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Posts Tagged ‘white’

I’d wager that a lot of people around the country, in particular those in the midlands and the south had never heard of parched peas until Johnnie Mountain cooked them on Great British Menu, with his rabbit pudding and gravy. Parched peas a practically a delicacy in the north west, and I have great memories of eating them at bonfire night celebrations, and in Garstang Victorian Christmas Festival when I was younger, and my dad helped a friend with a fairground organ.

It’s a nostalgic flavour, and the smell of my kitchen at the moment is brilliant! If you were to visit Preston, you would find a stall on the Flag Market selling baked potatoes, and  parched peas, sometimes the queue can be as long as 10 minutes, yet nobody is ever put off!

Parched Peas

Ingredients :

  • dried parching peas (also known as Maple or Black peas)
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • salt
  • vinegar
  • butter

Method :

  1. Soak the peas overnight in a bowl of cold water, with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
  2. The following day, drain the peas, and rinse them under some running water.
  3. Transfer the peas to a large pan, and cover with enough with cold water, bring up to the boil, and boil for 20minutes, then reduce to a simmer, for at least an hour, until the peas go soft.
  4. Drain the peas, and bake in the oven for 5mins at 20 degrees centigrade, until some of the peas have split open.
  5. Serve in a white mug, with a knob of butter, and PLENTY of salt and vinegar.

Seriously, parched peas are not a dish for those worried about their sodium intake

To continue the retro feel, I used the chintziest bowl in the world

To continue the retro feel, I used the chintziest bowl in the world

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Ahh, Bank Holiday Mondays, eh?! A time for doing the gardening, and watching James Bond films and nursing a hangover… well, I’ve not done any of these. My dad decided to be a massive cliché and do gardening… for a change, but me, did I have a hangover to nurse?, alas not. I think the last time I went out was December last year, and the last time I was hungover?, not a clue. And as for James Bond, I once watched a James Bond film when I was a nipper, didn’t like it, and it’s never appealed to me. It’s a bit macho I think, and I’m far from being macho.

So I spent most of today in bed, and I’ve spent all of today in my PJ’s, surely that’s what bank holidays are for? Lazing about the house?

After being a bit of an accidental vegetarian over the weekend, having a Beetroot and Wild Garlic Risotto on Saturday, and home made Egg Fried Rice last night, I decided I needed to eat an animal, and the options were sausages (with a dubious pork quantity, my dad tends to buy crap sausages), or tinned tuna. So, tinned tuna it was. As I’ve already established, bank holidays are made for lazing about, and comfort food is the best when in this mood, so I knocked up a Tuna Pasta Bake! Hooray!!

Tuna Pasta Bake

Ingredients :

  • 1 tin of tuna chunks in oil
  • 200g pasta
  • 1/2 a pint of milk
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • handful of chives, chopped finely
  • Worcester sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 20g butter
  • 20g flour
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • handful of crushed Soured Cream and Onion Kettle Chips (optional)

Method :

  1. Boil the pasta as to the packet instructions, but cook a few minutes under
  2. Make a roux, by gently melting the butter, and then adding the flour to the butter. The molten butter should not be too hot. Beat the roux for a few minutes with a wooden spoon, to cook out the flour.
  3. Gradually add the milk to the roux, starting with a little splash to let it down, eventually adding more each time.
  4. Allow the white sauce to thicken, and then add salt, pepper and  dash of Worcester sauce to taste.
  5. Add the chopped chives and grated cheese, and stir into the sauce.
  6. Stir the tuna through the pasta, and then add the cheese and chive sauce.
  7. Transfer the tuna pasta bake mixture into a suitable baking dish.
  8. Add a handful of crushed kettle chips, crushed for a cheeky bit of crunch, and a grating of Parmesan cheese, and bake for half an hour at around 150 degrees centigrade.

And there we go, for me the real comfort food aspect of this dish is the crushed crisps on the top of the bake!


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Yeah, so that’s the last time I consult Urban Dictionary for possible funny uses for the word “fudge”… so yeah, from my opening gambit, you may have fathomed that this post is about fudge. If that is what one fathomed, then one fathomed correctly. Here, have a piece of fudge. I’ve got loads of it.

I’ve spent all weekend (well, Friday and Saturday) making fudge. Two types. One recipe isn’t mine, one recipe is mine. Firstly I shall discuss the recipe that isn’t mine. This is a complete copy/pasta job, and I shall take no credit for it. Except when my friends eat it, and they all go “wowww, this is sooo gooooooooooood”… then I shall take all the credit I possibly can for it!

