Friday 21 October 2011

Fruit Cobbler

I've recently really got into twitter, and I love following other foodies, and then I add their blogs to my gReader on my HTC 'phone to peruse when feeding the baby, or whenever I have time.
A blog I found recently is which is really enjoyable and fun to read, and most notably has recipes I would actually try and amazingly, I can even remember where I saw that recipe that sounded interesting for once!

A few days ago I saw a really simple recipe for a kind of baked pudding they refer to as a cobbler. Now I've always thought of a cobbler as a dish with a sort of scone topping, and this is a kind of batter that becomes like a sort of dough or clafoutis, but it definitely works, and is really tasty.

However, due to other forgetfulness of mine, I decided to tweak it, and I changed it to half buttermilk and half milk in the batter, simply because I bought a big litre carton of buttermilk, because I saw one for the first time, not just a silly tiny pot of the cultured stuff, and at the time I had it in my head that I'd seen a really interesting sounding cake recipe or similar that needed 500ml of buttermilk and I had bookmarked it on my 'phone idly, while at the same time acknowledging to myself that I might never make this because one can't always find buttermilk, let alone in larger quantities.

Of course in the interim I accidentally cleared the data on my 'phone Internet browser, and have no idea what that recipe was now anyway! Typical me, I really do read too many recipes!

Anyway, so what I made today was as follows:

I buttered my pyrex 4 person dish.
I tipped in 2 mugsful (small mugs, more like a cupsize) of a mix of frozen raspberries and frozen blueberries because that is what I happened to have to hand, but any frozen, canned or fresh fruit would work.
I then used the same mug/cup to measure 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar and half a cup of milk and half a cup of buttermilk into a bowl. I then added a quarter of a teaspoon of baking powder and mixed these all up, not worrying about a few lumps, and poured the batter over the fruit.

This was then baked at 180 degrees for 40 minutes, and served with some cream. We had the squirty fresh variety today much to the kids' amusement!

Very satisfying. And the first day in ages I haven't wanted to snack again later in the evening.

"something chicken with rice"

Probably my favourite meal is generally going to be something with rice, probably with chicken, maybe a spicey or a creamy sauce and some greens to go with it all.

So with Papa's supermarket heavily promoting a half price chicken breast pack offer to celebrate their new more freedom food friendly ethos, we decided to treat outselves for once. I never buy breast as it can become dry and is normally too expensive, but it's what the kids and the ex love and it is admittedly easy to work with.

This time I fried up a chopped onion with a few chopped garlic cloves and then when soft and fragrant, I added a teaspoon of cumin, and one of cinnamon. Then I fried the cubed up chicken pieces in this and sprinkled on some Marigold and poured in a little QuickCup water once the pieces were browned and coated in the spices.

It was then bubbled on the hob til cooked through. Really simple and tasty served with rice and a big pointy cabbage shredded up and steamed and buttered.

Monday 17 October 2011

Suriname food at Big Green Bookshop monthly local market

The fabulous Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green has been hosting a monthly mini local market for a few months, and we've planned to visit even though it is on a Sunday morning, and we are normally at Mass.
However, we decided to skip Mass a week (shock horror) and pop down and support this super community effort.
Egged on by some lovely tweeting from the shop's co-owner, we arrived to be greeted by a woman carrying samples of cookies & cakes. We decided these were delicious and worth coming back to after lunch. The delicate spicy sweet tangy scents from the next stall heralded the exciting Foxy Suriname cuisine - a choice of salt cod, chicken or Pom & chicken in a baguette with pickled cucumber. Pom is a root veg unique to Suriname, pounded into a kind of mash. The photo shows the stall with the lovely cook.
There were also cakes, cookies, bread, eggs, jams, quince preserves, local honey, knitted novelties and cross stitched gifts on sale.
Oh, and books. It was a lovely morning, the Pom baguette filled me up even with my breastfeeding hunger, the people were lovely, and the kids even remained happy. If only it were on til later in the day, I'd be sure to go every month.

Monday 10 October 2011

spinach pulao with spicy scrambles

On a damp Saturday afternoon, I fancied something a bit different from the usual toast and ham and cheese lunches, so I thought I'd see what I could rustle up from the fridge and store-cupboard. Littl'Un still wanted the comfort and familiarity of toast, having just had her first 2 weeks of hot school dinners, but Big'Un jumped at the chance to eat rice. Just like her mother. GodPapa was torn between home made bread and rice, but plumped for the rice because apparently I "do good things with rice." Lol.

So I fried some frozen onion, some sliced garlic, some mustard & cumin seeds, little dried red chillies to taste, and a pinch of my garam masala in some butter, and then coated 2 cupsful of basmati rice in this, added a teaspoonful of Marigold, and then roughly 2 1/2 - 3 cups of water (I use the finger-joint method of measuring the water for absorption method rice cooking - the water should come up to the first joint of your finger if you touch the tip of your finger to the top of the rice gently.) As I turned the heat up, I chucked in 4 little blocks of frozen spinach, and clamped the lid on.

I brought it to the boil and then turned it pretty low, and left it simmering and puffing for 15 minutes. As with my comfort keema pulao, once the 15 mins timer went off, I switched off the heat, but left the pan alone for a further 5 minutes.

Once that timer was done, I then added a little salt.

During the 15 minutes, I washed up, and also made my spicy scrambles.
Now, I have a different method for scrambles that my ex-hub adores and is apparently not how anyone else makes them.

If I'm making bacon, then I make that first and then use the bacon grease to make the scrambled eggs, but otherwise I just melt a little dop of butter in a frying pan til it foams. I then crack the egg straight into the pan as though I were about to fry it sunny side up. Then I crack another in, and then I take a silicon spatula and I just stir it all about and mix it up.

At this point in this recipe, I ground on some sea salt, and sprinkled on some of my garam masala. I then mixed this all in evenly, switched off the heat and as I'd timed it well, I slid the scrambles onto the top of the well mixed pulao.

A very filling and satisfying meal.*

*Except that something about it (probably the egg) upset Baby's tummy via breastfeeding. :(

Wednesday 5 October 2011

GBBO fix

Was watching the v exciting final of the Great British Bake Off, and realised I had once again made the mistake of forgetting to get some cake or pastry in to enjoy whilst watching. So I was delighted to find a pack of Bonne Maman Galettes in the cupboard.
I smeared them with lemon curd and then dolloped a little thickened organic double cream (the bits round the edges and lid of the pot) on top and enjoyed. V quick and hit the right spot with minimum effort.