Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Yorkshire tacos

There was pancake mix left over from last night. There was root veg left over from veg box, and a red cabbage.  All lovely stuff, but not always an instinctive "turn to" when time is pressing.  Tonight, I achieved this inside an hour.... it's frenetic at the beginning, then you can chill, then a bit of faff in the last 10 mins.  (Using last night's pancake batter).

Red cabbage
olive oil
white wine
turkish beans
salt, pepper

1. Chop red cabbage.  Tip into big pan. Add crushed garlic, salt and pepper (fennel, caraway, juniper or sweet spices eg ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg could also be added now), Tip in liquid - white wine and/or water, cider, fruit juice .... simmer
2.  Start root veg mash - peel a nd chop into 1 cm cubes (ish) whatever root veg is to hand - today - swede, beetroot, carrot and parsnip.  Boil for about 15 minutes.
3.  Put beans in oven proof dish, and put in the bottom of a medium oven.
4.  Make pancakes - keep warm.
5.  When root veg are done (you can easily push a sharp knife into them) - drain, put back into the pan - add knobs of butter - slash in all directions with a sharp knife ... it's not mashed, but its all cut up into tiny pieces and the root veg are all mixed together - grind in some black pepper.
6. Serve, scoff ...

Was delish ... I did a taco type thingy with all the veg bits inside the pancake - but do exactly as you fancy.

Pancake day: pancake with sugar and chocolate hazelnut spread

Pancake day!  Gluten free pancakes were made ... and "decorated" with chocolate hazelnut spread AND! sugar!!!! (you may be able to tell, this wasn't entirely my idea!).

Gluten free flour
soya milk
almond oil (I would use peanut, but I had run out)
chocolate hazelnut spread

1.  Put the GF flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle.
2.  Break in an egg (or two)... whisk in a tiny bit.
3. Splodge in about a cup of soya milk, and whisk again.  Add a pinch of salt.
4.  For the batter, you are aiming for a consistency of double cream, so whisk, add more milk if required.
5.  Leave to stand.
6.  Heat oil in frying pan - when it hits smoking point - add batter and tip pan around to make a thinnish pancake ...
7.  Give isa couple of minutes, when it looks dry on top it's time to flip ... flip - cook the other side.
8.  Turn out onto plate - add topping - hazelnut spread if you really must!  but lemon and sugar for me, maple syrup ... or savoury ...

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Roast chicken thighs, baked potatoes, roast squash and steamed brocolli

It's not a full roast dinner - but it's right good (and right good value).  There was also haloumi with leeks and tomato for the vegetarian contingent - but I forgot to take a pic...  Little extras which turn "bog standard" (not my words) into a bit special were garlic, mustard, bouillon powder (all available from The Mediterranean Pantry), and a splash of dry white wine (not available from the pantry - I'm not licensed.)

Also, I will admit, one of my biggest weaknesses in the kitchen is leaving the squash battling until it's unavoidable - or - as this week - done be a-n-other (thanks hun xxx), so the roast squash was not all mine.  It was prepped and roasted first, with some olive oil, garlic, lemon rind and black pepper for about 45 minutes.  I put it back into the oven 30 minutes before serving the rest ... ie.  after dealing with the potatoes and chicken, and about the same time as starting the leeks for the halloumi and putting the brocolli on to steam.


olive oil
chicken thighs
bouillon powder
white wine

1.  Gratefully receive prepped squash :)
2.  Wash potatoes, prick with a fork and coat with olive oil (put a teaspoon of live oil in your hands and rub each pricked potato).  Put in microwave for 10 minutes (this just means that you  can bake them in under an hour - you could bake form scratch, obviously).
3.  Transfer the potatoes to the oven, and then start with the leeks for the chicken.  Sautee them gently for 10 minutes in olive oil for 10 minutes, add crushed garlic.
4.  Add chicken thighs, skin side down, to the onions and brown for about 3 minutes.
5.  Splash in white wine, stir in a splash of wine and stock made from bouillon and a big teaspoon of grainy mustard.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
6.  Transfer chicken to oven dish, add sauce - put in hot oven with potatoes for 30 minutes.  Put the prepped squash in the bottom of the oven to heat back through.
7.  After 10 mins - Cut broccoli into florets and steam. (takes about 15 mins from cold)
8.  Sautee leeks and crushed garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes, add chopped fresh tomatoes - season.
9.  Move leek mixture to the side of the pan and fry the halloumi (in slices) for a couple of minutes each side.
10.  It should be done now - so serve and scoff.


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Wild fennel and tomato pesto tagliatelle, prawns and salad

We needed a very quick dinner, and fortunately I had been waiting to try the wild fennel and tomato pesto which I now stock - well!  it is outstanding!  Some good pasta - tagliatelle today and some salad and we were good to go.  I added some grilled prawns as well, to please the gathered ... but there were three views on this!  i) fantastic, love it, having thirds; ii) really good pesto, pasta and salad - would make a really good veggie dinner; iii) nice dinner - but would be fan-bloody-tastic to have this pasta and pesto with steak, or indeed, chicken ... and the same salad would be great too.  I think I come down with iii ... but, damn good pesto, damn good pasta, damn good dinner.

