The Crazy Kitchen: June 2016

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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Double Cheese and Bacon Pie

This is a delicious pie/quiche/flan, call it what you will, which can be baked in advance and reheated, or eaten cold. If you're not confident in pastry making then store bought shortcrust pastry could be used, or even a savoury pastry case, which would save time.

My kids love this, and it was made as a midweek dinner from items that I have in my fridge and cupboards every week.

Double Cheese and Bacon Pie

It looks a little rough around the edges, but go to any farm shop and they have similar pies, which they call rustic, so I'm going with that!

Double Cheese and Bacon Pie

Double Cheese and Bacon Pie

100g cold salted butter
200g plain flour
splash of milk

12 rashers streaky bacon
1 onion, chopped
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
5 medium eggs
150ml single cream
black pepper
100g Greek cheese, such as Feta
75g mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 tomatoes, sliced
  • rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (you can do this in a food mixer or food processor)
  • add a splash of milk, a little at a time, until the dough comes together
  • roll pastry into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge whilst the filling is prepared
  • add the bacon rashers to a large frying pan and fry until crispy (you may need to do this in 2 batches)
  • remove the rashers from the pan and lay on kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat
  • pour the fat from the pan and add the chopped onion
  • fry the onion for a few minutes until softened, and then add the parsley
  • beat the eggs and cream together with a twist of black pepper
  • set the filling aside whilst the pastry case is prepared
  • roll the dough out on a floured surface until large enough to line your flan tin
  • prick the base of the pastry and cover with baking paper and fill with baking beans
  • bake in a preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes before removing the baking beans and paper
  • bake for an additional 5 minutes before removing from the oven
  • chop the bacon rashers up and scatter over the base of the pastry case
  • top with the onions and parsley, and crumble over the Greek cheese
  • top with the cheddar cheese, reserving a little for the top
  • pour the egg and cream mixture into the pastry case
  • lay the tomato slices on top and cover with the remaining cheese 
  • turn the oven heat down to 170C and bake for around 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and firm in the centre
Serve warm or cold

Double Cheese and Bacon Pie Double Cheese and Bacon Pie

Monday, 27 June 2016

Reduced Sugar Lemon & Strawberry Cake

I haven't done much in the way of baking recently, mainly because I'm trying to cut out sugar as much as possible (which is a bit ironic really when I have a handmade marshmallow business), but when you have a handful of strawberries not looking their best, there's really only one thing to do with them, and that's throw them in a cake! 

Reduced Sugar Lemon & Strawberry Cake

I've reduced the sugar in this by over a third, but with the sweetness of the strawberries, and a sprinkling of sugar on the top, you really wouldn't notice.

Reduced Sugar Lemon & Strawberry Cake

Reduced Sugar Lemon & Strawberry Cake

175g butter or margarine (I use Stork for baking)
100g caster sugar
zest of one large lemon
tsp vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
175g self raising flour
85g ripe strawberries, sliced

  • Set aside 1 tsp of caster sugar
  • Beat the butter, remaining sugar and lemon zest together until pale & creamy
  • Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Fold in the flour, until well combined
  • Pour batter into a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin
  • Scatter the sliced strawberries on the top of the batter and sprinkle on the reserved caster sugar
  • Bake in a preheated 170C oven for approx 45-50 minutes, until golden brown on top and springy to the touch
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely
Serve warm or cold, on it's own or with a drizzle of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Reduced Sugar Lemon & Strawberry Cake Reduced Sugar Lemon & Strawberry Cake

Pictured are gorgeous recycled cotton napkins and bamboo cutting board, received from A Slice of Green, the home of ethical products to help you live more sustainably.

Napkins £5.00 for a set of two
Bambu cutting board with coloured edging £16.00

Friday, 24 June 2016

Riverford Recipe Box by Guest Chef Sarah Raven

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I've reviewed Riverford recipe boxes on my blog previously here and here, and what I really liked about them was the abundance of fresh salad and vegetables in the boxes. I do love my salad and veggies and always use them to bulk out family meals, so it was great to see so much green in my delivery of the limited edition guest chef box from Sarah Raven.

