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Anything Hash & Perfectly Poached Eggs



I have become very thrifty over these past weeks. Something I am ashamed to say that I should have been practicing all along.  Nothing is going to waste in my kitchen.  They are saying it could be six months until the present crisis is over and I am keen to make everything we have stretch as far as I can.



Any thing hash is a great way to make good use of just whatever you have in your refrigerator that needs using up and topping it with a poached egg, turns it into a well balanced meal, containing some carbs, plenty of veg and a protein. 


It also makes a great vegetarian meal, for those of you who are not opposed to eating eggs.


The hash is composed of whatever you happen to have in the refrigerator that needs using up.  In my case I had a baked potato left from the other day, which wouldn't have fed two people normally, but when you add a host of other vegetables to it, it becomes like the loaves and fishes and magically multiplies to feed more.



I had a head of broccoli in the refrigerator, some carrots and a swede (rutabaga).  The stems on broccoli are often wasted and thrown away.  They can tend to be a bit fribrous, but if you trim of any fribrous bits there is no reason why you can't eat the rest. You can also eat the leaves of broccoli.


All of my veg was cut into 1/2 inch cubes and tossed together with a small chopped onion and then cooked together in my iron skillet, along with some oil and butter.


I cooked it first over low heat, covered so that the raw vegetables could cook to crispy tender and then I turned up the heat, seasoning it all with some salt and pepper, and cooking it until I had some golden brown carmelised bits.  The perfect hash.


You could of course add a quanitity of chopped cooked meat to this, along with some herbs, but I didn't have any lefover roast or any other meat that needed using and so I decided to top the hash with poached eggs.




You could, of course, do a fried egg, but I figured we would both benefit from the healthier option and so I poached us each an egg.


People can be a bit afraid of poaching eggs, but there is no need to be afraid really.  I have given exact instructions to give perfect results.


It helps if your eggs are at room temperature.  I also like to break them into a small bowl before slipping them individually into simmering water.  Don't ever tip them into boiling water or they will break up all over the place.


Cook them on the heat for exactly one minute, then take them off, cover the pan and let them sit for exactly ten minutes.  You will have perfectly poached eggs.  Ready to scoop out with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper towelling.



Once drained they are ready to use in any way you want.  In this case, atop a nice plate of crispy anything hash!

Anything Hash & Perfectly Poached Eggs

Anything Hash & Perfectly Poached Eggs

Yield: 2
Author:
A delicious supper for two which makes a good use of what's in the refrigerator

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of vegetables cut into small cubes (today I used a leftover baked potato, some carrot, some swede(rutabaga), broccoli stems and a small onion)
  • 1/2 TBS butter
  • 1/2 TBS oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 large free range eggs

Instructions:

How to cook Anything Hash & Perfectly Poached Eggs

  1. Prepare your vegetables. Peel the carrots and swede, trim any fibrous bits from the broccoli stems, saving any leaves. Chop them all into a uniform size along with the potato and onion. 
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy based skillet. (I used my cast iron.) Once the butter begins to foam, add the vegetables. Turn them to coat in the fat then turn the heat down low, cover and allow to cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until everything is tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat, season to taste with salt and black pepper and cook, turning over occasionally until golden brown in places. Keep warm while you poach your eggs. 
  3. Have all your eggs at room temperature and break each into a small bowl before you start. Bring a pot of water, to which you have added 1 tsp of vinegar, to a slow simmer over gentle heat. Once you can see tiny bubbles on the bottom of the pan, carefully add the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Simmer, without covering for exactly 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for exactly ten minutes. (a timer is incredibly useful here) At the end of the time you should have a perfect poached egg, with a beautifully translucent and pefectly set white and a soft and creamy yolk. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, one at a time onto some paper kitchen toweling to drain.
  5. Divide the hash and spoon it onto heated serving dishes.  Top each serving with a poached egg and serve immediately.

