Fluffy Bacon Pancakes

DSC_0047

 

In your food processor, mix 135g SR flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, 130ml milk, 1 large egg (beaten), a tablespoon of butter (melted).  Leave to sit while you start grilling the bacon.

Put your frying pan over a medium heat.  When it starts to warm, rub a thin layer of butter over the base.  Use a dessertspoon to dod four smallish spoonfuls of the mixture onto the frying pan.  Turn over as soon as you see bubbles forming.  When both sides of the pancakes are golden, keep them warm in a low oven.  Smear your pan with butter between batches as necessary.

Serve with the bacon and maple syrup.

Advertisements

Vegetable Pakoras

Four or five large potatoes, diced

One onion (or three shallots), sliced or diced

Four or five handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped

Mix the vegetables in a large bowl.  Add half a teaspoon each of turmeric, ground coriander and chilli powder.  Add a rounded teaspoon each of ground cumin and sea salt.  Grind in some black pepper.  Mix well with your hands.  Add 300g of gram flour, mix, then add a few drops of water, mixing all the time, until you can form clumps with the mixture.

Heat up a large, deep-sided frying pan with oil.  When the oil is really hot, drop in four or five balls of the sticky vegetable mix (about a heaped tablespoon per pakora).  Cook for 4-5 minutes until nicely browned, then keep warm in the oven while you do the rest.

Baked Onions

Sophie Dahl’s ‘Voluptuous Delights’ has seen me through my whole shopping list and menu this week.  I can’t understand why this book is selling for £3.99 in bargain bookshops already – it’s wonderful!  Paris Mash on Monday, Aubergine Parmigiana on Tuesday, Grilled Salmon and Baked Onions on Wednesday…a meatless delight of a week.

I’ll certainly be making these again, as they were deliciously sweet and cheap to make.  Here is the recipe, slightly adapted.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Peel four smallish onions and boil them whole for twenty minutes, or until the centres are trying to burst out.

Cut them in half and place them inside-up into an ovenproof dish.  Individual enamel dishes are perfect.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Pour over about 150g single cream and sprinkle with up to 50g parmesan or grana padano.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and serve with grilled salmon, Sunday dinner, sausages, a pork chop, anything!

Goat’s Cheese Salad with Figs and Walnuts

You’ll need spinach, small ripe figs, walnuts, goat’s cheese, a lemon, some balsamic vinegar and olive oil, some chutney, a clove of garlic and a little French mustard.

Start by making the dressing.  Put the garlic clove, a dessertspoon of balsamic vinegar, the juice of half a lemon and a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in the mini-processor with half a teaspoon each of any nice chutney and mustard.  Whoosh them together.

Slice your goat’s cheese, one slice per salad and place each piece onto a small square of greaseproof paper.  Put them under a hot grill.

Scatter a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves over each plate and sprinkle over some of the dressing, a few walnuts and about three halved figs.

When the cheese is golden and bubbling, carry the greaseproof paper to the plate and slide the cheese onto the salad.

DSC_0006

Chicken Schnitzel

DSC_0033[1]

 

The perfect TV dinner for Epic Movie Night.

Take two chicken breasts and slice them very thinly (about half a centimetre thick).  Beat an egg in a flattish bowl and add a little salt and pepper.  Whizz up the end slice of a wholemeal loaf (not too fresh) in a mini-processor until it resembles, well, breadcrumbs.  Put the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.

Immerse the chicken slices in the egg, then press them onto the breadcrumbs until they are well covered.

Foam a small knob of butter in a large frying pan and add a tablespoon or two of oil.  Fry the chicken for about 3-4 minutes each side on a hottish hob until golden brown.  If in any doubt about whether they are cooked, cut in half to check, and if you like to be doubly sure, place in a medium oven for a few minutes.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

DSC_0125[1]

Fry a finely sliced onion with a bay leaf and 4 cloves in a mixture of hot oil and butter.  When it’s good and brown, add a tablespoonful of grated ginger and 3 chopped cloves of garlic.  Turn the heat to medium.

Now add 2 diced potatoes and stir through for a minute or two.  Add about 300g cauliflower florets or a mixture of broccoli and cauliflower.  Stir again.

Add a teaspoonful and a half of sea salt, some black pepper, a teaspoonful each of cumin seeds and turmeric.  Stir through, then add a sliced fresh green chilli.

Stir in half a tin of tomatoes and half a pint of water.  Add a drained tin of chickpeas.  Simmer with no lid for 15-20 minutes.  Add a teaspoonful of garam marsala at the end, and some chopped coriander.  Serve with yoghurt.

Omelette Arnold Bennett

DSC_0064[1]

Much as I love food, I think I’d be a bit miffed if I was more famous for eating a smoked haddock omelette than for writing ‘The Old Wives’ Tale’.  Arnold Bennett’s books don’t seem to be fashionable at the minute; I have no idea why not.

Anyway, if you like smoked haddock, and don’t mind the occasional rich omelette, you’ll love this.

Firstly, pop about 140g undyed, smoked haddock into a small pan with 250ml milk and simmer for 8-10 minutes until just cooked.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill, grate about a tablespoonful of cheese (I used Gran Padano but parmesan would be fine too) and chop a few chives and about half a tablespoon of parsley.

Lightly whisk 6 eggs with a small pinch of salt..

When the haddock is cooked, lift it out of the milk and flake into juicy pieces, retaining the milk.

Now, melt 40g butter in a pan with a dessertspoonful of cornflour, stirring all the time over a low heat.  When it has melted, add the warm milk and whisk over a medium heat until the sauce is thick, smooth and just bubbling.  Take it off the heat and stir in the parsley, the haddock, a very small pinch of salt and some freshly grated nutmeg.  Set aside.

Next, let a big knob of butter foam all over a medium-sized frying pan, then pour in the eggs.  When the omelette is practically cooked, take it off the heat and pour the sauce all over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese and grill until golden and delicious.  Throw over a few snipped chives.