Kentucky black BBQ sauce

Posted in BBQ, recipe, sauce on September 29th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

Time for something different. Black BBQ sauce is spicy, umami, and quite different. Try it with mutton, lamb, pork, or beef that has been slow cooked over smoke. Delicious!

  • 1 cup Worcester sauce
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (passata – not ketchup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, or substitute (such as erithrytol or monkfruit)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 or 2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • season to taste
  • Add all ingredients to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

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    Gluten free instant chocolate mug cake

    Posted in dessert, gluten free, keto friendly, pudding, recipe on September 28th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Yes, another mug cake. I’m having fun with it, so why not?

    Add to a large mug

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons monkfruit/erithrytol blend, or similar, to your taste
  • optional – pinch of salt
  • Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds until the butter is melted. Stir to incorporate and allow to cool slightly. Add

  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vailla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • Stir to incorporate. Microwave on high for 90 to 120 seconds. Bingo, gluten free, keto friendly, chocolate cake.

    CUSTOMISE IT
    Instead of butter, use a neutral oil such as avocado, or a characterful oil like coconut.
    Instead of vanilla, use maple flavouring, or any other you want to try.
    Want to amp up the chocolate? Add chocolate chips, or a little instant coffee powder.
    Why not add dried fruit, or other baking chips like butterscotch? Why not add chopped or whole nuts?
    Nut allergy? You can use any flour you like. This should work with buckwheat, millet, or any other flour that suits your needs.
    Vegan? I would love to hear how you can tweak this recipe to suit your tastes. Please feel free to reply to this with your comments!

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    Spotted Dick Mug Cake

    Posted in British food, dessert, gluten free, pudding on September 23rd, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    This is the instant version of my full Spotted Dick recipe. See there for my comments on the name! This version is gluten free, sugar free, and can be easily tweaked to be keto friendly. Enjoy!

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon (or so) of currants, raisins, or as you prefer
  • 1 tbsp of brown liquor or water
  • mix these together and microwave for 30 seconds. From here you proceed like the cinnamon roll recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon monkfruit/erithrytol blend, or similar
  • optional – pinch of salt
  • Melt the butter on top of the fruit mixture, then add the rest of the ingredients on top. Stir thoroughly to combine and microwave for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The top of the pudding should be just set and no more.

    Turn out on a plate and serve with a nice cuppa tea.

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    Gluten free keto friendly cinnamon mug roll

    Posted in gluten free, recipe on September 20th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    That’s an unusual sentence, but here it is – a cinnamon roll you make in a mug, that is super low carb and gluten free.

  • ROLL INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon monkfruit/erithrytol blend, or similar
  • optional – pinch of salt
  • Melt the butter in a mug. Stir the rest of the ingredients into the mug and microwave for 90 seconds or until the top is just set. Turn the mug upside down on a plate while you sort out the rest of the ingredients. You’ll notice there’s no binder such as xanthan gum – it isn’t needed.

  • GLAZE INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp monkfruit/erithrytol blend
  • Microwave to melt the butter. Stir to combine. Remove mug from the top of the cinnamon roll and pour over the top. (You can also cut the cinnamon roll in half and pour over the two halves.)

  • FROSTING INGREDIENTS
  • 1 oz / 28g cream cheese
  • 1.5 tsp monkfruit/erithrytol
  • Microwave the cream cheese just until soft. Stir the sweetener in and use to top the cinnamon roll

    Is this the same as a cinnamon roll? No. But it’s really close, and you can easily tweak the recipe to your taste to get you close enough to scratch the cinnamon roll itch.

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    Barbecue Experiment – mustard rubs

    Posted in information on August 29th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    First, to establish terminology:

      “Barbecue” is low temperature cooking, usually using wood chips or chunks to provide a pleasant flavour. The meat you use, the brine you use, the seasoning rubs, the sauces, are all the subject of intense debate. This debate is fun, especially if you don’t have any reason to take sides, and experimenting with the combinations is fun. And delicious.
      Cooking food directly over propane or charcoal at high temperature is grilling. Steak, burgers, sausages, hotdogs, kebabs, and shrimp are grilled. And delicious.

