Kedgeree

Kedgeree is curried rice dish made with smoked fish and served with an egg on top.

There all definites end.

Kedgeree
Some say you must have boiled egg, others champion the delicious ooze of a runny poached egg.  Type of fish can be an issue too, with one camp swearing it must be haddock and the other saying that’s nonsense.  Some believe parsley is a must, others say it has to be coriander.  Many people demand peas in a ‘proper’ kedgeree, others recoil in horror at the thought.  In these days of poshing-up everything, there are some who feel basic shop bought curry powder is too ’70s and that a select few spices are better, while others insist that the basic curry powder is necessary for ‘authentic’ flavour.  Debates rage about the matter.

Well, I say debates rage…it’s probably more like an occasional cluck of annoyance, as Mildred and Henry order kedgeree for Sunday brunch then exchange tuts and outraged whispers about the inclusion of poached egg rather than boiled, and the complete absence of peas in the dish.  But still…

with mango chutney and a lemon wedgeI’m not too fussy myself – I like a dry kedgeree, not a wet, sauced version, which is too porridgey for my tastes – apart from that I’m willing to ring the changes a little.  This was a convenient attitude to be sporting when it came to making this particular kedgeree – we’re having a mini cupboard challenge right now and so needed to use what’s already available in our stores.

This is another imprecise recipe as it’s so easy to scale up or down according to number of servings required; tweak the recipe according to your own requirements, tastes and available ingredients.

ingredientsIngredients
Cooked rice – as many servings as are needed
1 small/medium sized piece of smoked haddock fillet per person
2 eggs
2 red onions, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 green chillies, sliced
2 teaspoons Very Lazy Garlic or 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-3 teaspoons curry powder, according to strength of powder and taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A large chunk of butter – use proper butter and use lots!  I had some lemon, garlic and herb butter left over from a previous meal so I chucked that in, with about the same amount again in ordinary butter – luvverly.
A good fistful of fresh parsley, chopped
A couple of spring onions, sliced
A couple of lemon wedges and few spoons of mango chutney to serve – not compulsory
Music

To prevent constant harassment, it’s a good idea to shut any cats out of the kitchen before you get started with this recipe.

Kitty excluded?  Ok then…Happy EggsHard boil your eggs by putting them in a pan of cold water, enough to cover the eggs.  Bring the water to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes.

hard boiled eggsAs soon as they’re done drain off the hot water and place the pan under a running cold water tap for around 1-2 minutes – this helps stop that horrid black layer developing around the yolks.  Peel off the shells and set to one side.

smoked haddockTo poach your fish bring a shallow layer of water (a couple of cm) to the boil, in a pan that has a lid; turn off the heat.  Pop in the fish, skin side up in a single layer, put the lid on and leave for around 5-6 minutes.  You’ll know when it’s done because the skin will easily peel away.

poached haddockDon’t over cook it.  Don’t overcook any fish 😉

Drain and discard the fish poaching water.  Remove skin from fillets, feed to cat, who Houdini like, has found a way out of exile and into the kitchen.  Flake cooked fish and set to one side.

cook onion and celery until softMelt butter (in that same lidded pan), add diced onions and celery and cook with lid on, over a low heat until soft.

Add curry powder, green chillies and garlic and cook, stirring, for minute or so.

Cooked riceStir in the cooked rice, salt and pepper, making sure everything mingles properly.

Add flaked fish and parsleyAdd flaked fish and most of the chopped parsley then stir gently to combine.

with mango chutney and a lemon wedgeServe bedecked with boiled egg halves and scattered with chopped spring onion and remaining chopped parsley. Finish with a spoonful of mango chutney on the side and a lemon wedge to squeeze over the top.

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Wickedly Tempting Chilli Chocolate Brownies

For one reason and another it’s been a dreadfully long time since Barn and I were able to enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch together; however, the calendar indicated that our free time would coincide this weekend – glee!

Barn was full of anticipatory excitement as Sunday approached – the ‘big food shop’ had been delivered, cupboards, fridge and freezer were bulging with exotic delights…expectations were high for some kind of culinary wizardry.

BrowniesThen the day dawned and all I wanted to eat was brownies – warm, fudgey, chocolatey brownies.

