The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge: Sachertorte

It´s been awhile since I did a Great British Bake Off technical challenge so it was about high time I did do one and with my husband´s Saint´s day and my birthday looming up, it was the perfect excuse to make this Sachertorte, particularly as my husband is somewhat of a chocoholic!

I have made a Sachertorte once before to a German recipe I´ve got so I wasn´t too fazed with this particular technical challenge as it is much easier than it actually appears. The thing I dreaded the most was piping the word Sacher across the cake as my piping skills are somewhat lacking to say the least!

Mary Berry´s Sachertorte recipe is easy to follow and results in a delicious and professional looking cake,which is lovely and moist.The cake is fairly straightforward to make. Things you have to watch out for is overmixing the flour,I think I did this but I´m not sure how as when I cut into the cake it had various air bubbles in the sponge which has never happened to me before with any cake.Also,the recipe tells you to whisk the egg whites till stiff but not dry so I was a little uncertain as to what this meant and whether I whipped the egg whites to the correct stiffness!

I practiced piping the word "Sacher" a couple of times onto greaseproof baking paper but a plastic wallet would be ideal too before finally piping it onto the cake when I was happy with it. As you can see, it´s not 100% perfect but I was quite pleased with the end result as it´s ain´t half bad for an amateur baker like myself!


Cooking England County By County: Berkshire: Poor Knights Of Windsor

Before coming to Spain, I´d never tried French toast or Eggy bread or the Spanish equivalent torrijas, but once I tried torrijas there was no going back and they are now a firm favourite of mine. So when to my surprise, I discovered that there was a British version that was typical in the Berkshire region, I couldn´t wait to try it. The British version goes by the name of the Poor Knights Of Windsor. Pardon? Poor Knights of Windsor? What´s that? I ´d never heard of it before either!!

The origins of this dish are a bit unclear but apparently many similar dishes are referred to as"poor knights" throughout Northern Europe. It is also thought that it could refer to the "Poor Knights", who were military gentlemen who were financially ruined by having to ransom themselves after the battle of Crecy, and were given pensions and lodgings in Windsor Castle by Edward III.Whatever its origins, Poor Knights of Windsor is a tasty yet simple dish that does not disappoint, and which is great for a weekend breakfast treat.

I used the following recipe from the lovely Lavender & Lovage blog which is well worth visiting. The only thing I would note is that I used normal bread and it got quite soggy after dipping it in the milk mixture and egg and was very difficult to turn over without it breaking so I would reccommend using thickly sliced bread or baguette style bread to prevent this from happening. Jammy, eggy fried bread with a slightly boozy touch to it and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon...bring it on! What more do you want? I love discovering all these regional British dishes that I´d never heard of or tried before!


Cooking Spain Region By Region: Aragon: Aragon style Lamb Chops/Chuletas de Cordero a la Mañica

My daughter has just fallen asleep and I am feeling far too tired to write this so am sitting here staring at a blank screen...searching for some inspiration.

I love lamb and I´d even go so far as to say that it´s one of my favourite meats along with duck, and lamb dishes feature quite frequently in Aragon gastronomy so when I saw this dish, I just had to make it. I often order lamb chops at restaurants but I´ve never had lamb chops cooked this way before and it is a tasty way of preparing them for a change but I have to admit I actually prefer them the traditional way even if they are plainer as you can taste the meat a lot more.I served it with sauteed potatoes and carrots. This recipe is taken from the book Nuestra Cocina: Aragon

Ingredients (for 4 people)

1kg lamb chops
6 tomatoes
2 eggs
2 -3 cloves of garlic,minced
1 cup of  ready- made breadcrumbs
olive oil


1. Remove skin from the tomatoes and grate them.
2. Place the lamb chops in a bowl with a little olive oil and the minced garlic for at least 30 minutes.
3. Beat the eggs and coat the lamb chops first with egg and then with breadcrumbs till they are well covered,then fry in sufficient oil till they are a golden brown colour.Remove and keep warm.
4.Fry the grated tomato in the same oil after it has been strained and serve the breaded lamb chops with the fried tomato.

I hope you enjoy it!


Cooking England County By County: Berkshire: Brown Windsor Soup

I had to put this off for awhile over the hot summer months as I really didn´t fancy making hot soup,let alone eating it but as it´s beginning to get colder, I thought it was about time and got all prepared with all the ingredients...only for it to warm up again!

