Slow Baked Sticky BBQ Ribs

As mentioned with my other Ribs post, I love ribs and didn’t realise how simple and easy they were to make.

Last time I did a mayo and BBQ covered batch which were to die for although I wanted to try traditional rubbed BBQ slow roasted ribs.

As I was making them for the kiddies I had to make a mild rub and after researching many recipes which would be absolutely delicious if I was going to eat them, I had to go simple – although they still tasted delicious.

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I served these with a egg fried rice and it was a prefect combination. The only problem that I had with this recipe was putting the temperature up to high when first slow roasting them (as I read Fahrenheit rather then Celsius), so sorry about the lack of photos and the ‘burntness’ of the one I did take.

They really did have a great flavour to them though and although chewy were scrumptious.

Slow Baked Sticky BBQ Ribs
Serves 2 – 4

1 Rack or one pack of Individual Pork Ribs
BBQ Sauce (for a greater taste use one for ribs)

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Paprika
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt
(optional)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder

Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper together.

Place ribs in large baking dish.

Rub the dry rub all over the ribs.

Roast ribs for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, uncovered.

Remove Ribs from oven and brush the ribs with BBQ sauce (depending on how much you like).

Cover with aluminium foil and place back in oven for a further 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

If desired, brush a little extra BBQ of ribs before serving.

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Winter Oven Beef Stew

Sorry about not posting in a while, I seem to be in request of the same recipes as well as being away on an amazing trip through Eastern Europe over Christmas.

Since it is absolutely freezing in London at the moment, warm hearty dishes seem to be a winner. I have made my lamb stew a lot over the last couple of weeks although decided to mix it up and use beef. When Pinteresting and googling recipes there didn’t seem to be much difference between the recipe I was using for the lamb one apart from adding in a can of diced tomatoes (which I didn’t mind because the kids like that one anyway).

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I adjusted the recipe I used a bit, adding celery and a bay leaf – I also left out peas.

I believe this recipe was a success, the beef was falling apart and flavoursome from absorbing all the juices. It was quite thick though so next time I might add a bit more beef stock.

Enjoy.

Winter Oven Beef Stew
Serves 4 – 6

6 Tbsp Flour, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
600 – 1000g Beef Chuck, cut into cubes
1 Onion, diced
1 Tbsp oil
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Cups Beef Broth (optional – add another cup)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
3/4 tsp Dried Thyme
3 – 4 Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3 Carrots, cut finely
2 Celery Sticks, cut finely
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cup Peas (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 Degrees.

In a large resealable plastic bag (or bowl) combine 4 tablespoons flour, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake/ toss to coat.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown beef in oil in batches. Remove and set aside.

Add onion and cook until soft, add garlic and cook for a further minute.

Stir in remaining flour and pepper until blended.

Gradually stir in broth.

Add the beef, tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme.

Cover and bake at 180 Degrees for 1-1/4 hours.

Meanwhile chop the vegetables and set aside.

Add the potatoes, carrots and celery. Cover and bake for a further hour or until meat and vegetables are tender.

(optional) Stir in peas.

Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

(Sorry about the lack of pictures)

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I was stuck home today with a sick child so I basically have spent the day in the kitchen, which of course I haven’t minded at all and definitely not complaining.

I have been staring at a large butternut squash all week and decided I have to do something with it. When researching recipes I was tossing up between squash fries, a squash and sage pasta sauce or the soup which I made. I think I will have to give them all a try because they were all so appealing. I went with the soup though because it sounded strangely incredible and I knew it would last in the fridge for at least five days. I have to say I am becoming a bit of a fan of regular cooking.

I say this a lot although the house smelt incredible from all the delicious vegetables roasting in the oven that were covered in the spices I coated them in.  The recipe was really quiet strange with the combination of apple, carrot and squash as well as cinnamon and and cumin. The flavours it created together though were of restaurant quality and I can’t wait to make it for my mum back at home who adores soup.

So I did struggle a little bit I have to say, cutting and peeling the squash nearly gave me a workout. I goggled what was the easiest way to do it and read that if you put it in the microwave it loosens it.  I think it worked slightly although I didn’t leave it in long enough. It still was a mission though.

I wouldn’t change a thing when I make it next time although maybe doubling it and freezing some.

TIP: Scrape out the seeds, remove gunk and place in boiling water for ten minutes. Place on baking tray with baking paper and over in a tsp of olive oil. Bake on 180 for 10 minutes. Enjoy.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup 
serves 4 – 6 

1 Large Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 – 2 Apples, sliced and cored
1 Onion, chopped
2 – 4 Carrots, peeled and chopped
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Cumin
3 Cups Chicken Broth

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the butternut squash, 3 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 Tsp Salt and 1/2 Tsp Cumin. Mix together, coating the squash well. Spread out on a large baking sheet.

