Olive Oil with Catherine Fulvio, 9th November
Carrot and Almond Cake
Serves 8 to 10
Using the rapeseed oil helps keep the cake beautifully moist, a lovely warm uplifting colour and full of amazing flavour and not too sweet. It also freezes very well.
150ml rapeseed oil
150g soft brown sugar
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
4 tbsp raisins, soaked in juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
1 apple, finely diced
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp finely chopped thyme
¼ tsp all spice
90g ground almonds
160g self raising flour
1 tsp bread soda
For the Icing
180g icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice or a little more
A few sprigs of thyme, for decorating
Toasted almond flakes, for decorating
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line with parchment a square 20cm tin.
2. Pour the oil into the bowl of a food mixer, add the eggs and sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. (this should take about 4 minutes)
3. Stir in the grated carrots, soaked raisins with the orange juice and orange zest.
4. Add the apple and cinnamon, ginger, thyme, mixed spice and fold in the ground almonds and self raising flour and bread soda. When adding the bread soda ensure there are no lumps in it.
5. Add sufficient milk to form a soft batter and pour the mixture into the lined baking tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and turn out on a cooling rack.
7. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar and the orange juice into a smooth paste / drizzle. Place the cake on a board, slice into squares and drizzle over the icing. Decorate with toasted almonds and some thyme sprigs. Place onto a serving plate.
Tip: Add pears and blueberries instead of the carrots and raisins.
Rocket and Pistachio Pesto
Rucola e pesto di pistachi
Any unused pesto can be stored in a jar, covering with a layer of olive oil to seal. It will keep for up to one week. I love the vibrant green of this pesto.
150ml extra virgin olive oil
75g unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
2 garlic cloves
50g parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar to form a smooth paste.
Check for seasoning, you may need to add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
If the sauce seems too thick loosen, with more e.v olive oil.
Tip: use toasted pinenuts or hazelnuts instead for a lovely subtle flavour.
Pies with Catherine Fulvio, 18th October
Beef and Guinness Puff Pie
This is a wholesome meal, great served with steamed kale or broccoli on a cold winters evening when the family and friends are around.
800g beef, diced in 2cm
3 tbsp flour seasoned with salt & pepper
2 onions, thinly sliced
200ml beef stock
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp mustard powder
1 ½ tbsp tomato puree
A bouquet garni (4 parsley sprigs, 1 fresh thyme sprig and 1 bay leaf, tied together)
200g mushrooms, sliced in half
Salt & Pepper to taste
For the pastry topping
375g good quality ready to roll puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water for an egg wash
1. Place the seasoned flour in a large bowl and toss the diced beef in the flour. Heat the olive oil and fry the beef until golden brown on all sides. Place the meat into a deep, heavy bottom saucepan. Add some more oil to the frying pan, add the onions and gently sauté. Deglaze the pan with some of the Guinness. Add the onions, the Guinness and juices from the pan, stock, sugar, mustard, tomato puree and bouquet garni to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a low heat for about 1and ¼ hours or until the meat is tender. Be careful during this time not to stir the dish too much as it can break up the meat, taking care that the meat does not burn on the base of the saucepan.
2. In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms in a little melted butter and season with salt and pepper. When the casserole is cooked, add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove the bouquet garnish. Check the seasoning.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 5.
4. For the topping, spoon the beef into a pie dish. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface just bigger than the size of the pie dish. Damp the edge of the pie dish with a little water and using the rolling pin, lift the pastry over onto the pie. Trim off the excess pastry. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and decorate the pie with designs cut from the excess pastry.
5. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until golden and well risen. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.
Tip: For a lovely citrus flavour that blends well with the Guinness, add the zest of 1 orange and juice of ½ an orange.
Leek and Chicken Free Form Pie
This is a great rustic shape for a pie, you can use it for both sweet pies as well as savoury. If you have time, prepare individual ones.
325g plain flour
120g butter, chilled, diced
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
3 tbsp cold water – you may require a little more
For the filling
2 chicken fillets, diced in 2cm
1 tsp ground cumin
1 medium leek, sliced
1medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 2cm
60g chorizo, roughly sliced and diced into 2cm
50g spinach, washed and roughly chopped
3 tbsp cream
50g soft goat’s cheese
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water, for egg wash
1. Sift flour into a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in butter until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Using a knife, blend the egg and enough cold water into the mix to form a soft dough. Turn out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
2. In a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil, add the diced chicken and sauté until golden. Remove from the pan and add the cumin and the leeks and diced sweet potato, sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes until cooked. Stir in the chorizo and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Line a baking tray with parchment.
