Can we start a thread about all our unanswered food Q's and recipes?

(83 Posts)
fallenempires Thu 02-May-13 13:48:41

I'm hoping that the collective culinary wisdom of MN might solve some of those mysteries!
I'm still searching for a recipe that replicates Nandos spiced rice.
What food q's do you need answering?

Xiaoxiong Thu 02-May-13 14:27:12

A foolproof quiche recipe. I can make a pumpkin pie, a lemon tart, a bloody eight stranded plaited loaf. But every quiche I've ever made has either overflowed, been tasteless, or turned out like rubber.

Also it seems like such an enormous faff! Chop, cook and season filling, blind bake tart, egg mixure, bake quiche...I wouldn't mind all the work if it turned out gorgeous and silky and wobbly but it never turns out sad

Am I using the wrong tin? The wrong pastry? The wrong ratios? Wrong oven temp?

fallenempires Thu 02-May-13 14:51:06

Which recipe are you using?
I use Delia's from her bible.Never fails.I bake it in a ceramic quiche dish in a fan oven.
I'm very impressed with your baking skills eight stranded loaf!grin

TheSecondComing Thu 02-May-13 15:20:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 11:31:03

A)I haven't got one but have cooked on one,so I'd say yes but possibly finish them off in the oven.
B)Another mystery!
C)Another mystery!
D)Fool proof cheese sauce
50g butter
40g plain flour
1pt milk
Melt butter over low heat.Take off heat and beat in plain flour.Place back over low heat and allow to gently cook for 2 mins.Slowly add milk bit by bit constantly whisking until you have a smooth sauce.Season and add some nutmeg.Add cheese(and mustard if you like).
This always works for me but iirc there was a thread a while back about making perfect cheese sauce in the microwave.Did you give that a try?
HTH smile

So, yesterday I bought a potato ricer.

Wtf do I do with it?

sarahandemily Fri 03-May-13 11:35:18

On the cheese sauce I think it makes a massive difference if you heat the milk in the microwave before adding it. I struggled for years but now it comes out perfect every time

Furball Fri 03-May-13 11:38:09

honest try my cheese sauce - it's sooooo easy

2 tbsp sauce flour (in the flour section of supermarket)
1/2pt milk
As much cheese as you like Handy Hint
Put half a pint of cold milk in a jug, add 2 dessert spoons of sauce flour (near cornflour in supermarket) and however much cheese you want

Stir a few times.

Pop in microwave for 1 min, stir, put in microwave for another minute, stir, put in microwave for 1 more minute, stir - you should have a lovely smooth thick cheese sauce.

LowLevelWhinging Fri 03-May-13 11:38:34


B) buy jasmine rice and follow the instructions on the packet. TA DAA! smile

I think that sticky rice is a type of rice thats different from basmati or whatever.

However, I make sticky rice the lazy way. No measuring faff. I just put the rice in and fill the saucepan about 3/4. Add some salt to the water and cook it until the water is gone.

It is then sticky. Probably because I dont wash the rice and it absorbs too much water. But DP loves it.

LowLevelWhinging Fri 03-May-13 11:39:31

I want to know how to roast a chicken that turns out as nice as a tesco rotisserie!

mine are never that juicy or tasty. Should I be injecting them with chemicals or something?


Jasmine rice!

Startail Fri 03-May-13 11:40:09

Strong cheese, pepper and nutmeg and basic sauce much as above. I never weigh it, but about 1oz each flour and butter (not Marg, olivo etc, they do work, but butter is much easier because you get a paste that cooks out the flour more easily).

Quiche far too much faff

Nado's rice just tastes like instant packet stuff (not that matters, I like both)

LowLevelWhinging Fri 03-May-13 11:41:54


put your potatoes in it!

Apparently you can boil them skin on too and the skin stays in the ricer, but that sounds like hard work. Just boil your spuds and put them through the ricer. Add a shit load of butter and salt for perfect mash!

Furball Fri 03-May-13 11:44:01


I rub abit of butter under the skin sprinkle whole top with salt

and I always add a few tablespoons of water to the cavity - it sort of steams the meat - leaving it lovely and moist

LowLevelWhinging Fri 03-May-13 11:44:34

that's a good idea Furball <takes notes>

How to do meringue ? I've tried but fail every time

Pootles2010 Fri 03-May-13 11:54:04

Whats up with it Wheres? Best thing I found is to make it night before, and when its done leave it in oven, turned off, with door closed. It needs to cool really slowly.

So the ricer is just another way of mashing?


