Tag Archives: comfort

Spelt Focaccia Bread

I’m no Paul Hollywood but I have to say I’m quite liking my bread making experience recently. For Christmas I got Ajay a bread making course. I thought it would be a nice brother sister bonding day making bread together…etc.etc. Although the class wasn’t as mind blowing as I thought but I did learn how easy Focaccia bread is to make!

Serving 2

For me this is one of those things to make on a Sunday when bored! The smell the bread makes whilst in the oven is incredible! I know it’s strange to say but personally I feel like an old Italian grandmother when making this. You seriously don’t need any special equipment just the tools god gave you (your hands)!

checking

I think you can add anything to this bread…from peppers to oregano, even to different infused flavoured oils…it’s one of those chuck it all in and see what we get types of dishes!

 

Yeast mix

The base to every bread is Yeast, Sugar, Warm water and salt…then you’re ready to go!

 

Flour

As you can see the post is called ‘Spelt’ Focaccia so I’m obviously going to be using spelt flour. You can use normal white flour just be careful how much flour you add. And don’t panic if you get carried away with the flour, just add a drop of water. I am one of those, ‘Organic is best’- but if you cant get it don’t worry tesco values is just as good (I’m lying).

 

And no I don’t think your dumb if you don’t know how to knead. There is kind of an art to it! once you mix the dough till smooth, plonk it on the table. Make sure you’ve sprinkled a little flour on the table!

Kneading 1

Push the dough, using the bottom of your palm away from you.

 

Kneading 3

Then pull the furthest tip back toward you and repeat the process for a good few minutes. This is if you using spelt flour. If using normal white flour knead for 10-15 minutes! By the end of it you’ll have a good set of guns!

 

Kneading 2

You’ll notice you’re folding makes layers. With White flour the kneading makes the dough more stretchy, that will be the gluten-Food Devil. Why I think its the devil is because that is what bloats you, making it a bad carb! Yes my mum is a health food addict! she is the reason I made this with Spelt flour-so she could eat it!

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To make that authentic Focaccia style. you literally just dab 2 fingers into the bread, to create those dimples. Obviously you start from one corner to the other.

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Ingredients:

  • 200ml of lukewarm water
  • 1tsp of dried active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (this is to feed the yeast and help it grow!)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Spelt Flour or Flour (Now I haven’t given a precise amount because it can vary. Just have at least 1/2 a pack at your side)
  • 1 Sun-dried Tomato
  • 5 olives (either colour)
  • A Few sprigs of Rosemary
  • Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil (I use basil infused oil. Try Garlic oil or even chilli oil)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning on top
  1. Add together the water, yeast, sugar and salt and whisk together. I would advise leaving it for a couple of minutes
  2. Gradually add the flour until a good consistency. You would rather add less flour to start so you can add more when kneading. Especially with spelt flour, use less flour and see.
  3. Now, use those guns and knead the dough for a good 3 minutes!
  4. Put in a bowl and cover with cling film. leave in a warm place for an hour. I usually leave the oven on and keep the door slightly open. that’s my warm spot!
  5. after 40 minutes place into square tray and flatten down. using your 2 fingers dab all over and sprinkle your delicious toppings and oil.
  6. Whack it in the oven on 200c for 30 minutes or until golden!
  7. leave to cool for another half an hour and enjoy!

 

serving 1

I love this literally cut up and served with Balsamic reduction and olive oil! you could even use chilli oil with some salt rocks in it!

 

The idea of this is to give you inspiration to jazz it up yourself. add more crushed salt, experiment with different herbs, go wild. Just don’t forget to mention me when you get asked for the recipe!

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is my all time favourite dessert – with ice cream = MY HEAVEN!

Arji requested this the other day, so I thought maybe I should also share with y’all my recipe. I have to admit…I did fuck up the presentation but this is what I get for trying too hard! Soz that it looked a little strange!

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I don’t know why but I have a weird obsession with pecans. At least once a day I will have a ‘small’ handful of pecans with another ‘small’ handful of salted almonds. I know it strange but its sooo good! thought I’d share that with you for no apparent reason!

 

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As you can see at the beginning it started of well…just…once it went through that hell of an oven it got worse…and worse.

I know people find it offensive using shop brought pastry but I’m sorry I seriously don’t think its wrong to by a pack of ready made. So bite me if you think I’m being too lazy! just remember Gordan Ramsey said there is nothing wrong with shop brought pastry! Just sayin!

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So I seen this style crust done on Pinterest and thought I’d give this a go. Looks good here but just wait!

