Thursday, 27 October 2016

Halloween Cakes

Delicious (and easy) Chocolate Cake - decorate how you fancy for Halloween .....
Oven: 190/200 deg. C

7 ozs.  Good quality cooking chocolate
7 ozs.  butter
1.1/2 cups sugar
3 tbls. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. vanilla essence
½ cup water

* other ingredients

1. Melt the above ingredients together in a bowl over saucepan of hot water (small double boiler is good). When ingredients are melted -

2. Separate 5 eggs* and carefully stir in the yolks only to the melted chocolate - (keep whites aside to whisk in later).
Remove 1 cup of the chocolate mixture and set aside to use for the Icing/Frosting.

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

4. Add the stiffly beaten egg whites to rest of choc. mixture- and fold in carefully.

5. Add 1.1/4 cups of Plain Flour* + 2 tsps. Baking Powder (sifted) * -  
(or use Self-raising flour without Baking Pdr.)  Fold in gently.

Bake for approx. 30 mins in a greased and floured baking dish. 

Test with skewer to make sure it’s cooked through – it cooks quite quickly.  Don’t remove it from the dish. 
Remove from oven and let it cool for just a minute or two, and pierce all over with a skewer.
Pour the Cup of Choc.topping (icing/frosting) over the top of the cake – start in the centre and spread it out gently with a knife, dipped in hot water.  Leave cake to get cold.
Decorate and Eat :o)

(This keeps well wrapped in foil in the fridge, but may go slightly firm and the chocolate may lose its shine, just a little.)

Friday, 14 October 2016

Cauliflower Cheese Baked - Retro Recipe

Oven: 325 deg.F, 170deg. C - Approx. 1 hr.  - till top becomes golden.
1 large cauliflower - cut into florets - (halved if very large)
1 white onion or shallot - peeled and finely chopped
2 ozs. unsalted butter  (50g.)
3 ozs. (approx.) fresh white breadcrumbs  (75g.)
1/2pt. milk (10.fl.ozs.)
2ozs. grated Gruyere (or cheese of choice)  (50g.)
salt, black pepper
Ground Nutmeg (optional)
5 beaten eggs

1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the florets, cover the pan and boil gently for about 8 mins. Drain.
2. Melt 1/2 of the butter and saute the onions until softened.
3. Butter the inside of an ovenproof dish and sprinkle half of the breadcrumbs on the base.  Place the florets on top (pretty side up).

4. Bring milk to the boil, add the cheese and remaining butter, stir in the breadcrumbs, (nutmeg), seasoning and the onions.  Remove from the heat and add the beaten eggs, beating them in a small amount at a time so they dont curdle.

5. Pour this sauce over the florets, covering well.  If you have any spare breadcrumbs, you can sprinkle these on top.

Eat Hot.  Very nice as a light supper snack with a mixed salad.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Low Potassium Diets - Veg Soup, Shepherds Pie and Salad.

Since posting this article, I have since found out that (in the UK) directions for leaching vegetables seem to differ from the US.  We have been advised that peeling, cutting up veggies, bringing them to the boil and discarding the water, is sufficient to get rid of most of the potassium - (dont use the water to make soups or gravies, etc. for low potassium recipes).
I am trying a couple of recipes doing this, then continuing to make the recipe as usual, and will post if I have any success :).

This link is to the Edinburgh Renal Unit which seems to be an interesting website.

Recently my husband has been asked to go on a low potassium diet.  I immediately tried to do some research on the Internet for various low potassium recipes. There are sites, particularly kidney-related where you can find a good selection of recipes, but mostly I found the information and lists given, fairly conflicting.  One website would say you can eat a certain vegetable/product, and another would say 'not'.  I am in the process of trying out various things, and hopefully will collect a few interesting recipes along the way.

Unfortunately a lot of the root vegetables have to be leached, which means
peeling, slicing, soaking them for several hours, throwing away the water, soaking them again, boiling them, throwing away the water and reboiling them!
It's actually not as much faff as it seems, and I do a batch and keep a stock in the fridge or freezer - 'specially potatoes.  I do feel they lose some of their taste, but there are things you can do to make up for this - eg. frying them over or roasting them, or anything else you usually do with potatoes - except (apparently) chips.

Anyhoo ..... here is my first low potassium Veg Soup recipe. If anyone has any other interesting recipes, or contradicts mine, please let me know.

