Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lemon French Toast

The hot summer days are long gone, but they are replaced by warm Autumn days. I am finding most of the weekends in September have been warm enough to have my weekend breakfast outside, although this is with a cardigan, I must add. I was reminiscing of my mini break earlier this year to Spain and although I never ate this for my breakfast in Spain it is a dish that reminds me of my holidays and summer. I have adapted this from the original recipe found in Nigella Express, swapping the orange for a sharp lemon, and topped with tropical pineapple cooked in a warmed lemon curd. This topping was topped on a cinnamon spiced bread soaked and fried in butter. I loved this as a weekend breakfast and will make again when the weather improves or when I want to reminisce about my holiday. I'm sure you will enjoy this treaty weekend breakfast.
Here is how my Lemon French Toast turned out:
Lemon French Toast

Lemon French Toast

Egg, milk and lemon zest mixture

Bread soaking in mixture

Warmed pineapple and lemon curd.

The recipe for Lemon French Toast can found on the link here. As stated I adapted this recipe, to make the warmed lemon curd I place 3 heaped tbsp of lemon cured in a saucepan on a low heat and gently heated the ringed pineapple in the pan.

xxx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lime and coconut traybake

I love simple tray bakes, they are almost always easy and quick to make. I tend to make classic tray bakes when I am pressed on time but I still want a cake fix. I'm a fan of classic flavour combinations such as lime and coconut. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the coconut sprinkled on to, but not to worry you still should see how gorgeous this simple cake is, with the lime rind oozing out. This recipe is taken from the talented Jo Wheatley's Home Baking, which is one of my favourite baking books. I've never made a lime syrup before and wondered how it would take, it's very similar to a lemon syrup but with a sharper punch. This tray bake is very moreish and I will definitely will make this again.
Here is how my lime tray bake turned out:
Lime and coconut cake


Lime and coconut mixture

Lime and coconut pre bake

Ingredients
300g margarine or unsalted butter, softened
270g caster sugar
320g self-raising flour
5 large eggs
finely grated zest of 2 limes
50g desiccated coconut

Topping
75ml water
100g caster sugar
200g icing sugar
finely grates zest and juice of 2-4 limes
50g desiccated coconut

You will need a 20x 30 cm baking tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Method
Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas mark 3
Tip all of the cake ingredients (except the lime) into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and beat for r2 minutes until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and spread level using a palette knife.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for above 50-60 minutes or until well risen, golden and a skewer inserted int the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make a lime syrup by bringing the water and caster sugar to the boil in a sauce pan. Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer until thickened and the back of a spoon. Add half the juice and zest and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Remove the cake from the over and pierce the top of the cake all over with a wooden skewer. Slowly drizzle over the syrup whiles the cake is still warm and in the tin but be careful not to flood it.
Make the icing by combining 3 tbsp of the remaining icing sugar. Set aside.
Toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a low-medium heat until the coconut turns golden - this will happen quickly, so don;t leave the pan unattended.
Remove the cake from the tin, pour over the icing top with the toasted coconut ad remaining lime. Leave to set for half an hour and then slice into squares.

I'm sharing this recipe to Love Cake, hosted by Ness from JibberJabberUK. This months theme is Back to School and I'm sure these flavour combinations will go down well with teenagers in their packed lunch box.
xxx

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Trinidad chicken with festival and roti

The lovely Caribbean island of Trinidad is classed as a lesser antile island the Caribbean is an island closest to South America, just 12 miles from Venezuela.  Trinidad, culturally is one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean with several ethnicities living in harmony including: black African, Indian and Chinese. Over 100 years ago, many individuals from India migrated to Trinidad to help with the rail network on the island and other Caribbean islands which has created a melting pot. Trinidad curry chicken, culinary is a match made in multicultural heaven traditional Caribbean recipes such as jerk chicken has equal status as curry chicken and roti in this island. Caribbean chicken curry is a fusion of migrants bringing their cuisine over to the Caribbean and it is made throughout the islands.
I love this curry, it's spicy, aromatic, flavoursome, hearty and reminds me of my childhood and holidays. I hope that you get to enjoy this recipe as much as me. There are several accompaniments which can be served with this, I chose fried festival and roti but this dish can be served with rice and naan bread.
Here is how my Trinidad chicken turned out:

Trinidad chicken curry and festival

Trinidad curry chicken



Festival
Recipe for Trinidad Chicken Curry
4 chicken legs, quartered
splash of lemon juice
2 handfuls of frozen mixed vegetables
150ml coconut
1 tbsp all purpose seasoning
scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed
1 tbsp curry powder
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2-3tbsp oil
1 teaspoon all spice seasoning
1 large tomato
around 150ml water
stalk of thyme
Optional roti or naan

For the festival, make and cook according to packet instructions.

Method
Wash the chicken with the lemon juice and pat dry with kitchen towel. Place the chicken in a bowl and slice the onion, garlic and add the all purpose seasoning, curry powder and all spice to the chicken, mix thoroughly. If possible, leave to marinade overnight. Heat a large pan (I use a dutchpot) and add 2-3 tbsp oil in the pan until hot, then add the chicken pieces alongside the onion and garlic, scotch bonnet pepper leave to brown on a low heat for 7 minutes each side. Once the chicken is browned, turn the fire on a low heat add the coconut milk cook for around 5 minutes then add the water. This may appear to be liquidy but trust me it will all cook down. Leave to cook for around 15 minutes and add the handful of mixed vegetables to the mix. Cook for another 10 minutes and serve with the festival and if desired, roti.

xxx

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Michael's club sandwich

I've focused many blog post on weekend breakfast, but for a change I'll focus on weekend lunch. The weekend is a time to relax and spend time lingering in the kitchen. Whilst making cakes, tart, breads and pastry this can become quite hungry work. I had my first club sandwich back in June 2014 and I was dazzled by the thick slices of bread, combined with chicken, bacon and salad which was so filling and hearty it kept me satisfied into the early evening. I promptly decided I will have to make this again and remembered that I bookmarked a recipe for this three tiered sandwich from Deliah Smith's cookery book How to Cheat at Cooking. There are many fabulous quick recipes in this book which can be whipped up in minutes. Deliah named this recipe Micheal's club sandwich after her husbands love for this sandwich. I was so pleased that I created this classic sandwich for my lunch. In fact, next time I make this I'll probably have this for my evening meal with some chunky chips with a dollop of ketchup. This sandwich is quick and easy to make and if you follow the lovely Deliah's guide on buying ready cooked chicken and bacon this will be on your plate in less than ten minutes.
Here is how my club sandwich turned out:


Recipe for Micheal's club sandwich

6 thin slices white bread, from a large good quality loaf
1 ready-cooked chicken breast
soft butter
1 generous handful watercress, spinach and rocket salad (tough stalks removed)
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced, or 4 spring onions, chopped
4 spoonfuls of mayonnaise
1 pack of ready-cooked crispy smoked bacon
1 small avocado peeled, halved, stoned and thinly sliced

Method
You're  also going to need toothpicks. Start off by toasting the bread lightly on both sides and,  while that's happening, slice the chicken breast as thinly as possible. Then let the toast cool in a rack to keep it crisp before buttering 4 of the slices.
For the first sandwich, place one piece of toast, buttered side up, on a board and arrange a few of the salad leaves on top. Then add half the tomato slices spoon of mayonnaise over the onion, then crumble the crispy bacon and sprinkle half to it over the mayonnaise.
Now, place one of the un-buttered pieces of toast on top, followed by half the slices of chicken. Spread another dessert spoon of mayonnaise over that, followed by half the slices of avocado and a few more salad leaves. Season, then top with another buttered piece of toast.
Press the toothpicks, then press the toothpicks through the sandwich, one near each corner. Cut the sandwich into 4, using gentle sawing movements. Repeat the same process for the other sandwich.
xxx

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Toute Hache, review and giveaway

