Showing posts with label easy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Soda Bread Farls #BreadBakers

Perfect for a quick breakfast or snack with a cup of tea, soda bread farls are quick bread “baked” on a stovetop griddle, rather than an oven. They are a traditional part of the Northern Ireland breakfast known as the Ulster Fry.



The word farl is pronounced farrel and derives from the old Scots word fardel, which essentially means “a quarter.” The source of the name becomes apparent when you see to make farls you flatten dough into a circle and cut it into four pieces before cooking.

Soda Bread Farls are very similar in texture to American buttermilk biscuits or British scones. The dough comes together quickly with just flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk.

For this post, I decided to make what I call an adulterated Ulster Fry to accompany the soda bread farls. Properly, that breakfast would include the farls, of course, plus sausage, bacon, black and white pudding, fried eggs and tomatoes. Mine included sausage, black pudding, fried eggs and mushrooms. Totally delicious and perfect for a long weekend morning. We weren’t hungry again till almost suppertime!

Ingredients – for 4 farls
2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk
Lard or oil for frying (I used bacon drippings.)

Method
Measure the dry ingredient together into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. This aerates the flour and takes the place of sifting.

Pour in the buttermilk and use a firm rubber spatula to mix it in to make a soft dough.



Flour a clean work surface and scrape the dough out on to it.

Flour the top of the dough and your hands and lightly knead the dough. You may have to sprinkle on more flour to keep it from sticking to your surface. Lightly press the dough into a circle about 8 in or 20cm across and about 1/2 in or 1cm thick. Sprinkle on a little more flour and flip the circle over.





Preheat heavy based flat griddle or skillet on medium to low heat.

Flour a sharp knife and cut the dough circle into quarters.



Add a couple of teaspoons of lard (or oil) to the preheated griddle and transfer the farls to the pan when the lard is melted and hot.

Cook the farls for about 3-4 minutes on that first side, watching carefully that they don’t burn.

Add a little more lard or oil and turn the farls over. Cook them for about 10-12 minutes in total, turning regularly so that they cook evenly.



Serve with just butter and jam or as part of a big breakfast.



We loved these! The only thing I’d do differently the next time is to cut the dough circle into eighths instead of quarters, which would change the name I suppose. Don’t think about it too much. Just make them! They "bake" up nicely.


Our Bread Bakers host this month is Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm. She challenged us to bake an Irish bread since, of course, St. Patrick’s Day is this week. Who knew there were so many? Check them out!
BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Easy Mixed Paella #FoodieExtravaganza

This easy mixed paella takes the guesswork out of cooking rice on the stovetop by moving it to the oven in a covered pan. Add in chicken, chorizo and shrimp for flavor, plus saffron and peas for color and flavor. 



Spanish purists may recoil in horror at 1. cooking paella in the oven instead over a wood fire, 2. covering the pan and 3. the lack of the traditional semi-burned crusty rice at the bottom of the paella, but I’m not even a little bit apologetic. My easy mixed paella tastes delicious. And that’s more than good enough for most of us.

I’ve heard paella called Spanish jambalaya and jambalaya called Cajun paella. Whichever side you hail from, it’s all about the rice on center stage with the other ingredients varying from household to household, recipe to recipe, cook to cook. Even in Spain, there are as many differences of opinion about what must be - or cannot be - in paella as there are for jambalaya in southern Louisiana.

What that tells me is that these are dishes you can feel free to make your own. Whenever I think of paella, I imagine three ingredients. Chicken, shrimp and, of course, chorizo. For that gorgeous saffron-hue, only the best saffron will do. In my case, I was lucky enough to be invited to a cooking class by the Spanish saffron, Taj Mahal, which is sold here in Dubai. It puts the saffron I’ve bought before to shame with its vibrant, brilliant yellow. I used to think that Iranian saffron was the best but I am now a convert to the Spanish stuff.

This was right after I poured in the hot water. Check out the image below where I add this to the pan. So much darker! 


Note: I just checked and you can buy it on Amazon! Here's the affiliate link for anyone who is interested. This is not a sponsored post, by the way. I just mention the brand because I love it.

Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon Spanish saffron
1/4 cup or 60ml hot water
6 small chicken thighs (about 1.1 lbs or 500g)
Salt
Black pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
250g pack chorizo sausage
1 1/2 cups or 300g paella rice (Good sub: Arborio rice)
1 onion, sliced
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
3 3/4 cups or 890ml hot chicken stock
1 cup or 130g freshly podded or frozen peas
12 medium shrimp, peeled and cleaned (about 5 1/3 oz or 150g)

Method
Pour the hot water over the saffron and leave to steep. Preheat your oven to 325°F or 165°C.

