Smörgåsblog

Recipes — Page 3

Rosemary Chocolate Pots

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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This was going to be my entry for our April cookalong, which had the theme of chocolate. However, as I have been a little late in getting the post up, it won't be being judged by the lovely people at Eat Magazine.

I'm not too upset though as I have managed to win a couple of cookalongs previously. My tart won the seafood cookalong last August, my Valentine's recipes won in February's competition and my Molly Malone Hotpot was the winner in March's cookalong along with this Swiss Roll recipe from Cake in the Country.

I decided to make these delicious little chocolate pots after spotting the recipe in the latest addition to my cook book collection: The Flavour Thesaurus. This is an amazing book that lists various food together into flavour types and then lists which flavours pair well together and why.

"A backdrop of dark chocolate shows off rosemary's cool, evergreen flavours. If this recalls the lovely combination of Chocolate & Cardamom (see page 14), that's because the dominant flavour compound in both rosemary and cardamom is cineole, common to bay leaf too (think how all three make great milk-based desserts). Cineole has woody eucalyptus, slightly minty notes. In rosemary, these are joined by peppery, camphorous characters, while cardamom takes it in a more citrusy, floral direction -- you might say chocolate with rosemary is a wintry alternative to chocolate and cardamom."

After reading that paragraph I knew I had to try them as I would never have thought to pair chocolate and rosemary together previously. They are incredibly delicious, the rosemary takes away the cloyingness that you can sometimes get with chocolate.

Ingredients
Caster Sugar
250g
White Wine
250ml
Lemon Juice
½ squeezed lemon
Double Cream
600 ml
Rosemary
1 fresh sprig
Plain Chocolate
165g
Other Requirements

Heavy bottomed pot, measuring jug, little ramekins, wooden spoon, sieve

This recipe is relatively straight forward but there is a point at which is can all go horribly wrong, but fear not, as I shall include troubleshooting instructions for you should this happen.

Cut your lemon in half and squeeze out the juice of one half. Measure out the sugar into a heavy bottomed pot and pour in the lemon juice.

Add the wine and put over a low heat, stirring occsionally until all the sugar has dissolved.

While the sugar is dissolving it is time to prepare the chocolate. The chocolate needs to be grated so that it will melt quickly into the mixture later.

When the sugar has all dissolved, carefully pour in the double cream.

Now comes the important part; you need to stir the double cream mixture constantly over a gentle heat until it thickens, which will take about 20 mins. Do not let the mixture boil!

Now add a sprig of rosemary to the cream mixture and stir in the grated chocolate.

Bring the mixture to the boil and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Once melted, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 20 mins until rich and dark.

Allow the mixture to cool. Once cool you face the moment of truth, seeing whether your mixture has split or not. You will know if it has split if there is a visible layer of fat sitting on the top of the chocolate mixture when it cools. This is easily fixed by using an electric hand whisk on the mixture for 3 - 5 mins until the fat is completely reincorporated into the chocolate mixture. This whisking can be done after the following step.

When the chocolate mixture is cool, strain it through a sieve into a bowl. This is to remove the rosemary stalk from the mixture.

Set out your little ramekins and divide the mixture into them. This mixture should fill between 8 and 10 dishes depending on their size.

Cover each ramekin with a small square of cling film and put into the fridge to set.

The pots should be set after about 2 hours. Eat and enjoy! These keep for at least a week in the fridge, I can't tell you if they keep any longer as there were none left then.

Carrot & Orange Cake

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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Tomorrow is Mother's Day and what better way to make your mum smile than to bake her a delicious cake?

This cake recipe came about when I had oranges leftover from making marmalade and my mum had received a large number of carrots in her weekly veg box. The cake recipe itself is loosely based on this Rachel Allen Carrot Cake and the icing is Nigella's from her Guinness Chocolate Cake recipe in feast, but orangified.

This cake is perfect for mums as it's vaguely healthy sounding so they can indulge without guilt. Plus, my mum loves it and what greater accolade do you need than that?

