Month: October 2015

Old Bay Oyster Sliders

Maybe it’s because it’s Halloween week but here I am with another thing, actually two things that scare me.  Batter and deep-frying.  Because I made Sliders. And not just any sliders, Oyster Sliders.  And not just any Oyster Sliders but Old Bay Oyster Sliders!

Old Bay Oyster Sliders1Ooooooohhhhhyeeeeeaaaahhhh!!!

Can I just say that these were as good as they look?  

Start off with some mini brioche…..hmmm..now where would you find some of them? And toast them up.

Toasted BriocheWhip up some aioli ( I had this saffron and roasted garlic aioli from something else I had made), but any aioli or even mayo would be fine.  But the saffron makes it look so pretty!

Saffron AioliChoose your vegetables.  I used lettuce, carrot, red cabbage and red onion. 

Slider fillingsDon’t forget the pickle!  I used a pickled jalapeno but a dill pickle would also be fine.

Next up a tempura style batter loaded with Old Bay!  Heat some oil, drench your oysters in the batter and drop into the hot oil.  These only need a minute or so to cook.  Drain on crumpled paper:

Old Bay Oysters

Old Bay Oysters2And assemble. 

Now, you have to promise not to laugh or judge me too harshly…(oh wow does that make a third thing that frightens me, in this post alone?) but I made my first ever gif.  

Ok, deep breath, here ’tis…

SliderEeek….if anyone’s left after that, here’s the recipe!

Old Bay Oyster Sliders2

Old Bay Oyster Sliders

Old Bay Oyster Sliders

Ingredients

    For the Sliders
  • 6 mini brioche
  • 12 oysters, shucked
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Thinly sliced red cabbage, red onion, carrot
  • Slices of pickle, pickled jalopeno rings
  • For the Tempura Style Batter
  • 100g cornflour
  • 50g rice flour
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 100ml ice cold sparkling water
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • For the Saffon Aioli
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hand hot water
  • A good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 garlic clove, roasted (for instructions see [here | http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-garlic-in-the-oven-5341}
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

    For the Aioli
  • Soak the saffron threads in the hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice into a bowl.
  • Squeeze in a clove of roasted garlic
  • Mix through the saffron and water until all ingredients are combined.
  • Set aside.
  • Split your brioche and toast until golden.
  • For the Batter
  • Heat the oil until hot
  • Mix together the flours and Old Bay
  • Add mix the water, lemon and beaten egg.
  • Add the wet mixture to the egg mixture
  • Mix until mixture is smooth.
  • Dip the oysters into the batter and gently drop into the hot oil.
  • Cook for about a minute.
  • Remove and place on crumpled paper to drain.
  • To Assemble
  • Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of your brioche.
  • Top with your carrots, onion and red cabbage
  • Add 1-2 oysters
  • Add a dollop of saffron aioli
  • And your pickle
  • Top with the top half of your brioche.
  • Eat immediately.
  • And Enjoy!
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/30/old-bay-oyster-sliders/

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Braving Brioche

They say you should do one thing every day that scares you.  Well, this week we are jumping ahead to the letter H in the A-Z of cooking and I am doing something that terrifies me.  The reason for the leap from E to H and the sudden boldness on my part will become apparent in the next post….Huh…instead of a cliff hanger ending I think I just gave you a cliff hanger starting!  Anyway, want to know what scares me?  That third episode of Limetown still makes me shiver  but cooking wise, one of the things that frightens me is bread. 

Brioche1And not only did I made bread this week but ooh la la, I made French Bread!  Brioches to be exact.  And they were very good!  They looked kinda like brioches, they smelled like brioches, and they tasted like brioches!  I cannot tell you how pleasantly surprised I was because the manner of making seemed odd.

I have never made brioche before but maybe, possibly this is how it is done.  It seemed to work!

You made your bread dough then divided it into 12 pieces which you rolled into balls.  Then you pinched off a small ball of dough from each of those so you then had  24 balls, 12 small and 12 larger.  The recipe then called to make a hole in the large ball and stick the small ball inside.  I found it easier to flatten the large ball and wrap it around the small ball.

BriocheThen into the baking pan for a rest and rise:

Brioche CollageAdd a glaze, pop in the oven and a short while later:

BRIOCHE!!!!

Brioche2If I’d known brioche was going to be this easy I would have been making it for years!  I love that high shine glaze!  And to copy a phrase I learned from the Great British Bake Off, the bread also has “good crumb”.

Even though I had specifically made these for another purpose, I couldn’t resist having a little taste.  Brioche and apricot jam for afternoon tea?  Yes please!

Brioche and Jam

As for the rest of them?  Stay tuned.  You’ll see in a couple of days!  And it’s worth the wait!  Meantime, get your brioches ready!

