Tag Archives: Bread Sauce

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Stale Bread…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Stale Bread!

Fact: Bread is top of the list when it comes to food waste…in the UK almost 900,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away every year…that is 24 million slices every single day…

In the US (2016) 20% of bread is wasted in kitchens plus 12% in stores that is a lot of bread…

In my house, that figure is 0%...ZERO WASTE…nil..none…ever…every single scrap of bread is used…

I either make breadcrumbs, cut them into cubes for croutons or freeze the slices whole…

Breadcrumbs…can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge if using within a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Uses: 

  1. As a topping for au gratin, macaroni cheese anything which has a cheese topping I just mix breadcrumbs with the cheese it makes the cheese go further and creates a cheesy and crispy topping.
  2. If I am making stuffing for fish or meat then I add some breadcrumbs…
  3. Treacle Tart needs no introduction…does it?

Treacle Tart:

An old family favourite…

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Ingredients:

For pastry:

  • 225 gm Plain Flour.
  • 115 gm butter.
  • 55 gm Sugar.
  • 1 egg yolk.
  • Chilled water to mix.

For Filling:

  • 450 gm  Golden Syrup.
  • 85 gm Breadcrumbs.
  • Pinch ground ginger( optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp juice.

Method:

Sift flour into a bowl and rub in the butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add egg yolk and chilled water a tbsp at a time until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill 20/30 mins in the fridge.

Gently roll out pastry and line 9 inch tin or dish, lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with baking parchment and cooking beans. Put in preheated oven 180 degrees/gas 6 and bake 15 mins remove baking parchment and beans and bake for further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the filling by gently warming syrup in a saucepan with fresh breadcrumbs, ginger, lemon zest and juice. When mixed together pour into the baked case. NB. The mixture should be fairly thick consistency but pourable …..if required add more breadcrumbs.

Put into oven at 190 degrees and bake for further 25 minutes.

Serve with cream or hot custard.

Croutons: can be stored the same way as breadcrumbs.

To cook either drizzle with olive oil and spread out on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven 180 degrees for about 10 mins turning a few times until golden on all sides or heat a few inches of oil and fry turning as they will brown quickly this way is quicker and only takes a few minutes…

Don’t forget you can flavour your croutons with garlic or other seasonings.

Uses: 

  1. Add to your soup when serving.
  2. Mix into a Caesar salad or any salad come to that they are far better than the ones you buy.
  3. Stirring croutons right into soft, creamy scrambled eggs eliminates the need for a side of toast.
  4. Lovely garlicky croutons are nice just as a little snack with some hummus or other dip or just eat them as a snack…

Slices of Bread: Have so many uses they can be torn up and used to make bread sauce which is a sauce which is served with chicken or turkey mainly at Christmas but my family love it so much that every time we have roast chook they ask for bread sauce it is easy to make and uses up stale bread…

Bread Sauce.

 

Tip:

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half-pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

Bread pudding is a recipe which I learnt from my nan or bread and butter pudding which is different but still uses sale bread but the bread is soaked in egg and milk and then cooked.

Bread Pudding and Bread and Butter Pudding

For the Recipes please click the highlighted links above…

I always freeze the topper or trust of my bread and then use it to make garlic bread…Love French onion soup either have cheese croutons for a change or a slice of stale baguette add some grated cheese and viola a lovely bowl of French Onion Soup…top a casserole or stew with bread rounds and some cheese…

All you need to do for an individual bowl of soup or a larger dish is toast slices of your stale baguettes you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler/grill for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.

That’s it folks how to have zero waste bread…Just think if everyone did that then those scary wasteful figures when there are children starving yes starving we could reduce those figures…if you don’t have that much bread as there may only be one or two of you… buy day-old bread that is reduced in your store that’s less store waste…or bake your own that’s fewer chemicals and sugar in our food and we are all counting that aren’t we???

Still, got stale bread? Then take a walk.. go feed the ducks and fishes…

Until tomorrow (Saturday Snippetts) …thank you for joining me here today I look forward as always to your comments xx

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…May 9th-15th May 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…we are now into May…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…lol

Just in case you missed any or love to catch up like I do… snuggle down in your favourite place… be kind to yourselves …I think we all need to do that… get comfy in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine or two…Cheers!

Let’s get the party started then…

Meatless Monday’s…Cashew Nut Curry with Halloumi and Brocolli…

The first time I have made a cashew nut curry sauce and trying Halloumi…I obviously haven’t lived…sigh…I much preferred it to tofu and the sauce was tasty..a little bit thick but next time I will thin it down a little and maybe add some cauliflower as well…

Meatless Mondays…Cashew Nut Curry with Halloumi and Brocolli…

Tuesday Twittering…The journey to be a doctor...

