Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

Random Recipes does Charity


Now I have to say that I've been a little bit liberal with my interpretation of Random Recipes this month.  Dom has asked us to donate some of our unloved cookbooks to the Charity Shop, that's not a problem, it's something I do pretty regularly but first we have to randomly choose a recipe and cook it, that is not so easy.

I chose this book, which has been lurking in my collection for a long time.  I suspect it was one of those Book Club books that you get at work and seemed like a good idea at the time.  However it has some seriously weird recipes in it, Raspberry Mallow Pizza anyone?  Or what about Frankfurter Bake - eeeugh! 

Fortunately, my Random Recipe was not one of these horrors, but an edible Pasta with Salmon and Cream Sauce...except I had all this lovely turkey breast to use up and no salmon in sight, so I cheated.
I'm also entering this for the January 'One Ingredient' challenge run by Working London Mummy , the ingredient is Poultry and that includes turkey.  Visit this month's host 'How to Cook Good Food' for more information.



Anyway, here is the adaptation of the Random Recipe:

Turkey and Cream Sauce
30g butter
500ml double cream
two cloves of garlic crushed
30g grated Parmesan + a little extra for the top
250g cooked turkey (or flaked salmon)
head of broccoli
300g spagetti
3 tsp chopped dill
salt and pepper
pinch of freshly nutmeg
sprig of dill to garnish

In a saucepan, heat butter, crushed garlic and cream.  Bring to just below boiling point, add the parmesan cheese.
Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until thickened andslightly reduced.  Add Parmesan cheese.
Stir in salmon, dill, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Cook  the spagetti in boiling water until just cooked.
Cook the broccoli in boliling water until just cooked.

Mix the pasta, broccoli, cubed cooked turkey and cream sauce.  Put them into a buttered oven dish, sprinkle parmesan over the top and heat through until golden and bubbling on top.


Which just goes to prove you can make a great dish out of any old recipe!


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Chocolate Chilli Ice cream

This has been on my list of 'must makes' for about two years since I first tasted it at the Appleby Manor Hotel.  I love the combination of the rich chocolate, the cold ice-cream and the sweet heat of the chillies. We ate this on Christmas Eve with homemade  mini mince pies filled with my Chocolate Mincemeat and it proved very popular, although my son would have been up for even more chilli!
I am entering this for the Sweet Heat Challenge #3 'Christmas'


The recipe is adapted from a couple of different ones, so here is what I did:

Chocolate Chilli Ice Cream

600ml double cream (you can use 300ml milk and 300ml dbl cream)
200g Dark Chocolate
4 large egg yolks
100g caster sugar
3 red chillies
1/4 tsp chilli powder

Slice the chillies and add with the cream to a saucepan, include the chilli seeds.
Warm the cream until just below boiling point then leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Strain the chillies and seeds from the cream, add the chilli powder and reheat the cream.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and slowly pour the cream onto the eggs stirring all the time. 

Return the egg mixture to the saucepan along with 150g of the dark chocolate broken up into small pieces, heat gently stirring until the mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and let it cool in the fridge.
Chop the rest of the chocolate and stir this into the mixture once it is cool.

At this point it is ready for the ice cream maker (if you don't have one then you can freeze it in a shallow box but you will have to keep taking it out of the freezer and beating it every 30-40 minutes) once it has thickened and frozen in the ice cream maker, decant it into a box and freeze.

Homemade ice creams generally need around 30 minutes out of the freezer before serving.



Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Smoked Salmon and Fennel Salad

The one part of Christmas Lunch which always taxes my brain is 'The Starter'.  This year I had the Smoked Salmon from the Forman and Field hamper that I won.  So looked for something interesting to do with it.  I came on this recipe on AllRecipes.co.uk which seemed to fit the bill. 

I addeed a few leaves of Rocket but otherwise it is as the recipe and the fennel was a delicious fresh and crunchy counterpoint to the rich smoky salmon.   I would certainly reccommend this either as a starter a salad or made into canapes.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Image from My Vintage Vogue

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
from Farmersgirl Kitchen

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Festive Photos for No Croutons Required

Frozen Herbs

Pine cones in the snow

The road at the end of our lane

I feel like I'm cheating a bit here as these photos are from January 2010.   December is the month for a festive photo for Jac's and Lisa's No Croutons Required challenge hosted at Tinned Tomatoes blog. Searching through my photos, these seem to be the most snowy and festive.

And here is another festive photo from 2008!

Santa Claus is coming to town!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Gingerbread Man Christmas Cake

As soon as I saw Ruth Clemens Gingerbread Man Christmas Cake at The Pink Whisk, I knew I had to try to make something similar with the cake I made from the Delicious Magazine recipe.  The Gingerbread Man is made from chocolate fondant.




 I surrounded the cake with little gingerbread men also made from chocolate fondant. Check out my little perpetual gingerbread house which I made last year, a  totally non-edible decoration!

and the other house is a lovely 3D Christmas card which was sent by friends from Malaysia.

