January 3rd, 2016 by Lesley

We have all heard that it takes a lot of time and patience to make fresh Mayonnaise.

Well this is a quick method of making Mayonnaise and this recipe is mustard free and so it is gluten free.

If you have red any of my bio stuff you will know that I have a number of allergies so I am always looking for new recipes that are ‘safe’ to eat.

This recipe has 4 ingredients and comes together very quickly. (Egg yolks, salt, lemon juice or white wine vinegar and vegetable oil)

You will need a jam jar or taller (make sure the bottom of the jar is just big enough for the head of your hand blender) and a hand blender to make this mayonnaise. (Ideally use the jug that comes with the hand blender.)

Measure the oil into a jug ready to be added to the mixture. I prefer to use plain tasteless oil, you can use other oils, light olive oil, nut oils, it is your preference, but remember this will add a flavour to the finished mayonnaise.

I prefer to have a tea-towel under the jar, it helps to stop the jar moving around during the blending.

Crack the eggs and place the 2 egg yolks into the jar, and save the egg whites in a bowl for another recipe.

Add the salt and lemon juice/white wine vinegar to the jar and blend with the hand blender, this will warm up the egg yolks.

Continue whisking the mixture in the jar and slowly add the oil, keep blending until you have used all the oil.

If the mixture is too thin (like salad cream) add some more oil, the more oil the thicker the mayonnaise. The exact volume of oil depends on the size of the egg yolks.

If the mayonnaise is too thick, add a little hot water and blend again.

This will bring the mayonnaise to the thickness you want. The addition of the hot water will lighten the mayonnaise.

This recipe is the base for a few variations.

Alioi – Garlic Mayonnaise

Addition – 1 medium crushed garlic clove

Add the crushed garlic clove to the mixture (before the addition of the oil).

Blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice/white wine vinegar and salt add the crushed garlic clove and blend again, then with the blender running slowly add the oil and blend as above to the thickness you require.

Thousand Island Dressing

Addition – 2 tbsp tomato ketchup

Make the mayonnaise as per the main recipe, once you have the desired thickness add the 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup and mix together.

Tartare Sauce

Addition – 1 small shallot, finely chopped, 3 tbsp capers and 3 tbsp gherkins, drained and chopped,  squeeze of lemon juice and 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Add the chopped capers, gherkins and parsley to the mayonnaise, mix well together.

Check the tartare sauce and add the lemon juice and salt as to your taste.

Quick Mayonnaise - Gluten Free
Delicious gluten free Mayonnaise.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Quick Mayonnaise - Gluten Free
Delicious gluten free Mayonnaise.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Gather the ingredients together.
  2. Using a large jam jar, crack the egg yolks into the jar. Save the egg whites in a bowl in the fridge for another recipe.
  3. Add the salt and lemon juice/white wine vinegar to the jar.
  4. Using a hand blender, blend the ingredients in the jar (to warm the egg yolks)
  5. With the hand blender running, slowly pour the oil into the jar, keeping the blender running.
  6. The mayonnaise will become thick. If the mixture is not thick enough, add more oil. The mayonnaise will become thicker with more oil.
  7. If the mixture is too thick, add a little hot water and blend again. The mixture will become lighter with the addition of the hot water.
Recipe Notes

The mayonnaise keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

 

Remember this mayonnaise has uncooked eggs.

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Posted in Cinnamon & Benzoate Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Sauces & Dressings, Vegetarian Tagged with: , ,

Courgette Spaghetti with mushroom sauce
June 1st, 2015 by Lesley

We have been on a bit of a health kick recently, cutting out potatoes, pasta, rice, white bread, its amazing how quickly it makes a difference.

Of course there are a few things that you miss and pasta happens to be one of them, for a few reasons, including ease of preparing a meal and the various sauces that you can create.

I decided that we needed to incorporate a few more vegetables in to our diet too, we are generally quite good, but we needed a concerted effort, well ok, I needed to make a concerted effort as of course it is me who creates, prepares and produces the meals in our house. (My choice, as I always have to be doing something new).

I had seen the latest craze with the spiralizers and all the wonderful ‘spaghetti’ that can be made from the various vegetables, so I am on a mission to see how many new recipes I can create using the Cuizique spiralizer.

Courgette Spaghetti with mushroom sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight’s recipe is using courgette (zucchini) , they are great for this as they are usually straight(ish) and easy to whizz through the Cuizique spiralizer. I have used broccoli and celeriac, and I will write up the recipes for them and link them back shortly.

I took 2 large courgettes and whizzed them through the Cuizique spiralizer, this new unit is great as the handle is above the vegetables, pushing them down onto the blades and it only really needs the weight of your hand to push it through the blades and then the cup underneath catches the spaghetti. Its really easy to clean afterwards and all the blades can be stored in the jug for storage.

