I want to share a couple of awesome recipes with you. One of which is one of my absolute fave home cooked meals.
For as long as I can remember my grandma has made a thing called Bacon Pudding. Some people have heard of it, some haven't but as far as I was aware growing up, it was something only my Grandma and Great Granny could make. It was the food we asked for when she asked what special meal we wanted for birthdays, and always makes me think of Great Granny.
This is not a healthy meal by far, but its good old fashioned cheap and tasty food.
8oz Plain Flour
4oz Shredded Suet
6-8 rashers streaky bacon, smoked or unsmoked
Mix the flour and suet together and add enough cold water to bind together, its usually best to add bit by bit mixing in between - just like with pastry.
Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a rough rectangle shape around 1/4 inch thick.
Lay bacon rashers in a single layer covering surface of the suet pastry leaving a small gap around the edges.
Wet these edges a little and roll the whole thing up as if it is a swiss roll, tucking it as tightly as possible. Look out for breaks in the suet and patch up if necessary.
Using a clean tea towel, wrap the pudding tightly, and tie with string. Make sure to tie securely (you dont want the towel unravelling), but not too much as the whole thing swells a little and if the string is too tight then it will break the pudding. If this happens its not a big problem however, it just doesn't look fab, but its not a pretty pudding anyway.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and submerge the wrapped pudding. Boil for at least 2 hours, but really the longer you can leave it, the better. My grandma usually boils it for 3-4 hours.
Once cooked, lift out of the pan (carefully as it is very hot) and remove the string. Be careful when unwrapping as the suet will stick slightly to the towel, but gently pull it away and it should be fine.
Serve in slices with mashed potatoes, veggies and lots of gravy. Mmmmm.
The next recipe I want to share is one I kind of made up to use pastry I had left over.
Chicken and Cheese Tart.
Just enough pastry to line a smallish (9in) tart tin.
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard
1 cup milk
handful of grated cheese, plus extra for top.
1/2 onion, sliced
First, fry the chicken and onion lightly for 5 mins or so. The chicken doesn't have to be cooked through as it will be going in the oven.
Melt the butter in a separate pan and whisk in the flour. Stir in the mustard then slowly whisk in the milk, whisking till smooth. Heat slowly until it thickens. Add the grated cheese and stir.
Put the chicken and onions in the pastry base and pour over the cheese sauce. Teh sauce will be thick, so you may need to spread it a little, but dont worry too much, it evens out in the oven.
Cook on 160C/gas 3 for 30-45 mins until it begins to turn brown. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cook for a further 20 mins.
Remove from oven and serve!
A quick note about my cooking times: My oven is very temperamental - it's unpredictable with the temp and times vary, so keep an eye out as yours will probably be slightly different.
I also made Nigella's Caramel Croissant Pudding this week. Its gorgeous! I struggle with caramel though, but that is an entirely different post. I made a Butter Pie recently too, but I'll put that in another post soon.
I hope that if you try the above recipes that you'll let me know how it goes, or post pictures or something.
I'm off to London for a couple of days tomorrow, I get to see Phantom Of The Opera on stage and I'm really excited so I'll probably do a post about that soon.
Hope you're all fabbity!