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28 January 2013

Violated Chicken :)


+18s only.

One of the most delicious dinner recipes, ULTIMATE comfort food, and quite entertaining to prepare ;)





Chicken:

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken corpse
  • oil
  • chili or paprika powder (I use chili, but paprika is a good mild substitute)
  • garlic Italian herbs mix
  • salt and pepper
  • half glass lager
  • empty jar

1. Rub the chicken with oil. Rub it well... Rub in the spices as well until it's quite evenly covered. I leave it to marinate in a fridge overnight, but an hour out of the the fridge will do.

2. Get some booze in it. Fill more or less half to two thirds of the jar with lager and squeeze the jar into the chicken's... lower opening... cough... so that it 'sits' on the jar. You want to pick a jar that will be the biggest jar you can insert. This way it will sit better.

3. Roast in an oven dish at around 170°C for however long it takes to cook it. It will vary depending on the size of the chicken. I check when it's done by making a small cut in the thigh. If it looks like the skin is getting a bit over-dried, but the chicken is not cooked yet, pour some of its own juices from the bottom of the dish over the chicken.


The beer will evaporate and infuse the chicken meat from the inside with an amazing flavour, and make it really tender and moist.


I serve it with chips, mayo and a carrot salad.



Carrot Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

1. Mix everything together. I like to mix the mayo into it as well, but it's a matter of taste.



It's good to get the chicken relaxed first.





This is where the jar goes ;)





Before:





After:







21 January 2013

Pork and Bacon Roulade with Cranberries


Mmmm... :) A nice idea if you want to make something a bit different with your pork roast and, like me, you *love* bacon. Bacon makes everything taste better.





Pork Roulade:

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin
  • smoked bacon
  • cranberry jam
  • dried cranberries
  • french mustard
  • dried oregano fresh
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • 1-2 tbsp of double cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of oil

1. Using a sharp knife, cut the pork loin in a spiral shape to create a 1-1.5cm thick slice of meat, which will then be rolled back to create the roulade.

2. Sprinkle the meat with a little bit of salt and pepper and spread a thin layer of mustard on one side. On top of the mustard, place slices of bacon and spread a thin layer of cranberry jam on it. Sprinkle some dried cranberries over the top.

3. Roll the roulade back up (with mustard/bacon/cranberries facing to the inside), rub in some oil and oregano, and leave in the fridge for at least an hour to macerate.

4. Roast at around 150°C for 1 - 1.5h in an oven dish under cover. The meat will release liquids, which will be a base for the sauce.

5. Melt the butter on a pan and add the flour to it. Mix and let it fry for 2-5min. Add to the sauce and mix in until completely dissolved. Add cream to the sauce.



Roasted Vegetables:


Ingredients:

  • potatoes, either cocktail size or cut up into wedges
  • shallots, peeled
  • chunks or carrots
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh thyme and rosemary


1. Coat all vegetables in olive oil, vinegar and spices.

2. Place in a large baking tray and roast at around 150°C for 1 - 1.5h (or until the potatoes are soft inside).

18 January 2013

Chocolate and Orange Budyn



A very traditional Polish dessert with several adjustments implemented by me :) Absolutely delightful and beautifully easy to prepare :)





Ingredients:
  • 500ml of milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 tbs of sugar
  • 3 tbs of cocoa
  • 2 tbs of starch flour
  • 2 tbs of unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp of orange extract
  • 75g of milk chocolate, broken into small bits
  • 3 gelatin sheets



1. Mix half of the milk (250ml) with egg yolks, sugar, cocoa, flour and orange extract until all ingredients are mixed together thoroughly. Add gelatin sheets and let them soak for 5 minutes (they will not dissolve completely).

2. Bring the rest of milk with butter to simmer point and remove from the hob. Add the rest of the mixture to the milk pan and mix thoroughly. Put back on the hob, mixing continuously, and add milk chocolate. The gelatin sheets should dissolve in hot milk quite quickly. Keep mixing at all times and let it simmer for another 2-5 minutes, until it gets quite thick, but still liquid.

3. Transfer to bowls or glasses (let it cool a little bit before you pour it into fine glass - it's really hot and may break glass). Leave in a cool place to cool and set.

4. Decorate with chocolate shavings and orange peel/slices.



Note: you can also eat it hot! It's the ultimate chocolate treat on a cold winter night :) If you decide to eat it hot, don't add the gelatin.








Original Recipe:

The original recipe is just as worth making, and useful if you don't have all the ingredients. It is the same as the one above, only without gelatin, orange extract and milk chocolate.






Full British Pizza


A morning after a Friday night out in Glasgow. I drag my corpse out of bed, with a whistling sound desperately trying to suck the ambient moisture out of air. My stomach threatens me with unspeakable things unless I feed it something nice and meaty and fatty asap. What will it be? Fry up breakfast? Pizza? ...Fry up breakfast pizza??

