Sunday, 23 August 2015

Long Overdue Update

It's been a while since I have posted on this blog. However I plan to make a return!

A new look!
New recipes!
Snack Foods!
Lunch Ideas!

I have been working on two cookbooks which I hope to get some interest in publishing. One is for Students, to help with cooking affordable healthy meals . The other is for lunch ideas for people in offices, people who are bored of Ham sandwiches and want a change. We spend most of the week at work shouldn't our meals taste nice?

So beginning of next month there will be regular content. Recipes which will get your taste buds hooked.

The Chef is Back!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Plum and Apple Crumble (V)

This was another recipe that I did with the plums. I wanted to do a pudding and realised I haven't made a crumble in ages. I altered my apple crumble recipe (before I created the blog). Made the crumble crunchier by adding almonds. So if you have nut allergies, don't add the almonds

Serves 4-6

250g Plain Flour
100g Demerera Sugar
150g Unsalted Butter, cubed and at room temperature
50g Ground Almonds

400g Cooking Apples, Peeled, Cored and
cut into wedges
400g Plums, Destoned and cut into halves
3 tbsp Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 200c/180c Fan assisted. In a pan add the lemon juice, apples and plums and stew for about 10 minutes or until the apples are mushy. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir in. Put the fruit filling at the bottom of an oven proof dish

2. For the crumble, get out a mixing bowl and add the sugar and butter and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the flour and stir for a bit. Then rub the butter/sugar mixture with the flour to create small crumbs. Do this by putting the mixture between the fingers and rubbing between the palms of your hands.

3.  Tip the mixture over the fruit filling and spread equally. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown on the top. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes. Serve with ice cream, cream or custard.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Duck Breast and Plum Sauce with Mashed Potatoes and Kale

So after picking up a few plums, the main recipes that came to mind were mainly fruity ones so I thought why not try something savoury with plums. Duck is a bit pricey but looking at the prices the leg is the cheapest part coming at around £2 for 2 in Asda but you might get a cheaper deal on duck in your local butchers or in the reduced section. A lovely romantic meal for two.

Serves 2

2 Duck Breasts/Leg
1 tsp of Thyme
1 Star anise
25g Butter, plus extra for the kale.

Mash Potatoes
Potatoes (Preferably Maris Piper)
About 25ml Double Cream
Knob of Butter
Dash of Milk

Plum Sauce
3 Shallots, finely chopped
About 8 plums, de stoned and cut into quarters
Splash of Red Wine
300ml Beef Stock
1tsp Cranberry Sauce
1tsp Butter
2 tbsp Demerara Sugar

1. Begin by making the sauce. Put the butter in a pan and leave until it melts. Add the shallots and cook until softened. Add the plums and sugar to the pan and continuously stir until the sugar is gone. Then add wine, stock and cranberry sauce to the pan and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes on a low heat. Taste and season if necessary.

2. Heat an oven to 180/160c fan assisted. Score the duck skin and season both sides. Heat a medium frying pan place the duck in the pan and if using breast place skin side down and if using a duck leg put it on either side. Fry for about 5 minutes or until sealed.

3. Turn the duck over and add the butter, thyme and star anise. Once this has melted, occasionally baste the juices of the duck by tipping the frying pan and spooning the mixture over the duck. Then put it all in an oven-proof dish and put in the oven for about 10 minutes if cooking with breast. If you are cooking with leg put it in for about 20-25 minutes.

4. While that is being done put two pans of water on to boil and to one add potatoes and the other kale. Kale will need about 5-10 minutes simmering. Potatoes will need 10-15 minutes. Drain when each are done. Return both to the pan.

5. Add butter to the kale and mix it in. With the potatoes add the milk, cream and butter. Mash the potatoes and make sure its all mixed in. The potatoes should be creamy and smooth. Taste and season if needed.

6. When the duck is done, baste and leave to rest. Then, if using breast, cut the breast into slices. Put a dollop of mash and kale next to each other. Add the duck breast, resting on the top. Drizzle the plum sauce over. Serve with a nice red wine.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Positively Pleasing Pershore Plum Festival

Pershore is famous for their plums and from the turn out, everyone knows it. Even though it lasts for a month with various events throughout that time, the one event I want to really talk about is the Pershore Bank Holiday Monday event. A market with various tastes that will tantalise your taste buds.

