Tearing and sharing

Christmas is a busy time with many mouths to feed. If you have done the traditional thing and cooked enough turkey to feed the 500 you’re going to have a lot of leftovers to contend with. Sandwiches are all well and good but even better for picking are these foccacia breads. Let your imagination run wild with toppings or choose from our top three.

Onion and tomato

500g strong flour (or a mix of flours)
1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 x 7g sachets of dried fast action yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
handful of sundried or mi-cuit tomatoes
1 tbsp dried minced onion
325ml lukewarm water

To top
fresh sliced tomatoes
finely sliced onions
balsamic vinegar
coarse salt

Mix the main ingredients together then allow to prove for 1/2 hour. Knock back the dough then spread out onto a flat baking tray. Use your fingers to poke ‘divots’ all over the bread. Prove for another 1/2 hour (if you can wait, but it’s not essential. Sprinkle with coarse salt, a splash more oil and some fresh tomatoes, onion & balsamic. Bake at gas 6 for 25-30 mins.

Olive & onion

500g strong flour (or a mix of flours)
1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 x 7g sachets of dried fast action yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
handful of chopped mixed olives
1 tbsp dried minced onion
325ml lukewarm water

To top
chopped mixed olives
sliced onion

Mix the main ingredients together then allow to prove for 1/2 hour. Knock back the dough then spread out onto a flat baking tray. Use your fingers to poke ‘divots’ all over the bread. Prove for another 1/2 hour (if you can wait, but it’s not essential. Sprinkle with coarse salt, a splash more oil and some more olives & sliced onion. Bake at gas 6 for 25-30 mins.

Rosemary and garlic

500g strong flour (or a mix of flours)
1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 x 7g sachets of dried fast action yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
handful of chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, crushed
325ml lukewarm water

To top
chopped rosemary

Mix the main ingredients together then allow to prove for 1/2 hour. Knock back the dough then spread out onto a flat baking tray. Use your fingers to poke ‘divots’ all over the bread. Prove for another 1/2 hour (if you can wait, but it’s not essential. Sprinkle with coarse salt, a splash more oil and some more freshly chopped rosemary. Bake at gas 6 for 25-30 mins.

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Stovies Food Favourites #3: Frank’s Original Hot Sauce

It’s been a while since we had a food favourite on here and as the last precious drops of this were used last night it seems apt to write a little eulogy.

While not as hot as Tabasco, Frank’s wins hands down in the flavour stakes. Peppery and spicy without the hefty vinegar smack, Frank’s is perfect on pizza, meat, cheese – pretty much anything you can think of.

Brilliant in cooking as well as on the finished product it has become my go to heat supply.

The only downside is that it is a little harder to track down than it’s cousin Mr T!

 

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

We’re feeling a little festive today after a fine forray into Edinburgh’s Christmas market. These cranberry and orange biscotti are great dipped into a good cup of coffee or even better, Mulled Wine. If you’re good we’ll even give you the recipe for our special toasty beverage tomorrow!

75g Hazelnuts
75g Blanched almonds
75g Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
100g Dried cranberries
100g Sultanas
150g Mixed peel
250g Plain flour
250g Caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
2 Large eggs
1 Orange, juiced and zested

Mix the sugar, flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add all of the fruit and nuts except the orange juice. Beat the eggs and pour in bit by bit, you should get a dough that feels sticky to the fingers. If isn’t quite coming together add a little of the orange juice to bring it to the right texture.

Split the dough into three and form into sausages about 1.5in thick. Lay onto greased baking trays at least 10cm apart. For simplicity one per tray works for me! Squash the sausages down a little to flatten them then bake at Gas Mark 4/ 180’c for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, which you need to turn down to Gas Mark 1/ 130’c, and allow to cool for 15 minutes to set before cutting into 1cm strips. Lay the newly cut strips out in the baking trays and put in the oven to bake for another 40 minutes, turning once.

Allow to cool and crisp up before munching storing in an air tight tub.

A real winter warmer

This big hearty stew will fill you up and keep you cozy for a long time. The very essence of comfort food. When we were kids it would always be on the stove waiting for us when we came home after sledging. When it was -13’c the night before and didn’t even get close to zero through the day this is just what you want for tea!