Finding cream sherry seemed to be quite a task...I looked in at least four supermarkets and were asking all my friends where I could buy crema de jerez(I didn´t know what the Spanish translation for cream sherry was, so translated it literally!) They hadn´t heard of it before. Eventually I came across it in LeClerc amongst the sherries and it actually had Cream printed on the label(see right hand corner so you know what you´re looking for if ever you need cream sherry in a recipe when you´re in Spain!)

The origins of Brown Windsor soup is unclear but I had never heard of it or tried it before looking into British regional recipes.
I´m not really much of a soup person but I quite liked this soup although it wasn´t much of a hit with the rest of the family. However, it is tasty with a bit of bread to soak it up and great for warming you up on a cold winter´s day. I used the following recipe,taken from The Independent and didn´t make any changes, just cut down slightly on the amount of beef stock used but hopefully you are starting to discover that British food is much more varied and tastier than it first appears!


Cooking Spain Region By Region: Aragon: Malenas: Aragon-style Magdelenas

"Rain, Rain,go away, Come again another day" as the children´s nursery rhyme goes but to tell you the truth I don´t actually mind the rain....too much! This weekend has been pretty overcast and rainy and it appears as if summer is coming to an end and autumn is approaching. However, I for one am glad that the summer heat is over. I like rainy days,spent indoors with your family,cuddling up together and watching TV with a blanket round you and drinking hot chocolate and tea. It also is much more appealing to bake especially if it´s raining...perfect baking weather!

 I wasn´t convinced as to whether I´d like this particular Aragon delicacy, Malenas or Aragon-style Magdelenas, as I´m not a big fan of two of the main ingredients, honey and orange blossom water but I decided to give them a go, only to be pleasantly surprised. They are very distinct-tasting buns with an exotic but tasty flavour and have a lovely, spongy texture.As they don´t contain sugar but are sweetened naturally through the honey, they are not oversweet and are probably a bit healthier too! They are also very simple and quick to make,however I have made them twice nice and have failed to achieve the peak that magdelenas usually have...not really sure as to why but peak or no peak they still taste good!

Malenas (Aragon-style magdelenas) Makes about 12
150g plain flour
150g honey
75g unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp orange blossom water

1.Preheat the oven to around 180ºC and line a cupcake mould with paper cases.
2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, then mix the egg yolks with the honey.
3. Add the butter and orange blossom water and mix till combined.
4. Add the flour gradually, mixing after each addition till all the lumps have gone and the batter is smooth.
5.Whisk the egg whites till they reach the stiff peak stage and then carefully fold it into the batter taking care not to knock the air out, till it looks spongy.
6.Spoon the batter into the cases filling them till they are just over the half full mark, lower the temperature to around 170-160ºC (I made these twice,first time I baked them around 160ºC and I think they turned out to be more spongy,the second time I tried baking them at a slightly higher temperature to try and get more of a peak but I think it overbaked them slightly as they seemed a little drier...the original recipe doesn´t give a temperature but says to bake them at a medium temperature)
7. I only baked them for between 15-20 minutes as I thought they were ready despite the fact that the recipe said 35 minutes...they should be a golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean when inserted.

One thing I have to warn you about is that they don´t stay spongy for very long and soon start to dry out so either eat them all the day you bake them or freeze half a batch to eat another day.


Cooking England County By County: Berkshire: Eton Mess

Time to move onto the next county, Berkshire, which I´ve never visited.I decided to kick off Berkshire by cooking the renowed pudding,Eton Mess, although surprizingly enough,it´s yet another dish which I haven´t tried before!This is an ideal summer dessert as it´s served cold and strawberries are in season (at least in the UK anyway!). It´s also great for those of you who have never made meringue before as it doesn´t matter if the meringue goes wrong,as it´s going to get broken up anyway!! Also, it´s a fairly simple and quick dessert to prepare and you can even use ready made meringue nests if you are short of time.It´s definitely a winning dessert and I shall be making it again although my daughter unfortunately wouldn´t try it!

However, it definitely lives up to it´s name...Eton Mess by name, Eton Mess by nature. It´s quite difficult to make this dessert look presentable!Eton Mess was served in the 1930s at Eton College in the tuck shop and orginally consisted of strawberries and bananas mixed with ice cream or cream..meringue was a later addition. It is now served annually at the Eton College cricket game against Harrow School although it has gained popularity throughout Britain.I used the following Delia Smith recipe but used less cream! Enjoy!


