Thursday, 18 February 2010

Hash Brown

There are many ways of cooking hash browns. This is not only one of the simplest but, of those I have tried, the one which yields the best results.

1 pound potatoes (about 2 large potatoes)
2 tablespoons oil, such as sunflower
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste


Scrub the potatoes. They do not need to be peeled. Grate with a shred-size grater. Heat a 12-inch frying pan, preferably non-stick, over a medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter. When hot, add the potatoes and push down with a spatula to spread evenly in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper - be generous with the pepper. Fry until the bottom is browned and crispy (about 5 minutes). Do not try to flip until it is browned, or the potatoes might stick. Flip the potatoes, in sections if necessary, and fry another 5 minutes, or until browned and crispy on the other side. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200° F oven.

Do you have a favourite hash brown recipe you'd like to share?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


It’s Shrove Tuesday so I thought you might like a pancake recipe. This quantity of ingredients make about 8 pancakes.


4 oz plain flour
2 large eggs
7 fl oz milk
3 fl oz water
2 tbsps melted butter
Pinch of salt
A spot of butter for the pan.

Add the water to the milk.
Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and break in the eggs.
Begin to whisk the eggs –lightly with a whisk or fork, gradually incorporating the flour from the edges.
Gradually pour in the milk and water while continuing to stir and whisk the flour. When all the liquid has been added run a fork around the edges to ensure all the flour has been absorbed.
Whisk thoroughly until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the two tablespoons of melted butter and stir it in.

Melt a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan and pour out the excess onto a saucer. Make sure the pan is quite hot and pour in a small cupful of the pancake mixture. It should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan but not to flood it. Cook for thirty seconds or so and then lift the edges. I rarely bother tossing the first pancake since it often seems to stick. I just turn it over.

Slide the pancakes onto a warm plate, cover with foil and keep in an open oven (or put on a pan of boiling water) until you’ve done all you need.

Once the second pancake is in the pan the amount of melted butter has been reduced to just the right amount for cooking the pancakes without them sticking so these can be tossed.

Serve with sugar and lemon juice or ice cream and maple syrup.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Apple Scone

Main Ingredients:
One medium cooking apple - shredded or finely chopped
8 oz (250g or two cups) self raising flour (all-purpose flour with baking powder)
½ teaspoon salt
Level teaspoon baking powder
2 oz (60g or ½ stick) butter
2 oz (60g or ¼ cup) castor sugar
Up to ¼ pint (150ml or half cup) milk

Ingredients for glaze:

A little milk
1oz demerara (light brown) sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F or Gas Mark 6).

Peel and core the apple and then finely chop. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Then rub in the butter followed by the sugar and finely chopped apple and mix. Add milk until you have a soft but not sticky dough.

Roll out on a floured surface to about ¼" thick and 8" round and mark into 8 wedges. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush the top with milk and sprinkle with the demerara (light brown) sugar and cinnamon.

Bake in the pre-heated oven at 200C (400F or Gas Mark 6) for around 20 minutes. Serve the apple scone warm with butter.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Liver with mushroom sauce and straw chips

One piece of Calf’s liver
Three slices of Bacon
Onion - 1/4 chopped
Small pickled onions
Beef stock
One large potato

Liver is usually over-cooked which not only toughens it but also can add a bitter taste and chalky texture. This turned out to be the best liver I had ever eaten with the added bonus of having cooked it myself.


For the Liver:-
Lightly coat the liver with flour and fry in a very hot pan with a little oil and butter for 2 minutes each side then leave to rest for at least five minutes. The end result should be liver which is pink inside (and therefore tender and tasty) but resting it ensures that it does not bleed when cut as any juice is re-absorbed into the meat.

Straw Chips:-
Peel the potato and cut off the rounded ends and sides leaving an oblong block. Cut into narrow slices and then cut the slices into narrow strips. Try to keep the size of all the chips consistent.
Heat the chip pan and cook for a couple of minutes until golden brown.

For the sauce:-
Gently fry the onion in oil and butter. Add the mushrooms (I used dried porcini mushrooms which I soaked for 20 minutes beforehand – that gave me some extra juice for the sauce). Add the bacon. Pour in half a glass of Marsala or red wine and flame it to burn off the alcohol. Add herbs (I used some fresh parsley and some dried Mixed Herbs). Add half a cup of beefstock and half a cup of cream and gradually reduce until you have a thick and creamy mixture. If you have the ingredients ready to hand the whole process takes little more than five minutes so you can do this once the liver is cooked.

Serve, eat and enjoy!