Sunday 22 November 2015

Straight from Life at Cobble Hill Farm

One of the newer blogs that I have followed is Life at Cobble Hill Farm.
A week ago there was a recipe for ham and cheese rolls, I filed it away and bookmarked it. Today I dug it out and Oh My Word!! DELISH

Start with the dough,
4 1/2 cups of white bread flour, 
1 sachet of fast yeast,
1 tsp salt,
2 tsp sugar, 
Whisk together and add enough warm water to make a soft dough, I used almost 2 cups, and a splash of oil.
Knead for 5 minutes, return to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to double in size.

Take 1/3rd of the dough and roll out to a rectangle.
Mix about 2 oz butter with a good slug of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard. ( these are my measurements, proper ones are given at the original) Spread this over the dough, I had a little left over.
Sprinkle with grated cheddar and dot with some soft blue cheese, my version, then cover with sliced ham.
Roll up like a swiss roll and pinch the edges together, slice into about 10 slices and put into a lined tin, I used my old 1/2 standard tin.
Put straight into an oven at 170c for about 20 minutes, take out drizzle or dollop the rest of the filling mi over and pop back in the oven for 10 minutes. 
Try very hard to let them cool a little before chomping in. They are very very good.

As you can see I got 9, just because I did not roll the dough quite thin enough.

In the waste not want not way while they were cooking, I looked at the remaining dough, then gazed round the kitchen in a blank sort of way. Ah Ha, 2 slightly wizzened apples. Quick look in the pantry and scooped up a jar of bottled apple, in the fridge for a pack of cream cheese nearly out of date and some cinnamon and brown sugar.
Beat up the cream cheese along with, 
2 tbsp dark brown sugar.
A good shake of cinnamon, maybe a tsp.

Roll out almost half the remaining dough and spread with the mix, roll up as before and slice, put into a lined tin and leave to rise. Once the ham and cheese rolls come out, slide the sweet ones in the oven, 25 minutes.

I had some mix over but choose to dribble some Maple syrup over these as soon as they came out. They domed a bit as I had inadvertently turned the oven up too high. It did not matter, they were so good I burnt my fingers and my tongue.

What about the apples I hear you say, well first I wrapped the rest of the pizza dough in cling film and bunged it in the freezer.

I peeled and chopped the 2 apples, mixed them into the cream cheese mix and then stirred in the jar of apple. This went into a pyrex dish. 
8 ozs Plain Flour, with 4 ozs butter rubbed in, 2 ozs sugar, a handful or 2 of oats and more cinnamon, 1/2 tsp or so. Mix together and tip over apple mix, pop in oven when sweet rolls come out for 35 minutes.

No idea what it will taste like but it does smell good. It will be pudding tonight with leftovers, fingers crossed.

As you can see I use metric, imperial and volume measures when I cook, quite often I do not measure at all, it just depends on what I am making and how I feel.

Try and enjoy

       TTFN                                                            Pam

Sunday 8 November 2015

Sunday Brunch, from Sunday Brunch

I am not the person who gets up late, showers, dresses and slumps on the sofa watching telly. Well today I was that person. 
Last night was so warm that I could not sleep, I was awake till 5 ish and then crawled into bed and slept till 9.20. I hit the sofa, coffee in hand and turned the box on. My guests were up and about and were happy to watch Simon and Tim playing with food. 
Ding, Flash, a light bulb moment, roasted Cauliflower cheese on toast, we could almost smell and taste it.
Ben was walked and fed ( I had to encourage him out today) and we decamped to the kitchen and collated the requirements.

A sad looking half Cauliflower, separated into florets and tossed in a little rapeseed oil, a sliced garlic clove and some salt and pepper. Into the mini oven 170c for about 10 minutes.
While that was roasting a good handfull of grated cheddar was mixed with an egg, a dollop of wholegrain mustard and a shake of Tabasco.

The mix looks a bit insipid, do not be fooled, it bites.

The roasted Cauli, I forgot to take a photo before putting the topping on. It is only roasted lightly, the cauli is almost cooked but the garlic is not burnt.

Before and after 10 minutes back in the mini oven at 180c

I grilled the bread in a lightly buttered frying pan and then onto a hot plate.

