall sweetness of the final dish.

Chocolate Cream:
Put all the ingredients into a pan and heat gently. As the chocolate melts whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.
Place in a clean receptacle to cool. Once cooled, place in refrigerator to firm to a piping consistency.

To serve:
Dust the edge of each tart case with icing sugar.
Half fill the tart cases with fruit compote. Top with a swirl of chocolate cream.
Turn out the jelly and cut into cubes. Arrange on the plate with slices of strawberry.
Tip: Strawberry slices will stick to the sides of the moist jelly cubes – it gives a little height and interest to the dish.
Pipe more chocolate swirls around the plate.
Place a scoop of ice cream topped with orange zest with your finished dish.
Enjoy.

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.
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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)
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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.

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:

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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:
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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.

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. Maybe a good idea to go easy on the roast potatoes.

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, 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 elderley neighbour today, while he put the world to rights.
Soup, bread and brexit. If only politicians could speak so lucidly with hot soup dribbling down their chins. Anyway, one free lunch later – politicians again – my neighbour thanked me then hobbled off for his afternoon nap.
‘Share a Soup Day’ sounds like a good idea.

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.

Grilled Cod.
food blogging

Grilled Fillet of Cod

A tasty grilled fish dish for lunch or dinner.
Like any fish dish – simplicity is best – let the main ingredient be the star of the show.

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Grilled Cod on a bed of spring cabbage. Served with crispy bacon and a light tomato puree.

Ingredients for two:
Two cod fillets – skinned and boned.
Fresh Tomato Puree:
3 shallots – peeled and chopped.
5  ripe tomatoes chopped – vine tomatoes are best.
30g of butter.
1 dessert spoon of tomato puree.
1tsp sugar.
Salt and ground black pepper to season.
1 tsp balsamic vinegar – optional.
Garnish:
6 green beans – topped and tailed.
1/2 savoy cabbage – chopped.
35g butter.
1 cup of water.
6 rashers of streaky bacon.
Fresh basil leaves as garnish.
2 wedges of lemon – optional.

 

Method/cook:
Set oven to gas mark 7 – 425f/220c

Tomato Puree:
In a pan sweat your chopped shallot or onion with the butter.
When the shallots/onion have softened, add the chopped tomato, tomato puree and sugar.
Place a lid on the pan and, over a low heat, cook for 30-40 minutes – stirring every 5 minutes to prevent the contents from sticking/burning.
Once the tomatoes have broken down to a soft puree blend with a hand blender and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Garnish:
Place your 6 rashers of streaky bacon on a non-stick tray and place a further non-stick tray on top of the bacon – place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and crispy. Check after 20 mins’.
Tip:Lay your bacon between two sheets of greasproof paper before placing between baking trays – this prevents bacon from sticking.
Cook your green beans in boiling water for 4 minutes – refresh in cold water, drain and set aside.
Add your chopped cabbage to a pan of boiling water – cook for 3 minutes. Refresh in cold water, drain and set aside.

Grilling Fish:
Turn on your grill to medium:
Grease a flat oven-tray with butter.
Place the fish on the tray and smear the fish with thin layer of butter.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Grill for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked – keep warm.
Reheat your tomato puree on a low heat.

Tip: Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to your puree for a little extra flavour.

As the fish grills place 35g of butter into a pan with a cup of water.
Bring the butter and water to a simmer – add your beans and cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Heat for two minutes or when vegetables are hot enough to serve.

Remove bacon from the oven and it will crisp as it cools.

When the fish is cooked you are ready to plate. Enjoy.

desserts

Chocolate Mouse Cheesecake

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An indulgent chocolate dessert to grace any dinner party.

 

Recipe/ingredients:

You will need a 25cm x 6cm cake tin. Spring loaded if you have one, but not essential. Electric whisk and a balloon whisk.

For the chocolate cheesecake mouse:
200g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa.
3 large eggs separated.
200g cream cheese.
300ml double cream.
100g caster sugar. (Split sugar into two measures of 60g and 40g.)
1 and a 1/2 leaves of gelatin.
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract.
Juice of half a small lemon or a tablespoon of brandy.
1 tbls of cocoa powder for dusting.

For the base:
120g melted butter.
300g digestive biscuits.
5g of butter for greasing tin.

Method:

For biscuit base:
Grease cake tin with thin layer of butter, then line base and sides of tin with greaseproof paper.
Crush biscuits to a crumb by putting in a strong plastic bag and hitting with a rolling pin – or use a food processor.
Once the biscuits have been crushed place into a bowl and mix with the melted butter.
Put the biscuit mix into your lined cake tin. Using the back of a dessert spoon press and smooth the biscuit mixture down evenly to create your biscuit base.
Set aside in a refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

For chocolate cheesecake mouse:
Put gelatin in a dish of cold water to soften.
Break chocolate, into heat proof bowl, and place over a pan of simmering water to melt.
Whip the double cream to soft peaks and set aside in a refrigerator.
Thoroughly mix cream cheese with 40g of caster sugar, set aside.
Over a pan of simmering hot water, whisk 3 egg yolks, vanilla and lemon juice (or brandy) for 5 minutes with an electric whisk. Be careful not to scramble the yolks.
Add softened gelatin to the egg yolk mix and continue whisking until combined and all the gelatin has melted.
Add the melted chocolate to the egg yolks, and using a balloon whisk, mix until all the chocolate is combined. Remove from heat and set aside. See Note.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks then whisk in 60g of sugar to create a meringue.
You are now ready to combine the cream cheese, whipped cream, and meringue to the egg yolk and chocolate mixture.
With a balloon whisk, combine the cream cheese and double cream together.
Now add cream cheese and double cream mixture to the chocolate and egg yolk mixture – mix thoroughly with balloon whisk.
Now fold in the meringue with balloon whisk. Once combined, pour into your lined cake tin and level off the surface.
Chill overnight and enjoy.

Serve with a fruit compote of your choice – I chose cherry.

Tip: Before removing from the tin, leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will prevent the tin dragging the sides of the cheesecake as you lift if off.

Tip: Dust each serving with cocoa powder.

Note: If your chocolate and egg yolk mixture splits, or becomes to thick, whisk over a pan of simmering water to loosen. Add an extra dessert spoon of lemon or brandy if need be, and all will be good.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.