Archive for February, 2012

Miso Noodle Soup with Scallops

 

This has to be one of the quickest recipes to date, but it’s nourishing and comforting without being too heavy, and it takes as long as a scallop to cook, which really is quick. I served it as a starter before a main course of my Easy Homemade Sushi, and it went down a treat. The scallops are sweet and juicy at this time of year and have tender bright orange roes, some people remove these but for me they are they best bit, try to get diver caught scallops from a good fishmonger.

Miso Noodle Soup with Scallops

Per Person

2/3 large scallops

A garlic clove finely chopped

A squeeze of lime juice

1 packet Miso Soup with Sea Vegetables

10 udon noodles, cooked as per the packet

Garnishes including fresh coriander, finely chopped chilli, ginger, spring onions

A splash of soy and toasted sesame oil

Heat a small frying pan with a little sunflower oil until smoking, pop in your scallops and chopped garlic and a good squeeze of lime.

Make up your Miso soup with a cup of boiling water in your soup bowl and add the cooked noodles.

Turn your scallops, they should be a lovely brown colour and will only take a couple of minutes to cook, it’s so easy to overcook scallops, so less is definately more. Once cooked pop the scallops on top of the noodles, and garnish with any or all of the garnishes and the soy and sesame oil.

This is a bit cheaty and easy compared to my usual recipes, but got a really good review from my tasters (wife and friend).

 

 

The Goose that laid the Giant Egg.

A Giant Goose Egg, A large Chicken Egg and a Quail Egg

I was given three lovely Goose Eggs, by my friends at Pitmans Farm to try after enquiring what they tasted like. Two of them were slightly bigger than a duck egg, but one was massive at least double the size of the others. I’m very fortunate to have some wonderful foodie friends who are proud of what they do, and also got lucky when dropping a little Smokin’ Fudge for Jan at Maddocks Farm to sample, she generously handed me a bag of her peppery organic watercress.

It popped into my head, as these things do, that they would be an ideal match, with the juicy pepperiness of the watercress offsetting the famed golden richness of the goose egg , and I was right, a simple salad of hard boiled goose egg (I wasn’t quite sure how long to boil for and so the yolk was a little harder than I had planned), with watercress and a sprinkle of sea salt, the egg was so large it was a meal all to itself.

I popped the egg into boiling water for 10 minutes as it was so huge, but 8 would probably have given a soft yolk.

They really are decadently rich, and have given me all sorts of ideas.

Giant Scotch Eggs anyone??

Smoked butter becomes something amazing!

I’m sceptical about a lot of things in life, but am always willing to be surprised, as I find myself by the whole twittering business. I’ve found it a great way to find interesting and likeminded people who are into food and writing about it. There seems to be a rich vein of talented food writers and bloggers living in Devon.

So when I recently planned to smoke some butter, I was contacted by Devons newest food blogger Mandy Foster  from Chilli & Chai who was hoping to utilise some of my smoked butter for a cunning recipe she had come up with for Smokin’ Fudge. So I sent her a sample cold smoked with Beech and Apple to give the butter a lovely sweet smokiness.

I was over the moon to then receive back a sample of the incredibly moreish Smokin’ Fudge that Mandy had made from my butter. Though I would have to say that it has turned out to be divisive, with some people loving it, and others not. I was just really pleased that Mandy had given this a go and had produced something that was unusual and innovative, and I’m most definitely in the love it camp, the more I eat the more I want to keep nibbling on it.

Mutton dressed as lamb?

I always value leftovers, they can quite often be the best part of cooking, and I can get very excited by the prospect of cooking with something as wonderful as the mutton leftovers from the previous post.

Shepherds Pie is a family favourite of ours, and so it was the obvious choice for the mutton. It cheered my poorly son up who’s had the lurgy going round the last few weeks, he polished off a big bowl full.

Shepherds Mutton Pie

Brown off a diced onion and a couple of garlic cloves in a little oil with a sprig of finely chopped rosemary in a shallow casserole dish, add a couple of diced carrots, parsnips and half a swede and allow to sweat for 5 minutes.

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a litre of beef/lamb stock, and  a couple of handfuls of finely diced leftover mutton/hoggett/lamb and simmer  with the lid off until the sauce starts to thicken up.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and then top generously with buttery mash potato or sweet potato. Bake in the oven at 180degC for 50 minutes until the top is crisp and brown with the sauce bubbling over the edge.

Serve with peas and brown sauce (my wife got me into this).

 

 

An afternoon BBQ mutton shoulder

I was given a wonderful shoulder of mutton from my friends at Pitmans Farm with the caveat that it was one of their older sheep, and would take a lot of cooking, so I thought what better way to treat this large hunk of meat but cook it low and slow on the hot smoker for the afternoon.

I made up a wet rub with an ancho chilli, some oregano, sea salt, a couple of allspice berries, some black pepper, a little white wine vinegar and some water to loosen the mix. I blitzed this in my spice grinder and then rubbed into the mutton.

I fired up the smoker and hot smoked the shoulder for 7 hours until it reached a temperature of 170 deg F and so was well done, usually I’d go for medium for lamb, but this needed some proper cooking. I would ideally have liked to cook it a little more, up to 190 deg F, but the meat was so tasty, succenlent and tender I was more than happy.

It was perfect served with home made flat breads, coleslaw, and some “Holy Fuck” chilli sauce.

From Beast to Beauty Part 2

A Devon Hogs Pudding might not win any beauty contests, it’s a cooked but not browned pork sausage packed with Groats, (oats used in Devon) with lots of pepper. It’s a traditional pudding that I’d not tried until recently, and is usually sliced and fried as part of a Fry Up to be proud of.

