Category / Recipe

Christmas Recipe

Indulgent Parsnip Soup

I made this soup in an attempt to get my husband to eat parsnips, he hates them apparently! Not any more, I tricked him with this delicate soup, based on a German theme but rich and creamy with a hint of apples and spice! The wine can be omitted and replaced with extra stock.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 400g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and chopped
  • 250ml dry white wine (Riesling)
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 200ml single cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful smoked lardons

Method

in a large pan soften the onions in the butter then add the parsnips and potatoes, cook for a few minutes stirring all the time. Then add the wine and bring to a boil this will remove the alcohol content but leave the taste.Add the stock, mustard, apple juice and all the seasonings. Simmer about twenty minutes until the vegetables are soft. Using a hand blender stick blitz the soup until very smooth, add more stock if its a bit thick . Add the cream and let it heat gently.

Meanwhile in a frying pan cook the lardons in their own fat, it will be released as soon as it gets warm. Crisp them up.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls then swirl a little cream into it, place a spoonful of lardons in the centre and sprinkle with smoked paprika. To make this vegetarian friendly omit the lardons and replace with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

Baking Recipe

Chocolate, Praline, Hazelnut and Sea Salt Caramel Tart

This is a deliciously rich and decadent tart I created for The Taste of Kent Food Festival

Ingredients

Pastry

50g Crushed hazelnuts

115 g butter

50g caster sugar

2 egg yolks

200 g plain flour

2 Tbs cold water

Caramel

120g condensed milk

60g golden syrup

150g butter

150g light brown sugar

Large pinch smoked sea salt flakes

Ganache

 225g 70% chocolate

175ml Double Cream

30g butter

Praline

100g caster sugar

50 g hazelnuts

Decorations

100 g dark chocolate

Rub all the dry ingredients together and the add egg yolk and water and form a ball. Chill in the fridge for half an hour. Roll out the pastry and place in a 20cm loose bottomed flan tin. Blind bake the pastry in a pre heated 180 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and lining paper and continue to cook for about another 10 minutes .

Make the caramel by heating all the ingredients together in a saucepan until it reaches a temperature of 110 degrees. Pour into the pastry case.

Make the ganache by very gently warming the ingredients together until melted and glossy. Pour onto the caramel.

To make the praline gently heat the sugar in a heavy bottomed fry pan, swirling as it melts not stirring. When it has become a golden colour pour over the hazelnuts. Once cooled grind together in a food processor until it is like coarse sand.

Sprinkle the praline around the circumference of the ganache.

Using melted chocolate in a small piping bag makes triangles to resemble sails. Cool in the fridge and the stand upright in the ganache.

sprinkle ground sea salt over the top of the ganache.

Baking Recipe

I Had a Little Nut Tree with a Golden Pear.

Blue Cheesecake

Voila

I was trying to develop a recipe for a savoury cheesecake using Stilton in particular, I love blue cheese with walnut or pecan and pears go so well with both that this evolved. In my mind this will be great on a buffet table with the cheeseboard or instead of. A hint of sweetness in the base with ginger biscuits in there too. My thesaurus of food pairings told me that a sweet praline might give some texture and a touch more sweetness, so the shards and then the dried pear flames were born. A juicy spicy poached pear on top of a sweet/sour relish is the King of Spain’s Daughters Golden pear as i liberally polished it up with gold spray, and a scattering of crushed pecan praline looks like sparkling jewels. Showstopper!