I popped the spaghetti into a large pot filled with salted water, bringing it to the boil and blanched the courgette for 2 minutes, then drained them and left them in the colander until the sauce was ready.

I started on the mushroom sauce, I used the white button (Paris) mushrooms, I know they are not known for their flavour, but I find here (in France) they are great and not over powering,   I split the caps from the stocks and cleaned them with a paper towel, NEVER wash mushrooms as they just soak up the dirty water, the best thing to do is to use some kitchen paper or if they are really bad, use a small pastry brush. I roughly chopped the stocks and sliced the mushroom caps.

I melted some butter in a medium pot on a low heat, and once melted I added the chopped shallot and cooked until they were soft, but no colour, then I added the crushed garlic and mushroom stocks, and cooked for another 2 minutes. Then I added the white wine and brought it to the boil, letting it boil for 2 minutes, burning off the alcohol, then add then I added the chicken stock and simmered for 5 minutes.

(** Use vegetable stock for a Vegetarian sauce)

I removed the pot from the heat, and using my trusty hand whisk, blitzed the mixture, (of course it did splash a bit, but I just tilted the pot so it wasn’t all over me) until the stock has been pureed, it will be a bit thicker with the shallots and mushroom stocks,  I returned the pot to the heat and added the mushroom slices.

I gave it a quick mix and allowed the mixture to come back to the boil and simmered it for 5 minutes, before adding the cream, this is always the tense moment to see if the sauce will split, with the hot stock and cold cream, I have found that if you pour the cream in and leave it to stand for about 1 minute it is less likely to split, but if it does, I have a couple of handy tips to bring it back (see tips below) without throwing it away and starting again…. allow the sauce to reduce a little and thicken, taste the sauce to see if you have the flavour (creamy mushroom), if it is still not ‘just’ as you expect, then continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Sometimes the flavour is there, but its just not thick enough, so I add a little corn flour mixture and it does the trick. Make sure your cornflour mixture is very watery, 1 tsp cornflour + 3 tsp cold water, the more diluted the mixture, the quicker it is to thicken the sauce and no floury taste :-)

To serve up, I poured boiling water over the courgette to just refresh it, I added it back into the pot (it was boiled in) and added a couple of spoons of the mushroom mixture and mixed it all through, then using tongs I grabbed a big portion and twisted it around then placed into a bowl, and then it was mushroom sauce time….. mmmm… yummy, I do like this mushroom sauce.

This was a great meal, creamy and delicious.

Essential kitchen tool : Cuizique PREMIUM Spiralizer

Courgette spaghetti with mushroom sauce
Courgette spaghetti with rich creamy sauce, a great way to get more vegetables into your diet without trying too hard. In addition this is gluten free to as the spaghetti is the thin slices of courgette.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Courgette spaghetti with mushroom sauce
Courgette spaghetti with rich creamy sauce, a great way to get more vegetables into your diet without trying too hard. In addition this is gluten free to as the spaghetti is the thin slices of courgette.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Set-up your spiralizer, using the smallest cutter.
  2. Top and tail your courgettes, and cut in half, just so they are easy to use in the spiralizer.
  3. Work your courgettes through the spiralizer and place them in a pot of warm salted water. When ready, place the pot on the heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes and then drain in a large colander.
  4. In a medium pot, melt the butter over a low heat and then add the chopped shallots. Mix around to make sure they are all coated in the melted butter. Add the mushroom stocks and crushed garlic and cooked for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the white wine and bring the mixture to the boil for 2 minutes allowing the alcohol to burn off.
  6. Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock and boil again for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and using a hand blender, blend the mixture until all the shallots and mushroom stocks are pureed.
  8. Return the pot to the heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the cream. Leave for 1 minute before stirring, Allow the mixture to come to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Taste the sauce and if you have the correct taste, but just not thick enough, mix 1 tsp of cornflour with 3 tsp of cold water and drizzle the mixture into the sauce, stirring all the time, until you have the desired consistency.
  10. Pour boiling water over the courgette spaghetti to refresh it, then add back into the large pot and add some of the mushroom sauce, mix it through and then with some tongs, grab some spaghetti and place it in the middle of your bowl, and then pour over some of the sauce.
Recipe Notes

You can substitute vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock to have a completely vegetarian dish.

If the sauce is not thick enough add a mixture of cornflour and cold water and add to the simmering sauce, mixing all the time, until you have the desired consistency.

