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25.5.10

All Day Breakfast Salad

All Day Breakfast Salad
Per person
60g bacon pieces
half a slice of bread cut into cubes
2 slices of black pudding
2 handfuls of washed salad leaves
3 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 egg
French dressing

Fry the bacon pieces in a spoonful of oil till browned, remove the bacon from the pan and gently fry the bread cubes in the remaining fat till golden. Grill the black pudding.
Put the salad and tomatoes into a large bowl.
Fill a small saucepan two thirds full with water and bring to the boil turn down to a simmer.
When the bacon, bread and pudding are cooked set aside to cool a little.
To poach the egg you will need a fresh free range or organic egg, a ramekin and a slotted spoon.
Crack the egg into the ramekin and slide it into the simmering water. After 30 to 40 seconds lift the egg out of the water with the slotted spoon and poke it gently with your finger. It will be runny at this stage, gently replace the egg in the simmering water and check it again after another 30 seconds. When you feel the egg is poached to your liking take it out of the water and rest it on some kitchen-paper to absorb any extra water.
Crumble the black pudding over the salad and add the bacon and fried bread, dress this with French dressing and toss.
Top with the poached egg and serve.

This salad is a completely over the top and indulgent meal in its self. Once in a while it makes the most wonderful brunch or supper dish. Sometimes we replace the fried bread with fried cooked potatoes. Home grown salad is a must for this, you can vary the mix depending on the time of year. I love rocket and nasturtiums mixed with lettuce at this time of year.
The most important thing is to get a really good fresh free range / organic egg. If you are lucky enough to know someone who keeps hens and they can let you have an egg or two you will really taste the difference.

17.5.10

Buns not cup cakes.

Someone on the radio was wondering where all the buns had gone. Or rather when did they get replaced by cup cakes.
I got a longing for old fashioned buns or queen cakes then. My Mother use to make buns. They were either plain or had caraway seed in them, it was easy enough to tell them apart if they were iced as she tended to only ice the plain ones. Sometimes if there wasn’t time to ice them we would have to turn the buns upside down to see if we could see the seeds through the bun paper. This was not always a foolproof way of telling, and an unlucky bun eater would end up with a mouthful of caraway seed. Caraway is a grownup taste and some people never like it.

The other buns that I love are coffee walnut ones well really coffee walnut cake, but buns are mini cakes.

Here is the recipe for the ones I made today make sure the butter is soft leave it to reach room temperature for an hour if you can, but don’t let it turn to oil. All you need is a bowl, a wooden spoon, a dessert spoon, a sieve and a scales.

Buns
6 oz/170 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 oz/170 g soft butter
6 oz/170 g sugar
3 eggs
1 oz/30 g chopped walnuts
1 tsp caraway seed

Icing for the walnut buns
3 tbs icing sugar
1 tbs very strong black coffee or Irel coffee
walnut pieces to decorate


Set the oven to GM 4/350˚F/180˚C and line 2 bun trays with bun papers.
Makes about 24 buns.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar, eggs, and butter. Beat these together until well blended and divide the mix in two parts add caraway to one half and the walnuts to the other half. Spoon a good dessert spoonful into each bun case you should get about 11 or 12 of each. Bake for about 15-20 minutes in the centre of the oven, the top will spring back when poked gently with a finger. Take out of the oven and put the buns onto a wire rack, leave to cool.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the coffee beat together to make a smooth thick paste. Spoon over the cooled walnut buns and decorate with walnut pieces.