Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Sausage casserole

Sausage casserole for veggies and meat eaters alike - made deliciously tasty using some Spicy Ragu mix … a bit hotter than you might think, so go carefully.

Olive oil
Sausages - meaty and veggie
Spicy Ragu mix
Wholegrain mustard
Tin chopped tomatoes

1.  Sautee chopped onion and garlic in olive oil, in two separate pans - one for the veggie and one for the meaty.
2.  Add the sausages to the appropriate pans and brown.  Give them a few minutes, then turn them, so that they are brown on all sides.
3.  Add chopped veg to the browned sausages, then add a couple of teaspoons of spicy ragu mix and a teaspoon of mustard.
4.  Stir in, then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and the same of water to each pan.
5.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the sausages are cooked through.
6.  Serve, with whatever, we had boiled new potatoes and some had grated cheese on top, scoff.

Smoked mackerel, courgette and green bean pasta

Cheap, quick and healthy - can't beat it.  All ingredients (except frozen peas) available at Tod market.  Mackerel from Paul outside, veg from Kev outside and everything else from The Mediterranean Pantry inside.

Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Green beans
Frozen peas
Pasta (GF, or otherwise)
Smoked mackerel

1.  Gently fry chopped onion in olive oil until soft, then add courgette and garlic and continue to cook until courgette is soft, stirring occasionally.
2.  Cut green beans into bite sized pieces and place in a steamer pan.
3.  Boil the kettle, pour boiling water into a pan, bring back to the boil and add pasta and a pinch of salt.
4.  Steam the beans over the pasta, after 5 minutes add frozen peas.
5.  Break the mackerel into bite sized flakes, discarding the skin.
6.  When the pasta is done, drain and then throw in all the other ingredients and stir.
7.  Serve, scoff

Under 20 minutes and under £1 per portion.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Cauliflower and hazelnut carbonara

This "carbonara" has no cream, but is still silky smooth and luxurious. The idea is that the hot pasta cooks the egg, making the sauce for the pasta.  I would use 1 egg per 2 portions. We used gluten free pasta, but obviously you could use "normal".  The nuts add a lovely crunchy sweetness.  It's quick too!

Olive oil
Soya milk (or normal milk, or single cream)
Parmesan (or other hard cheese)

1.  Break the cauliflower into florets, slice mushrooms into thickish slices, peel and roughly chop peeled garlic cloves.  Toss in olive oil and roast, at 180, for about 30 minutes.
2.  Roughly chop (or zizz in a food processor) a good handful of hazelnuts.  Grate parmesan.
3.  Whisk egg with a fork.
4.  Boil pasta - when it is done, drain, add roast veg and stir in the egg - quickly.  If it looks like it is going a bit dry add a splosh of soya milk.
5.  Chuck in the grated cheese, mix in.  (If you think it's a little cold by now put it in the oven for 5 minutes).
6.  Serve, sprinkle the top with hazelnuts and a healthy grind of black pepper. Add a simple green salad.
7.  Scoff, sigh … scoff seconds.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Feta stuffed courgette, tomato and garlic green beans

Making the most of the lovely summer vegetables … today courgettes and green beans.  The feta added to the courgette adds a lovely salty sharpness.

Olive oil
red onion
green beans
cherry tomatoes
new potatoes

1.  Cut the courgettes in half length ways, scoop out the central flesh with a spoon.  Dice this flesh finely.
2.  Finely chop a red onion, mix with the courgette flesh, a good pinch of oregano and a splosh of olive oil.  Mix well, squishing the courgette and onion together.  Fold in chunks of feta.
3.  Heap the mix back into the courgettes.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes.
4.  Top and tail beans, and cut into bite sized pieces.  Splosh a little olive oil into a frying pan - add beans, cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic and a cup of water.  Bring to the simmer and cook for about 15 minutes (add a little more water if it looks like its going dry).  The tomatoes will split - I usually help them along by squishing them with a spatula.
5.  Boil/steam new potatoes.
6.  Serve, scoff  … lovely summery goodness.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Fish curry

Fancy a taste more exotic.  Todmorden market still has it all!  Oriental Foods, The Mediterranean Pantry, Paul the fish and Kev for the veg … this whole easy, but very tasty, dinner was sourced from Tod market.

Coconut oil
Red onion
Malaysian curry paste
Curry leaves
Red pepper
Green beans
Coconut milk
Basmati rice

1.  Cook rice - I cook it in a heavy cast iron pot, cover with water + 1 inch of water over the surface of the rice, bring to the boil, put the lid on and turn it down as far as possible - leave to cook until all the water has been absorbed.
2.  Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in coconut oil.
3.  Add curry paste and a small handful of curry leaves, to the onions and stir in. Cook for a minute or so, and then add chopped veg.
4.  When the veg have softened a little add a tin of coconut milk and half a tin of water, simmer.
5.  When the veg is nearly done add chunks of haddock, simmer again for about 7 minutes.
6.  Serve, scoff …

Friday, 20 July 2018

Todmorden tapas

This glorious summer continues, and dinner needs to be less pie and mash and more colourful vibrant mixtures, but not just boring salads.  A few minutes and a scout around the market, and some chopping can bring you this …

Garlic mushrooms
Jamaican jerk chicken
Vinci olives
Green beans
Baby spinach


Red peppers
Red onion
olive oil
white wine

Sautee chopped onions and crushed garlic until soft, add chopped peppers and tomatoes and cook down, add a drop of water and some wine when it looks like it is going dry.  Cook until peppers are soft.