Now Barn’s not normally one to need persuasion to eat chocolate but for some reason he was being difficult:

“You can’t just eat cake.  You have to have something savoury first.”

“OK, I’ll have a piece of Marmite on toast.”

The LookHe gave me The Look

“Fine!  I’ll have a piece of Marmite on toast, cut it in half and therefore will eat TWO pieces of toast”

He wasn’t buying it

“All right, all right…I’ll have a bacon sandwich.  But only if you make it while I make brownies – of which I’m going to eat non-rationed and unquestioned quantities.”

And so the deal was done

Bacon buttyThis is the bacon butty that was duly consumed: rather tasty and actually a good call on Barn’s part, as me, fuelled solely by sugar and butter = likely bad ending 😉Chilli chocolateIngredients
200g unsalted butter
130g plain dark chocolate, broken into chunks
100g chilli flavoured dark chocolate, broken into chunks
alternatively, use 230g plain chocolate and a pinch or two of chilli flakes ground into powder with a mortar and pestle – add this in with chocolate
160g caster sugar (preferably golden, but white is fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
25g cocoa powder
3 medium eggs, beaten
100g ground almonds
50g plain gluten free flour mix (I use Dove’s Farm)
Music

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/325ºF.

Lightly butter your baking tin and line with greaseproof paper (you can probably get away without lining but I tend to play safe).  My tin was a little to large and so the brownies were a touch too thin – a 8″ (20cm) square tin would be about right.

Broken chocolate chunksMelt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.

Melted chocolate and butterTake the pan off the heat.

Vanilla pasteSift in cocoa powder, add vanilla and sugar and whisk until combined.  Leave the mix to cool a little (5-10 minutes).

Sugar, cocoa, vanilla and eggs addedAdd eggs to chocolate mix and beat until smooth and glossy.

Ground almondsBeat in ground almonds and flour then pour into the prepared baking tray.

Baked brownie trayBake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until just firm to the touch in the centre.
(I don’t know why that pretty swirly design happened – please don’t be cross if you don’t get this lovely effect 😉 )

Allow to cool a bit before turning out of the tray and cutting into squares.

Brownies and creamServe warm with whipped cream.

When completely cooled, store in an airtight container – this makes it easy to carry them around with you so you can snack at will through the day 😀
x

Sunday Brunch: Pastrami Hash Patties and Fried Egg, followed by Honey Baked Figs with Orange Yoghurt

Over the past few weeks you may have noticed a failure to mention Petit Man in blog posts; fear not, he’s not buried under the patio – he’s moved in with Mme. E.

This weekend he was back for fridge raiding a visit so once again I had my kitchen buddy with me for the making of Sunday brunch – cue much happiness!  Not only does he have all the skills necessary to pull off a successful Cupboard Challenge (proud Momma taught him how), but, perhaps more importantly, his egg frying prowess was an invaluable asset in the making of this meal 😉

Ah, yes…now is probably a good time for me to apologise for the gappy photo narrative of this post…I was enjoying Petit Man’s company so much I forgot to take pictures at several stages of the food preparation.  Sorry if it’s not clear what’s going on!

Serves three (makes six good sized patties)

Hash Patty Ingredients
3 medium sized potatoes, coarsely grated
1 medium onion, coarsely grated
200g pastrami
7 eggs (one for the patty mix, the remainder for frying and topping patties)
A handful of fresh, chopped chives
Approx. 3 tablespoons single cream
1 teaspoon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for shallow frying

Honey Baked Figs Ingredients
6 fresh ripe figs
1 teaspoon(ish) ground cinnamon
4-6 tablespoons honey
1 small tub natural Greek style yoghurt
Finely grated zest of half an orange
Music

All set? Let’s kick off Day 3 of the Cupboard Challenge

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F

Squeeze as much water as possible from the grated potato by rolling it up in a clean tea towel, then wringing it out.

Grated potato and onionPut squeezed potato into a bowl with the grated onion, salt and pepper.

Pastrami, before it was stripped
Pastrami, before it was stripped

Slice pastrami into thin strips and add to the potato and onion mix.

Add one beaten egg, the cream, the chives and the mustard; mix everything together really well.

Heat oil in frying pan over a medium heat and spoon in dollops of the mix.  Use the back of the spoon to push the dollops into patty shapes.

