Saturday, 30 March 2013

Lentil dhal the thermomix way

Same recipe as below, adapted by me for Thermione.  Again, in memory of Steve Neville.

Lentil Dhal:

two shallots, peeled and halved
ginger, peeled, enough to give about 1 tsp when grated, cut into 'coins'
1 plump garlic clove, peeled
Put all of the above into the bowl and zizz briefly until reduced almost to a paste but not quite.  If necessary, push the mix back down and zizz again.

A splash of olive oil or a lump of butter/ghee
Add the oil or butter and saute on 90, 4 mins, speed 1-2

1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder, turmeric and cinnamon
Add the spices and continue saute-ing on 90, 4 minutes, speed 1-2 to cook out the spices.  Check and give it another few minutes if it smells 'raw' - this is very important.

200g red lentils
1 heaped tsp vegetable stock paste, marigold or equivalent
boiling water
black pepper
Weigh in the lentils and stir briefly.
Pour in enough boiling water to cover the blade unit, add the stock paste (or equivalent) and some black pepper.
Cook for 15 mins at 100, reverse speed 1-2.  Check and give it a bit longer if it's not at the desired consistency.  It should be like gloopy porridge in texture.  Taste and adjust salt/pepper as required.

I've just made it, to work out the adaptations, and it really is delicious.  Thermo-ing, even on reverse, does reduce the lentils to mush, but they do anyway in this recipe.  If you want something with a bit more bite to it, use green or brown lentils instead and cook until they are soft.

I used mild chilli powder and, after tasting, added a bit of chilli puree.  I wish I'd thought to add a red chilli to the first stage.  I have one and I think it would have added much to the flavour.  Something to make a note of and do next time.  I didn't add salt because the stock paste is salty and I think this is very much down to individual taste anyway.

It has made a bowlful but it freezes well.

For Hazel (and anyone else who is interested): Lentil dhal

With thanks to the late and very much missed Steve Neville, whose recipe it originally was and who shared it with me many years ago now.  RIP, Steve.

Lentil dhal
splash of olive oil
Two shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp of ground coriander
Half tsp each of chilli powder, tumeric and cinnamon
1 tsp Marigold low salt vegetable bouillon powder (ar any other appropriate vegetable stock)
Boiling water
Black pepper
200g lentils (I used red)

Wash the lentils.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry gently.
Then add the coriander, tumeric, chilli and cinnamon and fry for one or two minutes, stirring all the time.
Add the lentils, stir well.
Add the Marigold and some boiling water, until the lentils are covered.
Simmer until the lentils are cooked - you might need to add more water. It should be the consistency of thick porridge. Give it a stir now and again to prevent sticking.
I don't add any salt, but you could, if wanted.

This freezes well so make the full amount and save what you don't use for another day.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Tomato, chicken and lentil soup: a thermomix recipe

Just made this, it's very nice so I thought I would share it.  From the kitchen onto my blog, made up as I went along.  I'm sure it isn't original.
It has made enough for two really good portions and that's my lunch today sorted!

Tomato, chicken and lentil soup

one shallot, halved
one red chilli, deseeded
one rib of celery including the leaves if they are there, cut into chunks
half a carrot, peeled and chunked
1 clove garlic, peeled
Place all of the above in the bowl and chop briefly until nearly a paste but not quite.  It doesn't take very long.

a glug of olive oil (or other, whatever you have)
Saute for 2.5 mins, 90, speed 2

a can chopped tomatoes (around 400g)
equivalent amount water
2 heaped tbsp red lentils
a very heaped tsp chicken stock paste (or bought equivalent)
A good grinding of pepper
Cook for 20 mins, varoma heat, speed 2-3

Tomato puree
Squidge some tomato puree into the bowl.
Lay a folded tea towel over the cup[ and zizz for about 20 secs on 8-9, until the mixture is lovely and smooth
Check seasoning and texture and adjust if necessary.  The mixture might be quite thick and can be slackened with water or by some single cream or yogurt added just before serving.

