Bootle Hens cookery section
Right, this page is dedicated to cookery. It isn't Chicken or egg orientated. Its got nothing to do with Bootle Hens. This page is a continuing work in progress, so it will quite likely never be completely finished
Here are some recipes I use. Some are my own and other are ones I’ve seen elsewhere, been told about or are family recipes. Or even recipes I pretend are mine but really I seen them somewhere else. Who’s gonna know!
I want to say right here and now, I’m not a chef or cook. I'm far from being a cookery expert, I just wanted to share some knowledge. I will not be held responsible for the outcome of anyone else's attempts at anything written on this page! This isn’t a cook book or recipe book as such. When I first started cooking (when I cut Mummy’s apron strings and moved out) I honestly didn’t have a clue. I didn’t even know the basics. I tried to find a book that would teach me from step 1 but I couldn’t find one. Here I am trying to compile something that I would liked to have come across years ago.
Please remember that quantities depend on how many you want to serve. In this text I’ve tried to add quantities where I know them, and how many it will serve. The amounts I use also reflect the sizes of my cook ware – dishes, pans etc. One of the things I find with cooking is a lot of it is down to your own personal preferences.
Don’t worry about making a balls up of dinner, I’ve knackered woks, burnt the arse out of pans, over cooked things, under cooked things and filled the kitchen with smoke setting the smoke detectors off loads of times. And that was just last week! Not really but I have done all those things at some point. I tend to do it less often now but if you find yourself doing such things – don’t worry about it, you may just be learning. For me the hardest thing I find is the timing. Getting different things ready at the right times. Its a continual learning curve. Its not a nice feeling to screw a meal up for loved ones or even just for yourself, especially when you have been looking forward to it. Even more so for me when the nearest takeaway is half an hour away! However, its a really great feeling to make something delicious that people enjoy. Satisfaction! But... you will have to make mistakes to learn. Just like real life!
Read the whole recipe through before starting, they may not all be in correct steps. If I’ve given you a recipe that serves 2 and you want it to serve 4 just double the ingredients. If it says it will serve 4 and you want to serve 2 then half it. Easy.
One of the worst things about cooking, to me, is spending ages in the kitchen knocking up a lovely meal only, creating a huge pile of washing up, only for the kids to pull faces and whine about what they don’t like. Anyway, bollocks to them I made it for me! Its not my fault the 3 year old girl doesn’t like red hot spicy kickin’ chicken…Bob the builder pasta shapes it is for you then…!
Here’s a bit of a glossary for those who aren’t sure:
Par boil – Boil for a short time
Flash fry – Fry for a short time
Brown – The colour of the food in question is cooked until it begins to turn brown
Sweat – cook/fry until soft
Dice – cut in to cubes
Season – usually adding salt and pepper to a dish/pan
Boiling point for water is 100 degrees Celsius
Cooking times e.g. 20 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius means that the oven is already at 200 degrees C. It doesn’t include the time for the oven to warm up. Hence the term ‘Pre-heat’.
Corned beef hash – stew style
Serves 4 (2 adults, 1 irritating small boy and a belligerent toddler)
Peel 1 carrot and one small onion. Cut them up.
Set them off to boil for around 10 minutes in enough water to just cover them.
Peel and cut up 4 large potatoes into lumps.
After the carrot and onion has boiled for 10 minutes add the potato.
Add water to the pan until it almost covers the potato.
Season as required.
Boil until the potato is soft.
Once you have arsed around trying to get the bastard can of corned beef open, cut the corned beef into inch squares. I once knackered two tins in a row trying to get that stupid key affair to open the tin, I had to go to the shop for another can! I mentioned this on Facebook and someone sent me a picture of a pack of pre sliced corned beef bought from a supermarket and said it served me right for living in Bootle!
When the potato has boiled until soft add the corned beef and boil for a further minute.
It is now ready to serve. Wholemeal buttered bread goes well with it.
Corned beef hash (baked style)
Peel the required amount of potato (this will depend on the size of your baking dish, boil for about 20 minutes. Push a fork in to some of the taties - they shouldn't be hard.)
Mash them. Mash some corned beef in to them too.
Empty some beans in to the bottom of an over proof dish or tin. I use a pyrex dish (see through). Cover with sliced corned beef
Cover with mash almost to the brim of the dish. You can now put a pattern in the mash so that you look like you half know what you are doing. If you are cooking it for the Mrs then you could be a right cheesy bastard and put a heart shape on it.
Oven on 200 degrees Celsius and bake for around 30 minutes. Again, this depends on the size of your dish. The mash should have browned off in places. If you have been clever like me and used a see through dish you can see the beans bubbling. This means they are hot ;)
If you want to make spicy hash then use spicy corned beef. You can use less or more corned beef/beans - its up to you. You may like to mix the corned beef with the beans instead or as well.
Parsley, Butter (it needs to be soft), Crushed garlic. Just mix it all together.
Garlic paste, Bread (French stick is good) and toasty bags
Smear the paste on the bread, put it in a toasty bag and grill it until the bread looks toasted. Not burnt!
