Cherry-Cola Cooked Ham

This certainly is a mouthful to try and say at the best of times – but try it after a few glasses of bubbly on Christmas day! Nonetheless it certainly hit the spot, and went down a treat with the family! It is a bit of a twist on the classic ‘ham’. I feel that cooking it in the cola tenderises the meat a bit more.

Prep Time: 20mins         Cooking Time: 5hrs (dependent on the size of the joint)

Serves: 10-15 people (dependent on the size of joint)

Ingredients 

  • Uncooked gammon joint
  • Boiling water
  • Between 2-3 litres of Cherry-Cola – it depends on how big the joint is and how big the pan is – you’ll need enough to cover the joint.
  • Cherry Jam
  • Handful of cloves

Method

  1. Take all the packaging off the ham and place in a large pan (it’s got to be big enough so that you can cover it and let it boil without it spilling over). If your ham has got string keeping it together, keep it on; however some of them have a bit of baking-esq paper on them, you can take that off.
  2. Pour boiling water into the pan, and boil for 10mins – this will drain all the salt out of the ham.
  3. Drain and refill the pan with cola. Bring to the boil and cook for however l20161226_184516408_iosong indicated on the joint. My one I had to cook for 2hr 30mins. Just make sure it is topped off with more cola as and when needed.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  5. You can tell if it is cooked, when the juices run clear when you pierce it.
  6. Place the ham onto a baking tray.
  7. Take any string off the ham.
  8. Score the fat into a cross-hatched pattern.
  9. Cover the entire ham in jam.
  10. Place a handful of cloves into the fat of the ham in an even pattern.
  11. Pour a small amount of the cola from the pan into the tray – you may want to keep some extra and you may need to add some more during the baking.
  12. Bake the ham in the oven for 50mins – until the fat starts to crisp up. You may need to add more juice or jam throughout cooking to stop it drying out too much.

20161226_194145482_iosYou can either serve it hot and carve right away, or wait for it to cool and have it over the week in sandwiches or at a party. This is a great way to do something a little bit different with that ham – which can get quite repetitive after a while!

As always, let me know how it goes, and ask if you’ve got any questions. Either comment or follow me on Twitter (@danappetit). Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy it!

 

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Crispy Chicken

This one sounds a bit weird – but it is a nice quick and tasty meal to do mid-week. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Prep Time: 15mins         Cooking Time: 50mins

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts – one per person
  • Bacon rashers – you don’t have to use this, but it gives it that extra flavour.
  • Garlic
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 packs of Ready Salted crisps
  • Grated cheese
  • Mixed herbs and seasonings

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180/200C20170102_181040883_ios
  2. Wrap the bacon around each chicken breast
  3. Chop the garlic and plan in the bottom of a relatively deep roasting tray.
  4. Place the chicken and bacon parcels on top of the bed of garlic.
  5. Pour the tin(s) of tomatoes over the chicken and bacon.
  6. Place the breadcrumbs over the chicken breasts.
  7. Smash the crisps up  and place over the breadcrumbs
  8. Place the grated cheese over the dish.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.
  10. Place in the oven and cook for 40-50mins. Maybe cover the dish with foil for the first 30 minutes and then uncover it for the last 10 minutes in order to keep the chicken breasts nice and juicy. You may need to cook them for longer if the chicken isn’t cooked through – but that will depend on how big they are to start with!

20170102_191051297_iosHope you guys give this one a go! It is a bit different from the usual, but it is very nice! Let me know how it goes, and as always give me a follow on here, Twitter (@danappetit) and Instagram (#danappetit). Ask any questions and I’ll help in any way I can!

Thanks guys

Slow-Cooked Beef Curry

This time of year is well and truly the slow-cooker season; the leaves coming off the trees, the clocks going back and the darker, colder nights are coming in fast. This is a great one to try to warm up the family with this super simple, but super effective beef curry!

Its time for the Slow Cooked Challenge! There have been some amazing ideas I’ve seen about here, so I will be bust keeping up with just trying to try them all! But alas here is one of my favourite slow cooked recipes ready for the challenge! Thanks to Farmersgirl Kitchen and BakingQueen74 for hosting this!

