Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThis is a recipe I have been trying to master for a long time now and I think I’ve finally cracked it! It’s so cheap to make, so easy to make & unbelievably tasty! Have I sold it to you yet? Good! Let’s get started.

Here is what you will need to make enough for approx 6-8 generously sized sandwiches.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Paprika *
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 85g Honey
  • 2 tbsp/30ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1kg Boneless Pork Shoulder Joint (Fat on)

*If you can, use a good quality, smoked paprika – it will make all the difference.

Equipiment

  • Slow Cooker (mine is 3.3 litre)

Let’s start with the marinade.

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic & thyme.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThen add in the honey, red wine vinegar, BBQ sauce & olive oil. Give it all a good mix and set to one side.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkPeel & slice the onion in half then place at the bottom of the slow cooker, face down.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkSlice the pork joint in half and place on top of the onions. (Leave the fat on, it adds a great deal of flavour & is easily removable once cooked.) Then pour over the marinade. Try to cover as much meat as possible – it doesn’t matter if some of it falls to the bottom.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkLastly, pop the lid on and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the meat just falls apart.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkWhen it’s ready. Turn the slow cooker off and transfer the meat to a large bowl.

Remove the fat, then using 2 forks back to back – shred the meat.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDon’t forget about those onions! Take them out, finely dice them (be careful, they’ll be a bit slippy) and add them straight back into the meat.

Then pop the whole lot back into the slow cooker along with those gorgeous juices. Give it a good mix and you are good to go!

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkIf there is a little too much juice for your liking - simply put the slow cooker on high but leave the lid off. Cook until it’s the consistency you want (it shouldn’t take too long) and stir occasionally.

Then serve warmed in crusty cobs or mini ciabattas with a generous helping of coleslaw. (Use gluten free is you are coeliac.)

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDidn’t I tell you it was easy? It’s the perfect addition to your summer BBQ. Spend 5 minutes preparing it in the morning then leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work for you. Genius! I guarantee your guests will fall in love with both you and the pork!

Considering how heavenly this is, it really is SO cheap! I had all the spices in my cupboards already and the meat cost me less than £3. Now that’s the kind of maths I like to do. Bargain!

In other news, have I told you about Stellar/James Martin’s new soft grip tools range? No?Stellar James Martin Soft Grip Tools

Stellar James Martin Soft Grip ToolsBefore the cynical among you ask, no they’re not paying me to say this. I genuinely love Stellar cookware and have used their stuff since I’ve ruled my own kitchen! It really is fantastic quality. But then, you wouldn’t expect anything less from products that come with a lifetime guarantee though would you?

This range is no exception. Their soft grip handles make them extremely comfortable & safe to use. Not to mention how robust they feel in the hand. Just picking them up – you know they’re not the usual cheap cack you get from the supermarkets and that they’re definitely going to last. I for one, will be using them all the time! If you want to know more, check out the Stellar site HERE.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Tomato & Mozzarella Galette

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteAfter reorganizing all my recipes on the site, it occurred to me that I don’t have many pastry main course recipes. So this week, I made it my mission to find a new one to try. After trawling the internet for a while I turned up a little beauty called the ‘Galette.’

Not something I’d ever heard of before, but the more I read into it, the more I just needed to make one! It’s effectively a pizza with a rustic pastry crust. Sounds delicious right? You’d be correct in that assumption. And I know what you’re thinking, tomato and mozzarella? That galette is just gonna’ be swimming in juices!? Wrong. If you open the door half way, you will probably panic when you see how much liquid is there. But stick it out until the end of the cooking time and you will see that all the liquid evaporates to leave an incredible, melted golden mound of tomato and cheese. Take my word for it, it’s just beautiful.

Here is what you will need to serve 1 as a main course or 2 as a part of a main course with a side. (Recipe adapted from Hip Foodie Mom.)

