Archive for October, 2007

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Sticky Ginger Cake

October 31, 2007

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I used to love Jamaica Ginger Cake when I was little – moist, sticky, rich and gingery, and believe it or not, it can be recreated at home. It takes a little bit of effort, but it’s so worth it. A word of warning though, there’s a lot of sugar and butter in this recipe, and not a great deal of redeeming healthy ingredients, so I have included some ground seeds and nuts to help you to justify eating it.

Recipe for Ginger Cake
250g butter
250g black treacle
250g soft dark brown sugar
300ml milk
2 eggs
100g stem ginger
300g wholemeal plain flour
100g sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp allspice
3 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp ginger syrup
5 tbsp icing sugar

Melt together the butter, treacle and sugar by heating gently in a pan for a few minutes, stirring constantly. When it’s smooth, add the milk and stir until combined, and the mixture is just warm. Leave it to cool a little.

Chop the ginger finely and mix with the flour, baking soda, allspice and ground ginger. Grind the mixed seeds and nuts together into a fine powder and add to the bowl. Make a well in the middle. Gently beat the eggs and add to the melted ingredients, then carefully pour this into the well, stirring from the middle to bring the mixture in from the edges and combine to create a thick, smooth mix.

Pour the batter into a square cake tin (buttered and lines if not silicon), and cook at 160°C for 1 hour, until it’s risen and a knife comes out clean. Leave it to cool before you take it out of the tin.

This cake freezes really well, so if you’re going to freeze it, don’t ice it, just wrap it tightly in cling film and freeze until you need it. If you’re going to ice it straight away, put the icing sugar and ginger syrup in a mini blender and whizz together until smooth, then drizzle over the cake and leave to set – delicious!

©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Strawberry Eton Mess Parfait

October 23, 2007

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How impressive does this look? What’s even more impressive is how easy it is to make…

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Look at those juicy red strawberries! They tasted as delicious as they looked, and it was hard not to eat them all before I started making this divine pudding. But it was the prospect of the finished result that helped me resist temptation – the anticipation of a mouthful of strawberry eton mess parfait.

If you want to impress someone, make this pudding.

Recipe for Strawberry Eton Mess Parfait
2 large punnets of strawberries
300ml double cream
500ml Greek yoghurt
6 meringues
1 punnet of raspberries
2 tbsps Lemon curd at room temperature

Hull the strawberries and then chop them into 1-2 cm chunks and set aside. Pour the double cream into a large bowl and whisk until stiff, then carefully fold in the yoghurt. Add the strawberries then crumble the meringues into the mixture so you get meringue pieces of varying sizes from tiny crumby bits to healthy, crunchy chunks. Now carefully stir everything together so it’s all combined.

Finally, you need to add the lemon curd. It’s very important to remember that the lemon curd is there to run through the parfait – like a lemon ripple – not as a part of the main mixture. If you stir the lemon curd in too much it will change the flavour of the parfait completely and overpower the strawberries. So, make sure the lemon curd is at room temperature so it’s soft. If it needs softening a bit more, put it in a small bowl and warm it up beating it gently with a spoon. When it’s ready, carefully swirl the curd through the mixture with a metal spoon. This should be done in one movement for each tablespoon and no more.

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You can make individual portions, which make a lovely dessert after a special dinner, or you can make one big parfait if you want to make a real impression.

For the individual portions, line small ramekins with cling film, making sure you leave plenty hanging over the edges and then fill each to the top and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. To serve, remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Use the cling film edges to remove the portions from the ramekins and place flat side down on a serving plate, garnish with strawberries and raspberries and dust with icing sugar.

For a large parfait, transfer all the mixture into a cling film-lined loaf tin. If you use a silicon tin you won’t need the cling film, and you will get a smooth finish. This will need to be frozen for 5 hours minimum. Remove from the freezer 1 hour before you serve it, garnish with strawberries and raspberries and dust with icing sugar.

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©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Roast vegetables with Halloumi Cheese

October 19, 2007

Simple and delicious and really versatile, roast vegetables are an easy way to serve up a colourful and healthy meal. I have experimented with this dish a lot, and I recommend that you do this too. Everyone has their favourite vegetables, so test them out until you have the combination that suits you. This is my best concoction. Using red and white onionsand shallots gives the onion element real depth and variety. Introducing the cherry tomatoes towards the end adds a moistness and soft flavour to complement the stronger vegetables, and the Halloumi Cheese gives a hearty, salty dimension to fill you up.

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Recipe for Roast Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
1 white onion
3 shallots
1 courgette
10 cherry tomatoes
1 pack Halloumi Cheese
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil

Chop all the vegetables except the tomatoes into 1-2 inch chunks, mix together and scatter onto a foil-covered baking tray. Chop the garlic finely and scatter over the vegetables, followed by a drizzle of olive oil, then stir to ensure the vegetables all have a light covering of oil. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of sea salt.

