Friday, 23 December 2011

Nearly Christmas time.

I cvould have put photos of the puddings I made for our Book Reading Goup supper, but I forgot the camera! Made an Orange and almond cake, and covered the top with a compote of cranberries, clementines and pomegranate seeds(all taken out of the pomegranate by hand!! Took ages) Also a large Chocolate and white Chocolate cheescake, which was supposed to be marbled, but the chocolate set too quickly, so it was a two layered one instead. They both went down a treat, and there wasn't much left over.
now the run up to Christmas .I am cooking the meal te night before
Pink Picante Prawns...raw prawns dipped in a mix of beaten egg white and a little cornflour, then passed through a mix of sea salt, smoked paprika and crushed pink peppercons,and fried ina pan.
Then I'm dong a slow roased shoulder of Lamb,
Lemon juice and yoghurt plus ras al hanout  rubbed into cuts in the flesh, then some red onions sliced ,a whole head of garlic in cloves in a pan , the lamb laid on the top, and half a bottle of red wine poured over. It must be left for 24 hours baforte cooking at 170o degress for 3 hours tightly covered. half an hour before the cooking ends ,remove the foil and let it continue to cook ,and then rest for half and hour loosely covered with foil.
The meat should fall off the bones,  pour over the juices and serve with couscous, more yoghurt and coriander leaves.
I think I found the recipe in the Guardian. hope it's good! I should think that after that, we will have cheese, but you never know!

Just to say a big thank you to all of you who read this blog , and then contact me, it is much appreciated.It's a pity that so many of you don't actually make a comment on the blog itself.
I really hope that you like to read about  my crazy efforts, as much as I enjoy writing about them!
And a happy Christmas to everyone, and health anda peaceful start to theNew Year, we never know what's around the corner.!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Free food!

My son in law is a member of a shooting syndicate, and he arrived bearing pheasants and 2 Mallard ducks.
As I had friends for supper on Wednesday, I roasted one of the  ducks, with some shallots and garlic in the pan, and the body of the duck filled with orange segments, Rosemary ,and more garlic.
With it I cooked  a butternut and carrot puree, and some wilted spinach. Didn't need potatoes,as I had made a seeded loaf ,using  half wholemeal flour and half a   seeded mix which I  wanted to try out.
Made a delicious sauce to go with it  with the duck.
Zested an orange, and juiced the rest. Sauted two shallots chopped very finely, then added some of the orange zest, half a small jar of redcurrant jelly, and some red wine.Simmer that for half an hour, and then
sieve the sauce ,and add the rest of the zest to the reminder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
They brought a tart from Waitrose, wich when warmed up ,was very good. Finished the  last of Roger Wilkins's cheeses ,but hope for some more next week, as Tess is coming up to see me.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

This week's cooking.

had friends round on Thursday, here's what I made for them....
First up, a real trip down memory lane, with a smoked fish ring, wrapped in smoked trout(which I think is far tastier than smoked salmon,and not so oily) Some watercress leaves in the middle took me back to the 80s!
I have taken a picture of it, but I don't seem to be able to get it up into the blog.  Shame ,as it looks quite appetising!
Then we had another old favourite  Pork with chestnuts and red cabbage.
I browned pieces of pork shoulder, then sweated off some chopped red onions,red cabbage and thyme, then added the pork pieces, plus a good glug of calvados,and some dry cider. Some peper, salt and juiper berries,and then it went into a low oven for an hour and a half.  With it I served a gratin of sweet potoato, parsnip and celeriac,with porcini mushrooms.The sliced vegetables were just briefly brought to the boil for about 4 minutes.the mushrooms soaked in boiling water for half an hour,and then layered with the vegetables,and a mix of cream and milk was poured over ,and went in the oven for an hour,until the vegetables were soft.  Plus some wilted spinach which  made a good contrast .
Good cheeses, with fig jam and chilli ,limeand apple jelly,both made by my goddaughter Honor,and were absolutely delicious!
Finally we had a scrumptious cake made with a ground almond base, with cherry compote swirled through ,served with vanilla ice cream.  I got the recipe from the Sainsbury's Magazine in September, well worth doing.
We drank  a 2009 Domaine Begude Sauvignon Blanc, and a  2004 Domaine St Jaques Minervois.
Or rather I  should say we drank moe than one bottle of each!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Haven't done much recently!

