Tag Archives: lemon

orange and lemon cake

Having made the Christmas cake yesterday, I was all set to make some mincemeat.

I started by blitzing an orange and a lemon in the food processor, and then pulled opened the baking cupboard to get at all the other ingredients (they’re all kept in a pull out cupboard).  And there, on the top shelf, was a huge jar of mincemeat from last year. And we don’t eat much …

So, what to do with a pair of marmalised citrus fruit? Make a cake!

1 orange
1 lemon
100g butter or marge
120g granulated sugar
2 eggs
140g desiccated coconut
100g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
100ml natural yoghurt

Whizz the citrus fruit first – cut it into chunks, then hurl it in, peel, pith and all.

Then add the other ingredients and whizz some more.

Decant into a 2lb loaf tin (either well greased, or use a liner), bake for about 45 minutes at 180C. I suggest you use the fan setting, rather than the grill – it works better 🙂

cranberry and lemon cake

Cranberry Sauce 003

Like most people, I tend to overbuy at Christmas, and that’s even with cutting back a *lot*. We had a couple of punnets of fresh cranberries lurking in the back of the fridge; well, when I say “fresh”, $deity alone know what they do to them to make them keep for over two months, but there they were.

Pete picked through them and we had about 1.5 punnets when done. So, I made lemon and cranberry cakes. This cake recipe is a good basic one, and you can add any dried fruit to it, but fresh is even better – give it a try with blueberries!

This is the recipe for one cake, but I always make two, because it freezes well. And I use the zest and juice of the lemon for two cakes.

160g caster sugar
125g butter or marge
175g self raising flour (or be like me – plain with a teaspoon of baking powder)
2 large eggs
zest of one lemon
a pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of milk

If you like, you can glaze the top with lemon juice and icing sugar mixed together, but that’s too sweet for us.

Cream sugar and butter/marge, add eggs, fold in flour, add lemon bits, berries and milk. If you’re adding fresh berries, I blitz them in the blender for a few seconds to break them up.

I always bake loaf cakes in a parchment liner – much easier. About 40 minutes at 180C should do it. Recommended.

Also, as a hint, chopped fresh cranberries are just lovely added to sausagemeat for home made sausage rolls.

 

twelve chicken legs

I was in Tesco last Saturday – I don’t like Tesco one bit, but they were the cheapest place to buy a couple of slimline water butts, which we wanted for the garden, and so I whizzed round and bought a few bits while I was there.

They had a special offer on chicken legs – 3 packs of four legs for a tenner. Now, I know it won’t be great chicken, but times are hard, and there was space in the freezer, so I swallowed my principles and bought some.

I turned them into Madhur Jaffrey’s lemon and coriander chicken, one of our very favourite things.  With the additional of a bunch of coriander from our local Indian grocer (65p) and a couple of lemons which would have been, what – 80p?, and a few pence worth of spices, we made 14 portions of Indian chicken for under 12 quid. Seems OK to me.

The recipe link I’ve given you is just a guideline as always. We up the garlic quotient a far bit, use more spices, and this time used dried chilli flakes, as we had no fresh ones in. I do it in the slow cooker too, which works a treat. I do generally make this dish with chicken wings, but I’m here to tell you that legs work just as well.

lemony coriander chicken

As I’ve mentioned before, our local CoOp is really not bad, and I always take a beak at the reduced section where they put the items that have reached their sell-by date.  About three weeks ago, I picked up two packs of chicken thighs – 11 thighs for £3.30.  I stowed them in the freezer under the stairs, as had no particular plan for them.

Pete came home from his foraging on Saturday with a big bunch of coriander, and so we decided to make lemony coriander chicken.  This is a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that we have refined over the years, and one of our favourites.

I did ours in the slow cooker, but I’ll give you the destructions for the more conventional means.  If you want to use a slow cooker, bung everything in, and cook on low for about 6-7 hours.

Brown the chicken pieces in groundnut oil in a shallow pot, ideally wide enough to keep the chicken in one layer – I usually use a Le Creuset saute pan.  Set the chicken to drain on some kitchen paper.  Keep the oil.

Chop up some garlic small.  Blend some fresh ginger with about 4 tablespoons of water – as much as you like, we use lots, as we like things gingery.  Chop up 1/2 – 1 green chilli; up to you whether you use the seeds or not, depending on your chilli tolerance.  Take some ground coriander seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric, and possibly a pinch of cayenne.  Chop up lots and lots of fresh green coriander.  Halve a lemon.

Re-heat the oil, and add the garlic – stir till browned.  Add the ginger/water paste and stir about for a minute or so.  Add the ground spices, the green chilli,  juice of the lemon, and the coriander.  Stir a bit.

Put the chicken back in; I put the lemon halves in too – shame to waste them.  Bring up to a simmer, put a lid on and cook for about 40 minutes.  Turn the chicken pieces part way through if you feel like it – I don’t generally bother.

Eat with basmati rice – utterly delicious, I assure you.

chicken wings with lemon, black pepper and bay leaves

chicken wings with lemon, black pepper and bay leaves

We are summoned to a supper party tonight where we must bring a dish.  We’ve not been very well all week, and so no shopping has been done, thus a rummage in the store cupboards and freezers was required.

There were two packs of chicken wings (10 wings in all) in there, so here’s what I did:

Put them in a shallow dish, and anointed them with lots of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, lots of black peppercorns – crushed, not grated – and about a dozen bay leaves from my lovely bay tree.  I left them to marinade for about an hour, then put them on a metal tray and baked them at gas 6 / 200˚C for about 50 minutes.

Simples, as the meerkcat would say.  But delicious and good for a party, as it’s finger food.

However, there were far fewer chicken bits than I thought, and it looked a bit spartan, so I had to have a think about something else to take.  That’ll be the next post, any moment now!

chicken and apricot tagine

chicken and apricot tagine

using up: some chicken thighs, peppers in green, red and yellow

We needed to do some cooking for the freezer, so we looked at the ingredient stocks to see what we had.  And what we had was a big bag of chicken thighs in the outside freezer, and thus a chicken tagine was born.

On Friday night, I put some chickpeas in to soak, and then boiled them up on Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon we set to.

I browned all the chicken (some of it went into a batch of lemony chicken with coriander) and set it aside while we scoffed a cooked breakfast!

Then chopped up two red onions, the peppers, and lots of garlic, and cooked them down in some olive oil.  Then we fried in some ground spices – cinnamon, dried ginger, allspice, coriander, returned the chicken to the pan, added chickpeas, a quartered lemon, chopped fresh coriander and a little water.

Put it in a low oven (gas 2-3) for about 2 hours.

Out of about 1.5kg of chicken, we got 7 meals, or 14 portions, including the other dish.  Lovely meals, too.