Sunday, June 20, 2010

BBC Summer Good Food Show 2010 Birmingham

My day started in the Press Office where I was given tickets to see Matt Tebbutt in the Summer Kitchen and other treats. I was then asked if I would be willing to take part in the MasterChef Experience Invention Test.

Before I knew it I was being whisked away to the MasterChef Theatre, given an apron, briefed, shown to my workstation, and then the opportunity to familiarise myself with the fresh and dry ingredients provided. Also, a quick tuition of the Miele state of the art kitchen appliances I would be using. The name of the game is to produce something innovative in just 30 minutes. Phew! No, I didn't win or even come third, I thought I would give all of the other contestants a chance!!! I did have lots of fun, even though I couldn't produce anything that resembled even the merest hint of a Michelin star.

My husband bagged himself a front row seat and did his best to take photographs for ourselves and also another contestant, who unfortunately was at the opposite side of the stage to me.


In my session John Torode and Gregg Wallace were keeping a watchful eye over us with the help of Mat Follas and James Nathan, who are two previous MasterChef winners. Andi Peters was the compere and offered us an arm of support. We were all allocated a sous chef from Birmingham Food College and I was very fortunate to have such a helpful and charming right hand man.


After this we returned to the Press Office, sat on a comfy sofa and re-energised ourselves with coffee before our tour of the Good Food Show.

Chocolate Fondue.


I would love one of these!


I had a scoop of the cherry ice cream.


Nouga.


The Liquorice Stall.


Olive Oil.



Summer Kitchen with Matt Tebbutt.


Bubbly!



Thank you to Emma, Haymarket Exhibitions and the BBC Summer Good Food Show for a really great day out!

Monday, June 14, 2010

MONMOUTH PUDDING


If you love Queen of Puddings, then I guess you will be a fan of this pudding. The only difference I can find between the two is, traditionally Monmouth Pudding has a fruit layer of cooked apples, peaches, pears, plums or rhubarb spread over the cooked breadcrumb custard. Also, I cooked the meringue at a lower temperature to give a crisp meringue.

This Monmouth Pudding has a layer of raspberry jam spread over the cooked breadcrumb custard and raspberries sprinkled over the jam. Also, the breadcrumb custard is made slightly differently. I used a good quality no sugar added jam, otherwise it would have been tooth achingly sweet. A modern twist on Monmouth Pudding and very delicious.

Serves: 4-6

For the pudding:

90g fresh breadcrumbs, 2 tbs soft light brown sugar, 450ml whole milk, 1 lemon zest only, 2 tbs caster sugar, 25g salted butter, 3 large eggs

For the topping:

175g raspberry jam
150g fresh raspberries
75g caster sugar
3 large egg whites

1. Preheat the grill to medium setting. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and brown sugar onto a roasting tray and mix together. Grill the breadcrumb mix until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Put on one side to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2.
3. Heat the milk, lemon zest, sugar and butter together in a pan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is combined. Stir the toasted breadcrumbs and caster sugar into the milk mixture. Put to one side to cool for 30 minutes.
4. After the breadcrumb mixture has cooled for 30 minutes, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until pale and fluffy, add them to the milk and breadcrumb mixture and whisk until combined.
5. Pour the pudding mixture into a 20cm ovenproof serving dish and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until the pudding has risen and is just set.
6. Spread the raspberry jam over the pudding layer. Sprinkle over the raspberries.
7. Whisk the egg whites until the soft peak stage, add the sugar a little at a time whilst still whisking. Continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form.
8. Spoon the meringue over the pudding and return to the oven for 40 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.


Thank you to Lisa and Tate & Lyle.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Like A Child In A Sweet Shop

Do you ever sit at the computer staring endlessly at all the wonderful goodies out there in cyberspace. Just press enter and it can all be yours! Now I have found more stores to add to my list. CSN Stores has amazing online stores where you can find everything from lighting to furniture to cookware!


CSN Stores have kindly said I can have some kitchen goodies to review, so pop back soon, to see if I have chosen a gadget, gizmo or something a little more restrained (which will be very difficult especially as the site is a cook's playground).

Monday, June 07, 2010

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS WITH MUSTARD & THYME BUTTER. NIGEL SLATER'S - A GRATIN OF SPRING GREENS & ROASTED WALNUTS


A couple of postings ago I put out a request to ask if any of my readers would kindly email Nigel Slater's recipe for the above to me, well success, June promptly replied and sent the recipe across to me. Thank you June.

The first recipe is from a favourite cookery writer of mine, Diana Henry and comes from her recipe book Cook Simple.

It's basically an all-in-one recipe with just a few ingredients to make a delicious main meal. Potatoes, onion, an eating apple, Tamworth free range pork chops (yes, of the Tamworth two fame - can you remember the two pigs that escaped on their way to the abattoir, way back in 1998!) and dry white wine.

Nigel's Spring Green Gratin was served alongside, and this unlikely pairing was a match made in heaven!


For the Spring Green Gratin:

You will need: 500ml whole milk, 1 small onion, 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 6 peppercorns, 500g spring greens, 60g walnut halves, 25g butter, 25g plain flour, 100g grated Parmesan cheese.

1. Add the onion spiked with cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns to the milk, bring to the boil and then leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes.
2. Trim the spring greens, shred into wide strips then dunk into a large pot of boiling water and remove after 30 seconds and drain.
3. Toast the walnut halves in a dry frying pan until they smell warm and nutty.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
5. Make the sauce by melting the butter, adding the flour and cooking for 3-4 minutes until pale biscuit coloured. Pour in the strained warm milk, stir until it thickens over a moderate heat. Simmer over a low heat for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the walnuts and half the Parmesan then season.
6. Put the greens in a medium size gratin dish, pour over the sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the crust is golden.

Not a looker this one, but extremely delicious.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

LASAGNE


Liz McClarnon the celebrity Masterchef winner 2008, has teamed up with Kerry LowLow Cheese. She is featured in a recipe booklet using Kerry LowLow cheese to bring us delicious recipes using their mature Cheddar cheese, which is made with skimmed milk.


I decided to make Liz's Lasagne, a lasagne with a twist - a layer of spinach isn't something that I would normally associate with lasagne, but it works perfectly.

You can see this recipe and others from the booklet here.

Thank you to Kerry LowLow for the delicious cheese and also the Le Creuset dish.

Nigel Slater's 'A Gratin of Spring Greens & Roasted Walnuts'.

I have lost the recipe for the above, it was in the April 2010 issue of Sainsbury's Magazine.

Can anyone help me out on this please and email the recipe to margsblogspot@blueyonder.co.uk - I would be really grateful, because it is to be a blog posting, and also my husband has requested I make this again!

Thanks.
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