Prep Time: 20mins        Cooking Time: 8-10 hours (low), 4-5 hours (high)

Serves: 4 or 5 portions. 

Ingredients 

  • 700g beef, diced
  • 1 large red onion (2 medium ones)
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml of water
  • A small knuckle of ginger – 1-3cm bit will do.
  • 3-4 gloves of garlic
  • 1-3 chillies – dependent on personal choice
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 3 tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt
  • small handful of coriander leaves.
  • Little olive oil

Methodcurry-paste

  1. Create a paste out of the ginger, garlic, chillies, and spices. I chopped the garlic and chillies as small as I could before I grated the ginger into a bowl added the spices and a small amount of olive oil and mashed together with a spoon. Otherwise you could use a pestle and mortar or food processor. It is good to make this a little beforehand as it enables the flavours to develop.
  2. Brown off the beef in a little bit of oil, and add to the slow cooker pot.
  3. Chop the onion(s) and pepper and add to the pot.
  4. Add the paste to the pot with the water and tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 8 – 10 hours on low (or 4 – 5 on high).
  6. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, add the Greek yoghurt and more coriander leaves (and garam masala if needed).

Serve with rice and enjoy!

This is a wicked meal to serve the family or friends on these cold night, or to make in big batches and have for yourself throughout the week! Let me know how it all goes and if there’s anything you would change.beef-curry

As always ask questions, and please follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Thanks guys ^_^!

Viennese Whirls, a fancy bake.

Well Great British Bake Off has left the BBC screens for the last time on Wednesday night, with a record turnout, and the winner was ….. (I’m not going to spoil it, but go to other new sources to find that). This is my first attempt at these GBBO staple, and a favourite of mine as well – the Viennese Whirl. They are light and delicate and deliciously smooth; and as Sunday is baking day, why not give these a go!

Prep Time: 20mins        Cooking Time: 15mins

Ingredients

  • 250g very soft butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  2. Put the butter (it needs to be really soft), icing sugar, plain flour, cornflour and vanilla extract into a bowl and mix. I got my hands dirty and manually did this – I felt this had the added benefit of warming the butter up and making the dough a more pliable mixture for when you pipe it.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a star or flower nozzle, and pipe roughly equal sized circles onto the baking tray, spacing well apart as they will expand. This is where you need the dough to be relatively warm so that it can pipe easily. When you are piping, I worked from the outside into the centre, so did the outside and worked my way inwards. 20161016_152524000_ios
  4. Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15mins.
  5. Bring out the oven and cool, before assembling with jam and buttercream.
    1. For the buttercream you will need;
      • 100g soft butter
      • 200g icing sugar
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
    2. Place the butter and icing sugar into a bowl and mix continually until smooth and light. Spoon into another piping bag and pipe onto the flat side of one of the whirls.
    3. Spread the jam onto another flat side.
    4. Sandwich the two sides together
  6. Once the whirls have been assembled – dust with more icing sugar and serve.

This are easy to make and are pretty delicate. This recipe made around 12 whirls (24 in total), so can make more by doubling or tripling the ingredients above as appropriate.

I was thinking that you could try different flavourings, such as lemon or orange zest into the dough or buttercream. Have a go and let me know what you try; either in the comments below or on Twitter (@danappetit).

Warming Sausage Casserole

It’s that time of the year again; its slow-cooker season and this is a personal favourite of mine (minus all the other times I’ve said that!). It is a really nice warming and homely meal to cook in batches or to serve to the whole family.

Prep Time: 20mins        Cooking Time: 9-10hours

Ingredients

  • 6 Sausages
  • 6 rashers of Bacon
  • 2 Potatoes
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 small bottle of red wine (or half a bottle of a full bottle and drink the rest!)
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 can of bakes beans
  • splash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Beef stock cube or juice pot.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the sausages into a baking tray, and chop the onion into quarters, and scatter over the sausages.
  3. Bake the sausages for 20mins.
  4. Whilst the sausages are cooking, peel and chop the vegetables into 2cm cubes – smaller if you want to cook it quicker. Place it all into the slow-cooker
  5. Chop the bacon up into mouth sized pieces and place into the slow-cooker.
  6. Add the baked beans, tomatoes, wine and stock cube, along with the Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Take the sausages from the oven, and add them and the onions to the slow-cooker.
  8. The liquid should just about cover all the contents, if not add a touch of water.
  9. Mix everything up and turn the slow-cooker on.
  10. Come back 8 to 10 hours later when the vegetables are fully cooked, and enjoy a rich smokey casserole!

