Merry Christmas

Christmas Countdown 22 Recipes for a Merry Christmas

If you have been. Thank you for reading. This concludes the 22 recipe Christmas Countdown. All thats left for me to say is “I hope you have found these recipes useful & you have enjoyed, reading these blogs.

Click the photos below to take you to the individual recipes. OR the blue link below will take you to all the recipes, mentioned below in the drop down menu of Christmas Countdown.

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HEALTHY & HAPPY NEW YEAR

Food, as you like it

You are paying for the food & service, but how do you like it?

We Brits are known for a lot of things, but not for complaining. Especially about the food. In particular, food served in our restaurants, sulky serving staff or waiting a long time for our bill.

BBC, Radio Wiltshire, Food, Survey, Programme,
A Good Morning Listen

Yesterday, listening to Marie Lennon’s morning show, Marie spoke of a report she had discovered, regarding our dissatisfaction with restaurants and asked listeners to let her know about their experiences. Apparently a skewed survey, published by a card payment company! suggests, only 7% of us are happy with the food & service we get in eating establishments. The biggest complaint being the time it takes to pay our bill [Well it would have to be that wouldn’t it].

Listening to the Phone In comments, it got me thinking. What do we mean by good food? How terrible does the Waiter/Waitress have to be to be described as bad & how long is a protracted wait for your bill? All of these things, mean different things to different people.

Now, I run a food establishment myself. Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield & I can quite honestly say 75% of my customers are satisfied & the remaining 25% have various gripes. But are they justified?

Most of my visitors know my food is take away, totally home made, cooked in small batches daily & is vegetarian, with a huge slant towards healthy eating. These customers choose to frequent my establishment because this is the kind of food they enjoy. It is their choice of food & they are happy little foodies.

Other people, who stumble upon me by chance, are not so happy, neither are they foodies. These are my most common complaints, if you can call them complaints.

“What no chips ? what sort of place do you call this ”

“Can I have sliced white bread instead of salad with my Ploughmans” ?

“I only like Mr Whippy Ice Cream”?

“I don’t like vegetarian food”

As I type this blog, a lady has just come up to me & said: “You have too many things written on your black board, I haven’t got the time to read it, so I won’t buy anything”

To be fair, the gentleman who said he didn’t like veggie food, did order my Chickpea, Tomato & Rye Pastry Pie. When finished, he informed me it was the nicest thing he had eaten in a long time & in future he would try different foods, which made me feel extatic. I like people who are willing to try something new.

Are the above comments, complaints or just statements of fact? or do some people just like to have a whinge about anything!

Bad service, as it is only me, who cooks, serves takes payment & washes up, I am usually a cheerful little bunny. In busy periods, maybe the wait for service is too long. Most people understand this & are happy to wait, when I have acknowledged them & explained. However, there are the odd few, who feel they are special & need to be served at once. I just smile & carry on.

As to waiting for the bill, my business is “Take away”, – which conjures up to some, a Burger & Chips joint -. I “Take away” the money, when the order is placed – everybody happy -. As for card payments, the signal in my area is so bad, it’s rather a hit & miss affair.

To sum it all up. Food, as you like it, means different strokes, to different folks. What are your thoughts on complaints and the catering trade?

Why not tune into Marie Lennon’s Morning Show, BBC Wiltshire, weekdays 10-12noon, You can find snippets of current affairs, news worthy items & learn something about the Wiltshire way of life. Who knows, it may inspire you to write a blog.

TRUFFLEicious Chocolate Truffles.

Fancy some chocolate? Bet you do. So, instead of nipping into your local super store for your fix. Head for the kitchen, don your apron &  rustle up some gorgeous chocs that contain good quality ingredients and do not contain those nasty additives, colourings & sack loads of added sugar.

P1010576 (480x640)

DARK & WHITE STRAWBERRY TRUFFLES.  No added sugar, Gluten Free. Makes 50 Truffles.

INGREDIENTS.

50g Unsalted butter.

150ml Double Cream

450g Good quality White Chocolate (I use Callebaut)

3 Tbspns Flavouring of your choice. Liqueur, Fruit puree, etc

METHOD

Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan, over a gentle heat,. Bring to the boil.

Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly & add the chopped chocolate & flavouring.

Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted & combined with the other ingredients.

Pour into a bowl, allow to cool & become firm.

Break off small pieces & roll into balls, at this stage you can roll the truffle centres in nuts, grated dark chocolate or whatever takes your imagination.

