Friday, 2 December 2016

Beef And Vegetable Casserole




I looked out this morning at a beautiful Devon winter scene with frost turning everything white. My thoughts turned to warming comfort food for the evening and what could be better than a beef and vegetable casserole? I use Red Ruby Devon beef for its flavour and high welfare standards.

This is a perfect BBC GoodFood recipe which delivers on simplicity and taste. It's easy to prepare and the long slow cook allows the beef to become tender and the flavours to develop.

Beef And Vegetable Casserole

Serves 5

Ingredients
   
2 celery, sticks, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then very chunkily sliced
5 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 beef stock cube, crumbled
850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks

Method

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tbsp oil and the butter. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.

Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.



Casserole Pot

It's handy to have a casserole pot (dutch oven) that goes straight from hob to oven. I have a Greenpan one, which is ideal and so easy to clean. On the left is a similar one from the USA.


     




Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Treacle Apple Pudding

There is a decided chill in the air and my thoughts have been turning to warming comfort food. What could be better than a steaming Treacle Apple Pudding?

Serve with custard or cream - or both. I know you can make your own custard but I was born in the land of Ambrosia so I always serve it with puddings. Delicious.

The recipe, which is one of my favourites, is from the BBC Good Food website.





Treacle Apple Pudding


    2–3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 250g flesh)
    100g light soft brown sugar
    50g golden syrup, plus 2 tbsp
    butter, for greasing
    1 tangy eating apple, such as Braeburn
    squeeze of lemon juice
    175g self-raising flour
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 large egg

1. Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Put the chopped Bramleys in a saucepan, add 100ml water and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 5 mins until the apples are very soft. Beat to a purée with a wooden spoon. Add the sugar and 50g of the syrup, bring to a simmer, then set aside and cool.
   
2. While you wait, grease the inside of a 1.3-litre pudding basin. Spoon 2 tbsp syrup into the bottom. Peel and core the eating apple, slice half and chop the rest. Toss in the lemon juice and nestle the sliced apple into the syrup in the bottom of the basin.

3. Sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Beat the egg into the saucy apple, then tip this and the remaining chopped apple into the bowl and stir until smooth. It will start to rise a little as you mix. Quickly turn the batter into the basin, level the top, then bake for 40–45 mins or until well risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cover with foil towards the end of cooking if the sponge browns too quickly. Leave to rest for a few mins, then turn out onto a plate.






Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Three Things To Do With Apples





TWO people have given me apples this week. I made a lovely apple crumble but still had lots left over. A quick trawl of the internet threw up this Youtube video, Three Things To Do With Apples.


Apple and Chilli Jam
First up was Apple and Chilli Jam which looks amazingly quick and easy - and delicious. If  you have no desire to make jam, skip to around 3mins 12secs for a wonderful Pork and Apple Stew. The recipe included cider so, being a good old Devon maid, I used Sam's Cider from Winkleigh Cider.


Pork and Apple Stew

We had the stew for supper last night and it was wonderful and warming on a chilly autumn evening.

Lastly, there was a demo of how to make an Apple and Elderflower Tarte Tatin (beginning at around 7 minutes).  My apples are running out now, but I think I have enough left to give this a go. I hope to impress the relatives when they come round for Sunday lunch!


Apple and Elderflower Tarte Tatin



Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Egg Custard Tarts

IT'S World Egg Day and to celebrate I am recreating a taste of my youth, Egg Custard Tarts. They immediately take me back to my childhood farmhouse kitchen with my mum baking delicious food in the Aga.

All our hens were properly free range and one of my chores was searching out their nests and gathering the eggs.

I haven't made these tarts in a while but I found this lovely recipe on the British Red Lion egg recipes site.





Egg Custard Tarts

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the pastry:
225g plain flour
50g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter, cubed
1 large British Lion egg
A little more butter for greasing
  
For the filling:
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream
2 Large British Lion eggs
2 Large British Lion egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Freshly grated nutmeg

Method
To make the pastry: Place the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and blitz until it looks like breadcrumbs. Alternatively, place the dry ingredients in a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips.

Add the egg to the pastry crumb mix and blitz in the processor or stir in with a knife,    until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes

Meanwhile for the filling: Pour the milk and cream into a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Place the eggs and egg yolks in a large jug add the sugar and vanilla essence and beat together until creamy. Remove the milk from the heat, then pour it over the eggs and stir well. Return it to the pan, then place a fine meshed sieve over the jug and pour the mixture back through the sieve. Set aside.

To line the tins with pastry: Cut the dough into four pieces. Take the first piece and thinly roll it out, dusting the work top and rolling pin with flour. When it is about 2 mm thick, use a 10cm/4in plain cutter (or draw around a saucer if you prefer) to press out 3 rounds of pastry, rerolling pastry if necessary. Repeat to roll out 12 circles of pastry the same way.

Butter the base and sides of each of the 12 holes of a muffin tin - this ensures the pastry doesn’t stick. Carefully push the pastry rounds into the holes, trying not to stretch the pastry too much. Push it neatly into the base and sides of each to tart case.

Line each pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans. Place the muffin tin on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden and the bases are dry.

Reduce the oven temperature to Fan130oC/150oC/Gas Mark 2. Carefully pour the prepared custard into the pastry cases, then sprinkle a little freshly grated nutmeg over each. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the custard is firm, with a slight wobble. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin before removing. Best served chilled.

