Thursday, 18 December 2008

Salmon Coulibiac

BY DELIA SMITH: (I make this for boxing day lunch - mine is already in the freezer!)
Salmon Coulibiac
This is one of the best fish pies ever invented. It's perfect for entertaining as it can all be made well in advance. Provided everything is cooled thoroughly first, all you have to do is cover it with clingfilm and leave in the fridge until needed, then pop it into the oven just before you serve the first course. Serve it cut in slices, with a large bowl of mixed-leaf salad tossed in a sharp lemony dressing, and hand round some Foaming Hollandaise sauce. Or you can simply melt some butter with an equal quantity of lemon juice and serve it with that.

Serves 6
1¼ lb (560 g) salmon tail fillet, skinned 1 x 375g pack of ready-rolled fresh puff pastry 3 oz (75 g) butter 3 oz (75 g) white basmati rice 8 fl oz (225 ml) fish stock 1 medium onion, finely chopped 4 oz (110 g) small button mushrooms, finely sliced 1 level tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 level teaspoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 large eggs, hard boiled (7 minutes from simmering), roughly chopped 1½ level tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley salt and freshly milled black pepper
To finish:
1 oz (25 g) butter, melted 1 egg, lightly beaten
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
You will also need a good solid baking tray 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30 cm) and a lattice cutter.

First melt 1 oz (25 g) of the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the rice. When the rice is coated with butter, add the stock and a little salt and bring it up to simmering point, then stir well and cover with a lid. Cook the rice for 15 minutes exactly, then take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and allow it to cool.
As soon as the rice is cooking, take a sheet of buttered foil, lay the salmon on it and add some seasoning. Then wrap it up loosely, pleating the foil at the top and folding the edges in. Place it on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven for just 10 minutes – the salmon needs to be only half cooked. After that remove it from the oven, open the foil and allow it to cool.
While the salmon and the rice are cooling, melt the other 2 oz (50 g) of butter in a small saucepan and gently sweat the onion in it for about 10 minutes until it softens. After that, add the sliced mushrooms and half the dill, then carry on cooking gently for a further 5 minutes. After that, stir in the lemon zest and juice, some salt and freshly milled black pepper, and allow this mixture to cool.
Next, take a large bowl and combine the salmon, broken up into large flakes, the hard-boiled eggs, the remaining dill and half the parsley. Give all this a good seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Next, in another bowl, combine the rice mixture with the onion, mushroom and the rest of the parsley, giving this some seasoning, too.
Now for the pastry. What you need to do here is take it out of its packet, unfold it and place it lengthways on a lightly floured surface, then using a tape measure, roll the pastry into a 14 (35 cm) inch square. Now cut it into 2 lengths, one 6½ inches (16 cm) and one 7½ inches (19 cm). Lightly brush the baking sheet and surface of the pastry with some of the melted butter and lay the narrower strip of pastry on to it. Then, first spoon half the rice mixture along the centre leaving a gap of at least an inch (2.5 cm) all the way round. Next, spoon the salmon mixture on top of the rice, building it up as high as possible and pressing and moulding it with your hands – what you're aiming for is a loaf shape of mixture. Then lightly mould the rest of the rice mixture on top of the salmon and brush the 1 inch (2.5 cm) border all round with beaten egg.
Next, take the lattice cutter and run it along the centre of the other piece of pastry, leaving an even margin of about 1 inch (2.5 cm) all round. Brush the surface of the pastry with melted butter, then very carefully lift this and cover the salmon mixture with it. The idea here is not to let the lattice open too much as you lift it, because it will open naturally as it goes over the filling. Press the edges together all round to seal, then trim the pastry so that you're left with a ¾ inch (2 cm) border. Now using the back edge of a knife, knock up the edges of the pastry, then crimp it all along using your thumb and the back of the knife, pulling the knife towards the filling each time as you go round. Alternatively, just fork it all around.
When you're ready to cook the coulibiac, raise the oven temperature to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C) and brush the surface of the pastry all over with beaten egg and any remaining butter. And, if you feel like it, you can re-roll some of the trimmings and cut out little fish shapes to decorate the top. Now place the coulibiac on to the high shelf of the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes until it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving with the sauce.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection and The Delia Collection: Fish. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Guide to Fish Cookery).

