Category Archives: Uncategorized

How did we get so far removed from our food and life??

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Working on my book as made me realise lots of things…

1, We are so very far removed from our food, and I guess we are to blame.
When I was a child we grew stuff..It had dirt on it, we occasionally ate salad with greenflies in it…no one died, well I don’t think they did, apart from the odd greenfly.

2, All vegetables were not equal, carrots came in different sizes, some big, some small, some with knobbly bits, and some had not so good bits. THAT WE CHOPPED OFF, we didn’t throw the whole carrot away. We also bought them loose, so just spent our cash on stuff we would eat, rather than let them fester in a plastic bag at the bottom of the fridge.

3, Potatoes were dug from the garden or bought in a sack.They were muddy. I know, it was my job to wash them. Potato peelers had little knives attached so you could cut off the bad bits. Potatoes actually keep fresh for longer when they have a little mud on them. I hold my hands up here. because I buy clean potatoes in plastic bags…I need to stop.

4, Fizzy pop was bought once a week from “the pop man” we got 2 glass bottles. It was a treat, as it should be. Crisps didn’t come in multi packs. Or sharing bags.they came in little packets…we have to walk to the shop to buy them, one pack at a time.

5, Meat wasn’t sold in vacuum-sealed packets, it came in paper wrapping from the butchers, chickens had giblets… which at some good butchers they still do and they make amazing gravy. Meat may have had blood on it. That’s because it is meat. From an animal. We also ate less of it, and bulked it out with veg and dumplings…mmm meat and potato pie.

What has happened to us?? What has happened to me?? I think its time we changed, Its not too late, lets get hands on and fall back in love with cooking and living, and ditch this sterile world we are drifting into. Lets get our hands dirty. It might be fun 😀

Thanks for reading

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com


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potato peelers and stuff..if you buy from this link I get a few pennies towards my bills 🙂 thanks

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe #yorkshirepuddingday

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Yorkshire Pudding Mix

250g plain flour
300 ml semi-skimmed milk
4 eggs
Good pinch of salt
A shake of white pepper

Beef dripping or oil
Muffin tins

Place the flour in a bowl, and give it a quick whisk to remove any lumps.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly whisk in the milk, next whisk in the eggs with the salt and pepper.

Whisk well trying to get rid of any lumps then leave to stand for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 7..When it’s hot place a small piece of dripping into each hole of a muffin tin and place in the oven for a few minutes so that the dripping is hot and smoking.

(Whilst waiting for the dripping to melt, give the batter another quick mix to get rid of any remaining lumps.)

Pour the mixture into the tins so that the batter comes ¾ of the way up, and then carefully place in the oven.

Cook for 25 minutes until puffed and golden.

Enjoy love Sky @ thesideplate.com<a

English Rugby and a Dinner to soothe the soul

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Oh dear…judging by the expletives emanating from our sofa, we won’t be wanting to have a French inspired menu this evening.

So what is suitable for a cold English winter’s night when the rugby is on? The wind is blowing so hard at the door I think it may enter and join us for dinner.

At first thought,  I am struggling to think what is a true English dish, but I think I am taking our great British cuisine for granted. Yes if you ask folk what their favourite Indian, Chinese or Italian (lets avoid France for the moment.) dish is …they will easily reply. How lucky we are that we have such a fabulous platter to choose from.

It is often popular to be disparaging about English food. However, if it is well made, we have some amazing dishes, and many which are perfect on a cold winters night.

I am spoilt for choice after a visit to a gem of a farm shop I was lucky to uncover a few weeks ago. Bolstermoor  Farm is truly  hidden if not windswept gem. The wind was so fierce up there today that everyone in the car park had a horizontal hairstyle :D.

I came home with a clutch of delights, juicy chicken thighs, succulent pork steaks, handsome sausages, experimental pig cheeks and a pound of tender lamb mince. The possibilities are endless. Juicy roast chicken, with a slice of stuffing and cranberry stuffed into a bap (I daren’t offer a baguette lol).  Bangers and mash smothered in rich gravy,  a shepherds pie made with local ale would be fit for a king.  Pork steaks pan fried with a splash of cider and a plate of bubble and squeak or a slowly simmered casserole topped with dumplings.

Either way I had better crack on….I think we may need to something to soothe the soul when its all over….I may even need to make a pudding.

 

Good luck England

From Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

#rugby #nomnom

Skys’ Italian meatball and burger recipe

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Skys’ Italian meatballs

Makes 16 or 2 large burgers.

300g rump steak
1 onion
2 gloves of garlic
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
½ tsp dried oregano
Good pinch of white pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well chopped and mixed.

Form into balls or burgers and cook until no longer pink in the middle.

Delicious.

http://www.thesideplate.com

It was one of those nights…

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Last night was one of those nights when we had food in the fridge, but after a day of writing about food and cooking, there was no imagination left in my head.

Turns out I create some of my best recipes that way 😀

We started with some cubed pork loin, which had been marinated in vinegar. (It was for a different recipe, but we had some left.)
There was a bottle of cider on the shelf; a couple of apples in the fruit bowl…a lonesome carrot and sweet potato lingering in the bottom of the fridge. The cupboard contained onions. It always does…as a cook I panic if I am onionless.