Cook at 200ºC in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring and turning the vegetables every 15 minutes. After 45 minutes they should be softening and browning, so chop the cherry tomatoes into halves, and the Halloumi into 1 inch chunks, and add to the tray. Cook for a further 15 minutes, turning once, until the cheese has golden & brown patches.

Serve as a side dish or with pasta and chunky bread as a main course.

©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Sunday Lunch in a giant Yorkshire pudding

October 13, 2007

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This is what chilly sundays are all about. Warm, comforting roast dinners, lovingly made as a reward for getting through the week, and bolstering you for the week to come.

The meal featured here combines my and Mr Rice’s favourite sunday lunch elements, plus a surprisingly delicious new dish.

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Roast potatoes

Cut 6 medium potatoes into 1-1.5 inch chunks, then par-boil for ten minutes until soft. Drain the potatoes (keeping the water) into a sieve and shake them about in the sieve a couple of times, to loosen the outsides. This will give you extra crunchy bits when they are roasted. Drizzle 2 tbps of fat (see ‘Tips’ below) into a large roasting tin and place in the oven for 2 minutes to heat the oil.

Remove the tin from the oven and add the potatoes, stirring and turning until they are all well coated with the fat. Cook for 1 hour, turning every 20 minutes, until they are crispy and golden.

Tips:
– the best ever fat for roast potatoes is goose fat, followed by duck fat. If you’ve roasted one of these birds before and kept the fat then use this
– the other superb fat for roast potatoes is half butter, half olive oil. The butter creates a super-rich taste, and the olive oil stops the butter from burning
– save the potato water to make a really tasty, wholesome gravy
– keep the skins on for extra fibre
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Honey & maple glazed carrots

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Peel, top and tail 7 carrots, then add 1 tbsp of fat to a small roasting tin and put into the oven for 2 minutes to heat up. Remove the tin from the oven then toss the carrots in the fat until completely covered, then drizzle with 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring and re-basting every 15 minutes.

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Braised celery

Raw celery has never done it for me. The taste is just too pungent and sharp. But I have learnt over the years to embrace celery as a superb ingredient for adding flavour to sauces. So, when Abel & Cole sent us some celery one week, and I had used it as a sauce and also forzen some away, I decided to set myself a challenge to prepare it as a dish by itself.

Yet again, Abel & Cole came up with a corker of a recipe, this time for Braised Celery. I was staggered by how delicious it turned out to be, and how well it went with the rest of the sunday lunch I had prepared. The celery imparts its own flavour into the sauce, but also absorbs the flavour from the stock and the cheese, making it unbelievably delicious. And so easy too!

 Recipe for Braised Celery
1 head celery
240 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
8 whole garlic cloves
1 pinch thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

Cut the celery into thick matchsticks and chop the celery leaves too. Place the celery, stock, olive oil, garlic, and thyme in a medium frying pan over high heat.

Bring  to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 15-20 minutes, until the celery is tender and the liquid is reduced. Then remove the celery and put it in a serving dish. Keep the liquid in the pan and heat to reduce and thicken it, which should take about 4-5 minutes. Then pour the liquid over the celery and sprinkle the parmesan all over, ensuring full coverage. Then cook in the oven at 200°C for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is well melted and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

©Katheryn Rice 2007

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Braised celery

October 8, 2007

Raw celery has never done it for me. The taste is just too pungent and sharp. But I have learnt over the years to embrace celery as a superb ingredient for adding flavour to sauces. So, when Abel & Cole sent us some celery one week, and I had used it as a sauce and also forzen some away, I decided to set myself a challenge to prepare it as a dish by itself.

braised-celery-close-up.jpg
Yet again, Abel & Cole came up with a corker of a recipe, this time for Braised Celery. I was staggered by how delicious it turned out to be, and how well it went with the rest of the sunday lunch I had prepared. The celery imparts its own flavour into the sauce, but also absorbs the flavour from the stock and the cheese, making it unbelievably delicious. And so easy too!

 Recipe for Braised Celery
1 head celery
240 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
8 whole garlic cloves
1 pinch thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

Cut the celery into thick matchsticks and chop the celery leaves too. Place the celery, stock, olive oil, garlic, and thyme in a medium frying pan over high heat.

Bring  to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 15-20 minutes, until the celery is tender and the liquid is reduced. Then remove the celery and put it in a serving dish. Keep the liquid in the pan and heat to reduce and thicken it, which should take about 4-5 minutes. Then pour the liquid over the celery and sprinkle the parmesan all over, ensuring full coverage. Then cook in the oven at 200°C for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is well melted and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Honey & maple glazed carrots

October 4, 2007

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Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Peel, top and tail 7 carrots, then add 1 tbsp of fat to a small roasting tin and put into the oven for 2 minutes to heat up. Remove the tin from the oven then toss the carrots in the fat until completely covered, then drizzle with 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring and re-basting every 15 minutes.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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