Singin’ Hinny

singing hinney

This is one of the North East’s most famous foods which gets its name from the sound it makes on the griddle when cooking. It’s basically a drop scone so needs to be turned during cooking. traditionally they’re plate size but small ones make for a lovely afternoon treat.

Here’s a little ditty published in the weekly chronicle back in 1885!

Sit doon, noo, man alive!

Te tell ye aa’ll contrive

O’ the finest thing the worl’hes iver gin ye, O

It’s not fine claes or drink

Nor owt’at ye can think

Can had a cannie up ti singin’-hinney, O

Ingredients

115g plain flour

25g butter

25g lard

1/4 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

25g caster sugar

25g sultanas

2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Mix together all of the dry ingredients and fats until it forms fine breadcrumbs
  2. Add the milk and currants and knead to form a loose dough
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan or griddle to a medium temperature
  4. Grease the pan
  5. Take tablespoon sized pieces of dough and roll them into a ball then flatten them
  6. Prick the tops then cook for five minutes either side

Fish Pie

fish pie

We have started a pie night here at The Copt hill and it’s with a twist (as expected!)

You can choose your own filling, crust and sides so if you want a steak and ale pie with a crispy potato topping, then go for it!

The humble fish pie is a English staple and one that Mary Berry seems to bring out whatever the occasion! This recipe has been on our menu since the beginning and we’ve received nothing but praise for it. Its thickened by reduction not béchamel so its rich, tasty and much better in my opinion. Feel free to use whatever fish you can get your hands on.

Serves four

Ingredients

100g cubed salmon

100g cubed haddock (smoked or plain)

12 tiger prawns

100g butter

1 finely diced banana shallot or small onion

1 clove of garlic finely diced

1 sprig of thyme

1 small glass of wine

500 ml whipping cream

handful of chopped parsley

1/2 a lemon

salt and pepper

500g or perfect mashed potatoes

Method

  • In a saucepan add the white wine, shallots, thyme, garlic and butter and reduce by half
  • add the cream and bring to the boil
  • reduce the heat and add the fish and peas cook for 3 minutes
  • with a slotted spoon remove the solids from the pan and place in a suitable pie dish
  • over a high heat reduce the liquor until thick then add the parsley, lemon juice and season
  • cover the fish with the sauce
  • place the mash in a piping bag and pipe nice peaks on top of the fish
  • cook on a high oven heat for 10 minutes or until brown.

Pease Pudding

pease

Possibly the north east’s most famous dish along with the Stottie Cake (cack). We serve it with our honey roast ham on Sundays just as my great aunty used to on boxing day.

The tradition of boiling up dried peas comes from the civil war of 1644 when Newcastle was held under siege by the Scots, with locals on both sides of the Tyne dying of starvation any food was welcome and tradition has it that a French ship crashed at south shields with a cargo of dried peas. It is said that Carlin peas saved Newcastle!

My Grandma and Aunty used to soak their peas in water with the uncooked ham over night but I like to soak them in the ham stock after Boiling.

Ingredients

300g dried split Peas

Ham stock to cover

butter

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Boil your joint of ham with a few parsley stalks, onions and thyme and reserve the stock. Cover the peas with the stock for a few hours. the ham can then be roasted (boiling it first stops it shrinking during roasting)
  2. Boil the peas for 40 minutes or until it turns into a paste add more water if it is starting to catch, then add the butter and season
  3. Serve hot with a roast or keep for up to nine days! (more likely 3) in the fridge for stotties

Baguettes

baguette

French bread is world renowned, its crunchy cracked crust and creamy crumb are delicious if made properly. As a bread it takes quite a lot of time and patience but it’s well worth it. Le baguette has to be made with four ingredients only; flour, water, yeast and salt. It should only last a day hence most French bakers make two batches a day with no additives.

