Spontaneous Autumnal Lunch including Homemade Brandy Snaps!

~ Menu ~

An autumn dish of Pumpkin Ravioli
Glass of Merlot
Brandy Snaps, Late Season Strawberries & Cornish Clotted Cream

I had a lovely sunny, breezy walk this morning, across the fields, through the woods and the churchyard and down to Padstow harbour. I spent a pleasant half hour wandering around reading menus and enjoying pottering about in the little shops and art galleries. After walking back amongst wind blown leaves and then smelling woodsmoke in the air I was really in the mood for a lunch that would continue the autumn theme.

autumn fields in Cornwall

My luck was in because when I looked in the fridge I found I had 5 forgotten pieces of pumpkin ravioli (Tesco’s Finest, not my own) leftover from the other night’s dinner. Also on the stove our lamb shanks which had been slowly braising in red wine for a couple of hours and on the counter a bowl of freshly foraged cobnuts.
freshly foraged cobnuts

Leftovers always inspire me so I chopped a small handful of the nuts, browned them in butter and set them aside. I added a ladleful of juice from the lamb shanks to the butter left in the pan, making sure I got quite a bit of onion in the ladle. Whilst this was reducing down slightly I cooked the ravioli and then turned them gently in the savoury lamb goo. 

I served this lovely dish to myself topped with the sautéed nuts, freshly grated Gran Padano, lots of freshly ground black pepper and some parsley out of the garden. I also encouraged myself to a glass of red wine and I couldn’t have been more delighted!

ravioli in lamb and cobnut sauce

For dessert I had a small handful of freshly picked late strawberries, a little clotted cream and a few broken brandy snaps left over from experimenting for my forthcoming book on leftovers, see below. Lastly a delicious cup of black coffee.

Lucky me!

brandy snap biscuits
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Brandy Snaps Recipe

These can be shaped into bowls by moulding over upside down cups, or tubes by twisting round a wooden spoon handle. Only bake one or two at a time; you need to work quickly to shape them once they are out of the oven, alternating baking trays is a good idea. If they do harden too much pop them back in the oven for a minute.  

50g butter
50g granulated or caster sugar
50g Golden Syrup
50g plain flour
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon brandy

~   Preheat oven to 180ºC/350°F/160ºC fan/gas 4. 
~   Melt together the first three ingredients in a small pan over medium heat, stirring till smooth. 
~   Allow to cool for a few minutes then stir in the rest of the ingredients 
~   Lightly grease a baking tray or two and spoon one or two brandy snaps on each tray. 
~   Spread thinly in a round (to make baskets), or a strip (to make twirls) or any other shape you feel inspired to create. Leave plenty of space as they spread. 
~   Bake till the batter has spread and bubbled and become a dark golden lace on the baking sheet - about 10 minutes. 
~   Remove from the oven and allow to sit a little tiny while till you can manipulate the brandy snap off the tray and onto or around your mould. 
~   Cool completely in situ and keep in an airtight container but not for too long. If they do soften return to a medium oven for a few minutes, re-shape and re-cool.

Broken brandy snaps are good just sprinkled over ice cream.

News from the Future ...

My book was published in March, 2013. Originally titled The Leftovers Handbook a second edition is now available and is called Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.  In it I give all the information, ideas and recipes I can think of for more than 450 possible leftovers. 

leftovers handbook

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