Hi, have I got a treat for you today – Extreme Chocolate Cookies. Ooh if you love cookies and need a chocolate fix then these babies are definitely for you!
I’ve been unwell lately, including a 2 week stay in hospital (I’ll save that for another post). Having been home for 2-3 weeks now, today was the first day I really had the energy to bake. So, unashamedly I decided to make these Extreme Chocolate Cookies for our gorgeous children and my wonderful hubby, who has taken THE BEST care of me. I really do love that man.
I know that I’ve said it before, but baking or cooking for others, especially my family, is one of the ways I like to show my love for them. Chocolate is not my go-to favourite Cookie, I favour nutty, fruity, oat cookies, BUT, I obviously had to try one of these and they are my favourite chocolate cookies to date!
Recipe : Makes 18 Extreme Chocolate Cookies
225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened
150g/5oz Dark Soft Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg at room temp.
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp Sal
225g/8oz Plain White Flour
50g/2oz Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
100g/4oz White Chocolate Chunks
150g/5oz Milk Chocolate Chunks
Method : Preheat oven to 170C/155C fan
In a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and fluffy.
Whisk in the whole egg and vanilla extract.
Now chop up the white and milk chocolate into chunks.
Add the flour, cocoa, bicarb and chocolate chunks to the bowl.
Mix all of the ingredients together until just combined. Take about a tablespoon of mixture, roll into a ball shape and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
Wash your hands, they WILL look like you’ve been making mud pies!!!! Now using your fingers squish the cookie balls, they will still spread a bit whilst cooking.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins. I rotated my baking sheets halfway through the cooking process so that the cookies baked evenly. This is fine with cookies NOT cupcakes!!!
Once baked remove from the oven and allow the Extreme Chocolate Cookies to cool on the trays for 5 mins, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
Whilst cooling I sent the children a text (at school – rebel mummy!!!) and put the kettle on for a lovely cuppa!!
I can’t tell you how good it feels knowing I’m getting back to being me. Sooo good.
Am I alone? Why do you bake? I’d love to hear what motivates you?
Until next time have fun, feasting, sharing and smiling.
Hi, sorry for not posting recently, had a spell in hospital but home now and couldn’t eat the rest of this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich without sharing it’s deliciousness with you all!!
I had already eaten half – I’m sorry was very hungry- of this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich, when I had an epiphany!! It was sooooo good, I stopped eating, grabbed phone, attempted to take photos – I was in bed, so apologies for crumbs and general absence of food/photo styling – then quickly polished the last half off!!
So, we had shoulder of pork, cooked with a couple of bottles of cider, for dinner on Sunday. It was delish with mash and veg! Will post recipe when I cook it again, promise. Anyway, cooked low and slow, pork shoulder makes the best pulled pork. It was quite a large joint and made fab Fajitas for dinner on Tuesday. Rummaging around in the fridge today I realised there was still some meat left and so, not wanting any to go to waste, turned it into a fab lunch.
Here’s how I did it:
I used leftover pork (shoulder, roast leg or tenderloin would also work), but you can easily buy packets of pulled pork in the supermarket. Just make sure the pork is already cooked.
It’s hard to give amounts as it depends in how many Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwiches you are making and how big those sandwiches are going to be. I used sourdough bread, unbuttered and allowed a generous handful of both pork and watercress for each of the two sandwiches made.
I chopped up the pulled pork and heated it up with a good dollop of Levi Root’s Reggae Reggae Jerk Sauce until bubbling and completely reheated. The Jerk Pork was then generously place onto the bread, topped with watercress and another slice of bread.
Hey presto, one of the best hot sandwiches I’ve ever eaten was created. The best way to use up roast pork leftovers. Delish!!
Now I’ve shared the 4 ingredient recipe, feel free to add, embellish (I’m thinking panini/melted cheese/jalapeño’s) the possibilities are endless. If you make this Jerk Pulled Pork Watercress Sandwich please share your detectable, taste bud tingling results with me?
