A bespoke recipe video by Angela Griffin from Coronation Street, Hustle and Mount Pleasant. This one is for Red Pesto Steak with pasta and peppers!
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Black Pudding & Pear Pies
• 400g pork mince
• 200g black pudding, chopped
• 1 large diced pear
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
• 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
• Freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry:
• 450g plain flour
• 200ml water
• 170g lard
• 1 free-range egg yolk, beaten
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to make Black Pudding and Pear Pies
1) Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2) For the filling, mix all ingredients together and season well. Then divide into four 150g portions.
3) For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
4) In a pan, heat the water and lard together and gradually bring to a simmer, or until all the lard has melted. Bring the mixture up the boil and then pour this onto the flour mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon to create a firm dough.
5) Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough quickly for a few minutes. Roll the dough out flat, take one of the pie portions and place on the pastry. Cut around the portion leaving enough room for you to fold the pastry around the mix creating a parcel. Repeat this with the remaining portions.
6) Roll out the remaining pastry then stamp out with pastry cutters 4 mini circles for the lids. Brush the lids with beaten egg yolk, then place the pastry on top of the pies and press down to seal. Cut a small hole in the top of each pastry lid and transfer into the oven for 35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and the meat is completely cooked through.
7) Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
A new cookbook from reknown blogger Niamh Shields has just been released. Comfort and Spice draws on some recipes that Niamh used to great success on a Covent Garden fresh food stall, while others have appeared on her blog, Eat Like A Girl.
Blogging since 2007, Niamh states in the introduction that she is largely a self-taught cook and not a ‘chef’. “I am an enthusiastic home cook… I adore spices and flavour, comfort and fun, food that zings and sizzles. Quick week day recipes and long weekend ones, where my oven does the work while I drink some wine, or often while I sleep”
She also advocates using your spice box as a paint palate. “With a £10 investment in fresh spices every six months, you can change the way you eat and the way you cook”. She advocates the use of a simple palate of spices, those she uses most in her kitchen: sumac, cumin, coriander, cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon and herbs such as sage, parlsey and bay.
While many of the recipes draw on Niamh’s Irish ancestry – Irish Soda Farls, Black Pudding Croquettes, Blaas – others draw on cultures from around the world, Bircher Muesli from the antipodes for example, Chinese noodles with tofu and green tea, Beijing Dumplings Chorizo in Cider, Beef, Beetroot and Horseradish burgers and so on. Most recipes are savoury dishes with a few desserts, mainly fruit based, making it to the final chapter. These include such delights as Elderflower and Gooseberry Fool and Rhubarb and Blood Orange Meringue Pie.
Comfort & Spice (New Voices in Food) by Niamh Shields is currently available from Amazon for £7.94.
Niamh will be ‘doing a demo’ at the Abergavenny Food Festival on Sunday 18th Sept at 11am, with fellow New Voices in Food author, James Ramsden. Tickets available now.
Is it the evocative photographs – all nick-knack laden white dressers, French rusticity, market scenes, and sun-dabbled patio tables that make this book so ‘delicious’ or simply the ease, simplicity and freshness of the recipes?
It is a touch of both of course. Any cookbook that imparts such a strong identity of place with superb photos like the fresh salad leaves in a white colander, the one of a corner of a room with wooden kitchen utensils in an earthen-ware jar or the two French sticks on a magnificent old butchers block has my heart from the moment it is flicked through. Add in a selection of recipes that produce near effortless delicious results and you have a near prefect recipe book.
The recipes are relatively simple, as one would expect with bistro style foods. It is one of the few cookbooks that I’ve returned to several times – the Beef and Potato gratin is on tonight’s menu, last week it was the pork chops with piquant sauce and the chicken with tarragon that tantalised the palate. The Braised Red Cabbage with chestnuts and apples with accompanying sausages is to feature with a wine match on spittoon as soon as red cabbages make it back to the Waitrose shelf… and I can’t wait to try out the Walnut Cake either.
“Traditional bistro fare is the essence of French country cooking. For the4most part, bistro menus often mimic the kinds of meals prepared in homes, using local ingredients and seasonal produce – it’s not expensive or complicated and it never goes out of style. Laura Washburn’s recipes for classic French country dishes offer home cooks simple ideas for good, honest food.”
The French Country Table: Simple Recipes for Bistro Classics is available from Amazon.co.uk for £11.04.
A bit late for this one – for Agatha Christie’s birthday was on the 8th September 2010, but a special chocolate cake recipe by Jane Asher has been launched on www.agathachristie.com to celebrate her 120th birthday.
The Delicious Death recipe gives chocolate lovers a novel way of celebrating Christie on her birthday, 15 September, when they can either make their own Delicious Death or enjoy it in venues across the country.
Jane’s recipe is inspired by a passage in Agatha Christie’s 50th novel, and a Miss Marple classic, A Murder is Announced (1950), in which Delicious Death is the victim’s “last supper” before she is poisoned to death. Baked by Miss Blacklock’s housekeeper, Mitzi – an émigré with a horror of English cooking – the cake is dubbed Delicious Death because it is so rich. It becomes an apt name when Dora Bunner is found dead in her bed after her birthday tea.
This is the first time the recipe has been officially created and Jane Asher describes the cake as follows, ‘It has an intense, forbidding dark Belgian chocolate centre which is lifted by the unexpected sharp zing of its brandy-soaked cherry and ginger filling. The glorious assault on the senses doesn’t end there: the cake is decorated with flecks of pure gold, sprinklings of crystallised rose and violet petals, and swirls of ganache piping. This paragon of a cake is as beautiful to look at as it is delicious – and deadly? – to eat.’
Jane based her recipe on the original ingredients mentioned in the book: a tin of butter sent from America, some raisins saved for Christmas, ‘a slab of chocolate’ and ‘a pound of sugar’. Jane has herself appeared in numerous TV productions of Christie and, most recently, in ITV’s Poirot Three Act Tragedy.
She comments, ‘Together with the brilliant team of bakers at my shop, I had such fun creating this special recipe. As a long time Agatha Christie fan (as a teenager, it was her books and those of Conan-Doyle that got me hooked on reading and that gave me a life-long love of fiction), I was delighted when I was approached to bring a cake from one of her books to life. I think we’ve done her proud and that she’d be thrilled with the taste and texture of Delicious Death: a cake that is worthy of the sensuous and evocative description in the original story.’
Those fans that don’t bake will have the chance to sample the cake during Christie Week (12–19 September 2010) at a number of Agatha Christie haunts across the country. Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair – said to be the inspiration for At Bertram’s Hotel – will be serving Agatha Christie Afternoon Tea, whilst the annual Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay will be serving the cake at its opening fête (alongside film screenings and tea-dances) and the Chiswick Book Festival will hold a Crime Fiction Tea, celebrating Agatha Christie and Val McDermid, winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger 2010. It will also be on the menu at Greenway – Christie’s holiday home in Devon, now a National Trust property.