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Things That Go ‘Pump’ In The Night!

It’s that time of year again! It seems like the Kids have only just gone back to school and then the next thing you know Halloween is here!

We normally let the kids stay up a bit later on Halloween. They don’t go out trick or treating but they love it when other children come knocking on our door.

We have our own bag of tricks and treats to give out… we have a bag full of sweet things but lurking within are a few unpleasant surprises that I have made. In the past we have had chocolate coated sprouts, last year it was chocolate coated Fishermans Friends! This year… Ahhh, that would be telling!

Kit will have used her artistic skills to make them all masks. A task which needs a lot of patience! For those that haven’t got as much may want to head over to The Amazon Halloween Store

I’m sure we will have to have a pumpkin carved out. I can’t wait until the kids are old enough to do it themselves!

We tend not to cook something special for Halloween. If anything we’ll have some jacket potatoes and fillings. Easy to prepare and fuss free. Although we quite often have baked beans with them.

Now there’s nothing wrong with the tinned variety but you just can’t beat ‘Ome Made!

It’s really quite easy to make your own baked beans and of course it’s loads cheaper. You really can customize your recipe.

Here’s a recipe that I’ve used many times. I used to make these when I was working at a Bar opposite the Sheffield Crucible and Lyceum. There was one gentleman that used to come in especially to have beans on toast (even though it wasn’t on the menu!) because they were so good!

 ‘Ome Made Baked Beans

500g dried Haricot beans (soaked overnight in cold water).

800g of chopped tomatoes (tinned or fresh)

140g tomato puree.

250ml of water.

2 teaspoon of veg bouillon.

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of chilli powder.

2 teaspoons of paprika.

2 teaspoons of dried basil.

2 teaspoons of dried oregano.

2 teaspoons of dried parsley.

3 teaspoons of sugar.

Seasoning.

Method

Drain and rinse the beans. Place the beans in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Turn down the heat and simmer for another twenty minutes.

Drain the beans and then put in a casserole dish or oven proof pan along with all the other ingredients. There should be enough liquid to cover the beans, if not add a little more water. Put a lid on the pan and place in an oven preheated to 160°C (140°C if fan assisted). The beans should be ready after 6 hours but could happily left for 8.

This basic recipe could easily be customized to your own liking. You could try adding some fried onion, bacon, a bit of diced pork or even sausages. A little diced carrot and/or celery gives your beans a bit more depth.

If your really brave you could make your own curried beans… just don’t blame me for the after effects!

Things really could go ‘Pump’ in the night!

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Tabouleh For School… eh!

 

Last term at school I got roped into going into MissT’s class to talk about healthy food, where our food comes from and do a demonstration. So I cooked pizza from scratch and the children all made their own. It was great fun for the kids… and me! Although I think the cleaners are still finding bits of pizza dough in the carpet!

 

Pizza 'Ome Made

 

This term I got asked if I could give Dj’s class a simple recipe because they were working on following instructions. So the idea was that they would make something and then write down what went in it and how they did it.

I emailed the class teacher, Miss H, a recipe for Tobouleh as I though it was a simple recipe and it didn’t involve too much cooking… the thought of Dj and hot things just scares me!

The thing is, after they had made the Tabouleh at school I ended up with Kids and parents asking me for the recipe. So I thought I may as well put it on the blog because to be fair it is a great recipe. It’s healthy, a little goes a long way, it’s not time consuming and it’s great for Kids and adults pack-up.

Now this isn’t exactly how they made it at school. For one thing you use bulgar wheat in Tabouleh. At school they used couscous which is fine, it works well but I do recommend trying it with the cracked bulgar wheat. I prefer it so much more and it is a little more healthier.

Unfortunately I have no picture of the finished result. I will put one in at a later stage.

 

Tabouleh

500g Cracked Bulgar wheat

5 tablespoons oil (olive, sunflower or rapeseed)

1 medium red onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon of dried mint

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (or more or less to suit your taste)

1 teaspoon salt

Good grind of black pepper

1 red pepper diced

A handful of frozen peas

600ml of hot stock (vegetable or chicken)

Juice of 1 lemon or a tablespoon of fresh

Some chopped fresh herbage if you have any (coriander or parsley work well)

Method

Gently heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and add the onion and garlic stir for a minute and then add the spices, dried mint and stir again. Add the red pepper, peas and seasoning to the pan and stir in. Now add the bulgar wheat and stir through to coat with the spices. Add the stock so that it is just above the level of the bulgar wheat. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid or tinfoil and turn off the heat. After twenty minutes the bulgar wheat should have absorbed all the water and be ready. Before you serve it add the lemon juice and fresh herbs. It can be eaten straight away or left to cool and refrigerated to eat another time. It also freezes well if frozen in plastic containers.

So there you go! Easy. If the Kids of St T of C year 3 can follow it then you parents should have no problems!

Let me know how you get on!

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‘Modern’ Cooking?

So apparently Fusion Food is now a dirty word with those that are in the know… or care! It’s now called ‘Modern cooking’.

So ‘Modern Cooking’ consists of taking flavours from one country and mixing them with another. For instance Korean seems to be a modern trend at the moment along with American style BBQ flavours which means there are a lot of burgers being served with a side of Kimchi at the moment. And why not?

Apparently in China British/Spanish combinations are all the rage!

I personally love experimenting with different flavours and experimenting with spices and herbs so I don’t see it as a particularly bad thing, providing it’s done tastefully and not just for the sake of it. I mean there’s nothing wrong with some Chicken Tikka on top of a pizza if you have some to use up but cook it to go on a pizza especially… erm, NO!

Sesoning Blog

The thing is though what makes using different influences in food ‘Modern’?

Surely cooks and chefs have been doing that for years,decades and even centuries?

Think about Christmas. A traditional English Christmas Pudding, Cake or Mince Pie just wouldn’t be the same without a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon. So 300 years ago were chefs and cooks going about saying they were into ‘Modern Cooking’ or ‘fusion food’? I don’t think so.

I think adding new flavours and techniques to classic dishes is great! It’s just the terminology and the way that food writers and chefs go on about it as if they’ve created the wheel!

Anybody is capable of experimenting with food. You might not always get a fantastic result but it’s all good fun and makes food a little more exiting.

Don’t think that it is only the place of Michelin starred chefs to tell you what x & y go with… have a go yourself, the general public have been doing it for years!

What are Your favourite fusion… sorry, modern cooking dishes?

Or have you tried some combinations that really didn’t work?

Let us know, we would love to read your triumphs and disasters!