It was a nice sunny day in the summer holidays. We had said our good-byes a few days before to our child from Belarus that had been staying with us for a few weeks healthy respite. So it was just Us and our Kids. Time to chill out and relax.
Our Kids had been eager to get their bikes out and have a ride around the local park. And that’s exactly what we did!
Off we set along with a bag of stale bread to throw to the ducks.
Our Kids had a good ride, plenty of exercise and fresh air on their bikes and the ducks were well stuffed.
On the way back home we decided to do a bit of foraging. On the way into the heart of the park we had noticed a patch of brambles with a few Blackberries peeking out that maybe warranted further investigation. And I am glad we did. After 30 minutes of scrambling about in the bushes and us shouting the kids “Don’t pick the ones near the ground… a dog may have peed on them!”, we returned home with just short of a kilo of plump, juicy blackberries.
Blackberry crumble seemed like a good idea but then I remembered I had a bit of leftover shortcrust pastry in the fridge but only enough for a base. Hmmm, what to do?
I’m pretty sure someone (Kit!…She has all the good ideas….) mentioned ” Bakewell tart but with blackberries” and there it was. Decision made.
I can’t call it Blackberry Bakewell tart though because to be honest it bears no resemblance to a Bakewell Tart!
So here is my recipe for:-
Blackberry Frangipane Tart.
Ingredients for 1 large or 2 smaller tarts
Shortcrust pastry (500g/1lb) Click the link for a recipe.
Strawberry Jam (enough to coat the bottom of your tart… Ooo er!)
Blackberries (700 – 800g)
Caster sugar for sprinkling over the tart.
For the Frangipane:
100g/4oz butter at room temperature
100g/4oz caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
100g/4oz ground almonds
30g/1oz self raising flour (a traditional frangipane uses plain but I wanted mine to rise into the blackberries)
Roll out your pastry to about 1/4″ thick and line a well greased flan tin/dish with it.
Slap on a good dollop of strawberry jam and spread to cover the base of the tart.
To make the frangipane cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then stir in the ground almonds and flour.
Spread the frangipane on top of the jam.
cover the frangipane with the blackberries and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/gas mark 6 for 40 – 50 minutes.
Let the tart cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. We had ours with some ‘Ome Made vanilla and Strawberry ripple ice cream. The leftover tart was nice cold, straight from the fridge.
I’m writing this and It’s making me realise… we are very, very lucky in this country.
Sometimes I don’t think we realise just how lucky we are?
Apparently it is my fault that we’ve all been poorly since May. All because one dinnertime I pointed out the fact that we are very lucky to have 4 very healthy Kids who at most just get a sniffle every now & then……
Then 3 days later Lil’MrM walked out of school with bright red cheeks.
Hmmmm, Slapped Cheek Syndrome. Not too bad for the kids but HORRENDOUS for adults!
After a few weeks of being ill & still suffering, I thought i’d better get my backside in gear & write a blog. But what to write about?
Well, ‘Ome & me were cooking dinner one day & I emptied a pan full of water down the sink & washed the pan.
‘Ome: ‘NO! NO! NO! I NEEDED THAT!!!’
Me: ‘But you left it by the sink so I thought it was for washing!’ (& thinking ‘IDIOT!’)
He was making Kimchi (pickled cabbage) & i’d chucked away the pickling brine. Well, to me it just looked like water…..
So that got my mind thinking back to all the disasters/accidents we’ve had in the kitchen. The scary thing is that there have been a few.
I remember the time ‘Ome had an all-in-one ‘thing’ in the oven, slow cooking all day. He went to get it out & dropped it. Chicken, veg & LOTS of stock all over the hob, oven & floor.
Then, when MissT was a baby ‘Ome made a lovely spicy chinese soup. He put a bowl full in front of MissT, turned round to ladle ours out & MissT started crying. She’d gone & stuck her hand in the hot soup. We definitely learned a lesson from that incident.
Having an opened bag full of lentils fall out of your kitchen wall cupboard makes for a great activity. ‘Spot The Lentil’ was a favourite pastime in our house for many weeks after.
