Pears poached in port..

Cooked this tonight…

Ingredients :

3 small or 2 large pears

Shop bought pastry, ready rolled

1/4 bottle of port

Double cream

1 egg yolk

Method:

Core the pears as necessary, slice into small pieces.

Simmer the pears in a pan with the port until the pears have softened and the port has reduced and almost dried up.

Place the pastry on baking parchment or grease proof paper on a baking tray.

Cut the pastry into four squares, place the diced pears in the centre of each square and then fold the pastry up around them. Brush with egg yolk to glaze.

Put in a medium to hot oven (I used gas mark 6) for twenty or twenty five minutes or until they are golden brown. I found mine had a bit of a soggy bottom.

Serve when cooled with a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves four (unless you are feeling greedy!).

Just making a trifle

I usually make a trifle at Christmas, but I’m doing it for New Years Eve and Day this time (so it will be a two year old trifle!).

This is only the start, but it looked so pretty. I’ve put a pint of sugar free rasperry jelly (made up with half a pint if boiling water and a quarter of a pint of cold water and a quarter of a pint if sherry. (jelly is not the American version of jam, but is it called jello). I added chopped strawberries and whole blackberries to the liquid. Any slightly mouldy ones are going on the bird feeding table tomorrow, they have been washed and are back in the fridge.

Tomorrow I will add strawberry blancmange (a type of flavoured custard), as I don’t like custard which some people use. I make that up with a pint of milk and sweetener ( I avoid putting sugar in). Finally I whip double cream, (heavy cream?) about three quarters of a pint till it makes stiff peaks. I might add spare blackberries for decoration. I might take a photo tommorow when it’s finished. X

Turkey curry from leftovers.

I used up the leftover turkey tonight.

Ingredients :

An onion

Half a tin of tomatoes

Half a butternut squash

Chopped leftover turkey

Half a jar of Rogan josh curry sauce.

Method:

I just fried off a large onion, then added half a can of tomatoes. I put half a butternut squash (deseeded and peeled) in the microwave for a few minutes. Then I chopped it into chunks and added it to the pan. Finally I chopped the leftover turkey into it and poured over half a jar of rogan josh curry sauce. I then cooked everything on a low heat for twenty minutes to make sure everything was piping hot. Result. A tasty meal.

Curry (with or without chicken)

I decided to make a curry tonight. It’s not a proper one and not pretty, but it was tasty.

Ingredients :

Four chicken thighs

Half a butternut squash

Half an onion

A small head of broccoli

A courgette (zucchini?)

Two fresh tomatoes

Half a large (or a small), sweet pepper

Three cloves of garlic

Olive oil

Half a jar of tomato and garlic pasta sauce

Two or three teaspoons of curry sauce

Small pinch of salt.

Method:

Roast the chicken thighs in an oven with the half butternut squash cut into half. Put on gas 7, or a medium high heat for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile chop up the onion roughly. Put on a low heat in a frying pan. Soften in oil and add crushed garlic. Cut the courgette into small cubes, add to the pan. Then cut two tomatoes up and add together with the curry powder. Cut up the half sweet pepper and add to the pan. Finally cut up and add the broccoli.

In the meantime the butternut squash should have softened in the oven. Remove from the baking tray and put the chicken pieces back in for about another twenty minutes (if you want a vegetable curry just don’t cook any chicken).

Cut the rind off the squash, then dice the pulp. Add to the pan, add the pasta sauce and cover with a lid. Simmer on a low heat while the chicken finishes cooking.

Finally take the chicken thighs out of the oven. Remove the skin and discard if you don’t like it. Carefully cut the meat off the bone (the chicken will be hot). Make sure the juices are clear, if it is slightly pink, you can put it in the microwave for a minute to make sure it’s cooked through. Cut up the chicken into bits and mix into the curry. Dish out onto plates. Add a small amount of salt to season.

I like this because of the texture of the squash. If you don’t want meat, it makes a pleasant meal. You could add a dollop of plain yoghurt. Also you don’t need rice with it so it’s less carbohydrate.

Serves two or three.

🌰 Chesnuts

Memory from seven years ago on Facebook. Hubby decided to bake some Chestnuts- but they were not cooked so he put them back in the oven- 10 minutes later- BANG! One had exploded, he was shouting ow- so I came down to find him taking the roasting dish out of the oven- and using my jumper as an oven glove, he proceeded to try and break them open first with the garlic press, then with the nutcrackers- the chestnut did not pop- it exploded all over the work surface, I grabbed some kitchen towel and we used that to wrap the superheated chestnuts to break them open….

Apple and custard treat

I had leftover cooking apples from this years crop that were starting to go soft. I didn’t want to cook a cake so I decided to poach them, with a twist…..

Ingredients:

2 or 3 cooking apples

A half cup of diet ginger ale/ ginger ale or water and a couple of teaspoons of sugar or a small amount of sweetner.

Custard powder

Milk

Sweetner or sugar

Method:

Cook the chopped apples with the diet ginger ale (or ginger ale or water and sugar), choose which you prefer, the ginger ale does give the apples sweetness and a bit more of a bite.

The apples will soften and as they do will give off liquid, stop the cooking when they are still slightly firm.

Put into serving dishes.

Mix up the powdered custard as described on the pack. Substitute the liquid from the apples for some of the milk that is needed for the custard. Top up with milk to the desired amount. (I add less for thicker custard). Add sugar or sweetner to taste.

Once the custard mix has been boiled to the right thickness pour over the apples

Serve

Result, a tasty treat for tea. The ginger ale does add an extra bit of flavour.

You could probably make further substitutes to create a vegan treat.

Beefburgers in Yorkshire puddings

What to cook for tea?

Beefburgers, roasted in the oven because my grill is broken and I didn’t want to fry them. Chilli pepper, garlic, a sweet pepper, an onion, all chopped up and sautĂ©ed. Then I added half a tin of tomatoes, some fresh basil and a stock cube. In the last four or five minutes I popped the store bought Yorkshire puddings into the oven to heat them through. I put the veg inside the puddings and put the burgers on top… The only thing missing? No mustard!

Another cake?

I really want to make another apple cake but I keep getting distracted. I have paintings to take to a gallery who are going to try to sell them on line for me. I have to get my cats flea treatments from the vets. I have online lectures to attend. I don’t know how much longer the apples will last. Yesterday I used a large one to make apple sauce. I added cider instead of water and cooked the fruit slowly over a low heat v gradually mashing down the apples. Delicious with cream.

X

Forgot

While the salmon and courgette with pasta sauce was cooking on the stove the mushrooms with garlic remained still and solid? It was only after ten minutes of stirring them with chopped garlic and olive oil that I realised that the gas hadn’t lit, even though I’d switched it on! Luckily it didn’t take too long to heat them through once I did ignite the gas.

I also added some tiny pasta flower shapes into the sauce to thicken it slightly. It ended up very tasty with the pasta being slightly aldente. It was good to have the mushrooms seperate. I would normally have just thrown them into one pan, but I wanted to seperate the textures and tastes. It was a good meal when I finally switched on the gas ring!