To paraphrase a famous quote by Joey Tribbiani:


"Pizza? - GOOOD!

Fry up breakfast? - GOOOOOOD!!!"


So here you go :)





yesss.






YESSSS.



So how it's done? It's pretty self-explanatory, but here you go...



Ingredients:
  • a pack of crusty white bread mix
  • jar of tomato pizza sauce or tomato passata
  • grated cheddar
  • black pudding, diced
  • pork and bramley apple sausages, skinned and cut up (broken) into small bits
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Smoked thick cut bacon rashers, cut up into smaller pieces, or smoked bacon lardons
  • spices (I used an Italian herbs mix)
  • 4 eggs (or however many you need)



1. Prepare the bread mix according to instructions on the package.

2. Grease a pizza pan with olive oil or line with baking paper.

3. Roll out the pizza base on the pan, spread the pizza sauce/passata on it, sprinkle with some grated cheddar, stack up the black pudding, mushrooms, onions, sausages and bacon, sprinkle a tiny bit of olive oil and spices on top and put in the oven at whatever temperature the bread mix label tells you. The bread mix I used needed 20 minutes in the oven at 230°C, which was perfect to cook all the toppings as well. I first cooked it for about 15 minutes, and then added the eggs on top of it for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

4. Stuff your face with it like a starving Neanderthal.





Two-Tier Birthday Cake


A cake I made for Neil's Gran's 80th birthday.






Level 1: Victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream, cherries and cherry vodka.



Level 2: Chocolate sponge with chocolate and orange buttercream, fresh oranges and Cointreau.



Delizioso :)






LEVEL #1:

Victoria sponge:

Ingredients:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 4 eggs , beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

  1. Heat oven to 190 degrees (170 if you have a fan assisted oven). Butter a cake tin and line with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
  2. Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.



Vanilla buttercream:

Ingredients:
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 120ml milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 375g icing sugar (more if necessary)

  1. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Mix the milk with the vanilla extract and mix into the butter at a low speed alternately with the icing sugar, until the mixture is light and fluffy. If it is too thin, add more icing sugar.


I cut the Victoria sponge longitudinally and pored a bit of cherry vodka on both slices, just to infuse them a bit, but not to soak them. I then spread the buttercream on one slice, added a layer of defrosted cherries and covered with the second slice.






LEVEL #2:

Chocolate sponge:

Ingredients:

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp boiling water
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the cocoa powder and boiling water into a large bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until combined. This can also be done in a food processor, but take care not to over whisk. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
  3. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely.


Chocolate and orange buttercream:


Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 650g icing sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 tsp Orange extract

  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and icing sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat to a spreading consistency.


Again, I sliced the sponge into two halves and infused both with Cointreau. I spread the buttercream on one half, layered slices of fresh orange on top and covered with the second half of the sponge.


I used ready-to-roll regal icing, food dyes and edible glitter for the decorations.










Viennese Cheesecake



Everyone loves it. For that reason I will not share the recipe ;)



Well ok... It's a slightly Justynad version of a classic Viennese cheesecake. I got the recipe from an ancient cook book which is the first thing I will put my hands on the minute my mum gets senile dementia.



The bad news is that it involves quite a lot of Polish ingredients, but you can get all of them in any decent Polish shop.


  • 1kg of processed white 'twarog' cheese (it comes in small buckets. Make sure it has no extra sugar added, or any other ingredients like eggs or flour.)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1.5 glass of sugar
  • 150g of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 glass of raisins
  • 2 tbs of plain flour
  • 1 pack of 'Sernix' (alternatively, 2 tsp of starch flour or vanilla 'Budyn')
  • 1.5 tsp of almond extract



1. Mix the yolks with sugar. Mix them with a mixer for about 10 - 15 minutes, until the mixture becomes very pale and fluffy.

2. Add cheese to the yolks with sugar, spoon by spoon, while mixing continuously. Make sure there are no cheese 'bits' left and the mixture is perfectly smooth.

3. Add the butter (melted and cooled), mix in.

4. Add Sernix.

5. Coat the raisins in a little bit of plain flour over a sieve, so that they don't stick together. Add them to the cake mixture. Add almond extract.

6. Whisk the egg whites until you get stiff peaks. Fold them *very gently* into the cake mixture, so that the 'fluffyness' of the egg whites is preserved in the cake.

7. Bake at 180°C for about an hour in a cake pan lined with baking paper or greased and coated with breadcrumbs.



I decorated it with ready-to-roll regal fondant icing, but it's just as delicious with some melted milk chocolate poured over it.










here's a more christmasy one:






And here a version with just some chocolate poured over it:




And yet another version. My first take on icing roses, not the best ;)






Sandwiches with Tomato Ladybirds


I made these one evening to brighten up the evening snacks :) They're simple sandwiches - soft cheese, ham and rocket/spinach leaf mix. I made the decorations from black olives and cherry tomatoes. I cut the black 'spots' on the ladybirds out of an olive with a straw.