For the Pastry Crust

  • 160g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 60ml Olive Oil
  • 50-100ml Cold Water
  • 1 Egg, Beaten for egg wash

For the Topping

  • 2 Balls of Fresh Mozzarella, Drained & Sliced
  • 2 Fresh Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Bunch of Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

To make the crust, put the flour, salt & olive oil in a food processor & blitz briefly until it’s all blended together.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteAdd a little cold water at a time and pulse until it comes together to form a dough.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteTip out onto a work surface and knead briefly & gently into a ball.

Tomato & Mozzarella GalettePlace in some cling film, flatten into a disc and pop into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can be slicing your toppings.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

When the dough has rested, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out to a rough circle as thin as you can without tearing.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteLift the pastry onto a baking tray/sheet. Then leaving a 4cm/1 1/2″ gap around the edge, lay the mozzarella onto the pastry & sprinkle over a generous amount of chopped basil. Season with salt & pepper.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteThen lay over the slices of tomato. If you like, finish with more basil and a little more salt & pepper.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteThen roughly fold the edges up and over the toppings, lightly pinching the seams together as you go. Lastly, brush the crust all over with beaten egg.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteBake in the preheated oven for approx 45 minutes until the pastry is golden & crispy and the cheese is bubbling. Allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing and devouring like you haven’t eaten in weeks!

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteI am always happy to try any variation on the humble pizza. It doesn’t matter what that variation is. Anything with melted cheese is bound to be amazing, and this is no exception! A beautiful flaky pastry topped with delightfully seductive melted mozzarella,  temptingly sweet tomatoes & the powerful flavour of basil. Just amazing. You should totally try one of these!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Tapas Night!

Tapas Night!This week, with the inspiration of a new cookbook – me and my good friends Emma & Sarah decided to team up and put together a Spanish Tapas evening. After much deliberation, we each chose a few dishes to tackle and spent a day cooking together in the KitchenMason kitchen. With beautiful dishes such as Patatas Bravas and stuffed pickled peppers on the table, the evening was a huge & delicious success! I would highly recommend getting together with friends and giving a Tapas evening a go. Not only is it great fun, it’s unbelievably tasty too!

Here are a few of my favourites from the day…

Tapas Night!

“Eggs & Cheese”

Serves 6

(Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

  • 6 x Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Chives, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh Red Chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Put the eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 7 minutes. Plunge into a bowl of ice cold water (to prevent the yolks from going green) and allow to cool.

Once they’re cold, peel the shells and cut into halves.

Remove the yolks and rub them through a sieve and into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well then spoon into the halved egg whites.

Present on lettuce leaves topped with a single chive (if you’re trying to be a fancy pants like me!)

Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Tapas Night!

Pickled Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6

(Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

  • 200g Cuajada Cheese (or any fresh goat’s cheese)
  • 400g Pickled Peppers (we used pimientos del piquillo)
  • 1 tbsp fresh Dill, finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Cut the cheese into pieces approx 1cm (or 1/2″) long.

Drain the peppers from the jar and slit the sides of each one. (Deseed if they aren’t already.)

Stuff the peppers with the cheese then lay on a serving plate. Sprinkle with the chopped dill and some salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Tapas Night!

Sun-dried Tomato & Goats Cheese Tarts

Serves 6

(Vegetarian)

  •  70g Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil (drained & 2 tbsp oil reserved)
  • 1 Courgette, finely sliced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 250g Puff Pastry
  • Plain Flour, for dusting
  • 150g Goat’s Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C and line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or dampen slightly with water.

Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes, set to one side, then heat 1 tbsp of the reserved oil in a large frying pan. Add the courgette slices and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until golden brown on both sides.

Add the garlic into the pan, stir for about 30 secs then take the pan off the heat and allow to cool.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Then using a 9cm (3 1/2″) round cutter, cut out 12 rounds.

TOP TIP!! Never roll puff pastry into a ball and re-roll. Always stack the trimmings on top of each other and re-roll or you will loose all those lovely layers within & it won’t rise.

Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet and prick each one lightly with a fork. Leaving 1cm all the way round – split the courgette mixture between each disc then add the tomatoes. Top with some goat’s cheese, a drizzling of the remaining tomato oil and a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for approx 10-15 minutes until golden, risen & delicious!

Tapas Night!