4. Combine the chicken, leeks, sweet potato, chorizo, spinach, cream and goats cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 5.
6. Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 25cm circle.
7. Spoon the filling into the centre, fold in the edge to partially enclose the filling, leaving the centre of pie open. Press the pastry edges down and carefully place on the baking tray.
8. Brush with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Allow the pie to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Tip: Omit the chicken and chorizo, add more vegetables like diced celeriac, shallots or sliced onions with roasted pears for a great change
Viking Food with Catherine Fulvio
This is such a comforting soup with a lovely dill flavour.
1 leek, finely sliced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1litre vegetable stock
300g salmon, diced
12 prawns, shelled and tails on
20 mussels, rinsed and cleaned, discard the ones that are open
4 scallops, sliced (optional)
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp sour cream, to garnish
Chopped dill, to garnish
1. Heat the butter and oil in a large sauce pan. Add the leek and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the carrots and potatoes and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
2. Add the stock, cook for 10 minutes and add salmon. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
3. Add the prawns and mussels, scallops if you are adding them, dill and cook until the mussels are open. Discard mussels that are not open.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in the cream and parsley and ensure that the soup is hot.
6. Ladle in bowls, spoon over the sour cream and dill, serve immediately.
Tip: Instead of the salmon, add cod or haddock.
Cinnamon (Kanal) Boller
These are delicious with a mug of coffee on a cold winter’s morning.
450g strong flour
½ tsp salt
50g butter, melted
180ml milk, you may need a little more
80g butter, softened
60g brown sugar
½ tsp cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
60g walnuts or apple compote
1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl in to a mixer.
2. Gently heat the milk and whisk in the egg and melted butter. Pour over the dry ingredients and using the dough hook of the mixer, mix until a soft dough has formed.
3. Oil a bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place. This will probably take about 1 hour.
4. Butter a 20cm x 20m round tin. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5.
5. Combine the butter, brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and nuts or apple compote together.
6. Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape which is about 1 ½ cm thick.
7. Spread over the filling, roll up from the longer side and slice into 9 slices and place into the tin, leaving some space between each piece.
8. Leave to rise for 20 minutes.
9. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
10. Allow to cool slightly and serve.
Tip: Add blueberries with a little sugar as a filling.
Foraging with Catherine Fulvio (21st September 2012)
Sorrel and Smoked Salmon Tartlets
Makes 6 – 8
Sorrel is easy to gather and grow abundantly here. Ensure that when you are gathering ingredients from the wild that you wash them thoroughly. The sorrel has a sharpness which works very well with the rich salmon
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
80g butter, chilled and diced
30g parmesan, grated
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp chilled water (may need less)
For the filling
5 large eggs
100g smoked salmon, roughly chopped
8 to 9 sorrel leaves, shredded
2 sundried tomatoes, sliced
100ml crème fraiche
Freshly ground pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
2. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, parmesan and thyme and rub into the flour for form breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolk and the water and mix to form a soft dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 40 minutes.
4. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and using a large scone cutter cut discs to line the mini tins with pastry. Place a circle of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for five minutes.
6. For the filling, place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix gently. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Ladle the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle the parsley on top.
8. Bake the tartlets for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the filling is set. Serve hot or cold with a rocket salad.
Tip: Omit the salmon and add some sliced sautéed field mushrooms to the tart. Sprinkle over some chives on top.
Blackberry and Pear Cake with a Hazelnut and Honey Topping
Now is the time to head out in the early afternoon sunshine for a walk to gather blackberries. Ensure that they are well washed before using and choose an area for picking where there is no pollution or animals walking.
For the cake
180g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
120g natural yoghurt
½ an orange, zest only
2 ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced into wedges
100g blackberries, washed
For the hazelnut topping
70g brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ an orange, zest only
60g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
3 tbsp honey, for drizzle over
Mascarpone, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 24cm springform tin with baking parchment.
2. To make the topping, melt the butter in a pot and mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, flour and hazelnuts and set aside.
3. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Mix in the yoghurt.
4. Spoon two thirds of the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.
5. Arrange some of the pear wedges and a few blackberries over the top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the topping.
6. Spoon over the one third of the cake mixture and spread evenly.
7. Arrange some more pears and the blackberries on top and the rest of the hazelnut topping.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cake is cooked when a skewer is inserted in the centre and it comes out clear.
9. While still warm, drizzle over the honey. Allow the cake to cool and slide out the tin.
10. Serve with blackberries and mascarpone.
Tip: Gather fraochans for sprinkling over the top of the cake before baking. Serve warm with local natural yoghurt for a delicious change.
Bread Making with Patrick Ryan
Irish soda bread
Makes two 400g loaves
500g wholemeal flour (the coarser the better)
10g bicarbonate of soda
25g rape seed oil /olive oil
25g red wine vinegar
Traditionally soda bread is formed into a soft dough shaped into a round and cut with a cross before baking. This recipe calls for a very wet mix. It’s baked in a tin and to some it is known as wheaten bread.
The method involved could not be simpler. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, and bi-carbonate soda. Make a well in the centre and add the milk, oil and red wine vinegar. Stir the mix together. Don't panic if the mixture resembles a thick porridge, everything will be fine.
Divide the mixture between two 1lb loaf tins. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. The bread is cooked when the tip of a knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf.
Enriched white bread
This is your everyday loaf, the one for the kids’ sandwiches and smothering with butter and jam. While producing a great white loaf it is also a fantastic all-purpose dough. Flatten it out using the tips of your fingers till it is about 2 cm in thickness with the characteristic dimples you would expect. Cover generously in olive oil and the toppings of your choice. Prove for 40 minutes. Give a final drizzle of olive oil and bake at 230c for 15 minutes and you will have yourself a great focaccia. Or better yet a 200g portion of dough rolled thin produces a fantastic 12”inch pizza base. Get yourself a pizza stone or improvise with an up-turned roasting tray. Preheat the oven to its highest setting and cook the pizza direct on the stone/roasting tray. And if you find yourself with a bit of surplus dough don't let it go to waste. Roll the dough as thin as possible. Cut it into shards and arrange on a floured baking tray. Bake at 160c for about 10 minutes or until crisp and you will have an array of crackers better than anything shop bought.
Makes 2 small (400g) loaves or 12 small dinner rolls
500g strong white flour
1 heaped teaspoon of salt
15g fresh yeast (5g of dried yeast)
50ml olive oil or rapeseed oil
2 x 400g (1lb) loaf tins or 2 baking trays
a handful of ice cubes for steaming the oven
Mix the flour, and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crumble the yeast into the water so that it dissolves. Add the water and olive oil to the well.
The water should be lukewarm. You don’t want it too hot, as that will kill the yeast, or too cold, because that will slow down its activity. Blood temperature is ideal. Think of your yeast like a baby you’re giving a bottle to: you want the water just nice and tepid. You can either use warm water from the tap, or add two parts of cold water to one part hot.
Bring the dough together with your hands or with a spatula. Turn the dough out on to a clean surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes or until the windowpane effect has been achieved. The dough should be soft and elastic.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 60 to 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
Turn the proved dough out and knock it back. Divide the dough into two equal portions, then shape it into two loaves place into two 1lb loaf tins. Cover and allow to prove again for about 60-80 minutes. Your loaf should come to just below the rim of your loaf tin.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Place a roasting tray into the base of the oven. When ready to bake, place the loaves into the oven and drop the ice cubes into the hot roasting tray which should release a blast of steam. Bake the loaves for about 25 minutes. Remove from the tins and cook for a further 8 minutes. Resist the temptation to get stuck in until the loaf cools. Enjoy!
Talk to me about the art of kneading...
The dough will start to come together into a ball. At this point, if you’ve been using a bowl, turn the dough out on to a clean surface. Stainless steel or something cold and smooth, such as granite or marble, is ideal, but a kitchen worktop is fine too.
Kneading is when we draw out the magic in the flour – this stage is all about gluten development. Gluten is the main protein in flour, and when flour absorbs water the gluten forms bonds that make it elastic. Kneading gives the gluten a good workout, stretching it so that it becomes stronger and more flexible.
