Buttermilk roast drumsticks

IMG_1985AI found this is very pleasingly good, very enjoyable. Children loves it and they will lick their fingers too then you will know that is really nice. I think this a summer food that you can enjoying sitting outdoor with your friends and the children. Once you have these drumstick pile up it going to look like a feast, effortlessly to prepare and the kids is going to love you for that.

  1. Place the chicken drumsticks in a large freezer bag, and add buttermilk and 60ml of oil.
  2. Add the bruised garlic cloves to the bag with the crushed peppercorns and salt.
  3. Sprinkle in the ground cumin and finally add the maple syrup, and then squish everything in the freezer bag around to mix the marinade and coat the chicken.
  4. Leave the buttermilk-marinated chicken in the fridge ideally overnight or our of the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Take the chicken pieces out of the bag, shaking off the excess marinade, and then arrange them in a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil.
  6. Drizzle over the 30ml remaining of oil, and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until brown, even scorched in parts, and juicily cooked through.

If you couldn’t find buttermilk you can use plain yogurt, the reason I add this ingredient is because it keeping the tender the meat. You may find I add maple syrup, it may sounds odd to have it, but it is simply to counter the tang of the buttermilk and it helps to bronze up the meat during the roasting, don’t worry the sweetness of the maple syrup it is not sweet, it sort gave bit of stickiness on the skin; by the time I finished the drumstick I felt like I am back to my childhood, I not even realized it until I licked my fingers. Oppps! That’s delicious.

Mini coffee & walnut layer cake

-19I love this little baby cake which I made for a special occasion of my friend’s new born baby to seduce my friend’s sweet tooth. The sparkling shine glazed walnut looks like fossil been wrap in a amber colour of lava. I posted on Nigella’s cookalong to share the new twist of her recipe here is the link http://www.nigella.com/cookalong/2013/09/entries/156

For the sponge cake

For the frosting

For the glazed caramel walnut

  • Approx. 6 to 8 walnut halves (to decorate)
  • 2 tbsps of water
  • 100 g of caster sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.
  2. Put the halved walnut onto a baking tray bake lined with baking paper in 180°C for about 3 to 5 minutes or until turn lightly brown. Then remove it from the oven and let it cool complete.
  3. To make caramel sugar, in a saucepan put together sugar and water on a heat to completely dissolve the sugar, (neverever stir the sugar) until you have a light brown then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Using a thong or chopstick dip the walnut onto the warm caramel (be careful is a hot sugar syrup, don’t get it on your hand) and place the dipped walnut onto baking tray with lined baking paper. Set aside.
  5. Butter six 7cm / 3inch mini square tins and line the base of each with baking parchment.
  6. Put the walnut pieces and sugar into a food processor and blitz to a fine nutty powder.
  7. Add the 225g/2 sticks butter, flour, 2 teaspoons espresso powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and eggs and process to a smooth batter.
  8. Add the milk, pouring it down the funnel with the motor still running, or just pulsing, to loosen the cake mixture: it should be a soft, dropping consistency, so add more milk if you need to. (If you are making this by hand, bash the nuts to a rubbly powder with a rolling pin and mix with the dry ingredients; then cream the butter and sugar together, and beat in some dry ingredients and eggs alternately and, finally, the milk.)
  9. Divide the mixture between the 6 lined tins and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch or insert a skewer into the middle and it come out clean.
  10. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack and peeling off the baking parchment.
  11. When the sponges are cool. Carefully half the mini cakes by using bread knife, you can make the buttercream.
  12. Pulse the icing sugar in the food processor until it is lump free, then add the butter and process to make a smooth icing.
  13. Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add it while still hot to the processor, pulsing to blend into the buttercream.
  14. If you are doing this by hand, sieve the icing sugar and beat it into the butter with a wooden spoon. Then beat in the hot coffee liquid.
  15. Place all the halved sponges upside down on your cake stand or serving plate.
  16. Spread with about half the icing; then place on it the second halved sponges, right side up (i.e. so the 2 flat sides of the sponges meet in the middle) and cover the top with the remaining icing in a ramshackle swirly pattern. (I used piping bag with some decorated pattern to piped the buttercream on the top)
  17. This cake is all about old-fashioned, rustic charm, so don’t worry unduly: however the frosting goes on is fine. similarly, don’t fret about some buttercream oozing out around the middle: that’s what makes it look so inviting.
  18. Gently press the walnut halves into the top of the icing all around the edge of the circle about 1cm apart.
  19. For the final touch, place the glazed walnut on top of the frosting.

A very easy cakes yet so inviting to eat and this is not exactly like you see in Parisian patisserie window, I enjoyed it by just looking at them.

Pasta with Sherry white sauce

P1150844AAPasta is one of those versatile ingredient you could ever think of. I used up the leftover sauce from my previous post of Chicken with morel & sherry wine sauce to make this delicious golden creamy pasta for my dinner of one.

I don’t need to tell you how to cook the pasta, you can have fresh pasta or dried pasta from supermarket, for the cooking timing you should refer to the packet.

After remove the cold sherry sauce from the fridge leave it to the room temperature before you adding other ingredient.

