Mushroom and Kale Soup

Blimey, not another soup recipe! We've already had nettle, tomato, wild garlic, chicken, vegetable, artichoke, pumpkin, and even another mushroom one! I know, I know, but until recently, I've never been really happy with the using water instead of stock for the vegetarian ones; vegetable stock powder invariably gives a celery flavour to the whole soup, and to be honest, even when I've made vegetable stock I've never been really happy with it.

However, I reckon I've found the answer, at least for mushroom soups. Dried Porcini absolutely transforms them. I'd never bothered with it until now because of the price. But, recently I've been looking for things that help to lower my calorie intake and have been surprised; it's not always the lower calorie items that are best. For example, you get far more 'bang for your buck' from, say, high calorie Stilton that a reduced calorie cheese. Just try it, tiny pieces of stilton will add flavour, whereas you'd need double the amount of the lower calorie product. Well, when I was thinking along these lines, I also realised that the same applies to using very small amounts of expensive items, and there's no doubt that Porcini is expensive: £60 - £80 per kilo, but if you only use 10gm it's only 60p, or about 10p per bowl.

Kale and Mushroom soup ingredients

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Monday 15 December 2014

Fruit Tarts

Once you've mastered the Pâte sucrée recipe there are numerous things that you can use it for. One of the nicest is a fruit tart. Whether made with one type of fruit or many, plain pastry cream or flavoured, they're simple, easy to make, look impressive, and most importantly, taste good.

Once the pastry cases have been baked, the only real cooking left to do is to make a pastry cream, or to use its posh french name, crème pâtissière. Either way, it's a type of custard!

Fruit Tart

Recipes for it vary, but contain milk, egg and some form of flour. Most recipes just use egg yolk which leaves the egg whites to use up; as you'll already have some from making the pastry, this recipe is good as it uses the whole egg. It's from the book Take Twelve Cooks and is a recipe by by Michael Nadell.

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Monday 15 December 2014

Henderson's Relish - Sheffield's Secret Weapon

Henderson's RelishOnce in a while you come across an ingredient that is so superb that you have to write about it. Sheffield's Secret Weapon, Henderson's Relish is one of those. How it managed to slip my attention when I spent 9 months of 1975 in Lodgemoor Hospital in Sheffield, I just don't know. It's superb, and well worth seeking out.

At first glance and taste you'll probably think that it's a copy of Lea and Perrins famous Worcestershire sauce, but you'll soon realise that it's subtlety different - not so harsh and aggressive a taste. Whereas Worcestershire sauce can dominate, Hendo's compliments.

Henderson's relish is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

As to its manufacture? Is it made in a factory on Parkway Rise, Sheffield, or does it drip from seams in the local coal mines as suggested by my Yorkshire mate . Now, I like to think that it comes from a secret well situated under the old Lodgemoor Hospital clock-tower and that's why the clock-tower was left standing when the hospital was demolished!

In any case, it's available from numerous shops in the Sheffield and North Derbyshire area and nationally at Morrisons Online or other online suppliers.

Monday 15 December 2014
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Bresaola - Recipe and Calculator

Sliced Bresaola

For those that don't know, Bresaola is an air-dried beef that originates in the north of Italy. In the past, I've always made it using Jason Molinari's recipe from curedmeats.blogspot.co.uk. The recipe below, whilst very different from Jason's, owes its heritage to his. I've removed the cinnamon and clove, reduced the other spices and added a small amount of garlic.

The best of the Italian versions, Bresaola della Valtellina, uses meat from the leg: the cuts we know as topside, silverside and top rump (thick flank). In the US 'Eye of round' would be a good choice. It's best with a piece of meat from one muscle to avoid connective tissue - I used Silverside for mine.

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Sunday 17 August 2014

Soft Bread Rolls

With summer, hopefully, just around the corner - that is, if we've not had all we're going to get already - I thought I'd have a go at making a 'burger type' soft roll, minus the sesame seed 'cos I've ran out!

Bead rolls

Time has moved on since I first made these rolls in June 2008. The recipe's changed slightly. Rather than confuse things with a new article, I've amended the recipe below.

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Saturday 16 August 2014
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