30 April 2009

rhubarb dressing for Greek yoghurt

Since we've met, my husband has wanted me to make a non-sweet rhubarb pie/ crumble with non-sweet custard. I've avoided rhubarb for 15 years

But this weekend he comes home with the shopping, inclusive of rhubarb
I still refuse to make the pie! But decided on a non-sweet sauce for the home-made Greek yoghurt I've prepared

This is a delicious refreshing combo left tart, but add that sugar now! if you like it sweet

a pint or so of sliced washed rhubarb
juice one orange
2 teaspoons muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon honey

for a sweeter version add 2 - 3 tablespoons muscovado sugar

  • mix in an oven dish, cover with foil & bake @150 for 20 - 25 mins
  • taste
  • pucker lips
  • add 1 good squeeze of honey
Optional: add fresh ginger

serve with creamy, sour, cool home-made yoghurt

29 April 2009

the millennium cookbook - moroccan grilled vegetable marinade

this marinade recipe has been provided with the kind permission of Eric Tucker, to be found in his Millennium cookbook


1.5 cups tomato passata
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tamari
4 cloves garlic
3 tablesp honey
1 teasp red pepper flakes
1/2 teasp cinnamon
1 teasp ground coriander
2 teasp ground cumin
1 teasp fennel seeds, ground
2 teasp fresh grated ginger
1 tablesp balsamic

  • purée the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • marinade your selection on vegetable skewers in the sauce, here courgettes - halloumi - pepper - fennel
  • & barbecue turning carefully

I also found a use for the Co-op shopping baskets that were being left in front of our garage

Serve with tomato salad and rump or sirloin steak!

25 April 2009

the artful vegan - tofu aioli

by Eric Tucker


4 whole skin on cloves garlic, oil-braised

  • slowly poach the 4 garlic cloves in olive oil to soften & roast
  • squeeze out the garlic

6 oz tofu - I used Clear Spot plain
1 tablespoon light miso - I used 2 teasp miso paste
juice & zest 1 lemon
1/2 clove crushed fresh garlic
1 teasp nutritional yeast
1 teasp dijon mustard
1 tablep fresh parsley
2 teasp fresh dill
1/4 teasp ground black pepper
sea salt

4 tablesp ev olive oil

  • in a food processor, blend the ingredients save evoo to smooth
  • with the machine running, dribble 4 tablesp ev olive oil until emulsified
  • add salt to taste

the artful vegan - baked marinated tempeh

by Eric Tucker

2 X 4oz pieces (for 2 people) Ingredients

1/3 cup dry red wine
300 mil vegetable stock
1/4 cup tamari
1 puréed clove garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh sage
1 teaspoons fresh thyme
light grating nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes - I used 1 fresh chilli and it was delicious
squeeze maple syrup
2 X 4 oz pieces frozen tempeh

  • heat oven to 170/ 350
  • in an oven dish, cover the tempeh with a mix of the wine, stock, tamari, garlic, mustard, sage, thyme, nutmeg & chilli - fresh has a kick
  • bake for 1hr30 till absorbed completely, no longer the tempeh becomes too tender
  • I transferred the mix to a pan for 5 mins on the hob, & gently cooked it till the marinade was completely absorbed
  • slice into wedges

6 X 4oz pieces (for 6 people)


1 cup dry red wine
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 cup tamari
4 puréed cloves garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
good grating nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes - I used 1 fresh chilli and it was delicious
2 teaspoons maple syrup
6 X 4 oz pieces frozen tempeh

  • heat oven to 170/ 350
  • in an oven dish, cover the tempeh with a mix of the wine, stock, tamari, garlic, mustard, sage, thyme, nutmeg & chilli - fresh has a kick
  • bake for 1hr30 till absorbed completely, no longer the tempeh becomes too tender
  • I transferred the mix to a pan for 5 mins on the hob, & gently cooked it till the marinade was completely absorbed
  • slice into wedges

the artful vegan - lemon caper dill cream

by Eric Tucker
the base sauce you see here

ev olive oil
a slided yellow onion
1/2 teasp salt
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup unsalted cashew nuts
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teasp nutritional yeast (nooch)
3 tablesp fresh lemon juice
2 teasp capers
1 tablesp chopped fresh dill

  • sauté onion gently in the evoo
  • add wine and simmer for 5 mins to reduce by 1/3
  • blend cashew, stock & yeast to very smooth
  • whisk mix into the onions plus lemon juice, capers, pepper and dill, s & p if needed

my amendment - I added 2 tablsp tofu aioli

20 April 2009

cider lolly

who needs a sticky toffee ice cream, with sprinklings and a chocco flake

when you can have one of these after an energetic walk!

The cider lolly.