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Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
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The skys have turned to pewter today and it is threatening of rain.  March is about to go out like a Lion methinks!  Oh well, so much for that old wive's tale as it came in like a Lion as well! 



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English Muffins



In January I started writing on another site called Home Chef World.  I was hired to provide them with between 4 and 8 recipe posts a month.  This is in addition to what I share here.   

I have really enjoyed doing it thus far and I hope this lasts a long longer than my other job did.  One never knows with the unstable world we are living in at the moment, but one thing is for sure, people will always want and need to eat.


One of the recipes I will be sharing on there over this next month required English Muffins.  Do you think I could find any?  None to be had anywhere, and I tried.  

We are living in precarious times and I have realised that certain things have become very difficult to find.  One is flour (we won't talk about toilet paper). 


I am rationing my flour out very carefully because I don't know how long it will be before I can get any more.  It has become a very precious commodity in this house.


I did a lot of research before I picked a recipe to try.  I am not the most experienced bread baker and my results have always tended to be a bit hit and miss.  

I found this recipe on a site called Bigger Bolder Baking.  It also had a video, and quite a few good reviews, so I felt fairly confident in using this recipe



It differed a bit somewhat in the English Muffins I am used to in that there is no cornmeal or semolina involved. Some recipes use this to keep the dough from sticking to things.  

You do need to start it 18 hours prior to when you want to bake/grill them.


You do not need an oven for these. They cook entirely on top of the stove in a large non-stick skillet with a lid. 

I found that my dough was a tiny bit drier than what hers looked like, so I was a bit worried that it wouldn't turn out, but my fears were completely unfounded.  It was perfect.



They cooked very easily in my largest skillet.  I was going to use my griddle pan until I realised I didn't have a lid to cover it. DUH. 


Using a lid to cover the muffins while they are first baking is integral to the success of the recipe.  This action allows them to rise higher and to cook thoroughly.



You might be interested to know that English Muffins are not really English at all, although they were invented by an English Ex Pat, living in New York City named Samuel Bath Thomas back in 1874.



Invented in America by an Englishman.  He owned a bakery known as Chelsea (could there be a more British name?) and were originally called Toaster Crumpets.


They were very quick to catch on and became very popular in Hotels and restaurants, soon taking on the name of "English Muffins."



The best way to open up an English Muffin is to run the tines of a fork into them all around the centre of the circumferance of the warm muffins.  Once you have done that. it is very easy to gently pull them apart.


This helps to prevent them from being squashed . . .  they are filled with lovely butter catching holes, nooks and crannies and separating them with a fork helps to create even more.



Oh my  . . .  I have fallen in love. Their texture was beautiful.  

Todd enjoyed one later on, toasted on the open side under the hot grill and those little nooks and crannies, toasted up really nicely.


Just beautiful . . . . I enjoyed one warm from the oven with some cold butter thinly sliced over top . . . .


and some Bonne Maman Intense strawberry jam.  Oh boy, but this was sooooo good!


They were light and fluffy, beautifully golden brown on the outside and crisp at the edges  . . .


I could find no fault with them, no fault at all  . . .


In fact the worst thing I have to say about these is that once you have tried one  you will never ever be happy again with a ready made one. Never ever.

English Muffins

English Muffins

Yield: makes 8 to 10
Author:
These are fabulous.  The worst thing you can say about them is that once you eat one of these you will be forever spoilt from ever enjoying a store made muffin again. You will need to start these the day before.

