Blueberry Muffins

DrGourmet has changed the Blueberry Muffin recipe, which I used to have a lot for breakfast. The new one has loads more fibre, and I'm sure will be very nice. But I like the old one too! good job I printed it off. This quantity made 6 big muffins, at 174 cals per muffin. It doubled up easily, and you could freeze them individually, they defrost overnight in the fridge.

 

  • 3 tbsps light spread
  • 0.5 cup Splenda
  • No-fat dried egg subsitute, 1 egg's worth, plus the liquid to make it up
  • 2 tbsps non-fat yoghourt
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 cup non-fat buttermilk
  • 0.5 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5.

Cream the spread and Splenda til smooth, whisk in the yoghourt and vanilla.

Sift in the dry ingredients. Gently fold together, adding buttermilk and the required amount of water for the egg substitute. (If you're out of egg substitute, put 1 whole egg in with the yoghourt.) Don't overmix. Fold in the blueberries last.

Put in a muffin tin, with papers if you can get them.

He says bake 12-15 minutes, but that was never enough, I found half an hour was better.

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Hogswatch

A selection from the Hogswatch buffet, including pheasant pie, pork pie, home made scotch eggs, and the Tower of Art made out of Spam in the background.

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Banana Tarte Tatin

Today I've seen three references to Banana and Cardamom Tarte Tatin, one with a caramel topping flavoured with star anise.

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Crabstick and Cucumber Rolls

Another recipe from Sainsbury's magazine, June 1999. For 6 portions.

  • 18 crab sticks
  • 3" piece cucumber
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsps vegetable oil
  • 1 level teaspoon finely grated ginger (or some wasabi paste)

Dipping sauce:

  • 120 mls sake
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 small red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • salt

Mix the eggs and soy sauce, heat the oil in a 7" pan and make 6 thin omelette wrappers, cooked on both sides. Cool.

Quarter the crabsticks lengthways, cut the cucumber into pieces the same size and shape as the crabsticks, discarding the seeds but leaving the skin on. There should be some spare cucumber.

Trim the top and bottom edges of the omelettes, to about 5" across. Make rolls with the crabsticks and cucumber pieces (crabsticks to the outside, 2 pieces of cucumber in the middle) and a dab of ginger or wasabi. Keep them firmly rolled, but don't tear the omelettes. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for about an hour.

Make the dipping sauce, incorporating any spare cucumber, finely diced.

Let the rolls come to room temperature for about half an hour, and just before serving, trim the ends with a sharp knife to tidy them up and cut each one into 6 pieces. Serve with the dipping sauce.

(Not too unhealthy, it works out at half an egg per portion – although it's only really a starter. You could use Splenda instead of the sugar, and rice vinegar instead of most of the sake in the sauce. Could be a nice little lunch with some salad?)

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Two-way Tofu Salad

A recipe in Sainsbury's magazine from June 1999. It's very complicated, but boils down to this:

Puree some toasted sesame seeds, sake, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, fresh ginger, tofu, and a little salt until smooth and creamy, chill.

Take some block tofu, cut into small fingers, coat in cornflour, eggwhite, then sesame seeds and deep fry, three fingers together on little skewers.

Make a salad with Chinese leaf, asparagus, mangetout peas (blanched), cucumber, enoki mushrooms, carrot ribbons, spring onions, and finely chopped chilli.

Top with the tofu skewers, and a drizzled dressing of sake, soy sauce, plain oil and sesame oil. Serve with the tofu-sesame sauce to dunk.

I think it's messy and overly fussy, but there's a good idea lurking in there somewhere. You could cut the calorie content by grilling or baking the tofu, combining the dressing and sauce and making it sharper. The salad itself could be simplified as well.

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Parmesan Gelato on Red Wine Toast with Balsamic Glaze

I'm trying to focus on more healthy food at the moment, but this was just too weird to pass on. It's a party dish, quantities are for 25 – 30 canape portions. I don't think you'd want to eat a lot of this … and it would take up a lot of space in the fridge to prepare. From delicious magazine, January 2004, recipe by Valli Little.

  • 150 gms grated Parmesan
  • 375 ml double cream
  • pinch of paprika
  • 250 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 125 ml red wine
  • olive oil
  • 1 -2 garlic cloves, peeled

Put the cheese, cream and paprika in a bowl of simmering water, stir until the Parmesan has melted, season. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing through with a spoon. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

Simmer the balsamic vinegar until reduced by half. Cool. (Or you can buy ready-made glaze, I've got some somewhere.)

Using a small ice-cream scoop, place scoops of the cheese gelato on a lined tray and return to the fridge.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Drizzle the bread slices with the red wine, brush with oil, lay out on a baking tray and cook 6 – 8 minutes until golden. Rub with the garlic while still warm. Cool.

To assemble – put a scoop of gelato onto each toast, drizzle with glaze.

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Ramen Stock

I like making simple noodle broth dishes, they're quick and healthy, refreshing in summer and warming in winter. But it's always been a pain to do one quickly without using stock or flavour concentrate, or tinned consomme. Wine isn't appropriate, and water doesn't cut it. The bought concentrates from the Chinese shop are very salty, or too hot, or just come in HUGE packs. I found a recipe for Vegetable Pho by Sophie Grigson in the Waitrose food magazine for July 2005, which is fairly standard, but did include this roast vegetable stock. It's my intention to make it once to try it, and if it works, make it in quantity and freeze in portions enough for 2-3 servings. This amount serves 4, supporting 125 gms rice noodles, lots of veg and 150gms tofu for the protein.

  • 6 cm root ginger, sliced thickly
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 carrots, quartered lengthways
  • 3 stems celery, thickly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 litres water
  • 3 tbsps soy sauce
  • 0.5 tbsp caster sugar

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 8. Toss the veg and spices in the oil, and tip into a roasting pan. Roast for half an hour, until the veggies are patched with brown. Transfer to a big pan, scraping all the residues in. Add water, soy sauce and sugar. Boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain.

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