Recipes

Updated 30 January 2017

Ann, my wife of 55 years, passed away in August 2015. She was an excellent cook who specialised in straightforward dishes, carefully seasoned with judicious addition of herbs and spices. Ann left a large collection of recipe books. Among these are two handwritten cookery books containing some of her favourite recipes. Indexes in these book included references to recipes in published books. Some of these recipes are shown below, together with recipes from other sources. Most of the latter have been modified to produce a result reminiscent of Ann’s cooking.

 

Apricot Chutney

Ingredients
1.3 kg apricots
450 g Bramley apples
3 largish onions
3 cloves garlic
2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger
450 g seedless raisins
450 gm dark soft brown sugar
450 g Demerara sugar
1.2 litres malt vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 small cinnamon sticks
25 g whole allspice berries
I dessertspoon whole cloves

Method
Wash and dry the apricots, slit them with a sharp knife down the natural line, remove the stones, cut the apricots into pieces, and put them in a large pan.
Core and mince the apples in a food processor, with the peel left on, and add them.
Peel and mince the onions and add them.
Crush and add the garlic and add that, followed by the ginger, raisins, sugars and vinegar. Sprinkle in the salt and stir thoroughly.
Tie the cinnamon, allspice berries and cloves loosely in a little bag of muslin, or similar. Tie bag to the pan handle and lower it into the middle of the ingredients.
Bring everything to the boil, then lower the heat and let the chutney simmer very gently for 2-3 hours, or as long as necessary, stirring occasionally and rather more often towards the end to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
In the meantime warm clean, dry, screw top jars in an oven at 100 C (fan)
When all the vinegar has disappeared and the chutney has thickened to soft consistency it is ready. While it is still warm, pour it into the jars, cover with waxed discs, and screw the lids on. Label when cold.
Leave to mature in a cool place for at least three months.

 

Cheese Scones

Makes 12

Ingredients
55 g butter, cut into small pieces
225 g self raising flour
Salt
White pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
100 g Cheddar, grated
140 ml milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan). Lightly grease a baking tray with a little butter.
Sieve the flour, mustard, pepper and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the cheese. Add the butter and rub it in with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the milk and mix well together to form a soft dough which does not stick to the bowl.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 2 cm, and cut the scones using a plain 5 cm cutter.
Place the scones on the prepared baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
The scones can be frozen. They are best thawed within one month.

 

Chicken Hotpot

Serves four

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
600 gm skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 onion, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced thickly
3 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
2 red chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
400 g can chopped tomatoes
450 ml chicken stock
175 gm green beans, cut into short pieces

Method
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Cook the chicken until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in the cumin, coriander and oregano. Cook for one minute.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, garlic and chilies. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften.
Add the salt and pepper. Pour in the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a medium low heat for 30 minutes.
Add the beans. Cook for 15 minutes more, or until the beans are just tender.

 

Chicken Jambalaya

Serves four

Ingredients
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
600 g skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 onion, chopped finely
2 red or green peppers, deseeded and chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
300 g long grain rice
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
225 gm chorizo sausage, cut into chunks
3 plum tomatoes, chopped roughly
Salt
White pepper
600 ml hot chicken stock

Method
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a medium high heat. Cook the chicken in batches until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove with a perforated spoon and transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and peppers. Cook for five minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the rice and cook for five minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the tomato puree, thyme, oregano. chili, chorizo and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Return the chicken and any juices to the saucepan. Stir in the hot stock. Bring to the boil, then cover tightly and simmer over a low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
Cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
If frozen reheat in microwave.

 

Chicken Suprême

Serves one

Ingredients
1 Chicken breast, cut into strips15 gm butter
Salt
White pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
A sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Method
Preheat the oven to 210 C (fan)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan coat the chicken and put the pieces in a well buttered casserole.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the lemon juice, cover and cook for 15 minutes so that the chicken is tender but not over browned.
Dust lightly with nutmeg.
Serve with potatoes or boiled rice.

Chili con Carne

Serves four

Ingredients
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
10 g/2 teaspoons hot chili powder
1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
5 g/1 teaspoon ground cumin or crushed cumin seeds
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
455 g/1 lb minced beef
200 g/7 oz sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
2 × 400 g/14 oz tins chopped tomatoes
½ stick cinnamon
2 × 400 g/14 oz tins red kidney beans, drained

Method
Use a large heavy based saucepan with a lid.
Blitz the onions and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then fry in a little olive oil until softened.
Add the chilli powder, fresh chilli, cumin and a little seasoning.
Add the mince and continue to cook until it has browned.
Blitz the sun dried tomatoes in the food processor with enough oil from the jar to loosen into a paste.
Add these to the mince with the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and a wineglass of water.
Season a little more if needed.
Bring to the boil, cover with greaseproof paper and the lid, and simmer for 1½ hours.
Add the red kidney beans 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

Tastes better if reheated the next day.