Note: I came up with the idea, my gorgeous hubby takes all the credit for ‘pulling’ it all together.
Happy Feasting and I’m hoping to get back to baking ASAP.
Hi there, have I got a FEAST for you, Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns. Delicious, easy to make and very more-ish!
Ooh are these yummy! Made with all butter puff pastry these Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns could not be easier to make and disappear fast as soon as they’re out of the oven.
It may be worth making a double batch of these, as they make the perfect portable gift, just make sure you have enough to go around as well!!!
Recipe : Makes 12 Buns
For the topping :
100g/4oz Brazil Nuts
100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – melted
75g/3oz Dark Brown Sugar
For the Buns :
1 Packet 450g/1lb All Butter Puff Pastry – thawed if frozen.
1tbsp Melted Butter
1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
100g/4oz Dark Brown Sugar
225g/8oz Milk Chocolate Chips
100g/4oz Brazil Nuts
Preheat the oven to 200C (185C fan).
You will need a deep muffin/cupcake tin to bake these buns in. No pre-greasing of the tin is required.
The topping of these Chocolate Chunk Brazil Nut Buns is actually placed in the bottom of the muffin tin. When the buns are turned out, the bottom becomes the top!!!
For the topping mix the melted butter and sugar together. Add in the roughly chopped Brazil nuts.
Place about a teaspoon of the butter/sugar/nut mixture into each muffin holder in the tin.
Now for the buns :
My package of puff pastry came in 2 blocks. If you have 1 block, roll out the pastry to twice the width.
Roll out the pastry to 26cm/10″ wide by 29cm/11″ long.
Grate the nutmeg directly over the buttered pastry. If using ground nutmeg, sprinkle evenly over the pastry.
Sprinkle first the sugar, then the chocolate chips and chopped Brazil nuts evenly over the pastry (only use half of the amounts if rolling out half of the pastry, as I have).
Trim either end and then cut the pastry log in half.
Place each nutty, chocolate portion on top of the butter/sugar/chopped nuts in the muffin tin.
Place the muffin tin into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then place a baking tray over the buns. Flip the muffin tin over and prepare to be amazed!
Allow to cool as the chocolate and sugar in the centre are very hot. The perfect time to put the kettle on, invite round family, friends and neighbours and prepare to FEAST on these amazingly yummy Chocolate Chip Brazil Nut Buns!
If you try this recipe I’d love to here how you get on and your thoughts?
Hi there, thank you for stopping by ; this really is the easiest Best Beef Casserole. Perfect for colder spring evenings, warming you through with minimum effort!
Even though it’s officially Spring, here in the UK, some evenings can still be pretty chilly and this Best Beef Casserole is the perfect antidote. Also I think I’m going down with a cold, so I wanted any easy meal (I’ve zero energy) that wasn’t too rich.
Recipe: Serves 4 Adults
1 Large Onion – finely diced
2tbsp Olive Oil
450g/1lb Beef Steak (braising/chuck)
3tbsp Plain Flour
3 Large Carrots – peeled and diced
2 Bay leaves
1 Beef Stock Cube
2tbsp Tomato Puree
Salt and Pepper to season
In a wide pan add the olive oil and warm over a medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent.
Whilst the onions are sautéing chop the beef into bite sized chunks.
Now add the 3 tablespoons of flour and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the flour coated beef chunks into the pan. Shake the pan so the beef is in one layer. When browned turn the chunks over, repeat until the beef chunks are browned on all sides.
When the beef is browned all over add the diced carrots a 2 bay leaves.
Pour water over the pan contents, until just covered. As this heats up, the flour will thicken the casserole.
Crumble in a beef stock cube.
Next add the tomato purée.
Stir, scraping all the delicious dark, beefy residue from the bottom of the pan, so that it mixed into the sauce.
The beef should be tender enough, once cooked, so you can cut through it with a spoon! Delicious the Best Beef Casserole.
I served this casserole with mashed potato and broccoli.
