Week Nights

Sticky Toffee Pudding

May 27, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This English steamed dessert consists of a very moist sponge cake that is made with chopped dates and covered in a toffee sauce.  Sticky Toffee Pudding is considered an English classic and is thought to have developed somewhere in the south of England and made accessible by The Gait Inn at Millington (East Yorkshire), England in 1907. 

INGREDIENTS

8 Ounces Stoned & Finely Chopped Dates

6 Ounces Boiling Water

1 ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

6 Ounces Self-Rising Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Lightly Beaten Large Eggs

3 Ounces Softened Butter (Plus Extra For Greasing)

5 Ounces Demerara Sugar

2 Tablespoons Black Treacle

3 ½ Ounces Milk

SAUCE

6 Ounces Muscovado Sugar

2 Ounces Butter (Cut Into Pieces)

8 Ounces Heavy Cream or Double Cream

1 Tablespoon Black Treacle

Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Butter and flour 6 individual ramekins or use a deep square baking dish. Put the chopped dates into a large glass bowl and fill with boiling water to soak for 20 minutes.  Once the dates are soft add the vanilla extract.  Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.  In a separate large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.  In small amounts at a time add the beaten egg to the butter and sugar mixture.  Mix well between additions.  Add the black treacle and beat well.  Now fold in 1/3 of the flour and then 1/3 of the milk and repeat until the flour and milk are all in the butter mixture.  Add the chopped dates including the liquid in the bowl and stir gently.  The mixture will resemble a thick batter.  Divide the mixture between the ramekins (or deep square baking dish) and place on a baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes for the individual puddings or 45 to 50 minutes for the deep square baking dish.  The cake should be raised and firm to the touch.  Make sure not to over bake.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out. 

To make the sauce: Over medium heat melt the butter, sugar and half of the cream in a saucepan.  Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil while stirring constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved.  Add the treacle and allow the sauce to bubble for about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 1 minute.  Now stir in the remaining cream.  

To serve place an individual pudding or a portion from the baking dish onto a warm individual serving dish.  Drizzle generous amounts of sauce over the pudding.  You can serve with either ice cream or custard.  Serves 6

White Bean Salad

May 27, 2011

White Bean Salad

INGREDIENTS

14 ½ Ounces of White Beans (If You Use Canned Drain, But Do Not Rinse)

2 Tablespoons Chopped Red Onion

2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Onion

1 Finely Chopped Carrot

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Chop the onions and carrots.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the chopped onions and carrots and set it aside.  Combine all ingredients into a serving dish.  Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours and the flavors will combine.  Serves 4

Welsh Rarebit

May 26, 2011

Welsh Rarebit

The first recorded use of the term Welsh Rabbit was in 1725.  It is said to be an ironic name coined in the days when the Welsh were notoriously poor and only well-to-do people could afford meat from the butcher.  In England rabbit was the poor man’s meat, but in Wales cheese was the poor man’s meat.  The slur against the Welsh was, “if a Welshman went rabbit hunting then this would be his supper.”

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 Tablespoon Mustard Powder

½ Teaspoon Cayenne

¾ Cup Dark Beer (Guinness)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Pound Grated Semi-Hard Cheese (Cheddar, Double Gloucester, Comte, Gruyere)

4 to 8 Pieces Light Toasted Bread

Put the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  When the butter melts stir in the flour.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes (stir occasionally) until golden brown and very fragrant.  Stir in the mustard and cayenne and then whisk in the beer & Worcestershire sauce.  When the mixture is uniform, turn heat to low and stir in the grated cheese.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to set.  You can refrigerate for up to a day.  Spread the mixture thickly on toast and put under the broiler until bubbly and edges of the toast are crisp.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4

Vegetable Curry

May 24, 2011

Vegetable Curry

INGREDIENTS

½ Medium Eggplant (Aubergine)

2 Small Carrots

1 Cup Peas

1 Cup French Beans

1 Medium Potato

½ Cup Freshly Grated Coconut

2 Tablespoons White Poppy Seeds

4 Fresh Hot Green Chilies

1 ¼ Teaspoon Salt

3 Medium Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Plain Yogurt

1 Teaspoon Garam Masala

2 Tablespoons Fresh Green Coriander

Place cut eggplant, carrots, peas, beans and potato in a medium saucepan.  Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Cover and turn heat to medium.  Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.  Do not overcook.  Put the coconut, chilies, poppy seeds and salt in a food processor.  Add 5 ounces of water and grind to a fine paste and set aside.  When the vegetables are cooked, add the spice paste and another 5 ounces of water.  Stir and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, yogurt and garam masala.  Stir gently to mix well.  Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 3 minutes.  Turn into a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander.  Serves 4

English Custard Pudding

May 17, 2011

English Custard Pudding  

INGREDIENTS

1 Ounce Sugar

10 Ounces Boiling Milk

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2 Large Egg Yolks

Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl.  In a large bowl combine the sugar, vanilla and the beaten yolks.  Pour in the boiling milk whisking while you pour.  Put the custard into a saucepan and over LOW heat.  Stir until the right consistency is obtained.  DO NOT let the mixture boil or you will end up with scrambled eggs.  Remove from heat and either serve immediately or allow to cool.  Once cooled it should be covered and kept in the refrigerator for 2 days.  Do not reheat once chilled.  Serves 4

Traditional Fish & Chips

May 15, 2011

Traditional Fish & Chips

You don’t have to go to the “chippie” to get traditional fish & chips.  Serve with salt and malt vinegar.

