Thursday, 7 December 2017

Parmigiano Reggiano Biscuits

Parmigiano Reggiano Biscuits
These biscuits made with the King of cheeses are so light and crisp, make lots because they are extremely moreish!  Make the dough in advance and bake when required.  They are perfect for unexpected guests over the festive season – simplicity at its best!

Makes 60
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour chilling time) 
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients
125g unsalted butter, cubed & softened
70g Parmigiano Reggiano*, grated
50g mature cheddar, grated
150g plain flour
¼ tsp smoked paprika


Method

1.    In a food processor place all the ingredients and blend together, add 1-2 tbsp cold water and blend further until you have a dough.
2.    Lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and spoon half the mixture down the centre to form a log, about 3cm wide.  Firmly roll up.  Repeat this with the remaining mixture until you have 2 logs, now place in the refrigerator for an hour until chilled and firm.
3.    Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4.
4.    Remove the log from the fridge and cut into 3mm slices and place onto a lined baking tray.  Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and become crisp.
5.    These biscuits can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.  Or you can freeze the uncooked dough for up to 1 month.

*         Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as the King of Cheeses, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.
*         A long ageing period is fundamental in building the aromas and texture of Parmigiano Reggiano. Such complexity is achieved in a totally natural way, without any additives, making Parmigiano Reggiano 100% natural, easy to digest and high in calcium.
*         The minimum maturation time is at least 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is at its best. Ageing can continue up to 36 months or more, during which time the cheese develops its flavour, texture and digestibility.
*         Parmigiano Reggiano is a P.D.O. product. P.D.O. products are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Steak, Ale & Stilton Pie


Steak, Ale & Stilton Pie
This is a wonderfully delicious pie full of rich flavours- the perfect pie for chilly weather!

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the pie filling
3-4tbsp olive oil
200g smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 1cm strips
2 medium onions, peeled, halved & sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
3tbsp plain flour
1.5kg good quality stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes
450ml bottle of real ale (I used Newcastle Brown Ale)
500ml good beef stock
2tbsp tomato puree
1tbsp creamed horseradish sauce (optional)
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stalks & finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp cornflour
150g stilton, crumbled

For the pie
325g ready-made short crust pastry
325g ready-made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten to glaze

To Serve
Mashed potato
Seasonal Vegetables

Method

1.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan.  Fry the bacon and onions until pale golden in colour and then add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring regularly.  Set aside using a slotted spoon.

2.  Season the steak with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Now heat 1-2 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and add the steak, you may have to do this in batches.  Fry the meat until it is well browned all over.  Add more oil if necessary.  Set aside.

3.  Deglaze the frying pan with half of the ale.  Bring the ale to the boil and stir hard to remove all the sediment from the base of the pan.  Transfer the steak and bacon to the frying pan then add the remaining ale, stock, tomato puree, horseradish and herbs to the dish.  Bring to the boil and then cover, simmer for 1 ½ hour or until the meat is very tender.  Mix the corn flour with 2tbsp of cold water and add to the pan.  Continue to simmer uncovered for a further 5 minutes or until the juices are thick.  Season to taste and allow to cool.

4.  In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.   Remove the bay leaves and then strain the liquid from the meat but add some of the gravy to suit your taste.  Set aside the rest of the gravy to serve with the pie.

5.  Roll out the short crust pastry to 4mm thick and line a 1.2 litre pie dish, leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge.   Spoon the cooled beef mixture into the dish and sprinkle over the stilton cheese, brush the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg.
6.    Roll out the puff pastry to 4mm thick and large enough to cover the pie.  Place the pastry over the pie and press the edges firmly together to seal and trim neatly.  Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg.  Decorate with trimmings and brush with more egg to glaze.  Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown.  Serve with mash, seasonal vegetables and the remaining gravy.  Enjoy!



Cauliflower & Chestnut Gratin with a Parmigiano Reggiano Cream

Cauliflower & Chestnut Gratin with a Parmigiano Reggiano Cream
This decadent cauliflower gratin made with the King of cheeses is the perfect addition to any Christmas dinner.  It is simply divine!