Brioche

Brioche

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp plus 1tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp hand hot water
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50g butter, melted and cooled
  • Egg Glaze
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • pinch of sugar

Instructions

  • Dissolve 1/2 tsp of sugar in the water. Sprinkle over the yeast and whisk it in with a fork. Leave in a warm place for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Mix in the rest of the sugar, the yeast mixture, the eggs and butter.
  • Mix by hand until the mixture leaves the side of the bowl.
  • Knead on a lightly floured board for 5 minutes.
  • Put the dough in a warm place and leave to rise for about 1.5 hours or until it has doubled in size and springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Preheat your oven to 230C.
  • Divide the dough into 12 portions. Break off a small bit of each portion and roll into 12 small balls.
  • Roll the remainder of the portions into 12 larger balls.
  • Poke a hole in each of the larger balls with your finger and place the small ball inside. Close the hole by pressing the dough together.
  • Place the balls in your baking tin and leave to rise for about an hour or until light and puffy.
  • Mix the ingredients for the egg glaze together and brush over the brioches.
  • Place in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/27/braving-brioche/

Have a great week!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

 

The Dishiest Dish – Black and Blueberry Crumble

Black berries, blueberries, dots of marzipan, almonds, choc chips, a splash of amaretto and, of course some custard?  How could the Black and Blueberry Crumble not be the dish of the week? 

Black and Blueberry Almond Crumble

Close second was Karen Martini’s Sausage, Ham & Egg Pizza.

Sausage, Ham & Egg Pizza

Fail of the week?  The Broccoli con Anchovy from The River Cafe Cookbook.  I’m not sure what it is with me and this book.  Last week the rotolo was a fail.  This week, I didn’t even get to cook anything.

Here’s the thing.  I put broccoli on my shopping list.  I ticked it off my list meaning it had gone from shelf to basket.   I should have had broccoli in my fridge. BUT I tootled off to twilight yoga on Sunday afternoon planning to have a healthy broccoli con anchovy supper on my return.  Got home, had my aromatherapy bath, got into my jamies. And no broccoli.  Not in the fridge, not misplaced in the cupboard.  Not in the car.  Just a black hole of broccoli. 

And yes, I could have gone and bought some but I was already in my pyjamas and Doctor Who was about to start.

This week I am looking forward to cooking:

Tasty Reads is coming up, I am going to make the Chicken, Cheese and Corn meatballs and the Raw Tuna Meatballs from the meatball cookbook. I found the Turkey Cran meatballs I made a little too sweet for my taste.  I will try these again but instead of the dried sweetened cranberries required by the recipe I will use fresh (frozen) cranberries.  They will bring a much needed touch of tartness.  Also place the balls in the freezer for maybe 15 minutes so the cheese doesn’t ooze out everywhere. 

Black and Blueberry Almond Crumble2In Other News I Am

Listening To

  • I know I spoke about this last week but OMG Episode 3 of Limetown sent shivers up my backbone.  The last ten minutes?  Possibly the scariest thing I have ever listened to. 
  • In the same creepy vein, Mark had never heard of Jonestown until this week.  Reminded me of this other creepy, but this time true, pod

Reading/Listening

I finished A Rush Of Blood on audio,  It was ok. I think the author drew a long bow for the reasons for the murders. 

Am about to start Life After Life.

Watching

We saw William Shatner’s Stage Show the other night.  Briilliant.  We have started marathon watching Boston Legal on the back of it. It’s still immensely watchable!

Also A Beautiful Lie on ABC.  This is a modern day version of Anna Karenina which so far has been superb.  Except for one teeny thing…the Vronsky character is not at all good looking.  In fact, Mr Karenina is waaay more handsome.  Despite this, absolutely loving it. 

 

Green Sauce - From Meatballs The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno

Green Sauce - From Meatballs The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno

Ingredients

  • 50g (a large bunch) flat leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves picked
  • 50g (a large bunch) basil, leaves picked
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 35g blanched almonds
  • 10g anchovies
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 25 parmesan cheese, finely grated

Instructions

  • Blitz the herbs, garlic, almonds, anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor for around a minute or until a smooth sauce has formed.
  • Add the parmesan and blitz for another minute.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/25/dishiest-dish-strawberry-cheesecake-heaven-2/

What’s going on in your life / kitchen?    What was the best thing you made this week?

What are you looking forward to making next week? 

What are you reading, watching, listening to?

Please share!

Have a fabulous week everyone! 

Happy Cooking!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

Old Bay Crab and Mushroom Vol Au Vents

 Is there anything more kitschy retro than a vol au vent?

Okay, I hear you Jello Salad.  Let me rephrase. 

Is there anything more kitschy retro and DELICIOUS than a vol au vent? 

No, there is not. 

And when you add some Old Bay into an already super tasty mix of crab, mushroom and watercress?  Oh boy, do you have something special happening both on your plate and in your mouth!

Crab Old Bay Vol Au Vents5I do not understand why vol au vents have fallen out of favour.  They’re so pretty.  Like little flowers of yumminess.   I think we should start a movement.  Viva La Vol Au Vent!