If you’re saving any meat stock please don’t let me go near it whilst it’s cooling because you can be guaranteed it will end up decorating your worktops & floor in no time. How I managed to do that when I was just doing the washing-up I have no idea. (Are you all noticing who seems to do the washing-up?…)
Blenders are fantastic, useful kitchen gadgets…..if you remember to put the lid on when blending onion, garlic & ginger. ‘Ome walked into the kitchen, gave me a ‘how stoooooopid are you?!’ look & walked out.
I still to this day blame the manufacturers for putting ‘DO NOT RUN THE MIXER UNLESS THIS LID IS FIXED IN POSITION’ on the lid & not the actual blender. See it wasn’t totally my fault….
The ultimate disaster HAS to be ‘Ome’s jelly making skills. Lil’MrM wanted a jelly for his birthday. So, ‘Ome being ‘Ome had to ponce about doing fancy stuff instead of just making a basic jelly.
This involved the blender, pink jelly mixture & ‘Ome rushing as he had to pick our Kids up from school. He remembered to put the lid on but even he himself admits that there may have been a wee bit too much hot pink liquid in the blender.
Apparently the lid was only blown off a bit….but then landed back onto the jelly mixture that had started to fly vertically & therefore making it spray horizontally…360° around the kitchen at a trajectory of 6feet…..
This happened near the beginning of the year & i’m STILL finding pink splodges in places I didn’t even know we had in the kitchen. At least the floor has ceased to be sticky!
I don’t bother buying nice tea-towels anymore. They only catch fire when moving pans & heat diffusers around on the hob. We’ve had to resort to buying the proper heavy duty, full bifta catering types….they burn a bit slower.
At times you may walk into our kitchen & think there’d been a disaster but no… it’s just ‘Ome cooking & our kids are always pointing out ‘Daddy! You’re a messy cooker!’
So there you go, the fun times in our kitchen…..& i’m not even going to mention the day long argument & sulk over a chopping board….
After 21 years of working in the catering industry as a Chef/Manager I found myself… ‘in between’ jobs, shall we say.
After pondering about working for myself for a few years I decided to take the plunge.
And there it was… ‘Ome Made is officially a Business!
‘Ome Made available for your home!
The Blog is still going to be here with recipes, ramblings and all that but you may have noticed the addition of the Buy ‘Ome Made button on the menu.
So all those things like ‘Ome Made Curry Masala & ‘Ome Made Chilli Sauce and a whole host of other tasty treats are going to be available to buy through the website and through some (initially) local shops. It’s not fully up and running yet but over the coming weeks products will be made available on the website and we will feed you the information of who else is stocking ‘Ome Made produce as it happens. If you are local however we can probably sort you out with various products (Chilli Sauce, Curry Masala, Beetroot Ginger & Chilli Jam, Red Onion Thyme & Chilli Jam in stock) now.
I will leave it at that for now and update you all as the business progresses.
I hope you join us in this exciting journey!
If anybody has ideas for products they would like to see or buy, or anyone is interested in stocking ‘Ome Made products then by all means drop me an email…
Oh… and wish me luck!
‘Ome Made – Food Family Lifestyle
‘Ome Made Kebab
I have been fond of kebabs since my beer swilling teenage years… You could not beat that garlicky, salty meat stuffed into a pita with slice cabbage, grated carrot, raw onion, sliced tomato and cucumber then drizzled with lemon juice, yoghurt & mint and hot chilli sauce after a night out on the beer!
Of course once I had kids, nights out were a thing of the past and a greasy donner kebab became something I’d have once in a blue moon.
And then I noticed that when I was having them I was enjoying them less and less. The meat seemed to have less flavour, you got less salad,yoghurt and mint seemed to not be an option and ask for lemon juice and you got funny looks. And why can’t you get a kebab in a pita anymore?
It seems that a lot of takeaways standards have dropped these days. And to be fair there is a lot of dubious establishments out there selling things they shouldn’t be to make a bigger profit. Not that I want to tar all takeaways with the same brush… there are of course some excellent takeaways out there.