Ingredients
Eggs
2
Caster Sugar
200g
Sunflower Oil
140 ml
Carrots (grated weight)
250g
Oranges (zest and juice)
2
Mixed Nuts
100g
Raisins
100g
Self-Raising Flour
200g
Bicarbonate of Soda
½ tsp
Cinnamon
1 tsp
Nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
½ tsp
Mixed Spice
½ tsp
Cream Cheese
225g
Icing Sugar
150g
Cream
75ml
Other Requirements

20cm round cake tin with a depth of about 9cm, baking parchment, mixing bowl, grater, wooden spoon, whisk (electric or otherwise), spatula, cooling rack.

The first thing that has to be done is to line your cake tin with the baking parchment so that the cake won't stick to it while cooking.

Put your cake tin onto the baking parchment and draw around it with a pen or pencil. Cut out the circle and leave to one side.

Cut a strip of parchment that will fit around the interior of the tin and snip into one long side of the paper at regular itervals to a depth of about 2 cm to create a fringe. This will help the paper sit better in the tin.

Grease the tin with an old butter wrapper or a bit of parchment with butter/marg on it and add the long fringed piece of paper to the tin. Add the circle of parchment to the bottom and you're done. Leave the tin to one side till later.

It's best to do all your grating first to get it out of the way. Grate the carrots, I found that 5 medium carrrots gave me 250g when grated. Remove the zest from one the oranges with a fine grater or zester and then juice the orange. Keep everything in easy grabbing distance for the next bit.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Break the eggs into the bowl and add the sugar and oil.

Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.

Add the carrots and stir through.

Add the nuts, raisins and orange zest.

Mix thoroughly and add the flour and bicarbonate of soda.

This is also the point to add the spices; cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg.

Carefully fold in all the dry ingredients and ensure that there are no lumpy bits. Last ingredient to be mixed in is a tablespoon of the orange juice.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven for 1 - 1¼ hours until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, make up the cream cheese icing.

Zest and juice the remaining orange and put to one side for the moment.

Put the cream cheese into a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Sieve the icing into the bowl and whisk into the cream cheese.

Pour in the cream and whisk into the cream cheese and icing sugar mixture. You will need to whip the icing for at least 2 -3 mins at this point until the it is quite stiff in texture.

Add the orange zest and 3 tablespoons juice. Once again whisk everything up until smooth and orangey tasting.

When everythings mixed together, again until quite stiff in texture, put the mixture into the fridge until it's needed. It is very important that the icing go into the fridge for at least 30 mins before use, as it helps to stiffen and set the mixture, making it easier to handle.

By now the cake should be finished baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in its tin for about 5 mins. When the cake is a little cooler, take it out of the tin, remove the baking parchment, and leave to cool on the wire rack.

When the cake is cool, put on a fancy plate and ice, using the cream cheese icing in the fridge.

Decorate the cake with slices of orange and serve to your very impressed mother.

Surf agus Turf

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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Having been set the challenge by the Irish Food Blogger's Association and Bord Bia to come up with an Irish dish using Irish beef in order to have a chance at this amazing prize to represent Ireland, it was straight on with the thinking cap.

I decided that I wanted to put together a dish that only showed Irish beef at its finest but other Irish produce too. Once I had that thought in my head the obvious choice was surf and turf, because what's a nicer combination that shellfish and steak? I know that this dish probably originated in Miami but it's often found on many Irish menus and this version is definitely Irish!

To me surf and turf is the stuff of dreams and the unltimate decadance. It was always the most expensive item on the menus I read as a child and therefore always unattainable. My take on the dish as a simple spring or summer salad however, is easily accessible and provides a light supper for one on those evenings where you don't really feel like cooking.

Ingredients
Fillet Steak
1
Dublin Bay Prawns
8 - 12
Lamb's Leaf Lettuce
a large handful
Baby Gem Lettuce
Half a head
Pea Greens
a small handful
Olive Oil
3 tblsps
Balsamic Vinegar
1 tblsp
Mustard (Dijon)
½ tsp
Honey
½ tsp
Capers
2 tsps
Dried Chili Flakes (depending on personal tastes)
½ - 1 tsp
Salt (to marinate beef)
sprinkling
Other Requirements

Small bowl, whisk, frying pan, grill and a sharp knife.

This is so incredibly easy to throw together that I can predict that I will be eating it every time my Beau is out for the evening from now till September! All the produce I used in the main part of the salad; the steak, the Dublin Bay prawns and the lettuce are Irish, sourced from my local butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer.

