Showing posts from October, 2011

Easy to make cheese soufflé.

Now despite what you might have heard and what people will say to you I think that it is a bit of a myth that a soufflé is hard to make.  I think like most things in life it is a matter of knowing what to do and in what order.  As long as you egg whites are whisked and you have cooked you basic sauce then it is pretty mush as easy as making a cake. The only thing I would say is use a electric whisk.  Buy the time you have whisked your egg whites by hand you will find your sauce is to cold and hard to mix.
You will need.  30g/1oz butter, 30g/1oz plain flour  150ml/5fl oz full-fat milk 1 tsp Dijon mustard Pinch cayenne pepper 4 whites 4 yolks 85g/3oz grated mature cheddar cheese Salt and pepper A little melted butter for greasing the soufflé dish
Star by getting things ready for you soufflé.  First melt some butter and brush it round the ramekin or dish you intend to make the soufflé in.  Then put it in the fridge so that it sets. Make sure that you butter is dice ready to melt, you…

How to make Beurre blanc sauce

Beurre blanc sauce is in its most basic form just meted butter and some kind of liquid reduced to form a thick and creamy sauce.  It is a classic sauce and in some way I would say that most of the time, it is harder to make than some thing like hollandaise.  To day, it is popular to make this sauce with one of those cappuccino-frothing gadgets, to get a real foaming sauce but that is not what it is supposed to be like.  It is as far as I am concerned to be rich and very creamy buttery sauce with a back note of sharp tang from the vinegar.   
To make it you will need, 2 shallots, finely chopped 60ml/2fl oz white wine vinegar 60ml/2fl oz dry white wine 125g/4½oz cold unsalted butter Salt and freshly ground white pepper
To start with you need to get your shallots and dice then as fine as you can. Now you can use onions if you want but the shallot is not as harsh as a onion. The reason why you want it diced as fine as you can is so that they cook down as quickly as possible and that all …

Daal saag

A really simple very easy to cook but full of flavour dish that you can make in about 30 to 40 minutes.  You can make a big batch and freeze it or just as and when you need it.  Also it look really nice as well with the yellow lentils and the green of the spinach. So have a go and give this dish a try, if nothing else to recommend it is relatively cheap as well  so if you are watching the pennies then this could be a winner.
You will need 225g/8oz  yellow split lentils 750ml/1pt 7fl oz water 2-3 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil 1 tsp black mustard seeds ¼ tsp ground turmeric ¼ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp fennel seeds 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger 2 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped 8 curry leaves 100g/3½ oz spinach 2 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
The fact that cooking this could not be any simpler than it is. Start by putting the lentils in a saucepan, pour in the water, and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft.  Take them off the heat.
Now i…

Coconut chilli chicken

This is a rapid fast and fun meal that you can make rapidlyand easily that taste really good. Now it is up to you what chicken you use but I prefer to use leg meat as it has more flavour compared to white breast meat. Now you can make this skin on or skin off the choice is yours and you do not have to worry too much over the preparation of the spices as you can just chop every thing really roughly and as long as it is all fresh it will taste great.
You will need. 3 stalks of lemongrass 50g/2oz fresh ginger 2 red chillies 2 cloves garlic 2 lime leaves A bunch coriander The juice of 2 limes 2 tbsp groundnut oil 200g/7oz very ripe tomatoes 2 tbsp fish sauce  2 tbsp dark soy sauce 8 chicken thighs 400ml/14oz can coconut milk
Start with your spices, take your fresh lemongrass, split in two, and remove the little bit at the bottom where the roots used to be.This can be tough when cooked so just cut out the v shaped base bit. Now chop it up then take your chillies your garlic and ginger a…

Rockliffe Hall: Two years on…

27 October 2011
Two years after opening, the leading English hotel resort, Rockcliffe Hall reflects on their journey so far.
Since opening its doors in 2009, Rockliffe Hall has fast made waves as not only the top resort in the North of England, but as one of the finest resort destinations in the UK.
The hotel shot to the top achieving the coveted AA 5-stars within 12 months of opening, alongside being awarded 3AA rosettes for the magnificent Kenny Atkinson at the Orangery restaurant, winning a handful of accolades at the North East Tourism Awards and at the prestigious Conde Nast Johansens awards for Excellence.Furthermore, the resorts 18 hole championship golf course has been approved by the Professional Golf Association, and the 50,000 square foot Spa facility has achieved ‘5 bubbles’ from the Good Spa Guide.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Rockliffe Hall, as managing director Nick Holmes explains:
“We knew the resort would fast achieve industry recognition, howeve…