Just the normal cooking, but have a friend here tonight, and so I am giving her .....
Orange and beetroot marinated samon (a sort of gravad lax) with a creme fraiche ,diil and orange zest dressing, plus some rocket leaves;
then a tagine of lamb with butternut squash, leeks,onions and peppers both red and yellow, olives and prunes,with some tomatoes to give it some bulk in the sauce.Plus Moroccan spices naturally I am very fond of Ras al hanout which is mild and aromatic,and I have been brought 3 lots this year, with friends and family visiting Marrakech.
Have bought a ficelle from Waitrose, far nicer than I could make! and then some fresh pineapple and raspberries for later, if  we have room after the cheeses!
I always try to get  cheese from Roger Wilkins out beyond  Wedmore  when I'm staying with Tess.
He was featured on Jamie Oliver's Great British Food this week, for his cider ,rather than  cheese  A wonderfully atomospheric place, looking out over the Somerset Levels, towards  Glastonbury

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Preparing for Christmas! .I don't know why this hasn't arrived on the blog.Must be doing something amiss..

Here is what I made over the weekend.
Spiced Oranges.
|Easily done, by first making a syrup with vinegar and sugar, and then simmering the thinly sliced oranges in this plus
Some Cinnamon sticks, Cloves,Mace and Black Pepper corns, until the oranges are transparent. Poy up, reduce the syrup until it becomes thick by gently simmering it ,and fill the sterilised jars.  I only managed 2 jars, and I thought there would be more.
Then I made some mincemeat,  using a pound of mixed dried fruit, 1 1/2 lemons , zest and juice,and some
all spice, cinnamon, powdered ginger.Added some vegetarian suet, soft brown sugar and dried cranberries,plus the remains of a packet of soft dried fruits that were in the cupboard, pineapple, mango and chopped them small.Finally grated4 hard eating apples and added the pulp tp the mix, plus a good slug of Austrian Rum and some Sherry. Covered the bowl and left it overnight, then potted up ,adding more booze to fill the jars to the brim. They will now be left to mature until nearer Christmas.Hopefully will taste yummy, certainally they will be good and boozy!

Santa's little helper,Sybil,,getting fatter now she has been with me almost 4 months.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Today's talk for Bristol Area Stroke Foundation.

And thanks to all who came up to ask questions and were enthusiastic (hopefully over the thingsI had made!)I have been asked to put the recipe for the savoury cake here, so this is it ..translated from a French cookery book FETA AND SUNDRIED TOMATO CAKE.
180 gms of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3 eggs
100gms of grated Gruyere cheese
200 gms of Feta cheese 
4 pieces of sundried tomatoes
10cl of  olive oil
10cl of milk
5 cl of vegetable oil
2 or 3 handsfull of fresh herbs. I used basil and chives,but you could use parsley equally  well
pinch of salt  and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 180o
In a bowl sift together the flour and baking powder
In another bowl beat together the eggs,oils and the milk Season, but not too much ,as the cheeses are salty
Mix the  liquid ingredients into the flour ,turning the mixture delicately(French translation!) Cut the feta into small pieces,and add  them plus the Gruyere and herbs to the mix, until it is well blended
then put all entire lot into a loaf tin that you have already butered and floured inside.
Cook for around 50 minutes, or until a skewer piercing the cake ,comes out dry and clean.
Let the cake cool before turning it out.
I sometimes  serve this with drinks before a meal,as it cuts easily into small pieces. Good served warm as well.

I was not ENTIRELY happy with the rest of the things I cooked, as the Swiss Roll  was  left in the oven a fraction over time, and I couldn't possibly roll it without it cracking, so I just filled it ,and cut it into small pieces so that people could taste.  Also I made tiny sweet biscuits ,Banana bread and some caramelised red onion and thyme pizzas except the flour I used was too grainy, so I made more dough,but fogot to tell them that I had made the dough as well, might have seemed like boasting.
However it was good to show the things that I use to help me in my cooking,and I just hope that it will inspire others to cook as well. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Frugal cooking!

