As you may have guessed, this is a blog about cooking - in particular my cooking. It has been mentioned to me several times that I seem a little obsessed with food, so I have decided to blog about my menus, my successes, my failures and anything else that springs to mind
Monday - Fish pie, leeks and carrots
Tuesday - Lamb kebabs and salad
Wednesday - Pork chop, mash potato and peas
Thursday - Lasagne, garlic bread and sald
Friday - Chicken fajitas
Saturday - Chinese feast
Sunday - Roast chicken and all the trimmings
Yep - yet another cake from the humminbird Cake days book. If you like cake, and you like apple crumble, then this is the cake for you. Its cake with apple crumble on top! Eat it hot, cold, with a cup of tea, covered in custard, all will work well.
Monday - Chicken madras, rice and naan bread
Tuesday - Sticky pork ribs, potato salad and leaf salad
Wednesday - Grilled salmon, potatoes and peas
Thursday - Slow cooked chilli con carne and rice
Friday - Fishcakes, chips and beans
Saturday - Home made hamburgers, jacket potato and salad
Sun - Roast with all the trimmings (joint to be decided)
I thought I would show how I make onigiri. Onigiri are Japanese rice balls, often eaten as a snack, or with a bento lunch. These ones have been made mainly for my daughter, but as I made so much rice, I thought I would do some adult sized ones as well.
Onigiri are traditionally triangular in shape, and it is MUCH easier if you have a mould. You can shape them by hand however.
Tuna and broccoli onigiri
Ingredients (for 5 large and 8 small onigiri)
2 cups (not mugs) of sushi rice
3 cups of water
1 tsp bonito flakes (optional if for babies)
1 small tin of tuna in springwater (the individual portion size)
5 pieces of broccoli, cooked al dente and finely chopped
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp salt (reduce if for babies)
1 tsp caster sugar
wasabe coated sesame seeds (optional)
1. Wash the sushi rice thoroughly until the water is clear. This may take 4 or 5 rinses.
2. In a saucepan with a lid, put the rice, the bonito flakes and the cold water and put the lid on firmly.
3. Put on the heat. As soon as it comes to the boil, reduce to a simmer and time for 10 minutes. Do not take off the lid at any time.
4. Once the 10 minutes are up, turn the heat off, and leave the rice in the saucepan with the lid on for a further 10 minutes. This will fluff up the grains in the residual steam.
5. whilst the rice is resting, in a small pan, put the mirin, rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt (if using) and heat softly to dissolve the sugar. This is your sushi vinegar mix.
6. Once the rice has finished resting, put into a wide based dish. Sprinkle some of the sushi vinegar mix whilst turning the rice with a spatula. Be careful not to squash the rice, you do not want it turning into sticky mush. Keep working the rice until all of the grains are coated in the sushi vinegar, and the rice is only luke warm.
7. Keep turning, whilst mixing in the tuna and broccoli until it is thoroughly mixed.
8. If you have a mould, fill to approx 3/4 full, then put the top on and press. Turn out onto greaseproof paper or a cake paper case. If you don't have a mould, take a small handful, and shape between your two hands in your palms.
9. If you are coating with sesame seeds, pour the seeds on a plate, and rest each side of the onigiri in the sesame seeds (they will easily stick).
They are now ready to be enjoyed!
There are many other ways of making onigiri, with a pickled plum in the middle, seaweed on the edges, spicy, plain, they are only limited by your imagination.
I am a fan of mash potato. A big fan. Occasionally, we even have a bit leftover at the end of a mash meal. There are many ways to make use of the leftover potato, of which here is a list of the ones I can think of right now :
Bubble and squeek (leftover mash potato and vegetables fried together)
Shepherds/cottage pie (use that left over mash to make the topping for your next meal)
Fishcakes (any flaky fish mixed with the mash, coated with beaten egg and breadcrumbs)
Piped into the shape of choice and then grilled or roasted until crispy
Croquettes (rolled into a sausage shape, coated in beaten egg and breadcrumbs)
Today I'm going to focus on croquettes. In the UK potato croquettes are reasonably well known. In Spain and Belgium they often have additions in the filling such as cheese, prawns or chicken. In the Netherlands croquettes tend to be filled with a meat ragu.
The ones I have made today are rather plain, as they have been made for my 7 month old daughter - tuna croquettes.
As much leftover mash as you have (if for a baby without any salt in)
A tin of tuna in springwater (again avoid brine if for a baby) - you are aiming for approx 1/4 to 1/3 of the total volume to be tuna
Finely chopped spring onion
Finely chopped red chilli (optional)
1 egg beaten
Breadcrumbs ( I process any stale home made bread I have left and keep in a jar)
Sunflower or other tasteless oil for frying
1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C
2. In a large bowl combine your mash, tuna, pepper, spring onions and chilli if using. Add salt to taste if for adults.
3. in a small bowl beat the egg, and put a layer of breadcrumbs on a plate.
4. Take a small amount of the mix and form into a sausage shape. Not too long, and it is worth working it in your hands first so that it binds well together.
5. Coat the croquette in the egg and then cover in breadcrumbs.
6. Lay onto a baking tray and repeat with the rest of the mix.
7. In a shallow frying pan put the oil and put onto a medium hot heat
8. Lightly fry the croquettes in batches just to seal them and to get a golden colour to the breadcrumbs. The aim is not to cook them through at this stage.
9. Ones they have all been sealed and browned, put back onto the baking tray and put into the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce or tomato sauce and a salad
Monday - Lamb chops, new potatoes and peas
Tuesday - Jacket potato with cheese, coleslaw and salad
Wednesday - Chinese baked beans and rice
Thursday - Chicken madras and rice
Friday - Scallop, prawn and pea risotto
Saturday - Steak and mash
Sunday - Yaki udon and gyoza
Had another baking day today, so grabbed the Hummingbird cookbook and got to work. First of all the savoury - I'm not a fan of savoury cakes, but my husband is willing to try (nearly) anything. The first batch was a cheese, sweetcorn and chilli muffin.
They were made according to the recipe - verdict from Bart? They need a little something extra, maybe salt. The recipe only asks for 1/8th of a teaspoon, so next time I will try a little more and see if it helps.
Next was the sweet. Here I chose the red velvet cupcakes - what seems to be Hummingbirds signature cupcake. It was the first time I had used soda bicarb and vinegar as the raising agent, but they came out very well if I do say so myself!
Verdict? The recipe makes too much frosting, and the frosting is a bit too sweet for my taste, so will attempt to reduce this next time. The cake itself is lovely and light - and very very red.
A week ago I treated myself to a lovely Dualit hand mixer and a new cook book - the Hummingbird Cake Days book. As its mothers day, and I get to do what I like I decided to do some baking. The very first recipe in the book is a variation on one of my favorite desserts - Tiramisu - so today I have made Tiramisu cupcakes.
They are definitely a treat, with the amount of cream, sugar and mascarpone in them!
For a special occasion treat these are very worthwhile.