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Skrei with peppers and couscous

March 16, 2014

This is a boy recipe. Made while watching football:

Cooking with football

I asked Mr B how he made this simple but REALLY good dinner we had the other evening and this is the result:

Fry Skrei

Skrei with peppers and cous cous

Make couscous “the normal way”.
Fry the fish in butter. For a while.
Add the peppers and fry them too.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon and seasoning.

Have a frustrated but happy wife because you have the ability to cook fish perfectly without even trying.

Notes:

Cous Cous – I think the ‘normal way’ is adding a little water at a time and fluffing it up, rather than adding all the water in one go and letting it soak it up, which is my impatient way.

Big, juicy flakes of fish

Skrei™ is basically a really high end, sustainable Norwegian Cod. It has to fill very specific criteria to be get branded as such and is only available between January and April. It must be wild, line caught, fully grown (5 yrs plus) and in perfect condition – no bumps or bruises. It also has to be   packaged within 12 hours of being caught and stored at a temperature between 32° and 39° Fahrenheit. All this means that only 10% of over 400 million migrating Norwegian Cod are caught and branded as Skrei each year. (This info is largely lifted from the NSC’s press release). The result is a juicy, meaty fish with huge flakes. Frustratingly, it’s only available from Booths supermarket, Harrods and selected fishmongers. I’m going to be tweeting major supermarkets and asking if they can stock it, since I’m hardly likely to buy food from Harrods and I don’t have a Booths near me.

I’ve got two more pieces of Skrei in the freezer that I can’t wait to eat. If I’m honest, I just want to pan fry them and have them plain as it’s just such good fish, but that seems a bit of a cop out so I’l try and come up with something more interesting and let you know when I do.

You can see other lovely Skrei dishes here:

Thanks to the Norwegian Seafood Council and Bray Leino for the fantastic fish. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise but I heartily endorse this fish. It is really really good.

Foodie Penpals February 2014

March 2, 2014

Thanks to Sue Luff of the parish of Kent for a truly brilliant parcel.

Foodie Penpal Parcel February 2014

1. Sea Salt Chocolate Caramel flavour Hampton popcorn. All gone already! As Susan predicted, this was a hit with Mr B. He loves salted caramel anyway and we are both popcorn fiends (ask my poor work colleague who has to watch me scraping the last bits of popcorn dandruff out of the packet)

2. Protein Balls – Susan’s own recipe. These went pretty much straight away as I’m running to work most days. The fuelled at least 3 PB’s. Down to 1 hr 6m 11s for my 8.3m run now.

3. Food doctor pouch. Perfect for shoving in my rucksack to take to work.

4. Mocha drink mix. It’s hot, it’s chocolate, it’s coffee…..win. I haven’t opened it yet as I’m forcing myself to finish another pack first but I’m looking forward to it.

5. Last but by no means least the intriguing liquid salt. So far I’ve used this to season a bolognese. I’m not certain how much spice it added as I was being cautious but I want to try it on its own as a seasoning to really get the taste. Love the idea of it.

 

Liquid salt…intriguing.


You can see what everyone else got here

The Lean Green Bean

More about Foodie Penpals

Started by The Lean Green Bean, Foodie penpals is a way for food bloggers and blog readers to get to know each other, via a lovely parcel in the mail every month. This is Rock Salt has brought it to the UK and Europe. Here’s the rough outline of how it works:

  • All interested parties in the UK and Europe – bloggers and blog readers alike – sign up by the form available at the bottom of the Terms and Conditions post
  • Participants are matched on the 5th of the month
  • Penpals send thoughtful, food related parcels, on or before the 20th of the month. The parcels can include home baked treats, shop bought treats (especially local or unusual things), cake cases or decorations – use your imagination. The parcel must include something hand written – a note explaining the box’s contents, a recipe card, whatever you like. The price limit for the boxes is £10 – this is a limit, the point is not the cost, but the thought (no, really!)
  • Penpals open their boxes and rejoice!
  • At the end of the month, everyone blogs about their box, or writes a guest blog post if they are usually a blog reader and not writer. Everyone reads one another’s posts and rejoices some more. Posts are made available on Lindsay’s blog so we can all find each other easily

Find out more here: How it Works // Terms and Conditions.

