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Monday
Sep292014

Chocolate Chip Cookies Always in Season

Along with chocolate, there is much comfort to be gleaned from reading cookbooks. This recipe combines two loves by being chocolatey to the point of madness and having revealed itself to me after a cosy, snuggled-down read of Elinor Klivans' glorious Big Fat Cookies. What I do is make up the full batch of these (hard to divide it really, since it contains only 1 egg) and form all 12 cookies, but bake only half and freeze the other half. I freeze them on a little tray and, once they're hard, I bung them in a freezer bag, seal it and stash it back in the freeze, to bake them unthawed at a later date. That way, I've got 6 chocolate cookies to keep me and my family happy without any time or effort.

This is what I call an investment. And it's worth it - these are the chocolatiest cookies you will ever come across.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick soft unsalted butter
  • ½ cup soft light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate morsels)

 

Recipe Courtesy Nigella.com

Monday
Sep152014

Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Mushrooms Just Right

This is one of my proudest creations and, I suppose, a good example of a recipe that isn't originally from Italy, but sits uncontroversially in her culinary canon. I don't think it would be too presumptuous to namethis linguine ai funghi crudi. It is about as speedy as you can imagine: you do no more to the mushrooms than slice them, steep them in oil, garlic, lemon and thyme and toss them into the hot cooked pasta.
If all you can find is regular button mushrooms, this pasta is still worth making - so no excuses.
Serves: 4­-6

Instructions

1. Slice the mushrooms finely, and put in a large bowl with the oil, salt, crushed garlic, lemon juice and zest,

Ingredients

7.94 oz cremini mushrooms
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes (or 1½ teaspoons table salt)
1 small clove garlic (crushed)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves stripped off)
1 lb linguine
1 bunch fresh parsley (chopped)
2 - 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese (or to taste)

Instructions

1. Slice the mushrooms finely, and put in a large bowl with the oil, salt, crushed garlic, lemon juice and zest, freshly ground black pepperand marvellously scented thyme leaves.
2. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and drain loosely, retaining some water. Quickly put the
drained pasta into the bowl with the mushroom mixture.
3. Toss everything together well, then add the chopped parsley, grated cheese and pepper to taste, before
tossing again, and eat with joy in your heart.
Additional information - for vegetarians replace the Parmesan with vegetarian alternativ

 

Recipe Courtesy Nigella.com

Sunday
Aug312014

Mini-Meatloaf Perfect for Lunch

These mini meatloves are best eaten cold, either dunked in mayo, ketchup, brown sauce or mustard, or sliced up and made into sandwiches with the whole fandango of sauces. I sometimes add lingonberry sauce to the mix too. Throw in a gherkin and some pickles and this is lunch nirvana. Don't forget the napkins though.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sausagemeat
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  •  cup steak sauce (such as a1 sauce)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or ½ teaspoon table salt)
Tuesday
Aug122014

Perfect Peach Melba Makes Summer Better

This is it - summer on a plate. Most days I take the view that cooking fruit rather loses the point of its delectable freshness, but this somehow intensifies it. Besides, most peaches are disappointingly hard or lacking in luscious peachiness, so poaching the fruit gives even lackluster peaches the boost they need, restoring them to their rightful glory.

Ingredients

for the peaches

    3 cups water
    3 ½ cups superfine sugar
    juice of ½ lemon
    1 vanilla bean (split lengthways)
    8 peaches

for the raspberry sauce

    3 cups raspberries
    ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
    juice of ½ lemon

to serve

    1 large tub vanilla ice cream

Instructions


    Put the water, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla bean into a wide saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Bring the pan to the boil and let it bubble away for about 5 minutes, then turn the pan down to a fast simmer.
    Cut the peaches in half, and, if the stones come out easily remove them, if not, then you can get them out later. Poach the peach halves in the sugar syrup for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Test the cut side with the sharp point of a knife to see if they are soft, and then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
    When all the peaches are poached, peel off their skins and let them cool (and remove any remaining stones). If you are making them a day in advance, let the poaching syrup cool and then pour into a dish with the peaches. Otherwise just bag up the syrup and freeze it for the next time you poach peaches.
    To make the raspberry sauce, liquidize the raspberries, confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a blender or else a processor. Sieve to remove the pips and pour this fantastically hued puree into a jug.
    To assemble the peach melba, allow two peach halves per person and sit them on each plate alongside a scoop or two of ice cream. Spoon the raspberry sauce over each one, and put the remaining puce-tinted red sauce in a jug for people to add themselves at the table.

Thursday
Jul312014

Special Summer Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

for the shortcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (frozen)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg white (lightly beaten)

for the filling

  • approx. 10 oz strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 3 drops balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or creme fraiche)
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