Food & Drink

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Croquettes Recipe

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Croquettes RecipeBacon-Wrapped Potato Croquettes

Croquettes are the perfect appetizer to serve at a party or family function where you want to make something that shows the appetizers weren ‘t just an afterthought, or worse bought in! You can easily make a regular batch and a vegetarian batch by omitting the bacon, if you have vegetarian guests.

Ingredients:-

Quantities to server 4 as an  appetizer / starter

1 pound mashed potatoes (about 3 cups)

10-12 slices bacon or prosciutto

8 oz. cabbage, shredded

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

all-purpose flour, for dredging

vegetable oil, for frying

Crushed black pepper

Method:-

(1) Fill a small pan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.

(2) Boil shredded cabbage for 15-16 minutes, or until tender.

(3) Drain water and pat dry with paper towels or cook over low heat to reduce moisture.

(4) In a large bowl, mix mashed potatoes with drained cabbage.

(5) Add in egg and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Then add cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

(6) Divide potato cabbage mixture into even sections, form into patties and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

(7) Set up a shallow bowl with enough flour to thoroughly coat all the croquettes and heat 1/2-1 inch of oil in a deep pan until it reaches 160 F.

(8) Dredge all croquettes in flour, making sure to coat them completely. Then wrap a slice of bacon around each one and attach with wooden toothpicks or cocktail sticks.

(9) Carefully slide the croquettes into the hot oil, leaving enough space so they don't touch.

(10) Cook each side for about 3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown and cooked through.

(11) Move croquettes to a paper towel-lined plate and let drain. 

(12) Remove toothpicks. 

(13) Sprinkle with crushed black pepper.

Blackberry Liqueur Recipe

Blackberry Liqueur RecipeDespite the changeable weather this summer the early blackberries are read. As we've had quite a bit of rain recently they are plump and sweet, but may not keep very well as soft fruit. So here is a recipe you might enjoy later in the year if you have a glut at the moment...

Ingredients:-

750ml vodka. A generic brand will be fine, but decent quality

450g fresh blackberries

600g caster sugar

250ml water

Method:-

(1) Add the sugar and water to a pan and heat slowly until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature

(2) Now pour the vodka into a large, clean glass container or decanter. Add the sugar syrup and the blackberries, taking care not to crush the berries. Cover with cling film and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks. You can give it a stir every couple of days, but don't be too violent and crush the fruit.

(3) After 2 weeks, strain the drink through a fine muslin or cloth into bottles - 1 large or a couple of small. Resist the temptation to drink it right away, but leave it to sit for another couple of weeks.

 

 Makes approx 1 litre.

Sunday Lunch from around the world - South African Bobotie

South African BobotieIngredients:-

500 g beef, minced

2 eggs

2 slices stale white bread with the crusts removed

water

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 tablespoons hot water

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons curry powder

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon turmeric

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Topping

1 egg, lightly beaten

1⁄2 cup milk

Bay leaves

Method:-

(1) Pre heat oven to 160°C.

(2) Soak bread in water for around 10 minutes, remove and squeeze excess water and tear into small pieces.

(3) Add 2 eggs to a large bowl and whisk. Add mince and mix to combine. Set aside.

(4) In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry onion until golden in colour.

(5) Add onion mixture to mince along with crumbled bread, hot water, sugar, lemon juice, curry powder, cloves, garlic, turmeric and salt. Mix to combine all ingredients.

(6) Spoon mixture into a greased, oven proof dish and cook in oven uncovered for 40 minutes, remove from oven.

(7) Combine topping ingredients and pour over bobotie. Place back in oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Or until topping is set.

Anybody for Bacon Jam?

Anybody for Bacon Jam?Bacon Jam – There are some recipes / dishes / condiments who's names belie their potential. Take Bacon Jam for example. Initially this concoction sounds hideous, but in actual fact look at the ingredients read the recipe and give it a go and you'll be thoroughly surprised – in a good way!

Ingredients:-

1 lb. thick cut bacon

2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced

½ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup strong coffee

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method:-

(1) Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bit are ok.

(2) Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.

(3) Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, ½ cup of water and the reserved bacon and continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam like, about 30 minutes.

(4) Remove from heat and stir through the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.

Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. 

Baklava - Recipe

Baklava - RecipeAlmost all the peoples of the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans, Caucasia; Turks, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians introduce baklava as their national dessert. When we consider that all of these regions once belonged to the Ottoman Empire, it is possible to think of Baklava as an Ottoman dessert. But because Ottoman is mostly equivalent with ‘Turks’, the modern day Greeks and Arabs don’t like this suggestion.

Greeks claim that Turks had borrowed Baklava from Byzantine . It has been suggested that Baklava is very like the dessert kopte or kopton (koptoplakous) very much liked during the Byzantine period. 

Ingredients:-

30 sheets of phyllo pastry

500g (17 oz.) chopped mix of walnuts, pistachios and almonds

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp grounded clove

1 tsp sugar

300g butter, melted (10 oz.)

For the syrup:-

650g sugar (23 oz.)

400g water (14 oz.)

80g glucose or honey (2.8 oz.)

zest of 1 lemon or orange

1 cinnamon stick

Method:-

1. To prepare this baklava recipe, start by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat, being careful not to burn it. Using a cooking brush butter the bottom and sides of a baking pan. (For this baklava recipe you will need a large baking pan approx. 40*30cm). Begin by layering the sheets of phyllo on the bottom of the baking dish to form the base of the baklava. Layer the sheets one at a time, making sure to sprinkle each one with melted butter.

2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped nuts, the sugar, the cinnamon and grounded clove. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the phyllo base and continue forming the top of the baklava. Top the nuts with the rest phyllo sheets, sprinkling each one with melted butter and brush the top of the baklava with enough butter.

3. Place the baklava in the fridge for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut into pieces. Remove the baklava from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut the cut the pastry all the way down into pieces. If you fancy the taste of clove, place one whole clove berry into the middle of each baklava piece and sprinkle the top with some cold water.

4. Place the baklava in preheated oven at 150C on the lower rack (both top and bottom heating elements on) and bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes, until all the phyllo layers are crisp and golden.

5. Prepare the syrup for the baklava. Into a small pot mix all the ingredients for the syrup and bring to the boil. Boil fro about 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. As soon as the baklava is ready, ladle slowly the hot syrup over the hot baklava, enabling it to be absorbed.

6. Let the baklava cool down completely and serve after the syrup is absorbed. Enjoy!

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