A little knowledge

Cookery Tips & recipes

Day 14 of the Christmas Countdown. Do hope you are all enjoying the daily recipes & hopefully trying them out. All have been tried & tested in various households, during my 40 years as a cook.

Today I am going to give you a recipe & a few food tips, which you may find useful. Also a couple of excellent suppliers which I can highly recommend.

The little cheese biscuits in the photo are so easy to make, they really melt in the mouth & are great for those Christmas drinks parties. You can sandwich them with cream cheese, either on its own, or with the addition of chopped herbs, garlic or some chopped ham & mustard. They can also be used as the base for a canape. Pipe pate, creamed cheese etc  on top & decorate with smoked salmon, caviar, chopped sundried tomatoes. The choice is yours.

To make the biscuits, mix together, equal amounts of butter (real, not a spread) grated cheese, & plain flour together. Season & chill in the fridge for 30mins. When ready to use, roll out & bake at 200c 400f Gas 6 for 7-10mins. DO WATCH THEM AS THEY BURN QUITE EASILY.  Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, before removing to a cooling rack.

The raw dough will keep in the fridge for 1 week. Store cooked biscuits in an air tight container for 1 week.

Whilst on the subject of cheese, you will be needing some Chutneys or pickles to go with it. You can do no better that POT OF WHAT 

Delicious home made tracklements from the Cotswolds

This lovely company, home makes the most delicious, Jams, Marmalades, Chutneys & Pickles, with many of their fruits & veg, being grown by themselves. Their Hot Chilli Jam is to die for. Add a couple of tablespoons to a casserole to give it some extra Omph! or spice up a salad by using it as a base for a chilli dressing. Its usefulness has no limits.

Gin, pink gin, botanic, tipples, party time,

To go with the Canapes (Alcohol) GIN 

Wicked Wolf Gin is a small batch, handcrafted Gin, made in Devon on Exmoor. It’s light pepper notes, layers of citrus with juniper & corriander, make it, to me, a Queen of Gins. Try it with a slice of orange & a sprig of fresh Rosemary.  The perfect libation, at any time of the year.

sharon fruit, recipes, persimmon, healthy eating

Persimmon a delicious, versitile fruit

Also know a Sharon Fruit, these fruits originate from Japan & are pentiful at this time of the year. The fruit is high in antioxidants & is brimful of fibre & nutrients. There is no need to peel, as like all fruit, most of the nutrients lurk, just under the skin, which also provides more fibre. If you like a baked apple, try baking this filled with dried cranberries & pistachio nuts, for a low calorie, winter dessert. Served with yoghurt, of course. It is also delicious gated into a salad with chopped celery & walnuts. Serve with a blue cheese dressing. YUM.

Have a browse of the websites I have given you the links for & give them a try.  

Thats all for today. Be with you all again tomorrow, for day 15 of Christmas Countdown.

Christmas Leftovers

Recipes for leftovers

In Day 13 of Christmas countdown you will find a couple of recipes for leftovers.

Christmas present, can soon become Christmas past. By past I mean, “Past that best before date”. That’s why you need to learn to loveyourleftovers. We all buy too much food over the Festive Season, whether it be for the unexpected visitor who may drop byor just because we are tempted by a vast array of food choices.

Looking in the fridge you come across a piece of mousetrap, a few slices of ham or salami, that piece of Parmesan you meant to grate over the Caesar Salad, along with the olives.  Slices of smoked salmon & in the chiller draw, half empty bags of herbs & limp veg.  You then look in the tins on the work surface & discover odd pieces of cake, broken biscuits, stale bread. Sound like you? Well, don’t throw them away, continue reading.

While the kids are at home for the Christmas holidays, get creative with them & make some mini Christmas Pud Truffles.

Christmas food, leftovers, cookery, recipes, sweet, savoury

BOOZY CHRISTMAS PUD TRUFFLES

Melt some chocolate over a bowl of simmering water & gather together your left over bits of cake & biscuits – made into crumbs – & stir into the melted chocolate. You can also add those bits of dried fruit, nuts or seeds, left in the bottom of the packet. For the adults you can add a tablespoon of Brandy or liqueur. Cool and roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls.  Melt some white chocolate in the same way & put a blob on the top of each ball & decorate.  Chill before serving.

The ones in the picture are made with my Gluten Free alternative Christmas cake, which contains, hazelnuts, beetroot, apple, dates and cranberries. The white chocolate topping is decorated with Pumpkin Seeds & cranberries.

The photo above is my Italian Savoury Truffles, made by pulsing together in a food processor, Salami, pine nuts, olives & Sun dried Tomatoes with garlic & black pepper. Add some fresh basil. If the mixture is looking a little dry add a drop of olive oil. Make teaspoons of the mixture into balls & roll in grated Parmesan Cheese & chill before serving.  These savoury truffles can be enjoyed as a canape, used on the cheese board to spread onto flat breads or as stuffing for the centres of halved, deseeded cherry tomatoes.

As for the limp veg. chop or dice, add a tin of tomatoes & some herbs & simmer up a tasty soup.

If you would like to hear more I will be on The Social, with Sue Kinnear  & Tim Weeks   BBC RADIO WILTSHIRE  on Monday 17th December 2018 at 7pm.

To find out more about cooking you can also visit my web site page COOKERY TUITION 

Use your imagination & you will soon whip up some tasty treats & save money into the bargain.

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A Stonking Stollen Pud

CHRISTMAS LEFT OVERS. BOOZY STOLLEN PUDDING

If you were lucky enough to be given or bought a lovely home made Stollen this Christmas, you MAY have some left over along with some drops in the bottom of your liqueur bottles!!!!

For this recipe you can use Brioche, Croissants or any other bread product you happen to have to hand.

INGREDIENTS. ALLERGENS IN BOLD.    Serves 6    Oven 180c 350F Gas MK 5    Time taken 20mins + Standing time & Cooking

Slices of Stollen,( I used my own Homemade, filled with Cranberries, Pistachios & Marzipan) or any of the above.

3 Large Free Range Local Eggs

150ml Double Cream

350ml Milk

2 Tbspns Rum, or Cointreau

Grated rind of 1 large Orange

1/2 Tspn Freshly grated Nutmeg & Cinnamon.

METHOD.

Butter a large ovenproof serving dish & lay the slices of Stollen over the base, building several layers.

Beat together the eggs, cream, orange rind, liqueur & spices.

Pour over the sliced Stollen pushing the slices down to cover in the liquid.

Leave to stand for 40mins.

Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 45mins until the pudding is just firm in the centre.

Allow to cool slightly, before serving, dust with Icing Sugar and add a good dollop of Clotted Cream or clotted cream Ice Cream. ( Marshfield Farm do a superb clotted cream & gingerbread Ice Cream if you really want to go mad).

If you want to use Croissants slice them & spread with Nutella & add a layer of chopped dried apricots, or leftover ripe bananas before proceeding as above.

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