Monday, March 23, 2015

Stellar Tate Casserole Review and Recipe

Stellar Tate Draining and stackable casserole

I've been sent a 22cm/3.5L Stellar Tate Casserole in stainless steel to review. The casserole is also available in 20cm and 24cm and with the unique design flat lid they are stackable and drainable. Stainless steel pans can easily get scratched if they sit inside each other and I really like the way this problem has been overcome.

Another useful feature is the see through lid that lets us keep a watchful eye on what is happening in the pan without having to remove the lid.

Inside the two handled pan there is a very useful measuring guide which is in both pints and litres. To one side of the pan is a pouring lip and when the two handled lid is in place then the casserole can be drained quickly and easily.

If you like to make soup in a pan and finish off with a stick blender this is the perfect depth - the measurements are:
Height 145mm
Overall length 310mm
Pan diameter 220mm
Base diameter 175mm

Can be used on all hobs.
Oven Safe to 180ºC.
The base is 'hot forged' for even heat distribution and when testing I found it performed well on the induction hob and also in the oven.
18/10 stainless steel.
Internal measurement guide is easy to read.
The lip on the base of the casserole pours cleanly.
When the lid is on the casserole it drains easily.
I found the handles had a good safe grip - always use oven gloves.
Cleans quickly and easily by hand, it can be placed in the dishwasher but I like to wash mine by hand.
Amazing Stellar Cookware Lifetime Guarantee.
Price £60 - the range is currently stocked at www.hartsofstur.co.uk

Tried and Tested: This clever casserole ticks all of the boxes on looks and practicality and has been carefully thought out.  A classic pan that will look fabulous in all kitchens.

I've tested the casserole making my Loads of Veg Pork Paprika Casserole..........

Making Paprika Pork Casserole
Loads of Veg Pork Paprika Casserole

Recipe - Serves 4
680g pork leg, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic infused oil
500g casserole vegetables, diced
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika or to taste
300ml chicken stock
3 peppers sliced
Salt and ground black pepper
thickening granules
200ml soured cream
fresh chopped parsley

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp garlic infused oil to the casserole. Add the pork, fry on a medium heat in batches until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and put to one side.
2. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the casserole and all of the casserole vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat until soft.
3. Sprinkle over the paprika and cook for a couple of  minutes. Return all of the meat to the pan, add the chicken stock, season and bring to the boil. Place the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 1½ hours or until the pork is almost tender.
4. Add the sliced peppers and cook for a further 30 minutes, uncovered. Place the casserole on the hob and stir in a few teaspoons of  the granules to thicken. Stir in the soured cream. Scatter over the chopped parsley, extra paprika and serve with rice or potatoes.

A stackable saucepan set 16/18/20cm with one handed draining are also available.


Disclaimer:  I was sent the casserole for review purposes.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Premier Housewares Cow Parsley Dinner Set Review and Recipe

Cow Parsley dinner set by Premier Housewares

The Cow Parsley design by Premier Housewares is delicate and pretty, it reminds me of summer days when we are driving along narrow country lanes and its flowers can be seen swaying in the breeze as we pass by.

I've been sent the lovely 16 piece dinner set to review, it's very versatile and can be mixed and matched with white crockery which makes a stunning table setting.

The porcelain dinner set is microwave, dishwasher safe and consists of:
4 x dinner plates 10.5in
4 x bowls 7in
4 x side plates 7.5in
4 x Mugs 12oz

RRP £41.49

There are co-ordinating textiles, tableware, woodware and storage available to complete the look.

Cow Parsley Group Shot

The range is available from Amazon.co.uk or stockists on the high street and online.

I've used the dinner plate placed on top of the cereal bowl to make a cake stand for my delicious lemon and pistachio cake and if you fancy having a go at the recipe it can be found at the end of this posting.

Lemon, Almond and Pistachio Cake


Recipe:
250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs lightly beaten
100g shelled pistachio nuts, finely ground
100g ground almonds
Zest and juice of a lemon
60g plain flour

Icing:
250g mascarpone
200g fromage frais
1 tablespoon caster sugar
few teaspoons lemon juice to taste

You will need: 20cm springform tin greased and lined with baking paper.

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together using a stand mixer on a low setting until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Scrape the mixture down into the bowl and add a tablespoon of the flour. Gradually beat in the eggs on a low setting, if the cake batter shows signs of curdling add more of the flour.
3. Fold in the remaining flour, ground pistachios, ground almonds, lemon zest and juice.
4. Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for 50 minutes, cover the top of the cake tin with foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes until cooked. Test by using a cake tester or a cocktail stick and if they come out clean the cake is cooked.  Place the cake onto a cake rack and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Unclip the tin and leave the cake on the rack to cool.
5. For the icing: Add the mascarpone, fromage frais and caster sugar to a bowl, mix together until smooth. Add the lemon juice and mix again.
6. Spread the icing over the top of the cooled cake. Crush a few shelled pistachios and decorate the cake as you wish.
7. Store in the fridge.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the dinner set for review purposes.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blueberry and Lemon Drizzle Mini Loaf Cakes

Blueberry and lemon drizzle mini loaf cakes

I turned to one of my Mary Berry cookbooks for this delicious recipe - I've adapted her lime and blueberry ring drizzle cake and used lemon to replace her suggested lime but only because I had lemons in the fridge, this was an instantaneous bake and there wasn't time to go out shopping for a few limes. The crystallised lemon rind is quick, easy to make and delicious, not a step to miss out.

Ingredients
110g soft butter
110g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50g blueberries (use some of the measured flour to coat the blueberries)

Crunchy glaze:
3 tablespoons lemon juice
75g granulated sugar

Crystallised lemon rind:
1 lemon rind (I used a zester)
70g caster sugar
100ml cold water

You will need: 8 greased and lined mini loaf moulds.

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Cut 8 strips of baking parchment and line the loaf tin moulds.

mini loaf tin lined with paper strips

Place the butter, caster sugar, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and lemon zest. Beat with an electric hand whisk for about 2 minutes until smooth.

Divide half the batter between the eight moulds. Scatter the floured blueberries over the batter. Spoon the rest of the mixture over the blueberries and spread it evenly to cover the fruit.

mini loaf tins filled with cake batter

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until well risen. Whilst the cakes bake, make the glaze by mixing the lemon juice with the granulated sugar.  Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then loosen the sides with a palette knife. Lift them out of the tin with the baking paper strips and place on a wire rack to cool.

mini blueberry and lemon drizzle loaf cakes drizzled with a crunchy glaze

While the cakes are still warm, prick them all over with a skewer. Stir the glaze, then spoon it over the warm cakes. Leave to cool.

To make the candied lemon rind, use a zester to remove the rind from lemons in long strands. Or, if you are handy with a knife, thinly slice the lemon rind away from the lemon and cut into fine strips. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine the rind, sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rind is translucent. Remove from the heat. Use a fork to spread the rind in a single layer, over the tray. Put to one side for 5 minutes to set.
Now the candied zest is ready to decorate the cakes as you wish.