Well, I came home with a chicken,which the butcher split in two as it's easier for me to manage. Having roasted half  with some bacon, i wondered how many meals I could get from the half.
1. had the wing and a bit of breast with some salad for supper.
2. Stripped the flesh from the carcass,and made stock ,with some added vegetables I had a nourishing soup
3. Used the breast meat for a Goulash,as I  had a friend for lunch on the Sunday
4 Having made myself a dish of plain green lentils for Saturday evening( adding some excellent Cortonse olive oil, some chilli flakes and a little salt) it was absolutely delicious, but there was quite a lot left over, so I mixed them with the rest of the chopped up meat from the chicken,added some fried onions,parsley,and again chilli flakes, you must realise by now that i'm a chilli addict!  Formed tham into patties got 4, and then put them into the fidge to firm up. Then egg and breadcrumbed them, and fried  2 of them in a little oil . Eaten with a tomato salsa ,quite nice ,but could have done with a bit more flavour. In total, 6 meals were made from half a free range chicken, not bad I say!
Before we had the Goulash on Sunday, I made a small starter by cutting through some ripe figs in a cross shape, filling the cavity with goat's  cheese,and then wrapping the figs in Parma Ham, with a drizzle of oil over the top,and in the hot  oven to cook for about 15 minutes  Very easy,and she was impressed....

Friday, 28 October 2011

Spiced Beetroot,and other things

My time in Somerset with the family.

As so often when I'm there for a few days, it becomes a "cookathon". Started off by making chocolate brownies~(without a recipe ,so had to remember it ) And Tess's scales only work in Grammes, not ounces,so there had to be some quick calculations. All was well, thank goodness,and they had almost all gone by the time I left for home yesterday morning. Then we did a tagine of chicken for supper, with chickpeas and loads of vegetables from her garden. The next day, having visited one of the TWO local butchers in the villlage, I did a steak and kidney casserole,with the help of Douglas,now aged 13,who was on prepping duty,narrowly avoiding his fingers while he dissected the lamb's kidneys. The whole thing  went
into the bottom of the Aga for around 4 hours ,cooking very slowly.A problem for me, as I cannot lift a heavy cast iron casserole dish to save my life, thank goodness for grandchildren.
Then Tess dug up all the beetroot left in the garden, and we started on making spiced beetroot....The village only had small bottles of vinegar, so the whole process was somewhat expensive! The malt vinegar was put to infuse with bruised root ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mustard seeds instead of Allspice berries (none in the country!)and the beetroot were simmered  for around an hour and a half,as they were all sorts of sizes ,the smallest ones went in last .
Then we set about peeling them.What a mess, we were coverd in red juices. After cooling, we fiiled the jars ,and having strained the vinegar and added  some sugar to calm down the sharp taste. They really did look jewel like.  Hope they will taste good, but am leaving at least a month before trying any.
Will try for the photos now!  Drat it, I don't seem to be able to sort out the photos,and the computer keeps on freezing.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Next week's talk to 150 at the Bristol Area Stroke Foundation meeting

Getting my  head around what to make the night before so that they realise that I can actually cook!
Most likely Ishall do a huge onion tart, something from a French cookery book that will cut easily into pieces, a sort of savory cake;  and the maybe stun them by rolling up (one handed of course) a swiss roll.
I shall take mostof the equipment that I use daily except the magimix!
 Last week I found some sweetbreads in teh freezer that I bought at least 2 years ago in Norfolk when I was staying with some great friends. When thawed they needed blanching ,and some sinewy bits removed ,but I do remember my mum taking a long time to prepare them when we had them at home.maybe these had been cleaned more than in the past?
I first gently fried in them butter,then simmered them in stock with onions carrot celery and garlic, next thickened the whole thing with a little flour and then some  Philadelphia  cheese just to enrich the sauce. A small packet, costing £2.00 lasted me 2 meals .Very economical,and delicious  but I know that the thought of sweetbreads,being young animals "bits" is an anathema to some!  Sorry about that ......

Saturday, 15 October 2011

What I have been creating.

Would you believe CHOCOLATES? Saw a programme with Nigel Slater,and thought I can do I have .Picture coming up as soon as I can get it up on the blog.
I have just  had a friend staying from Cape Town,  we had a very simple supper of Avocadoes mashed with lemon juice ,chives and olive oil, with sliced fresh pears,and a little blue cheese crumbled ovethetop.
 A piece of Foccacia with that
Then grilled chicken breast,with a tagine of Butternut Squash,Red and yellow peppers,leeks,onions,
tomatoes,  some green olives,and a few prunes,with a little vegetable stock poured over,and simmered in the oven for about an hour. Also a salad, and then a really nice polenta and ground almond cake with cherry jam swirled into it before cooking.A tad dry (it said so in the recipe) so a good pouring of cream too.
Who says cooking is boring?  Not me. Apologies ,as I took the photo in night light, and found it really difficult to get rid of the shadow from my hand! As you can see, it's plain chocolate, adorned with various fruits and nuts, really dead easy.

