Friday, 25 September 2009

Red Cabbage with Onion and Apple

Red cabbage, apples and onions, nicely braised in all things good and tasty.

I know I've raved on about braised red cabbage in the past when
I made it to go with Lancashire hotpot, but I wanted to remind you just how easy and lovely it is.
With the weather turning colder here in the UK and Christmas not too far off, this is perfect served with roast chicken or of course, roast turkey or even pork chops as shown here.

With pork chops the only other thing needed is some good and creamy mashed potato.


Print Recipe
  To serve 4 you will need:
1 small red cabbage - cored and sliced
1 medium sized red onion - finely chopped
1 apple (Bramley) - peeled and thickly sliced
50g unsalted butter - cut into small pieces
150ml chicken stock (Knorr stock cube)
1 tablespoon (and no more) of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons clear honey
2 tablespoons demerara or soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
a good dollop of red currant jelly
1 x bay leaf
a sprig thyme a good dollop of red current jelly
salt and pepper to season
How to do it:
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6
Put all the ingredients into a shallow roasting tray and give it a good stir so everything is coated with the liquid. Dot with small knobs of butter. Cover the dish with foil and put in the oven on the middle shelf.
Cook for about 1½ hours, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add a little more chicken stock if you think it's getting too dry, although it should be fine.
Taste for seasoning, stir in a little more sugar if required.
Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme and serve.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

How to Make Ghee - Clarified Butter

I needed some ghee for my last recipe and since I couldn't get any without going here there and everywhere, I had a go at making it myself. It was so easy!
Please note you must use unsalted butter for this.

The plan is to get the water to evaporate from the butter and for the protein to settle at the bottom of the pan. You will then be left with clarified butter. This is the bit your interested in, not the bottom of the pan stuff.
This is why it's important not to stir the butter while it is cooking. You will need to keep a close eye on it so the ghee doesn't burn.


Here it is after straining.
Melt a pack of butter (must be unsalted butter) in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat. Be sure to use a good quality butter and it must be unsalted.
As the butter melts it will begin to boil and separate - you will see a white froth foaming on top and sediment settling to the bottom of the pan.
Keep the butter boiling steadily but do not stir. Allow the butter to continue to cook until the bubbling noise quietens down.
The sediment at the bottom of the pan will start to turn golden brown. The liquid under the froth will begin to turn an amber colour. This will take about 15 minutes. After this time (although you will need to keep an eye on it) as once all the water from the butter has evaporated it will burn easily.
Leave the cooked ghee to cool for about an hour. Then, pass it through a strainer with some cheese cloth into a sterilised jar. Discard the sediment.
The ghee will turn hard when cooled and look yellow in colour, although it will melt very quickly when exposed to heat.
Here is the finished product which will keep for ages if made properly and kept in a sterilised airtight container.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Chicken with Ras el Hanout, Sultanas and Honey

I based this on a recipe by Valentine Warner from his TV programme 'What to Eat Now' he used partridges, which I didn't fancy, so I used chicken instead. It's a shame as my end picture doesn't do this dish justice so I decided not to publish it!  You will need some nice fresh crusty bread to mop up all the lovely juices.
Ready for the Tagine lid to go and and to pop into the oven:

Click here if you want to make your own ghee.
You will need:
4 chicken breast fillets - skin on
8 teaspoons of ras el hanout
2 handfuls golden sultanas
100ml of water
3 red onions - finely chopped
3 fat cloves of garlic - finely chopped
80g ghee
2 tablespoons of clear runny honey
sea salt
2 free-range eggs

How to do it:
Put the chicken on a plate and sprinkle with the Ras el Hanout. Rub the spice all over so they are well coated on both sides. Cover and put to one side.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7
Place the onions and garlic into a Tagine or lidded casserole.
Add half of the ghee in small bits around the onions, then arrange the chicken fillets on top of the onion and garlic. Now sprinkle over the sultanas.
Dollop the remaining ghee onto the fillets and then drizzle over the honey.
Season with salt, then put the lid on the Tagine and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. After this time, you can have a look and baste with the juices.
Now is a good time to put on your boiled eggs. Boil in water for about 10 minutes. Then run under cold water for a good few minutes (this will stop a grey line appearing around the yolk).
Now turn down the oven temperature to 180C/360F/Gas 4 and cook for another 30 minutes.
After about 50 minutes of cooking, check to make sure the chicken is cooked through. The juices should run clear. If not cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove the Tagine or casserole from the oven and add the hard-boiled egg halves. Cover and leave to stand for ten minutes.
Serve with the halved boiled eggs and the lovely sweet, spicy onion sauce and of course, some nice fresh crusty bread.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Minced Beef and Cabbage Pie

A whole meal in one dish, even down the the gravy - Marvelous!

Remember a while back I was sent a fantastic Cookbook from 'Abel and Cole'
Well yesterday I fancied making this. In the book it is called Beef and Pointed Cabbage Pie.
Pointed or sweetheart are the same type of cabbage - I fancy you can use any cabbage you like the look of.



You will need:
2 glugs of olive oil
500g minced beef - good quality - low fat
1 large onion - small dice

3 fat garlic cloves - chopped

1/2 of a pointed or sweetheart cabbage - washed and sliced

1 x 400g tin tomatoes
2 tab
lespoons of tomato puree
make up 200ml of beef stock from a Knorr stock cube

75ml red wine
a good few splashes of Worcestershire sauce

a good splash of Tobasco sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a good handful of grated cheddar cheese


How to do it:
Preheat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas7
Make enough mashed potato to cover the dish you will be using and set a side - although I make mine while everything else is happening.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
Add the beef, onion and garlic and fry until the onion is translucent and soft.
You don't want the onion browned only the beef.



Now add the shredded cabbage and stir for a few minutes until it wilts down. Throw in the tomatoes including the juice, the tomato puree, 100ml of the beef stock and the wine.
**Please note: if you don't want to add any wine then you wil need 175ml of stock instead.


Stir it trough and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and add the Worcestershire sauce and the Tobasco. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Give it a taste to be sure you don;t want anything else you fancy in the way of seasoning. You shouldn't need to thicken it but if you must then use a teeny bit of of cornflour.
Remember this dish is everything you need including the gravy!


Tip the lot into a suitable size baking dish and top with the mashed potato and then the grated cheese.

Bake uncovered in your preheated over for about 25 minutes until the top is golden and it is heated trough.

You can put it under the grill for a few minutes if you want the topping extra crispy.


Nothing else needed - just a big plate a
nd of course, a knife and fork.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Our Cat Yasmin Has Gone Missing

Sorry for not posting anything for a bit but our cat Yaz went missing last week.
We are both very sad as we can't find her anywhere.
She never, ever ventured further than the front and back of this house.
We have looked everywhere and done all we in the way of registering her as missing with the RSPCA and local vets, the Police and the National Pet register etc.
But today of course, we will continue to go out looking.



Update 14th September 2009 - Yaz is back home!!
She came home at 4am limping and starving - 10 days she had been missing. Never going to know what happened . Letting her rest for a bit then a trip to the vets.
Thank you to everyone for caring.

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