Red Tomato Chutney

I love a good chutney and have even got my 7 year old asking for chutney in her sandwiches!! This is a nice simple one..

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I only had 1lb of tomatoes so had to quarter everything else..

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Even measuring out a quarter of the mustard seeds, allspice and cayenne pepper seems like a decent amount..

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The recipe says to put the mustard seeds and allspice in muslin, but I don’t have any so decided to just throw them in with the skinned tomatoes..

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The tomatoes and spices are left to cook and do pretty quickly turn into a pulp, did not take as long as the recipes suggests. So then I added the sugar, salt and vinegar..

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That was all left to simmer until it was thick with no liquid, which did take a bit longer. I think after about 30 minutes it was looking thick and dark and sticky, and the smell in th kitchen was fab!

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By the time it had simmered down to a thick consistency, I really didn’t have much left! I only had enough to fill one ramekin!

I left it to cool for a while before trying. I tried it first with some cheese and crackers and was really good, it is quite a thick chutney that has to be spread on rather than drip down the edges! The flavour is great and I think I had nearly half of it in one sitting!

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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Roast Mock Duck

There’s no actual duck in this recipe and bit of an unusal recipe this one…

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I went off to the butcher to get the flank steak which I was told is just a braising steak, so bought 1lb to make for the three of us.

I bashed the steaks out and lined a casserole pot with half of them..

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Then I mixed up the herbs and only had purple basil!

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When the recipe says 1 tbsp of green pepper I wasn’t sure if this is meant to be a chilli pepper or a regular large pepper. I had one green pepper in the fridge and rather than just use half a tablespoon of that I threw the whole thing in..

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The stuffing mix was then spread over the steak in the casserole..

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Then the rest of the bashed steak was placed on top..

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Finally I poured over the stock, covered and put in the oven for about an hour and a half, and then another 30 minutes with the lid off.

After all that time and especially after the time with the lid off, the meat looks a little bit dried out..

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Doesn’t really look anything like a duck so am still not seeing the relevance of the title! It does cut up really easily, despite the meat looking all dry on the top it just falls apart.

The steak underneath is much softer as you would expect!

I couldn’t decide what to have with this, and ended up just making some rice..

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So it does all look a bit dry but on eating is actually moist in places! The stuffing and the meat on then bottom are lovely and soft and actually is pretty good combined with the drier meat on top. I have to admit I was disappointed when I took this out of the oven but yet again tastes way way better than it looks and the three of us ate the lot!

Would I make this again? Yes!

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Classic Mayonnaise

I’ve never actually tried to make mayonnaise before, always been happy enough with the stuff from a jar but am making an effort and having a go!

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So have to admit that my first attempt at this was a complete disaster! It totally curdled and I followed the instructions to try save it totally didn’t work! So I had to start all over again!

First it’s one egg yolk with the mustard, salt, pepper and sugar..

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Then it’s a lot of whisking and slow adding of the oil. I did have to add a few drops of vinegar every now and then when it did get too thick..

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It started out quite a dark colour but after adding the vinegar it does start to lighten. I had measured out the full quarter of a pint of oil but I didn’t quite use the lot. It was hard to know when it was ready and if I should add all the oil or more oil, but I decided to stop when I felt I had the right consistency, then I added the last of the vinegar and it did lighten a bit more..

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It’s not the bright white colour that you expect mayonnaise from a jar to look like, but I don’t think it looks too bad! Does have a nice shine to it!

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We were having grilled tuna steak and asparagus for tea and this went all quite nicely with that!!

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It is a nice thick mayonnaise and it does have quite a strong flavour from the mustard and vinegar which I enjoyed, it is maybe on the side of too salty but I quite like that!

Would I make this again? Yes, much prefer this to the bottled stuff and was worth the effort!

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Coconut Tarts

I do love baked goods with coconut..

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This recipe does come with a colour photo along with a few other bakes, but don’t know if it’s just the immature child in me but I think it’s a bit of a rude photo…

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So first off I made the pastry which was easy enough, and I did actually leave in the fridge for a while before rolling out. I don’t have a patty tin but assumed a cupcake tin would work just as well..

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I did only end up with the 12 rather than the 16-18 that the recipes says, so maybe I rolled it too thick or a patty tin is smaller.

Each one is filled with some jam..

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Then I made the filling and put a couple of spoonfuls of that into each tart. It does look like scrambled egg at this point..

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These then go into the oven for about 15 minutes before they turn a nice brown colour and look nothing like scrambled egg now..

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These smell pretty good and was impossible to wait for them to cool before trying, I think my daughter had eaten 2 before they had manage to reach room temperature!

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They are delicious warm, the pastry is just right and then the warm jam combined with the coconut spongy filling is great.

We did manage to leave a few to try cold and just as good!

Would I make these again? definitely!

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