Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Buns (Gluten Free)

8oz butter at room temperature
8oz dark brown sugar
4 free range eggs
8 oz Potato flour
½ teaspoon of bread soda mixed with a dessert spoon of buttermilk
1 tsp mixed spice
8 oz sultanas, soaked in ½ glass of whiskey or brandy
4 oz cherries, halved

Preheat the oven to 170°C

1. Cream butter and sugar. Sieve flour and mixed spice. Add eggs, one at a time; add a tablespoon of flour after each egg.
2. Add the fruit and mix well.
3. Put mixture in bun cases and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Sieve icing sugar over warm buns and enjoy!


Traditional Sponge Cake (Gluten Free)

This is my Mums sponge cake recipe. It is the perfect cake for a celebration, afternoon tea or dessert and is very simple to whip up using simple store cupboard ingredients.

125g / 5oz caster sugar
5 free-range eggs - medium sized
100g / 5 oz potato flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
250ml cream / ½ Pint Cream
Fruit of Choice: In the summer I use strawberries or raspberries
2 tablespoons of apricot jam
dash of brandy

Preheat the oven to 170°C

1. Line base of a 10" tin with a disc of greaseproof paper and grease the sides of the tin with butter.
2. Using an electric mixer beat the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla with a tablespoon of lukewarm water for 10 minutes until mixture is thick and creamy and doubled in size.
3. Twice sieve the plain flour. Using a metal spoon gently fold the flour into the mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 30 -35 minutes or until the cake starts to come away from the sides of the tin.
5. Remove the cake from the tin carefully turn out to cool on a cooling rack.
6. When cool split the cake in two.
7. To assemble: whip the cream for the filling until soft peaks form - add a dessert spoon of castor sugar if desired.
8. In a small bowl mix the apricot jam and brandy together.
9. Spread the apricot jam and brandy mixture on the bottom half of the cake. Next spread the whipped cream over the apricot and brandy and arrange the fruit on top.
10. Cover with the top half of the cake and decorate with a dusting of icing sugar.


Brown Soda Bread (And Gluten Free Version)

10 oz extra coarse wholemeal flour
55g / 2 oz oatmeal  
6 oz Self raising flour 
1 tsp bread soda  
1 level tsp salt  
'dollop' of sunflower oil 
500ml buttermilk (at room temperature) 
A tablespoon of Jumbo Oatflakes 

Brown Soda Bread Ingredients (Gluten Free Version)
10 oz Brown Gluten free flour
2 oz Rice flakes
6 oz Potato flour
1 tsp bread soda
1 level tsp salt
'dollop' of sunflower oil
500ml buttermilk
A tablespoon of Sunflower seeds

Large / 2lb loaf tin.
  1. Mix self raising flour, sieved bread soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown flour and oatmeal.
  2. Measure the buttermilk into a large measuring jug and add a 'dollop' of oil (to make approx 550ml fluid, no more!)
  3. Mix this into dry ingredients and pour into oiled loaf tin.
  4. Sprinkle oatflakes on the top (optional).
  5. Bake in pre-heated oven at 200oC / 400oF / Gas mark 6 for 40 - 45 minutes.
  6. Turn out onto rack to cool.


Chocolate Meringue Roulade (Gluten Free)

Serves 6
A gooier, but lighter, interpretation of that universal favourite, the chocolate roulade.

4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
250g / 8oz caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
250ml / 8floz cream
125g / 4oz raspberries

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
  1. Line a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) Swiss roll tin with tin foil, dull side up so that the foil stands proud of the edges of the tin by 2.5 cm (1 inch).
  2. Make a stiff meringue with the egg whites, salt and sugar.
  3. Fold in the sifted cocoa powder. Spread the chocolate meringue in the lined tin and bake for 15-20 minutes when the surface of the meringue should be crisp and firm to the touch – if it isn't, put it back into the oven until it is.
  4. Transfer the meringue still in its tin to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. To turn out and roll up your meringue you will need to be a bit brave! Spread another piece of foil rather larger then the Swiss roll tin over the meringue. Quickly but carefully flip over the tin and tip out the meringue on to the other piece of foil. Carefully peel off the top piece of foil.
  6. Whip the cream until it holds its shape. Spread the cream and scatter the raspberries evenly over the meringue. Roll it up like s Swiss roll, starting at the long end and using the paper to help. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.


