I'm no chef, but I enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.
I first started to cook properly (as opposed to fry-ups and not a lot else) about 10 years ago and it has been a long journey from there to hear.
I'm hoping the recipes and tips that I share, will help others to fall in love with cooking the way that I have.
Sieve the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir.
Make a well and pour in the buttermilk, then mix quickly to make a dough.
Place on a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, you almost want to treat the dough like it’s really hot when you’re kneading it, handling it as little as possible. Then form into a round and flatten slightly before placing it on a lightly floured baking sheet.
Cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Baking is one of the broadest terms when it comes to cooking as it covers so much from the humble baked spud through cakes, pastry, breads, pizza and uses such a wide range of equipment and even different types of ovens – however throughout all this diversity the following statement is true of all the variations…
“Baking is the cooking of prepared foods by convected dry heat in an oven using natural moisture.“
You can use any number of specialist tins and trays for specific baked items as well general purpose ovens, pastry ovens, pizza ovens and forced air convection ovens. Regardless of the tins or trays and the oven that is used they should always be loaded within their capacity and should be cleaned regularly to prevent spilt food and particles starting a fire.
These are fairly easy to make and a great alternative to mash or baked potatoes. They do need a bit more effort though, not much, so let’s not think about it and just get started.
First you need to peel and wash the potatoes, they should be roughly the same size so cut them only if you really need to. Next place them in a saucepan with just enough salted water to cover them. Place this on a high heat and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for about a minute then remove the potatoes from the water and allow them to cool slightly before moving onto the next step.
Grate all the potato using a large grater, season with salt and pepper and add the melted butter, a little at a time, mixing in well each time, until the potatoes stick together. Depending on the type of potatoes the amount of butter will vary, however I find the starchier the potato the less butter is required. You could also substitute sunflower oil for the butter, but I find this can effect the flavour and colour of the result.
Next take a small amount of the mixture and form it into a mini burger shape. Fry it until golden brown on both sides and taste to check the seasoning. If you’re not happy add more salt and pepper to taste.
Next, shape the mixture into rounds like you’re making burgers. I use a ring mould for this but you can form them into rounds by hand either. Then fry on a hot pan until golden brown, usually 3 -4 minutes a side.
When shallow frying, the food is cooked in a small quantity of fat or oil. There are four different types of shallow frying.
Shallow frying where the food is fried on both sides in oil or fat in a frying pan.
Sauté where the food is tossed in hot fat or oil to cook quickly. A sauté pan is ideal but a frying pan can be used
Griddle fried where the food is cooked quickly on a lightly oiled hot plate or Griddle pan.
Stir-fried where the food is tossed in hot fat or oil over a very high heat, usually done in a wok but a frying or sauté pan can also be used in an emergency.
This is a quick method that can add colour, flavour (from the oil or fat) and a crisp finish to most foods as required.
It’s important to use a pan of a suitable size for the food that you intend to cook and not to crowd the pan as this can affect the quality of the result. As always care should be taken when moving hot pan and especially when tossing a pan with hot oil in it. Finally never leave a pan unattended as oil and fat can catch fire when too hot.