Malcy’s Mango Chutney

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Saturday night is CURRY NIGHT at ours – no ifs or buts – it’s something that just has to be done and it should come as no surprise that we don’t go to our local ‘Indian’ to get a take-away.  We haven’t done that for nearly 3 years since I got my TM5.

We always try to have the usual accompaniments and condiments too – the full monty; popadums, home-made onion bhaji, somosas and pakoras, raita, hot lime pickle and of course mango chutney!  From my wife’s perspective, the latter is maybe the most important of the accompaniments and although she has tried many different proprietary brands of Mango Chutney, she could never find one that really stood out!

So ………. I’ve done my bit to aid domestic bliss and played around trying out different mango chutney recipes and combinations using my Thermomix and have come up with this recipe, which works great if you use a large saucepan or a preserving pan.  This chutney has quite a ‘kick’ to it, but we love it and hope that you do to.

If are going to make this recipe in your Thermomix, then I suggest that you half the ingredients below.

I find that using Kashmiri chilli powder works very well. Cyrus Todiwala (The Incredible Spice Men) told us about using Kashmiri chilli at the 2016 Thermomix Conference and we’ve been using it religiously ever since. However, this is one of those recipes that is really easy to follow and you can adjust the spice ingredients to suit your family requirements.

Ingredients

  • 2 x large cloves garlic – de-skinned
  • 20g fresh ginger – de-skinned
  • 150g onion – skinned & halved
  • 3 x bramley apples
  • 500ml white wine vinegar
  • 400g golden granulated sugar
  • 2 x tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 x tsp ground cumin
  • 2 x tsp ground coriander
  • 1 x tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 x tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

 Preparation

  1. Roughly chop the onion around 1cm and grate the garlic and ginger and set to one side.
  2. For TM5 – Cut the ginger into coins and place into your TM bowl with the garlic and onion.  Chop for 5 seconds / speed 5, scrape down and turn out into a separate bowl and set to one side. 
  3. Peel and stone the mangos and chop the flesh to around 1cm dice and set to one side.
  4. Add the vinegar and sugar to a large pan or preserving pan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and allow the liquid to reduce by a couple of centimetres.
  5. For TM5 – Add vinegar and sugar to TM bowl.  Bring to the boil 5 minutes / 100oC
    / Speed 2.  Reduce and concentrate the liquid.  Remove MC and cover the lid with the simmering basket and cook 20 minutes / Varoma / Speed 2.
  6. Peel and de-seed apples and chop into rough 1cm dice.  Place prepared apples into a bowl of water and lemon juice until all the apple is chopped.
  7. Add the prepared mango, apple, onion, garlic and ginger  to the vinegar and sugar mixture.  Add all of the spices and stir well.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until it has a thick, syrupy consistency.
  8. For TM5 – Add the prepared mango, apple, onion, garlic and ginger to the vinegar and sugar mixture.  Add all of the spices.  Using the simmering basket instead of the measuring cup, cook for 30-45 min / Varoma / Reverse / Speed spoon until it has a thick, syrupy consistency.
  9. Prepare Kilner jars.  Clean thoroughly, dry and then sterilize.
  10. Using the TM lid, place over the jar opening and ladle the hot chutney into the warmed jars.
  11. Allow to cool before closing the lid.  When cool, label and date before storing.

Malcy TIP:

  • Once opened, store in your refrigerator.
  • Kilner jars are great, but can be quite expensive.  You can buy Kilner style jars from stores like IKEA for a fraction of the cost.  The ones shown above cost under £1.00 each!

 

 

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My Thermomix Beetroot Hummus

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My darling wife Diane loves beetroot – pure and simple, always has done, always will do!

If we go  out for lunch or dinner and beetroot is on the menu in any shape or form, then I know instantly what she is going to choose! The last time we ate at Tom Kerridge’s  2 Star Michelin restaurant The Hand & Flowers in Marlow – guess what was on the menu?

Right ……………….. you guessed correct!

With my love of Yotam Ottolenghi’s DVD Mediterranean Feast & Jerusalem on a Plate and the amazing hummus that is produced in Israel, I just had to combine that with Di’s fave food, so here goes …………….

