Tag Archives: Home cooking

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor #Fajita Spice, #Tahini #Peanut Butter #Hummus

Today is Wednesday and the day for my cookery column over at Sally’s…This week I am showcasing some of my favourites… go to spice mixes and butters ones which I make regularly as they are family favourites…I hope you enjoy 🙂 xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Carol Cook’s …My favourite spice mixes.

Welcome to this week’s Cookery column …This week I thought I would share with you some of my go to recipes ones which I make on a regular basis. My staples really I suppose ones, which I make quite often as they are family favourites.

As you know I mostly cook from scratch and it is something I have always done. Now more than ever as there are so many additives in products on the shelf.

Much of the time I either can’t get what I want here, or as it is imported, it is silly prices, but also because of all the negative articles about processed and manufactured food stuff.  I prefer to make my own as I know what it contains …So much now is laden with added sugars and preservatives that it is quite scary, and also increasing evidence that many…

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Apple Pie

My mum makes the best apple pie in the world…made with Bramley Apples, a few cloves and her amazing melt in the mouth short pastry.

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Picture source: Pixabay

Make the shortcrust pastry.

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

The flour is not same here and very recently when I was comparing items from the UK against the US….I made some startling discoveries of the differences and it has made an instant difference to my cooking especially my pastry…. I will say no more but I had a silent rant!

Again I cannot get the same cooking fat so I use an olive oil based fat and crispo. For this sort of pastry when I want a nice soft pastry I used1/3 olive oil fat and 2/3 crispo.

And cake flour, not all purpose flour, and the difference was remarkable…….mmmm I am still silently ranting…lol

Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice cold water from the fridge and wrap in clingfilm and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.

Roll out and line a pie plate or dish.

Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or just how I feel.

If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a baking tray so as to make sure there are no  “soggy bottoms”

Peel and core your apples. If I am using Bramleys or large cooking apples I would use 4 apples any other normal sized eating apples I would use 8 for a pie plate.

 Cook in a pan with a little water until they soften slightly. I like my apples to keep their shape and not be mushy in a pie. But that is down to personal preference. I also add a couple of cloves or nutmeg and cinnamon.

If I use Bramleys I would add a little sugar as we don’t like our filling too sweet but here I cannot get them so I use a new Zealand dessert apple which doesn’t need any added sugar.

Drain off the juice and put into pie base.

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Photo source: Pixabay

Roll out remaining pastry and put over the top of the apples. Making sure you crimp the edges. Cut 3 slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Brush the top with a little-beaten egg and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 40/45 mins or until pastry is cooked.

To check just lightly scrape fingernail on edge of pastry and if it crumbles off it is cooked.

If you make individual pies the cooking time is slightly less.

When cooked remove from oven and sprinkle with castor sugar..it is nice mixed with a little cinnamon.

Serve with custard or fresh cream.

Enjoy your slice of pie with a nice cup of tea or coffee..a lovely mid-morning or afternoon treat…Go on you deserve it!

 

Prawn Cocktail.

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.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 Prawns, peeled.

5 tbsp Tomato Ketchup

5 tbsp Salad Cream.

2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.

Salt and freshly ground Pepper.

3tsp Lemon Juice.

Paprika to garnish.

Shredded Iceberg lettuce.Tomatoes to garnish. Extra prawns for garnish…I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lemon 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 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.