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Devil’s Double Choc Malt Cookies

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This is a another great recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food.  The cookies are really easy to make.
The recipe is quite unusual –  condensed milk instead of sugar for the ingredients, and there are no eggs. The method is different from a normal cookie recipe too. Jamie suggests serving a couple of cookies sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream  – I thought that mascarpone might be nice –  it doesn’t melt and it’s not too sweet.

 

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Ingredients
50 g unsalted butter
200 g quality dark chocolate
1 x 396 g tin of condensed milk
25 g ground almonds
2 heaped teaspoons Horlicks*
200 g self-raising flour
100 g Malteasers
50 g quality white chocolate
* I omitted the Horlicks – I didn’t have any – and the cookies still tasted quite malty with just the Malteasers.
Method
Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan on a low heat until smooth and combined, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk, followed by the almonds andHorlicks. Sift in the flour and a pinch of sea salt, mix together, then chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes (no longer). Once cool, but still pliable,smash up theMaltesers and roughly chop the white chocolate, then mix it all together.Preheat the oven to 170° degrees C. Divide the mixture into 24 equal-sized balls and place on a couple of large baking trays lined withgreaseproof or baking paper. Flatten each a little (you can freeze them at this stage to bake another day if you like),  then bake for around 12 minutes, or until chewy in the middle and firm at the edges. Leave to sit in the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve on the cookies their own, or sandwich together with ice cream, whipped cream or mascarpone. Scatter over chocolate shavings or drizzle with melted chocolate.
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Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich – Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food

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I started hot smoking salmon last year and now that’s about the only way I cook it. It’s incredibly easy to do. I followed Jamie’s instructions but then simplified his method to something that works really well.

Basically, you get a foil take away food container, scatter some hickory chips inside, throw some woody herbs on top – rosemary works well. You need to acquire a wire rack to fit on top of the container. The fish fillet/s are seasoned by rubbing with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek (chili paste).

It’s then a matter of laying the seaoned fish fillet/s on the rack and covering the container with aluminum foil.

The foil is pierced with a skewer at intervals – this lets the smoke out. Cook on a very hot barbecue grill. Depending on the size of the fillet/fillets, and the heat of the grill, the fish takes between 10- 20 minutes to cook. I cook a medium sized salmon fillet for about 10 minutes for medium rare and about 12 minutes for cooked through. It’s important to let the fish “rest ” for a few minutes after cooking.

For more information and photos of hot smoking, click here.

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Jamie Oliver’s book Comfort Food has some wonderful recipes including this one for a Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich, giving me another recipe for this method of cooking salmon. This is my version, with a couple of changes which I have noted.

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Ingredients

20og salmon, skin on (piece or fillets)

Home made or good bought mayonnaise, with some pounded basil leaves mixed through

4 slices of streaky bacon

4 slices of nice bread (something rustic)

1 large ripe tomato

1 small ripe avocado

I punnet of cress (I left this out)

1 handful of mignonette or cos lettuce leaves

1 lemon

Salted crisps (I left these out)

 

Method

Hot smoke the salmon according to the above instructions. Remove to a board, discard the skin and flake into pieces (not too small).

While the salmon is smoking, cook the bacon in a frying pan over a medium heat until crispy and cooked through, then remove from the pan.

Swirl the pan to spread the fat out, then toast the slices of bread in the fat to soak up the wonderful flavour.

Slice the tomato, peel, de-stone and slice the avocado.

Spread the toast with basil mayo, then layer two slices with the bacon, tomato, avocado, salmon, cress if using, lettuce and a squeeze of lemon, and the crisps if using. Top with the remaining slices of toast.

 

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala

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I have just acquired Jamie’s new book Comfort Food: http://www.jamieoliver.com/comfortfood/

As a huge fan of the man, his food, his food philosophy and his ethics, I devote a lot of time to his recipes on this blog. So much of what I cook and eat at home is a Jamie recipe or Jamie inspired, so it’s only natural that I write up these food creations.

I am mightily impressed with this book: really great food, some dishes simple, some not so simple, but all really well thought out. Everything looks utterly delicious! The photography is so inviting.

What to cook first? Chicken Tikka Masala took my fancy, and I thought I had better pace myself to get ready to get stuck into the cakes and desserts. Can’t wait to try the Dreamy Marshmallow Pavlova………………….

Chicken Tikka Masala can be cooked entirely on the barbecue or on a traditional stove. I did a bit of each. I really think you need to barbecue the chicken skewers – you need that charred and smoky flavour. Jamie (as seen on the accompanying TV series) cooked over coals in a hole in the ground. My ordinary barbecue was just fine!

I also made the paratha breads to go with the curry. They were a revelation – dead simple kinda flat bread – and perfect to mop up the the lovely sauce.

I am giving this recipe straight from Jamie  – no quirky tweaks – it’s doesn’t need them!

