Messy Surprise

Be you a gourmet or a gourmand, this is the place to share recipes, stories, and experiences.

Postby Makinamess » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:23 pm

Butternut Squash Bread

1 small butternut squash
2½ cups (300g) approximately plain white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ finely chopped fresh chilli (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 deg C, Gas Mark 6.

Bake the whole squash for 45 minutes (place a baking tray underneath to catch any spillages) and then allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Remove the skin and seeds and place the flesh in a bowl and mash it up, then add the flour, herbs, salt, baking powder and fresh chilli. Stir in the oil and knead everything together. Add enough flour (approximately 300g) to achieve a soft spongy dough (the actual amount will depend on how much liquid is retained in the squash as well as how big it is).

Form the dough into a round about 6” (150 cm) in diameter and place on an oiled baking tray. Cut a cross in the top and bake for 30-35 minutes. Tap the underside of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, then it’s cooked. If not, bake for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool before eating (if possible). This is one of the nicest non-yeast breads I have ever made, slightly sweet, but a fabulous colour !

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The whole roasted squash

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Inside the cooked squash - just remove the seeds and then scoop the flesh out of the skin

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The dough, about to go into the oven. Try to get the dough into the oven as soon as possible after mixing (there's a chemical reaction going on between the liquid and the baking powder in which carbon dioxide is given off, causing the dough to rise)

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The finished article - what a colour eh?
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Postby Makinamess » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:28 pm

Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Cookies (makes about 24)

1½ cups (190g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (225g) butter
½ cup (130g) peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
½ cup (95g) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1½ cups (260g) chocolate, broken up into small pieces (I used a mixture of plain chocolate and whole hazlenut milk chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 375 deg F Gas Mark 5.

Cream the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract and then beat in the egg. Beat in the flour and baking powder and stir in the chocolate pieces.

Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto ungreased baking trays (about 6 per sheet) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges of each cookie are set but the centres are still soft. Allow to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Postby Makinamess » Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:14 pm

Parathas (Buttered Chapattis)

2 cups flour (I like 1½ cups of this to be wholemeal, ½ cup to be white, but there are no strict rules here)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
butter
water for mixing

Mix the flours, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl, then add enough water to make a soft dough, and knead it gently. Cover with a damp cloth or cling film and leave to rest for half an hour. Roll out walnut sizes balls of the dough into a circle on a floured surface, dipping into flour if it gets sticky at any time. Shake the excess flour off and dab small knobs of butter (cold, straight from the fridge) over the surface.
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Roll up the circle of dough into a shape like a thin swiss roll
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Squeeze the roll gently to seal the edges and then roll out using the palm of your hands to form a sausage shape
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Then roll this into a flat spiral and tuck the outside end in.
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Press down with your palm, dip the dough into some flour and place in the fridge for half an hour. If you want to leave them for much longer than this (say overnight), cover with cling film.

Roll each piece out into a circle again, dipping in flour if needed, to about 1/8 inch thick. Shake off the excess flour and place on a hot tava (a cast iron griddle pan) or a heavy duty frying pan, turning over when cooked. If you've added enough butter knobs, there should be no need to add more butter but if it seems dry, brush a little butter over the dry bit. Each paratha should puff up (like flaky pastry).
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This recipe should make about 8 parathas. You can keep them hot by wrapping them up in foil or folding them into quarters and placing in a heat proof dish over a hot saucepanful of say curry or dahl with the saucepan lid on top (bit like a bain marie !). They are lovely served with any Indian food - curries, dahls, or just eaten on their own with a little Spicy Mixed Pickle.
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Postby Makinamess » Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:40 pm

Risotto

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed (optional)
½ fresh small chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1 red pepper, finely chopped
100g (1½ cups) fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
15g (1 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
½ sun dried pepper
220 g (1¼ cups) uncooked risotto rice (I like Carnaroli but you could use Arborio if you like a creamier risotto)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Place the dried mushrooms and sun dried pepper in a heat proof dish and pour over enough hot water to cover, leave to stand for 20 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat up the oil and add the onion, garlic, chilli, pepper, fresh mushrooms and celery and gently sweat the vegetables until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and stir well so that all the grains of rice are coated with the oil.

