‘Full English’ Pizza

 

There can’t be a student alive that hasn’t eaten cold pizza for breakfast. So why not make the pizza a proper breakfast item?  Everything you might expect from a Full English Breakfast…on a pizza!

N.B:  This dough needs making up at least 4 hours before you cook the pizza! Preferably longer……….

I made the dough from 250 grams of Sainsbury Taste the Difference Ciabatta mix, half the packet….and added 250grams of 00 grade Taste the Difference  pasta flour. This is because I didn’t want a huge thick ‘loaf’ of a pizza which you would get with ‘strong’, high gluten, bread flour, so reducing the gluten with the pasta flour …and so also the yeast…gave me a soft, springy cooked dough. I used 330 ml of warm water and three table spoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the water in small amounts to the dry mix with a strong metal spoon and mix it a bit at a time until most is used up. Keep spoon-mixing it until it all binds into one big lump, then work the dough on your table top until it becomes shiny and a little elastic. This dough mix will make a large Chicago or Detroit style pizza that is enough for 8 people.

It now needs resting in an oiled bowl, covered with clingfilm in a warm place for 4 hours. This is to let the low yeast dough expand and become light in texture.

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After the dough has rested and expanded gently take it out, without ‘knocking-back’, ready for the pan. You can stretch it out into a large pre-oiled pizza pan now . It’s best to let it rest further in the pan for a light texture and it will probably need stretching into the corners of a square pan again after a half hour.

Shopping List:

Sainsbury Taste the Difference Ciabatta and Focaccia mix…250gms.

Sainsbury Taste the Difference 00 grade pasta flour, 250 gms.

6 tbls extra virgin olive oil

330 ml, approx., of warm water

The toppings: Some of these are pre-cooked in a frying pan , see below:

4 rashers of back bacon, cooked and broken into little pieces.

4 ‘English’ bangers…sausages made from a smooth paste, cut from the skins and fried dry in little patties

Cubed black pudding  not pre-cooked as it already was.

Diced tomatoes, not pre-cooked as they don’t need it.

One small can of baked beans, sauce drained and reserved. These aren’t cooked.

A dab of tomato puree to thicken the ‘bean juice’ along with a splash of water, and a pinch of both salt and sugar. This isn’t cooked either.

Boiled potatoes, cooled, diced and dressed with oil and salt, rested for an hour and then fried.

Cubed of bread lightly toasted, then fried with a little vegetable oil and butter.

Sliced mushrooms fried in a little oil, with salt and pepper added.

Two raw eggs, reserved in bowls with half of the egg white spooned away and discarded.

Grated Mozzarella cheese to top.

 

 

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Method:

Build the pizza whilst the oven warms up. Turn the oven on to 220 degrees C, Gas Mark7

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Lightly smear the dough with the ‘bean juice’, add the beans in little heaps followed by the bacon and the mushrooms.

Next goes on the other toppings except the eggs and cheese:

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Just before the pizza goes in drizzle with ketchup add the two eggs.

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Cook for 15 minutes then add the cheese. Cook for a further 5 minutes watching the eggs don’t go over hard.

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Mixed meat kebab….and chips!

Years ago when Greeks and Turks lived side by side in harmony it was quite common to have mixed meat kebabs, in the Turkish style, but using pork rather than beef, to go with the lamb that was always included.

Shopping list:       …………This will make 6 huge kebabs!

Lamb mince, 10% fat 500grams pack

Pork Mince 5% fat, 500 gram pack 

( You could use 20% fat of either meat but you’ll get a lot of flare-ups on the Barbie if you do……..)

Sumac…a heaped teaspoon. A Turkish spice that is both sweet and citrus like…Sainsbury sell it now.

Ground Cummin, a level teaspoon.

Ground Allspice….a quarter of a teaspoon.

Dried Oregano two teaspoons.

Black pepper and garlic mix….two teaspoons.

Sainsbury’s Chipotle Chilli Flakes… a level teaspoon.

Two heaped teaspoons of Laziza Sheekh Kebab Mix.   From an Indian store or buy it online…even Tesco sell it online now! Don’t overdo the quantity…this stuff goes a long, long way!

