Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I was very impatient to use my new Circulon griddle pan, kindly sent to me courtesy of Cookware By CSN, the pan is excellent and grilled the chicken superbly.

The meal took only 30 minutes or so to prepare and cook, and served with sides of potato wedges makes a substantial meal.

I always precook my potato wedges for 5 minutes or so, drain, return to the dry pan, and drizzle over a few tablespoons of olive oil, shake the pan to coat. Tip onto a tray and cook at 200C for half an hour or so, turning half way through the cooking time. Drain, season, serve.

For the Paprika Chicken you will need:

4 skinless chicken breasts, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, olive oil, 1 crushed clove garlic, 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, 8 torn romaine lettuce leaves or your lettuce of choice.

1. Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally and lay each between two sheets of cling film. Bash with a rolling pin until about 1 cm thick.
2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and dust with the paprika. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Lay on a hot griddle pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until charred and cooked through.
3. Halve the ciabatta horizontally and lay, cut side down, on the pan for 1 minute. Mix the crushed garlic and mayonnaise and then spread over the cut side of each ciabatta half. Top with the lettuce and chicken, then season with a little salt and pepper. Cut in half to serve.

Cheese Coleslaw

400g white cabbage, 1 coarsely grated carrot, 1 halved and thinly sliced red onion, 3 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons low-fat natural yogurt, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 20g pack chives, 100g reduced-fat mature Cheddar (grated).

1. Cut the cabbage in half, then into quarters. Remove and discard the core, then thinly shred the cabbage. Put into a large mixing bowl. Add the carrot, onion, mayonnaise, yogurt and mustard. Snip in most of the chives.
2. Mix the coleslaw well, making sure all of the salad is coated in the dressing. Season, cover and chill.
3. Just before serving sprinkle over the grated cheese and the remaining chives.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

CSN Review

I have been fortunate to be asked again by CSN Stores to review a selection of items from their wonderful sites.

From Cookware By CSN I ordered Pillivuyt Ramekins, one of the oldest and most prestigious brands of French porcelain. The ramekins can be used directly from freezer to oven or microwave, and can withstand temperatures ranging from -25 to 300°C. Pillivuyt products always look classy and just eating from them makes the food taste even better.

To go alongside the ramekins, I needed a cooks blowtorch to enable me to make Creme Brulee. I chose a KitchenCraft Master Class Deluxe Professional easy to use and also very easy to get a good brulee topping. I need more practice and must next time tell myself not to overload the ramekins or there won't be room for the crunchy topping and the filling will start to overflow! Now I will be able to use the torch for skinning tomatoes, peppers, browning meringues, the list is endless.

Circulon Infinite Hard Anodised 26cm Chef's Pan is made by Meyer, a trusted, well known company. The pan will be great for making bolognese sauces or chilli con carne - I like to double up and make one freeze one - for a rainy or lazy day. The pan is non stick, has even heat distribution, can be put in the oven, is easy to clean or you can put the pan in the dishwasher. The price for this pan on the CSN site is £56.99 with free delivery. I had a look in my local department store only last week and they were retailing the same pan for £90.00! For my last CSN review I chose the skillet which is in the same range as the Chef's Pan and I am really pleased with this too.

Circulon Elite Hard Anodized Square Grill Pan - this too is non stick, oven safe up to 180°C and comes with a lifetime customer satisfaction guarantee. I chose this grill pan to replace my tired old one and also because I think Circulon pans have hob appeal! I couldn't wait to use it and made delicious paprika chicken - I'll post this on the blog soon.

KitchenCraft Master Class Ladle with White Handle - it would be foolish to use metal utensils in the Circulon non-stick pans and this eye catching ladle will be perfect for using with the Chef's Pan.

Chicago Metallic 12 Cup Madeleine Pan - as an avid collector of baking tins of all shapes and sizes, this pan will make me very happy! I have several Chicago Metallic pans and have been really happy with them. Madeleine's have seen a revival recently and I can't wait to seek out some recipes and to try out my new baking tin.

Ordering and tracking is easy, as soon as your order has been shipped you are sent an email with tracking information. The Chef's Pan took only two business days to arrive at my home and everything else arrived very quickly too. Also, with CSN there is the added benefit of Customer Service support, should you need to use this. All of my parcels have been well packed both internally and externally.