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Butter cut-out biscuits

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe

175g soft unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

400g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

300g icing sugar, sieved and food colouring

biscuit cutters

2 baking sheets, greased or lined

pre-heat oven to 180c

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and moving towards mousiness, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Halve the dough, form into fat discs, wrap each half in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour (and you can leave it in there for a couple of days if it helps). Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place a disc of dough on it (not taking out the other half until you've finished with the first) and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about half cm. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the biscuits a little apart on the baking sheets.

Bake for 8 - 12 Min's, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a wire rack and continue with the rest of the dough. When they're all fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a couple of tablespoons of just-not boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved icing sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Colour as desired. (I actually make a slightly thinner mix and use a paint brush to paint the icing onto the biscuits)

Mincemeat Blondies

From Anthea Turner - The Perfect Christmas

Like a brownie without chocolate - delicious with a glass of mulled wine.

Makes 9 - 12

175g self raising flour

175g light soft brown sugar

50g margarine

1 large egg

4 tbsp sweet mincemeat

(I also think this needs a drop or two of milk to loosen the consistency!)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Grease the sides and line the base of a 20cm baking tin.

2. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat together for 3 minutes until well combined. Spoon mixture into the prepared tins and level the top.

3. bake for 40 minutes until the Blondie is firm in the middle (check after 30Min's)

4. cool slightly and cut into 9 or 12 pieces. Remove from tin and place on a wire cooling rack. When completely cold store in an airtight container.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Parmesan Stars

Now the party season is upon us, I thought these simple little cheesy bites might come in handy, found the recipe in the Daily Mail magazine.
Makes 30 -40 depending on the size of the cutter you use.
375g ready-rolled puff pastry
Flour for dusting
1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk, mixed
50g finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp chili powder
Preheat the oven to 220 c
Cut out as many stars from the pastry as possible with a small cutter, and place onto greased baking sheets.
Lightly brush surface with the egg and milk mix.
Mix together the Parmesan and chili powder, then scatter over the stars.
Bake in the oven for about 5 -8 minutes or until lightly golden and puffed up.
They are best served straight away but can be made a few days in advance and warmed in the oven when needed.
Enjoy x

Friday, 5 December 2008

Sausage Rolls

This recipe is from Delia Smiths Christmas Cookbook, a book I love!
Makes 24
For the flaky pastry:
8oz (225g) plain flour
6oz (175g) butter (hard from fridge)
a pinch salt
cold water to mix
For the filling:
1lb good quaility pork sausage meat
1 tsp sage
1 onion, grated
1 beaten egg to glaze

pre-heat oven to gas mark 7, 220 c
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Get the butter out of the fridge and dip it into the flour and then grate it on a course grater placed in the bowl over the flour. Keep dipping the butter down into the flour to make it easier to grate.
At the end you'll be left with a pile of grated butter in the middle of the flour, so take a palette knife and start to distribute it into the flour (don't use your hands), try to coat all the pieces of butter with flour until the mixture is crumbly. Next add enough water to form a dough that leaves the bowl clean, using your hands bring it all gently together. Put the dough into a polythene bag and chill it for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to make the sausage rolls mix the sausage meat, onion and sage together in a mixing bowl. Then roll out the pastry onto a floured surface to form an oblong (as thin as you can). Cut this oblong into three strips and divide the sausage meat also into three, making three long rolls the same length as the strips of pastry (if it's sticky sprinkle on some flour).
Place one roll of sausage meat on to one strip of pastry. Brush the beaten egg along one edge, then fold the pastry over and seal it as carefully as possible. Lift the whole thing up and turn it so the sealed edge is underneath. Please lightly and cut into individual rolls each about 2" long. Snip three v-shapes in the top of each roll with scissors and brush with beaten egg. Repeat all this with the other portions of meat and pastry.
If you are going to cook straightaway, place the rolls on baking sheets and bake high in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you want to cook them later, store them uncooked in a freezer box and freeze until needed. Although you can store the cooked and cooled sausage rolls in an airtight tin, they do loose their crunchiness. For this reason I think it's preferable to remove a few at a time from the freezer and cook them as required.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Almond Paste

Ready to marzipan that Christmas cake? Well here is the recipe I always use. It is from my old faithful 'Dairy book of Home Cookery'. This book has everything in it, it's like a little cooks bible!

