Cooking England County by County: Bedfordshire: Bedfordshire Clangers

One thing that has always irritated me a little and is probably what started off my foodie obsession...is the fact that everybody says that British cuisine is bland and boring and that the British can´t cook. So I´ve decided to cook England county by county to prove to people that English food is more varied and tasty than they think.Also, it gives me the opportunity to discover and try out food from my own country that I´ve never had before and also provide us with a more varied diet!

The first county I´m starting off with is Bedfordshire,which is renowed for the Bedfordshire Clanger,something which is completely new to me. Bedfordshire Clangers are very similar to Cornish pasties(again something which surprizingly I´ve never eaten!!)which have a savoury meat filling at one end and a sweet filling at the other end. The idea of the Bedfordshire Clanger was so that miners or agricultural workers could take it to work with them  for their midday meal as they didn´t have time to come home for a big lunch and in this way they could have a main meal and a dessert all rolled into one.

I wasn´t sure if I would like Bedfordshire Clangers as they sounded a bit strange and I´m not sure if the recipe I used is a traditional one but whether it´s traditional or not, it is very tasty.Even my 2 and a half year old ate it!!Here´s a link to the recipe I used: http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/513570. The only thing I did was to halve all the ingredients....the recipe says it serves 2 but even when halved, there was plenty....in fact I think I overfilled my Clangers, which is why one has split open a little and I also had leftover filling. It managed to feed 2 of us plus my toddler! The most fiddly bit was making the wall to seperate the two fillings.
I really enjoyed this dish and will be making it now and again in the future!


Cooking Spain Region by Region,Andalucia, "Pollo con aceitunas" Chicken with Olives

Ok, you´re probably thinking that I´d completely forgotten about my plan to cook Spain region by region but you´d be wrong...I´ve just been struggling to find time to blog about it as per usual and I have to admit not having much success with some of the dishes. I´ve tried a couple of other dishes from Andalucia but didn´t have much luck with them, such as Rabo de Toro, Conejo con salmorejo & alboronia. Finally, I tried this dish and at last I stumbled across a hit recipe!Although it means I´m bringing you another chicken dish, "Pollo con aceitunas" or in other words, chicken with olives.

I´m not a olive lover, in fact I don´t even like olives but my husband and daughter adore them so thought I´d try this dish out and actually it turned out to be pretty tasty (I just didn´t eat the olives!!).I don´t remember the name of the book the original recipe is taken from but it´s something like Gastronomia Andaluza...here is my slightly tweaked version.

Ingredients ( for 3-4 people)
4 chicken drumsticks
1/2 onion,chopped
2 cloves of garlic,minced
a good glug of olive oil
12-15 pitted olives
about 1/3 cup (90ml) of brandy
about 1/4 cup (60ml) of sherry (I used Pedro Ximenez)
1/2 tbsp plain flour
about 1/4 cup of water
juice of 1/2 lemon
Yolk of 1 boiled egg,chopped
1/4 tsp dried mint
1/4tsp of frozen parsley
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt

1. Season chicken drumsticks with salt & black pepper, then brown in olive oil to a golden colour and leave to one side.
2. Get rid of excess oil and then in remaining oil fry onion and garlic.
3. Add brandy and sherry and cook till the alcohol has evaporated,then add the flour and stir till sauce thickens and to avoid lumps forming.
4.Add the chicken to the sauce and the water,cover the pan and cook till chicken is cooked through.
5. When the chicken is nearly cooked,add olives,mint and parsley,egg yolk and lemon juice. Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes.

I decided to accompany this dish with pasta although I´m not really sure it´s the Spanish or traditional way but I think you could also possibly serve it with rice or potatoes....whatever you want really!!

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