Saturday, 29 June 2013

Curry Houmous

 Sous Chef J likes to eat finger food and dips are a particular favourite of his.  Up until now, we've had a bit of a stand off in relation to the tastiness (or otherwise in his opinion) of houmous.  However, bearing in mind that he likes all things yellow and mango chutney is good, we hit upon the idea of making a curry-style houmous dip.

We gathered the meagre ingredients - ready made houmous (we do make our own but this was for a speedy lunchtime 'solution'), a tablespoon of curry powder and a dollop of mango chutney.

The ingredients were combined and mixed well.  

Finally, the dip was served with tortilla chips... although we have used mini poppadums as dippers which work well too.

We now make it in larger amounts, then halve the batch and store one lot in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Rhubarb fool with ginger crumble

It seems that quite a lot of the time, shop bought packets of gluten free biscuits are a mass of crumbs when we open them.  Given their cost and being of a thrifty Northern persuasion, methods to use them up are sought.  So, when we found one of our favourite packs of Lazy Days Ginger Snaps were already beginning to crumble it gave us an idea.  We'd had a bundle of rhubarb in the veg box and thought we'd try to make 'something' tasty.  Being the type of 'cooks' that opt for simple stuff with very few ingredients, it was then a question of whether to go with rhubard fool or rhubarb crumble... in the end we went for a 'combo pud' as you will see.

The ingredients were simply - rhubarb, honey, rice milk and custard powder, gluten free ginger biscuit crumbs and some double cream for decoration (for Sous Chef J)... you can leave out the cream if you want/need a dairy free pud.

Preparing the rhubarb was a matter of washing, peeling and slicing.  This was placed in a stainless steel pan together with about a tablespoon of runny honey and a dash of water.  A tight fitting lid was placed on the pan and the rhubarb was cooked over a low heat until it began to soften.  At this point, the heat was turned off and the mix was left to one side to cool.

Meanwhile, the custard was made.  We used about half a pint of rice milk and a tablespoon of custard powder.  A bit of milk was added to the custard powder to make a paste.  Then, having heated the milk to almost boiling point, the warmed milk was added to the paste, then the whole lot was put back in the pan and heated, over a moderate heat, stirring all the time until the custard thickened.  This was also set to one side to cool.

Whilst the rhubarb and custard was cooling, the ginger biscuits were turned from bits to crumbs. Sous Chef J made full use of a rolling pin to assist the crumbling process.

 Finally, it was time to assemble... so we found a few jam jars to use for our 'rustic' presentation and some smarter glasses for the 'posh' puds.

Assembly entailed layering the rhubarb in the bottom, adding some custard (carefully or else it can sink) and finally topping with the ginger biscuit crumble.

For the full 'posh' presentation in the martini glasses the crumble was topped a trio of whipped double cream "eggs".

The end result was clean crockery which is always a good sign.

The rustic presentation in jars would make a good pud for taking on picnics - although ours didn't last long enough to make it out into the sunny UK weather!  A simple free from pud that isn't chocolate or a piece of fruit.