Portuguese-Style Cutlets

I’d bought some lamb cutlets from the butcher to make this recipe, sounds easy and something different to do with lamb..

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First I cooked the onion in butter and then added the tomatoes.

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It says to leave the tomatoes and onions to cook slowly but after only about 10 minutes they had nearly dried out so I removed from the heat and had to force through the sieve to get any liquid.

I used what I did manage to sieve to make the rest of the sauce with the cornflour and stock..

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I had all the onions and tomatoey bits left in the sieve and I ended up just eating them straight from the sieve!

Next I grilled the lamb cutlets for a few minutes on each side. The recipe says to arrange the cutlets and sauce around a green vegetable, I had some broccoli and baby sweetcorn so I arranged the cutlets around them and poured the sauce over..

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So this was dinner for the three of us and am now regretting only getting 4 cutlets! They are nicely cooked, as is the veg but it’s the sauce that’s really good! It’s hard to describe but it’s meaty but with a tang from the vinegar!

I think we had the dish completely scraped clean!

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Fluffy Spoon Bread

I had bought a packet of cornbread mix to make the skillet custard corn bread and had half of that left to make this. I know I should really be using cornmeal but I couldn’t find that anywhere so was using this bread mix stuff, which is flavoured with cheese and peppers!

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Firstly I had no idea how much a quart is in ml, I did search and ended up getting different results, I had to just pick one and went with 1 quart being 1136ml. I only had 4 oz of the cornbread mix left to started off heating up just under 600ml of milk.

Then I stirred in the cornbread mix..

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It did thicken up really quickly and was always soft so wasn’t sure how long I should really cook it for. After only about 5 minutes or so I removed from the heat and added the butter then stirred in the eggs and transferred to a Pyrex dish..

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After 50 minutes it was nicely risen and turned a dark brown..

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I had no idea what to serve this with, the recipe does say to serve instead of bread but I had some left over chilli so we had it with that..

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So I know that looks rubbish but it’s actually pretty good! It’s not as fluffy as the recipe title suggests but it’s a nice soft consistency and not too stodgy! I did think it was pretty good with the chilli and I also think it does not need any more butter!

Would I make this again? Maybe!

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Skillet Custard Corn Bread

At first I wasn’t sure if this is meant to be a sweet or savoury dish, but then I could not find corn meal, could only find a cornbread mix that was flavoured with cheese and peppers, so am going for savoury!

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The cornbread mix I managed to find did say to just add egg and buttermilk so was assuming it would easily replace the actual corn meal. I didn’t have enough buttermilk to make the whole lot, so I halved everything else and then had to try to find a small enough tin. The smallest square I have is a 6 inch so opted to use that and hope it worked out ok.

While the tin was in the oven with the butter I mixed the rest of the ingredients together..

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That was then poured into the hot tin and it starts to cook straightaway! I poured in the raining milk and did not stir that in as instructed..

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After 35 minutes it had risen slightly and was looking nicely browned on top..

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It was quite tricky to remove from the tin as it’s pretty soft. I was serving this hot which I’ve no idea if that’s what’s intended with this. So I eventually did manage to remove from the tin and cut into quarters..

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I couldn’t decide what to have this with and ended up serving it with a gammon steak which may seem weird but I actually thought it’s quite good! It’s really soft and I enjoyed the pepper and cheese flavour!!

I ended up having the left overs for lunch the next day and have to say it was even better!!

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Copenhagen Cookies

I had bought a bag of coloured cherries earlier this year, I know this recipe says the green ones need to be preserved but I don’t actually know what the difference between a glace cherry and a preserved cherry is!

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The cherry and almond quantity is very precise! Also there’s not much else too these ingredient wise..

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The butter is rubbed into the flour and then all the other ingredients get mixed in..

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I actually just used my hands to mix then knead gently and form in to a sausage shape..

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I wrapped it up and left it in the fridge for a good few hours, and by the time I went to take it out if the fridge it was pretty solid! This made it easier to slice up into really thin cookies..

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After 15 minutes in the oven they we looking nicely golden, some were maybe a little too dark, they were obviously the extra thin ones!

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They are super soft when they come out of the oven so I left them for a few minutes on the tray before attempting to move to a cooling tray. I did break one so that had to be tested and was really good!

I left the rest to cool before sampling more! They do crisp up really nicely and are very buttery. The cherries are great and add a nice chewiness to them..

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Even my daughter used to think she didn’t like glace cherries, but after eating these she says she’s changed her mind!! Overall these are a great cookie and it’s hard not to eat a few at a time!

Would I make these again? Yes!