Top with the fragrant cauli mix, and enjoy. On the telly they used griddled walnut bread and topped the cauli mix with more chilli sauce, then put it under a grill to cook. As my oven was hot I used it, and we left off the chilli sauce.

Oh My Word, it was great, I can see the topping on a pizza, in a jacket potato or on a puff pastry base, even stirred through pasta.
It is very rich and this was plenty, I can still taste it, I will be fine now till dinner.

               TTFN                                                    Pam

Friday 30 October 2015

Autumn and Spring together.

I carved my pumpkin this morning, after I had removed the seeds, to roast, and most of the flesh, to curry, it is now complete with tealights by the front door ready for tomorrow.

Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry.

2 tsp Turmeric, 2 tsp Coriander, 1 tsp Cayenne, 2 tsp Cumin, 2 tsp curry powder and 1 tbsp Fenugreek.

The flesh of a small pumpkin, 2 peppers (halved, save the other bits for the next recipe), half a sad leek, a small red onion, a bit of fresh ginger OR 1 tsp of ground ginger, 2 cloves garlic, a tin of chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes. I also used 2 dollops of tomato puree from the freezer.

Sweat the spices in the oil for a few minutes, add a grind of black pepper and some salt.
Peel and dice the onion and garlic, peel and very finely slice the ginger then mince and add to the spices, stir to coat with the oily mixture. Slice the half leek lengthways and dice, the deseed and dice both the half peppers and add to the pot, add the prepared pumpkin, stir and sweat for a few minutes. 

Tip in the tomatoes, chopped, the tomato puree, the drained and rinsed chickpeas and about 1/3rd pint of water or veg stock. Bring to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Cool and keep in fridge for about 4 days, I have never frozen this as the pumpkin is soft, I think that after freezing it would turn to mush on reheating. 
I have however used the dry sweated veg mix to make pasties, very tasty, and served with a spicy tomato sauce.

As a token gesture to the Spring like weather, and the profusion of second flush flowers around I made this.

Spring Pasta.

Dice 2 sticks celery, and the leaves, a bunch of spring onions, half a green and half a yellow pepper and a few rashers of bacon ( these weighed 100 gm) Sweat in a little oil for around 10 minutes.

Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and the tin full of water, 2 tsp Italian mixed herbs, 1 tsp dried Basil and a good grind of black pepperI also added a dollop of frozen tomato puree. Bring to simmer and cook on low for 20 minutes till thick.

Once cool chill and freeze. This smells and tastes fresh and spring like, I add some fresh basil leaves just before serving over cooked pasta. 


                           TTFN                                       Pam

Monday 26 October 2015

Vegan beany burgers

On Friday I needed to provide a Vegan meal for 3, only 1 was vegan but I had no intentions of cooking 2 different things. I was also feeling lazy and decided that burgers and chips would be fantastic.

Grate 2 decent size carrots, finely dice 1 large onion and sweat in a little oil till soft. I used coconut oil, as I had it.

Mash enough red kidney beans, I used 470 gm that I soaked and cooked a while ago. They were in the freezer and needed using up. Then mash the carrot and onion into the beans, adding your seasoning of choice. I used 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp dried mixed herbs and a good grind of black pepper and a good pinch of  salt. I pressed scoops of the mixture into burger shapes and then rolled in gram flour to coat. This helps them to hold their shape as I did not use egg to bind them.

 Put them in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

Then I fried them gently in more coconut oil for about 4 minutes on each side, the chips went in to my Air Fryer for 25 minutes. I went the whole hog and served Mushy Peas on the side, Oh Yum
3 empty plates, I only had 1 as I was having chips.

There are many different versions of this recipe out there, I vary the beans and the veg, grated courgette and red onion is a good mix. Baked beans with the sauce washed off are equally as good. If I use chick peas from a tin I tend to drain and rinse then boil for 5 minutes or so in fresh water to soften them up.

I do make these smaller and serve with salad and warm flatbreads with cucumber, mint and yoghurt dressing.


Saturday 17 October 2015

Fish cakes without mash.

I was given a pack of frozen salmon steaks a couple of weeks  ago, my friend has bought them and decided that she could not be bothered to cook them. Woo Hoo. I had them in my freezer before you could say Jack Robinson, although I can not think why you would want to.

