Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Thai Green Curry- Mid week Treat

Thai Green Curry.
It's one of those "whatever's in the fridge" kind of meals. And no matter what you use it always tastes so damn good! Fish, Chicken, Beef. Whichever you fancy, in the pot it goes. What's even better is if you love your vegetables, then you can put as much in as you like really.

So at home, despite the chef muscles being flexed in our kitchen on a regular basis, we still know how to keep it simple!

Bring on the Vegetables!
Poaching the Chicken in the coconut cream works better. 

Leave everything to cook away nicely for approximately 15 minutes. Of course, check on things. A good way to know when your Chicken is ready is to taste it

Just about done. Plates at the ready!
Simple mid week loving! 
All you have to do is tuck in and enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fruits of the forest Tartlets

Summer Is Coming! 
Well, Spring has had a little bit of an uninspiring start. But slowly, surely the weather is getting better. Which means that desserts are about to get a whole lot sweeter. 
Grab your favourite mixed Berries. To be really honest, use frozen ones. They are much easier. You certainly don't have to wait for these to be in season (which means... Indulge whenever)

Castor Sugar with frozen berries
Use Castor Sugar when cooking the berries to help break them down. The sugar also starts to get that lovely thick juice going. Making them a Little jammy in texture.

Cooking the berries down 
Ready yourself for the best filling!
Grab your cooked pastry cases. See the previous entry 

Once your berries are thick and dark in texture, allow it to cool down for a bit. Grab a spoon and fill them up to the top. 

If you want to get a little fancy, cut your excess pastry into strips. Brush them with a little milk, so they stick together and brown up nicely. Carefully lay them over the berries, and press them down at the edges of the pastry tin.

Into the oven at 160˚c for 15 minutes or until they are becoming golden. When they are out, as much as you may want to savour them... Give them 5-10 mins to cool down. Otherwise you may just burn your tastebuds. And then you'll miss all the delectable yumminess. That, would just be a waste!

What about the Pastry? Check the link for our Gluten Free Sweet Pastry.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Gluten Free Sweet Pastry

It's nice to know Chef loves me. He puts up with my Gluten Free Issues, and has been searching for the best options for my needs. A lot of the time gluten free options taste dry or powdery. 

Here is the most fantastic Sweet Pastry. It has good elasticity, with no breaking. Cooks brilliantly. And most importantly... Tastes Marvellous!

320g GF Flour
200g butter
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
100g icing sugar
1 tsp Xantham Gum

Cream the butter and sugar until very smooth and soft. Add the eggs one by one and incorporate on low or by whisk carefully. Add the flour and Xantham gum, and mix in with a spatula.  

When the mix is well incorporated, turn the pastry out on to a clean bench and gently mould into a cylinder shape, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate. This mix will seem too soft, don’t worry, when it cools down and goes solid, it will be good for rolling. 

When the pastry is hard, bring it out of the fridge and cut into even sized rounds, and lay on a gluten free floured surface and proceed to roll out to the thickness and desired size. 

Lay into mould, and cut off any excess, place in cooking beans if you are blind baking, and re refrigerate before baking. Bake on 150˚c for 15 mins, or until the base of the pastry is light brown. Then take out the beans and bake for 4 mins more at 180˚c to a light golden brown. 

Then proceed to fill your tart with your filling of choice...

I'm gonna give you a sneaky peak at a couple of Tarts in the next few days!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lamb Roast with Aubergine and Broad Beans

Mid week Roast.

Hope I'm not teasing you too much with this, but tonight was a little simple for us. Nice Lamb Roast (Yes, it's still that kind of weather). Nothing overkill. Just a lovely Aubergine Puree. With freshly cooked Broad Beans.


So would you like to know how to make a good Aubergine Puree? Let me know, and I'll have a word with Chef! 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Coffee & Doughnuts Part2- Coffee Custard

So now you know how to make great doughnuts, Here is the perfect match for them. As stated previously, Coffee and Doughnuts are perfect buddies. With that in mind, here is your coffee custard.

900ml Cream
30g Sugar
140g Chicory Essence (coffee flavored Syrup)
15 yolks

Separating 15 Yolks. Yep. Count 'em!