Candied sweet potatoes

Now when I first was told I would be eating candied sweet potatoes I thought grate like the sound of that.When I was told that they have marshmallows melted on them I though that just sounds wrong. The thing is as it so often when I hear some thing and prejudge it I am often wrong in the end; it was the same when I was told about chocolate-coated pretzels.It just sort of works and it is I think so simple and just so wrong that it is just right. The problem with this kind of dish is that it flies in the face of what you think of as a traditional European potato dish. Another good thing about his is that you can make it in advance and just put it in the oven 20 minuets before you want to eat it and you are good to go.
For this you will need 6 medium to big sweet potatoes 150g/5oz dark brown sugar 125g/4oz butter 1 tbsp cinnamon Vanilla essence The juice of one orange 150g/5oz marshmallows
First start by getting your sweet potatoes wash them and leave the skins on. Put them in a pan of…

Toffee Apple ice-cream

Now this is a recipe that will take you a lot of bowl but once it has frozen down you will have a soft scoop ice cream that you can make about a million ways and in hundreds of different flavours. Basically if you whisk the cream make the meringue   and fold it together that is the basis for a ice cream.  You do not need to churn it or go back and see if it has worked.  Every time have made it like this it just has worked. All I will say is that you need a lot of bowls.
You will need. 330g/11oz caster sugar 72ml/2½floz water 6 egg whites 300ml/10fl oz whipping cream Dash of vanilla essence 6 egg yolks 290ml/½ pint full cream milk 450g/1lb dessert apples 1tbsp dark soft sugar 1tdsp butter 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp mixed spice
First, take your apples and dice them.  It is up to you if you take the skin off.  Put the butter, mixed spic, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a pan along with the apples and just melt it all down so the apples are going soft.  Then take it off the heat and l…

Rocky Road Bars

Now it could be said that the simplest things in life are some times the best and with this recipe you will find it easy to make and popular with young and old alike. So if you want to make a sweet treat for a party or just for the kids lunch box or your own have a go at this.
You will need the following. 125g/4½oz soft unsalted butter 300g/10½oz dark chocolate 3 tbsp golden syrup 200g/7¼oz digestive or shortbread biscuits 100g/3½oz mini marshmallows 2 tsp icing sugar
Now start by taking you biscuits and breaking them up roughly in a bowl.You want frailly ruff crunched lumps not a smooth crumb just a bit of a bash should do you. Then add to them the mash mellows and toss them together.
Now you can use any biscuit you like really but I prefer to use either the digestive or shortbread as I like the texture of the biscuits.However, id did once try this with chocolate bourbon biscuits and it was very nice.
Now take a saucepan, fill with some water, and rest a bowl over it to make a ba…

Pumpkin cheesecake.

This is a creamy classy cheesecake that I think must have come from America but probably did not.It covers so many things as it used things that are in season and also you could make it for Halloween or thanksgiving if you are in charge of any dinner parties fro any of those occasions.And even if you are not give it a go as it does make a rather nice cheese cake all the same.
You will need. 112g/4oz digestive biscuits 112g/4oz ginger nut biscuits 60g/2oz butter Juice and zest 1 lemon 340g/12oz roasted pumpkin 225g/8oz caster sugar 450g/1lb cream cheese 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2.5g/½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 4 eggs 90ml/3fl oz double cream 90ml/3fl oz natural yoghurt
Now for my base on this recipe I have used two kinds of biscuits. You classic digestive and you ginger nut.The two kinds been broken down and mixed together just add a little some thing more to the base.But if you do not like ginger then just use the digestives as normal . So bash your biscuits in to a fine crumb melt you …

Butterscotch sweets

This makes a hard butterscotch candy that you can make in to sweets or set on a try and give a bash with a hammer and break up . If you let it cool a little and work quickly you can from it in to actual hand made sweets.Personally, I like to set it and break it up with a hammer.
The ingredients you will need are 500g/1lb 2oz granulated sugar 150ml/ 5floz cream 150ml/5floz water 1/8 tsp cream of tartar 6 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Get you sugar water and cream in a saucepan over a low heat to melt the sugar then add the cream of tartar.Then turn up the heat and bring it to the boil.What you are looking for is a softball sate of sugar boiling so the temperature needs to be about 116c/225f then add the butter.Now keep boiling until you get 134c/255f soft crack stage.Once you have got to this you can take the boiling sugar off the stove and add the vanilla.
Now you can pure this on to a lightly greased try or take a spoon and drop small amounts on …