Sufficient to cover top and sides of a 20.5-23cm (8-9inch) fruit cake fairly thickly.

275g (10oz) ground almonds

225g (8oz) icing sugar, sifted

225g (8oz) caster sugar

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks (remember you can freeze the whites and use them in meringues another time!)

5ml (1tsp) lemon juice

2.5ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla essence

1. Combine almonds with both sugars.

2. Mix to a fairly stiff paste with remaining ingredients.

3. Turn out onto a board or table covered with sifted icing sugar. Knead lightly with fingertips until smooth, crack-free and pliable.

I then heat a little apricot jam and brush it over the cake before rolling out the almond paste and covering the cake with it.


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Recipe from Martha Stewart

I have just made this recipe for Annie ready for her Thanksgiving meal this weekend, it looks great and I will be making it again. The measurements are American, but quite easy to convert online.
Serves 8
8 tbspns unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 3/4 cups cranberries
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (that's either all plain or a mix of plain and self raising)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Rub the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round tin with 2 tbspns of the butter. In a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon and allspice. Sprinkle mix into the bottom of the tin, arrange cranberries in a single layer on top.
2. With an electric mixer, cream remaining 6 tbspns of butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well combined. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low add flour mix in three batches alternating with the milk, until well combined.
3. Spoon batter over cranberries in tin and smooth top. Place pan on a baking sheet, bake cake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of cake; invert onto a rimmed platter.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Cherry Mojitos

Cut this recipe out from a magazine last year, have yet to try it!

Add 250g sugar to 300ml water and bring to the boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Then put 300ml lime juice (about 9 limes) into a non reactive bowl and add 1.35kg cherries (pitted and halved). Stir in the syrup and refrigerate for an hour (no more than overnight). Stir 530ml vodka (black cherry or plain) into the cherry mixture. To serve, fill glasses with ice, spoon in the cherry vodka and top with sparkling water. Serve immediately.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Banana Loaf

I must take more photos of things when I make them - sorry!!

This is a recipe form 'Mary Berry - Foolproof cakes' and is a favorite of ours to use up over ripe bananas. I actually tend to freeze bananas and them get them out when I want to make this. But the cake also freezes very well.

100g butter, softened

175g caster sugar

2 eggs

2 ripe banana, mashed

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

1. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin and line it with greaseproof.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 c

Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended.

2. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.

3. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a palette knife and turn the cake out.

Remove the lining paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly to serve.

How easy is that!!

Chocolate Brownies

This is the easiest and cheapest Brownie recipe I have ever come accross! It was given to me by a Saturday girl who worked for us a couple of years back.

Melt together:

3 1/2 oz butter

4 heaped desert spoons cocoa

Remove from heat and stir in:

8 oz granulated sugar

2 eggs

then add:

3 oz self raising flour

Line tin approx 8" square with greaseproof.

Pour in & bake @ 180 c for 25 minutes

(usually doesn't need 2 cook quite as long and usually better to use a slightly smaller tin because then it's not so thin!)


Thursday, 30 October 2008

Apple Pie

This is a recipe I cut out from a BBC Good Food Magazine years ago, it is a trusted favorite!

Serves 8


1kg Bramley apples
140g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp flour
225g butter. room temperature
50g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
350g plain flour
softly whipped cream to serve

1. Put a layer of paper towels on a large baking sheet. Quarter, core, peel and slice the apple about 5mm thick and lay evenly on the baking sheet. Put paper towels on top and set aside while you make and chill the pastry.