This meal was absolutely scrumptious. Perfect for a weekday meal. A feast in a bowl!
Hi, how are you liking my new site layout? This is my first recipe post : CrustyWhite Bread. Delicious and Homemade,since recovering my site from WordPress Help The WhiteScreen Of Death. It’s not completely ‘fixed’ yet – so I’m going through, remaking some of my earlier recipes and posting them, starting with CrustyWhite Bread.
This loaf of CrustyWhite Bread is for a small loaf (450g/1lb flour) baked in a 2lb loaf tin.
I just want to take a moment to talk about ingredients; as there are only 5 ingredients in this CrustyWhite Bread it really pays to use good quality flour. Shop brand, cheap bread flour WILL make a perfectly good loaf, however, if you want the BEST tasting loaf; organic, unbleached, strong bread flour will REALLY make a difference!
Yes this flour is more expensive (I buy in bulk online – it really helps bring down the cost), but when comparing the price of a homemade, organic, loaf of CrustyWhite Bread to a shop bought, plastic wrapped loaf, not only is the difference astoundingly smaller, but the quality of the homemade loaf is way, way better!!
Convinced yet?? Make one loaf of CrustyWhite Bread and try for yourself!
300ml Tepid Tap Water
1 Sachet/7g Active Dried Yeast
450g/1lb Strong White Bread Flour – I use Organic, unbleached.
3/4tsp Sea salt (1/2tsp free flowing)
25g/1oz Unsalted Butter – cubed
For ease I use a bread maker to mix, prove and knock back the dough.
You can also make the Crusty White Bread by hand, or use a stand mixer with a dough hook attached.
For the purpose of this and every other Bread recipe, the bowl is a large bowl/the bowl of the stand mixer/the removable container from a bread maker.
Pour 300ml of warm water into the bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast. Add the flour to the bowl. Next add the salt and butter.
Set your bread maker to mix and prove, press start, make a cup of tea!!
Set your stand mixer to slow mix, allow the dough hook to mix and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film, place in a warm, draught free spot until doubled in size 1-2 hours.
*If making the bread by hand, rub the butter into the flour, sprinkle over the yeast/salt and mix through the flour using your hand, make a well in the middle of the flour and add most of the water (280ml). Bring all the ingredients together using your hand (in a claw like position). Mix thoroughly adding the rest of the water if the dough seems dry. Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, using the heel of your hand push out the dough from the centre. Fold the dough back into the centre, rotate a quarter turn and repeat for 10-15 minutes until the dough feels, smooth, springy and elastic in your hands. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm draught free spot until doubled in size 1-2 hours.
Once doubled in size gently punch the dough in the oiled bowl (if using a bread maker, set to mix for 20 seconds – this will ‘knock back the dough and is the main method I use).
Turn the knocked back dough onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough lengthways, then fold the ends into the middle. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat the stretching/folding/rotating 3 more times – this technique builds structure into the loaf and my bread baking really improved once I’d adopted this small extra technique.
Place the dough into a buttered 2lb loaf tin. Cover with a clean tea towel, leave again to double in size, as before.
Preheat the oven to it’s hottest setting (250C in my oven). Place a deep tray, half filled with hot tap watering the bottom of the oven – this will create steam, helping build a crunchy crust.
Once the dough has doubled in size remove the towel and place the tin in the oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 225C (or down 1 gas mark).
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown (30 minutes for a thick crust). I then turn my loaf out directly onto the oven rack and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes, this allows the base and sides to get really crusty.
When baked remove from the oven and turn out of the tin immediately (if not already done). The base of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Leave to fully cool on a rack.
Inhale deeply, enjoy the smell of freshly homemade bread! No matter how many times I bake bread, the smell still warms my heart every time.
Ideally you should leave the loaf to cool completely, it will cut much better when cold. Who am I though to deny you warm bread, smothered in butter???