Let me know how it all goes, and if anyone has any questions, fire away or I’m on Twitter (@danappetit).

Crusted Chicken (or others …)

This is one I haven’t done for a while, and it just came to me whilst out in the shops and thought I better get on it! It is pretty simple and it can be varied to create a whole host of different flavours depending on what you want and what meat you’re serving it with.

Prep Time: 5mins         Cooking Time: 30mins (for chicken)

Ingredients 

  • Meat (I have used chicken in this example, but you could use pork/lam chops or steaks.)
  • Butter – half a tablespoon is enough to create a crust for two chicken breasts. breaded-crust
  • Breadcrumbs – about twice the amount of butter used. I have used Pako golden breadcrumbs just as you need it pretty finely crumbed. Otherwise if you want to make your own just make them as small as you can.
  • Spices – I have used Cajun and Jerk seasoning, but you could also try zesting lemons into it, thyme, any combination of flavours that you like – even putting chilli flakes if you want to give it the kick!

Method

  1. Place the butter into a bowl.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs and the spices.
  3. Get your hands in and mix it all together. Add more butter/breadcrumbs/spices as you need to. You are looking for a crumb that isn’t too sticky but able to mold.
  4. Cover the chicken breast (or chops or whatever meat you are using) and place into a pre-heated oven and cook for 30mins.
  5. It couldn’t be simpler.

This is a great way to serve something a little bit different – try playing around with differing spices and meat options. Let me know by commenting below or on Twitter @danappetit.

Thanks everyone ^_^

 

Street Food Circus – Part 2

Well, it has been open now for a few weeks, with a huge turnout, and it’s even had its fair share of good weather (as well as the bad!), but that’s the risk of holding an outdoor event outside in Wales during the autumn! However, alas it has been, as enjoyable coming here for the second time, as the first.

This time round I took more advantage of the ‘Grazing Menu’ that the organisers had instigated this year. Basically it is a venture that encourages the vendors to sell small taster options for a reduced price, so that you can try as many of them as possible, whilst not filling up on too much food too quickly. Great idea, but it means that I have more to write about.

Dirty Bird Chickendirty-bird-fried-chicken

As it was necessary we opted for the chicken from this stall. Whilst there was a small wait, it was worth it for the freshly cooked and served chicken pieces. The coating was perfectly cooked with a subtle spice mixture that the old Colonel would love to have! Additionally their hot sauce was extremely nice – but not for the faint-hearted as it is pretty hot with a fire that builds the more you eat it. Nonetheless the cooling slaw which comes with the chicken is amply up to the job of cooling it down.

Price wise it was £6 for three pretty large pieces of chicken, so not too bad in that regard.

Slow Pig

Slow Pig - Chorizo Bubble n Squeek.jpgI went here last time, where I had the arancini and they were lovely. This time they had a chorizo bubble and squeak topped with a fried duck egg on offer. It was lovely, with the warm chorizo flavour cutting through the potato which in turn is cooled by the yolk of the egg. A massive thumbs up from the guys here which have consistently sold great produce direct from their fame.

Price wise this was one off the Grazing Menu so was £5, so a pretty great deal for the large portion size you’d be looking at. Thoroughly recommend a trip across to them if you get the chance!

Gopals Curry Shack

Now over in ‘Singha Street’, it is everything South Asian with the characteristic amazing smells with all the spices. We opted a trip Gopals Curry Shack.jpgto Gopals Curry Shack, where we went for the pakoras off the Grazing Menu, covered in a wonderfully flavoursome sauce finished off with slaw and coriander. We also opted for the samosas with chickpea curry topped with a yoghurt dressing.