    I took 3 pieces of pork and brined them overnight in a salt and ground coriander seed brine, to test out one important BBQ question. Does the mustard you use make a difference to the flavour of your pulled pork BBQ?

    One of the pieces was the control piece – no mustard. Piece 2 was rubbed with home made Dijon mustard. Piece 3, basic yellow mustard like you’d add to a hotdog.

    I smoked the pork with hardwood lump charcoal and pecan wood chunks, spritzed regularly with homemade cider vinegar, then did the hard part – invited friends over to taste test and answer the important question above.

    The answer to the important question is: Yes, the mustard does make a difference. But the difference is subtle. When you eat the meat as-is, without any sauce, you can clearly distinguish between the 3 options. When you add the sauce, the difference is not noticeable. If you prefer unsauced meat make sure you use a tasty mustard. If you apply a sauce, the differences will pretty much disappear.

    Having said that, the Dijon slightly edged ahead of the control (no mustard) or the yellow mustard. The Dijon added a subtle vinegary edge that blended nicely with the meat.

    Everyone had their own favourite, but we would all happily take any of the 3 because they were all delicious. I consider this a win/win.

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    Red Hamburger Relish

    Posted in gluten free, recipe, relish on July 17th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    As a child I frequently had Bick’s Hamburger Relish. The availability of this product in the USA is spotty at best, so as usual I made it myself. This recipe is really, really close to what I remember, and you can easily make a half batch.

  • 7 cups ground cucumbers (approximately 7 medium sized cucumbers, weight roughly 3.5lb/ 1.6kg), any liquid drained
  • 5 cups ground onions (approximately 1.25lb / 570g), any liquid drained
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml / 72g pickling salt (substitute by weight with any non-iodine salt such as sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 3 to 4 large red and green peppers, ground
  • one 28oz/795g can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups / 720 to 780ml white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. allspice, ground
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup / 120 to 180ml brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup / 120 to 180ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 to 4 cups / 720 to 960ml white sugar
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml flour (or GF substitute such as xanthan gum)
  • Makes about 10 to 12 pints
    Mix ground cucumbers, onions, and peppers with salt in a large bowl. Let stand overnight and then drain.
    Cook all other ingredients in a large pot and boil for about 5 minutes.
    Add cucumber mixture and bring back to a boil.
    *May add extra sugar, spices, vinegar to get desired taste.
    Boil for 15 minutes and pour into sterilized jars and seal.

    I know the recipe says hamburger relish, but this is equally lovely with sausages or other grilled meats. And yes, I increased the mustard seed to 2 tablespoons because I like mustard seeds. Why else make it yourself if you don’t customise it?

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    Chocolate and peanut butter mug cake

    Posted in dessert, gluten free, recipe on July 11th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    As an added bonus, you can easily make this keto friendly or vegan. Makes 2 decent sized mug cakes, or 1 if you have a huge mug and are feeling gluttonous!

    Whisk together:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whisk into the liquids:

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml sweetener (sugar, monk fruit, erithrytol…)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Let the batter sit for 15 to 20 minutes to let the gum do its thing.

    Portion the batter into your mug as follows:

  • 1/4 cup of batter
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of batter
  • Microwave on HIGH for 90 seconds and check. The surface should be just set. If it isn’t, zap for another 15 seconds at a time until it is. (If you’re being gluttonous and put the whole batch into a gigantic mug, you might want to microwave for 2 minutes and check then for done-ness.)

    Let your mug cake sit for a minute or two before you tuck in to avoid the “molten chocolate lava” feeling.

    If you want to amp up the chocolate flavour try adding a little instant coffee powder. Start with just a little, maybe 1/4 teaspoon, because you might end up in mocha town instead.

