Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Kitchen of Good and Evil

The Good

Barley Vegetable Casserole
Makes 4 servings -- 2 pts/serving (and is very nummy)


2/3 cup barley
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
2-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place barley and a small amount of water or stock in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Transfer to a casserole dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Sauté onions 5 minutes in same skillet, stirring frequently. Combine onions with remaining vegetables and add to casserole. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and stir into casserole. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Cover and bake 1-1/4 hours, until barley is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir several times while baking. Let stand 5 minutes, mix and serve.

The Evil

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Pecan Toffee Sauce



3 ounces butter, softened
5 ounces soft brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten
6 ounces self-raising flour
6 ounces stoned dates, chopped
6 fluid ounces boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules, hot water added to make about 1/3 cup or 1/3 cup strong fresh coffee
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


8 ounces soft brown sugar
6 ounces
12 tablespoons double cream - heavy
2 ounces
pecan nuts, roughly chopped


1. Heat the oven to 180C/360°F Lightly butter 8 x 3" ramekin dishes. I like to spray them to coat them evenly.

2. Soak the dates in the boiling water for about half an hour to soften them. Add the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla essence and coffee mixture, mix well and allow to soak for 30 minutes more.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, and beat well after each addition. Fold in the sifted flour, again a little at a time, gently mixing through after each addition.

4. Then add the date mixture. You should have a fairly sloppy mixture, it looks all wrong - but it is ALL right, I promise you! Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins, place them on a baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until well risen.

5. Cool for 5 minutes, then loosen them around the sides with a butter knife and turn out. The puddings can be cooled and frozen at this stage. After freezing, defrost, pour the hot sauce over and re-heat to serve as instructed below.

6. To serve:- Place the puddings in a shallow ovenproof dish. Heat the grill. Make the sauce by melting the butter, cream, pecans and sugar together in a pan, and stir well.When just boiling, pour HALF of the sauce over the puddings; and then continue to heat the sauce on a rolling boil until it has thickened.

7. Place the puddings 5" below the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, making sure that the nuts and sauce does not burn too badly; you should have toasted nuts in places, with a sticky toffee glaze which is almost crunchy.

8. Serve with the extra toffee sauce in a heatproof jug, chilled cream, custard, ice-cream, or just NAKED!


heathersister said...

Both sound totally delish.