The first thing to do in this recipe is prepare the steak. Cover it in a little olive oil and salt and rub in, then leave it to one side while you prepare the dressing.

Measure the olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a small bowl.

Add the mustard, honey and chilli flakes.

Beat the ingrediants together using a little whisk or, if you have one, a milk frother is the perfect tool for mixing dressings. Once the dressing is well blended, add the capers and stir through.

Leave the dressing to one side and prepare your plate of leaves so that it's ready to go once the beef and prawns have been cooked.

Take a handful of the lamb's leaf and place on the plate.

Roughly chop up the half head of baby gem and add it to the plate too.

Finally chop your small handul of pea greens in half and throw them onto the plate with the rest of the lettuce.

Toss the leaves together with your hands and put the plate one side in an easily grabbable location.

Now for the exciting part - time to put the steak on. Make sure you add the steak to a very hot pan so that the meat is nicely seared. While the steak is cooking on one side, turn on the grill (I used my mum's George Forman) and add the prawns to it.

Make sure that your prawns are unshelled and have the vein removed, I'm lazy and got this done at the fishmongers. For the non-lazy amoungst you here is a helpful video on deshelling and deveining.

It's up to you how you would like to cook your steak but I did mine the rarer side of medium, which was 2 minutes a side for the piece of fillet that I had. Once the steak is cooked to your liking, move it to a board or plate and allow to rest.

The shrimp should only take about 3 - 5 minutes to cook on the grill. Once done, move to plate next to your steak and plate of salad leaves

Add the prawns to the salad plate. Thinly slice the steak with a very sharp knife.

Add the steak slices to the salad and drizzle with the dressing.

Serve while the steak and prawns are still hot, perhaps with a little crusty bread on the side and a glass of wine.

Sage Scones

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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This is the second of my Traditional Irish dishes from the Irish Foodies Cookalong last Friday. I cooked these scones to accompany my main dish of Molly Malone's Hotpot. As there was sage in the hotpot, I decided that sage would be the best thing to flavour the scones with too.

These were some of the tastiest scones I have ever made. My whole family loved them and requested that I make them again. They also went perfectly with the hotpot.

Ingredients
Self-Raising Flour
225g
Sage (Finely chopped)
20g
Butter
40g
Milk
150ml
Salt
a pinch
Other Requirements

Mixing bowl, rolling pin, pastry cutter, pastry brush, baking tray and wire rack.

Scones are one of the easiest things to bake; in fact, they were the first thing I ever had to cook in Home Ec so many years ago. The base recipe for these scones comes from Delia's Complete Cookery Course.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Measure out the flour and add the butter in small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs in consistency.

Take the sage leaves only and finely chop. I'm a big cheat, so I used a mini food mixer that my parents have to blitz the sage, but you can do it by hand with a big knife too.

Add the salt and chopped sage to the flour and mix together.

Slowly add the milk to the bowl bit by bit, stirring it into the flour mix until it comes together into a dough.

Tip the dough out onto a well-floured board or counter and flatten with your hands into a round.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2 cm. Use the pastry cutter to cut out rounds from the dough. When using the cutter make sure to push it straight down without twisting, this will give you taller scones. Place the cut out scones onto a well greased baking tray.

Once you have cut out as many scones as you can from the first rolling out, pull the dough back together, roll it out again and cut another set of scones. Repeat this until you run out of dough.

Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk and place in the oven for 12 - 15 mins until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Serve with Molly Malone Hotpot, soup or stew and lashings of butter.

Molly Malone's Hotpot

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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Last Friday was the first of the month and so it was time once again for the Irish Foodie Cookalong. This month's theme could only be traditional Irish food because of the upcoming St. Patrick's Day festivities.

I spent a long time pondering what to cook, should I stick to soda bread and coddle or try and find something a bit different? Finally, I decided that I would look to Dublin's well known former resident, Molly Malone, for inspiration and cook cockles and mussels. What could be more traditional than that? A quick search on Google turned up this recipe, which I have modified a little bit.

Unfortunately, no cockles were to be found in time for me to use them, so I had to substitute in clams instead. They were just as tasty, if not as poetic as the original ingredient.

I served the hotpot, as suggested by the original recipe, with herb scones. I decided that since the recipe contained quite a large amount of sage, that's what I would put into the scones to best compliment the dish, plus the green colour was delightfully patriotic.