Cranberry Amaretti (Gluten Free)

Makes about 20

180g (6 1/4 ozs) ground almonds
120g (4 1/4 ozs/generous 1/2 cup) caster sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 drops of natural almond extract
a pinch of salt
60g (2 1/2 ozs) dried cranberries, roughly chopped
2 free-range egg whites
2 teaspoons honey
Plenty of icing sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325ºF/Gas Mark 3.
  1. Put the ground almonds, sugar, lemon zest, almond extract and salt in a large bowl and rub with your fingertips to disperse the zest and essence evenly. Add the cherries and set aside.
  2. Using a manual or electric whisk, beat the egg whites and honey until they reach a soft meringue consistency. Gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture. At this stage you should have a soft, malleable paste.
  3. With your hands, form the mixture into 20 irregular shapes. Roll them in plenty of icing sugar, then arrange them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. The biscuits should have taken on some colour but remain relatively pale and chewy in the centre.
  4. Leave to cool completely before indulging, or storing them in a sealed jar.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Turkey, Pine Nut and Raisin Pilaf

A super dish using up all the left over turkey after Christmas.

Serves 4

50g / 2oz butter
1 tbsp olive oil
400g / 14oz cooked turkey, shredded
200g / 7oz basmati rice
75g / 3oz raisins, soaked in hot water
3 tbsps pine nuts, toasted
20g pack dill, roughly chopped
650ml / 1pt 2fl oz hot chicken stock
200g / 7oz Greek yoghurt
½ garlic clove, crushed

1. Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat. Stir in the oil, turkey, rice, raisins, pine nuts and half the dill. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Pour over enough stock to cover rice by 1cm / ½". Season. Cover with a moistened circle of greaseproof paper - this keeps in the steam and cooks the rice perfectly.
3. Cover the pan and cook for 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile put the yogurt in a bowl, add the garlic and season. Serve the pilaf drizzled with the yogurt dressing.


Mulled Wine Syrup

This is so handy, make it up and leave in the fridge and add to red wine as and when you need it.

500ml sugar
500ml water
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
pinch of mace
shredded zest of one orange

1. Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, cool and store in a sterilised glass bottle.
2. Add to red wine, white wine or Crinnaghtaun apple juice and warm over a gentle heat to serve.


Christmas Cake Buns

Delicious Christmassy treats.

8oz butter at room temperature
8oz dark brown sugar
4 free range eggs
8 oz self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
8 oz sultanas, soaked in ½ glass of whiskey or brandy
4 oz cherries, halved

Preheat the oven to 170°C

1. Cream butter and sugar. Sieve flour and mixed spice. Add eggs, one at a time, add a table spoon of flour after each egg.
2. Add the fruit and mix well.
3. Put mixture in bun cases and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Sieve icing sugar over warm buns and serve


Red Cabbage with Apples & Cranberries

1 lb of red cabbage - shredded
4 oz of cranberries
12 oz of chopped cooking apples
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 fl oz water
2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1. Put the shredded red cabbage at the bottom of a heavy based saucepan; next add the cranberries, then the apple. Pour the vinegar and water oven the mixture then add the sugar.
2. Cover with greaseproof paper, and then put a tightly fitting lid on top. Cook over a very gently heat, do not stir. Check after 40 minutes, once the apple is cooked, take off the heat and stir.

This will last up to a week in the fridge or you can freeze it if you like.


Pan-fried Brussel Sprouts & Celery with Hazelnut Butter

Once you have tried Brussel sprouts cooked this way you will never boil a sprout again!!

Serves 6

500g /1.1 lbs brussel sprouts, washed and sliced
3 stalks celery, washed and sliced
50g / 2oz butter
75g / 3oz hazelnuts
squeeze of lemon juice
a little freshly grated nutmeg
1. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan until golden. Remove from heat then tip the hazelnuts into the centre of a clean tea towel, fold the tea towel over and roll the hazelnuts until most of the skin is removed. Place the hazelnuts between two pieces of grease proof paper and tap gently with a rolling pin to break up the hazelnuts.
2. Melt the butter in a large hot pan, add the Brussel sprouts and celery, stir fry until tender but with a slight bite, add the hazelnuts and nutmeg and stir fry for a further 2 minutes. Check the seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Tip into a warmed dish to serve.


