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Yeast Extract and Lemongrass Granary Bread Loaf

Yeast Extract and Lemongrass Granary Bread Loaf

The best recipes are often those which are the most simple, relying on one or two key ingredients or flavours that are powerful enough on their own to carry successfully the dish through from pan to plate.

This is what we tried to create when baking this loaf of bread. We went simple. We looked for ingredients that packed a punch. And, as always, we tried to find a twist.

“Next time you think about jazzing up your bread mix, look to yeast extract and lemongrass. I crust you’ll make the right choice!”

Flavouring bread with yeast extract (sometimes known more affectionately as the branded Marmite) is nothing new. Yes, it is still unusual, but it has nonetheless been done before. So, we sought to add our own dimension to the recipe. We did this with lemongrass.

Often used in Thai cuisine, lemongrass is perhaps one of the most undervalued ingredients – well that’s what we have decided at Food or Foe. It’s hard to find a similar ingredient that can carry such a large and aromatic flavour which is so distinct. It can easily change the attitude of a dish. And that’s what it did here.

The yeast extract gave the bread quite a deep and earthy flavour. However, by adding the lemongrass, the bread became much lighter in flavour, sweeter for sure, and perfectly counterbalanced the yeast extract. Spread some butter on the warm bread and you have yourself a meal in itself.

It is easy to become enamoured with your own food creations, but this recipe is one that I will not simply try again, but use on a regular basis. Honestly.

Next time you think about jazzing up your bread mix, look to yeast extract and lemongrass. I crust you’ll make the right choice!

The loaf before baking...

The loaf before baking…

...and after.

…and after.

 

Recipe

Preparation Time: 2 hours

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1kg of Granary flour

One sachet of easy-blend yeast 

Sea salt

olive oil

600ml of warm water

2 tbsp yeast extract

1 Lemongrass Stem

Instructions: 

1. To make the bread dough, add 1 tbsp yeast extract to the warm water so that it dissolves. Finely slice up the lemongrass as small as possible and add to the water along with a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. Finally, add the yeast itself. Pour the mixture into the flour. Mix and knead for 5 minutes.

2. Cover the mix with a damp cloth and allow the mix to rise in a warm place. Leave for 2 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C.

4. Knead the bread for a minute – I find that it helps the dough find its shape easier. Then portion as you require.

5. Decorate/glaze the top of your loaf with the rest of the yeast extract. Place loaf on a greased sheet of baking paper. And bake for 35-45 minutes; or until cook fully.

6. Enjoy!

 

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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Light Bites, Recipes

 

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It haddock to be ginger and cinnamon!

Our last attempt at cooking something different ended with an impromptu visit to the hospital. Well, I tell a lie, we didn’t have to go to hospital. But we weren’t far from picking up the phone and making the call for the emergency services – if only to call the police to arrest the devil chef who decided to make a coffee and dark brown sugar bruschetta!

This meant that we really had to try to come up with some more edible ideas. In some respect, we toned down our search, focusing on two main spices: cinnamon and ginger. And since we went for meat in an earlier recipe, we chose fish – Haddock – for this one.

“I won’t go as far to say that my taste buds had a euphoric orgasm as they felt flavour paradise, but what I will say is that people have to try it! Honestly, you must.”

To some extent this dish was very much Thai inspired. However, a few little twists made sure that it was unique enough. But it was a remarkably quick and easy meal to cook. And for the amount of effort put in, it was surprising that the result was so good.

The most interesting part of the recipe was cooking the fillet of fish. We wanted it moist and yet at the same time to retain some kind of crust. So we decided to bake it in cranberry juice. This happened to be one of the greatest achievements of the recipe. The fish was semi-poached, leaving it extremely succulent and infused with a fruity flavour, a dimension with which fish isn’t often paired. The cinnamon and black pepper crust not only added to the flavours, but gave the fish another texture. This was important because we wanted to avoid having a really wet and untextured dish, especially with the sweet potato mash.

The mash itself was fairly consistent with traditional recipes. Our only difference was the addition of fresh ginger. We added some garlic and red chillies too, but not too much to draw away from the ginger itself. Again, we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The first mouthful was admittedly rather bizarre. However, on the second, the taste buds had seemed to adjust and it tasted really good. The garlic went particularly well with the ginger.

So now, the two components together – the fish and the mash. I won’t go as far to say that my taste buds had a euphoric orgasm as they felt flavour paradise, but what I will say is that people have to try it! Honestly, you must. The ginger, cinnamon and cranberry flavours gave a real intensity to the dish but not in the way chillies would. It was more aromatic. Not at all sharp or overwhelming.

Aesthetically, the dish lacked variation in colour, and we would be the first to admit that. Our recommendation however, going along the Thai theme, would be to sauté some Tatsoi leaves in sesame oil – they’re from the Pak Choi family. A bit of greenness would do a world of good for both plate and palate.

It is with no surprise that we deem this dish to suitable for human consumption – unlike our last one!

A fillet of Haddock baked in cranberry juice and a crust of cinnamon and black pepper, served on ginger sweet potato mash: 100% FOOD!

