Friday, February 27, 2015

Scottish stoved chicken...

This is a great value, fuss free, family dish for a busy day or to the contrary - a day which you don't want to spend in the kitchen, but just sit and relax. Once assembled, it needs minimal maintenance and can safely be left to its own devices. When I found the recipe in one of my many cookbooks, I didn't know at the beginning that this is a Scottish dish. Apparently this dish goes back to the 'Auld Alliance' of the 17th century between Scotland and France. It's based on French "etouffer", the process of cooking in a closed pot. You have to try it - the chicken becomes soft, almost melt in your mouth and it's NOT dry! ;) All flavors - bacon, onions, potatoes and meat - are so great together. I know one thing for sure - I'll be definitely making it again, and soon!

scottish stoved chicken

How to make it...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coconut and raspberry cake/slice...

Baking is still my favorite past time, more than cooking I think. I love putting all the ingredients together, mixing, transferring into a baking tin etc. and then comes the "waiting time"... The anticipation, wondering - will it rise, how will it look, will it taste well, did I add all the ingredients, maybe I should/shouldn't..., did I over mix it...? There are occasions, thankfully very rare ones, that my baking isn't a success, when something doesn't work, for one reason or another... But I don't give up - I always try again (and if the second time is equally unsuccessful then I throw in the towel...).
No such problems with this beauty tho! As per the original recipe from "The Primrose Bakery Book" it should be a slice (hence the title), but because of the lack of a proper, square baking tin - it's a cake, and a very good one to that! Two different types of cake dough, cut in the middle by sharp and sweet raspberry jam! Sweet, mellow coconut on the top works so well here too. Simply... Delicious!

coconut and raspberry slice

coconut and raspberry cake

How to make it...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

African drumsticks...

Never enough ideas for a chicken marinade! It's one of the cheapest and easiest to get meats out there. You can buy whole or already portioned. Drumsticks will give you one of the best value, but not a lot of people buy them, as not a lot will have an idea what to do with them. This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, but definitely my favorite Nigella's cookbook - "The Kitchen".
The original recipe calls for only 1 tablespoon of apricot jam, but even in her introduction to the dish Nigella writes that in the country of recipe's origin, they use more jam. Having that in mind, as well as the fact that both my girls have sweet tooth, I doubled the amount of jam. Result - melt in your mouth chicken! Sweet and spicy, succulent meat and the sauce to die for :) Brilliant with some rice on the side, but that sauce...perfect for dipping a piece of fresh bread in it! :)

african drumsticks

african drumsticks by nigella lawson


How to make it...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bread & Butter pudding...

Since I came to Ireland those good few years ago I had tried bread & butter pudding on many occasions. You can have really bad luck and get a pudding that's tough like a brick (which happened to me once in a really good restaurant, of all the places) or you get rubbery bread and butter pudding or really tasteless one. Sometime you might be really lucky and get bread and butter pudding that's really soft, moist, not to sweet and full of flavor but... nothing beats home made, fresh from the oven, still warm bread & butter pudding. Even better if that bread & butter pudding is made with fresh blueberries and chocolate chips! :)
The below recipe comes from a great book about "all things dessert" written by no other but one big dessert/pudding fanatic (yes, a fanatic ;) ). It's MasterChef UK presenter Gregg Wallace's "Gregg's favourite puddings".

bread and butter pudding

"Bread and butter pudding is made by layering slices of buttered bread scattered with raisins in an oven dish into which an egg and milk (or cream) mixture, commonly seasoned with nutmeg (and sometimes vanilla or other spices), is poured (...) The earliest bread and butter puddings were called whitepot and used either bone marrow or butter. Whitepots could also be made using rice instead of bread, giving rise to the rice pudding in British cuisine. One of the earliest recipes for a bread and butter pudding was written down by John Nott in 1723." - by Wikipedia.org

bread and butter pudding gregg wallace

How to make it...