Can be frozen.

 

Fisherman’s Pie

Serves three

Ingredients
700 gm smoked haddock
70 ml milk
110 gm butter
50 gm plain flour
110 gm peeled prawns
2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly milled white pepper
700 gm freshly boiled potatoes, sliced 6 mm thick

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 C (fan)
Arrange the fish in a baking tin and season with salt and pepper.
Pour over half the milk, dot with 25 g of the butter and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Pour off and reserve the cooking liquid, remove the skin, and flake into fairly large pieces.
Make the sauce. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and gradually add the fish cooking liquid, stirring well after each addition. Slowly add half the remaining milk.
Mix the fish into the sauce, along with the prawns, hard boiled eggs, capers, and parsley. Stir in the lemon juice. The mixture should be moist but not sloppy. Add more milk if needed.
Pour the mixture into a well buttered 1.5 litre baking dish. Arrange the potato on top in overlapping slices. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until heated through and browned.

 

Ginger Scones

Makes 12

Ingredients
55 gm butter, cut into small pieces
225 gm self raising flour
Scant teaspoon baking powder
43 gm caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2-3 pieces preserved stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped
1 egg, beaten
50 ml milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan). Lightly grease a baking tray with a little butter.
Sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder and ground ginger into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the preserved ginger and add the egg. Add the milk and mix well together to form a soft dough which does not stick to the bowl. Add extra milk if needed.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 2 cm, and cut the scones using a plain 5 cm cutter.
Place the scones on the prepared baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.
The scones can be frozen. They are best thawed within one month.

 

Homity Pies

Makes 6

Ingredients
200 gm self raising wholemeal flour
25 gm butter
45 ml water
350 gm potatoes, cooked and cubed
450 gm onions, chopped
3 tablespoons oil
15 gm chopped parsley
100 gm cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon minced garlic
15 ml milk
Salt
White pepper

Method
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Rub in 100gm butter, cut into pieces, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add sufficient water to give a soft but manageable dough.
Roll out the pastry and use it to line six 10 cm individual tins or foil dishes.
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and fry the onions until really soft.
Combine the potatoes and onions. Add the butter, parsley, 50 gm cheese, garlic and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Cool, then use to fill the pastry cases. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake at 200 C (fan) for 20 minutes until golden.

 

Lamb Curry

Serves two

Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon medium curry powder
30 gm flour
1 apple, chopped
400 ml beef stock
A little lemon juice
A few raisins or sultanas
White pepper
Salt
250 gm cooked lamb, diced

Method
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and fry the onion lightly. Add the curry powder and fry this.
Stir in the flour, add the apple and stock. Cover, simmer gently for ½ an hour, add the lemon juice and raisins or sultanas, and season with pepper and salt.
Add the lamb and reheat thoroughly in the sauce.

 

Macaroni Cheese

Serves one

Ingredients
83 gm Italian macaroni
13 gm butter
13 gm plain flour
150 ml milk
100 gm grated mature cheddar

Method
Cook the macaroni in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan slightly larger than that used for the macaroni. Add the flour and stir to form a roux, cooking for a few minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk, a little at a time. Cook in 10-15 minutes to a thickened and smooth sauce. Add a little more milk of needed.
Remove the sauce from the hob, add the cheese and stir until the cheese is well combined and melted.
Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably sized ovenproof dish.
Cook under a grill until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

 

Marmalade

Ingredients
500 gm Seville oranges
1 sweet orange
½ a lemon
1.7 litres water
1.35 kg sugar

Method
Cut fruit in half and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Retain pips. Cut fruit into quarters, cut away as much pith as possible, and cut peel into slices.
Put the juice and prepared peel into a large bowl with 1.4 litres water. Put the pips into a small bowl with the remaining 300 ml water. Soak in respective bowls overnight.
Next put contents of large bowl and liquid from small bowl into a large saucepan. Tie the pips in a square of muslin, or similar, and tie to the handle.
Bring to boil and simmer steadily for at least 1½ hours, or until the peel is quite tender when squeezed between finger and thumb. By this time the liquid in the pan will be considerably reduced.
Add sugar and let it dissolve slowly over a low heat. Warming sugar while fruit is cooking speeds it up.
Bring to boil and boil briskly for about 45 minutes to I hour stirring frequently.
When it seems ready test by putting a little on a cold saucer. Leave for a few minutes, then test by pushing it with a finger. If it wrinkles the marmalade is ready.
Remove the bag of pips, after squeezing out all the juice and let the pan of marmalade stand for 10-15 minutes to cool.
Stir again to distribute the peel evenly. Pour into jars sterilised at 100 C, cover with circles of waxed paper and screw the lids on. Label when cold.
Leave to mature in a cool place for 2 or 3 weeks.