Thank you Eileen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Kitchen Goodies

I have been sent an array of goodies by Cookequip who specialise in barbeque supplies, stovetop smokers, wood chips, grilling and baking planks - just to mention a few. A great place to shop for interesting gifts.

Cookequip have now added some new products to their range and these include Vacuum Food Storage/Marinading/Freezer Pots which are new to the UK, these are great for storing soft fruit and vegetables. Also, there is the Vacuum Pump to extract the air from the vacuum pots.

Silicone Kitchen Twine - this is re-usable flexible twine ideal for tying joints and would have been very useful when I reviewed the Wood Wraps.

The Flavour Injector - used in the USA but new here in the UK. A great way to directly use a marinade for maximum flavour and to prevent poultry and meats from drying out.

Cookequip also have another website The Old Smokehouse selling foods and equipment, including outdoor barbeques, smokers and lots more. You can send for smoked foods such as wild Cumbrian salmon, sausages, cheese, chicken and duck. Here you can even book to go on a Food Smoking Course - what a fabulous present this would be.

Thank you Clive.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


CSN Stores has amazing online stores where you can find everything from great cookware to beautiful wardrobes to chic lighting pieces!

I have a few items in the pipeline to review for Cookware By CSN, and more online shopping to do at their stores.

Shopping with CSN Stores couldn't be easier and the prices are great too!

Monday, September 13, 2010

ROSEWATER CUPCAKES - National Cupcake Week

It's National Cupcake Week here in the UK from the 13 - 19 September 2010.

To celebrate this event, and for yet another excuse to make and eat a cupcake, I decided to add another posting to my flowers and cupcakes theme. A few weeks ago I made Hibiscus Cupcakes and also Lavender Cupcakes.

The inspiration for these rosewater cupcakes came from the pretty miniature rose bush in my garden. For the sugared rosebuds simply put an egg white wash on the petals and sprinkle with caster sugar.

For the cupcakes you will need:

A 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.

115g butter at room temperature, 115g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 115g self-raising flour, 1 tablespoon rosewater.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time. sift the flour into the mixture and fold in, then stir in the rosewater.
3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for approximately 20 minutes until risen and golden. Use a cake tester or skewer to ensure the cakes are cooked. Transfer the tin to a wire rack and after about 10 minutes remove the cupcakes and place on the rack to cool.
4. When cool, remove the peaks off the cakes with a knife.

To decorate the cupcakes you will need:

12 pink rose petals, 1 beaten egg white, 1 tablespoon caster sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 145g icing sugar, pink food colouring.

1. Brush each rose petal with the egg white, sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to dry for about an hour.
2. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add some of the lemon juice and stir until smooth. Add more lemon juice to make a smooth, spoonable icing.
3. Add a little colouring to achieve a pale pink frosting.
4. Spoon the frosting over the cakes and top each one with a sugared rose.
5. Leave to set before serving.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


This recipe is from Gizzi's Kitchen Magic, the original recipe title is Goat's Cheese and Pea Tart. I knew peas in a tart wouldn't be to my taste and left them out, I don't think the tart suffered from this exclusion. If you would like to include the peas, then 120g of fresh peas are added along with the onions, salmon and goat's cheese.

Slightly adapted recipe.

Serves: 6

A 17cm tart tin lined with shortcrust pastry and baked blind.

You will need: 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 peeled and wedged small red onion, 100ml white wine, 120g smoked salmon cut into thin strips, 100g soft goat's cheese, 3 free-range eggs, 150ml double cream, 30g grated Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon of chopped chives.

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the red onion and fry on a moderate heat for 5 minutes or until slightly charred but beginning to soften. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
2. Pour the white wine into a pan and boil on a high heat for 5 minutes, or until the wine has reduced by two-thirds and is syrupy. Pour into a mixing bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes or so.
3. Scatter the red onions, smoked salmon strips and goats cheese into the cooked pastry tart. Add the eggs, cream and Parmesan to the reduced white wine and whisk together. Season well and stir in the herbs. Pour into a measuring jug.
4. Place the tart case on a baking tray and pour in the liquid - the mixture will come fairly high up the edge of the tart case. Place carefully on the bottom shelf of the oven, as the lower heat will stop the tart cooking too fast and prevent it rising like a souffle.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the tart begins to turn golden. You will still have a little wobble but it should not be runny. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
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