Thursday, 5 September 2019

Cauliflower cheese, roast vegetables and bacon wrapped chicken breast

Today was a day when we needed comfort food - so we have an ENORMOUS cauliflower, in cheese sauce with a breadcrumb topping - with some roast potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and red onion.  For the veg dodger (who didn't dodge this veg) we also had bacon wrapped chicken breast.

Olive oil
Red onion
Chicken breasts
Soya milk

1.  Grate shed loads of cheese.
2.  Scrub potatoes and chop into chunks, roast at 180 for about 20 minutes.
3.  Break cauliflower into florets and steam - for about 15 minutes.
4.  Peel carrots, chop mushrooms into quarters and red onions into wedges.  Add some lightly crushed garlic cloves and put into the baking tray with the potatoes.  Stir them around and pop back into the oven for 40 minutes.
5.  Wrap chicken breasts in bacon, roast for 30 minutes.
6.  Make cheese sauce.  Heat soya milk, when nearly boiling add slaked cornflour (cornflour mixed with enough water to produce a loose paste) and stir.  When the sauce starts to thicken add most of the grated cheese.  Keep stirring until cheese is dissolved and sauce is thick.
7.  Transfer cauliflower to oven dish, pour on sauce - top with breadcrumbs mixed with the rest of the cheese.  Pop in the oven to brown for 20 minutes.
8.  Serve, scoff - it was delicious.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

True Grit

Film night at KitchenFairies HQ again.  Tonight the choice was True Grit.  The only food mentioned in the film is sofkee - which seems to be some kind of sweetcorn porridge, sometimes made with bacon and chillies.  However, none of us are fans of sweetcorn - and that just sounds like really, really earnest - so, I chose a maize product that we do like - nachos and paired it with veggie chilli - with sour cream, cheese and guacamole, as I thought that was wild west enough.  I also did some burgers for the veg dodger.  It was delicious.


Olive oil
Cumin seeds
Chilli flakes
Red pepper
Red kidney beans
Butter beans
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Dark chocolate
Lime juice

Sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips to serve.


Red onion
Lime juice

1.  Chop onions, crush garlic and fry gently.  Then add a pinch of cumin seeds, some crushed chilli and the rest of the chopped mushrooms, courgette and red pepper.
2.  Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the softened vegetables.  Add a pint or so of vegetable stock and simmer, add a pinch of oregano.
3.  Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and simmer.
4.  Five minutes before serving add dark chocolate and allow to melt in, then spritz with lime juice just before serving.
5.  Make the guacamole by chopping the avocado flesh, half a red onion and a ripe tomato.  Mix and add the juice of half a lime.
6.  Heat tortilla chips by covering in foil and putting in the oven for 5 minutes.
7.  Serve, with sour cream and grated cheese.  Scoff.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Spiced lamb, mushroom and pea curry, dhal and rice

Oops - I forgot to take a picture of this dinner before people dived in - but there were some leftovers, so I took a quick snap of them.  The thing which really was a shame to miss were the lovely spiced lamb steaks - but hey ho!

Lamb steaks
Natural yogurt
Curry mix (bassar masala in our case)
Red lentils
mustard seeds
fennel seeds
cumin seeds

1.  Marinade the lamb steaks in spices mixed into yogurt.
2.  Put both the rice and lentils on to boil.
3.  Fry chopped onion, crushed garlic and various spices, fry off for a few minutes, then add chopped mushrooms.  After they have fried for a few minutes add some water and some finely chopped potato (the potato softens and helps form a sauce).
4.  When curry is nearly done add the peas, and fry the lamb steaks.
5.  Finally make a tarka for the dhal by frying spices of your choice in oil, chuck over the dhal as you take it all to the table.
6.  Serve, scoff … you might want to blob on some natural yogurt too.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Salad nicoise

A sunny day deserved a sunny dinner - so salad nicoise - dead easy, very delicious.

New potatoes
Green beans
Asparagus (not entirely authentic, but I like it)
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Wholegrain mustard
Salad leaves
Baby plum tomatoes
Spring onion
Tinned tuna

1.  Boil potatoes, steam beans and asparagus on top.
2.  Boil eggs.
3.  Make dressing by whisking mustard, crushed garlic a little olive oil and vinegar.
4.  Chop tomatoes and spring onion, toss together.
5.  When everything is cooked, drain potatoes and tuna, peel eggs, toss warm beans in dressing and assemble.
6.  Serve, scoff ...

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Steak, tofu and vegetable chow mein

Ringing the changes a bit at Kitchen Fairies HQ tonight - steak for the carnivores, tofu for the vegetarians and vegetable chow mein and jasmine rice for all of us.

