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47 posts tagged Rich

Dinner was a zen burger; “make me one with everything”. Steak burger, cheese 1, streaky bacon2, slow-fried caramelised onions, fried egg, toasted bun.



sliced, processed cheese, of course. In my opinion, nothing else will do on a burger. ↩



Oscar Meyer American-style. ↩

Dinner was a zen burger; “make me one with everything”. Steak burger, cheese 1, streaky bacon2, slow-fried caramelised onions, fried egg, toasted bun.


  1. sliced, processed cheese, of course. In my opinion, nothing else will do on a burger. 

  2. Oscar Meyer American-style. 

Home-made Cinnabon-style cinnamon roles, from a recipe at allrecipes.co.uk. Cinnamon roles are one of the (multitude) of things Danielle misses about America; we can’t quite get anything similar here in the UK. So we made our own.

This is a pretty straightforward recipe, particularly as the dough is made in a bread maker. Turned out great — we’re definitely going to make these again sometime. They were very sweet, however. Danielle felt she had to brush her teeth after eating one! A case could probably be made for reducing the amount of brown sugar used in the filling.

Dough

250ml (8 fl oz) warm milk (45 deg C / 115 deg F)
2 eggs, room temperature
75g (3 oz) butter, melted
600g (1 1/3 lb) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
100g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons quick yeast
Place the ingredients into your bread maker in the order the manual suggests; use the dough cycle.  At the end of the cycle, turn it out onto a floured surface and allow it to rest for ten minutes.

Filling

225g (8 oz) dark brown soft sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
75g (3 oz) butter, softened
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Roll the dough out into a square — we took ours to 30 cm x 25 cm, which is a bit smaller than the original recipe suggests. We therefore ended up with eight substantial buns. Cover the dough with the butter then sprinkle over the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Roll the dough up along the longer side, then slice into even pieces — we made eight. Stack them in a greased oven tray. Cover and let them rise for 30 minutes or so — they’ll pretty much double in size. Don’t forget to allow for this when you choose the pan! Leave room around each bun.

Bake at 200 deg C (400 deg F) for 15 minutes.

Icing

100g (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
50g (2 oz) butter, softened
200g (7 oz) icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/8 teaspoon salt
Beat the ingredients together and spread on the rolls before serving.

These are best eaten warm, straight from the oven, but they keep well enough too.

Home-made Cinnabon-style cinnamon roles, from a recipe at allrecipes.co.uk. Cinnamon roles are one of the (multitude) of things Danielle misses about America; we can’t quite get anything similar here in the UK. So we made our own.

This is a pretty straightforward recipe, particularly as the dough is made in a bread maker. Turned out great — we’re definitely going to make these again sometime. They were very sweet, however. Danielle felt she had to brush her teeth after eating one! A case could probably be made for reducing the amount of brown sugar used in the filling.

Dough

  • 250ml (8 fl oz) warm milk (45 deg C / 115 deg F)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 75g (3 oz) butter, melted
  • 600g (1 1/3 lb) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons quick yeast

Place the ingredients into your bread maker in the order the manual suggests; use the dough cycle. At the end of the cycle, turn it out onto a floured surface and allow it to rest for ten minutes.

Filling

  • 225g (8 oz) dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 75g (3 oz) butter, softened

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Roll the dough out into a square — we took ours to 30 cm x 25 cm, which is a bit smaller than the original recipe suggests. We therefore ended up with eight substantial buns. Cover the dough with the butter then sprinkle over the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Roll the dough up along the longer side, then slice into even pieces — we made eight. Stack them in a greased oven tray. Cover and let them rise for 30 minutes or so — they’ll pretty much double in size. Don’t forget to allow for this when you choose the pan! Leave room around each bun.

Bake at 200 deg C (400 deg F) for 15 minutes.

Icing

  • 100g (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 50g (2 oz) butter, softened
  • 200g (7 oz) icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Beat the ingredients together and spread on the rolls before serving.

These are best eaten warm, straight from the oven, but they keep well enough too.

Rummaging around on Sunday morning, looking for stuff to eat, I found eggs, onion, chorizo, a couple of cold boiled potatoes, and some leftover pastry that needed eating. Hence; breakfast quiche! (Danielle’s idea, not mine.)