I leave my meringue on the top of the Aga to dry out.

I whip the eggs in a clean bowl but instead of it going all glossy and shiny it goes like foam. I thought maybe I over whipped so I went gentler the next time and it happened again. When I bake it doesnt go hard it is just browned soft foam

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 11:58:54

LowLevelWhinging I often break down a knorr chicken stock cube with some olive oil to make a paste which is smeared all over it and stuff a whole lemon up it's jacksy!grin
Startail Nandos rice is nothing like that batchelors stuff!

Meringue needs whipped in a spotless bowl. Any grease or residue in the bowl and the eggs wont whip. Same if theres any yolk in there. Plastic bowls and meringues dont go together.

Add some cream of tartar to prevent over whipping and then whip until you can turn the bowl upside down without the meringue falling out.

Oven temps and times depend on the type of meringue you want really.

How long are you whipping when it goes like foam?

It takes a good 7-10 mins with hand beaters to get it stiff. Maybe even more.

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 12:03:31

Wheresmycaffeinedrip do you whisk to soft peaks then gradually add your sugar?
I don't know whether this has any bearing on how my meringues turn out but I mix mine in the kenwood which has a metal bowl.

Maybe that's it. I tried it with the whisk attachment in my blender. And by hand in a plastic bowl.

CrazyOldCatLady Fri 03-May-13 12:04:42

Foam is just one of the stages on the way to glossy and shiny, is it not?

It's hard to explain, it's not watery foam just looks like a sponge. And it just slides out the bowl itself and lands in a lump blush

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 12:08:51

It must be the bowl.As I've never seen anything except metal used for whisking in a professional kitchen

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 12:09:37

Are your eggs at room temp?

One batch was from fridge the following time I left them out over night. I'm useless at meringue grin

Pootles2010 Fri 03-May-13 12:12:26

I use plastic fairly successfully. Only time i've had what you describe was when either the bowl, or the whisk wasn't scrupulously clean. Is it possible your whisk attachment is the culprit? Delia suggests really good scrub, followed by rubbing cut lemon around bowl & whisk to make sure, might that help?

You arent whisking long enough.

Metal or glass bowl. Put egg whites in. Make sure no yolk. Whisk until the mix is white and when you lift the mix up it holds its shape but still flops a bit. Thats soft peak.

Then add your sugar a tablespoon at a time, dont dump it in. If you do the air will get pushed out. Whisk between each addition.

Once all the sugar is added you need to keep whisking until it wont fall out of the bowl, and the peaks dont flop at all.

You will need a hand beater or a kmix/kitchenaid. Argos sell hand beaters for a fiver.

Pootles2010 Fri 03-May-13 12:13:55

Did it look like this?

That kinda appearance only it was actually solid not liquid like that looks. I have a kitchen aid now so will try that. Will wash first too.

notso Fri 03-May-13 12:28:25

Good thread!

I would like a foolproof pastry recipe, I am rubbish at pastry.

Also what is the stuff that people seem to use in buttercream instaed of butter. It's always a bit salty and doesn't go solid like butter?

Xiaoxiong Fri 03-May-13 12:30:39

fallen there's not much youtube can't teach you about that sort of thing grin just watch the video and put the bread plaits where they show you. Even youtube hasn't saved my shitty quiche skills yet though. How high are the sides on your ceramic dish - maybe this is where I've been going wrong, mine is more like a dessert tart height (only a couple of cm). I will look into delia's recipe and try again, thank you!

TSC as per your yoghurt question. Can you buy plain greek yoghurt in a big tub and then mix in flavourings as necessary? eg. a teaspoon of vanilla extract to make vanilla yoghurt, swirl in some lemon curd, swirl in some raspberry jam etc (because the yoghurt is plain to start with, the sugar is a good addition). I'm pretty sure Yeo Valley is full fat and surely most supermarket own-brand is too. I got the big huge tub of natural greek yoghurt at Lidl the other day (the one with the handle) and it was lovely. Asian shops usually sell it too in larger sizes.

LowLevel I'm pretty sure the answer is to add shedloads of butter and bake it at a relatively low heat (eg. 120-130c) for longer than you would usually, and baste it, so you get that sticky rather than crispy skin. I think they put a spice mixture on the skin as well in some supermarkets - a quick google suggests a combo of salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. I found this link too which says you can do it in a slow cooker even.

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 12:31:42

Looks like there'll be a pavlova in the caffeine household this w/e thenwink
Have just thought of another Q as well as my as yet unsolved Nandos rice recipe.
How on earth do you manage to stop the ooze with millionaires shortbread when cutting it?I have tried adding 1tbsp of oil to the choc but still have the goo!

doradoo Fri 03-May-13 12:36:41

Pastry / quiche......