Cheese Puffs with Fiery Tomato Salsa

Serves 6-8

(Vegetarian)

For the Cheese Puffs

  •  70g Plain Flour, sifted
  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 150ml Water
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 55g Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika, good quality!
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil for Deep Frying

For The Fiery Salsa

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • Splash of White Wine
  • 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

To make the salsa, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based frying pan then add the onion. Fry until softened but not browned. Then add the garlic, cook for a further 30 seconds and throw in the wine. Allow to bubble down for 10-20 seconds or so then add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until nice and thick. Season with salt & pepper to taste and pour into a serving bowl.

To make the cheese puffs, Place the olive oil and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil then throw in the flour and vigorously beat with a wooden spoon until a lump of dough forms. Tip the dough into a glass bowl and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Tapas Night!Now, with a truck load of elbow grease, gradually beat the eggs into the dough. It will feel like the mixture is splitting each time but stick with it & it should come together. You are aiming for a ‘dropping’ consistency.

Tapas Night!

Tapas Night!Once all the eggs are used up, add in the parmesan cheese & the paprika. Season well with salt & pepper and give it a good mix. Cover & refrigerate until needed.

Tapas Night!

Fill a deep fat fryer with oil and heat to approx 180/190°C. Alternatively, fill a large saucepan with oil and heat until a cube of bread browns in approx 30 seconds.

When the oil is hot enough, carefully drop in teaspoons of the prepared mixture. Fry for 2-3 minutes – they should puff up and float to the surface.

Tapas Night!Allow to drain on kitchen paper for a minute or two and repeat until all the mixture is used up.

Serve the cheese puffs warm alongside the bowl of fiery salsa.

This one was a bit of a labour of love but totally worth it! I was intrigued by the idea of a savoury choux pastry, and now I’ve tried it?  I absolutely love it! Very tasty stuff.

There was one last little gem though, chorizo in red wine. This was, by a country mile, the star of the show! It was that good… I didn’t even get a chance to take a pic for you all! As a consolation, I’ve borrowed one from the internet and provided you lovely lot with the recipe so you can have a go yourself.

Tapas Night!

Chorizo in Red Wine

Serves 6

NEEDS 8 HOURS TO MARINATE

  • 200g Chorizo Sausage
  • 200ml Spanish Red Wine

Prick the sausage 3-4 times with a fork then place in a saucepan with the wine.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat & simmer for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a plastic tub, cover & leave to marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Reserving the wine, take the chorizo out the tub & remove the skin. (We found it easiest to use a vegetable peeler.)

Slice the sausage then place in a frying pan over a high heat. Add in the reserved wine and simmer until almost all the wine has evaporated.

Serve with cocktail sticks to spear.

 

Well, that just about covers our Spanish Tapas Evening. I hope you all enjoyed the post lovelies, until next week!

Miss KitchenMason

Honeyed Carrot Soup

Honeyed Carrot SoupAlthough spring is just around the corner, there’s still a definite chill in the air and I’m in need of some good old fashioned comfort food! This delicious home made soup has been a favourite of mine for a very long time. Yet for some completely bizarre reason, I’ve neglected to share it with you lovely lot! What a travesty! Today, I plan to rectify this mistake.

This recipe makes about 6 servings. (Approx 400ml each.) It also freezes very well so is worth while making a batch and saving some for those lazy days. Brucey bonus? It’s naturally gluten free!

(Recipe adapted from the BBC Good Food website.)

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Small Leeks, roughly sliced
  • 800g Carrots, peeled & roughly sliced
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • Pinch Chilli Flakes
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 1.8 – 2 litres Good Quality Vegetable Stock
  • Soured Cream to serve

Firstly, melt the butter in a very large saucepan over a medium heat and add in the leeks.

Honeyed Carrot SoupSweat for approx 4-5 minutes until softened.

Honeyed Carrot SoupNow add in the carrots, honey, chilli flakes and bay leaves.

Honeyed Carrot SoupCook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes…

Honeyed Carrot SoupThen add in the vegetable stock. (I used 4 x Knorr stock pots dissolved in boiling water.)

