Red Pepper and Paprika Hummus

A delicious accompaniment to celery and carrot sticks, sliced red, green and yellow peppers, smeared on a sandwich base or merely sitting along side a mouth-watering salad bowl, this is so easy to make and you can make it as crunchy or as smooth as you like.

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Dawn: This is so simple and tasty to make…I’ve been nibbling on celery sticks dipped into this gorgeous burnt orange coloured yummyiness as I’m writing this recipe!

Ingredients

 200g chickpeas, drained

 1 red pepper, washed, de-cored and slices

 3tps of oil (sunflower used here and you can use extra virgin olive oil, if you prefer and have it in)

 2tbsps of tahini

 1tsp ground paprika

 Salt and pepper to season

 Method

  •  Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz them together until they are a consistency you prefer.
  •  Season and serve.

 Dawn: It really is this simple! Try it and see for yourselves.

Andrew: I don’t mind if I do! Thanks, Dawn.

Dawn: Simple to prepare and make food, packed with taste and goodness. The aspect I like the most about preparing and making food is I know exactly what ingredients have gone into everything. Often, the ingredients will make a much larger quantity than if I’d bought a similar product in a shop and my recipes are full of tasty deliciousness that mass produced food is all too frequently lacking.

For more easy-to-make recipes, follow the Love Food team at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com either via email (your email address is safe and we take privacy very seriously) as well as daily doses of food insights, inspirational ideas and thoughts, and the odd cat photo or two on Twitter @Love_Food_UK. Love Food are also on  Facebook and Mumsnet, too. And let us know what you cook and how it goes, please: we love to hear from you.

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How To Butterfly A Chicken

chickenDawn: An alternative way of cooking a whole chicken other than roasting it or placing it in a casserole is to butterfly it.

Andrew: This means cutting it open and spreading it into two halves joined in the centre like a butterfly.

Dawn: If you buy from a butcher, you can have it done there, but as most of us buy from supermarkets these days, here is our simple guide to doing it yourself.

Andrew: Care is needed here. A sharp knife is essential as a blunt one is more likely to cause an accident. Strong kitchen scissors are another useful tool here.

Dawn: Once finished you have a bird that can be cooked in a deep frying pan, on the griddle or even on a barbecue.

Andrew: You can also stuff herbs, garlic, bacon and butter under the skin to provide an incredible flavour boost.

Ingredients

1 Chicken (fresh or frozen, the latter thawed)

Method

  • Remove the chicken from its packaging. Place on a clean chopping board breast up. Dislocate the legs and wings by twisting them.Chicken1
  • Take the largest and sharpest knife you have and cut straight down into the breastbone. You should here a crunch as the bone breaks.20160110_172934
  • Continue to cut down, right to the neck.20160110_173001
  • Turn the bird and cut down to the Parson’s nose.20160110_173035
  • Ease the bird apart with your hands then flatten it as much as you can which will help in the cooking process.20160110_173052
  • If you wish to stuff under the skin, gently work your fingers under the skin to break the membrane between skin and flesh being careful not to tear the skin.20160110_173207
  • Move your hand side to side and use our fingers to reach right under the skin of the legs.20160110_173220

See our other fantastic recipes for stuffing ideas! They include: “How to Make Sage and Onion Stuffing” and “Apple and Dates Stuffing“.  All can be savoured at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and follow us @Love_Food_UK as well as Facebook and Mumsnet

Wonderful Baked Glazed Ham

Drum roll, please!

Suspense mounts…

In chorus: Starting TODAY!

Love Food are thrilled to be bringing you a mini series of tasty, delicious and Christmas-inspired recipes:

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas

Not exactly a partridge….munching our way through the very first of these mouthwatering and tasty dishes: Wonderful Baked Glazed Ham

Dawn: (Singing incredibly melodically) On the first day of Christmas my true Love Food gave to me…

Andrew: Or cooked for you in this case…

Dawn: Cooked. Of course!

Andrew: A traditional ham, with a wee special twist.

Dawn: Ham! Delicious and a wonderful nostalgic Christmas Eve smell wafting through the house.

Andrew: Carols from Kings. The Snowman.

Dawn: I’m famished! So how do we do this?

Ingredients

  • One large ham (Smoked or unsmoked according to preference)
  • 24 cloves
  • 1tbsp English Mustard
  • 2tbsps demerara sugar
  • 2tsps Chinese Five Spice
  • Pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Your ham should be soaked for 12-24 hours to remove as much salt as possible, changing the water frequently.
  • Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 3/Electric 160⁰C.
  • In a baking tray lay two pieces of tin foil crossing each other.
  • Place the ham in the centre of the foil, season with black pepper and rub 1tsp of Five Spice into the surface of the meat.20151224_140218
  • Fold the first piece of foil over the ham and crimp the edges together. Try to leave a space around the ham, like a small tent. This allows heat to circulate. Repeat with the second piece of foil.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes per pound/half kilogram. We used a six pound/three kilogram ham, so cooked it for two hours.
  • After the cooking time is up, remove the baking tray from the oven and turn the temperature to Gas 7/200⁰C.
  • Unfold the foil and carefully remove the ham to a chopping board or clean kitchen work surface.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut away the skin, leaving as much fat as possible.
  • Use the same knife to cut diagonals about 2 cm apart across the fat. Repeat in the opposite direction to produce a criss-cross effect.20151224_141115
  • Press the sharp end of each clove into each of the sections on the fat.20151224_141404
  • Mix together the remaining Five Spice and sugar in a bowl.
  • Using a flat knife, spread the mustard onto the surface of the ham.
  • As quickly as you can, spread the sugar and spice onto the mustard with your hands. It will drip if you aren’t quick!20151224_141828
  • Place ham back in the baking tray and return to the oven for about 30 minutes until you have a wonderful dark brown glaze.20151224_144456

Dawn: Smells quite divine!

Andrew: I love a bit of it still warm.

Dawn: Or with some pickles and a chunk of crusty wholemeal bread.

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Andrew: How about with cold turkey cuts for a Christmas Day supper?

Dawn: Alternative glazes can be made with honey, or even with marmalade or cranberry sauce.

Andrew: Five Spice was just the spice to hand. Cumin seed or allspice could have been used too. Any old spice, but not any of that Old Spice from the back of the bathroom cabinet!!! Hohoho!

Dawn: Hilarious, I’m sure. Keep your eyes open for the next 11 days as we will the blogging more tasty and seasonally popular recipes with more festive Christmas foodie favours.

For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

Dawn and Andrew: Merry Christmas everyone!