Recipe

  • 1 x 400g good quality tinned chickpeas – drained, rinsed & drained again
  • 300/325g fresh beetroot
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 x lime – zested & juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves – de-skinned & crushed
  • 2 tbsp light tahini (supermarket or health food store)
  • 2 dstspn ground cumin
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hot horseradish
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander
  • Parathas,  Socca Bread or Flatbreads for dipping – or some nice aromatic crisps for ‘dipping’.

Preparation

  1. Top and tail your beetroot, place into a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a little salt and place over a high flame and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid and cook for approx’ one hour until you can pierce the beetroot easily with a small sharp knife.  Remove from the heat.  Drain and cover with cold water and ice cubes.  Once cold, you should be able to easily remove the skin with your fingers.
  2. Cut 250g of the beetroot into rough chunks, then place all the ingredients, except the coriander, into your Thermomix bowl, cover with lid and MC and process for 5 seconds/speed 5.  Scrape down and process again until you have a smooth mixture.

3. Turn out into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4.  Turn out into serving bowls, and gently fold in or sprinkle over the chopped fresh coriander.

5.  Serve with Parathas, Socca Bread or Flatbreads for dipping.  This also works really well with Spicy & Aromatic Curry Crisps (Morrisons).

Malcy tips:

To give this hummus a bit of additional texture, cut the remaining beetroot into a fine dice (brunoise) and fold into the mixture at stage 3.  If not doing this, then use 250g of beetroot at Stage 2.

To give this a really authentic Eastern Mediterranean feel, fold in a little finely chopped preserved lemon before you serve.  This is so typical of the sort of hummus dish you would find in Israel, although you are unlikely to find many beetroots there!!!!

The Welcome Visit

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One thing I always say to hosts and their guests when I’m doing a free Thermomix Demonstration is that they get me as part of the package that they receive when they buy a Thermomix.  I live on the Isle of Wight, so my Thermomix boundaries are fairly limited both geographically and numerically to a population of around 140,000 people on the island.

Once you have had your demonstration and hopefully ordered your own Thermo’, I will receive a copy of your invoice along with the proposed delivery date.  Once I have got that information, I will contact you to arrange your own personal Welcome Visit.

I know that my customers, including many professional chefs, are always very excited to receive their Thermomix or Thermomix Package.

Regardless of your culinary ability, you are about to have lots of fun experimenting in your kitchen and I want you to get the most out of your new Thermomix, cooking some amazing food, creating new dishes for family and friends.  To help you achieve this, I am available to visit your home and offer a WELCOME VISIT, to help launch your Thermomix experience.

Once your order has been processed, you will be emailed with your invoice and delivery date.  I will usually leave it for a couple of weeks, so that you can start to get used to your new kitchen partner in your own.  I will then contact you to arrange your Welcome Visit on a date and time that suits you when I can come along to your home to answer your questions and help guide you in the right direction to get the most out of your Thermomix.

The WELCOME VISIT does not take as long and isn’t as comprehensive as the demonstration, when you have quite a lot of information to process and you may have missed one or two key points.  I am happy to go over information again for you and also to cook a WISH RECIPE recipe with you, which you will find on the back of Guest Questionnaire (Yellow Copy).

You can choose from one of the WISH RECIPES above

My aim with the WELCOME VISIT is to cook a wish recipe with you and for me to help you navigate your way around your Thermomix and show you some of the short-cuts that you will no doubt find really useful in the future.

We’ll look together at the following:

  • Instruction Manual
  • Re-cap on functions and located serial numbers on Thermomix, Bowl and Recipe Chip.
  • Screen background options & Safety instructions.  Also reminding you how to safely assemble the bowl and blade.
  • Basic CookBook & Recipe Chip – I’ll show you how to register and activate your Recipe Chip and how to access the Recipe Platform (Cookidoo).
  • Show you how to use the weekly planner and shopping list.

international_shootingThe WELCOME VISIT is a 1:1 short visit, which will provide you with a great start kick-start to the relationship with your Thermomix and your Independent Advisor.  It will provide you with additional information that will help you move your own personal Thermomix Experience forward with confidence and excitement.

