Sunday, 9 March 2014

 Salty and Sweet the best combination ever!

Veggischmooze Thai Green Mango Salad
 After trying this fabulously spicy dish at our local Thai restaurant we yearned to make it at home. We are thrilled with the results – the perfect salty, sweet, spicy, sour and bitter combination and fabulously refreshing. And still perfect the next day. Hold back the dressing and add when needed.              

Serves 10

1 green mango – 250 gm peeled flesh
2 large fresh carrots peeled
150g bean sprouts 
200g daikon or mooli peeled
3 spring onions finely chopped
1 large red mild chilli deseeded and finely chopped
25g fresh basil finely chopped
50g fresh coriander finely chopped
40g flaked or desiccated coconut
100g salted peanuts
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Grated zest and juice of 1 small lime
2 tablespoon soft brown sugar
Process or grate the carrot, green mango pieces, daikon and place in a large bowl. Add the bean sprouts, finely chopped spring onions, chilli, coriander and basil.  
Put the coconut and the salted peanuts on a baking sheet and heat gently for 10 minutes on a low oven – C gas mark   for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool. Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Save a few nuts to top and sprinkle the remaining toasted nuts over the salad. Mix in well. Serve as a starter or with an addition of toasted tofu – delicious and healthy!

Variation – not strictly right but the addition of 20 g finely chopped fresh mint increases the refreshing qualities.

 Veggischmooze Salted Caramel Pecans and Almonds

These moorish nutty nuggets epitomise the salty sweet theme, and are perfect to serve to family and friends. So evocative of holidays abroad. Once you start you can’t stop!  
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with baking parchment

100 g pecans or pecans and almonds mixed
100g castor sugar  
3 tablespoons water
½ - 1 teaspoon teaspoon sea-salt depending on taste

Combine the nuts, sugar and water in a medium thick–bottomed pan and cook over a gentle heat. After the sugar dissolves, start stirring. The sugar will change its character and begin to look like crystals. Reduce the heat to allow the crystals to melt and colour on the base of the pan. Now sprinkle on the salt and shake the nuts well then dropping them onto a sheet of baking parchment. Tease apart with a metal skewer while they are still warm. Cool completely.
Mmm can you eat one??  

 Spiced Apple Cake with a Salty Sweet Lemon Drizzle Topping

This easy- to-make cake celebrates the Bramley. Its olive oil base is ultra-moist, has wonderful keeping qualities and makes either one large 20 cm cake or one 18cm cake and a small loaf tin 18cm x 8 ½ for family nibbles! Enjoy with a cuppa and a good chat. Makes a wonderful pudding warm with custard.         

Serves 10
Line an 18cm tin and a small 18cm X 8 ½ cm tin or 1 large 20cm tin
400g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
375ml mild vegetable oil – we used olive
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
215g soft brown sugar
3 free-range organic eggs
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Apple Mixture
I large Bramley apple peeled cored and chopped into 3 cm chunks
1 teaspoon of the juice of the lemon
½ teaspoon cinnamon    

For Salty Sweet Lemon Drizzle
remaining juice of the lemon
4-5 tablespoons soft brown sugar
½ - 1 teaspoon salt depending on desires

In a large bowl sieve the flour with the salt, spices and baking powder.
Peel core and chop the apples and grate the lemon saving the zest. Squeeze the lemon halves and add I teaspoon of the juice to the peeled apples to prevent them from discolouring. Add the one teaspoon of spice to the apple mixture and stir well.
Process or mix the oil with the soft brown sugar until lighter and the sugar well dissolved – maybe five minutes. Add the lemon zest and the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time. When the mixture looks well blended pour this mixture into the bow with the flour adding the apple mixture as well. As soon as the mixtures are combined pour the fragrant batter into the tins and bake for 1 hour + 10minutes for the smaller cake version or 1hour and 20 minutes for the larger cake, or until golden on top and a metal skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool while you make the drizzle mixture. Spear the cakes with a cocktail stick and pour over the drizzle mixture.

Mmm Moist and luscious. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

                    Yummy Pancakes

It's Shrove Tuesday next week so why not give these scrumptious pancakes a go. 
We have based all or recipes on my rather luxurious pancake recipe which yes, does have a little oil and melted butter or margarine in the mix. But a silken luscious pancake emerges that never lets you down. And freezes perfectly.
We left it plain so that it could be filled with savoury or sweet fillings and are so thrilled with the results.
Our first and fabulous offering, Cinnamon, Toffee Apple and Custard Pancakes wraps a pancake around a glorious mixture of buttered toffee’d cinnamon Bramleys, with delicious homemade custard. Wow, bless the Bramley.   
Then our Veggischmooze Cheese Blintzes – fragrant with lemon and vanilla are traditionally served to commemorate the offering of the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people. These pancakes are real celebratory foods and particularly moorish. They can be reheated and are often served with a generous dollop of soured cream.
Finally we have made luscious Toasted Walnut and Cheesy Leek Pancakes which make a delicious lunch or supper.   
We soo hope we can tempt you with one of these delicious treats.

