recipe

Peanut butter and dark treacle popcorn

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm

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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    Oat and banana waffles

    Posted on May 18, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Nice and simple, and gluten free.

    Preheat your waffle iron.

  • 1 heaped cup oats
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • drizzle of molasses just for flavour
  • up to 1/4 cup milk
  • Add the first 5 ingredients to your food processor. Blend to a smooth paste. Add the eggs and molasses and blend. Drizzle in milk to make a somewhat wet batter.

    Makes about 3 or 4 waffles, depending on your waffle iron. Serve with maple syrup or pancake syrup.

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    Queen of Puddings

    Posted on May 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    For Mother’s Day, I asked my wife to choose a pudding we’d never had before. To be extra mean I handed her a book with over 140 classic British Pudding recipes – how horrible I am!

    She chose Queen of Puddings. I have had this once before in my whole life. It’s one I felt nervous about making, because… well, I’m not sure why. I just was.

    Thankfully the nerves were unnecessary. It’s actually quite easy to make, as pudding should be. And as a bonus, it’s easy to make gluten free!

  • 180g / 6.5oz breadcrumbs OR an equal mix of corn flakes and oats
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar (take granulated sugar and pulse in food processor till fine but not powder)
  • 600ml / 20oz / 2.5 cups milk
  • 60g / 2oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 100g / 3.5oz berry jam
  • Optional: zest of 1 lemon
  • Stir the breadcrumbs (or GF option) to mix with the zest and 30g/1oz of the sugar.

    Combine the milk, butter, and vanilla in a pan and heat gently until the butter is just melted. The mix should be slightly more than blood warm. Whisk the egg yolks into the warm milk then stir into the crumbs. Leave the mix to stand and soak for 10 minutes while you heat the oven to 180c/350f. Make sure they soak for at least 10 minutes.

    Pour the mixture into a buttered pie pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it is cooked through and set – although it’s technically a custard, you want it to set fully.

    Warm the jam in a small pan or in the microwave until it’s liquid. Spread the jam over the baked base – it should make a generous coating.

    Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold the sugar in to make the meringue. Pile over the jam, spreading to the edge of the pie dish.

    Bake the meringue for 10 minutes or so until it’s lightly golden brown and slightly crunchy. Let the pudding cool down until it’s room temperature.

    Serve at room temperature or cold. Be prepared for some slight cognitive dissonance – it looks like pie, but it eats like pudding!

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    Burger seasoning

    Posted on February 23, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Any burger can be improved by some seasoning. This blend helps up the flavour quite a lot, and can be easily multiplied up and/or tweaked to taste.

  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • Cook one side of the burger. Flip and season the cooked side. Once the second side is cooked, flip the burger again and season. Allowing your burger to rest will let the seasonings rehydrate and flavour the burger. Top it with your cheese of preference.

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    Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao De Quejo

    Posted on February 12, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    A naturally gluten free bread that also makes a good pizza base? Yes please!

  • 2/3 cup (160ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) neutral oil such as avocado oil
  • 2 cups (450g) tapioca flour/starch
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) of cheese (Cheddar, mozzarella) (vary this to your taste, both for cheese variety and amount)
  • 2 eggs
  • (OPTIONAL: see edit) 1 tsp baking powder
  • seasoning to taste (I don’t add any, the cheese seems to add enough)
  • Add all the ingredients into your food processor. Blend them all together into a sticky mess. Be warned, this is an absurdly sticky dough – have everything prepared before you handle the dough because it will stick to everything!

    PAO ROLLS
    Preheat the oven to 450F / 230C.

    Grease up a muffin pan or cookie sheet. Divide the dough evenly between the muffin holes or into 12 blobs on the sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until they’re golden brown and delicious. Eat while piping hot. Serve with butter for an extra sinful treat.

    PIZZA
    Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C.