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Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the fish:

1 Haddock fillet (although many other fish fillets would work perfectly)

100-200ml cranberry juice (depending on how large a fillet you are cooking – enough to almost cover the fish)

1 tbsp cinnamon

Black pepper

Sweet potato:

4 sweet potatoes

5cm fresh root ginger

1 garlic clove

1 small red chilli

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Peel, cut and wash the sweet potatoes. Add to boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the fillet of fish in some foil. Pour in the cranberry juice. Season the fish with cinnamon and black pepper. Seal the fish in the foil and place on a baking tray. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  4. When cooked, drain the sweet potatoes.
  5. Place some olive oil in a very hot pan. Finely slice the garlic, red chilli and ginger. Add to the pan and flash fry.
  6. Add to the sweet potatoes with some more olive oil. Now mash!
  7. Take the fish out of the oven.
  8. Serve. And as a finishing touch, drizzle over some olive oil.
  9. Enjoy!
 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Fish, Recipes

 

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Red Onion, Coffee, Dark Brown Sugar – a mix too far

At Food or Foe, we try to push boundaries. But with triumphs, come defeats and setbacks. This dish was no exception.

It was a real a ‘marmite’ dish, a great divider. They either loved it or they hated it. For some, it was a sweet delight; but for others, it was anything if not an utter fail. And I very much place myself in the latter camp.

             “The consensus was loud and clear: Foe!”

I have never been much of a coffee fan, but I thought that while I had some time to spare I would try to bring myself round to its taste. Wanting to give coffee a little bit of a lift, I decided to mix it in with some red onion and dark brown sugar, adding some chillies to give it a bit of a kick. I speculated that this might be the next great canapé. I thought that the sharp sweetness of the red onion and the rich syrupy feel of melted dark sugar would complement the coffee without altering its taste too much. How wrong I was!

Although in the taste test a few people professed their liking of the dish, the consensus was loud and clear: ‘Foe’! This was not Food. It was hardly even edible. My mouth could barely hold a bite of the dish without it ordering eviction notices at once.

Red onion, dark brown sugar, and coffee

Red onion, dark brown sugar, and coffee

However, I think the failing of the dish was not the coffee, but in fact the dark brown sugar. It has a very potent flavour that became overpowering when melted in the pan. If I dared to try this dish again, I would definitely leave out the dark brown sugar; and in its place, perhaps honey.

Recipe

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients:

1 red onion

1 Green Chilli

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

2 tbsp instant coffee

Bread

Instructions:

  1. Finely slice the red onion and green chilli. Add to a frying pan with some olive oil, on a medium heat.
  2. While the onions and chilli are being fried, cut up bread into fingers – be adventurous – and place under a grill under golden brown.
  3. When the red onions start to brown, add the dark brown sugar and coffee. Give it a good mix and fry on a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve on the toasted bread, but allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Suggested Alterations to Recipe:

-Replace the dark brown sugar with honey.

-Reduce coffee serving from 2 tbsp to 1.

© Jordan Taylor and Food or Foe, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jordan Taylor and Food or Foe with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Light Bites, Recipes

 

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Turkey and Black Treacle

This recipe has been brewing for some time. And the launch of Food or Foe has given me the impetus to at last take it off the back-burner and place it on the front hob on full heat. And what a surprise!

Here at Food or Foe, we aim to create new dishes, new flavours, and new combinations. This recipe does just that.

 “Turkey fried in black treacle, served on a bed of fried sweet potato and garnished with a Sharon fruit sauce”.

Turkey with Black Treacle,  fried Sweet Potato, and a Sharon fruit sauce.

Turkey with Black Treacle, fried Sweet Potato, and a Sharon fruit sauce.

At first, it reads like any other recipe, but then you glance back to the beginning – ‘black treacle’? I hear you utter it with such disgust and shock. You’re thinking more desserts and cakes. However, let me console you and your quivering taste buds. The dark sweetness of the black treacle has a lot of the qualities of a barbecue sauce, and, as you would expect, it glazes itself very well giving the turkey a real aesthetic appeal. The fruitiness of the Sharon fruit sauce provides a great alternative to cranberry sauce. In fact, it gave a distinctive summer feel to the dish – very uplifting. The form of the sauce was disappointing, however. I would probably recommend anyone else attempting this recipe to make a jelly out of the Sharon fruit. As it was, it was a bit too pulp-like.

Nonetheless, you might think that the sweetness of the dish might be overwhelming, but the variation in the type of sweetness – from the sugary treacle to the sharp and fruity sauce – balanced each other. The sweet potato, with red onion, chillies and sweet red peppers, complemented the sweetness very well too. Without it, I think, the dish would have easily become one-sided.

I would strongly recommend people using black treacle more when cooking meat. I think it lends itself very well as a replacement for a barbecue sauce, as well for Thai and Chinese cuisine.

The Recipe:

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

For the Sharon Fruit Sauce:

6 small Sharon Fruit

100g caster sugar

½ an orange (for juice and zest)

For the Turkey:

1 Turkey breast

6 tbsp Black Treacle

2 small Red Chillies

For the Sweet Potato:

3 Sweet Potatoes

½ Red Onion

1 Red Chilli

1 Sweet Pepper

  1. Cut the Sharon fruit into small pieces and place into a saucepan. Add one mug full of water and the sugar. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and blend the Sharon fruit mixture in a blending machine. Add the zest and juice of the orange as well, and mix.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  4. While waiting, time for some preparation. Peel and grate 3 sweet potatoes. Finely slice the red onion, chillies and the pepper. Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Now for the Turkey. Add some olive oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Finely slice 1 small Red Chilli, and add to the pan with the black treacle. Let the treacle loosen up a bit, and then add the turkey breast. Make sure the breast gets covered by the treacle. Fry for 10 minutes.
  6. Then place the turkey breast in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil, and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
  7. In a clean frying pan, add the red onion, pepper and chillies. Fry until they start to brown. Then add the sweet potato and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with the Sharon fruit sauce.
  10. Enjoy!

© Jordan Taylor and Food or Foe, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jordan Taylor and Food or Foe with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Meat, Recipes

 

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