Vegetable Soup - Low potassium
Potatoes - leached as above*
Carrots - also leached*
1 raw white onion peeled and chopped - (onion and celery are low potassium)
few sticks of celery- peeled if stringy and chopped
I threw in some cooked cauliflower and some peas
garlic - amount to taste
Dried herbs are fine - eg. oregano, corriander, thyme - to taste
small amount of salt and pepper, and preferably home made stock, otherwise small amount of cube/powdered stock.
Water - hot
Olive or Sunflower Oil and a small knob of saltless butter

1. fry over the celery and onion until it begins to soften, and add the other (cooked) veggies, garlic and seasonings.
2. Saute all for a few minutes until nicely softened.
3. Add some stock/water just to cover and simmer for a few minutes, then add enough stock to make your soup - better to add less - you can always add more once you have liquidised the soup.  Cook for about 15/20 ins on a medium heat - bubbling gently - till the veg are soft.
4. Cool the soup, then liquidise to make a creamy soup, adding more liquid if needed.

This is a pretty basic veg soup, so you can add anything else that you know is ok.

Shepherds Pie
I have leached some potatoes, mashed them and frozen them - to use as and when needed.

Mince some cooked pork/beef/chicken, added sauted (chopped) celery, garlic, onion, courgette and any other allowed low potassium veg. (Apparently mushrooms are high in potassium).
Add some of the meat juices to moisten the meat mix - having removed most of the fat.

Season the mix well and place in a greased ovenproof dish with the mash potatoes on top. 
Bake for at least 45 mins to 1 hr (or more) at 190 ish. deg.C.

Side Salad
Fresh cooked sweet corn (or tinned sweetcorn rinsed well) - (this can also be kept covered in the fridge for a few days).
Finely chopped: celery, red onion, garlic, cucumber (peeled), dried oregano, dried corriander, small amount of peeled apple - chopped + mayonnaise or vinaigrette (or mix of both).

* I think soaking the veg for a couple of hours, discarding the water and soaking again for a couple of hours, maybe ok - and not needing to precook them.  I am not sure about this.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Honey and Apple Cookies

This recipe can be used for Jewish New Year.  Usually you make a honey cake for a sweet New Year and everyone has their own honey-cake recipe, 
so I thought this would be nice too.
1/2 cup of shortening or butter
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of honey (or maple syrup)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sour cream
2 cups of plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp. of each: baking powder, salt, cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, and powdered cloves (if wanted)
1.1/2 cups of finely chopped peeled apples - (mini chopper works well)

1 .Cream the fat and sugar and beat in the honey (maple syrup)
2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Stir in the sour cream.
4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt and spices - combine well.
5. Add the apples.

Grease a baking tray and

6. Drop teaspoons about 3" apart

Bake at 350 deg. F, approx. 180 deg.C for about 15 minutes until the edges are brown.

 These cookies are probably more cakey than a crisp biscuit, but are very nice. 
You could also sandwich them with jam (or similar) in between.
Original vintage recipe

I think next time I make these, I will bake the batter in a shallow rectangular tin and lightly cut them into squares while they are still warm - I think they may look nicer.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Natural Remedies - Mint, and Apple Cider Vinegar


It would seem that mint is a natural insect repellent.  I usually keep a small jar with some mint in water on my kitchen worktop as I like the smell, and thought maybe it was just coincidence, but it seemed to keep the flies away!  Link here to lots of other uses.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Reading an article recently, it would seem there are a lot of claims for using Apple Cider Vinegar - amongst other things, helps as an anti-inflammatory and reduces cholesterol.  Apparently it can be taken diluted - I haven't tried this, but I do use a good cider vinegar in my Vinaigrette:

In a screwtop jar ...........
2 tblspns. Apple Cider Vinegar
4-6 tblspns. of olive or sunflower oil
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
salt, black pepper,
clove of crushed garlic
Replace the lid (tightly) and shake well.  
This will store in the fridge almost indefinitely.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Smoked Mackerel Pate - very easy

1 pack of smoked mackerel - 0.286g. (approx.)
1 pack of cream cheese - 200g.
1/2 lemon - juice only (you could add some finely grated rind if wanted)
black pepper and small amount of salt
olive oil

1. Blend the ingredients together and add some olive oil, blending until you have a smooth, creamy texture.
This freezes well, but you can store it in the fridge, covered, for several days.
Serve with a green salad and toast-triangles (no crusts!)  :o) ....... or just dip into it when you fancy.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Cornmeal Soda Bread