I love cookery books, that's no secret, so I was pleased to receive a copy of Tout Hache, many thanks to Jacqui Small Publishers for my review copy. Any book which contains several recipes using mince quickly becomes a firm favourite of mine as I love this cheaper cut of beef. The idea behind Tout Hache hails from three cooking enthusiastics Thierry, Lucile and Ahmed  in France with the later two being heavily influenced by American culinary ideas came up with the ingenious idea of combining the flavours of these two countries.  Inspired by the Cafe Moderne menu, this book sets about restoring the meatball to it's former glory. What I love about this book is that it shows all the different flavours that can be in-cooperated in a meatball alongside sauces. There are many recipes which I have book marked to cook and as well as the main theme of meatballs, I love the side dishes recipes which includes; broad been salad, creamy polenta, pan fried vegetables, french fries and sauté potatoes. So far, I've made two recipes immediately appealed to me; oriental burgers which I have included in this post for and lemon pork meatball sandwich. exotic
Tout Hache



Lemon pork meatball sandwich
Oriental Burgers


This book is split into the following chapters:
  • Techniques - techniques in making meatballs, fish balls, tartares and burgers.
  • Sauces - Recipes to try include the classic barbecue sauce, curried raita sauce and parmesan sauce.
  • Meatballs - tempting recipes include meatballs with choizo, Greek lamb meatballs, fried chicken meatballs and lemon pork meatballs.
  • Fishballs, recipes to try include cod and coconut fish balls.
  • Truffles - for the sweet lovers the chocolate coconut.
  • Tartares - tempting recipes include Lebanese lamb tartare and Cambodian veal tartare - how exotic.
  • Fish tartares - recipes to try include prawn and mango tartare with coconut milk.
  • Burgers - my favourite chapter where standout recipes include tandoori burgers, Italian veal burgers and oriental burgers.
  • Minced meat - The meatloaf recipe is one to try.
  • Side dishes - Recipes to try and enjoy are pan-fried vegetables and sauté potatoes.

Recipe for Oriental Burgers
Ingredients
2 red onion
3 tbsp Olive Oil
5tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp curry powder
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
700g minced beef
1/2 cucumber
1 tomato
4 burger buns

White Cheese Sauce
5 tbsp Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp Creme fraiche
1/2 tsp cumin

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes

Method
Make the white cheese sauce by mixing together all the ingredients.
Peel and chop the onions. Heat the olive oil in a frying pam, then add the onions. Cook over a high heat until they are transparent, making sure that they do not stick. Add the raisins and curry powder. Mix thoroughly.
In a large bowl, mix the onion mixture with the tomato ketchup and the minced beef. Mix throughly and make into 4 patties.
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and slice the tomatoes. Cut the buns in half and put the halves in the preheated oven.
Cook the patties on both sides in a hot non-stick frying pan.
Remove the buns from the oven. Spread each half with 1 tbsp of white cheese sauce, and put 2 slices of tomato, 1 patty and some cucumber slices on the bottom halves. Cover the burgers with the top halves of the buns.

The lovely people at Jacqui Small Publishers are offering one lucky reader a copy of this fabulous book. To be in with a chance, follow the below instructions and enter the rafflecopter.
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  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 10.09.14 - 05.09.14
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  • Jacqui Small Publishing will dispatch the book to the lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

xxx

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Big Fat Tipsy Tiffle

The majority of the dishes I make which are featured on my blog are: evening meals, weekend breakfast and cakes. It's actually quite rare that I make a dessert or pudding at home as I am quite addicted to making cakes! When I held my BBQ bake off  I felt it would be more appropriate to make a dessert to go along with all the burgers. As anyone who has a growing collection of cook/baking books, many recipes are book marked to make, so I decided to follow a little blogging challenge called random recipes to help me pick a cookery/baking book to help me chose what to make. I randomly picked Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy. This is not a traditional trifle in the sense that there is no jelly but instead there is amaretti biscuits and double cream. Although Lorraine Pascale's recipes are well-known to be super easy, to me the trifle is more of an assemble job, perhaps next time I would make a more authentic trifle as I missed the jelly element.  I decided to omit the alcohol as there were children eaten this dessert but I think it turned out well without it. The several flavours of this trifle came through, the strawberries which were ripe and sweet, the white chocolate smooth and silky, the maderia cakes rich and the amaretti biscuits brought a crunchy element to the trifle.
Here is how my trifle turned out:

Big Fat Trifle

Portion of big fat trifle


Layering up

Layering up

Layering up

Recipe for Big Fat Tipsy Trifle (including alcohol)
  • 2 x ready-made Madeira loaf cakes
  • 150ml amaretto or any other liqueour, plus extra for flambéeing
  • 800g strawberries, hulled, cut in half lengthways
  • 250g amaretti biscuits, crumbled
  • few drops vanilla extract
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 900ml/1½ pints double cream
  • 200g/7oz white chocolate, grated
Method
  • Put the trifle dish on a large tray to make it easy to carry. Slice one of the Madeira cakes into 0.5cm/¼in slices and use a few of the pieces to line the bottom of the dish. (Make sure they are nice and tight and in a single layer, so push down any bits that are standing up too high.
  • Brush the sponge with some of the amaretto. Then take a few strawberries halves that are roughly the same size and put them point upwards on the outer edge of the cake so the cut edges are pressing up against the glass. Repeat all the way round the dish.
  • Sprinkle some crumbled amaretti biscuits on top of the sponge to a third of the way up the strawberries.
  • Place the vanilla, icing sugar and cream in a bowl and whisk until thick and well combined
  • Spread a third of the cream on top of the strawberries and crumbled biscuits, and smooth it down with a spoon.
  • Once the cream mixture is level in the bowl, wipe round the edge with kitchen towel. Sprinkle over with white chocolate.
  • Repeat the layering process until the bowl is full, finishing with a layer of strawberries. Chill in the fridge until ready to eat.Shortly before serving, you can flambé the top of the trifle. To do this, place some amaretto in a stainless steel ladle. Warm it through over low heat. Gently ignite the mixture and pour it over the trifle. 
As stated earlier in the post, I am sharing my trifle to the blogging challenge entitled Random Recipes  hosted by the lovely Dom from Belleau Kitchen .

Enjoy 
xxx

Friday, 5 September 2014

American Peanut butter & banana pancakes

I love weekend breakfast, take a look at my folder on Facebook entitled Weekend Breakfast where you can see my favourite weekend dishes. The weekends for me are usually a more laid back affair; there is not the rush to get to work so time can be spent lingering in the kitchen up until brunch time. Monday-Friday my breakfasts usually consist of a big bowl of fruit salad, porridge or a bowl of fruit and salad. I try to make my mid-week breakfast filling, healthy and most importantly delicious. But it is the weekend when I really go to town, no healthy breakfasts here, instead I enjoy making pancakes, fritters, waffles, quiches and Jamacian classic breakfast dishes. This dish, from Lisa Faulkner's The Way I Cook is one of those fabulous American inspired dishes, raised pancakes with peanut butter and banana topped with a drizzle of syrup with your choice. Not only this dish is delicious, it is easy to make, a crowd pleaser and quite filling.
Here is how my American peanut butter and banana pancakes turned out:


Recipe for American Peanut butter and banana pancakes
Makes about 12 pancakes
350ml milk
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon caster sugar
4 tbsp peanut butter
banana, sliced
golden or maple syrup for drizzling


Method
If you have a blender, pour in the milk and eggs and blend then add the flour, sugar and salt and blend again. If not, sift the flour into a large bowl, add the sugar, peanut butter and combine. Make a well in the centre, whisk the milk and eggs together in a jug and pour into the well and beat together.
Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and brush with a little vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, pour in just over half a ladleful of the batter so that it makes a pancake about 10cm (4 inches) in diameter. Once the bubble start forming add the sliced banana, the pancake is ready to turn over.
Once you've turned the pancake, cook for 30 seconds until golden.

xxx