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Ingredients

1 level teaspoon ground cloves

1 level teaspoon ground cumin

2 heaped teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

2 heaped teaspoons garam masala

3 lemons

6 cloves of garlic

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

6 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt

800 g skinless boneless chicken breasts

3 fresh green or yellow chillies

For the sauce:

2 onions

4 cloves of garlic

1–2 fresh red chillies

30 g fresh coriander

olive oil

1 level tablespoon ground coriander

2 level tablespoons turmeric

6 tablespoons ground almonds

2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube

2 x 400 g tins of light coconut milk

For the paratha breads:

300 g wholemeal bread flour

300 g plain flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

400 ml semi-skimmed milk

 

Method

Put the cloves, cumin and 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala into a small pan and toast for 1 minute to bring them back to life, then tip into a large bowl. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in all its juice, crush in the garlic, peel and finely grate in the ginger, and add the yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cut the chicken breasts into 5cm chunks, then massage all that flavour into the meat. Skewer up the chicken chunks, interspersing them with lemon wedges and chunks of green or yellow chilli, but don’t squash them together too much. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the sauce, peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the red chillies and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves for later). Put it all into a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat with a lug of oil and cook for around 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring regularly. Add the ground coriander, turmeric and remaining 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes, then add and toast the almonds. Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 300ml of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season to perfection.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, drizzle it with a little oil, then grill on a hot barbecue, in a screaming hot griddle pan or under a hot grill, turning until it’s very golden and gnarly on all sides. Slice the chicken off the skewers straight into the sauce, reserving the lemons. Simmer for 2 minutes while you use tongs to squeeze some jammy lemons over the curry, to taste. Swirl through some more yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, and serve with parathas or fluffy basmati rice.

Here’s a nice little game-changer – make your own paratha to enjoy with your chicken tikka. For 8 people, put 300g each of wholemeal bread flour and plain flour into a bowl with a goood pinch of sea salt. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 400ml of semi-skimmed milk, mixing until combined, then knead for a few minutes on a flour-dusted surface. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, then divide the dough into 8 and thinly roll out each piece to A4 size. One-by-one, drizzle and rub lightly with oil, roll up into a loose log, roll the log up like a Catherine wheel, then roll out with a rolling pin again to a flat round just under ½cm thick. Cook in a hot oiled frying pan on a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until nicely charred, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a board and smash together to expose the layers.

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Winter Pies: Beef and red wine pasties + Ham, leek and mushroom baby pies

 

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Beef and Red Wine Pasties

Ingredients
For the beef and red wine stew:
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl plain flour
300 gms shin beef cut into small pieces
4 eschallots, chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
1 glass red wine
1 tsp vegemite dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
Sea salt, black pepper and a big pinch of sugar to season

For the rough puff pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

To finish:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for glazing

Method
Beef Stew
Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole on the stove top. Dust the beef pieces in the flour by placing both in a zip lock bag and shake.

Fry the beef in small quantities to avoid “stewing” the meat, until brown on all sides. Remove the beef to a plate, add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, and fry the eschallots and carrot.

Return the  meat to the casserole. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopping as you mix in to the casserole. Add the red wine and vegemite and water.
Season to taste.

Cook on a medium heat with lid off for 5 minutes, then transfer the casserole, with lid on, to the pre-heated oven. Cook for about 1. 5 hours or until beef is very tender.

Remove from oven, leave to cool before filling pasties. The stew can be refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to use.

Rough Puff Pastry (This recipe is Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s from River Cottage Everyday – and I think it is much better than the recipe I described in my Custard Slice post).
Mix the flour with the salt, then add the cubed butter and toss until the pieces are coated with flour. Stir in just enough ice water (8 to 10 tablespoons) to bring the mixture together into a fairly firm dough.

Shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and, on a well-floured surface, roll it out in one direction, away from you, so you end up with a rectangle about 3/8 inch thick. Fold the far third towards you, then fold the nearest third over that (rather like folding a business letter), so that you now have a rectangle made up of 3 equal layers. Give the pastry a quarter-turn, then repeat the rolling, folding, and turning process 5 more times. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or up to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thick. Using a plate or a cake tin as a template, cut out four 20cm circles; you may have to gather up the trimmings and re-roll them to get your fourth circle.

Spoon the stew on to one half of each circle. Brush the pastry edges with water, fold the other half of the pastry over the filling to form a half-moon shape and crimp well to seal.

Place the pasties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Eat pasties warm or cold.

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Ham, Leek and Mushroom Baby Pies

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Ingredients
Pastry
3 sheets ready rolled butter puff pastry *
1 egg +1 tbs water mixed together for an egg wash

White Sauce
1 tbl butter
1 tbl plain flour
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
Handful of grated cheddar cheese
Sea salt to season

Filling
A knob of butter
1 medium size leek, sliced thinly
Sea salt
6 button mushrooms sliced thinly
150 gms free range leg ham

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Cut circles from 2 of the puff pastry sheets with a cutter or plate as guide, big enough to line the holes in a regular muffin tin. Grease the holes, and gently ease the pastry circles into the holes. These pies are rustic, so a perfect fit isn’t important. Brush each pastry circle with the egg wash.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the pastry is lightly brown and puffed. Remove from the oven to cool.

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While the pastry is cooling, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the flour, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon to make sure there are no lumps. Cook the flour out for a minute or so. Add the milk, and cook gently, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese and salt to taste, stirring until cheese is well incorporated.

For the filling, heat the butter in frying pan, sweat the leeks with a little sea salt until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are just softened also. Roughly chop the ham. Combine the filings ingredients in a bowl with the white sauce.  You may not need all the white sauce – remember you don’t want the pie filling too sloppy.

Fill the pastry cases with a generous amount of the filling. Cut out circles from the remaining puff pastry sheet, big enough to cover each pie. Brush the lids with more egg wash.

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Return the pies to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the pastry lids are lightly brown and puffed.

Serve warm or cold – delicious either way!

* NOTE You can re-roll any left over scraps of pastry both for the pastry cases and lids. And if you really find you don’t have quite enough pastry, then just use another sheet.

 

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