Malty Millionaire’s Nice-Slice

February 25, 2014

This recipe was made as a ‘mediocre’ valentines day bake. For that slightly special person in your life ;) It’s not refined and it doesn’t involve any baking but it got the ‘when are you making that again?’ seal of approval. That’s what I aim for.

Nice Slice

I’m camera-less at the moment, so excuse the phone photos.

Millionaire shortbread slice

Malty Millionaire Chunks

1 x 145g packet of Caramel Cafe Thins (or other biscuits of your choice – I like the slight coffee flavour)
2 x 50g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1x 200g packet dairy toffees
3 heaped tsp of horlicks / malted milk drink powder
Some ‘Nice’ biscuits.
Optional chocolate

I used a pie dish that was about 15cm x 10cm. Whatever you are using, grease / line it.

Crush the caramel thins into crumbs.
Heat 50g of butter and the golden syrup in a pan.
Stir in the caramel thins until fully coated.
Press into the base of the dish you are using.
Using the same pan melt the toffees with the other 50g butter and stir in the malted milk drink powder. It’ll look like the butter will never combine with the toffee but it will if you stir it hard once it’s melted.
Pour the toffee mixture over the biscuit base.
Press ‘Nice’ biscuits into the top of the toffee and leave to set in the fridge.
You could cover the top of it in melted chocolate if you want. It’d probably be better, but I was trying to avoid chocolate in this recipe.
Now remove from the fridge and chew your way through the malty niceness….

Nice enough

Happy Valentines Day

February 14, 2014

20140214-090411.jpg

(Recipe for ‘nice’ malty millionaire slices to follow soon)

Dark and Mysterious Chocolate Cake (for my Valentine)

February 13, 2014

My February recipe over at the AGA Rangemaster Blog is made with rye flour and yoghurt to produce a deep, dark chocolate cake. It’s lightened up with a fluffy marshmallow icing.

Alluring depths and a fluffy fun side – just right for your valentine?

valentine chocolate cake

Cake baked from the heart

Dark and Mysterious Chocolate Cake with fun marshmallow frosting  

For the cake:
55g butter
50g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar (or use all caster sugar)
1 egg
20g self raising flour
35g plain flour
30g rye flour (or use 65g plain flour)
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g cocoa powder
75g vanilla flavoured greek yoghurt (I used Total’s FruYo)
2 tbsp milk
Chocolate chips (optional)

For the icing:
250g butter (room temperature)
500g icing sugar
milk
1 jar marshmallow fluff (213g) from the ‘international’ section of large supermarkets.

Instructions can be found here

Rye and Yoghurt Chocolate Cake

Rye and Yoghurt Chocolate Cake

Nutella Krantz Cake ( adapted from ‘Jerusalem’)

February 12, 2014

It has been brought to my attention that there have been a lot of gluten free recipes on here lately. I have indeed been enjoying the challenge of experimenting so that I’m able to bring some baked goodness to my wheat-free friends. However, it’s time that I return to some gluten-filled goodness and what better way to do it than through the medium of chocolatey bread.

This is something of a chinese whispers recipe. It is adapted from an adaptation of a recipe from Jersualem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I was given the book as a thankyou for being a bridesmaid for a friend who spends a lot of time in Armenia. She tells me that a lot of the food is very similar. So far this is the only recipe I’ve made from the book but they writing and stories surrounding the recipes is so fascinating that it’s worth owning for that alone.

Nuttella Krantz Cake

I was going to make the chocolate filling the long-winded way but I didn’t have any pecan nuts and I did have a jar of Nutella so that seemed a good way to solve the nut-deficiency and save time. It doesn’t result in such a refined cake but I’m sure you expect no less from me by now.

nutella krantz cake

Phone photo – sorry!

Nutella Krantz Cake
by Poires au Chocolat, Yottam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi

265g plain flour
50g soft brown sugar
1 tsp fast action dried yeast
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
1 large egg
85ml water
85g unsalted butter

200g Nutella and a knob of butter, gently heated until spreadable. You might want to loosen with a little milk.

For the  finishing syrup: 130g caster sugar, 80ml water, sea salt flakes (optional) 

In a large bowl (of your stand mixer if using) mix the flour, sugar and yeast.
Ass the egg, water and vanilla bean paste and mix using hands or a spoon.
Once it is almost combined, knead using the dough hook for 2-3 mins or your hands until it is uniform. The stand mixer is preferable to keep the dough cold.
Add the salt and then add 2cm chunks of butter 1 by one  waiting for them to be combined as you add them.
Knead for another 10 mins until the dough is smooth and silky.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.