 

Mexican Chicken

Serves three

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
250 gm skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 onion chopped finely
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped finely
2 potatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
2 fresh green chilies, deseeded and chopped very finely
200 gm can chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon  white pepper
1 teaspoon coriander
450 ml chicken stock

Method
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Cook the chicken until lightly browned.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, pepper and potatoes. Cover and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the garlic and chillies. Cook for one minute. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt
and coriander. Cook for one minute.
Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over a medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

 

Pancakes

Makes 6-7

Ingredients
55 gm plain flour
A pinch of salt
1 large egg
100 ml milk mixed with 38 ml water
1 tablespoon oil

Method
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the egg into it. Now start to whisk the egg into it with an electric or any sort of whisk, or a fork, beginning to incorporate bits of flour from around the edges.
Then gradually add , and whisk, small quantities of the milk and water mix.
When all the milk and water has been added whisk until the batter is smooth and the consistency of thin cream. Add the oil and stir it in.
Put enough oil in a frying pan to coat the base and get it really hot.
Turn the heat to medium and start with a test pancake to check the amount of batter. Two tablespoons is about right.
When the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to coat to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take half a minute or so to cook. When it is tinged gold turn the pancake over and cook the other side.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves four

Ingredients
250 gm lean minced beef
100 gm chicken livers, finely chopped
2 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small onion, very finely chopped
225 gm tin of tomatoes
2 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt
Black pepper

Method
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, then gently soften the garlic, onion and bacon in it for 5 minutes.
Now turn the heat up, add the chicken livers and minced beef, and brown them, keeping the ingredients on the move with a wooden spoon.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes to get a nice concentrated sauce.

 

Spaghetti Cheese

Serves one

Ingredients
83 gm spaghetti
13 gm butter
13 gm plain flour
150 ml milk
100 gm grated mature cheddar

Method
Break the spaghetti into short pieces and cook in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan slightly larger than that used for the spaghetti. Add the flour and stir to form a roux, cooking for a few minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk, a little at a time. Cook in 10-15 minutes to a thickened and smooth sauce. Add a little more milk of needed.
Remove the sauce from the hob, add the cheese and stir until the cheese is well combined and melted.
Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably sized ovenproof dish.
Cook under a grill until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

 

Steak and Kidney Pie

Serves four

Ingredients
700 gm steak, cubed (2½ cm)
175 gm ox kidney, chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1½ tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon dried mixed herbs
½ teaspoon Worcester sauce
425 ml beef stock
25 gm mushrooms, sliced
Salt
Black pepper
225 gm self raising flour
110 gm shredded suet

Method
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan, fry the onions for a few minutes, then add the steak and kidney.
Continue to cook, stirring now and then, till the meat is nicely browned, then add the plain flour and stir it in well.

Add the herbs and the Worcester sauce. Season with salt and pepper and gradually stir in the stock.
Add the mushrooms, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Check the seasoning and pour everything into a 1.2 litre pie dish.
Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan).
Sift the self raising flour into a mixing bowl, sprinkle the suet in, and season with salt and pepper. Mix lightly with fingers to distribute ingredients evenly.
Sprinkle with some water and begin mixing with a round bladed knife. Then using fingers, adding water as needed, bring it all together to a smooth elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean.
Leave for 5 minutes and roll out to about 1 cm thick to a shape about 2½ cm larger than the rim of the pie dish.
Cut a 2½ cm strip to fit all round, dampen the rim of the pie dish and press on the pastry strip.
Dampen the strip and lay pastry the lid on top, pressing it down and sealing round the edge.
Flute the edge, make a steam hole in the centre and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

 

Sultana Scones

Makes 12

Ingredients
45 gm butter, cut into small pieces
225 gm self raising flour
15 gm caster sugar
Pinch of salt
60 gm sultanas
1 egg, beaten
50 ml milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan). Lightly grease a baking tray with a little butter.
Sieve the flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sultanas and add the egg. Add the milk and mix well together to form a soft dough which does not stick to the bowl.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 2 cm, and cut the scones using a plain 5 cm cutter.
Place the scones on the prepared baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

The scones can be frozen. They are best thawed within one month.

 

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