Make your own fudge

There are probably as many variations of fudge and fudge recipes as that you could probably devote a whole blog to them on there own.So what I have chosen to do it just a basic vanilla fudge recipe to get you started. All you have to remember is that you have to keep working it after you have cooked it so that it goes cloudy and start to from the fudge. But do not over do it or you fudge goes a little lose and flaky.
For this you will need, 300ml/10floz milk 350g/12oz caster sugar 100g/3½oz butter 1 tsp vanilla extract oil, for greasing
Get your milk sugar and butter and add it all to a pan.Heat it all up slowly so that the sugar and butter melt together then turn up the heat and bring it to the boil.Make sure that you are stirring this all the time.
Now it need to boil for about 15 to 20 minutes or till it gets to soft ball stage 115c/225f then remove from the heat and add the vanilla . Once you have it off the stove stir it fairly vigorously with a spoon.Do this till it starts…

Make toffee apples

One thing that as a kid I always liked and would always ask fro if I saw them was a toffee apple.Something about caramelised sugar and the apple just working so well together that no matter what combination you put it with it just works. And to get it on a stick and just bite in to the hard crisp toffee otter and the apple in the middle perfect as a taste sensation
You will need, 225g/9oz Demerara sugar 110ml/4floz water 0.5 tsp vinegar 2 tbsp golden syrup 25g/1oz butter 6 apples 6 wooden skewers, for holding the apples

Once again this is all about melting sugar and knowing when it is ready so the best tool for the job is a sugar thermometer. But if you do not have one the sate that you want the sugar to be at is what is called hard crack. To tell if you have reached this stage, you take some of the boiling sugar and dip it in cold water, it should harden immediately.What you are looking for is hard but not sticky.That or you boil it to about 140c/ 275f
So add your sugar to the water and …

Make your own Marshmallows.

Now to make your own marshmallows you do nee a sugar thermometer so you can get the right temperature when bring the liquids to the boil. I do not know if you can do this by eye and I am sure that you can but I do not know, as I have never tried to do this.My guess is that you can as it is rather like making Italian meringue but as I have one, I will say use a sugar thermometer or borrow one.
You will need 450g/1lb caster sugar 1 tbsp liquid glucose 200ml/7fl oz water 2 large free-range egg whites 9 gelatine sheets, soaked in water until soft Bash of vanilla essence 1 tsp oil Corn flour and Icing sugar for dusting
Take your sugar, glucose and water and get this in to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring it to the boil and then place in your sugar thermometer. Keep boiling till the temperature reaches 127c/260f.Now this is roughly what you call thread or feather stage when boiling sugar.To know when it is right take a little of the syrup and let it cool then get some between you thumb an…

Honeycomb cinder toffee candy

This is a recipe for Halloween or Bonfire night, some thing that you can make with the kids and that will hopefully go down very well with them.I know that when I have made them they have gone down rather well and now with the added attraction of popping candy, chopped almonds, sprinkles and chocolate they have taken on an almost professional standard.What you can do is set the honeycomb silicon moulds and stick a lolly stick in it. Or you can set it on a tray and break it up in to ruff shapes latter.
325g/11½oz caster sugar 50g/2oz honey 125g/4½oz glucose syrup 4 tbsp water 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda 200g/7oz good-quality milk chocolate 250g/9oz hundreds and thousands (optional) 250g/9oz popping candy (optional) 250g/9oz almonds, finely chopped (optional)
Now like making jam you want a bigger saucepan than you think for reason that I will go in to latter.
To make the honeycomb get your sugar, honey, glucose syrup and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved and t…