If you try to cut through the loaf, hot, straight from the oven, the inside will squish together and it will be almost impossible to spread butter on! Give the loaf at least 30 minutes to cool a bit before you start slicing.
Yummy Crusty White Bread!
Bread is the ultimate sharing food. Everyone sitting round the table having toast for breakfast, or dunking thick slices into warming soup. Even Jesus took bread and shared it with His disciples and when feeding the 5000. Wow what a feast that must have been?
Bake a loaf for someone – it will make them smile and feel loved?
Until next time remember Food Tastes Better When It’s Shared!
Hello there, thank you for stopping by. Do you mind me asking you a question? Am I being Silly about using Silicone???
The photo above shows gorgeous little chocolate spoons, made in a Silicone mould.
The little choccie spoons are made in this lovely, flexible, Silicone mould. I’m pretty ok with that. It’s a mould! It doesn’t go in the oven, so I have faith that it’s ok to do the job of setting chocolate that’s poured into the little spoon shapes.
So all good so far. Now here comes the bit I struggle with. Baking, in the oven, using Silicone as cupcake cases, cake tins (Silicones???) and finally, as well as all the other shapes and sizes that Silicone bakeware comes in, this……..
I just can’t get my head around using something ‘plastic’ in the oven, in heat, where it’s hot, to cook something in.
I know it must be fine for use as baking equipment. I’ve seen chefs and cooks (including Nigella – she wouldn’t steer me wrong – would she???!) use Silicone for baking on the TV and they seem fine. It’s just, well, it’s not metal. Cake tins are metal (the clue is in the name!!)! They are sturdy and strong and don’t, for one moment look like they are going to MELT in the oven (don’t even get me started on whether they are safe, or if they are going to leach poisonous, plastic, chemicals into my food????).
Am I alone??? Are they really safe?? Is Silicone better than metal??? You see I’m just not convinced. I’ve been wanting to make Macaroons for ages. Every time I get a new Lakeland catalogue through the post, the Macaroon mould speaks to me – not literally!!! I want to make these…….
Please help me? Have you cooked/baked with Silicone. Does it work? Did you get poisoned – I’m serious here people. Is it fiddly to work with – the Macaroon mat looks very floppy and not sturdy, if I have to put it on a baking sheet doesn’t that defeat the object of using Silicone in the first place? Does it make food taste odd??
I really need your help to decide if I should invest in Silicone bakeware or stick with my solid metal (very reassuring that solid and metal bit!) bakeware???
Please share your thoughts and experiences with me? I really would appreciate your help with this.
Thank you. Sammie x
Note : All pictures taken from the current Lakeland catalogue.
Hi, there. How are you today? I woke up and felt the need to bake – it’s been too long. Then I checked my posts and realise it’s been ages, I mean like a gazillion seconds, since I’ve posted a Cookie recipe!! So, today I bring you my Cranberry Oat Cookies.
Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t baked Cookies since the last Cookie post, just that I’ve baked Cookies I’ve already posted. Confused yet??? Any how I baked a a batch of Cranberry Oat Cookies. Oh my!! I think these may be my favourite Cookies today!!!
These Cookies are a mash-up of two previous recipes I’ve posted – Cranberry and Almond Cookies and Apricot and Oat Cookies!
I really fancied Cranberries, Oats and Almonds. So I made these Cookies throwing in all the ingredients hoping they would turn out ok. Oooh they are so much more than ok they are scrumptious.
Recipe : Makes 18-20 Cranberry Oat Cookies
150g/5oz Caster Sugar
225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temp
1 Large Egg Yolk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2tsp Almond Extract
1/4tsp Salt – I use Kosher (no additives)
175g/6oz Plain White Flour
175g/6oz Oats – not quick cook
50g/2oz Flaked Almonds
Preheat the oven to 175C (160C fan).
Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Beat together until pale and fluffy – I used an electric whisk, a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fixed is fine.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla/almond extracts and thoroughly mix in. Next add the flour, oats, cranberries and flaked almonds. Mix until just combined.