I diced about 60 g of chorizo (it was the uncooked kind), and fried it briefly to release some oil. Added a sliced onion and the potatoes and continued to fry until they’d crisped up a bit. Danielle rolled the pastry out and somehow made it fill our pie dish (if you look closely you’ll see it’s a very thin layer — I don’t know how she managed it!). Poured the potato/chorizo/onion mixture into the pastry base, topped with grated cheese, and poured over four beaten eggs, well seasoned, with a little milk added. Finally, I baked the whole lot for about half an hour at 175 deg C.

Rummaging around on Sunday morning, looking for stuff to eat, I found eggs, onion, chorizo, a couple of cold boiled potatoes, and some leftover pastry that needed eating. Hence; breakfast quiche! (Danielle’s idea, not mine.)

I diced about 60 g of chorizo (it was the uncooked kind), and fried it briefly to release some oil. Added a sliced onion and the potatoes and continued to fry until they’d crisped up a bit. Danielle rolled the pastry out and somehow made it fill our pie dish (if you look closely you’ll see it’s a very thin layer — I don’t know how she managed it!). Poured the potato/chorizo/onion mixture into the pastry base, topped with grated cheese, and poured over four beaten eggs, well seasoned, with a little milk added. Finally, I baked the whole lot for about half an hour at 175 deg C.

 Necessity is the mother of invention.Problem: Leftover pie crust, but not enough to fill any pie tin we have. For some reason, we have no muffin tin in the house. Solution: individual pies in a Yorkshire pudding tin.Problem: no pastry cutters the right size for the tin. Solution: use an upside-down saucepan.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Problem: Leftover pie crust, but not enough to fill any pie tin we have. For some reason, we have no muffin tin in the house.

Solution: individual pies in a Yorkshire pudding tin.

Problem: no pastry cutters the right size for the tin.

Solution: use an upside-down saucepan.

Three cheese and shaved asparagus pizza

(Bigger on flickr)

Longtime readers will know that I’ve been practicing my pizza for a long time. Tonight, inspired by Smitten Kitchen, I unexpectedly made my best one yet: three cheese, shaved aspargus, and spring onion (that’s green onions to you USAians).

As before, I’m still using the Cook’s Illustrated NY pizza dough, although I’ve moved on to using Italian 00 pasta flour instead of bread flour now. I find this gives me a more pliable dough that’s easier to stretch and shape. I’m remarkably bad at getting the dough to anything vaguely approaching circular so that’s a good thing in my book.

I made this more-or-less according to the Smitten Kitchen method. I dotted the bare pizza crust with goat’s cheese…

…and mozzarella…

…and Parmigiano-Reggiano:

I deliberately chose to chop, rather than grate, the first two cheeses. I prefer my pizzas to have a less homogenous texture than that provided by an even pillow of grated cheese. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Next, I took my asparagus. Using a swivel peeler, I shaved each stalk down into ribbons — leaving the woody bit at the bottom of the stalk as a handle. I tossed these ribbons with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. I sprinkled these over the pizza…

…and baked at a really high temperature on a preheated pizza stone for 12-15 minutes or so.

When it came out, I sprinkled with finely sliced spring (green) onions…

…and there it is!

It’s pizza, so the quantities don’t matter very much, but for the record I used:

  • one-half the dough in the recipe I linked to above (so, 235 g of flour); stretched out to a 12” (almost) round
  • about 40 g goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • about 60 g mozzarella, cubed
  • about 20 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • about 200 g asparagus — 8 or so stalks, shaved
  • two spring (green) onions, finely sliced

I was utterly unprepared for how delicious this was. Truth be told, I made it mostly because I had asparagus to use up. I thought it would be decent but I wasn’t expecting it to be so delightful. Plus, it tastes like Spring from beginning to end, and here in Wales we’re currently basking in sunshine after a week of solid rain. That probably helped my mood as I bit into it, too.

I served this with… Well, I’d love to confess we ate it with a side salad or something healthy like that. But in fact, I served it with another pizza! Specifically, Iberian ham and Portobello mushroom:

This was also good, although less good than the asparagus (sorry, noble Iberian pigs!)

For the tomato sauce, I tried a new recipe from Serious Eats; it came out better than the one I’ve used previously. I cut the sugar to half a teaspoon and added a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. I like the extra depth of flavour the vinegar gives it. I found two UK tins of tomatoes (400 g each) made enough sauce for four 12” pizzas.

I was particularly pleased with how the crust turned out today:

Bon appetit!

(Thanks, as ever, to my long-suffering wife Danielle for pictures and help. —Rich)

Pasta alla carbonara

This was what I made for dinner tonight. I’ve been making a lot of carbonara lately, trying out various minor variations; this one was based on this post at Serious Eats which was in turn based on a recipe from Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon. I doubled the cheese, though (using a 50/50 mix of pecorino and parmigiano-reggiano), and on a whim I added half a finely diced shallot in with the pancetta.