Halloween Menu Ideas

Well it is that time of year when you are probably thinking of all kinds of parties and the next big one is Halloween.Now as far as recipes go I am not giving any actual recipe s here but I am going to give a few ideas that you could do.The good thing is that you can go a little over the top and do a whole load of things that sound disgusting and that is the point.Most of the names and idea are things that I have seen and made to go on Halloween menus.
For your first bites  
Halloween Brochette, made with garlic, diced pumpkin, yellow and red tomatoes, onion, Black Olive tapenade, and basil pesto.You get the grilled red yellow or orange of the tomatoes and pumpkin on a black or green paste.
Shredded Brain Spread, heat crabmeat spread with onion, chives, cheese and a touch of horseradish and served with toasted bread.
Dusk til’ Dawn Massacre, cheesy nachos with jalapeno peppers, chunky Salsa, Sour cream, and guacamole.
Cheddar Witches Fingers, just make some cheese straws and use a …

How to make Hollandaise sauce

First things first in the words of Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy “DON’T PANIC”.  Now that sounds so easy to sat but it is in fact very easy to make and you can make it in a bowl or in a machine the choice is yours.  Also if you can master this you then can make variations on the theme such a béarnaise sauce or pink pepper corn. So don’t be scared give it a go.
Your will need for the basic sauce 3 tbsp white wine 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 3 or 4  peppercorns 1 dried bay leaf 2 eggs, yolks only 125g/4oz butter Lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste
Now to start with you need two pans and a bowl , a good whisk and a wet dish cloth. Now you place your bowl on the wet dishcloth and this stops the bowl from moving all around as you whisk what is in it while pouring the hot butter with the other hand.
Now in one pan put your butter and gently melt the butter slowly.  What you want is for the butter to separate and the pure fat to go in the sauce and the white water and butter solids no…

Karhai broccoli

This is a little spicy fresh veg cooking that you can make in just a few moments and is such a change from your standard cooked broccoli.All you need is a good wok with a lid to cook this and you are done.
You will need. 3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil ⅛ tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp whole cumin seeds ¼ tsp whole mustard seeds 400g/14oz trimmed broccoli florets ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Take your wok and add some water to the wok and d bring to the boil and then pop in the broccoli. Let id boil for just a few moments and then take it out.You do not have to do this but it just helps when you are doing the stir fry part of the cooking if the broccoli is part blanched to start with. Then get rid of the water and dry your wok and put back on the heat.
Now add your oil and heat this on a medium high heat. Add your cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let then heat up.Be very careful as mustard seeds to pop, and that is what you want, just beware of flying seeds, or put a lid on the wok.
As …

Chickpea and courgette curry.

This a good tasty and fast curry dish that is easy to make and very good to eat.As long as you have the spices to make this in your store cupboard then you should be all right.If you are missing one or two of the, it will not be then end of the world. Also I have been thinking of things that are coming up such as Halloween and Christmas and forgot that Diwali starts soon.Diwali or Divale , I do not know if that is how you spell it as there seems to be two ways to spell itthe festival of light this is my recipe for that .I Hope that it is authentic.
1 onion, thinly sliced 1 bunch coriander roughly chopped 3 green chillies, chopped 3 garlic cloves ½ tsp ground fenugreek 1 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground cloves ½ tsp salt ½ tsp caster sugar 400ml/14fl oz coconut milk 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 cinnamon stick 4 green cardamom pods 5 curry leaves ½ tsp mustard seeds 3 courgettes, chopped 400g/14oz chickpeas cooked 1 tsp garam masala
Now to start with you have a choice you can either get dr…

Brown-bag fried chicken

Like a idiot I thought that this would be cooked like eh French do “en pupillote” or in paper, when you make an envelope of greaseproof paper and bake some thing in it , normally fish or chicken .It steams in its own juice and cook beautify steamed in its own juices.I was to learn that it actually means you put all the spice coatings in a brown paper shopping bag and add the chicken give it all a good shake and that coats the chicken before you cover it. Also I have seen recipes that have called for the use of evaporated milk, I have never tried this, I can image that it really helps to get a sweet crisp skin. It takes about 1 litre/1¾ pints sunflower oil to deep fry and afterwards you can not really do any thing else with it so except filter and reuse to beep fry more chicken.
You will need 1 whole medium chicken 7 tbsp plain white flour 1 tbsp dried oregano, crumbled 1 tbsp dried thyme leaves 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled 2 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tsp ground white pepper 1 t…

Pumpkin pie

I have chosen this recipe to post on my blog for two reasons.One it is soon thanksgiving In America and as a lot of the people who look at this blog are American I have devoted this recipe to them.I must admit that apart from turkey I really do not know what is traditional and what is not.Apart from a time when was invited to a thanksgiving dinner I have not really had a lot of experience of them.The other reason for posting this recipe is that it uses pumpkin.Halloween time is soon here and in the UK we get a pumpkin make a lantern out of it and that is the only time you have a pumpkin in the kitchen. Well as far as I know this is a authentic recipe and the pastry part alone is a good one to copy.You can use almost any kind of nut and it gives that pasty such texture as well.