NOTE: If you like your soup thicker, use 1.8 litres. If you like it a little runnier, use 2 litres.

Honeyed Carrot SoupBring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Honeyed Carrot SoupVery important… Remove the bay leaves! Then all that is left to do is blitz it all up (in batches) in a food processor.

Once you’ve done that, return it all to the pan and give it a good stir. Have a taste and season with salt & pepper as needed.

Honeyed Carrot SoupAt this point you can heat it up again and serve with a big swirl of fresh sour cream. Or, like me, pour individual portions into Pour & Store Bags & freeze for a later date. Then when you do want it, simply take out the freezer the night before and allow to defrost in the fridge. If you are really pushed for time, tip the block of frozen soup into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. It will slowly melt and then heat up. But do keep an eye on it as the melted soup may start boiling before the block has completely melted, resulting in some spitting!

Honeyed Carrot SoupAnd there you go, a wonderful and healthy home made soup to warm your cockles! The blend of flavours is just lovely. First you get the sweetness from the carrots and honey, then a little kick from the chilli flakes… and the sour cream just brings it all together. Absolutely delightful! This has been and will remain one of my all time favourite soup flavours. Nothing in the world can replace that warm, comforting feeling you get from a good bowl of home made soup. Perfection!

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Apricot & White Chocolate Flapjacks

Apricot & White Chocolate FlapjacksJohn Whaite Bakes. Yes I know, I’m still banging on about this book. But for good reason! In total honesty, every recipe I have made from it has been 1. a total success first time and 2. absolutely delicious! These gorgeous apricot & white chocolate flapjacks are no exception. With a sweet yet rich flavour and a fantastically chewy texture, you really can’t go far wrong. Here is what you will need to make approx 16 pieces. (Recipe adapted slightly from the book.)

  • 200g Dried Apricots
  • 225g Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 120g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
  • 150g Runny Honey
  • Zest of 1 Lemon *
  • 2 tbsp Treacle
  • 400g Rolled Oats
  • 150g White Chocolate

* I didn’t have a lemon in at the time so substituted for 1 tsp of Lemon Extract. If you play your cards right (unlike me) and use a very large saucepan – you can actually make this using just one pan. A recipe is always a winner in my book if there are hardly any pots to wash after! Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C and grease & line the base and two opposite sides of a 30 x 20cm baking tray. (This will help to remove it from the tray later.) Chop the apricots into small pieces and set to one side. In a large saucepan, (large enough to take all the ingredients except for the white chocolate) add the butter, salt, sugar & honey and stir until melted over a medium heat. Apricot & White Chocolate FlapjacksAdd in the chopped apricots, lemon zest (or extract) and the treacle. Stir well to blend it all together. Apricot & White Chocolate FlapjacksTip in the rolled oats and mix really well until every flake is coated in the sticky apricot syrup. Yeah, I know. It’s not in the saucepan. I wan’t smart enough to choose a big enough one to start with. My bad. Apricot & White Chocolate FlapjacksAnyway! Press this all into the prepared baking tray and place into the centre of the preheated oven for 25 – 30 mins. Bake until it starts to darken around the edges and is deep brown in colour. Apricot & White Chocolate Flapjacks Apricot & White Chocolate FlapjacksAllow to cool completely before removing from the tin and cutting into 16 individual slices. If you try to do it whilst it’s still warm it will just fall apart. It’s worth the wait, be patient and trust me. When the flapjack is completely cool & cut into slices, gently melt the white chocolate either in a microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. You can do whatever you like at this point. Either drizzle it over with a fork/spoon, pour into a piping bag and decorate with stripes (which is what I did) or simply dip the whole lot into the white chocolate because, well, why not?! Whichever way you decide, allow the chocolate to set either at room temperature or in the fridge. It doesn’t really matter. Apricot & White Chocolate Flapjacks Apricot & White Chocolate FlapjacksI really don’t need to say much else about these beauties, they pretty much speak for themselves! I’m sure my Mum & Dad will be in shock when they realise I actually baked something with fruit in though. Yeah, look at me… I’m growing haha! That’s all for this week my lovelies, I hope you enjoyed the post. Miss KitchenMason

Gran’s Incredible Quiche!

