17 Mar 2011


The story of Parker House Rolls is part legend and part truth. Apparently, they date back to the 1800's and originated at Parker House Hotel in Boston. There are a variety of stories surrounding them and you can find out what The Food Timeline have to say about these wonderful rolls by clicking here.

The rolls are a butter and egg enriched dough, served warm they are very moreish.

The dough can be made in a bread machine (by referring to your manufacturers instructions), in the food mixer fitted with a dough hook or if you feel like a good workout, made by hand.

The book this recipe came from is for either making bread by either hand or bread machine. The fundamentals of breadmaking are covered, there is a photographic gallery showing some of the world's most mouthwatering breads, a guide to ingredients and equipment, also techniques. There are recipes from basic breads to sourdoughs, flavoured breads to festive breads, in fact something for everyone.

Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
Page: 118
ISBN No. 1-4053-0511-8

You will need:
2½ tsp dried yeast, 250ml milk, 60g melted unsalted butter, 30g melted butter to glaze, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 2 beaten eggs, 560g strong white flour, 2tsp salt

1. Sprinkle the yeast into 100ml tepid milk in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan with the butter and sugar. Stir continuously, until the butter has melted. Cool until tepid, then beat in the eggs until evenly distributed.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk and the butter mixture. Mix in the flour to form a soft, sticky dough.
3.Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface. Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. Don't add too much flour, the dough should be soft not dry.
4. Put the dough in a buttered bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1½ hours.
5. Knock back, then leave to rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out each to form a 20cm x 40cm rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthways into four strips, each 10cm long. Brush half of each rectangle with melted butter, then fold in half, leaving a 1cm flap.
6. Place the rolls on a buttered baking sheet so that each roll overlaps slightly with the one next to it; cover with a tea towel. prove until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
7. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake in a preheated oven 220°C for 15-20 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

7 Mar 2011


On Sunday we braved the cold, but sunny weather and had a barbeque, a silly thing to do I know. It was too cold outside for moi but my husband, who seems to be an all weather person, set about cooking the barbeque with a smile but I did notice later on this had turned into a grimace (I think he was feeling the cold and had barbeque regret!). The rewards were high though, a beautifully cooked barbeque chicken, which is impossible to replicate in the oven.

It is very easy to spatchcock a chicken and here are the instructions. Sometimes this surgical procedure on the poor chicken is also called butterflied chicken. You may also see this recipe come under the recipe title of chicken under a brick. You don't have to use the bricks (which in fact we didn't because we forgot), but it does keep the chicken flat and you then have better contact with the cooking surface. The recipe can also be made with spatchcocked poussins (but I/we just couldn't!).

This wonderful, tasty and aromatic chicken was marinated overnight. A wild rice and pepper salad, together with lots of vegetables cooked on the barbeque made a perfect meal.

The chicken is very easy, with only a few ingredients for the marinade.

You will need:

A medium spatchcock chicken, 1 chopped garlic clove, juice of 2 lemons, pepper, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary.

1. Mix together the rosemary, fennel seeds, olive oil, garlic clove, juice of 2 lemons and seasoning.
2. Put the spatchcocked chicken into a ziplock bag together with the lemon shells, pour over the marinade. Place the bag into a large bowl.
3. Chill in the fridge overnight, if possible.
4. Pat the chicken dry, drizzle with olive oil and season. Put skin side down on the barbecue.
5. If you wish, wrap a brick in foil to weigh down the chicken and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.
6. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 30 minutes weighed down with the foil covered brick. Check the chicken is cooked through and leave to rest.


You will need

Zest of 1 lemon, 1 chopped clove garlic, large bunch of chopped parsley.

1. Sprinkle over the cooked chicken.


You will need:

½ a finely sliced red onion, 150 g wild rice, 2 roasted and sliced peppers (or from a jar), 100g crumbled goat's cheese, handful of toasted pine nuts, small bunch chopped mint, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil.

1. Put the onion in a bowl, season and toss with the red wine vinegar and olive oil, leave to marinate and soften.
2. Cook the wild rice in boiling water for about 25 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water, drain again. Toss with the onion and dressing.
3. Mix the red peppers, goats' cheese, pine nuts and chopped mint through the rice mixture.