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Strain the soaked mushrooms and pepper – reserving the “liquor” (liquid) and chop up the mushrooms and pepper before adding them to the rice. Pour about one third of the liquor (about 5 fluid ounces) over the rice and vegetables, then add about 10 fluid ounces of water – but only enough to just cover the rice. Cook on a low heat for about 20 – 25 minutes until the rice is cooked through but stir frequently, adding more water if needed. Season with salt to taste and stir in the chopped parsley.

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If you like a creamy risotto, beat in a large knob of butter and leave it to stand for 5 minutes before serving with some (2 tbsp) grated parmesan cheese.

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You can freeze the remaining mushroom liquor in ice cube trays and use this to flavour other dishes.
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Postby Makinamess » Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:05 pm

Vegetable Quiche

Pastry
100g (1 cup) plain flour (I prefer wholewheat flour for taste but white flour pastry is easier to handle)
50g soft margarine
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)
¼ tsp mustard powder (optional)
approx 20 ml (4 tsp) cold water

Vegetables
1 onion, chopped
1 large spring onion, sliced
1 stick celery, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 small courgette, sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp oil (I use olive oil)
¼ tsp paprika (optional)
freshly ground black pepper (optional)

The Quichy Bit
250g (about 3½ cups) flavoursome grated cheese (I’ve used a mixture of mature cheddar and red Leicester here)
100g (½ cup) cream cheese or 1 small carton plain (natural) yoghurt (both optional)
2 large eggs (I use free range organic)

Preheat oven to 200 deg C, Gas Mark 6.

Mix the flour with the parmesan cheese and mustard powder (if using these), then rub in the margarine with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (if you shake the bowl you can see if there are still any lumps of fat not mixed in).
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Add just enough water to form a ball. Wrap the ball up in cling film (saran wrap) or pop it into a plastic bag and place in the fridge for half an hour or so.
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Gently fry the onions, spring onions, celery, and leek in the oil for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the paprika and black pepper (if using) and stir in the mushrooms and courgettes and continue frying for a few more minutes until these soften as well. Turn off the heat and allow the vegetables to cool.
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On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out into a circle about 3mm thick. Grease a 200 mm (8”) diameter pie dish with a little soft margarine and line the dish with the pastry.
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Prick the pastry with a fork on the base (to allow any air to escape) and bake it in the oven for 5 minutes until the pastry is dry but don’t let it brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.

Beat the eggs and cream cheese or yoghurt together and stir in the grated cheeses.

Sprinkle a little flour over the pastry case (to absorb any excess moisture) and gently spoon in the cooked vegetables.
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Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables
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and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and the eggs have set.
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This would be nice served with potatoes (simply boiled or mashed) and another side dish of vegetables (eg sweetcorn or peas). The quiche could be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature. Any non-starchy vegetables would be good in this quiche and if you like cream you could use that instead of the cream cheese or yoghurt.

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Cold quiche, the following day. I have never known the cheese and eggs to stay separate from the vegetables (probably due to the cream cheese) :lol:


Here’s a little variation on the vegetable quiche that you might like to try. In the pastry mix, replace one third of the soft margarine with the same weight of finely grated cheddar. Bind with the yolk of an egg and a little cold water.

Here’s a picture of tonight’s dinner – Broccoli, onion and mushroom quiche with four different cheeses (Mature Cheddar, Smoked Applewood, Caerphilly and Double Gloucester) with no cream cheese or yoghurt.

