Nigella’s mince pies

 

Making mince pies is truely enjoyable. I used to think that making your own mince pies was a ridiculous notion. Believe me, it isn’t.

 
 

Ingredients

  • 240g/8oz plain flour
  • 60g/2oz vegetable shortening
  • 60g/2oz cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 orange, juice only
  • pinch salt
  • 350g/12oz Christmas mincemeat
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • You will need a miniature tart tray, each indent 4.5cm/1¾in diameter, a 5.5cm/2¼in round fluted biscuit cutter and a 4cm/1½in star-shaped pastry cutter.

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a shallow freezer-proof bowl, then add small mounds of vegetable shortening.

  2. Add the butter, shake to cover it, then place into the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. (This will make the pastry tender and flaky.)

  3. Mix the orange juice and salt in a separate bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge to chill.

  4. After the 20 minutes, empty the chilled flour and shortening mixture into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make porridge-like crumbs.

  5. Gradually add the chilled salted orange juice, pulsing until the mixture is just coming together as a dough. Stop just before it comes together (even if some orange juice is left). If all the juice is used up before the dough has begun to come together, add some iced water.

  6. Turn the mixture out onto a clean, floured work surface and, using your hands, knead the mixture to form a dough.

  7. Divide and shape into three equal-sized discs (you’ll need to make the mince pies in three separate batches of 12, unless you’ve got enough tart tins to make all 36 pies at once).

  8. Wrap each disc in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.

  9. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

  10. Remove a pastry disc from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface thinly, but so that it will be sturdy enough to support the dense mincemeat filling.

  11. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles a little wider than the moulds in the tart tins. Press the circles gently into the moulds.

  12. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry case.

  13. Reroll any remaining dough to a similar thickness, then using a star-shaped cutter, cut out 12 stars and place each lightly onto the mincemeat filling.

  14. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown. Keep an eye on them as they don’t take very long to cook.

  15. Remove from the oven, prising out the little pies straight away and placing onto a wire rack to cool. Allow the empty tray to cool down before repeating the steps from step 10. Repeat until you have made 36 mince pies.

  16. Dust the mince pies with icing sugar and serve.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/startoppedmincepies_90618fooda

Rachel’s No-Pastry Pear and Almond Tart

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This is a delicious tart and is also perfect for people who don’t want to make pastry. You can use a variety of fruit for the filling (see below).

Serves:  6
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and quartered, then cut into long slices
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz almond meal, about 1/4 in thick
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 5 egg whites
  • Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
  • 12 tbsp Kerrygold Salted Butter, melted
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable

bottom and place a disc of wax paper on the base. If you prefer to serve this tart on the tart pan base, do not use the wax paper.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and flour into a bowl and stir in the almond meal and lemon zest. Whisk the egg whites for 30 seconds, until just frothy, and add to the dry ingredients with the warm melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the slices of pear on top and sprinkle with the slivered almonds.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350°F (180°C) and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until risen and a pale golden color. The filling should feel firm to the touch in the center.

Allow to sit in the pan for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

This is delicious with softly whipped cream.

VARIATIONS

Instead of pears, I sometimes use 4 oz raspberries or blackberries (either fresh or frozen) for the topping. Alternatively, I use 2 oz pine nuts instead of fruit. You can also make this with 4 oz peach or nectarine slices, which is particularly nice in the summer!

http://kerrygoldusa.com/recipes/no-pastry-pear-and-almond-tart/

Chrissy Teigen’s Roasted Butternut Squash & Pomegranate with Garlicky Honey-Dijon Dressing

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients, Squash

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups ½-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (1½ pounds; from a 2¼-pound whole squash, if that’s where you’re starting from)

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

Ingredients, Dressing

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, grated or smashed into a paste

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients, Salad

5 cups baby arugula

½ cup pomegranate seeds* (see Tip)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup crumbled goat cheese (4 ounces)

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and pour 2 tablespoons of the oil on the lined sheet. Place the oiled sheet in the oven (yep, nothing on it) and heat until very hot but not smoking, about 8 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the squash with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the salt, pepper, and cayenne until coated. Using an oven mitt, remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and quickly pour the squash onto the sheet (you should hear some sizzling); take a few extra seconds to make sure the flat sides of the squash are hitting that hot oiled pan. Roast until the undersides are golden, about 15 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven, shake the pan (or flip the squash with tongs if you’re down with OCD, yeah you know me), return to the oven, and roast until the new underside is golden brown,10 to 15 minutes. Let cool to room temp or just warm (so it doesn’t murder the greens when you drop them on).

Make the dressing. In a screw-top jar, shake the vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil until it’s creamy. (If it separates, just shake it again.)

