“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year Party Picks Recipes | Jamie Oliver

New Year Party Picks Recipes | Jamie Oliver

Try some of these if you're entertaining tonight!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Recent Nibbles

Here's a post that fell by the wayside in May! -- jeff

Recently popped down to Hastings for a day, and stopped in for lunch at Fagin's Diner at the end of George St. in the Old Town. 

 The food was pretty darn great for the money!

I had the prawn baguette which was massive for £4.

Laura had the veggie burger.

No shortage of condiments!

This is a kids' meal! Unbelievable - it comes with a juice and an ice cream and it's only £6.

Christmas Crumble

Lorraine Bowen, David Walliams' "Golden Buzzer Act" in 2014's Britain's Got Talent (which ought to be called Britain Has Talent if we are being grammatically correct), won over the nation at the time by performing a song about Crumble, and has now brought out a Christmas version for us all to enjoy. The song is huge and deserves to be the Christmas No. 1. Don't believe how huge it is? Just look up "Christmas Crumble" on YouTube and see the sheer quantity of Christmas Crumble fan videos. Seriously.

Anyhoo, in my other job as host of my Into The Unknown podcast, I've played several of Lorraine's tunes over the course of the last year. I love her quirky style and offbeat humour, but as a food blogger, I am trying to find out exactly what goes into a Christmas Crumble.While I do that, watch this video where Lorraine details how to do the Christmas Crumble Dance.

Here's a recipe I found, by James Tanner:

Christmas Crumble

3 rhubarb stems

2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

1 orange, juice only

pinch ground cinnamon

55g/2oz plain flour

pinch ground mixed spice

2 tbsp finely chopped butter

1 tbsp caster sugar

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Trim and peel the rhubarb. Cut the rhubarb into chunks and place into a pan over a medium heat.

Add the light muscovado sugar, orange juice and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender but still holding its shape.

Meanwhile, sieve the flour and mixed spice into a bowl.

Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the caster sugar and stir to combine.

Transfer the stewed rhubarb to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over a thin, even layer of the crumble topping.

Transfer the crumble to the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the topping is cooked through and lightly golden-brown.
Serve with custard or cream.

There's also Mary Berry's Winter Crumble Tart recipe here.

And here's my variation, a good way to use up any leftover mincemeat you have from making mince pies!

Jeff's Christmas Apple Crumble

For the crumble
35g rolled oats
35g wholemeal flour
20g caster sugar
35g butter

For the filling
400g cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
50g sugar, to sweeten
1 tablespoon water


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Peel and core the apples, quarter and cut into small chunks or slices.

Put the apples and sugar into a small ovenproof dish. Depending on how much leftover mincemeat you have, place small spoonfuls evenly in between the apple.

Place the flour and oats in a bowl and mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add this to the oats and flour. Mix with your fingertips until it resembles an even crumb texture. Add the sugar and mix through. 

Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until the crumble is golden and the apple hot.

Serve with custard, cream or ice cream, or even brandy butter if you like!

N.B. For our overseas cousins who are perhaps unfamiliar with mincemeat, here's an overview.

Mincemeat is a mixture of chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits and spices, and sometimes beef suet, beef, or venison. Originally, mincemeat always contained meat. Many modern recipes contain beef suet, though vegetable shortening is sometimes used in its place. Variants of mincemeat are found in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, northern Europe, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is highly unusual for mincemeat these days to contain any actual meat. Here's a recipe to make your own, but it's easier to nip out and pick up a jar or two.

900 g cooking apples, grated
700 g raisins
350 g currants
225 g sultanas
100 g mixed peel
175 g margarine
1/2 tsp mixed spice
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 lemons, grated zest
680 g granulated sugar
8 tbsp brandy

Soak the apples, raisins, sultanas and currants in the brandy and lemon juice for 1 hr until plumped up, then drain and set the brandy aside. Mix all the ingredients together, then pour in the brandy when everything else is well mixed. Spoon and press into sterilised jars, to exclude any air (the easiest way to sterilise jars is to run them through a dishwasher on its hottest setting). Cover and leave for at least a fortnight. Will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.

Jamie Oliver's got a wonderful Apple-Crumble-flavoured cocktail recipe... right here.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Kooshti Sante!


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