Monthly Archives: May 2007

How NOT to make a crumble.

I’m usually good at making crumble, but tonight I made possibly the worst tasting thing I have ever made in my life. It was even worse than the chunder-inducing broadbean soup I made a few years back.

H2B has been growing rhubarb and I used some of the roasted rhubarb to make a crumble. The rhubarb was so watery the “crumble” sunk to the bottom, the rhubarb bubbled over onto the oven floor leaving a stodgy acidic mix in the dish. After a few spoonfulls it went straight in the bin.

It’s the wedding this weekend and baking has been to a minimum as I have a teeny tiny dress to fit into and I’m living on salad, fruit and rice krispies to keep skin breakouts to a minimum…very boring!

The plans for Thursday was originally going to be a pre-wedding BBQ, but with the appauling weather forcast it looks like it may be the pub.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

These are advertised as “Guilt-free sticky toffee puddings” but I don’t think there is anything guilt free about sticky toffee puddings. Then again I have a wedding dress to fit into in 2.5 weeks time and I’m convincing myself it’s healthy!

Sticky toffee pudding
(serves 4)

175g pitted dates, chopped
150ml maple syrup (or maple flavoured golden syrup)
1tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs separated
85g self raising flour

1) Preheat oven to 180oc. Put the dates in 6 fl oz of water and simmer for 5 min. Tip into food processor add 6 tbsp of maple syrup and vanilla extract, blend to a paste.

2) Transfer to a bowl, mix with the egg yolks and flour. In another bowl whisk egg whites until stiff. Fold into date mix.

3)Put 1 generous tbsp of maple syrup in the bottom of each pudding mould (or it does work with ramekins) add cake mixture and cover tightly with foil. Stand in oven proof dish and pour hot water into the oven dish up to about half way up the pudding moulds. Cook for 1 hour.

4) Uncover, run sharp knife around edges and invert onto a plate/bowl.

Asparagus & Ricotta Tart

As part of Handbags recipe challenge I made a delicious Asparagus & Ricotta tart that was far nicer than I was expecting!

Asparagus & Ricotta Tart

1 ready-made pastry base (You can make your own, but I’m crap at pastry)
200ml whole milk
4 spears of asparagus
70g ricotta
2 eggs

1) Preheat oven to 180oc. Beat together eggs and milk. Season with salt & pepper.

2) Pour egg mix into tart base. Arrange spears of asparagus in tart. Dollop over teaspoons of ricotta and sprinkle with mint.

3) bake for 25-30 min until set and slightly golden. Leave to cool for at least 10 min before serving.

Raspberry Vinegar

Recently H2B & I decided we really needed to make use of the beautiful countryside that surrounds us. Sunday we went to a classic car show and had a picnic by the river, then today we went to a reservior and stumbled across a nature reserve that used to be an old limeworks. We didn’t see a single other soul and the views were stunning. First we came accross the last few bluebells and ?whitebells. We also found a huge blanket of wild garlic of which we took some leaves and will try and cook with it tomorrow.
For ages H2B has been craving Raspberry Vinegar. His grandma always used to make it and whenever her used to go around he used to taste it. It does take a month to make, but it worth it.

Raspberry Vinegar
White wine/cider vinegar
1) Add fresh raspberries to white wine or cider vinegar – allow 1kg fruit to 1 litre vinegar. Store in a sealed jar or bottle for a month, shaking the bottle when you remember, so the vinegar takes on the colour and fragrance of the fruit. Then strain and rebottle.
2) To convert the vinegar to an an old-fashioned raspberry cordial, simply sweeten it with sugar syrup, made by dissolving sugar in its own volume of boiling water. Mix two parts vinegar to one part syrup.
3) The cordial makes a refreshing drink when well-iced and diluted with sparkling water or lemonade. Alternatively, take a spoonful neat as a cough syrup.

Marmalade Chicken

Tonight I made Marmalade chicken with roasted red onion and egg fried rice. I appologise for H2B’s monster portion of rice!
Marmalade Chicken
1 orange
1 lemon
4 tbsp of fine cut marmalade
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 chicken fillets
Small bunch of thyme
large red onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1. heat oven to 190oc. Cut orange & lemon in half and juice one half of each into a bowl. Mix in marmalade and oil. season well.

2. Cut 4 diagonal slashes in the chicken, stuff with thyme and place ontop of ionin in roasting tin

3. Cut remaining orange and lemon into thin wedges and arrange around chicken & onion. Spoon over marmalade mix. Scatter over more thyme and pepper. Leave covered in fridge for about 30 min.

4. Bake for 30-35 min.

Egg fried rice
serves 2-4

2 eggs
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp veg oil
200g cooked rice, cooled
100g frozen peas
4 spring onions
1-2 tsp soy sauce
ground pepper

1) Beat together sesame oil and egg. Put to one side.

2) When veg oil almost smoking, add rice and stir fry for 3-4 min.

3) Add veg, stirfry for about 3 min. Season well with soy and pepper, then push rice to one side of the pan. Pour in beaten egg, leave for 10 sec so it begins to set. Break up egg and stir into rice.

H2B was in Birmingham yesterday and brought me back some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Not just 1 doughnut…a box of 12! we’re slowly getting through them.
Cooking has really been at a minimum this week as I’ve been ill with a virus and living on porridge and yoghurts. We have been growing rhubarb and how have a glut of it. I did make a rhubarb crumble cake but it was so sickly & sweet we binned it. I didn’t think it was possible to make a rhubarb pudding too sweet, but I managed it!
I must admit I’m not a huge fan of rhubarb and rhubarb crumble does become a bit boring after a while, so I’ve roasted the rhubarb and am going to freeze it.

Roasted Rhubarb
700g Rhubarb
small glass of white wine
Small amount of orange zest
2 star anise
85g golden caster sugar

1)Preheat oven to 200oc. Chop the rhubarb up into peice about 2 inches long. Spread over a shallow ovenproof dish. Pour over wine, sprinkle with zest and star anise, then cover in sugar.

2)Cover tightly in foil and cook for 20min, until rhubarb is tender. Take off foil and cook for a further 5 mins to make a syrupy sauce.

3)Serve which ever way you like!

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