Makes the salad. Arrange the arugula on a platter. Top with the roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Scatter the onion and goat cheese on top. Drizzle with the dressing to taste and sprinkle with pepper.

*Or finely diced green apple if you can’t find pom seeds.

Based on excerpts from Cravings: Hungry For More by Chrissy Teigen, with the permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2018.

 

Dublin Bay Prawns with Lemon & Garlic

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This is a quick and easy recipe, and allows the true flavours of the prawns to be enjoyed.

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 16 Dublin Bay Prawns – Shells removed
  • Splash olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 50g Avonmore Butter

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan until it begins to bubble.
  2. Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds over a medium heat.
  3. Add prawns and fry for 1 or 1 ½ minutes each side (depending on size).
  4. Squeeze half a lemon into the pan and mix into the cooking juices.
  5. Remove from pan and drizzle with cooking juices.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with salad leaves, lemon wedges and crusty bread.

Tip

Mix a little sweet chilli sauce with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to create a delicious dipping sauce for prawns.

Courtesy of Bord Bia http://www.bordbia.ie

    
4.00 avg. rating (76% score) – 2 votes

Sweet And Moist Greek Honey Cake

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A sticky Greek cake that tastes a little like the much more complicated Greek dessert Baklava

Thanks to Angela for this simple cake recipe that kids just love.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of Haughton Honey
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 175c/350F. Grease and lightly flour a 9″ square cake tin. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange rind. Set this to one side.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the butter and the sugar with a whisk until light and fluffy. Then blend in the eggs one at a time. Gently blend in the flour mixture prepared earlier with the milk and stir in the walnuts.
  3. Pour the batter in to the prepared tin. Place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes and then cut the cake into diamond shapes before pouring the honey syrup over. Decorate with lemon zest if you wish.
  4. To make the honey syrup combine the honey, 1 cup of white sugar and 3/4 cup of water. Bring slowly to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and continue cooking for a further 2 minutes. Keep warm before pouring on to the cake.

Notes for the cook: if you have a fan-assisted oven then reduce the specified temperature in the recipe by about 15% ~ 1 teaspoon = 5ml and 1 tablespoon = 15ml ~ some ingredients are measured in cups and some equivalents are; 150g, 6oz (1/2 cup) = 120ml, 4fl oz

http://www.haughtonhoney.com/our-honey/recipes/sweet-and-moist-greek-honey-cake

Nigella’s Spaghetti Carbonara

by Nigella. Featured in HOW TO EAT

Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Introduction

This is my favourite – along with all my other favourites. I love the buttery, eggy creaminess of the sauce, saltily-spiked with hot-cubed bacon: it’s comforting, but not in a sofa-bound kind of way. It feels like proper dinner, only it takes hardly any time to cook. This is my most regular dinner for two: I keep, at all times, the wherewithal to make it in the house.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Ingredients

Serves: 1-2 Metric Cups

  • 200 grams spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 100 grams guanciale or pancetta in one piece
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons dry white vermouth or wine
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • a grind of black pepper
  • a grating of fresh nutmeg
  • approx. 20 grams unsalted butter

Method

  1. Put water on for the pasta and when it’s boiling add a decent amount of salt and then, when it’s boiling again, the spaghetti. Italians say the water pasta cooks in should be as salty as the Mediterranean.
  2. Cut the rind off the pancetta (or guanciale if you’ve been able to get it) and put the rind in the pan with the oil on medium to high while you dice the rest of the pancetta. Then add it and fry for about 5 minutes, maybe more, until it is beginning to crisp. Remove the rind (I like to eat it, but you may not feel the same way.) Throw in the vermouth and let it bubble away for about 3 minutes until you have about 2 teaspoons or so of syrupy wine-infused bacon fat. Remove from the heat.
  3. For the egg mixture, simply beat the yolk, the whole egg, the cheese, the pepper and the nutmeg (the pancetta and the cheese should provide enough salt) together with a fork. When the pasta’s ready, quickly put the bacon pan back on the heat, adding the butter as you do so. Remove a cupful of pasta-cooking water and then drain the spaghetti and tip it into the pancetta pan. Mix it well together, then turn off the heat (take the pan away from the hob if your stove’s electric).
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the bacony pasta and quickly and thoroughly turn the pasta so that it’s all covered in the sauce. Whatever you do, don’t turn the heat back on or you’ll have scrambled eggs; in time, the hot pasta along with the residual heat of the pan will set the eggs to form a thickly creamy sauce that binds and clings lightly to each strand of pasta. Add a tablespoon or so, going gently, of the pasta cooking water as you toss it all together. This will help make the sauce creamier.

This makes two platefuls: it’s up to you whether you conclude this is enough for one or two of you.

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/spaghetti-carbonara