 
You can see by the decorations on my dresser that I have a bit of a thing about gingerbread men and you can see where the little house is on display.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Heavenly Meringues


I do think there is something heavenly about meringues, and these ones came out particularly well, they just melted in the mouth like little sugary clouds filled with cream.

I've been using the same simple recipe for meringues for many years, it comes from Mary Berry's 'Fast Cakes' book first published in 1981 to accompany her appearances on Thames Television's After Noon Plus programme.  I never saw the programme but Mary was featured in many magazines at the time.  This is the book I turn to for good basic recipes for scones, traybakes, sponges and biscuits.

Basic White Meringues

4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
whipping cream

Heat the oven to 200F, 100C, gas 1/4 and ine two baking sheets with silicone paper.

Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks.  Add the sugar, a teaspoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition, unti all the sugar has been added.  Using two dessertspooons, spoon the meringue out onto the baking sheets, putting 12 meringues on each tray.

Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours until the meringues are firm and dry and will lift easily from the paper.  They wshould be pale off white.

Whisk the cream until it is thick and use it to sandwich the meringues together.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Time to eat the Chilli Jam!

Back in September I made some Tomato Chilli Jam and in October I made Pineapple Chilli Jam. Today I was entertaining my family and served both of these preserves in the crystal jam dishes left to me by a friend of my mum's.  They usually on make an appearance round about Christmas and always make whatever is served in them look elegant and inviting.  You also get a little peek at my Christmas tree in the background.


Both of the jams were delicious, but I have to say, that the pineapple one was particularly good, my son commented that it had a 'sweet and sour' flavour and it was delicious with cold ham and turkey, the turkey from my Forman and Field hamper, which was also very good. 


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Forman and Field Hamper


Many thanks to Claire and Lucy at Crumbs for awarding me this fabulous prize hamper from Forman and Field in conjunciton with Knorr. 

I had it delivered to my husband's work and they couldn't resist opening it to ooh and ahh at the contents, fortunately there wasn't anything they could eat or my hamper might not have arrived home complete!

The hamper is full of goodies: smoked salmon, caviar, a 4-5KG Kelly Bronze Turkey, trimmings pack including sausages, bacon, chestnuts and stuffing, a big big of Stilton, seasonal vegetables, some unsalted butter, double cream, a pineapple, 2 apples and a banana (ingredients for the curry recipe that is included), what is described as a 'small' onion but it is HUGE!  There were also a couple of pots, one of curry powder and one of coconut, again for the curry and a pack of Knorr chicken stock pots.

I've dismembered the turkey and have frozen the legs and wings for later use.  I'll cook the crown this weekend and serve it cold as I have family coming for lunch.  The rest of the goodies will be also be scoffed over the weekend.

I've been particularly lucky in blog prize draws over the last few weeks, winning the Short and Sweet book by Dan Lepard, three Moro Cookbooks and Jamie's Great Britain book too!

Thanks very much to all the bloggers who run competitions and to the sponsors who provide the lovely prizes, they are much appreciated.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Mince Pies for Tea Time Treats


I'm entering this for Tea Time Treats as the theme for December is 'Christmas'  Team Time Treats is a monthly baking challenge run by Karen at Lavender and Lovage and Kate  at 'What Kate Baked' , Kate is hosting the December challenge.


Last month I made Dark Chocolate Mincemeat using Dan Lepard's Dark Rich Mincemeat recipe from his fabulous book Short and Sweet.  So today I made some mince pies and again I turned to Short and Sweet for the Rich Shortcrust Pastry that Dan recommends for mince pies.  It's a lovely recipe, sweet and enriched with ground almonds and egg yolk .  I was really quite excited about tasting the mince pies and I wasn't disappointed.  

Usually I find that mince pies are all pastry and no filling and the pastry never seems very exciting, but the Rich Shortcrust was light, 'short' and added rather than detracted from the mincemeat.  I made the pies in my muffin tins, some mini pies in mini muffin tins and a few larger ones.  The muffin tins give you  a deeper pie which allows for more filling.  Definitely a huge hit!   If you haven't bought Short and Sweet yet, then get it on your Christmas list.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Last weekend I cooked a shoulder of Lamb in one pot with all the veggies, you can read about it HERE.
I was deliberately a little bit mean with the slices to lamb so I had plenty left to make a Shepherd's Pie.  There is no real recipe for this,  I roughly chopped the cooked lamb, put it in the food processor and chopped it up, then added the gravy and veggies and whizzed it up some more. 

Boiled some potatoes and mashed them with milk and butter, put them roughly on top of the meat mixture in the dish, rough as you like so you get lots of cripsy bits, then stuck it in the oven at 200C for 20 - 30 minutes, until it was heated through and the top was nice and brown and crispy.  Serve with a green veg, we had savoy cabbage.
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