And hopefully this will be the recipe that will convince you to join in!

Let’s break it down shall we?

Lovely sweet crab meat, earthy mushrooms, peppery watercress, spicy Old Bay all wrapped in a lovely creamy, cheese sauce and baked in the lightest of light choux pastry.

It’s all good. 

It’s all sooooo good!

Crab Old Bay Vol Au Vents3These are perfect cocktail party food.  Make the filling in advance, then 15 minutes before serving pile into your vol au vent shells to heat through.  Quick, easy, pretty, tasty. 

What more could you want?  Here’s the recipe:

Old Bay Crab and Mushroom Vol Au Vents

Old Bay Crab and Mushroom Vol Au Vents

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
  • 200g spanner crab meat
  • 1 bunch of watercress, leaves picked
  • 12 finely chopped button mushrooms
  • 12 vol au vent cases, I used the ones that are about 5cm across, for smaller or larger you will need to adjust cooking times
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 25g goats cheese, crumbled
  • 30g sharp Cheddar cheese grated
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Dash of Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Cook the onion over medium heat until soft. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the watercress and stir until just wilted.
  • Take off the heat.
  • Mix the eggs with the cream and the Old Bay and the Tabasco sauce, if using. Add to the vegetable mixture and stir through.
  • Add the goats cheese and Cheddar and stir through.
  • Add the crab meat and stir to mix.
  • Season.
  • Fill each vol au vent with the crab mixture. Top with parmesan and place in the oven until the egg is set - around 15 minutes.
  • If the cheese is not golden and melty enough, heat your grill/broiler to 200C. Place the tray under the grill/broiler, checking every 30 seconds or so to ensure your pastry cases do not burn.
  • Sprinkle with additional Old Bay and serve.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/22/old-bay-crab-and-mushroom-vol-au-vents/

I fear both that I am running out of month and Old Bay….I had two more posts planned and then, on the weekend I found another awesome Old Bay recipe…the Octoberfest may well spill into November!  I’m totally ok with that.  The Germans start their Octoberfest in September, why shouldn’t I end mine in November?

Old Bay Crab, Mushroom & Spinach Vol Au Vents

Have a great week.  And remember, viva la vol au vent!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

History Happy Hour – The Inkahlúarable

  For many a month I’ve been thinking about how to bring you some of the delights of  “International Mixed Drinks” as featured in this post.  I’ve also been wanting to do something more interactive, that allows others to join in if they wish.

Because, lets face it.  Sometimes we all need a reason to have a libation (or two).

Inkahluarable1So, without any further ado, welcome to History Happy Hour!

Every couple of weeks, I will find a reason to celebrate a piece of history and we can all drink to it! 

Kicking things off we have the Inkahúarable celebrating Jamaica. 

Reasons to celebrate Jamaica this week? 

  • Last week Marlon James became the first Jamaican writer to win the Man Booker Prize with his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, based in part on an assassination attempt on Bob Marley.
  • Today, 19 October is National Heroes Day in Jamaica. 

So why not pop some Bob Marley on the ipod, raise a toast to Marlon James and the seven National Heroes of Jamaica and join me in sipping an Inkahlúarable.  And don’t worry about a thing.  Because every little thing’s gonna be alright!

Inkahluarable2NOTE: The book of International Mixed Drinks claims that terminal illness can be temporarily postponed with this drink. 

I think that is highly unlikely so don’t go off your meds if you drink one of these. 

Totally irresponsible claims from the book of IMD aside, this is a damn fine cocktail.  Who knew orange and coffee went together so well!!!  Inkahluarable3

History Happy Hour – The Inkahlúarable

History Happy Hour – The Inkahlúarable

Ingredients

  • 10ml Kahlúa
  • 10ml Cointreau
  • 10ml Grand Marnier

Instructions

  • Pour the Kahlua into the glass.
  • Slowly pour in the Cointreau over the back of a spoon.
  • Repeat with the Grand Marnier.
  • Enjoy!
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/10/19/history-happy-hour-the-inkahluarable/

But wait, there’s more!

You Can Be A Part of History Happy Hour!

  • Do you live in a country? (Yes you do.)
  • Does that country have any celebratory days? / Historically significant days / weird fun facts? (Of course it does)
  • Want to make a cocktail to celebrate the above? (You betcha)

Either make your cocktail, # historyhappyhour and drop me a line in the comments.  Or guest post it on here. 

Or, stumped for a cocktail?  Let me know where you are from and I will do my best to send you an appropriate recipe.  (Not all countries are represented in the International Book of Mixed Drinks).  Again, you can post it on your own blog, or guest post your cocktail on here.

Have a recipe celebrating a particular place / piece of history and can’t be bothered making it?  Send it through.  Just give me plenty of time before your special day so I can buy supplies if needed.

Happy (Responsible) Drinking!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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