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    You are in: Home / Cookbooks / Bold and Beautiful British Recipes!!
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    Bold and Beautiful British Recipes!!

    Yes, British baking and cooking IS good! We have a wealth of wonderful recipes mainly based around the seasons. I love to cook by the seasons, I love to look forward to what produce is coming into season and say a fond farewell to produce as it goes out of season! Many recipes are what I would call "comfort" food, but again I love all types of regional recipes as they represent the climate and what is grown or produced locally. I will be adding to this ALL the time as I rediscover "lost" family recipes!
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    I love the Nutcracker Ballet and the music that accompanies it, especially the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies! These fabulous little festive sweetmeats are based on a recipe that I adapted from Delia Smith's latest and BRILLIANT cookbook, "Happy Christmas". I have made these TWICE already - as a pre-Christmas dummy run, and they are SO easy as well as being extremely delicious! Sugar plums are mentioned in all forms of literature; most famously in “The Night Before Christmas”…………“The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads". However, they are a VERY old kind of sweet/candy, and I have traced some recipes right back to the Middle Ages in one guise or another, usually with minced meat hence “sweet meat”. This recipe can be made as a boozy after dinner adult treat, or with orange juice so the children can dream of them dancing in their heads! NB: These are great fun to make with the children, as they are easy as well as being "no-cook". If you plan to make them for gifts or to sell, pack them into attractive cellophane bags, glass jars or boxes and add a pretty ribbon as well as a label of ingredients and storage details. This recipe is part of my Old Fashioned Sweet Shop collection of recipes, sweets, candies, fudges, sugar plums and chocolates!

    Recipe #402071

    Make your own brandy butter to smother over delicious, homemade Christmas Figgy or Plum pudding, and in only 5 minutes with this easy recipe,..........no Christmas table would be without this "naughty but nice" accompaniment! This is also wonderful when served with hot mince pies......prise open the pastry lids and dollop some brandy butter inside, preferably when they are warm, so the brandy butter runs through the pies! This makes a great gift - pack the brand butter into an attractive pot and add serving instructions. .

    Recipe #404338

    This is MY much adapted version of Jamie Oliver's Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie! I made this with left over Christmas turkey this year, and it was so delicious and went down a bomb with my family and friends! A new Jamie Oliver recipe that he showed on his Family Christmas show this year and one that is so clever, as this pie makes its own gravy! I have left out adding the chestnuts and sage to the pastry as he suggests, I will try it sometime in the future though, as it sounds a brilliant idea; I have added this option at the end of the recipe however, for those who want to try it that way. Serve this with mashed potatoes and the extra gravy in a gravy boat on the side. Here is what Jamie says about this pie: "This is dead simple, completely versatile and absolutely gorgeous. It’s not a pretty-boy pie; it’s a proper, old-school pie that everyone will be over the moon to see on the table. I’m putting leftover white turkey meat to good use here, but you could also mix brown meat in there too." I agree, all of my family and friends were over the moon to see this on the post Christmas table, I bet it tastes great with chicken and ham too. NB: he original recipe makes enough for 6 to 8 people, mine is perfect for 4 very hungry people!

    Recipe #407306

    Freshly boiled eggs are encased in a herb flavoured sausage “jacket” and are then deep-fried until golden and crisp, delicious! Contrary to popular belief, Scotch eggs are not Scottish, and they were actually invented by the famous London department store “Fortnum & Mason” in 1738, where they are still available today. The word "Scotch" is an old English word meaning to chop or mince, and obviously, the eggs are covered with “chopped or minced” pork sausage meat, hence the name Scotch Eggs. They are traditional British picnic food but I also like to serve them as a light lunch or snack, and they make a wonderful addition to the buffet table. These tasty traditional English specialities have had bad press over the years; mainly down to commercial mass production, but if you make them at home with fresh, free-range eggs and the best quality sausage meat, they will taste divine, and they will always be the stars of the picnic hamper or family lunch table! PLEASE use high quality sausage meat or sausages, with at least 70% meat content.Historical Note: Founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason (F&M) stocks "food fit for a queen". The 300-year-old British department store, famous for its jams, teas, and sauces, provides the Queen with her annual supply of Christmas puddings and holds the "Royal Warrant. NB: You can use quail's eggs with great results too - perfect for an elegant appetiser or starter. (The optional mixed spice is for those who like a spicy meat coating, it is mentioned in some old recipes, but I don't always use it.)

