31 May 2009

Stow-on-the-Wold to Winchcombe walk

It was probably a bit too hot for my little body yesterday to be walking over the Cotswold hills, but non-the-less, off we charged.
I've got 3 litres of water on my back, & I'm thinking, the more I drink, the lighter the pack gets.

Catching the number 801 at 10:30 from Cheltenham to Stow-on-the-Wold

Phew, I'm pleased to get off the coach an hour later at the village square, I was getting a bit queasy on there towards the end.

& we're heading West over yonder fields

We've taken a wrong turning somewhere whilst chatting and pointing at a big tractor
but walk into Lower Slaughter, here's the mill, honey pot as they say round here

Off again towards Upper Slaughter
Our path cuts right by the Lords of the Manor restaurant. Some lucky people are having lunch on the striped lawn.

So whilst my husband is trying to find the next path on the Ordnance map, I'm gawping at the menu.
Click image & zoom in for a closer look around the page, I think you can see it

There's something about this walk that has occurred to us.
Some kindly farmer has been painting out the path signs making it rather difficult.
Whoever you are - thanks a bunch!

So, North West, over the hills, along the paths and we're heading through Naunton - it's very romantic there - towards Guiting Power - race horse training country.
The church bells are ringing in concert with our walking the trail inward

Is that broad bean they're growning ???

Now we have to walk the road route too much towards Winchcombe, 5 miles to go & 2hrs or so to do it.

Passing into a meadow, I see a fox sleeking along the lower edges & he hasn't spotted us.
The last time we saw a fox, it had a limp rabbit in its jaws

Then on into Winchcombe.
We used to live in Teachers House, exactly next door to the St Peters church.
Bell ringing was every Wednesday evening, so we always popped out to the pub on Wednesdays.

We catch the 17:40 bus back into Cheltenham,
& light up our new barbecue for the

Pinchos - 3 recipes here

& yes, we did sleep well last night.

26 May 2009

the artful vegan - cajun crusted tempeh

with lemon caper dill cream and braised collard

One of the easier recipes in the Artful Vegan book, by Eric Tucker.

Recipes provided with his kind permission

Each time I try his recipes, I enjoy this stylish cuisine that is vegan more and more

This one is particularly delicious

Amendments I made,

  1. I did not use soya in the recipe. We use Alpro soya in the painter home, but I can't get along with the flavour when hot or cooked.
  2. I added a tablespoon of tofu aioli to the lemon caper sauce
  3. & I baked the tempeh wedges.

Each stage tasted wonderful in it's own right!

Disclaimer: eating cajun crusted tempeh won't turn you into a vegan

4 recipe components to prepare first up:

recipe for vegetable stock

with recipe for lemon, caper, dill 'cream' sauce

* * * * *

1. make the cajun crusted tempeh

for 2 people, combine
3 tablesp course cornmeal, 1 teasp paprika, 1 clove puréed garlic, a grating shallot, 1 teasp fresh thyme & 1 teasp fresh oregano, 1/2 teasp chilli powder, grating nutmeg, 1/4 teasp cayenne

for 6 people, combine
1 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup paprika, 1 clove puréed garlic, a grating shallot, 1 teasp fresh thyme & 1 teasp fresh oregano, 1 teasp chilli powder, grating nutmeg, 1/2 teasp cayenne

reserve 2 tablesp & put the aioli in another bowl.

cut tempeh blocks across into wedge triangles, dredge well in the dry cornmeal mix, douse in the wet aioli, then once more back into the dry cornmeal mix.

bake for 20 mins turning once or twice @180

2. then make/ warm through if already made the lemon caper dill cream sauce

stir through the 2 tablespoons of reserved aioli

3. make braised collard green - cabbage here

sauté gently a shallot, add 2 cloves crushed garlic
add them to a baking dish with chopped greens, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 2 teasp balsamic vinegar and bake until tender

or sauté till tender for approx 15 mins

4. to serve

place lemon caper dill cream on the plate
fan 2 triangles of tempeh on top
(dot some aioli if you have some left)
serve the greens on the side

25 May 2009

the artful vegan - vegetable stock

by Eric Tucker

makes 3 litres

6 litres cold water
4 yellow onions
4 cloves garlic
4 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 fresh tomatoes
250g button mushrooms
2 bay leaves
6 allspice berries
2 pieces kombu sea vegetable
fresh thyme
sprig fresh rosemary
grated lemon zest
any root vegetables

