Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Really "Grate" Meal

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I was sent a really nice piece of kitchen kit a few months back from the people at Eddingtons.

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The PL8 Gourmet Slicer.   I've been really putting it through it's paces over the weeks and wanted to tell you all about it today.   Since I've been using it for all sorts, I've kind of thrown together a meal for your viewing pleasure . . .  some really delicious marinated lamb chops with a potato side dish, a deliciously fruity slaw and a tasty dessert, most of which (with the exception of the lamb) I have been able to use this handy piece of kitchen kit for!  In other words . . .  a really "Grate" meal, every pun intended!
First up are the chops.  Can you believe that I had never tasted lamb really prior to moving over here to the UK?  I know!  I love it now, but that's not hard to do when you have fabulous lamb available in the shops.  I love the Welsh and the British lamb which we have over here, and the Salt Marsh lamb is to die for.   Normally what I like to do is to buy a small rack and then cut it into individual chops.   They are so sweet and succulent.  This recipe is especially tasty as the lamb is marinated in a delicious herb marinade, which is also used as a sauce to eat with the lamb when you serve it.   This is so tasty, I can't begin to describe how very good it is. 

*Grilled Lamb Chops with a Coriander Mint Sauce*
 Serves 4
Printable Recipe

These not only taste delicious but they are really attractive as well. The tasty marinade flavours the meat before it cooks and is used as a sauce to be served with the cooked chops as well, making the whole dish look very mouthwatering and colourful, a feast for the eyes as well as for the lips . That's what good food is really all about . . .

2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup packed fresh coriander leaves
1 TBS runny honey
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup of a good colourless and flavourless oil, such as a canola or sunflower
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 rib lamb chops, 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness
Fresh mint or coriander sprigs to garnish

Place all of the marinade ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Put the lamb chops into a plastic bag with a zip lock top and add 1/4 cup of the marinade. (Reserve the remaining marinade to use for a sauce after cooking) Zip the bag shut and turn the bag around, squashing it a bit to coat all of the meat with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to four hours, turning it once or twice and giving it another squish during that time.

Heat up the barbeque grill, or oil a grill pan really well. Heat to medium high. Remove the lamb chops from the marinade, discarding what's left in the bag and grill them for several minutes on each side, about 4 for medium rare, depending on the thickness and how well you like them done.

Place the chops on a heated serving plate, criss crossing the ends for a pretty presentation. Whisk up the remaining marinade and drizzle some it over the chops. Garnish with some of the mint or coriander leaves and serve immediately with the rest of the sauce on the side.

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The Gourmet Slicer lets you select from three slicing thicknesses, a classic julienne, and a french fry cut. The controls were designed with simplicity in mind: one switch takes you from paper-thin slices to a slab cut; a second switch raises and lowers the integrated julienne and french fry blades.

With the Gourmet Slicer, there’s no need to handle or store loose parts or sharp blades.

Here are some of it's wonderful features.

  • Slicing and julienne cutting options with three thicknesses 
  • Safety lock for cleaning and storage 
  • Safety hand guard secures food for stable slicing Integrated blades eliminate loose parts 
  • Soft grip handle and non-skid feet sit securely when slicing over a cutting board or bowl 
 I accompanied the lamb with some vegetables and a delicious potato dish that makes use of grated potato, swede and carrots.  It's an old fashioned side dish called Potato Pudding.   The PL8 Gourmet Slicer really helped me to make short work of the job of grating all that veg.   And it's a lot easier to clean up than the food processor is!

*Potato Pudding*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Tasty, old fashioned and, it uses ingredients most of us have to hand a great deal of the time.  This is a real people pleaser!!

2 cups peeled and coarsely shredded potato
1 cup peeled and coarsely shredded carrot
1 cup peeled and coarsely shredded swede (rutabaga)
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp summer savoury or marjoram
2 TBS cream
2 TBS softened butter

Pre=het the oven to 180*C/350*F.  Generously butter a 9 inch square baking dish.  Set aside.

Mix the vegetables, salt, pepper, summer savoury and cream together in a bowl, mixing them all together well.  Spoon into the prepared baking dish and press down a bit to smooth it out.  Dot the butter evenly over top.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until golden and crusty on top.  Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before cutting in to squares to serve.  Delicious!!

