Archive for the ‘Felicity Cloake’ Category

British Pancakes (Felicity Cloake)

January 12, 2016

Makes about 8

125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
225ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
Small knob of butter

1. Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, and pour the egg and the yolk into it. Mix the milk with 2 tbsp water and then pour a little in with the egg and beat together.

2. Whisk the flour into the liquid ingredients, drawing it gradually into the middle until you have a smooth paste the consistency of double cream. Whisk the rest of the milk in until the batter is more like single cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
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3. Heat the butter in a frying pan on a medium-high heat – you only need enough fat to just grease the bottom of the pan. It should be hot enough that the batter sizzles when it hits it.

4. Spread a small ladleful of batter across the bottom of the pan, quickly swirling to coat. Tip any excess away. When it begins to set, loosen the edges with a thin spatula or palette knife, and when it begins to colour on the bottom, flip it over with the same instrument and cook for another 30 seconds. (If you’re feeling cocky, you can also toss the pancake after loosening it: grasp the handle firmly with both hands, then jerk the pan up and slightly towards you.)

5. Pancakes are best eaten as soon as possible, before they go rubbery, but if you’re cooking for a crowd, keep them separate until you’re ready to serve by layering them up between pieces of kitchen roll.

Why don’t we eat more pancakes in this country – and which recipes are good enough to change our minds? What are your favourite toppings, and do you have any top tips for foolproof flippi

Perfect Custard Tart (Felicity Cloake)

November 14, 2015

(serves 6-8)
For the pastry
225g plain flour
115g cold butter, grated
85g caster sugar
Fine salt
Nutmeg, to grate
3 egg yolks, beaten, plus 1 whole egg (for brushing)

For the custard
375g whipping cream
90g creamy milk
2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
60g caster sugar, or to taste

Rub together the flour and butter or whizz briefly in a food processor until you get coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar, a good pinch of salt and a generous grating of nutmeg then add the beaten yolks, a little at a time, until the pastry begins to come together; you may not need them all. Form into a ball, flatten then wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.

Get the pastry out of the fridge to soften slightly while you grease a 21-23cm tart tin well. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface as thinly as possible and use to line the tin, being careful not to stretch it, and using a ball of excess pastry to ease it into the sides. Leave it overhanging the edges and prick the base with a fork. Put in the freezer for 45 minutes, or the fridge for 1.5 hours.

Heat the oven and a baking tray to 180C. Line the tart with foil and baking beans or rice, and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove the beans and foil, patch up any holes with excess pastry and bake for another 10 minutes, then brush with the beaten whole egg and bake for another 2 minutes. Set aside to cool completely and turn down the oven to 120, leaving the tray in.

Put the cream and milk in a heavy-based pan and bring slowly to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture into the bowl, whisking continuously, then add more sugar to taste. Strain into a jug.

Put the tart shell into the oven and carefully pour the custard into it (this makes it less likely to spill). Grate nutmeg over the top and bake for about 35-45 minutes until there is just the faintest wobble in the middle when shaken. Allow to cool completely before trimming the sides of the pastry and cutting.

Perfect Tarte Au Citron (Felicity Cloake)

November 5, 2015

Perfect Tarte Au Citron (Felicity Cloake)

Perfect Steak and Ale Pie (Felicity Cloake)

November 5, 2015

Perfect Steak and Ale Pie (Felicity Cloake)

Perfect Potted Shrimp (Felicity Cloake)

November 5, 2015

Perfect Potted Shrimp (Felicity Cloake)

Perfect Tartare Sauuce (Felicity Cloake)

June 19, 2014

2 egg yolks
Generous pinch of salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
125ml sunflower or groundnut oil
125ml olive oil
2-3 tbsp pickling liquor from cornichons, to taste
1 heaped tbsp salted capers, rinsed and chopped
1 heaped tbsp cornichons, chopped
1 heaped tbsp chopped parsley
½ tbsp chopped chives

Mix the egg yolks, salt and mustard together in a food processor, or with electric beaters, or a whisk. Once well combined, very gradually drip in the oil, beating all the while, until you have mayonnaise – don’t be tempted to add it too fast, especially near the beginning, or it will curdle. It will be very thick at the end, but don’t worry, the pickling liquor will thin it down.

Stir in the pickling liquor, followed by the remaining ingredients. Taste and see if it needs seasoning, or indeed any extra pickle juice. Serve at room temperature.

Perfect Goulash (Felicity Cloake)

April 3, 2014

(serves 4)
600g shin of beef (or chuck steak if unavailable)
3 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp lard
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut into rounds
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml sour cream (optional)
Chives (optional)

Cut the beef into large chunks. Mix the paprika, flour, salt and caraway seeds together in a bowl then add the beef and toss to coat. Heat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.