I do love a good market and may have dipped into my pocket to make a few good investments. Here is a picture of some the delectable goods I got my hands on.

L to R: Cider Punch, Salmon, Leek & Mozerella Tart, Plums, Curry Sauce, Belgium Chocolate Slab, Treacle tart, Mead, Plum Tart and Black Cherry Liqueur.
Generally enjoyed all of these delectable things and needed to stock up on my Mead since I used it up in like a couple of months. So this time, I am gonna make it last longer. But don't worry I am not that much of a drunk *hiccup*. For the plums I have made a couple of recipes, one sweet and one savoury. These will be uploaded in due course.

Mulled Plum Punch
Apart from the food, there was a vast selection of cars and a variety of entertainment such as live cookery from a chief using plum related recipes and for the children teddy bear parachuting. An enjoyable day out for the whole family as well as ample amounts of cider, plum drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and live music. Add the town crier and the mayor, you have a lovely mix for a grand day out.

Make sure you put this event in your calendar!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Strawberries and Cream Scones (V)

I am here with a Summery baked good which can be enjoyed with tea or a nice cold glass of lemonade. Remember to stay hydrated this Summer.

Makes 10
400g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
100g Butter
200ml Milk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg, beaten
Pinch of Salt
3 tbsp Icing Sugar
3 tbsp Caster Sugar

150ml Double Cream/Clotted Cream
200g Strawberries
Strawberry Jam

1. Preheat the oven to 220c/200c Fan assisted. Put a greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar

2.  Make a well in the middle of the bowl. Warm the milk over the hob (Don't let it boil). Gradually mix the milk with the crumbs. If too sticky add more flour and if too dry add more milk.

3. Sprinkle flour on the work surface, rolling pin and hands. Then cover the dough with flour and begin to roll and then fold the dough over. Do this about 3 times so that dough is smooth. Then finally roll out the dough so its thick (probably about 3-4 cms).

4. Take a cutter, about 5-6cm in diameter (if you don't have one, use the rim of a large glass/wine glass). Cut them out and once you have cut as many as you can out roll the dough out again and repeat the process until you run out of dough.

5. Place the dough onto the baking tray with the greaseproof paper. Brush each of the pieces of dough with the beaten egg.

6. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. The crumpets will have risen and will be golden on the top.

7. While leaving to cool, if using double cream, whisk the double cream until thick and add 2 teaspoons of icing sugar. Slice the strawberries into quarters.

8. When assembling a scone you the scone in half and layer with cream, strawberries and jam. Then sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve. 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Chicken and Pepper Stir Fry

Another quick and easy recipe, full of vegetables and plenty of flavour. Also has a bit of a kick to it. If you aren't into spicy food take the chilli out.

Serves 4

2/3 Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
1 Red Pepper, sliced
1 Green Pepper, sliced
1 Red Chilli, finely sliced
1 Broccoli, each florette quartered
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
4 Spring Onions, cut lengthways
6 Mushrooms, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
4 Nests of Medium Noodles
5 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame seed oil
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Olive Oil

1. Add the olive oil to the Wok and put on a medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken is white on the outside, then add the peppers, garlic, broccoli, onion and mushrooms to the pan. Cook these until softened.

2. While this is being done, boil a pan of water and put the noodles in. Drain once they have cooked through.

3 Add the chilli and spring onions to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes. In a bowl add the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, cumin, ground coriander and stir.  Pour this into the wok and stir thoroughly so everything is covered and is heated through.

4. Add the noodles to the pan and stir thoroughly. Serve.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Greek Lamb Burgers

Easy to make and very tasty. They don't need any binding, just form it in the hands, fry and stack.

Makes 8 Burgers

600g Minced Lamb
6 Crusty Rolls
Wild Rocket
1 Red Onion, finely sliced
2 Tsp of Dried Lamb/Handful of Fresh Mint
75g Feta Cheese, crumbled
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. In a mixing bowl and mix the mint, seasoning and lamb in a bowl. Form into patties and place on a plate. They can be left overnight or frozen.

2. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Do the burgers in batches of 2. Fry on each side for about 5 minutes or until brown all around the burger. If you want a well done burger fry for longer.

3. Cut the rolls in half. Stack with the rocket, burger, feta, and red onion. Serve with salad and chips.