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Last edited by Makinamess on Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Makinamess » Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:49 am

Potato Scones

2 cups (300g) boiled, mashed potato (old, floury potatoes make the best scones)
1½ cups (150g) plain white flour approximately, may need more
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter plus more butter for oiling the pan

The potatoes should be mashed really well whilst they are still warm. Add 1 tbsp butter and salt to taste (about ½ tsp but you may prefer more or less). Add enough flour – about 1½ cups – to make a soft dough that is easily shaped. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out really thinly (about ¼ inch) – you may find it easier to only roll out a small amount at a time. Traditionally the scones are wedge shapes formed from a 6” circle (put a small plate upside down over the rolled out dough and cut around the edge) and then cut into quarters or wedges but I find it a lot easier to simply use a fluted pastry cutter. The scraps of dough left over can then be mixed in with the next batch and rolled out thinly again.

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Heat a heavy duty frying pan - I use my cast iron tava (griddle) and grease the pan with a little butter. Cook over a medium heat for about 3 minutes each side until golden brown.

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Traditionally these are served with breakfast but I find them great as a snack any time of the day. To reheat, simply place on a dry frying pan for a minute or so until heated through.

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This amount makes about 40 scones, so you may want to halve the quantities. The more observant of you will notice that there are not 40 scones on this plate - well I had to quality control each batch didn't I :biggrin:
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kicken corn and crab chowder

Postby mdlvettechie » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:38 pm

this is super easy, and super yummy, doesnt take long either!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
2 tablespoons butter
2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning blend, found near seafood department or, on spice aisle in your market
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
1 quart whole milk
3 cups corn kernels, scraped fresh from the cob or, frozen kernels
8 ounces cooked lump crab meat, fresh is available in plastic tubs at many fish counters
4 small bread boules, 6 inches, hollowed out, preferably sour dough, optional
Toppings:
Oyster crackers
Hot cayenne pepper sauce
Sliced scallions


Heat a deep pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter. As you chop your veggies, add them to the pot: potatoes, celery, onion, and red bell pepper. Add bay leaf to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Saute veggies 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour. Cook flour 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and combine. Stir in milk and combine. Bring soup up to a bubble. Add corn and crab meat and simmer soup 5 minutes. Adjust the soup seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bread bowls or soup bowls and top with oyster crackers, hot sauce and sliced scallions.

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Postby Makinamess » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:54 pm

Chick Pea Casserole

1 white onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
3 large flat cap mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 courgette, thickly sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ small white cabbage, chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 400g cans chopped plum tomatoes
1 400g can cooked chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

In a very large stew pot, gently fry all the raw vegetables in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Fill both tomato cans with water and add that along with the chick peas, salt and sugar. Let it all simmer for about half an hour and add the parsley. Serve with rice, pasta, couscous, cracked wheat, tortillas or bread. This is one of those dishes that taste even better the next day !

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Postby Makinamess » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:08 pm

Nutty Apple Crumble

150g (1½ cups) plain flour (either white or a mixture of wholemeal and white)
25g (⅓ cup) porridge oats
35g (⅓ cup) chopped hazelnuts
50g (⅓ cup) soft brown sugar
75g (½ cup) butter at room temperature

4 large cooking apples (I like Bramleys) – about 800g unpeeled
3 tbsp water
35g (4 tbsp) soft brown sugar if using cooking apples, probably no sugar if using dessert apples


Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200 deg C.

Peel and core the apples and cut into large chunks. Place in a saucepan with the water and sugar and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Turn the apples into a large oven proof dish - this one is 250mm (10”) x 175mm (7”), 60mm (2½”) deep.
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Cut the butter into little pieces and lightly rub them into the flour.

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Stir in the oats, nuts and sugar. Sprinkle the crumble mix over the apples and press down with the back of a spoon.

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Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown. Nice served with ice cream or custard !
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Postby Makinamess » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:40 am

Garlic Roast Potatoes

300g potatoes
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to Gas 6, 200 deg C

Parboil the potatoes whole (I tend to leave the skin on for extra crunch) for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slice (about ¾", 20mm thick). Place the potato pieces into a large oven-proof dish and mix in the oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper as liked.

