Saturday, 29 December 2012

Easy Melba Toast

OK so Melba toast is a notorious pain in the bum but my way is so much easier and looks better.

Normally you would toast your bread then cut the crusts off slice it in half so you have 2 really thin slices rub the now untoasted sides on the work surface to smooth it out then grill again! How much hassle is that?

My way

Preheat oven to 100c

Toast your bread

With a rolling pin flatten to your desired thickness

Cut crusts off and cut into triangles

Whack them in the oven until dried out ( about 15 mins ).

Job done!!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Boarders Christmas Dinner

Its the time of year all the boarders look forward to! The Christmas dinner. Last year was my first in the boarding house and with the menu already done and all the food ordered I had no input, this year was completely mine. Historically the menu has always been the standard Soup Main and Xmas pud, you can understand my concerns about my menu! Here it is!


Tomato and Basil Soup


Chicken Liver Pate with Home made Melba Toast


Roast Turkey


Feta Cheese and Spinach Parcel


Roast Potatoes (in duck fat for the carnivores)

Baton Carrots

Honey Roast Parsnips

Brussels sprouts

Pigs in Blankets

Sage and Onion Stuffing 

Rich Gravy


Spiced Apple Slice with Home made Christmas Pudding Ice cream


Lemon Tart

Admittedly not entirely ground breaking or too outrageous the very idea of a choice of starter and dessert and the fact that Christmas pudding as it should be didn't feature on the menu was enough to raise eyebrows with a majority of the boys and staff alike! 

With service out of the way it became clear that the night was a massive success and with comments like "best Christmas dinner in the school ever" ( from staff and boys!!!) I was happy! 

As always though I couldn't have pulled it off without the support and willingness to work even harder than they normally do from my team. Thanks guys!!

Here's a couple of pics of the Pate and Desserts and one of some bloke trying to look busy!!

Thanks again and have a very merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Quick and Easy Mince Pies

Right then everyone loves a mince pie to get them feeling festive so here's a quick and easy recipe for an amazing home made pie.

225g plain flour
125g butter
1 egg
2 table spoons caster sugar, I infuse mine with vanilla pods ( chuck some sugar over a couple of pods in an airtight container )
Mince meat.

In a blender whack in your dry ingredients then when its like bread crumbs crack your egg in.
It will be really soft so bang it in the fridge for half an hour.
When chilled roll out to about 5ml thick. Cut into circles and line your greased tin. Fill with mince meat and pop a pastry lid on with your left over mix. Cook on 180c till golden. No need to egg wash because of the butter content. Go get festive!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Bangra Burgers

OK so it being Monday and all that brings I decided to bang out a few Bangra Burgers for lunch, basically an Indian inspired burger. ( I love a twist ). Truth be told I was asked by my boss to help her out a bit with recipes, I made two types Balti Beef and Keema Lamb, not enough for me to just make the burger so I made garlic naan inspired buns and a roasted pepper chutney garnished with fresh coriander and shiso cress.

So for the naan

My previous bread roll mix with added garlic powder and caraway seeds, when shaping the rolls you need to flatten them so they are about 1cm thick, this makes it look more naan like.

Balti Beef Burger

I used 5 kilo of beef mince and got 75 burgers.

This paste I used as a base for both burgers.

In a blender I put 7 green chillis

5 red chillis

1 bulb of garlic

A thumb size chunk of root ginger

2 onions

Mix half the paste with your beef and add 4 eggs, give it a good mix and chuck in some mild madras curry powder. Shape in to burgers and cook on 180c till cooked.

Keema Lamb Burger

So same as the beef but I used ground cumin ground coriander and garam masala instead of curry powder.

I was torn between serving them with fries or basmati rice so went for the rice. Whatever you choose you'll love these bad boys. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Pasta Bolognaise

Ok for lunch today we had bolognaise and garlic bread ( home made ). I know everyone can do a good bolo but heres my tips to make it fantastic. So firstly the mince, I cook mine for 4 hours minimum this makes the meat really smooth. Tomatoes naturally contain sugar and acid so I always add some sugar and vinegar this makes them more tomatoey. My final tip and probably the most cheffy, the garlic. I blanche whole cloves with the bottom cut off 7 times ( in a pan of cold water and brought to the boil ). Then after the last boil give them a squeeze so the bitter middle pops out. This might sound like a bit of an effort to go to for a bolo but well worth it! Have a go! 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Gulab Jamun

OK so we are having an indian special night on Friday but I wanted to post the recipe for this amazing pud!! Its basically a doughnut in syrup.

So the recipe

1 cup plain flour
2 cups milk powder
1 knob melted butter
Splash of milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

All you need to do is mix the dry ingredients and the butter then slowly add some milk until it gets to a dough you can shape. Roll in to small balls a bit smaller than ping pong balls, chuck them in a deep fat fryer about 170c until golden then let them cool. Whilst they are cooling put your sugar and water in a pan and boil until it becomes a syrup ( about 10 mins ) when cooled to room temp glug it over your little doughnuts cover and leave for 30 mins. Job done. Try it!!!