Take about a heaped tablespoon of the Cookie dough and roll into a ball using your hands. Place the Cranberry OatCookie dough balls onto baking sheets (line with parchment paper if not non stick).
Once golden, remove from oven and allow to fully cool on the baking sheets. This allows the Cranberry Oat Cookies to firm up. These Cookies are particularly scrumptious with a nice, cold glass of milk.
One of my best friends has been unwell recently, a fresh delivery of Cookies will be just the boost she needs.
Who will you share your Cookies with?
Remember, food always tastes better when it’s shared.
Hello, I really hope you enjoy this post – Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne. It’s extremely easy to make, there’s no need to precook the lasagne sheets. This lasagne is also a lighter version than the traditional beef lasagne. If you wanted to really cheat you could buy good cheese sauce, but it’s not a complicated process to whip up your own!
This is a perfect make ahead meal as it only gets better the longer the lasagne sits. It will keep, unbaked, in the fridge for 4 days and double wrapped in cling film, again unbaked, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. It is also the perfect, portable meal. Ideal for delivery to a new mum, a family going through tough times or a bring and share meal with friends. Truly an all-in-one feasting dish!!!
By substituting the beef, usually used in Lasagne, with minced Chicken, the resulting baked Lasagne becomes a lighter dish. Not lighter in calories, with the delicious four cheese sauce – but not as heavy on the stomach and a delicious change from the norm! The four cheese sauce was simply me raiding the fridge for leftover Christmas cheese!!!
I realise that minced Chicken is not available everywhere, minced Turkey is a great substitute. Otherwise processing skinless chicken breasts, thighs or a combination in a food processor would be another way to make your own chicken mince. Alternatively, chopping up chicken with a sharp knife would work and give the lasagne added texture.
Recipe : Serves 6-8 portions.
Chicken Lasagne Sauce
450g/1lb Chicken Mince
1 Large White Onion
2tbsp Olive Oil
2 Celery Stalks (the larger outside stalks)
1 Green Pepper (washed, deseeded and finely diced)
2-3 Carrots (peeled and finely diced)
3 Garlic Cloves – minced
3 x 400g Chopped Tinned Tomatoes
2tbsp Tomato Puree
1tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or fresh basil/oregano/parsley/thyme – to taste)
Salt and Ground Black Pepper – to taste
Cheese Sauce :
3tbsp Plain White Flour
750-800ml. Whole Milk
6oz Hard Cheese (I used a 50/50 mixture of Mature Cheddar and Swiss Cheese)
250g. Mozzarella (drained)
1 tsp Nutmeg – freshly grated if poss
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste.
Butter – For Greasing the Lasagne Dish
1 packet Dried Egg Lasagne Sheets 375g – NO NEED TO PRECOOK!!!
Method: Chicken Lasagne Sauce
Finely chop/dice the onion/celery/green pepper and carrots. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes over a medium heat until the onions just start to turn translucent. Add the diced celery to the pan and continue to sauté for a couple more minutes, just until the celery starts to soften. Push the onions and celery to one side of the pan and add the Chicken mince to the other side (if you don’t have a large sauté pan, remove the onions and celery, into a separate dish and then add the Chicken to the pan). Cook the chicken, using a wooden spatula to break up the mince so big clumps of meat don’t form.
Unlike beef mince, the Chicken mince will get lighter as it cooks. I don’t cook the Chicken until it is browned, just until it is cooked through (lighter colour). Now add the carrots/green pepper and also the minced garlic (I use a garlic press!!).
When all the veggies and garlic are well mixed add the tomatoes (rinse each can out with water, fill the can almost to the top and add that to the pan as well), tomato purée, dried or fresh chopped herbs. Give everything a good stir add the sugar and add salt 1/2tsp and a good grinding of black pepper. Turn the heat to medium/low and leave to gently bubble away on the stove for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Method: Four Cheese Sauce
Into a medium heavy based pan add the butter. Over a medium heat melt the butter until just sizzling. Add the flour and keep stirring as the two become a paste. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, this removes any floury taste.
