February 2021

Paggis – pork haggis

Posted on February 18, 2021 at 8:02 pm in

Shh, don’t tell anyone in Scotland but… I made haggis from pork instead of lamb. I know, it’s probably sacrilege, but pork is a fraction of the price of lamb, and simple economics dictate that if I want delicious haggisness, it needs to be in a reasonable price bracket. So… paggis! (And thank you to kiddo for naming it – good job, kiddo)

The strangest thing about making this was that as soon as I added the spices to the oats, I knew it was haggis. Some dishes are defined by their spice mix, and haggis is definitely one of them.

  • 2 lb / 900 g coarse ground pork
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped however you prefer
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lb / 225 g oats
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp mustard powder
  • Cook the onion in the butter until it is softened and slightly translucent. Add the spices, seasonings, and oats. Add a little water to wet the oats very slightly, a couple of tablespoons or so, then set to one side to cool.

    Grind the pork coarsely. Add the oats and spices mix and blend with your hands until it comes together into a sticky mess.

    Place the sticky mess into a zip top bag, or seal into a sous vide vacuum bag. If you aren’t going to cook it immediately, place it in your fridge until you’re ready to cook.

    Set your sous vide to 180F / 82C, or set a large pan on medium-low heat. Cook for 3 hours. Let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes while you get the side dishes sorted. Traditional haggis is served with neeps and tatties (turnips and mashed potatoes), but this is paggis. I served it with mixed veg and braised cabbage, but you should serve whatever side dishes you prefer!

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    Keto friendly chocolate syrup

    Posted on February 18, 2021 at 1:54 pm in
  • 1 cup / 240ml water
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml no sugar granular sweetener of your choice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add the first 4 ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add vanilla and stir to incorporate.

    MOCHA COFFEE
    Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of this syrup to your coffee and top with foamed milk of your choice.

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    Liver pate

    Posted on February 17, 2021 at 4:54 pm in
  • 8 rashers long streaky bacon
  • 1 pound of calves liver
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons cream or evaporated milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • garlic to taste
  • seasoning to taste
  • Butter a loaf tin and arrange about 5 of the rashers of bacon on the bottom.

    Put the liver and the remainder of the bacon through a mincer twice or until very fine and smooth. Blend with the cream and beaten egg. Season well and put into the tin over the bacon. Cover with foil or buttered paper and stand in a bain-marie (dish of boiling water).

    Cook in the centre of a moderate oven (gas mark 3 / 325F / 170C) for about 45 minutes (check with a skewer to see if cooked through). Allow it to cool to room temperature then turn out of the loaf pan.

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    Nougat

    Posted on February 16, 2021 at 5:50 am in

    Nougat is something I always associated with a sickly sweet, weirdly papery, somewhat stale confection. Freshly home made nougat is far from that, and well worth making at home.

    A couple of warnings. You will be handling sugar syrup, also known as culinary napalm. Please handle with extreme care, you don’t want 3rd degree burns. The second warning is that this stuff is horribly addictive, so beware your waistline!

    2 egg whites, room temperature
    2 3/4 cups granulated sugar (500 g), plus 2 tablespoons
    1 cup / 12 ounces (by weight) honey
    1/3 cup / 80 ml water
    2 tablespoons light corn syrup (optional)
    1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside (optional)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups add-ins (toasted nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc)
    special equipment: candy thermometer, pastry brush

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

    Use a clean, dry stand mixer to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. In the mean time, in a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the honey to 250F on a candy thermometer. Also, at the same time, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 3/4 cups sugar, water, and corn syrup (if using). Over medium heat, bring this mixture to 300F on a candy thermometer. Carefully and gently swirl the mixtures in their pans now and then, use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush any sugar from the sides of the pan. You want the honey to hit its temp first, followed by the sugar shortly thereafter.

    With the mixer running, slowly pour the 250F honey down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Let the mixer keep running, and as soon as your sugar mixture hits 300F, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl as well, using the same technique (down the side of the bowl). Continue mixing for five minutes or so, until the temperature of the nougat is no longer hot. At this point, stir in the vanilla bean seeds and extract. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the nuts and seeds by hand.
    Transfer the nougat onto the parchment-line baking sheet, cover with another sheet of parchment and allow to cool completely. Cut into desired shapes (the cleaner you can keep your knife the cleaner your cuts will be), and wrap in squares of parchment paper, or candy wrappers. Store in an air-tight container.

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    Jam roly poly recipe

    Posted on February 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm in

    A new word for a lot of Americans will be “stodge”. It’s a word with many negative connotations, but in the case of Jam Roly Poly that’s what it’s supposed to be – a stodgy comfort food designed to deliver calories straight to your waistline. Enjoy!

  • 300g / 10.5oz / 2 cups AP flour or GF flour blend
  • 130g / 4.5oz shredded suet OR butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 200ml / about 6.75oz water (or more if needed)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of jam, slightly warmed with a little water
  • custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160c / 315f.

    Blend the first 4 ingredients thoroughly. Add the lemon juice to the water and stir into the flour blend until the dough just comes together – it should be slightly sticky, but not wet. With GF flour blends you may need to add a little more water – if so, add it a tablespoon at a time.

    Roll the dough out to a half inch / one cm thickness. Try to get it as close to a rectangle as you can. If you’re me, a rough potato shape is the best I can do!

    Spread the jam thinly over the surface, leaving an edge about the thickness of the width of your thumb at a long edge. Slowly and gently roll the dough towards the exposed edge, without trying to get it super tight. You want a rough cylinder with a little internal room for expansion. Pinch the cylinder closed at the jamless edge and leave the join up for the moment.

    Butter up some baking paper and roll the dough log onto it, join side down. Wrap the dough log loosely with the baking paper, making sure the log is completely surrounded, and tie off the ends with string. Wrap the log up in a tea towel or foil to create a sealed cylinder.

    Place the wrapped roly poly in a loaf pan or other convenient heat resistant receptacle, then place the receptacle on a trivet or other support (such as old jam jar lids) into a baking pan. Place the baking pan in the oven and pour boiling water into the baking pan – you want plenty of water in there, but not so much it splashes out of the baking pan. You also don’t want any water entering the loaf pan with the pudding in it.

    Bake for 1 hour. Serve cut into slices so that you can see the internal swirl. Cover generously with custard and serve with a nice cuppa tea.

    One note, this is not a super sweet pudding. The dough is meant to be fairly plain to allow the jam and the custard to take central stage.

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    Gluten Free cake or pudding flour

    Posted on February 7, 2021 at 2:12 pm in

    One of the interesting aspects of cooking gluten free is that you don’t have the convenience of only using a couple of flours. You need to use different blends depending on what you’re doing. This flour blend works great for cakes and for puddings, too. While I previously wrote up a pudding flour blend, this one is simpler and pretty reliable for baked or steamed puddings. Give it a go.

  • 250g / 2 cups white rice flour (NOT glutenous rice)
  • 128g / 2/3 cup potato starch
  • 41g / 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (or other similar binder)
  • Add all ingredients together in a sealed tub and shake thoroughly to incorporate.

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