Breadcrumbs

breadcrumbsNever ever throw away a stale bread, otherwise you may throw away the most delicious thing. I used a whole stale bread including the crust, cut them into small pieces then put them in the food processor or blender, blitz it until the consistency that you wanted to achieve. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Spread the processed breadcrumbs on the Swiss roll tin, let it dry for 20 minutes (to drying it further) while waiting for the oven to heat up.

There is several type of breadcrumbs you could make it yourself.

  • White breadcrumbs – Remove the crust from some stale bread and rub it through a fine wire sieve, using the palm of the hand.
  • Brown breadcrumbs – Put the crusts or any pieces of the stale bread there may be into a moderate oven, and bake them brown. Then crush them with a rolling pin or pound them in a mortar, pass them through a fine sieve, and keep them in an air-tight tin.
  • Mollica (Italian) breadcrumbs  – Soft breadcrumbs: the inside of a loaf or roll, as distinct from the crust. Mollica is used principally as a binder in Polpette and Polettoni, in fillings for Ravioli and other pasta shapes and in stuffing for vegetables, fish etc. In Calabria and Sicily fried breadcrumbs are the main ingredient in many pasta sauces as a substitute for the more expensive Parmesan. The taste is, of course, different, though not necessarily less good, but the appearance is similar. There is one dish in southern Italy, in the poor regions used this breadcrumbs, even still serving today.

The French breadcrumbs (panure in French) are made from fresh bread and are soft and large-crumbed. Dried breadcrumbs (chapelure in French) are finer, made from bread that has been dried in oven or slightly stale, or by drying fresh breadcrumbs and crushing them. Browned breadcrumbs are dried crumbs that are lightly toasted. (Alternatively, the bread may be baked until browned before it is crumbed.) Breadcrumbs are used in cooking for coating food or as a topping for dishes. They are also used for binding mixtures or thickening soups or sauces.

  • Coating with breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are used to coat delicate foods before frying, typically fish or seafood, chicken breast fillets, croquettes or fritters. Dry white crumbs do not absorb as much fat as fresh crumbs; they produce a fine, crisp coating and turn golden on cooking. The food is first dusted with flour, then dipped in beaten egg and finally coated with breadcrumbs. This gives a secure coating, ideal for soft mixtures which may melt during frying. Less delicate items can be moistened with melted butter or milk before a fine layer of crumbs is pressed on – this is useful when baking or grilling (broiling) the food. Dishes coated with fresh breadcrumbs must be cooked slowly so that the crumbs do not brown before the foods are properly cooked. The French are prefer their fresh breadcrumbs, making that misnomer!

If you had a very tired or lazy day, you could even ignore the step of drying the bread in the oven. You can cut the crust off and cut the bread into chunks and lacerate  into crumbs in the food processor, and then leave the crumbs in a shallow bowl or spread them out on a plate to dry and get staler naturally. You can keep breadcrumbs in a freezer bag in the freezer and use them straight from the frozen. An average slice of good bread without crusts, should be weights 25g; this in turn yields approximately 6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.

Roast Chicken with Buttered French Bean

P1150750AAI love the colour of this dish, it’s a happy looking plate for my dinner. I don’t know if I can call this a British roast, as the beans have been cooked in a French method, so these two country haven’t been talking to each other for centuries.

For the bean

For the roast

  • 1 chicke Thigh
  • 5 Strips of bacon
  • 20 g salted butter, slightly soft
  • 1 tbsp of dried rosemary
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C
  2. Loosen the skin of the chicken, rub the chicken skin and underneath the skin with butter, put it into roasting tin, set aside.
  3. cut the bacon into short strips and scatter around the chicken. Sprinkle the dried thyme on top. Then place into the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile the chicken is cooking in the oven. Bring 700ml of water to boil the add in the salt.
  5. Cook the bean uncovered for 2-3 minutes, according to size of the bean.
  6. Drain and pluge them into cold water for 5 minutes, to arrest the cooking process, then drain again. Reserve. if you want to dry it with salad spinner or with paper towel.
  7. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of water together to emulsify. Mix in the beans, season with salt and blackpepper, and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Place the cooked bean on serving plate as a base, remove the chicken from the oven, place cooked chicken on top of the bean, then place the bacon around.

Serve one, I’m happily eating it. I hope you will enjoy it the same way I did too, is devine. I loved this way of method of cooking the French bean, because it kept the green. Even my cat can smell the tasty food in the kitchen and she been meowing her head off again. Obviously she can’t have it!

Bloomer

P1150316AThis is first bread I had ever made, and it turned out well and delicious to eat by itself or as a sandwich lunch. It is easy to make. I found the recipe from Paul Hollywood‘s book. You should try it as well. I loved it with just sliver of butter melting into it.

