Red Cabbage

This is an excellent winter vegetable to have with casserole of pheasant.
Ingredients
1 red cabbage
2-3 cooking apples
2 or 3 large onions
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
sherry glass of wine vinegar
What to do
Chop cabbage into 1/4s remove stalk and slice the apples and onions.
Put a layer of cabbage in the saucepan followed by a layer of onions, apples, brown sugar and seasoning. Repeat until you have used up all the vegetables. Pour over the wine vinegar. Cook on a low heat and stir frequently.

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Pumpkin Chutney

Pumpkin Chutney is a great accompaniment for all sorts of dishes. I like it on a ploughman’s lunch with good cheddar cheese and homemade bread.

Ingredients
21/2 lbs pumpkin
1lb tomatoes
1/2 ib onions
2oz sultanas
3/4 lb soft dark brown sugar
3/4 ibs caster sugar
salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger, black peppar and allspice,
2 cloves of garlic
1 pint wine vinegar or cider vinegar
What to do
Peel pumpkin, discard seeds and the pith. SLice and cut in pieces. Pour boiling water over tomatoes skin and slice. Peel and slice onions and garlic.
Put all solid ingredients including spices and sugar in the pan. Add vinegar. Boil gently and cook until the mixture is jammy. It will take about 50 minutes, stir frequently and skim.

Lemon Drizzle Cake


Lemon Drizzle Cake

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

This is a wonderful light cake that my mother makes. It is simple to make and very heart warming.
Ingredients
250 g unsalted butter
250g castor sugar
4 large eggs
zest of a lemon
250 g self -raising flour
8 tablespoons milk.
For the syrup
juice of 3 lemons and 200g icing sugar

Cream the sugar and buuter. Add the eggs with a little of the flour add the meon zest. Fold the flour into the mixture with milk. Spoon into a cake tin and cook at about 180C for about 45 minutes.
Syrup
Prepare the syrup whilst the cake is cooking and enjoy a cup of tea. Just put the lemon juice into a suacepan with the icing sugar and heat until the sugar disolves. When the cake is done, spike the top with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top to soak in. Leave in the tin until the cake is cooled.

Use your loaf


Use your loaf

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

I always make my own bread but one of my contacts on Flickr-Falling Sky- posted his results of using a recipe from the Guardian. I tried it out and was impressed by the taste and airy nature of the final loaf. It uses the sponge method of soaking half the flour in the water and yeast for several hours. By a strange coincidence there was a TV programme on just this topic last night- The Hairy Bakers.
I have adapted my own recipe to make a batch of 3 loaves using the Kenwood mixer with dough hook.
Ingredients

For the sponge:
1 1/2 Ibs of strong white flour.
2-3 level teaspoons of dried yeast.
1 1/2 pints of warm water

For the dough
1 1/2 Ibs of strong wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 oz of butter.
Put the water in the large mixing bowl and add the yeast. Add the flour and give it a quick blitz with the dough hook to stir it up. Leave for several hours with a tea towel over the top. This is the sponge and it will rise up as the yeast gets to work.
When ready, rub the butter into the second half of the flour – I like some wholemeal mixed in but you can use all white. Mix into the sponge and it may be necessary to add a little more water to create a sticky mix. Leave again and give it a quick knead with the dough hook 30 minutes later. Leave for another 30 minutes and then take out and knead on a surface until its nice and smooth. Don’t add too much flour to stop it sticking. You can oil the board if you want. Then shape and put in to the bread tins. Leave again until they have doubled in size in the tins. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a hot oven – 200C in my fan assisted oven for 30 minutes does the trick. Tap the bottoms and they should sound hollow.

Blackcurrant sorbet


Blackcurrants

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

It is a shame that redcurrants and blackcurrants come to fruition at the same time! This weekend has been a frantic cooking time.
The blackcurrants are difficult to pick. They hide away beneath the leaves but we got two huge bowls full. There are various methods for making sorbet but this is mine.
Ingredients
Blackcurrants 1 large bowl
1 pint water
12 oz castor sugar
Lemon juice and zest.

I wash the berries first. To release the juices, I put them – berries and stalks in the preserving pan with a little water and heat. This helps get some of the juices going but there is nothing for it. You have to put the lot through the sieve and mash the juices out. This is hard work and you have to be careful otherwise the kitchen looks like a chain-saw masacre. The juices can get everywhere! Just do a little at a time.
I make up a syrup with 1 pint of water and 12 oz castor sugar, add the lemon juice and zest and boil for a few minutes. Cool.
Mix the blackcurrant juice and syrup. I use half and half and then taste. It is a fine balance between having the sorbet too tart or too sugary.
Put in the fridge to cool and then pour into the ice -cream maker for about 15 minutes until slushy. If you haven’t got an ice-cream maker then put in a container into the freezer and stir the mixture up every 1/2 hour or so to stop ice crystals forming.

The effort is worth it. This is one of the best sorbets with an intense flavour.

Redcurrant Jelly Recipe


Redcurrant jelly

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

I love to use redcurrant jelly as an accompaniment to lamb and pheasant and this is the time of the year to make it.
Picking the redcurrants is quite a job because they hide away under the leaves. You can strip them off easily once you find them, stalks and all. You need quite a lot and we managed about 4 bowls of currants and ended up with – well, you will have to see.
Ingredients
Redcurrants this recipe is for 4 large bowls about 4 lb.
Castor sugar
Water
Wash the redcurrants and put them in a large preserving pan with about a 1 pint of water. Heat gently to release the juice and stir frequently. Cool. Pour everything into a jelly bag and hang it up over a bowl overnight. In them morning, make yourself a strong cup of tea and inspect the bowl. It doesn’t look much but you should have a lovely deep red juice. Measure it. I got 1 1/4 pints. I added 1 1/4 lbs of sugar. In other words – the same amount of sugar in lbs weight.
Put back into the preserving pan and stir with the sugar and boil. I tested the set by keeping some saucers in the freezer. I then put a drop on the saucer and put back in the freezer to cool for a moment or tro. Run your finger through and it should be jelly like. If not – keep boiling. Finally, cool and add to warmed jars.
How much did I make? From 4 large bowls of redcurrants we made 5 small jars of jelly. It seems a lot of effort for a small amount but it goes a long way and is delicious.

Apricots


Apricots

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

A day for some recipes. What does the Ravenous Rambler have for breakfast when in France?
First a bowl of fruit, yoghurt and honey. In this region of the Pyrenees, there are many fresh apricots that are in seasons and these chopped up with some white peaches make a good mixture with yoghurt and local honey.
The tourist information in Axar has a food of the region annexe and there are about twenty different honey to choose from. They have thoughtfully laid out a tasting table where with the use of disposable spatulas you can taste many of the honeys from the mild to the very strong. There was my favourtite, acacia and lavender, then chestnut honey which was far too strong for my liking.
Earlier in the morning I went to the boulangerie to collect our daily order of baguette and croissants and we usually polish off the croissant and apricot jam with a pot of coffee to complete the perfect rambling breakfast.
Apricot pudding

Ingredients
Apricots and plums
Sugar
Lemon juice
Rum
pistachios
I found this recipe in a French magazine and have adapted it for my own pleasure.
Marinade the fruit in the lemon juice, sugar and rum ( I had to substitute this with white wine) for about 30 minutes. I boiled up the mixture for a minute or two. Put the fruit on skewers and place them on the barbecue for a minute or two to char slightly and decorate with the pistachios.
I served with with yoghurt of course and I must say it was rather delicious.