Monday, 28 June 2010

Stuffed Potato Patties

This is the tastiest recipe I have found for using up mashed potatoes ever. The original recipe is Chilean and came from Gloria's blog. I am not good at quantities and always have mashed potato left. I am not a fan of shepherds pie and dislike mash simply reheated. To me it always tastes like well........reheated mash. This is so tasty. You really need to try it. I had them with pork chops and they were a perfect side dish. The filling can of course be faffed about with. A great way to use up bits and pieces. I used little cubes of mozarella and a finely chopped scallion/spring onion. Delicious. I would recommend making them a little earlier in the day or the night before and store them in the fridge ready to fry. The next time I make them I think I may freeze them then I know they are sitting there for a 'can't be bothered' night. The original recipe is at Gloria's. You really need to have a look there as this is my twist on it. My quantities are non existent and it really is based on left overs. You can of course boil up the potatoes freshly to make these.


Mashed potato
butter about 25g/1oz
1 egg yolk
25-50G/1-2ozs plain flour plus extra for coating.
a little milk if the potatoes are a bit dry
salt and pepper
Oil or fat to fry.

I used a little Mozzarella and finely chopped spring onion but your imagination can run riot here along with the contents of your fridge.


If your mashed potato is cold melt the butter then beat it along with the egg yolk,flour and seasoning into the potatoes. ( I used a hand held mixer)
If it is still fairly stiff add a little milk. You want it soft but not so soft that you can't handle it.
On a well floured board take about a dessert spoon of potato mix and form it into a flat patty on the board.
Pop your chosen filling in the middle and fold the edges over it. Turn the patty over and form it into an oval shape. Dust well with flour. Repeat until all the potato mix is used.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry each patty for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
Place on a plate and keep warm in the oven while you fry the rest. They keep warm very well without spoiling in the oven.

I used a fairly full pot of mash approx. 3-4 fair sized potatoes worth. This gave me ten of these patties.

Thank you Gloria for this very useful recipe.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


I know I have Blogged about scones before but...........I love to fiddle. I never normally bothered putting fat/shortening into scones. I am a very lazy cook and it was just too much bother to rub it in. Sad I know but there you have it. What started my recent fiddling was Sue on Vi's pantry said a couple of times to do scones in the food processor. Shock Horror. I come from the handle little and lightly brigade and I just couldn't see how using a food processor would work. This from the girl who will chuck cake mixes into the said machine without a moment's thought. There was nothing else but to try it. Sue had recommended 'Lily's scones' from HTBADG by Nigella Lawson. She was right. they worked a treat. I was amazed. The only thing I had against that recipe was the amount of cream of tartar used. 41/2 teaspoons. Seemed excessive to me. I make scones so much I would need to empty the supermarket shelves of the stuff to keep me in stock. So I started fiddling. The one thing I liked was cream of tartar negated the need for buttermilk as it provides the acidic environment needed by the baking soda. Ordinary milk would do. The food processor rubbed in fat for me. A whole new chapter in fiddling was opened with unparalleled success. The result was light fluffy scones with a shiny crunchy top. They didn't even need to be cut in half. One touch of the knife and they obligingly fell into two pieces so light were they. You really need to try them. Trust me they are so quick. You'll have them made before the kettle has boiled.


250g/9 oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
250g/ 9 oz wholemeal flour
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 rounded tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt (if using salted butter use 1/2 a teaspoon)
1oog/4oz chilled butter cubed
1 egg beaten
300 mls milk


Pre-heat your oven to 200.C/180.C fan/400F/Gas 6

Whizz the dry ingredients together in the food processsor to mix.
Add the butter and whizz again until the mix looks like the texture of sugar.
Put approximately half the beaten egg into a measuring jug, then make up to 300mls with the milk.
Pour this into the mix and whizz for a few seconds until everything just combines. It will form a moist ball.
Turn out onto a floured work top and pat or roll lightly out to about 2cm/3/4 inch thick.
using a 6cm/2 1/4 inch fluted cutter, cut into rounds and place quite close together on a lightly greased and floured baking tray.
Use the rest of the beaten egg to brush over the tops.
Bake for 10 - 12 mintes or until well risen and golden. Remove to a cooling rack.

makes 12 - 14 scones

If you don't want to use the Food Processr just sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Rub in the cut up butter lightly with your finger tips
Then stir in the egg and milk

Dig in while they are still warm

Perfect with the raspberry jam posted below.


Add 50g/2oz grated cheddar for savoury scones

If you want sweet scones. Use all plain flour and add 25g/1oz caster sugar.