Overall, I’d say this was the most successful one I’ve made yet. All my previous attempts have used a modest amount of cream and wine in the sauce, and consequently have been too wet on the plate. This one had a much better texture to the sauce. The only criticism I’d make is that the caramelised shallot added a slight brown tinge to the sauce which I wasn’t quite happy about. On the other hand it added a subtle sweet note to the flavour that I really liked, so maybe I’ll use shallots next time too.

Pasta alla carbonara

This was what I made for dinner tonight. I’ve been making a lot of carbonara lately, trying out various minor variations; this one was based on this post at Serious Eats which was in turn based on a recipe from Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon. I doubled the cheese, though (using a 50/50 mix of pecorino and parmigiano-reggiano), and on a whim I added half a finely diced shallot in with the pancetta.

Overall, I’d say this was the most successful one I’ve made yet. All my previous attempts have used a modest amount of cream and wine in the sauce, and consequently have been too wet on the plate. This one had a much better texture to the sauce. The only criticism I’d make is that the caramelised shallot added a slight brown tinge to the sauce which I wasn’t quite happy about. On the other hand it added a subtle sweet note to the flavour that I really liked, so maybe I’ll use shallots next time too.

Dinner tonight was my first attempt at quick-brining meat 1; in this case, pork chops.

We used a brine based on this one; a simple mix of water, brown sugar, salt with peppercorns, thyme and a clove of garlic. We gave the meat 24 hours in the brine before washing it, patting dry, and frying over medium-high heat for about eight minutes.

It turned out great — nicely seasoned, and with a strong taste of pork (but not overpowering). In the past I’ve often found pork chops bland but these certainly didn’t suffer from that. The texture was good too, although that’s probably partly down to buying good quality meat from my local butcher (Douglas Willis in Cwmbran) and cooking it well. The last time I made pork chops was years ago; I expect I was using supermarket meat and probably massively overcooked it.

I served the pork with green beans and smashed potatoes based on a method from The Pioneer Woman. They are just visible in the photo, lost in a haze of bokeh. These also turned out very tasty, and I would recommend that recipe to anyone. —Rich



My fellow O:S! writer Nick points out I’ve made salt (corned) beef a few times, which I’d forgotten. That takes weeks though, and produces a food which is basically a whole other thing to what you started with; so it feels like a different category of technique to me, even though it’s not really. ↩

Dinner tonight was my first attempt at quick-brining meat 1; in this case, pork chops.

We used a brine based on this one; a simple mix of water, brown sugar, salt with peppercorns, thyme and a clove of garlic. We gave the meat 24 hours in the brine before washing it, patting dry, and frying over medium-high heat for about eight minutes.

It turned out great — nicely seasoned, and with a strong taste of pork (but not overpowering). In the past I’ve often found pork chops bland but these certainly didn’t suffer from that. The texture was good too, although that’s probably partly down to buying good quality meat from my local butcher (Douglas Willis in Cwmbran) and cooking it well. The last time I made pork chops was years ago; I expect I was using supermarket meat and probably massively overcooked it.

I served the pork with green beans and smashed potatoes based on a method from The Pioneer Woman. They are just visible in the photo, lost in a haze of bokeh. These also turned out very tasty, and I would recommend that recipe to anyone. —Rich


  1. My fellow O:S! writer Nick points out I’ve made salt (corned) beef a few times, which I’d forgotten. That takes weeks though, and produces a food which is basically a whole other thing to what you started with; so it feels like a different category of technique to me, even though it’s not really. 

Chorizo, red onion, and cheese quesadilla

Just something we threw together for a quick lunch based on the contents of the fridge.

Thinly slice about 60 g / 2 oz of cooking (raw) chorizo. Fry for a few minutes until it’s given up its fat, then add half a red onion cut into thin slices. Fry for a few minutes more to soften the onion.

Thinly slice about 60 g / 2 oz of cheese. We used some Mexicana brand spicy cheese, but almost anything will do.

Get a tortilla and wipe both sides of it with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil or melted butter. Put it in a hot, clean pan and cook for 30 seconds. Flip it over and quickly scatter the chorizo mix and the cheese over one half of the tortilla. Fold the other half on top. Keep on the heat for a minute or so to crisp up the outside and melt the cheese. Repeat with a second tortilla and the remaining chorizo, onion, and cheese.

