Archive for the British Cuisine Category

Fish pie

Posted in British Cuisine on January 20, 2010 by yongtzetan

Fish pie, originally uploaded by yongtze.

This recipe is adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Posh fish pie. It is also a simplified one that requires less ingredients and still tastes delicious and absolutely satisfying.

Serves 1 very hungry adult:

  • 25g butter
  • 1 shallots, finely chopped
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 200ml fish stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoons wholegrain Mustard
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g of white fish fillets
  • lemon juice
  • dry thyme
  • small handful of tarragon/flat leaf parsley/basil
  • 2 large potatoes
  • milk for mashing
  • butter for mashing
  • 1 large egg yolk

1. Heat the butter in a pan and sweat the shallot until soft. Add the wine, reduce until the volume halves. Add fish stock, continue to boil until reduced by half.

2. Pour in the cream and boil until reduced to a sauce like consistency. Strain through a sieve, discarding the shallot. Stir in the mustard, check for seasoning then leave to cool.

3. Meanwhile preheat the over to 180°C. Cut the fish into 3cm chunks. Poach the fish in enough water to cover, with a squeeze of lemon juice and some dry thyme. Carefully not to bring the liquid to a boil, poach the fish until slightly undercooked. Remove the fish from the poaching liquid and place the fish into an ovenproof baking dish. Pour over the sauce.

4. For the mash topping: peel and quarter the potatoes and cook them in salted water until tender. And mash with a little milk and butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Beat in the egg yolk and mix properly. Spoon the mash over the fish and sauce.

5. Bake the pie for about 20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown on top. Serve immediately.

I also give a simple fish stock recipe here which I use for the fish pie because I don’t want to pay for fish stock where I can make it at home simply. I bought a whole fish and fillet the fish myself so I was left with some fish bones and head to make the stock.

  • fish bones and fish head from white fish (about 1 kg fish)
  • half a cup of white wine
  • oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, coarsely diced
  • 1 handful of celery, chopped
  • Salt

1. Heat some oil in a skillet, brown the fish bones and fish head lightly. Transfer them into a stockpot, add enough water to cover the fish bones and head. Add wine and all the vegetables. Season lightly with salt (the stock will reduce so remember this when you add the salt).

2. Bring the stock to boil and then simmer for about 1-2 hours. Strain and the fish stock is ready to use. Freeze any leftover and it should last weeks, or not months.

 

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Yorkshire pudding

Posted in British Cuisine on May 13, 2008 by yongtzetan

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Yorkshire pudding, originally uploaded by yongtze.

I have been wanting to make Yorkshire pudding since the weather turned cold. This was my first attempt as you can see from the picture two out of three rose beautifully but the one at the back did not rise as high. I can’t figure out why, probably the porcelain ramekin wasn’t heated up hot enough.

The exterior is crispy and the interior is surprisingly soft and light – a nice contrast of texture. We had these puddings with roast chicken, they are great to soak up the gravy. If not, you can eat them as dessert too, just pour over some honey, golden syrup or even better is the home-made honey butter caramel sauce I just made a few days ago.

Traditionally beef dripping is used for Yorkshire pudding but I used peanut oil. I guess unless you are eating it with roast beef otherwise any oil with high smoking point will do.

Below is an adapted Brian Turner’s recipe from Recipezaar, everything is measured by volume and conveniently they are all of the same volume. This makes adjusting serving size a no-brainer.

Makes 6 puddings:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • half teaspoon of salt

1. Preheat the oven to hot 230 degree C. Put a teaspoon of oil in each of several muffin ramekins and place them in the oven until the oil is very hot and begins to smoke. Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients and beat to form a batter of the consistency of double cream. Leave it to rest.

2. Before adding the batter into the ramekins, beat again for about 10 seconds. When the oil is smoking, quickly add the batter into the ramekins. Fill each ramekin to about half or two-thirds full, do not over fill because the puddings will rise and puff up.

3. Bake for about 18-20 minutes by which time they will be puffed up and crisp.

Spotted soda bread

Posted in Bread, Breakfast, British Cuisine on October 18, 2007 by yongtzetan

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spotted soda bread, originally uploaded by yongtze.

This is a quick bread recipe from Dan Brown’s ‘The handmade loaf but I changed the portions slightly.

As suggested by the author, this bread is best eaten in slices when freshly baked with some butter and good fruit preserve. Creamy and slightly sweet, good for afternoon tea.