In the same bowl (that the butternut squash was in), toss the Apple Slices, Onion, and Carrots to coat with the remaining oil and spices left in the bowl. Place on the same baking tray and roast for 40 minutes.

In a large saucepan over medium heat add 2 tbsp of Olive Oil.

Add the roasted ingredients and then the Chicken Broth.

Add 1 Tsp each of Salt and Cinnamon.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cover for 20 minutes.

Using a blender, combine and puree the ingredients until smooth.

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Thai & Asian Cooking Class

Yesterday I went to a cooking class at ‘The Smart School of Cookery’ and learnt some fantastic thai and asian inspired dishes. It was an amazing experience and I learnt so much, not just recipes but general tricks and tips in the kitchen. I even bought another four class vouchers.

I sat in the corner hoping to take photos (as it was not allowed) of the dishes although it was really hard. I did though take down notes of things I learnt. These included:
– Freezing fruit before adding to a sorbet or an ice-cream realises the natural sugars which means there is no need for added sugar.
– Freezing chilli distributes the heat through out and makes it easier to grate.
– 90% of a herbs flavour is in the stalk
– Eat and buy fish that is wild rather then farmed as farmed fish grow by consuming each others waste and don’t contain a lot of meat as they don’t have room to swim like wild fish do.
– A pinch = three fingers and a thumb.
– Dry noodles contain a plastic film which keeps them long life. Before cooking with them put them in boiling water and use thongs to separate. The film will come off and the noodles will not be glugy.
– Don’t wash mushrooms as they are to delicate.
– When cooking fish/ seafood make sure you only turn once to prevent it from going watery.
– Use icing sugar to tame the heat of chilli.
– For sticky use short grain rice add twice the boiling water

I learnt all of these new today which I found very resourceful for my future cooking. Especially the icing sugar in chilli, I can’t tolerate spice.

In the class we made a variety of dishes. I will post the ingredients and recipes as well as extra tips I remember.

Thai Fish Cakes

200g Chosen fish/ Prawns, (cooked and flaked/chopped)
60g Mayonnaise
1 Spring Onion, chopped
100g Breadcrumbs
1 Egg White, semi stiff

Mix all ingredients except the egg white and breadcrumbs together and form small balls or cakes.

Roll in the semi stiff egg white then place in breadcrumbs.

Fry in a little oil until golden. Remove to paper towel to remove extra oil.

Sweet Chilli Sauce

2 Chillies, frozen
200ml Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Oil

Grate the chillies and place in a saucepan with water, sugar and oil.

Bring to the boil and reduce by half.

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Vegetable Noodel Broth
500ml Vegetable/ Chicken Stock
1 Tsp Garlic Paste
2 Tsp Ginger, frozen and grated
1 Tsp Chilli, frozen and grated
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Juice and zest of 1 Lime and Lemon
1 Pack Dried Egg Noodles, soaked to remove wax
Shredded Vegetables – carrot, bok choy, snow peas, mushroom etc
Coriander and Shallots to season.

Chop/ slice all vegetables.

Place egg noodles in boiling water to remove wax film. (Noodles should be al dente).

Bring stock, garlic, ginger, chilli, fish sauce & soy sauce to the boil. Season to taste and add more flavours if desired (you should be able to taste each ingredient).

Add vegetables & noodles for two – five minutes.

Serve with a generous amount of coriander and shallots.

Season with lemon and lime juice.

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Whole Baked Sea Bass with a Thai Infused Sauce
Whole Sea Bass/ Fish of choice
400ml Coconut Milk
2 Tsp Chilli
2 Tsp Garlic Paste
2 Tsp Ginger, grated from frozen
1 Tsp Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Fish Sauce
1 Tsp Turmeric
Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper

Place fish on a baking tray covered in foil and then baking paper.

Score both sides of a Fish and squeeze lemon in each section.

Mix together the coconut milk, chilli, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce & turmeric.

Pour half of the sauce over the fish.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Heat extra sauce in microwave a pour over fish and rice when serving.

Mango Rice

1 Onion, sliced
Basmati Rice (1 cup = 2 serves)
1 Mango
1/2 Cup Icing Sugar

Sweat the onion in a fry pan.

Add the rice to a saucepan adding same amount of water plus one cup. (e.g. 4 cups of rice, 5 cups of water)

Cover and put in oven on 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until water has all gone and rice is fluffy.

Meanwhile dice mango and place on a baking tray sprinkling with the icing sugar. Place in oven for the last 15 minutes (mango will caramelise).

Mango Sorbet/ Granita
2 Mangoes, cut into chunks
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water

Place mango in a food processor or blender and puree.

Place water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved.

Add mango and heat.

Place on a lined baking tray and freeze until desired.