We chopped the onions and sautéed them, adding half a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda to them, to speed up the cooking time. (It was another of those evenings when dinner was meant to be at 9, but was served at 10 oops.)

The pork was then added and cooked quickly to brown the outside. The chopped sweet potato and carrot were quick to follow, then we simply poured in the cider and left to bubble. After half an hour I thickened the sauce with some cornflour and left it to simmer for five minutes more.

My wonderful partner provided his speciality of very mashed, mashed potato.
I may be biased, but it was divine. (The potato was pretty damned good too) I shall make more next time so I can test its freezability.

Dinner by Sky
Mash by Pod

Happy Friday from all @ thesideplate.com
mashers

is it all in the timing??

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Timing is not my strongpoint,

I often eat delicious dinners at midnight. They are never planned this way of course, but when a new recipe is in progress I kind of go with the flow.

I always underestimate the time taken to make a risotto, (so my partner claims anyway lol ) I say dinner will be at 9, but then a friend calls for a chat, or a cheeky monkey that cant sleep decides to tug my apron and heart strings. Last night I was just disorganised and forgot to factor in the sautéing of the onions, then 40 minutes for the rice.

It was one of those recipes that started out with my saying “we have left over roast chicken, what kind of meal do you fancy?” (Lucky for me he didn’t say steak and chips.)

Risotto was the choice and it kind of evolved from there. I do usually put Parmesan in this lovely soothing dish, but I also had some prawns loitering in the freezer, so instead we tried something new.

Try it; it was pretty damn tasty…however long it takes to cook.

Happy Cooking

Sky @ thesideplate.com

all things rice

As usual, its still a work in progress, so here’s a vague recipe.

Large mug of paella rice (I would normally use Arborio, but its hiding somewhere at the back of the cupboard, and It was already 9pm)

Large mug of leftover roast chicken

Cup of raw king prawns

Cup of frozen peas

An onion finely chopped

½ bottle of dry white wine

250ml chicken stock

25g unsalted butter

I tsp of preserved lemon (lemon juice may work?)

½ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp white pepper

Fried Parma ham to serve.

Sauté the onion in the butter until soft but not browned,
Add the rice and cook for 5 mins, stirring to coat the grains.

Add the white pepper and paprika and give it a good stir.

Pour in a quarter of the stock and stir until absorbed into the rice.

Add the rest of the butter and the lemon and another quarter of the stock

(You should technically keep stirring, but I do generally find time to keep nipping into the lounge to annoy my boyfriend with inane chatter)

Once this is absorbed add the rest of the stock and the chicken and cook for about 10 mins.

Once the rice has absorbed all the stock and has been cooking for about 35 mins, throw in the prawns and the peas.

It will be ready, when the prawns are pink and the rice is just soft.

I topped it with a bit of fried Parma ham, because I was feeling fancy.

How’s that for Timing (ish)

Farewell 2013

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So here it is…

 

Another new year, fast approaching, a new year with a new moon. Somewhat of a rarity it seems…and a very different celebration…a giving of thanks to the passing days.and a warm welcome to those that shall come.

 

I have decided instead of doing the whole dashing to the shops and adding to the already groaning fridge, I shall instead have a feast of the last of the stores. A little like Pancake Day before lent. We have left over brisket cooked in ale…cold turkey as we had a belated Christmas dinner yesterday….there are pickles and cheese…enough apples for a crumble. A quiche in the making…homemade bread.we only need some ginger beer and it could be a famous five new year..Six in our case. A celebration of sharing my home and food with five other wonderful souls.

 

Happy New Year…it’s going to be a good one!

Flapjack…..Why don’t I make it more often?

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Flapjack…..Why don’t I make it more often?

Been a rough day today, what with winter colds and a broken car, so we stayed in and chilled. Managed to make a flapjack though. I really don’t know why I didn’t double the recipe…there are only two pieces left :S

200g oats

100g butter

70 g sugar

25g golden syrup

Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and gently melt together.

Stir into the oats.

Put on a greased baking tray or dish and bake for 30 mins at 160 degrees.

When you take it out of the oven slice it before it cools…because otherwise it’s a swine to cut 😀

Half a chopped apple or a few chopped dried apricots would make it even better.

More ideas to follow in the book

Enjoy, love from http://www.thesideplate.com

christmas chutney sort of

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I shall be honest I don’t know the technical definition of chutney. In my head it is something that can be eaten with fresh crusty bread, a piece of cheese or leftover roast, at my mothers it was only called pickle.

I have not made a keeper here I have simply used what was in my kitchen to spice up a bit of gammon. Its not exact but if you feel like a bit of alchemy in the fruit department…please let me know how it went.

A large onion, roughly chopped

A splash of olive oil

2 tsp vinegar

7 plums, stoned and chopped, each one into about eight pieces,

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

45g of fresh cranberries

200ml red wine

100g sugar

couple of twists of black pepper.

 

Put in a pan and stir

Bring to a slow bubble, stirring every now and then,

Don’t be alarmed when the cranberries pop.

After an hour it should be ready…if you are going to eat in the next few days, put it in a dish in the fridge, if you want to keep it you are going to have start sterilising jars.

 

Enjoy…. and let me know 😀