Thursday, 26 April 2012

First Chilli Ristra

Here it is, my first chilli ristra....

Although I put them on and kind of turned them as I put them on, they do have a habit of swinging round a bit. I have to find a way of getting them to stay all pointing all the way around. Never mind, good for a first attempt!


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Unexpected Item In The Shopping Bags!

Hickory Smoked Garlic With Another New Toy

Something else I have wanted to buy for eons is a smoker. Having saved my pennies for a couple of months and thought long and hard about it (2 hrs), I bought the Original Bradley Smoker! Yay!

And another shot after it had been seasoned, and smoked about 65 garlic bulbs for market:

We've had the garlic for sale on the bar in the pub, for about a week now and I'm almost sold out. Every time I walk past them the smell reminds me of holidaying in France as a kid.

I've also smoked some salt and pepper, which so far has not made a great impact. People seem to think it's a bit weird, but they smell amazing and would be awesome on grilled food or ribs!

I've also smoked chillies to make smoked chilli oil. That's currently maturing in the bottle and I can't wait to use it on everything!!!

Sam x

Kenwood Bargain

Bit by bit I'm getting the equipment I want and need. One piece that I continuously struggle to justify is a Kenwood mixer. Thankfully, somebody close to me was this selling this older model for a mere £35!

It's a wee bit old, and could do with a clean and a hammerrite. But I couldn't resist! Now to get baking!

Sam x

Sleepy Cat Is Sleepy

Came down this morning to find the cat had found a new pillow.

Doesn't look all that comfortable!

Sam x

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Mr Debs !!

With Jynx

It's still winter enough for Steak and Kidney Pudding

Although it was quite sunny yesterday it still feels like winter to me as it was really quite cold so tempted Mr Debs with the possibility of a yummy steak and kidney pudding for dinner this evening. Lovely, proper rib sticking winter fare, this is probably one of my favourite meals of all time.

Serves 4

750g Nice lean braising steak - cubed
250g Lambs kidneys - cleaned and chopped
1 Large onion sliced finely
Good splash of Lea & Perrins sauce
Good splash of mushroom ketchup
Salt and pepper
Enough beef stock to cover filling

For the pastry:

16oz Self raising flour
8oz Unsalted butter
Half a teaspoon salt
Cold water to bind.

Dust all the steak and kidney with seasoned flour and set aside.
Butter a pudding basin.
Rub butter into seasoned flour and add enough water to bind to form a soft dough- don't make this ahead of time as once made, you have to use this pastry straight away.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and tear off about a quarter ( for the lid ). Roll out gently to fit your pudding basin and line making sure that there are no tears or gaps.
Place about one third of your onion slices into the bottom of the bowl followed by half of your meat mixture. Season well with sauces and salt and pepper and repeat with onion, then meat, then remaining onion...seasoning each layer as you go. Finally, pour over enough beef stock to cover all the meat comfortably. Don't be too tempted to pack the meat in too tightly as your pudding will be too dry.
Roll out your lid pastry and seal your pudding. 
Cover with two sheets of pleated foil and tie with string.

Place an old upturned saucer into a large cooking pot and pop pudding into pot. In order to retreive the pudding I arrange two pieces of long foil under the pudding basin so that it is easier to get out later.  Pour in boiling water to about half way up the pudding, pop on the lid and bubble away gently for 5 hours adding water as it is needed.

Lovely! Served with creamy mash and vegetables.


Lovely produce in Bristol

Just got back from a good morning's noodling at the fruit market in Bristol. Sam and I bought some great stuff...loads of chilli's..... and then hopped over to the Chinese supermarket and bought loads more. Got to get ristraing now


Day 5 with Herman

Well, day 4 and he needed feeding, one cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. A good stir and this is how he looks today.

Thicker, gooyer, smells kind of yeasty.


Love this ( not anything to do with food )

Holiday Road.  happy days


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Day 3

Herman looking a little frothy this morning, gave him a nice stir and put him back to bed until tomorrow. I think that the instructions I have been given are incorrect so here are - what I think are - the right ones.

Nighty night Herman, see you tomorrow.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Herman Friendship Cake

I have just this minute been presented with - what is known as - a Herman Friendship Cake from my lovely neighbour Sandy. I can honestly say that I have never even heard of this but it seems like a lovely idea and I'm really  touched so here is a photo of my little bowl of sticky stuff and we'll track his progress over the coming days ( with instructions ). Going to have to dig a little now online to see what I can find out about this curious custom.

Instructions to follow shortly!


Antigua here we come.

Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua

I've only spent six months trying to find the perfect holiday...this is it all booked, The Grand Pineapple in Antigua.

My idea of heaven, beautiful beach...not too much else ( yeah I do know that there's more going on behind me ! )


Friday, 20 April 2012

It's Hello From Her, And Hello From Him

Debs and I have somewhat neglected the blog recently, due to all manner of reasons. For me, it was a job change. I am now the chef at the Castle Inn, Chepstow.

It's a lovely traditional pub with beautiful views of Chepstow's historic castle, and a huge beer garden! 

Other than that, I've also invested in a Bradley Smoker for which the land lord and land lady have allowed me to the use the kitchen, and more importantly it's powerful extractor fans, in my free time! So far I've only done smoked garlic and chillie's but we should have smoked salt and pepper by tomorrow!

Anyway, now that I'm settled again, you can expect more post's, more regularly!

That's all for now!

Sam x

Sorry blog

Oooops...haven't blogged for a couple of weeks due to frantic holiday search. Holiday booked back to the important stuff . I've just found this lovely site for The Chilli King and am going to hop over to the wholesalers on tuesday to have a go at making a chilli ristra....I would like a garden big enough to grow my own but hey ho.