2. For the pastry, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until just mixed. Break in a whole egg and a yolk (keep the white for glazing later). Beat together for just under 1 minute - it will look a bit like scrambled egg. Now work in the flour with a wooden spoon, a third at a time, until it's beginning to clump up, then finish gathering it together with your hands. Gently work the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 45 mins. Now mix the 140g sugar, the cinnamon and flour for the filling into a bowl that is large enough to take the apple later.

3. After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven tp 190/fan 170/gas 5. Lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Cut off a third of the pastry and keep it wrapped while you roll out the rest, and use this to line a pie tin - 20-22cm round and 4am deep-leaving a slight overhang. Roll the remaining third to a circle about 28cm in diameter. Pat the apples dry with kitchen towel, and tip them into the bowl with cinnamon-sugar mix. Give a quick mix with your hands and immediately pile high into the pastry-lined tin.

4. Brush a little water around the pastry rim and lay the pastry lid over the apples pressing the edges together to seal. Trim the edges with a sharp knife and make 5 little slashes on top of the lid for steam to escape (can be frozen at this stage). Brush it all over with the egg white and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Bake for 40-45 mins, until golden, then remove and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Sprinkle with more sugar and serve whilst still warm from the oven with softly whipped cream.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Lambert Christmas Pudding

This is Jonathan's mum's recipe for Christmas pudding. I think I have halved the amount of everything as it made such a huge pudding and I find that not many people eat it anymore. But it will keep for years!

2oz Flour (plain or self raising!)

4oz breadcrumbs

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

2oz chopped almonds

2oz soft brown sugar

1 tbsp black treacle

2 eggs

3 tbsp brandy or rum

4 oz sultanas

4 oz raisins

4 oz currants

2 oz chopped prunes

2 oz chopped crystallized peel

1 medium apple, grated

4 oz shredded suet

grated rind 1/2 lemon

1/4 pint old ale

Sieve together the flour and spices, add the suet, breadcrumbs, lemon rind, sugar, nuts and dried fruit.

Warm the treacle in a pan until it becomes runny, add the rum, ale and lemon juice.

Pour over the eggs and mix together. Add to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.

Cover and leave to stand overnight. Add a little milk if the mixture has stiffened.

Pre-heat the slow cooker for 20 minutes. Turn the mixture into a buttered pudding basin - selecting a basin which comfortably fits in the slow cooked without raising the lid. Cover with foil. Stand the basin in the slow cooker and add enough boiling water to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the basin. Cook on high for 13 hours.

Allow to become cold, remove foil and recover with greaseproof paper and fresh foil. re-heat in slow cooker as above for 5 hours.

I would assume that this could be cooked on the hob or in the oven standing in water to allow it to steam.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Nana Marjoram's Boiled Christmas Cake

This is a recipe from my paternal Grandmother. As a young girl she was in service at one of the large houses in Bury St Edmunds and this recipe was given to her by the cook at the time.
1. 200 butter
2. 100g brown sugar
3. 8fl oz water
4. 1 tsp mixed spice
5. 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
6.1 tbsp rum or brandy
7. 600g dried fruit:- 200g sultanas, 200g raisins, 200g mixed fruit
8. 200g chopped glace cherries
9. 1 tsp bi-carb soda
10. 3 large eggs, well beaten
11. 100g self raising flour
12. 100g plain flour
13. good pinch salt
14. 1 tsp almond essence

Put first 9 ingredients into a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Leave until almost cold and then add all the other ingredients.
Leave in the saucepan overnight, covered with a cloth.
Lin a square or round tin with brown paper and the greaseproof paper and grease.
Pour all ingredients into tin and bake for 2-21/2 hours on 180 c (slightly less for fan oven)
When cooked sprinkle with more rum or brandy, cover with a cloth and leave in tin until cold.
Keep at least 4 weeks until cutting (keep as long as possible)

When it comes to the time I will pass on my recipe for almond paste to cover it with!