Monday, 25 February 2013

Crispy Croutons

We are always looking out for ideas for easy things to make... even better if they use up cupboard items that may be nearing their 'use by' date.  These croutons are dead easy...

Checking our 'Justin' case bag, the Dietary Specials white Ciabatta Rolls were due to be used up.

So, we cut them into cubes (roughly and inch/2cm in size) and placed them in a mixing bowl. 

They were seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper.   Two tablespoons of oil was mixed through thoroughly.

The bready bits were added to a hot frying pan (we did ours in two batches) and moved around to minimise catching.

Once they'd toasted through, the croutons were turned out onto a piece of kitchen paper to cool.

They can be added to salad, eaten with chilli or just snacked on.  We sometimes add spices or garlic into the mix and they never last long.  However, if you need to store them, put them in an airtight container and they'll keep a couple of days.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Devilishly Delicious Desserts

We tracked down some interesting looking cartons in the chilled dessert section of the supermarket the other week.  On the side of the cartons there was lovely, clear labelling to say the contents are Gluten Free.  As Sous Chef J likes all things yellow we decided to try out the Sicilian Lemon Pot and also the Pannacotta.

The instructions on the back of the carton are nice and simple, just as we like them to be.  So, we opened the Sicilian Lemon carton, poured the contents into a non-stick pan and boiled, vigourously, for 2 minutes as instructed.  We did remember to stir a couple of times during the boiling and also used the time to find our ramekins.

Once the two minutes was up, the dessert was shared between the ramekins as evenly as possible.  These were then placed in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours (but we think they could also be made the day before you needed them, covered and chilled til serving time.)  Finally we 'attempted' to pipe some whipped cream on top... the rustic result was very tasty!

Sous Chef J thinks that the addition of some lemon zest would be good the next time we make them.

You can find out about the other products here -  - and they have a handy stockists' finder on the site too.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hoorah for Honeybuns

We've always liked Honeybuns Gluten Free offerings and a big part of our regular outings to the library involves a trip to a nearby Waitrose café.  Here there will be (fingers crossed) a Triple Chocolate Tinker for Sous Chef J to eat whilst he sits reading one of his newly selected library books.  Woe is upon us on the occasions when there is NO Honeybuns treat available... this is not how a trip to the library goes. 

Luckily for us, it's not often that stocks are absent and, as we have the Honeybuns cookery book, we have also tried making a couple of their luscious treats at home.  The Heathcliff Brownies went OK but Sous Chef J declared they're not as good as bought ones! We haven't yet got around to making Congo Bars and, as Sous Chef J likes all things pre-packaged, we do try to seek them out when we're out and about. 

Being the thorough chap that he is, when we were considering making his beloved Triple Chocolate Tinkers (TCTs), he rushed off to retrieve the inner from his last cookie and proceeded to check the ingredients list with the recipe.  Alas, it was not the same... there are oats listed in the recipe and yet no mention in the ingredients (which mention just ground almonds).  We are going to give it a go making the 'with almonds' recipe, adapted from the one in the book and will blog our attempt at a later date.  We'd communicated this anomaly with Honeybuns via Twitter and learned that the reason for the difference was production requirements... and they kindly sent some TCTs to Sous Chef J in the post.

After our 'taster pack' of TCTs we placed our own online order to ensure Sous Chef J has some tasty treats to take on outings where we're unsure if there'll be a Gluten Free option for him.  The haul we ordered was delivered really speedily and was very well packaged.  The majority that were delivered (whole order shown in the top pic) have now been frozen (they defrost in 2 hours) and some, shown to the left, have been kept 'ready to be eaten'... which won't take him long!

We've seen Honeybuns on sale in Waitrose Cafés, at the Range in their café and a number of other places (which we can't remember at the moment).  Their distinctive packaging means that when we see them we know there's bound to be something tasty for us to eat.