Melt-In-The-Middle Burgers, Cajun Wedges & Big White Baps

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BUUURRGGGGEEERRRSSSS! Probably the best burger I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten many…one thing my mammy told me that’s always stuck with me is to always use good quality meat, and it really does make a world of a difference, so if you have a good butchers nearby use it. It might mean an extra 4 or 5 euro but the taste is incomparable! And good burgers need good baps. Big white baps. Pun intended.

Ingredients:

  • Burgers…no seriously
  • Baps (big white ones)
  • Potatoes (regular or sweet, both work! I use 5 to feed 2)
  • Cheese (i recommend stilton)
  • Cajun seasoning
  • One onion
  • Jar jalepenos
  • Any other burger toppings/sauces of choice (we went for english mustard, roasted red pepper jam and rocket)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200° celcius.
  • Chop your potatoes into wedges and put into baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and dust liberally with cajun seasoning.

The small ones to the bottom left are my favourites, the crispy wispys 🙂

  • Put the wedges in the oven and set timer to 40 mins.
  • Take your burgers and cut them in half horizontally.

  • Crumble/slice your cheese onto one half of each burger

  • Place the “top” half of the burger back on the bottom half like a wee hat, then press around the circumference to seal it, reforming it into one burger. Make sure it is completely sealed so no cheese seeps through.

  • Dice your onion and a handful of jalepenos and fry off in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then set the mixture aside in a bowl to be used as topping.

  • By now your wedges should be around halfway there, so take a spoon and just give them a wee mix around.
  • Time to put your burgers on the grill – I used a george foreman but you could use an ordinary grill or bbq if you wanted, just adjust cooking times. On a george foreman it generally takes around 10-12 minutes on high for quite a thick burger to cook through. Aaaaaaand wait…

BEEPBEEP!…..BEEPBEEP!

  • If you’ve timed it right, the wedges and burgers should be ready within a minute or 2 of each other. Plate them up and build your burger 🙂

oh yes.

Stuffed Saddle of Rabbit with Red Wine Gravy and Potato Boulangere

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Not really a recipe for squeamish eaters, although you could leave out the kidneys and black pudding if necessary! Kept seeing saddle of rabbit in the butchers so I gave it a wee google, figured out some stuff that’d go well with it, went out and bought it all. Brought it home, opened it, and realised I’d have to partially butcher it myself. F*ck. So I youtubed it and attempted to emulate Michel Roux Jr with a clip around 10 seconds long…needless to say it didn’t go fantastically well and there was a LOT of improvisation but it did the job and tasted good, so who really cares! The link to the clip is below, it actually isn’t the most difficult thing in the world and I’d say next time I go after thumper I could give it a better go…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqrXq0pKga4

Ingredients

  • 1 saddle of rabbit
  • 4 slices of parma or serrano ham
  • 3 shallots
  • Around half a pack of black pudding
  • Packet of button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Piece of string (app. 2ft in length)
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 chicken/vegetable stock cubes
  • Bottle of red wine
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Remove kidneys and bones from saddle of rabbit. Set kidneys to the side and throw out the spine, unless you’ve chosen a nice chianti and wanna go Hannibal Lector on it. Also remove any excess sinew or fat stuck to the meat. Then, cut the saddle in half vertically so you are left with 2 fillets with a flap of belly meat attached to each.

Before:

After:

  • Preheat your oven to 200°c
  • Finely dice 1 shallot, a handful of mushrooms and a third of your black pudding. Fry all of it off in a little olive oil until the onions and mushrooms have softened and set aside in a bowl. This will be used as the stuffing.

  • Dice your white onion, and thinly slice your potatoes. The potatoes should be almost transluscent.

  • Fry off the diced white onion and one finely diced clove of garlic until soft and lightly coloured.
  • Take a casserole dish and cover the bottom with one layer of sliced potatoes. Top with a little of your fried onion. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of both, adding a little pepper every 2 layers or so.

  • In a measuring jug, combine one of your stock cubes with app. 500mls of boiling water.
  • Pour the stock into the casserole dish until it comes around 2/3s of the way to the top.
  • Put in the oven and set your timer for 40 minutes.
  • Next, take your bowl of fried stuffing mix and line along the fillet part of the saddle of rabbit with it.

  • Take each one individually and roll the wrap of belly meat around the stuffing and the fillet, securing with string. This is important as otherwise the black pudding will expand in the oven and it will fall apart! And don’t worry if wee bits of filling fall out, it doesn’t have to be perfect!

  • The rabbit only needs 15 minutes in the oven so set it aside until the timer for the potatoes is down to 15.
  • While you’re waiting, chop the rest of your shallots, mushrooms, black pudding and garlic and fry them off.
  • Add one glass of red wine and a little stock to this mixture. Simmer and add cornflour to thicken and create gravy. Salt and pepper as needed.
  • Once the timer has 15 minutes left, drizzle the rabbit with a little olive oil and put in the oven.
  • When ready, remove the rabbit and potatoes from the oven.
  • Remove the string from the rabbit with scissors, wrap each piece in 2 slices of serrano/parma ham and fry in a little olive oil until outsides are crispy. Fry the kidneys for 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine.

