Tag Archives: fresh thyme

Tonight I dream , Tomorrow I do !

Another archived post from 2015..Cured Pork Belly, Art and Spiders. I hope you enjoy my older posts as they give you the reader some insight into what makes me tick…

Retired? No one told me!

Well, I flipping hope so.

I have spent days trying to figure out this linking. Had some great advice thank you, you know who you are.

Thought I had cracked it. Wrong! Published it and nought but blanks this picture is soooooo me at the moment.

questions-1922476_1920 (1)Photo source:

Where’s the vino???????

Rant over.

I’ll start again.

Good Morning everyone what a lovely sunny day it is.

The bacon has been sizzlingSAM_6497 and sampled so as promised here you go folks.

The Recipe:

2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use:

2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.

4 cloves garlic.

2 bay leaves

A bunch of Lemon Thyme.

20/30 Mustard Seeds,

12 Pepper Corns,

Celery Juice.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.SAM_6494

Place Pork in a sealed container…

View original post 270 more words

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Christmas Recipes… Saltine Crackers

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Christmastime …So many different dips to eat…Pate’s, Salsa, Hummus, Taramasalata, a Smoked salmon one…What is your favourite? I love most of them and at Christmas, my 80% via 20% takes an about turn and not for the best …Oh No!

Well, we need crackers to eat with our dips and I love saltine crackers…In the past, I have probably bought enough boxes of those to fill a warehouse…no kidding…I love them…

These little crackers are so easy to make you will wonder why you haven’t just knocked up a batch of them before…

Saltine Crackers:

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Ingredients:

1 cup of flour

2 tbsp of butter, melted

1/4 tsp salt

6-7 tbsp water

Extra butter and salt for the top if required.

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat your oven to 325  degrees

In a medium bowl sift together the flour and salt. Add the melted butter and water and get those fingers in there to bring the mix together.

Turn the dough onto a floured board and roll the dough out very thinly.Or to stop the dough sticking roll it out on parchment paper and it is easier when removing from the baking pan. The thinner you roll the pastry the crisper your cracker and if you have a pasta maker pass it through that for lovely thin crackers.

Cut into cracker shapes and if you have one of wheely thingies ( pizza cutter)which give you crinkly edges then so much the better…I normally just use a knife and away I go if there are a few different shapes then it adds to the rustic charm… But you don’t always then get an even bake.

Place onto a baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes then reduce the oven to 200 degrees you may need to turn the baking tray in the oven to get an even bake.

If required brush the tops of the crackers with melted butter when you remove from the oven.

For a crisper cracker leave the crackers to cool in the oven with the door open slightly.

For a bit of a change, I sometimes add some Thyme to the mix or a little cheese, seeds anything you fancy experiment you are only limited by your imagination. If you are adding anything to the top of your crackers use the rolling-pin to just help the topping stick.

Tomorrow I will give you some easy to make dip recipes…

If you would like the recipe for an extra special casserole dish..I have published one over on my other blog Orienthailiving it is a lovely dish and ideal for the festive season called Suure Moche or Sauerbraten…Beef marinated in red wine for 5 days before cooking….very nice indeed.

Christmas Recipes… Gravy

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Wow, the days are just flying by now…10th December already…. and before we know it there it was GONE!

So many of you loved my Christmas tipples that I was tempted to post some more…But not today… Well, maybe just a touch!

Today I am going to give some recipes for gravy which can be made 2-3 days in advance or frozen.

Firstly this is my easy to make tasty turkey gravy and we need a lovely tasty gravy to go with our Christmas dinner…Don’t we?

sunday roast

Turkey Gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken wings halved with kitchen scissors
  • the turkey neck, if you have it, cut into pieces
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • small handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp  Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp golden castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 litre fresh vegetable stock

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oven to 220C/390F/gas 7.

Tip the chicken wings into a roomy roasting tin with the turkey neck (if using), carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Scatter over the sugar, toss in the oil and roast for 50 mins until brown and lightly charred.

Put the roasting tin on a low heat, stir in the tomato purée and flour, and cook until sticky. Splash in the balsamic vinegar, pour over 1.5 litres of stock to just cover all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. then using a potato masher to mash all the ingredients together so as to release the flavour.

Simmer everything for 20 mins until you have a tasty thickened gravy, then strain it through a sieve, pushing down hard on all the mushy veg. Cool and chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Heat the gravy to serve, adding roasting juices from your turkey, if you like.

Serves 8.

Prosecco and Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 500 gm chicken wings, chopped into pieces (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • Turkey backbone and neck, hacked into pieces
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 30 gm dried porcini
  • pinch of golden castor sugar
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 250 ml Prosecco, plus a splash (optional)
  • 2 litre chicken stock (preferably fresh)
  • A squeeze of lemon

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. When it’s shimmering, add the wings and the turkey pieces, and spend a good 20 mins browning them well in the oil – sticky bits of meat in the pan will add flavour.

