Monday, October 15, 2012

How to make Naan Bread

You'll need this:
225g strong white flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 sachet fast-action yeast
4 tablespoons warm milk
1 tablespoon
sunflower oil
2 tablespoons
plain yoghurt
1 egg, beaten
Oil for greasing

Here's what to do:
1. Sieve the flour and salt together into a bowl and stir in the yeast.
2. Mix in the other ingredients and bring together with your hands.
3. Knead for 5 minutes, then leave in a warm place to double in size. This will take about 30–40 minutes.
4. Heat the oven to its highest temperature and heat some oil on a baking tray for 5 minutes.
5. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and roll out each piece into a teardrop shape.
6. Remove the baking tray from the oven and lay each naan on the hot tray. Bake immediately for 4–5 minutes, or until they have ballooned and started to turn golden brown.
7. Serve warm.

Simple Vegetable Madras Recipe

1 large knob butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
1 courgette, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cauliflower florets, halved
50g peas
50g green beans, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 dessertspoons madras
curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 medium mushrooms, halved
400g canned chopped tomatoes
A handful of fresh spinach or
4 portions of frozen

1. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, carrots, courgette, peppers, cauliflower, peas and beans. Stir to coat in the butter and leave covered on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables will sweat in the butter and release their juices to make a stock.
2. Add the garlic and madras powder and sweat for 5 more minutes.
3. Add the salt, mushrooms and tomatoes (if using frozen spinach, add this now) and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
4. Add the fresh spinach and cook for 3 minutes.

Serving suggestion
Serve with pilau rice and mango chutney.

Easy and Simple Lasagne Recipe

If your ragu sauce is already hot, then this lasagne only takes about 30–40 minutes to cook.
If the sauce is cold, it will take about an hour.

What you'll need:
1 quantity of ragu sauce,
16–18 sheets of lasagne
For the white sauce
425ml milk
2 level tablespoons cornflour
Salt and black pepper to taste
150g cheese, a mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan or any type

Here's how:
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6.

To make the cheese sauce
1. In a heatproof bowl or jug, mix 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour to make a paste.
2. Heat the rest of the milk until hot, then whisk it into the cornflour mixture.
3. Pour the mixture back into the pan over a low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until it boils and thickens. Season to taste and stir in half of the cheese.

To make the lasagne
1. Put a ladle of ragu sauce in the bottom of a large, ovenproof dish or roasting pan, then add a layer of lasagne.
2. Carry on layering sauce then lasagne and finish with a layer of lasagne,
3. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the heat of the ragu sauce.
5. Leave to settle in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Serving suggestion
The ragu and cheese sauce also makes a tasty cannelloni. Fill tubes of cannelloni pasta with some of the sauce (allow 2–3 tubes per person) and place in an ovenproof tin. Pour the rest of the sauce over the cannelloni, top with the cheese sauce, and bake the cannelloni at 200˚C/gas mark 6 for 45 minutes.

Easy Bacon and Leek Pie Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5.
2. Butter a 20cm tin or pie dish.
3. Roll out just over half of the pastry and use this to line the base of the tin or pie dish.
4. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the bacon. Fry for 1 minute, then add the leeks. Cook gently until the leeks are soft. Season to taste, remembering that bacon is salty.
5. Sprinkle in the flour and stir into the buttery juices.
6. Add the stock gradually – use just enough to cover the leeks and thicken when mixed with the flour. You may not need to use all the stock.
7. Cool for 5 minutes, then fill the pie with the leek mixture.
8. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. Dampen the edges of the pie with water and lay the lid on, securing the edges by pressing them together.
9. Glaze the pie top with a little beaten egg or milk if you wish, then bake for 30–40 minutes in the preheated oven.
10. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Butter for greasing
Half a quantity of
shortcrust pastry
25g butter
100g smoked
bacon, chopped
5 large leeks, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plain flour
150ml vegetable stock