Base

120g Savoury Crackers and Ginger Biscuits

80g Melted Butter

60g Pecans

Cake

250g Full Fat Cream Cheese with Chives/Herbs/Garlic

250g Ricotta

100g Creme Fraiche

100g Crumbled Stilton

1 Peeled and Diced Pear or Dried Pear

Tsp Mustard / Tsp Dried garlic powder/chilli flakes/smoked paprika/ anything goes

4 Beaten Eggs

Pear Relish Topping

3 Pears peeled cored and diced

1 Red Onion diced

160ml White Wine Vinegar

60g Brown Sugar

50g Mixed dried Berries

Pecan Brittle

100g Castor Sugar

50g Pecans

2 Tbs water

Poached Pear

1 peeled pear, leave stalk and bottom on

100g Castor sugar

100ml water

1 Tbs cinnamon

Dried Pears

1 Pear thinly sliced with skin on

Crush the biscuits and stir in the melted butter. In a greased and lined loose bottomed 20cm tin, press the biscuit mixture firmly down and chill in the fridge for an hour or more.

Mix all the cake ingredients together and pour on top of the base. Bake in the bottom of a 160 degree oven for about fifty minutes or until the cake is set with a slight wobble in the middle.

Put all the relish ingredients into a heavy based fry pan and bubble up until it is a jam like consistency.

Poach the pear in the sugar cinnamon water for about twenty minutes until tender

Heat the sugar and water gently in a separate pan for the brittle, do not stir, melteing the sugar and heating until it becomes caramel colored, stir in the pecans then pour it out on to grease proof sheet.

To dry the pears, slice as thinly as possible and dry in an oven on the lowest possible setting for several hours to dry out the moisture. If not using immediately store in an airtight jar.

To assemble, spoon the relish on top of the cheesecake. Place the poached pear centrally on top. Break the brittle into shards and push into the cheesecake also crushing some into smaller bits and scattering on the top. Using a small knife make slits around the cheesecake and push the dried pears into them.

I then spray some gold glitter all around for a shimmering golden pear effect.

Baking Recipe

Veggie Sausage Roll

Yesterday we were on the last day of our holiday in our caravan and I was keen to use up odds and ends in the fridge and cupboards. I found four Quorn Sausages in the freezer so this was my inspiration. I let them defrost and the sliced them into tiny bits. I found an onion a pack of mushrooms and a small pot of cottage cheese and a cube of cheddar. With the addition of some garlic, tomato pure, herbs and spices I made a massive sausage roll. I had a pack of supermarket puff pastry in the fridge too, always a standby you can make a lunch or a pud with ease.

This recipe is easy to adapt whatever you happen to have handy and is super tasty and gives you a meat free option which we are all being encouraged to do more often.

Ingredients

4 vegetarian sausages chopped into bits

1 Onion

Pack mushrooms

small tub Cottage cheese

Matchbox sized cube of Cheddar Cheese (any cheese)

Tablespoon tomato Puree

Crushed Garlic cloves to taste

Smoked paprika and Oregano (any in cupboard)

Pack Puff Pastry

Beaten Egg

Method

Using low cal spray mist a large frying pan and gently soften sausages, onion and mushrooms, add spices and herbs, garlic and tomato puree and cook for a few minutes.

Take off the heat and mix through the cottage and cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Open the Puff Pastry and lay mixture down the middle vertically. Using a sharp knife make slits on the diagonal in the four o clock direction down the right hand side and the same on the left but towards the eight o clock direction. Plait from each side overlapping in the middle and brushing with beaten egg to help stick the pastry together. Brush the finished roll all over with beaten egg and bake at 200 degrees until puffed up and golden.

Delicious Veggie Sausage Roll

Baking Recipe Yorkshire

Rhubarb and Custard Crumble Cake

This is a recipe given to me by Terry Harthill my Bake Off friend. I tweaked it here and there. It is delicious. I demonstrated this recipe at the Wakefield Rhubarb Festival Yesterday.

Roast Rhubarb

600 gram pink rhubarb

2 Tbs caster sugar

Custard

4 Egg Yolks

30g caster sugar

25g cornflour

350ml milk

1 Tsp vanilla paste

Sponge

250g butter

250 caster sugar

4 eggs

200g SR Flour

50g custard powder

1 Tsp Baking powder

Streusel Crumble

50g butter

85g soft brown sugar

85g plain flour

2 Tsp ginger powder

This recipe is made in four stages.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees

Chop the rhubarb into chunks and sprinkle with the sugar. Roast for ten minutes and remove from the oven.

