Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hairy Bikers’ Best-Loved Recipes Mum’s Still Know Best

Grandma Sindy's Ginger Snacking Sponge
It was with much excitement that I took delivery of my pre-ordered new cookbook. The Hairy Bikers’ Best –Loved Recipes Mum’s Still Know best! by Si King and Dave Myers. I enjoyed the first series and cookbook a lot, and hoped this one would be one to love too.
This second book is done in much the same style and layout as the first. Mixture of recipes from Mums up and down the country, plus others from Si and Dave. Recipes from home and also further afield. Nice introductions to the recipes, to set the scene. Almost every recipe is illustrated with a picture too. There is a good mixture of stapes recipes, like spaghetti bolgonese, steamed sponge pudding, macaroni cheese mixed with others that are a little different.
I was hoping for more biscuit recipes, as my very favourite recipe from the first book was Mrs Miller’s Empire Biscuits. I was looking for another fabulous biscuit in this one, and my only criticism of this new book is that although there are numerous cakes, I would have liked to have seen more biscuits.
Chapters are:* Comforting Food * Al Fresco* Taste of Home* Lazy Weekends* High Tea* Distant Shores* Posh Nosh* and *Family Classics*.
This one is definitely worth a whirl if you liked the first book, but you wouldn’t need to have the first to enjoy this second one. Lots of recipes to feed the family, maybe get a few new recipes into your routine.
I’ve picked out a lot more savoury recipes in this book to make, but having said that I was true to form and tried a pudding first – Eve’s Pudding. Gorgeous it was too. I’m also looking forward to trying Mom’s Hockey Puck Meatloaf - I couldn’t help but laugh! and a divine looking Italian Pear and Chocolate cake. Everything I’ve made so far we have enjoyed – and I’d make again.

Eve’s Pudding and Custard
A very nice recipe for this classic. You don’t need to cook the apples first, just bake altogether, this has the bonus that the apples are soft, but chunky at the same time, and I liked that. In the intro to the recipe Si and Dave intimate that neither they nor the biblical Adam could fail to be tempted by this apple pudding. I would have to say my hubby, who it would be fair to say sees a fairly wide ranging array of puddings (being married to a cook like me) was very pleased with it – and seconds were required! If I wasn’t counting what I’m eating I’d have had seconds as well. Custard was good too, good taste and excellent texture, will add a little more sugar next time though.

The Jones Boys’ Favourite Chicken & Mushroom Crumble
This was something quite different for me, a savoury crumble. It has a tin of condensed mushroom soup in it. I’m ok with this as an ingredient in a recipe now and again , but if you are sniffy about it, maybe best avoid this one. Still, the soup is just one of the things in the sauce and the overall effect is a creamy mushroom chicken dish topped by a savoury crumble with cheese. A yummy comforting tummy filler.

Grandma Sindy’s Ginger Snacking Sponge
A very simple recipe this one, the batter is really runny, but the cake is really lovely. Nice rise, airy texture – but oh so sticky and gingery, yum! I remember when I was little my own Gramdma used to serve a ginger cake with a creamy filling. I’ve been looking for a recipe for a long time, but they have never been right. I’m going to bake this one in sandwich tins and see how it goes – I’ve got high hopes. This one is good the day it’s baked, better after a day or two. Low fat too if that’s of interest to you.

Tomato Soup
Another really easy recipe, particularly as I blended it with a stick blender. Not quite the famous tinned tomato soup taste, but it’s definitely going down that road. We loved it. I used fruit sugar, and thought this worked well.

Meatballs in Gravy
These were good - a blast from the past, but only better. The gravy is more appealing to adults than children due to the red wine, hubby and I loved them. I’ve made the recipe easier, by oven baking the meatballs. This works for me on three levels: (1)keeps the meatballs round, (2) really moist and (3) saves me pan frying them, a kitchen job that I do not like. Worth a go. Mash and a vegetable are the obvious choices for this dish. I went with new potatoes and veg, to keep the eating regime in check, as I can go a bit mad with good mash!

Meatballs in Gravy
My adaptation of Si and Dave’s recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Best –Loved recipes Mum’s Still Know Best published 2011 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. I use plain scone crumbs instead of breadcrumbs, as I’m intolerant to yeast – but do revert it back to breadcrumbs if that suits you better. I also used two tablespoons of Heinz tomato sauce instead of 1 tablespoon of tomato puree in the gravy.

Serves 4
250g lean steak mince
250g minced pork
1 small onion very finely chopped
a squeeze of garlic puree (or 1 garlic clove finely chopped)
25g scone crumbs (or breadcrumbs)
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons sunflower oil
Heat the oven to 180. Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl, until really well blended. Then roll the mixture into about 20 similar sized balls. Place onto an oven proof tray or dish. Drizzle over the oil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked.

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon plain flour
150ml red wine
300ml beef stock made with 1 beef stock cube
2 tablespoons tomato sauce (like Heinz)
Meanwhile, to make the gravy, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion over a low heat for 5 minutes to soften. Stir often. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring all the time. Slowly add the red wine, followed by the stock and tomato sauce, stirring all the time. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the meatballs into the gravy and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until all is piping hot – still stirring now and then. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if it needs it .

Next Up: Review and first makes from Lorraine Pascal’s Baking Made Easy


Anna's kitchen table said...

Everything looks gorgeous as usual Kelly-Jane!! I especially like the idea of the chicken crumble- got nothing against the use of tinned soup (missed seeing a few trashy recipes around! Lol)
You have MADE me now want this book!! Hope you realise that!! ;-))

Aveen said...

My husband came home the other day with a copy of this signed by the boys themselves - they'd visited his work and he got them to sign a copy for me! I've yet to try anything from it but the ginger cake is top of my list. I adored the empire biscuits from the first book too, as did everyone else who tasted them :)

Brownieville Girl said...

Another great review Kelly-Jane.

Way back in the day, I used to make a dish with tinned mushroom soup, chicken and broccoli - I thought it was the business!!

Love the look of the ginger cake - I too have been searching for one that's similar to my Granny's!

Homemade Heaven said...

I love the "Hairy Bikers" and after meeting them in Cape Town and seeing just what wonderful people they are impressed me even more. That being said I still don't have a "Hairy Bikers" cookbook. Thank you for this review, now I know which one I have to have.

thecelticcookinshanghai said...

Not a fan of the Hairy Bikers but the ginger cake looks delish. I also remember using tinned soup with chicken and broccoli infact in the states they use tinned soups all the time in recipes, even in recipes for soup!!

online pharmacy said...

I really believe that grand mother's recipes are simply the best, you can see and taste the knowledge of experience in every meal they do!