These are a childhood classic – we used to get these about once a week, often served with bacon. I’ve no idea whose idea it is, but I made them this afternoon for Cedar, who is three today. He helped me make them, mixing the egg in and stirring in the milk. He ate three and a half before he was full.
Sieve the flour into a bowl, with the pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and put the beaten egg in, mixing together.
Stir the milk in gradually, until the batter is the consistency of cream.
Add the sweetcorn, and mix again.
Fry in an oiled pan over a medium heat. Drop in dessert-spoonfuls of batter, and when the bottom is cooked, you should be able to see bubbles setting on the surface of the batter. Turn them over and cook on the other side.
Serve with bacon, and if you like it, tomato ketchup.
Bramble season in the Hebrides, much later than on the mainland. The blackberries we picked last weekend were sharp and flavourful, juicy and small. I’ve frozen some for making bramble jelly later, but I made a crumble for Malcolm, because he loves it.
1 very large cooking apple
around 200g blackberries
1 tbsp date syrup or dark brown sugar
a pinch of cinnamon, or allspice
180g self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 180C
Make a crumble mix – rub the butter into the flour and then add the sugar. You can add porridge oats, ground nuts, use brown sugar, or add spices if you wish.
Peel and chop the cooking apple, and then combine with the blackberries and the date syrup and allspice (or other sugar, sweet spice).
Put the fruit evenly in the bottom of an oven-proof dish, then cover with the crumble mix.
Bake for around 30 minutes, then serve with custard or cream.
OK, so nobody admits to growing teeny tiny potatoes. I was given a bag of mixed potatoes by a friend, their first go at home-grown spuds. I think the plants had had a hot dry time of it, and were probably harvested too early as well. At the bottom of the bag was a selection of potatoes about the size of a marble. This is what I did with them.
Teeny tiny potatoes.
Salt and pepper
I boiled the teeny tiny potatoes in salted water for ten minutes, and then drained them.
I melted the butter in the pan, and fried the garlic until it was golden, then added the tiny potatoes along with seasoning and continued to cook until the potato skins were beginning to colour and crisp up a bit.
Then I added the chopped parsley, and served
I added some very fresh cooked carrots the second time I made this.
I have no idea where I found this recipe, I think it dates back to student days in the 1980s. There are lots of notes and at least two totally different versions in my old recipe book. It works well with or without the potatoes.
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions finely chopped
8 cloves of garlic, finely chipped
1 tbsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp cumin seed, ground
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbsp tomato paste
2 tins of chickpeas (do not drain)
1 tbsp amchoor or juice of half a lemon
2 tsp sweet paprika
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1cm cubes, and put into cold water
Salt to taste
2 fresh green chillies, very finely chopped
2 tsp grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat, until beginning to brown, around 10 minutes
Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric, stir, and reduce the heat
Add the tomato paste, stir to combine and then add the chickpeas with their liquid from the tin, and around 200ml water, and the amchoor, and paprika. Bring to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes.
At this point, it may be wise to set the pan aside for a day or too, for the flavour to develop.
To serve, drain and pat dry the potato cubes. Fry in oil for 10 minutes over a medium to high heat, stirring.
Stir in the ginger and chillies, and then the fried potatoes, and serve.
We have a lot of potatoes at the moment, so I’m digging around in the recipe books for new things to do. This is a recipe from ‘Nightingales and Roses’ by Maryam Sinaiee. This is quite filling, and is good cold the next day as well.
6 tbsp oil
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (around 1 cm cubes)
3 packs of green beans (around 600g)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
a large pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp plain flour
6 large eggs, lightly beaten.
Heat about 3-4 tbsp oil in a deep frying pan and cook the potato cubes for around 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and put in a bowl lined with kitchen paper.
Fry the beans and carrots in the same oil for around 10 minutes, and then add them to the potatoes.
Set the oven to 200C. Mix the salt, flour, baking powder and spices.
Beat the eggs, add the vegetables and flour/spice mix and stir to combine.
My frying pan has an oven-safe handle so it is perfect. Otherwise use a shallow casserole dish. Put 2 tbsp oil in the pan and heat it in the oven for four minutes so it is hot. Pour in the mixture, and bake for 30 minutes, so the top is golden.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little, and cut into wedges.
Our fridge went on the blink, so we are making our way through a selection of ingredients that need eaten up. At the same time, we have got a lot of vegetables, mostly home-grown. Tonight’s triumph sorted out the massive bit of smoked salmon, a jar of capers and a lemon that needed used, plus some of the potatoes.
500g potatoes (a variety good for mashing)
500g sliced leeks
250g shredded cabbage
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp capers
500g smoked salmon (or a mixture of salmon, prawns and scallops)
Salt and pepper
Peel the potatoes, and boil in salted water for 15 minutes until cooked. Drain when cooked.
Meanwhile chop the leeks and boil in salted water for 10 minutes.
After around 5 minutes, add the shredded cabbage to the leeks, so that the cabbage cooks as well, and is ready at the same time.
Melt half the butter in a pan, and roughly mask the potatoes. Add the cabbage and leeks, salt and pepper.
Quickly fry any raw shellfish in the rest of the butter, if you are using these. Add the lemon juice, capers and the salmon, and season with salt and pepper, heat until warm.
Serve each scoop of mashed potato with a scoop of the salmon, garnished with chopped parsley
This is a Persian recipe, which we made with some locally raised beef. The co-op has some peaches ready for ripening at home, which are ideal for this recipe, which is from Maryam Sinaiee’s book, Nightingales and Roses.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large white/yellow onion
450g beef, cut into large chunks
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp salt
3 firm peaches
juice of 1/2 lemon
Tiny pinch of saffron
chopped pistachio nuts
Put the saffron in a small cup and add a tiny amount of boiling water, and set aside
Heat the oil in a large flat casserole dish, and gently fry the onion until it is beginning to brown.
Add the beef, turn up the heat a little, and fry until browned.
Add the turmeric, cumin, white pepper, coriander, stir and add the tomato paste. Cook for another two minutes, stirring until the meat is well-coated.
Add just enough boiling water to cover the meat, and bring back to the boil, then add the cinnamon and salt. Turn the heat down very low, and braise for a couple of hours, until the beef is very tender.
Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to peel the peaches, halve them to remove the stones, and cut each half- peach into three segments.
Melt the butter in a small frying pan, and fry the peach segments over a medium heat, until they are beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
When the beef is tender, add lemon juice to taste, and add a teaspoon of saffron water.
Arrange the peach segments over the stew, spoon over the sauce, cover and cook over a low heat for a further 5 minutes
Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts, and serve with plain rice.