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About to go into the oven

Bake in the oven for 30- 40 minutes, turning the potatoes occasionally, until golden brown.

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About to be eaten....
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Postby Bedford » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:07 pm

Makinamess wrote:This amount makes about 40 scones, so you may want to halve the quantities. The more observant of you will notice that there are not 40 scones on this plate - well I had to quality control each batch didn't I :biggrin:


If you live in a glass house, be careful. After all, those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw scones. :biggrin:

And of course, eat them before they become scone cold.

Personally, I like having them only a scone's throw away.

After all, as Bob Dylan said, everyone must get sconed.

pardon me while I go to Dairy Queen and get an ice cream scone.
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Postby Cava » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:31 am

Student Pie

3-4 large potoatoes - pre mashed
1 large onion chopped
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
2 tins baked beans
desert spoon tomato puree
pepper
grated cheese or seseme seeds

lightly fry the onion and garlic and place in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add the baked beans, tomatoe puree and pepper and mix them all together. Spoon the mashed potato on top and level out. Put the grated cheese or seseme seeds on top and bake in the oven - 175C ish (depending on your oven) until the bean mixture is bubbling and the topping a golden brown.

Optional extras - depending on taste
pre cook some sausages and slice
sliced mushrooms
pre cooked bacon or left over ham
can be added to the bean mixture too.

Yummy cheap tea :banana:
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Postby Makinamess » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:15 pm

Glamorgan Sausages

150 g stale bread (proper bread, not sliced pap)
150 g strong cheddar, grated
1 small onion (I’ve used a red onion here), finely chopped
½ good quality vegetable stock cube (I like Kallo)
1 tsp dried mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, separated
wholemeal flour (or fine cornmeal)
groundnut oil

Cut up the bread into small pieces then whizz up in the food processor until you have fine crumbs. Whizz in the cheese, onion, stock cube, mustard powder, cayenne, herbs and pepper. Add the yolks of the eggs (not the whites) and whizz again.

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Here's what the mixture should look like at this stage - soft and malleable but not sticky.

Split the mixture into eight balls and form sausage shapes or patties (I find it easier to make them into little balls and then press down, forming a patty shape). Dip each one in the lightly beaten egg white (both sides) and then in the flour or cornmeal and shallow fry in the oil until golden brown. Place on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil before serving with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and onion gravy (or whatever you fancy). I only ever fry four at a time but if you have a really large frying pan, then all eight could go in at once.

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Postby Makinamess » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:48 am

Vegetable Stir Fry with Noodles

2 stems of lemongrass, roughly chopped (use bottom 5”)
1 or 2 chillies (more if your name begins with Whif…), deseeded and roughly chopped
½ white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1” piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

200g noodles (I like the medium egg ones)

½ red onion, chopped
150g mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced or chopped
handful frozen peas
handful frozen sweetcorn
¼ small white cabbage, shredded
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
any other crispy vegetable you like
1 400g can cooked beans (say chickpeas or kidney beans), rinsed and drained

4 tbsp (approx) toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp (approx) soya sauce (l like dark soya sauce for this dish)

In a food processor, whiz up the lemongrass, chillies, white onion, garlic and ginger to a coarse paste.

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In a wok or large pan, heat up the sesame oil and fry the paste for a few minutes


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Then add the rest of the vegetables and the beans or peas, stir frying them until they are all cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles as indicated on the packet, then drain and toss into the vegetables. Stir well and add the soya sauce to taste.

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Postby Bedford » Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:35 am

That last looks pretty good, and would be great to eat...with some pork cutlets.
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Postby Makinamess » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:51 am

Gujurati Potatoes
Serves 2 at the most

500 g waxy new potatoes, scrubbed (I usually leave the peel on but you can peel them if preferred)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tbsp sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper

Thickly slice the potatoes into wedges, about 15mm thick and leave them to soak in a bowl of cold water for about half an hour, then drain and dry with kitchen paper.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and gently fry the potatoes for about 10 minutes (don’t let them brown). Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl lined with kitchen paper.

