Archive | June, 2012

Rachel’s Frozen…

18 Jun

After much complaining from my kids about the lack of ice cream in our freezer I thought I’d whip up a batch of frozen yoghurt, it’s quick and really easy to make but most important of all, it’s scrummy.

Ingredients

1 Ripe mango, pureed
1 small can Condensed milk
1 large (450g) carton of Rachel’s Organic Coconut Yoghurt

With a very ripe mango to hand I whizzed up a quick puree which I combined with the yoghurt and the special addition of one small can of condensed milk. This adds a creamy sweetness and is a good foil to the sharper greek yoghurt.

Using a good quality flavoured yoghurt means most of the work is done for you and one large carton (450g) makes about 6 servings. I used Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Coconut yoghurt which is fab on its own but perfect for this. If you have an ice cream maker, lucky you, now’s the chance to use it, alternatively place the yoghurt mixture in the freezer. After about an hour or two take out the yoghurt and fork through to break up any ice crystals. Repeat this process every hour or so until frozen. To serve let the frozen yoghurt sit at room temp for about 10mins to soften.

This is really simple to make and you can add any fruit puree you fancy, strawberries (almost in season so why not PYO), raspberries anything you like.

If you want to make this a bit more flash as a dessert you could you could serve it with some fresh berry coulis and crumbled meringue. Delish.

Papa Poulet…or Poulet Saute au vinaigre

17 Jun

Some quality french cooking for the best Dad in Chez Davies. I saw Henry Harris cook this yesterday on Saturday Kitchen and instantly thought, winner! The recipe is from the bbc website. It takes a little time but is definitely worth it. All my family loved the deep flavours which come from the slow cooked chicken with rich tomatoes, white wine, and mustard tamed with cream and subtle tarragon. I used a whole chicken which I then jointed into thighs, breast, legs, and drumsticks but you could equally use pre-portioned chicken thighs and legs. Bones equal flavour so please make sure you leave them in. I served ours with very buttery mash and some roasted celeriac and rosemary. This will serve 4 (2 adults and 2 hungry children!)

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, blanched and skinned
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 50ml/2fl oz red wine vinegar
  • 125ml/4fl oz white wine
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 250ml/9fl oz whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Preparation method

  1. If using a whole chicken, cut it up and divide the breast into 2 sections. You should end up with around 10 pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350C/Gas 4.
  3. Heat a splash of oil in a large, wide, lidded, oven-proof pan.
  4. Season your chicken and fry until golden.
  5. Meanwhile, quarter the skinned tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. Keep the pulp.
  6. Dice the tomato flesh into a small dice and put to one side.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan and set to one side.
  8. Tip out the fat and add the butter. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for two minutes to cook out the purée. Add the garlic and tomato pulp and cook for a further minute to dry out the pulp.
  9. Add the vinegar and reduce until it has all but disappeared. Add the wine and reduce in volume by a third. Then add the chicken stock and bring up to a simmer.
  10. Taste to check the seasoning, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as necessary.
  11. Return the chicken to the pan, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven.
  12. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  13. Lift the chicken from the pan and set aside and keep warm.
  14. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a clean pan and bring back to a boil.
  15. Whisk in the mustard and stir in the cream, then simmer and reduce to thicken slightly.
  16. Check the seasoning a final time and then add the diced tomato and tarragon.
  17. To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Bertie and Brownies…

13 Jun

Its been hectic in the Davies’ household of late. We are at the end of GCSE exam fever (thank heavens!) and we also have a new addition in the form of Bertie, a four month old Labrador cross, puppy. Rescued from abandonment in a field by the lovely people at Four Paws Animal Rescue, now Bertie has a permanent home cwtched on our sofa.

Introducing, Bertie Davies

Despite this distraction I have been baking lots of treats to fortify my daughter in her studies. This particular recipe is one of her favourites that we have made together many times and when you’re tired and fed up of revising (or life in general) there is nothing like a big mug of tea and a warm chocolate brownie to cheer you up.
This recipe is an amalgum of several from Nigella to Nigel Slater. It is pretty simple and foolproof so give it a whirl. If you are a purist go 100% Dark chocolate (make sure it’s got 72% cocoa).

These quantities will make about 16 which is perfect for lunchboxes for a week. However if you are looking for celebration quantities then just double or treble remembering to upgrade the size of your brownie tin.

You will need:

180g Unsalted butter
90g Dark chocolate (Green & Blacks)
90g Milk chocolate (As above)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g Caster sugar
110g Plain flour
Half teaspoon salt
150g chopped walnuts (optional)
Non-stick/or lined brownie tin 15cm square

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas mark 4
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water on the hob. (You can do this in the microwave but I always forget about it and burn the chocolate!)
  • Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla
  • In another bowl combine the flour and the salt
  • Once your chocolate mixture is melted leave to cool slightly then beat into the eggs and sugar
  • Finally beat in the flour until smooth and then scrape into your brownie pan
  • Bake for about 25 minutes but keep an eye on them. Ideally your brownies should be pale brown and meringue crisp on the top but still a bit gooey in the middle. test with a skewer if you are not sure. If the centre is still very runny pop the brownies back in for another couple of minutes.
  • Makes 16

Once cooked leave to cool for as long as you can bear to wait, for these brownies are edible joy.

A nice cuppa and warm chocolate brownies

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