Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
This recipe comes originally from Marcella Hazan's book "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" The sausages the recipe suggests are Italian sweet sausages. I use a very herby sausage, made by my local butcher in Shoreham as my alternative. I also make no appologies for using tinned tomatoes - life is too short to skin and seed tomatoes!
The ingredients are:
3 peppers (2 red 1 yellow or vice-versa)
Olive oil enough to cover the bottom of your pan 1/2 cm or 1/4 inch
I medium onion chopped
Small tin chopped tomatoes
Parmesan (some for cooking & some for the table)
Penne roughly 500 grams
First bake the sausages in the oven for about 20 minutes on 180c. While this is happening put the peppers which you have already seeded and cut into halves under a hot grill for a few minutes. Remove any charred skin from the peppers, then cut into pieces roughly 1 inch square (can''t work out what that is in cms).
Remove sausages from oven and slice into 1/2 inch pieces (roughly1cm ish)
Put your pan on a medium heat, add the oil to the pan, then sauté the onion until it becomes pale brown, cook the sliced sausage for a couple of minutes before adding the peppers which need gentle frying for seven or eight minutes. Then add the tomatoes and season well. Let the pan simmer for 20 minutes. Whilst the sauce is simmering cook the pasta. When the pasta is cooked sprinkle with Parmesan and some butter or olive oil and toss thoroughly.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Having loads of bread left over I decided to make a Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding, I found a James Martin recipe on the BBC food web site.
The recipe is :
150ml/¼pt double cream
55g/2oz dark chocolate
2 free-range eggs
1 free-range egg yolk
55g/2oz caster sugar
4 slices white bread, cut in half.
I varied the recipe slightly by just using all single cream rather than double cream & milk. I also ommited the whiskey as I prefer my Scotch unadulterated and in any event would not be appreciated by the intended consumers.
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/425F/Gas 7.
2. Place the cream, milk & chocolate in a pan and heat until the chocolate has melted. Stir gently to combine.
3. Place the eggs, egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy.
4. Pouring gradually while whisking, add the hot chocolate milk mixture to the whisked eggs.
5. Transfer the chocolate milk and eggs mixture back to the pan. Heat gently, whisking constantly, until the custard has thickened.
6. Arrange the bread slices in an ovenproof dish and pour the chocolate custard evenly over. Allow to sit for at least fifteen minutes to absorb, then place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until set.
7. Remove from the oven and serve with lashings of single cream.
The entire recipe took less than 15 minutes to make. The pudding was delightfully sticky and eaten greedily - particularly by Mrs Woody who had thirds!
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Like with all stews and casseroles the quality of the meat is the most important thing.
I get my beef from John Howe from Chanctonbury who trades at our local Farmer's Market. John is a true eccentric (borderline nutter) he wears a boater 12 months of the year, wears tweed and drives a Landrover of indeterminate age. His stall is always decorated with signs against the EU and things foreign ("for the convenience of customers we do not accept euros"). He still insists in selling everything in pounds and ounces. However his beef, which comes from a fifty year old herd, is of top quality.
I always use a cut for stews called "Jews Fillet". (The Jews' fillet is part of the silverside and got its derogatory name because it was often disguised and sold as real fillet for a much higher price). Its a lean cut and the same price usually as any stewing or braising cut.
The other vital ingredient is the beer. Most recipes will say you should use a lager, as most of these beers are tasteless I use a bitter, but if you want a really strong flavour you can even use a stout.
The recipe for Carbonnade of beef is as follows:
1 kg stewing beef
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1 Bay Leaf
500ml beef or veg stock
350 ml Beer
2tbsp Dijon Mustard
1tbsp brown sugar
White wine vinegar
Fry the onions and garlic gently until golden, remove from pan and put in casserole.
Whilst onions are cooking cut meat into chunks and coat with seasoned flour.
Brown meat in pan in batches then remove to casserole. Put remaining flour in casserole coating onions and meat.
Add sugar to frying pan and de-glaze with stock, add beer to stock in frying pan, bring to boil. Pour over meat & onions in casserole. Add bay leaf, thyme, Dijon mustard.
Cook in medium oven for 3 hours at 160c.
Check for flavour if over sweet add a little wine vinegar. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green veg. (Did I tell you to remove the bay leaf)
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
After consulting several cookery books, checking recipes on line and taking advice from fellow bloggers I opted for a Nigel Slater recipe.
It is a simple recipe with few ingredients they are: 450gm fine chocolate, 275 ml whipping or double cream and cocoa powder for dusting.
Melt the chocolate gently making sure it is lump free. Whilst the chocolate is melting bring the cream almost to the boil. Add the cream to the chocolate. Chill for at least two hours.
Once the mixture has set have a stiff drink (RIP Keith Floyd). I tried to use two teaspoons to make the balls, but in the end I settled for a melon baller and 1 teaspoon. I did get into a bit of a mess making the first few. To tell the truth it looked like I had been attending a nursery art class. Chocolate everywhere.
Then I remembered reading the advice that you should dust your hands with cocoa powder, this does stop you getting into a total mess.
The result has been tasted by one wife, two children and one random friend of child 2. Wife and child 1 liked the result but found it a bit bitter, child 2 & friend thought they were really good. (3 each and feeling sick).
Excuse the quality of the pictures - I think I got chocolate ganache on the lens, this works far less well than Vaseline in all circumstances.