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 large cauliflower (600g-750g), cut into bite-size pieces
10 cooked chestnuts, chopped
600ml double cream
60g Parmigiano Reggiano* cheese, grated
½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Freshly ground salt & pepper

For the Herb Breadcrumb:
70g sourdough bread
1 small garlic clove, peeled & finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Freshly ground salt & pepper


Method

1.    Preheat oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas mark 6.
2.    Add the cauliflower, chestnuts and cream to a large pan and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender.  Remove the cauliflower and chestnuts with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3.    Now add the Parmigiana Reggiano and thyme to the cream and return to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the cream thickens.
4.    Meanwhile make the herb breadcrumbs, place the bread into a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs, now add the remaining ingredients and blitz until fully combined.
5.    Return the cauliflower to the cream mixture and season to taste.  Spoon the cauliflower and Parmigiano Reggiano cream into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the herb breadcrumbs.
6.    Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden and the sides are bubbling.  Enjoy!

*         Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as the King of Cheeses, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.
*         A long ageing period is fundamental in building the aromas and texture of Parmigiano Reggiano. Such complexity is achieved in a totally natural way, without any additives, making Parmigiano Reggiano 100% natural, easy to digest and high in calcium.
*         The minimum maturation time is at least 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is at its best. Ageing can continue up to 36 months or more, during which time the cheese develops its flavour, texture and digestibility.
*         Parmigiano Reggiano is a P.D.O. product. P.D.O. products are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.



Monday, 27 November 2017

Goats Milk Yogurt & Oat Savoury Waffles topped with Poached Eggs & Guilt-Free Yogurt Hollandaise


Goats Milk Yogurt & Oat Savoury Waffles topped with Poached Eggs & Guilt-Free Yogurt Hollandaise
An absolutely delicious way to start the day!
Light, Crisp & flourless savoury waffles topped with a poached egg and lashings of goats’ milk yogurt hollandaise that you can enjoy without any guilt!  I much prefer this Guilt Free Yogurt Hollandaise sauce better than the full fat version because while super creamy, and decadent it’s so much lighter!
St Helen’s Farm Goats Milk yogurt is creamy & smooth, gentle on the stomach, easy to digest and tastes amazing.

Serves 4
Prep time:   15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
For the waffles:
150g oats (gluten free if desired)
150ml goats milk yogurt
60g cornflour
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
2 heaped tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, peeled & crushed
80ml goats milk, semi-skimmed
2 eggs, beaten
A pinch of salt & pepper
A few sprays of cooking spray, to grease the waffle machine

For the Guilt Free Yogurt Hollandaise:
250g goats milk yogurt
3 egg yolks
1 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ - ½ tsp cornflour (optional)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cumin
A good pinch of salt, pepper, chilli flakes & sugar

To serve
Poached eggs


Method

1.    For the waffles, place the oats into a food processor and blitz until you have a fine powder.  Now add the remaining waffle ingredients and blitz until fully combined.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
2.    Preheat the waffle machine, as per instructions and grease with the cooking spray.  Ladle the waffle batter into the centre of the waffle machine and bake to your liking.  Keep the waffles warm in the oven until needed.
3.    For the Hollandaise, boil a large pan of water and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Place the yogurt, egg yolks and lemon juice into a heatproof bowl that fits over the pan and beat with a large balloon whisk, stir in the garlic.  Now stir frequently for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens, if the sauce does not thicken to your liken gradually add the cornflour (mix with some of the sauce before adding to the hollandaise).
4.    In the meantime, prepare your poached eggs.
5.    Now stir through the remaining ingredients, taste and add additional Dijon, salt, pepper, sugar and/or chilli flakes until you get your desired taste.
6.    Place the waffles onto serving plates and top with a poached egg and a good serving of hollandaise.  Enjoy!


·         Check out the link for stockists of St Helen’s Farm Goats milk yogurt http://www.sthelensfarm.co.uk/where-buy

Recipe commissioned by St Helen’s farm, as always all opinions our my own.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Banana Loaf Cake


Banana Loaf Cake 
A delicious and moist banana loaf cake with a wonderful banana frosting topping! This is a perfect cake for afternoon tea.

