Fruit

Week 85: Chicken with Katsu Sauce

I might have mentioned it once or twice, I am a man with a very small kitchen. Sometimes I come across recipes that I just don’t have the space to make (for example, everything from Jamie’s 15 minute meals), without a bit of planning this is one such recipe.  Lisa Faulkner’s ‘Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter’ is my lovers go to book, mostly for cake and staring, but this is the first time I’ve used it.  I was intrigued about Katsu sauce, I’d never heard of it before and it sounded tasty.

(more…)

Week 50: Potato and Pear Galette with Roquefort

Or as they say in France: Galette aux pommes de terre et poires avec Roquefort. Oo la la.

So right up until the moment I came to serve this I thought the worst thing to happen was that I completely forgot to buy any form of salad. How wrong could I be? This months Cheese, Please! is recipes for cheese and fruit; and after a fruitless search through the books for a hearty warming Stilton-y Pear thing I found this recipe in the Rachel Khoo book.

I didn’t read too closely at the start so didn’t notice that the Galettes are meant to be starters. To make these for four you will need 4 waxy potatoes (like Charlottes or Maris Peer), a firm pear, and 100g of Roquefort.

I’ve not been able to find normal potato sized waxy potatoes round here, they all seem to be salad sized, so for this you might need 8 -10 smaller ones, which will be a pain to peel. They were definitely a pain to peel.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c, peel the potatoes and cut into 2mm thick slices and peel the pear and cut it into small cubes. Lay the slices out onto a paper-lined tray to make rectangles with the layers overlapping… If that makes sense? Sprinkle the pear cubes over the rectangles and then crumble the Roquefort over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes.

galette2

I’m not entirely sure where I went wrong. I am pretty bad at getting grease proof paper the right way up (like every single time) and I might have also turned the oven down a bit too far (stupid fan oven, who’s bright idea was that?), but the end result was that I served them stuck to the paper… Just like in all the best houses in France.

galette3

So to sum up; ignore the paper, imagine some salad, and I’m not sure what the foam is. Et Voila!

Bear in mind when I started making this my lover was very philosophical and said ‘oh well rubbish crisps are the worst that could happen’ which changed to ‘hurry up I could eat a scabby horse’ when he saw it… I’m not entirely sure I’d make it again – it’d probably be much nicer if I’d got it a bit crispier. The flavours were good though.

galette4

I thought this would be much more hearty and autumnal, but it was tasty, and it’s quite easy to make on a work night – if you remember to buy salad!

Septembers Cheese, Please!  http://thegardendeli.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/cheese-please-a-challenge-for-september/  http://fromagehomage.co.uk/2014/09/03/cheese-please-a-challenge-for-september/

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://fromagehomage.wordpress.com/&#8221; title=”Fromage Homage”><img src=”http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a562/fromagehomage/Cheesey2_zps85113bab.jpg&#8221; alt=”Fromage Homage” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Week 42: Fruity Rice Salad

I’m back!  With party food!  Well, a rice-y salad – but it’s much better than the Martha salad I made the other week.  This last week has been insanely hot, 30c and really clammy.  Hate it.  I thought that making a salad would be the ultimate rain-dance.  It wasn’t, it was still hot and I was covered in pineapple (I obviously wasn’t sticky enough), and the rain that tried to fall in my corner of London came down as steam… but at least I had salad; and it’s the salad I’m bringing along to Fiesta Friday!  It’s been a while!

When I was young my gran would always make a rice dish at family parties – it was yellow with bits of tinned orange and peas in it, and I thought this was an update of that recipe (I’d make the actual recipe but every time I ask my gran she says it’s a secret, which either means she makes it up as she goes along, or has been secretly buying it frozen since 1964).

This recipe is in the Hairy Bikers diet book, and like all the recipes – it uses a lot of ingredients, but I had all the spices and just had to buy in the rice and fruit/veg. That would never have happened when I started the new recipe night project.  This week the ingredient that had never before darkened my kitchen was wholegrain rice – I’d had it at friends’ houses, but never cooked it myself.  I don’t know why I left it so long – it didn’t take as long to cook as I thought it would, and I’ve been getting a bit bored of bismati rice.

This recipe serves 4 as a lunch, or 6 as an accompaniment, or maybe more in a bowl at a barbeque, and is roughly 800 calories for the whole dish.  You will need 125g easy-cook wholegrain rice, olive oil, half a medium red onion, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, half a tsp ground turmeric, a small un-waxed lemon, 1 small pineapple (200g prepared weight), half a cucumber, 100g red grapes, handful of chopped up coriander.