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    Balsamic-grape jelly

    Posted in gluten free, jelly, pectin, recipe on June 25th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Our home city recently lost a culinary institution. One of their specials was to serve their grilled cheese sandwich with what they called “balsamic jam”. I never had their grilled cheese, and their “balsamic jam” was actually “balsamic jelly” made by adding balsamic vinegar to grape jelly in a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to jelly.

    This is my tribute to that. It’s not the same, but it is absolutely delicious paired with grilled cheese, poured over cream cheese, or on toast!

  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar (700ml / 24fl oz)
  • 2 cups grape juice (16fl oz / 475ml)
  • 1 cup water (240ml / 8fl oz)
  • 1lb / 450g sugar, reserve about 1/2 cup
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 2tsp vanilla flavour
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tsp calcium water
  • 2tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin Powder
  • Put the first 9 ingredients in a pot. Bring it to an active simmer, not boiling. Switch it off and come back to the mix the next day.

    Strain out the spices. Add the 2tsp calcium water to the mix. Bring to a boil. Stir the pectin into the reserved sugar and stir vigorously to incorporate.

    Makes about 7 cups of jelly.

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    Gluten free Lorne sausage

    Posted in British food, gluten free, recipe, sausages on June 23rd, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Lorne sausage is Scotland’s own sausage. Made well, with good ingredients, it is delightfully different. Sadly all too many are made without care and with iffy ingredients, so they are merely “tasty” instead of “delightful”. Here’s a gluten free version for those who have to avoid wheat and other gluten bearing grains.

  • 1 cup rice, cooked in 2 cups lightly salted water, cooled in fridge overnight
  • 4lbs ground meat
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Weigh the cooked rice. Add water to make 800g / 1lb 12oz. Add in all the ground spices and salt. Grind up to a rough paste in your food processor or with mortar and pestle – you don’t want it totally smooth, but you want to avoid too many intact grains. Basically, don’t sweat it as this is going to make a “rustic” sausage.

    Mix the ground rice and spice blend into the ground meat. You’ll notice I didn’t specify which meat to use, this is because you can use whatever you have to hand. Beef, pork, chicken, or any combination you wish, just be sure to not use really lean cuts – you want the sausagemeat to be fairly fatty otherwise it’ll dry out when you cook it.

    Take your thoroughly blended sausagemeat and place it into a loaf pan. Cool thoroughly in the loaf pan then turn it out and cut into slices – a serrated blade works better if you have one.

    Fry in a little butter or over a grill or under a broiler until it’s cooked – I’m not giving you a cook time because I cut them thick and you might cut them thinly. You’ll want to see a good dose of Golden Brown And Delicious appearing there. Don’t forget to let it rest a couple of minutes before eating it.

    And there you have it – Scotland’s rustic sausage, Lorne. No casings needed.

    OPTIONAL INGREDIENT – add 1/4 tsp pink salt / Prague Powder #1 to the spice blend. This will keep the meat the pink colour I associate with Lorne, but don’t use it if you don’t have it. Concentrate on Golden Brown and Delicious!

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    Peanut butter and dark treacle popcorn

    Posted in gluten free, recipe, sugar, vegetarian cooking on May 21st, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    This is one of those tweak recipes that makes you go WOW. It’s sweet, salty, savoury, and with a touch of bitterness. It’s also gluten free and vegan. Feel free to substitute to cater for allergies.

    This recipe makes a decent snack size portion for 2 to 3 people. It’s also quite filling!

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup dark treacle (or molasses, or honey, each will change the overall flavour)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • heavy pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Pop the popcorn via your preferred method. I stick it in the microwave on popcorn setting.

    While the popcorn is popping, put the treacle and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, add a heavy pinch of salt. Stir in the 1/2 cup peanut butter, bring back to the boil and then take off the heat.

    Decant the popcorn into a large bowl. Pour over the treacle / peanut butter mix and stir. Allow to cool before you destroy it!

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