125g/4½oz plain flour 55g/2oz demerara sugar 55g/2oz butter 2-3 tbsp cold water 40g/1½oz crushed pecans  For the filling 450 g/1lb pumpkin flesh 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk 3 oz/75g soft dark brown sugar 1 tsp g…

Lamb in red wine and rosemary casserole

This is a slow cook all day in the oven kind of dish that you ant to put in and forget about if your are going on a long walk on a late autumn or winters day so when you come home it is cooked and ready to go.
650g/1lb 7oz diced shoulder of lamb 2 tbsp plain white flour 1 tbsp olive oil 25g/1oz butter 1 tbsp tomato puree 300ml/½ pint red wine 300ml/½ pint lamb or beef stock The leaves from 1 or 2 sprig of fresh rosemary 1 garlic clove 1 carrot 1 onion 2 celery sticks Salt freshly ground black pepper to taste
Take your lamb and put it in a plastic bag with the flour and some of the salt and pepper.Then give this all a good shake so that then lamb gets covered in flour. Then get a frying pan and get it on the heat . Brown your lamb of a little at a time you want it to cook not stew so you do not want all the meats in all in one go, just a little at a time.Once it is nice and brown then get it out and but in the casserole dish.
Once all the meat has browned deglaze the pan with the…

Millionaire’s shortbread

This is some thing that you would get at parties when you were a kid and thought to your self, yes this is the food that millionaires eat. I do not know why, but it just seem so right and when you think about it you get a good short bread and set a load of caramel on that and cover it with chocolate. It is not the sort of thing you see in a calorie controlled diet and I would not recommend that you eat it every day . but if you want treat and think to your self I want a bit of the good life , this will not set you back a arm and a leg .And for me it just takes you back to being a kid and at the party.
For millionaires’ short bread you will need 175g/6oz butter 75g/2½ oz caster sugar 225g/8oz plain flour Pinch of salt, if butter unsalted. 200g/7oz butter 1 x 397g/14oz can condensed milk 4 tbsp golden syrup 350g/12oz milk chocolate
You will need a 8inch or 20 cm square cake tin or some king of oblong that is ruffle the same size as this for this, grease it and line it and put it in…

Lamb shish kebabs.

Sadly this dish has often been just the food that you eat late at night after you have had far to much to drink and are starving. Often made from some kind of compressed lamb that is formed and carved of in thin slivers so that it can be paced in a flat bread and breached in chilli sauce.Well I want to try and make you think once more about it and what it could be , in fact lets just make it and see what you think if you eat it for a lunch or dinner.I can assure you there is more to the lamb kebab than you think. The real grate thing about this is that you can get lots of fresh vegetables and salad on the plate and you can all have a go at doing it your self. Just get every thing ready and put it all on a try in the middle of the table and lets the kids help them selves.And you do not have to use lamb, chicken beef and pork work just as well.
You will need 4 garlic cloves ¾ tsp ground cumin 600g/1lb 5oz lamb leg meat 150g/5oz Greek-style yoghurt handful fresh mint leaves 2 tbsp ext…

Sticky toffee crème brûlée.

I first saw this on master chef I think and took the idea and I must say it works very well.  Like most thing in life that look complicated actually are not all you have to do is stop think and then do, and it normally works out. Mind you that is probably easy for me to say  I have been cooking professionally for about twenty years or more and as my daughter always is saying when we are watching a cookery program I some times get annoyed with things saying , I would not do it like that.  The truth is that you can watch a million shows and read a thousand books, but nothing can beat experience.  So you will say why are you pinching a recipes from a cookery show then,  well than answer to that is simple , its really good. My whole career is spent on taking ideas from here and there and doing them in a way that I think works.  So here we go with this one.
You will need, 125g/4½oz caster sugar 8 egg yolks 125ml/4½fl oz single cream 125ml/4½fl oz milk 100ml/3½fl oz double cream 100g/3½oz muscovad…