What I'm cooking and eating

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Seville Orange Marmalade

You can scale this up, as you wish.  Each batch makes about 2½ kg, c. 5lbs of marmalade.  There are a couple of different ways of doing it, both a hassle, but worth it in the end.


1 1kg bag Seville oranges
1 kg preserving or granulated sugar
1 lemon
1 litre water (or less, depending which method you use).

First Method:

Place the whole fruit and the water in a pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.  Allow to cool.  When fruit is cool enough to handle (you can leave it overnight, of course), cut each piece in half, scoop out the insides and return them to the pan, and chop the peels very finely.  Boil the insides in the pan for 5 minutes, then strain to remove the pips.  Add the chopped peel and sugar, and proceed as below.

Second Method:

Cut fruit in half and juice it.  Measure the juice, and make up to 1 litre with water.  Boil the pips with some of this liquid (about 150 ml) for 5 minutes, and make up the jug to 1 litre again.  Strain the pips.  Meanwhile, you have been chopping the peels, which is a lot harder when they are not cooked, but you save time by not having to wait for it to cool once the pressure cooker has lost pressure.  Boil the chopped peel in the juice at high pressure for 20 minutes, allow to cool at room temperature, and then proceed.

Both Methods:

Put the sugar into a large pan and add the cooked fruit/water/juice mix.  Stirring all the time, heat gently until it comes to the boil, then allow to boil, stirring frequently, until setting point is reached, which you test on a plate you had previously put in the freezer.  "When it gels, it's jam" to quote Elizabeth Goudge.  Allow to sit for ten minutes, then stir, pot in glass jars which you have sterilised in a warm oven while all this has been going on, and seal.
This is two batches.  I'm wondering if it would be a best or worst of both worlds to cook the oranges after halving and juicing them, but before chopping.  One would still have to wait until they were cool enough to handle, though, which is a nuisance unless you cook them before you go to bed and finish off next day.  Still undecided about which method I prefer.....

For Susan Gerules.

Oh bum, just discovered I already posted this recipe back in 2012.... oh well.  I could delete this, I suppose, but I've written it now....

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Crayfish curry

I don't like prawns, and have been made sick by them in the past, so I don't eat them.  But I do like crayfish, and Lidl sells crayfish tails alongside prawns.  So use whichever you like. 

And what was left of the curry/rice mixture was even nicer next day!

1 tbs cooking oil
1 tsp each coriander seeds, cumin seeds (crushed in a pestle and mortar if necessary), black mustard seeds, turmeric, garam marsala, and dried crushed chillis
1 lump frozen ginger (or grate your own - I'm lazy!)
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 onion
1 smallish sweet potato
1/3 vegetable marrow (or 1 smallish courgette)
1 tin tomatoes
Tinful of water (fill the unrinsed tin, to get the most juice)
1 tbs coconut milk  powder (or use a tin of coconut milk instead of the water)
1 fish Stockpot (or stock cube, whatever)
1/2 cup (125 ml by volume) long grain rice

Packet cooked prawn or crayfish

Fry all the spices, the garlic and the ginger in the oil, stirring all the time.  Then add the vegetables which you have peeled and chopped (and removed the seeds if you use a chunk of marrow).  Cook these with the lid on over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes, water, coconut powder and rice.  Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, then lower the heat, cover, and leave to cook for 15 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

Divide the crayfish or prawns into two plates and spoon the curry over the top.

As I said, there was a little bit much for two, so we had the rest of it next day and it was even nicer!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Cheesy Eggy Bread

Warning: do not read this if you are being healthy for January.  I was in need of comfort food today, and this was it!

Eggy Bread was a staple of school breakfasts, and very good it was, too.  It wasn't quite the same as French toast, as I understand the latter to be sweet and served with fruit, while this was definitely savoury and could well be served with bacon.

So I decided to make an American-style "grilled cheese sandwich", but to soak the bread in beaten egg first.... yes, I know, heart attack on a plate, but there are times....

2 slices Tesco cornbread (which I have a craze on just now, but of course, any other bread will do just fine)
Cheddar cheese (or other melty cheese of your choice)
1 egg

Butter the bread and make a cheese sandwich with it.  Beat the egg, and season with salt and pepper, then turn the sandwich over in it several times until the bread is soaked.  Fry in butter on both sides, pouring any excess egg over the top of the bread..... Lovely!  But really, not to be eaten too often!