• Fast foodie
Thursday, 28 May 2020 12:01

Arriba Fajita!

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I've been cooking on my tiny little barbecue in my tiny little back yard while I wait to move house. All my belongings are in storage. I have one frying pan, a handful of cooking tools and the smallest fridge you have ever seen, with a bloody stupid shelf at the bottom, where all the salad stuff has to be stored underneath meaning I have to move everything, everyday to get at a friggin' leaf of lettuce. I realise how spoilt I've been in the past in my beautiful kitchen BUT it hasn't stopped me! My local farm shop butchery has been providing me with the best ever flank steak and at about £7 a slab it's an economical steak meal for the three of us here in lockdown. So I've been making fajita's because my friend Nic Miller (follow her on Twitter @nicmillerstale or Insta @millerstale) shared her recipe for wheat tortillas and I wanted to make them. Mine came out square, I'm blaming the lack of a rolling pin. You'll find the recipe and instruction for my fajita seasoned flank steak here. Flank steak is often seen on a menu described as a bavette steak. This is not the cut to use if you don't 'do' rare. The flank has long muscle fibres and can be tough if overcooked, it's also very lean and best sliced thinly across the grain for optimum tenderness. Cook it on a very high heat for 2 or 3 minutes a side and then cover with foil and rest for 10 mins. I generally put mine in the oven after it has been turned off, so no heat, just warm surroundings. Slice and serve rolled in the tortilla with fried onions, peppers, tomato salsa, guacomole, grated cheese, sour cream and slobber your way through.

Friday, 15 May 2020 15:35

BBQ Beef Rub for the weekend

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It's going to be hot this weekend so prepare for some al fresco fire cooking. Make yourselves a jar of dry rub ready for your beef. Spice blends, or dry rubs are rubbed into meat before cooking. Some say that salt should not be included in a rub as meat should be dry brined by rubbing in salt a day in advance, in order for the salt to penetrate the meat. The spices in a rub do not tend to penetrate the meat but will help form the delicious spicy crust (or bark). However as we are all so short of time in our busy lives, I make an all in one rub, mixing the salt into the rub and leaving it on the meat overnight in the fridge. Sugar is a matter of taste and needed to help caramelise the crust. I use just a little on beef. Experiment with your own spice blends and store in an airtight jar. Use on a whole joint of rib eye or sirloin for a real treat.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 14:32

Caponata

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Fried aubergine ready for a Caponata salad as Lidl had aubergines for 49p each. Caponata originates from Sicily. Sicilians all have their own version of this slightly salt, piquant aubergine dish, with many variations depending on what vegetables are available. Fennel is very good in place of the celery. Serve hot or cold, but never straight from the fridge.

Sunday, 03 May 2015 14:09

Blue Cheese Ranch Dip or Dressing

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Here's a recipe for for our deliciously creamy ranch dip which is the perfect accompaniment to our southern fried chicken or for spooning onto a barbecued beef steak. It's good to serve as a dip with celery sticks, carrot batons and cucumber too. It's quick and easy to make and doesn't require exact measurements if you're in a hurry.  Use any soft and creamy blue cheese for the dip with a more crumbly cheese to fold in for texture. You can thin it with a little milk if you fancy using it to dress a salad.

Saturday, 26 April 2014 11:25

Treacle, Ginger and Orange Bundt Cake

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Treacle, Ginger and Orange Bundt Cake

200g/7oz butter

200g/7oz dark muscovado sugar

175g/6oz black treacle

2 tbs ginger syrup from the jar of stem ginger

250ml/9floz milk

2 large eggs (beaten)

330g/12oz plain flour

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp ground ginger

75g/2½ oz stem ginger (chopped)

zest of 1 orange

4tbs orange curd

for the icing

zest of 1 orange

4tbs orange juice

140g/5oz icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C/Gas 3

Grease a 10” round Bundt tin and dust a little flour in to ensure a non stick finish.

Place the butter, sugar, treacle and ginger syrup in a saucepan and melt together over a very low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.

Whisk the milk and the eggs together.

Weigh out the flour and add the bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, stem ginger and orange zest.

Whisk the milk and eggs into the cooled butter, treacle and sugar mix, stirring well.

Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, a little at a time, mixing to a smooth batter.

Pour into the cake tine and bake for 45 mins, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave to cool a little in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack.