Shortcrust - easy as pie!! 2:1 flour:butter - rub the butter in so you have breadcrumbs - then add a little bit of cold water to bind it together - knead very lightly and pop in fridge to rest for a bit.

I use that recipe for quiche - never blindbake the case - add your filling to the case then mix a couple(3) eggs with some milk/cream/creme fraiche and pour over - you want the case to be pretty much filled with the mix - when it cooks it will balloon up - but once out of the oven (when it doesn't wobble when you shake the tray) it will relax and firm up a bit.

doradoo Fri 03-May-13 12:37:50

Oh and I bake it in a ceramic tart/quiche dish - about 3cm deep.

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 12:39:46

Xiaoxiong I might just give it a whirl then,but I can't even plait dd's hair properly!blush
My quiche dish is 4cm high and 26cm wide so I always make roughly 1 1/2 times the amount of pastry.
notso what type of pastry?
For buttercream I use unsalted butter at room temp,icing sugar and a dash of vanilla extract.

I add a knob of butter to choc for millionaires shortbread.

25g to 350g choc if we are being exact grin

Bakingnovice Fri 03-May-13 12:45:10

Quiche - do the all in one version. Throw flour, butter, eggs, cheese, mustard, salt in a bowl. Mix and decant into quiche dish and bung in Oven. It's more flan than quiche but just delicious and takes minutes.

Pastry - as doradoo says. Soo easy. Just make sure you add just enough water to bind. Then stick in sandwich bag and pop
In fridge.

I am going to try the cheese sauce recipe as I just cannot do it!

My question is how to make cheeses scones really tasty instead of bland lumps of dough. I've tried using string cheese and adding salt. I just want them to be cheesy and lovely like the m&s ones. Oh and the recipe needs to be quick and easy.

Also, what can I prepare the night before and stick in the fridge to oven bake for the kids breakfast? Must be something which cooks quick in the morning. Thanks.

Xiaoxiong Fri 03-May-13 12:57:56

baking I can answer the cheese scone one - cut cubes of mature cheddar into 1cm cubes and add to the dough. It looks really lumpy but all smoothes out as the cheese melts in the oven. Adding some fresh dill as well just makes it even better. The Barefoot Contessa has a brilliant cheddar dill scone recipe that is foolproof.

So it sounds like where I'm going wrong is following an actual recipe for quiche - clearly I should just go by instinct and chuck in this and that and it will be fine grin

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 13:01:17

Thanks wannabe will give it a try.Out of interest do you use the already caramelised filling in yours and do you cook it out first or use straight from the tin?
baking I haven't a cheese scone recipe but have you added some mustard powder and really strong cheddar to yours?
Would suggest pancakes for dcs breakfast but as you want an oven bake will go away and have another think!

Xiaoxiong Fri 03-May-13 13:02:03

baking found the recipe for you for cheddar dill scones. You don't sound like a baking novice really but if you are I can convert into metric for you smile

For breakfast, could you make morning glory muffins the night before, spoon into cases in muffin tin and leave in fridge overnight, then bake in the morning?

notso Fri 03-May-13 13:18:18

One of thoses savoury rice packets tastes very much like a less spicy version of nando's. I used to have a recipe for dirty rice that was also very similar.
Millionaires, score the shortbread, put butter in the chocolate and the put the finished product in the freezer until the caramel is very set then cut it with a hot knife.

Shortcrust pastry recipe please.

I havent found a caramel I am happy with yet, but I like the squares a little firmer than the bought caramel is.

Last time I used this recipe. The caramel was nice but the base was odd, too crispy and salty.

I made the base again for banoffee with 50g of the flour replaced with 50g of ground rice and it was lovely. A lot lighter.

If you can make any sense from this rambling post you're a goodun grin

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 03-May-13 13:31:09

TSC what sort of sticky rice?

If you mean the rice you are served with the dishes which is "normal" rice but just stickier than your basmati, then just use jasmine rice (as an earlier poster said) or buy broken jasmine rice, which is what I do - they are jasmine rice but just, well, broken. Cook as normal and they are sticky. Another thing you could try is to stir it once or twice during cooking. That's how we do compressed rice. Breaks the grains and makes it all sticky.

However, if you mean the sticky stuff they serve as pudding, cooked in coconut milk, then you need glutinous rice. That's a different type of rice and cooks up sticky.


