This page will introduce you to some of my traditional recipes I have been lucky enough to sample on my travels. Some old family recipes, some new, and some traditional meals TWISTED to suit new styles, dietary issues and sometime religious concerns. It will be said that there are times when something should be left as it is, and in my view I would agree, but there are those can work well with some imagination and a little bravery. Cooking is all about having fun, and twisting can be just that. If your not successful the first time, try again, but you may just amaze yourself whilst trying something new.
Lifestyles change, and time is something many of us feel is far too short, so for some cooking is simply a challenge. I m hoping that some of these ideas may just inspire and help those that just cant boil an egg! Even that can be fun. So lets begin.
Baking beans or Raw uncooked chick peas (so much cheaper and can be re used)
1 x 12" loose form fluted flan dish - lighlty sprayed or buttered
I roll of ready made shortcrust pastry
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup
5 kaffir lime leaves
Desert Spn crystalized ginger & Table Spn brown sugar for brulee
Line your fluted flan dish with the pastry. Gently pat down the sides. Place the baking parchment that usually comes with the pastry roll, over the top and fill the tin with your choice of baking beans. Blind bake at 165 deg C for about 20 mins. Remove from oven and carefully lift out the paper with your baking beans before returning to the oven for 2 minutes.
Whilst your blind baking your tart shell, whisk your egg yolks and choice of sugar or maple syrup until the yolks become double in size and lighter in colour. Place your cream and lime leaves in a saucepan, on a low heat and just when you see it start to bubble, add a little to your egg mix and stir with a wooden spoon. Return the egg mix to the remaining cream on a gentle heat for about two minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and let it stand for about ten minutes before removing the lime leaves and poring into your blind baked pastry case. Return to the oven for approx 30 mintues or until the mixture just stops moving when you give it a wiggle. Remove, and let it cool on the side. Just before serving finely chop your ginger and springle the the tart with both the ginger and brown granulated sugar. Fire the blow torch and watch the top turn golden brown. Enjoy.
Kaffir Lime & Ginger Tart
Kale Chips. Have some fun....
Spread your small leaf kale on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little oil, flavoured if you like, dust with whatever spices you love, and place in an oven on 100 deg C (fan assisted if you have) and leave whilst watching two episodes of Emmerdale, Coronation Street or EastEnders! Return and remove from oven. Let stand for approx 5 minutes of you can wait that long, and go from this to...this.
I used sweetsmoked paprika with a smidgen of rock salt and brown suger. They did not last long and make a great accompaniment to artichoke heart & hollandaisse or a simple platter of cold cuts and cheese.
Tomato, Tomarto lets jar em up.
Pickling jars - sterilized with boiling water, drained and optionally sprayed with alcohol mist.
As many tomatoes as you can jar
Rock salt & black pepper
Opptional extras - garlic clove, vanilla pod, red chilli, ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anis, cherries, basil
leaves, curry leaves, olives.
Tomatoes are everywhere right now, red, dark red, yellow, orange &grass green, its a pletherer of colour. That colour makes for a very pretty jar of something fab for salads, cheeseboard sides, picnic jars and even Christmas hampers. Lets face it, who does not like a basked of homemade treats.
Slice in half your choice of tomato, and season with salt and a little pepper. Garlic salt is an optional extra but one well worth considering, and place them in your 100 deg C oven, (fan assisted if you have one) and leave for about three hours. If you have an Aga then over night in the low oven should be fine. When they look suitably shrivelled and less appetizing than you may have thought, just remember they are now full of intense flavour. Fill the jars 2/3 full, choose your spices and additions and cover with the olive oil. Screw on that lid.
To seal pop into a steamer or stand in a saucepan with water a third of the way up your jars and steam for three minutes. That will create your seal and that very satifyig POP when you open them to eat.
Deep fat fryer or suitable saucepan for frying
1 x cup Water
2 Tble white sugar or soft brown
2 Tble spn vegetable oil or TWIST to coconut oil
1 x cup flour or TWIST to spelt and/or coconut flour
Oil for frying
Bring the water, sugar, salt and the oil of choice to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour, mix with a strong wooden spoon. The mixture will form a doughy ball which then should be added to a piping bag with a toothed nozzle. Squeexe the mixture into 4" lengths, carefully and directly into the oil, Fry until light golden brown.
When they are ready, drain on paper towel and roll in your favourite sugar N spice.
Traditional Churros are sugar & cinnamon but try TWISTING with cocoa & nutmeg, hundreds & thousands for childrens party treats, praline, dessicated sweet coconut. Something savoury also goes well, mixed five spice or sesame seeds, pumpkin spice, salt & sweet smoked paprika or fine dried tomato powder. Enjoy
Lemon Posset - Lets not forget
A Posset (also spelled poshote, poshotte) was a British hot drink of curdled milk, traditionally with wine or ale. It was often spiced from medieval times at least until the 19th century. Nowadays, when remembered its a related desert, similar to syllabub. In middle ages it was considered a flu remedy and more of a drink than a mousse that it is today.