Slice the cooled cake into three layers and spread the orange curd between the layers and sandwich back again.

In a small bowl mix the orange zest and orange juice and heat in the microwave to warm.

Stir in the icing sugar (you may need to add more icing sugar or more orange juice) to get the right drizzling consistency.

Drizzle over the cake and decorate with stem ginger or crushed sugar crystals.

Sunday, 08 September 2013 20:27

Rice pudding

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This rice pudding is a little healthier and lower in fat than our other full cream recipe.  You bake it in the oven - it takes minutes to prepare and two hours to cook. Well worth the wait.

  • Ingredients
  • 100g short grain/ pudding rice
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 700ml semi-skimmed milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • (1 bay leaf, or strip lemon zest for a different flavour)
  • Method
  • Heat oven to 130C/Gas 2. 
    Butter an 850ml heatproof ovenproof dish.
    Pour the rice and sugar into the dish and stir in the milk.
    Sprinkle the freshly grated nutmeg over and top.
    (Add lemon zest or bay leaf into the milk if using)
    Cook for 2 hrs or until the pudding has a brown skin and the rice is slightly wobbly.
Thursday, 05 September 2013 20:01

Pakora

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  • Delicious Indian snacks which are vegan/vegetarian and gluten free.

  • Ingredients
  • 70g gram flour (chickpea flour)
    1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 6 tbs cold water

  • large pinch ground cumin
  • large pinch of ground coriander
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 4 handfuls of spinach leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped green chilli ( optional)
  • good pinch salt
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Method
  • Prepare all of the vegetables.  Substitute any vegetables that you don't have with an alternative of your choice. Just about all types of vegetable work.
  • Starting at the top of the list of ingredients add all to a large mixing bowl, everything except the oil which is required for frying.
  • Mix very well making sure that the vegetables are all coated with a thin layer of batter.

    Heat oil in a wok or use a deep fat fryer and drop spoonfools of the vegetables (coated in batter)into the hot oil.

  • Cook until browned and the pakora holds its' shape.
  • Turn to cook the other side.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 21:08

Potted Cheese

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Potted Cheese

 

A perfect way to use up all those leftover pieces of cheese in your fridge. All types of cheese can be used. It will keep for a week in the fridge and is a good vegetarian recipe.

 

Ingredients

225g grated cheese ( chop up cheeses that are hard to grate i.e Brie/Camembert

170g (small tin) evaporated milk

1 very small onion or 3 spring onions finely diced

1 tsp chopped chives

pinch of mustard powder

pepper

a little oil or butter for fying the onion

 

Method

Heat a small knob of butter or splash of oil in a saucepan and soften the chopped onion

Pour in the evaporated milk

Add the grated cheese, mustard powder and a little ground pepper

Stir well until the cheese has melted

Stir in the chopped chives

Pour into ramekins and leave to set in the fridge

Eat spread on toast or with a baked potato

 

 

 

 

Monday, 14 January 2013 20:42

Jerusalem Artichoke and Carrot Soup

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A favourite Winter soup which is vegetarian.  Serves 6 - 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1kg g (2 lb) Jerusalem Artichokes
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) carrots ( peeled and sliced)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 75 g (3 oz) butter
  • 1.5 L (3 pints) vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Method

Peel and slice artichokes then put them into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from discolouring. ( add a slice of lemon)

Melt the butter in a cooking pot and soften the onion, celery, carrots and artichokes.

Put the lid on the pan and let the vegetables sweat for 5 minutes on a low heat.

Stir from time to time.

Pour in the stock, stir well, put the lid back on and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Liquidise the soup and season to taste.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 11:57

Crab Linguine

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A quick and easy crab recipe which serves eight as a starter, or four as a large main course.

Ingredients

2 dressed crabs ( I use brown and white meat, some prefer just the white meat)

600g linguine
10 tbsp very good olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp finely chopped fresh red chilli
75ml dry white wine
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped basil
Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine for 9-11 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the garlic and chilli.

Fry lightly without colouring for about one minute.

Stir in the crabmeat and heat through for another minute.

Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble and reduce a little.

Drain the linguine and add to the crab mixture.

Stir in the parsley and basil and toss everything together to coat evenly.

Finish with the lemon juice and grated zest.

Season to taste and serve immediately

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