Serves 8-12
Prep time:  15-20 minutes
Cooking time:  35-40 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake
100g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium eggs
300g over-ripe bananas
60g plain chocolate, chopped or in buttons
80g walnuts, toasted & roughly chopped
180g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting
100g full-fat cream cheese
100g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
30g banana, mashed


Preparation method

1.  Preheat the oven to 175°C/155
°C/Gas mark 4 and grease a 23cm x 13cm loaf tin with butter.

2.  Place the butter, light brown sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.  Beat the eggs lightly and slowly add to the mixture while mixing on high speed.

3.  Mash the bananas and add to the cake mix, followed by the chocolate and the walnuts.  Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together and add to the cake mix on a low speed until combined.  Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Take out and leave to cool.

4.  For the frosting, place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.  Place the butter and icing sugar in a separate mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.  Add the cream cheese, a little at a time to the butter mixture and mix at a high speed until the frosting is combined.  Add the mashed banana.  Once cool, cover the top of the cake with frosting and chill for 30 minutes to set the frosting.  Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Friday, 24 November 2017

The BEST Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff


The BEST Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff
This is a beautiful melt-in-the mouth dish that tastes better if you cook it a day in advance!

Serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 ½ - 3 hours

Ingredients
4 tbsp olive oil
500g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1.5kg stewing beef, cut into 3cm cubes
350ml beef stock
3 onions, peeled & sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
150ml dry white wine
100ml brandy
1tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tbsp paprika
Freshly ground salt & pepper
300ml double cream

For the buerre manié
3tbsp butter, softened
3tbsp plain flour

To serve
Basmati rice follow packet instructions

Method

1.  Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C/Gas mark 3.

2.  In a large ovenproof casserole heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and lightly fry the mushrooms in batches until slightly golden.  Put on a plate and set aside.  Next brown the meat in batches and set aside, add more oil if necessary.

3.  Now fry the onions until softened and lightly golden, add the garlic towards the end adding more oil if necessary.  Add half of the beef stock and bring to the boil to deglaze the pan.  Return the meat and mushrooms to the pan and add the rest of the stock, wine and brandy.  Add the Dijon, paprika and season to taste, stir well and simmer.  Cover the pan and place in the oven and cook for 2 – 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender.

4.  Make the beurre manié by mixing the butter and flour to create a paste.  Set aside.

5.  Remove the dish from the oven and strain the liquid into a pan.  Keep the meat and mushrooms warm in a covered casserole.  Pour the cream into the pan with the liquid and boil, uncovered for a few minutes until the sauce has slightly reduced and has a good flavour.  Season to taste if required.

6.  Place the beurre manié into the boiling liquid, 1 tbsp at a time and whisk until the sauce thickens slightly.  Now pour the sauce over the meat and mushrooms and stir gently.  Keep warm until ready to serve with the rice.  Enjoy!



Thursday, 23 November 2017

Ham & Lentil Soup

Ham & Lentil Soup
The perfect soup for a chilly day, make the day before as it tastes even better the next day!

Serves 8-10 servings
Prep time:   15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 ham shank
2 bay leaves
4 litres water
50g butter
2 leeks, sliced
2 onions, peeled & chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
½ swede, peeled & chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled & chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
½ tbsp. medium curry powder
700g red lentils
A few drops of tabasco
Freshly ground salt & pepper

To serve
Crusty bread & lashings of butter

Method

1.    Place the ham shank, bay leaves and water into a large pan.  Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 2 hours and the meat is falling off the bone.  Remove the ham from the stock and allow to cool.
2.    In a large frying pan melt the butter over a medium heat and gently fry the leeks, onions, carrots, swede, potatoes and garlic for 15 minutes until softened, not browned.  Sprinkle over the curry powder and stir through for a further minute. 
3.    Place the vegetables in the pan of stock, add the lentils, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
4.    Remove the bay leaves and blend half of the soup and place it back with the remaining soup (I believe leaving some texture is best).
5.    Break or shred the ham into the soup and season to taste with the tabasco, salt & pepper. Enjoy!