The UK & ROI Advisors find that those who take up the offer of a WELCOME VISIT have less user issues as a result and they get much more added value out of their new acquisition.

Like all Independent Thermomix Advisors throughout the country, we are here to help you, so please do ask your Advisor for a WELCOME VISIT when you order your Thermomix.

Thermomix Finance Option

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IKANO ~ Thermomix Finance Option

Thermomix UK have teamed up with the IKANO BANK to bring you a more affordable finance offer than ever before.  Not heard of them before? Maybe not!  The IKANO Bank is owned by the same family that founded IKEA and is the bank behind the IKEA Store Card and DfS Finance.

You can now enjoy using a Thermomix TM5 in your kitchen for as little as £30.99 per month, spreading the cost over 36, 24 or 12 months.  This is Thermomix’s most affordable finance plan at just 9.9%.  Options available:

35      Monthly payments of £30.99    Final payment 1 x £30.80

23      Monthly payments of £44.42    Final payment 1 x £44.36

11      Monthly payments of £84.84    Final payment 1 x £84.77

Our quick and easy finance option – what it means for you:

  • No deposit
  • Just 9.9%
  • Available to people who have been living in the UK for at least 12 months
  • Available to self-employed, the retired and home-makers
  • Instalments start from £30.99 per month
  • Also available for Thermomix Package and Customer Offers
  • Not available to commercial customers

IKANO Finance – Just a phone call away:

Contact Thermomix Head Office on 0330 660 0834, say that you wish to place an order using the IKANO Finanace Option and mention that I am your contact Advisor.

  • Thermomix Customer Service will run through your finance application on the phone.
  • The call takes approx’ 7 – 10 minutes, which includes the credit check.
  • You will receive a confirmation email and text asking you to long onto IKANO’s online portal to sigh their agreement form (‘eSignature’)
  • Confirm before 2pm and you should receive delivery within 48 hours
  • You will receive an IKANO welcome pack by email after your eSignature

You will need to provide:

  • Address in the UK – Delivery will be to your home address only
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number
  • UK bank account in your name – payment by Direct Debit only
  • Self-declared employment status and gross annual income

If you want to make a change after you’ve confirmed your loan – that’s fine!

  • Your Welcome Pack will contain IKANO’s contact details, so you can make any changes with IKANO directly.
  • Flexible payments available e.g.in-between payments, or pay-off sooner
  • Direct debit date can be changed after first payment

What you need to do

Contact me to arrange your free Thermomix demonstration.  Ask along some friends if you wish.  Friends from two separate households will qualify you for a Host Gift.

Malcolm Alder-Smith

Thermomix Consultant

Email:     maldersmith19@sky.com

Mobile:    07779941583

http://www.facebook.com/maldersmith

My Old School Chicken Liver Pâté

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I’ve been making this lovely recipe for Christmas Day lunch for around the last 30 years. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but all the family love this simple but very tasty recipe.  We always start our Christmas lunch with this and little platters of smoked salmon, prawns, crevettes with some of my lovely mini-loaves and toasted slices of brioche, served with a slab of beautiful Beurre d’Isigny.

It is not always easy to get hold of fresh chicken livers, so in all likelihood you will need to buy frozen from your local butcher or supermarket.  Don’t worry about this, as the end product turns out nearly just as good.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g unsalted butter
  • rapeseed oil
  • 500g chicken livers
  • 2 x banana shallots – peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled & finely chopped
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 100ml brandy
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme – leaves removed from stalks
  • 1/2 spoon table salt
  • 1 x tsp freshly grated black pepper

PREPARATION

The first thing you need to do is de-frost your chicken livers, preferably in the fridge overnight.  Once de-frosted, take them out of the packaging and thoroughly drain off any surplus liquid.  Trim the livers, place into a suitable container, cover and place to one side.

