Gin and Lavender Ice-Cream

Gin and Lavender Ice-Cream

The Gin, Custard and Lavender Flowers

500ml Whole milk
500ml Double cream
200g Caster sugar
6 Egg yolks
2tbs Dried lavender flowers
6tbs Gin

Slightly warm the Gin and add the dried lavender to infuse while doing everything else. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together, heat the milk and pour onto the egg/sugar mixture stirring all the time. Return the custard to the pan and heat whilst constantly stirring to make a custard. I use a thermometer so as not to overheat the custard and turn the heat off when the custard reaches 85C. Immediately cool the custard by placing the pan in some cold water. When the custard is cold stir in the double cream and strain the Gin so as to remove the dried flowers, squeeze the flowers to get all the flavour and Gin you can out of them. Add the Gin to the custard and give it a stir. I’m fortunate in having an ice-cream maker which not only stirs the ice-cream as it’s made but also has a built in freeze capability. Just use whatever method you usually use for ice-cream making.

Gin and Lavender Ice-Cream

Ready for the Freezer

Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce

chicken wings with oyster sauce

Chicken Wings ready to marinate

I’m not keen on chicken (see ‘About Me’ for reasons) but Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce are a dish my family regularly pester me to make. If I must eat chicken myself this is perhaps the tastiest way, any meat from near to the bone always tastes better.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1kg Chicken Wings
4 x Spring Onions
2 x Leeks
4 x Root Ginger slices
3tbs Soy Sauce
2tbs Sunflower Oil
5tbs Oyster Sauce

Cut the tips off the wings and discard, then cut the wings in two at the joint. Thinly slice the Spring Onions by cutting across them and shred the Root Ginger slices. Add these to the wings together with the Soy Sauce and leave to marinate for an hour or two.

Heat a wok, or deep frying pan, add the Sunflower Oil and Chicken Wings. Cook until the Chicken Wings are done, around 20 – 30 minutes with frequent stirring. Meanwhile slice the leeks diagonally into 5mm wide slices and when the wings are cooked add the leeks and Oyster Sauce to the wings. Stir together and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Ham Croquettes

ham croquettes recipe

Ham Croquettes are a great way to use up left-over ham. I like them so much we usually have a larger than needed piece of ham to bake or boil so that left-overs are guaranteed! They also freeze very well; the ones in the ‘photo have come out of the freezer. I like to eat Ham Croquettes with warm tomato salsa and crispy fried potatoes. The soft centred croquettes and the crisp potato are a nice contrast and the tomato salsa with chilli adds a bit of a kick.

Ham Croquettes
Ready for the pan

For the Ham Croquettes:
350g Cooked ham
1 x Onion
2 x slices of bread made into breadcrumbs
1 x Garlic clove
1 x Egg
2tsps Mustard
Small handfull chopped parsley
Flour for dusting

Get the food processor out. Briefly blitz the ham which you’ll have already cut into cubes, you don’t want big chunks left nor do you want it too fine. Put into a mixing bowl. Now blitz the peeled and chopped onion, the parsley and the clove of garlic all together. Again no big chunks but not a paste. Add this to the ham together with the egg, the mustard and the breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. Wet your hands (help stops the mixture sticking to you) and form into patties. OK, ham croquettes are often cylindrical but I find the pattie shape easier with this mix. Dust with flour and either put in the freezer for another day or chill in the fridge so that they firm up before cooking from fresh. To cook simply fry until nicely browned on each side.

For the Tomato Salsa:
1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
1tbs Tomato puree
1/2 Onion
1/2 Celery stalk
1 or 2 green chillies
Olive oil

Sweat the finely chopped onion, chopped chillies and chopped celery in the olive oil with a pinch of salt for 3 or 4 minutes (the salt encourages the release of water from the onion and celery therefore reducing the risk of burning). Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and simmer until reduced to a nice consistency.