Tag Archives: water

keep calm and c[u]rry on…

With a serious want for a wonderful Indian dish, but a lack of desire to go out for dinner on a Monday night… I decided to browse through some cookbooks and with what I had in the house, whip up a quick pork curry dish served with a coconut rice.
Green curry paste, sliced scallions and olive oil were the building blocks to what would soon be a delicious meal. After a quick sauté of the above, thinly sliced pork was tossed in and stirred around. Once the pork was no longer pink, in went some coconut milk, some shredded coconut, and water.
As soon as the whole lot was boiling, it all went down a notch, soybeans and sugar snap peas were added and it was time for a slow simmer to let everyone get to know each other.
After roughly twenty minutes, it was time to plate and surrender to this luxurious and flavor-laden dinner!

at a low simmer…
-R

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the cure for a deep freeze!

With a bleak and blustery day upon us, there was no question as to what to have for dinner. After raiding both the pantry and crisper a menagerie of elements were strewn across my island.
After a quick dice of two onions, a fine mincing of some garlic cloves and a rough chop of a carrot they were banished to my cast iron pot to begin to sweat down. While my veg was cooking away, some leftover ham was sliced up to join everyone in the pot, along with some luxurious organic split peas.
Once everything was thoroughly combined, some homemade chicken stock, water and salt was swirled in and the entire ‘soon to be’ soup was set to simmer away until thick and creamy!
As soon as the soup was ready, it was ladled lovingly into bowls, drizzled with some chili oil and topped with crispy noodles rather than croutons.
This meaty, slightly spicy and satisfying meal hit the spot and warmed us right up!

at a low simmer…
-R

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Freshly baked beauty…

With a stormy day forecasted today and a very sick other half, I felt the need to stay put…
After playing chauffeur to the doctor, once home I decided to make a loaf of bread, from my favorite ‘bread man’ Paul Hollywood, that I haven’t made in quite some time. This loaf is absolutely gorgeous when baked, but just so simple to prepare…
A combination of bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water was kneaded in my mixer until pulled together and completely incorporated. Once smoothed and slightly elastic, the dough was set to rise in a lightly oiled bowl. The first rise took roughly three hours… After that rise, the dough was ‘knocked back’ and formed into a cylindrical shape. The dough was placed on a sheet tray and covered for a second rise. For this rise, I allowed the dough to nap for another three hours to develop an even stronger flavor.
Upon completion of its second rise, a spritz of water, dusting of flour and four deep slashes prepared this beautiful ‘bloomer’ for its bake. The scent of fresh bread baking wafted throughout the house and made the urge for a warm slice inevitable! As soon as baking finished off, a crusty golden and luxurious loaf emerged, and so did a slice to make certain it was as delightful as I expected…
Tonight this enticing bloomer will get a nice toast and slather of Nutella for some naughty goodness!

at a low simmer…
-R

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who you calling honey!!

So after an evening of rising away, this morning was the bake-off of my gorgeous lavender honey and toasted almond sourdough!
This is not a bread that you suddenly think… ‘I think I’ll whip up a loaf of sourdough bread’, since this is a plan-ahead idea! Actually at least a week since you have to prep up a starter for the sourdough. I have a starter that I made months ago slumbering away in the fridge, however that is made using wholemeal flour, while for this loaf, I made a new starter of white bread flour.
Once my newest starter was fragrant and active, it was time to get baking! The recipe I used was that of Paul Hollywood and like most of his recipes, this one did not disappoint!!
It started with strong bread flour mixed with my starter and salt, along with some tepid water to bring everything all together. Once combined, a good kneading was necessary to activate this bad boy and give it that rise it so desperately needs. After its first rise [five hours], the dough is formed out into a square, spread with lavender honey [see my earlier post on this] and scattered with toasted sliced almonds. The square dough is rolled into a cylindrical form and rolled into a ‘crust’ of more toasted sliced almonds… After the loaves are covered with the almonds, they are off to rest for an additional nine hours [this was the overnight part] to rise again!
Once morning arrived, it was off to bake in a 375 degree oven for thirty-five minutes until golden and when tapped… hollow!
A slight cool down, a beautiful tear and it was time to devour with a luxurious cup of lady grey tea…

**if you are interested in the recipe, you can find it in the Paul Hollywood cookbook, ‘How to Bake’. I highly recommend the book**

at a low simmer…
-R

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A rainy day masterpiece…

So on this yet again, rainy day… I decided to pull another interesting dish from my new cookbook! This recipe had quite a few steps involved so the prep work began in the early AM hours.
The entire bang started by marinating a boneless leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, extra virgin, salt and crushed peppercorns for roughly eight hours.
While my meat was marinating, I began mixing rye, white and wholemeal flours, along with salt and then yeast in my mixer. To pull everything together, in went some water. Everything was kneaded and then it went into an oiled mixing bowl and set off to rise. As soon as the dough rose, I stretched it out into a rectangle, made some imprints with my fingertips and then pricked the dough with a fork. Again it was time for another rise and then a bake! The baking time was only thirty minutes and then off to cool.
While my bread cooled, the lamb was grilled until perfectly cooked… Then it was onto the fun part, to serve this gorgeous dinner up! The freshly baked bread [trencher as the recipe is called] is decorated watercress, haricot vert, scallions and radishes. On top of this vibrancy, were slices of the succulent lamb, along with its sexy juices…
As the finishing touch, a dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, salt and english mustard.
The flavors were incredible… earthy from the rosemary, citrusy from the lemon zest, cool yet spicy from the dressing, while the ‘trencher’ tasted nutty and light, while soaking up all the goodness…

