Sunday, 20 March 2011

Bus Stop Tart

Sounds a bit naughty but it's actually very nice in an 'I'll just cut off another tiny piece and eat it' kind of way. This is a Spanish recipe for Seville Orange Tart or if you prefer Tarta de naranjas sevillanas. Yeah that sounds good. As a previous post confirms, I do not make sweet pastry any more. No point when the supermarket does it so well, so all this is really, is a recipe for a delicious tart filling.

Tart waiting for the bus

Pre-heat the oven to 240. Mix together, in a saucepan, the following ingedients: 140g caster sugar, 170ml Seville orange juice (it does make a difference using Seville oranges as they are very sour and it stops the tart being too sweet, but normal will do if you can't get them), 170g cubed unsalted butter, 4 egg yolks, 2 eggs, grated zest of half an orange. All you have to do is stir gently over a gentle heat. This may sound simple but the temptation to wack the heat up to hurry up the custardizing (yes, a real word, in my world) process is great. RESIST! If you fail to follow these simple instructions it will curdle. No-one wants scrambled eggs in their orange tart now, do they? After about 20 mins it will suddenly thicken and it is ready. Pour into the shop bought pastry case and bake for 10 minutes but check it doesn't burn. It wants to go brown on the edges (and looks more home-made that way, bonus). Cool before serving. Great with a blob of creme fraiche.

Then run to the bus stop with it wrapped in foil, nearly losing it a few times. Whatever you do, don't leave it at the bus stop.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

When Things Taste Better than they Look...

Yeah, not so inspiring...
I know, I know, it looks like 6 neat little poos lined up but it's actually raw Indian lamb koftas, and they taste great. I always do the ground lamb with peas when I have lamb mince floating about, as previously blogged, but wanted to try this again after a failed attempt a few years ago. Referring back to the Queen of Indian cuisine Maddhur Jaffrey, this is based on her recipe and is a doddle, if you don't mind eating something that resembles Mr Hankey. Ended up cooking this quite late as we succomed to the incredible samosas on sale at our local shop so had to wait till we were hungry again. Not having dinner was not an option.

A bit better...
Take 500g lamb mince and put in a bowl. Add to the bowl a couple of tsp of well chopped ginger, two tsp each of ground cumin and coriander, 3 ground cloves, as much cayenne pepper as you need/want, salt and pepper, two tbsp natural yogurt and mix well, hands work best. Gently shape these into sausage type shapes, or any shape you like really. Heat some oil in a large non-stick frying pan and quickly fry a bay leaf, half a cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 4 cardomom pods. Now put in the koftas and brown gently on all sides. Don't panic if they stick, just use a flat wooden spatula to gently lift them. Next mix 3 tbsp of natural yoghurt with approx 200ml warm water and pour over the koftas. Bring it to a gentle simmer, cover, and leave to cook for about half an hour, turning the koftas a few times. When they're ready, there will be no liquid left in the pan, but the koftas will have a bit of a yoghurty coating which helps keep them moist. Serve with a simple raita (stir some garam masala, salt and chopped coriander into a small bowl of natural yoghurt), rice, and green beens tossed in fried garlic, chilli and mustard seeds.

I did chuckle when I put a few in tupperware for the freezer, a nice surprise for the Boyfriend when he finds them mwahahahaha.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

For The Love of It

Said Father and Small Dog
When I asked my Dad what he thought of the blog, I thought he'd say he didn't get it. Instead he said 'It's great darling, but there isn't nearly enough about your Father and his little black and white dog'. So this post is dedicated to him.

Nothing warms my cockles more than having a table full of mates and/or family to feed. I'm well aware I have no sproglets to feed on a daily basis but I do cook almost every night and know the novelty will never wear off. I know for a fact my enthusiasm for all things tasty is mostly a knock on effect of my Dad's passion for food. Be it a Frey Bentos pie in a tin when Mum's away, or steak tartare for 15 as an entree before a barbie ('You can never have too much meat darling'). I get so excited when I have loved ones coming over for a decent feed and like to make a real event of it. This doesn't mean spending a fortune, rather spending time and effort. If they're going to travel out to my house, the least I can do is provide them with food to smile about. On Saturday Dad reminded me he is exactly the same. He was having two friends over on Saturday to watch the Rugby and then the plan was a nice supper to celebrate/commiserate. I came home (home as in family home) on Friday night and throughout the entire evening (which lasted until 2.30am and consisted of way too many bottles of red wine and confirmation of my Dad's love of dubstep) he kept saying 'I can't get pissed because I've got to get up early and get the scallops for supper!'. Whatever Daddio, pass the red and turn up the stereo.

I'm not sure what went into his scallop dish, but I know it used puff pastry and according to both Mum and Dad it 'Went mental and quadrupled in size.' I do know what was in the pudding because I groaned instructions to Mum, the morning after the night before, through my Cote de Rhone infused monster hangover from the kitchen table, hanging on to my cup of tea for dear life. This is how you make Earl Grey Panna Cotta for four people:

Soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water, then in a saucepan (really beneficial if it has a poury-spout-lip) combine 200ml milk, 300ml double cream and 50g caster sugar. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Take the gelatine out of its cold bath and squeeze the excess water from it. Plop into the saucepan and gently whisk until dissolved (takes no time,  30 seconds). Throw in 3 or four earl grey tea bags and infuse for half an hour. Remove the tea bags from your very weird cup of tea and pour the mixture into 4 dariole moulds. Stick in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve dip the moulds in hot water quite quickly, and turn out onto a small plate (makes an awesome blobby wobbly noise). Tarting up with a posh coulis or nice fresh berries is optional. Dig in and enjoy the screams of 'CHRIST! YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE PANNA COTTA! AMAZING!!'