Home-made butter and buttermilk

All you need is 500 ml of double cream and a whisk.

Once you over-beat the double cream, the butter begins to separate into buttermilk and butter.
You can do it with a hand whisk if you have the time and the energy;
An electric whisk does the job a bit quicker.

Ingredients

  • 500 ml double cream
  • ¼ – ½ a tsp of fine salt, optional for salted butter

Method

  1. Pour the double cream into a large bowl
  2. Start by using the whisk attachment and whisk until the cream starts to solidify – this takes about 3 minutes or so of continual whisking. It goes through the beaten cream stage, and then starts to resemble popcorn in appearance.
  3. Once the butter starts to appear, you may find it easier to continue with a dough-hook attachment, if you have one, as the butter starts to clog the whisk. I don’t have dough hooks so I had to de-clog with a tablespoon.
  4. To prevent splattering the kitchen in buttermilk it’s a good idea to pour off the buttermilk you have at this stage to another container.
  5. Another few minutes with the mixer and the separation should be complete.
  6. Strain off the remaining buttermilk; whisk in a ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of fine salt if you want salted butter.
  7. You can then pat the butter into shape.

 

Lemon drizzle muffins

I love lemons and I love muffins, so these are a favourite of mine.  I used 2 lemons today, but it depends on how big they are and how juicy they are, so its hard to say how many you would need – 1 large, 2 medium or thereabouts.

It was only when I was gathering the ingredients that I realised I was out of butter, so I made some with the double cream that was lingering in the fridge; it came out quite well, doesn’t taste like shop bought butter, more of a creamy taste, and I didn’t add salt to it, but it was good enough to go into the muffins.
I didn’t melt it though, as it was already softish from the making I just beat it in as it was.
I will put up a post on how I made it next.

Ingredients

  • 220g/8oz plain flour
  • 125g/4oz caster sugar
  • 1 tbs grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • _________________________________________
  • 1 egg
  • 250g/9oz natural yoghurt
  • 85g butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Lemon drizzle:

  • 80ml lemon juice
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest

method

  1. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cases.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg, yoghurt, butter and lemon juice.
  4. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Take care not to over-mix.
  5. Fill muffin cases 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 200C/Gas 6 for 20-24 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes; leave muffins in tin.
  8. Using a skewer, poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.
  9. In a saucepan, combine the lemon drizzle ingredients.
  10. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  11. Spoon over warm muffins.

Marinaded Pork Chops

Marinading meat prior to cooking really gives it a boost in flavour and makes it extra tender.  Well worth the few minutes it takes, and taking the time several hours before cooking to do.
This is the recipe I use for pork chops and some other meats as well.  Served with a mixed green salad and mashed potato or quinoa makes it a tasty dinner.

ingredients

  • 4 fl oz soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4-6 pork chops

method

  1. In a shallow dish, combine the marinade ingredients
  2. Place the chops into the marinade and turn to get an even coating
  3. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight, as long as you like.
  4. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5.
  5. Place pork chops in a roasting dish, and bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes dependent on thickness until cooked, basting meat occasionally with marinade.

Weather for ducks !

Oh dear me.  We have had none stop rain for the last two days here.  I have not been able to get onto the allotment, it is just way too wet.
I am generally not one to shy away from a bit of rain, but it has been truly horrendous this week so far.

On the plus side I have been able to fiddle about a bit with all the gubbins that can be added to the blog.
I set up a facebook page to link the two together, and there is now a link to get emails when a new post is published. So with a bit of luck I will have done them right, and they will work properly.

I have also been able to fix my camera, so I can start putting a few pictures up for everyone to laugh at – my photography skills are non existent.  I guarantee they will be out of focus, have bits chopped off top & bottom, be too far away or too close up, all those silly errors that people make when they have no clue what they are doing.

As its been so wet I have been practicing indoors trying to get a decent image.  These are a couple of plants I have on the kitchen window ledge.
  

Hopefully the weather will improve in the 2nd half of the week, thats what the met office is saying anyhow, so lets hope they are right.
Any more of this and I will be building an ark.

Bolognese

I frequently change the ingredients for this, whatever I have in the pantry may be included – today I had celery, spring onion and mushrooms, so they got added in, but I don’t always have them. Use what you have, don’t go buying any ingredient just because the recipe has it.  I used stock, because I just made several pints, but water with or without a stock cube would do just as well.  I had a chilli going spare, so that got chopped in too.  You get the idea.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb minced beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small green chilli, chopped (optional)
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Splash wine (optional)
  • ½ pint stock or water
  • Servings of pasta
  • Cheese (optional)

Method:

  1. Brown the mince in a pan
  2. Boil a pan of water ready for the pasta.
  3. Add the chopped onion, pepper, mushrooms, celery, carrot, and garlic to the mince along with the sprig of thyme and seasoning and chilli if you are using it.
  4. Add the tomatoes and wine and pour in approx. half a pint stock or water, stir, cover with a lid and leave to simmer.
  5. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
  6. Taste the meat adding a little more seasoning if required.
  7. When all is ready serve the pasta and mince, sprinkled with cheese.

Creamy Turkey Pasta Bake

I am still using up the turkey leftovers.
I managed to get a good deal of stock from it, and am using the last of the meat tonight for dinner.

This is simple to make and very filling.
I always use the wholewheat option for pasta and flour, etc. and real butter and full fat milk and dairy.
I find these things are far more filling and can get along with smaller portion sizes.

Ingredients

  • 1 (250g) pack uncooked pasta
  • 50g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 350ml turkey stock
  • 237ml milk
  • 87g grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 275g chopped cooked turkey

method

Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.

Lightly grease a medium baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.

Drain, and place in the prepared baking dish.

 

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in flour.

Mix in stock and milk.

Cook and stir until the mixture comes to the boil.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese, reserving approximately 2-3 tbs, and remove from heat.

Mix stock mixture and turkey with pasta.

Top with remaining cheese.

Bake 40 mins in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.

Berry Refrigerator Oats

I am trying this for breakfast tomorrow.

I love porridge, especially on those cold winter mornings, but this is a cold version that you prepare the night before, and leave in the fridge overnight.  You can add pretty much any fruit and/or nuts to it, whatever you would generally have on your porridge or cereal in the mornings can go in, but I have some raspberries and blackcurrants that I picked on the allotment, so that is what I am using this time.  I mix it all in a jar, which is just the right size.  I am using a 1lb jam jar.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup berries
  • additional berries for topping

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, stir, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Top with additional berries if desired.

note: if you are using something bigger, like banana or strawberries, then chop them up into bite sized or smaller pieces.