Gran's QuicheFor as long as I can remember, my Gran has spoilt us with delicious, home made treats. It’s amazing what this lady can do with a few, simple ingredients! By a country mile, one of her greatest & most renowned bakes has to be this quiche. Any time there is a family get together, and therefore – buffet, there are actually queues outside the door and sometimes, even fights over it. It’s that good. It doesn’t matter what anyone else makes, the quiche will be gone first. It’s a guarantee and for good reason!

As my Gran is so completely wonderful, she allowed me to invade her kitchen and commandeer the recipe for you lovely lot. Without further ado, here is what you will need to make the best quiche in the entire world!

For the Pastry

  • 110g Self Raising Flour
  • 55g Trex
  • Generous pinch of Salt
  • Cold Water

For the Filling

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder (approx)
  • 200g Ham (approx)
  • 140g Strong Cheddar Cheese (approx)
  • 3 Free Range Eggs
  • 50ml Milk (approx)
  • Salt & Pepper

Equipment

Words From The Wise One…

Gran says you can use any ham you like. Whether it’s cheap, end cuts from the ‘bargain basement’ in the supermarket, wafer thin from a pack or tinned. Use whatever you have in your fridge/pantry. You could even fry & drain some thick cut bacon instead. You can also use any cheese you like. Maybe a strong cheddar or a blend of mozzarella and Red Leicester. According to Gran however, the all time greatest cheese to use for this is Grandma Singletons. Quite fitting for this recipe!

Right, let’s crack on. First things first, put the kettle on and grab a biscuit.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!It’s mandatory! You can’t go to Gran’s house and not have a cuppa and a biscuit. And only the best biscuits at Gran’s house of course. She doesn’t mess about!

So, now the prep is done, lets get started on the quiche.

Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C. Grease and flour the base & sides of your dish.

In a large bowl, measure out the flour and the Trex and add the salt.

Using a knife, roughly cut until the Trex is smaller in size. If you have a pastry whisk – in a light, sweeping motion, whisk until ‘breadcrumbs’ are formed. Alternatively, use your forefingers and thumbs to lightly rub together until the same result is achieved.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Using a splash of cold water at a time, add into the centre of the bowl and mix with a flat knife. Continue to add a little at a time until it just comes together. Press into a ball ready to roll out.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick or until larger than the base and sides of your dish.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Carefully lift the pastry over the dish and lightly press into the edges.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Cut the excess pastry off on the outside edge of the ‘lip’. This will help prevent the pastry shrinking as much when you bake it later.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!At this point, if you’re not as quick as my Gran, pop the dish into the fridge whilst you prepare the filling ingredients. (Keeping the pastry cold will also help reduce shrinking.)

Chop up your ham into chunks and grate the cheese.

Here comes Gran’s twist on the classic. Take approx 1/2 tsp of mustard powder and spread it evenly all over the base. Trust me, I’m a granddaughter. Do it.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Now top it with all that ham…

Gran's Incredible Quiche!And the cheese…

Gran's Incredible Quiche!In a jug, beat together the 3 eggs, some salt & pepper and make up to 250ml with milk. (It should be approx 50ml but don’t worry if it’s a little more or less.)

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Pour the egg mixture evenly over the quiche and pop  into the preheated oven for approximately 30-40 minutes until a deep golden colour on top.

Gran's Incredible QuicheSo the secrets out. You now know the worlds greatest ever quiche recipe – what are you waiting for? Off your bums and into your kitchens! It’s the best thing you will ever make, I promise.

Now, my Gran’s from a ‘waste not want not’ generation. And whilst I was busy snapping pics of this beautiful quiche, she was in the kitchen using up those leftover bits of pastry. I know, those little scraps that we all just throw away right? She only went and made some custard tarts for pudding!

Gran's Incredible QuicheI love this lady. Seriously Gran, you are an absolute legend, and now everyone can experience a little taste of your awesomeness with this beautiful quiche recipe. Thank you!

