When Life Gives You Lemons

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Lemon Curd

Bright, tasty and delicious either as an ingredient, or just on some toast. When life gives you lemons, you really should be making lemon curd. Here’s the recipe & it’s incredibly easy to make. 

You will need (makes 2-3 jars):

  • Juice and finely grated zest of 6 lemons
  • 200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 410g caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

  1. Place the lemon juice, zest in a bowl with the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Sit this bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Leave this until the butter is all melted, stirring regularly.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the beaten eggs. Cook for around 10 minutes, stirring often until it’s thickened.
  3. Once thickened, run it through a fine sieve, pot in jars, seal and sterilise them (find out how here).
  4. That’s it! Well done you’ve made lemon curd. It will last for around 3 months in the fridge, but I doubt you’ll resist it for that long.

What’s your favourite way to eat lemon curd? Tell me in the comments, or tweet me: @daveshuffles

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How To Sterilise Jars

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strawberry-orange-jam
Pic via the fab TahiniToo blog

Cooking Lemon Curd (or Jam) is fun, tasty and very rewarding. One of the best things is that they last forever. This is thanks to the sterilisation process. Ever wondered how to do it? Well here you go:

  1. Pop some clamp top jars into a dishwasher cycle a couple of times
  2. Place the lemon curd, jam or mincemeat into the jar and seal
  3. Put them into a deep saucepan. Cover with water
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes (for a 450g jar)
  5. Top up the water if necessary
  6. Take the jars out, cool and you’re done! Voila.

What’s the best preserve you’ve ever made? I’d love to see your recipe, tell me in the comments or tweet me @daveshuffles

Fancy a Porking?

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Or as Tobias Fünke would say: “who’d like a banger in the mouth?”sausageBut anyway, enough sausage jokes… One of the things I’ve missed most since moving to Australia is pork sausages. Beef ones are great and a good substitution (don’t even start on chicken sausages), but pork is the real taste of the UK.
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Luckily, farmers Stew & Lou from The Farmer’s Larder had the same thinking and did something about it. The guys produce a range of sausages and pork products with a simple goal: “Grow food that tastes great”.
sausages, englandI was lucky enough to be sent some sausages through for tasting and boy are they good. I had some Fennel and some classic British style (just what I needed).
bbqThe sausages require some low and slow cooking to be their best, so I popped them in the BBQ and left them be. After as long as I could bring myself to wait, I pulled them out and dug in. I can’t stress how good they were. The fennel sausages were soft, full flavoured and perfectly balanced with sweet, salty and bitter all happening in the right amounts. Whereas the British style sausages were a taste of childhood – perfect for any ex-pat needing a bite of England – have these with mash and gravy.

The guys must be doing something right, Top Paddock are popping their delicious pork in their menu. Head to their site if you want more info or fancy some of the best sausages you’ve ever had – I’m waiting on my first order as I write this, so watch this space for more Farmer’s Larder.

The Farmer’s Larder can be found: here, on Facebook and twitters.

Follow me here: Daveshuffles

Dr Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken and Crab Shack

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http://www.juicyjayscrabshack.com

Smashing crabs is one of those wonderful things in life; primal and satisfying. So when I found out about Dr Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken and Crab Shack I had to head down as soon as possible.

Crab shack Melbourne

Holed up in The Public Bar, North Melbourne, ‘The Shack’ serves a range of USA style goods from golden fried chicken, to shrimp and crab boil. It all sounds and looks great. Once arriving, I immediately ordered a range of things from the menu wanting to try as much as possible – don’t miss out on the waffle with the fried chicken.

fried chicken

The crab boil was the highlight of the menu, but mostly due to the satisfaction of cracking open the shell to dig out the delicious crab meat. The chicken was too sweet for me personally with all the syrup on it, and I can’t say that I really bought in waffle with it either.

The Shack felt pretty authentic and the venue is perfect for a place like this. Presentation, menu choices (particularly corn dogs) were all top notch and I’d definitely hit it up again for that real American taste.

Have you been down to ‘The Shack’ yet? Let me know what you thought.

Blood cake recipe

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blood cake with eggsBlack pudding, or blood cake. The difference is in the skin. However the filling is basically the same. It’s always been a treat to buy and have on a Sunday morning with a fry up with making it deemed a little scary. However, after receiving the St. John cookery book for Christmas the dream suddenly became a reality.blood

Getting the blood is the hardest part, (Send me a message if you want some and I’ll point you in the right direction.) however having a strong stomach helps.

bloodMaking the cake is relatively simple, here’s the recipe:

You will need (feeds 8 hungry fellows):

  • 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • A dollop of duck fat (I used beef dripping)
  • Half a bunch of marjoram (pick the leaves off and chop finely)
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 litre of fresh pigs blood
  • 150g Polenta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g pork back fat
  • A bread tin lined with cling film

Method:

  1. In a pan large enough to contain all of the ingredients, sweat the onion and garlic in the fat until they are clear and soft, but not browned
  2. Add the marjoram, spices, blood and polenta and stir on a low heat until the blood starts to thicken
  3. Once it reaches a runny porridge consistency, it’s time to taste the mixture. This is defiantly not one for the squeamish. Adjust the seasoning
  4. Stir the back fat through. The mixture should be thick enough to suspend the fat, rather than it sinking to the bottom
  5. Decant into the bread tin and cover with tin foil.
  6. Place a tea towel into a deep roasting tin, and pop the bread tin on top. Fill the roasting tin with water, but make sure you don’t go over the rim of the bread tin.
  7. Cook in a low to medium oven (around 160-170) for an hour and a half. Check with a knife that it’s cooked through. It should come out clean.
  8. Remove from the dish and allow to cool. It keeps pretty well in the fridge.
  9. When you want to use the blood pudding, just cut off 1cm slices and fry until heated through. It’s perfect with eggs and bacon for breakfast.

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It’s a delicious side – and I have to agree with St. Johns, it’s surprisingly relaxing to make.

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