Sunday, 25 September 2011

Scottish Oatcakes

 I've made this recipe thinking about Stilton, I made this other recipe thinking about Stilton too... Yes, I think a lot about stinky cheese, I'm that type of person.

Store bought oatcakes are not bad, nothing special, just a thin, crispy vehicle for your cheese, your paté or whatever you like to eat with them. Homemade oatcakes have more bite, they are chewier, buttery, flavoursome and they look much nicer!

They are surprisingly straightforward to do. There's no kneading, no proving. Just mix all the ingredients until it comes together into a dough.

Stilton, I love youuuuuu

Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine

60g Self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125 gr oatmeal
50g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
2tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Mix in the oatmeal, then rub the butter.

Gradually stir in the milk and 60 ml cold water. Form into a ball of dough.

Halve the mixture. With floured hands, roll each section in turn into a cylinder measuring about 7cm long and 5cm in diameter.

Lay on a floured surface and with a knife slice into 0.5cm thick rounds. Pat them flatter with your hands.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Salmon with pomegranate molasses glaze

Pomegranate molasses is a thick, sour fruit syrup, which is used widely in Middle Eastern cookery particularly in Lebanese and Iranian food, where it's added to dishes to add depth of flavour or as a dressing.

 I'd been looking for pomegranate molasses for ages, but I couldn't find it, then the other day I came across with this post on my reader list.

A-ha! A homemade pomegranate molasses recipe! Really easy to make, just get yourself some good 100% pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice and the best part is that it keeps in the fridge for up to 6 months.

This is my first recipe with the molasses. A speedy, healthy, delicious, glazed salmon.

Pomegranate molasses

1 litre of 100% pomegranate juice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar

Place all the ingredients in a sauce pot (large surface area speeds up the reduction) and simmer at a  gentle boil.  It took me 1 hour before it was reduced down to 1 1/2 to 1 cup or thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but it will depend on the size of your pot.  It should be a syrup consistency.  Remember when it cools it will become thicker. 

Glazed salmon

2 salmon fillets,
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice (from 1/2 a large lemon)
Salt & pepper

Put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.

Brush the marinade onto the fillet slices and marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Bake in a pre heated oven at 200°C for 5 minutes.  Then turn the grill on and increase the temperature to 250°C and cook for another 5 minutes.

I served with some peas and roasted cauliflower.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Messing with the national dish

I've made an awesome dinner and I took very crappy photos.

Dear fellow bloggers, what's your secret to take such pretty photos if it's already dark, dinner is ready, you want to eat it while it still warm and you are hungry?

I'm going to show you the photos anyway. Can you guess what we've had?

Haggis burritos!!!!

 I love haggis neeps and tatties, we have them at least a couple of times a month. They are cheap, local and easy to put together. Pure comfort food, but sometimes it's fun to play with the classics.

I don't know if I have any purist Scotish readers, and I don't wish to offend anyone. After all the only elements missing are the tatties, with the difference that the swede is in chunky oven baked chips format and the haggis is wrapped in a homemade flour tortilla.

This is what I did:

I chopped the swede like this.

Then I coated the chips in olive oil and placed them on a baking tray in a single layer and well seasoned. I cooked them for 1 hour in a 200C oven. I turned them once during that time.

In the meantime I made a quick simple guacamole:

2 ripe avocados
6 cherry tomatoes
1 spring onion
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 pinch of chili powder
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp lime juice

Well, you know, mash the avocado, chop the tomatoes, slice the spring onion and mix with the spices, juice and salt. Easy peasy.

Then I made the flour tortillas. These quantities are for 4 people. I only used half of the dough, the other half is in the freezer.

Recipe adapted from orangette. I've tried a lot of tortilla recipes, but this is the ONE :

 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
 1 ¼ tsp salt
6 Tbs sunflower oil
1 ¼ cup boiling water

In a large bowl, stir the flour and salt together with a whisk. Mix in the sunflower oil until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in enough boiling water (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups) that the dough holds together; you will want to begin by stirring with a spoon, since the water is scorching hot, but you should finish by working the dough with your hands.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth for 2-5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Set a skillet over a  medium heat. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, and cut it into 6 wedges. Cut each wedge into 2 smaller wedges. Use a rolling pin to roll out a wedge into a very thin circle—as thin as you can make it.

Maybe you are like me. I can't roll out my dough into a nice circular shape. It doesn't matter, it's going to taste delicious anyway.

When the skillet is hot, but not smoking, cook the tortilla until slightly puffed, about 20-30 seconds. Flip, then cook for 20-30 seconds more, or until flecked with golden or brown spots. Place on a cooling rack. Repeat the process with the other wedges.

When everything was ready I grated some cheese (Edam was what I had in the fridge) and prepared the haggis. It comes already cooked so the only thing I had to do was to put it in a hot pan for a couple of minutes.

And Ta-da!

Haggis burritos! Serve with the swede chips on the side. Trust me, it is really good!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Pork Tenderloin Escabeche


Escabeche is a cooking technique to preserve food. Actually it's a type of pickle. Here you have the Wikipedia link for further information.

In Spain it's very common during the summer. It keeps well in the fridge, the flavours improve with the days and you can serve it cold so it's a very convenient recipe.

Everything can be made in escabeche. This is the first time I've ever prepared it and I've chosen pork tenderloin. I don't know why, but I've always thought that would be something long and complicated to cook. Not at all, it's surprisingly easy to put together and it cooks in 30 minutes, the only thing is that you have to wait until the day after to eat it.

This is what you need for 2:

  • 500 gr. Pork tenderloin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dl. cider vinegar
  • 2 dl. white wine
  • 2 dl. chicken stock
  • 3 dl. olive oil
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • 6 black peppercorns

  • Season the meat, coat them with flour and shake off the excess.
  • Put the oil in a not too high saucepan and on a medium heat seal the tenderloin until it's slightly golden. Set aside.
  • Turn the heat down and sauté the sliced onion, sliced carrots, sliced garlic, the bay leaf and the peppercorns.
  • When the vegetables are soft add the meat, the vinegar, wine and stock.
  • Cover your saucepan and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes, turning the tenderloin once.
  • Let it rest in the fridge at least 24 hours.

Slice it before serving, eat cold or slightly warmed in a low oven. Mine was a little dry, but after I warmed it a little bit it was perfect.