Tag Archives: butter

Blueberry and Pistachio Pancakes

27 Apr

BPP FinishedThe BH and I have had a bit of a trying year.  We’ve both changed jobs AND we’ve bought a house.  Add to this a missing camera charger and you have a very guilty me apologising for the HUGE hiatus in my blogging.  That said this weekend rolled around and to both of our absolute surprise and wonder, there was nothing planned.  I’m not going to lie, we were both more than a little shell shocked by this and for a while just stared at each other, not really sure what to do.  Then, thankfully, sloth instinct kicked in and pancakes and old episodes of the X-Files were the order of the day.  Now I must confess, I simply can’t resist the urge to mess with pancakes, these however are my current favourites.

BPP IngTo start take:

  • 500gms self raising flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder (you want them to be really light and fluffy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 gms butter
  • 1 litre milk
  • 200 gms blueberries
  • 100gm roasted salted pistachios
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence if you prefer)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

BPP Melting ButterMelt the butter in a small sauce pan and allow it to cool.  Then add  the milk to the butter.  Beat the eggs and add these along with the vanilla bean paste to the melted butter.  You want to make sure the butter is cool and you add the milk before you add the eggs otherwise you’re going to be eating buttery,  vanilla flavoured scrambled eggs, which I don’t think will taste as good as it sounds.

Sift BPPSift together your flour, salt, baking powder and sugar (if you’re using it) in a large mixing bowl.

BPP BatterThen slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mix and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free. BPP Chopped PistachiosRoughly chop your pistachios and wash and dry your blueberries.  Put these in two separate bowls next to your griddle or frying pan.

BPP FryingHeat your pan or griddle and using a paper towel, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pan/griddle.  Using a soup ladle, spoon a circle of batter on to your griddle pan and then top with blueberries and pistachios.  When the batter bubbles, turn your pancake over and cook on the underside.

BPP Frying 2

Sorry, I just love the colours of the pistachios on the batter, so you’re being subjected to another photograph.  Place the pancake in a warming draw or oven on a low heat and repeat the process until you have used all the batter.

BPP YumDrizzle your pancakes with honey, you can use any syrup that takes your fancy, but there is something about the pistachios and blueberries that just really works with honey, and enjoy.

 

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Mmmm Cookies

2 Feb

OM - finCookies are good for you.  No, Seriously they are! They make you smile and smiling boosts your immune system and lowers your blood pressure and it relieves stress.  Don’t believe me, look here .  The added benefits of these cookies is that they are also packed full of fruit, nuts and oats, so you see you have NO excuses for not making them.  These are also the best smelling cookies I have ever made, so if you ever need to fill the house with baking , this should be your go to recipe.

OM  - IngTo make 24 cookies take:

  • 1 cup almonds (or any nuts of your choice)
  • 100 gm of plain flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 170 gm of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of apricots (of any dried fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla (essence, extract or paste)
  • a pinch of salt

OM - almondsPreheat the oven to 180°C.  Place the almonds on a baking tray and gently toast for about ten to fifteen minutes.  Allow them to cool slightly and then chop roughly into small chunks.  Toasted almonds have a much better flavour and will make a massive difference to the taste of your cookies.  While the nuts are toasting chop your apricots into raisin sized pieces.

om - creamNext cream your butter and sugar together until completely combined and fluffy. OM - vanilla

Add the egg and beat well and then add the vanilla and mix.  Scrape down the sides of your bowl and mix it again.

OM - flourAdd the baking soda and salt to the flour and fold into the butter mix. OM - oatsAdd the oats and mix well to combine. OM - chocolateThen add the toasted nuts, the apricots and the chocolate chunks and mix again.  I’m not going to lie to you, at this stage the best way to ensure everything is mixed in properly is to use your hands.

OM - ShapedOnce everything is mixed well, roll the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball and then flatten them into cookie shapes on a lined baking tray.  If the cookie dough is being uncooperative, it helps to wet your hands with a splash of water.

OM - bakedBake in the preheated oven for fifteen minutes until golden, brown and delicious.  Leave on the tray for a minute or so and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Pour your self a glass of milk and smile.

You Can’t Hurry Bread

2 Dec

BR buttered

You can’t hurry bread,

No, you just have to wait

She said bread don’t come easy

It’s a game of knead and wait.

Well let’s be fair, bread and love are remarkably similar.  When done properly they both fill you with warmth and make all that is bad disappear and like all good things they take time to get right.  In as much as my twenty-five year old self would have loved to tell  my fifteen year old self to be patient and that love would happen, my thirty-five year old self would love to travel back to my twenty-five year old self standing over a loaf that only a dwarf would be happy to eat and tell her that it would all be okay.  One day.