Takes about 12 minutes from cold ...

1.  Put on a pan of water to boil.
2.  Prepare lettuce.
3.  Make salad dressing - a splash of garlic infused olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice and a grind of sea salt and black pepper - into a salad bowl.
4.  Chuck lettuce and very finely sliced half moons of onion into the dressing.
5.  When water is boiling, chuck in the pasta and cook for 4 minutes until al dente.
6.  Grill prawns in hot pan.
7.  When the pasta is done, drain and stir in pesto.  Toss the salad.

Serve, scoff ...   then get the opinions written above ... thinking about it now - I think this pasta/pesto combo would be AMAZING with a good steak.  (Sorry vegetarians!)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Veggie chilli, guacamole - rice and tortilla chips

Another bitterly cold day so I thought we deserved a bit a warming comforting summat.  Also, there was an avocado from the veg box which needed using up - so, why not a bit of chilli?

Veggie Chilli
Olive oil
red pepper
mixed herbs
chilli flakes
green beans
turkish beans
red kidney beans
vegan bouillon
salt and pepper

basmati rice

red onion
juice of half a lemon

tortilla chips
natural yogurt (or sour cream)

It takes about 45 minutes, start to finish ... but you could let it simmer away happily for longer if you were busy with something else.

1.  Soften chopped onion in olive oil.
2.  Add chopped carrots, red pepper and green beans with the crushed garlic.
3.  Turn all the veg over in the pan for a couple of minutes, then add a good pinch of mixed herbs and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.
4.  Add a teaspoon of bouillon powder and about a pint of water.  Simmer.
6.  Put the rice on - I put it in a cast iron pot, cover with water to an inch above the surface, bring to the simmer, cover and pop into a coolish oven.  This will wait patiently until you are ready.
5.  Add a tin of turkish beans (like greek giant beans, but a bit smaller - in a tasty tomato sauce).  Add a drained tin of kidney beans.  Simmer for another 20 minutes, adding water and seasoning as necessary.
6. While it's simmering chuck together the guacamole - chop a red onion, finely.  Chop a tomato and add to the onion.  Scoop the flesh out of the avocado and add that too - squish the mixture with a spoon.  Squirt on the juice of half a lemon - mix and keep covered, in the fridge, until you are ready to eat.
7. 5 minutes before serving pop the tortilla chips into the oven in an oven proof dish, to warm through.
8.  Serve, scoff - adding yogurt if you wish.  Grated cheese would be another possible garnish.

Lovely!  Would have been vegan except that I am not vegan, and I like the coolness of the yogurt.  The guacamole was particularly well received, as there was a bit of a crunch left in it - and we like that :)

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Pan fried cod, with garlic and rosemary mini roast potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Sometimes, when you have a real quality product - less is more.  So, I decided to treat the cod really simply and just to fry it at the last minutes (oil the fish not the pan) ... but had enough time to make crispy baby roast garlic and rosemary potatoes.  This gave me enough time to finish off a bit of paperwork before I steamed the veg and fried the fish.

olive oil
green beans
cod fillets
salt and pepper

1.  Cut the potatoes into 1cm(ish) cubes and par boil.  
2.  Prep the veg (ie. peel the carrots) and chop the veg into bite sized pieces.
3.  Put some olive oil in an oven dish, and heat it for a few minutes, ready for the potatoes.
3.  When the potatoes are al dente ... or not quite done - drain them - chuck them into the prepared dish.  Add rosemary and crushed garlic, and salt and pepper.  Turn in the oil so that every piece has a light coating of oil and herbs.  Stick back into a fairly hot oven for 35-45 minutes.
4.  Do the stuff you need to do ... 15 minutes before dinner is required - steam the veg.
5.  5 minutes before dinner is required fry the cod in a hot pan - as I said before, oil the fidh, not the pan - but make sure the pan is hot - fry skin side down first for 2(ish) minutes turn over and finish off.

Serve and scoff!  Delicious.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Shepherdess pie

 Drizzly (again) ... cold (again, but it is January, so that's reasonable) ... and MORE kale in the fridge from the veg box - but this was DELICIOUS!  Really, let me boast, it was great!

This is what I used:-

olive oil
red pepper
green beans
brown lentils
red wine
bouillon powder
grainy mustard
mixed herbs
chilli flakes
soya spread/butter

1.  Peel and chop potatoes, put onto boil .. for about 12 minutes, ie. until ready to mash.
2.  Chop onion, sautee in olive oil, after a few minutes add chopped pepper, crushed garlic and chopped green beans.  Stir around.
3.  Add brown lentils, and then about a pint of water.
4.  Sprinkle on bouillon powder (or scrunch in a stock cube) add herbs, a spoonful of mustard and a pinch of chilli flakes.
5.  Simmer a little, add mushrooms and keep simmering until done (about 30 minutes)
6.  Test potatoes, when ready, drain and mash.
7.  Put lentils in an oven proof dish, top with potatoes and bake for 30 minutes (its always ish ...) until the top is golden.
8.  Chop kale, removing tough stems, put into oven proof dish with a spoonful of water - cover with cling film and microwave for 2 minutes.
9.  Scoff