Plain breadcrumbs…about a tablespoon…enough to make a dryish mixture that binds together still.

Lemon wedge to squeeze over when cooked.

Method:

Blend all the ingredients together in a bowl with your hands until you have a smooth paste. Leave to rest and re-chill in the ‘fridge for an hour and then form into sausages on a kebab skewer…you need a flat metal skewer especially designed for these ‘kofta’  or ‘Lulu’ style kebabs. They are hard to find and expensive..but they last for ever and cook the meat so much more quickly. Squeeze the meat gently onto the blade, and press and release up and down with your thumb and forefinger in a circle to spread it out evenly along the skewer.

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Grill over a low heat on each side and serve with mint sauce and or garlic and onion dip. With chips and a squeeze of lemon this is the food of the gods!

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This stuff might be Indian but it reflects a spice blend that travelled from Persia and the Levant…it goes a LONG way….the two packets inside will be enough for about 10lbs. of meat!!

seekh kebab

An hour of Turkish music….

Whole Jerked Chicken with Rice ‘n Tings

 

A whole jerked chicken spatchcocked and served on sweet fruity rice.

Shopping

I used a brining needle and a lemon squeezer, both cheap and available on-line….

Small fresh chicken

For the mop sauce:   Not used until the bird is almost ready.

One lime, juiced and the peel saved.

Levi Roots Reggae-reggae sauce, two tablespoons.

For the injected brine:

Half a low-salt OXO chicken cube.

A small pat of butter

A splash of hot sauce to taste

Salt to taste

Half a teaspoon of ground allspice

200ml of Boiling water to blend the above to a brine for injecting.

For the rice:

Half a cup full of basmati or long grain rice.

Two tablespoons of sweetened desiccated coconut

A tablespoon of mixed dried tropical fruit.

A teaspoon of ground turmeric

A half teaspoon of  mixed spice.

A cup and a half of boiling water.

 

Method:

Spatchcock the chicken by using kitchen shears to cut down one side of the breastbone and turn the bird over. Melt the brine ingredients with the hot water and inject it SLOWLY into the thighs and breast of the chicken, removing the needle only 5 seconds after you’ve  stopped injecting to let the pressure reduce…or you’ll get a facefull! Brush any remaining brine all over the bird.

 

Place in the oven at 190 Degrees C, Gas Mark 5 for an hour and a half.

 

Clean thoroughly all your equipment that touched raw chicken with bleach. UK chicken still carries a number of harmful bacteria so you need to be diligent! After cleaning put the brining needle away with a tiny dab of vegetable oil on the rubber seal so it doesn’t stick!

 

If you can’t find a needle in the shops maybe this link will remain active:

https://www.bbqgourmet.co.uk/meat-injector-syringe-50ml50cc-with-5-x-25-inch-side-outlet-needles-381-p.asp

Rice ‘n Tings:

Add the rice, coconut, turmeric, mixed spice and dried tropical fruit to a cold saucepan.  Boil the kettle and pour over  a cup and a half of boiling water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, turn down to a gentle simmer for 8 minutes and then set on the very lowest heat elsewhere to ‘set’ for about 20 minutes, so the rice needs to be started about half an hour before the chicken is ready….? Don’t fork through the rice until it has ‘rested’ for that 20 minutes or it will stick!

‘Rice ‘n Tings’ was shown to me by Denise, a young lady in Notting Hill, way back in the Seventies. I’ve never seen it in any recipe books or heard of it before or since…but it IS nice!…and it just seems to go with jerk chicken.

As soon as the rice is set aside ‘resting’ take the chicken out of the oven and brush the bird with the mop sauce after saving the peel of the lime and mixing it with the juice before adding both to the Reggae reggae  sauce. Return to the oven, now set to 210 degrees C , gas mark 7 for a further 20 minutes. Keep an eye to ensure the mop sauce doesn’t burn…..

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Partytime! Almost an hour and a half of old-time reggae to get you in the mood……I need a chilled Red Stripe…….now!

 

 

Orzo pasta salad, with red pepper and wine dressing.

