Thursday, October 18, 2007

More In Store

A request for Garibaldi biscuits, stumped me for a while,but managed to find two very different recipes - it remains to be seen which is preferred. One was found in an old recipe book, the other, although called Garibaldi, is not really the way to make them at all, and - if wishing to make 'the real thing' I would suggest using the traditional method. The main thing about the true Garibaldi biscuits is that they need to be rolled thinly, so that the fruit is seen as lumpy through the pastry topping. Traditionally they used to be cut into triangles, other recipes suggest squares or rectangles.

Traditional Garibaldi Biscuits:
2 oz (50g) currants
1 oz (25g) butter or marg.
4 oz (100g) self-raising flour
pinch salt
1 oz (25g) sugar
2 tblsp milk
Chop the currants, and set aside. Put the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and rub in the fat. Using a fork, stir in the milk and mix together to make a firm dough. Roll out to one eighth inch thick and cut in half. Spread the currants over the top of one half and cover with the second piece. Roll out to press firmly and cut into triangles. Brush with water, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 190C, 375F, gas 5 for fifteen minutes. Cool on a cake airer. Store in an airtight tin.

This next version uses the same weights throughout - apart from the fruit which is roughly twice the basic weight - so an easy one to remember.
21st Century Garibaldis:
4 oz (100g) butter
4 oz (100g) icing sugar
4 oz (100g) plain flour
4 fl.oz egg whites
7 oz (200g) currants
Mix together the butter, sugar and flour until smooth (this can be done in a food processor), then add the egg whites and fold in the currants (I see no reason why it can't all be done in a processor up to this stage). Wrap in cling film and chill for one hour. Roll out to half an inch thick (again this seems too thick, suggest making them thinner) and place on greased and floured baking sheets, not touching. Chill again for half an hour then bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 180C, 350F, gas 4 until golden. Cool and store as above recipe.

A few more fish dishes using foods from your stores.
Salmon Delight: serves 4 - 5
1 egg
6 fl.oz (175ml) milk
half pint measure fresh breadcrumbs
1 lb (450g) canned salmon
half pint measure grated cheese*
1 tsp grated green bell pepper
1 tblsp lemon juice
half teasp each celery salt and garlic salt**
quarter pint measure dry bread crumbs
2 tblsp butter, melted
Beat the egg and milk together and add the soft breadcrumbs. Drain the canned salmon, removing any skin (leaving in the bones for the calcium content). Flake the salmon, mash the bones, adding to the bread and milk mixture with the cheese, pepper and seasoning. Place in a 9" (23") square baking tin. Mix together the dry crumbs with the butter and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30 mins at 190C, 350F, gas 4 . Serve as-is, or with a tomato sauce, or even a white sauce which contains chopped hard-boiled eggs.
Note: This (Americn) recipe gives processed Cheddar as the cheese, but I would imagine any type of grated hard cheese would do. Some cheese could also be mixed in with the breadcrumbs for the topping, instead of using butter.
As regards using celery and garlic salt. Fine if you stock them, if not just use a little - and I do mean only a pinch - of ordinary salt.

This next dish is suitable for a light lunch, at home or at work. But thinking about it, could easily make a good late-evening snack. Worth making a good batch of filling to store in the fridge.
Zippy Tuna Pockets: makes 3 servings
6 small pitta breads
1 can tuna (around 175g), drained and flaked
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1 gherkin, chopped
half a rib of celery, finely chopped
2 tblsp mayo or salad cream
1 tsp made mustard*
6 lettuce leaves (pref. Little Gem)
Into a bowl put the tuna, egg, gherkin, celery mayo and mustard. Divide into three small containers and chill overnight. This will keep in the fridge for up to three days and make three servings.
To eat at home, assemble by tucking a lettuce leaf into each pitta, and stuff with the tuna mixture. To eat at work, take the pitta breads in one plastic bag, the lettuce leaves in another, and one individual pot containing the tuna mix, then assemble when ready to eat.
Variation: Instead of the gherkin, used some canned and drained pineapple pieces. Any surplus pineapple can be frozen.

For this dish you need huge (jumbo) pasta shells (but read footnote) and your choice of canned fish: crabmeat or salmon. A make-ahead dish which is intended to be cooked from frozen.
Jumbo Stuffed Shells: serves 4 (F)
12 jumbo pasta shells*
8 oz (225g) canned crab meat or salmon
4 oz (100g) cream cheese, softened
2 fl.oz (50ml) milk
1 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tblsp chopped chives
1 tblsp white wine
Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain well. Meanwhile drain the chosen canned fish, chop or flake. Into a bowl put the rest of the ingredients and blend together, then stir in the fish. Spoon about 2 tblsp into each shell. To freeze, place shells on a baking sheet, cover with cling film and then freeze Once frozen remove and bag up. Use within 2 months.
To cook, put a layer of a rich tomato (pizza type) sauce in the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish and place frozen shells on the top. Cover with foil and bake at 190c, 375F, gas 5 for 35-40 minutes until heated through.
Tip: If you cannot obtain the huge pasta shells, then cook flat sheets of lasagne, drain well, coil into a large circle (the lasagne could be cut in half lengthways if too wide), and fill the centre with the above mixture. Then follow freezing and cooking directions as above.