Almond Rissoles

It´s feeling hot, hot,hot! Yes, the temperatures have risen, holidays are almost here and cooking lunch seems so much more of a chore as turning the oven or even the hob on in this heat,just makes you swelter even more!

Today was my daughter´s last day at nursery as she will start school in September and I have a bittersweet feeling about it. I can´t believe how fast the past two years have flown by...she´s growing up way too fast!

Anyway, on to the recipe,this is the second time that I´ve made this recipe and we really enjoy it so thought  I´d share it with you. It´s great as it´s vegetarian so it´s ideal for non-meat eaters and as my daughter is a bit fussy with vegetables, this is an excellent way to eat a vegetarian meal(even if it doesn´t really get any more veggies into her!) plus she likes it,which is also a bonus.YES, it DOES have nuts in it and it is advised not to give nuts to under-fives but as there are no allergies in my family and my daughter hasn´t shown any sign of any food, or more importantly nut, allergies, I don´t see any problem in giving her these rissoles.It´s also a great summer recipe even though you do have to fry the rissoles on the hob, and it´s quite a light dish, especially accompanied with a salad. Here, I accompanied it with an apple & rice salad.The recipe is taken from "The Dairy Book of Home Cookery".

Ingredients(serves 4)
100g ground almonds
175g white breadcrumbs (I made this with less the other day, around 145-150g and they still turned out well!)
1 small onion,grated
3 tbsp frozen or fresh parsley
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
1 egg, beaten
25g butter,melted
pinch of salt & pepper
about 1-2 tbsp milk

1 egg,beaten
prepared breadcrumbs
1-2 tbsps (roughly) olive oil
50g butter(I didn´t bother weighing,just put a knob of butter in the pan)

1. Place ground almonds & breadcrumbs in a bowl and add grated onion,parsley and herbs.
2.Add egg and melted butterand mix until combined.Season with salt & pepper.
3. Add milk till mixture comes together and starts to stick,then form into 8 rissoles or little hamburgers.
4. Dip in beaten egg and breadcrumbs till well coated.
5. Place oil and some butter in frying pan and when hot, fry for about 4-5 minutes on both sides or until golden brown on both sides.
6. Drain on kitchen towels and serve.

I think these rissoles are tasty just as they are but adding garlic or some cheese(particularly Cheddar) would maybe just give them an extra dimension! Next time I make them I´ll try it and let you know what I think!


Cooking Spain Region by Region: Aragon: Chicken in Tomato & Pepper Sauce: Pollo al Chilindrón

Well, here we are about to start discovering more about the food from the Aragon region of Spain. I have visited some cities of this region quite a long time ago as I worked at a summer camp but I don´t recall trying any local specialities...in fact as I ate at the summer camp, I don´t recall the food being anything special so hopefully this culinary journey will convince me otherwise!!

I decided to kick off Aragon cuisine with a dish known as Pollo al chilindron, or in other words chicken in a tomato and pepper sauce. Yes, as you can see I am fond of chicken as I´ve already featured two chicken dishes when I cooked Andalusia!!! This recipe is actually a Thermomix recipe and is taken from the Imprescindible Thermomix TM 31 recipe booklet but I´m sure it can easily be adapted to cooking it on the oven hob. It is a really simple dish to make especially if you are using the Thermomix and is a really tasty dinner...another dish that will become a regular!The great thing about the Thermomix is you don´t have to be totally exact with the ingredients...I didn´t put the whole amounts given in the following recipe as sometimes I didn´t have enough of an ingredient but it still turns out delicious!

Ingredients (for 4 people)
4 chicken drumsticks (booklet doesn´t specify how many legs but says 1000g)
50g olive oil
3 cloves of garlic(peeled)
150g onion,peeled
150g green pepper, deseeded
150g red pepper,deseeded
50g white wine
50g water
200g tomato sauce
1 chicken stock cube(I used an Oxo one)
a pinch of black pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
250g sliced mushrooms

1.Place the cloves of garlic and oil in the Thermomix jug and chop for 6 seconds at Speed 5, then programme for 3 minutes at Varoma temperature,Speed 1.
2. Add the onion, red & green pepper,white wine and chop for 4 seconds at Speed 5.
3. Programme for 10 minutes at Varoma temperature, Speed 1.
4. Add the chicken drumsticks, the water, the tomato sauce, the stock cube, the black pepper and the nutmeg and cook for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature, stirring to the left(anticlockwise direction), on spoon speed.
5. Finally add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes at Varoma temperature, anticlockwise direction, spoon speed.
6. Serve with rice, pasta or sauteed potatoes and vegetables and enjoy!


