How to…make Chipotle En Adobo

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Chipotle en Adobo is a rich, smoky, spicy Mexican sauce. It is great stirred through ketchups or mayonnaise, on pasta or stirred through other sauces, or even as a dip if you can take the heat. It is used in a lot of Mexican cooking and nothing beats making your own from scratch. This is how we make ours.

Makes about 2 jam jars full.

Ingredients:

  • 100g chipotle peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion – roughly chopped
  • 150ml water
  • 125ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • 30ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato pureé
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

Method:

  1. First of all pop all of the peppers in a saucepan and cover them with boiling water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes until softenedIMG_4295
  2. Drain and rinse of the excess seeds
  3. Put a third of the peppers in a blender, along with the onion, garlic, herbs and spices and salt and 100ml of the water
  4. Blend to a smooth paste
  5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based pan. Add the paste and fry off for 2 minutes
  6. Then add the tomato puree, rest of the water and the vinegars and continue to cook gently for another 5 minutesIMG_4297
  7. Add the rest of the chillis to the pan and cook gently, stirring occasionally for another 15 minutes
  8. Put the whole mixture back into the blender and blend to a smooth paste, or you can leave it a bit chunky, up to you.
  9. Store in sterilised jars and it will keep for several months (in the fridge once open use within a couple of weeks)

Happy eating 🙂

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How to…make Gravadlax

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Inspired by watching a recent episode of The Restaurant Man about a lady opening up a Scandinavian Restaurant, I decided I wanted to have a go at making gravadlax. For some reason I thought this may be horrendously difficult. Turns out it’s one of the simplest things I’ve done in a while! This recipe is what I used for basic cure, but you can add other things that take your fancy to give it particular flavour. I’ve seen such things as crushed juniper berries and coriander seeds, and lots of different fresh herbs, as well as zests of other citrus fruits, and beetroot gives gorgeous pinky tinge around the edge of the finished product. I served mine with salad and a mustardy vinaigrette composed of english and wholegrain mustard, lemon, olive oil, cremefraiche and seasoning.

Ingredients:

  • fillet of good quality salmon (skin on) – size of you choice. Ours was about 500g so our measurements of the cure ingredients are for this. You can easily upscale them!
  • 6 tbsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • zest one lemon
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp gin or vodka

Method:

  1. Mix all the cure ingredients together (salt, sugar, gin, pepper and zest)DSC_0003
  2. Scatter about 1 third of the mix in a shallow dish
  3. Place the salmon skin side down on top of this
  4. Scatter the rest of the mix on top of the salmon and pack it around the salmon as best you can
  5. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for around 24-48hours.
  6. Lift the salmon out of the liquid it will now be lying in
  7. Carve into as thin slices as you can manage
  8. If there’s any left, re wrap in cling film and it will last for weeks in the fridge. ( Well, it won’t as if you’re anything like me it’ll be gone pretty quick!)

Happy eating 🙂

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How to…..Make Gnocchi

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I’m a pretty amateur cook, and probably lack quite a few basic skills in the kitchen! Thus when recipes say things like…’make a batch of shortcrust pastry’ or ‘make a hollandaise’ I’m off scampering to look for yet another book to tell me how to make these before I can move on! Out of this my How to…. series has been born – a series of posts covering some of those basics that I’ve never tried or struggle with, in my efforts to be a better cook! First up in the series was making tagliatelle and Next up  is something I’ve been wanting to try out for ages – gnocchi. I eventually got a potato ricer for Christmas so have been giving this a good go over the last few weeks and this is the recipe that I have found works best after a bit of trial and error!

Makes enough to serve 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 500g floury potatoes (e.g Maris Piper)
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and white pepper

Method:

  1. Boil the potatoes in the skins until soft, drain and leave to cool
  2. Peel, then push through a potato ricer or sieve, and beat in all the other ingredients, but do not overwork
  3. Leave in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes
  4. Shape in to balls the size of marbles, or roll into a cylinder shape and cut into about 1 inch pieces.
  5. Press each slightly with the prongs of a fork
  6. Cook in boiling salted water – they will rise to the top when ready
  7. Drain, then when ready to serve fry until lightly golden
  8. Serve with any sauce of your choosing or experiment by adding fresh herbs or spices to the mix before cooking.

Happy eating 🙂

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How to…..make Tagliatelle (and a spicy sausage&tomato sauce)

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Whilst browsing around a little local cook shop a couple of weeks ago we found a pasta machine almost half price in the sale. Having talked intermittently over the past few months or so about whether we would get enough use out of one, we decided to snap it up and look on it as fate. Or something like that.

Having bought it we made a promise to ourselves to use it within 2 weeks otherwise we feared it might sit on a shelf forever! So my first ever attempt at making my own pasta began this weekend. The mission: tagliatelle.

Making the pasta dough is actually rather simple – 00 flour, eggs and a little salt and olive oil. Then the harder part, getting it through the machine many times without it sticking to you, the machine or itself! For a first attempt, only a few sticking mishaps and it turned out pretty nice.

We paired it with a simple spicy tomatoey garlic sauce with some crumbled sausage meat.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the pastaIMG_4147

  • 550g 00 pasta flour
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 glugs olive oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • small pinch saffron (optional)

For the sauce

  • 4 sausages of your choice, skinned and crumbled into little pieces. We used Waitrose Toulouse Sausages with bacon and garlic.
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 15g dried wild mushrooms
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1 400-500g jar of passata
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 120ml white wine

Method:

  1. Firstly make the pasta – put all the pasta ingredients in a food processor and mix until comes together in a ballDSC_0266
  2. Tip onto floured work surface and knead until smooth
  3. Leave to rest in the fridge for 20minutes
  4. Roll through pasta machine to desired thickness, ensuring the pasta and the machine is well floured
  5. When desired thickness achieved, use attachment of machine to cut into desired pasta type – linguine, tagliatelle etc
  6. Pour the 100ml boiling water over the dried mushrooms and leave to rehydrate
  7. To make the sauce fry off the onion and garlic for 2-3mins until softened
  8. Add in the chilli flakes, fennel and oregano and the sausage meat and continue to fry for another 3-4 minutes
  9. Drain the mushrooms but retain the liquid from them alsoDSC_0281
  10. Add in the wine and the liquor from the mushrooms and simmer to reduce by half
  11. Add in the passata and stir through the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  13. Turn the heat down low on the sauce, and bring a pan of water to the boil
  14. Cook the pasta for about 1 minute, drain and serve topped with the sauce

Happy eating 🙂

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