Orzo pasta ( meaning rice) in a popular pasta in Greece…it looks like little rice grains.

 

Shopping:

Orzo pasta,  (Waitrose Essential .89p.)

Chargrilled Red Pepper Paste ( Sainsbury, by the spices..90p.)

about half a carton of tomato Passata

Chopped fresh Parsley and Basil ( Sainsbury, by the fresh chilli peppers £2 and £2…but keeps for 4 months!)

Three capfuls of red wine….about 3 tablespoonsful

Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.

Method:

Boil the pasta in water as per  instructions, then drain in a colander in the sink. Run cold water through to chill immediately ( Food handling and hygiene safety..bacillus cereus)

Turn the drained and chilled pasta into a bowl and dress with enough Passata to coat in a wet sauce. Stir through the jar of pepper paste, three capfuls of red wine and a little olive oil. Add the parsley and basil and salt and pepper to taste. Leave the dressed pasta a bit wet as it will absorb the sauce to quite a degree. May be covered, refrigerated and stored for up to 3 days.

A touch of Turkish Tapas, Meze or Mezedes….Mediterranean nibbles

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My favourite London restaurant has closed after almost 50 years 😦

The Efes restaurant in Gt.Titchfield St. was famous for the atmosphere, the clientele ( right next to the BBC’s Langham Place building) the friendly staff, the food, the service and the theatre of it all.

One of their best sellers was the ‘Three Fillet Meze’, the three fillets of meat from the grill were preceded by mixed dips on a huge platter centred around a prawn cocktail, all served with hot pitta bread,  then a plate of pan fried liver was served finally followed  by the three fillets along with slices of hot donner kebab and then the whole meal was ended with a huge platter of hand-trimmed fruit pieces around a hollowed out pineapple with a night light candle in it and also sporting a couple of lit sparklers. Did I mention the theatre? Sometimes people clapped!

The amazing thing is that this feast cost just £18 a head! Unbelievable value for London!

So here follows a list of easy to do dips and nibbles to recreate Efes at home.

 

 

Stuff you can buy from most supermarkets to go with hot pitta bread:

Taramasalata ( smoked cod roe and bread dip)

Houmous, in various varieties ( Crushed chick peas, oil and crushed sesame seed paste)

Tzatziki, Cucumber  chunks in yoghurt

Babaganoush mashed aubergine and oil.

To accompany:

Pickle chillies in vinegar and brine.

Hot or sweet pickled red peppers in jars, some stuffed with soft cheese.

Olives in brine, oil or fresh packets

Pickled cucumbers

Carrot sticks and other  vegetable ‘crudites’

Marinated fresh anchovies

Tabouleh and bulghur wheat salads.

Beetroot and feta cheese puree.

Don’t forget the pitta bread!

Greek stuff:

Haloumi cheese, cheese for slicing and grilling (or frying, perhaps add some black pepper and mixed herbs)

Feta cheese for salads( buy real Greek stuff for better quality)

Jars or tins of Dolmades( rice wrapped in vine leaves)

Jars or tins of giant beans in a tomato sauce

Jars or tins of meat balls in a tomato sauce

Louganika red wine sausage. I just can’t find this in Surrey so I buy chipolatas and put them in a little plastic bag with some red wine after puncturing them a hundred times with a cocktail stick…the meat soaks up the red wine.

Spanish stuff:

Padron peppers,   sear in a dry frying pan to blister, add a drizzle of olive oil and shake around to coat, finish with a drizzle of runny honey and serve.

Patatas bravas  Boil little new potatoes, drain and cover with a little tomato ketchup with a dab of tomato puree and a dash of chilli sauce.

Chorizo in red wine. Dry fry sliced chorizo until the fat renders and the meat takes on a little dark colour. Splash over a little red wine and reduce to a syrup before serving.

Prawns in garlic oil. Add a big glug olive oil to a frying pan , add thawed cooked frozen little prawns and thinly sliced fresh garlic cloves. When warmed through serve with crusty dry bread to mop up the oil and prawns with…..

Spanish warm tapas

All of the above hot Spanish tapes dishes can be done ahead of time, placed in terracotta bowls and refrigerated until needed. Then just warm gently in a microwave just before serving them…or serve cold on a hot day?

Lebanese stuff

Labna Mix together equal portions of Philadelphia cheese and plain yoghurt. Use as a dip with pitta bread.

Falafel.  Chick pea rissoles. Buy a packet and follow the instructions. Try and shape the little rissoles like baby lemons for authenticity

Kofte. Roll lamb mince, mixed with ground cumin, ground coriander and dried mint into little balls and gently fry.

 

Others:

Tahini paste, slightly bitter paste made of ground sesame seeds…use in dips like houmous.

Jars of pickled chillies and peppers

Jars of pickled mushrooms

Jars of pickled vegetables..the Polish stuff is just right and very cheap to buy.

Jars of grilled peppers in oil

Jars of sun dried tomatoes in oil

Sardines and potato mashed together…a sort of Cornwall taramasalata

Diced pickled beetroot and salad cream

Diced hard boiled egg and vinegary mayonnaise

Mashed baked beans with a dash of chilli sauce

 

 

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Lord of the Burgers…one burger to rule them all

Inspired by some internet posts pointed out to me by my pal Jasmin I put this beast together. It got messy! To make just one 12 ounce burger you need:

Shopping: 

  Burger mince or two 6oz. patties

Streaky bacon

Grated mozzarella

Pickled peppers and jalapenos.

BBQ sauce

Seeded bun.

 

Method:

Lay clingfilm on your board and create a star of bacon using four rashers. Put two patties, or 12 ounces of seasoned burger mince together and form them around a tin can or other object, 3 and a half inches wide, put the burger cup centrally on the bacon star:

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Twist and pull the can out :

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Half fill the cup with packed-down grated mozzarella:

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Put some drained pickled peppers and jalapenos on top:

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Top off with more grated cheese:

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Pull the meat up over to make the pattie rounder, top with a dab of BBQ sauce, and bring the bacon ends up to the middle, securing them together with a cocktail stick:

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Wrap the burger up with the clingfilm and refrigerate to set the meat stiff:

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Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, at 190 Deg. C, or gas Mark 5, checking that the middle cheese has melted. You can do it in a BBQ with a lid, over ‘indirect heat’, i.e: not directly above the heat source.

 

This burger is MESSY to eat!  Wrap it in a foil nappy!

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Mint Sauce, …. for Indian starters

mint sauce

 

 

 

This stuff has changed in the restaurants over the years..these days it’s very sweet….it reminds me of cold custard!…..here’s the recipe for the modern stuff:

Yoghurt, low fat doesn’t seem to spoil the taste or texture. Add the following:

Milk to thin or ‘slacken’ the yogurt

Frozen Coriander

English Mint Sauce for lamb.

Caster sugar.

Pinch of salt.

Green food dye, optional

 

Start with a little of everything and see how you like it…but watch the salt…yogurt gets suddenly salty with just a grain too much and you can’t take it out again.  Don’t blend this with an electric blender as the yogurt will go runny and not thicken again later.

This gloop goes great with poppadums, chicken tikka, sheek kebabs and onion bhajis.

Richard’s Scotch Eggs

My fishing pal, Richard, wanted to lose a bit of weight so he started making a lot of his food for himself. He says he found this recipe on Slimmer’s World, but I could never find it on-line, so here it is…just as he did it…with a few additions by me

Shopping List:

One pack ( 6) Heck 97%  Sausages, or see text for others that are suitable

Half a  box  (3) of Medium size  Eggs, maybe some fancy ‘golden yolkers’?)

For the crumb:

Panko Breadcrumbs, somewhat crushed with a rolling pin inside a plastic bag. Half and half equal quantity with :

Dried Cous-Cous

The flavourings:

Mixed Herbs, a pinch

Dried Sage, another pinch

Schwarz Chicken Seasoning, a quarter of a teaspoon.

Mild Curry Powder, a quarter of a teaspoon

Black Onion Seeds, ( Nigella)… a pinch

Cumin seeds, … a pinch

Caraway seeds, … a pinch

Black sesame seeds, a pinch

Fennel seeds, …. a pinch

Orange powder food dye..just a pinch …. optional.

