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Jerk chicken pie

By on August 19, 2016 in How To

Jerk chicken pie

Jamaican jerk seasoning, heady with allspice, thyme and chilli, is a tasty addition to a Caribbean-style chicken pie, the meat mixed with a light and creamy coconut sauce, and topped with golden sweet potato mash. Colourful and packed with flavour, this is a pie for summer and winter alike. Spice it hot or not: the pie is delicious either way.

Serves 6
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 red onions, finely sliced
3 peppers, ideally red, yellow, green, deseeded and finely sliced
625g (1¼lb) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 5-cm (2-in) chunks
¾ tablespoon jerk seasoning
finely grated zest of 1 lime
100g (3½oz) fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, or slightly more if fresh
knob of butter, chopped into small pieces
chilli flakes (optional)
6 lime wedges, to serve

For the mash
750g (1½lb) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
500g (1lb) floury potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
75g (3oz) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
50–75ml (2–3fl oz) milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce
400ml (14fl oz) milk
250ml (8fl oz) coconut cream (not milk)
50g (2oz) butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons plain flour

Jerk chicken pot pie

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

First make the mash. Put the sweet potatoes and potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and season well with salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer until tender. Drain and mash well with the butter, nutmeg and just enough milk to make a firm mash (not sloppy). Season to taste, then set aside.

Jerk Chicken Pot Pie

While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce by putting the milk, coconut cream, butter and flour in a large saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil, whisking constantly. Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken slightly, stirring or whisking, and taking care the mixture doesn’t boil over.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. When hot, add the onions and peppers and fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 10 minutes). Add the chicken, jerk seasoning and lime zest and cook for 5 minutes, stirring quite often to prevent the chicken sticking. Pour in the coconut sauce and stir well, scraping up any tasty bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then mix in the coriander leaves.

Jerk Chicken Pot Pie

Carefully dollop the mash all over the chicken mixture and spread it out with a table knife. Use a fork to make a criss-cross on top. Sprinkle with the thyme, then dot with the chopped butter. You can also scatter a few chilli flakes on top if you like things spicy – the amount depends on the spiciness of the jerk seasoning and your own taste.

Bake the pie for 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the meat inside is tender. Serve with lime wedges.

How to joint a chicken

By on August 10, 2016 in How To

This butcher’s method of jointing a chicken into eight pieces keeps as much of the bird on the bone as possible. (Cooking meat on the bone improves its taste and juiciness.) Use the rest of the bones for stock..

How to joint a chicken

1   If necessary, untruss the chicken so that the legs are not tied together. Pull the legs forward and spread them out slightly. Cut the skin between the legs and the body. (You are looking meat grinders? Just visit Meat grinder reviews)

2   Use a sharp, large knife to cut diagonally under the breasts until you get to the backbone at the end of the leg bones. To help break the backbone, hook your thumb into the cavity and pull the breast half-back, holding on to the legs. Use the knife to cut through the backbone and separate the chicken into two halves.

3   Pull one drumstick downwards and away from the thigh so it comes out of its socket. Repeat on the other side. On one leg, cut around the round ‘oyster’, then hold the leg up so you can more easily cut down to remove the leg and thigh from the backbone. Repeat for the other leg.

4   Cut the spur off the end of each leg and discard or use for stock. Trim off and discard any excess skin.

5   To separate the drumstick from the thigh, look for the diagonal seam of fat that runs between the drumstick and the thigh, and use your thumb to feel where the joint is.

6   Cut diagonally through the seam of fat and through the joint, pressing down on the back of the knife if necessary. Repeat for the other leg, so you have two drumsticks and two thighs.

how to joint a chicken

7   Turn the breast half of the chicken so it is skin-side down. Trim away the loose skin at the neck and, if you like, cut out the wish bone so you can cut the bird in half more easily. Position your knife along the middle of the breastbone at the neck end and cut through it using a chopping or sawing motion. You will need to press on the heel of your knife to get through the tougher first bit of the bone, then use your free hand to press on the back of the knife to give the blade enough force to cut through the cartilage (alternatively, you can cut to one side of the cartilage, which is easier but less neat).

8   Separate the two pieces of breast and trim off any loose flaps of skin.

how to join a chicken

9   Put one breast skin-side down on the work surface. Trace the breastbone to find where cartilage turns to bone about a third of the way from the tip of the breast. You cut here to get two equal portions in terms of flesh (one piece has more bone, the other more breast). Place the tip of your knife here, then cut down hard, pressing down on the back of the knife with your other hand, and cutting through the ribs at a slight angle (alternatively, you can trim off some of the ribs before cutting). Finally, cut off the wing tips. Repeat for the other breast.

