Brexit….. a cereal you eat when you are constipated or a reveller who decides to leave the party early, but first pees all over the furniture and then argues about who shall pay the damage?
How should we, on our small island in Spain be preparing for an inevitable and impending Brexocalypse? Frantically hoarding tins of baked beans, PG Tips and Hob Nobs? Can we see a future where we will have the luxury of dunking custard creams into our tea?
Although British cuisine and long been categorised as dull for it’s supposed poor food, lack of imagination and stodgy puddings…..it’s not all chewy lumps of yuckiness poorly hidden under shitty pastry, or sickly sweet deserts that manage to remain bland while giving you diabetes. It’s not that beastly……..really.
Yes, yes, the Brits are known for a love of all things beige and it has been a long standing joke that just before a Sunday lunch is put in the oven, the veggies are put on to boil, hilarious, but I suspect at least back in the 70’s, true. Not forgetting the adorable habit of dousing fish and chips in vinegar, a condiment with taste bud killing properties…….
But, please allow me to sing the praises of the traditional British
food….the simple joy of a humble yorkie pud, the masterpiece that is a full English and the undeniable charm of a cornish pasty. British food culture has come a long way from overcooked vegetables .and salad cream. What with dishes to snigger about with names like faggots, spotted dick and toad in the hole, what isn’t there to love?
Go on, have a gander and jolly well enjoy these recipes……
Bread and Butter Pudding
2 tablespoons brandy
300ml pouring cream
55g caster sugar
1 orange, finely grated rind only
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
1/2 ground cinnamon
8 x 1.5cm thick slices of day old bread
60g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
Icing sugar and vanilla ice-cream or cream to serve
Combine sultanas and brandy in a small bowl and set aside to
marinate. Meanwhile, combine eggs, cream, milk, caster sugar,
orange rind, vanilla seeds and cinnamon in a jug. Whisk vigorously to combine and set aside. Spread both sides of bread slices with butter and half lengthways.
Scatter one third of the brandied sultanas in a lightly greased 1
litres capacity ovenproof dish. Trim bread to fit dish and layer,
scattering remaining sultanas between each layer. Pour cream
mixture evenly over bread slices and stand until bread has
completely absorbed cream mixture – about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180C. Scatter demerara sugar over the pud and bake until golden and custard is firm (30 – 40 minutes) Serve immediately lightly dusted with icing sugar and scoops of vanilla ice-cream.
Pommy Steak and Kidney Pie
50g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
250g portabello mushrooms
800g beef chuck steak cut into 2cm cubes
200g veal or lamb kidneys
2 tablespoons plain flour, seasoned
2 garlic cloves, chopped
330ml bottle of stout (Guinness)
375ml good quality beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons HP sauce
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
375 puff pastry
1 egg beaten
Melt butter and oil in a casserole dish over medium to high heat. In batches, fry the beef until browned on all sides. Set aside. Toss in the onions, stirring for 2 – 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened. Remove and set aside.
Toss the kidneys in flour, add 1 tablespoon oil to pan and cook
kidneys for 2 – 3 minutes to seal on all sides. Return beef,
mushrooms and onions to pan and add the stout, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes until reduced by half.
Add stock, herbs, tomato past and salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Partially cover and simmer for 1 and a half hours, stirring occasionally until the meat is tender.
Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon, discarding the bay leaves, then simmer sauce over medium heat for 5 – 6 minutes until reduced to about 1 and a half cups. Stir in the HP sauce and parsley and return the meat and veg to the pan. Allow to cool.
Preheat your oven to 200C. Either divide the mixture between 2
one litre pie dishes or on one large dish. Sit the puff pasty over the top and trim excess. Seal edges with a fork and brush with the egg.
Top with thyme sprigs, then bake for 25 minutes until puffed and golden.
That’ll put hair on your chest.
Chip Butty with Fish Fingers
Thickly sliced soft white bread
A few Maris Piper potatoes of similar size (frying potatoes)
Salted butter at room temperature
Sunflower oil for frying
Crushed sea salt
Slice edges off each potato so you’re left with rectangular or square sections all the same size, removing all skin. Cut into equal-sized chips.
Rinse and gently run the chips in cold water to remove the excess starch, dry in a tea towel, then allow to dry for a further 30 minutes, spread on a tray in the fridge.
In a deep fat fryer, heat your oil to 135C and add a small batch of chips. Hold the temperature at 130C for 3 minutes. The chips will have a visible crust but should not be much darker than a plain raw potato. Lift them out, shake dry and arrange on paper towel.
Bring the oil up to 195C. Smear each slice of bread with a thick
slab of butter. Drop in a handful of blanched chips and keep them there for about 7 minutes. When a chip looks ready, whip it out.
When the chips have reached a golden colour lift out with a slotted spoon into a sieve. Sprinkle liberally with salt and toss to distribute. Carefully arrange the chips in neat layers across the bread.
Apply your sauce of choice, slice in half and eat, immediately, standing up with your fish fingers.
500g white fish fillet
Half cup fresh dill, chopped
100g panko breakcrumbs
4 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, beaten
Oil for frying
Knob of butter
Slice the fish into chunky fish finger shapes, sprinkle lightly with salt then cover and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Finely chop the dill and mix with breadcrumbs in a shallow tray. Put the flour in another tray and season with salt and pepper. Put the egg into a bowl.
Using kitchen paper, rub any excess salt off the fish. Dust the fish in flour and give them a small shake. Dip in the egg, make sure all sides are coated then into the breadcrumbs they go. Press the fish and the breadcrumbs firmly to adhere. In a heavy based frying pan over medium heat and enough oil to cover the base. When hot, shallow fry the fish fingers on each side for 3 minutes until golden brown. Add the butter towards the end of the cooking to help the fingers crisp up. Drain on paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
Spare some sympathy for the British public……no more delish
croissants for them, they are going to be stuck with crumpets
Galley Goddess xoxo