(For a more exotic egg recipe, have a look at my previous post featuring Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup.)







Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.

Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup

IT'S World Egg Day. I love eggs. They are so versatile and so quick and easy if you want to rustle up a snack. What could be better than boiled eggs and soldiers? Then there are all the recipes that require eggs, including quiches, omelettes, frittatas, cakes, pancakes and mayonnaise - the list is endless.

To honour World Egg Day, here's a slightly more unusual recipe from The Incredible Edible Egg website. It is incredibly quick to cook. However, you might want to use your own broth, rather than canned.



Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup


Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cans  (14-1/2 oz. each) ready-to-serve chicken broth
1 can (8 oz.)  sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 cup  shredded carrots
1 cup  frozen peas
1 can (4 oz.)  sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup  rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp.  soy sauce
3/4 tsp.  pepper
1/4 cup  cold water
2 tbsp.  cornstarch (cornflour)
4  eggs, well beaten

Method

Combine broth, bamboo shoots, carrots, peas, mushrooms, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
Mix water and cornstarch (cornflour) in small bowl until dissolved. Slowly stir into hot soup. While gently stirring soup, slowly pour in eggs. Remove from heat immediately and serve.



Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Boozy Blackberries

I CAME across this very grown-up version of blackberry pie in Delicious Magazine. I love it when blackberries are plentiful in the hedgerows and I can gather them to make blackberry pie or blackberry and apple pie or crumble. Blackberries also make a delicious "gin". I've included a recipe for Blackberry and Apple Gin from Larder Love.  It takes only four weeks to mature so would be ready in time for Christmas.





Sloe Gin Bramble Pie

2kg British blackberries
75ml sloe gin (or brandy or cassis)
250g golden caster sugar
6 tbsp cornflour
1 medium free-range egg yolk, beaten, to glaze
Double cream to serve

For the pastry
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature but not too soft, cubed, plus extra for greasing
400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g golden caster sugar
Good pinch salt
1 medium free-range egg

METHOD

Put the blackberries in a pan with the sloe gin and golden caster sugar. Set over a low-medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes until you have about 1 litre juice. Drain the blackberries, reserving the juices, then leave to cool completely. Return the juices to the pan and reduce to a thick syrup (see tips). Once the blackberries have cooled, mix them with the cornflour.

For the pastry, briefly whizz the butter with the flour, 50g sugar and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly pulse in the egg, then 2 tbsp cold water, until the dough just comes together. Tip onto a floured surface, split into two (roughly two thirds and one third), then roll each into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap each disc in cling film, then chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 210°C/fan190°C/gas 6½ and put in a baking sheet to heat up. Take the larger disc of pastry out of the fridge. Roll it out to 0.5cm thick on a lightly floured surface and use to line the base and sides of a 5cm deep ceramic or metal flan/pie dish measuring about 18cm across the bottom and 23cm across the top. Once you’ve lined the dish with the pastry, spoon in the cooled blackberries. Put the blackberry-filled base in the fridge.

Roll out the second piece of pastry to a 23cm circle. Remove the dish from the fridge and lightly wet the edges of the pastry base. Top with the second layer of pastry and crimp, using your thumb and forefinger, to seal. With a sharp knife, make a few slits and a hole in the top and, if you like, use any pastry trimmings to decorate (re-roll, cut into shapes and affix with a little water). Brush the top with the beaten egg yolk to glaze it. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes, then glaze again.

Bake on the hot baking sheet for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp – cover the top with foil if it browns too quickly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the dish for 2-3 hours so the filling can thicken. Serve the pie in slices straight from the dish, with lashings of cream.
   
The syrup from the blackberries isn’t needed in this recipe, but it’s great as a base for a gin and tonic. Or use it to drizzle over sorbets and ice creams (you may need to sweeten it a little).

    If you’d like a sugary glaze for the pie, sprinkle the pastry with a little demerara sugar before baking.




Blackberry and Apple Gin

Ingredients
225g/8oz blackberries
225g/8oz apples
1 bay leaf
200g/7oz caster sugar
750ml/1 ¼ pints gin (I'm from the West Country so use Plymouth Gin)

Method

Chop the apples (no need to peel or core)

Put the chopped apples, blackberries, bay leaf and sugar in a large wide
mouthed jar.
Pour over the gin and seal the jar.
Shake well and put aside in dark cupboard and shake every few days for 4 weeks.

Strain through muslin or kitchen roll and decant into a bottle.

It's good neat or with tonic or soda and ice.

  



Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Butternut Squash Soup




There's a definite chill in the air now and my thoughts have turned to warming soups with crusty rolls. Making soup can be about as easy or complicated as you like to make it. There is plenty of butternut squash in the shops at the moment and they make a wonderful soup. Some days I don't have a lot of time but here's a video of a tasty and healthy recipe using just five ingredients.


Warming soup recipes to nourish the soul, and help use up all those extra vegetables .







Take a look at these websites for more kitchen information and pictures:
Country Kitchens
Kitchen Gallery
Kitchen Talk

Subscribe to Kitchen Cook and we'll email you every time the website is updated. All you have to do is pop your email address in the 'subscribe' form in the panel on the right.