Archive of ‘food’ category

ROAST PUMPKIN SOUP

This rich, warming soup is perfect for an autumn night. Nutty roasted pumpkin and glorious melting cheese come together for the perfect supper to snuggle up with now the weather is cooling off…

Autumn Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients

Serves 6

Soup
1 small pumpkin (1.3 – 1.6kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
850ml vegetable stock
425ml whole milk
25g butter
Salt, pepper and ground nutmeg, to season

Croutons
2 thick slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve
100g melting cheese, such as gruyere or mozzarella, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Start by cutting the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the seeds, then cut each quarter in half. Brush the surface of each section with the oil and season with a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a skewer.

While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and stir. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down low and leave the onion to cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the stock and the milk to the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture is simmering, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the pan along with the seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for a further 20 minutes.

This is the perfect time to make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper seasoning, making sure each crouton gets an even coating. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are light and crispy.

Next, puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, slowly reheat the soup over a medium heat – keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t boil as this would compromise the taste. Ladle into warm bowls, top with a handful of croutons and a generous scattering of cheese.

Snug up and enjoy!

By Millie Norton

Sweet Chilli Philli Bites

These bites are such a great alternative to crisps and dips. They’re really, really easy to make, taste amazing and get your tastebuds flowing for whatever is to come next – whether it be a barbecue or a simple salad!

Ingredients for Sweet Chilli Philli Bites

Ingredients
French baguette
Philadelphia
Sweet chilli sauce

Method
1. Slice the French baguette into thin rounds and pop under the grill and flip over after about 30 seconds
2. Once nicely golden allow them to cool.
3. Then top them with the Philadelphia – just a small coating.
4. Drizzle over the sweet chilli sauce.
5. Serve straight away or pop in the fridge until you need them!

Sweet Chilli Philli Bites

Recipe and photography by Ailie Williams 

Apricot and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

The smell of baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the house is the ultimate in festive comfort at this time of year. Added cranberries and apricots give these a seasonal twist – the perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winters morning.

recipe

Ingredients
For the rolls
450g strong white flour
75g dried cranberries
1tsp fast acting dried yeast
1tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
150ml hot milk and 150ml hot water mixed together – hot but not boiling!

For the filling
25g butter, melted
50g light brown sugar
2tbsp ground cinnamon
75g dried apricots, cut into small pieces

Makes 8 rolls

Method
- Place the flour, cranberries, yeast, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl and stir together. Now add the hot milk and water and mix together using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes – if you don’t have an electric mixer that’s fine, you can just use your hands and mix and knead for about 10 minutes. Once the dough has been mixed and kneaded, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1 cm thick, spread the surface with the melted butter and scatter over the sugar, cinnamon and apricot pieces in an even layer, making sure you reach the edges. Now roll the dough into a tight sausage shape, slice into 8 even pieces and place these, swirl side up on a lightly oiled baking tray.

- Leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or if you want to make these for breakfast next day you can leave them in the fridge overnight (although if you do this, you will need to take the rolls out of the fridge and leave for 30 minutes to come up to room temperature before baking).

- When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the rolls are well risen and a lovely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. You can eat the rolls as they are, but for an extra delicious twist make up some icing using 3tbsp icing sugar, 1tbsp water and 1tsp vanilla extract and drizzle over the top of the hot rolls. Tear off and eat warm – heavenly!

By Millie Norton

Roast Pumpkin Soup

This rich, warming soup is perfect for an autumn night. Nutty roasted pumpkin and glorious melting cheese come together for the perfect supper to snuggle up with and keep the spooks at bay!

Ingredients
Serves 6

Soup
1 small pumpkin (1.3 – 1.6kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
850ml vegetable stock
425ml whole milk
25g butter
Salt, pepper and ground nutmeg, to season

Croutons
2 thick slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve
100g melting cheese, such as gruyere or mozzarella, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Start by cutting the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the seeds, then cut each quarter in half. Brush the surface of each section with the oil and season with a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a skewer.

 While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and stir. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down low and leave the onion to cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the stock and the milk to the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture is simmering, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the pan along with the seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for a further 20 minutes.

 This is the perfect time to make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper seasoning, making sure each crouton gets an even coating. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are light and crispy.

 Next, puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, slowly reheat the soup over a medium heat – keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t boil as this would compromise the taste. Ladle into warm bowls, top with a handful of croutons and a generous scattering of cheese.

 Snug up and enjoy!

By Millie Norton

Bon Appetit…

We were lucky enough to be invited to Three‘s French cooking class in celebration of their new Feel At Home tariff. We sent our self-confessed Francophile features writer Amy along and she wasn’t disappointed…

“On a hot Saturday afternoon I arrived at Madame Gautier cookery school to learn how to cook Filet de Boeuf En Croûte. (Or beef wellington to you non-foodies). Our lovely teacher Adam began with a demonstration, showing us firstly how to cook the mushrooms with shallots and thyme (seriously the most amazing mushrooms I have ever eaten), then prepare and seal the beef and finally demonstrating how to wrap it up in puff pastry. Then it was down to us to attempt our own; cue lots of questions asked and answered with plenty of patience by Adam.

“I learnt so much in this class including my favourite tip on chopping onions without tears; leave the root on until the last minute and breathe in through the mouth and out through the nose. I only started eating meat last year after a number of years as a veggie and have never cooked beef before. The class gave me so much confidence in handling and cooking beef, which was an added bonus for me.  And we all got a taste of Adam’s demo dish, which was delicious.

“We took away our dishes to bake at home – this resulted in me carefully carrying it home on the tube, nursing it like a small child.  It made it home in one piece and was baked and eaten the following night… it was damn tasty and earned me some brownie points from the boyfriend!”

If you would like to attempt to make your own, here’s the recipe.

Beef Wellington
500-600g beef fillet steak
350g ready to roll puff pastry

 For the Mushroom Duxelle
150g mushrooms (any)
1 small onion – finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1tbsp Dijon mustard
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the Pancakes
4oz (115g) flour
2 eggs
Half pint of milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of mixed herbs

Start by rubbing oil, salt and pepper onto the steak, then fry the fillet in a dry pan until it has caramelised and has a deep rich brown outside. Remove the steak from the pan and place to one side to allow to cool.

In the same pan, fry the finely diced onion, thyme and garlic for 1-2 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the mustard and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Remove the onion and garlic from the pan, add a little oil and turn the heat up before add in the mushrooms.

Fry the mushrooms in small batches, so that they fry quickly and caramelise, rather than stewing and leaking all of their water into the pan. Once the mushrooms are cooked, introduce the onions back to the pan and mix together until even. Put all of the mix into a food processor and blend until smooth enough to spread. If you like, you can add a splash of cream to help.

To make the pancakes, crack the two eggs into a jug with the milk and whisk until combined. Add the herbs and salt to the flour.

Slowly pour the milk and eggs on to the flour, whisking continuously until a smooth batter. Pass the mix through a sieve to remove any lumps.

Fry 3-4 pancakes in the same frying pan again. This will ensure that all the flavour from the beef and mushrooms is kept, rather than going to waste.

Once all of the components have cooled, you can start to build the Wellington. Roll out the pastry, until it is roughly the thickness of a pound coin.

Lay the pancakes out, so that there is enough surface area to fully coat the beef. Spread the mushroom duxelle over the pancakes before topping with the beef.

Finally, roll the pancakes and pastry around the beef, before sealing the pastry at the bottom, and trimming away any excess pastry.

When you are ready to cook, egg wash completely and place in the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 220C for 35-40 minutes.

The longer it is cooked, the more well done the beef will be. For a medium cook, 35 minutes should be sufficient; however this does vary from oven to oven.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

By Amy Peck

Limeade Ice Lollies

As we kiss summer goodbye and welcome all the beauty of autumn, why not take a last tasty bite out of this season by trying these three frozen limeade ice lollies?

The Californian 
(Passion fruit, spicy limeade ice lolly)

This first recipe is like a little trip to California, where you can eat sweet fruits with chilli pepper and lemon. This passion fruit, spicy limeade ice lolly is a beautiful mix of sweet and citrus with a lingering taste of cayenne pepper.

1/3 cup of water
1/3 cup passion fruit juice
The juice of half a lime
Small pinch of cayenne powder
2 big spoons of your sweetener of choice (we like honey and brown sugar)

Forget-me-not 
(Lime and basil ice lolly)

The second one is not your regular limeade, although it is refreshing like a typical limeade it has a twist of basil. The herb adds extra tastiness and makes it lets just say unforgettable.

1/2 cup of water
The juice of one whole lime
2 big spoons of your favorite sweetener
1 full basil stem*

 *You can drain the basil leaves out before freezing it but we like to leave them in.

Herbal Sweet
(Rosemary, mint and kiwi limeade)

Last, but certainly not least, is this sweet, herbal and fruity ice lolly  This one is so full of flavour! The cool, fresh mint, earthy sweetness of the rosemary and the subtle tangy-ness of the kiwi makes it our favourite!

1/2 Cup of Water
The juice of one full lime
1/2 stem of rosemary (cut in small pieces)
A few mint leaves
2 big spoons of your favorite sweetener
1/4 of a kiwi (diced in very small pieces)

When you are making these, keep in mind that your juice should always be a little more sweet than the limeade you normally drink, because when it freezes, the taste changes a bit. We hope you try it and let your palette go on one last refreshing journey this summer!

By Valerie Moreno
You can find her blogging over at Nuance andBubbles Blog, taking daily snaps on Instagram, Tweeting away or pinning inspiration here.

Burgers, Burgers, Burgers

Never before has the burger been in the spotlight quite like now. As street food trucks appear to entice tourists and those on their lunch breaks alike, restaurants promising indulgent burgers and sides are popping up across the country.

Once considered within the same vein as kebabs, burgers were the guilty pleasure bought in a drunken haze at 2am but now they ooze elaborate flavours and toppings ranging from caramelised onions to chillies. Like macarons and cupcakes, burgers are having their moment as a fast-food fad which doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.

Moving away from their processed predecessors, the burgers themselves are made of British beef, often locally sourced alongside other ingredients such as cheese, bacon and even haggis.

Vegetarians need not worry though, many places are also catering to those without a penchant for meat and that’s part of the appeal.

While it may be just another example of street food having its day, burger joints are encouraging anyone and everyone to ditch the knives and forks as they bite into a mountain of flavours. If you’re after something to brighten up your Monday, head over to your nearest diner and indulge!

By Victoria Rodrigues O’Donnell

Image sources 1,2

How to host a Brazilian style World Cup Party

Seeing as England didn’t get as far as any of us may have hoped in this year’s tournament, if you’re hosting a World Cup party it’s probably a much better idea to celebrate the hosting country instead (especially as they’re favourites to win!). After all, Brazil has amazing culture AND you can hang on to the decorations for your Olympics 2016 party!

Music
If singing the Brazilian National Anthem is the unthinkable (you may have to start learning Portuguese on Duolingo first), there are countless Spotify playlists and compilations dedicated to all the sweet sounds coming from Brazil. With numerous artists having contributed to Brazil’s idiosyncratic music scene, it only takes a quick search for Gilberto Gil, Seu Jorge or João Gilberto to create an authentic Bossa Nova party.

Food
 Once the music is sorted you can concentrate on how to cater the perfect Brazilian themed party. Forget all the silly gimmicks which brands are tempting you with as they adorn their products with the colours of the Brazilian flag. Instead, discover the delicious variety of snacks that traditionally feature at Brazilian get-togethers. Pastéis filled with cheese or meat are little pastries (think empanadas) which make ideal appetisers, or Coxinhas, deep fried chicken filled snacks which even Nigella has a recipe for, are a great alternative for savoury bites.

As for sweet treats, there are countless desserts that can be served, such as Brigadeiros and Pudim. Brigadeiros are small chocolate balls covered in chocolate sprinkles and Pudim is a Brazilian-style flan covered in caramel sauce.

 Drinks
Once you’ve had enough food, why not try some cocktails including Caiprinihas, Brazil’s national cocktail made with cachaça? Infamous for its strength, if you’d prefer to avoid a hangover the next day, a Caipiroska is made with vodka instead.  We love this cantaloupe and mint version…

So go on, make some Caiprinihas and be prepared to scream ‘Gooooooooooooooooal’ every time someone scores. 
By Victoria Rodrigues O’Donnell
Image sources 1,2,3,4

Apple Butter Hand Pies

These intensely buttery and flaky hand pies are like a posh man’s McDonalds apple pie. If you read the recipe ahead and bake them over two days though, they can be enjoyed by anyone. And they darn well should be, because nobody should be subjected to applesauce that tastes like wall glue.
Ingredients:  

Apple Butter 
14-16 Braeburn or Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored & sliced into chunks 
1 cup (275ml) apple juice 
2 tbsp brandy 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 tsp ground ginger 
½ tsp ground nutmeg 
¼ tsp ground cloves 
1 cup (220g) caster sugar 
2 tbsp lemon juice  
Pie Dough 
2 ½ cups (290g) plain flour 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp sugar 
1 cup (230g) cold, cubed butter 
¼ / ½ cup (around 100ml) cup cold water plus extra for brushing  
½ cup (110g) sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon   
Notes: as the apples are cooked down, it doesn’t matter which apples you choose for this recipe, just go for the ones that you believe have the best flavour.


Recipe:  

Day One  
Put the flour, sugar, salt and cubed butter in a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs form. Before it forms a ball, slowly add the water – add a little extra if it feels dry, pulse until dough forms. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes, preferably overnight.    

Make the filling. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir every so often. The apples will start to break down and will eventually reach a saucy consistency. Cook for 45 minutes and mash up unbroken pieces of apple. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 2 hours until the sauce is much darker, thicker and half the amount. Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, will last there for 1 month or up to 6 months in the freezer.   

Day Two  
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out a ¼ inch thick. Take a 4/5 inch cookie cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can, you should have about 16. Place the rounds on a baking tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon 1 ½ teaspoons of apple butter in the centre of half the rounds, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch gap between the edges of the pastry. Brush water around the edges of rounds and place another round on top. Gently seal the dough with your fingers and create a cross in the centre using a knife. Repeat with the rest of the rounds. Place back on baking sheet, cover and and refrigerate for 30 minutes.   

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Brush pies with water and then sprinkle with cinnamon before baking. Bake for 22 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool or eat warm, lasts for 3 months in the freezer or 4 days at room temperature.




Recipe and photography bu Emine Hassan

Cheats Pizza

You all know we’re huge fans of delicious things made easy, and who doesn’t like pizza? So we thought we’d mash up the two. You see with ‘normal’ pizza you have to faff about with yeast; letting that dough rise for a good hour or more. But with these? You can make these babies in half an hour from scratch. 

Let us introduce you to the wonders of flatbread. Flatbread is the easiest thing ever. You just take flour, baking powder (to give a little lift), water and natural yoghurt to make em really soft. Mix and toast in a pan! Top them with your favourite pizza toppings, whack them into the oven, and bam! PIZZA! Easy huh?

Ingredients

350G Flour
1 ½ Tspn Baking Powder
350G Yoghurt
Splash of water
Toppings (we used Aioli,  cherry tomatoes, onions, baby peppers, baby spinach and camembert Cheese)
Method
Mix together the flour, baking powder, yoghurt and water to form a dough.

Lightly knead and place in a oiled bowl.

Set aside for 15 minutes while you prepare the toppings.
Cut the dough into six and roll out very thinly (the thinner the better)

Place in a heated skillet, once the bottom is golden transfer onto a oven tray.

Add toppings and grill into golden.
Remove and top with rocket or baby spinach. YUM.
Words and Photography by Britney Hazeldine



1 2 3 7