Category Archives: Cook o’clock

Roasted Banana Soufflé

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Thank you, Mihaela, this really looks amazing!

Souffle-7.2

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 45 minutes (30 minutes inactive)

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Make-Ahead: The banana cream (steps 2 and 3) can be made up to 1 day in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before proceeding to step 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 125ml thickened cream
  • 125ml full-fat milk
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 100g (tk cups) caster sugar, divided
  • 20g plain flour
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Butter, softened, for brushing
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

For instructions and step by stem guide visit Curtis Stone’s Blog, it’s his recipe 😛

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Easter goodies – The Starter

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Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs

deviled eggs

 

For 24 deviled eggs you will need:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese

 

 

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and cool. To cool more quickly, rinse eggs under cold running water.
  2. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Alternatively, wrap bacon in paper towels and cook in the microwave for about 1 minute per slice. Crumble and set aside.
  3. Peel the hard-cooked eggs, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a small bowl. Mash egg yolks with mayonnaise, crumbled bacon and cheese. Stir in mustard. Fill egg white halves with the yolk mixture and refrigerate until serving.

Enjoy!

The sweet…

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Happy birthday to me!

Chocolate-fingers-cake

Chocolate fingers cake!!!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ½tsp baking powder

To decorate and fill:

  • Nutella
  • 3x packs chocolate fingers
  • M&Ms, Smarties, Maltesers

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 2x 21cm/9inch cake tins with greaseproof paper.
  2. Use the all-in-one method to make your sponge; pour all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined.
  3. Once combined, pour into the cake tins making sure you they’re as even as possible. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until springy to touch.
  4. Once baked, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool a little. Spread Nutella over the base cake and sandwich the two cakes together. Put the cake onto a serving plate.
  5. Begin to stick the chocolate fingers around the outside, pressing firmly in the middle of each chocolate finger so it sticks properly. The trick is to let the bottom of the chocolate finger rest on the plate and the middle to stick to the cake.
  6. Leave the cake to one side so the chocolate fingers can stick. Meanwhile decide which sweets you’re going to use to fill it. Scatter the sweets over the cake and pile them up until you’re happy.
  7. Store this cake in the fridge until it’s ready to be served.

 

Sunny Spinach Pie

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Hi all, I just found this recipe and I had to share it with you. It looks amazing and it’s brilliant for parties.

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 Dough:

  • 500g  plain flour
  • 90ml cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 350g spinach (boiled)
  • 350g ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 100g Parmigiano or Grana Padano grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bread crumbs

For American measures visit bestyummyrecipies.

How to prepare:

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
  2. Prepare the dough in a bread machine or if you feel brave knead it like a bread dough (click here for instructions). Wrap in plastic and leave to rest in the fridge.
  3. For the filling, mix the spinach with the ricotta. Add the egg and half of the cheese and season. Mix until it resembles a paste.
  4. Divide the dough in two equal parts and roll into two circles (approx 30cm diameter).
  5. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over-top of the first circle. This will help to help absorb the moisture of the filling.
  6. Distribute the filling as shown in the picture and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese.
  7. Cover with the second circle of dough, seal the edges using a fork.
  8. Place a small bowl in the middle of the pie and press lightly to make an indentation.
  9. Cut the dough into pieces approximately 2 cm thick, keeping it attached at the centre and the twist them as shown in the picture.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy!

Sunday special – Tortilla de patatas

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Yes, I know, it’s Saturday, but who cares…

tortilla    Is you are fed up with your usual fry-up or omelette I dare you to try the Spanish omelette or Tortilla de patatas. It is the most common dish in Spain and it has lots of varieties, but mainly it’s all about eggs, onion and potatoes. So, for two American style portions (fit for a lazy Sunday morning) you will need:

 images-4

  • 4 potatoes (starchy)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • paprika
  • 4 eggs
  • 120g chorizo cut into slices
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 60ml beer (yep, you heard me!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 125g Cheddar or any hard cheese, grated
  1. Peel the potatoes and cur them into thick slices or cubes. Boil them for 20-25min until soft. Chop the onion.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the potatoes, onions and spices and stew gently.
  3. Beat the eggs with the and beer, then stir into the potatoes with the chorizo and a pinch salt and pepper. Tip everything into the pan and cook on a moderate heat.
  4. When almost set, invert on a plate and slide back into the pan, add the cheese and cook a few more minutes.
  5. Slide on to a plate and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tortillapatata-645x483Enjoy!