Oven: 200 deg.C - preheated
Baking time: approximately 30 mins. (maybe longer)
6 ozs. fine cornmeal
6 ozs. self-raising flour (plus extra if dough is too sticky, and also for kneading)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. bi-carbonate of soda
1/2 pt. full fat milk + 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
(dried herbs of choice - optional)
little knob of soft butter

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl
2. Add the wet ingredients and gather together to make your dough. If it's a little too sticky, add some more flour, or just sprinkle a goodly amount of flour on your worktop and knead gently until dough feels soft and not too sticky.
3. Place on a baking tray, make a shallow cross in the top, and spread some of the butter over.
4. Bake until bread feels firm - check underside - tap for a hollow sound - which usually means it's done :)

this is really easy to make and tastes delicious warm :)
The only slight problem with Soda Bread is that it is really best on the day you make it.  It doesn't keep that well. If it does go hard you can either toast it - - -  or make croutons or breadcrumbs and store these for future use.

Avignon - Market Day


Friday, 12 August 2016

Prawn and Potato Quiche


Oven: 180 deg.C (fan)
6ozs. plain flour
2.75 ozs. butter (hard)
1 large egg,
salt, pepper.
1 egg for egg wash - you can then add the egg you haven't used to the Savoury Custard. 

1.Crumb the flour and butter, add the egg, seasoning -
bring ingredients togther to make pastry and chill - (the pastry that is :) ) - for about 30 mins.
2.Roll out fairly thinly, and line a greased flan tin/dish with your pastry* and prick all over with a fork.
3.Place greaseproof paper on top and pile in your baking beans, spreading them evenly.
4.Bake blind for about 20 mins.
5.Remove beans and paper, wash the pastry with beaten egg and place back in the oven for approx. 10 mins. (You may need a little longer).

1 pack of large cooked prawns (roughly chopped)
1 large cooked potato (roughly chopped)
small amount of smoked salmon - optional

 Place into pre-baked pastry case.

Savoury custard:
5 eggs - beaten
3.5 fl.ozs. milk
7 fl.ozs. double cream
salt, black pepper
small amount of dried or fresh thyme/oregano
small amount of grated hard cheese, if wanted

Pour over the savoury custard, and bake until the custard is set and just beginning to golden.

I think this is nicest eaten cold with a good salad.

* some people dont trim the pastry until it is baked, but I find the edge is neater if trimmed when the pastry is raw.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016



I love using up bits that I find in the fridge ... (that is providing it doesn't have green mold on it!)  Let's face it the "sell-by" may work for the supermarkets, but there are many products you can use long after the sell-by dates have expired.  You do of course have to be sensible about certain produce, but I think most stuff lasts a lot longer than we are led to believe.  Dont chuck stuff out willy-nilly, think about what you could do with it first .....
a few basic ideas ................

Soups - soup can be made with almost anything!  If you have one carrot, an onion, a potato, (garlic), stick of celery - you have the basic ingredients for a veg soup.  Also cooked leftover vegetables can be made into a thick blended soup by just adding some stock and seasoning.

leftover fish/potato - adding a few other ingredients and you could have some good fishcakes.  I made some recently with a small pack of brown shrimps, a roasted potato and two smallish pieces of cooked salmon.  I whizzed them up in the food processor, added 1 egg and seasoning, made them into patties, coated them in fine cornmeal and shallow fried them.  They were very tasty.  (You could also add a can of salmon/tuna.)

leftover rice - you can really add this to most patties (and rice isn't really hard to use up as a leftover), but if you have just enough for a couple of portions you can place it in a shallow buttered bowl, pour a little liquid butter over the top (or olive oil) and bake it till it's hot.  Turn it out from the bowl, and you have a nice little round mould of rice as an accompaniment.
You can of course fry over the cooked leftover rice, adding fried mushrooms, little chopped garlic, pinch of thyme, pinch of oregano, seasoning, spring onions, (cooked peppers, peas), etc.  This is lovely served with chicken.

leftover chicken - is so versatile - there are just tons of things you can make with it. chicken pie or pudding, with added onion and mushrooms and a creamy sauce made with stock - (not milk) (or tinned mushroom soup) : chicken patties : curry : chicken salad bowl - with any leftover fresh veg. cut small or grated

Chicken  Also when portioning up a whole raw chicken, dont throw the carcass/bones away - you can make a decent chicken stock with it by adding some fresh root veg, seasoning and water - you may need a stock cube.