Garlic mushrooms

Gently fry mushrooms in olive oil and butter, add a splash of cognac and a grind of black pepper.

Jamaican jerk chicken

Mix together a spoonful of natural yogurt, a spoonful of olive oil and a spoonful of Jamaican jerk seasoning.  Toss chicken in the mixture and fry for about 6 minutes, turning frequently until cooked.

Fry halloumi, steam beans and toast pitta.

Done --- serve, and scoff … the beauty being that people can have exactly the mixture which they want.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Seared scallops, with roe sauce, garlic beans and herby courgettes

The picture really does not do this justice - it was delicious.

We found some lovely looking scallops in Leeds, with the coral attached - this is quite unusual these days, so I thought we would treat ourselves.  And, what a treat it was!

Olive oil
Red onion
New potatoes
Green beans
Tuscan mix

Make the sauce first, then half prep things, then finish off with the scallops.

1.  Finely chop a red onion, and crush a couple of cloves of garlic.
2.  Sautee half the onion and half the garlic gently in a mixture of olive oil and butter, until they are soft.
3.  Put the other half of the onion, with a good pinch of salt, in a big bowl, with some olive oil - into which you mix the hot potatoes when they are ready.
4.  Put the other half of the garlic into a small frying pan with a knob of butter, which you will melt and add to the green beans when they are done.
5.  Chop courgettes, put into a bag with a spoon of Tuscan mix, jiggle it about until they are all covered, they add in a glug of olive oil, and jiggle it about again.
6.  Separate the coral from the scallops and rinse both parts gently.
7.  Add a glug of cognac to the softened onions and garlic, then add the corals.  Cook for about 3 minutes.
8.  Boil new potatoes, steam prepped beans on top.
9.  Transfer coral mixture to a small blender, add a grind of black pepper and a squirt of lemon juice.  Zizz until fairly smooth.
10.  Griddle the courgettes, for a couple of minutes each side, then keep warm.
11.  Sear the scallops in a hot pan for a minutes or two each side.
12.  Toss the beans in garlic butter, and the potatoes in chopped onion.
13.  Serve, scoff

… have seconds, and then thirds.

Sunday, 8 July 2018


This amazing long hot summer continues, and I am enjoying myself cooking in the garden.

I got a load of bargain smoked haddock from Paul the fish on Saturday, and with a houseful, decided on this delicious kedgeree.  It was well received by all;  most of us had seconds, one person had thirds.

Basmati rice
Smoked haddock
Coconut oil
Curry powder
red pepper
frozen peas
Baby spinach

1.  Prepare the main bits - cook rice, boil and peel eggs and poach the fish.
2.  Pull the dish together.  Fry chopped onions, garlic in spices until onions are nearly translucent.  Add vegetables and a little water, cook until the veg are done.
3.  Add cooked rice, flake in cooked fish and stir around gently.  Cook for about 4 minutes.
4.  Add frozen peas and baby spinach - stir them in until spinach is wilted - again about 5 minutes.
5.  Top with boiled eggs.
6.  Serve, scoff.....

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Spanish feast ... innit

We had a house full ... which is fabulous ... but it's also a very, very sad time here.

No details, this is not the place...

But we needed a cheering dinner to suit - veggie, veg dodger, lactose intolerant and gf .... so I came up with this... chorizo and pork casserole, butter bean casserole and potato wedges... we ALL loved it

Olive oil

red pepper
pork loin steaks/diced pork
butter beans
dry sherry (optional)
tin of chopped tomatoes

1.  Start off with the potatoes - cut them into wedges and toss them in olive oil - then roast - at about 180, for about 45 minutes.
2.  Start the two stews ... sautee chopped onion and garlic until soft.
3.  Split the cooked onion and garlic into 2 pans and add the other ingredients to each ... 1 veggie - 1 meaty.
4.  So for the veggie - red pepper and mushrooms.
5.  for the meaty - chopped  chorizo and pork ... cook them both, stirring so they dont stick for about 5 minutes.
6.  Then add ... to the veggies a tin of drained butter beans, to the meaty a splash of dry sherry.  Simmer.
7.   Split a tin of chopped tomatoes between the two pans, add some stock and simmer away.
8.  Chop the cabbage into slices (not shredded, but not chunks)  .. chuck it into the veg stew.
9.  Serve, scoff ... yum

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Pistachio and parmesan crusted roast haddock

Oven chips and leftover salad made up the rest of the dinner, so to call this a recipe is a bit of an overstatement ... however, it was very good.

Olive oil
White wine

Splosh some olive oil into an oven dish and lay the fish on top.  Roughly chop an handful of pistachios and grate on some parmesan, mix the two together and press onto the top of the fish.  Drizzle a little white wine around the fish - just to help it steam, and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for 12-15 minutes.