I used Almette horseradish soft cheese and Tyrolska ham - found on a polish chilled foods section in any supermarket :)





Mulling Syrup



Pour a bit into a mug, fill up with red wine, microwave until nice and hot, drink, repeat until you see Santa. :) Merry Xmas!





 Ingredients:
  • 500g of (caster) sugar
  • 750 ml of water
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • spices (cloves, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice berries)


1. Mix everything together in a pot. For a more intense flavour, you can leave it for a few hours in the fridge to let the water get infused with the spices.

2. Bring to boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Allow it to cool and transfer to sterilised bottles or jars. It should have a shelf life of about 3 months.

Enjoy!






Christmas Apple Cake



Originally an Italian recipe for an apple and walnuts cake, which I thought was just asking for a Christmasy update :) very easy to make, works every time. And being Italian, it's really quite healthy. :)






Ingredients:
  • 1kg of apples
  • 1 glass of dark brown sugar
  • half glass of walnuts
  • 1 glass of raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries.. or whatever else you want to put in :) you can add candied orange peel, finely diced dates, dried apricots, prunes etc.
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 glasses of plain flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • 1 drop of orange extract


1. Peel the apples; remove cores. Dice apples into more or less 1x1x1cm cubes.

2. Add sugar, spices, almond and orange extracts, nuts and dried fruits to the apples in a large bowl, mix well together, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for an hour.

3. Beat the eggs and add them to the apples. Add flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. The mix should be very thick. Make sure you mix in the flour very thoroughly - it could take a while. It will mix with the eggs and apple juices to for just enough sticky pastry to glue all the chunky pieces together.

4. Put into a cake tin and bake at 180°C for about an hour.



When it bakes, it fills the kitchen with the most delicious christmasy smell - not an overpowering one though, which most chrismas cakes and pies seem to have these days, but a fruity, fresh, light smell of continental Christmas :)



Baked Apple



This dessert should be officially called "The Awesomeness". It's the simplest, most delicious way to quickly turn your evening into a little bit of sweet, sweet, christmasy heaven. And it's one of your five-a-day ;)

For the record, I stole the recipe from my sister ;)






Ingredients:
  • 1 apple (any kind, but preferably a sweet and juicy type)
  • cranberry jam
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla ice cream
  • whipped cream
  • 1/2 tsp of unsalted butter
  • 1 ramekin



1. Peal the apple. Or if you want to be fancy, carve a pattern onto it.

2. Carve the core out of the apple, but don't make a hole all the way through. Leave a little bit on the bottom to make a sort of a 'cup'.

3. Stuff the apple with cranberry jam. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Place a bit of butter on top. Put in a ramekin.

4. Bake at about 150°C for around 1 - 1.5 hour, or until the apple is nice and soft all throughout.

5. Every once in a while use a spoon to pour some of the apple's 'juices' over the apple while it's baking.

6. Serve with ice cream and whipped cream.

7. Try not to eat 7 of these in one go.




Strawberry Sorbet with Cointreau served in edible chocolate bowls


One of my favourite desserts, absolutely delicious every time. Definitely worth making.






Strawberry Sorbet:


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 kg fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 glass of sugar (add more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 2 tbs of Cointreau

1. Blend the ingredients together.

2. Pour into a metal container/cake tin (sorbet will freeze faster in metal container), cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

3. When the sorbet is completely frozen (3 to 4 hours), remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature until partially thawed. Blend again with a blender/in a food processor to break up the ice until it has a nice fluffy texture.) Place the sorbet back into the tin and refreeze for at least three hours.



Edible chocolate bowls:


Ingredients:
  • Milk/dark/white chocolate (whichever you fancy)
  • balloons


1. Melt the chocolate. You can to that either by putting it into a microwave for 30 seconds (or until melted), or by placing the chocolate in a glass bowl, putting the bowl over a pot with a little bit of water in it (the bowl cannot touch the water) and boiling the water underneath the chocolate.

2. Inflate the balloons to about the size of a large orange.

3. WAIT FOR THE CHOCOLATE TO COOL TO LUKEWARM TEMPERATURE!!!

3. Dip the balloon in melted chocolate to form a bowl. Place the balloon on baking paper and place in a fridge. Leave until the chocolate sets completely (it may take a while).

4. Once the chocolate is set, make a small incision at the very top of the balloon, so that it deflates slowly instead of exploding in your face and ruining the chocolate bowl.



Done!






NB. It REAALLY is a good idea to let the chocolate cool before you dip the balloon in it. Because you know what happens when you dip an inflated balloon in hot, melted chocolate?...




I still keep finding chocolate in the weirdest places all over my kitchen...