Cock-a-hoop

About several things, starting with Cock-a-Leekie soup (See end for Thursday 28th January Cookery) 

In the Soup Challenge, one of the three contenders, Shedder Brian Bayliss fell before the starting line. He had to pull out from being on screen because of water ingress to his garage. He found it when he went to get potatoes for his soup. He did, however, carry on later and we hope to have a photo of his result.

Meanwhile Rob Shilson (the smiley one above) and Graham (alert but not smiley) prepared themselves under the watchful eye of the third shadowy figure in the picture, Shedder Marie Keen. 

Rob is seen above taking stock of a foil wrapped cube. Marie took him through reading the small print on the box to see that one cube made half a litre of stock. One litre required two cubes she explained. Rob thought about the maths behind that. 

Graham was fiddling with leeks and a knife. He learnt to cut open the leeks to wash out any soil grit. Yes, there was some. Chopped up and in the pot. Rob also added some celery (below) to the pot which is a twist on the recipe. Graham had read about prunes being added, but chose not to stray from Marie’s recipe. 

Here are the results after a few hours of slow cooking in the Crock Pot.

Rob says, “Quite thick and more like a stew than a soup. I think the barley has absorbed all the liquid. Tastes OK though.”  

Lots of liquid in Graham’s pot at the point of serving for dinner tonight.

 

 

 

BrianB says, “Well this is my effort, I had some last night & it was OK ( no ill effects !). Perhaps a bit less stock & less cooking time. I also would like a Haggis. I used to eat quite a lot when I lived in Knaresborough. looking forward to Sat 3pm.

Why was Rob’s rendition short of liquid and Graham’s like a lake?  The answer lies with the pearl barley in Rob’s. Graham substituted potatoes (with the judge’s approval) because Graham’s wife is not keen on pearl barley. Graham did it for love.

From the judge’s chair

Marie thought it had been quite entertaining to see Rob and Graham taking the cooking so seriously. She was encouraging that both novices should keep it up. Rob had raised that Monday is Burn’s night. Time for haggis. We’ve managed to secure some local haggis from Jackson’s in Ruswarp. Tatties and neeps to be added. We look forward to that.

Betty could not join BUT she did the soup on Friday! 

SERVES 6   Proportion ingredients according to servings
COOKS IN 55 MINUTES
DIFFICULTY: SUPER EASY
  • 500 g quality haggis
  • NEEPS & TATTIES
  • 450 g potatoes
  • 400 g turnips or swedes
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 8 spring onions
  • 30 ml double cream
  1. Peel and quarter the potatoes and turnips or swedes.
  2. Place the haggis in a large pan of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions.
  3. Cook the turnips or swedes and the potatoes in separate pans of boiling salted water for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain the veg separately.
  4. Return the turnips or swedes to the pan, add half the butter and mash, keeping chunky. Season to taste. Cover to keep warm.
  5. Trim and roughly chop the spring onions. Melt the remaining butter in the potato pan, add the spring onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the potatoes and mash until quite smooth, seasoning to taste. Cover to keep warm.
  6. Remove the cooked haggis, cut open and place a portion onto each warmed plate. Divide up the turnips or swedes and potatoes (neeps & tatties) and serve.

Piping hot haggis (from Waitrose web-site)

To prepare: Haggis is sold cooked and just needs to be reheated.

To cook: Haggis requires gentle reheating until piping hot right through. There are three ways to reheat, but check the pack instructions first as cooking times may vary according to size. Pan method: remove the outer plastic bag, wrap in foil and gently poach for 45 minutes, do not allow the water to boil. Oven method: remove the outer plastic bag, wrap in foil and place in a casserole dish with a little water, place in a preheated oven at 180C, gas 4 for 1 hour. Microwave method: remove the outer bag and skin, cut into pieces, cover and heat on medium for approximately 8 minutes, halfway through the cooking time mash with a fork.

CHINESE CHICKEN & MUSHROOM SOUP FOR THURSDAY 28th JANUARY COOKERY

  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, diced or thinly sliced
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 100g carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 200g button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 1.5cm piece root ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • Tbsp  dried  flat leaf parsley
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Place the chicken & in a bowl, stir in the spring onions. Add the ginger, mushrooms & soy sauce, mix well & set aside. Pour the stock into a large saucepan, add the carrots & bring to boil. Add rest of the ingredients & simmer for 45 mins – 1 hour until cooked.

Can be frozen, use within one month.

Additional notes from Marie that could help

Hi All

Just a few hints for this soup if you are making it this week. If you can’t get all the ingredients here are some alternatives:

Soy sauce – try oyster sauce, miso or packets of chinese stir fry sauce available at most supermarkets

Spring onions – any onions will do

Mushrooms – any variety can be used

Ginger – if you can’t get a piece of fresh ginger you could try paste.

If you want to serve this as a meal, you could spoon it over some boiled or fried rice.

Marie

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