The thing is, sometimes you just fancy a kebab. So it’s handy to be able to make your own.
If I had my way I would have a big rotisserie spit in one corner of the kitchen but I don’t think Kit would approve!
So how do you get something that tastes and has the texture of a Donner meat?
I’ve found the best method is what I refer to as ‘The Big Sausage’ method!
So here’s how you make it;
You will need
1 kilo lamb mince (or beef, or a mixture)
3-4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Plenty of black pepper
1/2 tablespoon oil
Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The best way to mix is with your hands, so get in there and give it a good squish. The more like a paste you can get it the better.
Once all the ingredients are well combined get a large sheet of greaseproof paper and a large sheet of tinfoil.
Lay the greaseproof paper on top of the tinfoil and then get your meat mixture and lay it out in a line, round about 12” long. Now mold the meat into a ‘Big Sausage’ shape. Once you have a rough sausage shape you can roll it in the greaseproof paper to get it nice and round and compact. Wrap your ‘Big Sausage’ in the greaseproof and then the tinfoil. Lay the package on a baking sheet or dish (some juices may escape) and put in an oven at about 165°C (145°C for fan assisted)for around 80 – 90 minutes.
The meat will now be cooked. To serve slice the meat thinly and place on a baking sheet before giving it a flash under a hot grill.
The meat can then be served in a pita bread with Turkish Salad, yoghurt and mint and of course a good dollop of chilli sauce (preferably ‘Ome Made!) or as I’ve done here in a gigantic Naan bread which is then rolled up and sliced (and by the way if you wrap it tightly in cling film and put in the refrigerator overnight, it slices really nice and is ideal served cold on a picnic or as pack-up).
Happy Happy Holidays!
We love school holidays in our house.
It’s even better when the weather is good, because after a wet winter with 4 bundles of energy bombing around in the house & climbing the walls, we were getting a wee bit fractious temperament wise.
For the first winter in a long time we couldn’t go sledging with our Kids or have snowball fights due to zero snowflakes falling. I have to say board games have been our saviour (although the 3hours of trying to teach our Kids how to play Monopoly was maybe not too good on the old blood pressure!).
So the Easter holidays. A time to kick back, relax & catch up on the little jobs around the house.
The toilet seat that broke in January has finally been fixed by ‘Ome….& then broke again on Easter Sunday due to the amount of traffic using it.
Windows have been cleaned so they’re like, erm, glass.
Courgette & borage plants have been planted out….& then promptly scoffed by slugs! Grrrrr…
The lawn has FINALLY had its first cut of the year. The grass was that long it had lost the will to be in a vertical position.
Cycle rides & walks have been enjoyed by all.
A new (well, second-hand) garden set has been purchased & painted after the last set ended up more leg-less than Oliver Reed (Bless him).
School books have been read.
A project on India is underway.
The schools’ pet snails seemed to have settled into our mad house & are being fed & watered everyday (thanks Dj for asking your teacher if we could have them over the hols!).
The ‘How Much Chocolate Can Small Children Eat In One Day’ experiment was carried out on Easter Sunday. I think CurlyE won that one. Dj was the first to fall & announce ‘I feel a bit sick….do I have to eat all this egg?’. MissT & Lil’MrM drew a very well battled second place.
It won’t be long until we’re back into the same old routine of school & homework & packed lunches & work & stress.
But then if we didn’t have that I don’t think we’d ever fully appreciate the times when our Kids are wired, bringing home P.E kits to be washed & emptying their school bags of all the crap they’ve accumulated over the school terms because
‘IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!’
I was winding an old friend up a couple weeks ago who happens to be a Vegan, he also bears an uncanny resemblance to Jack Sparrow, especially when he gets the full costume on…come on, stop swooning ladies!
Anyway to make it up to him I promised I would put a post on the Blog that featured a Vegan recipe. So Steve… ahem, sorry, Captain Jack ‘A-Hoy mi seafarin’ shipmate. Shiver mi timbres an get ya cooking pot at the ready!”
