Scones

Simple scones are a delight fresh from the oven. I like to use buttermilk but ordinary milk will work fine.
You don’t want to work the dough too much as this develops the gluten and slows the rise. Also, don’t take too long before getting them in the oven as this also affects the rise.
When you cut the scones with a circular cutter, choose a size you prefer. The bigger it is then it can make it slower to fully cook the scone. I find about 4-5cm diameter is about right.
When cutting try not to twist the cutter. When you twist it the side of the scone gets twisted and sealed and this can hold back the rise too. This is why some scones cook leaning to one side, because that side won’t rise.

Ingredients

  • 450g plain flour (don’t use bread flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g chilled butter cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • Up to 200ml buttermilk (or plain milk)
  • Sultanas, if you like them and want fruit scones

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C fan
  2. Grease a baking sheet to place the scones on
  3. Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl of a food processor
  4. Add the butter and mix, rub or whizz till the mix looks a bit like sand (or use your Kitchenaid or do it by hand)
  5. Crack the eggs into a jug and add buttermilk to bring the liquid and egg total to 300ml
  6. Gradually add the liquid to the bowl and mix till you have a sticky dough, stop adding if it gets too wet (Keep any extra liquid for glazing later.)
  7. Flour a surface and tip the dough out
  8. If using sultanas fold them into the mix at this stage
  9. Now roll or spread the dough gently till it’s about 2-2.5cm thick. I actually find it easier to use a flat hand to push the dough down till it’s the right thickness.
  10. Cut out as many scones as you can and place them on the baking sheet.
  11. Consolidate the remaining dough and re-roll and cut out the last of the scones (this second rolled set sometimes rises a little less than the first roll.)
  12. Glaze by brushing the dregs of the liquid on the top (only) of the scone
  13. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, more or less, depending on the size of your scone.
Eat warm. If they’ve sat for a few hours or overnight a few seconds in the microwave can revitalise them.

Rhubarb Crumble

It’s peak rhubarb season and this one’s a simple classic, rhubarb crumble. Rhubarb varies a lot, by type and season. Some is thin, sweet, and pink (early Timperley, which I grow, for example). Others thick green and tart. I like the large greener stalks for crumble as the tart contrast with the sweet topping works best.
For the thinner rhubarb cut it into 3cm lengths. For the thicker rhubarb, I cut into 1.5cm chunks.
Getting the sugar in the rhubarb right is one of those wonderful guesses. I think the cooked rhubarb needs to be sweet enough but still have a background tartness. This gives a lovely contrast to the crumble topping.
Using the ground almond really helps the topping in my view. Also, chilling it for a bit helps it to form crunchy, crumbly, clumps. When cooked the clumps have an almost biscuity crumble to them. This topping gives the right balance of soggy under-bottom to crispy top.
I use a dish that is 23cm square, and about 6cm deep. The topping quantity just covers the dish but is thick enough.

Ingredients

  • 600g rhubarb sticks
  • 40-60g demerara sugar, more or less spending on your rhubarb

Topping

  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 170g chilled butter, in 1cm cubes
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • A pinch of salt (only needed if you’ve used unsalted butter)

Method

  1. Chop the rhubarb and put it in the bottom of your dish
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over and distribute it around the rhubarb
  3. To make the topping add all the topping ingredients to a mixing bowl
  4. Either blend with your fingers, or a food processor, or a KitchenAid until you have integrated the butter
  5. The topping will form clumps, or even consolidate to almost one lump (because of the butter content) and this is a good thing
  6. Chill the topping in the fridge for 30 minutes or about 15 minutes in the freezer
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C fan
  8. Add the chilled topping to the top of the crumble, breaking up any bigger clumps till it just covers the crumble. Clumps of 2-3cm are not a problem. Don’t worry about bits of rhubarb peeking through. Some bubbling up is welcome.
  9. Cook the crumble in the oven until the rhubarb and topping are cooked, this will be 30-40 minutes depending on the depth of the dish. The topping needs to be golden but not too dark.
Once the rhubarb crumble is ready take it out of the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes so it is warm but not too hot. Serve with your preferred accompaniment – custard (hot or cold), creme fraiche, cream.

Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal is a simple and delicious Indian spicy cheese on toast with eggs. What’s not to like. Great for finally making up some of that little yellow carton of English Mustard you’ve got lurking in the cupboard.

