Marmalade & Whisky Bread & Butter Pudding

Bread-and-Butter-Pudding---recipe Ingredients (Serve approx. 6)

8 slices day-old crusty white bread
50g very soft butter
4 tbsp Seville orange marmalade, plus 4 tsp
300ml full-fat milk
248ml pot double cream
3 large eggs
seeds 1 vanilla pod
4 tbsp golden caster sugar
90 ml whisky

1. Butter each piece of bread on both sides, then spread one side each with the marmalade. Cut into triangles and nestle in rows in a large baking dish. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

2. Beat the milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar and whisky together, then pour over the bread. Leave to soak for at least 30 mins.

3. Dot the remaining marmalade all over the top of the pud and dust with sugar. Bake for 45 mins-1 hr or until puffy and starting to caramelise where the bread breaks out of the custard. Serve hot or warm.

Fillet of Beef with Whisky & Grain Mustard Cream Sauce

Steak in Whisky Cream Sauce Ingredients (to serve 8)

Fillet of Beef
1 tablesp. olive oil & a knob of butter
4-6 banana shallots
6 tablesp. whole grain mustard
20g brown sugar
Approx 600 ml double cream

1. First make the cream sauce:  Heat the butter and oil in a heavy based frying pan and add the shallots, stirring occasionally until just lightly golden.

2.  Add the whisky, bring to the boil and cook briskly until reduced to about two-thirds.

3.  Add in the grain mustard, brown sugar and double cream. Simmer the whisky sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside until required.

4.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the fillet of beef and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for approximately 25 minutes.  The fillets needs to reach a temperature of 63-65 degrees C for medium rare, 70 degrees for med and approx 75-77 degrees C for well done (I used a probe to check).  Leave to rest for approximately 10 mins and then slice into thick steaks.

5.  Reheat the cream sauce and drizzle over and/or around the steaks.

Whisky & Chilli Prawns

whisky_and_chilli_tiger_72921_16x9Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 limes, 1 juice and zest, 1 juice only
90ml/3½fl oz whisky
180g/6½oz soft light brown sugar
24-32 raw tiger prawns, peeled, deveined
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Heat the lime juice, whisky and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has all dissolved, stop stirring, turn up the heat and boil for 5–7 minutes, or until the mixture becomes syrupy and thickens. To tell if it is ready, dip a wooden spoon in the mixture and tap off the excess – some glaze should still stick to the spoon, but it will not be as thick as honey. (Sometimes the whisky catches alight and you will see a blue-orange flame coming from the pan. Just take it off the heat and the whisky will burn itself out. )

3. Stir in the finely grated lime zest, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

4. Put the prawns in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the chilli. Brush the prawns with the oil and then with the glaze. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes, or until the prawns turn opaque. Remove from the oven and brush with more glaze, reserving any extra glaze for dipping, and set aside to cool slightly before serving.

Cheese & Pancetta Bread

Ingredients 400g Strong White Bread Flour
100g Rye Bread Flour
10g salt
15g fresh yeast or
7g fast action dried yeast
20 ml olive oil
300 ml cool water
150g pancetta lardons, fried & cooled
200g cheese – cheddar, comte, gruyere or other hard cheese – cut into 1 cm cubes

IMG_16541.  Using a Kenwood Chef with a dough hook or a Thermomix (on the dough setting) put the flours into the bowl, add the salt and stir to disperse.  Add the olive oil, fresh or dried yeast (if using fresh, I like to mix mine in with a little water first) and the lardons, including the residue fat left in the pan.  Process in the Kenwood for 6-7 minutes, initially on Speed 1 for a minute and then increasing to Speed 2.  For the Thermomix, mix on Speed 3 for 10 seconds until the dough starts to come together and then, using the dough setting, process for 6 minutes.

2.  If using a Thermomix, transfer to a bowl and leave to prove for approximately an hour, covered with cling film, otherwise leave in the Kenwood bowl.

3.  Oil a 20cm springform cake tin.  Divide the dough into three and roll out one third to a circle to cover the base of the tin.  Scatter over half the cheese.  Roll out a similar disc of dough and lay on top.  Add the rest of the cheese.  Roll out the final circle of dough and place on top.  Dust with flour, or if liked sprinkle some extra grated cheese on top.  Leave to prove for about an hour covered lightly with a tea towel.