Vegetarian version:
Use the vegetable stock cube paste (or a bought equivalent, such as Marigold) instead of the chicken paste.  You really can taste the chicken so it would be a totally different flavour.

The chilli adds a great tongue-tingle.  If you don't like chilli, just leave it out or maybe use a quarter of a red pepper instead.

Monday, 25 March 2013


I debated in my mind for ages whether to post this here or in Diary of a Teacher, but decided that maybe here was the more appropriate place.

For Sunday dinner we had cauliflower.  We had more than that, of course, but this is about cauliflower.  I decided to use Thermione and the varoma function - a sort of steaming basket that sits on top of the main bowl for when one wants to steam (obviously).

So I cut up the cauli (firm and sound) and popped it in the varoma   Then I added water to the bowl, set the time, temperature and speed and off it went.  15 mins later I went back to find that the timer was counting down, the blade was gently stirring the boiling water and . . . the water wasn't boiling.  Somehow I'd set it all wrong and there was no heating.  For 15 minutes Thermione had been working and achieving - nothing!

Second try and this time it worked but it took longer, much longer than expected to steam the cauliflower.  Oh dear.  I decided that maybe I should conventionally steam cauliflower in future.

So I served up a rather belated dinner.  And you know what - the cauliflower was absolutely delicious.  Firm but tender.  No mush.  No soggy bits.  It might have taken longer than expected (no, I didn't consult with the cookery book - perhaps it would have been wise so to do) but I will certainly use Thermione again.  Only this time I will make sure the temperature is set properly!

You live and learn!

(oh, and by the way, the roast potatoes and roast parsnips we also had came from Beth's allotment, prepared and frozen before Christmas but never used because Christmas was cancelled - flu - and they were just utterly delicious. Many thanks to you and Alex for all your hard work last year!)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Autumnal Spiced Plums

It's been a yummy food day today and this stood out as special.

The recipe can be found here.  I didn't have enough honey so I used some golden syrup as well and it was jolly good!  I can recommend it unreservedly.

Here's the recipe, with all credit and admiration to Nigella Lawson, whose recipe it is.

1 k plums (I had less than that but it didn't matter)
125 mls honey
60mls maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick broken into 2 and 2 star anise
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
375 mls water

Wash, halve and stone the plums and place, cut side down in a large baking tray in a single layer
Bring to a boil the remaining ingredients and pour it over the plums.
Cover so that no steam can escape (I used foil)
Bake in the oven at 160C for between 45 and 60 mins.

Serve warm rather than hot with cream, yoghurt or custard.  Gorgeous!

Spicy parsnip soup: a thermomix recipe

. . . but  easy to do the more conventional way too.

It's more or less based on a soup I found online which I now can't find, annoyingly enough.  If I do, I'll edit this message.  I haven't got a bee-you-tee-ful photo, just this snap of the soup immediately after I had poured it from Thermione into the pyrex bowl.  I made the full amount but next time will halve the quantities as it made loads.

I'm trying this way of setting out Thermione recipes because I've seen it on another site and found it very helpful.  Any comments?

Ingredients and method 

a knob of butter
a medium onion (I used three shallots because that's what I had), quartered
two cloves of garlic
one red chilli (I deseeded mine)
a 'thumb' of ginger, peeled and sliced into 'coins'
Place all of these ingredients above in the bowl and zizz at speed 4/5 until chopped.
Saute for 4 mins at 100, speed 2

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 cardomom pods
1 tsp garam masala
Place the spices in the bowl and continue to saute as above for another 5 mins by which time it should be smelling wonderfully aromatic.

6 large-ish parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
Toss the parsnips into the bowl and chop on speed 6 until the chunks are small - it doesn't take long at all.

