Tuesday 18 November 2008

Cook's Alphabet 'B'

Cook's Alphabet 'B'

This is the second in my series of 28 postings going through the entire alphabet, as it relates to cooks and cooking. As you can see, oday I'm dealing with the letter 'B'.

The letter 'B' is, of course the second letter in the alphabet, and today's recipe is for both a root vegetable beginning with the letter 'B' and a recipe beginning with the same letter:

Beetroot Jelly

1 packet raspberry jelly (jello)
260ml vinegar
1 beetroot, peeled and boiled until soft
120ml water

Slice the beetroot and add to a basin. Meanwhile dissolve the jelly in 120ml hot water then stir-in the vinegar and pour over the beetroot. Set aside to cool and harden then turn out the beetroot jelly, slice and serve as an accompaniment to cold meats.

(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Beetroot Jelly recipe page.)

Also presented today is the recipe for a classic wild food muffin:

Bilberry Muffins

2 eggs
250g self-raising flour
250ml milk
1 tsp baking powder
50g softened butter
100g caster sugar
225g bilberries (or use blueberries or even elderberries)
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon

The secret to making muffins is to do everything qiuckly. It is therefore essential that you pre-heat your oven to 200°C before you start. The next step is to prepare your muffin tin (the mixture should be enough for about 6 deep muffins). If using muffin paper cases pop these into the muffin tin moulds. If you have a non-stick tin then you can simply grease the sides of the tin and add the mixture into it directly.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour. Mix this in with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, bilberries and lemon rind as well as the lemon juice and mix thoroughly with a fork (try to be gentle so as not to break the fruit). In a separate bowl mix together the eggs and the milk then pour onto the flour mixture. Using a fork blend quicklly (don't be worried if the mixture takes-on a lumpy consistency). Immediately spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tins and place the filled tin in the oven.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30–25 minutes, until the muffin has risen well and is golden brown in colour and firm to the touch. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool for a few moments before lifting them out to cool a little more on a wire rack.

(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Bilberry Muffin recipe page.)

Given today's recipe, above, the day's cooking process is baking: Baking is normally done in an oven, but goods may also be baked in hot ashes or on hot stones. Baking differs from Roasting in that a lower temperature is typically used and the items are cooked for a longer period of time. Baking is a much older process than most people think and foods were probably originally baked in embers or with hot stones (which is how bread may have started). Only later did specialist ovens develop. For many baking recipes (over 1000) please follow the following link to: baking and baked goods recipes.

For more information on cookery-associated terms and information beginning with the letter 'B' here are various links that may well be of interest:

Recipes beginning with 'B'
Spices beginning with 'B'
Herbs beginning with 'B'
Wild foods beginning with 'B'
Cook's glossary 'B'

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