Riverford Recipe Box by Guest Chef Sarah Raven

As per previous boxes, the chilled items are packaged in an insulated bag, and all of the smaller items are in the centre sections, divided for each recipe.

Recipes included were for :

Sangria Chicken
Sweet & Sour Vegetable Curry
Tomato & Poppy Seed Tart

the limited edition boxes are available for 3 more weeks, with different recipes each week, and cost £36.95 for 3 meals for 2 people.

The first dish that I made was the curry, which came with a side of red rice. I've not tried red rice before, but it was a lovely nutty addition to the curry, which mostly consisted of sweet potatoes and spinach, both of which I love in a curry. It comes with whole spices that are to be heated and ground to a powder, which could prove a little tricky without the right equipment, but once ground it makes enough curry powder for a few more dishes, so I'll definitely be making this again.

Riverford Recipe Box by Guest Chef Sarah Raven

The second dish I tried was the Sangria Chicken, which required overnight marinating.

Riverford Recipe Box by Guest Chef Sarah Raven

Look at those colours!

The roasted fennel and celery was so full of flavour, and the sauce was delicious poured over the accompanying red rice.

Riverford Recipe Box by Guest Chef Sarah Raven

I haven't yet tried the Tomato & Poppyseed Tart, but I'll be sharing a picture over on Instagram when I do.

Although the Sarah Raven boxes are limited edition for the next 3 weeks only, Riverford still have a great selection of recipe boxes each week including their vegetarian, quick and original boxes starting at £24.95 including delivery.

About Sarah / Twitter: @srkitchengarden

Sarah Raven worked as a doctor at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton before becoming a broadcaster, teacher and writer. She has cooked all her life for family and friends with an emphasis on goodness, and commitment to healthiness and general wellbeing. Sarah runs her own cookery and gardening school at Perch Hill in East Sussex, and has established a mail order gardening company with 80,000 active customers. She has made regular appearances on the BBC’s Great British Garden Revival and Gardener’s World; and she is the author of Sarah Raven’s Food for Friends and Family, Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas, Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook (which was the Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Book of the Year 2008) and The Cutting Garden. 

About Riverford

Riverford began in Devon in 1987, delivering organic vegetables to 30 local homes. Word spread, and with it came the challenge of how to meet demand without compromising a commitment to local growing and employment, supporting local farmers and keeping a close link between grower and consumer. The solution was to team up with sister farms who share the same ethos, growing and delivering to their local areas. There are now four Riverford sister farms in the UK: the original Wash Farm in Devon, growing and delivering to homes in the South West and South East; Sacrewell Farm in Cambridgeshire covering East Anglia and the Midlands; Home Farm in North Yorkshire covering the North and Upper Norton Farm in Hampshire covering central Southern England. Together, the four sister farms deliver to around 47,000 homes in the UK each week. Riverford also has a farm in France where they grow crops to plug the ‘hungry gap’ around May and June, when the UK winter crops have reached an end and the summer crops are not yet ready. The company has won many awards including Ethical Product of the Decade at the Observer Ethical Awards 2015, Best Retailer at the same awards on five previous occasions, Best Independent Retailer in the RSPCA Good Business Awards and numerous Compassion in World Farming Awards. Guy Watson has a regular column in The Telegraph, and has been named BBC Farmer of the Year twice. In addition, its restaurant the Riverford Field Kitchen won Best Ethical Restaurant 2010 and 2009 in the Observer Food Monthly Awards. Riverford’s first book, the Riverford Farm Cook Book, won Best First Book and Best Work on British Food at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2009. In 2014, Riverford teamed up with the UK’s only Soil Association- certified organic pub, The Duke of Cambridge, to launch London’s first farm-owned pub. In 2015 they released their series of Riverford Companion books with Spring & Summer Veg and Autumn & Winter Veg.

