Thursday, 21 August 2014

Crab and samphire risotto


1 pint fish stock, 1 cup risotto rice, 1 white onion, 1/2 tsp dill, 1 cup brown crab meat, 1 cup white wine, 1 tbsp butter, samphire.
Serves: 2 Preparation: 30 minutes

I hate the smell of fish. I'm sorry, but I do. I know it's pretty pathetic for an otherwise adventurous food blogger to turn her nose up at such a basic food but I just cannot cope with it. I wish with my whole heart that I could because it's so good for you, so I was delighted to create this dish for my husband and son recently and it NOT stink my house out or require me to cook with Vick's Vapo Rub slathered under my nostrils. This is a winning dish if you're cooking that all important third date meal for someone. *winks*
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time.

1) Peel and finely dice the onion, and sautee in the butter until soft (about 10 minutes).

2) Add the rice and stir through until it becomes translucent, save for a white dot in the centre. 
Add a good glug of white wine and continue stirring until it has cooked off, then add the first ladleful of stock.

3) Continue adding the stock to the risotto, one ladle at a time, adding the crab meat, samphire and dill with the second to last ladle of stock. Serve hot, finishing with an indulgent dash of cream if you wish. Remember, risotto should be soupy, not solid!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Schwarzwälder kirschtorte


120g caster sugar, 3 eggs, 100g self raising flour, 50g cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1L double cream, 25g dark chocolate, 3 tbsp cherry jam, 4 tbsp kirschwasser liquid plus cherries to decorate.
Preparation: 1 hour

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany and my final recipe as they won last night!. Following my glorious adventures with Kirsch, I knew that my final dish for Germany would HAVE to be the iconic Black Forest Gateau. Chocolate and cherries are a marvellous combination and this simple chocolate sponge, laced with kirsch and smothered in cream to form a moist, trifly concoction is utterly moreish.

1)  Cream together 100g sugar and 100g butter using an electric whisk, then whisk through the cocoa powder and eggs, one egg at a time.

Add a tablespoon of the kirsch syrup and sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk into the cake batter, then bake in a buttered tin for 35 minutes at 155 degrees or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely before slicing in half horizontally.

3) Whisk the cream using an electric whisk or hand beater until stiff peaks form and transfer to a piping bag. If you wish you can add vanilla seeds and icing sugar before whisking but I'll be honest, I think the clean taste of the cream is necessary to cut through the richness of the chocolate and the heady, boozy cherries.

4) Spoon the remaining kirsch syrup onto the top layer of the chocolate cake (it will absorb more easily if you do this on the cut side rather than the top side, alternatively you can poke a few holes with a skewer into the top) then sandwich it together with a layer of cherry jam and whipped cream in the middle and the remainder of the cream on the top.

5) Shave the chocolate using a grater and sprinkle liberally over the cream. Stud with cherries and allow to rest in the fridge until chilled before serving.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014



1lb cherries, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1 cup alcohol (beer, brandy or red wine, are traditional) 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Preparation: 20 minutes

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. Kirsch is a glorious, heady cold fruit soup consisting of essentially booze and whole, pitted cherries. In researching this recipe I found so many variations from those using milk or soured cream to those using beer or red wine. In the end, I went with a mixture of sloe gin and brandy simply because that was what I had in my cupboard and I can assure you that it is a knockout combination!

1) Pit the cherries, discarding the stones and add the fruit to a milk pan

2) Measure in the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla essence, top up with the booze and either 1/2 cup water or the excess cherry juice if you are using canned cherries (I used fresh fruit so I topped this up with a little apple juice).

3) Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Revel in the utterly divine smell. REVEL I SAY.

4) Chill and serve! I tried this with a blob of soured cream and also with sweet dumplings and I'll be honest I preferred it just on its own!