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Curried Crab

This recipes involves more tinned fish and is pretty much the curry sauce recipe I made a few weeks ago with a tin of crab thrown in..

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I’m getting used to having fruit in any curried recipes from this book now, and first off the onion and apple are fried in the butter. I didn’t have rice flour so just added regular plain flour and curry powder..

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Then in goes the stock, paste, chutney, sultanas and lemon juice. I was using the only paste I have which is a red Thai paste and perhaps not the kind of paste this recipe intends! For the chutney I did just use mango chutney.

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After about an hour the sauce is considerably darker and smells pretty good! In goes the crab and that’s heated through for a few minutes..

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Served with some brown and rice and this was dinner..

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As expected this is another relatively sweet sauce which you couldn’t really describe as spicy, more of just a gentle heat, which is nice and I suppose a good one for kids. My daughter struggles slightly with the concept of sultanas in her dinner, despite that she did enjoy this! We did finish it off but the tinned crab does all get a bit lost..

Would I make this again? Yes..

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Chicken Biryani

This isn’t a recipe I’d expect to find in a cook book from the late 40s, I am slightly dubious about some of the ingredients, well one in particular..

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I had to start this much earlier in the day to allow the rice to soak for the allowed time. I only had long grain brown rice, and wondering if the soaking softness it and helps it to cook quicker?

Also I started the chicken this afternoon but 2 hours seems far too long to cook joints of chicken in water, so I let it simmer for about 30 minuets and then turned the heat off and left the chicken and onions and spices in the pan to help absorb all that lovely flavour.

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I was halving this recipe and the amount of margarine is still obscene!! I was meant to use 168g of the stuff! I hate margarine! I do use stork loads in baking but I’m definitely a butter person. So the thought of cooking my dinner in that much margarine just seemed wrong! So I started to weigh it out and gave up at 50g!

When the recipe talks about the cooking the chopped onion in the marg, I’m assuming that’s the onion that was cooking with the chicken. It’s lovely and soft and smells good! So that’s chopped up and cooked in the disgusting marg until brown.

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Then I add the water and simmered that for a few minutes before adding the chicken, then the peppercorns, and I did think I had cumin seeds in the cupboard but I had to use ground instead..
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Then in goes the liquid the chicken was cooked in, followed by the rice and saffron, and some of the dried fruit.

After only about 20 minuets the liquid had been absorbed by the rice and it was all smelling pretty good and the rice was feeling nicely cooked. I piled it onto a plate and topped with browned almonds (not salted) and more dried fruit..
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Even by halving this I think there’s enough to feed a family of 8! It’s not the colour I expected after adding the saffron, but taste wise its fantastic! The flavour from the spices is quite delicate but really good. The chicken is super soft and the rice is just the right sight of stodgy!

Over all this is great, just as well as I think we’ll be having this for lunch for the rest of the week!

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Rice Tart

This kind of sounds like an odd combination, but I like pastry and I like rice pudding so was hoping this recipe turned out ok…

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This recipe apparently comes from Belgium..

I only have sherry and single cream for the pastry, also I’m assuming I’m meant to be using pudding rice!

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The pastry was made up pretty quickly and then left in the fridge to rest. I used half the ingredients and ended up having enough to cover three mini tart tins..
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I can never be sure when I should trim the pastry or not and then should the pastry really be baked a bit first to avoid any sogginess?? I opted to not trim as I think the last time I trimmed pre-baking it ended up shrinking right back!

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The filling was easy enough to prepare, again I halved everything and even then it seemed like loads…

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I poured the rice mix into the cases and didn’t want to fill them right to the top as I was assuming it would puff up a bit in the oven, so I ended up having a little left over..

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After just under 40 minutes the filling had started to brown on top but wasn’t as puffed up as I expected..

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I ended up having a bit of a drama getting them all out of the tins! I’m not sure if some filling seeped through or there was something about the pastry but they didn’t come out the tins as easily as I’d hoped..

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I know for aesthetic reasons I should really trim the pastry after cooking but I just didn’t!! It’s not like it’s going to make it look much better!!

So I guess the main thing is how does it taste? Well initially I got really annoyed because I thought the hard bits were undercooked rice and thought they were inedible, then realised that was the almonds!! I did find them a bit odd!

The pastry was not a great success! The nice well cooked bits round the edge did taste good but was really soggy underneath. I do love rice pudding and that bit was nice, although the almonds are just a bit weird and almost made it unpleasant for me.

Overall this was a bit disappointing which is a shame!

Would I make this again? Doubt it, think I’ll stick to rice pudding and tarts separately!

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