Thursday, 30 December 2010

Bloody Maria

Does anyone actually know the words to Auld Lang Syne? Can’t say I do. Chances are, come midnight on New Year’s Eve I’ll be delivering a wildly atonal and fractured interpretation in chorus with the melee; if I’m lucky, collective inebriation will grant me respite for another year. A Bloody Maria is nearly identical to a Bloody Mary; with exception to tequila and lime, which replace the vodka and lemon. Perfect for (what is perenially) a dishevelled start to the year's proceedings.
1 Shot of tequila
6 Dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 Dashes Tobasco sauce
1tsp Grated horseradish root (creamed horseradish is fine if you don't
have any)
A pinch of ground black pepper
A pinch of celery salt
A small pinch of cayenne pepper
A good squeeze of lime juice
200ml Tomato juice
Ice cubes
Celery sticks, to serve

Pop 3 ice cubes into the bottom of cocktail shaker, then add the
remaining ingredients. Shake well, pour into an appropriate receptacle
and serve with a celery stick.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Boozy sloe gin mincemeat

600g Mixed dried fruit (I used roughly equal parts raisins, currants and sultanas)
200g Unsalted butter
200g Light muscovado sugar
1 Large bramley apple peeled, cored and grated
Zest and juice of one large orange
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
A good grating of fresh nutmeg
150ml Sloe gin

Slowly melt the butter in a large pan; take off the heat and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Mix the dried fruit, grated apple, orange zest, orange juice and sloe gin together in a separate bowl (it's good to do this the night before if you get a chance). Stir the butter into the fruit, mix together well and spoon into sterilised jars. Fashion into untold mince pies.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Cranberry clafoutis

I've made clafoutis' before, but with sweeter fruit such as blueberries,

blackberries and plums. In this instance I offset the sharpness of

the Cranberries by macerating them in a little warm honey first.

400g Fresh cranberries

1 tbsp Honey

75g Plain flour

100g Golden caster sugar

75g Ground almonds

1 tsp Ground cinnamon

2 Eggs

150ml Whole milk

100ml Single cream

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Warm the honey in a small

saucepan, take off the heat and stir in the cranberries. Sieve the flour

into a mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar, almonds and cinnamon.

Whisk the eggs, milk and cream together in a seperate bowl, make a

well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly whisk in the liquid.

Mix well, until the batter is smooth and lump free.

Butter a shallow dish, add a spoonful of sugar and tap at an angle,

rotating slowly to coat the bottom and sides of the dish. Spoon in the

honeyed cranberries, then pour in the batter. Bake for 25 minutes,

after which the clafoutis should be risen and golden. A skewer should

come out clean when poked into dish.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Monday, 6 December 2010

Wild mushroom tarts

Makes 4

300g Wild mushrooms

375g Pack puff pastry

1 Garlic clove, finely chopped

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp Creme fraiche

20g Parmesan, finely grated

A large knob of butter

1 Egg, beaten

A few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Sprinke a little flour onto a work

surface and roll the pastry out to about 1/2cm thick. Use a small

saucer to cut out 4 pastry discs; transfer onto a lined baking sheet

and use the blunt edge of a knife to score a border on each (inset of

about 1cm).

Melt a knob butter in a hot pan, stir in the garlic, then add the

mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, then take off the heat.

Mix the mustard, creme fraiche and Parmesan together in a bowl. Spread

a thin layer of the mixture into the centre of each tart, taking care

not to spoon over the border line. Divide the mushrooms between the

four tarts, brush the pastry borders with beaten egg and bake for 20

minutes. Season, sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves and serve.