Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halogen Oven Potato Slices

I've been experimenting with a halogen oven recently. It provides a very dry heat and gets to temperature quickly, so idea for when cooking for a couple of people.

Ingredients:

  • 400g waxy potatoes (about 4 or 5)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle chilli powder

Method:

  1. Slice the potatoes into 5mm slices and put into a bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with cold water and soak the potatoes for at least 30 minutes. This helps to remove some starch and stop the outside burning when cooking.
  3. Drain the potatoes and put in a new bowl.
  4. Toss the potato slices with the olive oil
  5. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and powdered pepper and toss until well mixed.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then place on the baking tray for your halogen oven.
  7. Place the tray in the oven on the high shelf.
  8. Turn on the halogen oven Cook for 22 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
  9. Serve with a cool tomato salsa and sour cream.
Serves 2 as a side dish.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Deep Fried Frozen Egg

By freezing the egg you can get the white to be cooked but the yolk to still be nice and runny. It's basically just a scotch egg without the sausage meat, but it's a fun recipe to play around with techniques.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 6 tbsp bread crumbs

Method:

  1. Place 2 eggs in a bag in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
  2. Remove the eggs from the freezer, warm briefly under a tap, crack off the shell, return to the bag and return to the freezer to re-chill.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in your deep fat fryer to 180 degrees Celsius.
  4. Whisk the remaining egg in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another bowl and then the breadcrumbs in yet another.
  5. Take one of the frozen eggs out of the freezer and using your right hand, place it in the flour and coat well. Shake off any excess flour.
  6. Use your right hand to drop into the bowl with the whisked egg (but don't touch the liquid egg with your right hand).
  7. Use your left hand to coat the frozen egg with the liquid egg and then, still using the left hand, dropped the frozen egg into the breadcrumbs (but don't touch the crumbs with your left hand).
  8. Use your right hand to scoop up bread crumbs and dump on the egg. Once it's well coated, use your right hand to roll it around a bit more and then place carefully into the deep fat fryer.
  9. Repeat for the remaining egg.
  10. Deep fry for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the fryer, leave to drain on kitchen towel for about 30 seconds and then serve.

Makes 2 deep fried eggs.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sous-vide Caramelised Onions

There are a variety of recipes online for sous-vide caramelised onions, so when making these I experimented with adding butter and pre-cooking them. The addition of butter seemed to prevent them from developing as much flavour, but the pre-frying is essential to stop the bag ballooning with gas during the cooking and to reduce the crunch of the finished onions. They don't get as dark as caramelised onions in a pan, but the liquid with them is considerably more flavoursome. The bottom left onions in the photo below are the result of this recipe. The others, clockwise from top left, are no-butter without pre-frying, no pre-frying but with butter, pre-frying with butter and, finally, pre-frying without butter.

Ingredients:

  • 4 onions
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the sous-vide water to 85 degrees Celsius.
  2. Fry the onions over a medium heat in a dry frying pan for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Use a thick plastic bag, or double bag it, to hold the part-cooked onions and use the submersion method to get all the air out. Some plastic bags don't have strong enough edges to not break during the long and hot cooking of this recipe.
  4. Cook the onions for 24 hours.
  5. Season with the salt, divide into portions and freeze until required to flavour a recipe.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Roast Potato Slices

This is a nice alternative to wedges with a good texture.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of potatoes (about 4 medium sized) washed and sliced into 5mm slices
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh parsley to garnish

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Toss the potato slices with the garlic powder and paprika.
  3. Add the oil and mix until the potato slices are well coated.
  4. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet or two and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 2.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Prawn Saganaki

The combination of spicy tomato, sweet peppers and prawns works really well in this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Romano peppers (the red long thin sweet peppers)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 spicy red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 390g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 600g tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 50g parsley, finely chopped
  • 180g cooked king prawns with shells on
  • 125g feta cheese, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Use a blow torch, grill on high or gas hob to blacken the outside of the peppers and place in a sealed plastic bag to steam in their warmth.
  2. Put the onion and oil in a large pan and soften over a low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the garlic, spicy pepper, tinned tomatoes, white wine and chopped tomatoes into the pan containing the onions.
  4. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.
  5. Peel the blackened skin off the peppers and chop into 1cm pieces before adding to the tomato mixture.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add half the parsley, stir and then scatter the prawns over the top and place a lid over it.
  8. Leave to heat for 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat, garnish with the rest of the parsley and the feta cheese and serve immediately.
  10. Provide some white and crusty bread on the side to mop up the juices.

Serves 2.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Quick Potato Dauphinoise

Cooking the potatoes in a saucepan before placing them in the oven means that this whole dish takes well under an hour: a considerably improvement over the usual dauphinoise which takes about an hour and a half in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of potatoes, sliced into 1/4 cm slices
  • 700ml milk
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 pot of chicken stock gel (or a stock cube)
  • 50ml double cream or 35g butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees for a fan oven)
  2. Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and stir while brining to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes (if the potatoes start to get soft then move on to putting them in the oven straight away).
  4. Pour into a wide, high sided dish and place in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Low-carb Courgette Pizza

The vegetable base of this pizza is good if you're wanting to avoid carbs and, while nothing like wheat dough, is very tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper, whole
  • a 390g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500g of courgettes (about 4 normal sized), coarsely grated
  • 1 tsp finely ground salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 60g mild cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 80g feta, crumbled
  • 1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 8 black olives, sliced

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Use a blowtorch, gas hob or grill to burn the pepper all over. You want the skin to be utterly black. Place in a plastic bag while still hot and steal in the steam. This will make it easier to peel.
  3. Place the chopped tomatoes in a sieve placed over a bowl and leave for the juice to drain out.
  4. Mix the grated courgette with the salt and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  5. Use a muslin or cheese cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the grated courgette.
  6. Mix the courgette, egg, cheddar cheese and mixed herbs together in a bowl.
  7. Place a sheet of grease proof paper on a baking tray and spread out the courgette mixture into a circle about 4 mm thick.
  8. Place in the oven for 12 minutes, or until it starts to brown at the edges.
  9. While it's cooking in the oven, use your fingers to rub the burnt skin off the pepper while running it under a cold tap.
  10. Slice the skin of the pepper into bite size pieces.
  11. Remove the pizza base from the oven and top with the chopped tomatoes, followed by the feta and then the red onion, black olives and skinned pepper. You won't need to use all the ingredients as toppings unless you really like your pizzas with lots of toppings.
  12. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  13. Carefully slide the grease proof paper from under the pizza or serve it directly from the paper. Trim any burnt liquid from the edges before cutting into slices and serving.

Serves 2.