  • 500g Strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 10g Salt
  • 7g Instant yeast
  • 320ml cold water
  • 40ml Olive oil, extra oil and flour for kneading
  1. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl, taking care not to have the salt and yeast touching. Add the oil and 240ml of water.
  2. Using your hands mix the ingredients together. Gradually add the remaining water (you may not need it all) until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, rough dough.
  3. Pour a little oil onto clean work surface. Sit the dough on the oil and begin to knead. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and silky. Once the correct consistency is achieved, place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until tripled in size.
  4. Once risen, place dough onto floured surface. Knock the dough back by folding it on it self repeatedly. Do this until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth.
  5. To shape into the bloomer, flatten the dough into a rectangle. With the long side facing you fold each end into middle then roll like a Swiss roll so that you have a smooth top with the heal of your hands.
  6. Place on a tray lined with parchement paper, cover and leave to prove for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature, or until double in size.
  7. Lightly spray with water and dust with a little flour. Make four diagonal slashes using sharp knife across the top.
  8. Preheat the oven to 220C and place a baking tray filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven- this will create steam when the loaf is baking. Place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes. After this time lower heat to 200C and bake for further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

There you have it, a beautiful loaf of bloomer.

Caramel Croissant Pudding

P1150246AI am been very lazy to move around after work, and I’m thinking to settle off the stale croissant that I got this morning and then turn it into pudding. I should be making bread and butter pudding, but I’m lazy right now since I got croissant. I had save little effort to butter the bread, obviously these thirsty croissant waiting for some hot liquid bath. Here is the recipe for you, when you are tired but still want some indulgence!

  • 2 stale croissants
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps of water
  • 125ml double cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 tbsps of rum or bourbon
  • 2 large egg (beaten)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.
  2. Tear the croissant into pieces and put it into small gratin dish; you can use cast iron oval shape with capacity of about 500ml for this.
  3. Put the caster sugar and water into a pan (don’t use non-stick pan, the sugar will crystallize and won’t melt properly) and swirl it around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the pan onto hob over medium to high heat.
  4. Caramelized sugar and water mixture letting it bubble away, without stirring until it turn deep amber colour. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Don’t be too timid.
  5. Turn heat down to low and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – and, whisking away, the milk and bourbon. Any solid toffee that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over low heat. Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs.
  6. Pour the caramel bourbon custard over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes if the croissants are very stale.
  7. Place in the oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.

I only take half of it to bed and keep some in kitchen. I was thinking to pour a little bit of cream on top, or eating as breakfast. Wonderful! I hope Tiggy doesn’t go up for supper too.

Stale baguette

stale banguette1

Don’t throw away your stale baguette, bread. You can freshen it up by brush water on the crust and stick it into a slow middle oven for not more than 10 minutes. It come out like you just brought from the boulangerie, I loved the sounds when the bread knife cut into bread like walking on snow, the crust is superb!

Or you can make a croutons from your stale bread. Cut them into cube size (if you like to spread with butter, olive oil etc) and then dry it out in the slow middle oven for less than 15 mintues depending on the size and the fat that you applied on it. Keep them in air tight container. You can serve on caesar salad, or eat it like snack! Very tasty!

Image resource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evefox/7007166115/

Cleaning cooking Appliances

Cleaning 3

Coffee maker – fill the reservoir with a cup of white vinegar and top up with hoy water. Run the coffee maker as if you were making a cup of coffee – obviously without any coffee beans – and once the cycle has finished, run it through twice more with just plain water. This will rinse out the vinegar and any residue that has built up inside.

Microwaves – microwaves are difficult to clean because you don’t want to leave any smell behind that might penetrate the food. Pur a plastic bowl three-quater full with water in the microwave (make sure it is suitable for microwaves) with a few teaspoons of bircarbonate of soda and run onhigh for two minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe it clean with paper towel or clean cloth. These will be no need to rub vigorously as every spot will come off ease.

Oven – How often have you used a harsh oven cleaner which has left you with burning eyes and nasty feeling in the back of the throat from breathing in toxic fumes. Make a paste out of equal parts of bircarbonate of soda and water and spread over all surface. Leave overnight and then just wipe it all clean with a damp cloth. Easy and no caustic chemicals to damage your health.

Refrigerators – You wouldn’t want to use anything perfumed or toxic in a place where you store food, so use the same paste as you did for cleaning the oven and use it as an abrasive to get rid of any stubborn marks. wipe down with clean cloth and water and your fridge will smell as fresh and clean as the day you bought it.