INGREDIENTS

4 Large Pieces of Either Cod or Haddock

2 ½ Pounds Potatoes

Sunflower Seed Oil

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Batter

7 Ounces Unbleached Flour

1 Large Egg

2 ½ Ounces Milk

2 ½ Ounces Water

2 Tablespoons Dark Beer

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chips.  You should cook them after you start cooking the fish.  Place them covered in water to stop them going brown.  Set aside. Make the batter mixture by putting the flour into a large bowl.  Whisk the egg and add the 2 tablespoons of dark beer in a separate bowl.  Now pour the whisked egg into the flour adding the milk and water.  Beat until smooth.  Leave batter stand for an hour. 

Heat a deep and heavy pan filled with enough oil to cover the chips.  Make sure that the oil gets hot.  If you drop in a tiny piece of potato and it immediately starts to sizzle then the oil is hot enough. 

Heat another pan of oil just deep enough to cover the fish.  Individually put each fish fillet into the batter.  Slide the fish pieces back and forth to cover with the batter.  Lift out the fish pieces and allow to drip for a moment and then repeat.  This makes certain that the fish is completely covered in batter.  Lower the battered fish into the hot oil skin side to the bottom of the pan to stop the fillet from curling as it heats.  Now cook one fillet at a time.  After 5 minutes turn the fish over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Repeat with the second fillet, keeping the first cooked fillet warm in the oven.  Now it is time to put the chips in the pan to cook.  Take care as the oil might froth as the wet chips go in.  This is normal, but be careful not to burn yourself.  Carry on cooking the other two fillets and put them in the oven to keep warm.  Lift out the chips when they reach a nice golden brown color and are cooked through.  Use a mesh spoon to lift the chips out and let the oil drip back into the pan.  Serve on plates or newspapers with the fish nestling on a bed of chips.  Malt vinegar, salt & ketchup, YUM!  Serves 4

Lamb Vindaloo

May 14, 2011

Lamb Vindaloo

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Cubed Lamb

1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds

1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds

2 Teaspoons Mustard Seeds

5 Black Peppercorns

5 Cloves

5 Dried Red Chilies

1 Cinnamon Stick

½ Teaspoon Cardamom Seeds

½ Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

6 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Chopped Ginger

1 Cup Wine Vinegar

5 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

16 Ounces Canned Tomatoes

1 Cup Water

¼ Teaspoon Salt

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and fry the whole spices until browned.  Grind them to a fine powder.  Stir in the turmeric and salt.  Blend the powder with the garlic, ginger and 4 tablespoons of wine vinegar to a smooth paste in a food processor.  Rub the paste into the meat and leave to marinate overnight. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet and fry the onions over a medium heat until golden brown.  Add the lamb and fry for 15 minutes until golden brown.  Stir in the tomatoes and fry until all the liquid has been absorbed and the oil appears on the surface.  Add the remaining wine vinegar and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 40 minutes until the meat is tender.  Serves 4

Lamb Korma

May 13, 2011

Lamb Korma

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Cubed Lamb

4 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt

3 Chopped Onions

3 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Inches Ginger

3 Tablespoons Ghee

8 Crushed Black Peppercorns

4 Coarsely Crushed Green Cardamom Pods

2 Crushed Cloves

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander

2 Cups Water

¼ Teaspoon Salt

Fresh Chopped Coriander

Place 2 of the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.  Heat the ghee in a large skillet and add the remaining roughly chopped onion.  Stir frequently and fry to a pale golden color. Add the crushed spices, salt and lamb. Stir constantly and fry the meat for 5 to 8 minutes to a rich brown color.  The ghee will start to separate at this stage.  Add the ground onion paste.  Continue to stir for another 10 minutes until the mixture is well browned.  Add the chili powder and ground coriander.  Stir well.  Add the yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time stirring continuously.  Fry until the ghee again starts to separate.  Soon the sauce (masala) will start to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Add the water at this stage and mix well.  Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat.  Simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.  Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh coriander.  Serves 4

Tandoori Chicken

May 12, 2011

Tandoori Chicken

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Boneless Chicken

2 Sliced Onions

2 Lemons

5 Whole Green Chilies

3 Tablespoons Onion Paste

½ Teaspoon Ginger Paste

½ Teaspoon Garlic Paste

1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder

1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Tablespoon Cinnamon Powder

¼ Tablespoon Clove Powder

2 Tablespoons Oil

Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces.  Mix onion paste, ginger, garlic, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander, cumin, yogurt, salt, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon oil and clove powder into a medium sized bowl.  Mix well.  In a large bowl place all of the chicken pieces and pour the spice mixture over the chicken.  I like to use the zip lock bags for marinating.  Make certain that all of the chicken pieces are covered with the marinade.  Chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours.  When ready to cook preheat the oven to 450° F.  Oil a large flat baking sheet.  Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet one by one in a single layer.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Turn chicken pieces over and bake for another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and garnish with sliced onions and sliced lemons.  Serves 4

Butter Chicken

May 10, 2011

Butter Chicken

INGREDIENTS

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

2 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

2 Teaspoons Grated Fresh Ginger

2 Crushed Garlic Cloves

4 Chopped Chicken Breasts

4 Ounces Roasted Cashews

2 Ounces Unsalted Butter

1 Tablespoon Sunflower Oil

1 Finely Chopped Medium Sized Onion

1 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Bay Leaf

2 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika

14 Ounces Canned Crushed Tomatoes

5 Ounces Chicken Stock

1 Cup Thickened Cream

Combine yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, chili, cumin, ginger and garlic in a medium sized bowl.  Add chicken and stir well.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Reserve half of the roasted cashews and place remaining cashews in a food processor.  Process until finely ground. 

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf.  Cook for 2 minutes until the onion starts to soften.  Reduce heat to low and then add chicken and marinade, paprika, tomato puree, cashew powder and chicken stock.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in cream and cook for another 10 minutes.  Garnish with remaining cashews, chopped coriander and serve with rice.  Serves 4

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