Yesterday I decided to use them, I was cooking for 4 and wanted something simple that I could prep in advance.
Fish cake and chips it was then.

Cook the steaks in milk and drain through a sieve, collect the milk in a bowl.

Once cold use the milk to make a thick white sauce.

I had 3 blocks of frozen spinach so thawed them, squeezed the excess water and chopped.

Stir the fish and spinach into the white sauce and spread in a dish, you want a layer around an inch deep, cool and chill for a couple of hours.

This amount will make 8 meals, so cut half the slab into 4 portions.

Dip each piece into seasoned plain flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs, repeat the egg and breadcrumbs and chill for an hour or till you are ready to cook.

Line a baking tray and spray with a little oil, put in the fish cakes and spray with oil.

Place in the middle of a hot oven 200c for 30 minutes, put a tray of home made chips on the top shelf and turn during cooking.

I served these with mushy peas and tartare sauce and they were very good and very filling.
The remainder of the mix is in the freezer in 4 portions and will make me some great fish pies.

I do make fish cakes with mashed potatoes but this time had milk and the heel of a loaf of bread that needed using.

I would not call this a cheap meal, salmon steaks are quite pricey but 3 of them will make 8 meals so not too expensive, and with my gifted fish these meals will be as cheap as the chips we had.
I used a plain flour roux to make the sauce as I intended to freeze part of it, this does not split when thawed out.

                 TTFN                                                      Pam

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Chick Pea and Veg Thai Red Curry

This is a "use it up" meal and the ingredients vary each time that I make it. This weeks recipe is....

Put a splash of oil in a large pan, add 2 sticks of celery, 1 red onion and a green pepper, diced, sweat for a few minutes.

Add about 12 button mushrooms, halved, 1 carrot diced and a few small potatoes, peeled and diced, stir and add,

1 tin chick peas, drained and rinsed and 4 lonely runner beans chopped.

I added a full jar of Red Thai Paste, I like it hot. Stir well

A tin of bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, I chopped each chestnut into 3 chunks.

Cut 1/3rd of a block of creamed coconut and dissolve in 400 ml hot water and stir into the mix.

Bring to simmer and cover, cook for 30 minutes or so until all veg is cooked.

There is enough here for 4 good servings, with rice or noodles. I will portion and freeze some once it is cold. If you like a milder curry use half the jar of paste and freeze the rest for another day. The coconut cream keeps well in the fridge, wrapped in film, and I use it in lots of dishes.

You do not have to use Thai, any curry paste will give you a good meal. Leave out the coconut and bamboo and water chestnuts,change the chick peas for kidney beans and use chilli powder and flakes. Forget the spices and use onion gravy and serve with Yorkshire Pudding or mash. It is a very adaptable meal.

                          TTFN                                      Pam

Saturday 10 October 2015

Roast Vegetable Tart.

I do not claim to have invented this, I saw it somewhere a few days ago. I have made versions in the past but this time I more or less copied what I saw ( at least what I remembered).

First I dug a block of puff pastry out of the freezer to defrost.

Then I had a recce in the fridge and did this.

Peppers deseeded and pith removed , celery, onion and garlic skinned, all diced and tossed in a little oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, then into a tray to roast. I had some steamed cauliflower and broccoli as well so tossed that in the same oil  mix.
These were roasted for 30 minutes and then left to cool.

I rolled the pastry out into a rectangle that just fitted my tin, 10" by 15", on a silicone baking sheet it is easier to handle then, and made a very shallow cut 1/2 to 1" inside the edge all the way round. Lifted it into the tin and spread a pot of cream cheese with herbs inside the cut .

Top with the roasted veg, the cauli and broccoli were for another dish.

Bake in a hot oven for 25 minutes, it should be well risen and smell divine.

I am going to ' fess up to eating a third of this, it was wonderful and I was stuffed, but not to the point of immobility.

The puff pastry was from Farm Foods and I think that it is 69p, The cream cheese was from Lidl and is very cheap, the veg was left from last weeks shopping and used up the last few bits in the salad drawer.
It fed 2 amply with left overs, took minimal work and gave maximum taste.

Try it out, I will be making it again with silken tofu to replace the cream cheese as one of my vegan days.

               TTFN                                              Pam