I presume you just crack open a can of bulmers, & freeze it in a little plastic cup with a cocktail stick, to recreate the secret recipe.

pork shoulder casserole

ingredients for 4

pork shoulder steaks (these 6 were £5 from Waitrose)
half pint meat stock (this was from pork chops)
glass white wine
2 tablesp sherry vinegar
lemon rind
2 cloves garlic
1/2 shallot
1 tablesp sumac
2 bay leaves
raw potatoes, peeled and cut

  • cartouche with scrunched greaseproof paper in a cast iron lidded casserole &
  • bake @170 for 2hrs30 - 3 hours until tender but still holding together

pea & romaine lettuce salad

with parmesan

by Rowley Leigh, recipe here Financial Times, April 09

crisp lettuce, romaine here
1/2 teasp sea salt
1/2 teasp crushed black pepper
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 - 3 tablesp ev olive oil
1 tablesp
crème fraîche
2 cups fresh peas
slivers good parmesan

clean the lettuce, spin dry & slice into bands across the stalk
poach peas for 1 minute & refresh in cold water

for the dressing
in a bowl, mix salt pepper mustard & vinegar and stand for 10 mins to infuse
dribble in the olive oil, whilst whisking
plus a spoon of cream

pour the dressing over the salad leaves & peas, garnish with the parmesan shavings

17 April 2009


by Martin Blunos

I've been itching to try this recipe since Luca posted it on the Beeb messageboard
Verdict: delicious and quite decadent, puffy too

I halved the quantities & it still made 20 or so generously large blinis, which I shaped up with a scone cutter
I wouldn't shape them next time


220g strong flour
1/2 teasp fine sea salt
1 teasp dried yeast or 50g leaven @100%
pinch sugar

3 egg yolks
150mil soured cream
260mil milk

reserved 3 egg whites, beaten till soft

  • sieve the flour & add the dry ingredients to it, plus leaven if using
  • mix in remaining ingredients, save those egg whites till you have a loose pancake batter
  • cover & rest for 2 hours, till the surface is bubbling
  • beat egg whites till foaming, but the consistency of the batter
  • fold into the proved blini batter

  • I couldn't face their being fried in butter, so started the first with a little oil and a level teaspoon butter, reducing the oil, then deciding to wipe the pan so it left a film of oil only
  • ladle blinis into you pan & leave to puff up and become golden for 3 minutes before flipping
  • cook other side & reserve in a tea towel
  • fry the remainder of the batter in stages
  • warm blinis when required
  • and serve with champagne, scrambled egg and salmon, or topping of your choice

14 April 2009

white maize and wheat loaf

By Dan Lepard in the lovely Handmade Loaf book.

I am reluctant to make my blog a replica of his recipes where you cannot find them on the internet, so I shall ease up a little on posting too many recipes featured from his book, that aren't on line already

This one is truly delicious, & has enlightened me to using up that whey from my home-made yoghurt


230g refreshed leaven

325g whey (sub use yoghurt and room temperature water)
300g 'OO' flour
100g strong wholewheat flour
100g white maize flour - I used Turkish yellow cornmeal, fine ground
1 1/2 teasp fine sea salt

8:00 - 10:00

  • whisk the leaven and the water together
  • mix in the remaining ingredients and rest for 10 mins
  • knead 3 times rapidly for 10 seconds, resting in a clean bowl covered for 10 mins
  • knead a further time and rest for 30 mins
  • knead and shape into a ball, & rest for 1 hour

11:00 - 13:30

  • divide the dough into 2 even sizes, and rest them for 15 mins
  • rub 2 clean tea towels with flour, onto which you shape the 2 balls into long stick batons
  • cover and leave to double in size for 2 hours or so


  • roll your sticks carefully onto a baking sheet
  • slash your sticks down the length of your dough dust with flour
  • and bake at 220 for 50 mins, turning for evenness half way
  • cool on a rack

Great toasted!

11 April 2009

deep pan american hot with extra pepperoni pizza

I've not blogged pizza before. Not convinced they photograph too well either, &
I figure people know how they like it & have cooked it most days with success.

And since my dabbling with leaven for the dough, I've made a terrific leaven only pizza last month, thin chewy crust just as we like it.

But last night, after a tip off from my friend Odette, I combined a little dried yeast and leaven. I couldn't stop the pizza dough from rising. What a success.

& the result was a light, chewy, tasty crust of a pizza, not podgy stodgy at all. I'm a convert to deep pan.

ingredients for one large pizza
1/3 teasp dried yeast pellets
125 mil tepid water
2 tablesp natural leaven
190g strong white flour
some salt
olive oil

reduced Italian tomato sauce/ passata - recipe here
grated mozzarella
pizza pepperoni
chopped hot chilli pepper - 1 large one

  • mix the water with the dried yeast, plus 3 tablespoon of your flour amount
  • leave to bubble for 20 mins, or a little longer if it's sluggish
  • add some of your leaven & mix in a bowl with the remaining ingredients
  • knead until soft
  • cover with cling film and a cloth & stand to rise for 3 or 4 hours
  • directly on a baking tray, shape or roll into your deep pan crust
  • cover with tomato passata sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni & a chopped hot chilli pepper
  • bake for 10 mins at 220
  • slide onto the oven bars and bake for another couple of minutes

serve with salad

10 April 2009

painting a cafe from the imagination

So we take an idea, I want to paint a cafe image in oils.
Not one I've just been to, but what a cafe means to me from my imagination

To me, it's my childhood.
Hours spent at the Speedy Bar, where I hung out as a teenager, nursing a chip buttie and a glass of warm pop
or the Gingham Kitchens, where I enjoyed a coke float wishing I could manage another.