  • Plate up! Smother the rabbit in the gravy mix with potatoes and fried kidneys on the side. I also served it with some baby carrots – boiled for 15 mins then fried in a tbsp of brown sugar, the juice of half a lemon and a wee bit of salt and pepper! 🙂

Lazy Eggs Benedict

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I’ve been an eggs benedict convert since my first bite – it’s everything you want in a savoury breakfast/lunch/brunch/snack/dinner/midnight snack and contains all 5 food groups – grains, dairy, fat, bacon and bacon. I’ve made my own hollandaise before but to be honest when it’s for breakfast I’m just not bothered! Our local food market does an incredible one so for the stress of it, 9 times out of 10 I take the easy way out. So this post doesnt contain a whooole lot of “cooking”, but I’ve included a few tips for poaching eggs and things to make it worthwhile 🙂 Also I’ve included the toppings that happen to be to our taste, but it works well with a million and one other combinations – spinach, smoked salmon, ham etc etc

Ingredients (makes enough for 2)

  • 6 slices streaky bacon
  • 2 bagels (I use seeded because I like how they toast)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • English mustard (if you don’t like this leave it out!…obviously)
  • Jar hollandaise sauce (or homemade if you’re more of a morning person than me)
  • Port Salut cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Fry your bacon until it’s just starting to crisp

 (greatest picture I’ve ever taken.)

  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the olive oil. (Olive oil is the only thing I’ve ever found that retains the shape of the egg without flavouring it like vinegar or salt do!)
  •  Halve your bagels and put under the grill on a medium heat (around 175°)
  • Once the water is bubbling, crack one egg into a small cup, and gently slide it into the boiling water. leave for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a draining spoon and sit in a bowl to one side.
  • Flip your bagels, remove bacon from heat and repeat poaching with the       remaining 3 eggs.
  • Plate up toasted bagels and spread with english mustard. (Liberally or sparingly depending on your tolerance…)
  • Break crispy bacon into pieces and arrange on bagel, then top each bagel half with a poached egg (careful of the yolks, woops)
  • Top with hollandaise sauce, a slice of port salut, and salt and pepper and grill for 1-2 minutes (until cheese melts and sauce heats through).

Don’t even bother trying to keep it tidy, the ooey gooey messiness is all part of it. Best eaten with a knife and fork but iv seen it eaten like a sandwich 😉

Chunky Chewy Raisin, Honey and Oatmeal Cookies

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These are deeeelicious! The recipe can be adapted to include peanuts, dried cranberries, chocolate chips etc etc according to taste, but the oats give a lovely chewy texture and they keep for days…also if you think about it it’s basically just a bowl of porridge in cookie form. hello breakfast

Ingredients (makes around 10 medium sized cookies)

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175°
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter, sugar, egg, honey and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if you’re left with wee lumps of butter – I’m hoping it’s supposed to look like this too 😛
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
4. Add one to the other and stir until left with a thick sticky mixture, then add oats, raisins and walnuts.
5. Chill dough in fridge for 10 minutes.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange cookies app. 2 inches apart. You can make them whatever size and thickness you want.
7. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (keep an eye on them towards the end) and take them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool. (as you can see below 2 didn’t survive the trip from sheet-rack…don’t turn your back with someone else in the kitchen, wee guys never stood a chance)

Easy Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Pots

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“So delicious you wouldn’t waste it licking it off someone, because you’d inevitably miss a bit”

Original recipe supposedly made enough for 4 teeny tiny servings (most likely shot glasses) but i got a reasonable amount for 2 from it. And next time I’d definitely add another egg white. And baileys. Maybe a wee biscotti half dunked in the melted chocolate and served on the side. Fattyfatfatfatfatfat.

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  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 25g butter
  • 75g dark chocolate (70% or higher)
  • Punnet fresh raspberrys
  1. Separate the eggs.

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2. Whisk the egg whites until firm, then add the caster sugar and continue whisking until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. If hand whisking, it will take between 5-10 minutes, with a machine 2-3 minutes. Always use a glass or metal bowl and make sure there is absolutely no egg yolk in the mixture, and no grease on the whisk or bowl, as both of these will prevent the mixture from stiffening!

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3. Break up the chocolate into a separate glass or metal bowl and add the butter. Bring a saucepan of water to a light simmer and sit the bowl of chocolate and butter on top of the saucepan, so that the bottom of the bowl remains around 1 inch above the water. Stir the mixture until it melts, then remove from the heat and add the egg yolks.

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5. Fold one mixture into the other. Don’t panic if it appears grainy at first – it takes a bit of mixing for it to come together! Once it’s as smooth as you want, divide into glasses and top with fresh raspberrys. Refrigerate for app. 2 hours and serve! 🙂

(or don’t refrigerate and drink straight from the glass, it’s all good)