Monday, October 22, 2012

We Should Cocoa - Pumpkin

So this is what I made for the October 'We Should Cocoa' challenge:

Not very pretty, and not obviously anything to do with chocolate but I went for Roasted Pumpkin with Mole Sauce. I dressed it up a bit with some chopped fresh tomatoes and a poached egg dusted with mild chilli flakes.

I chose the savoury route as I am not very fond of pumpkin in sweet dishes and could not think of anything sweet with pumpkin and chocolate that I was inspired by.

I have been growing chillies at home this year and they have been my only 'glut' so I was keen to get using them. They are also far hotter than I was anticipating so I cannot use them in large amounts at a time.

I picked the larger ones earlier as the plants were all getting quite ragged. The picked chillies are holding up well just kept like fruit in a bowl and I am going to try and dry some of them too.

The smaller size chillis are still surviving in my unheated conservatory but I think I will need to pick them soon.

My mole sauce was based on a recipe I found on the David Lebovitz web site for Chocolate Mole. He serves the sauce with meat or chicken but it worked very well with the chunks of roasted pumpkin.

I substituted my fresh chillies for the dried poblanos he calls for, and used ground almonds as the thickener. I skipped the dried fruit as I felt it was going to be sweet enough and I don't have unsweetened chocolate but I do have a 90% dark so that was close enough. The colour does change to a bit of a muddy hue once the chocolate is added which was a little off putting but the flavour was very deep and rich.

I had quite a lot of mole sauce and roasted pumpkin left over so did another version a day later with melted cheese, yoghurt and lime but I preferred the first version.

The We Should Cocoa Challenge is hosted by Chocolate Teapot  and Choclette, and the October challenge is being guest hosted by Hungry Hinny, a round up of this challenge will appear on their blogs at the end of the month.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Best of British - Dorset

This month the Best of British challenge moves to Dorset and is hosted by  Lavender and Lovage where the challenge is introduced with lots of inspiration for foods that are good in Dorset. I chose to base my dish on ingredients from Dorset rather than a traditional Dorset dish and so I have found some Dorset beer and bacon with which to put together a dressed up meal of Dorset Rarebit, bacon and mushrooms. A perfect autumn lunch. 

There is a fascinating review of what makes a perfect rarebit which appeared as part of a series on 'perfect' renditions of favourite foods in the Guardian paper. Their recipe calls for stout and Lancashire cheese but I was very happy with my substitutions of Hall and Woodhouse brewery Badger Champion ale and a Somerset cheddar. I ventured as close to the Dorset border as I could with my choice of cheese, based on what I could actually buy easily, and the Wookey Hole cheddar worked really well.

I based my recipe loosely on the one at the end of the Guardian article. The topping is made up as  a sort of sauce out of the beer, mustard, cheese, egg and butter which is poured over the bread and toasted until golden.  I only had whole grain mustard and not mustard powder so I used that and I used more Champion ale and less butter than the Guardian recipe calls for. I guess I need to polish my technique a little as my 'sauce' was actually rather separated and lumpy when it went onto the muffin but once it was all bubbled up and toasted it looked rather moreish and made a perfect lunch with some Dorset Denhay dry cured bacon and fried chestnut mushrooms. The remainder of the Champion made a perfect accompaniment. Cheers!

New World Appliances are sponsoring this challenge in conjunction with Fiona from London Unattached. The full round up will appear both there and on Lavender and Lovage's blog soon after the 5th November. If you have a favourite Dorset recipe do join in.

best of british London