Tip 125g of rice into a half full pan of boiling water, stir the rice then bring to the boil.  The recipe says to cook for 10 minutes, but this depends on how easy-cook your rice is, and if it’s not easy cook then follow the instructions on the packet.

Once the rice is on, finely chop the onion, half the grapes, cut the cucumber into into 1.5cm chunks and the pineapple into 2cm chunks.  I think I’d cut the cucumber up smaller next time, the chunks were too big – and I’d use prepared pineapple.

Heat 2tsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and soften the onion in it for about 4 minutes.  Add the cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and cook for about 30 seconds before adding 2 tablespoons of cold water.

fruityrice2

Cook for about 2 minutes – stirring continuously – until the the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat and add the zest and juice of the lemon.  Stir and leave to cool.

fruityrice3

Mix the cucumber, grapes and pineapple in a party-proof serving bowl.  When the rice is cooked drain it in a sieve/strainer and then run it under the cold tap until the rice is cool, then tip it into the onion pan and stir it around until the rice is fully coated in the onions and spice mix.  Stir the rice mix into the fruit in the serving bowl, scatter it with chopped coriander and serve to your adoring guests.

fruityrice4

HA the ultimate serving suggestion!  I should have added some more cocktail umbrellas but I can’t remember where I put them.

Would I make it again?  Yes and no… I would make the rice and stir it into the onion and spice, maybe with some sultanas, but I don’t think I’d go the whole hog with the bits of pineapple.  The second night we had it I served it with some barbeque chicken I got from the deli counter and it was much nicer than eating it on its own.

fruityrice1

The Hairy Dieters by Dave Myers and Si King (Weidenfield & Nicholson/Orion 2012 ISBN: 978 0 297 86905 4)

Hairy Dieters

Periodic Pudding Number 5 – Clafoutis

So my interest was peaked.  I had a bash at a savoury clafoutis the other week and my lover wasn’t impressed, it left me wondering whether a sweet one would pass muster.  I didn’t have to wait too long – a walk down Chiswick High Road revealed it to be cherry season! They might have been Iranian Cherries, but they were fresh and red and juicy, and £2.50 for a pound.  Bonus.

After pigging a pound of them I waddled over to the cookery book shelf and pulled out Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen book to try the sweet version of Week 33s extravaganza ( https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/week-33-savoury-clafoutis/ )

To make a clafoutis to serve 6 you will need: 4 eggs, 150g sugar, 50g ground almonds, 2 tbs plain flour, 100g creme fresh, 100ml milk, 350g pitted cherries (you can use any soft fruit)

Basically you make it exactly the same way as the savoury clafoutis, but with added sugar:

Whisk the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt until pale and thick, sift in the almonds and flour and then stir it all together with the creme fresh and milk.  Spread the cherries out in your buttered & floured clafoutis tin and pour the batter over them.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180c (160 fan) until golden brown and set.

clafoutis2

Easy as pie.  It was delicious.  I served it with a dollop of left over creme fresh and it was delicious.  Far nicer than the savoury version, and the cherries floated around the mixture rather than staying on the bottom.

clafoutis3

I’m glad I only made it for the two of us – it lasted three days.  I shall try everything else in a clafoutis this summer.  Yum!

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Periodic Pudding Number 4: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Far too many weeks have passed since I dusted off an old dessert, so last week I thought I’d give one a bash.  The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake has seen more comebacks than Cher.  I remember begging my mum to try making us one went it swooped back into fashion in the 90s.  It was a disaster… probably Anthea Turner’s fault.

I can’t tell if the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is making an actual comeback, there seem to be a lot of them plastered across Pinterest but I might be missing some implied irony.  Anyway, there’s a recipe in Nigella Express and I wanted dessert.

To make Nigella’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake you will need: a 24cm tatin tin/23cm solid cake tin, 6 slices pineapple plus 3 tbs of the juice from the tin, 11 glace cherries, 100g flour, 1 tsp baking powder, quarter tsp bicarb, 100g soft butter (plus extra for greasing), 100g caster sugar (plus extra for the tin) and 2 eggs.

Firstly, turn the oven on to 200c/gas 6 (alter if you have a fan oven), butter the base of your tatin pan – I would recommend buttering the sides too – then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the the butter and arrange the pineapple rings and cherries on the bottom.