Cooking England County By County:Bedfordshire:Catherine Cakes (Kattern Cakes or Catterning Cakes)

Well, it´s that time of year again...finally even though it seemed like it would never arrive, that time when all teachers breathe a deep sign of relief as now the start of the holidays has begun. However, with the holidays comes the hot weather and baking loses a little of it´s appeal due to the sweltering heat. I, on the other hand, decided to brave the heat and attempt these Catherine Cakes, another Bedfordshire staple, I´ve never heard of or tried before. I didn´t know much about them and even after Googling them, wasn´t much the wiser as I´m not sure if they are meant to be a sweet bread or bread or even if they should be baked as a whole cake or as little buns...I opted for the little buns as I think they are easier to share round and keep as a big slab of cake would probably go stale more quickly. The only other thing I found about these cakes is they are named after Catherine of Aragon and were made for her and they are normally made and eaten on the 25th November, St.Catherine´s Day.

I used the following recipe from Recipewise but as I was unsure what quantity it would make, I only made a quarter of the recipe and also decided  to divide them into small buns. If you follow the recipe sticking to it fairly strictly, they are fairly simple to make, even for inexperienced bread makers such as me. I added slightly too much egg,making the dough a very sticky mess but this was soon corrected by adding a little more flour. The smell of these baking was divine and was soon wafting through the house...it´s worth making these for the smell alone. I have to say that they were pretty tasty too although I was a little disappointed as I expected them to be sweeter and more cakey, a little bit like a scone but they were actually more bready than a scone. They were quite a big hit with my husband and friends though, although I think I´d  have prefered them with a bit of jam and butter! Go on, give them a go and let me know what you think! So that´s all for Bedfordshire although I am sure there are more recipes from this county...the next county we´re heading off to is Berkshire. I wonder what kind of regional recipes we will find there!


The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge: Banoffee(or Strawboffee) Pie

Well, it´s that time again....time for another Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge and as you have probably noticed I´m not doing these challenges in any particular order other than by what I fancy!!

I´ve only had Banoffee Pie once before which my mother made and I´ve been wanting to make it myself ever since as my mother´s was simply to die for...the only problem is I don´t like bananas. As strawberries were in season at the time I made this, I decided to replace the banana with strawberries, turning the banoffee pie into a strawboffee pie!!

I usually like to try and stick fairly rigidly to the technical challenge recipes but as I already had some frozen homemade shortcrust pastry I decided to use it. This is a great dessert to make if you need something quick or that doesn´t take too long to prepare, you could always make the pastry ahead of time and freeze it or even cheat and use ready-made pastry if you´re short of time. This recipe is Mary Berry´s and is fairly straightforward to follow. The most difficult or challenging part of the recipe is making the shortcrust pastry and making the toffee sauce.

I only made half the amount of the original recipe and up to making the toffee sauce,  didn´t come across any problems.However, I found that the toffee sauce didn´t appear to be setting and eventually put it in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour. It seemed to have firmed up after this time so I put the strawberries on top of the toffee sauce(they didn´t appear to sink,which was definitely a good sign), then whipped up the cream and placed that on top . All appeared to be well however when I cut into the pie, it became clear that the toffee had nowhere near set and it was one, huge runny mess. I liked the taste of the pie although after a couple of mouthfuls, I found it quite sickly so I don´t quite know where I went wrong.I definitely had some issue with the toffee sauce not setting properly but I also wonder if I put too much condensed milk or something, as it was far too sweet. It certainly wasn´t as good as my mum´s version and I will definitely have to play around or practice this dessert as so far I don´t think I´ve managed to fulfil this challenge. Definitely a disappointing result!Let me know if you are also taking part in the Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge and if you´ve had any disasters with the recipes.What would you like the following challenge to be?