Sausage & mash pie with caramelized onions

By on July 28, 2016 in How To

Sausage mash pie with caramelized onions

In the shop we sometimes have leftover cooked sausages, so we developed this pie to make good use of them, and included the caramelized onions to give it the flavour of an onion gravy. Our customers liked this dish so much that we now cook sausages specifically to make it. Many of our pies sell best during the colder months, but this is a year-round favourite, perhaps because people associate sausages with summer barbecues, and perhaps because the sweetness of the onions feels light and right for summer as well as colder days.

Serves 6
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g (1lb) red onions, sliced
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon plain flour
500ml (17fl oz) beef stock
8 cooked sausages, cut into chunks

small pinch of ground cloves (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
knob of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
50g (2oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash topping
1kg (2lb) baking or floury potatoes (e.g. King Edward), peeled and chopped into medium chunks
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
250ml (8fl oz) milk
Sausage mash pie with caramelized onions
Place the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and soften gently for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the mash. Put the potatoes and salt in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender. Drain thoroughly. Add the butter and milk and mash well so there are no lumps.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

Add the sugar and vinegar to the softened onions and simmer for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and stir well to combine, then simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Add the chopped sausages to the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and the spices, if using. (Cloves and nutmeg go well with traditional pork sausages, but vary the spices according to your banger.)

Sausage mash pie with caramelized onions

Put the filling into a 30 x 20-cm (12 x 8-in) pie dish and top with the mash. Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern over the top. Dot the pieces of butter over the surface, scatter the cheese on top and add a few twists of pepper.

Put the pie in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with seasonal greens or traditional baked beans.

Bacon & egg tart with a lard crust

By on July 14, 2016 in How To

Eggs Tart

High-quality butcher’s bacon is good enough to showcase, as in this Brit version of a quiche lorraine. Lard makes great pastry, pliable and strong, so it’s easy to form and roll, and delicious to eat.

Serves 4–6
knob of good lard or unsalted butter
150g (5oz) banana shallots, finely sliced
200g (7oz) smoked back bacon, cut into strips 2.5cm (1in) thick
4 whole eggs, plus 2 yolks (and an optional 3 eggs for decoration)
300ml (½ pint) double cream
200ml (7fl oz) milk
freshly grated nutmeg
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry
150g (5oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g (3oz) good-quality cold lard or unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 large egg, or 1 medium egg and a dash of water, beaten
fine sea salt

First make the pastry. Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Add the fat and rub it in using the tips of your fingers. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the egg, stirring it in with the blade of a table knife. Then, using your fingertips, gradually form the mixture into a dough. Knead lightly and form into a ball. Wrap in greaseproof paper or clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Bacon & egg tart with a lard crust

Dust a work surface with flour and roll the pastry into a circle about 35cm (14in) in diameter. Drape the pastry over your rolling pin and unroll it over a 25-cm (10-in) loose-bottomed tart tin about 3.5cm (1½in) deep. Push the pastry carefully but firmly into the tin and trim off the excess. Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, or up to 1 day if doing this well in advance, in which case cover it with clingfilm.

To make the filling, melt the lard or butter in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and bacon plus a pinch of salt and a few twists of pepper. Cook over a medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the shallots are soft and sweet but still pale, stirring quite often towards the end. You’re not looking to get much colour on the bacon, just to cook it through.

Bacon Eggs

Put the eggs, yolks, cream, milk and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk together. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and insert a baking sheet to heat through – this will help the base of the tart to cook properly. Line the pastry case with Greaseproof paper and baking beans or uncooked rice, place on the hot tray and blind-bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry for another 5 minutes to colour slightly.

Lower the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Spread the bacon and onion inside the pastry case. Whisk up the reserved egg mixture to redistribute the seasoning, then carefully pour it over the filling. If you want to give the tart a trio of sun-like yolks for decoration, carefully crack the 3 extra eggs over the top so that the yolks sit in the middle. Scatter over half the Parmesan and add a final twist of pepper.

Bacon & egg tart with a lard crust

Bake the tart for about 40 minutes, turning it around after 20 minutes, and scattering the rest of the Parmesan over it to get a two-tone effect. The tart is ready when the filling is set and browned in patches. Eat hot, warm or cold with a green salad.