You see bread has always been a bit of a problem for me.  I never quite got the hang of the kneading, proving, rising, waiting quasi-religious steps that other people took for granted.  My bread has always been a heavy let down.  There was even the time I tried to make a sour dough starter from scratch.  It looked good, had the right texture, but it was sour .  No, seriously, so sour it got spat out and we couldn’t eat it.  I’ve heard every joke about my bread breaking plates and being used as doorstops and yet, while I could manage some really tricky culinary tasks, bread has managed to elude me.  Then about two months ago I had a revelation.  I was eating a calzone and the corner was light and fluffy and soft and EVERYTHING bread should be.  So I took the  pizza dough recipe I had used for the calzone and tried to make bread with it.

It worked.

I tried again and it worked again.

I tried it the third time and wouldn’t you know it, it worked again.

I now have my very own bread recipe steps that I’m sticking to with all the fervour and zeal of the newly converted.  And as is the want of the newly converted, I’m sharing it with you.

BR IngI’m always amazed at how few ingredients bread needs; take:

  • 500 gm of bread flour
  • 2 tps of quick yeast
  • 1 Tbs of sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • a grind of salt to taste
  • 200mls of lukewarm water and
  • oil for kneading

Add all the dry ingredients into your food processor and process for five  seconds until completely combined. With the food processor running slowly add the eggs and then the water.  Process for about a minute until you have a thoroughly combined, wettish dough.

BR doughPlace the dough on the surface you’re going to use to knead.  Do NOT flour the surface, instead wipe it down with some oil of your choice, I like olive oil.

BR kneaded doughKnead the bread dough for ten minutes.  I set a timer to ensure I’m not lazy about it.  When you’re done kneading you should have a springy,smooth ball of dough. Place it in an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with cling film.  Leave in a warm place to rise for just over an hour or until doubled in size.

BR risen doughOnce the bread has doubled in size place it back on the kneading surface and knead for a further minute.  Shape the dough into the shape you want for your bread or place it in a loaf tin.  At this stage preheat your oven to 200°C.

BR dough in panCover the tin with the clingfilm and leave for about forty-five minutes to prove.

BR proved

Then place the bread in the oven and bake for forty minutes.  When you remove the bread from the oven and tap on its bottom, it should make a hollow sound to indicate it’s ready.

BR bakedRemove the bread from the load tin and allow the bread to cool slightly for about five minutes before you cut it.

BR cutSlice the bread and serve hot with lashings of butter.

Cheese Souffle

12 Sep

Souffles have gotten a really bad rap.  They are supposed to have caused chefs across the land to wail and beat their brows.  They are supposed to have sent the smuggest of Stepford wives to the corner trembling.  They are supposed to have caused even that F-ing Chef to cry like a baby girl.  I just don’t buy it.  Yes, they can come crashing down faster than an Essex girl wearing platforms, but that’s really the only tricky thing about them.   I mean when you get right down to it, all a cheese souffle is, is a simple cheese sauce enriched with eggs and baked.  Hardly rocket science. Come on, I’ll show you.

To make ten individual souffles take:

  • 6 eggs (separated)
  • 100gm butter
  • 100gm sharp mature cheddar cheese
  • 375 ml of milk
  • 60 gm of all purpose flour
  • 1tsp mustard
  • 1tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 190°C.  Now melt the butter in a saucepan and use the some of the melted  butter to brush the sides and bottoms of the ramekins.  Some people like to coat the inside of the ramekins with bread crumbs, but I don’t think this is necessary. Then add the flour, mustard and paprika.  Cook the smooth paste for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the milk a little at a time and then, while constantly stirring, bring the mixture to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, allow it to simmer for a further two minutes, then remove from the heat and add the cheese.  Once the cheese has melted beat in the egg yolks.

Whip the egg whites to a soft stiff peak and then add about 1/6 of the egg white to the cheese sauce.  Mix well to lighten the sauce and then gentely fold in the remaining egg white.

Carefully divide the mixture between the ten ramekins and then run your finger along the inside rim of each souffle.  Pop into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until poofed  up and golden, but with a slight wobble to the middle.

Serve with a crispy salad to contrast the texture of the soft souffle.  See, seriously easy.

Slow Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

10 Jul

Everyone needs a recipe that turns out perfectly EVERY TIME.  A recipe that you can trust to take care of itself.  A recipe that you can prepare in advance and then pretty much ignore until it’s time to serve it.  This is the recipe I serve when family are coming over and I’d rather spend time with them than time in the kitchen.  The truly great thing about slow roasting the chicken this way is that the wine and stock keep it beautifully moist while the butter crisps the skin up to an amazing golden brown.  It does take time though.  Two and a half hours in the oven, but it honestly only takes about ten minutes actual work.

