Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Soup



Today I made the first home made soup of the season.  It felt right after such a blowy night.  It's a very casual recipe.

Bung some onion and celery, chopped, in a pan.  Add the main ingredient (mine was carrot and lentil).  Add some water, some herbs and some stock.  Add seasoning (go easy with the salt).  Boil it all up, covered.  Check veg is cooked.  Zizz until smooth.  Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.  Add more water if it's too thick.

Heat until piping hot and enjoy with crusty bread or some croutons.

(or bung it all in Thermione, cook for 20 mins at 100, speed 2, then blend at speed 10 for around 30 seconds until it's all smooth)

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Dead easy naan bread

A whike agoI made a lovely curry (with the help of a Spice Tailor kit!) so today I had the left-overs from the freezer.  Instead of rice, I rather fancied some naan bread

I searched via a cook's best friend (i.e. Google) and found that there are endless recipes out there.  Posh ones, slummy ones, ones that use yeast, ones that use baking powder, ones that use SR flour, flavoured ones, plain ones, dry fried ones, baked ones . . .

I reckoned that any home made one, fresh and still warm, is going to taste good, however it is made.  I'm no expert and my palate is not that 'refined'.  So this is what I did.

For the dough I used SR flour (please don't shudder, it was fine) and natural yogurt - 100g flour and about 50g natural yogurt (probably a bit more than that but I didn't really measure.  I seasoned with salt and pepper.

I 'cheated' and used Thermione but it would be simple by hand, just taking a bit longer.  Mix together the flour, yogurt and seasonings and knead, aiming for a dough that is just on the dry side of being sticky.  If it's too sticky, add more flour; if it's too dry, add more yogurt.

That's it really.  Wrap the dough and pop it in the fridge for about an hour.  Then take it out, break off portions, shape and roll out.  I went for sort of circles after trying to shape the first one (in the photo below) which ended up more like a square with rounded corners! because that's easiest

There are differing opinions about the cooking.  I just dry fried  and kept the first one warm, covered with a clean cloth, until the second one was made and so on.  They puff up quite a lot, as you can see, before going down again.


They were 'basic', I know, but very tasty with the chicken curry!  I suppose one could brush them over with garlic butter and that would be nice too but I didn't, not this time.

That's it.  I made four, far too much really, but I ate the lot because there was a lot of gravy.  That's my excuse

Very delicious!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Apple curd

A friend gave me some cooking apples from her tree, beautiful, sound cooking apples, a pleasure to look at and handle.  Kilos of them too which was so generous.

I've been looking for some recipes I haven't tried before and I found this one which is a River Cottage recipe (which are always good for a try) on the Guardian site.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gallery/2008/jul/21/foodanddrink.recipe
I converted it to a Thermomix recipe because I know Thermione does lemon curd beautifully and with a lot less hassle.

It's a dream - totally, deliciously wonderful and I'm so going to make it again!


OK, so the recipe itself can be found via the link above.  Here's the thermo way.

Put five spotlessly clean, medium sized jars into a cool oven to warm up.  Wash and dry the lids.

Crack 4 or 5 eggs into the bowl and zizz until smooth and 'light.  You need about 200 mls beaten egg.  Tip into a container and wash out the bowl.

450g bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped, added straight away to 100ml water and the finely grated zest of two lemons (I only had one and it's still nice) in the bowl.

Cook at 95C, speed 2 for about 10 mins or until the apple is soft.  If the mix hasn't gone light, fluffy and pureed, give it a zizz for luck!

Add 125g butter (it says unsalted, I only had salted), 450g granulated sugar and 100mls strained lemon juice (the juice from the lemon made up to 100mls with lemon juice from a bottle)
Mix on 2 for around two minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted.  You get a lovely, light mixture.

Make sure the mixture is below 50C (check the temp dial).  It should be but do check because if it's too hot, the curd might split when you add it.

Take off the measuring cup, start mixing at about 2 and pour the beaten eggs into the mixture.  Continue mixing until it is all incorporated.

Cook at speed 2, 95C for around ten minutes.  If it thickens before then, it doesn't matter as it won't boil and scramble.  That's the delight of a Thermomix!

Pour into the jars immediately and put on the lids.  Scrape out the bowl and enjoy!  Label the jars when they are cold.

Keep in fridge once opened and use within 4 weeks.  I don't think there is any danger whatsoever of it lasting that long.  It is gorgeous!


Thursday, 31 August 2017

Bread: soft crust sandwich bread

Looky-look!  Doesn't it look great?