Easy peasy apple pie

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Craving is the best chef in the world! And that’s how the story of the Easy Peasy Apple Pie begins.

Once upon a time I was looking at my old childhood pictures. Sunny days of laughter and exciting games. Then it hit me! I remembered my mother’s apple pie. The scrumptious smell invaded my brain just like it used to when I was in school and I was daydreaming about the surprise my mum would prepare for me. I NEEDED an apple pie.

Easier said than done, I had never prepared an apple pie. What would have been the point, my mum used to spoil me , but now that she is miles away who can calm my craving monster? My husband? Yes, sure… as long as you can bake an apple pie with pasta… So, I had to do it myself.

I went to a charity shop and I bought an old English recipe book. And there it was… the almighty, queen of queens, Apple Pie! In time, I adapted the recipe and I mixed old English cooking with my mum’s treasure pie.

It is easier than it looks and it will definitely impress your guests. So, here we go:

You will need:

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  • 250g plain flour
  •  50g icing sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 lemon (unwaxed)
  • 125g butter
  • egg
  • milk
  • 1 cooking apple (or two eating apples; cooking apple makes it a little sour)
  • 5 eating apples
  • 3 tbl brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • a handful of sultanas or raisins
  • vanilla and rum essence
  • nutmeg and cinnamon

The pastry:2c6bf203-06ba-4ddf-9345-7c42790ad98b_1

  1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl
  2. Add the sugar, a pinch of salt, and finely grate over the zest of the lemon
  3. Cut the COLD (very important) butter into cubes, then add to the bowl
  4. Work the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
  5. Beat the egg with a little milk and mix until the dough comes together
  6. Wrap it in clingfilm and pop in the fridge to rest

The filling:47064741-d67e-41bf-8173-f0bc188e1a3d_1

  1. Peel the apples and cut them into eights
  2. Add the apple pieces to a pan with the sugar, ginger and sultanas or raisins
  3. Add a little vanilla and a little rum essence
  4. Add nutmeg and cinnamon
  5. Grate over the zest of half a lemon, then squeeze in a little juice
  6. Mix and then put the pan on a medium low heat
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender
  8. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely

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1aca36ee-f895-4337-ab85-cbca9fd8b3fb_1Assemble and cook

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. Divide your pastry dough into two
  3. Roll out one half until ½cm thick and then place it carefully over a 20cm pie dish
  4. Pour the apple mix into the dish and pack it tightly with the second half
  5. Fold the excess pastry back in then pinch and crimp the edges together using your finger and thumb
  6. Beat an egg yolk with a splash of milk and brush over the pastry
  7. Using a fork make a couple of small incisions in the center of the pie
  8. Bake in the hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes
  9. Serve with custard or vanilla ice cream

Enjoy!

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes!

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“Shrove Tuesday (also known as Shrovetide Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday, a moveable feast, is determined by Easter.

The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics,[2] who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”[3] Being the last day before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.” Wikipedia

ImageDear all,

Yes, you guesses right, it is that time of the year… Easter Lent. My husband gave me specific instructions for tonight’s dinner, he said he has to have PANCAKES! “Come on Wify, it’s Shrove Tuesday!”.

For my pancakes I use an old school recipe, Delia Smith‘s. So, here we go:

Ingredients

  • 110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • caster sugar
  • lemon juice
  • lemon wedges

Preparation method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.
  2. Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.
  3. Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
  4. Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.
  5. To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.
Enjoy!

Japanese rolls

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Japanese rolls, what a fancy idea to sparkle up your dinner table!

