French baguette

French baguette

Room in my larder

starter or lunch
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I’m not a baker by trade or even had any formal training on baking but just as with cooking, I’m curious so I’m teaching myself. I usually read up about 5 different recipes for the same item and then try the first one that makes sense. It usually turns out to be the right choice trusting my instinct. A lot of recipes that you will find online or in books will set you up for failure from the beginning because they are either overly complicated by the cook who writes them or they just tend to miss vital information. In my recipes I am developing how I write them to try and put my head in the head of an novice and include all the crucial info to help the learner understand what they have to do what the recipe asks of them for success.  

useful info

Course: any time of day 

Oven temp: 220˚c

Preparation time: 1hr 45mins

Cooking time: 22 minutes

Makes 4

 

ingredients

500g of T65 French bread flour or a strong white bread flour

10g of Maldon sea salt

10g of fast action dried yeast

370ml of tepid water

equipment

Food mixer with dough hook attachment

Thick cloth or couche

Flour dredger or sieve

Dough scraper

Dough cutter

Baking stone or strong metal baking tray

Parchment paper

method

Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and turn on slow to combine everything together. Turn the speed up to medium for 8 minutes and watch how the dough comes together and turns glossy.

Turn the dough out of the mixing bowl and scrape every last bit out. Clean and dry the bowl then brush with a little oil to coat and put the dough back into bowl.

Leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size and then carefully turn out onto your work surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces weighing them on your scales to be certain.

You need to be handling the dough gently otherwise you will knock too much air out.

Carefully shape the dough (check YouTube)

Roll each piece with th peplums of your hands tapering off towards the ends. Place in the flour dredged couch or thick tea towel and allow to rise again covered with a cloth or plastic bag for an hour. Whilst waiting pre heat your oven to 220oC and place a metal baking tray in the bottom of the oven.

Once you are ready to bake carefully transfer the baguettes from the linen to a parchment lined baking tray. and make 4 slices across the tops.

Place in oven and for some boiling water into the tray that is sat on the bottom of the oven. The steam will help to create a really nice crust.

Bake for about 20 minutes and once ready allow to cool for a while before getting the cheese out!

serving suggestion

Best eat these baguettes with salami or cheese or ham or beef or whatever takes your fancy. 

 

 

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Chicken Tikka Scotch Egg

Chicken Tikka Scotch Egg

Room in my larder

starter or lunch
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Everyone at some point during their lives should try this chicken tikka scotch egg with cucumber salad and curried mayonnaise. 

useful info

Course: Starter or Lunch 

Oven temp: 180˚c

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 6

 

ingredients

6 blue shell eggs 

1 normal egg whisked 

480g of chicken thigh

3 tbsp of tandoori spice blend may contain mustard 

1 small bunch of fresh coriander

1 tbsp of mint sauce

1 tbsp of yoghurt contains milk

8 pre cooked popadoms 

1 tsp of maldon sea salt

1 cucumber 

A handful of pea shoots, mint leaves and mustard cress

Good quality mayonnaise or homemade will contain eggs 

1 tbsp of madras curry powder may contain mustard 

 

equipment

 

Magimix food processor with blade 

Deep fat fryer 

4 mixing bowls 

A decent potato peeler 

Measuring spoons 

 

method

  • Place the popadoms into the food processor and blitz until they resemble breadcrumbs. 
  • Boil the eggs for 6 minutes then take out of the water and place straight into cold water. Once cooled down carefully peel the eggs they will be very soft and easy to break as the middle should still be very runny. 
  • Check the chicken thighs for any little bones or sinew, remove and then place into food processor with coriander, mint sauce, yoghurt and tandoori spice blend. Blitz until it resembles sausage meat. 
  • Take a lump of the chicken and spread it out in your hand, place the egg in the middle and carefully wrap around the egg pressing gently together to make a seal. Now roll around in the whisked egg and then into the crushed popadoms making sure to evenly coat the eggs. Once you have them all coated you can start frying them. You want to fry them for a few minutes only to crisp up the coating. 
  • Place the eggs on a baking tray and cook for 16 minutes. If you have a temperature probe push it in carefully until you feel it stop at the egg. If it reads 75˚C you’re good to go. 
  • While the eggs are roasting cut the cucumber in half and peel until you almost reach the middle then turn and peel again until you reach the middle. You should have plenty of fine cucumber strips. 
  • Put the mayo in a bowl and add the madras curry powder. Stir well to combine. 
  • To serve lay the cucumber strips out on your plate, garnish one side with the small salad leaves, spoon a blob of mayo on to the cucumber and place the egg on top. You can slice a little off the bottom of the scotch egg to help it stand up. 

serving suggestion

Serve as a starter as it is or add a green salad and some takefood piccalilli madras for a more substantial lunch. 

 

 

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Scallops and beetroot

Scallops and beetroot


recipe pages

I love scallops pan fried with a little garlic butter but smoking them slightly just add’s another level of flavour to the dish. Try this at home for your next dinner party or hire takefood to come make it for you. Also great for a wedding breakfast.

useful info

Course: Starter


Oven temp: 170˚c


Preparation time: 15 minutes


Cooking time: 30 minutes


Serves 6

ingredients

12 native scallops 

 

3 strips of butchers smoked streaky bacon 

 

1 large beetroot roasted until soft 

 

1 purple cauliflower or white

 

Dill fronds

 

Mustard frills 

 

Cracked black pepper 

 

100g of good quality black pudding

 

Cold pressed rapeseed oil

 

3 walnuts cracked open

 

 

 

equipment

 