I must say since starting this series...it has made me realise even more how much prejudice exists in the world…I am a firm believer that given the opportunity everyone has a worth and a place in this world regardless of any disabilities…we must educate our children from an early age and integrate them with children who are ” different”…teach them how they can play and communicate with each other …give them the tools to do so albeit learning sign language, braille… another language..learning about traditions and food by teaching the children make it fun and kids like different if its fun to learn…we must not only learn to be kind but learn inclusion which is so very important…

Tuesday Twitterings…A journey to be a Doctor…

The environmental A-Z…a week of firsts for me…tell me I am naive..tell me I live in my own little bubble and not a covid induced one…the last few months have continued to shock me…maybe I should have opened my eyes and ears before..years before now…it has made me sad…sadder and wiser…and made me ask myself more questions…nothing new there but so much I wasn’t aware of and I should have been…

The Environmental A-Z…the letter F…

Today I am over at Smorgasbord Magazine kindly hosted by Sally for my Green Kitchen…Please pop over …I do hope you enjoy…x

Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – May 2021 – Dinner Rolls, Chillies, Recycled Face Masks, Grow Spring onions, make Apple Cider Vinegar – Waste Not, Want Not…

 

A nice condiment or sauce which complements a dish elevates it into a great dish…my mother’s recipes handed down from her mother are all I need and have been well tried and tested over the years…I hope you enjoy x

CarolCooks2…Week 13…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Sauces and condiments…

I had tasted passionfruit before I came here but since living here I have discovered how they compliment so many dishes and what a wonderfully versatile and healthy food it is…one of my favourites…

Tropical Fridays…The Passionfruit.

Allergies and food intolerances can be dangerous at worst and inconvenient at best especially when it restricts what you can eat…Sally explains the differences and how you can improve your health by following some guidelines…#rcommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Allergies and Intolerances – Part Two – – #Dairy #Leaky Gut

The day where I indulge my whimsy and where this week my inner rock chick came out…There is a 500-year-old Maple Tree under threat and Bees still need protection and so much more …Enjoy!

Saturday Snippets…15th May 2021

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…see you tomorrow for Meatless Mondays  …Love Carol xx

 

Christmas Special #A traditional Christmas Menu…

Thank you to everyone who made such lovely comments on my vegetarian Christmas menu it was a menu of dishes I cook at home but apart from devising a menu for home, I don’t publish a menu as a general rule.

This week’s menu is a mix of the traditional with a couple of other dishes thrown in…I always like to make at least one new dish every Christmas some I never make again as they were ok…Just not that memorable…You know what I mean, don’t you…?

Prawn Cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to…eat Oysters.

But we also had to have Prawn Cocktail….I think I would get lynched if I didn’t make it and the sauce has evolved over the years. This is one of our family traditions a topic which Norah was talking about on her blog today…How as we enjoy another Christmas we trot out the traditions some of which are passed down through the generations like the prawn cocktail…my mother used to make it and now I do and my children, of course, the recipe has evolved we also make new traditions as our children grow up and our families evolve…

I now add horseradish for that extra bite. Some add Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce but we like it with just horseradish and I use Salad cream instead of mayonnaise. Sometimes I mix the two it just depends on how I feel on the day. But as with anything it is personal taste so play with the sauce and find how you like it best.

Ingredients:

• 500gm of Cooked Prawns, peeled.
• 4 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
• 5 tbsp Salad Cream or mayonnaise or a mixture of both.
• 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
• Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
• 3 tsp Lime Juice.
• Shredded Iceberg lettuce

To Garnish:

Tomatoes sliced, Paprika pepper, Extra prawns …I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lime juice, salt and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top. Sprinkle with Paprika. Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.

Crab, Coconut, Chilli and Coriander Soup.

I use fresh crab for this soup as it is readily available and picked here but you could use tinned crab.

Ingredients

• 500 gm crab meat
• 4 cups of crab or fish stock
• 1 large tomato chopped and peeled
• 1 cup of coconut milk
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 1 celery stick chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic crushed
• 1 fresh red chilli, chopped and seeded ( if req) I don’t
• 2 tbsp of olive oil
• Juice of 1 lime
• Salt to taste
• 3 tbsp of freshly chopped coriander
• Lime wedges and hot chilli oil to serve.

Let’s Cook

Heat the oil in a pan over low heat. Stir in the onions and celery and saute for about 5 mins until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and the chilli stir to combine well and cook for a further 2 mins.

