Well hello there.

Well, it’s been a while. Almost four years according to my last post! Much has happened and now is time to reignite the oneyorkshirepudding world.

A whistlestop tour of the past 4 years in the world of pud… which may explain my absence:

A few months after my last post Andy propsed to me (the foolish man). Knowing me so well he cooked me a three course meal. Scallops and black pudding to start. Lamb and fennel to follow. A cake for dessert…. in the shape of a ring box – the boy did good. (Please excuse the rubbish photos, we had just consumed a bottle of bubbles rather too quickly!)

 

We got one of these:

20150511_092525

This happened:

(Pictures courtesy of Jumping Jim Flash Photography: https://www.facebook.com/Jumping-Jim-Flash-Photography-224751980872/?fref=ts)

We got another one of these:

Eris

Eris

And one of these:

20160505_181231

We also moved house twice and I’ve had three different jobs in that time. So you know, it’s been busy.

More posts and actual recipes soon!

Pud xxx

Anniversary Meal

I have managed to put up with my boyfriend Andy for an entire three years, and he hasn’t got bored with doing the epic amounts of washing up I produce on a regular basis, therefore we thought we would congratulate ourselves with some proper posh nosh!

For our starter, we had scallops on black pudding with orange sauce, tarragon butter and asparagus tips:

DSCF4003

Followed by roasted rack of lamb, potato gratin (YUM!) fennel puree, white wine roasted carrots, green beans and minted peas:

DSCF4006

The result of which was this:

DSCF4009

Happy boyfriend!

DSCF4010

…and happy me!

And then we followed this up with a chocolate orange souffle and orange sorbet. I’m not sure if this is what a souffle is supposed to be like as I’ve never cooked one before, but it was pretty flippin delicious!

DSCF4017

I also managed to track down some Peregrine Pinot Noir from the Central Otago region in New Zealand. We were living in Queenstown (Central Otago) when we met and were pretty obsessed with this wine when we lived there – it’s divine and is now being imported by Majestic Wines.

I will put the recipes up ASAP (probably in the Christmas holidays!), some are mine and I will put links to others.

We ate this on Friday night and then Andy took me to the BBC Good Food Show on Saturday where we ate loads more food – it was fantastic, will put some piccies up soon!

How to segment an orange

As promised – a photo tutorial on how to segment an orange. The idea is that you end up with orange segement minus the membrane that would be around them if you peeled your orange in the traditional manner.

Now, make sure you do it properly or my dad will text you to tell you that you have left bits of pith on – as he did for my posh fish and chips photo below. Cheers Dad! (Surely he was taking the pith?! Hahaha)

 

Right, anyway, you need an orange, a chopping board, and a paring knife (small veg knife) and I find it easier to use a slightly bigger knife for peeling.

First things first, chop off the top and the bottom – not too much as you don’t want to ruin the shape of the segments. This will also give you a nice flat surface to work on.

 

Slice the peel off using a downward slicing motion. It is probably better to do this in smaller pieces – you can always tidy it up later.

Peeling

Carefully, slice of any remaining pieces of pith (Or you will get an angry text from Papa Stevo – you have been warned!)

Tidy it up, trying to keep a nice, round shape

I didn’t have enough hands to do this bit and take the photo! You need to use your (sharp) paring knife to slice out the segments. I find this easiest to do if I hold the orange in my hand and use the membranes in between the segments as a guide.

Keep going to you have as many as you need!

Trim and tidy up your orange segments – ta da! You have accomplished a proper cheffy technique. If you also need juice in the recipe, it is worth squeezing out the remaining bit of flesh and membrane as there will probably be a few tablespoons of juice in there.

A hot toddy

Boooooo nasty winter cold! Feel totally rotten and was even shouting at people in my sleep last night, gotta love having a temperature!

The only thing guaranteed to make me feel better, apart from large amounts of paracetamol and sleep, (without the shouting) is this winter warmer drink.

I don’t know if this is what a ‘hot toddy’ really is, but who cares?!

You will need:

  • 1 glass of freshly squeezed orange juice (if you’re feeling really ill and sorry for yourself you shall be allowed to use juice from a carton…. just this once mind.)
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • A ‘nip’ of whiskey. You can be in charge of how big the nip is. 😉

Pour the juice and honey into a pan and heat until warm and the honey is dissolved. Add your whiskey and give a little stir. Pour it into a mug and enjoy.

According to Wikipedia; the American Lung Association recommends avoiding drinking hot toddies as a cold remedy as the alcohol may cause dehydration. Ppft, what do they know? I feel better already!

Super posh fish and chips

This post is for Daisy, (my younger brother’s rather fabulous girlfriend) as she is trying to convert to enjoying fish. Daisy – you should make Joe cook this for you, or at least do the washing up!