4 heaped tsps vegetable stock paste or a little more
1.2 litres water 
A grinding of pepper
Add the stock paste and pepper and then carefully pour in the water.  It should take the mixture up to the 2 litre mark.  Don't go any higher.
Cook for 25 mins, 100, speed 3/4.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then carefully zizz at 9/10 until the soup is very smooth and creamy in texture.  I took some out as I'm still slightly nervous about zizzing when it's nearly full.  I gave each half about 20 - 25 seconds.  As you blend, place a folded tea towel over the cup and gently keep it in place with your hand, being careful not to allow any steam to scald.
Taste and adjust salt seasoning if necessary.  Personally, I found the salt in the stock paste was just enough but if another stock was used it might need some adding.

The original recipe suggests re-eating up to boiling and serving with cream, olive oil, cumin seeds, sliced chilli and coriander leaves.  It would look pretty, certainly, but I'm going to reduce that to a good dollop of thick yoghurt and roughly chopped coriander leaves.

I gather it freezes well.

Friday, 22 March 2013

More about custard

Not too long ago I posted an entry about custard here.  Since then I have made a momentous discovery that has revolutionised my custard making.

I'd run out of good dark chocolate.  However, I did have some equally good, dark chocolate with mint oil stuff.  Really nice it was (thank you, Beth) - still is, in fact, as I have a bit left.  I wanted to make custard for S, my guest, so I used the minty chocolate as the basis and wow, it was so delicious.
This morning I used some orange chocolate for the same and it was equally mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

There's no stopping me now!!!  Butterscotch?  Lemon?  Ginger?  Oh, yes!
Spiced chilli - well, maybe not!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Joy's Chicken in a spicy mango sauce: Thermomix

Much later edit: 30-3-13
I realise that the recipe below is indeed rather like another one, which I may have seen and subconsciously absorbed.  My apologies to the creator of that recipe.  Perhaps it was a case of great minds but I suspect it was already ringing around my head from seeing it elsewhere.

I made this today, totally off the top of my head without any visual referral to any existing recipes so I'm claiming it as mine even thought it might be similar to others.  After all, there's nothing new under the sun, is there.

It's a work in progress.  Already I am thinking how it could be changed!  But here it is, as it is so far.

Chicken in a spicy mango sauce

1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 red chilli, deseeded (because I’m a wuss)
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch plump thumb of root ginger, peeled and cut into little slices
20g macadamia nuts (or cashews or almonds) could add more if wanted
30g butter

the fruit from one large mango, cubed
450 ml very watery home made coconut milk or 1 can coconut milk made up to 450ml with water (I used the former)
1 tsp stock paste
one could add other ingredients – small-cubed sweet potato, a handful of lentils*, etc.

450 g chicken breast, cubed

put the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, nuts and butter in the bowl and blend until almost paste like.  Then cook on 90/4 mins/speed 4.  Zizz again.

Add the mango.  Zizz until mango is mushy.

Add the coconut milk and the stock paste.  Cook 5 mins/90/speed 4.  Give one last zizz until the sauce is smooth.

Add the chicken pieces and any other additions.  Cook 20 mins/100/reverse spoon.

Check chicken is cooked.  If the sauce is too thin (unlikely if you've added lentils, etc, but could be if it’s just chicken), add some thickening granules and then REVERSE stir (don’t do what I did and forward stir for a few seconds until I realised so I ended up with small bits of chicken than I had intended)
Serve on rice with a dollop of yogurt.

I have no idea if it will freeze.  I should think so, because coconut milk is OK for freezing.
One could add other ingredients – small-cubed sweet potato, a handful of lentils, etc.

* if the lentils are to be a thickener, grind them to powder first, before doing anything else, and reserve until needed.

Orange squash and citrus spread: thermomix and conventional

Neither of these are in the least bit original so all acknowledgement/credit to the Fast and Easy Cooking recipe book that came with Thermione. and they can also be found here.  It's not too difficult to work out how to adapt to conventional (sounds better than 'normal', doesn't it?) methods either, although one would use a lot more equipment and create a lot more washing up!
And yes, it uses zest, pith, pips - the lot!  No waste.  Magical outcomes from a few oranges, lemon, sugar and citric acid!  Rather a lovely colour too!