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In the same frying pan, add the sesame seeds, garlic and ground turmeric and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

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Place the potatoes back into the frying pan and add the salt and cayenne. Stir well, cover the pan with a well fitting lid and turn down the heat. Gently cook until the potatoes are cooked through, stirring frequently.

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Postby Makinamess » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:21 am

Vegetable Biryani

1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
any other vegetables you particularly like (eg frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, cooked potato etc)
1 tsp salt

Fry the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, chilli, mushrooms and pepper in the oil until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes), add the spices, rice and any other vegetables and stir well.

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Add the water and cover the pan. Let it cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the rice is cooked then stir in some salt to taste (probably about a tsp).

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Here is the dish served with a potato and mushroom curry (see page 1 above)

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Postby Makinamess » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:28 am

Mocha Cheesecake

200g digestive biscuits (about 14 biccies)
50g melted butter
300g plain cream cheese
100g plain cottage cheese
150g sugar or 20g splenda (calorie free stuff)
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
190g quality chocolate, melted in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot water
3 tsp quality instant coffee granules dissolved in ¼ pint hot water
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C, Gas Mark 4.

Beat the living daylights out of the digestive biscuits (pop them into a sturdy plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin or whiz up in a food processor until they are little crumbs.) Mix in the melted butter and press the crumbs into the base of a 250mm diameter spring form baking tray (or a loose base tray), then place in the fridge to chill for about half an hour.

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Beat the cream cheese, cottage cheese and sugar/splenda together until smooth. Add the vanilla essence, melted chocolate and strong black coffee and mix really well or whiz everything up in a food processor. Allow to cool then gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in the oven until it is cold. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

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Postby Makinamess » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:38 pm

Scone Roll

225g wholemeal flour (or a mixture of wholemeal and plain white)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp dried thyme
40g butter(or 25g butter and 1 tbsp olive oil)
150 ml milk
5 closed cap mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
50g mature cheddar, grated


Preheat the oven to 200 deg c, Gas Mark 6.

Lightly fry the onion, mushroom and celery in 15g butter (or 1tbsp olive oil) until the onion is soft. Take the pan from the heat and let the vegetables cool, then mix in the fresh herbs.

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The more observant of you will notice that I managed to sneak in a finely chopped small red chilli !

Put the flours into a large mixing bowl, add the salt, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and thyme and mix well together with a fork. Rub in the remaining 25g of butter then add enough milk (about 150ml) to form a soft dough. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead it lightly. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 0.75cm thick then spread the cooled vegetables over the dough, leaving a small gap all the way round at the edges.

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Scatter over the grated cheese then roll the dough up.

Place it on a floured baking sheet and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown. Can be eaten hot or cold.

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Postby Makinamess » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:18 pm

Creamy Indian Cauliflower Curry

1 small head of cauliflower, split into small florets
1 red pepper, deseeded and very roughly chopped
2 oz (60g) freshly grated coconut
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 oz (60g) raw cashew nuts
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 fresh green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

Dry roast the coconut and when it is just starting to turn brown, add the sesame seeds and when they are all golden brown, remove from the pan and allow to cool.

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Fry the cashew nuts in 1 tbsp of the oil until they are golden brown (they only take a minute so watch them carefully). Remove from pan and allow to cool.

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Place the coconut, sesame seeds, nuts, chillies and ¼ pt (1½ dl) water into a food processor and whiz up to a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining 4 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds and watch them pop ! Add the cauliflower florets and red peppers and stir fry for a few minutes.

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Add the coconut, sesame seed, nut and chilli paste as well as ½ pint (3 dl) water, sugar, salt and lemon juice and stir well.

Bring to the boil, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is lightly cooked, stirring occasionally.

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