 

 

Surprisingly complex bit:     How To Boil ( and peel) Eggs!

Take your eggs out of the ‘fridge the night before and lay them on their sides. This will allow the yolk to go back to the middle so you won’t have yolk right at the edge of the white. The egg in the scotch egg shown cut in half above was only laid on its side for 3 hours……not quite enough as you can see! The fresher the egg the longer it will take the yolk to migrate back to the middle again as the white is stills tiff and hasn’t taken on any water through the porous shell yet.   Ain’t eggs technical?

Place the eggs into a saucepan of cold water and bring them to the boil reasonably gently to let them heat through evenly. Once boiling, open the pan lid a crack, move the pan partly off the heat to keep an even gentle ‘rolling’ boil for eight minutes exactly for medium sized eggs. 

Lift them from the boiling water and put them into a bowl of cold water for one minute. Change the water for more cold water. This cools the egg quickly and prevents an unappetising ‘green ring’ in the yolk.  It also slightly toughens the rubbery membrane under the shell a little, making it easier to remove, but leave them in the cold water too long and this membrane becomes bullet-proof!  Just ask any cook who’s had to peel 200 for egg-mayo sandwiches!! I swear eggs didn’t have this bluddy membrane when I was a lad and it drives cooks mad these days!

Now take them out one at a time and tap the shell on the roundest end to crack the shell slightly,  there’s a little air pocket there, that gets bigger if the egg is old…that’s why old eggs float in water.  Peel the shell off just there, and the membrane beneath too and put them back in the cold water for another three minutes to let water creep under the membrane making it easier to get off……hopefully!

Now, with luck, you should be able to peel the shell and membrane from the eggs easily with no torn whites and no yolk showing. I do this underwater in the cold water pan as it helps the shell and membrane lift away and lets you see if you missed any. Ruddy eggs….it didn’t used to be this hard….what are they feeding these chickens now?

 

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Method:

Chill the eggs for an hour in the ‘fridge in a plastic bag with a dry sheet of kitchen paper in there to dry the outsides. Then remove them from the ‘fridge and gently cut them in half with a whetted knife so you don’t tear the white or smear the yolk..

 

Make up your chosen crumb mixture and put this spread evenly over a cold plate.

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Using the point of a knife cut the sausage skins from top to bottom and peel them from the  sausages.

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Take a skinless sausage and rub the meat into a round patty and bring it up the rounded sides of an egg half. Be careful not to smear the egg yolk, press the meat onto it, don’t push it sideways.

Place the scotch eggs flat side down onto the crumb mixture and carry on with the remainder. Go back to the first one and turn it to coat the curved side of the scotch egg, rolling it in the mixture to get an even coating. DO NOT RE-USE CRUMB MIXTURE THAT HAS BEEN ON THE PLATE WITH THE RAW SAUSAGEMEAT…THROW IT AWAY.

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Turn the oven on to 180 Degrees C, or Gas Mark 4 whilst the crumb firms up.

 

Bake the scotch eggs in the oven for 20 minutes, twisting sideways once to release them from the baking tray mid way through…..cool on a cooling rack by the window until cool enough to refrigerate under kitchen paper to keep the crumb crisp..

 

You can use other sausages, but go for ‘low fat’ ones, you can do a whole sausage to a half egg, but they’ll need 25 minutes cooking then. If you use bigger eggs they need longer boiling…ten minutes for Extra-Large.

 

 

Sausage Facts:  Sausages used to be sold by the pound in the UK, and many still are, but it isn’t legal to list the weight in anything other than Metric…a pound is 454 grams. You used to get eight sausages to the pound so each sausage was 2 ounces, or 56.75 grams  In the catering world they were called ‘Pork 8s’. Chipolatas were in a thinner, sheep’s gut, casing and were 16 to the pound, ‘Pork 16s’ and cocktail sausages were the same with an extra twist in the middle to turn them into ‘Pork 32s’.

