Wednesday, 27 November 2019

3 toppers for the new book

As I am hoping to get the 3rd cookery book published in the next couple of weeks, I wanted to put in 3 recipes that we had done before, tasted delicious and fancied eating them again.

A bit of a strange combination but a hit nonetheless.
We first made the chickpea chocolate brownies, a gluten free recipe which went down very well. Sema our newest member who claims that she cannot cook, treated us to some gorgeous brownies. We added a cherry from the cherry jam we made last year, and a dollop of greek yoghurt. 




We also made a cheese roll wreath, 


a wonderful recipe, easy to do and great for parties when people can just help themselves to a roll (or two) We use the Lazy dough recipe and then added a block of cheese and the parmesan and italian herbs in oil to spread on top     



Our main meal was the stuffed mushrooms, if only we could have had more of them.
   
  




Carmen suggested that instead of an empty ramekin in the middle of the bread wreath, we could have put in the stuffing we used for the mushroom; colourful and extremely tasty.

Will no doubt make these recipes more often, but for now they will end up in the recipe book.




Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Leek and Potato Chowder

Today we will make Leek and Potato Chowder

in a gougère ring.


 

We also made Alice's tea scones which turned out light and fluffy,
 a big hit.



As an easy standby we made some cinnamon palmiers
    
and puff pastry christmas trees.
    





Lots of baking and all worth of being in the 3rd cookery book!

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Beetroot soup and mushroom and goat's cheese gourgere

In the summer I entered a competition and gave my favourite vegan recipe: ie. Vegan Smoked Salmon and during my holiday I received an email that I had won an organic vegetable box from Cofco.I was delighted and grateful for this prize, but as I was away on holiday and my allotment was giving us so much produce, I asked if I could postpone the delivery until the Autumn.

Well, I felt that a bit of variety in our meals was preferable so I called them and they delivered a gorgeous box of organic fruit and vegetables.

With the beetroot we will be making Beetroot and orange soup


The mushrooms will go into the mushroom gougère

                  

and we will do the japanese Milk jelly with the kiwi's that were in the box, making good use of this lovely box and sharing the joy.

Japanese Milk Jelly



Ingredients 
400ml water
200ml milk
50g sugar
20g honey
4g agar
Fruit like satsumas, oranges, pineapples, kiwi

Method 
  1. Bring water to a boil in a small pan, then turn down the heat to simmer. Add in the agar and stir well until it has dissolved.
  2. Add milk, sugar and honey then stir every few seconds. Continue until the agar and sugar dissolved completely.
  3. Pour it into 1 large or 2 small shallow dishes with fruits and let them cool down before placing them in the fridge to chill. (it will take 30-40 minutes to firm up).

GOATS’ CHEESE & WALNUT GOUGÈRES:
  1. A very simple mixture of goats’ cheese, crushed walnuts, finely chopped pears and seasoning gets spooned into the split (and cooled) pastry choux: the juicy crunch of the pear works well with the flavour of the cheese. Blue cheese also works excellently here.
MUSHROOM GOUGÈRES:
Ingredients
Rapeseed oil
½ red onion finely chopped
300g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 garlic cloves, chopped
½ teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dry sherry
100g crème fraîche
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
Method

  1. In a large frying pan  heat the oil and fry the onion until soft but not coloured. 
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook over a high heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms are reduced in volume by about half, are buttery and soft and their liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add the sherry and crème fraîche and simmer until the sauce has reduced. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley and season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
  4. Cut each choux bun fully in half, fill with the warm mushroom mixture and serve.


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Experimentation and adaptation


Today there was one recipe that I really wanted to do and that was Erika's demonstration of the agar agar that was given to me by a Japanese friend but I did not know what to do with it as the instructions were all in Japanese. In came our hero and Erika arrived with a pre soaked amount of agar agar and showed us how to make a delicious Fruit Jelly

Erika pre soaked the agar agar for 2 hours before she came to our kitchen.
She then drained it and chopped it fine.
Erika chopping the Agar Agar
.
















Ingredients 
400ml water
200ml milk
50g sugar
20g honey
4g agar
Fruit like satsumas, pineapples, kiwi

Method 
  1. Bring water to a boil in a small pan, then turn down the heat to simmer. Add in the agar and stir well until it has dissolved.
  2. Add milk, sugar and honey then stir every few seconds. Continue until the agar and sugar dissolved completely.
  3. Pour it into 1 large or 2 small shallow dishes with fruits and let them cool down before placing them in the fridge to chill. (it will take 30-40 minutes to firm up).


Thank you Erika for showing us how to make it!





As autumn as well and truly arrived,  this morning I harvested all the late (July) sown carrots in my garden.
   
 They were small but enough to make a tasty Carrot and Ginger Soup (VG)with. Melendra chopped some almonds as a topping for the soup

For the recipe we needed butterbean but as there were none in the shop we used rinsed baked beans and the recipe turned out lovely and creamy.
We used some of the carrot tops to make a pesto with and stirred through the soup.  There was loads of it which I put in the freezer for future use.

The pesto called for parmesan cheese, as we were trying to make it as much plant based as possible, we made the parmesan cheese with cashew nuts, garlic powder salt and nutritional yeast.
The nuts we used were hazel nuts (picked from Michael's garden) (thanks Li  and Melendra
for shelling them all!)


We even had time to have a walk to the allotment, harvest the Spinach in the sunshine

and make the polpette for our main meal, Orzo and spinach Polpette, a tasty and colourful dish.




Monday, 11 November 2019

The frost got the Butternut squash, so we need to eat it soon.

For the last few weeks the large pots in the garden was filled with a combination of butternut squashes Uchiki Kuri pumpkins, and a variety of ornamental gourds. It looked so colourful and cheerful. And then, the frost arrived. I totally forgot to take them inside so lost most of them.
I rescued the lovely deep orange Uchiki Kuri pumpkins, composted all but the butternut squash.
With only a small patch affected, I decided to turn it into a Thai Butternut squash soup.


We made some faken bacon which went down very well.













We made some oven roasted Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Thai Peanut butter sauce.
First we made the peanut butter, and then added the lime, chili flakes, sesame oil, soya sauce, coconut milk, garlic and ginger. We all agreed it was a winner of a sauce.



After a damp and chilli start of the session, the sun came out, so we took this opportunity to have a walk in the garden. Rurie spotted the last handful of apples on the stepover trees. We all had a mouthful each (very small apples) but they were sweet and juicy. Next year I will thin them out more so we get a few more mouthfuls each!.

As the brussels sprouts and the cranberries reminded June of Christmas, we talked about Christmas traditions and in my case Sinterklaas, how we celebrate it and what food we eat.
We enjoyed our meal very much and look forward to the next meal together.