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132 items found for "traditional with a twist"

  • Raspberry Crêpes

    in the absence of fresh raspberries (it being winter and all), I used the dried ones for a bit of a twist It's surprising what a difference a slight twist on a recipe can make sometimes.

  • Black Pudding and Pumpkin Pie

    I like black pudding, which I know some consider to be an odd statement. (For those who don't know, black pudding is a blood sausage, frequently served as part of a full English or Scottish breakfast - also known as a fry-up. I do like them in that context, but this time when my sister exported some from Wales for me, I felt like doing something a bit different. For some reason, the idea of turning it into a pie, and of adding pumpkin to it occurred to me, and once it had come to mind, I had to put it into action or it would keep buzzing around in my brain. And what better for a cold winter evening than a warming stodge pie? So it was that we tried it out, and it hit the spot! Having tried vinegar in a pie crust a few weeks back and discovering that it works, I decided to take that route again with the crust, reducing the richness a little, and adding some flavour, without sacrificing flakiness. Starting out, I had no idea, beyond very broad brushstrokes, where I was going with this dish, and it only came together in the process of making it.I love it when that happens and things do come together well! Ingredients: For the crust: 2 1/2 c flour 1 c butter, cold 1/2 c apple cider vinegar 2 tsp thyme Nutmeg Pepper to taste For the filling: 2 - 2 1/2 c slab bacon, cubed 3ish c black pudding, cubed 2 small pumpkins, cubed 2 large onions, chopped 3 potatoes, chopped 2 tbsp lard 1 c red cooking wine 3 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 c apple cider vinegar (I used my homemade apple and rosehip vinegar actually) 1 tsp thyme 1/2 tsp rosemary 1 tsp allspice 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp sumac 1 1/2 tsp pul biber 6ish cloves 2 tsp dried orange peel Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/2 leek, in rings 1) To make the pie crust, place flour, thyme and pepper in a bowl. Grate in the fresh nutmeg and mix. Cut in the cold butter and rub into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add vinegar and mix until just combined. Chill at least 30 minutes. 2) Spread the pumpkin out on a baking tray and roast at 180°C for about 30 minutes, until it is lovely and soft. Scoop out of the skin and set aside. 3)In a heavy skillet ( I used the cast iron one that was my grandmother and great-grandmother's, that I will be haunted for if I abuse it!), melt the lard. Add the onions, and fry until translucent, then add the bacon, potatoes and black pudding. Cook further. 4) When the contents of the pan appear to need some liquid, add the red wine, the vinegar, the lemon juice and the tomato paste. Stir in the roast pumpkin and the spices. Cook for about 10 minutes. 5) Roll out half of the pastry and line a pie plate with it. Scoop in the filling and lay the leek rounds over the top. Roll out the rest of the pastry, place on top of the pie and crimp on. Cut vents in the centre, and bake at 180°C for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot with greens on the side. This was delicious and so satisfying. It didn't come out as I had imagined it, with chunks of meat, and gravy. Everything all kind of fell apart and turned into a homogenous filling, but that is ok. It was pure stodge and did need greens on the side to offset the richness a little. We had kale and broccoli done with lemon juice. The only thing I think I might tweak would be the addition of fresh zest, and the use of more bacon. One slice was plenty, but so very tasty!