Ingredients:

  • 350g strong bread flour (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 160ml milk (2/3 cup)
  • 120ml water (1/2 cup)
  • 1 TBS salted butter

Instructions:

How to cook English Muffins

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl.  Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Don't let them touch as salt kills yeast. Mix lightly together.
  2. Measure the milk and water into a microwave safe jug. Add the butter. Cook for about 30 seconds in the microwave to melt the butter and slightly warm the milk mixture.  The temperature should be only blood warm.  Take care not to over heat.
  3. Holding some of the liquid mixture back, stir it into the dry mixture, adding only enough to give you  a soft dough. It may be a bit sticky, and you may not need it all.  Cover bowl with a sheet of plastic cling film and then cover with a clean tea towel.  Set aside in a warm, draft free place for 12 to 18 hours.  (You can refrigerate the dough after 18 hours if you are not quite ready to griddle them.)
  4. When you are ready to bake, dust a surface lightly with flour.  Scrape the dough out onto the surface.  Recover with the cling film and kitchen towel.  Let rest for 10 minutes. 
  5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  6. At the end of the rest time, gently pat out to a thickness of about 1 inch.  Using a  sharp 3 inch round metal cutter dusted in flour, stamp out rounds, removing and placing them onto the baking sheet as you cut them out, leaving plenty of space in between.  Continue until you have cut all the rounds out.  Any scraps leftover can be rerolled and cut into rounds, although they won't be quite as perfect in appearance as the others.
  7. Cover the muffins with cling film and the kitchen towel and set aside to rest for 45 minutes.
  8. At the end of that time heat a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat. It should feel quite warm when you hold your hand just above the surface.  Working in batches, carefully remove the muffins from the baking sheet, about 4 at a time, and transfer them into the heated pan.   Do not crowd them. Leave at least 2 inches between each muffin. Cover with a lid and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes until golden brown on the underside.  Having the lid on will create steam which will help the muffins to rise and cook thoroughly.
  9. Once the underside is golden brown, carefully flip over and toast on the other side.
  10. Set aside to let them cool slightly before eating.  I like to split them in half  using a fork, sticking it carefully into the centre of the muffins all the way around and gently pulling them apart.  This gives you lots of craggy bits.  Serve warm with butter and jam.
  11. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.  Split and toast in a toaster or under the grill. You make also freeze the in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator



In fact these are so good thatI think that I may have to make some again really soon.  I highly recommend!

 This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin





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Microwave Cooked Potato Chips



Potato Chips are not something that I eat very often, but I do so love them.  Back in Canada my favourites were Ketchup, All Dressed, Dill Pickle and Barbeque.  
 
When I was growing up Potato Chips were a rare treat and they didn't come in a whole lot of flavours.  Mostly just plain salted. I can't remember when we started to get other flavours.


When I was in Grade Six my class won the Red Cross Penny Parade and the prize was a bus strip through the Valley (Nova Scotia) where we got to visit some local food producers.  We visited a fish farm, along with Scotian Gold (who processed fruits and vegetables), the Berwick Bakery which provided all the baked goods for the Valley, and Scotties Potato Chip Factory.  
 
We were given free apple juice to drink, donuts from the bakery and a bag of potato chips from Scotties!  I don't need to tell you which was my favourite!


I can remember going to a local cafe with my friend Cindy McGregor. We would buy a bag of plain potato chips from the grocery shop attached and then order a coke. 
 
We would open the potato chips and sprinkle them with vinegar to eat along with our cokes. Boy we sure enjoyed them!


My mother and father were real hockey fans.  Saturday nights were always hockey nights in our Canadian household.  My mom always had potato chips to enjoy as a treat along with the game.  We would each be given our own little bowl of them.  
 
This was a real treat!  She used to keep them hidden behind my father's dresser in their bedroom.  Needless to say we often snaffled the odd sneaky chip or two or three during the week when nobody was looking. (Oh we were naughty!)


I am quite sure my father got blamed for the magically emptying chip bag.  He never said anything to us, so in all likelihood he was also snaffling up the odd sneaky chip himself! 

He says he wasn't, but I have my doubts.


Here in the UK, there is no end to the different flavour varieties of potato chips that are available.  Ham and Mustard.  Beef and Onion. Roast Chicken.  Smoky Bacon. Worcestershire Sauce. 
 
Prawn Cocktail. 😝 (Not my favourite) Pickled Onion. Sour Cream and Sweet Chili.  Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper.  Salt and Vinegar. That's just  few.  There are many others.