Saturday, 5 July 2014



2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk or water.
Serves: 2 Preparation: 45 minutes

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. Spatzle are a sort of cross between a noodle and a dumpling - thicker and fluffier than pasta - and are served tossed with butter and sausage, sometimes lentils and vegetables. I served mine with spinach and cheese because SCREW YOU IT'S MY BLOG! I should also warn you that should you have had the impression I did, that pushing something through a potato ricer or colander would make actual noodles, well you'd be wrong. Spatzle translates to "little sparrow" which (aside from being highly disrespectful to Edith Piaf in my humble opinion) apparently explains why this is supposed to look like little gobbets of chewed up bubblegum, scraped off the bottom of your Docs. Looks aren't everything though, and this tastes delicious!

1) Sift the flour and salt into a bowl if using a hand mixer, or into your stand mixer if you have a Kitchen Aid (bastard.)

2) Whisk the eggs together, make a well in the flour and add the eggs and milk/water. Get your dough hook out and let it going for about 20 minutes, until you see holes in the dough as it pulls away from the sides.

3) If you're mixing this by hand... I have no advice for you except that you're probably mad and or have terrific arm muscles.

4) Squidge the dough through a colander or potato ricer and into a pot of boiling water. Once the noodles float to the top they're done! Strain them and transfer into a bowl of ice water to cool down, then dry off and either put them in the fridge to use later or toss them in a little butter before serving with meat or cooked in the sauce of your choice!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

BBQ ribeye steak in Jack Daniels sauce


150ml Jack Daniels, 1 onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste, 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp dark muscovado sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp groundnut oil.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 1-2 days for marinating

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of America. Steak and baked potato with soured cream is an American institution, and sexing up the steak with this luscious, mouthwatering, sticky Jack Daniels sauce certainly made my husband very happy!

1) To make perfect baked potatoes, please see my previous recipe. Serve with a little butter mashed through and a generous dollop of soured cream. I also finely diced some salad onion and chive but this is a matter of taste of course!

2) To prepare the marinade, peel and finely dice the onion, crush the garlic and sautee in the groundnut oil until completely soft. Add the sugar and bring to the boil until it melts into a gorgeous, dark caramel liquid.

3) Remove from the heat and stir in the chipotle chilli paste, pomegranate molasses, soy sauce and salt. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a tupperware box or ziplock bag and add the meat, rubbing it in to ensure maximum coverage. Leave to marinate at least overnight, but for best results for 2 days before cooking.

4) To cook, simply add (from room temperature) to the BBQ and sizzle. I cooked these for a minute and a half on each side to ensure the centre was still nice and pink and juicy, but this is of course a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014



1/2 Cucumber, 2 large tomatoes, 1/4 white onion, 2 tbsp soured cream, 1 tsp dill, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 5 minutes (plus half an hour for chilling)

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. Most of you will know my feelings about raw onion by now, I absolutely LOATHE it with a fiery passion and never include it in my own food, including coleslaw which is a common side dish in German cuisine. As I have, however, posted many coleslaw recipes before from the conventional carrot and cabbage combination to those including beetroot and pear, I decided to force myself to eat raw onion by making Gurkensalat instead, a cucumber and tomato salad with a creamy mustard and vinegar dressing given depth by dill and parsley. Did I pick out the onions after tasting it? Yes. Was it otherwise delicious? Absolutely.

1) Whisk together the soured cream, vinegar, herbs, mustard and sugar. Rather than use it immediately, I allowed it to rest for half an hour in the fridge for the flavours to really come together and the soured cream to thicken back up a little.

2) Slice the onion and cucumbers finely enough to be translucent when held up to the light and the tomato as it comes.

3) Stir in the dressing and serve! If, like me you are not so fond of onions, scatter them on the top and after trying them and dress the rest of the salad later!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Pastel de nata


Custard: 3 tbsps plain flour, 1 ¼ cups milk, 1 ⅓ cups caster sugar, ½ tsp vanilla essence, 6 egg yolks, 1 tsp cinnamon.
Dough: 220g plain flour, 7g yeast, 160ml milk, 2 1/2 tsp caster sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, 150g butter.

Serves: 9 Preparation: 2 hours (plus overnight)

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Portugal. Pastel de nata are stunning little cinnamon custard tarts, with a gorgeous flaky croissanty crust that has to be tasted to be believed. It's a LOT of work to make these, but they're well worth it and they freeze well.

1) To make the dough for the pastry case, please see up to step 5 of my croissant recipe.