Raspberry Jam

Lucie has a lovely Blog, Cooking at Marystow. which I visit quite a lot. She had a post about jam the other day which used frozen fruit which I thought was a great idea. I wanted to make raspberry jam but the fresh raspberries are lovely just now but much too nice and too pricey to make jam. It's a very easy jam to make and quick. The rule of thumb is 1 lb (450g) of fruit to 1lb (450g) of sugar so it is very easy to calculate whatever the amount of fruit you have. It is just lovely on a freshly baked scone. I don't think it's a good idea to make vast quantities of jam at once as it takes longer to boil. This makes the sugar caramelise and you get a very dark jam. This is great news if you want dark marmalade but not so for fresh fruit jam. A Kilo of fruit will give you about four 12 oz/350g jars of jam. I like to push the raspberries through a sieve to take out some of the seeds but if they don't worry you there is no need to bother. Remember to use a very big pan as the fruit and sugar need room to boil. Raspberries, like most soft fruits, are low in pectin so I use jam sugar to reach a set. It makes life a lot easier.


Large heavy based saucepan/stock pot/preserving pan
Warm sterilised jam jars (Pop them in the oven while you are making the jam this does both jobs)
Sieve if required
Wooden spoon or spatula for stirring.
Large jug
Sugar Thermometer if you have one or place a small saucer in the fridge


I Kilo of raspberries frozen or fresh (get the cheapest frozen you can find)
1 Kilo of jam or preserving sugar
Juice of a lemon


Reducing seeds

Place the raspberries in the pan and heat until the juices run.
Push fruit through a wide gauge sieve.
This will remove most but not all of the seeds.
You need to keep scraping it back and forth with a spatula to get all the pulp through..
Now place the juice in a pan with the sugar and lemon juice.

You can skip this bit and just put the fruit in the pan with the sugar and lemon juice.
Keep stirring over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. (This is but a few minutes)
Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil for about 4 -5 minutes until a set is reached.
If you are using a jam thermometer a set is 102.C/220.F
If you aren't using a thermometer place about a teasp of the jam on a cold saucer and leave for a few moments. Push it gently with your finger. if it wrinkles it has reached a set.
Using your jug decant into the warm jars.
Wait for it to cool and enjoy

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Mushroom Soup

I needed a quick serve yourself dinner. For me soup always seems to fill this gap. Just add some fresh bread and a meal is served or in this case some savoury wholemeal scones. I had a box of mushrooms needed using up and also, by careless internet shopping, a huge jar of dried porcini mushrooms. A lovely thick soup, this was delicious and made enough for another day. I love a 'raid the fridge' soup. Just add a dollop of imagination. A little cheese and fruit for afters makes sure the tummies are full.


About 500g mushrooms – Dried porcini mushrooms are lovely here adding depth of flavour
25g - 50gms/1-2 ozs butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 litre/2.2 pints vegetable or chicken stock if using dried mushrooms include the soaking water
100ml/31/2 fluid ounces double cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
Soak the dried mushrooms if using

Melt the butter in a pan with the olive oil, then add the garlic, onion, leek, potato and cayenne pepper.

Let the vegetables sweat for a few minutes

Clean and chop the mushrooms, then add to the vegetable base to cook through.

Pour in enough vegetable stock to cover the ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Use a stick blender or transfer the soup to a blender.

Blend the soup to a smooth creamy consistency.

Bring back to just the boil

Season the soup with salt and pepper and add a good glug of cream.

Pour into bowls and garnish with parsley and some more cream

Monday, 7 June 2010

Carrots From Brownievillegirl

When this recipe popped up on my reading list I got very excited. When I went over to Brownievillegirl's Blog I saw she too had been very excited. I'm not quite sure if it's a carrot thing or an Irish thing. Like her I have long looked for a nice way to cook carrots. I do love a carrot. Such a bright cheerful little vegetable. Just made to cheer up a plate. This comes from Heston Blumenthalls 'Family Food'. Apparently (and I quote BVG here) "Orange juice shouldn't be used when cooking carrots as the acid interferes with the cooking process.Orange zest gives the flavour while retaining the correct texture. " Whatever the reason these carrots mixed with garlic, coriander and cumin are just gorgeous. I could have eaten them all straight from the pot. Simple done you really need to try them. Thank you Brownievillegirl for the recipe.

Carrots Glazed with Cumin and Orange

750g peeled carrots (I think organic are worth the extra money)
1 clove garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 or 3 cardamom pods
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp caster sugar
zest from 1 orange, in large pieces (remove carefully with a potato peeler, with as little of the white pith as possible)
salt and black pepper

Slice the carrots into 1cm (1/2 inch) rounds - they look better sliced diagonally.
Heat your pot without any oil and when hot add the cumin and cardamom seeds (which you have removed from the pods), toast them for a minute or two until they release a beautiful smell.
Add the oil, butter, garlic (I grate it in, you could crush it), thyme and the carrots.
Turn the heat down to medium and sweat the carrots for 5 minutes.
Add the sugar and about 1 tbsp of water and the orange zest.
Cover with a lid and cook until tender - keep an eye on them and add a little more water if necessary.
When cooked remove the lid and reduce any liquid if necessary.
Season and serve.