Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lemon Marmalade, Carrot Hot-Pot

These two recipes come from FEBRUARY 2012 Good Food Magazine.  I immediately made some Lemon Marmalade as I had bought far too many lemons over the Christmas period and it was such a good way to use them up.  This recipe has produced a lovely, tangy preserve.

Lemon marmalade standing on my newly aquired cake stand

Lemon marmalade

Makes 6 x 450ml jars  

Making marmalade doesn't have to be hard work, and this simple method means the lemons are cooked whole then cut up far less time consuming than cutting them up when raw.The end results are just as delicious and the marmalade can be used in the same way as orange marmalade.

1kg/2lb 4oz unwaxed lemons       2kg/4lb 8oz granulated sugar

1 Chill a saucer in the freezer, ready for checking the setting point of your jam. Wash the lemons and remove the top 'button'which would have been attached to the stalk. Put the lemons in a large saucepan with 2.5 litres water. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer until the lemon skins are lovely and tender, and can be pierced easily with a fork.

2 When the lemons are cool enougto handle, remove from the saucepan. Measure the cooking liquid you'll need 1.5 litres in total. lf you don't quite have this, make up the difference with water .lf you have too much liquid, bring to the boil and reduce to the required amount.

3 Halve the lemons and remove the pips  reservlng the pips and any lemon juice that oozes out during the process. Cut the lemon peel and flesh into strips, as thick or thin as you iike. Put all of this,including any juices, back into the pan. Put the pips in a small piece of muslin and tie up with string. Add this to the pan, as the pips will aid the setting process of the jam.

4 Add the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Boil rapidly for about 20 mins until setting point is reached. Test the setting point by dropping a little marmalade onto thechilled saucer, allowing it to cool for 1 min, then pushing gently with your finger" lf the marmalade crinkles, the setting point is reached; if not, continue to boil and check again in a few mins.

5 Leave to cool for 10-15 mins (this will prevent the lemon shreds sinking to the bottoms of the jars), remove the muslin bag, then gently stir in one direction to disperse any scum (small air bubbles onthe surface). Pour jam into warm sterilised jars and seal straight away.

Afghan carrot hotpot

2 onions, chopped                                            oil, for frying

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped                               1 Scotch bonnet chilli

1cm-knob ginger, peeled and chopped        1 tsp ground turmeric

pinch ground cloves                                        ½ tsp ground cumin                                       

½ tsp ground coriander

600g/1lb 5oz baby carrots, scrubbed or grown-up carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

300g/10oz nakhod daul (yellow split peas)

1 tbsp tomato paste                                        3 large tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp sour grape juice (or  verjuice) or 2 tsp of white wine with a little lemon juice added

about 500m1/18f1 oz vegetable stock or water

rice, yogurt and pitta bread, to serve

1 Fry the onions in a little oil in a big pan, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger. When the onions have started to soften, add the spices, carrots and split peas. Cook for a few mins, then add the tomato paste and tomatoes. Sprinkle in some salt, add the sour grape juice or vinegar, then add enough stock or water to cover all the ingredients.

2 Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 mins-1 hr, or until the carrots and peas are cooked through.

Serve with rice,or yogurt and bread

Sharon brought this beautiful sloe gin she had made when she recently came to lunch, it's long gone now! We enjoyed every drop.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Beef Shin Macaroni

Found this delicious recipe in the March 2012 issue of Olive.

Beef shin macaroni

3 hours 45 minutes + overnight marinating


You'll need to order the shin and marrowbone from a good butcher Ask to keep the bone in as it adds to the flavour of the finished dish.

