Beer Battered Onion Rings

These are gorgeous! They’re light and crispy and fluffy and wonderfully flavourful. And really, really simple to make.

Ingredients (for four side portions or two greedy ones):
oil to fry; we used sunflower
one large onion
about a cup/120g of self raising flour, we used Asda’s gluten free
about 200ml of beer of your choice; you could substitute sparkling water instead
half a teaspoon of salt
a quarter teaspoon of dried turmeric (optional, makes the batter more colourful)

Slice up your onion to make the rings, not too thinly, and discard the skin. Whisk together the flour and beer/water until a nice thick batter forms. You don’t want it watery but neither do you want it too stiff like a cake mix.

Heat your oil. If you have a deep fat fryer: go for it! We used a large pan with the oil at about an inch deep and did the rings in three batches. Test the oil with a small drop of batter: if it starts bubbling and frying, it’s ready.

Dip the onion rings in the batter, coating them well, and then pop them into the oil to fry for a few minutes until the batter goes nice and golden. It’s best to do this, both the putting in and lifting out, with a fork or other implement: don’t burn those fingers!

You can lay them on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil if you want.

Pile them up and enjoy!

Great on a day that looks like this:


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yellow split pea soup

A simple warming, filling soup for winter days.

Ingredients:
2 cups of dried yellow split peas, washed and soaked in water overnight
5 or 6 cups of water
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped small
1 small turnip cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the split peas in a large saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour or until the peas are soft and starting to go a bit mushy. Add the onion, carrots and neep and cook for a further 20 minutes until everything is tender. Season and enjoy with wholemeal bread… or homemade herb and garlic bread

The Mermaid and the Bear CoverAilish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. On Amazon and Waterstones or see Author website for more details.

 

 

 


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chick pea curry

Submitted by Scottish author Ailish Sinclair

Chick peas are a very nutritious and cheap food – having dried ones in the cupboard ensures a cheap meal anytime (after soaking overnight).

Ingredients:
1 – 2 Tablespoons of light vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped (this is a very good way of using up an apple that has gone wrinkly but is not rotten)
1 green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 – 3 teaspoons of curry powder
1-2 tins of cooked chick peas (or soak dried ones overnight and cooked – cheaper)
1 can of tomatoes
handful of raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut (optional)
some frozen peas (a cupful or more if you really like them)
salt

Fry the onion, garlic and apple in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the curry powder and stir for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes (chop them if needed) and green pepper. If you like really sweet tasting curry, then add the raisins and coconut. Cook for about 15 minutes at simmering level and then add your chick peas and cook for a further 10 minutes. Shortly before the end of cooking time put some frozen peas in, as these will go mushy if overcooked. Add salt to taste. We like this best with white basmati rice (you should get a whole kilo for unde £1 in the cheap supermarkets or value ranges) and lots of little toppings.

Ideas for toppings are chopped fresh tomato, cucumber, sliced banana (yes this does work!), sunflower seeds, avocado (not the most frugal ingredient but jam packed with nutrients), in fact anything you fancy! My kids love these all put in small separate bowls so they can help themselves.

A very frugal variation of this is to make potato and pea curry by replacing the chick peas with value tinned potatoes.

Ailish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. On Amazon and Waterstones or see Author website for more details.

The Mermaid and the Bear Cover