Saturday, March 13, 2010

We need to talk about Kiev... the title of this Irish Times article by Domini Kemp, on Chicken Kiev!

I made both the Kievs and the salad with mustard dressing today, yum yum!

Emm loved the salad! I gave her the crunchy bits of the cos leaves, and some of the dressing as a dip, and she ate it all! I made the dressing with lemon juice, instead of vinegar, and as I'm not keen on graininess of our wholegrain mustard, i whizzed the dressing up with the liquidiser, causing the cream to start looking whipped! The finished product looked a lot like thin mayonnaise, but mmmh, so much more delicious! I substituted fresh tarragon with dried, and added more lemon juice at the end.

I had to make the Kievs without the pine nuts, as I wasn't going to spend 6 quid on rancid looking kernels in the supermarket (they'd gone brown at the tip, that's not normal, is it? (Don't get me started on the yoghurt I accidentally bought, not looking at the best before date, it's only just 4 weeks and 2 days out of date! I wonder do they not check the dairy shelves at all, ever, or are they deliberately trying to sell it anyways? Grocery Customer Services weren't even apologetic or surprised when I called them afterwards! They just said, 'Ah, yes, come in with your receipt and we'll refund you.')).

The Chicken Kievs were quite work intensive to make, But I now have some lovely homemade garlic butter in the freezer, and 2 more chicken kievs and 2 'chicken tenders', which is nice to know. The kievs turned out lovely, really moist, with a crispy coating. The cooking time in the recipe didn't work for us at all though, it said to bake them for ten minutes, after frying golden on both sides, but it took nearly 20 minutes and we lost some precious garlic butter in the process of checking if they were done.

The recipe said to just serve the chicken and salad, but in keeping with German and Irish tradition I made some potatoes too, which by the way were great with the dressing!

Off to Bogland tomorrow...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

mmmmmh Buchweizentorte (buckwheat cake)

I had 7 toddlers, 2 babies and several mums in my house this morning, pandemonium! My little one learned to climb onto the armchair and the coffee table and to open the patio door! (probably from the other kiddies!) . She had to run off her sugar rush (loads of raisins, carrot&pineapple muffins, cowboy cookies and mini rice cakes) before her sleep, but she went down eventually!

I used the time to peel raisins off the floor, sweep and mop the whole place, wipe down the furniture, do the dishes and put on a wash (I know, my life isn't very exciting...), and now am deservedly sitting down with a coffee and a slice of buckwheat cake, marveling at what a perfect combination of flavours it is!! So good I had to post about it immediately! The recipe is from the back of the flour bag, with some improvements my mum came up with over time.

Buckwheat cake (Buchweizentorte)

5 egg whites until stiff, set aside. Beat
5 egg yolks with
150g caster sugar until creamy.
45g self raising flour,
45g buckwheat flour and
1/2 level teaspoon baking powder, add to egg and sugar mix, and stir until just combined.
Carefully fold in the egg whites and pour the mix into a lined spring form (about 9in diameter)

Bake at 175C for about 30 min in a fan oven, or about 40 min in a normal oven, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool under a clean tea towel.

For the filling you will need
about 200g (half a jar) cranberry sauce (LIDL do a good one, it's called either cranberry sauce or Preiselbeeren),
about 300ml (single/whipping) cream and
25-50g good dark chocolate (60% cocoa is perfect).

Whip the cream and chop or shave the chocolate. Cut your cake into two slices (three if you are able to, I'm no good at it! You'll need more filling if you do three)
Spread the bottom half with cranberry sauce and a layer of cream. Put the other half on top, spread with cream (you can cover the sides as well if you like) and sprinkle with chocolate. Go mad and do fancy little cream puffs with your piping bag if you like, and/or decorate with more of the cranberry sauce!

Keep chilled until serving, ideally for a few hours. Still very tasty on the second day, but don't count on any being left!