This desert has so many twisting opportunities, its refreshing, light and so simple to make its almost been lost amongst those recipe books and high flying menus today.
2 x cups of double cream
2 x lemons
1 x cup of sugar - soft brown is my choice but white castor will work fine
The twist - 1/3 cup Grated fresh ginger, rosemary sprig, sage leaves for a savoury posset.
So simple you will wonder why you have never tried this at home. - Place the cream in the saucepan with the sugar and slowly bring to the boil. Whilst that is on the heat, grate the lemons and juice them afterwards. If you are twisting then add your choice of twist to the cream and let it all infuse. When the cream has boiled, the sugar will have dissolved, now drain through a sieve. Add the lemon juice and the grated rind and divide the cream mix into your serving pots. Leave to chill. Your posset will set and you can garnish with whatever you fancy. Shortbread, berries, the world is your POSSET!
My Raspberry Jam
For all my jams, chutneys & jellies etc please make sure you steralise your jars first.
Its my favourite of all jams, but I do like to twist a little, so below is my recipe for simple jam with a few added options.
The seeds in raspberries contain natural pectin, so you will not need to use confectioners sugar here. Frozen raspberries make good jam too so get picking and freezing.
5 x cups of fresh raspberries
juice of one lemon & zest of one lemon
1 x tbsp honey to sweeten or 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
The twists - 1 tbsp of finely grated ginger, fresh vanilla pod, liquorice,
Place all the above in a pan on a low heat. The raspberries will start to solidify, simmer, and reach about 220 degrees. If you have a candy thermometer then great if not then it takes about 15 minutes. To test, place a drop on a cold plate and see if it turns to gel on the plate. If not, then dont panic just simmer for a little longer.
My Victoria Sponge
The easiest base for so many cakes. The start to some delicious deserts & the best introduction for children to your kitchen. Its fun, simple and tastes pretty good too.
8" sandwich tins
1 x cup or 225g of self raising flour
1 x cup or 225g of caster sugar
1 x cup or 225g of butter soft enough to mix
4 x eggs
1 x vanilla pod - sliced open & scraped
Raspberry or strawberry Jam
(my recipe for strawberry jam is above)
Optional - whipped cream
Method - well if your looking for a method cake recipe this is NOT it! I literally throw everything into a mixing bowl, and using either an electric whisk or a hand whisk, mix everything together at one time. As soon as the mix is blended and drops from the spoon, its done. I told you it was easy!!! Pour the mix into either two sandwich tins and bake at 180 deg C for approx. 25 minutes. If you only have the one tin in your cupboard then bake the whole mix together for about 40 mins. No peeking during baking. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes before removing the outer lining of your spring form tin.
If you have baked the one cake, then slice a cooled cake in half and load it up with the jam and whipped cream.
Everyone seems happy!
Chocolate Cheesecake ....and sleep
1 x springform 12" tin - lined with baking paper on the base
2 x 200g of Philadelphia cheese or cream cheese from any deli counter
1 x cup of fine castor sugar
1 x whole egg
2 x egg yolks
2 x cups of single cream
100g bar of dark cooking chocolate
I use bournville or Venezwalen Black
1 x pinch nutmeg
The twist - 1 tblsp of ground coffee, 1 tsp mint flavouring, 1/2 cup of praline or 1 x fresh chilli & Maldon salt
Method - If your lucky enough to own a Kitchen aid the hard work is done. If not then grab a large mixing bowl, a whisk and prepare for a mini workout,
Place the cream cheese, egg and additional egg yolks, sugar, cream into the mixing bowl and work together. Melt the chocolate, add the nutmeg and fold into your cheese mix. If the mix becomes too stiff, then add a small drizzle of warm water to return it too a silky texture. Pour into the spring form tin and bake in a pre heated oven at 140 deg C for about 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes to see if the mix has a very slight wobble in the centre of the tin. If so then remove from the oven and let stand until completely chilled. Place in the fridge until your ready to serve.
Tip - the cheesecake mix will continue cooking until its totally chilled, so over cooking will result in a dry crumbly cheesecake.
When your ready to serve, dip a warm pallete knife in warm water and run around the edge of the tin. Remove the springform, decorate and serve.
If your twisting then add your additions to the chocolate mix to taste.
Quince or Spiced Apple jam
Quince is one of little unknown fruits to many, but it makes the best jam or savoury jam for cheese and according to many, has various health benfits and provides a natural remedy for the common cold! That is purely in the eye of the beholder but it tastes so good, that its worth a try. Below is my recipe for a spiced jam. It makes a great accompanyment for cheese, tastes fabUlous alongside roast chicken and pork or just add a spoon to your morning smoothie. The basics are the same whether you choose to make a sweet jam or a savoury jam, except for the addition of the white balsamic vinegar.
