A very Mexican new year

New Years Meal, tres leche cakeNew Year Meal, dips

I spent 8 hours in the kitchen on Saturday, cooking up a storm for our annual New Year meal and I loved every minute of it. I only took two photos all day but trust me, the food was immense (if I do say so myself) and much merriment was had.

Some notes on the food:

The lamb. Oh my, the lamb. I was aiming for something reminiscent of my beloved picante lamb at Panchos and I ended up making something that I like even more!

I used this meat rub to marinate a leg of lamb and slow roasted it using these these instructions.

Once it had completed the first roast for 4.5 hours (the leg weighed 2.4kg) I removed the meat off the bone, or at least the meat that was left on the bone, most of it had melted off into a delicious puddle, and shredded it. I mixed in generous amounts of this barbecue sauce which I had made earlier in the day, along with a little of the juice from the roast to keep the meat nice and moist. It went back in the oven for half an hour, covered with foil, to heat through. The barbecue sauce was delicious although a tad too sweet for me. Next time I think I will try decreasing the amount of honey and hoisin. I doubled the amount of garlic suggested – I couldn’t help myself, it’s an Asian thing.

I used this old favorite chilli recipe, with double the amount of garlic (obvs) and no red peppers. I used half the amount of hot water they suggest because I wanted a thicker chilli that could be used for burritos.

I prepared some chicken using this recipe.

I made this dip (so goooood, but so bad for you) and this one (with a regular tin of tomatoes to which I added some minced garlic and onion). We had guacamole but I bought that ready-made because avocados stress me out.

The meal was rounded out with a big pot of rice, pico de gallo, a black bean salad, some pickled red onions (shake 125ml of both water and red wine vinegar with 1tbsp salt and sugar in an old but clean jar, add half a thinly sliced red onion, leave for at least 1 hour/up to a day before you eat) and tortilla chips.

We had a tres leches cake for dessert. I cut a little of the sugar out, maybe about 50g? It still tasted amazing. I accidentally cooked it a little longer than it needed though. I had expected it to brown on top as it baked, like a regular sponge, so after checking on it at 18 minutes and assuming it was a bit under cooked, I left it for another 4. However, since the cake is mostly egg whites, I don’t think it picks up much colour as it bakes so I should’ve tested it with a skewer a bit earlier.

Sadly it was pretty damp that day so we couldn’t string up the pinata outside. Instead, four of us grabbed a bit of the donkey and pulled on three. There’s something a bit depressing about holding a dismembered, piñata donkey’s leg in your hand though. Next time I’ll get one that’s not as cute, so I feel less mean beating it up for sweets.

 

Real simple turkey burgers

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I forget how much I  love these turkey burgers  until I make them and then I remember all over again.

As the website name suggests, the recipe for them really is simple and incredibly forgiving. It might just be me and my unrefined palate but we ran out of Dijon when I made these last week and I used horseradish instead – it was just as tasty. I’m pretty sure I’ve used English mustard in the past too, because we don’t tend to keep loads of different types of mustard on hand

Ingredients  

450g  turkey mince

2 spring onions, sliced

Pinch of dried thyme or 1 tbsp of fresh, finely chopped

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of oil to fry the burgers in

Method

Use hands to mush ingredients together

Form into four patties

Heat 1 tbsp of some sort of oil in a pan

Cook for 6-8 minutes on each side or until cooked through

 

See? Simple as.

 

 

 

A bunch of… Kale!

What do you do when your mum sends you home with a bunch of kale from her garden that is too big to store in your fridge?

Home grown Kale

{home grown kale}

Why you stick it in a pot and call it a floral arrangement, of course!

And the next day you make a post work treat of kale chips.

De-vine, tear into bitesize pieces, toss in the tiniest amount of oil and salt, and bake at 180 for 10 minutes (toss every couple of minutes to help them crisp evenly). Inhale in two seconds flat. Forget to take pictures until it’s too late.

Easiest scones

Easiest scones, cream tea

{cream tea}

I’ve made these scones three times in as many weeks. It’s becoming a bit of a problem. So much so that I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve finished a jar of jam before it started to go mouldy but I’m currently half way through jar number two for 2017!

I’m copying the recipe here, because every so often I come across a recipe which I’ve enjoyed in the past only to find that BBC Good Food don’t have the licence for it anymore!

Classic Scones, makes 8

  • 350g self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Heat the oven to 200 celsius (fan) 

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Rub the butter into the mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar.

Heat milk until slightly warm. Add a squeeze of lemon and vanilla, stir.

Make a well in the dry mix and add wet ingredients. Mix with a knife until it comes together. Flour a work surface and tip the dough out.

Fold gently a couple of times to smooth out the dough and pat out to a depth of 4cm.

Cut into scones using a 5cm cutter.

I bake mine for 15 minutes and don’t bother with a glaze like they suggest. I just can’t bring myself to waste almost a whole egg, the scones don’t suffer for it. The recipe also calls for 3 tbsp of sugar but 2 is enough for me. Also, I accidentally squeezed too much lemon into my first attempt and make paneer rather than buttermilk. It turns out, four or five drops of juice will suffice. Semi skimmed and whole milk have both been equally tasty.

I’ve found a recipe that uses double cream instead of regular milk. I’m not sure I can allow myself to try that one out because it just sounds too good!