In France after the first world war the government fixed the price of the baguette to ensure the working classes had good bread, this was only lifted in the 80’s but the tradition has carried on. People will travel miles to get good bread. The trick to a perfect baguette is, a starter, steam and a high bake and above all do not use a baguette tray or you’ll have an unauthentic dimple bottomed bread! You can buy proper bakers cloth on the internet just make sure you flour it well.

Makes 8

Ingredients

2kg bread flour or type 55 if you can get it

1320g warm water, hand hot

7g packet of dried yeast

40g fine salt

Method

  1. The night before, make a poolish by mixing, 660g of flour, 660g warm water with a small pinch of the yeast, cover and leave to rest at room temperature (see link to black pudding and beer bread to find out how to make poolish.) https://wordpress.com/post/82505490/100/
  2. If using a mixer add all of the remaining dry ingredients to the bowl then add the water and poolish.
  3. Mix on first speed for 3 minutes until well combined then mix on speed 2 for 3 minutes.
  4. Place in a bowl and cover, leave for one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Turn the dough out on to the bench and kneed a few times, then cover (this is much more effective than knocking the dough back as it stretches and makes the dough stronger.)
  6. Rest for 45 minutes and repeat the folding.
  7. Rest for 30 minutes
  8. Turn the dough out onto a bench and divide into pieces 400g each
  9. Pre-shape the dough by folding a few times into rough rounds and lay seam side down on a lightly floured bench and rest for 5 minutes to let the dough relax.
  10. With the seam side up fold the top half over two thirds of the dough, then turn 180deg and fold in half from the top, repeat once more making sure then seams are well sealed.
  11. With your hands together roll the dough backwards and forward until you have an even sausage shape, place the dough in between folds of a floured bakers couche or a stiff tea towel, if you want you can prove it directly on the baking sheet but you’ll get a flat bottom.
  12. Preheat the oven to 220c.
  13. After 20 minutes, finally prove and bake with a cup full of water thrown in to the bottom of the oven for 8 minutes or until evenly golden all around

Almond Sugar Cookies

Just Add Water

Here they are without the glaze

And with the glaze

So I found this recipe online, and I decided to try it. It’s pretty simple! Although adding the glaze & sprinkling the almonds on top took a while to get looking nice. My opinion: THESE COOKIES ARE AMAZING. =) Makes only two dozen though, next time I’m doubling the recipe! ^_^
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • additional sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons water (I had to use more)
  • Sliced almonds, toasted
  • Food coloring is optional, but I thought without was super pretty! ^_^

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the almond extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and then gradually…

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Chocolate Macaroons

maccaroons

These petit four are one of my favourite endings to a meal, chewy and crispy they go perfectly with coffee and will definitely impress your dinner party guests. They take a bit of practice but from experience when the first one work you’ll be beaming with joy!

Ingredients

180g sieved icing sugar

100g ground almonds

10g cocoa powder

3 egg whites

40g caster sugar

100g butter

50g caster sugar

100g melted dark chocolate

Method

  1. Whisk the egg whites until lightly stiff, a thick foam. Then add the caster sugar and whisk for 1 minute
  2. Fold in the almond, icing sugar and cocoa until well combined
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe circles approx. 2 cm across (making sure to push and withdraw the nozzle after every pipe) on a baking sheet lined with parchment
  4. Leave the piped mixture out for 10 minutes to form a skin ( this helps with the classic crunchy texture
  5. Bake at 165c for 6 minutes
  6. Meanwhile make the filling by whisking together the chocolate and butter with a little icing sugar and fill a piping bag with the mixture
  7. When the meringues are cool pipe a little mixture in the centre and gently sandwich two together, getting the amount right takes a little practice but you should have it cracked by the first few.
  8. Eat as many as you can manage!

Baked Blueberry Cheesecake

wpid-dsc_0210.jpg

This cheeky little number has made it on to our new menu, I love a good New York style cheesecake it’s got so much more flavour and substance than a set cheesecake.

We serve it with cinder toffee and ice cream, enjoy!

Ingredients

250g Crushed Digestive Biscuits

80g Melted Butter

1kg Cream Cheese

350g Caster Sugar

35g Plain Flour

grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

5 whole eggs

2 Egg Yolks

tsp Vanilla Essence

500g Blueberries

Method

Preheat oven to 180c

  1. Mix the biscuits and melted butter together and press in to a 12 inch spring form tin and bake for ten minutes
  2. Meanwhile, mix the cheese, sugar, zest, flour and essence until smooth
  3. add the eggs one at a time until completely smooth, this is best done with an electric whisk
  4. Fold in the blueberries
  5. Pour the filling into the tin and bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 100c and bake for 1 hour
  7. Allow to cool and place in the fridge until ready to serve

* The cheesecake will keep well wrapped in the fridge for three days

The perfect crackling

crackling

Nothing finishes a roast or pork dish like a crispy piece of crackling. It is renowned for being one of a chefs favourite foods, probably only beaten by a good beef bourguignon. For our Sunday roast we make the crackling on the joint but for more refined restaurant dishes we take the skin off the meat and flatten it, meaning we can make beautiful long thin strips.

Method one – on the joint

  1. Preheat your oven to 220c or as hot as you can get it
  2. Dry the pork skin on the joint with kitchen towel
  3. With a jay cloth lightly soaked in white wine vinegar rub the skin all over
  4. Sprinkle the skin with fine salt then pat dry again
  5. Put your roast in the oven and cook on a high heat until the crackling starts to bubble evenly, adjust the temperature if the skin starts to burn
  6. Finish cooking the joint at 180c until finished

Method two – just the skin

belly

Either take the skin off the meat yourself or just ask you butcher for pork skin

  1. Preheat your oven to 220c or as hot as you can get it
  2. Dry the pork skin with kitchen towel
  3. With a jay cloth lightly soaked in white wine vinegar rub the skin all over
  4. Sprinkle the skin with fine salt then pat dry again
  5. Roll the skin fat side up into a tight roly-poly shape
  6. With a very sharp knife slice it at 1 cm intervals
  7. Unravel the strips and lay on a baking tray (they will shrink)
  8. Place another tray on top to keep them flat
  9. Cook for 15 minutes or until evenly crispy (draining any rendered fat as you go)

Herb Stuffed Lamb Rump

DSC_0206

This dish is one of the outstanding creations from our new menu. By stuffing and rolling the lamb with herb butter the juices in the bottom of the pan create the most delicious sauce. We serve it with a bubble and squeak potato cake but feel free to just use mash or whatever you fancy.

Serves 4

ingredients

For the lamb

2 8oz lamb rump steaks

100g softened butter

handful of chopped fresh mixed herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary or anything you have!)

1 clove of garlic

salt and pepper

string

for the garnish

4 portions of dry mashed potato

small amount of cooked cabbage

1 chopped spring onion

spinach

white wine

1 broccoli

16 green beans

butter

salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a bowl add the butter, chopped herbs and garlic and blend with a hand blender until smooth, leave to infuse while you prepare the lamb.
  2. With a flexible knife and the lamb fat side down, cut through the centre of the steak until you reach the fat then slide the knife along the top of fat. Repeat on the other side until you have 2 lean pieces of meat.

DSC_0218

3 Butterfly these by cutting them in half, being careful not to fully cut through the meat. It is also important to note that you must cut with the grain of the meat so when it is rolled and carved the meat will be tendDSC_0219er.

  1. 4.Trim any excess fat from the meat, and with the meat laid out on a board cover it completely with herb butter and roll the lamb tightly from the short side up.DSC_0223
  2. 5.With a length of cut string tie a knot at one end and then wrap the string around the joint and your thumb. With the end of the string thread it around your thumb producing a slip knot, repeat this process until you reach the end of the joint with 1 cm intervals. finish the joint with another double knot. this technique can be used for larger joints as well.