 Our Deliciously Rich Pancake That Never Fails
The amount makes 12 -13 pancakes or 4 generous portions 
200g plain flour
a pinch salt
50g melted butter or margarine
25 ml olive oil
400 ml milk
2 organic free range eggs
Little oil for frying
The best method is to place all the ingredients in a food processor and wiz. Otherwise place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the salt. Then gently warm the butter or margarine until runny but not hot – the microwave is useful here. Combine it with the oil, eggs and milk and whisk until totally smooth. Place in a fridge and leave to stand for approximately 30 minutes. Pour a little oil into a firm-based frying pan and swirl it around pouring the remainder into a heat proof jar or glass. Now ladle in one small ladle of batter and swirl around the mixture to cover the pan base. Cook until the edges start to look brown and flip over with a palette knife or fish slice. Layer the pancakes onto an oven -proof platter and keep warm while you prepare the filling.

  Cinnamon, Toffee Apple and Custard Pancakes

We created these luscious pancakes celebrating our much loved British Bramley by adding chunks of this super-seasonal apple and simmering them with a simple toffee mixture, then layering with a posh but easy, home-made custard. Wow Bless The Bramley!!!       
Toffee Apple Filling

2 large Bramley apples peeled cored and chopped into 3 cm chunks
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon plus 4 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g soft brown sugar
100g butter or margarine 
pinch salt

Place the peeled chopped apples in a firm-based pan with the lemon zest and juice, the salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Cook gently, stirring all the time until the apples begin to soften and are coated with a delicious toffee spicy coating.

220 ml milk
25g castor sugar       
2 free range organic egg yolks
1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons cornflour 

Using a medium sized saucepan, heat up the milk with 10gm sugar until it simmers. Remove from the heat. In the meantime, whisk the eggs with the remaining 15g sugar until fluffy. Whisk in the salt and vanilla. Now whisk in the cornflour, one tablespoon at a time. When this is smooth add half the milk and whisk continuously. Return the egg mixture to the milk. Place on the hob and keep whisking until the mixture thickens. Use or transfer to a bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm.               
 Now take a pancake and spoon the custard and apple mixture into the centre of each. Roll up the pancakes and serve immediately. Its soft, creamy and toffee-apple flavour MMMM. Enjoy.  

            Veggischmooze Cheese Blintzes

Our Veggischmooze Cheese Blintzes, fragrant with lemon and vanilla, are traditionally served to commemorate the offering of the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people. These pancakes are real celebratory foods and particularly moorish. They can be reheated and are often served with a generous dollop of soured cream.
Serves 4

200g soft cheese – low-fat is fine
10g vanilla sugar
Grated zest ½ lemon + 1-2 tablespoons juice to taste
Pinch salt
50g chopped raisins or dried fruit - optional

Combine the filling mixture and place in the centres of the pancakes. Fold or roll and serve dusted with icing sugar and a generous dollop of soured cream. 
Veggischmooze Toasted Walnut and Cheesy Leek Pancakes

This seasonal recipe enjoys the lovely taste of fresh leeks classically enriched with a tasty never-fail cheese sauce and toasted walnuts. The perfect lunch or supper dish. 

Prepare and grease a 2 litre oven to table dish
Serves 4

4-6 fat leeks washed well and chopped in 2 cm rings
400ml vegetable stock
2 teaspoons olive oil
200g tasty cheddar cheese + 50g for topping
480 ml fresh milk
120g flour
40g walnuts
Freshly milled salt and pepper
15g finely chopped parsley

Simmer the leeks in the stock until just tender approximately 5-6 minutes. Remove the leeks with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Add the milk, oil and flour to the stock, bring to the boil and whisk until a smooth sauce is obtained. Grate the cheese. Add the cheese to the sauce, leaving a little for the top. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and heat gently on a low oven 170C gas mark 3 for ten minutes. Combine the sauce with the leeks and toasted walnuts and place spoonfuls in the centre of the pancakes. Layer in a greased oven-proof dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake in a moderate oven, 180C, gas mark 4 for 20 minutes or until cheese is browned and the filling bubbling and gorgeous. Enjoy. Soo tasty.