Why do they always pick on the chubby one for puddings? I mean, if I don’t already have enough to contend with; what with the weather and various “other things”. Anyway, we all have our cross to bear and mine is clearly a little wobbly around the edges. Onwards, dear reader, for today we shall remember christmas. A Danish one to be precise. The Danes celebrate christmas on the 24th December and call it Jul (Yule) which I believe translates as “wheel”, which is rather apt. They also all eat the same thing. None of the ambiguities of the english version. There will be a Roast duck, Flaeske steg (roast pork), red cabbage and caramelised potatoes. After that, they have Ris Alamande and before, during and after there will be much drinking and merriment.
Hooray! It’s time for pudding again. But, alas, my lovely wifelet has encouraged me to a diet without pudding. Oh woe is me. So I can fulfill only the pleasure of making the pudding. Redeye, on the other hand, has to bear none of these restrictions and, along with his family of piglets, demolished the above named pud in quick time. A pud, I might add, that was so huge, it would have fed a large portion of Canada. Mind you, through the grunts of satisfaction, I believe the critique was in the positve.
Also, whilst this may look a touch involved, it is infact fairly simple. Take your time, do each bit in the order that it is written and keep the recipe to hand. The hardest bit is the custard but all you need to remember, is to pour slowly and keep stirring.
here’s what you’ll need…
1 Large orange zest
Grand Marnier/Brandy/Whisky (just one…)
150ml double cream
50g Maya Gold orange spiced chocolate (or just good quality dark chocolate)
I’ve just found this amazing site, which gives the science of cooking a whole new meaning. It’s inspired me to add a new “science” category for the geeks among us. Here’s the formula for boiling the perfect egg. 🙂
Yeh, it freaks me out too…
A quote from the article:
“As is evident from the formula, the boiling time depends on the size of the egg. For a larger egg, a longer cooking time is needed. The circumference of the egg is easily measured around the thick end using a piece of string which, after marking of the circumference of the egg, can be measured using a ruler. I have prepared a piece of string which I keep in the kitchen with three knots at 13, 14 and 15 cm respectively to make it even simpler.”
First up this year we have a surprise. Anyone who’s been perusing this blog over the last few months will realise that most of us at the MCC are pure novices in the art of cooking, which is why the “steak and Kidney Pie” is special. It’s the first recipe where we the disciples have taken the recipe into our own hands and discovered the correct “moves”.
I decided that all I wanted was a pie. Me and Gee had a game pie from a farmers market and frankly it was rank, but we both couldn’t help but fantasize over pies. So the mission the next day was to research steak and kidney pies on this interweb thingy. I found hundreds of recipes, read about thirty and realised that there were a few quantities and ingredients that are pretty consistent and a few extras here and there that seem worthy of additional investigation.
So I ended up with the following ingredients.
1.5 lbs of Beef cut into large cubes
1/2 lb of kidney, cleaned, cut into small chunks, with all tubing cut out
20-30 Button mushrooms cut in half
Puff Pastry, you could make your own, but the packet stuff is pretty good
It’s funny we’ve been doing MCC for about 5 months this year last year, and for the most of the time it was fantastic. A true learning experience, not just the cooking, but the blog, the social side of it, the confidence building and probably many other things.
Now though, the MCC has new beginnings, we’ve lost our Sensi to the real world, and we the remaining MCC disciples worriedly look around for a master to lean on. So until we find a new Sensi, we’re going to dip in and out of local chefs and get a different angle on things. It’s a bit like “Have I got news for you” losing Angus Deaton and replacing him with different people every week, never quite the same but entertaining never the less.
Our Next MCC is next week and we’ll be doing a Steak and Kidney pie, which really, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. Apparently it’s dead easy…
In November I had my first big cooking test, you could call it my first grading. It was Gee’s (my lady) birthday and she was having her friends round for some eating and drinking. Foolishly I offered to cook for them without actually realising what I was saying. Cooking for 10? Generally I have trouble making breakfast for the kids, despite MCC.
So I spent days deciding what to cook that wasn’t too heavy, would go well with copious amounts of alcohol and frankly was manageable by me. I settled on Thai Green Curry, the first ever MCC dish.
I found the whole cooking for others, well, stressful; Generally it went down really well, but was it because I’m not the chef of the house or because I was being “sweet”, or was it genuinely actually ok? To my tastes it was great, which if it was just for me would be fine. Does cooking for others mean you have to find the lowest common denominator of taste to appeal to all palettes? Or do you just not worry and get on with it? I think I need more practice and if nothing else I think Gee would agree with me. 🙂
Kathy Maister from startcooking.com has finally launched her “beginners cookery” site and what a crispy buffet of a site it is too. The MCC has long been a fan of her simple excercises in increasing our culinary powers and now that her site is ready, you can get the recipes direct to your Ipod in video form. The site is nicely laid out with everything easy to hand and all dressed up in this new fangled Web 2.0 Ajax stuff. We love it, take a look.