    Recipe #408043

    An old-fashioned treat, this is a fabulous way to use up left over ham, although I have also put some freshly cooked ham aside especially for this when I have baked a ham for Christmas, Easter or another special occasion. The ham is finely minced and mixed through with old-fashioned spices and butter, and it keeps for several weeks in a cool place. Another name for this recipe is Potted Meat, and it was VERY popular in Victorian times, although recipes for potted meats (preserved under butter) goes back even further than that historically. Wonderful in sandwiches for the teatime table or for picnics, lunch boxes and festive buffets. This is an adapted recipe from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, where she suggests that this is a nice addition for the “Breakfast or Luncheon table”. Serve with sliced breads of all types, oatcakes, toast, bread rolls, and crackers or with salad, chutneys, mustard and pickles. NB: Use a good cooked ham on the bone for this recipe: the sort carved by hand at the deli and old-fashioned butchers. So called "cooking time" is chill time.

    Recipe #408287

    A delightful and EASY scone recipe that is perfect for a proper afternoon tea or to take on a picnic. Dried sour cherries are sensational and give a deep essence of cherry flavour to these scones, whilst the buttermilk makes them light and airy. This is a casual eating scone, easy to rustle up, and is perfect when eaten fresh from the oven with butter and maybe some cherry jam and cream too! If taking on a picnic, wrap the scone in a clean tea towel to keep it warm and pack the butter and jam separately. Makes one large scone, which is marked to split into wedges when served.

    Recipe #408471

    An easy and very tasty rarebit dish made with Irish cheddar cheese and the ubiquitous Irish ale, Guinness. The Emerald Isle produces some great dairy products and none is better than their butter and Cheddar style cheese. This recipe has Ireland written right the way through it, using soda bread as the base for this cheesy snack, as well as the aforementioned cheese and ale. I have also made these to eat with a bowl of hearty soup or Irish stew, perfect for a cold or damp winter's day. Amazing high tea time food as well; served with salad, chutneys and pickles for a cheap and easy fire-side supper.

    Recipe #408834

    A tasty and different way to use some of the Sunday Roast leftovers on Monday! Although I have specified lamb in this recipe, beef would also work very well, it's just that I had roast lamb leftovers when I made these. These rissoles are lightly spiced and tangy - perfect for supper when served with salad, pickles, chutneys and maybe a naan bread or pitta bread to make a sandwich. They are easily made and can be prepared ahead of time and left in the fridge, as they hold their shape better when they have been chilled and are firm. These will also freeze very well; open freeze them before frying on a tray or plate until firm and then pack them into freezer bags or a plastic container. They only need about 6 hours to defrost and then are cooked as instructed below.Use curry powder to taste, I use 2 teaspoons as I like mine quite spicy!

    Recipe #410039

    These delightful and rather unusual tea sandwiches combine the delicate French herb tarragon, with ripe tomatoes, garlic and shallots – a change from the usual basil and tomatoes. The tomatoes are gently poached with all the seasonings until a thick puree or butter is obtained; the tomato butter is then cooled and you are left with a wondrous sandwich filling, bursting with flavour and colour! The butter can be used for all manner of things, including a topping for a pizza or for toasted sandwiches. Use fresh bread, white or wholemeal, and garnish with fresh tarragon leaves. Any excess butter can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge. NB: Prep time includes chilling time for the butter.

    Recipe #412062

    During Victorian times, children used to take watercress sandwiches to school in place of meat ones. I love them, especially when cut into small trianges and served with a cuppa (cup of tea!). Use the freshest bread - I like to use wholemeal, and a fresh salted farmhouse butter. I have included a soup idea at the end of the recipe, to be made with the excess stalks! So a soup and sandwich recipe then!

    Recipe #412074

    Luscious fresh strawberries nestle amongst light sponge cake sandwiched with strawberry jam, which are then covered with creamy custard and topped with clotted cream. Simple! This trifle may be simple but it is the star on any tea-time or dessert table and if you cannot obtain clotted cream, use whipping cream, heavy cream or double cream instead. Madeira is used in place of sherry in this trifle, which gives a mellow flavour to the trifle. This is a recipe that my mum sent to me, from a cutting in a British magazine promoting Devon and Cornwall in the West Country - home of the Cream Tea! If you wish to serve this to children or non-drinkers, substitute the Madeira with fruit juice of your choice. In the summer scatter some pink rose petals over the top for the ultimate and romantic finish! (Prep time includes the chilling and soaking time.)

    Recipe #412075

    Delightful light and lemony glazed scones with just a hint of spice! These are even more delicious when split and spread with lemon curd - and maybe a dollop of cream for good measure! These would be wonderful when served for afternoon tea, or make a batch up for a spring picnic. This recipe was on a set of recipe cards that a kind friend sent to me from the States, and I adapted them slightly to my own taste. If you are unable to source mixed spice, I have a recipe for mixed spice on zaar: Recipe #266688

    Recipe #413051

    The English summer is thought to start when the elder blossoms end and the berries ripen. The citrus aroma floating down country lanes also heralds a bountiful harvest for the forager and home-brewer. Elderflower cordial costs more as the bottles get smarter and it’s seen as a luxury, which seems ludicrous to me, as I know that you can make it for next to nothing! Elderflower cordial is a wonderful base for all sorts of culinary treats............lemonade, sorbet, mousses, jelly, desserts, beverages, glazes etc. It is very easy to make, although you need to plan ahead as the flowers need to be steeped in the sugar mixture for four days. The flowers taste best picked early on a dry, hot day, and speed is crucial: they should be used straight after picking. The cream-coloured heads (or umbels) are tastier than the white, and don’t worry if they smell unappetising at first once they’re infused, the heady scent is delicious.Choose umbels free of discolouring and keep them dry until you’re ready to begin. Folklore: * One name for it is the Judas Tree, as it was thought to be the tree Judas Iscariot hanged himself from * To fell a tree without suitable protection could free a spirit called the Elder Mother to take her revenge * The elderflower was said to be a protection against witches, and a knotted twig kept in the pocket was a charm against rheumatism * Elderflowers were apparently never struck by lightning, and a cross of elder fastened above stables would protect the animals from evil Medicinal benefits * Elderflower cordials and elderberry wines are high in vitamins A, B and C * In A Modern Herbal of 1931, Mrs Grieves recommends an elderflower infusion, taken hot before bed, as a remedy for colds and throat trouble * Mrs Grieves swears by elder leaves as an insect deterrent. The foul-smelling bruised leaves around tender plants and buds prevent attack by aphids and cater-pillars, and gardeners can add a sprig to their hatband to ward off midges * Medical herbalist Christine Houghton says a daily elderflower infusion, made with fresh flowers, is helpful in preventing hay fever

    Recipe #414594

    Juicy British bangers (sausages) with baked beans, fresh eggs, fried bread fingers and tomatoes. Yup! It's bold and brash, but a great brunch idea for those days when half a grapefruit and some cereal just doesn't tick the boxes! I cook this on a griddle - it is easier to fit all the food on at the same time, and if you spray the griddle with oil, it is healthier too. Yes, you can add bacon or potatoes or even mushrooms, but we like this simple combination of bangers, beans, egg and tomatoes with fingers of crispy fried bread. Quantities listed are suggestions for two greedy people; please do adjust the amounts to suit your personal requirements. This sets you up for the day, especially if served with freshly squeezed orange juice and a pot of tea. We are normally too full to have toast, but toast and marmalade would be a great accompaniment if you have room!

    Recipe #415695

    This is SUCH a wonderful old recipe! Fresh butter is mixed with floral scented waters, such as rose water or orange blossom water and is delicious as an alternative to clotted cream, especially when spread on freshly made scones. It is also wonderful with all types of griddle cakes, crumpets and traditional tea cakes and breads. This floral butter dates back to the 18th Century and is featured in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, as well as numerous other historical cookbooks. This recipe adapts well to modern cooking - and would make a stunning feature at any Victorian style Ladies' afternoon tea party or even a little girl's birthday party. Serve this with pancakes for breakfast or brunch, the possibilities are endless!

