Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

* 3 large eggs
* 1 x quantity sweet pastry
* 100g golden caster sugar
* 1kg large sweet potatoes
* 50g unsalted butter, melted
* 4 level tbsp plain flour
* 1/4tsp ground nutmeg
* 2tsp vanilla extract
* Ground cinnamon
* 250ml (9fl oz) double cream (or natural yoghurt for a slightly 'skinnier' version)
* Zest and juice of 3 clementines
* 2tbsp golden caster sugar
* 4 clementines, peeled and sliced into rounds, to serve (Optional)
* Preheat your oven to 200C. Make your pastry, and while it's in the fridge for 30 mins prick your sweet potatoes with a fork, lay them on a baking tray and pop them into the oven - they'll need about 50 mins to an hour, until they're soft and cooked through. When they're ready, take them out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 180C. After the pastry has had 30 minutes in the fridge, continue through the method until baked blind.
* While the pastry case is in the oven, peel the skins off the roasted sweet potatoes and discard. Put the flesh into a large bowl and mash it up. Melt your butter in a saucepan on a low heat and add it to the sweet potato with the sugar, flour, nutmeg, a large pinch of cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl, pour them into the mixture, then mash everything together until completely combined.
* Spoon your sweet potato mixture into the cooled pastry case, and use a fork or spoon to spread it out evenly. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your leftover pastry (plus any bits that you trimmed off the sides). Cut it into long strips, a bit longer than the width of your tart. Drape these strips over the top, crisscrossing them as you go so you get a nice lattice design on the top. Tidy up the sides, then beat your remaining egg and brush it over the pastry. Put the pie into the oven and bake for 45 to 50 mins, until it's gorgeous and golden.
* Make your clementine cream just before serving by whipping the cream, clementine zest and juice and sugar together until you've got soft peaks. Take your pie out of the oven and let it cool for about 25 mins before serving with the clementine cream.
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Green Bean Salad (French) Recipe

1 medium shallot, minced
3 tsp good-quality prepared mustard
1 lb green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of capers
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the green beans in salted boiling water for 2 mins. Drain & immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking and retain the green color. Drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly add 3 tbs olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and several generous turns of black pepper, and then the shallot and capers. Stir to combine.
Transfer to a large bowl & toss with the mustard-vinegar dressing. Taste & adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 people.
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Irish Stew Recipe

* 1-1½ kg neck or shoulder of lamb
* Bouquet of parsley, thyme and bayleaf (tied together with twine)
* 3 large onions, finely chopped
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3-4 carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
* 1 small turnip, chopped into bite-sized pieces
* Some small new potatoes, peeled and quartered, or large potatoes, peeled and chopped
* 75-100g cabbage, shredded
* Finely chopped parsley and dash of Worcester Sauce
Remove the meat from the bone, trim off all the fat and cut into cubes. Keep the bones, place the meat in a pot, cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil, drain and rinse the lamb.
In a fresh pot put the meat, bones, bouquet of herbs, onions, seasoning, carrots, leeks and turnip and cover with water. Simmer gently for one hour. Skim off the foam as it rises. (this is very important for the final flavour and appearance of the stew.) Add the potatoes and continue cooking for 25 mins. For the last 5 mins add in the cabbage. When the meat and vegetables are cooked remove the bones and bouquet for herbs. Stir in the chopped parsley and a dash of Worcester sauce. Serve in large bowls with soda bread.
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Mexican Salad Recipe

* 2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
* A small bunch of radishes (about 10), trimmed and finely sliced
* A large bunch of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
* 2 large jalapeƱo chillies (or other green chilli), to taste, finely sliced
* ½ a small red cabbage
* ½ a small white cabbage
* 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
* Extra virgin olive oil
* Juice of 2-3 limes
* Sea salt
1. The best way to make this is to use a food processor with a slicer attachment or a mandolin. If you don't have either of those, use a speed peeler, or simply grate everything finely.
2. Shred your white and red cabbage into 2 separate piles. Put just the white cabbage into a large bowl with the radishes, carrots & most of the coriander. Mix everything together really well, then kick up the flavours by adding almost all the chopped chilli, the sliced red onion and a good few lugs of extra virgin olive oil. Add most of the lime juice and a good pinch of salt, then toss together and have a taste. Just keep adjusting everything, adding more fragrance with the coriander, heat with the last of the chilli and acid with another squeeze of lime juice, until it's just right for you.
3. When you're happy, fold in the red cabbage right before serving and eat.
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