Jasmine rice
Spring onion
Yellow pepper
Green beans
Ground nut oil
Chilli flakes
Bean sprouts
Soya sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Sesame oil
Pak choi
ready to wok noodles

1.  Remove tofu from packaging and press - ie.  put it in a dish, put a plate on top and weight it down with a large tin  Leave for a few hours.
2.  Put jasmine rice on to cook - I use the adsorption method - 1 cup rice, 1 cup water - bring to the boil, bang the lid on and turn right down.  Ready in about 15 minutes.
3.  Chop all vegetables into smallish pieces.  Put wok on high heat and add a splash of groundnut oil.
Crush garlic and finely chop ginger, add to wok with chilli flakes and the first batch of chopped vegetables.  Stir fry.
4.  Cut tofu into pieces, fry lightly on both sides, remove from the heat.
5.  Splash soya sauce, wine vinegar and a little sesame oil into the vegetables, with a small cup of water - continue to stir fry.
6.  Cook steak, on a high heat - turn after a couple of minutes - cook both sides - bring out of the pan and leave to rest.
7.  Finish the vegetables by adding noodles, beansprouts and chopped pak choi - also stirring in a little slaked cornflour to thicken the sauce slightly.
8.  Finish the tofu by tossing in the pan with soya sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil.
9.  Serve, scoff … seconds .

Friday, 28 June 2019

The ration challenge: day 7

I've done it!  7 days eating the same rations as are available to a Syrian refugee in a refugee camp.  Hats off to the people who put the packs together because I think it is nutritionally sound - albeit somewhat monotonous.  I'm sure that the Syrian families share and share about the extras they get to make their dinners more interesting - but this was an enlightening challenge to do.  Tonight I had dhal (basically boiled lentils - I had some garlic so added that, and stirred in some roasted red pepper at the end), rice, and a dollop of (earned) natural yoghurt.  I have been sponsored to the tune of £510+ which will go directly to providing life saving food, health care and education to these families who have been ripped from their homes through no fault of their own.  All strength to them.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The Ration Challenge: Day 5

 Day 5 or the Ration Challenge (eating for a week on the rations available for a Syrian refugee, for those who haven't seen my recent posts).  The diet really is quite monotonous - to get your calories in it is heavily rice biased.  Easy enough for a week - but it must get very boring week after week.  To make it more acceptable/realistic you get to earn teabags/a vegetable/a spice and some protein by getting certain levels of sponsorship - fortunately, due to the generosity of my sponsors I could add to my rations (for the week) 36 teabags, 1 pot natural yogurt, garlic and a roasted red pepper.
Eeking out the pepper and yogurt means that I could make lovely garlicky humous and soft flatbreads to go with my rice and spoonful of roasted red pepper.  It was tasty, too!.

vegetable oil
red pepper

1.  Make the flatbread dough by kneading together the flour, a pinch of sale, spoonful of yogurt, splash of oil and a couple of spoons of cold water.  Set aside.
2.  Cook the rice - fry briefly in oil, then simmer in water, with a pinch of salt.
3.  Make the humous by zizzing soaked, cooked chickpeas with a coarsely chopped clove of garlic, a spoonful of natural yogurt, a splosh of oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of water.
4.  Roll out and fry the flatbreads.
5.  Serve, with strips of red pepper, and scoff.
6.  Be thankful that this is for a week, not months on end!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

The ration challenge: day 3: Flatbread, refried beans and red pepper, rice

Day 3 of the ration challenge.  This was actually the beginnings of a meal, instead of just rice and beans - as I added some red pepper (earned vegetable) and garlic (earned spice) - and made some flatbread.  It really was quite tasty.

Vegetable oil
red kidney beans
roasted red pepper

1.  Fry some rice in a little oil until every grain is coated, then add water and simmer, with a pinch of salt.
2.  Make dough for flatbreads by mixing together flour,  a pinch of salt, a spoonful of oil and enough water to form a dough.  Kneed until it holds together and a dough.
3.  Squish red kidney beans with a fork, add crushed garlic and chopped roasted red pepper - fry gently, add a little water to make a sauce.
4.  Dry fry the flatbread.
5.  Serve, scoff.

Friday, 21 June 2019

The Ration Challenge

This week I am joining in with The Ration Challenge - which is an International charity event to show refugees that we are with them.  The deal is I eat like a Syrian refugee for a week - in the hope that I can raise some sponsorship money - which goes to those is desperate situations - towards food, health care and education.  To find out more about it - and to sponsor me, if you would like to follow this link

So far today I have had 2 cups of black tea and a bowl of rice.  I think the hardest this is going to be that its all quite dry!  Dinner is rice and some red kidney beans.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Great Gatsby night

 Here at KitchenFairies HQ we can sometimes be a bit daft.  Current daftness includes pairing dinner to a movie … then watching the movie.  Tonight was The Great Gatsby - so in honour of the excesses of the time .. we had champagne - spiced roast ham, salmon, roasted red onions in red wine, baby potatoes and tender stem broccoli.  Probably not what was served in the mansion, but we wanted a meal, not canapes … and there were enough bubbles to make the point!
Roast ham - about 20 minutes per 450g, at 180, plus another 20.  After an hour glaze with spiced apple jelly.  Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Red onions - peel and chop into eight wedges - put in an oven dish with a splash of olive oil and about half a glass of red wine - bake for about an hour.

Place salmon fillets on sliced lemon, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Boil potatoes, steam broccoli on top.

Serve, scoff … enjoy the film … well, most of it, really quite depressing at the end!