Thursday, 30 January 2014

Apple Crumble - My blueprint recipe from How to Eat

I don't think I've made a crumble from scratch since starting my blog but I have certainly eaten several hearty portions of apple and blackberry crumble when visiting my family. I find a homemade crumble at the end of a meal, a universal appeal: children and adults all seem to love the combination of soft warmed fruits topped with a crumble mixture. I always remember eating crumbles with a generous serving of custard at school, I would be delighted when this pudding appeared on the menu. I wanted to recreate that nostalgic memory of me eating apple crumble with a good dollop of custard and  scoured through my cookbooks to find an easy and yet simple recipe for this pudding. Nigella's How to Eat, which is often referred to as her best cook book, provided a simple and easy recipe for a variety of crumbles. I did not measure how many litres (or grams)  my heart shaped oven dish holds and ended up making more crumble to go on top of the fruit. This recipe is super easy and what's most impressive is the flavours of the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg makes the topping utterly delicious and the flavours of these spices positively lingered on my taste buds after I consumed my portion.
Here is how my apple crumble turned out:
Apple crumble
As you can see there was not a left when I managed to take this picture, which proves how delicious this pudding was.

Apple crumble
I first started by cooking the fruit with butter in a pan.
Butter in pan

I then placed the cooked apples in a oven proof dish and made the crumble.
Apples in oven proof dish.

Crumble added to the apples

More crumble needed.

Recipe for apple crumble, feeds 4-6 using a 1 litre pan.
750g apples
a tsp ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg
120 self-raising flour
90g butter, cold and dices into about 1 cm
3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
3-4 tbsp caste sugar

Peel, core and segment the apples and toss them for a minute or so in a pan, on the heat with 1 tbsp of the brown sugar and 3-4 tablespoons caster sugar (to taste) and a good squeeze of orange juice, before transferring to a pie dish and topping with the crumble. To make the crumble, put the flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the cold cubes of butter and, using the tips of your fingers - index and  stroking the fleshy pads of your thumbs rub into the flour. Stop when you have a mixture that resembles porridge oats. Stir in the sugar.
Keep the mixture in the fridge until you need it. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190C and when ready to cook sprinkle the crumble over the prepared fruit in the pie dish and cook for 25-35 minutes.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Steak au Bernaise

As stated in previous posts I purchased Nigella's How to Eat, her first cook book published in 1998. There are 300 recipes included in this book and it is split into 9 chapters " Basics, Cooking in Advance, One and Two, Fast Food, Weekend Lunch, Dinner, Low Fat and Feeding Babies and Small Children". I have only so far made Greek Chicken and Pork Loin with roasted vegetables. Although this book is very useful the lack of pictures can make sometimes choosing a recipe from this book.
A few days ago I defrosted some sirloin steak but fancied a different sauce to go alongside my steak. In the chapter "One and Two" a recipe is provided for steak Bernaise - i've never made or tried a Bernaise sauce but with most of Nigella's recipes I thought it would be easy to tackle. I lightly seasoned my steak with peppered seasoning, and began to peel and cut 2 potatoes to make homemade chips and seasoned with paprika, pepper, salt and garlic.
The Bernaise sauce was quick, although from other pictures on the net, I doubt it turned out as well as it could. After all, I'm not the best at making sauces from scratch.
Here is my steak and chips:
 Steak and chips with the Bearnaise sauce.

Steak and chips before the added sauce.
I'm unsure whether I will make this sauce again as mine turned out a bit too watery and I much preferred steak au pouvire. I will share the recipe for the Bearnise sauce as I'm sure there are others who will appreciate Nigella's recipe for Berarnise sauce...... so here it goes.

1-2 shallots, chopped finely (to yield 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped, and their stalks chopped roughly and bruised.
1 tablespoon chervil, chopped.
2 tablespoon wine or tarragon vinegar.
1 teaspoon peppercorns
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
200g unsalted butter, soft cut into 1 cm.
juice of 1/4 - 1/2 lemon.