Tip in the vegetables, herbs and porcini, scatter over the sugar and stir everything in. Turn down the heat and brown the vegetables for another 10 mins. Stir in the flour, then pour in the Prosecco and simmer down to a paste.

Stir in the stock and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. Skim any scum off with a ladle and simmer steadily for 30 mins until thickened and reduced by about a third. Season to taste with salt and stir in a squeeze of lemon. Leave to cool slightly, then strain through a sieve into a container and chill. Can be made three days ahead, or frozen for up to three months.

On the day, simply reheat or pour into the turkey roasting tin and reheat with the roasting juices.

If not serving to children, finish with a splash more Prosecco just before serving, if you like.

Lastly, I have a nice red wine vegetarian gravy. if the onions are nicely caramelised then you get a great flavoured gravy…

Red wine vegetarian gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Brown Onions
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 200 ml Red Wine
  • 200 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp  Flour
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sprig Thyme

Let’s Cook!

Peel the onions and cut them in half. Lay each half with the flat side down and slice so you have semi-circle shaped pieces.

Head 1 tbsp Olive Oil over a medium heat in a frying pan and add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften and become translucent.

Then reduce the heat to low and add the balsamic vinegar. Spread the onions into a flat layer and let cook for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once done, the onions should be a deep golden brown.

Turn the heat back up to medium and add the red wine, let it reduce for 2-3 minutes before adding the vegetable stock and thyme. Let everything simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the flour with the water to make a paste, then add to the gravy. Stir the gravy constantly until it’s nice and thick and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme sprig and season with salt and pepper.

Sometimes I use this gravy as it is which still has visible pieces of onion or I push it through a sieve if I want a smoother gravy.

All of these recipes can be made in advance or frozen…Which again eases that Christmas day stress… And I am all for that a nice leisurely lunch enjoyed by all including the cook…

If you love cooking and would like a FREE PDF of how to make your own Thai curry pastes just pop over to my other blog Orienthailiving and sign up for the newsletter and the Pdf is a thank you from me…

Until tomorrow enjoy your Sunday x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes…. The Beautiful Juniper Berry…. Saucy…

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Christmas is coming and very quickly now so I will be giving you a daily recipe of either a tried and tested family favourite or something new to me…

Every year I try to make at least one new dish and it is so much easier here as so many people come and go from all corners of the world through my life now and I mostly manage to wheedle a recipe or two from them…lol

The Juniper Berry I had heard of but not used in my cooking until I moved here…My Swiss friend gave me a recipe for Surre Moche…..which is very, very nice and similar to the Beef Bourgogne which was the very first dish I cooked for my husband…A man who didn’t like garlic, spices anything that wasn’t meat and two vegs…..Guess what? He does now.!..haha

The Juniper Berry comes from beautiful evergreen trees which can grow as high as 131ft or Junipers can come on small low growing spreading shrubs so depending on where you hail from in the world you should able to find these luscious little berries.

They are also used to  make a spice which is used in a variety of cuisines and culinary dishes.

But ladies just in case you didn’t know it the primary flavour in Gin….

Oh yes, one of those would go down very nicely at the moment…lol… Cooks perks!

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I also have a recipe( for) most things and I just happen to have one for a lovely homemade tonic water and once you make it you will never ever buy a can or bottle of tonic again…I will share the recipe with you not sure which day so keep watching and don’t miss a post…

The sauce recipe paired with game meat like Venison, quail, pheasant it makes a great sauce. I give you…Ta Da!

Juniper Berry Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana shallot peeled and finely chopped.
  • 8 juniper berries very lightly crushed.
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 200 ml white burgundy or a dry white wine.
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 40 gm butter
  • 25 gm flour
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.
  • 3oo ml venison stock
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Put the shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, white wine and the fresh thyme in a pan and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes this needs to reduce to about 2 tbsp.

In another pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Strain your wine reduction through a fine sieve and still whisking…we don’t want a lumpy sauce now do we? Add the wine reduction….keep whisking!

Pick out the juniper berries from the strained mix in your sieve and add to the sauce. Keep whisking and add the stock slowly ….to the sauce a ladle at a time.  Cook the sauce for 10 mins or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Finally, pour in the cream and bring to a very slow simmer.

Remove from the heat and season.

The sauce can be used immediately or reheated when it is needed.

This is a beautiful sauce over when poured over a  luscious piece of beautifully cooked venison or my favourite quail… if you have guests for dinner or just for that special occasion.

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Enjoy!

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Until next time have fun and don’t forget lots of lovely gifts over on Orienthailiving and you can shop from the comfort of your own home…No crowds, aching arms and feet..just feet up and shop…..