It smells great too and I can't wait to taste it!

Made the usual bread way but with 5 to 10 minutes hydration time between mixing in the wet ingredients and starting to knead.

325g milk
25g unsalted butter
1 tsp golden syrup
500g strong white flour plus a little more for dusting
heaped tsp salt
heaped tsp fast-action dried yeast.

Melt the butter into the golden syrup, add the milk, mix well and heat to warm.  I used the microwave for this.
The rest is normal bread method with 15 mins at 180C and 20 mins at 160C

The shiny look comes from rubbing some butter over the top when it comes out of the oven.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Bread: basic cob loaf

I have copied this from my main blog because it belongs in here too.

I found this book on the 'reduced' shelf of a local 'sell everything cheap' type shop and pounced on it with glee!
My goodness, it is a treasure chest of recipes.  Each one I have looked at so far I want to make and I can see it's going to be a 'make a new one each week' situation.  I can't do more as I don't get through enough bread to justify more.

Today, I started working through, leaving the first recipe, which is soda bread, for when my friend (who can't have yeast) comes to stay, and going on to the second, a very basic cob   More or less the recipe I use but without the sugar and oil so just water, yeast, salt and water.  I'm always amazed that such very simple ingredients can produce something so tasty and mouthwatering.

It's just finishing off in the oven as I'm typing so by the end of this entry it should be out and I can take a photo.  The only problem is that it seems to be coming out a bit flat and that, I am sure, is down to my shaping.  You create the tension in the loaf by shaping and, as I usually use a tin, I'm not great at it.  Much do better and I will work on it!

And here it is, hot and fresh out of the oven.  Not bad for before 8:00 am, eh?  But I will definitely work on my shaping technique and the slashes need to be deeper and much more even.

As it is a very basic loaf and the recipe is already out there, I see no problems with listing the ingredients.  The method is what you do with all bread so I won't post it here.
I made half amounts so . . .
350g strong white flour
extra flour for dusting
5g fine sea salt (I used ordinary salt)
a scant tsp fast action yeast (around 4 to 5 g)
around 225 mls/g lukewarm water



Thursday, 3 August 2017

Bits and bobs bake

I call it this because really you can use whatever you like as long as it's roastable.  I'll detail what I used but you don't have to stick with that.  Amounts are also variable - just think of what you would normally do for the number of people for which you are cooking

Ingredients
Oil
new potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into chunks
courgettes, onions, red or yellow pepper, small tomatoes, all prepped and chunked to same size as spuds
(I would also have used a few cloves of garlic if I'd had any)
some herbs from the garden (I used rosemary and thyme) or dried herbs
salt and pepper

some passata (not much) or make a tomatoey sauce from puree with water.
cooked meat - leftovers are perfect - or some pulses if you want to go vegetarian

grated cheese

Method
In a roasting dish, add the vegetables, seasonings and herbs, pour over some oil (you don't need a lot) and mix to  'ensure maximum retention'  (I've been reading Harry Potter!).  I use my hands for this.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven (about 170 C) until all the veg is soft.
Remove the foil, turn up the heat, stir and pop back in so that they can start browning.  It doesn't take long.
Add the cooked meat and the tomato passata/sauce and mix.
Pop back in the oven until the liquid is bubbling and everything is hot.
Sprinkle over grated cheddar and bake for around ten minutes more.
Serve immediately while bubbly hot.

With what I had, I went all Mediterranean-ish but you could use so many other veg, depending on availability.  A good way to finish off those odds and ends.  Also, really filling.

walnut and mixed seed wholemeal bread

https://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/recipes/mixed-seed-and-nut-wholemeal-loaf


I've just used the recipe above to make THE most delicious 'posh' bread.  It's the recipe I always use for my breads but with the added nuts and mixed seeds.

I did half amounts to make a 1 lb loaf and it's just as well really because I'm eating it like it's the last loaf on earth.

The halved amounts are:
250g strong wholemeal flour
half tsp fast acting yeast
half tsp each of salt and sugar
a splash of oil
175 mls warm water

45g chopped walnuts and 30g mixed seeds (it looks quite a lot but it is just right)

The method is as in the link except that I cheated and used Thermione for the kneading and the knocking back.

It's so scrummy I can't stop going at it . . . which rather defeats the frugality of it all but never mind.

The basic loaf is very frugal anyway and while the additions take it out of extreme frugality, when you think of what you have to pay for a loaf of that type and quality, it's extremely good value.
Next time I will use half and half wholemeal and granary.