Restaurant Quality Beef Burgers

What is the point of paying for fancy burger when you can make YOUR OWN version at home for a quarter of the price.

Why I haven’t I made this yet? It was so simple yet the kids thought it was incredible, even saying “we don’t ever need to go to a restaurant again”. Winning.

There is a definite trick to creating such an amazing burger and it comes down to the ingredients used. You can’t just use a regular supermarket patty or a hamburger bun, you have to use a quality meat patty (the ones I used were from Waitrose) and the main component which sets it apart, a Brioche Bun. I also used a good quality cheese and bacon. I finished the burger off with avocado and it looked professional.

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Another trick is the way in which everything is cooked. I first cooked the bacon, trimming off 90% of the fat and cooked in butter. I then cooked the patty in the bacon juice making sure it was a medium/ rare. I then topped them with the cheese and let it melt into the patty, getting crispy around the side. After taking it off I then placed the Brioche Bun in the pan with all the juices and it soaked all those amazing flavours up.

You can really add anything you like on it. If I was making it for me I would of added caramelised onion, mushrooms and an egg. For the kids though this was perfection.

Restaurant Quality Beef Burgers 
serves two

8 Rashers Bacon
2 Beef Quarter Pounders (high quality beef, these were from Waitrose)
2 Slices Cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
2 Brioche Buns
1 Avocado
Butter

Place a knob of butter in a frypan along with bacon, cook until crispy. Removing to absorbent paper.

Place quarter pounders in the same pan cooking on each side for 3 – 4 minutes.

Place cheese on quarter pounders and let melt. Remove from pan.

Place Brioche Bans in pan and let absorb all the juices by moving around pan.

Once the bun has crisped cover in avocado.

Assemble burger.

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese

Yes this is the ultimate Mac and Cheese because is also has BACON AND CHICKEN in it. Definitely the most delicious Mac and Cheese I’ve had and I guess it isn’t that hard considering the only other time I had it was when working in America at a Summer Camp and I’m pretty sure they didn’t use real cheese and possibly not even real pasta.

If you look at my baking and meals I’ve previously cooked you have properly noticed that I don’t like going with the norm, I like going bigger and better. So when they kids asked for Mac and Cheese I was going to make it extra delicious (and better then the previous AuPair made).

I think the trick to making this meal is the quality of cheese used. I used a combination of cheddar and parmesan and you could really taste difference. The bacon also gave it an incredible flavour although I could of used so much more of it. I then cooked the chicken in the bacon fat and you could tell, this meal is not a weekly event so making it extra fatty with the bacon I believe is completely acceptable.

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The recipe below includes the extra ingredients I will use next time.

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese 
Serves 4

2 Cups Macaroni Pasta
8 Bacon Strips
2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Cup Parmesan, grated
Pepper
Salt

Cook pasta as per packet instructions.

Chop and cook bacon in a medium saucepan until crispy. Once done remove bacon leaving fat in pan.

In the same pan add chicken and cook in bacon fat. When cooked, remove. Leave fat in pan.

Add butter to saucepan and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth (should take a couple of minutes).

Slowly add in milk while continuing to whisk (deglazing your pan).

Gently bring milk to the boil, stirring frequently. Allow to thicken.

Gradually stir in the cheese until all has melted. Remove from heat.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in chicken and crumbled bacon.

Add drained pasta to the sauce and stir altogether.

OPTIONAL

Pour into a baking dish and place in oven at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

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Apple and Cinnamon Bread

Since my Banana Bread was such a hit at both the bake sale as well as at home I decided to try this recipe that I have been wanting to make for a while.

Sweet breads (loaf tin cakes as they pretty much are) are a hit with both kids an adults and seem to be more acceptable then a slice of cake which pretty much contains the same type of ingredients (anything tasting that amazing can’t be that good for you unfortunately).

Regardless they taste INCREDIBLE and I don’t plan on stop making them anything soon (or ever). There are seriously so many drool worthy fruit and vegetable breads out there that I can’t wait to bake. I’m so fortunate that I already have three amazing and successful recipes (banana, carrot and now apple and cinnamon) that all get rave reviews and recipe requests from anyone who tastes them.

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I have to say that this Apple and Cinnamon Bread is incredible, the aroma it creates is sensational and the taste is even better. This recipe is a must try and I promise it will be a recipe you’ll bake for a long time.

Apple and Cinnamon Bread

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
2/3 Cup Sugar
125g Butter, softened
2 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Medium Apples, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer combine sugar and butter until smooth.

Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed until combined.

Add flour, baking powder and milk.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.

Cover with half of the apples and pat down with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle with half of sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Pour in the remaining batter and top with remaining apples and brown sugar/cinnamon mixture again pressing down with a spoon.

Bake for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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