Pop the butter into a small heavy based saucepan and place over a very low heat on your smallest hob and allow to melt slowly until the solids and butter oil separate.  The solids will sink to the bottom of the pan.  Strain or poor off the clarified butter into a jug and discard the milky solids that remain in the bottom of the pan. Set the clarified butter to one side.

Gently heat a little rapeseed oil in a small, heavy based frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the shallots and garlic, cover and gently sweat off for around 5 minutes until soft and translucent.  Remove from the pan into a small container and put to one side.

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Place a heavy based frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a little of the clarified butter and add the drained chicken livers.  Cook for a couple of minutes on either side until lightly caramelised, but with the inside remaining a little on the ‘pink’.  You may need to fry off the livers in two lots, depending on the size of your frying pan.   Avoid overcooking, as your pâté will finish up rather ‘grainy’ and unpleasant to eat.

If cooking in two batches, once the second batch is cooked, return the first batch to the pan, heat through over a high heat, then pour over the brandy.  Tilt the pan away from you and flambé (flame) until the alcohol cooks off.

Simmer for a minute or two, then turn the livers out into your Thermomix bowl.  Add the cooked shallots, garlic and thyme leaves, then blitz until you have a purée.

With the measuring cup in place, gently pour 200g of the clarified butter into your TM lid, enabling the liquid butter to drizzle down into the bowl over the puréed livers.

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Now blitz until completely smooth, add the nutmeg and season to taste with the salt and black pepper.  You may need to scrape down the inside of the bowl using a silicone spatula, then blitz again for a few seconds.

Transfer the puréed livers into a large serving dish or individual ramekins, leaving around 5mm from the rim of the dish.  Using the back of a suitable sized spoon, flatten off the surface.  Pour over the remaining clarified butter to a depth of approx’ 2mm, ensuring that all the paté is covered with the liquid butter.

Place the dish/dishes into your fridge and allow to chill for a few hours, preferably overnight.

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This dish always tastes great and although I have to admit that I have tried other recipes and tinkered with this one from time to time, I keep returning to my original recipe – my ‘Old School’ recipe.

Malcy TIPs:  

Place a slab of Beurre d’Isigny onto the middle of the table.  When your guests are ready to sit down, pop some slices of brioche under the grill or into your toaster, the aroma is amazing and gets the old gastric juices flowing! Pile the toasted brioche onto a platter with place onto the table alongside the butter.

beurre-disigny

If serving, using individual ramekins, serve on a side-plate with a suitable garnish.

Serve with some lovely, crunchy Cornichons.  These are little French gherkins which are freely available in UK supermarkets.  Much nicer than the typical gherkins that we produce in the UK.

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My Cheesy Cheese Scones

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Just for interest, when I checked out ‘Cheese Scone Recipes’ on Google, I was mildly amazed to find over 3 million results!

Mmmmm “I love cheese Gromit”

wallace-cheese

When I owned an Olde Worlde Tea Room & Restaurant back in the day, we used to switch straight from lunch service to baking tray loads of scones, ready to serve from 3pm for afternoon tea, naturally served with the usual accompaniments!

The original scone was round and flat, usually as large as a medium-sized plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle, then cut into triangular sections for serving. 

When baking powder became available to the masses, scones began to be the oven-baked, well-leavened items we know today.  A 2005 market report estimated the UK scone market to be worth £64m, showing a 9% increase over the previous five years. 

When prepared at home, scones may take various shapes including triangles, rounds and squares.  Baking scones at home is often closely tied to heritage baking. They tend to be made using family recipes rather than recipe books, since it is often a family member who holds the “best” and most-treasured recipe.

I recently tried out a recipe designed for Thermomix and although it was absolutely lovely, I found it lacked the cheesy edge that I was looking for, even though I used a very strong cheddar.  So ….. I have given that recipe a little tweak here and there and also used a straight edged pastry cutter, which gave me more servings for a 450g mix.

I hope you like the end product as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 120g unsalted butter – cold & diced (1cm)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • good pinch fine sea salt
  • 80g mature cheddar cheese – cut into pieces
  • 50g parmesan cheese – cut into 2 or more pieces
  • 250g milk
  • 1 small egg – lightly whisked (egg wash)

PREPARATION

Pre-heat your oven to 220oC & line baking tray with baking parchment – set to one side.