This recipe is also included in The Daily Spud's Paddy's Day Food Parade.

Ingredients
Mussels
1 kg
Clams (Or cockles)
1 kg
White Wine
200ml
Bay Leaves
2
Onion
1
Carrot
1
Celery
1 stick
Sage (Finely chopped)
2 tablespoons
Tinned Tomatoes
1 400g tin
Oil or Butter
for frying
Salt & Pepper
to season
Other Requirements

Large pot, frying pan, and chopping board.

I'm not going to lie to you Marge, the hardest part of this recipe and the part that takes the longest is cleaning the damn shellfish. It took me just under an hour to de-beard and clean the mussels and clams together. However, once you get through this, the rest is plain sailing.

The first thing to check before you start scrubbing your shellfish is whether there are any that are open and if they don't close when you give them a sharp tap, throw them out.

Now on to cleaning them. On the mussels you need to remove the beards, which are the strands, much like hair that are trapped in the shell, then a give them a quick scrub to remove any other gunk from the shell. The clams don't have beards, but do need to be well scrubbed to remove any excess mud and sand from their shells.

When you've finally scrubbed the last of your cockles clams and mussels place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to stand for an hour. This is the perfect moment to make the sage scones.

This is also the moment to prepare your vegetables. Take the stick of celery, onion and carrot and finely chop.

Finely chop up your sage and leave to one side. As I was using sage in the scones as well I blitzed the whole lot in a mini food mixer and measured out the two tablespoons I needed for the hotpot from the total amount.

Time to go back to the soaking shellfish. Drain all the cold water from the clams and mussels and place them into a large pot. Add the two bay leaves.

Pour in the white wine, cover the pot with a lid and bring to the boil. Steam the shellfish for 5 - 7 mins until all the shells have opened.

Remove the shellfish from the pot using a slotted spoon and reserve the cooking liquid for use later.

Leave the shellfish to one side to cool. While this is happening heat a little oil in the frying pan over a low heat and add the vegetables. Keep on a low heat until the onion becomes translucent and the celery and carrot have softened.

Once the shellfish are cool, remove half from their shells but leave the remainder. Keep to one side until needed. Remember to discard and clams or mussels that have remained closed after cooking.

Returning to the frying pan, as the vegetables start to soften, add the chopped sage and cook for 3 mins. Add the tin of tomatoes, bring to the boil and cook for another 3 mins, stirring occasionally.

Add the reserved cooking liquid and again, bring to boil and simmer for 3 mins.

Add the clams and mussels to the sauce and stir through. Season the sauce and leave for 2 mins till the shellfish have warmed through.

Serve immediately in bowls with the sage scones.

Fastelavnsboller

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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Next Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday, the day the whole country goes mad for pancakes ahead of the Lenten fast (even if most of us don't observe the fasting part).

However, today in Denmark is Fastelavn. Now I don't know a whole lot about Fastelavn, so I wrote an email to my aunt asking her to tell me what she could about it. Her reply is below.

Fastelavn has 2 days. It's held on Sunday before Lent begins and very often they'll have a special service for children that day and "slog katten af tønden"... In the old days a cat was in a barrel - nowadays there are sweets... The children take turns to make a swipe at the barrel and the one who makes the barrel burst is the Cat King/Queen. In the schools etc. this is done on Monday. Often the local county council will have arranged a barrel banging contest in the town square and you'll see queues of freezing kids waiting to swing their clubs. They're all in fancy dress of course and there are often prizes for best outfit etc. also. The barrels also vary in size and strength according to the age groups that are swinging their cudgels.

You may be interested to hear that when Granny was a little girl she took a terrific swipe bringing the club well back behind her head to strike at the barrel - so well that she gave herself an almighty crack on the skull and a minor concussion. But she used to say it gave great bonus 'cos the others gave her some of their sweets....

Fastelavnsboller are popular and have been on sale this year anyway almost since the 2nd Jan. Ridiculous! Says the old auntie. In Sweden they make "semlar" (spelling?) A dryish bolle with marzipan in the middle. You put it in a bowl and pour warm milk over it. If you're lucky they serve whipped cream with it also. There's saffron in it somewhere along the line. I quite like them but some people find them dull.

Does that help? It's not authoritative but the best I can do.