Add the tomato and half of the coriander and turn up the heat and cook stirring for 3 minutes then add the stock. Bring to a soft rolling boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the crab and the coconut milk and simmer for a further 5 mins.

The soup should be thick but not too thick so add some water if required.

Stir in the lime juice and remaining coriander and season as required with salt.

Serve in hot bowls with the chilli oil and lime wedges on the side.

Beetroot Tartare.

Ingredients:

• 160 gm of cooked beetroot.
• 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp of double cream

For Fried Capers:
• 10 capers
• Oil to fry about 3 tbsp.

For the crispbread:
• 2 very thin slices of stale bread
• 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Let’s Cook!

Make the crispbreads by cutting the bread into squares allow 3 to 4 squares per person.

Heat the grill on its highest setting and put the bread on a tray and drizzle with the oil. Grill on each side for 1-2 mins until crisp and golden being careful not to burn (like I did)

To make the tartare, finely chop half the beetroot and blitz the other half with the olive oil to make a rough paste, and then combine with the chopped beetroot and cream and season to taste.

Rinse the capers and pat dry then heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat add the capers and fry for 30 seconds until they have started to open up then drain on kitchen paper.

To serve: Place a 6-8cm ring on a plate and put in some beetroot mix then remove the ring.
Garnish with capers and the crispbread.

Pigs in Blankets. – Christmas dinner would not be complete without them, would it?

• 8 thin slices smoked bacon
• 16 chipolata sausages
• I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
• 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
• 2 tbsp clear honey.

To prepare

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle longways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Crispy Roast Potatoes.

I always parboil my potatoes and give them a good shake before putting them into a hot pan with some duck fat and roast…Basting and turning every 30 minutes until nice and golden.

To jazz your roasties up a little add some herb butter, garlic and or rosemary sprigs.

Brussel Sprouts.

Christmas dinner would not be the same without a bowl of Brussel sprouts and there are many ways you can cook these lovely little cabbages and even people who don’t like sprouts …Love them!

My spicy pan-fried Brussels come very close or top depending on whether you are bacon or a chilli fan…

I love just plain little Brussels lightly steamed or boiled with my Christmas dinner. Sautéed with bacon they are to die for…

This recipe serves 4 people.

• 1lb of Brussel sprouts trimmed and halved
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 1-2 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
• 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
• 6 shallots peeled and quartered
• Chilli flakes and chopped fresh chives to garnish.

Let’s cook!

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and shallots and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the shallots just start to turn golden.

Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and add the sprouts. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes over medium heat then reduce the heat and cover the pan, cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until the sprouts are almost tender.

Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and let it cook just for a few seconds. Season the sprouts to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.

Garnish with chilli flakes and chopped chives.

A beautiful side dish with your Christmas dinner.

Broccoli with red chilli and anchovies.

Ingredients:

• 300 gm tender stem broccoli, trimmed and cut lengthways
• 3 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 Onion finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic crushed
• 2 anchovy fillets drained and finely chopped
• 1 red chilli finely chopped
• Juice of half a lime
• Parmesan shavings

Let’s Cook

Blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes in boiling water and then drain. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.

Add the garlic, anchovies and red chilli and cook for 1 minute.

Add the blanched broccoli and fry for 2-3 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

Squeeze over the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper and toss together.

Top with parmesan shavings

Bacon, Chestnut and Cranberry Christmas Stuffing.

Ingredients:

• 450g sausage meat
• 2 rashers unsmoked back bacon, cut into strips
• 100g dried cranberries
• 50ml ruby port
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 50g butter
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 140g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
• ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 140g peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
• 1 medium egg, beaten

Let’s Cook!

Soak the cranberries in the port for an hour.

Fry the onion and bacon gently in the butter, until the onion is tender and the bacon is cooked.

Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so.
Cool slightly, and then mix with all the remaining ingredients, including the cranberries and port, adding enough egg to bind I find it easiest to use my hands so get those hands in and mix thoroughly.

Next, I do a little tester; in fact, I generally do that with all my stuffing as it is the only way to tell if the seasoning is correct. Fry a knob of stuffing in a little butter, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

This stuffing can be baked in a dish or rolled into balls that will be crisp on the outside and moist inside.

Bake in a greased dish at 190C/gas 5/fan 170C for about 40 minutes, until browned and, in the case of sausage meat stuffing, cooked right through.

Alternatively, roll into balls that are about 4cm in diameter. Roast the stuffing balls in hot fat (they can be tucked around the turkey or done in a roasting tin of their own) for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and nicely browned on the outside.

Cranberry Sauce.

Ingredients

• 3 cups or 12oz of cranberries.
• The juice of 2 large Oranges.
• A cup of sugar.
• 1 stick of cinnamon.

Let’s Cook

Put all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Bread Sauce

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use (I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of good quality stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.
• I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
• 2 bay leaves.
• Salt & Pepper.
• About half-pint of milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add the clove-studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

If it was down to me and there were only two of us for Christmas Dinner then I would have something like this lovely quail with Juniper Sauce.

Juniper Berry Sauce:

Ingredients:

• 1 banana shallot peeled and finely chopped.
• 8 juniper berries very lightly crushed.
• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
• 1/2 tsp sugar
• 200 ml white burgundy or a dry white wine.
• 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 40 gm butter
• 25 gm flour
• 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.
• 3oo ml venison stock
• 100 ml double cream
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Put the shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, white wine and the fresh thyme in a pan and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes this needs to reduce to about 2 tbsp.

In another pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Strain your wine reduction through a fine sieve and still whisking…we don’t want a lumpy sauce now do we? Add the wine reduction….keep whisking!

Pick out the juniper berries from the strained mix in your sieve and add to the sauce. Keep whisking and add the stock slowly ….to the sauce a ladle at a time. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Finally, pour in the cream and bring to a very slow simmer. Remove from the heat and season. The sauce can be used immediately or reheated when it is needed.

This is a beautiful sauce over when poured over a luscious piece of beautifully cooked venison or my favourite quail… if you have guests for dinner or just for the two of you for that special occasion.

Enjoy!

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Dinner would not be complete without a little bit of Christmas Pudding and I love to see the Christmas Pudding flaming as we pour over the brandy it looks so nice.

For those of you who don’t like Christmas pudding or want a lighter dessert this lovely crème caramel fits the bill perfectly.

Crème Caramel.

For the caramel
• 160g/6oz sugar
• unsalted butter for greasing the ramekins

For the custard
• 4 free-range eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 25g/1oz caster sugar
• 600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
• pouring cream, to serve ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat oven 150C/300F/Gas 2.

Warm the ramekins in the oven, so they are warm when the caramel is poured in.

First, make the caramel. Pour the sugar and six tablespoons of water into a clean stainless steel pan.

Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over low heat.

When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark copper colour.

Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed ramekins.

Set aside to cool and become hard. (Do not put in the fridge because the sugar will absorb moisture and go soft and tacky).

Once hard, butter the sides of the ramekins above the level of the caramel.

For the custard

Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and caster sugar together in a bowl until well mixed.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, gently heat over low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl.

Whisk together until smooth, and then pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins.

Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle.

Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the custard has set.

Do not overcook the custard – check around the edges of the dishes, to make sure no bubbles are appearing.

Take the crème caramels out of the oven, remove the ramekins from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.

To serve, loosen the sides of the custard by tipping the ramekin and loosen with a small palette knife around the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the ramekin and turn upside down. Serve with pouring cream or decorate with some fruit…

I hope you find something to like about this menu and that one of these dishes will be your new addition to your Christmas menu xxx

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations – The Food Column – Carol Taylor – Traditional Christmas Menu

My carnivores Christmas menu…I hope even vegetarians will find something on here though…Beetroot tartare perhaps? Enjoy…Merry Christmas xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to CarolCooks2 @ Smorgasbord Magazine and this week it is my Christmas menu for carnivores…lol

Thank you to everyone who made such lovely comments on my vegetarian Christmas menu it was a first for me I cook but apart from devising a menu for home I don’t publish a menu.

This week’s menu is a mix of the traditional with a couple of other dishes thrown in…I always like to make at least one new dish every Christmas some I never make again as they were ok..Just not that memorable…You know what I mean don’t you…

Prawn Cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to…

View original post 3,396 more words

Christmas Recipes…Prepare now..Freeze for later…

 

christmas-1695531_1920The time is just flying by now it’s 7th December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet?preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

Mince pies and Sausage Rolls

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we???

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3  cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Cranberry Sauce.JPG

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz  of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls.

stuffing-mix

Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Bread Sauce

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves.This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

 

What to make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

pickled onions Dec 2017

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for today…..

Take care and have fun x

 

 

 

 

 

Sauces and chutneys from around the world

Many thanx to Esme for letting me guest post…This month it is sauces and chutneys from around the world 🙂 Enjoy!

EsmeSalon

BEETROOT CHUTNEY THAI DIP CRANBERY MANGO BREAD SAUCE

Hello again. I hope you enjoyed my post on Bread last month…Have you tried any of the recipes yet…If so it would be lovely to hear from you how they turned out or even better if you shared them on TRH Facebook group we would love to see you there.

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