At Christmas time they come up with even more Seasonal Flavours.  Like Turkey and Stuffing. Brussels Sprouts.  Glazed Ham. Pigs in Blankets. Cheese and Cranberry. 


I was craving some potato chips today and lacking the ability to go to the shops and pick some up, I did the next best thing. I made some in my microwave oven, which is relatively simple and quick to do.


These are always delicious and crisp.  And it almost goes without saying that they are a lot healthier than the processed ones.  They are low in fat and salt and preservative free.


You need to cut the potato as thin as you can.  Ideally about 1/8 inch thick. I use my mandoline, but you can do it with a knife. The thinner you get them, the quicker they cook.  
 
I do give mine  light spritz with canola oil cooking spray, but you don't have to.


Today I sprinkled them prior to cooking with some of  my homemade Cajun spice seasoning, but they are nice sprinkled with just sea salt, or sea salt and cracked black pepper.  
 
The nice thing about these is you control how much salt you use.


You can peel if you like, but I always leave the peels on.  These are incredibly moreish so be fore-warned!
 
It's impossible to eat just one. Utterly and hopelessly impossible.



Microwave Cooked Potato Chips

Microwave Cooked Potato Chips

Yield: Variable
Author:
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Now you can indulge in one of your favourite treats, without any artificial flavourings or unnatural ingredients. Low fat, cooked in the microwave.  Easy peasy and every bit as delicious as any you might buy, if no more so.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized red potato, unpeeled, washed and patted dry
  • cold water
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • your favourite seasoning mix

Instructions:

How to cook Microwave Cooked Potato Chips

  1. You need to cut your potato into thin slices.  I cut mine about 1/8 th of an inch thick using my slicer tool.  If you are using a knife, make sure it is sharp and cut the slices as thin as you can.  Cut a thin slice from one long edge of the potato so it won't move around while you are cutting it. This makes is a lot easier.  As you cut the potatoes, drop them into cold water.  This helps to remove some of the starch.
  2. Pat the potato slices dry with some paper kitchen toweling.  Have ready a large microwave-safe plate.  Lay the potato slices onto the plate in  single layer and not touching. (You will probably have to work in batches.) Spritz lightly with  the  cooking spray.  Sprinkle lightly with your desired seasoning.
  3. Microwave on high in the microwave for two minute intervals, flipping them over each time until they are golden brown and crisp.  (Note I only spritzed with the oil spray and sprinkled them with the seasoning once.) Take care as the plate will get hot. Use a pot holder.  The time taken depends on how many slices you have on your plate and the strength of your microwave.  Mine took about six minutes.  Scoop off onto a wire rack to cool.

Notes:

Make Your Own Cajun Seasoning: Mix together 2 1/2 TBS of salt, 1 TBS dried oregano leaves (Rub to a powder using your fingertips), 1 TBS sweet paprika, 1 TBS cayenne pepper, and 1 TBS ground black pepper. Store in an airtight container out of the light for up to six months.

Make Your Own Italian Seasoning: Mix together 3 TBS dried basil, 3 TBS dried oregano, 3 TBS dried parsley, 1 TBS garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Store in an airtight container out of the light for up to 6 months.

Make Your Own Taco Seasoning: Mix together 1 TBS mild chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp of onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Store in an airtight container out of the light for up to 6 months.


Make Your Own Creole Seasoning: Mix together 1/3 cup paprika, 3 TBS dried oregano, 3 TBS ground black pepper, 2 TBS dried basil, 2 TBS fine sea salt, 1 TBS cayenne pepper, 1 TBS onion granules, 4 tsp dried thyme, 4 tsp garlic granules. Store in an airtight container out of the light for up to 6 months.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator




What is your favourite flavour of potato chip?  What are you missing the most, snack wise . . . in this lockdown?  I really want to know!

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin 


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