800g Stewing steak. Anything with a little fat is good. The butcher fixed me up with some beef hough which was really cheap and tasted great.
2 Smoked pork ribs, if you can’t get hold of them 3 Rashers of smoked bacon will do the job
4 Carrots, peeled
2 Celery sticks
4 Shallots
1 Beef stock cube
300ml Red wine
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Mustard
1 pint Water
1 Bay leaf
3 sprigs Thyme

Cut the steak and vegetables into large pieces, roughly 1 inch cubes. Throw everything into a large lidded pan, bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for 2-3 hours. Half an hour before you’re ready to eat mix 25g butter with 1 tbsp flour, add 2-3tbsp of the liquid from the stew and mix until you have a smooth emulsion. Pop it into the stew and stir well. Remove the ribs before serving (they’re a bit of a prize in our house) and dish up with heaps of mashed potato.

Cinna-nom-a-nom-a-nom

Unleash a whole world of cinnamon-y goodness with our cinnamon bread recipe. Perfect for breakfast, fabulous as a late night snack. Or if you’re like us for breakfast lunch AND dinner!

 

500g Strong white flour
1/2 tbsp Salt
1 x 7g sachet Fast action yeast
1/2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbsp Oil
125ml Warm water
200ml Milk
1 handful Sultanas

Mix all of the ingredients together and knead until you have a smooth dough. Cover and put down for a nice nap in a warm place. After about an hour, knock back the dough, shape and allow to prove for another 30 minutes. Bake at Gas Mark 6 for 25-30 mins.

Scrumptious straight from the oven, even better toasted and slathered with butter.

Kapow!

Ok, so hands up this one doesn’t make for the prettiest of pictures, but it smells and tastes amazing. It’s brilliant comfort food and a little kinder to the waistline than Thai Green Curry. On a freezing night the spice will warm you up from the tummy out.

Pad Ka Pow

1lb / 500g Steak mince
1 Clove of garlic
1 Shallot
2 Green chillies
3 tbsp Fish sauce
2 tbsp Palm sugar or honey
A large handful of Thai Holy Basil / Sweet basil, roughly chopped
1 tsp Black peppercorns
Rice noodles, cooked to serve

In a pestle and mortar pound the peppercorns thoroughly. Roughly chop the shallot, onion and chillies (seeds and all) add to the pestle and mortar give it some elbow grease, breaking it all down to a paste.

In a smoking hot wok, fry the paste in a little oil for about a minute. WARNING: your eyes will hurt! Add the mince and cook through, keeping it moving so that the pieces stay small and separate. Put the rest of the ingredients into the pan and cook for another minute. That’s it so serve immediately with rice noodles, chopsticks and an ice cold bottle of Singha.

If you are making this dish to make an impact (it’s a good one to woo the ladies with) try using strips of beef or chicken with some slices of red chilli mixed through.

There’s plenty beef here to feed four people, just make sure you cook enough noodles!

Real men don’t use cm, or eat quiche

Apparently. Good thing this isn’t a quiche then, it’s a tart! Tarts are a great way to use up leftovers, whatever you have hanging around will do if you use your imagination. Here’s what we rustled up from the fridge the other day……

 

For the pastry:

175g plain flour
75g butter
1/2 tsp mustard
A little milk

150g smoked salmon, torn into small strips
1 head of fennel, sliced
Olive oil
2 tbsp dry vermouth
2 eggs
100ml cream
1 tsp horseradish sauce
1-2 tsp small capers
Black pepper

Make the pastry up by mixing the cold butter with the flour and mustard powder, a food mixer is the easiest way to do this. Once you get a breadcrumb texture add a little milk to bind it together, keep adding the milk a wee bit at a time until the pastry turns into a firm dough. Pop in the fridge for half an hour to rest before rolling out, lining your dish and blind baking. Gas mark four for 20 minutes will do a lovely job. A quick tip for a tidy edge is to leave the edge rough and longer than the dish while you are blind baking then trim it afterwards. The pastry will do it’s shrinking thing but as there’s an excess to trim off it won’t disappear to nothing.

In a large frying pan gently cook the sliced fennel with a little pepper, you want it to soften but not colour. Before you take it off the heat add the vermouth and let the heat of the pan bubble the alcohol off. Spread a thin layer on the pastry base, then a layer of torn salmon, then another fennel then top with salmon. Beat the eggs with the cream and horseradish. Mix in the capers and pour the eggy mix into the pastry case covering the salmon and fennel. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the middle has set.

Munch hot or cold with salad and a drizzle of lemon juice