Now I find I have masses of extra room here, as I deleted some writing, and I don't know how to get this bit to join up with the previous entry. There's a lot to learn still.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Why can so few people let me know they read this?

It really is annoying, as I know that there are quite a few ! I have lots of positive and enthusiastic emails, but only 4  of you have cracked how to give me a response on the blog, and so it looks as if no one read it.
Maybe you must have a gmail account in order to reply?
Buliders have finished, their work and  laid a screed for the floor, telling me it will take 3 days to harden off, and so Sybil walked all over it during the night, and now  it looks like a battlefield!
Only 2 more weeks to go (weather permitting) and then it will be finished,so here's hoping. It's now raining....

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Latest activities.

All over the weekend I was clearing things away, as I now have builders in, dismantling the Conservatory,and creating a new one. The house is filled with grey cement and mess. The cat keeps walking out ,into the road,and has to be brought home by helpful and kind neigbours.
However, over the weekend I had friends round for tea,(in the garden of course as it was stillso hot) and I made a carrot cake,which was quite sucessful.

6 fl oz of corn oil
150 gms caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Half a teaspoon of salt
125 gms chopped walnuts
250 gms of grated carrot
Grease and line a square tin,about 9" round
Oven 180 degrees

Mix the first three ingredients together,and then add the rest,and mix well, pour into the tin
Bake for 50 minutes or till firm to touch, then cool before icing .
Icing .50 gms butter 125 gms of icing sugar
100 gms of cream chees.zest of eiter an orange or a lemon
Beat  all these together, and pile on top of the cake. I always find the icing goes very runny, but it still tastes good! 
Forgot to note ..Sybil caught her first  garden mouse, played with it ,and lost interest..Then found another, but it escaped under some pots in the garden.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

How I open a bottle of wine.

Yes I know, unscrew the cap!  However I frequently have bottles with real corks in them ,or worse still, the dreaded plastic cork.  I use a simple 2 armed corkscrew, put the screw just into the cork while standing up( greater purchase on the cork ),then I sit down and put the bottle on the seat of the chair and resting between my knees.,so that I can grip  it firmly. Then unscrew the cork, placing my fairly weak right hand on the wings of the opener, and pull down. Usually the cork comes up quite easily, but sometimes the plastic one proves harder to remove. Then I am left with the cork in the corkscrew, so I grip the cork between my teeth, and rotate the corkscrew anticlockwise, and  Lo and behold ,it comes free, enabling me to open another bottle..... and another.....

Sunday, 25 September 2011

My three successful items today, lemon curd first nearest the camera, then the lemon pear and cardamom jam and lasty the spicy pear chutney. hurah! I've done it at last.

Just lost everything I have written! But I've been very busy cooking.

Three things this morning, as I seem to have a glut of pears, from my organic box, from friends and I had some here anyway.
So, Spicy Pear chutney peeled and chopped pears,( conference are good)
1  large onion peeled and chopped and  1 tablespoon of salt.
350 grm sugar
300 ml of water
2 teaspoons of curry powder
2 teaspoons of mustard powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of grainy mustard
1 heaped tablespoon of flour

Sprinlke the onion with salt,and leave ina bowl overnight
Drain.Add to the pears with half the vinegarand the sugar.Boil for 20 minutes
Blend the dry ingerdients together with the remining vinegar and add.
Cook for about another 15 minutes, or until the pears have softened and are very transparent.
Pot ,cover and leave for at least a month.
 before eating.
I like to add further spices so have used grated ginger,and chilli flakes. no doubt it will blow my head off.

Pear, lemon and cardamom jam

400 gms lemons
500 gms hard pears, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of cardamom pods crushed.
600 gms sugar
3/4 litre of water
 Slice half the lemons as finely as you can, and squeeze the juice from the rest.Put the pips into a muslin bag and add the to the water and lemons. Boil with a lid on for an hour. Remove the bag of pips from the juice,squeeze out the excessmadd the cardamom seeds and sugar and heat gently till it is disolved ,ten biol rapidy until stetting point is reached, then leave for halfan hour, and then pot into sterilised jars.Cover .
I don't know how this will taste, but it seemed an interesting recipe

Lemon curd

4 large lemons with the greated zest of 2 of them
200 grms sugar
175 gms butter
3 large eggs, beaten.
Put the first three ingredients into a heatproof bowl ,and set it over a pan of simmering water
Let it all melt together ,and then add the beaten eggs ,stirring all the time, until it becomes thick and will coat the back of a spoon.
 Pot into small pots ,and put into the fridge, as  is not advisable to keep it in a cupboard. It won't last longanyway, it's too delicious.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

I have been flat out this week.