Flip them once, making sure both sides are beautifully crispy and brown.  They might lose their shape and structure a little when you turn them – just push them back together with your spoon.

If you have a second frying pan, fry up the eggs while the second side of the patties are browning.  If you don’t, pop the patties into the oven to keep warm while you take care of the eggs.

Pastrami Hash Patties with Fried Egg and Onion MarmaladeLay one fried egg onto each patty (keep those yolks runny!) and serve with the condiment of your choice.  I had caramelised onion marmalade, Petit Man went with HP and Barn just had lots of black pepper.

Blond Witch BeerPetit Man and I decided to have this locally brewed ale with ours. I’m no beer aficionado but it was pretty good – crisp and fresh, with none of the horrid after taste I often get with beers. Barn had some kind of hyper-powered fruit juice blend – it was dark red and looked smugly vitamin packed next to the beer 😉

Figs sprinkled with cinnamonJust before you serve the hash patties, cut the figs in half, set them on an oven proof dish, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with honey and bang in the preheated oven.

Greek style yoghurtMix orange zest with yoghurt and leave to infuse.

Go and eat your patties and eggs.

Baked figs with orange yoghurt
About 15-20 minutes later, you will have finished your pastrami and eggs, and your figs will be perfectly baked.

Serve with the orange yoghurt; drizzle with the juices from the baking dish.

This was very close to our idea of perfection for Sunday brunch.

How about you, what makes your perfect lazy day fare?

x

Sunday Brunch – Hot Roast Beef, Onion and Stilton Sandwiches

A beastly week in the day job culminated in me needing to work this Sunday.  Less than impressed, I coaxed myself out of bed at insane-o’clock-in-the-morning with the promise of something über delicious for brunch.  By the time I was heading home again, at well past midday, I was also vowing that brunch would be spectacularly quick and easy to make.sandwiches and ciderA quick whizz through the local supermarket yielded some freshly baked ciabatta style rolls and a bottle of my (current) favourite cider, but still no real plan.

After a rummage through the fridge at home we finally decided to make hot roast beef sandwiches.  It turned out to be an extremely good and satisfying choice 🙂

I feel it’s a bit of a stretch, calling this a ‘recipe’ – after all, it’s a sandwich!  Perhaps calling it a ‘how to’ would be more appropriate…?!

Ingredients
1 ciabatta roll per person 
4 slices roast beef per person
1 small onion, sliced, per person
Small knob of butter
Splash of olive oil
Mustard
Stilton
Music – an essential ingredient to all Sunday brunch recipes.

Of course, your choice of music is entirely your own – as long as you enjoy it, it will work well with the recipe.

Heating the beef over onionsHeat the oil and butter, add sliced onions and sauté.  When they begin to soften, but are not quite cooked, lay the slices of roast beef over the top to heat.  Turn the roast beef frequently to prevent the upper side from drying out.

horseradish mustard and stiltonCut rolls in half, lightly toast then spread one side lavishly with mustard.  I’m currently in the throes of a love affair with this horseradish mustard, which is utterly perfect with beef, but wholegrain or English are just as good

my sandwichPile cooked onions onto the rolls and add folded slices of beef (make sure beef is piping hot).  Top with slices of Stilton and pop under a hot grill for a few minutes to melt.  Slap on the top half of the roll and consume enthusiastically.

Barn's sandwichYou may notice that I accidentally made Barn’s sandwich upside down – this appears to have had no adverse effect on the flavour 😉MelonMelon slices afterwards…because it’s always nice to have something sweet, don’t you think?

x

The food week that was – 16/02/15

It’s been another busy week in the day job arena for the entire Renegade household so most meals were made based on existing stocks and following the line of least resistance.  We also took a fair degree of inspiration from other bloggers this week – thank you for helping keep tummies full, taste buds tantalised and faces smiling.
Veg chilliMonday: Chilli-non-carne made using left overs from Medieval’s birthday meal: the remnants of both sweetcorn and tomato salsas, jalapeños, fire roasted chillies, chilli ketchup and a whole heap of diced onion and peppers went in, along with tinned tomatoes, kidney, black-eyed and haricot beans, mushrooms and a little vegetable stock.  Left doing its thang in the slow cooker all day, it came out with the flavours beautifully melded and with the perfect degree of ‘kick’.