For the Stuffing take:

  • 300gm minced pork
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 Tbs of thyme leaves
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 finely chopped onion

For the Chicken take:

  • 1 medium whole chicken
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 100ml of chicken stock
  • 100 gm butter (softened)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbs of thyme leaves
  • 1 head of garlic (cut into eighths)
  • 1 onion (cut into wedges)
  • 10-15 new potatoes halved ( I couldn’t fit these in the picture attractively, sorry)

Preheat the oven to 160°C.   To make the stuffing,  add the mince, thyme, lemon zest, onion and egg to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, after washing your hands, get stuck in with your fingers and mix it all together.  Fill the cavity of the chicken, making sure you’ve removed the giblets.  Depending on how big the bird is, you might have some stuffing left over.  If you do this makes an awesome burger or delicious meat balls.

In a separate bowl mix the lemon zest, thyme for the chicken and the butter together, until well combined.  Then stick your fingers beneath the skin at the neck of the bird and loosen it.  Take the butter put it in the space between the skin and the chicken breast.   Rub whatever is left on top of the chicken.

Is is possible to take an attractive picture of an uncooked chicken?  I don’t think so.  Ah well, put the chicken in a roasting tin and add the wine, the stock, the garlic and the onion and cover tightly with tinfoil.  Put it in the oven and roast for an hour.  Wash your hair, have a glass of wine, read a good book, don’t worry about the chicken.  When the buzzer goes, remove the foil and add the lemon, cut into wedges to the tin.   Pop it back in the oven uncovered and continue roasting for another fifty minutes.  Paint your nails, have another glass of wine, call your BF.  When  the buzzer goes turn the oven temperature up to 200°C and continue roasting for another half hour.

Take the chicken out the oven and await praise and adulation.

Tear and Share Bread

4 Mar

There is something wonderfully decadent about weekend breakfasts. Especially when the day is grey and rainy and you have a full day of nothing to do stretching out in front of you. If you’re like me though, you’ve probably had your fill of full English fry ups. Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon just as much, if not more, than the next born again carnivore, but sometimes I want something a little less greasy. I also want something a little more satisfying and indulgent than muesli and this bread is the perfect balance between the two.

This is definitely a lazy morning breakfast, if you’re rushing to get somewhere it might not be the breakfast for you. It doesn’t require much work on your part, but it does need 40 minutes or so to rise and about 20 minutes to bake.

Again this is one of those wonderful recipes where you can adjust it to suit your own tastes and use whatever you have to hand. Start with

  • 1 quantity of your favourite bread dough (bought, made up from a packet or from scratch)
  • 60gm of butter
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 Tbs of cinnamon
  • ½ cup of toasted walnuts
  • 2 tsps of vanilla essence

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the vanilla essence. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle and then brush on the butter, leaving a space of about two centimeters on one of the long sides of the rectangle . Sprinkle on the sugar, the cinnamon and the walnuts.

Then starting on the side where the butter is brushed to the edge, roll the dough into a long cigar shape finishing on the side where you left the space.

Using a sharp knife dusted in flour cut the cigar into seven or eight equal pieces and place in a pie or spring form tin.

Cover the dough with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes. This is usually where I take the dog for a walk while the BH serenades me with sonorous snoring from the bedroom.

Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to about 220ºC and bake the bread for about 20 minutes.

Once the bread is baked, leave to cool for about 10 minutes then tear off a hunk and serve hot with coffee and orange juice.

Now while breakfast is all very well this also makes a great alternative to dinner party rolls. It also works as side at a BBQ (Braai) and as tea bread. All you have to do is juggle up the dough you use and filling.  In this one, I spread a layer of sun-dried tomato pesto on wholemeal dough and topped it with cheese and fresh basil. On other occasions I peal, core and chop 2-3 apples and then soften them with some butter and vanilla essence in a saucepan on medium heat for about 10 mins and then puree.  Spread this puree on the bread and sprinkle on some cinnamon.  Sprinkle the top of the rolls with sugar before baking and enjoy.  The possibilities are endless.

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

The Banting Cook

Banting recipes – low carb, sugar free and gluten free. Banting recipes I have tried - those that have failed and those that have been a success! I am not a dietician, I'm just a gal who loves to cook banting food, and keep it as good as possible! Obviously all recommendations throughout this and other posts are not intended as an alternative, treatment, or prevention of diseases, medical treatments or advice. The reader takes full responsibility for counting nutritional information such as carbs, while trying any and all recipes :-)

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