Ok it might not be Salmagundi (every pirates favourite) but it is Vegan and it’s packed full of protein which sometimes can be lacking in a Vegan diet
‘Ome Made Houmous (Hummus to our friends over the pond…) with Pitta Bread & Turkish Salad
Houmous is dead easy to make and so much better than shop bought. My recipe makes a lot! It’s easy to halve or quarter the recipe though. Or you could freeze the extra. It will keep in the fridge for up to ten days providing its in a sealed container.
For the Houmous you will need:
500g dried chick peas soaked overnight (you can use canned)
1 jar Tahini (300g)
About 10 cloves of garlic (or more or less depending on your taste) chopped
Zest & juice of of two lemons
About 200ml olive oil or sunflower will work fine too
Plenty of slat and freshly ground black pepper
Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Place in a deep saucepan and cover well with water. bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Remove any scum that floats on the surface.
After your chickpeas have boiled for ten minutes, turn down to a simmer and cook for another 45 minutes or until tender.
Once cooked, drain and let the water evaporate from them while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Once your chickpeas have cooled a little mix all the ingredients, except the paprika, in a large bowl and put through a blender or food processor or if your a true pirate you can use a masher or the back of a fork, it will just end up a little more course. If the mixture is a little dry and thick you can add a little more oil or some cooled down boiled water.
Once your Houmous is ready put into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a little paprika.
For the Pitta Breads you will need:
350g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 tablespoons oil (olive or sunflower)
250 ml warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix the sugar yeast and water together in a jug. After 10 – 15 minutes it should have a nice foamy head.
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour your water/yeast in. mix together to form a soft dough. take out the bowl and give a knead for a good 5 minutes using a little more flour if the dough is still sticky.
Put back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or cling film. Leave for an hour to rise.
Put your oven on the hottest setting it will go on
Once ready knock back the dough and knead again until smooth. Divide the dough into eight balls and then roll each out into an oval about 1/4” thick. Place on a greased baking sheet and leave to prove for 10 minutes.
Cook the pittas in the pre-heated oven for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes each side. When ready wrap the Pittas in a clean tea towel to keep warm.
To make the Turkish Salad
Finely shred 1/2 a white cabbage. Grate one or two carrots. Slice one medium sized onion.
Mix the cabbage, carrot and onion in a bowl. Sprinkle approximately two teaspoons of salt and the same of sugar over the salad and mix again.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon or a tablespoon of bottled over the salad and a couple dashes of white wine vinegar. Give the salad a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of ground cumin., mix again and the salad is ready to serve. It will keep for a good five days in the fridge.
To serve split your warmed Pitta breads and spread liberally with the houmous. Pack in as much salad as you can. You know have a Vegetarian/Vegan equivalent of a Kebab! You can of course sprinkle some Chilli Sauce (in our case, ‘Ome Made) over and it does benefit from some yoghurt and mint (but then that wouldn’t be vegan).
So there you have it. ‘Ome Mades first ever Vegan recipe.
“Aaaaar enjoy mi scurvey kerr!”
Mike, our butcher, had got a couple of Ox Cheeks in. I’ve never had them before but I thought I’d give them a go.
I’d read about them and understood that they needed a nice slow cook. Apparently they make an absolutely wicked chilli, or should that be cheeky chilli!
I think the bit of Irish in me had attuned to the fact that St Patricks day was approaching so I decided to cook these cheeky chappies in Guinness (other stouts are available…)with a few flat mushrooms, carrots and onions and serve them with a good dollop of Champ, that comforting dish of mashed potato with spring onions and lots of butter!
I have to say that I was not disappointed with the results. After quite a few hours of cooking I had a gorgeous dark gravy and the cheeks were moist and succulent and had a lovely beefy flavour that reminded me of a cross between beef shin and Ox tail.
The Cheeks went a long way too. They are quite rich due to the gelatinous nature of them so a little seems to go a long way. You shouldn’t pay a lot for them either which makes them a real bargain.
