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Posts Tagged ‘wooden spoon’

What you need:

1 litre vegetable stock or cold water
250g polenta or coarse maize
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Fig and red onion relish
75g goat’s cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

What you do:

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Combine the polenta, salt and oregano then quickly whisk them into the boiling liquid. As soon as it comes to the boil again, reduce the heat and exchange your whisk for a wooden spoon. Simmer the polenta, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes or until thick and porridge-like. Be careful as it will splatter volcanically.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and quickly spread the polenta evenly over it so it is no more than 1cm (½in) thick. Use a dampened pallet for at least 30 minutes. (The recipe can be prepared up to two days in advance to this stage.)

Using a 3-4cm (1¼-1½ in) round cutter, cut out rounds from the polenta. Brush both sides of each round with olive oil and cook the wedges either under a hot grill or in a griddle pan, turning once, until golden and crisp. Alternatively heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side.

Place the polenta rounds on a serving platter. Put a dollop of Fig and red onion relish on each round and top with a small cube or crumble of goat’s cheese and a grind of black pepper.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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What you need:

400g frozen raspberries , defrosted
50g icing sugar
300g honey & almond  nougat bar
450ml double cream
25g whole almonds , skin on
25g pistachios , plus a few extra to decorate

What you do:

Whizz the raspberries and icing sugar together in a food processor, then sieve, pressing through as much raspberry as you can with a wooden spoon.

Line a 2lb loaf tin with cling film ( it helps if you brush the tin with oil first to get the cling film to stick and stay in place). Pour in the raspberry sauce and freeze for 1 hr.

Quickly dip the nougat bars in water – this should allow you to peel away the rice paper. (Don’t worry if you don’t get it all as it will disappear when melted). Put the bars into a pan with 200ml cream. Melt over a low heat, stirring constantly and using a wooden spoon to break up the nougat into smaller bits as it softens. After a while you should end up with a smooth, sticky, creamy mixture. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little. Whip the remaining cream in a large mixing bowl to stiff peaks.

When the nougat is cooler, but still soft and sauce-like, fold it one-third at a time into the whipped cream. Scatter over the whole nuts and fold once to mix. Scrape into the loaf tin, cover with cling film and freeze overnight, or for up to a month.

Transfer the loaf to the fridge 15 mins before you want to serve it. Unwrap and turn out onto a serving plate. Peel off the cling film, roughly chop a few extra pistachios and scatter over before slicing.

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What you need:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely diced
400g  ( around 6 ) pork sausages
400g tin cherry tomatoes
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
220g red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
400g dried tagliatelle
Small bunch fresh basil leaves

What you do:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat, add the garlic and shallots and soften for 5 minutes. Split the sausage skins and add the pork mince to the pan. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until well browned and cooked through.

Pour over the canned tomatoes and add the chilli and fresh cherry tomatoes. Season well, bring to a simmer and warm through.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes until al dente.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan, then pour over the sauce, tossing well to coat. Divide among bowls and garnish with basil leaves to serve.

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What you need:

8  Pork Sausages
4  shallots, peeled and quartered
½  leek, sliced
1 large carrot, cut into small cubes
1tsp olive oil
1 rosemary sprig roughly chopped
100g plain white flour
4 eggs
175ml semi-skimmed milk
Onion Gravy:

 1 red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp plain white flour
284ml (½ pint) beef stock

What you do:

Pre-heat your oven to 220C /425F  / gas 7.
Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre and break in the eggs.
Add half the milk and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the remaining milk and whisk until you get tiny little bubbles in the batter.
Add the rosemary and leave to rest for an hour or so.
Cook the sausages in a frying pan with a little olive oil until nicely browned then transfer to a ceramic oven dish.
In the same pan add the shallots and cook until golden then add the leek and carrot and continue frying until the leeks are soft.
Spoon the vegetables around the sausages. Pop into the oven for 5 minutes.
Pour the batter now over the sausages and pop back into the oven as quickly as possible.
Cook for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and well risen.
Simply serve with some onion gravy and to make that simply cook a red onion finely sliced in 1tbsp of olive oil until soft and just starting to brown.
Next add 1tbsp of plain flour and stir in. Make ½ pint of beef stock using a stock cube then slowly pour into the pan and whisk until smooth. If you like add little Worcestershire sauce to make it a little richer.

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What you need:

7oz / 175g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2oz / 30g cocoa powder
2 eggs
4 tbsp / 60 ml milk
5 oz / 125g caster sugar
4 oz /100g margarine or butter
2 ripe banana’s
For the icing:
60g (2.5 oz) margarine or butter
1 x 15ml spoon (1tbsp) cocoa powder
250g (9oz) sieved icing sugar
3 x 15ml spoons (3tbsp) hot milk

1 packet of chocolate buttons to decorate.

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4

In a large bowl,sift together the flour, baking powder,& cocoa powder.
Place all the other ingredients in a blender in the order in the list. (The mixture will look curdled , but is fine).
Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients in the bowl, then combine it together with a wooden spoon.
Pour the mixture into a 7inch / 18cm round tin & bake in the oven for around 1 hour testing with a skewer to see if it’s done.