Bakingnovice Fri 03-May-13 13:59:40

Wow. Xiao and fallen thank you. The idea of cubes of cheese is brilliant. I grate mine and it doesn't taste as strong. And mustard, I'll add a bit more thankyou.

Xiao - I'm not a novice anymore! Can I really spoon these muffins into cases the night before? Omg. This is genius. Thank you. Brilliant thread.

fallenempires Fri 03-May-13 15:16:45

wannabe thank you I have bookmarked it!
notso will try scoring next time,already use the knife in boiling water method to cut it.
Shortcrust(sadly needs to be done by hand as a machine overworks it making it less crumbly when cooked)
250g plain flour
125g chilled unsalted cut into cubes
2 medium egg yolks
50ml cold water
pinch of salt
Mix flour and salt then rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs.Add egg yolks and mix in, then slowly add water until you have a formed mass which leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
Shape into a ball on a lightly floured surface then flatten into a disc shape.Wrap in cling film and chill for minimum of 3 hours before using.
There's enough pastry here to fill a 25cm tin.
Any idea of the brand of packet savoury rice?Have tried Batchelors,Sainsbos and Co-op.

notso Fri 03-May-13 15:34:03

Thanks for pastry will give it a go.
Am racking brains for rice brand, would have said Batchelors but obviously not if you've tried it.

fallenempires Tue 07-May-13 15:20:27

A shameless bump as I'm still looking for that Nandos rice recipegrin

ItsAllTLAsToMe Tue 07-May-13 19:37:08

When you freeze ripe bananas to use later, do they defrost as a brown blob in brown liquid? What am I doing wrong?

ItsAllTLAsToMe Tue 07-May-13 19:57:43

Also, will I use a MagiMix? I'm a pretty crap cook, but like to batch cook, make bread, bake etc. Well, I'm an okay cook, probably just a bit lazy blush.

bakingaddict Tue 07-May-13 20:16:45

For Nandos rice I would say you probably need to do a spice mix. Tumeric will be one of the key spices and i'd try a bit of cumin, ground coriander, nutmeg, celery salt etc.

Fry off your dry spices with a bit of garlic and then toss in your rice, stir till the rice is fully coated and then transfer to a large pan and boil in the normal way. I'd also put a chicken stock cube in the water to give more flavour and then when it's cooked add your chopped peppers

Xiaoxiong Tue 07-May-13 20:20:34

ItsAll yes they do defrost as brown mush. And for that reason it's best to freeze them peeled as trying to peel brown mush is grim. But it's ok, because when you make banana muffins or whatever you're supposed to mush them, so I promise it will work. When I make banana bread I usually take three frozen bananas out of the freezer and put them in a mixing bowl - then when they are defrosted brown mush, I stir in the wet ingredients, and then the dry ingredients.

I have a Magimix and I love it. I use it to make pizza dough, pastry, grate things (cheese, cucumber for raita, carrots for moroccan salad, courgette and potatoes for latkes etc), slice things (potatoes and turnips for dauphinoise/boulangere), make hummus and pesto and rouille and marinades...the list goes on!

fallen I wish I could help, I've never had rice at Nandos!

shufflebum Tue 07-May-13 20:31:48

Great thread! My question, how do I make home made Higgidy Moroccan pie?

Xiaoxiong Tue 07-May-13 20:46:55

Hmmm...the website describes it as "roasted Aubergines, feta and lentils with a spiced tomato sauce in a seeded shortcrust pastry case dotted with caraway seed".

So I would think putting caraway seed in the shortcrust pastry would be easy, then blind baking the case.

As for the filling...maybe something like mashed up imam bayildi with lentils instead of peppers?

You could try just roasting an eggplant, scooping out the flesh, mashing together with cooked brown lentils and caramelised onions, spicing with chili, cumin and sumac, and then mixing in cubes of feta and tomato sauce spiked with chili and cumin and cinnamon. Then packing that into the shortcrust case, and topping with a star cut out of the shortcrust pastry.

Probably not massively helpful...I haven't had one of those pies in ages, now craving one.

ItsAllTLAsToMe Tue 07-May-13 22:51:26

Thanks Xiao! I threw away the last brown mush grin.

fallenempires Wed 08-May-13 13:35:40

Thank you bakingaddict I will give it a trysmile
I had wondered about using piri piri seasoning but as we all like rice I can carry on experimenting until I get it right!
Another request I have is for a decent naan bread recipe please.

BornToFolk Wed 08-May-13 13:49:04

Sorry, can we go back to quiche for a bit?