  • bring ingredients to boil, then simmer for 1hr30 to reduce by one third
  • strain for stock
  • freeze unused stock in half pint bags

21 May 2009

goulash with light caraway scones

Goulash recipe courtesy of Christine at the BBC messageboards
I've made no tweaks, it's fabulous just as you see it

& we usually serve our beef stews with caraway scones

ingredients - the goulash
chopped braising beef
1 and a half chopped onions
2 tsp flour
2 heaped tablesp paprika
1 tin tomatoes
3/4 pint beef stock

plus chopped parsley & 2 tablesp soured cream

  • fry the onions & beef for 5 mins in a little oil and butter
  • sprinkle with flour & cook for 1 minute or so
  • add your paprika and sauté for a minute
  • add your stock & the tinned tomatoes
  • cook for 2hrs30 on the hob

  • remove your beef when tender and reduce your liquid if you need to - I did here
  • just before serving, add chopped parsley, and 2 tablesp of soured cream

ingredients - the caraways scones
2 cups = 280/ 300g self raising flour
1 and a half inch stick = 50g butter
pinch baking powder
a little sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
wine glass milk = 125mil

the trick for fluffy scones is not to muck about with them too much

  • process the flour salt and caraway seeds together
  • add the butter & process to form breadcrumbs. (by hand, rub together to form breadcrumbs)
  • with the motor running, pour in the milk, the texture will be rather like cake mix (by hand, incorporate the milk quickly cutting in with a knife & bring the dough together quickly with your hands)
  • heavily flour a board & your scone dough equally well

  • do not roll, just press it lightly with your hands into a round tall shape
  • cut your scones straight down - no twisting - so your scones don't lean when baking

  • brush with a little milk
  • bake at 180 on a teflon mat for 15 - 20 mins till golden but not dry

  • or bake on top of your goulash in the oven - like dumplings - for the last 15 - 20 mins
  • if making in advance, cover well with cling film after shaping, and protect with an upturned deep baking pan, until they are ready to go into the oven

18 May 2009

cucumber salad/ salsa

This recipe comes from Bean, here at Recipe Quest,
the amendments I have made are, no garlic & I use fresh coriander
It is not hot, but mellows pleasantly, to be served with fish or poached chicken, or alongside tortilla chips

2 cucumbers, peeled deseeded and diced
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and diced
2 fresno peppers, deseeded & finely chopped
2 jalapeños, finely chopped
a little onion, chopped
1/4 teasp ground cumin
a good handful freshly chopped coriander
1/2 juice of fresh lime squeezed
salt & black pepper

  • mix ingredients
  • & leave to infuse for a couple of hours or overnight

13 May 2009

Indian naan breads

click on image for full slideshow
recipe from mamta's kitchen, * denotes Dan Lepard advice

& the above image are dough shaped & cooked from frozen, in the wok


600g strong white flour
*225 mil boiled milk, cooled to tepid
225 mil tepid water
1 sachet 7g dried yeast
3 tablespoons live plain yoghurt - see how to make yoghurt
1 tablsp melted ghee (or sub groundnut oil)
1 tsp fine sea salt

  • activate yeast by stirring into the tepid milk and water, add 2 heaped tablesp of your flour
  • rest for 15 mins till frothy
  • sieve remaining flour and salt in a mixing bowl, add live yoghurt and the melted ghee
  • using a palette knife, cut in your liquid froth, adding bit by bit, bringing the mix together to a dough
  • knead until incorporated well
  • rest, covered with a damp cloth, till double in size for a least 2 or 3 hours
  • knock back your risen dough, knead briefly & rest for approx 1hr30 till doubled in size again
  • knead once again and cut your dough into 8 - 10 dough balls
freeze at this stage for later use, if required
  • set oven/grill to maximum heat, inclusive of flat baking tray
  • roll out to your naan balls to shape
  • bake for 3 minutes either side

*alternatively, I griddled the above naans from frozen dough balls, preparing and cooking in accordance with Dan Lepard's suggestion, in the wok

  • defrost your naan balls leaving them intact
  • flour very well and roll out to your naan shape
  • brush with ghee or groundnut oil
  • cook on high in your wok, turning for even cooking

these were a lighter alternative, catching nicely too