[Recipe] Homemade American Cheese - LOOK OUT it's super-melty

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Assuming you're not Vegan (what the HELL is THAT all about?!) and can't enjoy the magic that is cheese, here's a recipe that will have you yelling at your neighbours in angry joy...homemade american cheese.

Think of the melty possibilities!


Here's what you'll need.
  • 70g mature cheddar (for flavour)
  • 70g red leicester (for colour)
  • sprinkle of parmesan (for flavour)
  • 70ml whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon agar-agar (this replaces the animal unfriendly, but universal food bonding ingredient Gelatin - save the Pigs GODAMMIT)
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1/10 tablespoon cream of tartare
Let's MAKE SOME CHEESE!

Add the agar-agar to the water, allowing it to bloom for about 10 minutes.

Grate the Red Leicester on the finest setting. I used a hand grater and it took bloody ages, so I suggest you use a food processor. Add the salt and cream of tartar to the cheese and massage it in by hand (or pulse your blender) - about three turns should do it.


Bring the milk to the boil, take it off the heat, and add the bloomed agar. Stir until the agar is mixed in.

Using the hand blender or food processor, slowly add the milk into the cheese and pulse to mix until smooth.
Once smooth, use your spatula to spread the cheese onto a cling film-covered baking tray - try to make it even, not like my ham-fisted attempts below. Put in fridge to chill for three hours, or ideally overnight.

Once chilled, cut into squares and separate with greaseproof paper.
Oh, and if you really want this cheese to KICK ASS, why not grill some bacon until crispy, powder it, and mix it in with the cheese.

I would, but I BLOODY CAN'T, can I. 

[Recipe] Patatas Bravas - only for the brave

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Another day, another reason to be an angry vegetarian.

This time it's the CHILLI in this Patatas Bravas recipe that's making me angry. It's HOT, but it's got a real flavour too - I can't help thinking I'd like it EVEN MORE with a bit of bacon.





Ingredients:

  • 600g potatoes (don't use shit potatoes, get some Maris Pipers in)
  • 2 x tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 x cloves garlic
  • 3 x scotch bonnet chillies
  • 1 x onion
  • A shed load of good quality olive oil

Preparation:


  1. Peel and hack up the potatoes into pieces, and par boil. 
  2. Heat oil in a large roasting tin until SMOKING. Place potatoes in the tin and shuffle 'em about a bit, then season with salt and pepper. Place in the hot oven for about ten minutes.
  3. Mix up the chopped onion, chillis and garlic in a frying pan with olive oil, then add your chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 10 mins on low heat.
  4. Get yer tatties out of the oven and pour the tomato sauce over them, mix them around a bit and serve.

NOTE: The chilli can be tempered slightly by adding a touch of high quality balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar - but don't give your RING a rest - get some chilli in you.

Oh, and if you need to ADD SOME PIG, you can grill some bacon, chop it up and add it to the bravas mix. If you eat meat, that is.

[Recipe] Frazzles Mac 'n' Cheese

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I have bacon CRAVINGS. And now I'm a vegetarian, how can I satisfy them? 

Then I stumbled across this recipe posted by Noshable, and my bacon-flavoured-yet-still-vegetarian junk food prayers were answered. I've tweaked the recipe as I like some parmasan BITE to my Mac.
It's a bowl of frazzles, innit.

Here's my take on Mac 'n' Cheese without the bacon. It makes enough for about 8 people. Or 1 VERY hungry ex-meat eater...

Ingredients:

200g macaroni 
35g butter
25g plain flour
1 pint whole milk
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
20g parmasan
200g smoked cheddar
3 bags of Frazzles

Preparation:


Boil the macaroni in water with salt.

Blitz a bag of Frazzles in a blender, add the milk and blend again

Melt the butter in a pan, and slowly stir in the flour, then add your milky Frazzles and whisk until smooth and the mixture starts to thicken. Turn the hob down to a low heat and add the mustard.