Or you can temper some dark chocolate & dip the centres, leaving them to cool & harden on non stick baking parchment,

When they are set, drizzle with more melted white chocolate, to decorate.

Happy Truffling Foodies. Until next time, have a sweet time.

 

 

 

 

Burgers, its in the mix.

Everyone loves a Burger, but for the vegetarian & gluten-free among us they are a definite NO. NO. Well guys, with the recipe below you can use up your leftovers & whip up a tasty burger tonight which will be part of your healthy eat plan and your 10 a day. What more can you want.

Cauliflower & Cannellini Bean Burgers

Serves 4. Prep time: 20 mins + chilling.    Gluten-free. Vegetarian. Low Fat. High Fibre.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 a small cooked Cauliflower

400g Tin of Cannellini Beans. (Well drained)

2 Medium Cooked New Potatoes (Diced)

100g Cheddar Cheese ( grated )

1/4tspn Grated Nutmeg

2 Cloves Smoked Garlic (Crushed)

Salt & Black Pepper

Rapeseed or Olive Oil for frying.

1 Egg (Beaten) for coating

Polenta for coating.

wa-burgers-mix

METHOD:

Place the cauliflower in a food processor & pulse until smooth. Add the potatoes, cheese, garlic, nutmeg & seasoning. Pulse lightly until the mixture binds, but still has some texture. Turn out onto a chopping board, shape into a fat sausage & cut into 4 equal burgers. Put onto a plate, cover with cling film & chill for 30 mins.

Place the beaten egg in a saucer & the Polenta in another saucer. Dip the burgers first in the egg & then coat with the Polentta. Cove & chill again for 30 mins.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan & fry over a medium heat for 10 mins, turning frequently, until golden.

Serve with Rocket & Pea shoot salad, Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese OR, in my next blog you can make my Ratatouille which is also Gluten-free & Vegetarian.

Happy cooking.

Recipe & Photographs by Jan Steele 2017 all rights reserved.

Its a wrap. Wrap up your leftovers.

I love a wrap, they are very useful things, which lend themselves to a quick healthy meal, depending, what you put in them, of course. Wraps can be both sweet or savoury, hot or cold, personally I like mine, cooked on a Panini toaster, or in a dry, non stick frying pan.

Wraps are available in white, wholemeal, white & wheat ?! and multi seeded, my favourite, they also come flavoured with an assortment of different herbs & spices. You can also make your own, which I sometimes do using a mixture of Spelt & Multi grain flour. I tend not to add any flavourings as they can then be used with either sweet or savoury fillings.

Which ever variety you choose, always go for the best quality, as the cheaper brands tend to be rather tough & when toasted have the consistency of cardboard.

In the photo above, I used leftover Pork from last Sunday’s roast, thinly sliced green pepper, chopped spring onion & smoked garlic as the filling. I spread Sweet Chilli Chutney, from the marvellous Pot of What range of chutney’s & pickles over the wrap, popped the filling in the middle & folded the wrap, to completely enclose the filling.

wrap-unrolled

Quickly toasted & served with a beansprout, carrot & apple salad drizzled with fresh lime juice & Sesame oil, The wrap made a substantial, healthy supper dish, which was ready in minutes, had quite a ring of a non greasy pancake roll about it.

Right cookies, get creative & make some for yourself. There are a few suggestions below, but really, your fridge holds the ingredients.

SAVOURY:

Leftover roast lamb, Feta cheese & mint, spread with tomato chutney.

Cooked sausage, grated Cheddar cheese & chopped onion, spread with mustard & mayo.

Olives, sun dried tomatoes & roasted peppers, spread with herby cream cheese.

Tuna, sweetcorn & grated cheese, spread with Mayo.

Leftover roast beef, cooked beetroot & garlic, spread with horseradish & soured cream

Serve with a salad & a dip of your choice.

SWEET:

Sliced Banana, Blueberries &  a sprinkle of Lime Juice, spread with cream cheese.

Sliced Banana, Pecan nuts & chopped chocolate, spread with Nutella.

Sliced Peaches, raspberries, Spread with honey.

Crushed meringues, stale cake crumbs, strawberries, spread with lemon curd.

Chopped dates, grated Orange rind & chopped nuts, spread with cream cheese.

Give the sweet wraps a dusting of icing sugar & serve with Fromage Frais, Greek Yoghurt or to be very decadent Clotted Cream.

Have fun creating your own personal favourites. Maybe they could be a quick alternative to Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Who knows?