Rice Pudding with Baileys Infused Currants and Cinnamon

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A classic rice pudding – with a twist! This comfort pud is a great source of protein and calcium which are needed to maintain strong bones. Not like the stodgy old rice pudding served up for school dinners!

Ingredients

Serves 4

50g currants (or sultanas)

10ml Baileys

150g short grain rice (rinsed)

25g sugar (used light muscovado sugar here but you can use whatever kind you have in)

1l of milk (any kind)

1tsp of vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp of ground cinnamon)

1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg (freshly grated was used here but you can use what you have in)

Method

  • Put the currants in a small flat container and add the Baileys. Set aside in the fridge to infuse overnight.

Dawn: The currants will be all plump and juicy-looking from having absorbed the Baileys which you need hardly any to work its magic on the dried fruit so remember this when adding the liquor. 

Andrew: As an alternative to Baileys which some people find a bit too sweet, soaking in a little dark rum is a possible alternative.

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C electric.
  • Lightly grease a 1 and 1/2 – 2 pints ovenproof dish. Put the currants, rice, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk in the dish and stir. Sprinkle the ground nutmeg across the top of the pudding.

Dawn: It’s important to use a large enough ovenproof dish to enable the pudding to rise and increase in size when cooking.
Andrew: And if you use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, you reduce the fat content of this pud further.  

  • Place in the centre of the oven and cook for 1 and 1/2 hours or until the top of the pudding has turned golden brown, then serve.

Andrew: The muscovado sugar adds a hint of caramel to the rice pudding but don’t go out and buy this sugar especially as the spices give it a lovely zingy flavour. Use what you already have at home. 
Dawn: And, this makes an ideal dish to cook in the oven alongside a casserole at the same time, so saving on fuel costs. Two birds with one stone, so to speak!

For a daily recipe that’s easy to do, cooking tips and advice, simply follow this blog and the Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK. See you there!

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Spicy Pork, Chick Pea and Apricots Tagine

DSCI1613 Dawn: This is a dish I’ve conjured together with ingredients I already have in – so, no shopping required! 

Andrew: Excellent idea! Busy people have no time to shop midweek. What we have in our stock cupboards and freezers should keep us going all week, or longer!

Ingredients

Serves 4

4 lean pork chops (the fat is removed)

2 onions, peeled, sliced and chopped

240g of chick peas (or 1 450g tin, thoroughly washed)

1 carton of passata

12 apricots, halved

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

400ml of vegetable stock (using a vegetable stock cube)

1 tsp of ras el hanout (or a 1/4 tsp of paprika, cumin, chilli and cinnamon mixed together)

Dawn: Oh, I can smell the tagine cooking as I write! It’s warming – both the kitchen and my soul!

Andrew: Sounds divine and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about this recipe – especially as it’s one made from ingredients you already have in, Dawn.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C electric.
  • Seal the pork chops in a non-stick frying pan. There’s no need to add oil as the chops will produce sufficient juices to enable them to brown. Brown both sides and set aside in a large, ovenproof casserole dish.
  • Into the frying pan, add the onions and cook in a little warm water until they have become transparent in look. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the passata, apricots, carrots, chick peas, vegetable stock and spices. Bring to the boil. Once reached, transfer the ingredients to the casserole dish with the pork chops.
  • Put in the centre of the hot oven and cook for approximately 60 minutes. At this point, remove from the oven and test to see if the chops are cooked by pushing a fork into one or two: if the fork goes all the way in, they are cooked. If the meat is tender, there’s no need to return the casserole pot to the oven: if the meat isn’t yet tender, return to the oven and cook for a further 15-30 minutes until the meat is tender to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Allow 60g person of dried cous cous, pre-cooking weight.

Dawn: Tagines are so warming and you can, quite literally use whatever meat and vegetables you have in to create your very own versions.

Andrew: Having herbs and spices in helps make cooking a real treat so whenever you can, buy one or two so you’ll always have these key components in to bring to life even the simplest of dishes. 

Dawn: Excellent tip, Andrew and another one is how easy it is to use dried pulses like I’ve done here with the chick peas. Dried pulses are very inexpensive to buy and easy to rehydrate. We’ll be bringing you how to make chick peas ready to cook with, too so for more tips, follow our blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com with its daily recipe added and our Twitter account @Love_Food_UK. See you there!

How to Make Scrambled Eggs

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A filling breakfast or a super speedy supper, scrambled eggs are a protein-packed food that really deliver!

Ingredients

Serves 1

2 eggs, cracked and beaten

2 tbsp of milk (any kind)

1 tbsp of butter

Salt and pepper to season

Dawn: Eggs are such a versatile and great value food with a tremendous amount of uses in all kinds of cooking. It’s estimated that each person eats one egg a day in some guise or another. 

Andrew: Eggs really are an essential ingredient and go into things like cakes, sauces, hot and cold puddings, suppers besides being a wholesome meal in their own right. 

Dawn: Absolutely, Andrew. Nutritionally, eggs are rich in protein and just one wee egg contains the same amount of protein as 50g or 2oz of meat does.

Andrew: We’ll be talking more about eggs as our “Essentials” section develops. 

Method

  • Put the butter in a non-stick frying pan and place on a medium heat. Melt the butter until small air bubbles start to appear and a faint ‘heat haze’ to wafting off it.
  • Take the beaten eggs and mix with the milk, then pour this mixture into the frying plan.
  • With a wooden spoon, start to stir the eggs slowly over a gentle heat. They will begin to look opaque in colour, light and fluffy in texture. By stirring the eggs, you are preventing them from forming an omelette and instead, creating scrambled eggs.
  • Scoop the scrambled eggs out of the frying pan and season.

Dawn: Our photograph suggests eating your scrambled eggs on hot, buttered toast but you can have them on their own, with a salad or a steak.

Andrew: Or add them to a cooked breakfast as an alternative to a fried egg.

Dawn: Yes, and remember that eggs should be stored at a cool temperature and if you do keep them in the fridge, make sure they are away from fish, cheese or onions as the smells can transfer to the eggs.

For more in the Cooking Duo’s “Essentials” section, follow our blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and @Love_Food_UK over on Twitter. See you there!