Thursday, 27 October 2011

Witches brew

1 tbsp olive oil
onion,finely chopped
1 garlic clove,crushed
650g frozen petits pois
750ml veg stock
6 rashers streaky bacon

Heat the oil in a pan.Add the onion and gently cook over a medium heat until soft but not coloured.Add garlic and cook for a min.Stir in three-quarters of the petit pois,then pour in stock.Bring to boil and simmer for 10-15 min.Meanwhile,grill bacon until crisp.Allow to cool and transfer into a blender.Return soup to pan and add remaining petit pois.Bring to boil and simmer for 2 min.Season to taste Break the bacon into pieces and scatter over bowls or mugs of soup

Monster cupcakes

250g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
175g light muscovado sugar
85g unsalted butter,melted
5 tbsp oil
150g pot fat-free natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

For the frosting and decorating

85g unsalted-butter,softened
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vinilla extract
200g icing sugar
food colourings
sweets and sprinkles,to decorate

Heat oven to 190c/170c fan/gas 5 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with deep cake cases.Put all the cake ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth.Spoon into the cases,Then bake for 20 min until risen and golden.Cool completely on a rack.For the frosting,work the butter,milk and vinilla into the icing sugar until creamy and pale.Colour with food colouring.Then create your own gruesome monster faces using sweets and sprinkles.

Garlic eyeballs with creamy chive dip

145g pizza dough mix
1 tbsp olive oil                                                                                                                                            1 large garlic clove,crushed
flour for kneading
2 tbsp chopped parsley
12 pitted olives
1 egg,beaten
For the dip
142ml pot soured cream or greek yoghurt
squeeze lemon juice
2 tbsp snipped chives

Empty the dough mix into a bowl and season to taste.Make a well,then mix with water and oil,according to pack instructions.Bring the dough together it should be slightly sticky.Knead dough for 5 mins on a lightly floured surface until it feels springy and smooth.Left into a large,lightly-oiled bowl,cover with oiled cling film and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size.Heat oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6.Tip dough out onto the worktop,flatten with your hands and sprinkle over the garlic and parsley and spread evenly though dough.Pull the dough into 12 walnut size pieces and roll into balls poke a olive into each one to make them look like eyes.Place on baking sheet.Brush each one with beate n egg and bake for 10-12 min until golden.Meanwhile mix together the soured cream,lemon and snipped chives for the dip.Serve

Halloween pumpkin cake

300g self-raisin flour
300g light muscovado sugar
3 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp bicarbonate soda
175g sultanas
1/2 tbsp salt
4 eggs,beaten
200g butter
zest 1 orange
1 tbsp orange juice
500g (peeled weight) pumpkin,grated
For drenching & frosting
200g soft cheese
85g butter,softened
100g icing sugar
zest of 1 orange and juice of half.

Heat oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4.Butter and line a baking or small roasting tin.Put flour,sugar,spice,bicarb,sultanas, and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine.Beat eggs into the melted butter,stir in orange zest and juice,then mix with the dry ingredients till combined.Stir in the pumpkin.Pour into the tin and bake for 30min, or until golden and springy to touch.To make the frosting,beat together the cheese,butter,icing sugar,orange zest and 1 tsp of juice,till smooth and creamy set aside in fridge.When cake is cooled turn it out.Prick all over and drizzle all over with rest of orange juice.Leave to cool completely.Give frosting a quick mix to loosen,and spread all over the top.Keep in fridge till ready to serve.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Tomato soup with mini meatballs

2tbsp oil
1 onion,finely chopped
1 carrot,finely diced
1 stick celery,finely chopped
700g passata
3tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
250g lean beef steak mince
1/2 slice bread,made into crumbs
crusty bread to serve

Set aside 1tsp oil.Heat the rest in a pan and add the onion,carrot and celery.Stir to coat veg.Cover and cook on a low heat for 5 min,stirring occasionally.Add the passata,1tbsp each of the parsley and sweet chilli sauce and 200ml water.Season.Bring to the boil,cover and simmer for 15 min.Use a hand-held blender to puree.Put the mince,crumbs and 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce in a bowl and season.Mix with your hands,then shape into 20 small meatballs.Cook in a pan until golden and cooked.Add to soup and simmer for 5 min.Add rest of parsley and serve with crusty bread.