So did you all enjoy the guest post/recipe? The Mr thinks it should be a regular thing and a new page should be added that’s completely dedicated to Gran’s recipes.

Gran, on the other hand, has little confidence and bucket loads of modesty! But what do you think?

Leave a comment below to convince my Gran that she is totally amazing & should have her very own page!

Until next week lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

The ‘Fridge Clearing’ Frittata!

The 'Fridge Clearing' Frittata!So you’re in a rush, you have loads of leftover bits and bobs in the fridge to use but you want something that is healthy too… my frittata recipe ticks all those boxes! It’s the perfect lunch, brunch, breakfast or snack and easily adaptable to suit any palette or fridge. Here is what you will need to serve 2 as a main meal or 3 as a light lunch.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil + extra for greasing
  • 1/2 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 Sweet Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, peeled & chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 tsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Honey Mustard
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 20g Parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Chives, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

NOTE: You can substitute any of the vegetables to what you fancy/have in your fridge.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C

Lightly grease a 20cm/8″ sandwich tin and set to one side.

Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add in the oil, when hot – add  the onions and gently fry until softened.

The 'Fridge Clearing' Frittata!Add the peppers & garlic to the pan and fry for a few minutes until the peppers just start to soften.

The 'Fridge Clearing' Frittata!

The 'Fridge Clearing' Frittata!Add in the tomatoes, tomato puree, honey mustard and season well with salt & pepper. Fry for a minute or 2 then remove from the heat and tip into the prepared sandwich tin.

In a jug, beat the eggs together with HALF the parmesan, all the chives and a generous helping of salt & pepper. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and mix a little with a fork.

The 'Fridge Clearing' Frittata!Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and pop into the centre of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until cooked through & golden brown on top. Serve with a side salad.

The 'Fridge Clearing' Frittata!There you have it folks. A super quick dish that’s dispensed of all those leftover ingredients you didn’t know what to do with. Not to mention the fact that it’s healthy delicious AND cheap! What more could you want from a meal?

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Yum Yums!

Yum Yums!So Christmas has come and gone and like everyone else, I wanted to play with all my new toys. Naturally, they were all food and food blog related. Christmas is the best!

One cook book that I have been waiting a long time to have in my possession is James Morton’s Brilliant Bread. This, along with a decent DSLR camera has provided me with the perfect conditions for a fun day off in the kitchen. And there was only one recipe I had in mind… yum yums!

Here is what you need to make about 10 – 12 large yum yums.

For the Dough

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 14g Fast Action Yeast
  • 8g Salt
  • 30g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, cold
  • 250g of Slightly Warm Water (Yes grams not mililitres)
  • 1 Egg

For the Icing

  • 250g Icing Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Cold Water

Extras

  • 2 Litres of Oil, for Frying (dependent on size of pan)
  • Extra Flour, for dusting

Add the flour into a large bowl. Tip in the yeast on one side and the salt on the other. Add in the sugar and mix it all together briefly.

Yum Yums!Slice the butter the stir  it through the flour. You don’t want a breadcrumb consistency so don’t rub it, just stir it through.

Make a well in the centre. Crack in the egg and add in the water. Stir it all together with a wooden spoon then get your hands in towards the end to make sure all the flour has been picked up by the dough.

Yum Yums!Cover with cling film and do one of two things. Leave at room temperature to rest for at least 30 minutes OR pop in the fridge overnight for a better, more developed flavour.

Once the dough has rested, it’s time to layer it.

On a generously floured work surface, roll out into a long rectangle.

Yum Yums!Fold the top and bottom ends into the middle.

Yum Yums!Then fold the top over the bottom, creating a ‘book’ like shape.

Yum Yums!Turn the dough 90° and repeat the process 3-5 times until you can’t see the butter anymore. Cover loosely in cling film then pop in the fridge for about 2 hours until noticeably larger in size.

Yum Yums!Now it’s time to shape your yum yums.

Once again, roll out the dough to a long rectangle.

Yum Yums!Neaten off the edges and trim with either a dough scraper or a knife. Then cut  horizontal strips.