I grew up with this kind of rolls and I met them in different cuisines, but under different names. My recipe is a classic Japanese roll (they are called like this because they look like geisha buns) with a Turkish twist. You will need about 2h and 30 min to prepare them, and they are not as difficult as they seem. I generally glaze them with a mixture of egg white to make them shiny on top of which I sprinkle onion seeds and sea salt or sesame seeds.

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So, here we go! For 12 rolls you will need:

  • 500g strong white flower (the one you use for bread)
  • 340ml milk (lukewarm)
  • 25g butter (cut it in cubes)
  • 2 tspns dry fast acting yeast
  • 1 tspn white sugar
  • 2 tspns salt
  • Onion seeds and sea salt crystals / sesame seeds (for sprinkling)
  • Egg white or water to make them shine

The dough….

  1. Pour the lukewarm milk into your mixer bowl. Add the flour, butter, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the ingredients in this particular order!
  2. With a kneading hook, on a low setting mix the dough for about 5 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Or… be more traditional, knead it yourself! (If you dare!)
  3. Once you have kneaded it and reached the desired consistency, then shape it into a smooth ball and put it in a bowl. Cover with a clean cloth, or cling film and leave it somewhere warm until it has risen to about twice the size.

Cheat, if you can, use a bread machine to make the dough! 

The rest…

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c.
  2. Put your dough onto a clean lightly floured surface, knead it a few times until it’s a more workable consistency and divide into 12 equal portions.
  3. Form your rolls. You do not know how? Have a look at the video I attached for you!
  4. Brush your formed rolls with a mixture of egg whites or splash of water, then sprinkle as generously with whatever you like.
  5. Put them on a lightly greased baking try and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.

Christmas craving

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Yes, I know, it’s January… But I miss my “Christmas belly”!

ImageYep, I know, it looks… grouse!

Where I come from, food wise, it is all about PORK! Same old boring recipes… And that’s why I decided to personalize an old Pork belly recipe and make it a family signature. It takes a long time to cook, but it is worthed. And come, on, let’s face it, it’s actually funny to guard the oven with a shot gun!

Now, pay attention! For four persons you will need:

  • 2 kg pork belly, skin on, already scored,
  • sea salt (MANDATORY – do not replace with normal salt),
  • ground black pepper (the fresher the better),
  • 2 onions (halved, preferably red onions),
  • veggies (3 carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 1 garlic bulb, baby potatoes… or any roasting vegetables you fancy,
  • 6 bay leaves (or as many as you please),
  • Knorr vegetable stock (or water… or any vegetable stock you want).
  1. Wake up early in the morning, prepare a large cup of coffee, have breakfast and turn on the tv or the radio. Put on your favorite music, preheat the oven to 220°C and start shaking your booty! Alternatively, push play! Don’t forget the oven!
  2. Place your pork on a clean work surface (skin-side up, duuuh) and rub salt into the scores. You might want to accentuate the scores, but make sure you do not cut into the meat. Turn the meat over and season the underside with salt and pepper. Sometimes, just to make fun of my husband I also season with hot chilli flakes.
  3. Place the belly in a roasting tray, skin-up and pop it in the oven for 30-45 min, until you see it starts forming some yummy crackling!
  4. Turn the heat down to 170°C; get the tray out from the oven and wrap it in tin foil. This will make the belly cook inside, melt the fat and soften the meat. Pop it back into the oven for another 4 hours and a half. (Yeah, i know, it already looks delicious….)
  5. Turn on the Tv, grab your latest knitting project and KNIT! Every o often, have a look at the oven and make sure no one is trying to thief the belly! Husbaaand!
  6. Fed up waiting? You can take the pork out after 2 hours, but trust me, it is worth waiting! Have a snack and think about all the happy faces when you will serve it.
  7. After 4 and a half hours ( or 2 hours if you cannot wait) take the belly, unpack from the tin foil and place it on a plate. Add the vegetable to the tray, mix with the pork fat and the boiling stock add the garlic and bay leaves. Pace the pork in the centre of the vegetables and return to the oven for another hour.
  8. PLAY!
  9. Rest, carve, serve, enjoy!