Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This 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.


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 Cook Equip

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.