(the white bowl contained what wouldn't fit in the kilner jar - it's  empty now!)

Orange squash:
3 medium or 2 large juicy oranges, well scrubbed
1 lemon, ditto
250g granulated sugar
1 tsp citric acid (you can buy this in chemists or in places that sell wine making equipment.  I get mine from Wilkinsons)

Remove the peel from each end of the fruit.  Quarter the fruit and put in TM bowl.  Add water up to the 1 litre mark.  Cover the lit and cup with a cloth and turbo 3 times for 1 second each time to chop the fruit.  Strain into a jug or bowl.
Rinse the bowl and pour the juice back in.  Add the sugar and heat 5 mins/90/speed 2
Add the citric acid and mix 5 secs/speed 4.

Pour into sterilised bottles, label and store in fridge.  Use diluted to taste.  Lasts up to three weeks.
You can also make this with lemons/limes, etc.  Adjust amounts accordingly.

Conventional way
Zizz the fruit in the processor.  Strain.
Heat juice and sugar to nearly boiling in a saucepan, stirring
Add the citric acid and stir well
Bottle as above.

So now you have loadsa pulp and it won't be wasted.

Citrus spread:
the pulp from the juice recipe
granulated sugar

weigh the fruit drink into the bowl and add the same amount of granulated sugar (or jam sugar for a much firmer set)
zizz on speed 8 to get the consistency you want.  I zizzed until it was quite smooth because that's what I wanted
scrape down the side and lid, then cook for around 14 mins/100/speed 1
after 14 mins, check set* and cook a little longer if wanted
when ready, pour into sterilised jars and seal.
keep in the fridge

I think the conventional way would be rather gloopy, but possible to do.  You'd have to stir and watch that it didn't burn.
Zizz the pulp until the desired smoothness.
Add the sugar
heat gently until sugar has dissolved, the bring to a boil and cook until setting point is reached.

*It suggests you tilt the bowl and see if the fruit spread at the top is starting to gel.  I did the sauce test as it was the first time I've done anything like this.

Both are truly delicious, the spread especially so.  It has a very fresh, marmaladey, citrussy tang to it, great on bread and butter and toast but also, I think, good for sticky sauces  stewed fruit, etc.  And I might try a spoonful or two in a muffin mixture at some point.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Unadorned sweet potato and lentil soup: Thermomix and other!

I've just made this - and I mean *just*.  I'm in to the living room from pouring the end results into a jug to cool and washing out the bowl, etc.  It's jolly nice, jolly thick (will need diluting with milk or water) and fairly unadorned so could be spiced up with some curry paste.  I like it just as it is - the vegetable flavours are clearly there.

Ingredients to make quite a lot.
50g red lentils
one medium or two small onions, peeled and quartered
a garlic clove, peeled
a knob of butter or a pouring of oil
one medium carrot, peeled and chopped
one and a half medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
one small to medium potato, peeled, chopped and rinsed
boiling water (speeds it up, cold would be fine)
about two tbsp thermomix stock paste or stock cube/powder of choice, amount to taste really and can be added to later.

put the red lentils in the bowl and grind on 8-10 for around 10 seconds until it is powdered.  Remove from bowl and set aside.

in the bowl add the onion, garlic and butter * and chop on 6 for about 10 seconds.  Then fry on 90, 4 mins, speed 3/4  Use the scraper to push down the sides.

Add the rest of the ingredients and cover with water to the 1.5 l mark.  Cook on 100, 15-20 mins (check after 15), speed 2.

When cooked, blend on 8 to 10 until smooth.  Check seasoning and thickness and adjust as required.

* if wanted, add some korma or other curry paste at this point.  I didn't this time but I will try it next time.