Put the shallot, tarragon stalks, 1 tablespoon each of the chopped tarragon and chervill leaves, the vinegar, wine and peppercorns in a heavy-based saucepan and boil until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Don't move from the stove: this doesn't take long. Equally you can use 4 tablespoon of vinegar and omit the wine.
Press the reduced liquid through a sieve or tea strainer and leave to cool. Put egg yolks and water in a bowl. Set over a pan of water which has come to a simmer. Add the reduced and strained liquid and whisk well. Keep whisking, as you add the butter, cube by cube, until it is all absorbed. Taste, season as you wish and add lemon juice as you wish. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of fresh tarragon as you're about to serve it.

Enjoy x


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Greek Chicken

I purchased Nigella's How to Eat Cookbook in April, as this has been hailed as the best of Nigella's books so far, but have only cooked twice from this book. I can proudly say I am the owner of Nigella's "How to Eat", Nigella's "How to be a Domestic Goddess", Nigella's "Feasts", Nigella's Forever Summer" and Nigella's "Kitchen". I plan on purchasing"Nigellissima" in September when it is released and will be trying lots of lovely recipes that i'm sure the book will contain.
Anyway, back to "How to Eat"  I remember recalling a recipe in her Kitchen book called "Greek Chicken" which Nigella stated was a variation of the recipe in her How to Eat cookbook.  I thought I would try this out, and must say I was pleased with the results of this low fat dinner.

I first started seasoning the Greek yoghurt with mixed herbs, chilli powder and salt (2 tbsp). I initially added one tbsp of salt but found the yoghurt had a sour aftertaste but the second tbsp of salt made the yoghurt taste better.

I then added the chopped cucumber and spring onions to the mixture and stirred. 

I seasoned the chicken using mixed herbs, black pepper and garlic powder, and then slit the breasts to make the chicken quicker to cook (I was hungry!)

The finished product, I ate my Greek chicken with jacket potato and salad with the yoghurt mixture topping the jacket potato. 
A variation of this recipe is available on Nigella's website Greek chicken.
I am entering this picture to a blog hop which is guest hosted this month by but is run by the fabulous Maison Cupcakes There are usually lots of lovely variations of Nigella's recipes on these blog hops, so have a look at the lovely pictures.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Roasted pork loin, roasted leeks and sweet potato.

This is the first recipe I have cooked from Nigella's first cook book, How to Eat. This cookbook is widely referred to "the book of the decade" by Nigel Slater, the Daily Mail and the Independent. I can not agree or disagree with this statement as I wasn't into cooking in the 90"s as I was only 11 when this book when came out.
Anyway, the big downfall of this book is there is no pictures, none whatsoever !!!! It is very difficult to know how the dishes should turn out as there is nothing to refer to. Anyway, that aside there are 300 recipes in this cook book with chapters ranging from meals for one and two, fast food, weekend lunch, dinner, low fat and feeding babies and small children. Nigella gives alternatives ingredients to the recipes and introduces the reader to her laid back style of writing.
I chose to make the roasted pork loin as I perceived this recipe as healthy, I'm unsure whether it was after I added the garlic butter, but nevertheless it was easy to prepare and the oven does the majority of the work. Here is how my roasted pork turned out:
This recipe is loosely based on Nigella's recipe for Loin pork with bay leaves, and lentils or cannellini beans.
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
6 peppercorns
6 dried or fresh bay leaves
2 1/2 kg loin of pork, boned, derinded and rolled
1 medium onion
16 more dried bay leaves
150 ml white wine.

In a small bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, salt, peppercorns and then put the pork on a large dish and rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover the dish to marinade for several hours or leave it out if about to cook.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200 C. Finely slice a peeled medium onion and line the roasting tray with it. Strew about 10 bay leaves over the onion. Place the pork including it's marinade, on top and the bones all around, if they fit and if you've got them.
Roast in the oven for 1 3/4 hours, basting regularly.
Remove the pork, scraping burnt bits off, to a plate or carving board and let it sit.
On the hob at moderate heat, pour about 150ml wine and 150ml boiling water over the bones, bat, garlic and onion. Let it bubble up and reduce by a third and then remove the boned gingerly and strain the liquid contents into a sauce pan. Heat, taste and add liquid as you like to make a good, thin, not-quite gravy.
You can carve, put the slices on a big warmed plate, sprinkle with salt and pour over a little of the juice-gravy, then tent with foil.

Enjoy xxx
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