Archive for milk

Nigel Slater’s Classic Porridge

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by Robin Gosnall

(Source: Observer)

I was brought up on sweet, milky porridge made with rolled oats, but that all changed when I was shown how to make it by champion porridge maker Ian Bishop from Carrbridge in Scotland. My method is now his.

The recipe

Pour three cups of water into a small saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Tip in one cup of medium oatmeal and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the porridge starts to blip, add half a teaspoon of salt. Continue stirring until the porridge has been cooking for a total time of 5 minutes. Tip into warm bowls. Have a bowl of cold milk or cream ready. Lift a spoonful of hot porridge and dip it into the cold milk or cream and eat.

The trick

Only stir your porridge clockwise or you risk summoning the devil. A wooden spurtle will get right into the corners and prevent your porridge from sticking. Eat immediately it is ready. The porridge will thicken as it cools. Use medium oatmeal rather than rolled oats. Add salt to all porridge, even if you are going to sweeten it afterwards.

The twist

Each to his own, but porridge is correctly made with water rather than milk. The usual embellishments are red-berry jams, golden syrup or honey, but other ideas include a compote of stewed dried figs, maple syrup or a mixture of fresh berries, sugar and ground cinnamon. You could also leave it to set into cakes and fry it in butter. Oatmeal ice cream, made with toasted oatmeal and cream, while not quite porridge, is certainly worth a visit, too.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

The combination of cauliflower and cheese is a classic partnership. You can use a strong cheese like Cheddar or Lancashire or even add a few nuggets of blue cheese at the end. You can also make this with leftover cauliflower cheese and just add a bit of extra milk and stock.

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
2-3 good knobs of butter
1 medium-sized cauliflower, roughly chopped, with the dark outer leaves removed
750ml vegetable stock (or a good cube)
500ml milk
salt and freshly ground white pepper
120g grated mature Cheddar cheese
2 slices of bread, crusts removed and cut into rough 1cm dice
2 tbsp olive oil

Melt the butter in a pan and with the lid on gently cook the onion and leek, without colouring, for 4-5 minutes, until they are soft.

Add the cauliflower, stock and milk. Season, bring to the boil and simmer for 35 minutes, with a lid on, or until the cauliflower is soft.

Blend in a liquidiser with two-thirds of the cheese until smooth and strain through a fine-meshed sieve and season again if necessary. You can add a little more cheese for added flavour if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and cook the croutons on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, turning every so often until golden.

Transfer to some kitchen paper, season and mix the rest of the cheese with them while they are still hot. Scatter the croutons over the soup and serve.

Cauliflower Cheese

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

1 large head cauliflower
8 tbsp butter
10 tbsp plain flour
2 pints whole milk
salt & pepper
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
2 rashers bacon, diced
200g smoked cheddar, grated
200g breadcrumbs

Break the cauliflower into florets. Steam it for 15 minutes until tender, and set aside and keep warm.

Sauté the diced bacon in a wok on high heat until crispy – then remove from wok with slotted spoon (so fat is drained) and set aside. Reserve bacon grease for other uses.

Make a béchamel sauce: melt a stick of butter in a pan over a moderate heat and then stir in flour a spoonful at a time until you have a thick paste (a roux). Cook the roux for a couple of minutes, stirring, stirring all the time and watch it expand. Slowly add milk and keep stirring until you have a smooth, thick sauce. You may want to switch to using a whisk. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gradually stir in two-thirds of the grated cheese. Save the rest to sprinkle on top.

Put the cauliflower into a baking dish and then pour the sauce over it. Then, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. In a small saucepan, melt 3-4 tbsp butter and then mix it through the breadcrumbs to moisten them. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs on top.

Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned and casserole is bubbling. Sprinkle the reserved bacon on top when it comes out of the oven, and serve.

Perfect Porridge

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Lady Claire Macdonald writes in the Daily Mail:

I was browsing around Marks & Spencer when I found myself staring at the shelf in front of me. It was crammed with pots and pots of ready-made porridge.

I’m passionate about porridge. So I’m thrilled that it is enjoying such a revival.

McDonald’s is branching out with bowls of it. And supermarkets are crammed with every flavour imaginable.

With temperatures plummeting and snow falling, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the original comfort food. It’s filling, it’s nutritious and it’s full of health benefits.

Porridge has the proportion of protein needed for repair and growth in the body and boosts the immune system. It’s also rich in soluble fibre, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol.

It’s high in vitamin B6, which promotes the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. And the slow-releasing carbohydrates in oats sustain energy levels.

Porridge has always been a fantastic fast food. But it fell out of favour when we became too busy to wash up the hideously sticky pans. That is no longer a problem – use a non-stick pan.

My first introduction to porridge came soon after I arrived in Scotland as a young bride.

I was staying in this fantastic old house where our fellow guests were the judges of the piping section of the Highland Games.

I watched in fascination as one of the three – a sprightly looking man in his late 70s – proceeded to eat porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I realised then how seriously the Scots take their porridge.

There’s even an annual porridge-making competition in Aviemore. Traditions abound. Some people will only eat their porridge standing up. Purists swear that porridge should never be eaten with anything other than a dash of salt. Others insist on eating their porridge washed down with whisky.