Make the custard by heating the milk in a pan until almost boiling. In a bowl whisk the egg yolk, sugar, cornflour and vanilla. Pour the hot milk over it whisking all the time. Return the custard to the pan and heat on full until the custard is very thick.

Make the sponge by whisking the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add all of the other ingredients and mix together.

Stir the rhubarb gently through the sponge mixture and place the mixture into a greased and lined rectangular tin.

Using a spoon make small spaces in the sponge and drop in dollops of custard

Place in the oven for ten minutes while you make the crumble.

Make the crumble by combing all the ingredients and rubbing it all together with finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Open the oven door and very quickly scatter the crumbs over the cake. Continue to bake set, approx 45 minutes.

Leave to cool. Place a wire rack over the cake invert it. remove lining paper. Invert it again. This cake is better eaten after it has been cooled and then chilled in the fridge to keep to custard cold and fresh.

Baking Recipe Uncategorized Yorkshire

Rhubarb Relish

Yesterday I was making a very quick rhubarb relish in the Demo tent at Wakefield’s annual Rhubarb Festival. I made a quick Soda Bread and a mackerel pate to make a full lunch or supper dish.

Ingredients

1 Cup runny honey

Half cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 thumb sized piece of grated ginger

Half a red chilli chopped

2 Tsp Chinese five spice

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup chopped red onion

4 cups chopped rhubarb

In a large frying pan heat the honey and vinegar until boiling, add all the ingredients except the rhubarb and bubble on a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken into a jam like consistency. add the rhubarb and continue to cook until it is starting to soften. Turn off the heat and stir to combine the rhubarb and relish, try to keep some chunks of rhubarb for texture.

Recipe

Vegan Chickpea Curry

This is a quick curry that is perfect for a speedy dinner. Great on its own or with rice, chips, or – like I have included here – a quick pan fried naan bread. I developed this speedy store cupboard recipe for the NEC Caravan, Camping and Motorhome show live food demo.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sliced white onion
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic paste
  • 1 heaped tsp ginger paste
  • half tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tin coconut milk (stirred well with 3/4 cup removed for the naans)
  • 1 tin spinach (optional)

Optional Extras

  • 2 Chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 red chillies thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 Handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • Handful crushed cashew nuts
  • Handful coriander

Method

  1. Chop all the vegetables and rinse the chickpeas
  2. Put a frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and onions.
  3. Sautée onions for five minutes until soft.
  4. Add the garlic, chilli, and ginger with the curry powder. Cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes and serve.

Quick Panfried Naans

Ingredients

  • One and three quarters cups plain flour
  • 1 heaped Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Oil
  • 3/4 Cup coconut Milk
  • Olive Oil and garlic paste mix for basting
  • Garlic Oil Fry Light

Method

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix together.
  2. Add the coconut milk gradually and mix until smooth.
  3. Split into four and shape into balls.
  4. Roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin.
  5. Spray a frying pan with FryLight and cook the naans for few minutes on each side.

Recipe

Brazilian Picadillo

This week I have been doing live demonstrations at the Caravan and Camping Show. As part of this, people were invited to submit their favourite camping recipe for me to cook on stage. I had a wonderful day with my husband John and my girls Kit and Vanessa plus the amazing Terry from Bake Off to support me.

Press pass!

I selected this recipe because I had never heard of it and it sounded delicious. I have cooked it a couple of times since and have added it to my rotation of recipes.