Grate parmasan and stir in until smooth. Add grated smoked cheddar - 200g makes it UBER-cheesey.

Drain the mac.

Grease a baking dish with butter, then combine pasta and cheese sauce and tip into the dish.

STICK IT under the grill for five minutes and blitz the two remaining bags of Frazzles.

Sprinkle the crushed Frazzles all over the top of the mac and cheese and return to the dish to the grill for five minutes or until the topping gets nice and crispy and the cheese starts to bubble.

Frazzles Mac 'n' Cheese - the 'before' shot
Frazzles Mac 'n' Cheese - the 'before' shot

Frazzles Mac 'n' Cheese - the 'after' shot

BOOM! Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese without the meat, if I were you, I'd get a big spoon and get stuck in.

Now what did I do with that Sirloin steak...

[Recipe] Double Baked Potatoes with Cheese and Leek

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In an attempt to wean my self off deep fat fried shit - you know how stuff blitzed in beef fat tastes pretty bloody good, right - I've attempted to try something baked for a change. 

In this episode, I've tried to master the art of double baked potatoes.

Loaded double baked potato shells on slate.
Loaded double baked potato shells on slate.

Ingredients:


  • 4 x Baked potatoes (no shit, sherlock)
  • Butter
  • Cream or creme fraiche
  • Grated cheddar 
  • 1 x leek
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:


  1. Bake potatoes for 1 hour at 200 degrees /  gas mark 6. Skins should be slightly crispy and insides tender.
  2. Slice the leek into thin strips, boil, and drain.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes then slice in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl, leaving 1/2cm of potato thickness inside the skin.
  4. Put skins back into oven for 10 minutes to crisp up.
  5. Add nob of butter, cream / creme fraiche, leeks, 1/2 the grated cheese, salt and pepper to the potato in the bowl and MASH IT within an inch of its life.
  6. Pop the now crispy potato shells out of the overn - if they're not crispy TURN THE BLOODY OVEN BACK ON - spoon the creamy mash mix back into the shells, top with the rest of the cheddar and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve on a suitable pretentious piece of slate, or other hackneyed serving dish.

Loaded potato shells with Cheese and Leek
Ok, so with the cream, butter and cheese it's not THAT healthy, but double baked potatoes are a great alternative to other potato dishes. 

If you're feeling MEATY, add some chopped, grilled BACON to pick up the flavour. 

[Recipe] How to make Courgette / Zuchinni Fries

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These courgette / zucchini fries are a great way have fun with a green vegetable, without feeling like you're a vegetarian. As I no longer make my way to the fridge to snack on sticks of beef dripping, for me it's a novel way of being just as unhealthy AND to disguise the taste of eating vegetables at the same time.


Here's the list of ingredients you’ll need:
  • 2-3 egg whites (what the hell do I do with the yolks?!)
  • Cooking oil (better make it vegetable oil - no bloody lard on this blog)
  • Japanese breadcrumbs
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Italian herbs
  • Parmesan
  • Pepper and Salt
  • Some flour
  • 2-3 Courgettes / Zucchinis - cut into french fry sized strips (this job is a total pain in the ass)

To make this recipe, USE YOUR NOODLE. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out how this should go down...

Mix breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper, Italian herbs, parmesan, salt and pepper together in a bowl

Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl.

Put the flour in a third, separate bowl.

Slice your courgette into french fry sized strips, lightly salt, then let them rest in a strainer for about half an hour to pull the water out of them. Then dab dry with kitchen towel.

Coat your courgette fries first in flour, then egg, then in the bread crumb mix. C'mon, do it QUICKLY now.

Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a pan, then fry the breaded courgette fries until golden brown.

Finish them off by removing from the oil and draining on kitchen paper. Don't be AN IDIOT and burn yourself.

These are pretty good for starters / appetizers, but remember folks, it's NO BLOODY substitute for bacon.