Fancy fish and chips

You will need:

  • 2 fillets of sea bass – no bones
  • 1 orange
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • Knob of butter
  • White wine
  • Greaseproof paper
  • 2 large potatoes (King Edward or similar)
  • Garden peas
  • Tommy K
  • Vinegar
  • Salt

Set the oven to 180 degrees .
Chop the potatoes into chip shapes, don’t bother peeling, they are better with the skin on! Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and wop the potatoes in. Meanwhile, put a tray on the oven with a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil in the tray to heat up.

Meanwhile, cut yourself a couple of big squares of greaseproof paper – about A3 size.  At this point you need to segment an orange. It is a super cheffy thing to do (I always remember my Dad doing this at home for fancy occasions) but it is quite satisfying, if a little fiddly! I will put up a separate post this weekend on how to do this as it will involve many photos!

Slice your fennel really thinly.

Drain your potatoes in a colander, and then pour them into the hot fat – careful, it will spit! Put the tray of potatoes back into the oven.

Right then, back to the veggies.

Lay your orange segments down like so – faaaaancy!

Put the greaseproof paper into a shallow bowl (all will become clear in a minute) Lay the orange down onto the middle of your greaseproof paper, and lay the fennel on top. Place your fillet of seabass on the top. Pour over a splash of wine (about 25ml if you’re being precise, or a mouthful if not. Not from your actual mouth though as that would be nasty.)

Sea bass parcels ready to be wrapped up

Grind a sprinkling of seasalt over the top and place a thumb sized piece of butter on the top of the pile.

Cut two pieces of string for each parcel, make them longer than necessary, you can always trim them. Fold in your greaseproof paper carefully so that all the wine will stay in the parcel, and tie it up – an extra pair of hands might be necessary here.

All neat and ready to go in the oven

Put both the parcels onto a baking tray and into the oven. Because there might be a few layers of paper on the outside of the fish it will take a while to cook (longer than normal baked fish), probably about 25 minutes or so. Toss the chips again in the oil.

You can always carefully untie one of the parcels to check if the fish is done- it should have stopped being translucent but should still be super moist and flakey. The little parcels create a mini wine based steam bath for this fish (mmmmm sounds good!) so it won’t dry out unless you leave it in there for way too long.

When your chips are about 7 minutes from being done, set a small pan of water on the stove, salt, and bring to the boil. Add your garden peas and simmer for five minutes or so.

Tomato sauce – posh style

If you have a bottle of squeezy tomato ketchup, make a fancy chef pattern on the plate with it (this is super posh after all!) and then lay the chips on top. douse liberally with malt vinegar (yes American friends, I did say malt vinegar, just try it and see!) and lots of salt. Place your fancy fish parcel on the plate and the peas on the side.

Close up on the peas!

I love the idea of this because you still get to ‘unwrap’ the fish, like from the chippy but it is still proper posh!

 

Note: You could always do your chips in a fryer if you have one. We don’t and I’m too scared to use a chip pan! You could use oven chips if you’re a fan of those too. I can never get homemade chips to be amazing but I think that’s because I can’t bring myself to put enough oil on them as I should!!

Proper posh and that!

 

Banoffee Pie – for Katie, and NYC.

So I haven’t blogged for a while, well, ages actually. But that’s what working 10 hour days, 6 days a week will do to a girl. (“Idolovebeingateacher, Idolovebeingateacher, Idolovebeingateacher”).

However, I have had a request from my friend Katie, who has just made it back to her apartment in New York, post hurricane Sandy, and is in desperate need of this banoffee pie recipe.
Now, bear in mind that banoffee pie got me, and the seven other girls I lived with at uni, through three years of minor traumas. Break ups, bad exam results, or sometimes even if it was just raining outside, would result in me rocking out a banoffee pie and we would sit on the living room floor with a spoon each and devour the lot, straight from the pie dish.
I’m not suggesting that these minor traumas were anything like the people of New York have had to deal with this week, but scoffing this pie is like putting spoonfuls of sunshine into your mouth, and if a couple of New Yorkers can get their chops around this, they are guaranteed to feel slightly better, and a whole lot fatter. NOM.

  • 200g digestive biscuits (Don’t know if you have these in America, but you should! If not you can use a Graham Cracker crumb)
  • 60g butter
  • One tin of condensed milk
  • 200ml double cream (I’m assuming you can get this? Do NOT buy that nasty ‘whip’ stuff we had at camp, urgh!)
  • 2 bananas
  • Dark chocolate (Ok, try to get the good stuff, not Hershey. How on earth did I survive in America?!)

Right, not that I’ve finished slagging off American food produce; we can begin with how to make the pie. 🙂

Crush up your biscuits. You can do this in a food processor, or in a sandwich bag using a rolling pin.
Melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the biscuits and the transfer the biscuit butter mixture to the bottom of a pie dish. Squish it down (I find it easiest to do this with a potato masher!) And then put it in the fridge to set.
Right, the next bit is making the toffee – listen carefully or this will end in disaster!!
You need to take your tin of condensed milk, put the whole thing, unopened in a pan, and then cover it with water. You are going to simmer this for two hours. It is very, very, very important that the tin is covered with water the whole time, otherwise it might explode. And that would be bad. A la – a tins of beans on the campfire, but in your kitchen, with molten toffee. (See the cautionary tale at the end of this post).