So if you're feeling a little international this week, why not celebrate with Fastelansboller, they taste just like hot cross buns and are great with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon.

Ingredients
Milk
75ml
Dried Yeast
7g (1 standard packet)
Flour
275g
Butter (plus additional for decorating)
75g
Caster Sugar (plus 1 tsp)
40g
Raisins
40g
Mixed Peel
25g
Mixed Spice
1 tsp
Egg (beaten)
1
Sugar (large-grained or crushed sugar cubes)
to decorate
Other Requirements

Measuring jug, mixing bowl, polythene bag, cling film, baking tray

As with the other Danish yeast baking that I've done previously (Kanelsnegle and Tebirkes) the first thing that needs to be done with this recipe is to set up the yeast.

Measure out the milk and add the teaspoon of sugar. Heat the milk and sugar in the microwave for 50 secs until warm. Sprinkle the dried yeast over the top of the milk and leave to stand to one side until it becomes foamy.

While you're waiting for the yeast to activate, measure the flour out into a mixing bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Measure in the sugar, raisins and peel.

Add the spice and mix together. I used my hands but you can use a wooden spoon if you prefer.

It's now time to return to the yeast beast. By now the yeast should've foamed up in the jug. Add the beaten egg to the yeast and stir thoroughly.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl containing the dried ingredients and mix together until they form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out on to a well-floured board or counter top and knead for 10 mins until it is smooth and elastic. I like to stick on a bit of music to knead too as it makes the time go faster to know that you're done after about 4 songs.

Lightly oil a polythene bag or a piece of cling film large enough to encase the dough. Put the dough into the bag or Clingflim and leave to rest for 10 mins.

Once the dough has rested, divide it into small balls weighing about 40g each. You should get 10 - 15 balls (or boller) from this recipe. Place them onto a well-greased tray, cover with Clingfilm and put in a warm place to rise. This should take about 40 minutes.

You should probably be a little more careful than I was in making the buns and tray and make sure they have smooth tops as otherwise they come out a little wonky when baked. My second attempt produced much more uniform buns.

While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 200°C. Once the buns have doubled in size, put them into the hot oven and bake for 12 - 15 mins.

When the buns have turned golden brown, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. As you can see, due to my lack of care in forming the buns, they came out looking less than perfect. However, they still taste delicious!

Once the buns are cool, put some large grained sugar into a small dish or bowl. I used a special type that I got in Denmark called Pearl Sugar, but crushed sugar lumps would work perfectly as a substitute.

Smear the top of the buns with a little butter and roll through the sugar until the top is evenly coated.

Enjoy plain or split in two with more butter and jam.

Brownie Hearts with Vanilla Cream

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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This is my final recipe for the Food for Romance Cookalong, and is the best course of all, dessert!

Brownies have always been my go to dessert, so much so that at one stage I used to be able to whip up a batch of the batter in under 10 mins while the oven heated and be eating them 20 mins later.

This recipe is a slight modification from the one printed in my very first cookbook; The Usborne First Cookbook. Which, by the way, is a brilliant first cookbook for kids, I still use lots of recipes from it.

As with my previous two cookalong recipes, this is another easy to make but looks really impressive dish. The one you love will find it hard to resist you after a dish like this.

Ingredients
Milk Chocolate
85g
Plain Chocolate
85g
Butter (or margerine)
170g
Flour
170g
Caster Sugar
340g
Eggs
3
Baking Powder (heaped)
½ tsp
Cream
125ml
Vanilla Pod
1
Icing Sugar
For dusting
Other Requirements

A mixing bowl, a kettle of boiling water, a saucepan, a glass bowl, a spatula, an electric beater, a swiss roll baking tray, heart-shaped cookie cutters (2 sizes) and a sieve

I like to use a mix of milk and dark chocolate in my brownies, but if you prefer just plain chocolate then leave out the milk and double the amount of plain.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Weigh out the chocolate and butter and place in a glass bowl.

Pour some boiled water into the saucepan enough so that it won't boil dry but not enough that it will touch the bottom of the glass bowl. Place the bowl with the chocolate and butter on top and allow to melt over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally.

While the chocolate is melting weigh out the flour, sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl.

Break the eggs into a seperate smaller bowl and beat them together.

Add the beaten eggs to the dry mixture and whisk together with the electric beater until it is well combined.