With the leftover meat, champ and gravy I made some potato cakes with the meat in the middle, baked them in the oven and served them with some peas and the leftover gravy… I’ll tell you something, leftovers don’t get much better!
I would recommend anyone to give Ox cheeks a go. They are a very forgiving meat to cook as long as they are cooked for plenty of time, they are cheap and extremely tasty. Don’t be put off by the look of them or the part of the animal they are from. They really are delicious which is probably why all the celebrity chefs are coming out with recipes for them… lets hope they don’t succeed in pushing up the price of these cheeky little morsels!
Recipe (to serve 8 adults)
2 Ox Cheeks (about 900g – 1 Kilo
1 large or two medium onions chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
4 large carrots cubed/sliced
8 – 12 flat mushrooms sliced
Plain flour (some)
About 400ml beef stock
2 x 500ml bottles of Guinness
1 or two star anise
1 Tablespoon muscavado sugar or other dark sugar
Pinch of thyme
Good pinch of salt to taste and a really good grind of black pepper
For the Champ
2 kilo peeled potatoes
2 bunch spring onions (12-16)
50 gram butter
When we had this we prepared it the day before we were going to have it so that it could be put straight in the oven to be ready for teatime. It’s a good idea to do if you have a busy day.
First off dice your onions and finely chop your garlic and fry gently in a large oven proof pan. Add the carrot, thickly sliced and continue to gently fry.
Prepare your Ox Cheek by taking off the outer thick bits of fat and any thick bits of membrane. Don’t worry too much about the state of your cheeks being perfect, after a long slow cook they’ll be fine.
Once the onion has softened and the carrot is stating too take on a bit of colour add your cheeks to brown.
Heat your stock ready to go in the pan.
Once your cheeks are nice and brown sprinkle over some flour to roughly coat everything in the pan. Continue to cook gently for a couple more minutes.
Add your stock a little at a time while giving everything a bit of a stir. You should end up with a thick paste. If it’s a little lumpy don’t worry as after a long cook it should cook out.
Now pour in your two bottles of Guinness. Remember to do a quality control taste on each bottle before adding!
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
Once the liquid has come to the simmer you can either take off the heat, cool and refrigerate to cook the next day or it can be put in the oven to finish off.
The Stew can be cooked,covered, on 165°C for three hours or 150°C for about six hours. We put our stew straight in the oven from the fridge. We put it in a cold oven set to 150°c where it stayed for three hours and then we turned it up to 160°c for another three hours, after which it was cooked perfectly. The cheeks were lifted out of the gravy to rest while the gravy was put in the oven uncovered to reduce slightly.
As for the champ, well thats dead easy. Peel and cut your potatoes into approximately 1 1/2’’ chunks. Plonk into a pan and just cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes and put on a very low heat until the steam almost stops (meaning all the excess water has evaporated and you’ll have nice fluffy potatoes).
While your potatoes are finishing, put the onions, milk, butter and seasoning in a pan and warm gently allowing all the flavours to infuse.
When your potatoes are ready give them a good mashing and then fold the milk, butter and onion mixture into the potatoes.
Once your ready to plate up the Ox cheeks can be sliced or pulled apart with a fork. Simply put a dollop of Champ into a dish, place some Ox cheek on top then ladle some gravy over the top. We finished our dish off with a little purple sprouting broccoli.
A nice cheap meal that really tasted like something you should be paying a lot of money for in a trendy ‘Gastro’ pub.
Happy St Patricks Day everybody… enjoy your Guinness, in moderation… of course!
Here’s a traditional English dish given an ‘Ome Made twist, to be fair it was Kits idea. I was just going to do the plain English dish of lamb shoulder baked on top of layers of potato and onion, which in it’s own right is delicious. Add some spice, herbs and a curry sauce though and it takes the dish to a completely different level… This really was scrumptious! This is a fantastic dish to prepare the day before so that you can bang it in the oven the next day, forget about it and get on with all those things you need to catch up on, take the kids out or… go to the pub!