Yum Yums!In the middle of each strip, make a slit leaving at least 1-2 cm at either end.

Yum Yums!Then fold the sides over each other…

Yum Yums!and repeat the same movement again to achieve a successful yum yum shape…

Yum Yums!Line a couple of large baking sheets with a layer of cling film and place them on ready for their final prove.

Yum Yums!Cover with a light, slightly damp tea towel and leave in  a warm place for about an hour.

Meanwhile, make the icing glaze and prepare the oil.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the water. Stir until smooth and leave to one side along with a brush & a chopping board ready for the mess later!

Yum Yums!If you have a deep fat fryer, great. If like me, you don’t – take a large pan and tip in enough oil to take a yum yum. Heat over a low heat until it reaches a steady temperature between 170 – 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, keep hold of the scraps of dough from earlier and test periodically to make sure you’re not going to incinerate your yum yums.

Yum Yums!Once they’re ready (at least doubled in size) you’re ready to fry those bad boys!

Carefully place as many as will sensibly fit in the pan, into the oil and cook for approx 2 minutes on each side or until a nice, deep golden colour.

Yum Yums!

Yum Yums!Quickly (but carefully!) remove from the oil using a draining spoon and plonk on that chopping board. Straight away, coat with a generous amount of the icing glaze on both sides then place on a wire rack over some newspaper.

Yum Yums!Allow to completely cool before eating. Repeat the process until all the yum yums have been cooked.

Yum Yums!So that’s me happy! Not only have I used my new cook book, dough scaper, thermometer & serving plate but I’ve finally had a chance to give my camera it’s first proper outing. Oh, AND I get to eat all these yum yums which are totally and unashamedly amazing! Well, that’s if the Mr doesn’t eat them all first. (These get two thumbs up from him!)

Also, if you are even remotely interested in bread making, Brilliant Bread is the book to have. Not only is it rammed full of tasty recipes but it takes you right back to basics. Meaning that you don’t need to be an artisan baker to make beautiful sourdough loaves and rich croissants –  absolutely anyone can do it!

Anyway, I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas my lovelies.

Thank you so much to all of you that read, comment & like my posts. It really does mean the world to me to know that people are enjoying reading about and even creating my food in their homes!

I wish you all a very happy new year and all the best for 2014.

All my love, Miss KitchenMason x

Croissants

CroissantsThis week I tackled one of my favourite breads of all time… the croissant! It’s actually not that difficult to make, just a little time consuming. You need to set aside 2 days for these bad boys but oh my God, they’re so worth it! The recipe comes courtesy of the Silver Fox himself, Mr Paul Hollywood. If you haven’t been and bought his How to Bake cook book yet, you should definitely add it to your Christmas list! I have tried several recipes and not once have I been disappointed. From flour tortillas to cheese & bacon loaves, there’s a bread recipe to suit everyone’s tastes.

Without further ado, here is what you will need to make 12 Croissants

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 80g Caster Sugar
  • 10g Fast Action Yeast
  • 300ml Cool Water
  • 300g Chilled Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg, beaten (to glaze)

Tip the flour into either a stand mixer or a large bowl. Add the salt & caster sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the opposite. Make a well in the centre and add the cool water.

If using a stand mixer, mix on low for 2 minutes until all the ingredients have come together to form a dough then mix on a medium speed for 6 minutes.

If doing by hand, mix the ingredients together to form a dough then knead on a lightly floured work surface for about 10-15 minutes.

The dough should still be quite firm. Roll into a ball, dust with a little flour then pop into a bag or cover loosely in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to chill.

CroissantsOn a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring 60 x 20cm. It should end up about 1cm thick.

CroissantsUsing a rolling pin, bash out the chilled butter to a rectangle measuring 40 x 19cm. If it starts to get a little messy, place in-between two pieces of cling film. If it starts to get REALLY messy, pop into the freezer for a minute to firm up slightly.

Try and be fairly accurate with the size as you want the butter to be distributed evenly throughout the dough after folding.