4.  Meanwhile, heat the over to 220 degrees C and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  Leave the loaf in the tin for approximately 10 minutes before removing and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Gourmet Beefburgers (Rita’s Recipe)

Ingredients for 6-8 Beefburgers (depending on the thickness of your burgers)

1 kg lean beef mince
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lg onion, chopped finely
2 tsp tomato ketchup
2 tsp mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 red chilli, finely chopped

1.  Lightly sautee the onions and garlic until translucent but not coloured.  Leave to cool.

2. In a large bowl mix together the mince, onions, garlic, tomato ketchup, mustard, egg, and chilli.

3. Dive in with your hands and mix until the ingredients are well blended. Either shape into patties or to get each the same size, push into ring moulds approximately 9 cm in diameter.  I like to make my burgers quite thick as they shrink in cooking, but if you want to extend to 8 then make them a little thinner.

4. Get a griddle pan and heat on a high heat.  Slide a little olive oil on each side of the burgers with your fingertips or a pastry brush and then making sure the pan is really hot, griddle for a minute or two on each side to get a good colour.

5. Finish off in a medium hot oven (200 degrees C or Mk 6) for about 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness).

6. Serve with brioche buns (I got mine from Ocado – much better than Waitrose or Heston’s) and some salads.

Oriental Sticky Chicken Wings

Ingredients (makes 12 – 16 chicken wings)

For the marinade:
2 tbsp clear honey
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, crushed

11⁄2 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1⁄2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp sesame oil

12 – 16 chicken wings

1. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you can, turning occasionally.
2. Once it has marinated, place the chicken on the barbecue over medium-hot coals and cook for about 20 minutes, brushing with any marinade left in the dish as it cooks. If it’s colouring too quickly, move to a cooler part of the barbecue to cook more gently. It’s important you cook the chicken all the way through.
3. The chicken can also be cooked in the oven – Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
4. Transfer the chicken into a roasting tray with a couple of spoonfuls of marinade. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the marinade and juices until thoroughly sticky and golden, adding extra marinade to the tray if necessary.

A Taste of Fire – Supper Club, Saturday 1st August 2015

Fabulous dining guests lingered around the wrought iron table set for our BBQ meal on Saturday’s “A Taste of Fire” Supper Club event, which was held at a venue in Wraysbury.  This was my sixth meet up since starting the Supper Club and some of my diners were already old friends – regulars who had already attended more than one of the Supper Clubs that have been going now since February of this year.

IMG_1659The menu:

Spicy Rum RibsSticky Chicken Wings  | Gourmet Beefburgers in Brioche Buns

Sides:  Tomato Salsa |  Broad Bean, Pea & Beetroot Salad | Tomato Salad | Green Salad | Mediterranean Potato Salad | Guacamole | Cheese & Pancetta Bread | Sundried Tomato & Basil Bread | Moroccan Zatar Bread

Dessert:  Tropical Fruit Salad in a Rum Sugar Syrup served with Chantilly Cream.

The evening kicked off with a Raspberry Summer Punch, which wasIMG_1654 enthusiastically received by all –  a mix of wine, cranberry juice, raspberries, mint & lemonade over ice.

As I was cooking for 10, I decided it might be prudent to cook or part-cook some of the meat in the oven, to receive a final kiss on the BBQ griddle bars, before being served with an array of sides and home made breads, the most popular of which was the cheese and pancetta bread pictured above.

I was particularly pleased with my home made gourmet burgers, to which I added to the leanest beef mince I could get, some sautéed onions, garlic, chillies, tomato ketchup and Dijon mustard.  These delicious beef patties were sandwiched between soft, sweet brioche buns (the only food that wasn’t home made – unfortunately, I had no time) and I chose to squeeze some guacamole inside of my own, which made it even more unctuous !

There was plenty of food to accommodate second helpings …. and even some left over for a quick, light lunch on Sunday!

