Tag: soured cream

Pear and hazelnut muffins

Muffins are a little bit passe these days. Like Friends and Snapple, they’re just a bit nineties. They have been overtaken by their brash, rather disgusting, cupcake cousin.

But I still have a lot of affection for them. I think muffins are nice. And I came across this very straightforward looking recipe in a newspaper, but which utilised American cup measurements.

I was annoyed about this, just as I am always annoyed when a recipe specifies some sort of wildly exotic spice, cut of meat or fruit in an offhand manner, which implies that of course you ought to know where to source it from. I fucking don’t!! And even if I did, I am not going to spend one of my three child-free mornings a week tracking it down. If you can’t get it in Waitrose I am. Not. Interested.

Of course these days I DO, however, have a set of cup measurements, which I bought in Waitrose, so can convert the measurements for you.

On a whim, I decided to make these muffins with some pear and hazelnut because those were some things I had knocking about. I also used soured cream instead of buttermilk, (buttermilk!! we are in ENGLAND, nowhere sells it except big branches of Waitrose and I’m not always near one of those), which worked just fine.

You do not have to use pear and hazelnut in these – pretty much anything works: apple, chocolate, sultanas, banana, whatever. It’s a very flexible vehicle, muffin mix. Having said that, the pear and hazelnut combination was really terrific and I recommend it to you.

Pear and hazelnut muffins – makes 8

2.5 cups plain flour – 340g
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar – 160g
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup soured cream or buttermilk – 120ml
3 drops vanilla essence
1/cup melted butter – 75g butter, melted
2 ripe pears, diced
2 lady-handfuls of hazelnuts, chopped and toasted in a dry frying pan for about 10 mins

1 In one bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. You do not have to sieve this but you could swizzle it about with a whisk for a bit.

2 In another bowl mix the beaten egg with the soured cream, vanilla extract and melted butter. Someone like Raymond Blanc would separate the eggs first, beat the whites and then add them separately, to make the muffins lighter.

3 Add the flour to the egg mixture and mix just until there is still about 10% flour showing, then tip in your pear and hazelnuts (or whatever you are using) and mix to combine.

4 Spoon immediately into muffin cases. Fill these to just below the brim. This is important, as these will not rise that much on cooking and you want that big luscious, over-spilt look.

5 Bake at 200C for 16-20 mins. Keep an eye on them if you have a light on in your oven. Mine were slightly underdone as I put them in at 180 (because of fan nuke horror panic) but if you have a normal oven I think you’ll be okay at 200C for 16 mins. Bake in the middle shelf.

 

Dairy-free beef stroganoff

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  • Serves: 4

  • Prep time: 10 mins

  • Cooking time: 15 mins

  • Total time: 25 mins

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Mid-price

Traditionally beef stroganoff is made with soured cream but in this dairy-free beef stroganoff we’ve used a non-dairy alternative to cream (there are several available made from oats or soya) and added a little lemon juice to give the slight sharpness of soured cream. Beef stroganoff is a quick dish to make using tender cuts of beef such as rump or sirloin steak. However to cut the cost you can use lean pork steaks instead and even lambs liver cut into strips is very tasty cooked this way. Served with boiled rice and a crisp green salad it makes a delicious speedy meal.

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 500g rump or sirloin steak, cut into strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 175g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 250ml dairy-free oat or soya cream substitute
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tsp paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Rice, to serve

That’s goodtoknow

For vegetarians omit the beef steak and serve the mushroom sauce with Quorn peppered steaks.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the strips of steak and fry over a high heat for 2 mins until browned. Remove from the pan with slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat, add the onion and cook for 3-4 mins until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 mins, stirring occasionally. Pour in the cream and add the tomato puree, mustard and paprika. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and heat, stirring, until hot but not boiling.
  3. Return the beef to the pan and simmer for 2 mins to heat through. Season with lemon juice to taste and add a little boiling water from the kettle if the sauce is too thick. Serve with rice.

By Nichola Palmer

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Gordon’s Chilli con Carne Recipe Serves 4-6 Prep 15…

Gordon’s Chilli con Carne Recipe

Serves 4-6

Prep 15 mins
Cook 35 mins

Ingredients

1 large onion or 2 banana shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli deseeded or keep half with seeds if you like it spicy
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
Olive oil, for frying
500g good quality beef mince
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
3 fresh tomatoes or 1 beef tomato, roughly chopped
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
100-200ml chicken or beef stock
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
400g kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
Handful of chives, chopped
200ml soured cream
Boiled rice, to serve

Method

Sweat the onion, garlic, chilli and thyme in 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan. At the same time, brown the mince in a separate pan over moderate heat in a little oil.

Add the dried spices to the onion mixture and cook until they release their aroma. Then stir in the beef and mix well. Add the fresh and tinned tomatoes and leave to cook down a little for about 5 minutes.

Pour in the chicken or beef stock and stir in tomato puree to taste. Drop the cinnamon and bay leaf in then bring to the boil and leave to simmer.

Once the sauce is beginning to thicken add the kidney beans and leave to cook for another 5-10 minutes to allow the beans to soak up the flavours. Check for seasoning.

Mix the chives and soured cream together. To serve, spoon the chilli into the centre of a mound of rice, with the soured cream and chives in a separate bowl on the side.

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