Place the flattened butter on the bottom two-thirds of the dough…

CroissantsFold the top third down over the butter…

CroissantsNow carefully cut the exposed butter (without cutting the dough underneath it) and place on top of the dough you have just folded over…

CroissantsFold the remaining exposed dough up over the top of the butter and pinch the sides together.

Place in a large plastic bag or loosely in cling film and pop in the fridge for an hour.

CroissantsNow you are ready for the next stage. With the short sides towards you, flatten the dough and roll out to a 60 x 20cm rectangle again. Fold the top third over…

CroissantsFold the bottom third on top to make a ‘book fold’…

CroissantsPut back into the bag/loose cling film and pop into the fridge for another hour.

Repeat this ‘Book Turn’ process 2 more times (chilling in-between) then leave in the fridge overnight. (Or for at least 8 hours.)

When you want to shape your croissants, remove the dough from the fridge. It should have puffed up a little.

CroissantsOn a lightly floured surface, roll out into a rectangle 42 x 30cm. Trim the edges to neaten.

CroissantsCut the dough lengthways into two strips…

CroissantsThen cut 6 triangles along each strip, measuring approx 12cm wide at the base and 15cm in height. (From the centre of the base to the point.)

CroissantsYou will be left with 4 ‘offcuts’ but don’t throw these away… I managed to get 4 mini croissants out of these!

When you’re ready to roll, press your hand down at the base a pull the point taut slightly.

CroissantsThen roll up into the traditional ‘croissant’ shape…

CroissantsPlace them on silicone or parchment lined baking sheets (you may need 2 or 3) and cover with bags. Leave to prove for at least 2 hours or until doubled in size.

CroissantsPreheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

Lightly beat the egg and add a pinch of salt. Carefully brush the tops and sides of the croissants then bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins.

Try and cook them as long as you can, the darker the colour the better… but obviously not burnt!

Cool on a wire rack before filling your face. I like to eat them as they are, gently warmed or with big slices of ham & emmental cheese.

CroissantsI must say, these are probably the best tasting baked goods I have ever made! That beautiful buttery goodness… oh the buttery goodness… Mmmm… They are simply to die for and well worth all the effort! Far better than any shop bought croissants you can buy I assure you. Another amazing thing about making these yourself is the smell that flows through your house when you bake them. Oh my life! Incredible. Ok, so they’re not the healthiest snack in the world with all that butter in them BUT they are absolutely delicious. And as I always say, If you’re going to do something wrong… do it right!

And on that note my lovelies, I hope you enjoyed the post.

Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Soda Bread

Soda Bread

This year I have developed a love for baking bread but it can take quite a long time, which I don’t always have! I had seen soda bread recipes before but never tried them as I didn’t think I would enjoy the stodginess of it. Then I realised how quick it actually was to make and thought, wow – I’m gona’ give it a go! (Recipe from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake book.)

Here is what you will need to make one loaf:

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 400ml Buttermilk

Yep, that’s it!

First things first, preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

Then all you need to do is put the flour in a large bowl and stir in the bicarbonate of soda & the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk.

Making the DoughSlowly mix and bring together to form a sticky dough – don’t overwork it. Then tip out onto a floured work surface and quickly form a round. (Bicarbonate of soda activates quickly as opposed to yeast which works slowly, so you need to get it into the oven as fast as possible.)

Shaping the BReadMark the dough into quarters – cut deeply but not all the way through the base. Then dust with flour and pop onto a baking tray.

Ready for the OvenBake in the centre of a preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes until it is a dark golden colour on top & hollow when tapped on the base.

Doorstop Soda Sarnie!I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised with this bread. It literally took less than an hour from start to finish to make and it tasted so good that I happily forgave the stodginess. In fact, I actually quite like the stodginess! It’s so wholesome and filling!

I was going to cut it into normal slices but I had to challenge myself and see if I really could get my big chops around a whole quarter. Depressingly, I did manage it haha!

If you’ve been thinking about getting into bread making, I would recommend this as the perfect recipe to start you on your way. It’s super fast, simple & surprisingly tasty. I’m quite sure this will now be my go to “I need bread quick!” recipe from now on.

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason