I am grandmother, 3 times over, was born in Nigeria and have lived in the UK since 1963. I came over with the aid of the British Council, who in those days encouraged young people from the Commonwealth to come to the UK to study and develop their skills. I married in 1965 and in the interim the Biafran war broke out in 1967, raged for 3 years, and I never went back.
This is my grand-daughter’s favourite so I decided to attribute this pudding to her because she gave me the idea. I do hope you enjoy it!
Ingredients: (serves 4)
Temperature: 170c; 375f; Gas mark5
450g sweet apples (you can use cooking apples if you prefer) peel, remove the core and cube
450g pineapple, peeled and cubed
1 grated lemon rind
4 slices of bread, crusts cut off, then buttered (only one side)
1½tbsp of rum or Masala wine
1tsp cumin powder
125g granulated sugar
In a pan, add the apples, pineapple, sugar and rum or Masala wine, with a little water and cook until tender. Stir and it should have reduced to a pulp by now. Then add butter, lemon rind and cumin powder. Stir to blend. Taste and if you’ve got sweet tooth, add a little more sugar.
In the meantime, grease a ceramic baking dish, pour the fruit pulp into the dish, place the buttered bread ontop (buttered side up) and sprinkle the top with the remainder of the sugar. Bake for 25/30mins. By this time, you should have a browny crispy top. Serve in individual dessert dish, finish off with ice-cream or creamy custard.
This is my own take on caramelised peach with a touch of cardamom seeds!!
4 ripe Peaches submerged in hot water for 5 mins then peel off the skin and reserve
Grated rind of 1 lemon and then squeeze out the juice and keep
50g unsalted butter
4tbsp of honey
6 cardamom pods, crushed removing the outer layer
2tbsp of rum
Heat the butter on medium heat, add the cardamom seeds, followed by the honey and the rind of the lemon, stirring all the time for about 5mins. Now add the peeled peaches, basting continuously followed by the juice of lemon and rum until the peaches are covered. Basting should continue for another 5mins or so until the whole peaches have caramelised.
To serve: In a serving dish, pour the sauce over the peach or alternatively, pour the remainder of the rum over the peach and light so that the dish is flaming. If not, serve with your favourite ice-cream.
Following from my last mail, and as promised, this is one of the recipes that I gleaned from Fabio, the Italian chef and I am sharing it with you.
Gnocchi is one the easiest pasta to make for it requires neither rolling nor filling and consists of little rolls. This is for four.
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
220g f lour
2 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes in boiling water to which salt has been added for 20 minutes. Drain and mash with butter. Then incorporate the flour and beaten eggs and seasoning. Roll out on a floured board and hands into long thin rolls, the thickness of your finger. Thereafter cut into pieces, ½” long. Put the cut pieces into a pan of boiling salty water. Boil for 3/4 minutes until they rise to the top. Drain and spoon over into a warm buttered dish. Serve with tomato sauce.
Italian like their sauces, and the preparation looks so easy, in that the end result is a taste to die for!!
1 medium sized tin tomatoes or fresh whichever is available
2 medium sized onions, peeled and chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
50gr basil, chopped, if not parsley (reserved some for garnishing)
5tbsp olive oil
½tsp granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Heat oil and add onions, & garlic and fry until soft then add the basil. Add the tin tomatoes without the liquid and cook on medium heat for 15mins. stirring intermittently. Add sugar and seasoning and cook for a further 10mins. Empty contents into a sieve, using a wooden spoon, mash into a fine puree. This is what you use to accompany the gnocchi.
Serve into a warm dish, spread Parmesan cheese and finish off with some basil leaves!
It’s been a long time! I have forgotten you- honest!.
It was my 70th birthday recently, and I took the opportunity of travelling and at the same time, exploring the possibility of gathering new recipes. My travels took my husband and I to Paris, then Milan and finally to Roma. Though we saw all the tourist sites, but I was on a mission for new recipes at the same time. Believe it or not, I found one by way of a chef who is in the business of teaching tourists cooking traditional Italian food, courtesy of the hotel we stayed.
The Italian chef goes by the name of Fabio Bongianni. He encourages creativity and wants you to draw inspiration from the fresh ingredients of the season. He teaches the basics of preparing Italian pastas, etc.
He says Italian never uses mincemeat with their pastas, only in England!!. He showed me how to use fresh tomatoes for pastas, which I shall feature in the next couple of days.
The day ended with us stuffing our faces with our efforts and washing it down with nice local Italian red wine.
When cooked butternut squash has the texture of Galia melon. It originated from Mexico and it is now widely grown in England, weather permitting it is harvested in the winter months and then used in a variety of ways, e.g. risotto, baked, stuffed, soups etc. etc. In this picture I have stuffed it by adding parma ham and bearnaise sauce finished off with chilli flakes or chilli oil.