Dressed with plenty of grated Monteray Jack, a good dollop of soured cream and freshly chopped chives this chilli was a very welcomed (if short stayed) visitor to our table.

Pork in cider sauce collageTuesday: What do you make for dinner when you have some fabulous pork steaks and a rather nice bottle of cider?  Obviously, you make pork in cider sauce.

Nice and easy – pork, sliced apple (no need to peel), onions, vegetable stock, cider and seasoning, braised in the oven.  While that’s happening – prepare and steam veg (in this case new season potatoes, carrots and purple sprouting broccoli).  Remove pork and keep warm – add a large teaspoon of wholegrain mustard to the cooked cider mix then blitz in the blender/food processor.  Transfer to small pan, add double cream until you think it’s enough (sorry…it’s how I cook!!), warm gently, adjust seasoning, pour over pork and serve.

I nearly always forget to do it, but the finished dish is more visually appealing if you keep some of the onion and apple pieces in chunks, adding them back into the sauce after blitzing the rest.  Either way…this is a lick your plate clean kind of sauce!

Banana Bread and Butter Pudding collage

Wednesday: There was only me to consider for dinner as Barn was out gym-ing (sing it with me to the tune of Bob Marley – “We’re gym-ing, we’re gym-ing…”) and would therefore fend for himself later, and Petit Man was out for the night doing I-care-not-to-think-what with his girlfriend.

I chose to have a version of bread and butter pudding.  That’s it, that’s all I had.  Apart from the chocolate ice-cream on top.  It pleased the kid inside me who once declared, “When I’m a grown up I’m going to eat a whole pudding all to myself!”  It confirmed (as if it were needed) to my adult self that there is a good reason we don’t let kids eat a whole pudding all to themselves.

It all started because The Sweet and Savory Bite published this recipe for Amaretto Bread Pudding.  Now I’m not blaming the lovely Lizzy for what then ensued, nor am I saying her delicious and rather stylish pudding bears any relation to the gooey nursery food that I produced…I’m just sayin’ that her post was a catalyst… Until reading that post, I’d not thought about traditional English bread and butter pudding in years; once the memory had been awakened I could not get it to go back to sleep.

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The food week that was – 09/02/15

For the past week Barn has been away from home with work, and Petit Man has been mostly absent for meals, so I’ve been left to cater for one in the evenings.

This is a situation that tends to go one of two ways.  Either,

  • I take the opportunity to indulge myself, buying things things that the guys aren’t keen on or that would be cost prohibitive when feeding three but which are affordable for one (because I’m worth it! 😉 ), OR
  • I take the line of least resistance and have a lot of open-possibly heat-eat rubbish.

This time I managed to strike a reasonable(ish) balance.

Quiche and wedges - MondayMonday: Spinach, feta and red pepper quiche, potato wedges and a green salad drizzled with a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Halloumi wraps - TuesdayTuesday: Garlic and herb flour tortilla wraps, thickly spread with guacamole and salsa, filled with green salad and perfectly grilled halloumi (crispy on the outside, squeaky on the inside), served with roasted tomatoes on the vine.

On Wednesday I ate at work.

Cheesy beans and bacon butties - ThursdayThursday: I was very tired so made bacon sandwiches and bean stretch.  Bean stretch is the happy accident that occurs when you add a cheddar/mozzarella cheese mix to your baked beans, but go a little heavy on the mozzarella.

Friday: Barn came home and I welcomed him back with a watery, insipid and flavourless vegetable lasagne.  Once again I reminded myself of the chilled ready meal pasta dish rule…DO. NOT. BUY. IT!  It was so gross we binned it and went out for fish ‘n’ chips.  Nothing got photographed.

Saturday: Tex-Mex meal for Medieval’s birthday.  That’s was deliciousness, right there!

Sunday brunch - pastries, yoghurt, banana, juicePastries for brunch - SundaySunday: I had a splendid long lie-in then woke to find Barn had stopped off on his way back from the gym to pick up Sunday brunch components.  Companionable munching ensued.

Apple and mango fruit juice, peach yoghurt with sliced banana, and a selection of pastries (custard crown, pain au chocolat and cinnamon swirl).

‘Twas a good way to start a Sunday afternoon.

x