Another store-cupboard stand by. Great for kids, and teenagers.
Small Fry Corned Beef Sausages: serves 4 (F)
1 lb (450g) potatoes
2 oz (50g) butter
2 tblsp tomato ketchup
200g can corned beef*
2 eggs, beaten
4 oz (100g) breadcrumbs
2 tblsp sunflower oil
Peel and cook the potatoes until tender, drain well and return them to the pan. Add half the butter and all the ketchup and mash together. Leave to cool. Mash up the corned beef and mix this into the potatoes. Using floured hands, shape into sausages, dip into the egg, then the breadcrumbs (at this point they can be frozen). To cook, put the remaining butter in a frying pan with the oil, heat and fry the sausages until heated through and golden brown. Serve with salads, or even as part of a breakfast dish.
Tip: *For ease of slicing I keep one can of corned beef always in the fridge (slices more thinly when cold), but for the above dish I would use a can from my back-up stock of corned beef kept in my normal storecupboard (at room temperature) as it will mash so much more easily.

Although this can be eaten as soon as made, it will keep chilled for up to three months, so one to make now for the Christmas period (or make in December to include in a hamper).
Red Onion Marmalade: makes 4 x 500ml jars
4 lb 8 oz (2kg) red onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
5 oz (140g) butter
4 tblsp olive oil
5 oz (140g) golden caster sugar*
1 tlsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper
75cl bottle red wine
12 fl.oz (350ml) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
7 fl.oz (200ml) port**
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the oil. Tip in the onions and garlic and toss so that they are coated in the butter. Sprinkle over the sugar, thyme and season to taste. Stir well and reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered for about 40-50 minutes until the onion juices have evaporated and the onions are soft and sticky enough to be mashed to a pulp when pressed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Pour in the wine, vinegar and the port and keep simmering, this time over a high heat, for a further 25 or so minutes or until the onions are deep red in colour and the liquid reduced by two thirds. The easy way to find out if ready is to draw the spoon across the base of the pan leaving a path that fills up with syrupy juices. Remove from heat, leave to cool in the pan then pot up into sterilised jars and seal. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Serve with cold meats, pates, cheeses etc. Add a little stock and it will turn into a lovely onion gravy to serve with bangers and mash.
Noe: *demerara sugar whizzed down in a blender, makes a good substitute for golden caster sugar, alternatively, use white sugar. As port, once opened, does not keep that long, next time a bottle is started, freeze some away to use in a recipe such as this.

Got a surplus of heavy whipping or double cream? Then why not turn (or should I say 'churn') it into butter.
Home-made Butter:
8 - 16 fl.oz (225 - 450ml) heavy cream
Put the cream into a food blender and whizz. The cream will go through peaking stage to suddenly turning into buttery clumps as the fat separates out. Drain - reserving the buttermilk, and work the butter with butter pats (as if we all have these, although I personally do), or could use a palette or fish slice, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Form into blocks, wrap in clingfilm or parchment and store in the fridge.

Flavoured Butters: (F)
To make flavoured butter, simply beat additional ingredients into softened, creamed butter, form into a roll, wrap in clingfilm or parchment, and chill or freeze until required.
garlic and herb butter:
2 oz (50g) softened butter, 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1 tblsp lemon juice; 2 tblsp chopped parsley; and salt and pepper to taste.
lemon and herb butter:
as above, omitting garlic and adding zest from one lemon, and just 2 tsp lemon juice.
mustard and mint butter:
2 oz softened butter, half tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tblsp chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper.

Surplus lemons can either be grated and squeezed, to be frozen for later use, or make this flavoured vinegar which is especially good used when making mayo or salad dressings or even drizzled over oily fish such as smoked mackerel or canned sardines.
Lemon Vinegar:
3 lemons
1 pint (500ml) white wine vinegar
3 small springs lemon balm
Wash and dry the lemons. Peel the rind very thinly. Squeeze the lemons and put the juice into a sterilised bottle and add the lemon peel. Top up the bottle with the vinegar. Wash the lemon balm, dry and add to the contents of the bottle. Cork or seal and shake well. Leave to stand in a cold place for 3 weeks. Strain through muslin, pour the clear liquid back into the bottle and store in a cool place. Use as required.