Raspberry Kuchen

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RaspberryKuchenGoOne-1 21/04/2017

A kuchen is a cake-like dessert, very similar to a cheesecake, that has a soft dough crust and a topping of custard or cheese that contains berries or other fruits. I love this recipe for many reasons. There are no stray egg whites or yolks left to deal with when the cake is finished. What’s not used in the crust is used in the custard and that appeals to my “green” instincts. The cake, which can be made without a mixer, is very easy to do and has the added advantage of being low in fat and only moderately sweet. Best of all, it can be made with fresh or frozen berries of any type. Frozen berries will produce a creamier cake because of the liquid they exude as the cake bakes.

Ingredients:
Base:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries

Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups plain low-fat or non-fat yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 1 slightly beaten whole egg
  • 1+1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form tin. If using frozen raspberries, thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes then drain.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together 1 cup flour, the first 1/2 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Add melted butter, 2 egg whites and first teaspoon of vanilla. Stir by hand until mixed.
  3. Spread onto the bottom of the cake tin; sprinkle with berries. Set aside.
  4. For the filling, place yoghurt in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Add remaining sugar, yolks, whole egg, zest and remaining vanilla. Mix until smooth then pour over berries.
  5. Bake for about 55 minutes or until the centre appears set when shaken gently. Cool for 15 minutes then remove sides of pan. Cover and chill until serving time, up to 24 hours. If you are feeling brave, you can remove the pan bottom. I wasn’t feeling brave. Transfer to a serving plate.
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Sesame Salmon in Miso Broth

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IMG_20160118_165955[1] 26/01/2016

Salty samphire and umami-loaded miso go so well with sweet salmon in this East Asian-inspired dish. You can use any fish with this dish. Sea bream and Sea bass work particularly well. The delicate flaky fish and crispy skin contrast beautifully with the silky broth.

Ingredients:

  • 2 nests (140g/5oz) medium or thick egg noodles
  • 2 fillets sustainable salmon, skinned or white fish, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 90g pack samphire
  • 1 x pak choi
  • 2 x 18g sachets (or 2 tbsp) miso soup paste
  • bunch spring onions, shredded
  • little sesame oil for drizzling

Method:

  1. Cook the noodles following pack instructions. As soon as they are just tender, drain in a colander, rinse under the cold tap and set aside.
  2. Slash each piece of fish 3 times on the skin side. Season well and press the sesame seeds over the skin in an even layer. Heat the oven to low, ready to keep the fish warm. Put a couple of wide bowls in to warm, too.
  3. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick frying pan, the sturdier the better. Add the fish, and fry for 5 mins on the crusted side until the seeds are pale golden and the flesh of the fish has changed colour almost all the way through. Turn the fish over, cook for a few seconds more, then remove to a plate and transfer to the oven. Put the kettle on to boil.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and sizzle the ginger for 30 seconds. Add the samphire and pak choi, cover again and cook for 1 min more until bright and just tender. Make up the miso in a jug with 450ml boiling water. Run boiling water through the noodles to reheat then pile into the warm bowls. Spoon over the ginger, samphire and pak choi plus the spring onions, then pour over the miso and top with a piece of crisp fish, sesame-side up. Drizzle with a little sesame oil then dig in.

 

Steak & Ale Stew

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IMG_20141111_183644[1] 20/11/2014

I have included ideas to use the steak & ale base as a pie or a stew. This is a really fulfilling base to experiment with as you wish.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound beef shin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2-4 rashers smoky bacon, cut into chunks
  • 2-3 onions, chopped coarsely
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 bottle of your favourite ale
  • 250ml beef stock
  • A dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Dredge the pieces of beef in the flour and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large cast iron pot set over a medium heat. Once hot, add the beef in batches and cook, browning it on all sides. This should take several minutes.
  3. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside. Return the pan to the hot stove top.
  4. Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan (enough to cover the bottom), and scrape up the browned bits left from cooking the beef. Transfer the liquid/mixture from the pan to a bowl, and set it aside.
  5. Return the pan to the hot stove top. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, and when hot, add the bacon chunks to the pan, cook until brown and sizzling then set aside with the beef. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, and garlic, and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the tomato paste to the mixture and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the beer, broth, beef, the reserved liquid scraped up from the pan, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and place in the preheated oven for 90-120 minutes, or until the beef is tender.

IMG_20141110_205438[1]

Your base is now ready to use as a beautiful pie filling or hearty stew with dumplings.

For a pie:

You could make your own shortcrust or puff pastry lid or even use readymade. Why not try adding blue cheese into the dough for an extra kick of savoury flavour? Try adding peas, carrots and mushrooms to the filling too.

Once the filling is cool, place it into a pie dish and cover with your chosen pastry. Coat the rim of the pie dish with an egg wash to help the pastry stick, before finally placing the lid on the dish.

Once you have placed the lid on the dish, crimp the edges with your thumbs and fingers to form a seal and stop the pastry shrinking during cooking.

Trim the excess pastry from the edge of the dish and coat the top of the pie in egg wash.

Finally cut a cross mark in the centre of the lid of the pie with a knife to allow steam to escape through during the cooking process.  This should help avoid a soggy pastry.

Bake the pie in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 200C

For a stew:

For a stew, add root vegetables such parsnips, swede and carrot. To make dumplings, mix 2oz suet with 4oz self raising flour in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and herbs of your choice then combine the mix with approximately 5 tablespoons of water or just enough to form a soft but not sticky dough. Divide the dough into 8 balls then when the stew is nearly ready and the beef is tender, place the balls on top of the simmering stew, cover tightly with the lid and allow to cook for a further 20 minutes.

By cooking in the oven, nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan or burns and the sauce bubbles into a velvety coating for the meat and vegetables.