Normal method.
Heat the butter in the pan.  Add the onions and garlic, both chopped finely, and fry gently until soft and golden.  Add the remaining ingredients with enough water to cover and a bit more, bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft and cooked.  Zizz to the texture you want, check seasoning and thickness and adjust as required

Sorry - no photo.  One of these days I will remember to snap as I cook!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mars bar yums

Formerly called Mars bar slices but that's not a terribly good title, is it?  I added some mini marshmallows which give the results a sort of rocky road impact.  I had a rocky road thingy today (ooops, just typed 'rocky toad' by mistake), bought from Morrison's over the road, because it was a colleague's birthday, and it was nowhere near as delicious as these.  

They can be made the conventional way, by melting the Mars bars over boiling water and then stirring in the rest of the stuff, but it's just so much easier and less messy in the TM - which I am leaning towards calling my 'Thermione', out of respect to JK.  What do you think?

So here's the recipe - and when I find the link I will post it, because the only bit that's me is the mini mallows (or whatever else you add).  

Ingredients: 60g Mars Bars (x3), Butter (90g) and CocoPops (3 cups), some mini marshmallows.

Get yourself three Mars Bars (60g size) and chop them up into 1cm pieces. Place in TM. Then grab 90g of Butter and chop into 1cm pieces as well (it helps it melt down quicker.) Place in TM.

Set timer to 10mins at 50 degrees on
 Speed 1

Check after 10mins that the butter and Mars Bars are all melted and mixed together properly.
 If not, give it a bit longer (but it will be).

Place 3 cups of CocoPops in the TM, set on
 Reverse  mode and Speed Soft  for as long as it takes for the TM to mix the chocolaty goo into the CocoPops evenly. It should only take 3-4mins if that.

Add the marshmallows and give it a little longer on Reverse  mode and Speed Soft until they are incorporated into the mix too.

Once mixed, place contents in a medium to small sized tray with baking paper and flatten it out in the tray with a wooden spoon or spatula. Place in fridge for an hour or two and you're done.

Cut into slices and serve chilled or at room temperature.

They are just so scrummy!  And you can ring the changes with what you add.  I didn't have coco pops so I used rice crispies.  You could add chopped nuts, coconut, dried fruit, whatever.

I intend to make some to take into school for my birthday and maybe I will remember to take some photos then.

And now I am wondering what Milky Ways would be like done like this . . .

Joy's accidental oatcakes (both ways)

Thermomix oatcakes (adapted from the original recipe by me, Joy’s Accidental Oatcakes – because it developed unintentionally)

120g oats
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
50g wholewheat plain flour (I used bread flour as I didn’t have any ordinary)
20g butter, cubed
80g hot water (I used water from the kettle)

Extra flour for rolling

Weigh the oats into the bowl and pulse 4 or 5 times until fine oatmeal
Add the bicarb, salt and flour and stir 10 seconds, speed 4
Add the cubed butter and mix for 10 seconds, speed 10
Add the hot water
Mix for 1 minute, temp 37, reverse speed 4.  It will look like lots of little globules which come together easily by hand.
Tip out onto a floured surface, knead briefly into a dough, roll out to desired thickness, cut out using a circle cutter (I used the top of a drinking glass), place on a non stick baking sheet (ungreased), prick gently all over and bake at 170 degrees (non-fan: 180) for about 15 to 20 minutes until cooked.  Try not to let them brown, they should be a fawn-y colour.

Place on wire rack to cool and sprinkle over some Maldon sea salt (best there is!!)

Delicious served with cheese.
Also delicious if you add some cubes of Parmigiano reggiano (or similar or vegetarian equivalent) at the very first step.  I’ve not tried this with cheddar – I ought to.

Joy’s accidental oatcakes

Oatcake Ingredients
115g oat bran
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt  
20g (1 tbsp) melted butter – I used anchor spreadable and it was fine
50g wholewheat plain flour
Hot Water about 2.5 fl oz

Extra flour for rolling  

Method: Set the oven to 180 C. Mix the oat bran, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a bowl. Add the melted fat and the hot water. Stir well until it makes a soft paste. Sprinkle some flour on a board. Form the dough into a round and roll it out as thinly as possible, adding flour to the surface as necessary, to prevent sticking. Brush off the excess flour. Cut out the dough using cookie cutters – I cut into circles  

To oven bake; place on a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Do not let the oatcakes brown; they should be a pale fawn colour. Put on a wire rack to cool. They are delicious served with cheese 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lychee sorbet: another thermomix recipe (sorry)

I do apologise to readers who do not have this piece of kitchen equipment.  At the moment, this is what I am focusing on, but it should be fairly simple to adapt to 'normal' recipe format.  An ice cream maker helps tremendously here.

