Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Grandchildren and Cooking.

Meet the Grandchildren,

This is Elsa

And this is Maeve,

And in case you couldn't tell, they are both lovely.

We had a great few days with the family and managed to get a Skype call with George in Oz. As ever it was fantastic to see them all.

Back in Devon, I had to make some bread. But first, I needed to refresh my Sourdough Starters after a few days away. I couldn't use them to make bread straight away so I just added the discard to my Wholemeal dough at 20% (100g of starter to 500g of flour). They will add to the flavour while ordinary yeast does the rising.

The Wholemeal loaf was 500g flour 300g water, 50g Olive Oil, 100g Starter and 10g each of yeast and salt. I also put in 50g of mixed seeds.

Before 2nd Prove

Into the Oven

Perfect for Sandwiches

I had also found a recipe for a savoury loaf, made without yeast, using self-raising flour, milk and egg. The added ingredients were Peanuts, Silverskin Onions, Yeast extract and Cheese.
More of a batter than a dough it still rose and tasted superb.

For our evening meal, I'm cooking Salmon fillets over a mixture of Shallots, Potato, Raisins, Vinegar and Brown Sugar. We will have this with a salad and watercress.

The shallot mixture needs slow cooking to let the vinegar be absorbed by the raisins and soften the Potatoes and Shallots, about 2 hours at 160°C covered.

Halfway through give the mixture a good stir,

Then at the two-hour mark stir again and lay the Salmon fillets on top Add a drizzle of Olive Oil to the fish. You can see how the raisins have plumped up.

Cook for another twenty minutes until the Salmon is done.

Serve with the salad and enjoy.

Time to get back to writing.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Saffron Infused Fruit Buns

I do like the flavour that Saffron gives to bread, I used to make it a lot and whenever I go to see my daughter she asks for some of my Saffron Buns. Basically, they're just a teacake but made with milk instead of water. The milk is infused with a pinch of Saffron for 24 hours before you make the dough. I also dissolve the sugar into the milk to give a smoother mixture. I use whatever fruit I have to hand, this time it was a mixture of Cranberries, Flame Raisins and Sultanas.

Ingredients (Makes 16)

600g milk; infused with Saffron for 24 hours  
120g sugar dissolved into the milk
1000g flour
100g soft butter
500g mixed fruit
20g Salt
20g Instant Yeast

Add everything into your mixing bowl and make the dough as usual,  

and after bulk proofing; knock back and divide at 145g each.

Shape onto trays and set the oven temperature at 200°C

Prove for 40 minutes then bake for 20-22 minutes or until internal temperature is more than 95°C.

They will be quite dark as the sugar caramelises.

Let them cool a bit before you split and butter them.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Lamb Burgers and a quick meal

But before that, a picture of my daughter Naomi with her husband Eamon and the gorgeous Maeve.

She's just over two months old, bless.

Right then; to the food.

I had 250g of Lamb mince left over from my Lamb with spices meal of a few weeks ago. As there were some of the Cheese and Onion rolls left and we're trying to be healthy we thought we'd have Lamb burgers with salad. The healthy bit comes from the absence of fries!

To give the burgers a twist I took 50g of Sage and Onion Stuffing mix and added 2 tablespoons of homemade Mint sauce.

This I mixed into the meat, making two burgers.

To keep the fat content down I baked them for 25 minutes on a mesh over a pan at 180°C, all the fat drained out.

I made a salsa from Pepper, Onion, Carrot and Celery, dressing it with a mixture of Olive Oil, Agave, Balsamic Vinegar and Wholegrain Mustard.

The cooked burgers went onto the split rolls and was served with the salsa and some watercress.

The quick meal was for Wednesday, we had various appointments through the day, ending in a hospital visit for me to get the results from my scope. 

Informally I've been told everything is not too bad, this was to discuss the treatment plan.
It meant we would be out at evening meal time so we wanted a quick meal for lunch.

Instant Chickpea Korma with Almonds and Raisins. Not my normal sort of cooking but very effective in a hurry. I had a few spare onions and peppers from the salsa so I put them in to start things off, together with a chopped mushroom.

No finesse here, When they were soft I just tipped everything but the rice into the pan and heated it up. 

I didn't use all the Raisins or Almonds, just a few of each. 

The rice cooks in the bag in the microwave. And then it's ready. Add a homemade Onion Bhaji and some Mango Chutney and you're ready to go.

I also saw my first bluebell of the year when I was walking the dog. Had a job focusing on it in the breeze.

I think you get the idea.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A Walk up Yardes Lane

No words needed, just the pictures of a walk up Southdown Hill, with views over Torbay.