When the chocolate is completely melted, pour it into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and beat together.

When everything is thoroughly mixed together, pour into the well greased swiss roll tin and spread the mixture out so that it is evenly distributed about the tray.

Put the tray into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 mins.

The brownies are ready when they are just set in the middle. Take the tray out of the oven and leave to cool.

Once cool, take your bigger heart shape cutter and mark out 2 large hearts. Then take your smaller heart and mark out 2 little hearts. Try not to cut too near the edge as you get a better looking shape near the centre of the tray. I was making for 3 and I had plenty of brownie left to enjoy the next day with the leftover cream. Bonus!

Using a spatuala, cut a square around the hearts and gently leaver the square up to remove the heart from the tray without damaging it. Put the cut out large hearts on plates and the leave the small ones to one side for the moment.

Time for the vanilla cream. Pour the cream into a bowl and beat until it has soft peaks.

Now take your vanilla pod and split it open. Run the back edge of the knife over the inside of the pod to collect the seeds.

Add the seeds to the cream and fold in using a spoon or small spatula.

Put a large spoonful of the vanilla cream onto the large heart and gently spread it across the top until it is completely covered.

Carefully place the small heart on top and dredged with icing sugar using either a sieve or dredger.

You can then leave them as is and serve or add a little garnish. I used a glace cherry leftover from the Christmas baking on the top of mine, but a mint sprig would also work really well.

Chicken stuffed with Black Pudding

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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This is the second of my Food for Romance Cookalong recipes. This is the main course that I spent a week agonising over. I originally made this dish for my Beau about a month ago, but with chicken breasts with skin on and no bacon. It came out very nice but I felt that it could be improved upon. This is the improved version.

It is a fairly simple dish, but it has the look of something that took a lot more effort, perfect for impressing the one you love. I served it just with my oven chips and nothing else as the mushroom was quite filling as a starter.

Ingredients
Chicken
2 breasts
Black Pudding
100g
Bacon (streaky for preference)
10 slices
Apples
2
Cider (dry cider if possible)
200ml
Chicken Stock
500 mls
Butter
20g
Salt & Pepper
to taste
Other Requirements

A sharp knife, an oven-proof dish, frying pan, hand blender

Just a note that I used Inch House Black Pudding, but you can use any type you like. I would recommend frying off a little to taste first in order to determine how much seasoning you'll need in the dish.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Using a sharp knife, slice into the chicken breasts carefully so that they open out but are not cut the whole way through.

Lay the chicken breasts out flat on a chopping board. Place 50g of black pudding along the centre of each open breast and fold in the edges.

Season the chicken breasts. Lay out 5 strips of bacon on the cutting board and place the breast on them join side up, then wrap the bacon around it so that the chicken is completely covered.

Carefully place the wrapped breasts into your oven proof dish and put into the oven for 30 - 40 mins.

While the chicken is cooking, you can make an apple sauce to go with it. This is not unlike the onion gravy that I made to go with the Toad in the Hole.

Peel and core the apples, then slice them into thin segments.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the apple slices. Gently cook the apple until it turns golden brown.

Turn up the heat under the apple and add the cider. Bring to the boil and reduce until the liquid is quite thick. The apples will go mushy, but you want this to happen.

Add the chicken stock to the pan and blend the sauce until it's smooth.

Season the sauce and leave to reduce, till thick, on a low heat while the chicken finishes cooking.

The chicken is ready to serve when the bacon has started to crisp.

Plate up the chicken with your side dishes and sauce and serve.

Double Mushroom Surprise

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

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This is the first of my Food for Romance Cookalong recipes. When the theme for this month's cookalong was announced, this was the first thing to pop into my head as a starter. It's a modification of a recipe for mushroom bruschetta taken from the Green River Cafe Cookbook and is one of my favourite starters to serve for guests, mainly because it is so easy to put together.

It's also very easy to make a vegetarian version of and I think that replacing the Serrano ham with haloumi cheese would make for a great dish.

Ingredients
Portobello Mushrooms
2
Mushrooms (mixed wild mushrooms)
200g
Garlic
2 - 3 cloves
Olive Oil
2 tsp
Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp
Serrano Ham
2 slices
Oil or Butter (use mixture of both if possible)
For sautéing
Other Requirements

Baking tray, frying pan and a knife

I didn't have time to get a mix of wild mushrooms on the Friday, so I used the Champagne variety that was available in my local supermarket. These worked just as well but I think you get a nicer flavour from using a mixture of different wild mushrooms, which are usually available in shops such as Fallon & Byrne.

Before getting started pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Trim the Portobello mushrooms and remove the stems. Hold onto the stems for use later but throw out the rest of the trimmings.

Place the mushrooms onto a baking tray. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to each mushroom and rub it in.

Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to each mushroom, lightly season and put into the oven for 15 mins.

While the Portobello mushrooms are cooking, prepare the wild mushrooms which will be places on top.

Tear or roughly chop up the wild mushrooms, I find the softer varieties are easier to divide by tearing rather than using a knife. Finely chop up the Portobello stems and place with the mushroom mix (you don't have to do this but why waste them?). Finally crush the garlic.

Heat the frying pan and add a knob of butter (about 20g) and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 mins, stirring regularly.

Add the garlic and cook the mushrooms for another 2 - 5mins until they are just starting to brown. Once this has happened turn off the heat.

Your mushrooms turning brown in the pan should coincide with the Portobello's coming out of the oven. Place the Portobello's on plates and divide the wild mushroom mix between the two.

Heap any fallen wild mushrooms back on top of the Portobello's and give the plate a little wipe down (presentation is important when wooing). Drape the mushrooms with a slice of Serrano ham. If you can't get Serrano ham, Parma ham works just as well.

Serve immediately while still hot.

Tebirkes (Poppy Seed Rolls)

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

Prepartion Time
Total Time

Following on from the Food Camp post, these were the third item that I brought down as part of my "lunch box" and I got a lot of compliments on them because of their lovely buttery taste.

These are the best rolls to have with your breakfast, brunch or an afternoon tea. They are incredibly buttery and work well with both jam and runny cheeses. Funnily enough I've mainly eaten them at a Dane's house in Ireland, but this is the recipe from our family cook book and it works out very nicely.

I've also decided to enter them in English Mum's Fresh Bread Bakeoff, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Ingredients
Dried Yeast (or 2 7g packets)
1 tbsp
Butter (Divided into 150g and 50g)
200g
Flour
450g
Milk
225ml
Sugar
1 tsp & 1 tbsp
Salt
½ tsp
Egg (beaten)
1
Poppy Seeds
2 tbsp
Other Requirements

Rolling pin, pastry brush, baking tray, wire rack

As this is a Danish bread recipe it involves yeast, but be not afraid, it is still incredibly simple.

Measure out the milk and warm in the microwave for about 40 - 50 seconds until it is warm. You can also do this in a pot but it's faster and leaves less washing up in the microwave.

Mix in the yeast and the teaspoon of sugar to the warm milk and leave until it has become frothy, about 15 - 20 minutes.

While you're waiting for the yeast to activate, measure out the flour and rub in 150g of the butter. When you're finished the mixture should have the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the half-teaspoon of salt and mix through.

It's now time to go back to the yeast mixture. By now the yeast should have foamed up and will be ready to add to the dry ingredients. Give it a quick stir and pour the yeast liquid in with the dry ingredients and mix together into a soft dough.

Once the dough has come together in the bowl, tip it out onto a floured worktop and knead for approximately 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.

When you've finished kneading the dough, put it into an oiled bowl and cover with Clingfilm. Alternatively, you can put the dough into an oiled freezer bag. Leave to rise for 20 minutes until it has become slightly puffy. While the dough is rising, turn on the oven and preheat it to 220°C.

After the dough has risen, put it on a lightly floured worktop and roll it out into a large rectangle measuring approximately 20 x 50 cm. Make sure that the edges are as level as you can get them.

Take the remaining 50g of butter, it should be quite soft, and spread it across the bottom half of the dough.

Seal up the edges at each end in the same manner. Flip the folded dough back over so that the seal is now on the underside.

Seal up the edges and each end of the in the same manner. Flip the folded dough back over so that the seal is now on the underside.

Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle the poppy seeds as evenly as possible along the length.

Cut the dough into triangles. You should get between 12-14 triangles out of this batch.

Place the triangles onto greased baking trays and place into the oven to bake for 15 minutes until they have turned golden brown.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow cool on wire racks.

Enjoy with more butter and jam.