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Friday 12 July 2013

Recipe: Roast Vegetable Soup & Pickled Herring

I was having a root around one of the Polish grocers the other day, looking for something healthy to eat. Nearly all of them do a pretty good pickled herring in oil. Once the oil has been patted off it's a lovely piece of fish! Quite sharp and with a lovely smooth texture. I thought I'd balance it with something earthy and wholesome with a touch of sweetness: roast vegetable soup. The great thing about this recipe is it's just as good room temp as it is piping hot, which makes it a great summer lunch recipe.

ingredients (serves 4)

for the roast vegetable soup - 160C / 60m
10  carrots (peeled, quartered length ways)
2  parsnip (peeled)
4  tomatoes (quartered)
1  red pepper (de-seeded, cut into 8)
2  onions (diced)
4  cloves garlic (peeled whole)

1L  chicken stock (or vegetable)
Extra virgin olive oil (to coat)

for the accompaniment
8  pieces of pickle herring in oil

apparatus / equipment
Stick blender

roast vegetable soup
Prep the ingredients, and place in a baking tray. Give them a good glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss them to the coat all over. 
Add 250ml stock and pop it into the pre-heated oven at 160C for 50-60mins until carrots and parsnips have take a nice golden colour. 
Once they're done, remove the garlic, and any veggies you want to put on the plate whole. 
In a saucepan large enough to hold all the ingredients, bring the rest of the stock to the boil, then turn off the heat.
Add the remaining veggies and blend with a stick blender until smooth.

to serve
Pat the herring dry with some kitchen towel and cut into quarters. 
Add some roast vegetables to the centre of the plate. (if you kept some)
Cover with the sauce and decorate with the pickled herring.
Serve immediately.

thinking ahead
The soup will freeze no problem at all. Once defrosted - if you're not going to reheat it - whiz with a stick blender to reconstitute it's texture then serve at room temp. Otherwise simply reheat in a saucepan!

This combo makes a great sauce with roast pork. Roast the veggies in with the pork, remove the pork from the roasting tin and drain off any excess fat, then whiz with a stick blender. Absolutely fabulous! Thanks to Raquel for this tip!! It's amazing!

Sunday 7 July 2013

Retro Recipe: Mini Toads - Picnic Toad in the Hole / Yorkshire Pudding

I was having a look though and ancient directory on one of my backup drives, and I came across a bunch of old recipes from when I used to live in Barcelona, I always used to write down the ones that worked out! A well fed girlfriend is a happy girl friend I find. Well, it's one check box anyway!

We would often go up into the mountains for walks or to the beach (my favourite), usually a little further up the coast. Away far from heavy touristy bits of city. Pop a small kite up so we're easy to find on the beach when the others arrive and get down to the arduous business of sunbathing! 

After a good swim in the sea and a bit more of a sunbathe, grab a couple of beers from the nearest chiringito and crack open the picnic box. I don't think we ever came back with any of them left!! Soooo morish! Balance with a nice goats cheese and tomato salad. You know that, well, rather screw faced reaction you get when offering your friends kids (little feckers) food? Well you wont get one of those!!! 

They take 10mins to make. In it's simplest form the recipe goes: 1. whisk batter, 2.cut sausages, 3.bake. And it's a classic crowd pleaser, for BBQ buffet or for a picnic hamper, and they freeze too!

The batter is quite loose and it makes for a gloriously sticky mini toad in the hole, for less stickiness add more a touch more flour.

ingredients (makes 12)

for the mini toads
3 medium eggs
3 heaped tbsp flour
1/4 pint (~140g) milk 
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large good quality sausages
  (or 9 herbed mini bratvurst)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
Mix batter : )
salt to taste

apparatus / equipment
12 mould muffin tray.

Pre heat the oven to full blast ~230C
Make the batter: Mix the eggs, flour, sugar salt oil and milk until smooth.
Leave it to warm to room temp.
Evenly distribute the cut up sausage into the baking tray, 4 sausages into 12 pieces, 9 small sausages in 36 pieces.

Sizzling hot - the bater should start to cook on contact!
Add a small squirt of oil and put into the
oven until they are sizzling.
Once they're sizzling pour over the batter half filling each mould.
Bake 15mins - don't open the door before this!!!
Depending on your oven they'll take 15-25 minutes.

thinking ahead
You can make them when ever you want, and then freeze them.
When you wan to use them defrost them and pop then into the oven at 180C for 5mins

what could go wrong? 
You're impatient and you open the door early, and they sink leaving you with hockey puck with a sausage in the middle.
Solution, don't open the door before 15min.

to serve
Serve with a little ketchup or aioli or both, and a light salad. Or ahem, cough, thick onion gravy, buttery mash and cabbage or peas

Why not try making a giant yorkshire pudding!! The trick hear is to get the quantity of mix to tin size right! 

No deeper than 1cm!!

A high sided tin will also guide and contain your yorkshire pudding. Which means it will contain your onion gravy!!

But not your excitement!! : )

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
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More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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