    Line a pizza pan with a silicone baking sheet. Spread the dough over the baking sheet. Par bake the base for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on if you want a softer or more cracker-like base. Add whatever sauce and toppings you like then bake for 15 minutes or until your topping is done. Feel free to tweak the cheese – a basic cheap orange cheddar will make a wonderfully aromatic, cheesy crust. Be careful which cheese you add, as the baking process will make the aroma and flavour of the cheese really vibrant, so go gently with the seriously sharp / mature cheeses as they could get overwhelming, which is fine if that’s what your looking for.

    EDIT JUNE 2020
    Thanks to feedback on this recipe from a kindly Brazilian person on Reddit, I have amended the baking powder to optional, as baking powder is not traditional in Brazilian Pao. Thank you, “AlehCemy”!

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    Haggis

    Posted on January 24, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Now that I have made you recoil in terror, here is how to make Scotland’s national sausage with ingredients available in the US.

    Yes, I called it a sausage, because that’s what it is!

    SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED

  • meat grinder
  • vacuum sealer
  • vacuum bag
  • sous vide setup OR large lidded pot
  • INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2lb steel cut (pinhead) oats
  • 1 cup broth or stock (chicken or veg)
  • 1lb lard or suet
  • 3lb lamb, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1.25 to 2.5 tbsp salt *to taste
  • 1 tsbp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • Cook the onion in the butter over medium-low heat till soft and the sharp onion smell has dissipated. Add in the oats, stir the oats into the butter and cook briefly. Add the stock, bring back to a boil. Add the lard or suet, heat just till melted. Add the salt and the spices and stir to combine. Set this to one side to cool while you move on to the grinding.

    Grind the lamb on coarse grind into a large bowl. Once all the lamb is ground, add the ground beef into the bowl. Pour the mixed oats, stock, and spices into the same bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands until it all comes together in a sticky mess.

    Transfer the sticky mess to a vacuum sealer bag. Vacuum seal according to instructions.

    Set your sous vide to 180F / 82C. Cook on sous vide for 3 hours. If you don’t have sous vide, use a large pot on the stove, bring the water to a simmer (180F to 190F, 82C / 87C). Simmer for 3 hours, topping up the water as needed.

    Allow the haggis to sit at room temperature for the duration of the Ode To A Haggis and serve with mashed potatoes and neeps (mashed, boiled turnips, or if you prefer, roast parsnips instead if you don’t like turnips).

    If you would like to add some of the offal flavour you can substitute 1lb calf’s liver for the ground beef. You should be aware that some people might prefer to not know about this addition…!

    Don’t forget the whisky!

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    Gluten Free Pie Crust

    Posted on December 4, 2019 at 9:43 am

    I have been experimenting with gluten free pie crust / short crust recipes. The experiments have been quite demoralising as none of the recipes have produced a nice, short pastry.

    This recipe delivers. I have used it for pecan pie and for mince pies. I have doubled it without any worries. Two words of caution, though: use your scales. Digital scales are dirt cheap on Amazon. Second word: be prepared to add some extra water if it needs it.

  • 100g corn starch (corn flour)
  • 100g sweet / glutinous rice flour
  • 50g sorghum flour OR oat flour
  • 30g almond flour
  • 125g cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • cold water as needed
  • pinch of salt
  • OPTION: up to 90g powdered sugar if making a sweet pie
  • Add all the dry ingredients to your food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the egg and butter. Blend until it all comes together. Add a little ice cold water a tablespoon at a time if necessary – you want it to come together as a dough, but not be damp.

    Turn out the dough onto plastic wrap. Shape it into a flattened disc. Put the wrapped dough in the fridge for at least one hour – do not skip this step! You want the dough to be thoroughly chilled before you try to work it.

    Follow the instructions on your favourite pie recipe. Enjoy!

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    Gluten free lemon poppyseed muffins

    Posted on October 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

    This recipe makes 12 regular sized muffins, or 6 giant ones.

    DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1 and 2/3 cups whole oats
  • heaped 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • WET INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup lemon flavoured yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup fruit oil (avocado or regular olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • DRIZZLE

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • Heat oven to 400f. Add drizzle ingredients together and stir occasionally until completely combined. Spray bottoms of the muffin pan with non stick spray.

    Add the first 6 dry ingredients to your food processor. Grind into flour. Sift. Add any chunky bits back to the food processor and grind. Repeat until no more chunkies. Place in a mixing bowl and stir in sugar and poppy seeds.

    Blend wet ingredients. If you don’t have any lemon yoghurt, use soured cream and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.

    Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins sit in the muffin pans for 10 minutes. As you pull the muffins out, dip the tops into the drizzle. If you have enough drizzle left after dipping the tops, dip the bottoms into the drizzle as well for a double dip.

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    Carrot pudding

    Posted on October 6, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Here’s a recipe from Mrs Beeton from 1859 or so. It’s delicious.

  • 1/2 lb. of bread crumbs (gluten free alt: mix of oats and corn flakes)
  • 4 oz. of suet (or butter)
  • 3/4 lb. carrot
  • 1/4 lb. raisins
  • 1/4 lb. currants
  • 3 oz. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • milk
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Boil the carrots in milk until tender enough to mash to a pulp; add the remaining ingredients. If needed, add more milk to make the pudding of the consistency of thick batter.

    If you want to steam the pudding, put the mixture into a buttered basin, tie it down with a cloth, and steam for 2-1/2 hours: if to be baked, put it into a pie-dish, and bake for about an hour; turn it out of the dish, sift sugar over it, and serve with custard or heavy cream.

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    Porridge Scones

    Posted on September 27, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Porridge is another name for cooked oatmeal. It’s easy to make, cheap, and is not too bad for nutrition. So, what do you do with all the leftover porridge? Here’s one answer, and it’s two recipes for the price of one!

    OVERNIGHT SLOW COOKER PORRIDGE
    Add oats to water at a 1:4 ratio, that is for every unit of oats add 4 units of water. You can do this by volume or weight as you prefer, so long as you maintain the 1:4 ratio. For this recipe I’ll say to use 1 cup of oats to 4 cups of water along with a pinch of salt, because that’s the size of my small slow cooker.

    Plug the slow cooker in, go to bed, and in the morning have some nice warm porridge for breakfast. Put the leftovers in a plastic tub in the fridge so that they are completely cold. Thoroughly stir the refrigerated porridge before you make the scones.

    PORRIDGE SCONES

  • 50g/1.75oz steel cut oats (if you can get them, if not use regular oats)
  • 150g/5.5oz self raising flour, sifted, or gluten free alternative
  • 25g/1oz brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt (if your flour mix doesn’t already have salt)
  • 250g/9oz cold cooked porridge
  • 75-100ml/2.5-3.5oz cream (single or double cream, half and half, whipping cream, the cream left over from making clotted cream), or sour cream
  • Preheat your oven to 230C/450F. Place your lightly oiled baking sheet into the oven while it heats up.

    Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix. Add the porridge and mix with your hands. Add just enough of the cream to bring the dough together in a shaggy dough – it should look kinda ugly, not a nice smooth dough.

    Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it into a thick round, about 1 inch / 2.5cm tall. Cut out into scone shapes with a cookie cutter, or deeply slash the top into 8 segments.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes for individual scones, or 20-30 minutes for the whole round. Serve with clotted cream and jam. Because of all the oats it will be hard to tell when they are done. You’ll have to practice across multiple batches till you know when they’re done.

    FLAVOUR ENHANCEMENT
    Try toasting the oats and the steel cut oats before you cook them. This will add a nice nutty flavour.

    As always, when you’re making a recipe like this you should absolutely adjust it for your own nutrition, health, or dietary reasons, so long as you keep the proportions the same. If you want to make your porridge with heavy cream I am sure it will be deliciously rich and gluttonous!

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