1.5 x kilo quince or cooking apples, - chopped into pieces
3 x cups of jam sugar
1 x lemon juiced and rind grated
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of white balsamic vinegar for a savoury jam.
optional extras - For Apple
1 x cinnamon stick, 1.4 cup fresh grated ginger, fresh sage, clove or 1/2 cup elderflower cordial.
Optional extras - For Quince
2 x green chilli - finely chopped, 1/4 cup grated ginger, pinch of saffron, allspice or 1tsp of cumin
Method - Dont remove the cores and pips and they have natural pectin in them, but if you dont like a jam with bits in then soften the fruit first, and push the pulp through a strainer before adding the rest of the ingredients.
BUT if your like me and like a meaty jam -
Place the chopped fruits in a suitable pan, with all the above. Remeber the vinegar is ONLY for the savoury options. Choose to add any of your optional extras now and bring the whole lot to the boil. Simmer for about 40 mins. The mix should be thick by this point but still have some liquid remaining on the top of the fruit pulp. Charge your jars (by this I mean steralize) and fill with the jam. Turn them upside down to steralize them further and chill.
Lucy s Walnut Butter
I m gluten free, and delicious! As you may have read in my blog dated 15th September 2016, its all about WET Walnuts for two weeks. I will give you a recipe for walnut butter you can make through the whole year but if your a lover of WET Walnuts then the second recipe is incredible, and can be made from frozen walnuts.
2 x cups of walnuts - shelled and soaked over night. This helps reduce the bitterness some walnuts may have
2 x cups Wet Walnuts - peeled
1 x tsp rock salt
1 x tsp cinnamon powder
2 x tsp honey
2 x tsp canola oil or nut oil, not sesame.
The twist - 1 tsp grated ginger, maple syrup, cocnut oil
Put everything in your blender and pulse until smooth. Its all about taste and texture so its up to you.
The wet walnut butter is much smoother and does not need the cinnamon powder
Pumpkin Gnocchi with chorizo
Many will say a great Gnocchi is all about the potatoes, and after trialing a few, I have come to the conclusion that my preference are King Edwards. I ve also learnt its about the texture of your mixture at the end and there is room for ammending the recipe below a little. Gnocchi is not to be over worked.
For the Gnocchi -
1 x kilo of King Edward Potatoes
2 x cups of fine plain OO flour.
Rock salt and pepper to taste
1 x egg - optional but I like to use it.
1 x cup of smashed pumpkin seasoned with nutmeg
For the sauce -
400 grams good Spanish Smoked Chorizo - finely sliced
1 x tsp good Spanish smoked paprika
1 x bunch fresh sage
1 x red onion - finely sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 x tsp honey
1 x whole garlic - roasted
Boil your potatoes without peeling for about 20 mins or until soft. Drain and whilst warm peel off the skin. Take a large grater or a potato ricer if you have one, and rice whilst they are still warm. This keeps them fluffy.
Add the egg and about 2/3 cup of the flour and mix togther before the heat of the potato cooks the egg. Then when its all blended add the remainder of the flour & the smashed seasoned pumpkin and work togther until it becomes pliable. You may knead the dough but just a little. Hopefully still warm now roll the dough into sausages approx 1.5" thick and then slice off your gnocchi pieces slighlty under an inch in length. Place on a floured tray and boil your water ready to cook the gnocchi pieces until they float to the surface. Drain and serve.
For the sauce - simply saute the red onion until soft, add your chorizo, smashed and roasted garlic with the sliced fresh sage leaves. Add the wine, honey and paprika.
Spoon over your cooked gnocchi and dive in.......
Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Ice cream has to be decadent! It has to be rich and smooth and so I am fully indulging in everything that makes this happen. I would only use a machine to churn as this freezes too but of course the Pacojet, (if life has given you roses), will of course make the best ice cream to rival any Italian brand. Now you can replace the full fat cream with coconut cream if you are a vegan but the consistency will vary.
2 x cups of good old English double cream
1 x cup of full fat milk
1 x vanilla bean pod or a tsp of good vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup castor sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp pumpkin spice
(if you want to make your own spice, it is simple.)
2 tbsp. , ground cinnamon
2 tsp. , ground ginger
1 tsp. , ground cloves
1 tsp. , ground allspice
1/2 tsp. , ground nutmeg
Method - Bring the cream and milk to just under the boil, add the vanilla paste or the inside of the vanilla pod. Whilst your waiting for this, whisk the egg yolks & sugar together. Then temper the egg mix by adding a small amount of the cream into the eggs and whisk gently. Return the egg mix to the remainder of the cream and gently
heat whilst stirring continuously until it starts to thicken enough only to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add to your machine and then start churning. Most machines these days take 20 to 30 minutes to freeze this down.
The twist - crystallised ginger, chocolate chips, salted caramel chips, red chilli flakes, honeycomb pieces
Savoury - Savoury ice creams make a great addition to spicy soups. They are also fabulous on a cheese soufflé or tomato tartins.