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Lacto - Fermented Garlic/Red Onion & Cauliflower/Mixed Peppers

We ferment veg on a rolling basis these days. A little of the brine from a previous batch works as a bacteria ‘Prime’ and gets the fermentation off to a flying start. But pretty much anything with any natural sugars in it will work if you have a clip top jar, some Salt and Water.

The ingredients veg wise are really arbitrary now. We had a catering bag of Garlic which was destined for composting as it had done the rounds through the local Food Banks and was sprouting. So I added a couple of quartered Red Onions to fill the jar. We did Cauliflower and fresh Chilli a while ago which Sue really liked. So the Cauliflower and mixed Peppers is a take on that, but perhaps not with as much heat? We shall see…..

The basic ‘Good for all’ brine is a 2% concentration. So 2 to 3 heaped Table Spoons of Salt per Litre of water is a good starting concentration. I use Himalayan Salt as it doesn’t have the anti-caking agents added which can sometimes inhibit the fermentation.

The only rule of thumb with one of the oldest food preservation techniques is just to make sure that your brine is at room temperature i.e. not too hot, before adding the veg. If you boil the brine to dissolve the salt the heat will kill the bacteria which you need and the whole gig will just go bad!!! Really bad! That’s the worst that can possibly happen but  you’ll know by sight and smell.

The best that can happen is that it will ferment and you’ll end up with pickles which make shop bought ones seem very bland.

Also the Lactobacillus Bacteria are supposedly very good for your ‘Gut Health’ That’s not why we make these pickles though. We just like them and it’s a great way to get the best out of veg which was perhaps well beyond it’s best when we got it…...

Pullum Benedict recipe

It’s a play on words really as there’s a yellow sticker Chicken Burger invasion in our version of an Egg Benedict. The Chicken mince I found at the same time was truly dreadful and regardless of how little it says on a yellow sticker, I’ll never buy it again. But these Burgers were very tasty. How the results from clearly mechanically recovered Chicken can be so variable, beats me…..

Ingredients for the Hollandaise Sauce:-

100g of Butter (Margarine), melted
2 Egg Yolkes
1 Tsp of White Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Method:-

(1) Whisk the Egg Yolks and White Wine Vinegar in a bowl.
(2) Place the bowl of a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not immersed in the water.
(3) Slowly pour in the melted Butter while continuously whisking, until the sauce has thickened.
(4) Season with Salt & Pepper.

Additional Ingredients:-

A thick slice of Sour Dough bread per person (Gluten free for us)
Spinach
Chicken Burgers
Streaky Bacon
Vinegar
2 Eggs per person
Margarine
Fresh (Home grown) Parsley to garnish

Method:-

(1) Grill the Bacon until it is crispy.
(2) Gently fry the Burgers until they are browned on both sides and set aside under a warm grill.
(3) In a frying pan gently wilt the Spinach in a little Margarine.
(4) Toast the bread on both sides and set aside.
(5) Bring a pan of water to the boil and stir in a little Vinegar.
(6) Swirl the water and then poach the Eggs individually.
(7) Build by adding the wilted Spinach to the toasted bread. Next cut the Burgers in half and add them. Now add the poached Eggs. Pour the Hollandaise Sauce over the top and dress with the crispy Bacon and a sprinkle of Parsley.

This really was a very tasty meal. The Bread and Burgers were both yellow sticker finds. So although it looks a bit fancy this recipe was well within budget!
 

Parsnip Crisps

The recycled Fay Bentos tins made an appearance again for a casserole in a giant Yorkshire Pudding. But we had a few rather sad Parsnips in the fridge so Sue cut Parsnip Crisps to add to the top.

Ingredients:-

Parsnips!

Method:-

(1) Cut into thin matchsticks.
(2) Deep fry until golden brown and crispy.

They look great, cost very little and add a bit of sweetness and crunch. OK they might look a bit ‘Chefy’ but there’s no reason that a budget meal should be a boring meal!

DIY Chicken Scotch Eggs recipe

If there really has to be a reason for making Scotch Eggs we’ll probably have to blame the Chicken Sausages we were given rather than them being composted. But really if we’re honest Sue made them because (A) It’s fun. (B) She can!

Ingredients:-

Eggs Boiled with their shells removed.
The meal from Chicken Sausages.
Turmeric
Mixed Herb
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt
1 Egg, beaten
Salt & Pepper
Gluten Free Bread crumbs

Method:-

(1) While the Eggs cool strip the skins off the Sausages and season with a little Salt & Pepper.
(2) Add Garlic & Onion Salt and Turmeric the your Bread crumbs.
(3) Coat each Egg in a generous layer of season Sausage meat.
(4) Roll in the Egg wash and then in the Bread crumbs to coat.
(5) Place in a pre-heated oven at 180c for 30 minutes and turn after 15 minutes.

The Bread we used was yellow sticker Sour Dough at 25p a loaf. The Sausages were FOC and we’d made the Salad Cream a few nights earlier. So all we realistically paid full price for on the main plate was the Pea shoot salad, Cherry Tomatoes and a Spring Onion. Very tasty and remarkably filling for what looks like a light snack!

Keema Cottage Pie

We had a small pack of mince Beef (300g) with a yellow sticker, so Sue decided to make a variation on the Cottage Pie theme. Traditional Cottage Pie meets The Eat Indian Trading Co.!!!!!!

Filling Ingredients:-

1 Onion, finely diced
½ Tsp of Turmeric
2 Tsp of Garam Masala
1 Tsp of Cumin Seeds
2 TSP of fresh Ginger, minced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tsp of Chilli Flakes
1 Tsp of Ground Coriander
300g of lean Beef mince
1 Tin of chopped Tomatoes
100g of Frozen Peas
1 Large Carrot, finely sliced
400g of Beef Stock
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
Oil to fry

For the topping

Ingredients:-

4 Medium Potatoes, peeled of cubed
A dash of Milk
A knob of Butter
1 Egg yoke
1 Tsp of Turmeric
Salt and Pepper to season

Method:-

(1) In a little Oil fry the Onion and Garlic until the Onion is translucent.
(2) Add all the spices.
(3) Add minced Beef and fry until it is browned.
(4) Stir in the Tomato Puree, tinned Tomatoes and Stock.
(5) Allow to simmer for 20 minutes to reduce.
(6) Add the frozen Peas and stir in.
(7) Boil and mask the Potatoes.
(8) Add the Milk, Butter and Turmeric and combine.
(9) Stir in the Egg Yoke.
(10) Spoon the filling mix into oven proof dishes and add the Potato mix to the top.
(11) Place in a preheated oven at 180c and cook for 20 minutes until the Potato has browned on the top.

We served the excess filling on the side and dressed with a bit of fresh Parsley. It might not look pretty, but it tasted really good!

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