pork and cider casserole

2tbsp oil
600g pork leg or steaks,cut into cubes
4 shallots,chopped
1 celery stick,sliced
125g carrrots,sliced
200ml med cider
200ml chicken stock
1tbsp dijon mustard
125g mushrooms,sliced
1tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 eating apples,peeled,cored and cut into wedges
15g butter
100g creme fraiche
1tbsp cornflour
mash potatoes to serve

Heat oil in a pan and brown the meat and transfer to a large pan.Add shallots,celery and remaining oil to the frying pan and cook until shallots are soft.Add to the pork with the carrots,cider,stock and mustard.Cover and simmer very gently for 45 min.Add mushrooms and tarragon,return to a simmer and cook,uncovered,for 10 min.Meanwhile cook the apples in the butter in a clean frying pan,until they are golden.Add to the pork with the creme fraiche and cornflour (mixed with a dash of cold water) and simmer for 5 min.Serve with mash.

Greek beef casserole

2tbsp oil
442g pack diced beef casserole
1tbsp plain flour
2 med red onion,chopped
1 garlic clove,finely chopped
4tbsp bolsamic vinegar
227g can chopped tomatoes
1tsp honey
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
strip of orange zest
150ml red wine
150-200ml beef stock

Preheat oven to 140c/120c fan/gas 2.Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan and brown meat.Transfer to a casserole dish.Season the flour,sprinkle over the meat and toss so that all meat is coated.Put in oven uncovered,While you cook onions.Heat remaining oil in the pan and cook onions until golden.Add garlic and cook for 2 min.Add vinegar and simmer,stirring,for 1 min.Add tomatoes and heat until simmering.Pour into casserole dish and add honey,cinnamon,cumin,cloves,bay leaf and orange zest.Pour the wine into pan and simmer for 1 min.Add to meat with the stock.Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Spicy lamb tagine

2tbsp oil
600g lean lamb,from leg or shoulder,cubed
1 large onion,chopped
1/2 level tsp each ground ginger,cumin,coriander and paprika
1 small cinnamon stick
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 small butternut squash
2tbsp chopped coriander,plus extra to garnish
125g ready-to-eat prunes
125g ready-to-eat dried apricots
50g whole blanched almonds
1tbsp cornflour
couscous or rice to serve

Preheat oven to 160c/140c/gas 3.Heat half the oil in a pan and cook lamb,in batches,until browned on all sides.Transfer to a casserole dish.Add onions and rest of oil to the panand cook until soft.Stir in spices and 2tbsp cold water and stir over over a medium heat for 1 min.Add to the lamb with the cinnamon stick.Add 200ml hot water and tomato puree to the pan and heat until simmering,stirring to pick up spices left in pan.Pour over the lamb and add another 300ml hot water.Cover and cook in oven for 1 hour.Meanwhile peel and halve the squash,and remove seeds and fibres.Cut into large cubes.Add to casserole,cover and cook for another 30min.Add coriander,prunes and apricots and half the almonds.Cover and cook for another 30min.Mix the cornflour with a dash of cold water and stir in.Cook for another 5min.Roast the rest of almonds in oven for 5min until golden brown.Remove cinnamon stick,sprinkle on the roasted almonds and extra coriander and serve with rice or couscous.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Toffee Apples

225g demerara sugar
110ml water
0.5tsp vingar
2tbsp golden syrup
25g butter
6 apples
6 wooden skewers
few drops of red colouring

Dissolve the sugar in the water.When dissolved,stir in vingar,syrup,butter and colouring.Bring to the boil stirring until it reaches hard-crack stage (138c) or hardens into a ball when dropped in a jug of cold water.This should take around 10 min.While syrup is cooking pierce each apple with sticks.When toffee is ready dip each apple into toffee fully coating.Leaveto harden on a lightly oiled tray.

Easy Brownies

175g butter,plus extra for greasing 200g milk chocolate,broken into pieces 225g light soft brown sugar 2 eggs 1tsp vanilla extract 100...