Breakfast banana pancakes

My friend Wren introduced me to these which are surprisingly good and easy and healthy.

banana pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • cinammon

Method

Mash bananas, beat eggs, mix all ingredients together.

Fry as one would a normal pancake. They will go brown on each side.

Serve

You can serve these so many ways. If the banana is properly ripe, you certainly don’t need any additional sweetening ingredient. If you ask me, maple syrup would be overkill.

I served them with drained yoghurt to which I’d added some apple juice. Any sort of fruit can be added on top. Today strawberries because they are so cheap right now: Italian, 4CHF/kg and quite nice at that price. But you do get what you pay for. The 9CHF for 500g strawberries from Provence are 4 times as good!

For the future: I wondered about separating the whites and whipping them stiff before folding them in, with the intention of making these lighter. I’m curious to see how that turns out.

Reminder: I made a complete hash out of turning these. Hence the strategically placed yoghurt.

 

Belinda Jeffery’s absolutely scrumptious pork pie

absolutely scrumptious pork, thyme and apple pie Belinda Jeffery

aka her family’s ‘Christmas pie’ which is when I make it too

Serves 6-8.

ingredients

  • shortcrust pastry (she makes her own, I buy it)
  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 180g bacon, rind removed, cut fairly finely
  • 3 teasp finely chopped thyme or oregano
  • 2 tblesp finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutmeg or ground mace to taste (try 1/4 teasp)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 small eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (I use quail)
  • milk to brush the pastry top (she uses an egg yolk and water)

to serve:

  • red cabbage or beetroot pickle
  • tomato or apricot chutney

method

  • Preheat oven to 200C and lightly butter a 24cm springform cake tin. Put aside.
  • Mix the filling ingredients except for the small eggs.
  • Line the tin with pastry, leaving a 2 cm overhang. Half-fill tin with mixture and smooth it out. Make 4 little hollows in which the eggs go. Cover with the remaining filling.
  • Dampen the edges of the pastry overhang, add a pastry lid and pinch edges together tightly to seal. Crimp and trim the edges as you please.
  • Brush the top with the milk or eggwash. Prick holes into the top to allow steam to escape. You can embellish the top with left over pastry trim in shapes to taste if you haven’t already eaten it.
  • Put the pie on an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 180C and cook for another 50 minutes. Belinda’s advice is that ‘If the juices bubble up in the final stages of cooking, just mop them up with paper towel and return the pie to the oven to dry out for a few minutes.’ When cooked, leave out to cook in the tin and then chill, preferably overnight.

To serve: run a blunt knife around the edges of the tin to loosen the pie, then release and remove the sides of the tin. Sit on a platter or board in thick slices with the pickles and/or chutney.

It keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Satay sauce

I have to start with an apology to my past, present and future sex providers. When I think I’ve died and gone to heaven it’s always because I’ve eaten this sauce. Sorry about that.

Ingredients

200-250g crunchy peanut butter
150g palm sugar
tamarind concentrate mixed with water
5 finely chopped red chillies
5 finely chopped cloves garlic
1 large can coconut milk thoroughly shaken
a little grape seed oil

Method

Fry the garlic in the oil gently until becoming golden. Add the chillies and the sugar, followed by the peanut butter and the tamarind. Mix thoroughly and then add the coconut milk. Cook, stirring, until the oil is separating from the mix

Cool and store in fridge in screwtop jars. Stephanie Alexander says this lasts for months, but I wouldn’t know. I’m lucky if I can make it last til dinner time.

My guess is about a tablesp of the tamarind with about 4 tblsps of water.

Stephanie Alexander does this with peanuts, which is my preference if I have them. She says brown sugar or palm. I love palm sugar and always use it. She also says to take tamarind pulp, soak it, extract the juice. I happened to have the concentrate and it seems okay to me, but in the past I’ve used the extraction method. Her recommendation is peanut oil for the frying, but I used grapeseed because it was in the cupboard and it has a neutral flavour.

Stephanie Alexander gives this in conjunction with a recipe for a marinade for the meat to go with it. Of course a famous way to use this sauce is as the star of gadogado. Today for lunch we are having a very simple version of that. A few raw vegetables, a little fried tofu. Some rice on the side.

 

 

 

Scotch Eggs – Two Fat Ladies’ style

Two Fat Ladies’ Scotch Eggs

They simply have no idea, these two, how to write a book and it really makes a difference. Just being good cooks is not enough.

In this case, I find that this recipe does nowhere near 8 normal sized eggs. However, as it happens, I like using quails eggs so that you have something more like finger food.

Makes 8

10 large eggs (but be warned, see intro)
200 grams cooked ham
6 anchovy fillets
100 grams fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter or bacon fat

Boil 8 eggs in cold water brought to the boil and simmered for 5 minutes, put immediately into cold water and then peel.

Beat 2 eggs

Finely chop ham and anchovies – I’ve done it by hand, but you can use something mechanical. Mix in breadcrumbs, mixed spice, freshly ground pepper and most of the beaten egg.

Brush each boiled egg with the remaining beaten egg. Mould the ham mix aroung the eggs with your hands.

Fry in oil and butter on a medium heat until brown all over.

Spicy herby eensy eggs

Miniature omelettes

These are so good. Sit around the kitchen and eat them out of the pan.

Ingredients

3 eggs
good pinch of ground cumin
finely chopped fresh mint
finely chopped fresh parsley
3 spring onions, white part, very finely chopped
salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Method

Mix the eggs with the cumin and then everything else but the olive oil. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan: perhaps 5mm of oil. Slip teaspoons of the mixture into the hot oil. Allow the omelettes to puff up and brown around the edges – these are so small, they don’t need turning. Remove with a slotted spoon to a hot plate and eat while you are cooking the rest. Oh, if you have to be civilised about it, remove with a slotted spoon to a hot plate lined with crumpled kitchen paper and keep warm. When all are cooked, serve. You can top with a little more cumin mixed with GOOD salt.

recipe idea from Stephanie Alexander The Cook’s Companion

Quail’s eggs: things to do with them

I know they look fiddley and you might hear they are hard to peel, but my limited experience is quite the opposite. I’ve had more luck peeling quail eggs then those of chickens where I find I generally end up with something that looks like it’s been in a fight or has some sort of poxy disease and is about the size of its small cousin by the time quite a bit of the egg clings, no matter what, to the shell.

Put them in cold water with your choice of something to stop them cracking: lemon juice or vinegar or salt; bring to very low simmer, stir a few time while they cook for 3-5 minutes. Stirring helps centre the yolks, I am given to understand. Cool in cold water. At some point peel, I do this when they are still warm, crack them all over, peel under running water.

(1) Take out the yolks and make stuffed eggs as you please. Last time I mashed the yolks with a little yoghurt, spring onion, garlic, freshly ground pepper, salt, a little mango chutney.

(2) Leave whole and serve with a little bowl of olive oil and a bowl of dukkah. Dip egg in the former and then in the latter.

Great finger food, I’ve taken both these ways on picnics and even halved and stuffed they survived the half hour walk to the park.