And then there’s the question of how you stir your oats. Traditionalists use a spurtle – a stick specially produced for porridge stirring.

You can understand why the Scots are so passionate about their porridge. It was their staple diet for generations. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s followers went into battle at Culloden with slabs of cold porridge tucked under their tartan cloaks. They lost, but they still swore by their porridge.

While other nations were tucking into pasta and rice, the Scots were eating porridge slabs: oats mixed with water and salt, allowed to go cold and then sliced into pieces.

Porridge is easy to make. You just need the right ingredients and the right equipment.

Oats come in four main sizes: pinhead, fine, medium and coarse. Freshly harvested oats contain 14 per cent moisture, so they have to be dried and toasted to develop their flavour.

You don’t need milk – porridge has its own creamy consistency. I love heaping demerara sugar on my porridge. It is so versatile you can add anything: bananas, strawberries, honey. And there are so many other things you can do with oats – such as add to crumble mixes or coat fish and chicken.

90g pinhead oatmeal
100ml full-fat milk
10g butter
15g sugar
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Soak the pinhead oatmeal for 12 hours and drain off excess water.

Put the oatmeal in a pan with the milk and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the oats have softened (approx 20-25 mins). Then beat in the sugar, butter and spices.

Kinloch Lodge Hotel special porridge recipe by head chef Marcello Tully

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s posh cheese on toast

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

Madame Rarebit, Mrs Rarebit, Jessica Rarebit, whatever you call it, this take on the classic croque madame is a winner. Serves four.

70g unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
500ml whole milk
200g caerphilly cheese, grated or crumbled into small pieces
¼ tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper
a few gratings of nutmeg
4 thick slices good white bread
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 thick slices cooked ham
4 eggs
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then stir in the flour and cook for three minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, for five minutes until you have a thick béchamel.

Stir in the cheese, then add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until the cheese is melted. Heat the grill and toast the bread. Spread the toast with mustard and top with the ham. Spoon over the cheese sauce and grill until golden and bubbling.

While that’s cooking, heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan and fry the eggs, sprinkling them with a bit of salt and pepper, until the whites are just set and the yolks are runny. Top each slice of bread with an egg, sprinkle with salt, black pepper and parsley, and serve immediately.

Smoked haddock baked potato

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

I suppose this is a kind of variation on the famous omelette Arnold Bennett, which was made with smoked finnan haddock.

2 large baking potatoes
200g smoked haddock
enough milk to poach the haddock
100g butter
30g flour
1 tsp English mustard
3-4 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the potatoes on a tray and bake for about an hour or so until soft. Leave to cool a little then halve them, scoop the potato into a bowl and mash with 60g of the butter.

Meanwhile place the haddock into a saucepan and cover with the milk, season lightly, bring to the boil, simmer for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat. Take out the haddock and put to one side. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour, and stir on a low heat for 20 seconds. Return the haddock milk to a low heat and whisk in the flour mixture and mustard. Simmer on a very low heat for about 10 minutes, then add the double cream and continue simmering for 5 minutes or so or until the sauce is the consistency of thick double cream.

Meanwhile, remove the skin and any bones from the fish and flake into chunks. Mix the fish with the sauce and fold half into the baked potato mixture and spoon back into the skins. Put potatoes back in the oven for about 10 minutes, heat up the remaining fish and sauce with the parsley; then, to serve, just spoon the fish and sauce on to the potatoes.

Milk

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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The complex monopoly in milk is successfully worked by Sainsbury’s the high street retailer. They sell 4% fat milk at £1.05 per litre and local Farm Valley milk, same quantity, for 83p. This is designed to confuse and impugn the quality of the local farm milk. Milk is curds and it is whey; if the fat is removed there is little left, other than the whey, which is water. Thus you are paying 20p more per litre for what is very nearly water, and 20p less per litre for what you could, in the summer time, make good cheese from.

Complex? Swindle of the UK dairy farmer, by gulling the consumer public in a hurry to do his super shopping. Super?

What they remove from your fancy low fat milk they make cheese with and charge you handsomely for that too!

So you are really paying about £1.50 per litre or more for the same product as the local organic farm milk at 83p per litre.

I so rarely go in a supermarket and yet have some training in consumer retailing (I used to work for the Co-operative Group at their Head Office in Manchester) that a visit to Sainsbury’s that I made this morning is a solemn reminder of the fake choice that you are presented with. The illusion of choice by presenting so many possibilities when you only want one item that you imagine that you have had choice whereas in fact all you can buy is milk.

I discussed this with the amateur at the desk, a young man, and he was roundly ticked off by the supervisor for entering in to a conversation. He had only said “Yes” and “No” to me so I presumed that the criticism was backhandedly aimed at me, especially since I had only bought one item in a shop of so many hundreds of utter and completely fake choices.

The supermarkets make huge profits out of the dairy farmer whilst vast numbers of them have gone out of business because of it, and been compelled to work for years at the lowest of profit. Those family businesses which have set out to beat the home delivery wholesale merchants by supplying their own vicinity, do very well indeed, as a hard-working self-employed farmer using considerable capital, surely should do?

(Co-op milk supply is a slightly different question since they supply from their own farms, but even they kowtow to the general market price for milk. In some places they still even deliver, so they do have a minor interest in the participation in the complex monopoly in milk, as retail deliveries.)

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