Sophie Dahl’s Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients :

  • 125g/4½oz butter
  • 500g/1lb 2oz dark brown sugar
  • 120ml/4fl oz milk
  • 250g/9oz crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 300g/10½oz icing sugar

Method :

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar and milk, and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes, without stirring.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla seeds.
  4. Place the icing sugar in a large bowl, and pour the hot butter and sugar mixture on top. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until smooth.
  5. Pour into a 20cm/8in square baking tray, and set aside to cool slightly, then place in the fridge to chill completely.
  6. Cut the fudge into squares with a sharp knife, turn out of the tin and store in an airtight container.

Recipe taken from : http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/peanutbutterfudge_93630.shtml

So yeah, it is really nice, although as with all fudge, quite sickly. Just to finish off this bit, here is a picture of my peanut butter fudge I made…

Sophie Dahl's Peanut Butter Fudge

Sophie Dahl's Peanut Butter Fudge

As I said, not my recipe, but I thought that I should share it with you lovely, lovely people, and suggest that you give it a try, it’s a nice simple fudge recipe that doesn’t require a sugar thermometer. Which is good for me, as I still don’t own one, but I think with this new found skill of fudge making, I’m going to have to purchase one for myself.

But no!! Today’s blog doesn’t end here. How could I leave you, just reading my ramblings on, and not provide you with an original recipe? That would be morally bankrupt of me. I would go to sleep, feeling dirty, that I fobbed you off with a half hearted copy/pasta. No. I would never do that. Never ever. I’m good to my readers.

I don’t know about everyone, but I’m sure a lot of people from my parents generation (in their late 40’s/early 50’s) have one of those collections of recipes. Well, I have one. It has some old family recipes, and in it, I found a recipe for Chocolate Fudge.

I like chocolate, and fudge is a great medium for chocolate, but I thought to myself… well chocolate fudge is good, but it’s not terribly exciting. So, I took a list of basic ingredients with me into town, and began to buy them, looking out for something I could do to make it more exciting. A few of my ideas were (and bear in mind that I will do some of these when I get the ingredients)

  • Mocha Fudge (coffee and chocolate)
  • White Chocolate and Strawberry Popping Candy Fudge
  • After Dinner Mint Fudge (dark chocolate and peppermint extract)

Those were my three ideas, and yes, the Mocha and After Dinner Mint fudges were possible, but as walking through the shops I had some more grand ideas of how I could make the After Dinner Mint fudge, and decided that as nice as Mocha fudge would be, I’m not a big fan of coffee, and definitely have to be in the mood for it. And as for popping candy, it seems near impossible to find. Anywhere. Not even Hawkin’s Bazaar sold it, and they sell loads of sweets from when we were kids!!

So I did what any other 22 year old with a sweet tooth would do. I got the ingredients to make Double Chocolate Fudge! Hoorah!! Oh, and I’d advise using an electric whisk to do this. It takes a while to make even with one of those!

Double Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients :

  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 397g tin condensed milk
  • 120g dark chocolate
  • 800g icing sugar
  • bag of white chocolate chips

Method :

  1. In a large bowl, soften the butter, and then slowly beat in the condensed milk.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate, either in a bain marie, or in the microwave.
  3. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly, and then gradually beat into the butter and condensed milk.
  4. Add 200g of the icing sugar, and mix it in.
  5. Add as many white chocolate chips as you want. I went for the entire bag. Incorporate into the mixture.
  6. Gradually, add the rest of the icing sugar until it forms a dough like consistency.
  7. Pour into a suitable tin lined with a greaseproof paper, and allow to set in the fridge overnight.
  8. Dice into bite sized pieces, sit in front of the tv and scoff them.
Double Chocolate Fudge

Double Chocolate Fudge

So now it’s got me thinking, what other types of fudge can I make? The one flavour which is buzzing around in my head at the moment is a two layered fudge of Rhubarb and Custard Fudge. Which would consist of a bottom layer of bright cerise fudge flavoured with rhubarb, and a bright yellow top layer, made with none other than Birds custard. I’ve just found a website (literally, just now) which does flavours, including rhubarb flavours, and they allow up to 5 samples. I don’t know if I will get approved for some samples, but be assured that if I do get samples sent for rhubarb flavourings, there will be a blog post very shortly after I get it in the post!!

I think that’s about it for this post, and MY!! What a post. Two recipes. Loads of wittering on about fudge. Blimey.

I guess one final thing to ask, what flavours of fudge would you like to try? Answers in the comments box. You see, I’m thinking about looking into selling fudge (obviously this would require me to take a Food Safety course/exam, and for my kitchen to go under inspection to make sure that it’s safe and clean enough to use for making food to sell) but it may just be worth it!

Seriously, does anyone want a piece of fudge? I’ve got a metric shitload of it!!

Kris

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