Sauce Splits : If your sauce splits, I know if a couple of ways to bring it back -

1) Use a mixture of cornflour and cold water, the thickening will bring everything back together

or

2) A hand blender is great, so if your mushroom sauce slits, remove the mushroom slices out to a bowl, and use the hand blender to whiz everything up, the sauce will come back together and then you can add the mushroom slices back into the sauce and continue to reduce until you have the thickness you want.

Reason for removing the mushroom slices, if you don't you will have a mushroom puree, rather than a mushroom sauce.

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Italian meringue butter-cream
May 31st, 2015 by Lesley

This week we were invited to a friends house for some drinks and food, they had some family visiting with them and there was a birthday to celebrate during their stay. I had offered to make a cake for the celebration, and it was to be simple, but something to help them all celebrate, a victoria sponge or chocolate cake, with chocolate or icing…..

So the cake I had covered, a victoria sponge was the answer for that, and then the icing,

Italian meringue butter-cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This icing was a revelation, I had been looking for something more than a chocolate icing or butter icing, so I went in search for ‘that something special’ and I found this, an Italian meringue butter-cream. I have made italian meringue on various occasions, for topping tarts and cakes, but then I would use the small brulee torch and we would have a toasted  marshmallow topping, so it was a good start.

The recipe I have for italian meringue uses equal quantities of sugar and water to create the syrup that cooks the egg whites, but this recipe has the addition of golden syrup. I started off with the sugar in a medium/small pot and added the equal quantities of water and golden syrup, and placed on a low/medium heat, until all the sugar had melted. Once the sugar had melted I turned up the heat a little to bring the mixture to the boil and allowed it to boil until it reached 115C, this took about 10 minutes. In the large bowl of my stand mixer, I added the egg whites and a pinch of salt and cream of tartar, research has explained that the cream of tartar allows the egg whites to ‘stretch’ more. I started to mix the egg whites on a medium speed, continuing to mix them until they were coming to peaks.

All the time, keeping an eye on the sugar mixture,  I needed it to reach 121C, once it had reached the magic 121C, I removed it from the heat, and started adding it in a slow stream to the egg whites, this cooks the egg whites while producing a wonderful glossy meringue. I kept the stand mixer going, probably for about 15 minutes, until the bowl cooled down, well was cold in fact.

At this stage it was time to start adding the chopped butter, this I did slowly and gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time, squashing each of the cubes between my finger tips, just before I added them to the mixture. I allowed the butter to be incorporated before I added the next tablespoon, just making sure I had a lovely even, glossy Italian meringue butter-cream. Most of the recipes I looked at, hinted that the mixture would likely curdle, but not to worry, but to just work through it to you had a soft glossy butter cream.  I have to be honest, I was concerned, but I didn’t need to worry, as it all came together and it didn’t curdle.

Once it was ready, I gave the mixture a quick beat with a wooden spoon, just smooth out some of the bubbles and left it on the side with a lid on it until I was ready to use it. I had to wait for the 2 layers of victoria sponge to cool down as I didn’t want the butter cream to slide off the cake …. ha ha.

You can flavour and colour this mixture, I didn’t this time, but I will definitely be trying it the next time.

It was very stable and good to work with, I did place the cake in the fridge until I needed to box it up to take to the party and it really helped with the transporting. We did leave it in the fridge until about 15 minutes before we were going to cut it as the weather was fantastic, and I knew the butter cream would have melted. All in all it was a great recipe and a great day.

Italian meringue butter-cream

Italian meringue butter-cream
Rich, glossy, creamy, Italian meringue butter-cream, a fantastic way to cover a cake for afternoon tea or a special celebration.
Servings Prep Time
14 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
14 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Italian meringue butter-cream
Rich, glossy, creamy, Italian meringue butter-cream, a fantastic way to cover a cake for afternoon tea or a special celebration.
Servings Prep Time
14 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
14 people 40 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Place the caster sugar, golden syrup and water into a medium pot and place on a low heat until the sugar has melted.
  2. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, not too hard. Continue boiling the sugar mixture until it reaches 115C. Continue heating until it reaches 121C.
  3. Place the egg whites, a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar into the large bowl of a stand mixer and mix until you have a meringue mixture.
  4. Once the syrup has reached 121C, remove from the heat, and slowly pour it down the side of the stand mixer, onto the egg white meringue, make sure not to allow the syrup to touch the whisks or it will hit the side of the bowl and not be incorporated.
  5. When you have added all of the syrup, continue mixing the meringue until the side of the bowl is completely cold, about 20 minutes.
  6. Chop the butter up into small cubes, ready to add to the meringue mixture.
  7. Once the meringue is cold, start adding the chopped butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Press the butter between you finger tips just as you are adding it, to help with it incorporating into the meringue.
  8. Continue until you have added all of the butter and you have a nice smooth Italian meringue butter-cream.
  9. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon, to remove any bubbles that may be there with the machine whisking.
  10. Place a lid on top of the bowl until you are ready to use the butter cream. If you need to refrigerate it until you need it, remove it from the fridge about 1 hour before you need to use it and give a good whip again just to make sure it is soft enough to pipe.
Recipe Notes

You can add flavours and colours to the mixture, add the flavour before you add the butter and add the colour while you are adding the butter, as it is less likely to break down the meringue at this stage.

