Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Marmalade Biscuits

We like marmalade in this house, Hannah and I, and have done for a since Hannah has been old enough to pinch my eat toast. A good tart Seville orange Marmalade please. (I recommend the recipe in Stephanie Alexanders 'The Cooks Companion' - though oddly it is not in the new edition). Recently we've started reading the Paddington Bear books and are learning about Paddington's obsession with marmalade - particularly marmalade sandwiches. Can't say that I like the idea of marmalade on untoasted bread, but we've just found out that marmalade does work in biscuits.

I've known for awhile of a beaut website by baker and writer Dan Lepard, where as well as forums open to questions and comments on the cookbooks he has written, he also republishes recipes that he has written for The Guardian newspaper. Of course many of the recipes aren't suitable for us, but a few are just perfect. These Marmalade Buttons are an example. They are essentially based on a shortbread mix (with 50/50 flour and ground rice), with the addition of mixed peel, marmalade and a delicious crusty edge coated with sugar. Lepard's recipe specifies demerara sugar, not having any I used brown sugar which made the most delicious crust. I biscuit I'd heartily recommend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Last week was Chinese New Year. At Hannah's kinder the activities revolved around this. Lots of pretend dragons, lanterns and fire-crackers were made. She mentioned that they made Chinese dumplings. I quizzed her if they ate them, did they made real dumplings? It appears they did. She thought they were great and wanted more. I'd discovered gyoza a long time back and decided in lieu of knowing much about Chinese dumplings we'd try these together. It was a brilliant idea. Next time I'll know that I just have to measure the filling ingredients and leave my little cook to it.

250g ground pork
250g chopped, steamed cabbage
1 sping onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp sesame oil (optional - we don't use it)
1 tsp sake (optional)
1 package of gyoza skins - from an Asian grocery

Mix together, put 1 teaspoon of filling in each gyoza skin. Wet the edge of the pastry and fold over the filling. Ideally one side is given little pleats, so that one side is flat, the other rounded - but this is detail can be omitted depending on the skill of the cook.

Fry a few gyoza at a time til browned, then add a few tablespoons of water, put lid on and steam for about 5 minutes.

Dipping Sauce
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs lemon juice

Alternative Vegetarian Filling
Substitute an equivalent amount of celery (diced finely) together with shitake mushrooms (sliced and steamed) for the pork mince.