Mushrooms, 2 cloves garlic, dessert spoon sized lump of butter, dried parsley, single cream
Cut up mushrooms
Finely chop the garlic
Melt butter in a pan, not too hot or it will burn
Throw in garlic and brown it slightly
Let them cook in the butter for a while – until they get softer and begin to change colour slightly
Add a good shake of dried parsley
Add enough single cream to just cover the mushrooms
Heat until cream reduces to a sauce
Stir constantly or it will burn
Leek and Potato soup
This serves 6-8
4-6 leeks, 2-3 potatoes Diced, 3 chicken stock cubes to make one and a half 2.50 ml of stock – add more or use less as required.
Important – clean the leeks, you may need to peel some of the skins off to get to the dirt then rinse it out under the tap with cold water.
Put a glug of olive oil into a reasonably big pan
Heat the oil so its red hot
Chop the leeks into approx. 15mm rings
Throw them into the pan
Sweat them but DO NOT brown them.
You have haven’t you. You flaming idiot, I told you not to. You’ve ballsed this right up haven’t you?
Only joking, it doesn’t matter if they go a little brown
Tip in the chicken stock once the sweating process is complete (I meant the leeks – not you)
Add the diced potatoes
Leave to boil until the potatoes are soft (about 20/30 minutes)
Take half of it out of the pan and put it in a blender, blend and put back in the pan (this is optional)
Add about 2 table spoons of single cream to the pan and mix in (optional)
Piece of piss this. I don’t understand why people actually ‘buy’ pastry?
Plain flour (doesn’t strictly have to be but its better). Whatever weight of flour you use you should use half that of fat (Lard, margarine or butter). So if you use 400 grams of flour then you need 200g of fat.
Add together and mix and kneed with your hands in a bowl. Keep pouring a bit of water in, not too much to make it sticky but enough to stop it being dry. Once done get the rolling pin out and roll it as you need it.
I once made pastry to use in a pie. No matter how much I kneed it and rolled it, as soon as I picked it up it just fell to bits. I was well confused, I’d followed my mums instructions exactly. Apart from adding water!
Bacon and egg pie
Pastry, Eggs, Bacon
Make some pastry
Put it in the bottom of a reasonably shallow cooking dish. Cut the rashers of bacon up in to pieces (I cut most of the fat off). Lay a layer along the whole of the bottom of the dish, on top of the pastry. Crack an egg, chuck it in, break the yoke up.
Add more bacon, crack an egg etc. You get the picture?
Use more pastry to put a lid on the pie.
Put it on
Trim the excess from the edges
In the middle of the pie make some cuts like this - > > >
That’s it! Them cuts let the pie breathe and make you look like Gordon Ramsey. Ahem. Oven on 200 deg C, bake for 45 mins.
Hot 'N' Kickin’ Chicken
1lb of chicken thighs skin and bone less, cut up in to chunks. Heat a wok add some veg oil and once the oil is hot add the chicken. Leave it alone for a minute or two before moving it around. Brown it off, should take 3 minutes or so. Check a piece to make sure its cooked through - with cooked chicken juices run clear and it should not be pink. Add a chopped chilli and a sauce made by mixing: 1 tblspn soy sauce, 1 tblspn lemon juice, 2 tblspn water 4 tblspns of Lingham's chilli sauce - mix it all together then thrown in several chopped lengths of spring onion and a handful of coriander if you fancy. This then wants to be tipped out on to a tortilla wrap (either straight out the packet or warmed in a pan) and finished with creme friache - which is a wonderful combo with the sauce. I usualy throw a handful of light salad leaves on at this point. Lovely. One of my all time faves.
Mrs B’s (My Mum) homemade Gingerbread
200g Margerine, 200g soft brown sugar, 200g black treacle, 300g plain flour – it must be good quality, not cheap crap. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, half a pint of warm milk, 2 beaten eggs
Slowly melt the margarine, brown sugar and treacle together in a large pan
Remove from heat and stir in the 2 beaten eggs – do it quickly so the eggs don’t start cooking
Add the cinnamon and ginger to the plain flour, mix it together
Now add the flour to the mixture SLOWLY. Stir it well, quite fast we don’t want any lumps
Add the bicarbonate of soda to the warm milk
Pour the milk in to the mixture, stir
Pour the mixture into a tray that has had tin foil put into it
Bake in oven 160 deg C for 1 hour
Cut rashers of bacon in to pieces (however you want them really)
Cut up mushrooms
Slice 2 cloves garlic
Chop up parsley
Start pan of spaghetti (two handfuls for two people as a rough guide)
In another pan melt a knob of butter, add garlic and parsley
Add bacon and mushrooms
Fry them until bacon looks cooked and mushrooms are browned
Add cream and reduce heat
Add spaghetti and stir it all together.
A personal favourite of mine. I love meat, I love a good salad and I love cheese. All this together in one healthy, easy to make meal and you have a real gem of a meal. Get on the end of it.
One of the good things about this meal is that there are no hard and fast rules - if there is an element you don't like then leave it out or change it slightly. But this is my own personal take right here (serves one):
Little Gem lettuce - four leaves, place on your plate
Thrown on top a handful or two of your fav salad leaves - I use rocket and watercress
Quarter a few cherry tomatoes, add them
Slice some celery - on it goes.
Grated carrot if you wish
Halved hard boiled egg (I boil for 8 mins)
Handful of cubed rump steak - in the pan, cook to your liking, thrown on top of salad
Blue stilton crumbled over the steak
Finish with Newman's own ranch dressing
Mountain man stew