I've tried and tried but whenever I make it, the case (I blind bake it) always shrinks, even if I treat the pastry very gently and don't over-roll it. I always use ready made pastry as I am shit at making it from scratch. What am I doing wrong? I use a metal, loose-bottomed tin - could that be the issue? I notice that other people use ceramic dishes.

fallenempires Wed 08-May-13 13:56:43

Do you trim the pastry to fit the tin before you blind bake?I only experience shrinkage when I do this so I leave some excess pastry then trim before adding the filling.

BornToFolk Wed 08-May-13 14:08:50

No, I leave it hanging over the edges but it still shrinks so it kind of pulls up from the base, if that makes sense? And if even if I leave some over the edge, it sometimes shrinks so much that I end up with gaps!

fallenempires Wed 08-May-13 14:53:24

Do you chill the pastry in the tin before blind baking?

BornToFolk Wed 08-May-13 15:05:37

Yep! I'm beginning to think it's just my rubbish oven.

anklebitersmum Wed 08-May-13 15:30:50

ExitPursuedByABear If your potato ricer looks like this then you can make spaghetti ice-cream with it..

Scoop or three of vanilla ice cream put through the ricer onto a big bowl, add raspberry/strawberry coulis or sauce and a sprinkle of white chocolate over the top and it looks like spag bol ..adults and biters love it grin

Shit. I paid double that in Sainsbo's.


Will try the ice cream spaghetti grin

Spaghetti ice cream shock I am equal parts horrified and desperate to dish it up to someone! grin

anklebitersmum Wed 08-May-13 16:16:41

grin Be aware there'll be no going back once the biters have had it

fallenempires Thu 09-May-13 09:17:33

BorntoFolk I'm truly stumped then,hopefully someone will come along with a solution.What pastry do you use?

anklebitersmum Thu 09-May-13 10:47:55

Possible Nando rice for ya fallenempires
Haven't eaten in Nando's but did try this rice and it's nice grin

all measurements are approx as I'm a 'bung it in' cook

1/2 mug finely sliced spring onions
1/2 mug fine fine chopped carrots
1/2 mug fine fine chopped red pepper
1 jalapeno and serrano pepper whizzed
1 tbsp mild olive or ground nut oil
2 mugs cooked rice (cook in chicken stock or cheat & use a savoury chicken rice not as nice but workable )
2 tbsp ish snipped coriander
1 tbsp ish lime juice
1 tsp ish soy sauce
Hot pepper sauce to taste (Encona's the best)

Heat oil in large pan whack in the onions, carrots, red pepper, jalapenos and seranno. Fry off on medium heat until soft and starting to colour but not burn. Stir in the rice, coriander, lime juice, soy sauce, and add a couple of drops of encona hot pepper sauce and cook until piping hot.

Add to ribs/ prawns/ spicy chicken/ bbq or other non meat food groups

fallenempires Thu 09-May-13 11:35:01

anklebiters you're a

anklebitersmum Thu 09-May-13 11:42:38

fingers crossed you like very very careful with the encona hot sauce mind otherwise you'll look like angry but not be cross wink

fallenempires Thu 09-May-13 11:52:50

I will let you know!I'm contemplating next week's meal plan atm so might squeeze it in with some chicken.

Bakingnovice Thu 09-May-13 11:54:36

Re shrinking pastry - when putting in into the dish you have to gently put the pastry in and kind of lift it in to the corners making sure its not taut. It's difficult to explain but basically you make sure it's placed in and not pulled tight. Also try trimming after blind baking and to keep it from lifting use baking beans.

It is the Mumsnet Effect. I have ordered the ricer linked ^ up there just so I can make ice cream spaghetti.

fallenempires Fri 10-May-13 09:21:10

Oh yes the MN'll be up there with the NittyGritty combgrin
Ankles I think you should submit it as the recipe of the week!

anklebitersmum Fri 10-May-13 10:07:21

grin I'll be on the most wanted list for crimes against diets

fallenempires Fri 10-May-13 23:56:16


sashh Sat 11-May-13 05:34:32


wipe the bowl and beaters with some lemon juice on a piece of kitchen paper - will get rid of any grease.

Bakingnovice Sun 12-May-13 21:14:32

Can I ask a question about rock buns. I make them a lot, but really like the ones in shops which have a harder consistency. Almost biscuity. Mine are light and fluffy inside, how do I get them to be a but more robust? I make mine using half sr flour and half whole meal bread flour.

fallenempires Mon 13-May-13 17:00:50

Bumping for you smile

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