6. To cook, preheat your oven to 180c, and over a medium to high heat and with a little oil brown the meat on all sides then place in the oven for 8 minutes for pink.

7.Whilst this is cooking mix the mashed potato, cabbage and spring onion and season. Push this into a biscuit cutter to form a perfectly round potato cake, pan fry this with a little butter and the reserved lamb fat over a medium heat

8. Boil the green beans and broccoli until tender in salted water

9. Sauté the spinach in a little white wine, butter and garlic then season.

10. Remove the meat from the oven and rest for at least 5 minutes

11. deglaze the pan with a little white wine over a high heat then squeeze the liquid from the spinach, add a knob of butter, season and reduce.

To plate, remove the string and thinly slice the meat. on a plate place the spinach then top with the carved lamb, then neatly arrange the vegetables and potato cake serve with the reduced sauce.

How to make a Copt Hill Cappuccino

cappucino

I don’t think many people could survive in our trade without an injection of caffeine! The 14 hour days take their toll eventually! My favourite morning beverage is cappuccino, its name means hood in Italian and is originally derived from the colour of capuchin friars habits.

This post is by our front of house manager David.

 How to make a Copt Hill Cappuccino

Firstly let’s start by saying there are many different ways of creating a cappuccino using different tools, here at The Copt Hill we have a barista coffee machine that we use to create our coffees. All too often you’ll find many bars, pubs and restaurants in Britain have no idea what a cappuccino is or how to make one correctly covering them with chocolate or having an incorrect foam consistency, considering that it’s so popular a choice amongst coffee drinkers we believe that it’s an absolute must to be able to serve one correctly.

Ingredients:

Fresh Milk (Cold)

Ground Coffee(espresso)

Method

Step 1.

Make sure your milk is nice and cold firstly and that your steam-wand is clean and has no residual water left in the pipe.

Fill a small metal jug half full with your fresh milk and insert the steam-wand into the milk just beneath the head of the milk(about a centimetre deep) and turn on the steam.

As you steam the milk you want to steadily lower the jug so that the nozzle of the steam-wand only remains under the head of the milk, this stretches the milk and creates a thick and creamy foam with smaller bubbles.

Don’t bob the jug up and down whilst steaming as this spoils the consistency of the bubbles and creates a less dense head.

Once you’ve stretched the milk to the point that it is at the top of the jug turn off the steam, make sure to clean your wand straight away as the milk can dry onto it quite fast.

The best temperature for the milk to be is between 65o-68o Celsius though not everyone has a thermometer, if you don’t the easiest way to tell if the milk is hot enough is if the metal jug is too hot to touch but not hot enough to burn you.

Step 2

Pour a shot of espresso into a coffee cup.

Our perfect espresso shot would be made using freshly ground coffee beans, we use Pumphreys Coffee beans as they provide a great range and we like to support local trade.

Make sure that your coffee basket and filter and nicely cleaned so you get a truer taste of the coffee.

The average coffee basket holds around 7-8grams of ground coffee for a single espresso which you press into the basket to evenly compact it.

Both the coffee machine and the basket should be nice and hot when you use them and the cup should be warmed before use.

The average espresso should take between 20-25 seconds to pour, if it pours too fast then you may not have pressed the grind firmly enough and this will result in a poor crema.

Step 3

Let the milk rest for about 15-20 seconds once you’ve finished steaming it, this is essential as it allows the head of the milk to separate slightly and gives you time to pour the espresso shot.

Slowly pour the milk into your cup, you should find if you’ve allowed the milk to rest that the head should remain in the jug as you pour.

Once you’ve 3/4 filled the cup with your milk stop pouring, take your milk jug and in a swirling motion on a bench mix the remaining milk with the foam until your left with a shiny thick foam remaining.

Pour your remaining foam over your coffee to fill up the cup to the brim.

Step 4

Drink your deliciously creamy Copt Hill Cappuccino.