There’s nothing more I like that cooking outdoors. Wherever I can do it, I will. Yesterday was in my lovely little garden which is great as I can pick whatever herbs, fruit and vegetables I want. I get really bored of typical bbq food, i.e. burgers, hot dogs, sausages etc…that a lot of us Brits do. So if you are like me and want to cook something easy but a little more adventurous then this recipe will be for you. Especially if you like seafood!
The only thing I would stress is that cooking outdoors, some bbq’s, fire pits, outdoor ovens with have different strengths to how hot they are and how quick things will cook. It also will change in time to how much other ingredients you put in there along with the mussels.
( Serves two as a main course portion )
- A 1kg bag of fresh Mussels ( Mine were Scottish )
- half an onion diced finely
- 1 small courgette diced finely
- A good handful of tomatoes. Sliced in half. I used my own homegrown ones which were golden ones and some piccolo red ones.
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- A few slices of a funnel bulb diced finely and also a few fronds
- A handful of parsley ripped roughly
- a pinch of sea salt
- A good splash of white wine. I used Sauvignon blanc. Plus a good splash for yourself!
- 2 knobs of unsalted butter
- Also I used a branch of bay, thyme and Rosemary to smoke underneath the embers. The smell is amazing!
- De-beard and clean your mussels including taking off any barnacles. Rinse them under cold water.
- Make a bag/parcel with foil and place in your Mussels plus all other vegetables and herbs. Add your wine and place the butter over everything.
- Close up your foil parcel and place onto your bbq.
- This will Cook for roughly 12-15 minutes ( Times may vary ) If you are cooking with just the mussels, it will take less time.
- After half way through take off and check how far it is cooking. Stir will a spoon and place back on the bbq.
- When everything is cooked through, take off, pour into large bowls and serve with some crusty buttered bread.
I used to make lots of tray bakes back in my Pastry Chef days as they are so simple to make, but also great to use up fruit or bits and bobs you have lying around.
I had some Cooking apples to use up and had a couple of recipes in mind for them. I love Autumn. It’s my favourite Season and I always think of apples at this time of year especially in a pigs mouth!
So this recipe was based on a basic Apple crumble tray bake but I have decided to turn it into more of a dessert if you are having a dinner party. I have added a little more finesse to it. It is definitely one for the Adults this one as I have added a bit of Booze! Of course, if you don’t want to add it, don’t!
Now, I think You will ultimately agree with me the fact that of course you MUST serve this dessert with some Vanilla Ice cream. Unfortunately for me, I had ran out of my home made one and didn’t have room in the freezer to make more! Still, with that salted caramel on top, I was in Dessert Heaven.
Apple crumble slice with brandy and salted Caramel:
– 112 g of Plain flour, sifted
– 38 g of Caster Sugar
– 1/4-1/2 of Baking powder
– 1/2 Egg Lightly Beaten
– 50 g Unsalted butter melted
– 150 g Cooking Apples diced chunky.
– A good Splash of good quality Brandy about 100-150ml or Apple Brandy if you have it.
– 5o g of Vanilla sugar, mine was already infused. If you don’t have it add some of a vanilla pod to the Sugar.
(This will give you extra, but it can be frozen for another time!)
– 150 g Plain Flour, sifted
– 50 g Jumbo Rolled Oats
– 75 g Cold Unsalted Butter
– 20 g Ground Almonds
– 50 g Caster Sugar
(If you want a lot of caramel you will need to double the recipe)
– 37 g unsalted Butter
– 25 g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
– 25 g Caster Sugar
– 25 g Golden Syrup
– 50 ml Double cream ( may need a little more if you want a lighter caramel )
– 1/2 tsp of good quality Sea Salt Flakes depending on how salty you want it.
* Preheat oven to 180 c. Place all ingredients for the Slice bottom into a food processor, blitz until forming a ball. It should be quite wet but not sticky. Press into a lightly greased tray or dish with Baking paper and Bake for about 15 mins or until lightly golden.
* While it is cooking, Pop the Apple filling mix into a saucepan and cook down for about 5 mins just to reduce down the liquid and sugar. Set aside.
* To make the Crumble, place flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in with your fingertips the butter. Once it starts to crumble add the oats and ground almonds and continue to make a Crumble mix, not too fine though.
* Place the apple filling onto the cooked Slice bottom, top with the crumble and bake for about 30 minutes or until nice and Golden.
* When this is almost done, you can make the Salted Caramel by melting in a heavy bottomed saucepan the Butter, Both Sugars, and golden syrup. Once all melted add the cream and salt.
* Serve with Vanilla Ice cream and drizzle on the hot Salted Caramel.