Tuesday 23 December 2008

How Not To Brine A Turkey

I brined my turkey last Christmas for the first time. I will always brine my turkey. I have never tasted such a moist Christmas Day dinner in my life. There is no great mystery. It is the soaking of meat in a solution of water and salt. Additional flavourings like sugar and spices can also be added, but salt is what makes a brine a brine . This soaking causes the meat to gain some saltiness and flavouring while plumping it up with water so that after cooking it still contains a lot of juices. Anyhow today I lugged my 17 pound turkey home and with some pleasure got it's bath ready with the necessary salt, spices and other additions for flavour. So far so good. I had my grandchildren to stay tonight and as is the nature of young children they are interested in everything. I told my two year old Grandson about the turkey in the bath. He peered at it for quite some time and repeated 'Turkey...bath' a number of times. He toddled back into the kitchen and I was distracted at the cooker. I heard a resounding splash from the utility room followed by the words 'Turkey..........bath' I looked in to find my lovely brining turkey with the rather undesirable addition of a bar of pink soap! I don't think We'll be singing Silent Night on Thursday, more like 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles'.

Happy Christmas

Thursday 18 December 2008

My Hundreth Post

I have only just realised that this is somewhat of an event. My poor blog has been sadly neglected this month of December. This is not because I haven't been cooking, quite the reverse. My kitchen is so cluttered with bits of this and that waiting to be made into things I don't have room to take the obligatory pictures. Perhaps next week when everything is finally put together.

I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my hundredth post than to wish all my wonderful Blogging friends and those on the Pantry the most wonderful of Christmases and sweet peace in the coming year. It has been something of a revelation to me to chat to so many of you wonderful people out there. Thank you for the joy and pleasure you have all brought me.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

We are having a challenge on Vi's Pantry at the moment taking recipes from Nigella Express. This cake was one of the challenges set. This cake /dessert is a real retro dish. So easy to make. Tastes and looks wonderful and, if there is any left, keeps well in the fridge I will definitely be making this again and again. so quick to put together and so pretty on the table. I expect you can make this with fresh pineapple but the canned variety of pineapple rings are so even and soft and easy to mould into the tin.. The fresh may be better for you but I think Ill stick with the canned variety.

2 x 15ml tbsp sugar
6 slices pineapple from a 425g can, plus 3 x 15ml tbsp of the juice
11 glacé cherries, approx 75g total weight
100g flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g soft butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
Butter a Tarte Tatin tin (24cm wide at the top and 20cm diameter at the bottom) or use a 23cm cake tin (neither loose bottomed nor spring form).
2 Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar onto the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices to make a circular pattern as in the picture.
3 Fill each pineapple ring with a glacé cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between.
4 Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, caster sugar and eggs into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. Then pour in the 3 tbsp pineapple juice to thin it a little.
5 Pour this mixture carefully over the pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.
6 Bake for 30 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and, with one deft move, turn it upside-down.

I used a 20cm sandwich tin as it is what I had
I used self raising flour and soft marg.