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet that has a tight-fitting lid and can go from stovetop to oven.

Brown the chicken on both sides in the hot oil – this takes just a few minutes. You’ll know it’s ready to turn when it releases easily. Remove the chicken from the pan to a deep plate that will catch any juices that run off.

While the chicken is browning, use the tip of a sharp knife to cut open the casing on the chorizo and peel it off. Slice the chorizo into circles.



Once the chicken has been removed from the pan, add the chorizo and fry until it releases its oils. Scoop the chorizo out and add it to the chicken plate.



Stir in the rice to coat it with the oils, then add the onions. Cook a few more minutes, until the onions soften.

Pour in the saffron water and stir.

See what I mean about the color?!


Add the chopped tomato. Tip the peas in along with the chorizo and any juices that have accumulated on the chicken/chorizo plate. Give the whole thing a good stir.



Now put the chicken in the pan, gently pushing it down into the mixture a little bit. Pour in the stock and raise the heat a little bit under the pan.

Bring to a boil, cover tightly and put in preheated oven for 25 minutes.


Remove from the oven, add the shrimp and put the lid back on the pan. Do not stir.


Turn the oven off and return the covered pan to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave covered until ready to serve.



Enjoy!


Many thanks to our Foodie Extravaganza host, Sue of Palatable Pastime. Check out the other creative paella dishes we have for you today:


Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Piquant Shrimp Balls #SundaySupper

Made with spicy seasoned shrimp and no fillers, piquant shrimp balls are the perfect Mardi Gras or party appetizer. A little dipping sauce with pickled okra completes the dish.


I feel sorry for folks who don’t grow up near an ocean. It’s not just that they seldom, or sometimes never, felt the sand between their toes or built dribble castles as children, but they also often missed out on seafood as a normal, typical dinner option. It’s saved for special occasions and restaurant meals. Which is a shame.

At our house, we eat a lot of seafood! Everything from fancy-ish main course recipes like Trout en Croute, Fennel Orange Cod en Papillote and Meyer Lemon Butter Sauce Prawns to appetizers like Mini Party Crab Cakes and Squid with Garlic Chili Oil, to down home favorites like Pan-Fried Fresh Sardines, Ceviche and Spicy Salmon Shrimp Burgers. Oh, and since it's Mardi Gras time, I should mention my Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp and Shrimp Creole! Those are just a drop in the bucket. I could go on but I think you get the point. These piquant shrimp balls are one of my favorites.

Making piquant shrimp balls is super easy! The secret to making balls with no fillers or egg is to use a food processor on half of the shrimp, then stir in the remaining shrimp, roughly chopped. Pan-fry the balls with a little olive oil for a golden exterior and your family and friends will be asking you to double the recipe next time. I promise.

Ingredients - for 2 dozen piquant shrimp balls
Good handful flat leaf parsley leaves and tender stems (pinch off hard stems and discard)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1-2 red hot chili peppers
2 medium cloves garlic
1 lb 2oz or 510g peeled, cleaned fresh shrimp
Olive oil for pan frying

For the dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon whole grained mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 hot pickled okra, stem end removed, finely minced (sub small cornichons or capers, if desired)

Method
Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cut the peppers and garlic into pieces then process with the parsley and salt until finely minced.


Add in half of the shrimp and process until chopped fairly finely. You are looking for a chunky paste.


Use a sharp knife to cut the rest of the shrimp into four or five pieces, depending on size.


Tip the seasoned mixture out into a mixing bowl. Mix the cut shrimp well with the seasoned chunky shrimp paste.


Cover a plate snugly with cling film (this makes it easier to get the shrimp balls off the plate) and use a tablespoon to divide the mixture into about 24 pieces.

Dampen your hands with water and roll the pieces into balls and place them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of olive oil.


Cook over a medium high heat with a splatter guard on top. Once the shrimp balls are cooked enough to be firm, turn them over and keep cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until all sides are golden and the shrimp balls are cooked through. This takes just a few minutes.


Serve hot with toothpicks and the dipping sauce. Sprinkle on a little extra chopped parsley for color, if desired.



Enjoy!

This week my Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing their favorite easy Mardi Gras recipes. Whether you are hosting or attending a potluck, we’ve got you covered!