Both were very nice but I feel the pakoras won out of the two as it had all the flavour, with the chickpea curry being slight bland and lacking any flavour or heat. Nonetheless it was still very nice.

Price wise the pakoras were £5, whereas the samosas was £6. So for the quantity it was pretty good value once again, and well worth a recommendation if you see them about, either here or in Bristol.

Earlybird Bakery

Earlybird Bakery.jpgThe offering here, is doughnuts, doughnuts or more doughnuts. For £5 you get three doughnuts, topped with a number of options. I went for the ‘Malt-ilda’ which included chocolate sauce, honeycomb and fudge pieces and it was a pure chocolate fix. Very nice. this is one for the sweet tooth members of the party and it is well worth it.

Brulee Bar

Again I went here last time, and I just love brulee; after I learnt from last year. This time I went for the strawberries and cream offering – which basically has a pile of fresh strawberries with a helping of their homemade ice cream. Pretty much enough said if I’m honest. The brulee is lovely and creamy and just cuts through any of the toppings you put on. It is a great palate cleanser to finish the night off. Again you can get the standard offerings for a £5 a piece, or make your own with additional toppings and flavours, so go wild!

Overall, whilst it is pricer than some places, there is no place where you’ll be able to eat this wide variety of food in one place. Additionally the quality here is sublime, and you can tell the vendors take great pride in the work that they do and love to hear it from its punters.

Street Food Circus is open until the 25 September every Thursday – Sunday. So get yourself down there as quickly as possible! Let me know what you try and what you think. Or give me a holla if you see me down there to.

Also please follow my Twitter @danappetit and follow me on Insta #danappetit.

Street Food Circus – Sophia Gardens, Part 1

Its back! After a really successful few years, building the street food scene in Cardiff – the SFC has outdid itself this year by moving the venue to Sophia Gardens. It is bigger, better and fits in more food stalls than you could possibly try in one sitting – forcing you to go back and try more. In addition to the usual food stalls, they have added the Feast Clwb, which will create “…one off dining experiences by getting chefs out of the kitchen into the fields…” and it looks like the lineup they have will be no exception. With the chefs of the Purple Poppadom, Dusty Knuckles and MILGI all wowing diners with a three course meal.

The SFC runs from 18th August till 25th September every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So plenty of time to get yourself down there! I thoroughly recommend you doing so. This will be the first of – my many trips, no doubt down there.

Patagonia20160818_174612743_iOS

I tried the taster option from Patagonia which involved a 48hr slow cooked shin, shredded and combined with mozzarella and then fried, served with hot sauce. It was lovely, the meat was super tender and the cheese just finished it all off ensure it held together. Great little snack to start off with!

Slow20160818_175540302_iOS Pig

It was all things pork here and it was very nice. I, again, opted for a taster option which involved arancini with Nduja Salami in the middle surrounded by perfectly cooked risotto. Super yummy with the lemon wedge.

Prego 20160818_182533249_iOS

A range of different dishes from a bean chilli stew, to a braised beef stew to peri peri wraps and finally a steak sandwich served with cheese and an egg. It was very nice – although it was not the easiest thing to eat without making it a mess. But well worth the wait as the flavours sure do pack a punch!

Ffwernes

20160818_193136639_iOSNothing can be better than a freshly cooked pizza, and these are no exceptions. It is my second trying of the pizza’s made by Ffwernes and they do not disappoint! I opted for the Jiawl Bach which included salami and chilli’s. These are well worth a wait and with the daily specials you’re sure to be able to try something different every time you go. Da Iawn!

Wild Fig

Its all about ice cream and creme brulee here and they are insane. I opted for the sticky pud creme brulee. Which was perfectly cooked and creamy brulee covered wi20160818_195158132_iOSth a helping of sticky toffee pudding and covered in toffee sauce – what isn’t there to like? With a whole range of other flavours and options to make your own, you can quite literally have any combination you can think of. Get yourself over there once you have finished with the rest of the place.

Hallets Cider – Heartbreaker 7%

This is a great little cider, that packs quite a punch. Well worth trying it out with its medium-sweet taste; it is well worth it. Whilst it is pretty high in the % scale it doesn’t taste strong and it is a very nice accompaniment to much of the food on offer.