On Monday, I had a friend to stay, and this is what I gave her for supper.

Crab au gratin.
I large crab (not large enough in my opinion)
the same weight of breadcrumbs as the crabmeat
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
1 hard boiled egg
3 pickled onions,and 3 small pickled gherkins chopped small
for the topping,breadcrumbs ,grated cheese and  a litle butter to dot on the surface.
First soak the breadcrumbs in a little milk,,,,,,,,,I would say only use half the weight of crumbs rather than the same weight as the crabmeat, then squeeze the milk from the breadcrumbs
Chop the egg, mix together the egg, ketchup,  onions and gherkins and Mayonnise and breadcrumbs and then fold in the crab.Season with salt and pepper.Put in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs over ,then the cheese, and dot with the butter. Cook in a moderate oven for half an hour.
The result was quite pleasant, but could definitely have done with more crab!

Then the next day, 4 for supper.
First course was simple ,as I had made Raymond Blanc's Chicken Liver Parfait some time before ,and there was some in the freezer. We had that with sourdough bread toasted, and onion chutney,also made some time ago, and thus nothing more  to do, bar plate up and make the toast!
Next I had some really good fish bisque (frozen again)  to which I added some tomato and red pepper that I had pureed. Chopped and fried an onion, cut up a   a few potatoes FROM THE GARDEN  added a can of chopped tomatoes, some Pernod,and saffron threads.Fresh salmon, tuna and large prawns were waiting to flash fry and be amalgamated at the last minute. Flaked the fish, added a little chopped parsley, and as Gordon Ramsay would say.... job done.
 It was delicious.and there was enough for me to have the following day, but then disaster struck! I put the lefover fish into a bowl, but it was slippery and fell to the floor with a crash, I was covered, the floor ,walls too. had to clear it all up ,and no food for the next day! I really should not try and do things when it's late and I'm tired..

We had good cheeses and then caramelised oranges.
Drank Sauternes with the Pate, a Chardonnay with the fish , and some Beaujolais wit the cheeses.
Yesterday, 4 for lunch ,so I  made a ricotta tart,as oneof the 4 is Vegetarian

Ricotta  at forno.
500grms of Ricotta. 3 eggs ,3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan,about 6 chopped and stoned black olives and the same of green ones. some basil, chopped finely. salt and pepper.
Breadcrumbs enough to cover the loose bottomed  greased tin in which you are cooking the tart.
Mix together all the rest of ingredients, add a slug of olive oil,season,andpour into the tin.
Put in the  oven  at 180 degrees for about an hour, take out when the top is nicely browned and leave to cool before unmoulding it
This is good served either warm or cold. If served warm, just a drizzle of best Olive Oil, if cold some Balsamic vinegar
We had it with a salad of beans, peas and broad beans,dresed with some basil oil , a green salad and some Piedmontese Peppers, cut in half and filled with garlic, basil leaves ,small  tomatoes cut in half ,plus  a  chopped anchovy fillet, drizzled with oil, and then baked in the oven at the same time as the Ricotta tart.

I also managed a tea loaf, as I found some dried fruit that definitely needed to be used up.
Soaked the fruit in a cup of builder's tea overnight, Then added 125 grms of brown sugar, 250 grms of plain flour and an egg beaten in. Forgot to say, a teaspoon both of baking powder and Bicarbonate of soda should be added  with the flour, otherwise it would be very heavy and not rise at all. 
That was in the oven for the same time, Good use of heat!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Pride comes before a fall.

Just to let you know that not everything I cook is a complete success.
Yesterday I thought I would make a  brioche.  First problem was my scales had broken, so I had to guess the ammount of flour needed. Then I tipped in too much dried yeast,which was imopossible to recover,as it had amalgamated with the flour! Luckilly it still rose well.