  • Maple Walnut Bagels

    Inherited, I think, from my grandmother, one of my favourite flavour combinations is maple walnut. As I have been playing around with making bagels, I decided I wanted to try to apply that flavour combo to bagels, although I have never seen that before. I didn't however, want to make a sweet bagel, so rather than using maple syrup or maple sugar to impart the maple flavour, I decided to use ground fenugreek, often used as a maple substitute. Ingredients: 2 c whole meal flour 2 1/4 c white flour 1 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder 2 tsp maple syrup 1 1/4 c water 1/2 cube yeast 1/2 tbsp salt 1/2 c walnuts Cornmeal Maple Syrup 1) In a small saucepan, heat the water to about body temperature - it should be warm, but still cool enough that a (clean) pinky finger dipped in it is comfortable for 10 seconds. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the maple syrup and leave for a few minutes. 2) Combine flours, fenugreek and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast and water and stir together, gradually incorporating flour from around the well. When the dough has come together, knead on a clean, floured surface for about 10 minutes until the dough is homogenous and elastic. Towards the end, knead in the walnuts as you go. 3) Place in a clean bowl and leave to rise, covered, in a warm spot for an hour, or until doubled in size. 4) Knock back the dough and divide into 8 roughly even balls. Here you have two options. Either: roll into snakes, then join the ends of these to make rings or: Roll into balls, then poke a thumb through the balls. With your thumb in the hole, gradually widen it, working the dough around so as to have an even, uniform thickness to the dough with a round hole in the middle or: create a ball and push it down over a bagel mould. 5) Place rings on a baking tray sprinkled liberally with cornmeal, cover and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to proof. 6) Remove the rings from the fridge. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with water. Stir in maple syrup. There should be enough maple syrup for the water to look like moderately strong tea. Place a test ring in the water. If it floats, you are ready to go. If not, dry it off and allow the bagels to come to room temperature. 7) When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to bring the water to a simmer. A few at a time, poach the bagels for about half a minute on each side, then fish them out and drain on a wire rack. 8) Sprinkle the baking tray with fresh cornmeal, then place the drained bagels back on the tray and bake at 240°C for 15 - 20 minutes until golden. These came out very nicely, and I was very pleased with the way the flavours came out. This is definitely one to make again, especially with homemade cream cheese and honey, or even just butter, to melt into hot bagels... I was channelling my grandmother and must thank my sister for getting me into making bagels with a gift of moulds for Christmas last year. (I forgot to take a picture of the baked bagels, so here are some everything bagels instead).

  • Tattie Scone Variations

    half tin of tomatoes and some mozzarella also needing to be used up led to these two variations on traditional

  • Chocolate and Christmas Spice Cookies

    Still on our baking kick with my sister, we were playing with more Christmas cookie ideas. We decided to play around with the flavouring of sugar cookies, adding some cocoa and some Christmas Mix spice. We tried it a first time and found that the chocolate came on too strongly and the spice not strongly enough, so we tried it a second time, tweaking the amounts a little bit. To deepen the flavour and add a festive note to it, we swapped out some of the sugar for maple sugar. On the second go, we decided we liked the balance. Here it is: Ingredients: 1/2 c butter 1/2 c sugar 1/2 c maple sugar 1 egg 1 tbsp milk 1 tsp baking powder 1 tbsp mix spice 3 tbsp cocoa 1 1/2 c flour 1) In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and add milk. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. 2) Roll into balls 1 inch in diameter and place spaced out on a greased baking sheet. Alternatively, chill for an hour, then roll out to just shy of a cm thick and cut out with cookie cutters. (in the picture above, Little Bit tried out his Christmas profiled roller - repeatedly so the shapes are a bit unclear, but lots of fun!) Flatten with a butter knife dipped in cold water. Bake at 190°C for 8 minutes. 3) (Optional: decorate with icing and sprinkles!) These came out very tasty! We talked about brushing them with melted butter, but forgot to do so while they were hot. They are also probably rich enough as it is, but maybe I'll do so at some point. It may be nice to add nuts or maybe orange, whether dried or candied, next time... Something to think about. Definitely best had hot, but they were still good the couple of days afterwards too! Don't forget to leave some for Santa with a glass of milk.... or some grog, if you have a sea-shanty-obsessed toddler. Just beware jolly fat men flying a sleigh on too much grog! Ho ho ho and a bottle of grog, and to all a goodnight!