My tin is slightly smaller than the recipe recommends, but it’s the same one I do my tatins in.  In the old days, this was exotic.

Nigella recommends doing the next step in a food processor, but I did it by hand because I had a headache.  Put all the cake ingredients (butter, flour, eggs, bicarb, baking powder and sugar) into a bowl and mix them together until the batter is smooth.  Then add 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice from the tin and stir some more.

Pour the mix over the pineapples  and spread it out gently to cover all the fruit in the bottom.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Run a spatula around the edge of the tin, put a plate over the top and flip it over without burning yourself on the red-hot cast iron skillet or on any escaping molten pineapple juice, and you should have yourself a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake… mine looked like this:

I don’t remember it being such a heavy cake, maybe I’ll use less pineapple juice next time to see if it lightens the sponge a bit.

We just ate it on its own, but I’m guessing in the old days people ate it with a tin of carnation, or a slice of span or something.  Definitely one to make again!

 

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

TATINIMO!!

Well slap my face an call me Mme Tatin.

I’ve been hanging my head in shame for some weeks after christening my new skillet with some charred bits of apple (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/periodic-puddi…-2-tarte-tatin/) torn between trying again and scraping molten sugar off my hob.  But then I was walking passed the fruit stall yesterday and saw apples and had to try again (also I only had a ten pound note and didn’t want to break it just for some garlic)

I think they’re called Pink Kiss or Pink Lady or something.  They were pink.  I was hoping they were nicer than Golden Delicious, which made my Tatin so much nastier last time.

After my last attempt I received loads of advice from friends about how to make a Tarte Tatin, but I ignored it all and tried again with the recipe in the Bake Off book – not through being pig-headed, I just wanted to check if the problem was me or the recipe.

One of the main problems with the last Tatin was that most of the caramel ran over the side of the pan, and the bit that was left turned black instantly.  To combat this, I took a third off the quantities in the recipe; and to ensure the butter covered the bottom of the pan I smeared it around until it was uniform – I didn’t want the sugar being directly against the pan straight away (which I know is pretty silly). It had seven apples, sixty grams of butter and 11o grams of caster sugar.

To stop it burning I kept the gas down as low as it would go (on my flamethrower hob) and kept my eye on it (unlike last time when I drank beer and gossiped with my mate)

Also, less spilled out this time – some still did, but not as much.  I’m not sure whether to further reduce the butter and sugar when I make it again?

I made the pastry exactly as I did last time, but next time I make it I’ll roll it out thicker.  One change I did make from last time is that I turned the oven down by another ten degrees – so it was in at 190c for 26 minutes.

It turned out in one piece and looked like a Tarte Tatin.  I am very happy with it.  Next time I’ll run a knife around the edges to get the crust out whole, but I think its definitely one for the next dinner party!

(Note emergency ice cream bought in case of failure)

I’m assuming you make it with other fruits in the same way?

Rhubarb Crumble with Incorrect Custard

I’ve always thought that there is nothing as nice as an unexpected pudding.

After I Tatin’d myself last week (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/periodic-pudding-number-2-tarte-tatin/) I was a bit pudding shy, but then I was looking for a new cake to try and decided on a Rhubarb and Almond Loaf from the Hummingbird Bakery ‘Cake Days’ book.  The smallest (only) pack of rhubarb I could find was big enough to make four cakes, which is far too many even for me, so I decided to try making crumble, so as not to waste the rhubarb.

I’d never made a crumble before, hence my proud writing about it here.  This particular crumble is a bit of a franken-crumble on account of the fruit being stewed to the Rhubarb and Almond Loaf recipe, and the crumble being roughly to Nigella’s recipe in ‘How to Eat’

Rhubarb Crumble 1

Unfortunately the stewed rhubarb lost its colour whilst being baked, but it didn’t while being turned into crumble.  My mum has always had a rhubarb patch, so I had never cooked or eaten pink rhubarb before.

To stew the rhubarb, cut 4-5 stalks into 2cm pieces and stew with 70g caster sugar and 30g of butter in 50ml of water – I used double these quantities to stew the whole pack; but I took out 100g for the cake.

I chose Nigella’s crumble mix above all the other recipes I had to base my crumble on, because that was the only one that mentioned being good for rhubarb.

For a medium sized dish, rub together 75g or self-raising flour, 75g of porridge oats, 90g of butter, 4 tablespoons of light muscovado sugar and 2 of vanilla sugar.  I put it in the oven for 30 minutes on gas 5 (190c).

