Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Potato croquettes

4 Large potatoes
2 Slices of bacon
Parsley, finely chopped
Dijon mustard
Cayenne pepper
red onion, finely diced
Parmesan cheese, grated
Edam cheese, grated
1 egg

Bread crumbs
1 egg

Dried Morita Chilli vinegar
Garlic, crushed

Oil for frying
I use a mix of rice bran (or canola/rapeseed) and olive

Dried Morita Chilli vinegar
Blitz dried Morita Chilli (chipotle) with cider vinegar, store in an airtight container. Makes for a hot addition to dressings, or adding a bit of zing to dish.

First things first, get the dressing made, mix the chilli vinegar and garlic with the mayonnaise to taste, place in a container and keep in the fridge until ready, the longer you leave it the more the flavour will develop and the raw edge of the garlic will mellow.

Prick holes all over the potatoes and bake for about an hour, or until tender all the way through. Leave to cool on a board.

While waiting for the potatoes too cool, place the bacon on a tray and in the oven, you don’t want to cook it crispy, just enough to get the fat rendering and take the raw edge off. When cooked, finely dice.

Carefully peel the skin off the potatoes and pass through a fine mouli, or thoroughly mash if you don’t have a mouli or potato ricer.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, taste and adjust the seasoning, salt, pepper, mustard etc.

Take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls, arrange on a tray, having slightly damp hands helps. Cool in the fridge for about an hour.

Get a breading station ready, one bowl with seasoned flour, one with beaten egg and the final with breadcrumbs, I suggest using bog standard crumbs, not panko.

Dip each potato ball in the flour then egg then breadcrumbs, be gentle as they are a little fragile, place back on the tray and refrigerate for at least half an hour, this helps the coating stick.

In a heavy based pan heat a couple of inches of oil to 180–190ºC. Set up a rack near the pan to transfer cooked croquettes to.

In batches carefully place the balls into the hot oil and cook for a minute or two, don’t over cook otherwise molten cheese will erupt into the oil. Transfer cooked balls to the rack.

Serve up with the mayonnaise sauce to dip into and an ice cold beer.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cheat sheet

I keep a list of handy measurements and ratios in the front of my kitchen notebook, a cheat sheet of sorts, I probably know them all by heart but it is a handy reference to keep. So I thought I'd start keeping them online, I'll add to this as things pop up, and there will be a link at the top of the page next to the recipe index. I'll also try to put an example recipe link to each item.

Bread (recipe)
1,000 g flour
600 g Water
10 g Salt
10 g Yeast

No more than 5% fat if adding.

Quiche custard (recipe)
2 eggs per 250ml of milk

Roux (recipe)
1 part flour
≥1 part fat

Pasta dough (recipe)
(by weight)
3 parts flour
2 parts egg

Roughly 2 eggs per 180–200g

Semolina pasta dough (cavatelli, orecchiette etc) (recipe)
1 part flour
1 part semolina flour
1 part salted water*

* 5% salt by weight, for example 170 g water and 10 g salt, 180 g flour, 180g semolina.

Hand pulled noodle dough (recipe)
5 parts flour
3 parts water
1 % salt

Form dough, rest 15 minutes; knead 15 minutes (roll into log, fold in half repeat); rest 60 minutes; Shape cut, oil.

Alkaline noodle dough (ramen) (recipe)
2 parts flour
1 part water
2% Baked soda (baking soda cooked at 120ºC for an hour)

Knead 5 min; rest 20 min; knead 5 min; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour; run through pasta machine.

Rough puff pastry (recipe)
1 part flour
1 part butter
0.5% salt
Milk to bind

Blitz half the flour with butter; add remaining flour and salt; add splash of milk, for dough ball; wrap and refrigerate; roll, fold into thirds and repeat 3–4 times, placing in fridge to cool down now and then.

Hot fat pastry (recipe)
5 parts flour
2 parts water
2 parts fat (lard or dripping)
0.5% salt

Heat water gently with fat in it; mix with dry, form dough ball; wrap and let rest 60 minutes; roll and fold in thirds, repeat until smooth.

Short pastry (recipe)
2 parts flour
1 part butter
0.5% salt

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Kefta mkaouara (tagine)

I never need an excuse to fire up the tagine, it’s a great cooking vessel and it’s always nice to come across new recipes to try rather than getting stuck in a rut. This recipe is based on a Rick Stein one which stuck in my mind from one of his various television shows, so this may not be his exact recipe, but how I remembered it and adjusted for my tastes.

500g Lamb or beef mince
Cumin, ground
Paprika, hot smoked
Chilli, flakes
Parsley, finely chopped
1 Egg, per portion
Tomatoes, 1–2 cans
Garlic, 3–4 cloves sliced
Onion, diced

In a bowl, combine the mince, a couple spoons of cumin and paprika, add chilli to your taste, salt and a handful of parsley. Mix together, but don’t overwork the meat. Use a tablespoon to scoop even portions of meat and roll into balls. Set aside.

Heat the tagine over a medium heat, when up to temperature add a good glug of olive oil and start browning the meatballs. When lovely and brown all over, spoon into a bowl and set aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the tagine and sauté until translucent. Add a spoon or two of cumin, paprika, salt and chilli to taste. Gently cook the spices out. Add the meatballs back to the tagine and stir. Pour in the can of tomatoes, and add some liquid if needed, you want the liquid to cover at least half the meat ball. Place the lid on and cook for 5–10 minutes.

Taste and season. Make little wells where you want to place the eggs and crack them in. Place the lid back on and cook for about 5 minutes, depends on the size of your eggs.

Serve with some good flat bread and strained yoghurt.