How to make Pork, Sun-dried Tomato and Chicken Pie

Here's how:
1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C/gas mark 3.
2. Grease the tin well with butter. Roll out 2⁄3 of the pastry – not too thick
but thick enough to hold together when cooked; about 4mm is a suitable thickness. Use this to line the tin.
3. Put the pork in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put this in the bottom of the pie and press down evenly.
4. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the oil for frying or as a salad dressing. Put a layer over the pork, overlapping the slices slightly.
5. Put the chicken meat on top of the tomatoes and season with a little salt and pepper if you wish.
6. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the lid. Dampen the edges of the pastry base with water and lay the lid on top of the pie. Crimp the edges together with your finger and thumb. Make 3 slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.
7. Bake the pie for 2 hours, the first hour at 170˚C/gas mark 3, the second hour at 160˚C/gas mark 2–3. You will know when it is cooked by piercing the centre with a knife: it should slide in easily and there should be very little residue left on the blade.
8. Allow to cool for 30–40 minutes before serving warm, or allow to cool completely and put in the fridge for a few hours, then serve cold with salad.

You'll be needing:
Butter for greasing
1 quantity of
shortcrust pastry
750g minced pork
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x 200g jar sun-dried
tomatoes in oil
500g uncooked chicken,
either thinly sliced
or diced

Easy Deep-filled Cheese and Onion Pie Recipe

This is a large pie and would serve 8 people.
You'll need this:
Butter for greasing
1 quantity of
shortcrust pastry
200g red Leicester
cheese, grated
200g mature Cheddar,
50g crumbly Cheshire
cheese, crumbled
or grated
1 large onion, very
finely chopped
1 egg
1⁄2 teaspoon ground
black pepper
1 level teaspoon
mustard powder

1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5.
2. Butter a large, deep pie dish, roll out just over half of the pastry and use this to line the dish.
3. In a large bowl, mix all the cheeses together with the onion. Mix until fully combined.
4. Beat the egg and whisk in the pepper and mustard. Stir into the cheese mixture.
5. Pile the cheese mixture into the pastry shell, then roll out the lid. Dampen the edges with water and lay the lid carefully on top of the pie.
Crimp or squeeze the edges together. Brush the top with egg and milk if you like a shiny finish.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 35–45 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden colour.
7. Allow the pie to rest for 10 minutes before serving with baked beans or a salad.

Easy Strawberry and Kiwi Tart Recipe

Butter for greasing
Half a quantity of
shortcrust pastry
250g small strawberries,
hulled and halved
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and
sliced thinly, then
each slice halved
For the custard layer
250ml milk
2 tablespoons cornflour
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons
caster sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon
vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5.
2. Butter and line a deep 20cm pie or tart tin with pastry. Bake the pastry ‘blind’ by placing a circle of baking parchment at least 4cm bigger than the tin inside it and spread this with baking beans or dried beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
3. Allow to cool while you make the custard. Put the milk, except for 3 tablespoons, in a saucepan and heat until it is warm. Remove from the heat.
4. Mix the reserved milk with the cornflour.
5. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Pour the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking to combine, and stir in the vanilla.
6. Pour the custard back in the pan and stir in the cornflour paste. Mix in vigorously. Heat at a low temperature until the mixture comes to the boil, whisking all the time.
7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Put a disc of baking parchment over the custard to stop a skin forming on the top.
8. Spread the custard evenly over the pastry shell.
9 Arrange the strawberries on the custard in concentric circles, alternating with slices of kiwi fruit.
10 Refrigerate for 30–40 minutes before serving.

Serving suggestion
If you want a glossy finish to the tart, warm some apricot jam in a pan then brush it over the fruit with a pastry brush.

