Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Fig Brûlée

This dessert takes less than 5 minutes, but is tasty and not too sweet. Ideal for the end of a heavy meal.

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole figs, sliced in half, stalks removed
  • 12 tsp of caster sugar
  • 3 generous scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream

Method:

  1. Remove the figs from the fridge at least an hour before serving.
  2. Place the fig halves, cut side up, on a flame proof surface and sprinkle each half with most of a tsp of sugar.
  3. Use a blow torch to carefully caramellize the sugar on top of each fig, working away from yourself from nearest to furthest.
  4. Place 4 halves on a chilled plate with a scoop of ice cream.
  5. Serve with a knife and fork to eat.

Serves 3.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Oven Roasted Broccoli

This cooks the broccoli so that it still has a nice crunch. If soggy vegetables are your thing then I suggest avoiding this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Three large stalks of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and ends removed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. In a baking tray, mix the broccoli florets, oil, salt and pepper and garlic until well coated.
  3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and then mix well.
  5. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven, sprinkle the lemon juice over the top.
  7. Serve as a side dish.

Serves 4.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Tarragon Mashed Potato

The addition of tarragon to this gives it an unusual flavour which goes well with chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 10g fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 30ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Boil the potatoes in a pan of water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and return to the same pan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mash until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately, but if you need to keep it around for a few minutes then return the lid to the pan.

Serves 4.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sous-vide Chicken Thighs

Cooking these slowly really breaks down the toughness while preserving the flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs with skins still on and bones in
  • a generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the sous-vide machine to 74 degrees celsius.
  2. Lay the chicken thighs out on a large tray and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Turn the thighs over and season the other side.
  4. Place two thighs each in smaller zip lock bags and seal using the submersion method.
  5. Cook for 4 hours in the water bath.
  6. Once the time is up, place into a large bowl of cold water or an ice bath and chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Place in the fridge until you want to serve them.
  8. When you want to serve them, heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a high heat.
  9. Take the fillets out of the bag, scrape off the congealed liquid (this makes great stock).
  10. Wipe the thigh dry with a piece of kitchen towel.
  11. Repeat for the remaining thighs.
  12. Place the thighs skin side down into the hot pan.
  13. Crisp up the skin for 4 to 5 minutes.
  14. Turn over and cook the underside for 2 minutes.
  15. Plate up on to pre-heated plates. Consider using any crispy bits or liquid in the pans to make a pan sauce.

Serves 4.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Egg and Potato Hash

This is a simple potato hash without any of the meat that traditionally goes into one. The capers act as little salty pieces in a similar way to bacon would in a non-vegetarian version.

Ingredients:

  • 200g of waxy potatoes, cut into pieces of about 2 cm
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp capers, drained
  • 5g fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Put the potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. Boil for 7 minutes and drain immediately.
  3. Put the sunflower oil in a large frying pan with high sides over a medium heat.
  4. Add the drained potatoes while still cold and when it starts to sizzle, give them a good stir.
  5. Stir every couple of minutes for another 5 minutes.
  6. Crack the eggs into a cup or measuring jug, whisk together with a fork and the pour into the hot frying pan, stirring immediately.
  7. Stir for about a minute, until the egg is cooked and remove from the heat.
  8. Sprinkle in the rest of the ingredients, mix well and serve.

Serves 1 as the whole meal or two as a side for a main meal.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Halloumi Pie

I came across this as a snack food on a trip to Cyprus. I tried to find a recipe in English when I came home, but failed to find anything similar to decided to make it myself.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quantity of pizza dough made as in here
  • 200g block of halloumi, coarsely grated
  • 20g fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Make the pizza dough as described in the linked recipe.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  3. Mix the grated cheese and parsley together in a bowl.
  4. Split the dough into quarters.
  5. Take one of the quarters and roll it out on a well floured surface until it's about 10cm round.
  6. Put one quarter of the cheese and parsley mix into the centre of the disk of dough.
  7. Use a pastry brush to dampen about 1 cm of the edge of the dough.
  8. Fold opposite sides of the dough disk to each other in the centre and squeeze together.
  9. Work along the edges, squeezing them together until the whole thing is sealed.
  10. Place on an oiled baking tray.
  11. Repeat for the remaining quarters.
  12. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  13. Serve with some sort of sauce, such as tomato salsa or olive tapenade.

Makes 4 halloumi pies.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halogen Oven Potato Slices

I've been experimenting with a halogen oven recently. It provides a very dry heat and gets to temperature quickly, so idea for when cooking for a couple of people.

Ingredients:

  • 400g waxy potatoes (about 4 or 5)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle chilli powder

Method:

  1. Slice the potatoes into 5mm slices and put into a bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with cold water and soak the potatoes for at least 30 minutes. This helps to remove some starch and stop the outside burning when cooking.
  3. Drain the potatoes and put in a new bowl.
  4. Toss the potato slices with the olive oil
  5. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and powdered pepper and toss until well mixed.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then place on the baking tray for your halogen oven.
  7. Place the tray in the oven on the high shelf.
  8. Turn on the halogen oven Cook for 22 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
  9. Serve with a cool tomato salsa and sour cream.
Serves 2 as a side dish.