On the side I also used the PL8 Gourmet Slicer to create a deliciously light Coleslaw Vinaigrette, which we really enjoy from time to time.  This one has fruity flavours and there is no cloying mayonnaise, which means it also keeps well in the refrigerator for several days and if anything tastes better with each day that passes.

*Pineapple Slaw*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

In a bid to get lighter and away from all that mayo in regular coleslaw I developed this tasty salad.  Crisp veggies in a delicious pineapple vinaigrette.  If anything, this gets better upon standing.

4 or 5 cups of thinly sliced and chopped green cabbage
(about 1/2 head)
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsley shredded
3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup of pineapple tidbits (drain and save the juice)
1/2 cup of chopped dates

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 TBS finely minced shallot
3 TBS sunflower oil
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Combine the cabbage, carrots, spring onions, pineapple and dates in a large bowl.  Toss together well.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and then pour it over the slow, tossing to combine.  Let sit for an hour or so before eating.  If you would like to add some delicious heat you can also stir a couple of teaspoons of sweet asian chili sauce into the vinaigrette.  Enjoy!!

We were also given some really nice cooking apples at church on Sunday.  I used some of them and the PL8 Gourmet Slicer to bake some of my sisters delicious Danish Apple Bars for dessert.   The photograph is not the greatest, but don't let that put you off.  These are probably the best apple bars you could ever want to bake and eat.   They go great with a nice scoop of ice cream.  Todd loves them, and this handy slicer really made short work of slicing the apples.  Don't let my bad photo put you off from baking them.   (I'm going to have to bake these again sometime and take some better photos.   The problem is I waited too late in the day and couldn't get any great natural light.  I hate it when that happens.)

*Danish Apple Bars*
Makes 16
Printable Recipe

This is a recipe my sister shared with me many moons ago. It’s like Apple pie, only better and somewhat easier to manage, for some strange reason. This pastry is very forgiving. Your family and guests will thank you for these, over and over again…These are best served warm, with some cold vanilla ice cream melting on top!

2 ½ cups plain flour (350g)
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening (Such as Crisco or Trex or White flora) (220g)
1 egg, beaten, with enough milk added to make 2/3 cup in total (156ml)
6 tart apples, peeled and sliced (I Like to use Granny Smith apples)
1 cup cornflakes, crushed with your hands (secret ingredient) (21g)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1 cup caster sugar (191g)
1 TBS ground cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

1 beaten egg to glaze the pastry before baking

2 cups icing sugar (260g)
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg and milk together and stir in with a fork until well combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until it all comes together and is smooth. Divide in half, wrap in cling film and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel and slice the apples. Mix the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. If you like you can also add the finely grated zest of a lemon. Mix well.

Roll out half the pastry, on a floured board, in a rectangle shaped to fit into a 9 inch by 15 inch pan. Line the pan with this. Crush the cornflakes evenly over the bottom with your hands and then cover evenly with the sliced apple mixture, pouring any juices that have accumulated over top.

Roll out the other half of the pastry to fit on top and place over the top of the apples. Roll edges together and press shut. I like to crimp it attractively all around. Brush the top with an egg wash and bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour,or until nicely browned, the bottom is done and the apples are soft and cooked. Remove from the oven and let cook for about 10 minutes before glazing.

To make the glaze combine all the ingredients together, sifting the icing sugar to remove any lumps first. Drizzle over the top.

Serve warm in nice big squares with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy!

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Overall I have to say that I am very pleased with the PL8 Gourmet Grater.  I had a similar one which I had bought at Lidl many moons ago and was shopping around for a new one as I had worn the other one out.   It's easy to use, easy to clean and has performed very well with everything I have used it for.  

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Many thanks to Eddingtons for sending this to me.

You can buy it at  Fenwicks  at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London NW4 3FN (Tel. 020 8202 8200)


  1. Looks like a fab tool Marie..the apple bars look yum too.

  2. My sister's recipe Monique! Nothing too unusual. Very tasty! Jacques would love I am sure! xxoo

  3. Be still my heart...grilled lamb chops!!!! xoxo

  4. We love our lamb chops Valerie! xxoo


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