Friday, 21 November 2014

Sweet Potato Hummus (a dip with a difference)

This is one of those easy recipes to prepare but when you serve it up for friends to enjoy it becomes a talking point. I love it because it is full of flavor and interesting to eat especially with a nice bottle of craft beer. Serve it with toasted sour dough or simply crisps or anything else you can think of.

1 large sweet potato, baked in a hot oven until very tender
400g tin of chickpeas
2 garlic cloves peeled
100ml tahini
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 tablespoon of chopped flat parsley

Scoop the flesh out of the sweet potato. Put the flesh, chickpeas, garlic and tahini in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Heat the cumin and coriander seed in a dry frying pan until they become fragrant, pound in a pestle and mortar until finely ground. Add to the processor with the lemon juice and zest, 1 teaspoon of salt and 3 -4 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Blitz together until the hummus is nice and smooth and not stiff.

Serve in a nice bowl with the chopped parsley on top.

Friday, 14 November 2014

The King of breads must be Brioche

This is the King of breads, sweet and rich and is best eaten with good coffee on a Sunday morning.

1 loaf

500g strong white flour
1-teaspoon fine sea salt
4 teaspoons of castor sugar
15g of fresh yeast or 10g fast action yeast
50ml of tepid water
6 eggs
300g butter
Egg wash

In an electric mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and sugar. Crumb the yeast into water, stir to dissolve and add to the flour. Using the dough hook, start the mixer on a slow speed and add the egg one by one. The mix will appear wet but that is exactly what we are looking for. Continue mixing on a medium speed until the dough just starts to come away from the sides. This will take up to ten minutes.
Dice the butter and add it a third at a time while continuing to mix. Add the next third once the first third has been incorporated into the dough. Continue mixing until the dough comes away from the side of the mixing bowl. It will still be wet but should be smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to prove for 1 hour in a warm place. The dough can be placed in a fridge at this stage and let rest for several hours.
When ready to make your brioche, remove the dough from the fridge. Portion the dough into three equal parts; shape the dough into three balls and place into the bread tin. Cover with a cloth and leave to prove for about another hour or until the dough has doubled in size again.
Place in a preheated oven 200c and put a roasting tin in the bottom. Brush gently with egg wash, then place in the oven and steam by adding cold water to the roasting tray. Cook for ten minutes then reduce the temperature to 180c and cook for a further 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
Enjoy with good coffee and a smile

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Chicken Curry with cashew nuts and mango

This is a old recipe taken from a unique Indian cookery book PRASHAD, cooking with the indian masters. The dish is a  mild chicken curry cooked with an abundance of onion and garnished with cashew nuts, sunflower seeds and mango. Have a go and see what you think.

Serves 6
1 free range chicken
150g Ghee
400g onions
30g ginger paste
30g garlic paste
5g red chilli powder
5g turmeric
10g Garam Masala
2 tin of coconut milk
40g mango chutney
20g fresh coriander
20g fresh mint
20g sunflower seeds
50g Cashew nuts

Cut the chicken into 10 pieces, if you like a butcher will do this for you. The important thing here is to leave as much of the meat on the bone as possible, this will increase the flavor of the finished dish. Slice the onions finely and sauté in the hot ghee, once the onions start to soften add the garlic and ginger paste, red chilli powder and turmeric. Add the chicken pieces and the coconut milk and simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat. Now add the mango chutney, mint and coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes. Just before serving add the cashew nuts and sunflower seeds and check for seasoning.

Friday, 9 May 2014

A dream come true

For many years now I have had a dream to pack up everything, surf boards included, and head to the west coast of France, cross the Pyrenees and see what all this ultra modern food that is coming out of Spain is truly like. Well now is my chance. I bought a van last year and have converted it into a basic camper with a  good cooker, fridge, and bed, my young son who is five months old has his own pad, a plush doggy basket. So folks I will keep you posted with what happens on this adventure of food and fun......

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Summer Risotto of Pea, Parmesan and Broad Beans

 This is a fantastic vibrant summer dish, it will accompany almost any fish or Foul or can be served on its own with extra parmesan shavings and a little squeeze of lemon juice. The trick is to open a nice bottle of chilled white wine and have a glass while you make this risotto....

Serves 4
1 Onion finely diced
100g- Butter
300g-risotto rice
150ml of white wine
1.75 litres of chicken stock
Salt and white pepper
50g peas
50g Broad beans
50g- Parmesan

For the pea Puree
1 shallot finely chopped
15g butter
200ml chicken stock
350g garden peas
Salt and pepper

Melt half of the butter in a large shallow pan and add the onion, sweat on a low heat until soft and translucent. Now add the rice to the pan and stir until all the grains are coated in the butter, add the wine and bring to the boil, keep stirring until the rice has absorbed all the wine. Meanwhile, put the stock in a separate saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
Once the wine has been absorbed add the hot stock one ladle at a time, stir continuously and do not add more stock until the rice has soaked up the previous ladle full. Continue until the rice is almost cooked but still al dente which should take about 15 minutes.
To make the pea puree, in a separate pot add the shallot and butter, sweat off until soft, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil, now add the peas and season. Blitz until smooth.
Take the risotto pan off the heat and add the pea puree, Parmesan, whole peas and broad beans, serve in large white bowls and garnish with pea shoots. Serve at once.

Friday, 17 January 2014

A description given by Fernand Point regarding wine

Fernand Point was a game changer in world of food and Cuisine. For over thirty years he ran the Restaurant de la Pyramide, in Vienne, France and built it into one of the worlds greatest restaurants and trained many of the next generations top French chefs. When he died in 1955 at the age of fifty-eight he was considered the master cusinier of the twentieth century. His book Ma Gastronomie takes centre stage on many a book shelf.
His thoughts on wine are of interest and you might have a smile on your face reading it
Point: 'White wines, in my opinion, are like women - they must be caught in their youth. On the other hand, the excellent red wines are like men who will, in principle at least, find themselves maturing into subtle yet vigorous old gentlemen. Of course, the Beaujolais must always be drunk young. He's a likeable young fellow who deceives you with his long pants'

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Smoked Haddock Soup, curry oil and coriander

This is an adaption of the famous Chef’s Simon Hopkinson recipe for a soup using the same ingredients. It is warm, tasty and tastes of more, which is all we wish for. You will need:

70g butter
2 leeks, white parts only, sliced finely and washed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
600ml of good chicken stock
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
300ml of milk
450g of undyed smoked haddock skinned and without bones (use fish from a local smoke house or even better still use Sally Barnes smoked haddock it’s the best)
1 tbsps. of chopped coriander leaves
Little lemon juice to taste
150ml of cream
1 tsp. of curry powder
2 tbsps. Of sunflower oil

In a large saucepan melt the butter and cook the leeks gently until soft. Add the garlic and potato and cook for a further five minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, season and liquidize and strain through a sieve.
Cook the haddock in the milk and add both to the soup base, stir in the coriander, lemon juice and cream.
In a small pot heat the oil gently and add the curry powder, let the oil cool and strain. Use this to swirl on top to the soup just before serving.