For the topping:
Melt margarine, blending in cocoa, then stir in icing sugar & milk . Beat until smooth and thick.
Then spread evenly over the top of the cake & decorate with chocolate buttons.

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What you need:

8 oz / 200g light soft brown sugar.
6 floz / 175ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
4 oz / 100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp / 5 ml ground cinnamon
1tsp / 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
5 oz / 125g coarsely grated carrots
2 oz / 50g chopped walnuts
Topping
2 tbsp / 30ml apricot jam
1 tbsp / 15 ml lemon juice
2 oz / 50 g chopped walnuts
2 oz / 25 g cream cheese

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.
Line a 7 inch / 18cm round tin. Its best to use a fixed base tin as the mixture will almost a pouring consistency.

In a mixing bowl, pour the sugar then gradually whisk in the oil, then whisk in the eggs 1 at a time.
Mix together the flour, cinnamon & bicarbonate of soda, then stir into the egg mixture, then add the carrots & walnuts.
Mix altogether using a wooden spoon, then pour into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 1 hour & 10 mins until the cake is risen & firm to touch.
Remove from the oven & leave to stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wired rack.
Peel off the paper & leave to cool.

To make the topping:


Boil the jam & lemon juice together in a small saucepan for 2 to3 mins.
Brush the mixture thickly over the top of the cooled cake.
Beat together the cream cheese with a little icing sugar (to taste), and spread over the top of the cake.
Then sprinkle on the rest of the crushed walnuts to decorate.

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What you need:

3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tsp caster sugar
60 ml boiling water
125 ml white wine vinegar

What you do:

Mix together the mint and caster sugar in a small heat proof mixing bowl.

Add the boiling water and stir gently until the sugar dissolves.

Add the vinegar and mix well.

Leave to cool completely before using.

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What you need:

300 g bunches English spinach x 2  or 250 g frozen spinach ( thawed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion  ( diced)
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 lb /500 g chicken mince
6 oz /200 g fresh ricotta cheese
2 oz / 60g butter
1 1/2 oz / 30 g plain flour
450ml milk
dried cannelloni tubes
475 ml of thick Italian tomato pasta sauce

3 oz / 85 g  grated cheese

What to do:

Remove spinach leaves from stalks and wash well.

Place into a large oven proof  bowl & cover with boiling water. Leave  to stand for 1 minute then drain.

Roughly chop the spinach. (If using frozen spinach, allow to thaw). Squeeze spinach between hands to remove excess water then return the spinach to bowl.

In a large  frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic then cook for 3 minutes, or until tender.

Add chicken mince. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break mince up.

Set aside to cool.

Add the ricotta cheese , mince mixture, and salt and pepper to spinach. Mix well.

In a  saucepan melt the  butter over medium-high heat. Add  the flour. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat.

Slowly add the milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until mixture comes to the boil.

Fill each of  the cannelloni shells with the spinach/ chicken mixture and place in  the oven proof dish.

Pour the pasta sauce evenly over cannelloni. Top with white sauce.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.

Bake  uncovered for around 30 to 35 minutes or until pasta is tender and top is golden.

Serve hot.

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What you need:

4 skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon

1 ml  olive oil
1 red  pepper, (seeded & diced)
1 yellow  pepper,( seeded & diced)
3 oz prosciutto, chopped
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
125 ml  white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
125 ml chicken stock
chopped fresh parsley leaves

What you do:

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Using  the  same  frying pan, over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, (around 5 minutes).

Add the  crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in  the tomatoes & wine, then add the  herbs.

Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Garnish with the parsley & serve.

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What you need:

1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1 clove garlic
1tbsp olive oil
500g (1¼lb) lamb mince
1tbsp plain flour
1tbsp tomato purée
275ml (9fl oz) meat or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black papper
450g (1lb) potatoes
200ml (7fl oz) milk, hot
50g (2oz) butter
white pepper

What to do:

Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Then place in a pan with the olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes over a medium heat.

Add the lamb mince and break up well with a wooden spoon; cook until it is browned. Sprinkle in the flour and mix well, add the tomato purée, stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, mix well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized pieces, cover with hot water and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain when cooked, return to the pan and shake over a low heat to steam off excess moisture.

Remove from the heat and crush with a potato masher until smooth, add hot milk, butter and white pepper and beat until fluffy and well blended.

Heat the oven to Gas 5, 190°C, fan170°C. Remove bay leaf from the meat and place the meat in an ovenproof dish. Carefully spoon the mashed potato onto the mix and use a fork to spread the potato over the top, sealing in the meat and making a stripey pattern.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until top of the potato is slightly golden.

Top tip
Try sprinkling some grated cheese evenly over the mashed potato for a change, or chop some parsley and sprinkle over the shepherd’s pie before serving for an attractive finish.

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