It’s a little bit Raj. Served in the clubs of Mumbai. Good for a weekend brunch.
Quantities for one. You know what to do if you need more…

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of decent bread (I use our homemade crusty loaf) cut about 1-1.5cm thick
  • Colman’s mustard, enough to spread a thin layer on your toasted bread (make up the mustard from the powder per the instructions, best if done 10 minutes in advance to let the flavour develop.)
  • Chillies, thinly sliced. Your preferred type. As many as you like. Hot is good but remember the mustard is fiery too.
  • 1 Spring onion, thinly sliced, leave this out if you like it simpler
  • 100g mature cheddar
  • 25g butter
  • 1 fresh egg
  • Pepper and coriander for garnish

Method

  1. Make up your mustard
  2. Warm a plate, preheat the grill, and melt the butter gently in a small frying pan
  3. Grate the cheese into a bowl and mix with the chillies and spring onion
  4. Toast the bread lightly on both sides
  5. Spread a thin layer of mustard over your toast
  6. Top the that with the cheese and put under the grill till bubbling
  7. Meanwhile, crack the egg into the frying pan. Aim for a crisp-edged white and golden soft yolk
  8. Place the cooked egg on top of the toast, sprinkling it with coriander and grated pepper.
Serve the Eggs Kejriwal on your warmed plate.

Chicken Korma

The basis of this tasty Chicken Korma is Felicity Cloake’s recipe. It is rich, indulgent and fragrant. The korma has no chilli, and no turmeric, so it can be a good option for the people who can’t take the heat of Indian food.
The sauce is a based on a combination of yoghurt, double cream and blended cashew nuts. The sultanas are a bit of a throwback to 70’s curries of my childhood. If you hate them, leave them out.
The rose water and addition of crushed black cardamom seeds at the end really lift the fragrance of the dish. Rose water strength varies a lot so you must taste and adjust the quantities to your preference and taking into account the strength of your rose water.
I serve the korma with plain basmati rice. Plain rice is a good contrast to the fragrant dish.
If when cooking the sauce it gets too thick/dry or gets too hot, just add a splash of water to keep the consistency right and avoid burning.
I’d say this quantity would do two people.

Ingredients

  • 250ml plain, full-fat yoghurt, not the “Greek Style”, it’s too creamy
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, or a couple of chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 70g of butter, clarified
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (5cm long)
  • 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25g sultanas
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Seeds of 1 black cardamom pod, crushed in a mortar and pestle

Method

  1. Cut up the chicken to medium pieces and put it in the yoghurt to marinade for a few hours in the fridge.
  2. Put the cashew nuts in a jug and add 75ml of warm water to soak
  3. Warm the cream gently, but don’t boil
  4. When warm add the saffron threads (which I break lightly) and the rosewater and leave to the side to infuse the flavours
  5. Using a medium pot heat the oil add the cinnamon sticks and green cardamoms and fry for a minute or so
  6. Pick the chicken pieces out of the marinade and fry gently for a couple of minutes until they slightly brown. You don’t need to fully cook the chicken at this stage as you will finish it in the sauce. Keep the yoghurt marinade.
  7. Take the chicken out to a side plate while you prepare the sauce.
  8. Add the onion and fry off gently for 10 minutes or so till it is soft
  9. While the onions cook, blend the cashew nuts and water to a paste in a blender, or mortar and pestle. I usually use my stick blender in a jug and it works fine.
  10. Add the garlic, ginger, sultanas and nutmeg to the onions and cook off for a minute or so
  11. Now add the cashew paste, the remaining yoghurt marinade, salt and sugar.
  12. Add the chicken back to the pot and bring to the gentlest simmer. Simmer for as long as you need to cook the chicken, probably 10-15 minutes. Don’t cook too long or the chicken will dry out.
  13. When ready add the infused cream and gently reheat to simmering point.
  14. Taste for seasoning. If necessary add salt, and if it’s needed add a teaspoon of rosewater for extra fragrance.
  15. Stir in the crushed black cardamom seeds and serve the korma with plain rice.

Golden Jamaican Patties

Jamaican Patties are lovely little golden pastry parcels. We make them with beef or vegetarian filling. Serve them with a citrus salad for a surprising summer lunch. Great for BBQ’s because you can make them a couple of hours in advance and serve them at ambient temperature. They also make a great vegetarian option. By changing the pastry to use an oil rather than butter they could also be vegan.
The filling should be quite spicy but you can vary this according to your preference or audience.
Serve it with an orange salad and citrus dressing.
The Jamaican Patties are best served warm or ambient temperature. Don’t serve them hot, straight from the oven, or cold straight from the fridge.

