Cheddar, dill & beer loaf

Ingredients
360g organic flour – either all white or ½ white & ½ brown
120g mature Cheddar – grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill (or substitute chives if you prefer)
½ teaspoon local honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
300ml pilsner/lager at room temperature (non-alcoholic works too)
1.5 teaspoons salt
Butter at room temperature


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Method
Combine the flour/s, baking powder, dill, salt and Cheddar
Stir in the pilsner & honey
Pour into a buttered loaf tin and brush the top with a little oil or butter
Bake at 190C for about 35-40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean
However tempted you are to eat this loaf, allow it to cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing!

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This loaf works well using gluten free flours (e.g. Doves Farm) and lager (e.g.Estrella Damm Daura Gluten Free Lager or Celia Organic Gluten Free Lager)

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Perfect with lots of butter!

& makes a fine tuna mayo sandwich too!

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Tuna + mayonnaise + capers + cucumber + lemon + black pepper, et voila!

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It’s St Patrick’s Day – so cook up a feast! Irish stew inspired meatballs with colcannon & champ

Simply #MeatballDeli-cious!

It’s St Patrick’s Day so why not celebrate with Irish stew inspired meatballs, colcannon & champ?!

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To make the meatballs – mix together minced lamb + finely sliced spring onions + chopped parsley + S&P

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Roll the meatballs in flour and fry until golden

Drain off any excess fat

Cover the meatballs with lamb stock and braise until tender

Add a sprig of thyme if you like

Add baby carrots 15 minutes before the end of cooking time

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Prepare a batch of creamy mashed potatoes

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Add cooked kale for the colcannon

Not forgetting the traditional ‘well’ of melting butter!

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Add sliced spring onions for the champ

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Once the sauce has reduced to a gravy consistency serve generous portions alongside the champ & colcannon, & sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley

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A slice of buttered soda bread to accompany is a must, and a Guinness, if you’re in the mood!

May the luck of the Irish enfold you”!

For more meatball ideas visit:

Meatball Deli  |  www.meatball-deli.co.uk   |  For the love of meatballs!

Roast duck pie with mushrooms & sage forcemeat balls

duck pie

duck pie

duck pieFor the filling:

Fry diced bacon until crisp – drain and reserve

Season the duck legs and fry until both sides are golden

Transfer to oven and cook through

Drain off excess fat

Heat a large, flameproof casserole over a high heat, lower the heat slightly, add the bacon and oil and fry until crisp and lightly golden. Lift onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper, add to the casserole and fry all over, until golden brown. Set aside with the bacon. 3. Pour away all but 1 tablespoon of the duck fat from the casserole, add the shallots and fry until they begin to take on a little bit of colour. Sprinkle them with the sugar and continue to cook until nicely golden on all sides. Add the carrots and fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and fry briefly. Pour in the red wine, beef stock and redcurrant jelly, and bring to the boil. 4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Stir the bacon into the casserole, rest the duck legs on top, cover and roast for 11/4 hours, until the duck is very tender. 5. Lift the duck legs out of the casserole and set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, skim off the excess fat from the top of the sauce, place the casserole over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Mix the soft butter and flour until smooth, then stir into the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened, then stir in the peas, chopped mint and seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat. 6. Discard the skin from each of the duck legs and cut them in half at the joint. Take the meat off the thighs, (discarding the bones), break into small pieces and stir into the sauce. Stand the duck drumsticks upright in 4 x 350ml deep ovenproof pie dishes (ours were 11cm wide and 6cm deep). Spoon the sauce around each leg. Wrap the top of the legs in foil so they don’t burn in the oven. 7. Unwrap the pastry and divide into 4. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface to make a 15cm disc, and cut a cross in the centre of each. Beat the yolk with 1 teaspoon cold water, then brush it onto the underside edges of each disc. Position the discs over the pie dishes so that the duck drumsticks poke through the holes. Press the edges firmly onto the rims and sides of the dishes. Chill for 20 minutes. 8. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Put the pies onto a baking tray, brush the pastry with the remaining egg/water mix. Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Return bacon to the pan

Add chopped mushrooms

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Fry mushrooms until golden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd red wine + chicken stock + bay leaves

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For the pastry:

Sift the flour & add diced butter

Rub the fat in to the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs

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Add chopped parsley & mix

Add cold water & mix until the dough is smooth & firm

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Form a ball and wrap in cling film

Chill for 30 minutes

For the forcemeat balls:

Mix together white breadcrumbs + chopped sage & parsley + finely sliced spring onions
+ grated lemon zest + chopped streaky bacon + sausage meat + salt & pepper + beaten egg

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Roll into balls and chill

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemove duck legs and allow to cool

Add flour and redcurrant jelly to the wine & mushroom pan to create a rich, well seasoned sauce

Allow to cool

16Remove the duck meat from the legs

Add the meat to the red wine sauce & pour into pie dish

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Arrange the the forcemeat balls over the sauce so that they will support the pastry lid

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Roll out the parsley pastry

Roll out the pastry until it’s about 2.5 cm larger than the top of the pie dish

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Cut off thin strip of pastry from around the edge & brush with beaten egg

Press the pastry strip onto the rim of the dish and brush with more egg

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Top with the pastry lid & press the edges together to sea

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Press edge of fork around the rim

Decorate with pastry ‘leaves’ from the trimmings & make a steam hole in the lid

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Brush the lid with more beaten egg & chill for 30 minutes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABake at 200C for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden

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Soda bread

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Mix together 250g plain white flour + 250g wholemeal flour + 1teaspoon salt + 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Make a well in the centre and add 400ml buttermilk or live yoghurt

Mix into the flour to form a soft dough

Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface

Lightly knead for about a minute & form into a ball

Put the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet & dust the top with flour

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Cut a deep cross in the dough with a serrated knife, about two-thirds of the way through the loaf

Bake @ 200C for 40-45 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when the base is tapped

Eat warm with plenty of Irish butter and lots of strong tea!

Happy St David’s Day – bara brith for tea!

Bara brith

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Bara brith – Welsh tea bread

Adapted from my Grandmother’s 1950’s recipe

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Soak mixed fruit in strong tea overnight

Mix together soft brown sugar + butter

Add self-raising flour + pinch of salt  + cinnamon

Add eggs + milk + marmalade

Spoon into buttered lined loaf tin

Bake @ 180C for 1 1/4 hours

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Easy tarragon potted ham

Potted ham

Shred the meat of a cooked smoked or unsmoked gammon joint

Blend together the shredded ham + butter (at room temp) + Dijon mustard + white pepper in a food processor

When your desired consistency is achieved remove the blade from the processor bowl and stir in finely chopped parsley, chives & tarragon

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Pack this mixture into ramekins

Top with clarified butter & chill ’til set

Potted ham

Ideal for a simple lunch, supper or dinner party starter!

Sunday lunch of salmon en croute with tarragon butter spinach is going swimmingly!

 

Layers of salmon and spinach & tarragon butter wrapped in golden puff pastry

Works a treat with creamy leek sauce & boiled parsley butter baby new potatoes : )

 

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Drop us a line for further info: hello@sugarpeppercooks.co.uk