Place the parmesan cheese into your TM bowl and grate 2 x 2 seconds / turbo then turn out into small container.

Place flour, butter, baking powder & salt into mixing bowl, then grate to breadcrumbs Turbo/1sec/5-6 times

Add both cheeses & chop again Turbo/1sec/3-4 times

Add milk then mix 5 sec/speed 4 then knead 30 sec/Dough setting

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out to 2.5cm thick.

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Using a 7 cm cutter, cut out as many discs as you can from your dough.  Ball-up the remaining dough and roll again, cutting out more discs.  Repeat this until you have 12 scones.  Arrange the discs neatly on your prepared baking sheet and brush the tops of each scone with some egg wash.  This will help to give you a lovely golden brown finish.

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Bake for around 15 minutes at 220oC until cooked & golden.  Half way through cooking, you may want to turn your baking tray through 180o to avoid excessive browning if you have a hot spot in your oven.

Remove the baking sheet from your oven, and place the scones onto a cooling wire.

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These lovely scones are best served fresh on the day they are made.  Alternatively allow to completely cool and then place into an air tight container.

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Malcy TIP:

  • If we have any of the scones left for the following day, I find that around 30 seconds in the micro-wave brings them back to their ‘just out of the oven’ stage.
  • Use a pastry scraper to remove surplus flour and dough from your work surface
  • If using a fan assisted oven, you may want to reduce the heat down to 200oC for the last 5 minutes cooking time.

TERRINE de CANARD Corrèzienne

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Hand made Terrine of Duck with Crunchy Cornichons

duck terreine

La Correze is where we used to have a home in France, hence the reason for the title of the recipe.  The Correze is in located about one and a half hour’s drive south of Limoges and about the same to the north of Toulouse.  The Correze is about the most rural part of France.  The area is famous for its locally reared produce, especially veal, lamb and pork and to our delight, geese and some of the most amazing gamey ducks you will ever find.

When I’m cooking at home, I  like to buy my fresh poultry products at our local Farmer’s Market in Newport or direct from Paul and Sue Brownrigg’s Farm Shop – heading North on the Newport Road, a mile or so out of Godshill on the Isle of Wight.  Sue loved my Confit of Duck blog so much last year that I felt inspired to write them a special duck terrine (pâté) recipe for Christmas, so I thought why not share it with the rest of the world!

Let me tell you where my passion for cooking with duck comes from.

Sabliers du Temps

Sabliers du Temps

My family’s life changing excursion, converting a large maison en Corrèze (Limousin – France) into a viable Chambres d’hôte in the early ‘naughties’ meant that we came into contact with some of the most wonderful food, patrons and amazing non Michelin or Relaise Chateaux restaurants in France. The piano players en Corrèze are fortunate to be able to source high quality local produce, including some of the best duck and goose products you can lay your hands on – hey, this is huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ country we’re talking about here!

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Michel and Veronique Fouillard who run the popular  Hotel Fouillard in Place Gambetta (Argentat-sur-Dordogne), serve typical and beautifully cooked Corrèzienne dishes to their many regular discerning customers. Another of our local favorites is the Hotel & Restaurant Le Sablier du Temps. There is no fine-dining here, only high level technical skills, clean country flavours, textures and true rural, gastronomique passion!

Hotel Fouillarde - Argentat

Hotel Fouillarde – Argentat

Before I get underway with the recipe, I need to point out that this recipe makes a large amount of terrine. I love to use mini-loaf tins to make this dish, and I freeze the little individual terrines and use as I need them.