Everyone tends to have their own slightly different technique, but you do need to get your hands really stuck in, and keep at it for 10—12 minutes. The way Patrick kneads is to push the dough away with the heel of one hand, then fold it back over towards him, and give it a nifty quarter turn before stretching it again. Some people knead mainly with one hand; others use both. Do whatever’s most comfortable for you.
When you knead by hand, rather than by machine, you can feel the change in texture. When ready, the dough will become much smoother and more elastic; it will stretch without tearing.
Keep faith with the dough as you knead. It may stick to the surface at first, but resist the temptation to add more flour. As you knead, and the gluten develops, you’ll notice the dough pulling away from the surface more easily. A dough scraper is great for gathering the dough back together into a ball when it does stick.
If the dough feels a little tight and firm you can adjust the consistency by adding a little more water. Make a well in the centre of your ball of dough and sprinkle in a tablespoon or two, then work it in fully by kneading.
The windowpane effect:
What you are looking to achieve is what is known as the windowpane effect. When you stretch the dough thinly, it should not tear but be able to stretch so much that you can begin to see light through it.
By kneading it well, your bread will rise better and have a soft, even texture.
Catherine Fulvio 9th September
FARFALLE WITH RED PEPPER SAUCE
FARFALLE CONSALSA DI PEPERONI ROSSI / SERVES 4
I HAD THIS VERSATILE SAUCE OVER PASTA FOR LUNCH IN A SMALL RESTAURANT IN MILAN MANY YEARS AGO AND JUST HAD TO RECREATE IT AT HOME. IT'S ONE OF THOSE SAUCES THAT SEEM TO COMPLEMENT MOST FOODS. IT'S GREAT OVER STEAMED FISH AND EQUALLY TASTY OVER ROASTED GARLIC AND COURGETTES.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
100ml white wine
2 red peppers, roasted and chopped
50g crème fraîche
200ml fresh cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g ricotta salata (or feta), crumbled, to serve
chives, to garnish
1 Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
2 In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat and sauté the shallots until softened. Add the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and cook for 1–2 minutes, then stir in the crème fraîche and cream.
3 Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove half the sauce and blend it to a purée, then mix both back together again. Season to taste.
4 Toss the drained, cooked pasta into the sauce, sprinkle over the crumbled ricotta salata and garnish with some chive lengths on top.
KEEPING IT LOCAL: THIS SAUCE IS ESPECIALLY TASTY SPOONED OVER STUFFED LOCAL FREE-RANGE CHICKEN BREASTS WRAPPED WITH LOCAL DRY CURED BACON.
HAZELNUT CAKE WITH ORANGE
T o r t e d i N o c c i o l e / SER V ES 8
Your neighbours will surprise you with a visit when they catch the aroma of this lovely moist
hazelnut cake baking. The smells wafting out your kitchen window are intoxicating. Whisking the egg
whites separately and folding them in gives this cake an unexpected lightness. (See picture on p. 175.)
220g hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and
120g butter, melted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
5 eggs, separated
185g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
For the orange cinnamon topping:
200g icing sugar, sieved
200g butter, softened
200g cream cheese, softened
2 oranges, zest only
1/2 tsp cinnamon (more if you prefer)
1 orange, zest only, to decorate
cinnamon sticks, to decorate
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. Butter the sides and line the base of a 20cm
springform tin with parchment paper.
2 Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor until fairly fine. Remove and place in a bowl. Add
the melted butter, baking powder and cinnamon to the hazelnuts.
3 B eat the egg yolks in a bowl, then add the sugar and continue to beat until thick and
pale. Add to the ground hazelnuts and fold to combine.
4 W hisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean, dry bowl with a clean mixer until stiff. Fold
into the hazelnut mixture along with the vanilla.
5 Pour the hazelnut mixture into the tin. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until golden or until
an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a
rack to cool completely.
6 I n the meantime, prepare the topping. Cream the icing sugar and butter together until
light and creamy. Fold in the cream cheese, orange zest and cinnamon and beat until
smooth. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
7 Slice the cake in two and spread the topping over half of the cake. Top with the other
cake half and spread the remaining topping over. Decorate with orange zest and
cinnamon sticks and serve.
Keeping it local: For an autumnal twist, pick blackberries from the hedgerow and add the smaller,
less juicy ones to the cake mix. Keep the plump, fruity ones to decorate the top of the cake.