So, an explanation for last Sunday’s Silent Sunday….. They’re all cousins and this is the first time they’d been together since Brad, the tallest, was under a year old. Here’s photos of the last time the family were all together at Josh’s (middle cousin in the SS photo – erm, sorry, that was a bit obvious!) Christening. That must have been in about the year 2000.
Unfortunately Brad’s parents split shortly after and we lost touch with him and his mum…..until a new kid started to Josh’s school, he heard a rumour that they were related and decided to find out for sure. Josh and Brad are now best friends and decided that they ought to come and visit us and reunite Brad and my daughter. Josh did all of the planning, stayed at Brad’s house the night before, worked out bus times and saved them onto both boys phones in case one ran out of battery (!) and appeared on our doorstep last Saturday. As Josh and my daughter are so close and Josh and Brad are so close it didn’t take long for the ice to thaw and for them to all be getting on like a house on fire. It was absolutely amazing and hopefully will be a regular event from now on.
As I’ve said, ask me a question and I feel honour bound to answer…. So when Cottage Delight asked about Valentines menus and how you’d use their products, of course I had to rise to the challenge!
We’re very lucky to have a supplier of delicious Cottage Delight products quite close to us – you might have one too, check out the handy Local Stockists section of their website. I thought I’d take two of my favourites of their ingredients and see what I could come up with….. here’s the results.
The great thing about Cottage Delight products is that you can often pick up leaflets and delicious recipe cards, so they’ve done the hard work for you!
This time, however, I thought I’d go it alone with my recipes using, firstly, Caramelised Onion Chutney. Thinking along the Valentines theme, I decided that having my first attempt at palmiers, given their heart-ish shape, would be a good idea.
If you fancy a try it’s very easy and pretty effective looking too – as well as being delicious of course! If you’d like to use make-your-own puff pastry then, please, be my guest! Ready made is, however, far easier and has equally great results so I went with that.
Take your pastry square from the fridge and bash it hard with a rolling pin! Yes, really! See, you’re liking this recipe already! The palmiers don’t actually need to “puff” much so mistreating the poor old pastry on this occasion is a plus, not slapped wrists from Mary Berry time.
Now roll out your bashed pastry to approx 30 x 35cm and spread with your Caramelised Onion Chutney. Crumble cheese over the top. I used Blue Stilton given the strength of its taste, but you could use whatever you wanted.
Turning the short end of your pastry towards you, roll each of the long sides towards the middle of the pastry rectangle, so they kiss (this is Valentines remember) in the middle. Brush whisked egg along the join so that they stay together. Place the whole lot in the fridge for 30 mins to allow the pastry to harden. After the time’s up, take the rolled up pastry out and cut it into thick pieces (about 1cm wide). Lay them on a greased baking tray and spread with lots more of the egg. Bake them in an oven heated to 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes until crisp. They should look something like this….
Okay, better speed things up or it will be Easter by the time you’ve finished reading this, let alone Valentines Day!
I’ve decided to serve these with Beetroot Risotto…here’s the recipe…
500g fresh beetroot
2tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
1 heaped tsp Caramelised Onion Chutney
1 finely chopped red onion
1 finely chopped garlic clove
250g risotto rice
150ml white wine
700ml hot veg stock
Heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan). Peel and chop beetroot into large wedges, toss in 1tbsp of olive oil, place on baking foil on a baking tray and place in the oven for an hour until soft.
Heat the remaining oil with the butter in a large frying pan. Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in the rice, ensuring it’s well covered with the butter/oil. Pour over the wine, add the chutney and allow to bubble for a short while. Stirring again, add the stock and allow the mixture to soak into the rice, softening it. Keep stirring as you go.
Remove the beetroot from the oven and blitz them or chop them into very small pieces and then stir into the risotto mixture with the Parmesan. Serve with palmiers….
Okay, moving on to the second of my favourite Cottage Delight’s products – Lemon Curd and a Lemon Curd Cake.
The ingredients are:-
75g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 jar of Cottage Delight Lemon Curd (I leave 2 tsp in the bottom of the jar to eat later….!)
1 level tsp baking powder
If you’re lazy like me, shove it all in your food processor and whizz it until it’s mixed together nicely! Or, the proper way mix it all together for about 5 mins. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (fan).
Pour the cake mixture into a greased (or, lazy me again, one with a paper case) 2lb loaf tin.
Bake for approx 35-40 mins until browned.
Serve drizzled with honey or maple syrup and top with ice cream or clotted cream. Oh, and champagne given the day of course!
Happy Valentines Day and thank you very much to Cottage Delight for the inspiration! I would love to hear if you give any of the recipes a go.