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Malcy’s Duck Terrine Correzienne

  • 2 plump Brownrigg duck breast (approx 350g each) – remove skin & sinew
  • 500g pork shoulder – minced
  • 1 egg – free range
  • small bunch of parsley – stalks removed & finely chopped
  • small bunch of chives – finely chopped
  • 2 soup spoon orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
  • 250g rindless streaky bacon (green i.e. not smoked)
  • 3 shallots – skinned and very finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic – crushed
  • 3 soup spoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel de Guérande (Maldon is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brined green peppercorns – drained
  • 100ml Cognac or Armagnac
  • 50g un-shelled pistachio nuts – coarsely chopped
  • 1 orange – zested
  • 1 soup spoon whole pistchios
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preparation

Cut the prepared duck breasts into rough dice (cubes) and pass through a course mincer.

Place the minced duck, pork, garlic and a good teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves into a bowl and lightly season with sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper and mix well. Add the brandy and orange liqueur, mix again, cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight in your fridge.

Pre-heat your oven to 180C / fan 160C / gas 4.

Butter one or more terrine moulds, loaf tins or mini-loaf tins and put the remaining sprigs of thyme in the bottom and line each with overlapping strips of streaky bacon, flattened with the blade of a kitchen knife.  Make sure you leave extra hanging over the edges so you can wrap it over the top.

Remove the mixture from your refrigerator and loosen with a fork.  Stir in the chopped parsley and chives, sprinkle in the spices, the chopped and whole pistachios, season well and mix well one more time.

Check and correct seasoning, if necessary, by placing a small frying pan over a medium flame. Add a little vegetable oil  and heat through. Pinch off a small amount of your pork and duck mixture and fry on both sides until cooked. Taste and add more seasoning and/or herbs to your raw mixture if required.

Pack the terrine with your duck and pork mixture and flatten with the back of a suitable sized spoon.  Stretch over the overlapping bacon to cover.

Create a square of tin foil, large enough to cover the top of the terrine with an overlap. Butter the foil, cover the top of the terrine and twist the edges over the form a seal. Wrap the whole terrine in a double layer of cling film.  Unusual I know, but this really does work.

Place your terrine into a suitable sized deep roasting tin and place into your pre-heated oven. Now half fill the roasting tin with boiling water and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Less if you are going to prepare a number of smaller mini-loaf tins or terrines.

Using a temperature probe, check that the core temperature has reached 75oC. Remove from your oven, allow to cool and place into the refrigerator to chill overnight.

To help create a firmer texture, you can press the terrine as it cools in the fridge. I usually use a small baking sheet and some 400g tins out of my larder cupboard.

I like to leave this terrine in the fridge for two days, however you can use the following day, when you will need to release the terrine from the mould.  Remove the cling film & foil and dip briefly into boiling water and turn out onto a suitable sized plate.  There will be some jelly around the terrine, which I usually scrape off.

Serve with some lovely home-made chutney, relish or cornichons (crunchy gherkins). I make a lovely Beetroot and Orange Chutney which goes amazingly well with this terrine.

Serve with fresh baguette, boulle, pain bis, Moutarde de Dijon and the fabulous French Cornichons which you can buy from your local supermarket.

pate on a plate

Correzienne heaven on a plate!

Malcy

Malcolm Alder-Smith

Independent Thermomix Consultant

No Turning Back

French Country Cooking

 

My rather tasty Limoncello Trifle

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On the run up to the Festive Season, we always go out and buy some Italian Panettone and Limoncello liqueur and use them both for a range of festive deserts.  One of our favorite desserts, which brings both these amazing ingredients together is this lovely Limoncello Trifle; a simple and quick to make dessert that is totally packed with huge flavours.

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Limoncello is an Italian bitter/sweet lemon liqueur, which is mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Amalfi coast and Capri.  Two of our personal favorites are the ones produced in Sicily and the Maltese island of Gozo.

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For the Trifle

  • 6-8 thick slices of Panettone – crusts removed & quartered
  • 50-75 ml limoncello
  • 4 small meringue nests
  • 400ml Ambrosia custard
  • 400ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • half quantity of my Homemade Lemon Curd recipe
My lemon curd

My lemon curd

To decorate

  • toasted flaked almonds – handful
  • candied lemon zest

My Christmas Gingerbread Stars

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The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies, and town square farmers’ markets.  In Medieval England gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties.  One hundred years later, the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, UK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town’s welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates to 1793, although it was probably made earlier, as ginger had been stocked in high street businesses since the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.

gingerbread-town-sign

Gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century.  The elaborate cookie-walled houses, decorated with foil in addition to gold leaf, became associated with Christmas tradition

Ingredients

  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter – cubes at room temperature
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 300g plain flour – sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preparation

Pre-heat your oven to 180oC.