Sunday Supper Easy Mardi Gras Recipes

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Sides

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

And sign up for our newsletter to get great recipes delivered right to your inbox every Thursday!

newsletter sign up #SundaySupper


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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ham and Mustard Spirals #SundaySupper

Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


As I mentioned last Sunday, I love puff pastry. It’s such a versatile ingredient! If you have puff pastry in your freezer, you can make a quick appetizer out of just about anything in your cupboard or refrigerator.

A number of weeks ago, I bought some very finely sliced French ham from the deli counter of my nearby supermarket to make ham and cheese baguettes. The following Monday morning, I was going to a Christmas get-together with friends and wanted to bring a treat to share. I had four or five slices of ham leftover and a package of puff pastry in the refrigerator.

Ham and mustard are a classic combination so you can see how I got here, but you could use chutney or pesto or whatever other sauce you’ve got on hand. The important things to keep in mind is that 1. you don't use ham that is too thickly sliced and 2. that you don’t add too much of your chosen sauce, both of which might make your spirals soggy.

Ingredients
4-5 slices of French ham, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 package ready rolled puff pastry - 8 oz or 230g
1 oz or 28g Parmesan, freshly grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C and line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone liner.

Unroll your puff pastry and spread it evenly with the mustard. Lay the ham out in single layer, covering the whole pastry. Start rolling on one side, all the way to the middle.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Repeat with the other side. If you are working in a warm kitchen, roll the whole thing in cling film and pop it in the freezer for five minutes before slicing it.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 1/2 inch or 1 cm slices. Place the slices on your prepared pan.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the Parmesan.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.

Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until they are golden all over and the cheese has melted.

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.


Enjoy!

This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing fancy appetizers for your red carpet award-watching party. Dress up, make a cocktail and get some of these ham and mustard spirals in the oven!

Or make one of these other fancy appetizers. Many thanks to our host Wendy of Wholistic Woman and our event manager, Cricket of Cricket’s Confections.

Finger Foods

Hors d'oeuvres

Seafood

Veggies

Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
  Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love: Ham and Mustard Spirals. Flavorful ham and sharp whole grained mustard bake up crispy in puff pastry to create these lovely ham and mustard spirals. They are a quick and easy appetizer for your red carpet party.
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black-eyed Pea Salad - Saladu Ñebbe #FoodieExtravaganza

This hearty black-eyed pea salad is full of good stuff but what makes it so tasty is the fresh lime juice and the hit of heat from the habanero pepper. I cautiously only put one pepper in this time. Next time I’m adding more!



Last weekend my husband and I did a massive clear out of all three of our freezers. The normal-size kitchen one, the even smaller one on top the beer fridge and the more capacious deep freezer. We hauled everything out and put it back in some sort of order. Frozen homemade sauces together. Poultry and beef on another shelf. Seafood on one side and the bottom drawer? It’s filled with pork products. The Great Freezer Cleaning also revealed a bag of dried black-eyes peas. It seemed like an omen.

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is sharing heart healthy recipes. Beans and vegetables are probably two of the most heart healthy things you can eat, unless you are cooking those beans with smoked sausage. (My favorite way!) Even so, I like to think that the fiber and nutrition in beans outweighs the fat in the sausage. After all, sausage is also seasoning and you wouldn’t necessarily get a piece in each bite.

But beans are also great in salad, like this one of Senegalese origin, called Saladu Ñebbe or Salatu Ñebbe in the original language. There are several recipes in English online but they all seem to come from the same source, an article in Saveur magazine. Switching to French for my search, salade niébé, did turn up a few more. Whatever you call it, I’ll be making it again. I served it with seared tuna steaks, a delicious accompaniment.

Depending on which website or cookbook you consult black-eyed peas either don’t need to be soaked or they do. I treat them as I do all other beans. If I am not cooking them in a pressure cooker, I soak them overnight, if I have the time, or I quick soak them in boiling water for one hour, before cooking. Whichever method you choose, you are going to need about 2 1/2 cups or 400g cooked black-eyed peas for this recipe. One cup of dried peas should yield about that right amount.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups or 400g cooked black-eyed peas (1 cup or 200g dried black-eyed peas, boiled and drained – you can substitute canned peas. Rinse and drain them well.)
1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile
3 large green onions
2 small cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 yellow bell pepper
250g cherry or grape tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
1 small bunch parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional for serving: salad greens

Method
Mince your habanero pepper and the garlic. Trim off the roots and slice the white part of your onion tops. In a large bowl, mix the three with the lime juice and set aside to marinate, with about a half teaspoon of salt.

This has a two-fold effect. First of all, it takes mellows the flavors of the raw garlic, onion and the habanero. Secondly, it makes sure that those flavors will be infused in the dressing.

Cut your cherry tomatoes into quarters. Seed, stem and chop the bell pepper.

Chop the green part of the onion tops and the parsley.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise then in half again. Use a sharp knife to remove the seeds, then cut the cucumber into small pieces.



Add the olive oil into the salad bowl and mix well with a fork.



Pile in the black-eyed peas. Stir well to coat.



Add in the chopped vegetables and herbs. Mix well.



Season with salt and pepper to taste. This salad can, of course, be eaten immediately but, unlike most salads, it gets better and better as it hangs out in the refrigerator.



If not serving right away cover with cling film and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before you are ready to serve to it’s not super chilled. Stir well.

Enjoy!


Many thanks to our Foodie Extravaganza host this month, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Do check out the link list of all of our other heart-healthy recipes!



Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

Pin it!

.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Honey Oatmeal Bread #BreadBakers

This honey oatmeal bread is baked with all-purpose flour, wholemeal flour and oats, with just enough honey to slightly sweeten it. It has a tender crumb and a crunchy golden crust.


This month my Bread Bakers are here to support your efforts to eat healthier, if indeed, you are making an effort. I know there are a lot of people who make resolutions of such things this time of year. You might well be one of them. Here’s what I can promise you, even if you are not: The Bread Bakers are a talented, creative group. The breads they bake will be delicious, whatever the theme.

Our host today is Pavani from Cook’s Hideout and so "healthy breads" for January is her chosen theme. Since my co-creator of Bread Bakers stepped down a few months ago, Pavani has been a big help behind the scenes and I am grateful to her for stepping forward to take the first month of 2017. In fact, thanks to lots of members volunteering to host, we’ve got some great themes coming up for you this year! Stay tuned for February when we will take on pancakes.

Perhaps this could be the year you start baking homemade bread! Think about it. This may be a much easier resolution to keep than most. You can start with this easy honey oatmeal bread.

Ingredients
1/4 cup or 60ml warm water
2 teaspoons active dried yeast
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1 cup or 240ml milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the bowl/pan
2 - 2 1/2 cups or 250- 312g flour
1 cup or 120g wholemeal bread flour
3/4 cups or 70g oats - quick cooking, but not instant
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Optional - to decorate before baking:
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons rolled oats

Method
Honey has antibacterial properties and, depending on how the honey was processed, these might kill your yeast. So we start this bread by proofing our yeast in a bowl with the warm water and a generous heaping teaspoon of the honey. If it bubbles and foams after a few minutes, you are good to go. (And you don’t have to do this step with that particular jar of honey again. It’s safe for future baking.)



Note: This recipe can be made by hand, however, the dough is fairly slack so kneading it will be a sticky challenge.

In a microwave-proof measuring jug, heat your milk and butter until the butter just melts. Allow to cool until warm. Pour in the rest of the honey. It will sink to the bottom so stir until the honey has dissolved into the milk.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the yeast mixture to 2 cups or 250g of the all-purpose flour, the wholemeal flour, the oatmeal and salt.



Pour in the milk/butter/honey liquid and mix until it comes together as a soft dough.



Switch to the bread hook and knead for about 5-7 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add the extra flour, as needed, by the teaspoonful as it kneads. I ended up using about half of the additional flour for this particular loaf.

Form the dough into a ball. Use a little butter to grease the bowl, moving the dough ball around the bowl as you butter. Cover, put in a warm place and leave to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes or one hour.



Line a standard bread pan with parchment paper or grease it liberally with more butter. My pan is not in the best condition so I always choose the parchment paper route.

Punch the dough down and give it a few more turns of kneading. Form it into a log and put it in your prepared loaf pan.



Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled again, another 45 minutes or 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C, placing an iron skillet or other heavy cooking pan on the bottom shelf.

Boil your kettle with about 2 cups or 480ml water.

Once the dough has risen sufficiently, drizzle it with the extra honey and sprinkle on the rolled oats.




Put the loaf pan on the middle shelf in the oven and pour the hot water into the heated skillet or baking pan on the bottom shelf. Quickly close the oven so the steam does not escape.

Bake the loaf for about 40-45 minutes or until it’s brown all over and cooked through. If you have a instant read thermometer, the internal temperature should be 200°F or 93°C for an enriched bread made with milk and butter. If your loaf is browning too fast, cover it lightly with a tent of foil.



Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.



Enjoy!




Check out the Healthy Breads that our fellow Bread Bakers have baked this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


BreadBakers

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