I was provided with a recipe box for the purpose of this review

Monday, 20 June 2016

WIN a Morsø Casserole Dish worth £139

Every kitchen needs a set of good pans. I've had some of my pans since I bought my first home in 1998, and many others I've collected along the way. Some have bitten the dust due to being cheap and flimsy and others have been disposed of due to not being compatible with my induction hob. By far, my favourite pans are of the cast iron variety due to the versatility of being able to use them in the oven and on the hob, as well as looking good when you serve straight to the table.

I've teamed up with Morsø to give away a fab cast iron 3.1 litre casserole dish to one of my lucky readers. 

Morsø have been around for over 162 years, starting with the production of stable windows, grave crosses, tools and pots & pans. Around the turn of the century they then began producing tiled stoves and woodburners, and only more recently, in 2015, turned their hand back to making black cast iron kitchen equipment.

WIN a Morsø Casserole Dish worth £139
The Morsø casserole, with its satin polished handle on top, really is a beautiful pot. It will be a treat for both the eye and taste buds of your dinner guests.
The casserole can be used in all sorts of ways and provides the ideal cooking conditions for simmering dishes, soup, whole-roasted chicken and quick pasta dishes, while also keeping the food hot for a long time.
The simple lid with elegant handle made from satin polished steel completes the compact shape. The size of the casserole is ideal for families of 4.  Suitable for all hob types (including induction), ovens, and grills

To be in with a chance of winning this gorgeous cast iron pan just complete the Rafflecopter widget below.

this post has been commissioned by Morsø

Friday, 3 June 2016

Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels

The end of half term is coming to a close. Goodbye lazy mornings & hello again school runs. It's only a few more weeks until the Summer holidays though, and as this half term is usually the busiest and most exhausting, it will be a welcome relief.

With the weather here being so lovely this week, bedtimes have slipped back, mornings have become shorter and breakfasts have run into lunch. This has been a great excuse to eat brunch, which is so much more exciting than breakfast, as nothing is out of bounds. 

Pastries are not considered to be a healthy breakfast, but add eggs, tomatoes, lean turkey ham, and pop a handful of fresh greens on the side, it suddenly becomes a light, well balanced, and healthy brunch.

Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels

We're a bit partial to Bernard Matthews wafer thin Turkey Ham in this house, and it's my usual 'ham' of choice for sandwiches and quick meals. It's often added to a cheese toastie, or forms part of the husband's speciality omelettes or 'egg on beans on cheese on ham on toast', when he's left in charge of dinner. 

Here I've used a combination of the classic brunch/lunch ingredients of ham, egg and tomato in a tasty (and slightly spicy) puff pastry parcel, which is easy to prepare and quick to cook. The scrambled egg could even be made in advance and kept in the fridge, ready to assemble and bake right before brunch time.

Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels

Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels - makes 6

tbsp olive oil
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
3 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper
6 slices Bernard Matthews wafer thin Turkey Ham, chopped
a few basil leaves, chopped
375g (approx) puff pastry sheet
60g grated Emmental cheese
  • heat the olive oil in a non stick frying pan
  • add the chill and tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes
  • add the eggs (reserving 2 tbsp for later) & a pinch of salt & pepper and increase the heat
  • stir continuously to scramble the eggs
  • remove from the heat and stir in the turkey ham & basil leaves
  • unroll the pastry sheet & cut into 6 equal squares
  • lay the pastry squares onto a lightly greased baking sheet
  • spoon the scrambled egg into the centre of the squares
  • top the egg with grated Emmental
  • brush around the edges of the pastry with the reserved beaten egg
  • fold the corners of the pastry into the centre to meet, and brush with more beaten egg
  • bake in a preheated 200C oven for approximately 20 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown

serve warm or cold, or pop in a paper bag and take it with you for a brunch on the go!

Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels Ham, Egg & Tomato Brunch Parcels

this post has been commissioned by Bernard Matthews


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