Melt the lard in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat, and then brown the meat in batches, being very careful not to crowd the pan. Remove when golden and crusted, and set aside.

Scrape the bottom of the pan and add the onions and pepper, adding a little more fat if necessary. Cook until soft and starting to brown, then pick out the peppers and set aside. Stir the remaining flour and spice mixture into the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Return the beef to the pan and add water just to cover. Scrape the bottom of the pan again, then put in the oven for 2.5 hours.

Stir the peppers and lemon juice into the goulash and cook for another half hour, or until the meat is very tender – you can remove the lid to let the sauce reduce if you like. Check the seasoning, then dollop the sour cream, if using, on top of the goulash and snip the chives over it all before serving with crushed boiled potatoes or egg noodles.

The Perfect Cassoulet (Felicity Cloake)

March 20, 2014

The perfect cassoulet

(Serves 6-8)

800g haricot beans, soaked in cold water overnight
1 onion, peeled
1 head of garlic, unpeeled, plus 4 cloves
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 small, unsmoked ham hock, skin on
2 confit duck legs and their fat
500g pork belly or lamb breast, cubed
4 garlicky Toulouse sausages
1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
120g breadcrumbs
2 tbps walnut oil

Drain the beans well and put them in a large, ovenproof casserole dish. Pour in water until it comes about 3cm above the top of the beans, then add the onion, whole head of garlic, herbs and ham hock. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about two hours, until just tender, but not falling apart.

Meanwhile, fry the duck, pork belly or lamb breast, and sausages separately in plenty of duck fat until crisp and golden. When cool, cut the sausages into large chunks and strip the meat from the duck in large pieces.

Remove the onion and herbs from the beans and discard. Remove the ham hock and, when cool enough, strip the meat from it. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and mash to a paste with four tablespoons of duck fat and the fresh garlic cloves. Stir in the sun-dried tomato paste. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/gas mark one.

Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Grease the bottom of the casserole with a little of the duck fat mix, then tip in the beans, the rest of the duck fat and the pieces of meat, keeping back half the sausage. Mix well, then top with just enough liquid to cover – you probably won’t need to add any seasoning, as both the ham and the confit will be quite salty.

Fry the breadcrumbs very briefly in one tablespoon of duck fat, then top the cassoulet with a thin layer of them. Bake for about two hours, keeping an eye on it – once a crust has formed, stir this back into the cassoulet, and top with some more of the breadcrumbs. By the end of the cooking time, you should have a thick, golden crust.

Drizzle with a little walnut oil, and leave to cool slightly before serving with a sharply dressed green salad.

Perfect Braised Red Cabbage (Felicity Cloake)

December 12, 2013

(Serves 6-8)
50g butter, plus extra to serve

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 red cabbage, cored and cut into irregular chunks
1 sharp eating apple, finely chopped
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
150ml balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp cranberry sauce

Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Soften in the butter for a few minutes, then stir in the spices and cook for one minute.

Tip in the cabbage and saute until shiny and well coated. Add the apple, sugar and vinegar, reduce the heat to low, stir well, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick.

Stir in the cranberry sauce and cook for another 25 minutes. Season well and stir through a knob of butter before serving. You can also store it somewhere cool for a couple of days, then reheat to serve, if you prefer, adding the butter during the reheating.

Perfect Pecan Pie (Felicity Cloake)

November 27, 2013

(Makes 1 x 23cm pie)

For the pastry
190g plain flour
¼tsp salt
75g cream cheese
110g butter, chilled
1.5tbsp very cold water
1.5tsp cider vinegar

For the filling
125g pecans
100g dark muscovado sugar
100g maple syrup
85g butter
200ml single cream
2tbsp cornflour
2tbsp bourbon
2 egg yolks
¼tsp salt

To make the pastry, mix the flour with the salt. Add the cream cheese and rub in, or pulse briefly in the food processor to combine, then cut the butter into 2cm chunks and rub in or pulse until it’s the size of a garden pea. Stir in the water and vinegar and pulse or rub in until the butter is the size of small petits pois.

Tip into a bag and knead until it comes together into a dough and feels slightly elastic. Form into a disc and chill for 45 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Grease a 23cm loose-based tart tin and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Use to line the tin, then chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C. Tip the pecans on to a lined baking tray and bake for about 6 minutes until toasted. Allow to cool slightly, then roughly crush half of them.

Prick the pastry base several times with a fork, line with foil and fill with baking beans, rice or dried pulses. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for another 6 minutes until golden.

Meanwhile, put the sugar, syrup, butter and cream into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir together until it melts. Sprinkle over the cornflour and whisk until it thickens into a smooth, silky mixture. Take off the heat and stir in the bourbon, egg yolks and salt, followed by the crushed pecans.

Tip into the pie crust and arrange the remaining pecans on top. Bake for about 25 minutes until set on top. Allow to cool before serving.