  • Chestnut Pie

    Have I ever mentioned how much I like chestnuts? Ever? Maybe once or twice, with the Chestnut Cookies, Caramel Chestnut Risotto, or Chestnut Puddings... They are a seasonal must for me around Christmas, and I absolutely love them. The smell of them roasting conjures up images of Christmas markets, hot chestnuts in paper bags, burnt fingers and the delicious sweet earthy flesh warming you from the inside... For Christmas, we usually have pumpkin pie and mincemeat pie, but this year we decided to add in a new one, Chestnut Pie. Somehow, bouncing around ideas about something else entirely, and the idea of trying a chestnut pie came up. Other ideas are still pending testing, but the one we decided to make a reality is along the same lines as a pecan pie. However, those involved in the discussion agreed that pecan pie is generally too sweet, so we reduced the amount of sugar. I also don't like corn syrup, so instead, we used honey and citrus syrup left over from making Candied Peel. We also figured that the citrus would balance out the earthy flavour of the chestnuts. To address the sweetness, we also made a thin pie in a large dish rather than a deep one. For the first try, we used frozen chestnuts (defrosted, of course), but raw. I had thought that 40 minutes in the oven would be enough to cook them, but it wasn't. In the second try, therefore, I used cooked chestnuts, boiling some first (saving the chestnut water, we'll see what it will come in handy for. Oatmeal maybe?), some I roasted. For the pie crust, I used vinegar syrup from making pickled plums this summer. The added flavour was interesting, but a regular pie crust would work fine. Ingredients: Pie crust: 1 1/2 c flour 1/3 c butter, cold and cubed 1/3c milk/whey/plum vinegar syrup Filling 1 kg chestnuts 3 tbsp butter 1/2 c light brown sugar 1/2 c honey 1/2 c citrus syrup (use molasses or maple syrup if need be. Or more honey) 3 eggs 1) In a large bowl, rub the butter and flour together until you achieve a wet sandy texture. Stir in the liquid, gathering into a dough, manipulating as little as possible. Chill. 2) In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in honey and syrup, then beat in eggs. 3) If using raw chestnuts, boil for about 10 minutes until tender. Then roast about half at 190°C for 15 minutes (alternatively, I did it in the air fryer). 4) Roll out pie crust, and line a pie plate with it. Pour in the chestnuts, and then the batter. Bake at 180°C for 40min. Allow to cool and set, then serve at room temperature. I really liked this pie! And even the pecan pie doubters (*cough* Hubby) enjoyed it. I liked it better the first time around, but the chestnuts were better cooked the second time around. I would merely use pre-cooked chestnuts or boil them next time, and skip the roasting. I would also deliberately use light brown sugar. The second time I used dark brown sugar, and I think that worked less well, although that opinion was not unanimous. The pie crust worked, but a regular one would have worked equally well. The citrus syrup definitely worked, and I may even add orange zest or candied orange peel to this pie next time. We also used double the amount of chestnuts the second time around, making it super chestnutty. I would maybe split the difference in future and use 750g. The first time we had it with whipped cream, and the second time with mascarpone. Both work, but I think I preferred it with whipped cream.

  • Port and Apricot Jam

    Rather than going traditional though, I thought I would try something a little different and add port

  • Variations on a Brownie Theme - Brownies 3 Ways -

    Traditional Brownies with a Twist by my Sister Experimental Peanutbutter Brownies by me Vegan Pomegranate

  • Roast Ham with a Ginger and Apple Compote, and a Bacon Duvet

    Thanksgiving was last week, and unfortunately - mid-November not being considered part of the festive season here, and there being, therefore, no reason for them to be available - no turkeys were to be had, even for ready money. We discovered the day before the Big Feast that we could have ordered one, but this required a few days' notice. Instead, we decided to have a Thanksgiving Ham. We modified our standard cornbread stuffing recipe by adding a little orange zest to it, then bedded the ham down on that. Smothering it in a gingery apple sauce, and then blanketing everything in bacon, all elements came out moist, basted and richly delicious. Paired with sweet potatoes, broccoli, basil carrots and baking powder biscuits, this was truly a Big Feast (as Little Bit calls it), enjoyed as a family. Ingredients. 1 smoked ham (ours was roughly a kg) 8 - 10 rashers of bacon 1 - 1 1/2 c apple sauce ~ 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated 5 c stuffing 1) 3/4 fill an oven-proof dish with the stuffing of your choice. Make a small hollow in the centre and nestle the ham in it. Smother the ham in the apple sauce and grate ginger over the top. Lay bacon over the whole. 2) Roast at 165°C for about 3 hours. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy with trimmings! We all agreed that the ham stood in nicely for the turkey at our Thanksgiving dinner and that this was a cooking method to be added into the rotation. The apple and ginger imparted a subtle but discernible and tasty note to the ham, which matched well with the orange note in the stuffing. Bacon was bacon, and therefore not to be argued with. Everything was moist and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  • Pumpkin Lasagna

    Very tasty, and less heavy than a traditional lasagna.

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