Granola

This recipe for granola may seem slightly decadent with the addition of sugar and golden syrup, however these can always be substituted for something similar if you wish.  It does make quite a large batch, so it isn’t as if you will be eating the whole lot in one sitting.  Granola is crunchy and slightly clumped together, so if you don’t have a sticky substitute like the ingredients in the recipe, it will not be the same.  I also use this as crunchy topping for puddings, see photos below for some inspiration, and you can also check out my video for this recipe on youtube.

IMG_7220

Ingredients

55g Butter
60g Honey
25g Golden Syrup
85g Demerara Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
30g Hazelnuts roughly chopped
80g Pecan nuts roughly chopped
35g Pistachio roughly chopped
60g Flaked almonds
70g Sunflower seeds
45g Desiccated coconut
125g Porridge Oats
Zest of 2 oranges

Preheat Oven to 150 degrees centigrade approx gas mark 2-3

In a saucepan gently melt the butter, honey, golden syrup and Demerara sugar until it is a smooth liquid and the sugar has melted.  Once off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract.

In a large bowl place all the nuts, seeds, oats and orange zest.  Mix round the dry ingredients and then add the butter syrup from the saucepan.  Mix well, this may take some time to make sure there are no dry pockets of oats and nuts around the bowl.

Pour into a roasting tin and level out.  Place in the oven for around 50 – 60 minutes.  Every 15 minutes, remove from the oven and turn the mixture in the roasting tin, then place back in the oven.  This helps the mixture get golden all over.

Once the cooking time has expired, take the roasting tin out of the oven and let it cool down.  Once cool, you will see that it crisps up and goes crunchy, you can see this in the video clip.  Once properly cool place in a sealed container.

 

IMG_0176

I love this crunchy granola on top of a layer of Greek yoghurt and stewed rhubarb.  Simply chop some rhubarb, add a little water, a couple of drops of vanilla extract and a little sugar  (if you want) in a saucepan.  Let it cool and then place it at the bottom, then layer the other items on top!

Advertisements

Pesto Pasta

This is a pasta dish that hits the spot and is ready in next to no time.  You can use any pasta you like, but I like the fusilli twirled pasta for this, as the sauce gets stuck into the grooves with it.

This dish is reasonably healthy too and is cost effective, especially if you grow lots of basil like myself.  I also like the fact that most of this is store cupboard ingredients, and so is great for making when you are stuck with knowing what to cook.

 

E3C0E837-6F1D-41B6-91FD-7915FD47B4D2

Ingredients

  • 2 Bunches of Basil – remove the leaves from the stalks
  • 100ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Seasalt – a couple of good pinches
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove
  • 50g Pine Nuts
  • 3 Large Tablespoons of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Pasta of your choice (80g per person)
  • Vine cherry tomatoes on top to decorate (optional).

Boil your pasta to the packet instructions.  Whilst it is cooking you can make the pesto sauce.  In a food processor place all the ingredients except the tomatoes and blitz until fairly smooth.  You may need to stop a couple of times and go around the edge of the bowl with a spatula.  Leave the pesto to rest a few minutes, you will see that it will thicken slightly.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the warm pan.  Do not put the saucepan back on the stove.  Place the pesto in with the pasta and mix well, ensuring it is all fully coated in the pesto mix.

Serve in bowls and add some vine tomatoes on top.

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato Soup

This went down a storm in my cookery demo this morning, and is a favourite soup in our house.  Quick to make and utterly delicious as well as not costing you much, so you cannot go wrong.  Always try to buy premium canned tomatoes where possible.  You can also substitute a couple of items should you wish.

 

IMGP0875

Ingredients

1 Can of tomatoes ( I use a real good quality brand)
Glug of olive oil
1 Onion finely chopped
1 Garlic clove crushed
Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Sugar
400 mls of vegetable or chicken stock
200 mls of milk
Handful of fresh basil leaves
(Optional) Good dollop of creme fraiche or a swirl of cream

In a medium saucepan add the olive oil, onion and garlic and sweat gently until the onions go translucent looking. Add the tomatoes, sugar, stock and pepper then cook gently with a lid on for ten minutes. Then add the milk and basil leaves and continue to simmer for five minutes. Then use a food processor or hand blender and whizz until you have the consistency you like. If too thick for you, just add a little hot water from your kettle to loosen it. You can also put it through a sieve to get an extra silky smooth soup. Eat this as it is, or add some creme fraiche or cream.

Lemon Curd

This is one of my all time favourite preserves to make, as not only is it delicious on toast or warm bread, but can be used in desserts.  Use it as a filling in a cake, swirl into a creamy fool or make up a quick lemon meringue pie.  Homemade lemon curd is relatively easy to make and store.  I always use unwaxed lemons and find that this recipe is a great way of using up left over lemons, that you are not sure what to do with!

 

honey

Ingredients
• 450g Caster sugar
• 4 Unwaxed lemons (zest and juice)
• 4 Eggs gently beaten
• 100g Butter
Sterilising Jars
To sterilise your jars you will need to wash and rinse in hot soapy water, or put in a hot cycle of your dishwasher.  Dry them, then place on a clean baking tray and put into an oven at 150 degrees centigrade for about 15 minutes.

You need to place a bowl over a pan of hot water, taking care that the water does not actually touch the bottom of the bowl.  Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix round.
Keep gradually mixing and eventually after about 25 minutes the mixture will start to thicken.  You can tell when the mixture is thick enough by taking about half a teaspoon out and placing on a cool plate for a few seconds.  As it cools it should start to thicken, if it is still too runny then keep cooking for a further few minutes.
Place into sterilised jars making sure you leave a good gap between the top of the lemon curd and the jar lid. Do not place the lid of the jar on immediately, just let it loosely rest on top until the lemon curd mixture has had a chance to cool down, otherwise you will end up with condensation.
I then place a disc of greaseproof paper on top before putting the lid on.

Kedgeree

I am not one for eating breakfast early, but I do enjoy a good brunch.  This recipe for kedgeree is great for a late breakfast or lunch and is reasonably healthy too.  Do try and get the undyed haddock.  I am no fan of the bright yellow stuff where dye was used years ago, as a way of reducing smoking time and cost.  Some of the dye used is an E number called E104 Quinoline Yellow.  People who suffer from Asthma, hyperactivity and dermatitis should probably avoid this like the plague.  This additive has been banned in certain countries such as Australia, Japan, Norway and the USA.  Still want to eat the dyed fish?  If so, the  you must be mad!

kedgeree

 

480g Undyed smoked haddock fillet, cut in half
100ml Milk with 400ml of cold water
2 Bay leaves
200g Basmati rice
4 Free-range eggs hardboiled and peeled, then cut into quarters
80g Frozen peas cooked and left warm
40g Butter
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 Heaped tbsp medium curry powder
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp double cream
½ Lemon, juiced
Ground black pepper
Place the haddock, milk/water and bay leaves in a large frying pan and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook for 8 minutes, then drain but making sure you reserve the cooking liquor and remove the bay leaves.

Place the cooking liquor in a saucepan and add the rice. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes. If the rice is using up too much of the cooking liquor too quickly then add a little extra hot water from the kettle. I use a lid on my pan with just a slight opening to let a little steam out. Turn off the heat and leave the rice undrained for a few minutes. The rice will then absorb much or all of the liquor.

In a large frying pan melt the butter and oil and cook the onion over a low hear for five minutes until softened and translucent. Then add the curry powder and cook for 2 minutes, making sure you stir constantly. Drain off any excess liquid from the rice, and then add to the pan along with the peas, cream and parsley.

Flake the fish into the pan, stir in the lemon juice and stir gently to heat through for around 1 minute. Then take the pan off the heat, and add some ground pepper and stir once more gently so as not break the fish too much. Place the egg quarters on top and place a lid or tin foil on top of the pan, and leave for around 3 minutes, so that the egg is heated slightly. Then serve.