Pastry

I find I can get 8 Jamaican patties from this quantity of pastry. I use a circular dish to cut the pastry rounds for each pattie and it is 13cm in diameter, and I find this is a good medium size. The filling quantities will do about 8 or 16 patties. I often make double the filling and freeze it. That saves me making filling on a second run; I just need to make the pastry.

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1½ tbsp curry powder, yes, plenty curry powder
  • ½ tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • pinch salt
  • 165g unsalted cold, refrigerated butter
  • About 90ml of cold water
  • some beaten egg for glazing

Method

  1. Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl
  2. Cube the butter into 1cm cubes while still cold, and add to the flour
  3. Either use a food processor or a Kitchenaid, or your fingers, to rub the butter into the flour till it is like sand.
  4. Gradually add as much of the cold water as you need, till the pastry comes together
  5. Work it briefly with your hands into a ball, wrap it in cling film, and then refrigerate to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Beef Filling (About 8 patties)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 300g minced beef
  • 125ml beef stock (or veg stock if you want)
  • 1 tsp molasses sugar (some brown sugar will be fine)
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet hot sauce or other chillies to make it as hot as you prefer.
  • 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (so the filling is not liquid at the end)
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a medium pot soften the onion in the oil till properly soft.
  2. Add the garlic, curry powder, garam masala, chives and thyme.
  3. If using fresh chillies add them at this stage.
  4. Turn down the heat or turn it off while you brown the mince
  5. Use a suitable frying pan. I use non-stick and don’t add oil. Add the mince in batches and properly brown it. Much of the liquid will be cooked off and some faint caramelisation is good for the flavour.
  6. Add the browned mince to the cooking pot
  7. Add the sugar and stock, salt and pepper, and simmer for 8-10 minutes
  8. Add the breadcrumbs in spoonfuls until all the liquid is gone and the mixture looks thick enough to fill patties.
  9. Taste to check the seasoning
  10. Allow the mixture to cool before filling patties

Jamaican Patties Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan.
  2. Roll the pastry to about 3mm thick. For ease, I do this on some greaseproof paper.
  3. Cut out circles about 13cm in diameter. You should get about 8.
  4. Spoon a generous couple of dessert spoonfuls of filling in the middle of each circle.
  5. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of the pastry.
  6. Fold it over to make a semi-circular parcel. Press it together gently with your fingers or use a fork.
  7. The patties should be generously filled with no “air” gaps in them.
  8. Arrange them on baking sheets
  9. Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes until golden

Vegetarian Filling (About 16 patties)

You can change the vegetables based on what you have around. Butternut Squash could be sweet potato. Remember that the Jamaican patties will be cooked in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. So some quick cooking vegetables, like the fine beans below, really don’t need much advance cooking as they will cook with the pattie.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 2 sweet pointed red peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped finely
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 125ml vegetable stock (I use Marigold boullion)
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet hot sauce or other chillies to make it as hot as you prefer.
  • 200g fine beans cut into 1-1.5cm pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (so the filling is not liquid at the end)
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan
  2. Peel and cube the butternut squash into 1cm cubes. Add them to a bowl with a little oil and mix them up to coat them.
  3. Spread the squash on a baking sheet (you may need 2) and roast for 20 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium pot soften the onion and carrot in the oil till properly soft.
  5. Use a blowtorch to blacken the skin of the red peppers (I do this on the stovetop in a frying pan)
  6. Place them in a bowl with some clingfilm to seal it for 5 minutes. The skin will now scrape off.
  7. Remove the stalk and seeds and cut into 1-1.5cm squares.
  8. When the squash is ready and comes out the oven I usually blast the pieces with my blowtorch to caramelise the edges but this isn’t essential.
  9. Keep the cooled pepper and squash to the side
  10. Add the garlic, curry powder, garam masala, chives and thyme to the softened onions
  11. If using fresh chillies add them at this stage. Cook gently for a few minutes.
  12. Add the stock, salt and pepper, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Use more stalk if you need.
  13. Add the squash, peppers, and fine beans, there’s no need to cook more as they will cook in the patties.
  14. Add the breadcrumbs in spoonfuls until all the liquid is gone and the mixture looks thick enough to fill patties.
  15. Taste to check the seasoning
  16. Allow the mixture to cool before filling patties

Citrus Salad Dressing

This is a great citrus dressing for a salad. I really like it with a salad which also has some orange in it.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (If you are segmenting an orange then this will probably be a by-product.)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl
  2. Whisk lightly
Make a salad using whatever you prefer, and add the citrus dressing. If there is orange through the salad this is particularly lovely.
Great with Jamaican Patties