Making a Shortcrust Pastry

Here's how:
1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl; lift the sieve as high up as possible so that the flour gets a really good airing.
2. Add both the fats and begin to rub the fat into the flour. If you find halfway through that the fat softens too much, put the bowl into the fridge for 10 minutes.
3. Keep rubbing in until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Keep it light and if your hands get hot, run your wrists under cold water, dry them and keep going. This stage may be done in the food processor.
4. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix in with a knife; the pastry should start to form clumps. Add the other tablespoon of water and keep mixing in with the knife.
5. Bring the pastry together with your hands as lightly and quickly as possible. Don’t be tempted to knead it as it will end up tough and inedible.
6. When the dough forms a smooth ball, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes before use. When a recipe calls for half a quantity of the pastry, use half and freeze the other – or make something else with it.

You'll need this:
300g plain flour
1⁄2 level teaspoon salt
65g butter, cut into
small pieces
65g lard, cut into
small pieces
2 tablespoons cold water

Monday, October 1, 2012

Easy Oriental Beef Pancakes Recipe

This dish is similar to an Italian cannelloni because it uses filled pancakes in a sauce. It is an
unusual and tasty way to cook minced beef. Most supermarkets sell the oriental pancakes and
hoisin sauce used in this recipe. Four pancakes per person is a reasonable portion as they are only
small, but it is up to you how many you use. Any meat left over from the filling is added to the
sauce. Don’t be tempted to add any extra salt, though, as the soy and hoisin are very salty indeed.

Oriental Beef Pancakes

For the pancakes
1 small onion,
chopped finely
A tablespoon sunflower oil
A teaspoon sesame oil –
optional, but it
adds flavour
3 garlic cloves,
chopped finely
700g minced beef, or
an equal mixture of
beef and pork mince
2 tablespoons hoisin
sauce, mixed into
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
16 oriental pancakes
For the sauce
1 red pepper, chopped
Sunflower oil, for frying
6 medium open-cup
mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons
tomato purée
125ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons hoisin
sauce, mixed with
4 tablespoons water
A dash of soy sauce

To make the pancakes
1. Fry the onion in the oil. Add the sesame oil also if you are using it.
2. Add the garlic and minced meat and fry until the meat is brown.
3. Stir in the sauces and cook gently for 15 minutes.
4. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into the centre of each pancake
and roll up. Place in an ovenproof dish, packed tightly together.

To make the sauce
1. Fry the pepper in a little oil and add the mushrooms, garlic
and tomato purée. When the juices start to run from the mushrooms,
add the wine.
2. Stir in any leftover meat from the filling and add the other sauces.
3. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour over the pancakes.
4. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes at 150˚C/gas mark 2 to
heat through.

Serving suggestion
Serve with either egg-fried rice or noodles dressed with a little soy sauce.

Easy Beef and Vegetable Cobbler Recipe

Beef and Vegetable Cobbler
oil for frying
1 large onion, sliced
450g stewing beef
1 tablespoon flour
3 medium carrots,
scrubbed and sliced into discs
Half a small squash, diced
2 medium leeks
2 large potatoes
2 celery sticks
2 tablespoons chopped
fresh parsley or
1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons
tomato purée
350ml water or beef
or vegetable stock
(see pages 17 and 19)
Salt and pepper
For the cobbler
180g self-raising flour
Salt and black pepper
to taste
1⁄2 level teaspoon
of cayenne pepper
60g Cheddar
30g butter
1 egg
5 tablespoons milk

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until soft. Transfer to an
ovenproof dish.
2. Fry the meat in the same pan until it is just brown. Sprinkle with the
flour and add to the onions.
3. Add the vegetables and parsley and stir to combine.
4. Stir the tomato purée into the stock and pour this over the meat
and vegetables.
5. Cover and cook for about 11⁄2 hours at 190˚C/gas mark 5.
6. Meanwhile, make the cobbler. Sift the flour, salt and cayenne pepper
into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in a little black pepper
and the Cheddar.
7. Beat the egg and milk together and mix into the dry ingredients.
8. Use your hands to combine the cobbler mixture. After the meat
and vegetables are cooked, gently roll out the cobbler mix and cut it
into rounds.
9. Place the rounds on top of the cooked meat and bake for 15–20 minutes
at 200˚C/gas mark 6, or until the cobbler is well risen and golden on top.
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