Whilst it was in the oven I had my first bash at custard.  I’m not ashamed to say that I used Bird’s custard powder – it’s what I was raised on, and I don’t like to see other custards.  I followed the instructions on the side of the tin, made the paste while the milk heated and mixed them together.  Then I did something pretty silly.  It seemed too runny – I hate runny custard – so I added more powder…

I didn’t realise that instant custard thickens when it is returned to the pan and brought to the boil.  I’m very ashamed to say that the custard stopped moving before it boiled.  Also, I really shouldn’t have let it cool.

Rhubarb Crumble 2

I didn’t keep my other slice for the next day, it wasn’t very nice – but the crumble was lovely!

Periodic Pudding number 2: Tarte Tatin.

I am clearly mad.  What on earth would posses a normal thirty-something to have a whirl at a Tarte Tatin on a Tuesday afternoon?

A new skillet.  That’s what.

Way back before Mince Pie season was up on us, I threatened to make the occasional pudding (see http://wp.me/p42Dr4-L ) to spur me into making deserts, and so break up the savoury-ness of this blog. Anyway, I bought myself a skillet that I could put in the oven the other day, and by chance my Great British Bake-Off ‘How to Bake’ book fell open at the Tarte Tatin page en-route to the recipe for Bakewell Cupcakes.

“Aha!” I thought, “A glamorous pudding I can serve to my friends when they come to visit later in the month”  Word would get back up north that I could cook.  Boom.

For those of you who don’t know – like me – the Tarte Tatin was accidentally invented by one of the Tatin Sisters at their hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in the 1880s.  I’m guessing there are hundreds of recipes out there on the internet, so I shall not give the recipe here for fear of Mary Berry’s ninja’s coming after me.

I was slightly concerned that my new skillet wasn’t non-stick, then I realised I had the coat the bottom of the pan in a massive amount of butter.  There’s no way that this was staying in the pan.  Little did I know how prophetical that statement was…

A massive amount of sugar, just to hide the butter, and then I had to peel and core a load of apples.  The recipe asked for Golden Delicious apples, which I don’t really like, but I trusted in the recipe and gave them a go.

All ready to start caramelising.  Now, I have a confession to make:  I have never made caramel before.  This won’t be a shock to regular readers as prior to the start of the New Recipe Night project I hadn’t done a lot of things in the kitchen.

I think my skillet was too small.  Mary’s idea of 8 inches was bigger than mine.  As a result, pretty soon after I turned the gas on the buttery sugar mix started to bubble over the sides of my pan:

Without wanting to be too dramatic, I ended up welding hot apple-y sugar across half of my hob.  Which I’d just cleaned…  I think this is where I started to go wrong; when the caramel started to turn brown I assumed the burning smell was coming from the bits catching on the burner.

The instructions were a little vague about how brown the caramel should go, and looking back I can safely say I burned it.

I got the pastry on right, tucked it in as tightly as I dared with the boiling caramel and red hot iron pan and put it in my pre-heated oven.

Even though I knocked twenty degrees off to take into account the fan, I still think the oven was too hot, and the instructions a little vague about how long it would need.  I was still quite impressed when it came out… slightly browner than I’d like around the handle obviously.  Unfortunately this is the only pudding in history to look better upside-down.

I chose to turn it out onto my taking-cake-on-the-tube plate, in case I dropped the skillet on it.  I was very excited to see my perfect Tarte Tatin that I could proffer at my impressed lover on his return from work…

To put it bluntly, if the Tatin Sister’s first Tarte Tatin had turned out like mine, they’d have lobbed it in the bin and gone straight to the cheese course.

tarte tatin 7

When I showed my friends this, one of them said he “thought it was a sliced hunk of meat” – I can see his point, and it’s not the best picture, but that’s how my Tatin turned out.  It wasn’t very nice, the apples didn’t have much flavour, the non-blackened bits were just hot and wet.  The caramel was very bitter and I some how burned the pastry.

There was a time last night when I thought I might festively dust it with icing sugar, but I reconsidered – no one likes a nasty surprise under the snow!

I wish I’d had more ice cream.  It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever eaten, but I’m torn between trying again, trying a different recipe, and choosing something else to make.  Two separate friends told me about the Roux Brother’s method of making a Tatin, which I may try.  I also might try reducing the quantities of butter and sugar to save my poor hob.

Stay tuned for more New Recipe Night.

** NEWSFLASH – I HAD ANOTHER GO AND IT WORKED! ** recipe here: https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/tatinimo