Friday, 11 May 2012

More Bits and Pieces

I thought I’d try a recipe from one of my vast collection of bread books, so for a start I got out Peter Reinharts “Artisan Bread Every Day”

and tried what he calls biscuits. Really they are a kind of rough croissant pastry in that you use grated butter and lots of laminating, but no yeast, only Baking Powder. As it’s bound to be copyright I mustn’t give the game away, but they were very nice. He also suggests various sweet or savoury fillings which I may try.


Last Friday, we found a local food market in Torquay, wow lots of good stuff, a particular mention to The sausage Shed for their excellent Pork and Marmalade bangers, and a spice company from Falmouth in Cornwall who produce some interesting blends.
In the interests of research I have brought a load of stuff, which I will be testing over the coming weeks.

In the meantime I have bottled my wines,

Ready for Winter's Evenings

 clearing space for the summer’s crops, our Elder tree is just starting to produce flowers, it’s just a pity that the torrential rain has not let up, as I’m going to have a job drying any for later use.

Leading on from the bread course, I have made both soft rolls and baguettes, also a potato and caramelised onion bread, more of which later.

A while ago I brought some local Devon Ruby beef steaks, and we decided to have them on Monday, with potato wedges and balsamic onion relish. So I got the steaks out of the freezer and left them to defrost, when I opened the bag ready to marinate them, I found that I had got out half a kilo of braising steak out by mistake.

Spot the Difference - Braising Steak

Spot the Difference - Rump Steak

 Clearly this was not going to fry very well.
So I emptied the freezer and found the steaks, in an identical bag! It was hurriedly defrosted. Dinner was a little late but the wait was worth it. And I will slow cook the braising steak with veg for later

 I made pre-ferments for both Baguettes and Morning Rolls Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday morning they were both bubbling away.

Morning Rolls Pre-ferment

Baguette Pre-ferment

The finished articles looked alright and tasted excellent. It never ceases to amaze me how you can take the same 4 ingredients and make such a variety of things, all tasting completely different.
Baguette Dough

Rolls Ready to Bake

Baguettes Ready to Bake



For my last trick, I had some caramelised onions left over, and I part roasted a potato (Cubed) in olive oil. I added these into half of the baguette dough as I folded it, until I had a loaf. Good with soup.

Dough with Potato

And Onion


I feel so much more confident with the bread making since I have been on the course, I have found it so much better learning from watching, as opposed to from a book, and you can compare results and discuss them.

Salmon with Shallots and Cider Vinegar is a thing I do inspired by Nigel Slater, basically it’s a bed of Shallots, New Potatoes, Raisons and Brown Sugar,


And Potatoes

Raisins and Sugar

all mixed with garlic and oil and Cider Vinegar. This is slow roasted for about an hour and a half stirring a couple of times,

After 90 Minutes
Add Salmon

Et Voila!

you then place the salmon fillets on top and give it an extra twenty minutes. The veg are caramelised and when serving the juice is poured over the fish.

To use up the Roast Pork from Sunday I made a Stir Fry with Peppers, onion and soft noodles,

Shread the Pork

 for a sauce I mixed equal parts of Plum Sauce, Sweet Chilli and Crunchy Peanut Butter, adding this for the last bit of frying.

In our front garden there was a flower box attached to one of the posts on the deck.
However it started to fall apart this year,

so a replacement was required. It was actually dry on Thursday, so I broke up one of the old pallets that I had “acquired” and made a new one.

Unfortunately it started raining just as Yvonne was filling it with compost, so the planting will have to wait. It’s the same with all the rest of the plants, both the flowers and the veg, the weather has just been so bad that the conservatory is full of stuff waiting to go out.

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