Ingredient

  1. Cook the pasta into salted boiling water.
  2. Pour the sauce into saucepan and then bring it to simmer.
  3. In a clean bowl put in the egg yolks, olive oil, salt, black pepper, then use fork to whisk it together.
  4. When the sauce is smoking a little bit, and simmer at side of the pan you could pour the egg mixture into this sauce, use a whisk to lightly whisk it to avoid any lump of the egg yolks.
  5. When all mix up, remove it from the heat, then tip in the cooked pasta into the sauce, give it a good stir to coat the pasta. Serve.

If you like any herbs to go on top just simply cut some fresh herb on top or you can enjoy as it is. Why this leftover so great, that is because the rich juices from the chicken, butter, mushroom, and other ingredient from my previous post (Chicken with morel & sherry wine sauce) had flavoured the sauce, so nothing much you need for that. This is what I love about leftover.

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!

Croque Madame Muffin

P1130041AAHerewith another fabulous recipe from Rachel Khoo, I loved the way she cooking French food and I had tried it is very easy. French were  well know about the love affair with their food. This is a Classic French recipe with new twist by putting in a muffin tin instead of the classic way of sandwich it. Most of bars and bistro will serve Croque Monsieur which basically is toasted cheese and ham sandwich. Put a fried egg on top became Croque madame as it look like a lady’ hat.

  • 6 large slice of white bread, cut off the crusts
  • 3 tbsps melted butter
  • 75 g ham, cut into cubes or thin strips
  • 6 small eggs

For Mornay Sauce

 

  1. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour and beat hard until smooth paste. Take off the heat and let it cool for 2 minutes. Then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly.
  2. Place back the pan back onto medium heat, add mustard and nutmeg and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to stop the sauce burning on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once the sauce thickens and has the consistency of a tomato sauce, take off the heat, add cheese (keep a little for garnish) and taste for seasoning. If sauce  is too thick, add a little milk, if is lumpy pass it through a sieve.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Flatten the slices of bread with rolling pin, then brush each slice on both sides with melted butter.
  5. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with the slices of bread, pressing them in with small glass. Divide the ham between the muffins follwed by the eggs. Put 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce on top of each egg, then sprinkle with little cheese and pepper.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how runny youlike the egg. Serve immediately.

This light snack delights me. You could serve it with french fries or some salad on the side. Whichever you like it to be. I like it because it is very versatile and is one of my store cupboard dish.

Dory fish with celery, peas & beurre blanc

P1150004A

I should really tell you the meal I had this evening is very much pleasing with the beurre blanc sauce over the fish. Albert Jack’s book said the beurre blanc sauce was discovered after a mistake from a chef. Here is the story.

“One of famous sauce, beurre blanc (white butter) apparently evolved from a mistake made by French chef Madame Clémence Lefeuvre towards the end of the nineteenth century while she was working in the kitchens of the marquis de Goulaine. On one occasion, the story goes, intending to make Béarnaise sauce for a pike dish, Lefeuvre ran out of eggs at the crucial moment and had to quickly improvise, using wine and lemon juice instead. Legend has it that her new sauce became so popular she opened her own restaurant, La Bubette de la Marine, on the banks of the Loire River near Nantes, on the strength of it with beurre blanc as her signature sauce”.

Here is my recipe for you to try it at home. It’s important that you have all of the ingredients for the sauce ready prepared before you start to cook the fish, or the fish will become dry and cold while you’re making the sauce.

Marinate for the fish

Vegetable side

  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 50g sweet peas
  • pinch of salt

Beurre Blanc Sauce

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Herb of your choice: mint, parsley, basil or tarragon
  1. Marinate the fish by putting all marinate ingredient into freezer bag and put the fish into the bag and give it a mix with the fish and set aside so that the flavours can infuse the fish. The fish can marinate in the bag for 1 hour in the fridge, or less if you’re in a hurry.
  2. Cut celery into bite size then set aside. Bring a pot of water to boil then add pinch of salt into boiling water, reduce the heat to medium and then add in the celery and let it boil for about 3 minutes and add in the pea to finish up to 5 minutes. After that drain it off, put on a lid and set aside somewhere warm.
  3. Heat up a frying pan to medium heat, place the marinated fish in the heated pan and pan fry until golden colour at the edge and is not pale in colour. Put the cooked fish on a warmed serving plate with the vegetable, and set aside somewhere warm.
  4. Simmer the shallot, wine and vinegar in a pan until reduced to 1 tablespoon, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream followed by 1 cube of the butter at a time. Make sure to whisk energetically. If the butter isn’t melting, put the pan back on a very low heat. Once all the butter is incorporated, season with salt and little cayenne. Serve immediately by spoon it over the cooked fish. Chopped herbs, such as mint, parsely, basil or tarragon, make a nice addition.

Beurre blanc should taste creamy, frothy, light and tangy. This simple yet classic French sauce is probably the quickest way to add extra flavour to fish, meat, poultry and vegetable. It’s quite quick to make, apart from melting a little butter. Remember, this is for one portion, if you have a guest, you’ll need to double the ingredients., Bon appetit.