If you mixture curdles during the addition of the butter, just keep mixing, it will come back together again into a soft smooth, butter-cream.

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Posted in Cakes & Fancies, Vegetarian Tagged with: , , ,

IMG_2669
May 28th, 2015 by Lesley

Wow, what a wonderful few days, the sun has been shinning and it is really starting to feel like summer is on its way.

IMG_2669

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been looking at new recipes (nothing new there) and decided that it needed to be salmon, I do love the wonderful pink shades of fresh salmon, a lovely summer dish and this one is ideal as a mid week dinner or it is elegant enough for a dinner party.

Once you have tasted the roasted broccoli, you won’t cook broccoli any other way.

When we find salmon, either fillets or whole, then its a must for me, so hopefully you will enjoy this recipe/meal as much as we did.

This meal is cooked in 30 minutes, it takes a little preparation, but probably about 10 minutes, so a great one for a mid-week meal, we thoroughly enjoyed this dish, I know it will be on the menu again next week without a doubt.

I prepared the broccoli but cutting off the main stock and cut the florets into smallish pieces, and then tipped them into an oven tray, then poured over the olive oil, lemon and garlic mixture over the broccoli, mix them all together to make sure they are well covered in the oil mixture and then I place in the pre-heated oven (240c), I like to use a very hot oven, so you can get the charred edges, there is just something that this type of cooking adds to the broccoli, it reminds me of the crispy seaweed you can get from the Chinese takeaway restaurants in Scotland. (I digress) Anyway the flavour is just fantastic.

IMG_2647

IMG_2653

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I took the beetroot, I used 2 medium beetroots from a vacuum pack, they are already cooked, so it is again the charring that makes all the different to the beetroot. I cut each beetroot into quarters and placed into an oven proof dish and drizzled over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Popped them into the oven with the broccoli and then it was time to get the salmon fillets ready.

I placed the salmon fillets into a microwave dish, yes a microwave dish, this is the easiest and best way to cook Salmon, it takes no time at all, and they are cooked and still moist and delicious.

Cooking the salmon this way, reduces the fishy smell in the kitchen, there are lots of ways to cook the salmon, but this is my favourite.

IMG_2655

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So back to the salmon fillets, as I said, place them into a microwave dish, and top with the pesto, then cover with some cling film (plastic wrap), ready to be cooked when the vegetables are ready.

After the vegetables have been in the oven for 15 minutes, remove them and turn over so you can get the charring on all sides, place the trays back into the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.

IMG_2661

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the vegetables are cooked, remove them from the oven and place the salmon fillets into the microwave and cook on full for 2.5 minutes. Remove the salmon from the microwave and leave for 1 minute will your place the vegetables on your plates.

Transfer the broccoli and beetroot to your plates and then the salmon.

Again, this is a fantastic dish, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

 

Salmon Fillet with roasted broccoli and beetroot
Delicious pesto topped salmon fillets served with roasted broccoli and beetroot, a wonderful mid-week dinner and elegant enough for a dinner party. Once you have tried the roasted broccoli, you will not eat it any other way.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Salmon Fillet with roasted broccoli and beetroot
Delicious pesto topped salmon fillets served with roasted broccoli and beetroot, a wonderful mid-week dinner and elegant enough for a dinner party. Once you have tried the roasted broccoli, you will not eat it any other way.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 240c.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl, add the crushed garlic and the zest and juice of the lemon, add a pinch of salt, mix together.
  3. Take the broccoli and break into the florets, cutting off the thick stocks.
  4. Transfer the broccoli to a baking tray and pour over the oil mixture, using 2 spoons, turn the broccoli around in the dressing to ensure it is well covered. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the broccoli from the oven and turn over the florets, and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until the florets are charred on all sides.
  6. Cut the beetroot into wedges and place into an oven proof dish, drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and place in the oven for 25 minutes, remove after 10 minutes and turn over, then return to the oven for the remaining 15 minutes.
  7. Place the salmon fillets into a microwave dish, spread the top with the pesto and cover the dish with cling film, once the broccoli and beetroot is ready. Place the salmon into the microwave and cook on full for 2 minutes.
  8. Transfer the roasted broccoli and beetroot to the plate and then the salmon. Enjoy.
Recipe Notes

I usually serve 150 - 200 grams of salmon per person.

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