Saturday, 24 September 2011

Dolcelatte and Smoked Pancetta baked Mushrooms

This recipe dear readers is a little bit overdue, it was originally developed for Tesco's Real Food BBQ campaign. Unfortunately between then and now I've had a major shift in personal circumstances, not to mention moving house amongst the many things going on, and BBQ season has passed in a whiff of smoke it seems! However, these mushrooms were very tasty, and could equally be baked in your oven, without needing to brave standing out in the cold whilst these lovelies cook!

These stuffed mushrooms were rather good if I dare say so myself, however I am very tempted to try a slightly stronger blue cheese next time around, perhaps some picante gorganzola. However with a pack of that in the fridge and me knowing its sitting there waiting to be eaten, it never hangs around for very long!

Ingredients - serves 3 

1 tsp garlic butter
3 large flat portobello mushrooms
3 rashers smoked pancetta, halved across the middle
2 nuggets frozen spinach, thawed, super drained of liquid and finely chopped
2 tsp dried natural breadcrumbs
2 tsp grated grana padano (or parmesan)
1 tsp plain yoghurt
1 tbsp roasted red onion (see notes on my potato salad recipe)
15 x 1cm cubes dolcelatte (try not to eat them all whilst chopping!)


Take a large square of foil, and spray with oil.

Carefully cut out mushroom  stalks, and finely chop. 

Place the whole mushrooms cut side up on the oiled foil.

Gently saute the mushroom trimmings in the garlic butter for 4-5 minutes or until golden but not browned. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. 

To the cooled mixture, add the chopped spinach, onions and yoghurt, a small pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. 

Pile into the mushrooms and smooth over. Dot with the dolcelatte, Criss cross the pancetta over, and sprinkle over the grana padano and breadcrumbs. 

Seal the parcel and bbq (or bake!) until the mushroom has cooked through.

Serve with the bbq essentials - corn on the cob and a good salad!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Blackberry Compote - Also almost free!

The BBC Good Food magazine arrived around Wednesday and by Thursday night I had a stash of this compote frozen! Apart from being very messy – please wear an apron and protect any white surfaces – its super easy to make, requires no cooking and is a great use for a glut of blackberries!

Once I’d made the mixture, I filled 3 silicon icecube trays with it, then once they were frozen solid, quickly transferred into a sealable food bag, thus therefore taking up less room up in the freezer. If you are more organised you could take it out the night before, and eat with your chosen breakfast. Or alternatively if like me organisation is a fleeting fashion, simply place some of the cubes in a ramekin and put in microwave on the defrost function for about 20 seconds! The compote tastes really fruity and so fresh, and it makes a lovely addition to your porridge or muesli. Having bright purple muesli makes a very colourful start to the day! The magazine also recommends using it as a filling for some very lovely sounding apple scones, which I am planning to make soon!  

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Apple Curd - Almost free!

I recently discovered a great little website that via the moneysavingexpert forums called 'Cheap Family recipes' to thank for this wonderful recipe!

You honestly have to try it to believe: 

a) how easy it is to make and 

B) how delicious it is! 

I had my full doubt radar on when making this recipe but it was perfect first time, even with my rough adjustments to the quantities. Even better still was that the apples actually came from the grounds of where I used to live, no idea what variety they actually are so worked out dirt cheap to make. 

Unfortunately it was too popular and I ended up giving away all of my first batch, and am now scrambling for empty jars to make batch number two!

The resulting curd is velvety textured, slightly tart but in a good way, light green in colour ‘smoosh’ and is fabulous on toast, crumpets or even atop rice pudding as we discovered!!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Caribbean Slice

I very rarely bake anything for pudding requiring more than my beloved mixer and simply lining a cake tin but sometimes the urge hits me to destroy the kitchen and these did not let me down! Not sure why I chose to bake them, at the same time as making these lovely chocolate chip shortbread I saw at Cooking at Marystow, and to make dinner, as it was clearly a recipe for disaster – these slices were delicious, the shortbreads good, but the toad in hole was once again a disaster, and I have now admitted defeat. Batter will no longer be featuring within Annes Kitchen put it that way.

These slices came about as once again we had some slightly over-ripe bananas lurking in the fruit bowl, and having recently over-indulged in fruit due to over-shopping, the last thing I wanted was anything resembling fruit in its natural form! For a while I considered doing some kind of shortbread-y base, topped with the ‘nanas and then an oaty sort of topping resulting in a crumble type affair, though whilst I have squirreled that thought down for another time, didn’t really fancy it today. Another option was a banana and chocolate crumble that I’d saved a link on my favourites yonks back, unfortunately when clicking on it, it was no longer there so that was out, typical! Yet another idea was my lovely chocolate and banana muffins, though we’ve had quite a few muffins lately so it was not quite hitting the mark either.

And then I stumbled on greatness – I remembered baking a long time back a rather messy, but fabulous raspberry and coconut slice, from an old favourite blog Baking Cakes Galore, it got me looking at the bananas and my head conjuring up some sort of banana jam to replace the raspberry jam…. After mashing the bananas, with my hands, slightly ewwwy in texture but provides excellent results, it was quite gloopy and I thought it needed a little glue and remembered I still had some ground almonds knocking around from my Macarons, so added enough to lightly bind, which worked a treat. As my tin was a different shape and depth, I adjusted the quantities to what felt right, switched some of the sugar and baked it a bit longer, and a star was born! Only mild critiscim is that I should of waited for the oven to cool off a little from the t-i-t-h as it browned a little quickly at first and resulted in an awful picture, though fortunately wasn’t singed enough to affect the flavour and a good dollop of custard hides a multitude of sins! Despite appearances its also actually quite moist and fruity!

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