It really is simple. You will need a full or 1/2 shoulder of lamb. Some White potatoes, onions and garlic. I also used some dried mint, fresh coriander and some red chillies.
First of all slice some potatoes (skin on) thinly and some onions. These need to be layered in a deep buttered baking dish. I did about four layers adding seasoning as I went along. On the middle layer I put a heap of chopped fresh coriander, a couple of chopped red chillies and some dried mint. On the top layer I sprinkled some more mint and some black cumin seeds.
I then fried some mild curry masala in a little oil and added some chicken stock and let this cook for twenty minutes or so. Next prepare the lamb. With a sharp knife make a few slits in the meat and push in some pieces of garlic. Now rub the lamb all over with some Kashmiri Chilli powder and some ground cumin. Sit the lamb on top of the layered potatoes and onions and give it a good grind of black pepper and a good sprinkling of salt. Pour your curry sauce into the corners of the baking dish. You want enough so that it comes about 1/2 way up your potato and onion layer. Now cover the whole baking dish with a double layer of foil, creating a tight seal. When your ready to cook pre heat your oven to 200°c. Put the lamb in the oven and then turn the temperature down to 165°c Which means the lamb will be ready after about four hours (but should be fine up to six). If you want to cook it for longer (or your having a really long session in the pub!) then you can cook the lamb on 145°c. The lamb will then be ready after six hours but be even better after around eight hours. To finish the dish off, remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the lamb to a warmed plate or dish. The meat should be falling off the bone. The layered potatoes then need to go back in a hot oven to brown and start to crisp up. If the liquid is above the potatoes just spoon some off ’till you can see the top layer. Put the baking dish back in the oven for about twenty minutes.
To serve, pull apart the lamb, spoon out some potato into a dish and place the lamb on top, spoon a bit more of the curry sauce over. A nice dollop of natural yoghurt goes nicely with the dish but that’s all it really needs. A tasty, warming and comforting dish for a lovely lazy Sunday. Give it a go!
We have a new addition to the household!
Born on the 27th February 2014 we would like to introduce you to …. Bob!
Bob is a sourdough bread starter, or will be providing I can keep him alive for long enough!
I’ve made bread starters before but I’ve never kept them after they’ve made their first batch of bread. Bob however I intend to feed and nurture and see how long I can keep him going.
I have to say I’m not feeling confident. You see it’s all a bit scientific. Flour to water ratios, temperature, how much flour to feed, blah blah blah. I can’t be doing with all that so I’ll be truthful and say… I’m winging it!
For those of you who fancy having a go at ‘winging it’ too you will need some flour. I used some strong white flour and a little malted grain. I used the malted grain because it has whole grain in it which, if I understand right, has more of the natural yeasts present which are needed to get your bread going. The malted grain also contained rye which again is supposed to make a good starter.
I put the flour in a tall kilner jar and then added water to make a paste the consistency of single flour. I then put the lid on and left it.
A couple of hours later he looked like this…
This is not good…
If I was a puritan I should probably have ditched the mixture and started again. However I’m ‘winging it’ so I chucked in a bit more flour, gave it a mix and left it.
On day 2 it looked better but still had water separating so I added more flour again. It did smell nice, a bit like beer, which is good… I think?
On day 3 he’s looking like this…
Now to me that is looking quite healthy…
I guess only time will tell, watch this space…
Good luck to Mike Kilner who has moved into a new shop after leaving the Farm Shop At Rivelin Valley, which is where most of the meat featured on our blog came from.
We’ve been without him for a few weeks and it’s good to have him back. Best of all he’s only down the road from us!
Mike has taken over the butchers at the top of Twentywell Lane in Bradway, Sheffield. It will soon be renamed Bradway Quality Meats. Mike can be contacted on 0114 2361842 if anyone has any enquiries.
Mike’s Daughter Tara is also working at the shop and will be doing hot roast sandwiches daily.
We came away with a shoulder of lamb today. The lamb is going to be cooked ‘bakers oven’ style but with a twist… ours is going to be curried!
The recipe and more images will follow on a blog soon…