Nowadays, most fancy sausages are often in a smaller pack, usually containing only six sausages…just like the Heck 97s I used for this recipe. They come in at 400 grams for 6 which makes them 66.66 grams, so they are a tiny bit bigger than the old British bangers.

But some modern sausages, to hide the expense, are sold in 375 gram and even 350 gram packets for six which works out at 62.5 grams and 58.33 grams respectively.  Okay, they are a tiny bit bigger than a traditional banger…but you’re only getting six, not eight!

They’re all close enough size-wise to cover a medium egg though, but do be aware of what you are being tricked into paying for a so-called ‘premium product’. All sausages have water added to the rusk, the breadcrumbs that bind the meat together….just how much water affects the weight considerably and sausages are sold by weight……….Weight watchers own sausages are so watery they are utterly useless and there’s a few others out there adding vast amounts of water. Ingredients are listed by Law in the order of greatest downwards, just look at this for Sainsbury sausagemeat:   

INGREDIENTS:Pork (84%), Water, Rice Flour, Gram Flour, Salt, Onion Powder, White Pepper, Maize Starch, Fresh Sage, Nutmeg, Sage, Preservative: Sodium Metabisulphite (Sulphites), Coriander, Antioxidant: Ascorbic Acid; Dextrose.

Water, by weight, is the second greatest ingredient!  And this is their top of the range sausagemeat  with just 17.9% fat, they do another at Christmas only that is 30% fat……

I tend to go for low fat sausages as they don’t split open in the oven as the water evaporates and the fat renders out. Buying loose sausagemeat seems to simply guarantee a failure as it has so much water in it.

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These Scotch Eggs are great for anglers who want to eat with only one hand…put your rod down and you’ll miss the only bite of the day … and being ‘half shaped’ they don’t roll away. I should warn you that after you get used to them being pretty different to the shop bought ones you may find them a bit addictive.  I did.

Richard, they don’t work!  I ate twenty a week and didn’t lose so much as half a pound!

 

 

 

Doing a ‘Berni’

In 1955 the Berni brothers, Frank and Aldo, started a chain of affordable restaurants that got the British eating out…something they simply hadn’t done before, except the very rich going out to hotels.

They were a huge success and change post war un-rationed Britain enormously.  The chain was eventually sold to Whitbread and became Beefeater.

Berni Inns most popular offerings were Prawn Cocktail as a starter, Steak and chips and Black Forest Gateaux for dessert. And although the gateaux has been replaced by other desserts, the prawn cocktail and the steak and chips are still the top sellers even today

So that’s what we thought we’d do for a laugh for my birthday…a ‘Berni’, complete with wine from the old days…..

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TO START:   Prawn Cocktail with Mateus rose …the first wine most Brits ever tried……

 

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MAINS:  Steak and chips, peas and onion rings with Lambrusco red wine…the second wine most Brits ever tried……

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DESSERT: Black Forest Gateaux……. ‘ish’ …..courtesy of a Mary Berry Indulgent Chocolate cake, a can of squirt cream, home made cherry brandy and Morello cherries and cherry jam.

 

I’m sure anyone can do all these themselves without recipes, but did you know that ‘prawn cocktail sauce’, or Sauce Rose-Marie is simply Salad Cream with a dash of Tomato Ketchup? You can tweak it with mayonnaise for a creamier texture, chilli sauce for a little bite, vinegar or lemon juice to temper the fat……or just use low fat options.

The Black Forest Gateaux we used to get in all the shops seems to have gone from the shops now, though Sainsbury to one in their bakery shops.  I used a Mary Berry Indulgent Chocolate cake, split in half and soaked in French Brandy that had had some Morello cherry juice  and some liquid from St, Balfour cherry jam added.

 

In Germany you are not allowed by Law to call a cake Black Forest Cherry Cake ( Scwartzwalder Kirschtorte) unless it is soaked in Kirschwasser, a slightly bitter cherry brandy that tastes more of cherry stones than fruit….And their original is more cream than chocolate sponge, but in the spirit of Berni, I spread cherry jam on the booze-soaked lower sponge, squirted cream all over it, put the top half gently back on, soaked that in booze too and added rosettes of cream with whole Morello cherries on top and some more cream around the sides.

