Saturday, February 16, 2008

purple sprouting broccoli


How tasty is sprouting broccoli? Not only does it taste fabulous but the colour is ace too. I could it eat it daily, smothered in butter or even better, tasty virgin olive oil.
The other night, to ring the changes, I tried cooking it in small amounts but equal quantities of  virgin olive oil, water and white wine, along with garlic, home grown leeks and wholegrain mustard. Earlier in the week, we ate linguine with sprouting broc and a warm green salsa - this sprouting broccoli dish is a simplified version.

Mustard Sprouting Broccoli - serves 2

  • 2 handfuls of trimmed sprouting broccoli

  • 2 small and tender leeks

  • large clove of garlic, sliced

  • 1/2 glass each of white wine, water and olive oil

  • pinch of chilli flakes or chopped chilli - optional

  • dessert spoon whole grain mustard

  • salt & pepper

  1. Slice leeks into 1" diagonals

  2. heat oil in shallow casserole or saute pan and add garlic and leeks

  3. heat until garlic has started to brown

  4. add chilli flakes if using

  5. add water and wine and shake pan

  6. add broccoli,  put on lid and continue to shake pan

  7. cook for 2-3 mins. The broccoli will sort of steam in the liquid

  8. when the broc is tender or however you like it, add mustard and seasoning and stir

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

pistachio, date and chocolate muffins


Yesterday became Evie and Matilda's first mud pie making day of the year. They they were digging up my allium bulbs, flinging soil about and mixing inaccurate quantities of soil with coarse sand to a sort of 1:3 mix - perfect for pies. While they were playing Delia vs Nigella, I was trying to perfect the perfect muffin recipe - again.

I came across a Peter Gordon recipe for brunch muffins in last months Food Illustrated magazine - it had orange, banana, ginger, chocolate and those annoying poppy seeds which make you teeth look like a lardy bird feeder. I had a go making something similar to the just mention combination on Monday, but without the ginger and using milk instead of yogurt. The results were more like a bought muffin than homemade. The cake texture was fine and light (think Starbucks), not dense but light, like these tasty buns turned out.  I'm guessing the change in texture was due to the fact I used milk, rather than yogurt or buttermilk as suggested.

Pistachio, Date and Chocolate Muffin

This mix makes 12 muffins

  • 150g wholemeal plain flour

  • 100g plain flour

  • 120g caster sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 300g natural low fat yogurt

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil

  • 75g milk or plain Chocolate, chopped

  • 75g pitted dates, chopped

  • 100g raw pistachios, chopped - 75g for the cake mix, 25g for sprinkling on top

My oven thermostat is odd so I don't bake any cake or biscuits above 150ºc, but I think the recipe suggested baking them for 20-30 mins at 190ºc but that would blast them to a fine tinder in my irratic old cooker.

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl

  2. Add chopped fruit, nuts and chocolate and mix well

  3. In another bowl, mix oil, yogurt and egg

  4. Add liquid mix to dry mix and stir until just combined

  5. Dollop spoonfuls into bun cases or silicone paper squares and top with remaining pistachios

  6. Bake on middle shelf  for approx 25 mins, 150º (see comment above in orange)