2) To make the custard, bring the sugar and cinnamon to the boil in a pan with 2/3 cup of cold water until a syrup forms- don't stir it!

3) Separate the milk with 1/4 in a bowl and 1 cup in a pan. Whisk the flour in with the bowl of milk until smooth and set aside. Meanwhile, scald the milk in the pan, then whisk in the flour-milk mixture.

Add the cinnamon sugar syrup into the hot milk and flour whilst whisking furiously (you might want to ask someone to help!) then take off the heat once it is a smooth, just pourable consistency. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.

5) When the mixture has cooled just enough for you to comfortably touch it without swearing (about the temperature of a cup of tea if that helps!) whisk in the egg yolks and set aside to cool.

6) Pre-heat the oven to 290 degrees celcius and grab your pastry from the fridge. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thickness and cut it into squares the approximate size of your chosen muffin tin dimples. Wet your fingers and press the dough into the muffin tin, moulding with your fingers until you've created a "lip" about 1/2cm above the muffin tin surface and pour in the custard.

7) Bake until the edges of the pastry are brown and the custard has a good wobble on. Serve warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Monday, 16 June 2014



1 yukka/cassava root, ½ cup butter, 2 plantains.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Ghana. Fufu is used as a side dish in the way we would eat mashed potato, but also in place of bread to scoop up soup. The plantain gives it a wonderful sweetness which I find works wonderfully with traditional peanut soup.

1) Peel the rough bark from the yukka/cassava root with a knife and chop off the ends. Dice into chunks the way you would a potato.

2) Bring to the boil in a pan of cold water and leave to simmer for 30 minutes until soft.

3) In the meantime, add the whole plantain to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer until you see the skin begin to split, then remove and peel.

4) Add the cooked plantain and the yukka/cassava to a blender with the butter and puree until smooth and elastic.

5) Allow to cool just enough to handle, then serve with soup.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

New England Clam Chowder


1 lb potatoes, 1 lb clams, 1 pint vegetable stock, 4 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp dill, 50ml double cream, 2 tbsp butter, 2 stalks celery, 1 white onion, 1 tbsp plain flour. Bread

Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of America. If, like me, you're vegetarian then separating a portion to add sweetcorn to just before the clams go in makes this really easy dual-chowder! It's a lovely hearty soup, just the thing to comfort one on a cold day (please ignore the fact that it is June!) - especially if you serve it in a bread bowl!

1) Peel and slice the potatoes into inch cubes and set aside, peel the onion and dice it along with the celery.

2) Add half the butter to the pan and sautee the onion and celery until completely soft (about 10 minutes), then add the remainder of the butter along with the flour and whisk until a roux has formed.

3) Add the potatoes, bay leaves and vegetable stock to the pan and stir through. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the clams and dill and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4) Hollow out a bread bowl by cutting a circle into the top of the crust and scooping out the soft centre with your fingers. Stir the cream into the soup, season to taste with salt and black pepper, then ladle into the bread bowl.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Bratwurst with braised cabbage


1 white cabbage, 1 onion, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, 4 bratwurst sausages.
Serves: 2 Preparation: 30 minutes

As part of the World Cup Food Challenge 2014, this recipe represents a traditional meal of Germany. It feels like such a cliche and so unimaginative to instantly associate Germany with sausage, but if you look past the meat (typical vegetarian, eh?) and simply delight in the utter fragrant glory of the bed of cabbage, I can promise you that this dish is a national treasure for a very very good reason.

1) Peel and chop the onion into 1/2cm slices. Pop out the rings and add to a pan along with the butter and cloves. Sautee gently until the onion is completely soft and translucent and take the pan off the heat. Pick out the cloves and discard.

2) Cut the cabbage into 1/2cm slices, then slice into thin strips. Parboil for 5 minutes, drain and add to the pan of onion.

3) Return to the heat, add the vinegar and mustard and stir through until the cabbage becomes soft, adding a little extra butter for glossiness if desired.

4) Grill or fry the sausages for 6-8 minutes, then serve atop the cabbage.

Everything Goes With Toast   © 2008. Distributed by Blogger Templates. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital