Sunday, 24 July 2011

Slob's Cooking

Just in case you think it's all haute cuisine Chez Kemp, some recipes from this past weekend.

Chicken Provencale-ish

1 packet skinless, boneless chicken thighs (from the reduced shelf if you really want to to be true to my recipe)
1 jar of tomato-based spicy pasta sauce from your cupboard (I used a Lloyd Grossman 'Puttanesca' that had been languishing for about a year because I don't eat pasta anymore)

Put these 2 ingredients in a casserole dish (I used a small Le Creuset), put the lid on and bung it in the oven (180c) and forget about it for roughly 40 mins.

Eat it out of the pan in front of the TV - with some rice and a salad if you can be bothered (definitely a packet of microwave rice is called for here!)

Have the left-overs for Sunday lunch with some other strange dishes made from what you can find in the fridge.  Invite some un-fussy and lonely friends who will eat whatever you put on the table and be grateful for it.

Marrow ratatouille-ish (best served for Sunday lunch with other unidentifiable dishes)

Find 3 nearly mouldy aubergines in the fridge, cut off the bad bits, cut them in half lengthways and bake in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, until soft. Leave until cool enough to handle.

Finely chop 1 onion and 1 clove garlic and seat in some olive oil in a saute pan.

Peel 1/3 of an overgrown marrow, remove the seeds and chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to the pan.

Scoop out the aubergine flesh and add to the pan.  Use up any passata or tinned tomatoes that you have lying around and add to the pan, season with salt and pepper, some dried herbs (I used marjoram), 1/2 tsp sugar and a slug of worcester sauce. Cover and simmer until the marrow is soft.  Serve lukewarm.

Salad Un-Nicoise

Use up old sprouted potatoes from the bottom drawer.  Cut of the eyes and peel them, then boil until tender.  Estimate when they have 5 mins to go, and add 4 eggs and a handful of frozen green beans and cook for a further 5 mins then drain and refresh everything in cold water.

Chop the potatoes into bite sized chunks, mix with the beans then 1/4 the eggs and arrange on the top.  Drizzle with a vinaigrette dressing.  If you had any tuna, fresh tomtoates, black olives or anchovies you could add them to make a proper Nicoise!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Blackberry and Apple Cake

Picked a huge bag of blackberries this morning and some apples - they (apples) weren't quite ripe but fine in a cake - and free, that's the main thing!.

A cake is in the oven as I write, and will be taken in to work, still warm.  Must make sure the boss gets a big slice...

Preheat oven to 180c.  Grease and line a large brownie tin or medium roasting tin.

Mix with electric mixer:

6oz margerine
6 oz caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
6 oz self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder

Add several handfuls of freshly picked blackberries and about 3 medium apples, cored and chopped (I don't bother to peel them!)  Mix gently to combine.

Pour mixture into tin and sprinkle with demerara sugar, then bake for about 35-40 mins.

Enjoy - picture to follow!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Blackberry and Lime Drizzle Muffins

I was SUCH a donestic goddess this morning.  Not only did I bake muffins before taking them into work  but picked the Blackberries whilst out walking shortly after dawn before returning home and turning them into delicious offerings for my colleagues.  Sadly however, having extolled my own virtues to my boss she wandered along to the kitchen to discover all 14 of them had disappeared to those with quicker responses.  So now I am in the dog house, and it seems I will need to pick MORE blackberries and make MORE muffins be be assured of continued employment.

Here is the recipe for those who wish to try it (it's my own recipe but heavily influenced by my Granny's trusty Victoria Sponge recipe, Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Cake and the BBC's Lime and Blueberry Drizzle).

Preheat oven to 180c.  Line a muffin tin with paper cake cakes (Makes about 12-14 large muffins or more cupcakes).

In an electric mixer, combine the following and beat for 2 mins:

6 oz softened butter or margerine (I used Stork)
6 oz Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 lime
3 large free range eggs
7 oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking power
3 tbsp milk

Add 1/3 clean doggy bagful (or whatever container you used to collect your berries!) freshly picked Blackberries and stir through gently.

Spoon into muffin cases - fill them just over half full.

Bake for approx 20 mins or until risen, golden and springs back when pressed (or when a cocktail stick inserted comes out clean).

Whilst they are baking make the drizzle:  juice the lime and mix with about 3oz granulated sugar.

Cool in the tin for about 5 mins then spoon a little drizzle mixture over each muffin.  Lift out of the tin carefully and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Take into work and make sure your boss gets one before the other gannets empty the tin.

Dhaka Diary

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