Home Made Jerk Seasoning

If you read my post on Saturday, you’ll see that we grew our own chillies this year, dried them and made them in to a hot & fiery chilli powder. Using a small amount of that powder, I made my own Jamaican/Cajun jerk seasoning.  WOW!!! what a difference to the shop bought, commercially available stuff.  It’s got punch and power and a lot of heat.  I’m glad I didn’t put loads of powder in to it!

  • 5ml Chilli powder
  • 3cm Fresh ginger
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 5ml Ground cinnamon
  • 5ml Ground coriander
  • 2.5ml Ground nutmeg
  • 15ml Soft brown sugar
  • 2.5ml Dried Thyme
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 30ml Dark rum
  • 30ml Rapeseed oil
  1. Place all the ingredients above in a spice mill.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Blitz together until fully combined and smooth.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Pour this mixture into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Score your chicken breasts and toss them into the spice mixture, making sure that it penetrates the flesh to infuse the seasoning into the meat.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for a couple of hours, until ready to cook.
  2. When ready to cook the chicken, place the breasts into a hot pan, with a little rapeseed oil and cook on both sides until the chicken is cooked.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Serve with my pineapple salsa for a tasty dinner.

 

Easter cocktails, mocktails & chocolate?

The clocks have changed to British Summer Time which means the days are getting longer, the nights are getting lighter and the weather is getting warmer. This weekend sees two bank holidays in celebration of Easter, giving us a long weekend, so what better way to enjoy and celebrate than with a cocktail, a mocktail or a drink with friends and family? (Not forgetting enjoying some chocolate of course!).

Aldi sent me a hamper full of goodies with which to celebrate the season.

A dark, rich Pinot Noir (£4.49) which went beautifully with our lamb roast on Sunday.

A lovely, creamy white chocolate Easter Bunny that I couldn’t help but nibble on as I took my photos (oops!)

Another nibble on the bunny’s ears and I was ready to assemble all the ingredients to prepare a cocktail from their dark Hopking Rum (£9.99) and the Cocobay Caribbean White Rum & Coconut blend (£4.99).  Shaken (not stirred) with some ice and fresh double cream in my new cocktail shaker. Wow! What a combination.
For those that don’t like either cocktails or spirits, why not try a bottle of their Orchard Cider (£0.99) served cold and poured over ice for a refreshing, longer drink? Or a glass of cold, fresh sparkling Chardonnay (£6.99).

However you celebrate the Easter season; I wish you & your family good weather, good friends, happy families and amazing memories. Cheers!
The Aldi hamper and contents was sent to me free of charge from their PR company.  I was under no obligation to review the contents.

Mincemeat from mum’s 1958 book

This recipe comes from one of the two recipe books my mum has given to me recently.

It was originally gifted to her and dad in 1958.  I aim to try many of these tried and tested recipes in an attempt to bring back good, old fashioned, baking.  As this is a vintage recipe, I’ve chosen to use imperial measurements first with the metric equivalent bracketed afterwards.
1lb Raisins (450g)
1lb Currants (450g)
1lb Sultanas (450g)
1lb Apples (450g)
1/2lb Candied peel (225g)
1/2lb Suet (225g)
Pinch salt
1/2lb Demerara sugar (225g)
1tsp Cinnamon (5ml)
2 Lemons, rind and juice
2tbs Orange marmalade (30ml)
1/4 pint Rum (125ml)
1. Coarsely chop the dried fruit and place into a large mixing bowl.
2. Peel and core the apples then chop finely. Add to the bowl.
3. Add the candied peel, suet, salt, sugar, cinnamon, rind and juice of the lemons, the marmalade and the rum.
4. Mix thoroughly together.

5. Place into sterilised jars and seal.
6. Store in a cool, dark place.
This recipe will make approx. 6lb of mincemeat and if kept in the right conditions should keep for a year.
Brandy may be used instead of rum.

Rosie’s Christmas Rum butter

0c6a1-rumbutter04

Tradition in our house is to serve Christmas pudding with rum butter. Why rum? Well my dad was a Submariner in the Royal Navy when he was younger and is still partial to a ‘tot’ of rum that they used to be served on board daily. Mum therefore created her own accompaniment based on this love of rum and it’s been served up ever since.

It’s so easy to make; just 3 simple ingredients.

250g (8oz) butter, softened
500g (1lb) icing sugar
A good splash (or even a glug) of dark rum

I trust the wonderful Kenny to whizz this together for me, but you can use a hand mixer if you don’t have one of these gorgeous machines.

1. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl.

2. Start by mixing slowly until the icing sugar and butter are just combined (starting slowly prevents a huge sugar dust storm enveloping the whole of you & your kitchen).

3. When this is just combined, turn the speed up to maximum and beat for 4-5 minutes until light & fluffy.

4. Taste and add more rum if required.

5. Spoon into little dishes and refrigerate until required.

This will keep for as long as your butter is in date. In this case about 6 weeks until 6th February 2012. No chance of that in my house of course as the family are coming for Christmas dinner and all adore rum butter on their pudding. It’s also got to last until Christmas day (I’ll be watching for the fridge raiders!)

A tasty alternative is to heat a mince pie for 20 seconds in the microwave and then add a generous dollop of your rum butter on top. Leave for a short while to start to melt the butter & enjoy with your feet up whilst listening to a lovely Christmas carol or two!

Alternatives to rum would be any liqueur or spirit such as whisky, brandy, Grand Marnier (for an orange kick).

Let me know if you try it.

Merry Christmas!

Rosie
X