BBQ Rum Ribs (Recipe by Jamie Oliver)

This recipe was used for the Supper Club Event – A Taste of Fire, the principal elements of which were pork ribs, chicken wings and home made gourmet burgers.  Jamie Oliver’s recipe was used for the ribs.  As I was cooking for a large number and not sure of Charlie’s BBQ skills, I pre-cooked the ribs in the oven before finishing off on the BBQ.  I had cooked them for 2 hours as per the recipe, but in hindsight would cook for half that time, as they quickly became very well done once they hit the griddle b bars of the BBQ!

Ingredients

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.5 kg pork ribs, 

For the paste
5 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons chipotle chilli paste
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the rad rum BBQ sauce
4cm piece of ginger, peeled
3–4 cloves of garlic, peeled
125 ml tomato ketchup
60 ml dark rum
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
50 g soft dark brown sugar

Combine the paste ingredients and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl. Pat the ribs dry with kitchen paper, then place in a tray and rub all over with the paste. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

When you want to cook, remove the ribs from the fridge, shake off any excess marinade and allow to come up to room temperature. Meanwhile, set up your barbecue for the half and half technique (so half the base is covered in charcoal and the other side is empty) – you want a medium indirect heat. Place a drip tray inside the barbecue on the indirect side. Cover with the lid and allow to heat up like an outdoor oven – you want a temperature of around 180°C/350°F.

Rip off just over an arm’s length of extra-strong tin foil, stack up the ribs in the centre and tightly wrap. Place the foil parcel over indirect heat on the barbecue, cover with the lid and cook for around 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and starts to fall away from the bone, remembering to replenish with hot coals every 45 minutes or so. Meanwhile, finely grate the ginger and garlic into a small pan on the hob. Add the rest of the BBQ sauce ingredients and 80ml of water. Simmer over a medium heat for around 20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and set aside.

Remove the ribs from the foil and brush all over with the BBQ sauce and any cooking juices. Return to the indirect heat for another 30 to 40 minutes with the lid on, or until tender and golden, basting well every 10 minutes or so.

Supper Club Night – 11th July – A Taste of Summer

And Summer it was!  A warm, balmy night and so we ate ‘al fresco’.  The evening was kicked off with the traditional, quintessential English Summer drink – Pimms – choc full of oranges, lemons, strawberries, cucumber and mint and tumbled over ice, it made for a refreshing start to the meal. The first course was a broad bean and pistachio hummus, served over home made, toasted basil bread and dressed with a little bapistachio hummuslsamic, chopped pistachios and mustard cress. Then followed a succulent confit of salmon, glistening under a dusting of freshly chopped dill and accompanied by some crab and dill crushed new potatoes and a little dressing made from olive oil, a little lime juice and more freshly chopped dill. A generous helping of another traditional English Summer dish – Eton Mess – completed this three course dining event.

Confit of Salmon with Crushed New Potatoes & Crab

Ingredients for 6

About 500ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 thyme sprig
6 x 140g skinned salmon fillets
600g new potatoes (Jersey Royals are good)
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tsp chopped dill
25g butter
200g white and brown crabmeat
1 bunch watercress, stalks removed, to serve
1 tbsp chopped dill
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice ½ lime

1. First, tip the potatoes into a pan of boiling water, then simmer for 15 mins or until soft. Drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a thick-based pan or roasting tin that will fit the salmon fillets snugly. Add the garlic and thyme, gently heat the oil for a few mins to let the flavours infuse, then turn off the heat.

2. About 20 mins before you want to serve, slip the salmon into the warm oil. Cook on a low heat for 8 mins (or 10 mins if you prefer your fish well cooked), then take off the heat. Leave the salmon in the oil for 5 mins, then remove and drain.

3. Meanwhile, place the cooked potatoes into a mixing bowl and lightly crush with the back of a spoon. Add the herbs, butter and a drizzle of olive oil from the salmon, season and mix well, then fold through the crabmeat. To make the drizzle, whisk the dill, olive oil and lime juice together.

4. On each plate, fill a cook’s ring with the crushed potato mix (if you don’t have a ring, spoon into a neat pile). Remove the ring and lay a salmon fillet next to it. Serve a small handful of watercress alongside, spoon around the drizzle, then serve.