Paul Hollywood. The man of the moment. Overnight success many years in the making. I remember watching him opposite Jeni Barnett on Great Food Live a decade ago and he was clearly a font of all bready knowledge. His patented double-claw-rolling-out-dough technique was well practiced even back then.
Post Bake-Off, he is fronting the most appropriately titled vehicle for him: Bread. Blogs are awash with how decent his recipes are; and his myth-busting tips are pure gold. Such as: you don’t need warm water for yeast to prove dough. In fact tap-cold water is better as the slower growth will develop the flavour. Genius.
I have a handy recipe for garlic bread which I really like but it’s a bit more suited to a barbecue. His garlic bread involves folding roasted garlic cloves into baguette dough, and as you might imagine this creates the most amazing smell whilst baking. Mine didn’t even get the chance to get bathed in mozzarella like his before being scoffed; maybe next time!
The garlic bread recipe is over on the BBC site and well worth trying.
Shock, horror! Another roast potato recipe on this blog. What an anomaly.
Of course it isn’t, I’ve got roast potato recipes here, here and here for starters. But this was another twist, derived from cooking Heston’s perfect chicken (again). The chicken there is treated with a boozy butter baste. I’d gone a bit crazy and made too much, so decided to slather it on the potatoes. And with a little lemon and garlic to really boost those flavours I think it’s a great alternative!
Any white wine would work, but I had some Pinot Grigio a-wastin’ so that’s what I used. You want something sweet-ish here I think, a dry wine could turn out bitter with such fierce roasting.
Pinot Grigio potatoes (serves 4):
700g – 1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and diced to walnut-sized pieces
100ml white wine
125 unsalted butter
A few sprigs of thyme
3 cloves garlic
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Simmer the potatoes in salted water until really tender. Drain and allow to steam off excess water a little while you prepare the baste.
Put a heavy baking tray in the oven to preheat. Add the wine, butter and thyme to a saucepan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Toss the potatoes in the buttery wine and tip on to the baking tray and roast.
After 20 mins, peel the lemon zest in strips and add to the baking tray along with the garlic. Toss the potatoes well to coat. If it’s looking a bit dry add a dash of oil.
Roast for a further 20 mins, or until the potatoes are very crisp. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
When you’re trying to cook to a budget potato gnocchi is a great choice: just a few of them go a long way. Their bland nature makes them a great foil for any strong flavours. I’m a big fan of roasting vegetables so this is a super combo.
This is warming, filling, and doesn’t feel frugal! There’s lots going on with sharp, salty cheese; soft, toothsome gnocchi and rich, sweet roasted red peppers.
Approximate cost for main ingredients, excludes storecupboard ingredients (prices from Tesco.com 7th Oct 2012): £3.63
Roasted pepper and garlic gnocchi with feta (serves 1):
2 red peppers
2 cloves garlic, skin left on
100g feta, diced
- Preheat the oven on to 180°C. Put the peppers and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and pop in the oven for 30 minutes to soften and char. When soft to the touch mash the squeeze the garlic out of their skins and mash together the peppers with a fork, adding some salt and pepper.
- Get a large pan of salted water on to boil. Add the gnocchi and boil according to the packet instructions. Drain and combine with the pepper sauce, then stir the feta and rocket through. Serve immediately.
Continuing my series on decent grub on a budget, here’s a pasta bake dish with lots going on. It’s the breadcrumb topping that makes it! This was intended to have a white sauce made with milk but I ran out, so instead I went for a velouté version made with stock.
(PS. I’ve listed ingredients for 1 but the version above serves 2 – 3, in case you’re wondering why yours is smaller!).
Approximate cost for main ingredients, excludes storecupboard ingredients (prices from Tesco.com 7th Oct 2012): £1.91
Garlic mushroom and broccoli bake (serves 1):
100g penne or other shape pasta
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 head of broccoli, separated into florets
1 rasher of smoked bacon
1 slice of bread, preferably yesterday’s
1 clove garlic
500ml hot chicken stock
- Get a large pan of salted water on to boil over a high heat and preheat the oven to 200°C. Get a smaller pan on a medium heat and get a baking dish ready.
- Add the pasta to the water. Add the butter to the smaller pan and once melted whisk in the flour to combine to a gloopy paste. Crush in the garlic and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes. Add all the stock, whisking all the time.
- Add the mushrooms and veg to the pasta water and then return to whisking your sauce. Keep whisking until it resembles thick, smooth custard. At this point you should check to see whether the sauce needs salt or pepper.
- After the vegetables have cooked for five minutes drain these along with the pasta and combine with the sauce in your baking dish. If you have a food processor blitz the torn-up bread and bacon together to breadcrumbs, if not lay both on a chopping board and rock your knife over the lot of it to dice as small as possible. Scatter these breadcrumbs in a single layer over the pasta bake, and pop in the oven for about 15 mins until the breadcrumbs are golden and the bacon pieces are cooked.
It’s long established that cocoa bean flavours work really well with chilli, such as mole, and coffee is often added out in Mid-West America to “a bowl of red”. So as part of the Lavazza Coffee, Set, Match challenge I thought I’d chuck some in a chilli today! It lends the spicy meat a dark and fruity tone, a really interesting character.
It was also handy using espresso for this chilli as this was all about speed: I got in late and needed to fix up a chilli on the quick. I used a couple of shortcuts to help me get there, caramelized onions and hot sauce to get me a few steps ahead.
To be in with a chance to win one the fantastic Lavazza Wimbledon prizes look out for promotional cups on take away Lavazza coffees, or enter online at http://promotion.wimbledon.lavazza.com/ Prizes include six pairs of tickets to Wimbledon, 90 Lavazza A Modo Mio Favola Plus Wimbledon Limited Edition coffee machines and 500 sets of four exclusive espresso cups created especially for the tournament.
Express espresso chilli (serves 4):
800g beef mince
200g caramelized onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
100ml espresso coffee
1 tin tomatoes
200ml beef stock
- Get a large casserole pan really hot and add a splash of oil. Brown the mince, in batches if necessary. Add the onions, crush in the garlic and add the spices. Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the coffee, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, pop on a lid and simmer for about 20 -30 minutes until thick, rich and tasty – you may need to add a little salt or vinegar to balance out the flavours (or more chilli if you’re so inclined). Serve with flour tortillas, creme fraiche and a zingy salsa.