Sunday, February 14, 2016

Quest For More Mushroom - Mushroom Ketchup

Mushroom flavour is a great addition to juicy steaks, or a chicken dish.  Chunky slices of mushrooms and even a shaker of dried porcini powder add the desired effect.  Another way to capture mushroom essence is in a mushroom ketchup.  The "ketchup" turns out differently than I first thought, it has a consistency of Worchestershire sauce.  I was expecting a thick sauce, don't be surprised when it is very liquid-like.

500 grams or 2 punnets of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. mixed spice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
200 ml malt vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar

 Layer the mushroom slices with salt in a large bowl and leave overnight.  Drain the mushroom juice.  Place the juice and the remaining ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Bottle and process in a hot water bath.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Czech Smokey Garlic Soup

We have been seeing smoked garlic on offer around the UK, well around Shropshire anyway.  Tempting displays of the bulbs piled high in baskets at markets. If that isn't evocative enough, pick one up and sniff, they have a truly wonderful smell. You can use the garlic as it is normally used to instill a mild smokey flavour in your dishes.  I would say it is more mild in flavour than other smoked products such as cheese.  This sort of garlic is nice with a further roasting and then using as a spread eaten with a baguette, or added to sauces.  Another way to use it is in a soup as I have done.....Read on to find the recipe later.

They tend to cost a quid per bulb.

I wouldn't rule out smoking a batch at home.

There are several sources online that will tell you how:

I made a Czech style soup with a good handful of cloves.  This soup provides you with all the good qualities of garlic.  Cesnecka, as it is called, is said to be a hangover cure.  Garlic and a good stock, or bone broth are well known to stave off a cold.

2 tbsp. olive oil, or butter, or bacon fat
2 shallot, diced
6 cloves smoked garlic, crushed
6 c. chicken, or beef stock
2 lrg. Potatoes, peeled and small diced
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

In a med. pot, cook the shallots and garlic in the oil, until translucent.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Then, add the potatoes and parsley, simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 min. Season with salt and pepper.

This soup is good garnished with croutons, bacon, grated cheese, or all of the above.

The garlic is showing up at all the grocery stores now, as well.  

Oh look, it costs a quid!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Marmalade On Pancake Day

We are nearing the end of Seville orange season and Pancake day is coming up.  Why not combine the two?  

Seville oranges are in season and shipped to Britain from Andalusia for a short time in the winter months.  

Read more about them here:

This is a basic recipe from The Beeb:

I like to use muscavado sugar and a squeeze of lemon in mine. This adds a twist of flavour and a deep richness. Large shred adds even more of the bitter quality the oranges are known for. This is desirable in a good marmalade and gives you something to sink your teeth into.

The days before lent in Britain start with Pancake day.  I,however don't need an excuse to indulge in a pancake, or two any time of the year.

The pancakes come from a blog a few moons ago, on a previous blog of mine:

 Sprinkle with icing sugar.  Adding more and varied fruit with a drizzle of maple syrup can't hurt either.