Tag Archives: butter

Chicken Calvados

We were having people over and wanted to make a hearty nommy dish, given the cold Spring it is. We threw some butter in a pan and seared seasoned chicken breast until browned, but not cooked inside. We placed them in to a casserole dish.

Seared chicken

Then in the butter left of the pan we glazed and softened shallots (use as much as you want, we used 450grams), but we were feeding 10 people.

Sweat the shallots until glassy

Add shallots on top of chicken in casserole dish.


Then in a pan heat 6 tablespoons of calvados, set alight and pour over chicken and shallots.


flaming calvados

Pour 2 litres of chicken stock and 500mL of cider into the casserole dish and heat in oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.



In a separate dish cut 8 cooking apples in to edible chunks and leave them in water until needed. With a small amount of oil in the pan heat the apple chunks and toss them in oil. Then remove the casserole dish and add the apples stirring them in.  Return to the oven until the apples have softened. 

Apples tossed in oil

Ready for the oven

Serve with bread and a green salad. Nom

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Absolutely Nutty Not-Just-Pecan Pie

Nommy Nutty Mix

This is absolutely delicious. It genuinely very quick to make. Took the filling from Nigella, but did not like the dough she used, so I whipped up a batch a la Delia Smith – the Quick Flaky Pastry (we basically use this as a standard in pastry in our house).

So whip up a batch of that by grating 110g butter (which I pop into the freezer before hand) into 175g of plain flour. Once grated use a metal spoon to stir all the grated butter into the flour, ensuring all little bits are covered. Then add a small amount of cold water and using your hands, but minimising your touching of the dough, bind it together. Adding a little more cold water if needed. Once its a consistent ball of pastry, wrap in cling film and through it in the fridge for at least 30-45mins.

Take the pastry out and roll it to 5mm thick to fill a 25cm flan dish. Press it into the sides and cut off excess pastry, but leaving a little above the rim. Pop the flan dish into the freezer (I had to find space for it, but managed) for 20 minutes, while you make the filling. (Pop it in the fridge if you can’t fit it in a freezer).

To get the filling together; start with a pot or saucepan and let 200g of light brown sugar, 150g unsalted butter and 4 large tablespoons of golden syrup (I only use Lyle’s Golden Syrup, but I believe corn syrup, maple syrup or molasses could do the trick too). Once melted, stir together, although the butter tends to separate, don’t worry about that. Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, stir again and pull off the heat and leave for ten minutes to cool. Whisk 3 eggs in a bowl and leave ready for after.

Golden syrup, butter, brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius (or 350 fahrenheit). In the mean time grab the flan dish from the freezer and check that its nice and cold. The freezing protects the shape of the pastry once it gets into the hot oven, so it’s important its crisp and cold.

Grab at least 350g of mixed nuts (they have to be unsalted and ideally with no additives in them). If you want feel free to use only pecans, but its handy to use all the half packs of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans etc. I do love an odd brazil nut in here too or a cashew, so be daring. It is delicious after all. Arrange them nicely in the flan dish.

Nutty Mix Arranged in Frozen Pastry Flan Case

Pop back over to the now slightly cooled filling mix and with your whisk, mix in the beaten eggs, until its a lovely thick caramel-like nom.

Syrupy Mix and Eggs Ready to Go

Pour gently over the nuts into the pastry case. Pop into the now heated oven for at least 40 minutes or until the the filling has set.

Pre Baked Nom

Let it cool a little. Serve with a dash of lightly whipped cream.

Post Baked Nom - The Not-Just-Pecan Pie

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Bread and Butter Pudding

This is one of those desserts that can be awful heavy and clunky and creamy – somehow with an Australian recipe (that has long since disappeared to my dismay, and remains only in my head) I have managed to perfect a lovely light B&B pudding – that could even rival Gordan Ramsey’s pain-au-chocolat-B&B-pudding (which btw is awfully delish!).   Anyway, instead of a cake for his birthday my brother only wanted bread and butter pudding, in the middle of May too – weird eh? So here it is: Enjoy!

We made two to feed a party of 12 and there was none left over, so just work with what you have and how many you’re cooking for.

2 Bought Brioche loafs, cut into slices. (I bought them I know, bold but easier)

A handful of raisins, or sultanas (whichever you prefer)

Vanilla essence/paste, or seeds from a pod

teaspoon of cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg if you want to go wild

800ml of milk (650ml milk and 150ml double cream if you’re feeling naughty)

3 eggs and 3 extra egg yolks (keep the egg whites for a meringue)

Pop the milk (and cream if you want to use it) into a pot, with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and heat, until hot but not boiling.

Meanwhile, slice the brioche and layer it into pyrex or baking dishes, throwing a load of raisins/sultanas among the slices as you go. [If you want to be really really naughty, forget the raisins and throw in some cadbury’s chocolate buttons or something equally nom].

In a separate bowl whisk up the 6 whole eggs  with a whisk. Remove the spiced milk from the heat and add slowly to the eggs, whisking continuously to prevent them from scrambling. Pour the milky mixture into the bread, making sure to soak the brioche well and to have a good few cm or an inch of liquid at the bottom of the dish.

Sprinkle the top of the pudding with a cinnamon, cocoa, sugar mixture.

Place the bread and butter pudding into the oven, you can pop a tray with water in at the bottom of the oven, but it works well without too. When cooked for 10-15 minutes (possibly more depending on how many layers you got in your dish) in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celcius – the top of the pudding will be crispy and crunchy, the middle layer will be cooked, and the milk will have been soaked up by the bread and the raisins.

Serve with icecream if needed, cold the next morning if there’s any left, or as it is.

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