Now gradually start adding the milk, approx 50mls at first and stir vigorously. The milk will become incorporated into the flour/butter paste making it a thicker past. Keep adding small amounts of milk, stirring continuously.
Now you can add larger amounts of milk, keep stirring, lumps will form, if you want to you can switch to a whisk at this stage (I do!). Keep stirring and adding the milk until all the milk has been added and you have a beautiful, lump free white sauce. The sauce should be thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the Ricotta and all the other cheese (except the mozzarella), which if you are a patient person you certainly may grate. I almost never bother to grate, I just chop the cheese into smallish (1/2″) cubes and the sauce turns out fine.
Stir vigorously. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. The Ricotta cheese will give the Four Cheese Sauce a slightly grainy texture – DON’T WORRY – that’s normal! If you’ve grated the cheeses they will melt into the sauce easily. With the cubed cheese the sauce will almost never become completely smooth – but that’s ok as it will when it’s baked in the oven later! Also the addition of freshly ground nutmeg not only elevates the flavour above and beyond, but please, if you can, grate your own nutmeg. I know I was lazy with the cheese but, freshly grated nutmeg is a million times better than pre-ground nutmeg, trust me.
You will need an oven proof rectangular dish. Mine is 12″ x 8″ x 3.5″(deep) – measurements were taken from the top. But you can always use an oval dish and break the lasagne sheets to fit the curves – I have made many lasagne dishes this way, or alternatively split between 2 small dishes. As long as the dish is ovenproof, this really is an adaptable recipe!!!
I’ve found, after making more than a gazillion – slight over exaggeration – lasagnes, that buttering the dish before hand not only helps when serving the cooked lasagne, but also, it doesn’t require 3 days soaking to get the stuck bits off of the dish!! It’s the little things you know???
I REALLY WASN’T JOKING, when I said that you don’t have to precook the lasagne sheets. I’ve used lots of different makes, some with ruffled edges, green spinach lasagne sheets, egg vs plain AND this works with ALL TYPES – I guess you could even use fresh lasagne sheets, you would need to cook the Chicken lasagne sauce for longer so that it was thicker – otherwise I can’t see it being an issue. If you try it please let me know how you get on?
Once you have buttered/oiled your dish place a layer of HOT Chicken lasagne sauce (check the seasoning and adjust if necessary) into the bottom of the dish, so that it is completely covered.
Next place enough lasagne sheets to cover the bottom layer – I got luck and this dish takes 4 exactly. I like the layers to meet or very slightly overlap.
Repeat the sauce/lasagne sheet layering twice more finishing with a sheet layer.
Now pour the cooled cheese sauce all over the top of the lasagne sheets. I gently tap the dish to ensure any trapped air bubble rise to the surface.
This baby is still not finished! Drain and slice the mozzarella.
And now arrange the mozzarella slice on top of the cheese sauce.
The Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne should be left, ideally for 4 hours, to allow the dried lasagne slices time to absorb moisture from both sauces. This dish can also be made 1-2 days in advance, wrapped in cling film and left in the fridge.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 180C (165C fan oven). Place the lasagne dish onto a slightly larger baking tray; this dish can bubble up and over – it’s much easier to clean a baking sheet rather than scrub out the bottom of your oven!!!!!
Cook the lasagne for 1 1/2 hours until piping hot all the way through and gorgeously, golden brown.
Remove from the oven 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows the lasagne to cool slightly and hold it’s shape when being served.
This Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne is delicious on it’s own, served with a salad or garlic bread. It can be frozen at the pre-bake stage or in individual portions, wrapped tightly in foil and popped into the freezer. Or why not double the quantities and make an extra meal for the freezer?
If you try this recipe please let me know how you get on. Do you have alternative lasagne combinations that are scrumptious? If you do please share them.