Line 2 x baking sheets with baking parchment

  1. In the following order, place the sugar, butter, both spices and then the golden syrup into your Thermomix bowl and blend together for 10 seconds / Speed 6.
  2. Cook the blended ingredients for 5 minutes / 50oC / Speed 2.
  3. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix for 10 seconds / Speed 5.
  4. Knead / 2 minutes then turn the dough out onto your work surface and gently knead into a ball.
  5. Flatten your gingerbread dough into a disc and wrap in cling film and place in your fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until approximately 5mm thick.  Use a cutter (shape/size) of your choice.  Cut out shapes and place onto your lined baking trays.
  7. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.   Baking time will vary depending on thickness of the dough and size of the cutter used.
  8. Allow your gingerbread stars to cool a little and then transfer to cooling wires.
  9. Decorate as required, but allow to cool completely before hand.

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TIPS

  • If i’m taking my butter straight out of the fridge, I find that 1 minute at 60% power in the microwave, should bring the butter back to ‘room temperature’.
  • It’s essential that you at the first set of ingredients in the order shown.  If you add the golden syrup first, it can make stage 1 difficult, as the syrup acts like glue on the blades!

Home made Creamy Greek Style Yoghurt for Thermomix

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Until recently I had never made yoghurt at home, I’d never even thought about it. In fact, I hadn’t ever really bothered with yoghurt at all until after major heart surgery, when I had to lose a couple of stone.  My Thermomix mate Nic told me about EasiYo, manual yoghurt maker and the recipe below is inspired by another Thermomix friend Andrea whose blog Forking Foodie  has a great yoghurt recipe with lots of really interesting and informative information. Do check out Andrea’s pages because there are lots of amazing recipes to be found there.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lt full-fat milk
  • 50g natural organic yoghurt

Essential equipment

  • 1 x EasiYo Thermos & 1lt  EasiYo jar (bought together)

Method

  1. Measure 1 lt milk into your TM bowl. Heat milk 10 minutes / 80C / Speed 2.
  2. Immediately carry on the ‘cooking’ process and heat the milk for 15 minutes / 90C / Speed 2.
  3. Pour the ‘cooked’ milk into a small  saucepan, cover with the TM lid and cover with the TM simmering basket. This will help speed up the heat reduction required.
  4. Reduce the heat down to 35C , checking with a temperature probe – this should take around 90 minutes.  The temperature accuracy is critical, however it will still work as long as it is not higher than 37C.
  5. Carefully remove any skin that has formed on the milk and discard and return the milk to your clean TM bowl.
  6. Add 50g natural organic yoghurt and cook for 2 minutes / 37C / Speed 2
  7. While cooking, boil a kettle and pour into the  EasiYo jar to sterilise.
  8. Pour 1 pint (550 ml) of the hot sterilising water into the base of the EasiYo thermos and add a further 1 pint (550 ml) of cold water to the thermos. Add the red plastic spacer provided to the Thermos flask.
  9. Pour the milk mixture into the EasiYo jar, screw the cap on tight and place into the EasiYo Thermos. Screw the top on and put to one side in your kitchen for 8 hours. Ideally you are best not to move the Thermos again.
  10. After 8 hours, remove the yoghurt jar and store in your refrigerator.

PRESTO! You have one litre of fabulous, creamy yoghurt!

So do give this great little recipe a try.

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Thermomixing with Malcy TIP:

1 lt of yoghurt usually lasts me around one week; depending on whether I use it for soups, curry, cakes, brekkies, desserts etc ……

Do try the Yoghurt Cake recipe on Page 328 of The Basic Cook Book (TM5) or on the Recipe Chip – very tasty!

You can also buy small 250ml EasiYo screw top jars – ideal for lunch at work or home.

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