If you have any great ideas for leftovers - please let me know.

Prawn & Potato Quiche recipe

Monday, 18 July 2016

Quick Currant, Almond & Coconut Cake

3 or 4ozs. Demerara Sugar
3 ozs. of Suma Olive Spread (dairyfree)
1oz. butter - - (or 4 ozs of Suma Olive Spread in total)
1/4 tsp. Almond essence and 1/4 tsp.Vanilla essence
2 eggs
3 ozs. Self-Raising Flour
1 oz.  Ground Almonds
approx. 3/4cup of Currants - (doesn't have to be exact)
Approx. Tablespoonful Desicated Coconut - (also doesn't have to be exact)
Paper Liner for ease - or - grease and flour baking tin.

1. Cream the sugar and fat together with the essences.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating together with a tablespoon of the flour*
3. Add the currants to the remaining flour and Ground Almonds and mix in well.
4. If the batter is a little heavy, pour in some slightly cooled boiled water, and stir/beat until you have a good cake consistency.  Dont overbeat the cake batter.
5.  Pour into your baking tin, sprinkle with the Desicated Coconut and
Bake at 160/180 deg.C, for approx. 45 mins.  
Test with a skewer in the centre, to make sure it comes out clean and the cake is cooked through.

Cool and eat.

*adding a small amount of flour with the eggs, stops the mixture from splitting.
If your cake batter does split, a small amount of boiling water, beaten in, usually does it.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Basic Cake Mix - very easy - all-in-one

Ingredients for Basic Cake:

2 eggs (weighing approx. 4ozs.)
4 ozs. Self-Raising Flour + 1 tsp. baking powder
4 ozs. butter
3 or 4 ozs. sugar (depending how sweet you want your cake) 
vanilla and/or almond essence

Flavouring of choice ie: 
handful of floured dried fruit, ground almonds, crushed ginger biscuits, blobs of jam, chocolate - optional choices You can just have the cake plain with just vanilla and/or almond essence.

1. Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl and whisk well together. Add your flavourings of choice.
If the mix is a little stiff, add a little-at-a-time hot water - straight from the kettle, just to make it into a nice creamy batter.
2. Place the mixture into your greased/lined baking tin and bake for approx. 30-45 mins.
3. Test with a skewer to see if cooked through, then cool the cake.
4. Slice and eat  :o)

Method 2:
The cake will also have a different texture if you cream the fat and sugar first, then add the eggs, one at a time, (and a little flour).  Add the remaining flour, and add some hot water if the mixture is still too stiff.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Quick Cucumber Soup

1 large cucumber (approx. ..... more or less is fine)
1/2 white onion
large clove of garlic
small head of lettuce - little gem or round lettuce is fine.
1 large white potato

salt, pepper, vegetable or chicken stock - enough to well cover.
1 - 2 tblspns. Sunflower oil 
a knob of butter

1. Prepare Veg: 
You dont need to peel the cucumber, just remove the ends and cut the rest into small chunks,
peel potato and cut into small chunks
peel onion and chop small
remove garlic skin and chop

2. Microwave:
Place all the veg in a large microwave bowl, plus some sunflower oil and the knob of butter.  Cover with a plate.
Zap until the veggies have softened.

3. Add your Stock to well cover the veg, and zap for about 5 mins. Test to see if the veg are cooked and soft enough - if not just zap for another 5 mins or so.  Cool slightly.
Liquidise or use a hand blender if the soup is very hot.
The soup should be a nice creamy texture to the thickness you like.
Add milk or more stock if it needs thinning down.

Add a little cream to serve - either hot or chilled.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Hemsley & Hemsley Southern Fried Chicken

I've just started watching these two cooks, and like their recipes a lot.  They use healthier alternatives to - sugar and fats, and have some very good ideas.