But most of all if you know a new mum, or someone who has been ill for a while, or just a very busy family that you would like to bless, then this is THE perfect, portable, all in one meal for sharing!
As ever, remember food always tastes better when it’s shared. Happy Feasting.
Hello everyone. A big shout out to all the Mums and Dads on half-term duty. I’ve created a deliciously CrunchyHomemade Coleslaw, that all my children love. It’s a really good way of getting fresh veg onto the dinner plate and goodness into us all. Not only that but this Crunchy HomemadeColeslaw tastes seriously good!
Some may argue – ‘Why should I make my own Coleslaw, when it’s easily available and isn’t expensive?’ Which, if you think about it, it a fair point. I do, on occasion, buy Coleslaw from the shops aaaand each time I do I regret it! The Coleslaw is either really gloopy and absolutely smothered in a creamy sauce, or else it seems to contain only cabbage and onion, the latter having a strongly, oniony, overbearing taste. I don’t like shop bought Coleslaw! There I’ve said it!!!
Now I like onion in my Coleslaw, but I don’t like it to have a nasal clearing, strong, over powering taste. I’ve sorted this problem. Firstly I use red onions, which are generally sweeter than white onions, then I slice them thinly and soak them in lemon juice with a sprinkle of salt. The lemon juice draws out all the acridness from the onions, leaving them sweet and crunchy!
I make a great big bowl of this Coleslaw which we eat alongside fish and potato wedges, fabulous with homemade pizza, great with burgers, or in place of salad with any meal. Let’s get on with the –
Recipe : Serves 6 as a main side dish.
1/2 Medium White Cabbage
1 Medium Red Onion
3 Medium Carrots (or 2 large)
Approx 5 Heaped Tablespoons of Mayonnaise (I use full fat mayo)
First take the lemon, cut in half a squeeze it into a large bowl – feel free to use your favourite citrus juicer!!!
Now cut the red onion in half and slice as thinly as possible into half moons. Break up the onion and add to the lemon juice in the bowl. Sprinkle over the sea salt and mix the onion half moons, breaking them apart as you go, into the lemon juice.
Take half a medium white cabbage and remove the tough core. Cut the cabbage into 3 sections and finely shred them with a sharp knife.L
In the bowl with the onions and lemon juice add 4-5 heaped tablespoons of your favourite mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly so that the lemon juice becomes incorporated into the Mayo. Add 1/2tsp of freshly ground black pepper.
The lemon juice thins out the mayo so the resulting sauce is smooth and creamy, but not gloopy, thick and claggy like mayonnaise only Coleslaw sauces. Put the shredded cabbage on top of the onions and sauce in the bowl.
Trim off the tops and bottoms of the carrots, peel and then grate in the coarse side of a box grater.
Place the grated carrot in the bowl.
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and you have yourself some top notch, Crunchy, Homemade Coleslaw.
If not using straight away, cover in cling film and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. This coleslaw is at it’s best the day you make it, but will keep for a day in an airtight container.
Again this is a fantastically portable dish, that makes it great for feasting with family, friends, work colleagues, in fact ANYONE. This Coleslaw is ideal for buffets (it’s easy to double/triple/quadruple the quantities. It is so easy, inexpensive, cheaper and way more delicious than the shop bought alternative. Try this recipe once – feel free to adjust the lemon/mayo ratio – and I bet you’ll think twice before buying shop bought Coleslaw again!
Oh and please let me know how you get on, I love to read your comments.
This Homemade Crunchy Coleslaw is the ideal accompaniment to:
Hello there, have I got a new take on Garlic Bread for you today? Oh yes I have. Homemade BreadstickGarlic Herb Dipping Oil – deeeelish!! A fab recipe to make with the kids any day, but especially this week, during half term, here in the UK. Just like at Cafe Rouge except everyone has their own pot of dipping oil!
We first had a version of these at Cafe Rouge a few years ago and we all thought they were yummy. So my mind started whirring, thinking that these couldn’t be ‘that hard’ to make at home – and guess what, they’re not!! And, dare I say, they taste better!