at a low simmer…
-R

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A rainy day masterpiece…

So on this yet again, rainy day… I decided to pull another interesting dish from my new cookbook! This recipe had quite a few steps involved so the prep work began in the early AM hours.
The entire bang started by marinating a boneless leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, extra virgin, salt and crushed peppercorns for roughly eight hours.
While my meat was marinating, I began mixing rye, white and wholemeal flours, along with salt and then yeast in my mixer. To pull everything together, in went some water. Everything was kneaded and then it went into an oiled mixing bowl and set off to rise. As soon as the dough rose, I stretched it out into a rectangle, made some imprints with my fingertips and then pricked the dough with a fork. Again it was time for another rise and then a bake! The baking time was only thirty minutes and then off to cool.
While my bread cooled, the lamb was grilled until perfectly cooked… Then it was onto the fun part, to serve this gorgeous dinner up! The freshly baked bread [trencher as the recipe is called] is decorated watercress, haricot vert, scallions and radishes. On top of this vibrancy, were slices of the succulent lamb, along with its sexy juices…
As the finishing touch, a dressing of crème fraiche, lemon juice, salt and english mustard.
The flavors were incredible… earthy from the rosemary, citrusy from the lemon zest, cool yet spicy from the dressing, while the ‘trencher’ tasted nutty and light, while soaking up all the goodness…

at a low simmer…
-R

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hands off my buns!

For a nod to the upcoming Easter holiday, I decided to whip up a batch of hot cross buns… these spicy orbs of golden delight take a bit of time to prepare, but the outcome is entirely worth the effort!
The standards for creating these little heartbreakers are flour, sugar, salt, some mixed spices [pumpkin pie spice works as well], yeast, butter, an egg, whole milk, water, raisins, currants, as well as lemon and orange zest!
Everything for the dough is combined in the mixer, minus the fruits and zests… After a good ten-twelve minutes of kneading in the mixer, the fruits and zests are added in until incorporated. Once combined, a layer of plastic wrap covers the dough and it’s off for a nap in a warm spot until the dough rises in volume…
The dough, once risen, is separated and rolled into mounds, then set aside to rise again. As soon as they have risen the second time, a cross is piped along the tops of each bun and it’s off to get baking!
As soon as the buns are golden, a quick brushing of a syrupy glaze is gently slathered over each to finish off these treasures!
Warm out of the oven with a spread of butter or preserves [or hell both] is the best way to enjoy… guaranteed these don’t make it until Sunday!

at a low simmer…
-R

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green soup and ham…

Since I’m still taking it easy when it comes to food, I decided that a nice homemade split pea soup was the perfect meal.
After rinsing off some vibrant split peas, I cut up one onion and two cloves of garlic. The onion and garlic were sautéed in some olive oil until softened. Once softened, in went one quart of water, along with one quart of chicken broth, a bouillon cube and of course the stars of the dish… the split peas.
The soup was brought to a boil and then set to a simmer until the split peas began to open and thicken the soup. After tasting for seasoning, in went some cooked ham for an added smokey flavor and then it was time to plate, rather bowl up this warming goodness!
To top off this soup, homemade croutons made with some Italian bread, olive oil and a touch of sea salt.
The soup warmed us up on this chilly night, while soothing our tummies and giving us the nutrition we needed!

at a low simmer…
-R

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simple saturday supper…

So with Saturday night upon us, the question always arises… ‘What’s for dinner’. After a pretty exhausting day, and little desire to get dressed up to go out, I decided dinner would be home cooked!
A rich pasta ‘bake’ from one of my fave home cooks, Nigella Lawson… after looking through her newest cookbook, the whole wheat pasta with brussels sprouts, cheese and potato really stood out. I have made a dish like this in the past with some slightly different ingredients, but decided to give it a go…
The process is as simple, as simple can be… in one pot of boiling, super salty water the pasta, brussels sprouts and potato are cooked together. A slight amount of the pasta liquid is reserved before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, I cubed up some gruyere cheese and measured out some fresh ricotta. This lovely, creamy mixture was tossed with the drained pasta, brussels sprouts and potatoes.
After everything was coated, it was into a baking dish, drizzled with some oil, sage and a heavy hand of grated pecorino. Baked for roughly thirty minutes, then a slight resting period and it was time to eat!
The flavors all complimented one another and made me question… how could this possibly serve anymore than two??

at a low simmer…
-R

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dinner was [soup]erb!

With a wickedly bone chilling day to deal with, it seemed only appropriate to crank out a hearty pot of soup for dinner! Something to warm up the soul and fill up our bellies couldn’t be made quick enough…
I started by chopping up an onion, mincing some garlic and slicing some carrots. The veggies all were sautéed in a heavy pot with some olive oil until softened and the house smelled amazing. After sautéing the veggies, in went some sliced smoked turkey sausage until cooked through. Once the veggies and sausage were ready, in went the dried split peas, homemade chicken stock and water. A quick stir, then the lid went on and the soup simmered until completely cooked. To top off this luxurious soup… homemade croutons.
The first spoonful instantly warmed us up and made us forget the chilly, deep freeze that was rolling through our town!

at a low simmer…
-R

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