Here's one of their recipes for a Southern fried chicken - - (baked and not fried )

Oven: 180 deg.C / 356 F / Gas 6
1.1/2 cups of ground almonds (180g.)
2 eggs
6 pieces of chicken (drumsticks and thighs)
1 tblspn. ghee or coconut oil
Sea Salt and black pepper - to taste

3 tsps. hot smoked paprika or 2.1/2 tsps. smoked swet paprika with 1/2 tsp. cayenne
1.1/2 tsps. ground cumin]
1/.1/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsps. dried oregano
3/4 tsps. onion powder (optional)
3/4 tsps. garlic powder (optional)

1. line  baking tray with parchment
2. Mix the ground almonds and spices together
3. Beat the eggs in another bowl.
4. Dip the chicken pieces in egg, then coat with the almond crumb mix.  Lay the pieces on the baking tray.
5. Gently melt the ghee and use a spoon to drizzle over the chicken.
6. Bake for 45 mins until golden and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Looks delicious - and a lovely idea for crumb coating - - - and also the fact that it's baked!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dartmouth, Devon - - - beautiful

Devon Cream Tea - very yum - - - - - (jam or cream first?)
beautiful freshly caught fish
Dartmouth in Devon - to get to the other side - you can either drive or take the Ferry

Quick Leftover-Chicken Curry .... (or using raw chicken)


1/2lb. - 1lb. leftover cooked chicken - cut into chunks - 
(6 chicken thighs - using uncooked/raw chicken)

1 large white onion - chopped very fine, or blitzed in the processor
couple of cloves of garlic - ditto above
1/2" piece of root ginger - peeled/chopped small - ditto above

2 tbls. sunflower oil (or vegetable oil)

couple of tablespoons of water

2tsps. ground cumin
2 tsps. ground corriander
2 tsps. turmeric
2 tsps. garam masala
6 tomatoes roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
300ml. water
salt and black pepper

Optional:  molasses

Steamed basmati rice to serve.

1. Heat the oil and fry over the onion, garlic and ginger, for 3 - 4 mins. -  until they begin to soften. Stir frequently so it doesn't brown.
Add 2 tbls. water to make a textured paste.
2. Add the spices - stirring frequently, until the paste begins to golden.
3. Add the tomatoes, 300ml. water - season well with salt and black pepper, bring to the boil and add the chicken pieces and lemon juice.
4. Cover and cook on a medium heat - stir occasionally so it doesn't stick -
25-30 mins if using raw chicken,
10 - 15mins. if using leftover cooked chicken.

5. If you like things a little sweeter, add some black molasses (a good tablespoon) -
once the curry is cooked.

Add some chopped corriander on top to serve.
Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

For a smaller amount of leftover chicken - just adjust the amounts accordingly.

Friday, 6 May 2016

using up bananas ......

Try Banana Brown Betty - 
really easy and a sweet way to use up overripe bananas ............


  • 1 cup orange juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 small firm bananas, cut into chunks
  • 6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • In a large frying pan, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, sugar and butter. 
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until light caramel in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  • Add bananas and stir gently to combine.
  • Spoon half of banana mixture into six 6-oz. ramekins, (or one large buttered and bread-crumbed dish.)
  • Top with remaining banana mixture. 
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons remaining orange juice over each.  
  • In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, orange peel, cinnamon and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over bananas.
  • Place ramekins in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. 
  • Bake at190/200 deg.C approx.for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Serve warm or eat cold for breakfast :)
  • 6 servings. 
  • original recipe

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Chicken Casserole - all - in - one - pot (very easy)

Selection of mixed veggies (peeled and chopped): carrots, onion, celery, tomato, garlic, parsnip, potatoes,
(quantities are not really important - use what you have)
Fry over in a little sunflower oil until just beginning to soften.
Remove from heat, or keep on a very low heat.
Fry over chicken, skin side down first, until skin is just golden,
turn and fry other side just for a minute or two.
Add to veggies.
Add 1/2pt. veg stock with a little Apple juice added.
Season + some dried herbs of choice.

Place, covered, in the oven
about 180/90 deg.C for approx. 1 hr.
Test to see whether chicken and veg are cooked through.
Should then be ready.
3 chicken breasts (with skin)
selection of roughly chopped veg. (see above caption)
1/2pt. vegetable stock with a small amount of apple juice added
seasoning (S & P), plus dried herbs, coriander (green), oregano.
Oven: 180/90 deg.C
Timing: approx. 1 hr.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Potato & Mushroom Croquettes


Potato and Mushroom Croquettes

1.1/2 lbs potatoes - (not waxy ones) - peeled and chopped
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
1/4 lb. mushrooms (chestnut pref.)
1 tsp. oil
1 tblsp. water
salt/pepper - to taste
1 cup of matzot meal (or cornmeal)
oil for frying (shallow)

1. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and mash.
2. In a separate pan - pour in the oil and water, heat, and cook the mushrooms for about 3 mins.
3. In a large bowl mix the mashed potatoes, chopped onions and mushrooms, (add the cooking liquid, if any, a little at a time for right consistency), seasonings and matzot or cornmeal.
4. Form into croquettes / patties.You could also finely coat the outside with meal - or flour if not using for Passover.
5. Fry for about 8 mins on each side.

serve hot as a main with salads or a side veg. with meat or poultry.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Cheesecake 'Lite'

This recipe only uses 8ozs.(225g.) of cream cheese and no butter - (it does have sour cream in it though.) When baked, the cake does sink - (well, mine did!) - even if you cool it in the oven, but dont worry.  I topped mine with sour cream, while still warm - and chocolate buttons), so it didn't look too bad - and doesn't taste too bad either :)   It's a much lighter cake, than the usual solid cheesecake.

This is a fairly basic recipe, but you can add anything else to it that you fancy - i.e. jam/lemon curd over the biscuit crumbs, fruit on top ..... your choice.

Grease and line your tin.

Oven:170deg.C - bake cake for approximately 1hr. but check, and use foil if top browns too quickly

1. crumbed Digestive/Chocolate Digestive Biscuits for base
- I dont add melted butter to my biscuit base.
Place evenly at the bottom of your baking dish.
2. Then in a large bowl - mix together .....

8ozs. (225g) cream cheese
5fl.ozs. sour cream
1 tablespoon of cornflour
3ozs. sugar (caster preferably)
few drops of vanilla essence
1 tablspn. lemon juice
2 egg yolks (keep the whites separate for whisking) 
Whisk these ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

3. Whisk the egg whites together with a pinch of Cream of Tartar.   
Whisk the whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into the cheese mixture.  Bake.  

Cool in the oven - though cake may sink anyway!
While the cake is still slightly warm, once you've put it on a cooling rack, add some sour cream on top, and some chocolate buttons - if you fancy :)
Cool then chill the cake.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Slow Roast Miso Pork Shoulder

1 x 5lb. approx. (but can be smaller) Pork shoulder
 .... (I think the US call it a 'Butt' :) )
piece of ginger root - peeled, crushed or grated (amount to taste)
several crushed garlic cloves (again, to your taste as to how many)
3/4 cup of miso (liquid) (I used a packet soup mix)
1 cup of sugar (1.1/2 if you like it sweeter)
3/4 cup of Soy Sauce

1. In a saucepan - mix the miso, sugar and soy together, add the ginger and garlic and bring to the boil - let it cool.
2. Place the meat in a roasting tin and pour the sauce over the meat.  Cover with foil.
At this stage you could leave it in the fridge till the next day.
3. Roast on a high heat for about 45 mins., - to an hour, then reduce the heat to around 150deg.C and just let it cook until it's very soft.  Test it with a skewer.  You can remove the foil 20mins or so before serving.

The sauce is delicious too!
I served the meat with baked rice and potatoes, plus a shredded lettuce salad with just a little sushi or mirin seasoning.

I strained off the liquid, leaving the meat covered in the oven,  and brought it to the boil in a saucepan, spooned some over the meat before serving, and served the rest of the sauce separately in a jug.
You can store the left over miso sauce in a jar in the fridge, and use when re-heating the meat, in the oven.  

I think the photo looks a little creepy - but the meat does taste delicious. :o)

Friday, 11 March 2016

Courgette and Cheese Loaf - lovely

75g (3 ozs.) butter
200g (7 ozs.) courgettes (remove ends but no need to peel)*
225g (8 ozs.) self-raising flour
1/4tsp. salt
1/4tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 - 1tsp. mustard powder (ready mix is ok)
125g (4.5ozs.)  mature cheddar cheese - grated
3 large eggs - beaten
3 tablespoons of milk

Oven:  180/90C approx.
Line a 2lb. loaf tin with baking paper or a liner - (optional)

Dry ingredients:
Sift the flour, salt, cayenne, mustard powder into a bowl and stir in the grated cheese.

Melt the butter and cool slightly - (dont let it re-solidify)

Either grate the courgettes or food process them and add them with the butter, eggs and milk to the mix, then add the flour. Gently combine the ingredients.  It's quite a thick, gloopy mixture.
Place into your tin and bake for approx.45/50 mins. until the top springs back and beginning to brown.

Cool - except - it is delicious while still warm - with butter of course.

* You can buy the ready shredded courgette in packs.