Usually, when I’m feeding a crowd, I double up on the recipe and two people share one plate. But last night, with our Spag Bol we each had our own bowl of Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil and Breadsticks (some of us are getting over colds – so thought individual was best!!).
Firstly to make the breadsticks, for me it really is easier to have a bread maker or stand mixer. There is no way I could do all that kneading by myself, but if you’re happy to make the dough by hand, feel free.
Recipe :Breadsticks Makes 10
1lb/450g Strong White Bread Flour
2tsp Dried Fast Acting Yeast
300ml Water – Approx 37C Body Temp
2tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I used Maldon
Method : see below for hand kneading
Place the warm water into the bowl of your bread maker or stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the dried yeast and mix with your fingers. Place the flour on top of the water/yeast. Pour the oil on top of the flour and sprinkle over the salt.
* For bread maker set cycle to knead and prove.
* For the stand mixer, mix the ingredients for 10 minutes. When the dough is soft and elastic remove to an oiled bowl, turn once, so the sides and top are slicked in oil, cover with cling film and place in a warm place to double in size (1-2 hours).
* For hand kneading, place all the ingredients into a large bowl, as per the other methods. Bring together with your hand, in the bowl, until a complete lump of dough is formed. Place the dough on a lightly floured worktop and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic – proceed as for stand mixer.
Once the dough has doubled in size knock back – gently punch down into the bowl to knock out the air (in a bread maker set to mix and allow 30 seconds of slow rotating to knock back your dough).
Tip your dough out onto a floured worktop.
Repeat the same process for the other half of the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm draught free place until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 215C (200C fan).
Place the baking sheets into the hot oven and bake the breadsticks for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
Place the cooked breadsticks on a cooling rack to cool.
Recipe : Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil
4tbsp Virgin Olive Oil
3 Fat Garlic Bulbs
1tbsp Fresh Finely Chopped Herbs – I used Thyme and Rosemary – or 1tsp Mixed Dried Herbs
1/2 tsp Flaky Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Firstly I have to admit I didn’t actually measure the butter or olive oil when I made this!! But you are aiming for a 50:50 mix of Olive oil and butter! My laziness is your gain, as you can add more oil/butter if you want to stretch this recipe out for more servings!!! And I get called Cheeky – can’t think why?????
Anyway back to the dipping oil for the breadsticks! Put the Olive oil and butter into a small pan. Chop the herbs finely and add to the cold oil/butter.
Either mince finely, or use a garlic press to chop/squish the garlic bulbs and add to the pan. Finally add the salt and pepper – you can add less salt if you’ve used salted butter – too little salt however, will result in this dipping oil having a very bland flavour (sorry Cafe Rouge, but it’s the seasoning in your dipping oil that let’s it down!).
Place the pan over a very low heat. The idea is to melt the butter, infuse the oil/butter with the garlic and herbs and of course NOT BURN THE GARLIC!!!!
Leave the pan off the heat to sit and infuse with the Garlic and Herb flavours. Even a few minutes makes a big difference to the final oil. I made the oil whilst the Breadsticks were baking. 10 minutes before serving place the pan over a medium heat. As soon as the oil is bubbling and the Garlic is sizzling, remove from the heat and decant into individual serving bowls – I used ramekins.
Breaking into the crunchy Breadsticks and dipping into the Garlic and Herb Oil is a taste explosion in your mouth!! It’s a fun change from the usual Garlic Bread. As always these Breadsticks go amazingly well with all pasta dishes.
NOTE: The Garlic and Herb Oil can also be spooned over Ciabatta or Baguette for a more traditional style Garlic Bread.
The Breadsticks can be made smaller (this will stretch out the number of servings), just remember to reduce the baking time – I’d start checking at 15 minutes.
Any leftover breadsticks can be frozen, in a freezer bag, for up to a month.
If you do try this recipe I’d love to hear how you get on?
Have fun making these and most of all sharing them!