The recipe is brilliant, but there were several disasters still to come.
 I used too deep a tin in which to bake the brioche, asI like to be able to slice it (it's one of the few things I can actually cut quite reasonably)
Then I took it out of the oven too early,the top cracked into pieces and it was still very undercooked in the middle, so it had to be  returned  to the oven for a further 10 minutes! AND  it wouldn't come out of the tin...
Recipe below.....I've had this recipe for ages, and it's always worked a treat, but there you go!

1 teaspoon of dried yeast
1 teaspoon of honey
3 1/2   fl oz of warm water
500 gms of strong plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
4 eggs beaten
275 gms of softened  butter

1. Mix the yeast and honey in the warm water
2. Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl ,make a well in the middle
3. Add all the rest of the ingredients and bring them together, it will be messy, so don't answer the phone!!
4. Knead the mass for approximately 5 minutes and then return it to the bowl, cover it and leave in a warm place to rise for around 40 minutes
5. Knock the dough back and knead some more ,and then put in your preferred tin (well greased and floured ) Brush the top with either some egg yolk or milk whichever you prefer.
6. Cook in the  preheated oven at 200o for  40 minutes.
Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

I have taken 2 photos, but don't know whether I dare put them up for you all to see!
Still, there's much more cooking to be done this coming week, as I have a  friend staying, and then others coming for supper and even more for lunch at the end of the week,soI shall be busy.

Monday, 12 September 2011

I have been so lazy.

Going to Tresco was marvellous, white sands and turquoise sea, and above the island....sunshine! If I can manage it,I will try for a photo just to show what it was like.
Now I'm home again, and not doing much cooking, ,but yesterday I  picked all the miserable red and yellow tomatoes remaining  in the garden (those that hadn't gone black due to te rain) ,and stewed tham with lots of garlic,plus half a red pepper which was looking sorry for itself in the bottom of the fridge. Then pureed tham ,pushed the mix through a sieve, and now I have a nice container of really tasty sauce in the freezer.
I am thinking hard about what I will take for the presentation to the Stroke Group in early November, they tell me there could be over 100 people there, so maybe SOMEONE  might be interested!
Quite a bit of entertaining next week, so watch this space.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The spinach Roulade.

Well, I have uploaded the 2 pictures, but ,where ARE THEY?  This I find so dificult
Here goes. we had melon and Parma ham to start with ,(easy)
Then the roulade, which I made in the morning.

4  large eggs
Spinach cooked ,drained and chopped,about a small bagfull  I then made a thick white sauce ,flavouring it with grated nutmeg,salt and papper.
 For the filling.  I used  I Trout, and  choped Prawns and some mushrooms which I had sauteed in butter and a small glass of sherry  When cool, add half the white sauce plus some Ricotta and a spoonful of Creme Fraiche to make a  mixture soft enough to handle
Separated the eggs, not an easy task onehanded!
The yolks into the food proscessor with the other half of the white sauce, the spinach,and some grated parmesan.
Whip the whites till stiff,and fold them into the mixture. .
Then pour into a swiss roll tin that has been lined with greaseproof paper .
Bake in a hot oven(180o) for 15 minutes till firm to touch ,and browned,. then remove from the oven tip it onto another piece of greaseproof paper under which you have put a tea towel. Peel off the paper,let it cool,and then fill  with whatever you want. I have used red onions.,smoked haddock cheese sauce...
Roll carefully away from you . It helps if you cut the edges before you roll it.

Then afterwards  we had baked white nectarines with Amaretti biscuits and chocolate crumbled into the cavity where the stones were. I poured a little rose wine around them and they were in a medium oven for about 20 minutes, till they were soft,but not falling apart;. no picture,as we ate them to quickly!

Absolutely delicious.
Sorry I have got the pictures round the wrong way.....and after the pudding..

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pissaladiere: This is a tart made with a pizza base and masses of softened onions spread over, you then create the criss cross pattern using anchovies and a black olive in the centre of each cross. It was cooked in a hot oven for 20 minutes and it can be served warm or cold. I have made this for my friend's party in 10 days time and so have put it in the freezer as I'm away next week!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

                                          First pictures of Sibyl on her first day with me.

                                         Scotch pancakes or drop scones.

Empty cupboard!

Friends for bridge, and the biscuits I had bought were found to be completely broken on opening.
So made a batch of drop scones, or Scotch pancakes as some people call them.

Drop Scones
125g self raising flour
1 egg 20 gms of butter.
a desert spoon of sugar,asnd a pinch of salt
enough milk to make a soft dropping mix off a spoon.