Spanish pork cheeks with chickpeas & black pudding

By on June 28, 2016 in How To

Spanish pork cheeks with chickpeas & black pudding

The chunky round muscle of a pork cheek used to be widely appreciated, but fell from favour as people turned to more expensive cuts. This ‘forgotten’ food has now been rediscovered by chefs, who have put them back on the menu in flavourful, well-priced dishes. Everyone who tries pork cheeks loves them for their tender yet toothsome texture and superb flavour. Here they are slow-cooked, with black pudding standing in for the morcilla that the Spanish would use. You can also replace the fresh or canned chickpeas with the excellent Spanish bottled ones.
Order cheeks in advance so that the butcher can put them aside or order them in. Make sure you ask for the single round cheek muscles with the jowl and rind trimmed away.

Serves 6
1 tablespoon good-quality lard or olive oil
2 onions, sliced
3 celery sticks, 1 finely sliced and 2 cut into large batons about 7 x 1.5cm (3 x 1½in)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
2 regular red peppers or 3 long romano peppers, deseeded and cut into 5-cm (2-in) strips
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into large squares
100g (3½oz) dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, or use 400g (14oz) canned or jarred chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 pork cheeks (about 475g/15oz in total), cut into 6 pieces each
1 x 400-g (14-oz) can chopped tomatoes
200ml (7fl oz) apple juice

500ml (17fl oz) pork or chicken stock
150g (5oz) black pudding, casing removed and filling cut into 2.5-cm (1-in) chunks
3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Spanish pork cheeks with chickpeas & black pudding

Heat the lard or oil in a flameproof casserole dish over a medium-low heat. Add the onions, the finely sliced celery and the garlic, then season with the salt and a few good twists of pepper. Cook gently for 15 minutes, until soft.

Sprinkle the smoked paprika over the onion mixture and stir well. Add the peppers and cook gently for a couple of minutes to soften slightly. If using chickpeas you’ve soaked yourself, drain them and add to the pan now, along with the pork cheeks, celery batons, tomatoes, apple juice and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and place in the oven for 1 hour.

Spanish pork cheeks with chickpeas & black pudding
If using canned or jarred chickpeas, add them to the pan now and cook for another 30 minutes. Gently stir in the black pudding and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the pork is tender.

Before serving, scatter the chopped parsley over the dish. Serve with mashed potato and a green vegetable, such as Savoy cabbage or green beans.

How to maintain your coffee maker

By on May 21, 2016 in How To

 How to maintain your coffee maker

Just a reminder that taking care of your coffee maker ensures you can have great tasting coffee. How? Now we will discuss how to take care of your coffee maker. Once a month , run a vinegar and water solution through your coffee maker to clean it. It is best to use a mix of half vinegar and half water. Turn the machine on like you are going to make a pot or cup of coffee after you have put the mix of vinegar and water in the machine. Let the mixture run until it is all through. Do this for 2 brewing cycles. Use white vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes after brewing the mix. If you do not have white vinegar you can substitute 2 drops of dishwashing soap. Remember to rinse thoroughly. There are specialized cleaning solutions that are made just for cleaning coffee makers that you can find at many retail stores. They have the instructions on how to use these on the package.

how to clean coffee maker

            Soak and clean the coffee pot, lid, filter or filter basket once each week to remove oil and residue. Soak for one hour in hot water using the half white vinegar and water mix or dishwashing soap. Rinse thoroughly. You can also use a toothbrush or dishrag with 4 to 8 tablespoons of baking soda to clean hard to reach areas of the coffee maker. You can use canned air to dust the inside and outside part of the coffee maker. A dishrag can also be used if canned air is not available. The dishrag should be dry when dusting the coffee maker. In addition, you should take care of severely damaged coffee makers immediately. Do not use a severely damaged coffee maker. Look for cracks in the coffee pot which can cause leaks. You want to replace cracked coffee pots to avoid contact with scalding hot liquid. Replace the coffee maker if there are any burnt power cords that can cause fires. Unplug coffee maker after use to be sure power is completely off to prevent any bunt cords. Store your coffee maker in a secluded spot.

how to clean coffee maker

Replace cracked filter baskets and clean up coffee spill on the heating pad. Make good use of the manufacturer. Your coffee maker could have a warranty so if the coffee maker needs repair or needs to be replaced, the manufacturer could be responsible for costs. Some things you’ll need for coffee maker maintenance ae: 2 quarts (1.89 liters) white vinegar, 2 quarts (1.89 liters) water, 4 to 8 tablespoons (59.14 milliliters to 118.29 milliliters) baking soda, toothbrush and dishcloth and bottle of dishwashing liquid soap. Another tip is that you can clean the coffee pot by using two cups of ice, ¼ cup of rock or table salt, and ¼ cup lemon juice that can be from a bottle or fresh either is fine. The amount is not important. Mix the salt, ice and lemon juice in the coffee pot for no certain amount of time you just want the contents in the coffee pot to combine. Make sure pot is completely cool before performing any maintenance.

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