So we start with the chairs and the gingham table cloths, the old fashioned lights, condensation at the kitchen area

quickly covering the canvas with my first thoughts and impressions

It is left to dry for a week

and I start to define the salt pepper & tablecloth

although I get lost counting the faded green red pink checks ..........................

so I move over, & put an impression of myself as a teenager in there

which I take out just as readily
to put emphasis on the lighting, & this will now throw the cafe into some darkness I suppose

then finally I want to bring the lights up, define what stands for the kitchen area at the back

& add some cork screws next to the salt and pepper mills - it's probably now licensed

I could do more, add a ketchup tomato shaped squeezy bottle, but I decide to end the image here as it feels just as I wanted it to look from the back of my memory
30 years ago

home-made live greek style yoghurt


2 pints full fat milk
120 mil live culture from previous batch - or carton live natural yoghurt

retain the whey for bread making

if you want greek style cheese for spreading on your morning toast, I use this recipe

  • stir 1/2 teasp salt into the thick yoghurt
  • strain for 2 days till quite firm
  • roll into even sized rounds of cheese
  • mix 1 tablsp fresh chopped rosemary, 1 tablesp fresh thyme and/ or greek oregano plus 2 tablesp dried chopped chillies with 1/2 pint olive oil
  • place cheese balls into a glass jar, pour over the olive oil mixture
  • & store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks

serve spread on warm toast, with a little of the olive oil flavour

7 April 2009

sea bass, coriander sauce & salty potatoes

samcocho con mojo verde y papas arrugadas

a Canary Island dish, from My Kitchen in Spain by Janet Mendel - a terrific book of pretty easy Spanish dishes, click here for the recipe page

2 - 4 cleaned & scaled sea bass - keep them whole
sea salt
1 pint water
Spanish ev olive oil
plenty of new potatoes, skin on

coriander sauce, mojo verde
2 garlic cloves
1 green chilli
1/2 teasp ground cumin
1 teasp oregano - I used fresh
2 tablsp flat parsley
8 tablsp fresh coriander
4 tablsp Spanish ev olive oil
3 tablsp white wine vinegar
1/2 teasp salt

some finely chopped tomatoes
+ a pinch of sugar if needed on tasting

  • season the whole fish, rub with oil and bake @200 for 20 minutes (reduce for fillets)
  • put the potatoes in a pan with 1 pint water plus 1 heaped tablesp sea salt
  • bring to the boil and cook for 25 - 30 minutes until the water has evaporated, keeping an eye on your pan
  • check they are tender, they should be crusted well with salt powder

  • for the mojo verde, chop or blend ingredients till smooth - adding optional extras afterwards

serve the fish, with the potatoes and half the sauce, serve the remainder of the sauce separately

5 April 2009

cranberry & sultana top teacakes

I made minor adaptations, denoted by * to the Dan Lepard's top teacakes recipe:

the principle one being to add some refreshed leaven, reducing the dried yeast
& added dried cranberry and sultanas
substituted cinnamon to cardamom - I'd run out!

- either
*150g refreshed leaven, plus 2 level teaspoons dried yeast

- or
5 level teaspoons dried yeast (2 sachets)

125mil tepid water
600g strong white flour
150mil milk
*a squeeze liquid honey
25g caster sugar
*3 tablesp beef dripping
125g dried cranberries
150g sultanas
1/2 teasp dried ginger
grating of nutmeg
*1 cardamom pod, the seeds inside
1 level teasp fine sea salt
3 large eggs, beaten

  • stir dried yeast and tepid water well together
  • add 3 heaped tablesp from your flour. Cover and rest for 20 mins to activate
  • boil milk, remove from heat & add honey, fat, sultanas & cranberries, spices & salt.
  • Leave to cool, then fold in beaten eggs
  • *to the yeast mix, add in 100g leaven, if using
  • fold in the milk mix

  • in a large warm mixing bowl, pour in the remaining flour, & fold in the yeast/ milk/ egg mix, combine evenly
  • cover & rest for 10 mins

  • then knead very briefly at 3 x 10 minute intervals - it's sticky but not unmanageable
  • cover and rest for 30 mins
  • divide the dough into even 12 - 14 balls & place on a non-stick tray, with 2 cm gap. 2 trays would have been better
  • cover with carrier bags, not touching the dough balls, & rest for 2 hours till doubled

  • brush with beaten egg & bake at 220 (200 fan) for 15 mins, but no more, rotate the tray for even baking if needed
  • cool on a wire rack

and toast!