When I had my TM demo, one of the demo recipes was for a sorbet.  It was nice.  However, I felt that it could be improved. For a start, the unused sorbet froze absolutely solid in the freezer, making it difficult to serve later. Also despite all the zizzing, the texture was not smooth enough for my taste.  I put this down to the ice cubes used.
This is the Joy-improved method- and it worked.  First of all, I didn't use ice cubes, I made up the weight with extra frozen fruit.  Secondly, I added glycerine.  I had some in the cupboard because Beth needed some for the royal icing for the family Christmas cake so I knew it was safe.  It has a lower freezing point and therefore the finished product is softer and easier to serve straight from the freezer.

With any TM sorbet recipe, you have to start a couple of days before in order to get the fruit thoroughly frozen.   Lychees are my favourite exotic fruit.  It worked really well and was absolutely scrummy - and it is easy to scoop and serve.

Lychee sorbet

To make this, you need to start two days before.  It’s not a hassle, just needs doing.

Three cans lychees in light syrup (total about 600g drained lychees) - OK, so this is not the cheapest sorbet in the world!
60g sugar
20g lemon juice
some reduced lychee syrup (see below)
one egg white
1 tsp glycerine (the kind you use for royal icing) – optional.  It stops the mixture from freezing absolutely solid.


Two days before.
Drain the lychees, reserving the light syrup
Single freeze the lychees, covered, for 24 hours before bagging.  I lay some easy leave on a baking tray, set out the lychees so they are not touching, cover with more easy leave and then put a poly bag and baggie on top (so they are there ready).  After 24 hours, I pop the frozen lychees in the bag and tie up with the baggie, before taking the baking tray and easy leave sheets back to the kitchen.
Put the syrup in a pan and bring to a boil.  Gently simmer until the syrup has reduced to around 1/3 of the original amount.  Cool and chill.

On the day - early (or the day before if using the glycerine):
Make sure everything you will use is chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours.

1.     Weigh the sugar into the bowl and grind for 5 seconds at speed 10.  This makes very  acceptable icing sugar.

2.     Add the frozen lychees, lemon juice and some of the chilled lychee syrup (I added about 4 tbsp)  Speed 7 until it is finely crushed.  When the mixture stops moving around the bowl, scrape down the side and then gradually turn the speed up to 9 while stirring clockwise with the spatula.  It takes about 1-2 mins and you may need to add a little more syrup.  At this point you have water ice – very nice but it can be improved.

3.     Add the egg white and the glycerine (if using).  No need to use glycerine if you intend to serve the sorbet straight away.  Insert the butterfly whisk and whisk for 30 seconds at speed 4 until light and creamy.  Taste and whisk a little longer if needed.  The glycerine lowers the freezing point, so it may go mushier at this point.
Spoon into a freezer proof container and rush straight to the freezer with it (unless you are serving it all straight away, in which case you don't need the glycerine). 

Lychees are my favourite exotic fruit and this is absolutely lovely.  I will certainly make it again and adapt for other fruit too.  You can buy lychee liqueur and this would be a lovely addition.

Savoury crumble topping: a Thermomix recipe

I've been making this for decades but I've never actually written it down.  It's one of those recipes where you just do it by hand until it 'feels right'.  I've posted about it in an earlier entry.

However, I'm adapting recipes for the TM and need more accurate amounts as you don't actually do it 'by hand' at all so yesterday I had a go and below is what I worked out.  If you want to make it conventionally,  rub the butter into the flour, salt, pepper and mustard powder until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and then stir in the finely grated cheese and the oats.