Cooking Spain Region by Region: Andalucia: Soplillos: Almond Meringues

Originally, I was only going to publish two main dish recipes and one sweet recipe but in the end I thought what the heck, I love desserts and cake..why not do two. While looking into typical Andalusian dishes, I came across this cake or biscuit, which I fancied making as it like a cross between a meringue and a macaron and it does not disappoint.It´s light and airy texture makes you want to go back for more.

. When I said I was going to make soplillos,people looked at me and said "eh?" as they´d never heard of them before.However, they were very successful...everyone who tried them liked them and it is hard to resist eating more than only one. My daughter, who doesn´t always try all the cakes and desserts I make, even ate 4 in one day! They are also fairly simple and quick to make. So, here goes with the last but not least, final recipe for Andalusia and then it´s on to the next region, Aragon. Any suggestions of what I should make?Anyway onto the recipe, which is adapted from a book called something like La Cocina de Andalucia:

Ingredients (makes about 32-35)
150g ground almonds
200g sugar
3 egg whites
Juice and rind of one lemon
A pinch of vanilla sugar

1. Beat the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar, till it forms stiff peaks or so that when bowl is turned upside down over your head,none falls out.

2.Add the lemon juice and peel, almonds and vanilla sugar and fold them into the meringue carefully, taking care not to knock any of the air out. The mixture will have a very grainy appearance.

3. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and fill a piping bag, fitted with the Wilton 1M nozzle, with the meringue mixture and pipe out evenly sized meringues. Leave enough space between each meringue as they spread in the oven and also don´t pipe them too big as they lose their shape.

4. Place in a preheated oven at 140º C and bake for 25 minutes.

5.Leave to cool..don´t try to take them off the baking paper too soon otherwise they may stick to the paper a little.


Cooking England County By County: Bedfordshire: Bedfordshire Pudding

 I´m on a roll....two blog posts within a short space of each other!! In my quest to prove that English food is varied and tasty and discover new dishes that I´ve never tried or cooked before from my own country, I´ve decided to cook 3 dishes from each county. At the moment we are still in Bedfordshire and this recipe is a dessert, which I think is one of the things we do best.

Again, it´s a dish I´d never heard of before and certainly haven´t tried..in fact I haven´t even seen it before. I couldn´t find much information, only that it might originally have been a religious festival cake, such as Banbury cakes and Shrewsbury biscuits.
Basically, it´s a custard pie or tart with the addition of dried fruits such as raisins and currants. It´s a lovely recipe however it does need tweaking a little as the pastry was a touch overdone for my liking and I will definitely been making it again.Next time I would do the following things....use a different pie dish (the recipe says to use a shallow,rectangular dish but doesn´t specify how big), double the amount of the filling so it´s a bit thicker and either cook the pie at a lower temperature or for a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately it wasn´t such a big hit with my daughter as she would hardly even try it...maybe next time!! Here´s a link to the recipe I used:  Bedfordshire Pudding. This recipe doesn´t state how much shortcrust pastry you need...you could use either homemade (click on the link for my pastry recipe) or ready made shortcrust pastry..I made about 200g but you will definitely have some leftover pastry..you will probably only need about 100-150g. Another note to add is you can leave out the candied or mixed peel like I did, especially if you have trouble finding it where you live or you could just add some grated lemon or orange peel in to substitute the candied peel!

I´ll update this post or add a comment next time I make this commenting on how the alterations to this recipe worked! Hope you enjoy this dish and begin to see that we can cook and our food is varied!!I´d also love to hear about which of these regional dishes you´ve enjoyed the most. Only one more recipe for Bedfordshire to go...what will it be?


Super Simple & Quick Crunchies

 This recipe is great if you don´t have much in the cupboard or have unexpected guests and need to whip something up very quickly as it is so simple and quick to make. It is also ideal to make with older kids because it´s so easy to do. I don´t know the origin of Crunchies so I´m not sure if they are British or from elsewhere...however this particular recipe comes from Delia Smith´s book The Complete Cookery Course and what´s more it only has 3 main ingredients so is pretty economical too! You could always adapt the recipe too and add dried fruits, nuts or coconut...anything you want really.