Delicious served with sour cream. —Rich

Chorizo, red onion, and cheese quesadilla

Just something we threw together for a quick lunch based on the contents of the fridge.

Thinly slice about 60 g / 2 oz of cooking (raw) chorizo. Fry for a few minutes until it’s given up its fat, then add half a red onion cut into thin slices. Fry for a few minutes more to soften the onion.

Thinly slice about 60 g / 2 oz of cheese. We used some Mexicana brand spicy cheese, but almost anything will do.

Get a tortilla and wipe both sides of it with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil or melted butter. Put it in a hot, clean pan and cook for 30 seconds. Flip it over and quickly scatter the chorizo mix and the cheese over one half of the tortilla. Fold the other half on top. Keep on the heat for a minute or so to crisp up the outside and melt the cheese. Repeat with a second tortilla and the remaining chorizo, onion, and cheese.

Delicious served with sour cream. —Rich

A three-course dinner for Pancake Day

Here in the UK (and a number of other Commonwealth countries like Australia and Canada), the Tuesday before lent isn’t Mardi Gras — it’s Pancake Day. For no good reason1, we eat pancakes on this day.

Normally, I make something fairly simple — a big pile of American style thick panackes or British-style thin ones (which are very similar to, although not quite, French crêpes). This year I decided to do something different and serve up three courses, all with pancakes done different ways. Here, then, is my Pancake Triple.

Appetiser: blinis with smoked salmon, cream cheese, green onion and cucumber. All credit here to my wife Danielle for the lovely presentation, including the genius idea of piping the thick cream cheese through a cookie press.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t source any buckwheat flour, so I had to use just plain wheat flour instead. They still came out good though.

Main course: galette complète with a salad of avocado, bacon, balsamic vinagrette, and goat’s cheese.

Dessert: crépes with homemade blueberry syrup and vanilla ice cream.

The syrup recipe is amazing and definitely something I’ll be making again. A few small notes. UKians should note that the “1 cup” of blueberries it calls for weigh about 100 g, which is about half of a standard supermarket punnet. If using fresh blueberries, go easy on the water. Leave it to stand briefly after simmering and it’ll thicken a little more — I found it didn’t form a skin. And don’t skip either the pectin or the balsamic.

All in all, this was quite a lot of prep and cooking to do on a week night but it certainly felt special. My friend Dave said that he made pancake cannelloni this year (exactly what they sound like: pancakes filled with ragù, topped with béchamel, and baked). I think they may be on my menu for 2013. —Rich


  1. Allegedly, it’s to use up the rich foods that cannot be eaten while fasting for Lent but that would go off before Lent ends — butter, eggs and milk. But I cannot help but notice that animals will continue to produce these things during Lent. If you have a laying chicken or a dairy cow, you can’t actually eat these things up, because they just keep coming. 

Dinner tonight: leftover jambalya enchilada

Last night, we had blackened tuna with a “chorizo rice" recipe from the BBC. The rice dish ended up basically being jambalaya, particularly once I’d finished throwing celery, mushrooms, and some extra spices and herbs into it.

We had a lot left over though. Lacking inspiration, I idly asked my friend Scott how he thought I should use it up and he suggested a burrito. Of course, a burrito is good, but it’s sadly deficient in melted cheese; and hence we arrived at enchilada town. I bulked the rice out with some chunks of chicken seasoned with fajita seasoning and my wife Danielle made fresh guacamole and assembled the burritos for me.

It was delicious. It wasn’t as greasy as that photo makes it look either. The halogens in my kitchen are quite harsh, you see, and —- oh, who am I kidding. It was exactly that greasy. And definitely delicious. —Rich

Dinner tonight: leftover jambalya enchilada

Last night, we had blackened tuna with a “chorizo rice" recipe from the BBC. The rice dish ended up basically being jambalaya, particularly once I’d finished throwing celery, mushrooms, and some extra spices and herbs into it.

We had a lot left over though. Lacking inspiration, I idly asked my friend Scott how he thought I should use it up and he suggested a burrito. Of course, a burrito is good, but it’s sadly deficient in melted cheese; and hence we arrived at enchilada town. I bulked the rice out with some chunks of chicken seasoned with fajita seasoning and my wife Danielle made fresh guacamole and assembled the burritos for me.

It was delicious. It wasn’t as greasy as that photo makes it look either. The halogens in my kitchen are quite harsh, you see, and —- oh, who am I kidding. It was exactly that greasy. And definitely delicious. —Rich