Cranberry & Roast Shallot Relish

450g (1lb) shallots
45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
225g (8oz) soft brown sugar
salt and pepper
450g (1lb) fresh or frozen cranberries
2.5cm (1") piece fresh root ginger, peeled & finely grated
150ml (¼ pint) red wine
200ml (7floz) red wine vinegar
45ml (3 tbsp) crème de cassis liqueur (optional)
1 dessertspoon mustard seeds

1. Peel the shallots and halve lengthwise.
2. Place the shallots in a roasting tin with the olive oil and 45ml (3 tbsp) of the sugar. Roast at 200°C Mark 6 for at least 30 minutes, turning twice, until softened and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, place the cranberries in a heavy-based saucepan with the ginger, remaining sugar, wine and vinegar. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Take off the heat.
4. Stir the shallots into the cranberries. Deglaze the roasting tin with the liqueur or a little extra wine. Reduce until syrupy, then pour into the cranberry mixture. Return to the heat and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until thick.
5. Spoon the relish into sterilized jars and cover in the usual way, using vinegar-proof tops.
6. Store in a cool place for up to 6 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use within 1 month.
Serve with cheese, hot or cold ham, turkey and game.


Chicken braised in Balsamic Vinegar with dried Porcini Mushrooms and dried Cranberries

This delicious warming casserole is perfect for a Christmas supper. I prefer to make it the day before and allow the flavours to develop over night. This dish freezes beautifully.

30g (1oz) dried porcini mushrooms
8 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
2 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
125g (4oz) streaky bacon, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp dried cranberries
250ml (8floz) red wine
125ml (4floz) chicken stock
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400g (14oz) tin chopped plum tomatoes,
1 tsp cornflour dissolved in a dessert spoon cold water
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Begin by soaking the dried porcini in hand hot water for about half an hour. Lift them out, squeeze as much water as possible out of them and chop finely. Reserve the liquid the porcini have been soaked in.
2. Toss the chicken in seasoned flour. In a heavy pan over medium heat, fry bacon until golden and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the floured chicken pieces to the pan and fry on both sides until lightly golden. Then lift out of the pan and set aside.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, cook until soft, then stir in the dried cranberries, pour in the wine, stock, vinegar and porcini liquid, bring to the boil and simmer steadily for 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and return the chicken and bacon to the pan. Turn the heat down as low as possible and cook gently for 40 minutes. After this time the chicken should be tender.
5. Finally stir in the cornflour mixed with water to thicken the sauce to a nice coating consistency. Serve with lots of chopped fresh parsley.


Prosciutto, Parmesan & Lemon Stuffing Rolls

These delicious little rolls work well as canapés as well as an accompaniment to roast Turkey on Christmas day. The rolls can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I often serve them on their own as canapés.

Serves 8

50g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 leek (about 200g), washed and thinly sliced
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped & finely chopped
extra small sprigs of rosemary to serve
175g fresh white breadcrumbs
75g finely grated parmesan
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
3 tbsps chopped fresh flatleaf parsley leaves
1 medium egg, beaten
16 thin slices prosciutto

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and fry, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned.
2. Add the leek and finely chopped rosemary and cook for a further 3 minutes. Set aside in a mixing bowl to cool.
3. Stir in the breadcrumbs, parmesan, lemon zest and parsley, followed by the beaten egg and some freshly ground black pepper.
4. Divide the stuffing mixture into 16 even pieces and shape into short, fat cork shapes. Wrap 1 piece of prosciutto around the centre of each piece, pushing a small sprig of rosemary under the prosciutto.
5. Place the stuffing rolls seam-side down in a lightly oiled shallow roasting tin. Cover and chill until needed.
6. When you remove the turkey from the oven, increase the temperature to 200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas 6. Uncover the stuffing rolls and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden. Set aside to rest for about 5 minutes to allow them to firm up slightly before serving with the turkey and all the traditional accompaniments.