Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kitchen Diary #7

Toad in the Hole is my idea of a perfect simple Sunday lunch at home; more than a snack but far less effort to make than a roast. It's success relies on first finding some good sausages, which seems like a constant quest for me. So often as soon as I find some sausages I really like, the makers change the formula, or stop coming to the markets where I could buy them so the search starts over again. These were new ones bought this week mail order from Albert Matthews who are based in Lancashire, UK. I will definitely buy them again as they were nice and lean, good porky flavour with no nasty gristly bits at all.

I have been experimenting with black pepper this week in practice for another blog challenge and this next dish is a fresh pasta carbonara with plenty of freshly ground black pepper added to the pasta dough.  I thought the pepper would make a good contrast to the otherwise slightly bland creaminess of the egg and cream sauce, which it did, but the pasta turned a rather unattractive greyish hue with all the pepper. So it tasted a lot better than it looked. I was also having another attempt at making fresh pasta with the pasta attachment I have for my Kenwood mixer, but for small amounts I really think it is easier to work by hand. I find it very difficult to get the texture of the pasta mix dry enough that it does not all stick together as it is extruded from the mixer attachment.
Another pepper dish that I have tried is this Rick Stein recipe for Cambodian marinated beef with lime and black pepper dipping sauce, which is made with Campot black pepper. The cut of beef was rump steak which stood up to the strong flavours and I skipped the peanut garnish as I didn't have any. It made a good Saturday night supper with minimal cooking needed at the end.

Bread & Cake Baking

My bread bake this week was this walnut loaf  which is made with a malted flour.
The recipe comes from an excellent bread book by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou who now teaches at the School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire, UK. They run an excellent range of courses in Baking, Cheesemaking, Butchery and much more, at both a professional and home cook level. I bought this book for the stollen recipe which I had heard was good but of course I have yet to try it even though I have had the book well over a year now.
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This week the BBC tv station ran their annual appeal for the Children in Need fundraiser and I took some bakes into work to raise a little money. I made jam dodger biscuits from this daily delicious jolly jammers blog recipe. The cookie base is a french style sable type biscuit which just melts in the mouth but is a little difficult to handle if not well rested and chilled. There are many delicious baking recipes on the Daily Delicious site including a number of cookies I want to try.
My other bake was a reworking of my halloween rice crispie monsters but this time just made up into squares with the spotty decoration associated with the Children in Need mascot Pudsey Bear.
We raised £50 and had a very sweet Friday so a good way to end the working week. Next week there will be much more chocolate on the blog!

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