Although there is a great case for using food ingredients where you would expect, it’s also worth mixing things up to find new combinations. Scallops and black pudding are such an unexpected combination, porky savouryness and sweet juicy scallops.

Here’s the westcountry version, the same juicy scallops but the nutty porkiness of the hogs pudding.

Scallops on a Devon Hogs Pudding and Samphire Raft 

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and brown off slices of hogs pudding on a medium high heat, don’t be alarmed if you hear a popping sound, this is the groats heating up and expanding. Once they are lovely and crispy brown on both sides, andplace on your serving plate.

Pop in one scallop per pudding slice in the pan, along with a handful of samphire, a good squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt and coarse ground black pepper.  Brown the scallops quickly on both sides, remove the samphire and place a few strands on each pudding, followed by a scallop and a squeeze of lemon.

Great with some ice cold bone dry cider.

From beast to a beauty

These cod roes, are certainly not the prettiest of ingredients, but for me they are a wonderful seasonal treat, that would normally be wasted.

Given a cure for a few hours with a handful of sea salt, and then cooked for a few minutes in boiling water, and smoked over beech and apple, they make for something far more beautiful and a pleasure to eat, my 2 year old couldn’t get enough, lovely served simply in slices on a cracker or crostini with a small piece of lemon.

Cod roes are at their best now, a good fishmonger should be able to source smoked roes too.

 

A protein packed start to the day.

It still surprises a lot of people who find out that I didn’t eat meat for a very long time, 14 years to be precise, obviously meat is a big part of my life now, but back in the day, I always had need for a quick protein hit, after working out or a physical game of rugby, my body ached for serious amounts of the good stuff.

This recipe was always easy to rustle up, surprisingly lavish, and quelled any cravings, ideal for a post exercise snack, a lazy Sunday morning brunch, or topped with a slice of smoked salmon for a little more luxury.

Scrambled Eggs with Feta and Spinach

Heat a good glug of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan on medium, and add had couple of handfulls of washed baby spinach and cook until just wilted.

Set the toaster going with a nice slice of sourdough or decent bread.

With a fork whisk up 3 eggs per person (no point having a tiny portion) add a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper, and add to the spinach along with 100g of cubed feta. Stir gently until just starting to set and still creamy, fold in a knob of butter, and pile onto the slice of buttered toast with a pinch of cayenne pepper to pep it up further.

Smoked Chilli Chocolate Cake

Clandestine Cake Club Entry

Smoke, Chilli and Chocolate a great combination

I’m always looking for an opportunity to push my culinary experience, and when I heard on the grapevine (from Grazing Kate) that there was to be a Clandestine Cake Club meeting in Devon, I had to get involved.

As I’ve admitted previously I tend to get stressed out when baking cakes, I struggle that it’s best to follow a recipe, still for this event I knew I had to come up with something that was a tad unusual, and tied in to my smoking.

So here’s my recipe for the cake I took along.

Smoked Chilli Chocolate Cake

200g unsalted butter cut into small cubes

200g 70%+ quality dark chocolate broken into squares

50g plain flour

50g ground almonds

5 eggs separeted into yolks and whites

75g light soft brown sugar

100g golden caster sugar

1 dried ancho chilli (I smoked mine) available from South Devon Chilli Farm  blitzed in a spice grinder until fine.

Smoked Chocolate Icing

100g 70%+dark chocolate

50g smoked unsalted butter

Preheat your oven to 180 degC. Set up a bain marie of a heatproof bowl over simmering water, and add the butter and chocolate, ensure the water does not touch the bowl. Gently stir until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined, and remove from heat.

Sift the flour intro a bowl , add the almonds.

In a separate bowl add the brown sugar to the yolks and whisk until creamy. Fold in the chocolate mix until fully combined and then the chilli.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites and caster sugar to a soft peak, and then gently fold in the flour and almonds, followed by the whites until combined without knocking the air out of the mix.

Pour into a 20cm springform cake tin that has been greased and lined with baking parchment and bake for 40 minutes until still slightly sticky in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin before lifting onto a wire rack.

Using the bain marie again for the chocolate icing, melt the chocolate and butter (use regular unsalted if you can’t get any smoked, or cold smoke your own, I used beech home smoked butter), stir and leave to cool until it thickens and spread on the cake.

Garnish the cake with chocolate truffles and a chilli, and enjoy with good company and lashings of clotted cream.

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Jack Knight Cooks

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Whisked Away Bakery

Blue sky baking

BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT

Stories from the hearth

The BBQ World of mrdodd

Making simple food great, and great food right.

UK BBQ Review

UK BBQ Review site

The Munch and Tattle

A Blog About Food (Mostly BBQ and Grill): Trying everything once and telling you all about it. Good or bad! Blogging from areas around Newport and Cardiff, South Wales.

bake affairs

Bridget`s Bakery Blog

CountryWoodSmoke UK BBQ

British BBQ- All the best of UK BBQ, Cooking outdoors whatever the weather.

Country Skills for Modern Life

Some of the cool and useful food, craft and sustainability skills that your grandparents knew, but probably didn't teach you!

GourmetGloucestershireGirl

An exploration of all things foodie in Gloucestershire!

theshotgunchef.wordpress.com/

Hunting chef William Alldis shows you how to live off the land and create mouthwatering recipes for peanuts! Grow it, forage it, kill it, cook it and enjoy it.

Running Buffet

One man's quest to exercise enough so that he can eat all of the good things that exist in the world

From Alfredo's With Love

Fire in my hands - A passion for food in words, photos and recipes...

Devonium & Kitchenalia

Recipe Meanderings from Dartmoor and Culinary Cartoons

thehungrylinguists

tantalise your taste buds

The Artisan of Flavour

Cooking Italian is a craftsman’s labour, the work of an Artisan of Flavour.