Sunday, 9 October 2011
How to make chilli and herb infused oils
This christmas I have decided to make some tasty treats for my family and friends. A great gift for any one who cooks (or eats) is infused oils, easy to make and they look great too! Below are my recipes for chilli and basil infused oils.
- 100g red chillies
- Extra green and read whole chillies for decoration
- 1 Litre groundnut oil
- 2 tbsp paprika
- Remove the stalks from the chillies and chop them (I kept them quite big as you have to strain them out of the oil after and this made it a bit easier). Add the chillies to a large pan and add the oil.
2. Heat the oil gently until it nearly reaches 120 oC, then simmer for 15 mins (don't let it get any hotter I would definitely recommend getting a cooking thermometer for this!).
3. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the paprika. Leave to cool completely, then strain with a sift.
4. Sterilise some bottles (the best say to do this is put them on a really hot wash in the dish washer) and fill them with the whole chillies and top up with oil. You can use these straight away for cooking, in soups and salads or just dip some crusty bread in it!
- 1 Litre Light Olive Oil
- 150g Basil
1. Heat the oil gently in a pan until it reaches 40 oc (you will need a cooking thermometer for this!).
2. Lightly bruise the basil and put it into warm sterilised bottles (the best say to do this is put them on a really hot wash in the dish washer). Pour in the warm oil and then seal. This oil will be ready in 3-4 weeks, use within 3-4 months after this the bails will become slimy.
You could also try these oils with rosemary, coriander or thyme with lemon.
Monday, 19 September 2011
This recipes is so easy and makes great cakes every time, they look so pretty with the strawberry jam too!
You will need:
For the cakes
· 150g Softened Butter
· 150 g Granulated Sugar
· 3 Beaten Eggs
· 150g Self-Raising Flour
· 1tsp Vanilla Extract
· 1tbsp Milk
For the decoration
· 50g Softened Butter
· 75g Icing Sugar
· 2tbsp Strawberry Jam
· Icing Sugar, for dusting
Makes 12 cakes J
1. Preheat the oven to 180c / 160c fan assisted / gas mark 4.
2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Gradually mix in the egg, alternating with the sifted flour, then add the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. Divide into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and springy. Then transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.
5. Mix together the butter and the icing sugar for the butter cream filling, beat until smooth.
6. Slice the tops off each cake and fill them with the butter cream. Cut each sliced top in half and arrange on the top of the filling to resemble butterfly wings, then spoon a line of strawberry jam in between the wings for the body. Lightly dust in icing sugar and your done!
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
This definitely makes the best chilli ever! I love chilli and this has made me like it even more! You can substitute the fragata pimiento peppers for chopped green pepper if you wish, it gives the chilli a really fresh taste. Also if you’re not keen on star anise you can use some cinnamon bark/cinnamon stick instead. This makes a spicy (but not too hot) chilli, make the spiced butter it really makes it special. This recipes states it serves 4 but I can normally get dinner for 4 and a few lunches out of it too! I like to serve this with soured cream, guacamole, lettuce, lime wedges, rice and taco shells.
- For the chilli:
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 450g Minced beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 whole star anise
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 green chilli without the seeds and chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- Half a bottle red wine (37.5cl)
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 500ml beef stock
- 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 230g jar Fragata Pimiento Piquillo peppers, drained and roughly chopped
- For the spiced butter:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp tomato ketchup
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp Marmite
- 125g butter softened
- Start by making the spiced butter. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the cumin and chilli powder for approximately 1½ minutes. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the spiced butter ingredients; mix together and once cool, place in the fridge until needed.
- Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large sauce pan and heat over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the mince, in batches if necessary, and cook until evenly browned. Remove and drain the meat. Add a little water to the same pan to deglaze it and tip the water and bits in with the drained meat so none of the flavour is lost.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add the onions and star anise and cook until the onions begin to colour, then add the garlic and green chilli and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée, stir and cook for another 5 minutes until everything turns a brick red colour. Add the browned mince and juices, pour in the red wine and allow to reduce by two-thirds. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer over a low heat for at least 1 hour or until it has reduced to a thick sauce consistency.
- Fold the beans and chopped red peppers into the chilli and simmer until they are heated through. Stir in 2½ tbsp of the spiced butter for mild-medium heat (or more if you like it hotter). Remove the star anise. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve with rice.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
We all think our grandmothers are the best at baking.... but my grandmother actually is the BEST baker around, she makes the most amazing quiches, tarts, biscuits and of course, cakes. This is our family recipe, and of course it is in pounds as she's been baking before metric came in!
This is very easy to follow and I am sure you can all do it... Good luck if you give it a go!
· 6oz plain flour
· 4oz softened butter
· 2oz caster sugar
· Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Don’t worry at first it will look very crumbly but take it out of the bowl knead it on a floured surface, soon it will look like a dough like consistency.
· Next, flour your work surface to ensure the shortbread won’t stick. Then roll out the dough to ½” – ¾” thick.
· Then cut it into desired shapes and place on a greased baking tray.
· Bake for 15-20 mins at 150 until golden brown.
Saturday, 13 August 2011
I made this for my Dad for his birthday pudding, there was no morsel left after my parents and 3 sisters saw it. It sounds like it might be complicated but it’s very simple and quick to make.
Serves 6 people
• 500g pack of readymade puff pastry
• 5 apples (I use eating apples)
• 100g golden caster sugar
• A vanilla pod or star anise for extra flavour
• 50g butter
Optional a good splash of calvados/brandy instead of water!
First peel, core and slice the apples. I like to put them into a bowl of water with a splash of lemon juice to ensure they don’t go brown.
In a heavy bottomed frying pan (one with a metal handle so it can go into the oven) on a medium heat add the sugar, water and inside of the vanilla pod or the whole star anise. Let the sugar dissolve and wait for the caramel to turn a nutty brown colour, this can take 10-15 mins. Then add the apples and let them soften and coat them in the caramel.
Meanwhile roll out the whole block of puff pastry so it is slightly bigger than the frying pan. Add the cubed butter to the apple and caramel, then place over the puff pastry and tuck in around the sides (like tucking someone into bed!). BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE CARAMEL IT WILL BE VERY HOT!
Put the frying pan into a pre heated oven of 190˚C and bake for 25-30 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Carefully turn the tart upside down on a plate (so you can see that apples) and serve with cream, ice cream, custard, or crème fresh.
There are many variations of this recipe buy using pears or other fruit and different spices, so go on and experiment!