Heavy based frying pan 

Magi-mix | Blender 

Old pan 

Sieve 

Blow torch 

Frying pan 

Foil

 

method

  • Put an old pan on the stove and add in some oak chips or tea leaves and place a sieve over the top. Once it starts to smoke place the scallops and roe in then place a piece of kitchen foil over the top and allow to smoked for 3 minutes. 
  • Smoke the scallops for about 3 minutes then separate the bright orange roe from the scallops, remove the sinew and put the roe in a blender with softened butter and blitz until smooth. Keep in the fridge until required. To serve sandwich between 2 crisp slices of brioche and garnish with dill. You can serve this as “smoked coral brioche toast” canapés or serve it as part of the dish.
  • Blow torch and finish in a hot oven for a few minutes or pan fry the scallops to brown and cook through in the pan with butter and garlic.
  • Lay the bacon out on a tray and cook in the oven until crisp and then break into small shards.
  • Cook the black pudding and crumble into small bits.
  • Puree the cooked beetroot with a little rapeseed oil. Cut small florets from the cauliflower and toss in a little oil and sea salt then roast until al dente. 
  • To serve spread a little beetroot puree on the plate then place the scallops and bacon in the centre. Garnish with black pudding, cauliflower, herbs and mustard leaves, crush a walnut half around the plate and drizzle with rapeseed oil. 

serving suggestion

Serve with a cold white wine or a light red wine if you prefer. 

 

 

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Ducky eggs and grown up salmon soldiers

Ducky eggs and grown up salmon soldiers

Room in my larder

I lOVE TO COOK SMOKED SALMON, ESPECIALLY IN A RISOTTO WITH FRESH BASIL AND PEAS BUT HERE I SIMPLY WRAP AROUND ASPARAGUS AND ROAST FOR A COUPLE OF MUNUTES AND SERVE WITH SOFT BOILED DUCK EGGS FOR A LOVELY BRUNCH.
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Here’s something simple for brunch. It’s quick to prepare and super tasty.

useful info

Course: Brunch


Oven temp: 200˚c


Preparation time: 5 minutes


Cooking time: 7 minutes


Serves 6

ingredients

12 duck eggs at room temperature 

24 asparagus spears trimmed 

12 slices of smoked salmon  

12 large basil leaves  

Cracked black pepper 

 

equipment

 

Baking tray

Chopping board and sharp knife 

Egg cups and spoons

Piece of parchment paper to fit the baking tray

Timer

 

method

Put a deep pan of water on to boil and set the oven to 200˚c

Slice the smoked salmon slices into 2 halves and lay out on the parchment on the baking tray.

Break the asparagus spears near the base where they break naturally and then bunch together to chop all in one go to the same size.

Lay a piece of basil out on each half slice of salmon and then roll spear up in it.

Carefully place the eggs in the boiling water and set the timer to 7 minutes.

When there is just 2 minutes left on the timer place the asparagus into the oven and turn the oven off.

When the 2 minutes are up serve immediately with crusty bread and butter and a pot of earl grey tea.

serving suggestion

Serve with crusty bread and butter and a pot of earl grey tea. 

To bulk it out you can add some avocado and spinach leaves.

One thing definitely worth is trying is next time you go into Ikea go to the small food shop before you leave and buy a small jar of seaweed caviar. Spoon some of the seaweed caviar onto your soft runny yolk instead of sea salt.

 

 

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Char-grilled lamb chops

Char-grilled lamb chops

Room in my larder

A collection of my ideas, elements and recipes for you to try at home.
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Char-grilled lamb chops with roasted garlic and asparagus.

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recipe pages – char-grilled lamb chops 

Try this fairly simple lunch for Easter this year. It’s lightly and fresh tasting and will leave plenty of room for dessert.

ingredients

 

1k of trimmed rack of lamb 

900g of new potatoes 

24 asparagus spears trimmed

A small handful of mint leaves

6g fresh rosemary needles 

2 garlic bulbs sliced down the middle 

150ml of rapeseed oil 

1 jar of ‘takefood preserves’ wild garlic and pumpkin seed pesto 

Maldon sea salt 

Black pepper 

 

equipment

 

Ribbed skillet pan or char-grill

Chopping board and sharp knife 

Steamer 

Mixing bowl 

2 baking trays 

 

useful info

Course: Easter lunch
Oven temp: 180˚c
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

method

Slice the lamb into chops and brush with rapeseed oil then season with salt and pepper.

Bend the asparagus spears at the ends where they will naturally break, discard the ends and brush the spears with rapeseed oil.

Put the potatoes on to steam, depending on their size they should take about 20 minutes (maybe longer – check with a skewer)

Put the skillet on the hob on high heat and allow to get really hot. (you may want to open the window)

Brush a little oil on the baking tray and slice the garlic bulbs down the middle then push around in the oil to coat.

Bake the garlic in the oven for about 12 – 15 minutes or until soft and lightly browned.

When the potatoes are completely soft throughout remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Char-grill the asparagus for about 30 seconds turning over to get an even charring then remove to the second baking tray.

Place the chops down on to the skillet and press down gently, grill for 2 minutes on each side and then place on the second baking tray with the asparagus and repeat until all the lamb is charred.

Sprinkle over the rosemary needles and place in the oven for one more minute. (maybe longer if you prefer the lamb less pink but watch you don’t over cook the asparagus)

Serve the chops and asparagus on a board with mint leaves and garlic bulbs.

Toss the cooled potatoes in the wild garlic and pumpkin seed pesto and serve to the table in a bowl.

Let everyone help themselves and pop open a bottle of crisp white wine such as Sancerre.

You can pop the garlic cloves out of their paper skins and spread on some sour dough bread if you have a loaf or just add to your plate as a condiment.

If you like a gravy with your lamb simply reduce some white wine and add chicken stock with any remaining meat juices and reduce then whisk in cold unsalted butter. Reduce until you have the thickness you desire.

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