Rub the butter into the flour, add the sugar and salt,then the egg.
Slowly pour in the milk until it is thick enough to drop off a spoon.
Heat a frying pan or similar,  add a small amount of tasteless oil, ( vegetable or sunflower)

Drop spoonfuls into the hot pan, leave for a minute or so,then flip over and cook the underside.
They will puff up a litle.
makes about 18, depending how large your spoon is!
Photo coming when I can work out how to do it......

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Using things up.

Today I seem to have loads of vegetables, so I decided to make a Ratatouille,with these ingredients.
1 stick of Celery,1Aubergine1 Red Pepper,3 Large Spring Onions and 2 large Tomatoes,quartered .I also had a cauliflower lurking in the fridge, so I broke off some florets,and added them to the other vegetables for the last  6 minutes of cooking,so they still had some crunch left
Just a little oil ( in fact I used the remaining oil from the jar of sundried Tomatoes ) and salt and Pepper .
As I also had some plain flour that needed using up,  I made a FOUGASSE ,an easy sort of flat bread
I rarely weigh things accurately ,so I tipped the flour in a bowl ,added a shake of dried yeast,some sugar and salt, and then some warm water ,then kneaded it for about 5 minutes until it was elastic, and then let it rest in a covered bowl . One handed kneading is ultra messy! I get dough all crusted on my fingers.
Then I added the sundried Tomatoes from the jar that had been ages in the fridge,plus  the oil,and herbs that were at the bottom of the jar.  Covered it with oiled cling wrap, and left it for half an hour  formed it ,and made slashes in the top,stuck a few olives over the top too,and then a sprinkle of sea salt ,then cooked it in a hot oven for 20 minutes.
 It came out a bit overdone, but tasted good when eaten with the Ratatouille, over which I had crumbled some Feta cheese,and scattered the chopped tops of the spring onions over the lot.

I have bought a camera, and now need to work out how to get the photos into this blog!  Why does being one handed AND LEFT handed make things so difficult? Needless to say, Ru has helped me..thank goodness.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Cold Avocado soup

I love this one too!
As many avocadoes as you have to hand
some chicken stock
a clove of garlic.Greek yoghurt
Juice of a lemon

Put all these ingredients in the processor, and blitz,adding salt and pepper to taste,
Add the lemon juice ,more if you think it needs it
If you use home made stock, it will often make the soup thicker than if you used a stock cube.

Hot weather cooking.

Toeday it's really hot, so i want to keep things simple.
I have a huge cucumber in the fridge, and so i am making a cold soup, trying to remember the recpie when i
had it with friends.

1 large cucumber, peeled ,but not de seeded
1 stick of lemon grass.grated
1 red chilli(not too fierce!)cut in half  ,or none if it's not your thing.
Piece of fresh ginger grated
mint, basil,and coriander ,small handful of each.
1 tinnof coconut milk
1 pot of plain yoghurt
Juice of 1 lime,and a little zest for garnishing.

Roughly chop the cucumber, salt it, and put with  all the other ingredients together, and leave in a covered bowl in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Then blitz it all in the processor with the coconut milk, and the yoghurt.and lime juice, then  add salt and white pepper to taste.
Sieve ,if you want it without bits, but I liked it with a little character.
To serve ,dribble a little Sesame oil on the top ,and some thin slices of cucumber if desired.
It seemed to be even nicer a day later.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Back home from Italy

Now I have seen how a blog really works,I must buy a camera quickly so that I can photograph my food,and show certain utensils that I find, being one handed, are invaluable to my cooking. so watch this space!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Friday, 18 March 2011

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Must be one of the most messy things to cook with one here's the recipe that I use most often.
125 g butter
125g plain Chocolate
11g self raising flour
250g soft brown sugar
A few drops of Vanilla exract
3 eggs
200g of milk and white chocolate,chopped into small pieces

Grease your chosen tin,( I usually use a square one)
Melt the chocolate and butter together
Mix the flour, sugar vanilla and the beaten eggs all together,and then pour overthe chocolate and butter mix.
Stir gently until blended,
then pour into the tin, without covering yourself  with melted mixture!
Scatter over the chopped bits of chocolate,and bake in a moderate oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin, and then cut into slices and enjoy.
If you have a fan oven, 25 minutes may be too long, they must be still gooey
Top tip:
  • Keep a damp cloth under your bowl to secure it