Ingredients (makes about 12)
110 g porridge oats (or 50g whole or jumbo oats(very difficult to find!) and 60g porridge oats)
75g brown sugar (preferably demerara)
110g butter or margarine

1. Preheat oven to 190ºC(375ºF), Gas Mark 5.
2. Grease a shallow square tin of roughly 28 x 18cm (I´m not sure my tin measures this but it did the job anyway!)I´d also reccommend that you use some baking paper as despite greasing the tin with baking spray, it did stick a little.
3.Place oats and sugar in a bowl and combine.
4.Melt the butter over a low heat so it doesn´t brown, then add to oats and sugar and combine well.
5. Tip mixture into baking tin and press it out evenly using your hands, the back of a spoon or a knife.
6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until a pale golden colour and remove from the oven.
7. Cut into 12 equally sized bars while still warm and then leave to cool and crisp.


The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge: Victoria Sponge Cake

 It´s back....The Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge and even better, we have another person who´s decided to participate in this challenge...my good friend,Amélie from Amélie Cuisine. We decided to meet up and bake the technical challenges together and to start with opted to do a Victoria Sandwich cake using the very same recipe that the Bake Off contestants had to follow. I hadn´t realised that a Victoria Sponge cake was one of the technical challenges and as I have made Victoria Sponge cakes before, I found it quite an easy technical challenge. Probably the most difficult part is avoiding the cake from rising unevenly when baking, so you have a level cake.
We followed the recipe to the letter, put it at 170º in a fan assisted oven and cooked for the amount of time the recipe stated. We left the cakes outside on the window sill to cool while we made and ate our lunch, brown bag fried chicken (very delicious),chips and vegetables. We had a little trouble getting the cakes out of the tin,despite having greased them, as they stuck a little and one sponge broke a little. We decided to add some fresh fruit to the original recipe to jazz it up and for decoration so we placed some halved starwberries on top of one layer, then piped some whipped cream on top of the strawberries, then placed the top sandwich on. We piped more whipped cream on the top layer, then decorated it with a ring of raspberries then blackberries, another ring of raspberries and halved strawberries,stood upwards, then sieved icing sugar over the berries.You couldn´t even tell that one of the sponges was a little damaged! We were so proud of our Victoria Sponge cake....I think it´s one of my nicest looking cakes so far!! Amélie made the bunting, which is a great touch to add to any cake....I´m definitely going to have to learn how to do that too!!

Finally, we got round to trying it and it was delicious. The sponge was light and spongy, the cream,jam and fresh fruit really complemented it and made for a really delicious cake. It was so good that I even went back for seconds....between the four of us we almost ate the whole lot! It must have been good as my daughter doesn´t always eat or even try cakes etc but she tucked in and ate quite a lot too! It´s my new favourite Victoria Sponge cake recipe...definitely worth giving a go and surprizingly not that difficult to make.Here´s a link to the recipe:Victoria Sandwich. Enjoy!


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!!


Mincemeat & Apple Crumble

Firstly, I apologise for my absence in blogging but there has been a whirlwind of activity going on what with moving house, Christmas and then the usual reasons so I just can´t seem to find time to fit in blogging!!Secondly, I have to apologise for posting a very similar recipe to my last post!!

I thought you might like it though as it´s a delicious way to use up any leftover mincemeat after Christmas (we had a humungous jar!!).It´s based on a Delia Smith recipe which I tweaked to fit with the leftovers I had and because I wanted to make a smaller portion.Also this recipe is so quick and simple you could make it with your children. I tried to get my daughter to join in especially with making the crumble but she didn´t want to...I think she didn´t want to get her hands dirty!!She did help me put the crumble topping on though and flatten it out with her hands,which she seemed to enjoy doing!!I think she thought it was like playing in the sand!!

Mincemeat leftovers(I used about 215g as that was all I had left)
1/2 cooking apple (Bramley or Reineta)(peeled and chopped)
1/2 Ambrosia apple(peeled and chopped) (I think there was around 150g apple in total)
37g butter(at room temperature)
37g caster sugar
117g plain flour

1. Mix apples with the mincemeat and place in greased shallow pie plate or dish.
2. Place flour in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips as if you were making pastry.
3. When all the butter has been rubbed in and the mixture looks like breadcrumbs,add the sugar and combine.
4. Sprinkle the mixture on top of mincemeat and apples and cook in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 30-40minutes or until a golden colour.Serve hot with cream or custard!Delicious!
Related Posts with Thumbnails