Grease a loaf tin and line the bottom of it.
Melt the nutella.
Take the solid dough out of the fridge.
On a floured surface, shape the dough into a square and roll out to a rectangle 38x23cm – just a little dumpier than A3 paper (same dimensions on the short side but a couple of cm shorter on the long side). You want the endges to be as straight as possible. Emma at Poires au Chocolat explains this stage particularly well.

Spread the nutella mix over the rectangle but leave a border around the edges.
Brush the short end with some water and roll the dough up tightly like a swiss roll.
Pinch the end closed to seal.
Using a sharp knife cut down the length of the roll to show the layers (not to show the spiral).
Twist the two sections together and pinch the ends to seal.
Gently place in the loaf tin, cover with a damp tea towl and leave in a warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hrs. It won’t rise much though.
Heat the oven to 170C and bake the bread for 25-3omins.
When you thin it’s nearly done heat the sugar and water until just dissolved and it has just boiled, then leave it to cool for a few minutes.
Brush the syrup over the loaf while it is still hot. You won’t use it all straight away and will need to keep returning and re-brushing as it sinks in.
If you’re using the sea salt flakes (I recommend) sprinkle them over.

Pomegranate, Granola and Yoghurt Layered Breakfast Pot

February 9, 2014
homemade granola with pomegranate seeds, vanilla and blueberry fruyo

Breakfast: in layers and in a pot

Pink, in a pot, perfect. Pomegranate seeds layered with blueberry and vanilla fat free greek yoghurt form Fruyo and home-made granola. That’s it – that’s the recipe –  4 things +jam jar +layering. It’s even portable. Well, ok the granola recipe is below but you could buy that.

Now I come to think of it, it’s also rather valentine-appropriate, but if it’s all a bit ‘princess’ for your tastes then scroll down for a banana and pecan version.

Home-made granola
adapted from this recipe at Fish Fingers for Tea

550g standard muesli with fried fruit and nuts.
50g pumpkin and sunflower seeds
2 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tbsps honey (or maple syrup)
4 tbsps walnut oil
2 tsp of cinnamon
Heat the honey a for a couple of seconds in the microwave.
Mix everything together in a large bowl. It needs to be coated, so you might need a touch of extra oil.
Spread out on a tray lined with parchment paper or a baking mat and bake in the oven at 130C for 25mins, stirring half way through.
Turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven.

Store in an airtight container 

Granola, FruYo, Partfait, Breakfast Yoghurt

Pink and in a pot

Simple though this may seem, it wasn’t my idea. It was inspired by the recipe below sent to me by  the makers of Total Greek Yoghurt / Fruyo. Since the end of January the new Fruyo flavours which I tried recently, have been available in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The full range is now: peach, cherry, vanilla, strawberry, lemon, blueberry. My parents laugh at my ongoing yoghurt supplies, but Dad’s succinct review was “there’s a good amount of fruit in this” and the pot was left clean. I wanted a coloured layer in the pot so chose the blueberry but actually the lemon Fruyo is amazing with the poppyseed granola. I’ve also used the vanilla in my Valentine chocolate cake, which will soon be featured over at Rangemaster’s blog. 

Fruyo’s ‘Banana and Pecan Yoghurt with Granola & Maple Syrup’

Prep Time: 15mins + 3hours resting time
Serves: 4
Ingredients
3 x Fruyo Vanilla
100g granola (see above)
25g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
2 bananas
½ tsp of lemon juice
6 tbsp maple syrup
To serve – Small jam jars (or similar sized container)

Method

  1. Mix the granola and nuts together and divide between each jam jar.
  2. Spoon a thin layer of yoghurt over the granola
  3. Dice the banana and toss in the lemon juice to help prevent browning. Sprinkle the banana over the yoghurt in an even layer.
  4. Top with another thin layer of yoghurt. Drizzle over a third of the syrup and cover with the remaining yoghurt.
  5. Top with the remaining syrup and put the lids on the jars (or cover with cling film).
  6. Leave the jars for a minimum of three hours, allowing the flavours to develop. 

I was sent a selection of Fruyo pots for the purpose of making this recipe. I was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own. Thanks very much though Fruyo – they are lovely!

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