Right, so simmering with two hours, occasionally topping up the water in the pan. After two hours allow the water to cool enough to fish out your tin. I tend to cool it a little further under the tap at this point. You can then open your tin, be careful, some hot toffee may spurt out of the can (baking is dangerous kids!)

Spoon this mixture onto your biscuit base and place back in the fridge. Eat any toffee remaining from the tin, this is compulsory.
When the toffee has chilled, slice the bananas thickly and lay onto the toffee mixture.
Whisk your cream until it is standing in peaks and spoon on top of the bananas. Grate over a little chocolate. (For the Europeans among you, I usually just buy a Flake and then crumble it over the top.)

If you’re fancy you could probably slice it up. I have never tried this, as it is so good straight out of the dish.

Katie – I hope you enjoy your pie, and that things start getting back to normal for you as soon as possible.

Cautionary tale of exploding toffee

I went to Uni with a chap called Anthony. He was some kind of actual aristocrat. (That’s right; I was hanging out with proper posh people). And he dated one of the cheeky girls. And he was a very good cook. And very sweet. And only a little bit dopey.
When he lived in Halls of Residence in his first year, he decided to make banoffee pie. Winner. He set his toffee to boil. Then he forgot that he had done this, and went to the gym.
He arrived back at his halls of residence an hour later to find the fire alarms ringing and 1000+ students standing around outside. Upon enquiring about what was going on, a fellow student explained that there had been a suspected gas explosion. Ah, (and you have to say this bit in a posh voice) “Oh, bugger.”
The tin of toffee had boiled dry, and exploded. The cooker was dented, the lid of the tin was embedded in the ceiling, the walls were covered in rapidly cooling molten toffee (now a similar consistency to concrete) and the window in the kitchen door had blown out into the corridor.
Luckily, posh Anthony was well off enough to cover the damage and VERY luckily, no one had been in the kitchen in the time as they would have been covered in toffee that was a couple of hundred degrees hot by that point.
So, even if your apartment already has a hole in it, and you could potentially blame the explosion on hurricane Sandy – do not let the water boil dry in your pan, keep topping it up!!
From Britain, to America, with lots of love xxxx

Geoffry bread

Sourdough bread

Following the receipt of a sourdough starter from a friend’s Dad three weeks ago I have read a lot, a LOT, about sourdough starter, care, and bread. And pretty much everything I read contradicted something else I had read. Hmmm. Time for some experimenting.

First of all, I have to ‘feed’ Geoffry, a mixture of flour and water. Approximately 50g flour and 50g of water per 100g of sourdough starter. If the sourdough is at room temperature, I have to do this twice a day. If Geoffers is in the fridge, I need to do this every couple of days.

The more times I feed him before baking, the better the flavour seems to be. So far all the loaves have been pretty good, but perhaps a little dry. Any advice fellow bakers?

The recipe that seems to work the best so far is below.

You will need:

  • 500g strong white bread flour (Or, 300g white and 200g wholemeal)
  • 300ml sourdough starter
  • big pinch of salt
  • 200ml water

I have been making the bread quite succesfully using the dough hook on my Kenwood K mix, and this is what I do:

Mix together the flour, starter and salt in the mixer bowl. Set the mixer off on a slow speed and add the water – it usually takes all 200ml of water as it should be a fairly wet dough. Kneed with the dough hook for about 10 minutes on a slow speed.

Coat your hands in olive oil and lift the dough out of the mixer, coating it in oil as you do. This will prevent it from sticking to the bowl as it rises. Cover the top of the bowl with cling film and pop into a warm place (I use the top shelf of the airing cupboard) for 2 hours.

Take off the cling film and put the bowl back onto the mixer stand. Knead again for a couple of minutes and then turn out onto a surface. Flour the inside of a loaf tin. Agin, coat your hands, and then the loaf with a little olive oil (I find that this gives a nicer crust) and shape your dough to fit into the tin.

Cover with cling film and allow to prove for a second time. I read that this can be anywhere between 8 and 12 hours, but I was finding that this was over proving, even if just left in the kitchen. 4 hours seems to be about right in the airing cupboard. I have found that is better to take the cling film off before the dough reaches that point as even when the cling film is oiled, it can stick and pulling it away from the dough will cause the top to sink.

Pop it in the oven at about 195 degrees C for 35 minutes. Simples! This seems to be a really easy bread to make, but it does not yet taste as good at Dave’s Dad’s – I will keep trying!!

 

mmmm bacon sandwiches