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Spaghetti with Green Olive Puttanesca

Spaghetti with Green Olive Puttanesca

This is a wonderfully tasty quick and easy mid-week meal. Chilli, Capers, Anchovies, Olives and Tomatoes - what a perfect combination!

Serves 4
Prep time:   5 -10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
1 small red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
10 anchovies from a jar, drained & finely chopped
115g green olives, pitted
2 tbsp capers, drained
400g tin of chopped tomatoes

To serve
400g dried spaghetti, cooked as per packet instructions
Freshly grated parmesan
Fresh parsley, chopped

Method

1.  Place the oil in a large frying pan and heat, add the garlic and chilli and gently cook for 2 minutes.  Add the anchovies, olives, capers and tomatoes. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

2.  Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and toss until fully coated.

3.  Serve with a sprinkling of parsley and parmesan, enjoy!


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The BEST Cottage Pie

This has to be comfort food at its best. A perfect family meal!


Serves 6-8
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the mince
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg lean minced beef
2 onions, finely chopped
2 celery sticks finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 parsnips, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves only
2 tbsp tomato puree
350ml red wine
800ml beef stock
A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
150g frozen peas
1 ½ tbsp cornflour
Salt & freshly ground pepper

For the mash
1.5kg King Edward potatoes, peeled & chopped
100g butter
150ml double cream
Salt & freshly ground pepper
75g mature cheddar, grated

 Method
1.  Heat a large frying pan and then add a tablespoon of olive oil, add the mince in small batches until browned all over and set aside.

2.  Now a tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and gently fry the onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic and thyme for 5 minutes until softened.  Add the tomato puree fry for one minute and then add the mince.

3.  Deglaze the frying pan which you cooked the mince in with red wine, cook for 3-4 minutes until it has reduced by half.

4.  Add the stock to the pan and let simmer for 45 minutes.  Place the cornflour in a small bowl and add 2 tbsp liquid from the pan and mix through.  Add to the pan with a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce and the frozen peas.  Season to taste.

5.  Preheat the oven at 200°C/180°C/Gas mark 6.

6. For the mash, place the potatoes in a pan of salted water bring to the boil and then simmer for 12-15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and the mash with a potato masher or ricer.  Add the cream and butter and mix well until you have a smooth mash.

7.  Put the mince into a baking dish and top with the mash and sprinkle over the grated cheese.  Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the mash is golden brown.  Serve by itself or with your favourite vegetables, enjoy!


Friday, 17 November 2017

Beef & Ale Casserole with Horseradish & Stilton Dumplings

An extremely simple to make beef and ale casserole which is full of flavour!  The dumplings make this dish... this is a definite must try!


Serves 4
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time:  2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the casserole:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, thickly sliced
750g braising steak, cut into 2-3cm cubes
3 tbsp plain flour
Freshly ground pepper & salt
2 large carrots, peeled & sliced
2 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato puree
550ml bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale

For the Dumplings:
200g self-raising flour
100g vegetable or beef suet
½ tsp salt
75g Stilton, crumbled
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp hot horseradish (from a jar)
150ml water

To serve:
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Steamed green vegetables



Preparation method

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 3.

2.  Heat the oil in a large casserole and add the onions, cook until they start to colour.  

3.  In a large bowl toss the beef in the flour and season well.  Add to the casserole (there is no need to brown the meat).  Now add all the remaining casserole ingredients and bring to the boil.  Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 1 ½ hours.

4.  In the meantime, make the dumplings.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, suet and salt using your fingertips to break up the suet.  Now add the Stilton and the parsley.

5.  Combine the horseradish and the water together then place in the bowl.  Bring the mixture together with your hands until you have a dough consistency.  Then, using your hands roll the dough into 8-10 balls and set aside and cover.

6.  When the beef is soft and tender, season to taste.  Now drop the dumplings on top, cover with the lid and return to the oven for 30 minutes.

7.  Now that the dumplings have puffed up, remove the lid and raise the temperature to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 4.  Cook until the dumplings have developed a crust.  Scatter with parsley and serve on warm plates with steamed green vegetable, enjoy!