Monday, 27 April 2015

Chestnut Flour!

Looking for a new all rounder in your flour? Look no further...
Shipton mill flour can be purchased in the northeast from mmm... Situated in the Grainger market for £4.95 per 500g.... Expensive compared to your bog standard plain flour but you will not be disappointed.

Firstly we made Chilli and salt flour coated prawns to go in with other sea food... our favourite Saturday night treat.
You salt and pepper your prawns drop them in some whisked egg then drop in the flour... deep fry, then add to some garlic, onion and chilli into a pan... so yummy and quick and made at home for a fraction of the price you pay in the take away. normally we use cornflower but i wanted to try it with this flour, we were not disappointed!

Then I made an apple and blackberry crumble.
Using the chestnut flour for the topping... I found on trying it to be sweet. So I added coconut oil instead of butter and no honey or sugar.... We used honey on the apple and blackberries so it was all round sweet enough.... It came out delicious a softer type of crumble almost cakey... M and me both agreed it was a lovely alternative...

next up I tried making a family favourite... Brownies!

melt 1 tablespoon if coconut oil with ten dark chocolate buttons(which we also picked up from mmm....)
once melted add one egg two teaspoons of honey and a quarter cup of chestnut flour.
bake at 180 for around 20 minutes.

They came out all fudge-like, so moreish, and my boys exclaimed mummy should never make brownies any other way! I say that is a win!
Without the high sugar content that brownies pack I think that in itself is a mummy victory!

Whilst eating our brownies on our walk from Souter to Latimer's in whitburn (please wait on next post)we ate the brownies... They are a lot richer so satisfied quicker.

From Latimer's we picked a pack of hollandaise sauce up which on getting home I made a chestnut pasta, turning it into crab lasagna.

To make, I used one whole egg and one egg yolk. A cup of chestnut flour and a quarter cup of pasta flour and a tablespoon of olive oil.
The pasta definitely needed the pasta flour to make it a bit smoother.
I mixed all these together worked it a little while then left it to rest for twenty minutes then ran though a pasta machine...
To make the crab lasagne I put some hollandaise sauce then pasta layered four times with the second and third layer having a good portion of white crab meat added... On the top I smeared the hollandaise sauce and added asparagus and baked until cooked...

It was amazing... The nutty taste with the sweet crab worked well and then the fresh hollandaise sauce and crunch of the aspargus added to a perfect dish... It was a lighter lasagne and definitely  one I will be making again as it went down well with everybody in Tribe Wardle.

So all in all, we love chestnut flour. It was an easier alternative to work with. Plain flour is fine but chestnut flour seemed lighter and has a moreish texture.... It did everything we tried with it very well, proving it is a good versatile flour, I think it will be firmly staying on Tribe Wardles shipping list....

But which flour should we try next?

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Beautiful Weekend to Get in the Garden

But that does not mean we broke our backs doing all the hard work that is waiting for us.

Easter weekend was glorious, at least the Sunday and Monday, but after a relaxing Sunday with the only gardening being the planting of some more seeds indoors (rainbow chard, courgettes, marrow and a variety of squashes) we decided to spend Monday in the garden.

The lawn had its first mow of the year, its now looking a lot better from a distance, but up close there is another story to tell.  Yes its nice and green, only a couple of bare patches in the shade, but on closer inspection it looks to be mostly down to the even coverage of moss!  There arent too many larger weeds, a handful of dandelions but nothing more.  So something need to be done about the moss before it chokes out all of the grass.  I will aim to rake it this week so long as the weather stays dry, then it will be a prescription of regular weed and feed.  This helps to strip out the moss while also providing nitrogen rich fertilizer to enhance the appearance of the grass.  It will be a long road to a healthy lawn, but so long as I treat it every 4 weeks or so, keep it mowed and rake it to remove the dead moss it should be looking good by the time summer begins for real.

Our lawn does not get as much sum as I would like, and doesnt drain too well as there is a slight slope on the garden that means one side of the lawn collects most of the rain water, and that side is in shade most of the day and only get real sun in the high of summer as its too low later in the day the rest of the year.  It all amounts to a difficult to manage lawn, sounds like a challenge we can meet.

News on the seedlings planted last week is that the majority of the peas have sprouted and are growing well.


The runner beans are not fairing so well, with only one having made an appearance so far, that one being one of the unidentified beans I harvested from the 2013 crop, it was larger than the scarlet runners I planted, reddish brown in colour with black mottling, and it has grown fast, about 3 inches high now having only appeared 3 days ago.

Runner Bean, cabbage and kohlrabi

The cabbages and kohlrabi are both coming away well, and will need splitting soon, similarly with the leeks and one of the other seedlings which I am uncertain of which it is.  It could be kale of spinach, but whilst currently only about a half an inch high, they are difficult to identify and I foolishly did not label these as I presumed I would be able to tell the difference once the sprouted, as only one has done so I cant tell what it is!  If you review the post about planting these I don't even mention the kale, but it was in there.  The tray with leeks has either kale or spinach in, the other tray has the turnips, celeriac and the missing plant.  the turnips have sprouted, no sign of celeriac, and nothing of the mystery seedlings yet.  Hopefully this week everything will start and I'll be able to tell what is what.
Turnips, no sign of celeriac and what is that single tiny shoot?

Leeks to the right, is it kale or spinach at the left??