Savoury crumble topping

Ingredients to make a pile (it freezes well)
75 g hard Italian type cheese cubed (Morrisons and Sainsburys sell this in their value range and it is vegetarian friendly) or the genuine article (NOT vegetarian – don’t let recipes or menus that say it is and fool you.  It isn’t)  Or you could use a good strong cheddar.
170g plain flour (could be wholemeal plain if preferred)
70g cubed butter
60g oats
Salt, pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp dried mustard powder

Put the cubes of cheese in the bowl and turbo pulse three or four times until it is all grated.
Add the flour and the butter and turbo zizz again until it looks like breadcrumbs - about three or four times, 1-2 seconds each time.  It’s very quick.
Add the oats, the salt, pepper and the mustard powder and give it 10 seconds, reverse speed 1

That’s it!  It makes quite a lot and you can adjust the seasonings to taste – and you can taste, it’s quite safe.  Sometimes I add some mixed dried herbs or something like smoked paprika or cayenne instead of the mustard.  It freezes well in a plastic tub and you can spoon off what you needs each time.

Use to make a savoury crumble pie.  Spoon it over savoury mince, a fish in sauce mixture (cheese sauce is lovely and I add broccoli, mushroom, baby corn, etc.,  too), a chicken in sauce mixture, pulses and vegetables in a cheesy sauce – anything that is in some kind of sauce – and bake in a moderate oven until browned and the underneath is bubbling well.  It’s delicious.

If the whole crumble pie is frozen, thaw completely and then bake as above.  If it's just the topping that is frozen, if doesn't need to thaw before baking.

This was fish crumble - salmon and prawns with broccoli, red pepper, mushroom, onion, baby corn and mange tout in a cheese sauce.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Microwave lemon curd (and the Thermomix equivalent)

I've posted this before, but not on here.  I've just adapted it for my TM (see below the first recipe) and it's worked a treat.  It's an easy recipe anyway, as Diane will testify, but in the TM it becomes ridiculously simple.  The hardest bit is scraping out all the lemony goodness at the end!  If you've never had proper lemon curd, you haven't lived.  The shop bought stuff is as different as value lemonade is to vintage champagne! (OK, slight exaggeration, but not as much as you'd think!)

First of all, the microwave recipe:

Microwave Lemon Curd

Ingredients:  makes about two pots
3 oz butter
8 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
2 large lemons or three smaller ones

Finely grate the zest from both lemons.  Squeeze the juice from the lemons and add to the zest.*  Beat together the sugar, eggs and lemon juice and zest.
Melt the butter in a 2.5 pint bowl on high for about 1.5 mins.
Stir lemon, sugar and egg mixture into butter, mixing well.
Cook on high for about three minutes until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon.  Stir briskly every 30 seconds to incorporate thickened bits into the whole mixture.  It really starts to thicken after about 2 mins.  The regular stirring is essential, otherwise you end up with sweet lemon scrambled eggs!
Pour into small, warmed jars, seal and label.
Store in a fridge for up to two weeks (it does last longer but I would say 3 weeks is the max).

*I always cut the lemons in half, put them cut side down on a plate and microwave for 1 minute.  You get loads more juice that way.  I don't know why, but you do!

The Thermomix way to make Lemon Curd

90g sugar (can be granulated)
90g butter cut into cubes
2 large lemons or three smaller ones
3 eggs

Finely grate the zest from the lemons (I know the TM could do this bit I found that it was too hard in the finished product so I grated it on my very fine grater and that was a lot better)
Grind the sugar and the grated lemon zest for 20 seconds, speed 10
Add the butter, lemon juice and zest and the eggs.  Mix for 20 secs, speed 6
Scrape down the sides.
Cook at 90 C, speed 4 until the remperature reaches 90 by which time it should have thickened.  If it seems a bit runny, give it a little longer (about 30 seconds more)

Pour into clean warmed jars scraping the sides to get every delicious bit!  Store in the fridge as above.
Now - what to do with two pots of lemon curd.  One for Beth and Alex and . . .