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Posts Tagged ‘English food’

"Official" Yorkshire Pudding > 4 inches tall!

Christmas dinner has come and gone. This year I decided to make a Sunday Christmas dinner that was an ode to Old English traditions: roast beef, gravy, glazed carrots and Yorkshire puddings. The star of the night was certainly the Yorkshire Pudding. Making these fatty little delights was much easier than I had expected and quite fun. Seeing them rise then slowly fall (which is quite sad, but inevitable) is a wonderful example of the science of cooking. A trick to getting the most height out of your puddings is to use a popover pan. The recipe below, using a popover pan, definitely yielded a Yorkshire pudding above the official 4 inch tall requirement for an “official Yorkshire pudding.” The recipe calls for drippings from the “roast beast” a.k.a roast beef. If you do not cook a roast feel free to use olive oil as a substitute.

Yorkshire Pudding with Herbs

Ingredients:

1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

fatty goodness...prep for puddings

1 1/4 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsps (total) savory, thyme, and rosemary–in any combination you prefer

approx. 1/4 cup reserved pan fat from your “Roast Beast” (roast beef)

To make:

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Add half the milk and all the eggs into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk, and then the herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and  let batter sit at room temperature, for approximately 45 minutes (30 if you are in a rush). This is a great time to roast your beef 🙂

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Divide and pour the beef fat or oil into the popover pan (or muffin tin if you do not have a popover pan–the rise will be less with the muffin tin) to fill each container about 1/4 inch of oil. You will probably use less than the full reserved amount of fat–you just want a nice coating on the bottom to crisp up the sides of the pudding as it rises. Heat in oven until the fat is almost smoking hot; approximately 5-10 minutes. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any fat drippings – this will help prevent any oven fires!

Uncover batter and whisk one more time. Pour batter into each cup, about 3/4 full and immediately place back into the oven. The batter will sizzle when being poured into the hot fat. Bake until risen and golden brown in color (takes about 20 minutes). Turn oven off and leave puddings in the oven for just 5 more minutes to help set. Remove puddings carefully to maintain the most height possible. Serve while still hot and puffed–a perfect bite paired with your “roast beast” and gravy!

work fast...they will deflate soon!

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After being on a bit of a blogging hiatus due to busy work deadlines, a nice vacation in Mexico, then a bout of strep throat…my cooking has started again!

Veggie Pockets

This recipe resembles English peasant food–making hand pies (pasty) with whatever ingredients are in the cupboard or refrigerator that need to be used. I was a bit ambitious buying up fresh veggies the last time I went to supermarket, so I found myself with tons of leftover asparagus and spinach that needed to be cooked, asap!

These hand pies can be filled with pretty much anything–meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, etc. A quick and easy trick is to used refrigerated pie crust at the dough. In under a half an hour this is a quick go-to for a budget friendly weeknight meal.

Veggie Hand Pie

1 package of 2, unbaked, refrigerated pie crust

1 egg white, mixed with a dash of water

1 bunch of  asparagus, rough bottom stalk ends removed

1 lb fresh spinach

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes

1 tsp Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not from the can, fresh is much better)

Instructions:

Prepare and cook the filling. This is pretty much true for any filling that you use, you want all of the veggies, meats, or fruit to be softened or cooked to your preference prior to baking the pie, otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy mess–all of the liquid will seep out from the uncooked food and the flaky pie will turn to mush!

For the filling : steam the asparagus and spinach. Drain the spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Cut the asparagus  into about 1/2 inch pieces and roughly chop the cooked spinach. Cut the tomatoes in half. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, and garlic. Layer the seasoned tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Pour the roasted tomatoes into a large mixing bowl–mash with the spoon to break up some of the tomatoes. Add the spinach and asparagus to the bowl–mix. Stir in the cheddar cheese.

Assembled Pies--not baked yet

Assembling the pies: Cut the pie crust into fourths (will end up with 8 triangular pieces using both pie crusts from the package).

Roll each piece into a ball then flatten out into approximately 6 inch circle (use your hands or rolling-pin).Place a scoop of filling (rounded 1/4 cup) in the middle of the crust–basically as much as you can fit and still be able to seal the pocket. Fold over the edge to make a semi-circular pocket. Crimp the edges to seal the filling and make the “hand pie” shape. Puncture the top of the pie slightly with 3 small slits–this will allow some of the steam to escape during baking. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white mixture then top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake the pies on a lined baking sheet (or greased) for 20 minutes, or until the tops are light brown at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let cool slightly before eating–the filling will be very hot!  Eat plain or dip into your favorite dipping sauce (I used honey mustard). 🙂

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