 

Overall, it’s great that this is back for the next few weeks and I can’t wait to try some of the other stalls that are about. Such as Hangfire Smokehouse (only opened Fri and Sat), GotBeef, Crofters and many more.

A true winter warmer – Vegetable Soup

It has been pretty horrible; weather-wise today – so I needed something extremely warming to dispel the rainy weather-feeling today. This is a super-easy recipe whih creates a super tasty meal.

Prep Time: 20mins         Cooking Time: 1hr

Ingredients 

  • Vegetables – I used 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 large sweet potato,  5 carrots, 1 swede, 1 parsnip – this created enough for around 4/5 portions. You can add whatever you wish, and however much you wish, depending on how big your pan is and how many people you’re serving.
  • Water
  • Salt and pepperVeg Soup
  • Thyme

Method

  1. Peel and chop all the vegetables. The smaller you chop the veg, the quicker they will cook and the easier a blender can deal with it.
  2. Fry off the onions and garlic in a large saucepan for a couple of minutes.
  3. Place the rest of the vegetables in the saucepan.
  4. Cover with water and bring to the boil
  5. Add salt, pepper and thyme.
  6. Simmer for c.30mins-1hr – until the vegetables are soft and cooked.
  7. Take off the heat and blend.
  8. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

This is a great easy meal to make in bulk, enabling you to use it for lunches and dinners throughout the Veg Soup Finalweek. If you want to add meat, just cook the meat separately and add to the blended soup. Or if you wanted to make a ‘cawl’ (Welsh lamb broth) add the cooked meat to the cooked soup, but don’t blend it. Works perfectly with lamb or beef.
Let me know what you guys put in yours and how it goes. As always give my Instagram and Twitter a follow. Thanks guys ^_^!

Barker’s Cardiff Establishments…

Restaurant – 7/10        Service – 8/10        Food – 9/10        Drink – 8/10       Overall – 7.75/10


 

So Barkers (Coffee / Tea / Gelato *delete as appropriate*), have had a pretty impressive growth rate recently, with a well-established Coffee House and Tea Room they have recently added a new Gelato bar to their collection.

Whilst I am not a massive fan of coffee, or tea, I have been several times to them, as my other half if a tea enthusiast and just loves the wide variety of teas on offer in the Tea 20160716_170307000_iOSRoom. Also they have some of the nicest cakes I’ve had whilst out – not anything like my own, of course ^_^!. However, he was extremely happy when they had a Purple Violet Cake on sale earlier in the year, something which was beautiful. If you are ever in the search for Afternoon Tea, Barker Tea Rooms do an excellent job! With assortment of sandwiches, scones topped off with cake and macaroons, it is certainly something to enjoy!

Barker Gelato 1Nonetheless, onto the new addition to the Barker Empire, the Gelato, which is on the High Street – actually its an addition to their Coffee House, and expanding the seating on offer in this often packed out eatery. The decor is quirky with an assortment of chairs, tables and sofas scattered about the place. Only problem is that it is relatively tight, and can – at times – be quite a struggle to move and maneuver around whilst carrying items. However, whilst this is one of my downsides, it is also a positive, as it gives the Barker name a distinctive and comforting feeling in all of their locations.

Moving onto the Gelato itself, a neBarker Gelato 2w thing – for me at least was that they served a Doughnut Shake, and as such we just had to get one to see what it was all about. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it basically a milkshake – you get to choose from a range of flavours – with a doughnut and cream on top. Nonetheless, it is pretty tasty, despite putting on several pounds before even leaving the establishment! For eating they have either waffles or ice cream sundaes – we opted for a Strawberry and Fudge Waffle. It was lovely, the waffle was still warm, and cooked perfectly. Complimented perfectly with the ripe strawberries and warm gooey fudge sauce.

 

Overall, it is a great addition to the Barker family, and will be a great addition to the Cardiff scene – if we ever get any sun! I’m hoping that its coming….one day… one day soon, I swear it!

However, go and give it a go and you will not be disappointed! Let me know what you think. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter / Instagram; search for Danappetit. Thanks everyone ^_^!!