– 300g flour
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 60 butter
– 250g milk
– 60g golden syrup
– 60g currants or sultanas or both.

1. Oil and flour the inside of a 12-18cm oblong tin. Preheat the oven to 210 degree Celsius.

2. In a bowl, whisk the milk and golden syrup until combined. Drop the currants or sultanas into the liquid to wet them.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

4. Pour the liquid mixture into to the dry ingredients and mix. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin.

5. Bake for 20 minutes with a foil loosely covering the top of the tin. And remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the top of the bread is a good golden-brown. Remove from oven, leave for a few minutes to cool and firm. Then remove the bread from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

English milk loaf

Posted in Breakfast, British Cuisine on September 30, 2007 by yongtzetan

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Milk loaf, originally uploaded by yongtze..

I have been baking quite a lot recently. This English milk loaf recipe is from a book called "The Handmade Loaf" by Dan Lepard, which I borrowed from the City library on Flinders Lane.

It is wonderfully soft inside and slightly tough outside. The strong tough crumb, as the author said, is good at "withstanding the rigours of a child’s schoolbag, or a cheese sandwich that can survive in a jogger’s backpack".

The recipe calls for fresh yeast but I don’t have any so I used dry active yeast instead. As recommended by the book, to replace the fresh yeast with dry active yeast: Take 25% of the liquid from the recipe and heat it to about 40 degree Celsius. Whisk in the dry yeast (half the weigh given for fresh yeast), together with 2-3 tablespoons of flour from the total amount. Leave this for 20 minutes, then use in the recipe as if using fresh yeast

I have also converted some measurements from weight to cups/measure spoons in case you don’t have a kitchen scale at home. However, for baking, it’s highly recommended to measure the ingredients by weight as it is more precise than using volume.

– 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh yeast, crumbled
– 350ml whole milk
– 20g golden or maple syrup (about 3 teaspoons)
– 500g flour, preferably those with high gluten content (about 3 3/4 cups)
– 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
– 25g warm melted unsalted butter

1. In a large bowl, whisk the yeast with the milk and syrup. Add flour and salt, and squeeze the lot together with your hands until you have a soft sticky dough and the flour and liquid have combined well. Pour over the warm melted butter and mix well with the dough.

2. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes.

3. Rub 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the work-surface and knead the dough for a quick 10 seconds, ending with the dough in a smooth round ball. Wipe the bowl clean and rub with 1 teaspoon olive oil, return the dough to it, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat this light kneading twice more, at 10 minutes intervals, then leave the dough for 30 minutes.

4. Grease and flour a loaf tin. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Drop them side-by-side intro the prepared tin, cover with a cloth, and leave to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until almost doubled in height. (A good place for rising: Turn on the oven for about 2 minutes, and turn it off. It should be just warm enough for a good rise)

5. Preheat the oven to 210 degree Celsius. Brush the top of the loaf with a little milk, and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 180 degree Celsius and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is a shiny dark brown. Remove from the tin, and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Milk loaf

Roast pork loin with crisp crackling

Posted in British Cuisine on September 13, 2007 by yongtzetan

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Roast pork loin, originally uploaded by yongtze.

Roast pork is great and easy when you are cooking for a crowd. I always enjoy eating Chinese crispy skin pork on rice, just like my dad – It just tastes RIGHT.

This version is from Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday lunch. It smells and tastes wonderful. But somehow I still like the Chinese crispy skin pork more, probably because I have been eating that for more than 20 years.

about 8 servings
– 1 pork loin, about 1.5kg
– 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
– grated zest of 1 lemon
– small handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only
– small handful of sage leaves
– salt and pepper
– olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to its maximum setting, probably 240-250 degree Celcius. Score the pock skin in a criss-cross pattern at 2cm intervals. Turn it, so the flesh side is facing upwards, and cut a slit along the side of the loin to open it out like a butterfly. Sprinkle the garlic and lemon zest all over the flesh. Scatter the parsley and sage leaves along the centre. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Roll up the loin and secure with kitchen string at 3-4cm intervals. For perfect nice crisp crackling: heat a large frying pan until you can feel a strong heat rising. Put the loin, skin down, press onto the hot pan. This will start the crackling crisping. Turn the loin and brown the rest of the skin. Transfer the loin to a lightly oiled roasting tin. Rub with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a few large pinches of salt. Roast for about 10-15 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp.

3. Turn the oven down to 180 degree Celcius and continue to roast, allowing 25 minutes per 450g, until the pork is cooked through and tender. Rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.