Bring Cream to the boil. Meanwhile, place coffee essence, sugar, and yolks into a clean bowl and whisk till combined. Pour boiling cream into bowl of coffee mixture and whisking thoroughly. Pour cooled mix into a terrine mould and skim off any bubbles on the surface. 

All the bubbles will start to surface as it cools down. You'll need to skim them of the top so that the custard is smooth and has a consistent texture the whole way through.

Taking out the extra bubbles makes for a smoother custard

ClingWrap before putting the lid on
Now cover with cling film (This is important so that no water can enter the terrine dish otherwise the custard will split as it cooks), and place the lid on top. 

Bains Marie the custard for cooking
Place the terrine dish in a water bath to cook in the oven at 145 Degrees C. Fan Forced (time approx: 40mins). OR 160 degrees C without Fan (time approx: 30mins).  

*From the Chef: Checking the custard is easiest by giving the terrine dish a gentle shake. If you find the custard ripples (like a liquid), it’s not ready yet. Ideally the Custard should Wobble. When it does, It’s ready to be taken out of the Oven. Leave it out to rest and cool down.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Coffee & Doughnuts (Gluten Free Naughtiness)

The American Cop shows would have you convinced that Coffee and Doughnuts are the high point in any drama! Well they were right in the fact that Coffee and Doughnuts go together as good as Starsky and Hutch, and packs the same kind of attitude as Marcus and Mike Lowry from Bad Boys.

Here we are making Gluten Free Doughnuts! 

250ml Water
65g Butter
125g Plain Flour (Gluten Free flour works better in this recipe)
3 Eggs

Gently bring to boil the water and butter. Add the flour, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool slightly. Mix in your eggs one by one until fully combined.

Gluten Free Choux Pastry People!
Take a pot approximately 15cm in diameter and pour in vegetable oil till roughly half way. Allow this oil to heat to 160 degrees C. Place the mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle attachment. Pipe 2inch (5cm) lengths at a time into the pot and fry until golden brown. Use a Holy Spoon to remove the doughnuts from the oil safely. Place onto paper towel to drain any excess oil. 

These are Mini Doughnuts. Little bite Size Monsters, that you can have a few of or a few more depending on your mood of course. They are so lovely to eat when they are fresh. Nice and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle!

Sugar & Cinnamon
Once they have been fried, Dunk them into a bowl of Sugar & Cinnamon. Toss them through and make sure they are nicely coated. Try not to eat them all at once... Don't say you were not warned!

So the Coffee Flavoured Custard will come next entry! Serve them together for an ultimate little treat to share with Friends!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Quiche. Perfect for this kind of weather...

Don't quite know where you guys are, but the weather has chilled out again and we are dealing with light snow flurries and icy winds. We are having an easy Quiche tonight. Not one for being shy when it comes to ingredients, Chef always puts loads of goodies in!

You can put Anything into it, and better still you can have it over a few days. Take it to work for lunch, or dinner after that late night shopping trip to get your outfit for the weekend.

Cook you base first. That way it'll be ready when your prep is done. 
So get your Quiche base organised first. You can easily buy this pastry at any super market. If you need gluten free be sure to find a good recipe. Some Gluten free pastries can break quite easily. Just be sure that when you roll the pastry out over your dish, fill in any breaks or gaps with the pastry by hand.

Prepping for the Quiche. Onions and Mushrooms

Make sure you cook off all your ingredients. Added Bacon

Add loads of cooked Spinach! The more ingredients, the better
As you cook your ingredients, simply add them to a large bowl once they're done. That way you get an idea of what's ready. If your having a little improvisation day, then doing this will give you a chance to taste and see if you want to add anything else!

Crumble up Fetta

By this stage, You should mix everything in really well. Don't be afraid to get messy with your hands. It's more fun that way, trust me!

Once you're done putting all the cooked ingredients together, it's time to pop in your eggs. Now I have been saying the more ingredients the better. The other reason being, is that you don't want a very "eggy" Quiche. It's not as flavoursome (to me)...

Pour all that yummy goodness into your pastry tray. We've used a 10inch tray, and cooked for around 30 minutes. Temperature was at 160degrees Celcius. Always check though! 
You want your Quiche to have slight colouring on the top once it has been cooked. In the picture below, you can see the difference, compared to the previous shot.

THE BEST- Look at all that flavour