Ingredients

  • 750g lean minced beef
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • 1 sliced white onion
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • Half green pepper sliced
  • Half red pepper sliced
  • 50g black olives sliced
  • 50g green olives sliced
  • 75g raisins
  • 75g capers (rinsed)
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Method

  1. Soften the vegetables in the coconut oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the minced beef. Stir until meat has browned.
  3. Add the spices, olives, capers, raisins, and the white wine vinegar along with the tomatoes.
  4. Simmer for about twenty minutes and serve.

GBBO Recipe

Weekly Roundup

Celery Soup

Following on from last week’s column I am relieved and happy to report back that my Game of Thrones themed cake was a success. It’s always a worry that something is going to go wrong, and disaster will strike at the last minute when making a cake for something special. In Pre-Bake Off days I used to take days to build a cake but my experience in that big tent taught me many things, one of them being time management and to think on your feet if disaster does poke its finger in your direction.

One example of this was in fact during cake week. I had finished my Strawberry Fayre showstopper, it was a chocolate collar cake, we all had to do collars. It was a roasting hot day, so I popped it into the fridge. When I went back to bring it out for presenting, I was horrified to see the collar at the back of the bottom tier was smashed in. I had failed to notice the fridge light at the back and pushed my cake right into it. I cast around for inspiration. I spotted my bobbin of bright red curling ribbon. I use it often, if you try hard enough you can think of ways to use red ribbon, cheers you up on a gloomy day! I made a ponytail of curling ribbon, tied it to a skewer stuck it into the damage. Disguised and it looked triumphant. I nearly got a Hollywood handshake!!

The healthy eating regime is going well. There are so many things to make and devour once you get involved. My favourite this week involves celery. I hear gasps and yawns of boredom. How can celery be on a favourite list? Its transformed by cooking, no longer the last crudité left on the buffet table, celery is amazing. Celery soup, two ingredients, a stock cube and salt and pepper, here is the recipe.

Celery Soup

1 pack of celery

1 pack spring onions

1 veg stock cube

Chop the celery into approx. 2cm lengths (discard the bottom)

Trim and chop the spring onion

Put into a large saucepan and cover with water

Add the stock cube

bring to the boil and simmer until soft

add more water if required

Blitz in blender or with a stick blender

Salt and pepper to taste

Celery Soup

If you remember I mentioned my Uncle Graham last week. He lives around the corner from me and I visited him yesterday. He is an avid film maker, home movies, he has 500 and they go back to the early sixties. I am researching food trends and holidays from the sixties onwards. He was showing me the old favourites. Most of us love a trip down memory lane. We were saying how back in the sixties we had never heard of pasta and thought that spaghetti only came in a tin, not having a clue what it was made from. When I got home, I decided to take a risk and do some pasta for our tea. You see my human dustbin husband John draws the line at pasta, he will eat it but not with a smile and he will not eat rice, unless it is made with milk and sugar and baked in the oven! He is old school you see when the only carbs found on a plate were potatoes.

I got away with it and just by rummaging around in the fridge. I sprayed my Wok with fry light and softened up and onion a red pepper and a few cherry tomatoes. I had a bit of left-over chicken tikka breast from the night before and a few rashers of bacon. That went into the wok. I added a tiny bit of water and half a pot of quark. A few grinds of salt and pepper and voila. I cooked off some tagliatelle, stirred it through the sauce and it was done. Hey presto a quick healthy dinner and John scoffed the lot.

Baking Recipe

Simple but classic poached pears

Last Sunday, I was making my shopping list and checked the fruit bowl. It was empty except for a few pears that were getting past their best. Not being one to waste food, I thought I’d give poached pears a try for dessert that evening. They were very quick to prepare and tasted amazing – my mother loves tinned pears and she gave them 5 stars!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 pears
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 500ml water
  • Tsp ground cinnamon
  • Tsp vanilla paste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. In a medium sauce pan, put all the ingredients except the pears. Put a low heat while you peel the pears.
  2. Once peeled, place the pears into the pan.
  3. Bring the syrup to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the pears are soft.
  4. Serve warm or cold. I like them with cream, but custard tastes great too!