Tag Archives: cheese

In a Pickle : Christmas Preparation

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There is nothing better at christmas time than having a late supper of cold cut meats, a selection of cheeses and pickled onions and eggs! As I was in Korea last year I did miss out on the little delights of a classic british christmas so this year I will be getting my seasonal food treats. What better way right now is to prepare the onions and eggs for pickling, its nice and easy and taste so much better than shop bought.

Pickled Eggs: What You needs: A Jar (sterilised), Pickling vinegar (or cidar vingar), 12 eggs, 50g Fresh Ginger (peeled), 2tsp Dried Crushed Chillies,2 cinnamon sticks, 2tsp Black Peppercorns.

Firstly hard boil the eggs, peel and set aside to cool. While they are cooling add the vinegar and spices to a pan and bring to the boil, but as it starts to bubble turn off and set aside for 2 hours. Fill the jar with the hard boil eggs, sieve the vinegar mixture and pour over the eggs. Tightly screw on the jar lid. Best to set aside for 1 month for flavours to mix, you can store these for 6-8 months and are delicious with a salad, chunky chips or even a pint of beer.

Pickled Onions: What You Need: Pickling Onions (enough to fill the jar you are using), 1tsp Crushed Chillies, 1stp whole Cloves, 1tsp Whole Allspice, 1tsp Black Peppercorns, Garlic Clove, Salt.

First peel the onions and wash, place in a large bowl and cover with water (enought to cover the onions). Sprinke around 75g of salt over the onions, cover the bowl with a cloth and set around for 24 hours.

Next day prepare the vingaer mixture like the eggs, fill the jar with onions and pour over the vingar. Seal and store for up to 12 months.

A perfect christmas, and why not try the same with beetroot and red cabbage.

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Raiding the Pantry Quiche: Bacon, Cheddar & Parmesan

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For lunch I decided to make a nice simple quiche with left overs in the fridge for me and my younger brother, and it turned out great with lots of flavour.

What You Need:

Shortcrust Pastry Case ( I made mine using a simple recipe which I then baked blind), 5 eggs, 300ml Milk, 5 Rashers of Bacon, 1 Onion, 200g Strong Mature Cheddar, 100g Parmesan Cheese, 1 Tomato. Salt & Pepper to season.

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Preheat Oven to 160C.

Firstly whisk the eggs and milk and season well. Then chop the onion and bacon roughly and on a low heat fry on the pan to gently soften. Take half of the cheddar (grated) and put on the bottom of the pie case followed by the onions and bacon. Now top with the the rest of the cheese (Cheddar & Parmesan) and the sliced tomato. Now with the egg mixture fill (Best done on the oven shelf to stop spillage when moving) and bake for 30-40mins, until golden brown. Leave to stand before eating and eat warm or cold .

Yum!

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Roast Pumpkin Chutney

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I had some left over roasted pumpkin from the soup so I decided to bubble it up and create a yummy pickle. This recipe is nice and simple. This batch makes around 5 medium jars. Also don’t forget to recycle and use old jars which you can sterilise in the oven.

What You Need:

3 Bramley Apples, 1 Large Red Onion, Cube of Fresh Ginger, 1/2 Roasted Pumpkin, 550ml of Malt Vinegar, 150ml of Water, 400g of Dark Brown Sugar, 1tbs Salt, 1tsp Canyanne Pepper, Squeeze of Lemon Juice, 1tsp English Mustard and pepper to season.

First chop onion, apples to the size you like, add to a large saucepan with everything else (except Pumpkin, Sugar and Salt). Boil up the mixture and simmer for 30mins.

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After 30mins stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved and simmer again for another hour, every so often stir the mixture. When the chutney is to the consistency you like (maybe simmer for 5 hours to reduce excess liquid) add the chopped roasted pumpkin and mix together, leave to cool then pot into warm jars and seal.

I recommend you leave it to mature for a month and then eat with cheese.. yum!

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Autumn Warmer: Pumpkin, Spinach and Cinnamon Soup

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On a cloudy, grey and crisp day there is nothing better than a big bowl of soup and some nice crusty cheese on toast. So today I decided to make a fall warming lunch with lovely seasonal pumpkin, fresh spinach and a kick of cinnamon.

What you need:

1/2 a pumpkin, big bunch of spinach, 2 small/medium potatoes, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 400ml of vegetable stock, 1tsp of ground cinnamon, 1tsp of Dried Chillies, small knob of fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1tsp sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 tp of plain flour, 250ml of creme fraiche, butter.

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Simple to make, chop the onion and garlic and gentle fry with a drop of butter in a large saucepan until golden brown then add all the spices (Cinnamon, Cumin, pinch of pepper and salt, dried chillies, Ginger), Gently mix and simmer on a low heat. The smell is lovely. Set aside for 60mins and let the flavours soak.

Now lets roast the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the pumpkin in half and take out the seeds, then cut into 4 slices and score crosses across the flesh, season with salt and two small knobs of butter (10g per slice) and roast in the oven for 1 hour. After an hour take out and cool, then gently with a knife slid the golden pumpkin away from the skin… yum! Take 1/4 of the pumpkin and add to your onion mixture and the set the rest aside.

Now back to the onion and pumpkin pan, add your chopped and peeled potato, roughly chopped spinach and piping hot vegetable stock into the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30mins or for as long as you like to infuse the flavours.

Once the potato is cooked take the mixture to the blender, add the rest of the pumpkin and blend (maybe you should do this in parts (unless you want a new shade of green on your walls). Once blended, I like smooth, to the consistency you like, return to the pan. Now in a separate bowl hand mix together the egg yolk and plain flour to a creamy texture, and add a little water. Now put your creme fraiche into the egg mixture and whisk up until the egg is evenly mixed in. The egg mixture is to make sure the dairy product does not curdle. Now mix in to the soup and simmer on a low heat, add more seasoning to taste.

and… enjoy a nice October warmer! I garnished mine with a spinach lead, cream and pumpkin seeds.

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