Chicken liver pate


This was part of my Awful Offal lesson, trying to encourage students to like liver!

Ingredients

1 onion very finely chopped

120 g butter

2 crushed cloves garlic

450 g chicken livers – cut off bits

200 g bacon pieces

salt and black pepper

juniper berries and bay leaves (2017 ingredients)

1 tbs brandy – not allowed in the classroom!

Method

  1. Fry the onion in 50 g butter until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic, bacon bits and chicken livers and fry until cooked through – you can use 2 frying pans and fry both at the same time
  3. Season with salt, pepper then whizz in the food processor with 30 g of butter. Stir in the brandy if used.
  4. Taste and season more and put the pate into a dish, stir in 5 juniper berries, pour over the remaining melted butter and decorate with juniper berries and bay leaves.
  5. Leave to cool then chill in the fridge.
  6. Serve with hot toast or crisp breads.

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Cucumber and mint soup


2 large cucumber

olive oil

garlic

white wine vinegar

lemon juice

 

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Moussaka


Serves 6

3 large aubergines cut into 1 cm slices

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

750 g minced lamb

400 g can chopped tomatoes

1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon

3 tbs oil

 

Topping

75g butter

75g plain flour

600 ml milk

grated nutmeg

50 g Parmesan cheese

2 medium beaten eggs

Method

  1. Put the aubergine slices in a colander or sieve and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and minced lamb and stir and fry for 10 minutes to cook the meat.
  3. Stir in the flour, tomatoes, cinnamon, bay leaves, and oregano and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tbs oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergine slices until slightly golden and tender. Layer some slices on the base of an ovenproof dish and season with pepper.

 

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Raw beetroot salad


Serves 4

2 beetroot peeled

1/4 finely chopped onion

salt, pepper

celery salt and paprika

1 tbs sherry vinegar or other vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

fresh dill or parsley finely chopped

 

 

Method

  1. Grate the beetroot using a grater or the grating disk on a food processor.
  2. Stir in the finely chopped onion – very finely chopped.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, celery salt and paprika.
  4. Stir in the vinegar, oil and finally toss in the chopped dill or parsley.
  5. Chill for an hour before serving.
  6. This salad will keep for 2-3 days and the flavour improves!

 

 

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Tarte Tatin


Use a range of autumn apples to get the tang and sweetness of the varieties then a treat of French butter to give the buttery caramel topping.

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 medium sized apples (150 g each) – 2 Cox, 2 green (Granny Smith) , 1 cooking apple (150 g)

200 g granulated sugar

50 g French unsalted butter

50 ml water

pinch of salt

Shortcrust Pastry

220 g plain white flour

30 g caster sugar

120 g French unsalted butter

1 medium egg, beaten + 1 tablespoons cold water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Choose a cm round pan that cooks on top of the stove and in the oven.
  2. Make the pastry. Mix the sugar with the flour, add pieces of butter and rub in or use a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the beaten egg with water and mix to a soft but not sticky dough.
  4. Shape into a ball and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Peel and core the apples, cut into quarters and leave uncovered in the fridge.
  6. Put the sugar in a large, heavy frying pan with 50 ml water and cook gently and stir until it becomes golden. This takes about 4-5 minutes depending upon the heat.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and salt.
  8. Arrange the apples in the sugar and butter in the pan, round side down. Cut into smaller pieces if there are gaps. Cook for 5 minutes then leave to cool. If the apples are too wet, remove and cook down the buttery caramel. Put the apples back.
  9. Roll out the pastry to make a circle slightly larger than the pan. Put the pastry on top of the pan and tuck in around the fruit.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until golden then cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Put a plate on top and turn the pan over so that the tarte turns upside down onto the plate.
  12. Serve with creme fraiche.

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Gazpacho


In hot summer it’s a good time to make this quick cold soup – serve with ice.

100g breadcrumbs – made in food processor

1 kg tomatoes, chopped

1 red and 1 yellow or green pepper, deseeded and chopped

1/2 a large cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

100 ml good quality olive oil

50 ml apple vinegar

salt and black pepper

Garnish – hard boiled egg, chopped black olives, small pieces of cucumber, mint and parsley

Method

  1. Soak the breadcrumbs in a little water.
  2. Put the chopped tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumber and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Squeeze the water out of the bread and add to the mixture and whizz some more.
  4. Add the oil, vinegar and seasoning and chill until ready to serve.
  5. Add some ice cubes just before serving and present at table with the garnishes.

 

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Chocolate brownies


Makes 12 portions

Ingredients

125ml vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla paste

2 large eggs

60g plain flour

70g cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

50g chopped nuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C Fan.
  2. Line the base of a shallow square or round baking tin – about 20cm – with non-stick baking parchment.
  3. In a bowl mix the oil, vanilla and beaten eggs.
  4. In another bowl sieve together the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  5. Stir the oil and egg mixture into the flour mixture.
  6. Spoon into the baking tin and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Test to see if the mixture is soft in the middle – if too soft cook a further 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the tray and leave to cool.
  9. Cut into pieces when cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

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