    Recipe #416574

    A simple and beautiful syrup that is easy to make and gives amazing results. My front garden is covered in little sweet violets every spring and although I crystallise them or cut them for the spring dinner table, I recently found this old recipe for making violet syrup, which is fabulous. So, I have been busy making Sweet Violet Syrup this year! The syrup is great when added to icings and butter cream for cakes; and is wonderful when used in beverages too. Only a small amount is needed to add to sparkling wine or lemonade for a delectable and elegant drink. I have also added the syrup for flavouring to homemade macaroons, French Macarons. Why not make a homemade violet ice cream, or add this to junkets and blancmanges, the list is endless! NB: Six handfuls are about 3 ounces. A bottle of this makes a great gift for a foodie friend, add a label with serving ideas; one teaspoon is usually enough for most recipes.

    Recipe #416575

    What can be nicer then inviting friends and family over for an old fashioned afternoon tea. Homemade bread, sandwiches, cakes, biscuits (cookies) and these delightful rose scented coconut macaroons. These are not the same as the little piped, multi-coloured and flavoured macaroons that you find in France; these are rustic and yet elegant little coconut mounds or pyramids, real old fashioned biscuit type cakes. As well as being delicious, these are also easy to make. If you would like to add a little food colouring to make them a pale pink, that would make them look so pretty! BUT, be warned, do add the colouring carefully, many a pale rose coloured biscuit (cookie) has ended up a bright puce colour! Recipe from Francis Bissell.

    Recipe #416578

    A delectable and spicy sandwich that uses vintage Farmhouse Cheddar cheese alongside spicy aubergine slices and mango chutney. I make this with granary bread for an extra dimension. This is another wonderful recipe from the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers website, who promote hand-made cheeses from Farmhouses in the West Country of England. www.farmhousecheesemakers.co.uk (Prep time includes cooking the aubergine slices.)

    Recipe #421075

    MUCH better than shop bought crumpets, these are easy to make and are a rewarding and comforting meal for breakfast, tea or supper. Crumpets, pikelets, Scotch pancakes and English muffins: all traditional British tea-time treats but what's the difference? That's a good question! They're all cooked on a griddle or bakestone (a heavy-based frying-pan can be used as an alternative) but crumpets and muffins are both yeast-based. To make crumpets, you need egg rings (available from kitchen or hardware shops) or, if you can get them, special crumpet rings, and they need to be well-greased. More about crumpets: crumpets are flattened round breads which are cooked on a griddle or in a skillet. They are closely associated with English society and culture, and are sometimes confused with English muffins. Although the crumpet and the English muffin share some characteristics, the two foods are in fact very different. Classic crumpets have a smooth round bottom, and a top riddled with small holes. They are served fresh from the griddle or toasted, and can be topped with cheese, bacon, honey, jam or clotted cream - although butter is the traditional crumpet topping. Crumpets are never split, unlike English muffins, and they have a slightly spongy texture which absorbs butter remarkably well. The concept of toasting crumpets over a fire is often associated with companionable rainy days in British fiction. For people who are still confused about the differences between crumpets and English muffins, remember that crumpets have a holey top, they are not split, and they are far less "bready" than English muffins tend to be. It is believed that the English muffin may have been invented by someone who was trying to replicate the crumpet, which explains the commonalities between the two. The recipes for English muffins and crumpets are also very different, with crumpets being made from batter and English muffins being made from a dough. Because crumpets are made from a batter, they must be cooked in metal rings called crumpet rings or they will lose their shape.

    Recipe #421076

    Delicious light pancakes made with oats and yeast - traditionally from the Midlands region in England, in particular the county of Staffordshire. The Potteries, an area that is the birthplace of many famous people including Arnold Bennett, Sir Stanley Matthews, Reginald Mitchell, Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic, Josiah Wedgwood, and more recently Robbie Williams…….but just as important to the Potteries as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood etc., are Staffordshire Oatcakes. Once only eaten locally, the Staffordshire Oatcake has grown steadily in popularity over recent years. The traditional filling would be practically any combination of ingredients from an ‘all-day breakfast’ but anything goes these days. Chicken curry, chilli con carne, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and coronation chicken are now quite the norm amongst the oatcake avant-garde, as well as golden syrup, honey, jam and cream.

    Recipe #421079

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