Thai food

We went to Sawadee Thai taste restaurant in Stoke tonight as the owner, Apple, has just come back from Thailand.

The food was good, with friendly service and it was not too expensive despite all the increases in the cost of living at the moment. It’s amazing how food from different cultures tastes. I think it’s down to the different spices ot amounts of spice each culture uses. I like mild curry and sticky rice.

So if you happen to be in the area and like Thai food why not try it out?

Comfort food…

Oatcakes are comfort food for me. Warm and sustaining. My hubby went out to the oatcake shop and got us some cheese and bacon oatcakes for breakfast because I’m not feeling well (I’ve done a lateral flow test today and it’s negative so I think I’ve got a cold, sore throat, sniffles and aches). I added the dots of brown sauce to make a smiley face. A Stoke on Trent /Staffordshire delicacy, oatcakes are our pancake / tortilla /crepes. You can eat them savory or with things like jam and butter. Our oatcakes are big and floppy, not like Scottish oatcakes which are far smaller and drier.

Sweet apples, Wassail style.

I decided to stew four apples that were starting to soften. I wanted to use them up and also half a tub of clotted cream.

Ingredients :

Four medium sized eating apples

A couple of teaspoons of sucralose based sweetener (or sugar to taste).

A level teaspoon of cinnamon powder.

A single measure of whisky, or you could substitute a small amount of lemon or orange juice.

About three or four tablespoons of water to stop the apples burning onto the pan.

A tablespoonful of clotted cream or whipped cream.

I roughly cored and chopped the apples and left the skin on. I put them in a pan with a little boiling water to stop the apple flesh burning. I cooked the apples for about 15 to 20 minutes till they softened. Stirring and mashing them until they were a chunky pulp.

I added a couple of teaspoons of sucralose based sweetener to make the apples less sharp. Then I added a single measure of whisky and a level teaspoonful of cinnamon and cooked the mix for a couple minutes more. You could substitute fruit juice for the whisky and leave out the cinnamon if you don’t like it.

Serve hot in a bowl with the clotted cream or whipped cream dolloped on top.

This reminds me of the Wassails we usually go on in January. They are to celebrate the local apple trees and wish for a good crop of apples the following autumn.

Oil painting?

Someone just put a comment on my Instagram account saying this combination of photos looks like an oil painting? It made me think about cooking. If something looks nice and colourful it should also be tasty. A collection of colours, textures, and the vessel the food is in all must have an effect on the psychology of how you taste and feel about a meal or a snack. I’m lucky to have enough to eat and a good choice of ingredients. I wish more people could have the chance to share.

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!).

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.

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.

Easy dessert

Ingredients :

Two croissants,

One Banana

Half a tub of extra thick double cream

Sugar or sweetner to taste.

A few raspberries for decoration.

Method :

Take the two croissants, cut them in half horizontally. Slice a banana in half lengthways. Place one half in each croissant. Sprinkle with a little sugar or sweetner. Dollop the thick cream on top of the banana, then place the top of the croissant back on top. Serve as it is or with a few raspberries on the plate. Tasty and easy.

Serves two.

Youcan substitute whipping cream or squirty cream if you want. X

Apple and Raspberry cake

A little bit flat, but I cooked this in a flan case.

Ingredients (approx amounts)

8oz self raising flour

4oz butter/ margarine

two tablespoonfuls sweetener (or 4oz sugar)

three eggs

two tablespoons milk

pinch of salt

large cooking apple peeled and cored

packet of raspberries.

I put the self raising flour in a bowl and then put bits of butter in plus the sweetener, then with a metal spoon I broke the fat up more, a pinch of salt, then crumbled the mix between my fingers so that it looked like breadcrumbs.

I made a dip in the mix and added the eggs, slowly stirring it in and trying to keep air in the batter, I added a bit of semi-skimmed milk to soften it more.

I added the apple slices and the raspberries to the cake batter so the fruit was evenly mixed into it. Then I poured the batter into the flan case which I had buttered.

I put the cake in an oven, gas mark 4, for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes.

It came out nice and moist, and it wasn’t completely cooled when we tore into it!

Note I used self raising flour that contains wheat, milk and eggs that can be allergens, butter which may not be in your diet and sweetener that you can cook with because I try to make sugar free cakes.

Made my own Tiramisu.

_20190827_171427_20190827_171349_20190827_171242

I decided I wanted to make my own Tiramisu with no sugar.

Ingredients :

5 or 6 tablespoon fuels amaretto liqueur,

1 small tub of mascapone cheese,

1 teaspoon of granulated sweetener – the sort you can cook with (sucralose type)

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of coffee powder.

Layered on top of bananas ( per person)

Method :

Chop the bananas into slices and put in bowls.  

Put mascapone cheese in a seperate bowl, add 4 or 5 tablespoonfulls of amaretto liqueur. Drizzle half a tablespoon of it onto each bowl of bananas.

Stir the liqueur into the cheese then sprinkle the sweetener, the cocoa and the coffee into the mix. Stir in together.

Sprinkle a little cocoa over the bananas and place half the mascapone mix on each portion of bananas.

Sprinkle a little cocoa on top.

Serve

Hope this is OK, it’s totally made up, but I hope if you make it you enjoy it.

X