 

It was just for a laugh really…but we were both blown away with how good it tasted.

Anyone as old as me and remember the advert on TV?  ” We’d be better off at a Berni”

 

The other option was ‘Peppercorn Sauce’…a packet from Tesco in this case…..

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berni inn logo 2                                         berni inn steak dinner

 

 

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Coney Island style Hot Dogs

I’d always imagined that these came from Coney Island….well you would right?   The Brooklyn beachfront is famous for its Fair and Boardwalk and before WW2 was the largest entertainment complex in the US.

Turns out they originated in Michigan. D’oh!   They are mostly associated with Greek and Albanian immigrants, which is weird as they don’t reflect the food of those cultures one bit………..Oh well.

Sort of a ‘chilli cheese dog’ which I’ve covered before, but these HAVE to have a smooth chilli and raw diced onions on them.

 

But first a word about hot dogs, because even the Americans who largely live on them get it wrong!

 

‘Dogs’ are often referred to as Franks or Wieners but they are not, technically, the same thing. Franks are from Frankfurt and are made of pork. Weiners are from Vienna, or Wien, as they say it in Austria and are made of beef being invented to suit the large Jewish community that once lived there. So if you hear a Yank talk about a Beef Frank…he’s talking rubbish.

Before we laugh at the Yanks for getting it wrong though it should be pointed out we’re pretty much ALL saying it wrong anyway. You see German is one of the group of languages that originated in what is now India and like all of Eastern Europe they pronounce the letters V and W opposite to what we do. I expect we pronounced them that way once too…maybe in the time of the Germanic Anglo Saxons, but we probably got influenced by the near neighbours, France, Italy and Spain …. the so-called’ Romantic languages….and reversed the pronunciation of V and W at some time.  And then we colonised North America with our English, wrongly pronounced V’s and W’s.  So Wieners from Vienna should be pronounced “VEENERS” nor “Weeners”. Everybody is saying it wrong….and it’s all our ( the English) fault………oops!

 

You can cook a ‘dog’ many ways; …. simmer in in hot water…about 80 degrees. Grill it, griddle it or bake it.  You see it belongs to the group of German sausages called brühwurst, or ‘cooked sausage’ and it’s already been cooked. The meat is pureed with ice pushed into skins and then chilled very suddenly, causing the protein to bind and give that ‘springy’ texture, before being smoked and cooked in the skins.

There are many types of brühwurst in Germany …. over 800! Almost every city has its own version, from Nurnbergrostbratwurst, the smallest with the biggest name, to bockwurst, bratwurst and even Austrian Kasekrainer.  For a hot dog in a bun, I’d go for good old Herta or the smokey Saxony ones from M&S.

 

Shopping List

Hot dog sausages of your choice. Herta are big sellers with a big smoky taste and they’re in all the shops. Marks and Spencer do a nice yellowish smoky one from Saxony.

Long Buns, or French bread

Minced beef

Chilli powder, hot

Tinned chopped tomatoes…maybe just half the tin?

Diced raw onion to garnish

American sweet mustard to serve

 

Method

Bring the chopped tomatoes to a simmer in a pan and add the minced beef. Leave to gently cook through, testing the meat for toughness after 20 minutes…it may need longer…probably will. Add the hot chilli powder to taste. Note: there’s no cumin in this ‘sauce’ but if you like it add it!

Flick some water on the buns and microwave them for 12 seconds to refresh them. Allow to cool and cut part-way through from above. You could steam the buns on a cake rack above a simmering saucepan if you wanted, but the microwave is a good substitute.

Cook the hot dogs your preferred way…dry frying in a pan is easiest and concentrates their flavour, but go gently or they’ll split their skins!

To serve, take a sausage and put it in a bun, add chilli sauce on top and then sprinkle with raw onions and dress with mustard. Some folk like some grated cheese on top too, some use a slice of ‘burger cheese’. Some like a splash of ketchup.

 

As you can see this is something really simple that children could make with a little parental supervision and there’s not much mess involved….if you’re lucky!

 

coneys