 

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See the Leaf thing really ain’t working! At least now you know don’t try this as pastry does shrink and it’ll look ridic!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack/500g of shortcrust pastry
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 250ml of golden syrup
  • 60g butter
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 20g Dark Chocolate (70% is a must!)
  • 3/4 tsp of flaked salt
  • a pinch of grated lemon zest (4 strokes against the grater will do)
  • 120g pecans, chopped & some for decoration (like 12 halves)

 

Recipe:

  1. Roll out the pastry till thin enough (I would the thickness of £1 coin-that’s what Nigella says) then set aside in the fridge. Trust me this will help it later.
  2. Heat up the syrup and sugar on the cooker until the sugar has melted and leave to cool
  3. Beat up the egg and slowly pour the ‘cool’ syrup mixture into the eggs. make sure its steady and not all in one go otherwise you will regret this!
  4. Add your butter, vanilla, lemon, chocolate, salt and nuts! Then pour into the cold pie crust.
  5. Now you can whack in the oven for an hour. Make sure the oven is preheated at 170c.
  6. I would recommend that you leave this to set for at least 2 hours then demolish with ice cream. ENJOY!

 

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I genuinely love this recipe and have used it for soo many years so this is one you can actually use because its an actual recipe and not just me making it up as I go along!

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Blackberry and Onion Marmalade

I have been itching to use the blackberries I picked from my own garden-It’s literally a random bush that parts mine and my neighbours house. Knowing how lazy I am, I froze the berries, to use later. And now that time has come!

I’ve always wanted to be one of those jamming people. This to me felt like the perfect combination of testing out the jamming and finally using the hand picked blackberries. I didn’t manage to take a picture of the berries sorry.

How to freeze your berries;

  • Wash them thoroughly (I would say soak in bowl for couple of seconds, shaking them about) and repeat this a few times
  • place some kitchen roll on a plate and stick your berries on top; wack in the fridge for a couple of hours
  • By now they should be completely dry so stick them in a tub and leave in the freezer. (I would probably suggest to use them within a month or so)

 

 

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Ingredients

  • 3 large Red Onions (370g), Sliced
  • 100g blackberries
  • 2tsp dijon mustard
  • 1cm cube of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves (Whole)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 50ml Cider Vinegar

Method

  1. Wack everything in a saucepan, EXCEPT the vinegar
  2. leave it to boil until blackberries burst (roughly 15 minutes)
  3. Now add the vinegar and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes
  4. Leave it to chill for 30 minutes and then place into STERILISED jars and seal tight and keep in the pantry cupboard.

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Way to sterilise your jars; Literally just place them in the dishwasher and don’t touch the inside!

 

Ways to server this marmalade:

  • Mum actually uses this as a dip for Pakoras. Yes trust me it works
  • spread a little spoonful on your cheese on toast- its lovely and addictive.
  • Since mum says it tastes like brown sauce, spread it on your toast before making a sausage/bacon sandwich.

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Just so you know this makes about 3 small jars. I seriously think this would be a cute gift to give during Christmas…and its cheap!

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Literally Sickly Chicken Kiev’s

Chicken Kiev’s are my childhood favourite, that and fish pie with extra cheese on top. I thought I’d treat my family and make them a proper dinner since we’ve all been too busy to eat together. I literally thought everything went well. I made the Kiev’s from scratch using fresh chicken thighs, hoping to keep them succulent and proper mash. Turns out it was that good I gave my mum and younger brother FOOD POISONING! They were literally sicking up this yellow bile from 6.30am-11pm. Arji even managed to sick up on the carpet which mum was not happy about. This is where I need help-I really don’t know where I went wrong? Apart from the food poisoning it was actually really nice. My excuse as to why they received food poisoning is because they were the two greedy bastards who had 3 pieces of chicken whereas my dad, Ajay and I only had 2 pieces. I think the fact that they were fried maybe I just didn’t drain them enough, especially with the garlic and herb butter oozing out. That was also another problem I did, once I fried the chicken in breadcrumbs I baked them for them after to properly cook them. Without realising once they were done I stabbed them each to check no salmonella I forgot I was letting the butter leak out. I guess I really did ruin chicken Kiev’s for myself.  I did take good pictures though so at least I have that!

Fried chckn 2

So the recipe for this dish is:

Ingredients;

6 Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

Garlic and Herby Butter
40g really room temperature butter
6 cloves of garlics crushed
1/4 lemon juice
handful of fresh Parsley, Chopped
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Breadcrumbs
3 slices of granary or white bread , toasted
the 1/4 lemon zest
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Handful of crunchy nut/cornflakes
salt and pepper

Egg
Flour

Instructions on how to get the poisoned chicken Kiev’s:

  1. Mix all the garlic butter ingredients together in a bowl
  2. open out the thighs and place a tsp of butter right in the center. Then using toothpicks pin the sides down.
  3. once completed all 6 thighs coat in flour, egg then breadcrumbs-this is known as panè to the french.
  4. Fry the chicken until the breadcrumbs are really golden brown in a large frying pan with a cm of hot olive oil.
  5. turn after a minute on each side, 3 times to make a triangle. Sounds weird but it locks the butter in.
  6. place in a 200c oven and let it cook for 35 minutes.
  7. DONE!
  8. I strongly advise you do not use this recipe yet but hopefully this can give you and idea on how to make them. I will try and perfect this to give you guys the proper recipe!