Our butcher produced a beautiful piece of shin of beef

shin of beef 1kg, in a single piece, bone in
onions 5 small, peeled
carrots 5 small, washed
herbs and spice mix 2 sprigs thyme, l sprig rosemary, l bay leaf 1O peppercorns, 20 fennel seeds and 2 star anise, tied in a muslin bag
red wine 75Oml
beef stock l litre
chicken stock 1 litre
beef dripping or oil for frying
smoked bacon 150g, diced into 2cm pieces
elbow macaroni or other small tubular pasta 250g
bone marrow150g, diced
Doddington cheese 15Og (or 10Og parmesan if you can't get Doddington)

Put the shin of beef vegetables and muslin bag of herbs and spices in a large ovenproof pan with a lid. Cover with the red wine, put the lid on the pot and chill overnight.
The next day, remove the shin, vegetables and muslin bag of aromatics. Simmer to reduce the red wine by half its volume, add the meat stocks and bring up to simmering point.
Heat the oven to 150C fan l3OC/gas 2.
Melt a generous tablespoonful of beef dripping in a large frying pan, and brown the shin on all sides. Add this to the pan of reduced red wine and stock. Fry the vegetables and bacon in the same pan until lightly browned then add to the beef. Add back the herbs and spices bag and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook gently for 3 hours or until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone. Take out the pan and turn oven up to l8OC  fanl6OC/gas 4. Remove the bag of herbs and spices and discard. Remove the meat, vegetables and bacon from the liquid then reduce the braising liquor on the hob by half. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni. Leave it a little more al dente than usual. Drain. Return the meat and bacon to the reduced liquid (discard the whole veg).

Add the bone marrow and half the cheese Stir in the drained macaroni and season. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the surface. Put back in the oven uncovered for 15-20 minutes. To finish, put under a hot grill for a few minutes until the surface is well browned. Allow to sit for a few minutes.

This was so good, and provided four very generous servings.  My beef shin was slightly over the kilo and was a centre cut so very meaty. I have to admit to using a locally produced strong cheddar cheese. I also left the cooked vegetables in.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Apple Skillet Cake

In the Stella magazine which came with yesterdays Telegraph was a pudding recipe by Diana Henry which I just had to try, and it certainly did not disappoint.   We are not great pudding people and because of this I reduced the sugar used by a good half, which I realise would have affected the caramelisation and therefore the taste but it was still plenty sweet enough for us, especially as I served it with Kelly's Cornish Clotted Cream Ice Cream. Yes, we did eat it all in one go, two greedy people.... but Chris did have more than me.  No surprise there. Here is the recipe from the magazine.

Rueben's Apple Skillet Cake

Serves 2 greedy people, four restrained ones!

This is just really a big Pancake, It's based on the one that was famously served in the New York post-theatre eaterie, Reuben's.

 It's not difficult to make but it does require total attention - the sugar can easily burn.

. 2 tart eating apples

. 2 tbsp soft, plump  raisins

. ¼tsp ground cinnamon

' 7 tbsp soft light-brown sugar

. 125m1 (4fl oz) milk

. 3 large eggs

. 60g ( just over 2oz) Plain flour

. about 35g (1½oz) unsalted butter

Peel and halve the appIes, core and cut into thin slices. Toss with the raisins, cinnamon and 2 tabspns of the sugar and set aside. 
Put the milk, eggs, flour and 1tbsp of the sugar into a food processor and blitz to make a lump-free mixure.
Set a 23-25cm (9-10 in.) non-stick frying-pan over a medium heat and melt about 15g (half oz) of the butter. Add the apple mixture and cook gently until the apples are quite tender. Now add a little more butter and pour on the Pancake batter. Let it set a little then start to bring the sides - which should be setting - into the middle, letting the liquid batter run to the edges, as you would an omelette.
Once the pancake seems set enough to turn (about four minutes) sprinkle the top with a tablespoon of sugar and slide it on to a plate. Invert the plate so that the pancake goes back into the pan on the other side. Add a little more butter (slide it underneath) and cook for three to four minutes. You should be able to smell the sugar caramelising.
Now sprinkle the top with 2tbsp of the sugar and invert it, again pushing more butter underneath.
Cook for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with the final tablespoon of sugar and turn the Pancake over once more. lt should have set right through and be sticky and caramelised on top.