 

Butter

There will be extra butter made so keep in the fridge and add to mash or even use it to butter you toast or English muffins.

Egg and crumbs

A bit of professional photography

Raw Chicken

Stuffed raw chicken, again I’m trying it!

mash potatoesSo this is what I mean by adding the extra butter into the mash!

The last mealThe last of the pictures.

If anybody can seriously understand how I managed to give my family food poisoning please tell me! Like I promised I will try and perfect this dish, it might be a little too soon now, maybe in a couple of months/years!

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Japan at Your Doorstep

I get a random text from my dearest older brother Ajay asking me to meet him for dinner. Quite out of the ordinary but I was happy to meet. Since he’s now transferred to Westminster from Manchester University and me now working in Peckham, South London. We can actually meet up for dinners which I reckon won’t happen as often as I’d like but still, I’m still happy. And Ajay was taking me to a new Ramen Bar…Kanada-Ya.

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Kanada-Ya reminded me of Japan’s own version of McDonalds. Just seemed to casual, full of Japanese Natives. This Noodle bar is small but definitely not grotty; very trendy and hipster like. Thank god they haven’t all discovered this place yet, or maybe they’re too intimidated to go.

If you’re not entirely sure what a Ramen is…Well its Amazing. It’s like a Much Better and healthier version of Pot noodle. So its a soup that originated in Japan Consisting of Noodles, Meat/ Fish Broth topped with sliced pork, spring onions and seaweed and occasionally a soft Tea-boiled egg (not to keen on that part). Honestly its the most amazing thing EVER!

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There’s only 3 types of Ramens you can get here. 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions topped with beansprouts; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Deluxe Chashu pork collar, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions. Fairly cheap from £10-£12.50.

Miso broth

Ajay and I both ordered the Pork with Beansprouts, but the weirdest thing was the waitress asked us how we like our noodles cooked. Has that ever happened to you? Apparently in Japan they like there noodles hard because it’s still cooking whilst in the broth. So I asked for mine to be hard and it was so worth it. Al Dante. Perfect. They didn’t turn to slush; weren’t too chewy just right. Now I’m usually the annoying customer who shoves a whole load of soya sauce in the bowl because it needs more flavour. But here I didn’t need to add anything in. The broth was a lot more Cloudier but had really strong clean flavours.

The thing that I was intrigued to try was the Wood ear fungus. it was like an crunchy mushroom. Really words couldn’t describe the bite it had. It was over powering and strong, just so there but not too in your face. If people don’t know what nori is its a sheet of Seaweed. You just add the sheet into the broth and let it slightly wilt and just shove it in your gob. It gives the broth a fishy taste and not in an unpleasant way.

Just saying I ate my bowl of ramen with 7 minutes. I’ve worked out, you’re meant to stretch the noodles first, well the bit you want to eat and then and then whack it in! And you slurp the noodles in. I know it sounds disgusting but you know you’re eating right when you make the noise.

But Ajay decided to be more experimental by picking Spicy Miso. It wasn’t nice. It was like Wasabi. Apparently you’re meant to pinch a little bit at a time with your chopstick to taste. DO NOT STIR THE SPOON INTO YOUR BOWL.

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This is I think is like Pickeled Carrot but I really wasn’t sure. The lady next to us was putting it on her spoon and adding it to her noodles using the chopsticks. I didnt try some unfortunately I was to busy shoveling the noddles down as fast as I could.

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Whenever I try to experiment I fail Miserably. So for drinks I thought I was ordering what the guy opposite was having (PS he looked like a Japanese version of John Lennon). Instead I got this. Now I know Arji buys these from Cyber Candy but I have never been temped to try a bottle of E numbers waiting to kill my insides. And I was right, It was Artificially disgusting!

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The cool thing about this was opening the bottle there’s a cap which you push down which releases a glass ball in the neck of the bottle. In Japan They have this thing we’re you see who can open the top and get the glass ball out the quickest without smashing the bottle. Well that’s what the Waitress explained to us. Me and Arji tried this…We both failed miserably.

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This Waitress, was the coolest waitress at a ramen bar, I personally thought. usually they’re really quiet and have that look that says “don’t disturb me b*tch”. But instead she helped explain everything, from the noodles to the drink! I think we became abit annoying towards the end, constantly asking her what certain things were.

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I would definitely recommend this restaurant to every Ramen Lover! And order extra noodles.

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