Saturday, 3 December 2016

Plaice with a shrimp and garlic sauce

Paul the fish on Todmorden market has confirmed our Friday is fish day habits as his fish is so consistently fantastic..  There is no religious significance to this, but it has developed into a thing ... and today I choose plaice and to jazz it up a bit with a buttery, garlicy shrimp sauce.

Olive oil
Black pepper
Frozen peas

1.  Roast chopped potatoes in olive oil.
2.  Chat ... there's nothing to do until 10 minutes before you eat.
3.  Fry the plaice gently in a mix of butter and oil (to stop it burning) for a a couple of minutes on each side - keep warm in the oven.
4.  Boil peas.
5.  Briefly fry crushed garlic and peas in butter and oil in the fish pan - pour over the fish.
6.  Serve, scoff

Friday, 2 December 2016

Vegetable cheese with mini roasties

How do you get veg into a veg dodger?  Particularly "but it's not even Christmas" sprouts.  Smother it in cheese sauce, that's how.

Mini "roasties"

Chop potatoes and roast in hot oil for about 50 minutes.

For veg

Flour (gf for us)
Milk (Soya for us)
Wholegrain mustard

Steam the veg.
Make a roux by melting the butter, then stirring in the flour until smooth.  Gradually add milk, keep stirring until sauce thickens and is smooth - using a whisk helps reduce lumps.  Add a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and shed loads of grated cheese.
Put the veg in an oven dish, top with even more grated cheese and bake while the potatoes finish.
Serve, scoff, watch veg dodger have thirds.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Prawn paella

Open fridge, scratch head, shut fridge.  Open fridge again ... leek, red pepper, green beans, half a bag of spinach and some mushrooms ... add rice, frozen prawns and a tin of tomatoes and you have "paella", or something resembling it - not too shabby for a mid-week tea.

Veg available from Garry on the outside market, rice and spices from The Mediterranean Pantry - fresh prawns from Paul the Fish (or frozen).

Olive oil
red pepper
short grain rice
chilli flakes
mixed herbs
king prawns

1.  Sautee chopped leek and onion in olive oil, add crushed garlic when it's soft.
2.  Add chopped red pepper, cook for a minute or so.
3.  Soften a pinch of saffron in a dropof warm water.
4.  Add a good handful of rice to the pan, turn over in the oil so that every grain is coated.
5.  Add saffron water, chilli flakes and herbs and a pint or so of stock, stir in.
6.  Simmer gently, add chopped mushrooms and a tin of chopped tomatoes.  Stir now and again to stop it sticking.
7.  Defrost prawns in hot water, drain.
8.  Test the rice, season - when it's nearly done add in prawns and a big handful of spinach.  Turn it over in the pan.
9.  The prawns will cook in about 2 minutes.
10.  Serve, scoff ... have seconds.

Friday, 25 November 2016


Or should we say woman vs food!

We don't have fajitas very often, so I thought I would try to pull off the full monty - though I stopped short of a slaw as there were actually only 3 of us, and I had gathered enough for about 6!  Also, the cold did not put any of us in the mood for salad.

So - wraps - tortilla wraps from the packet warmed up for non-gf people ... homemade gf chapatti for gf person.  I tried both - the gf version was considerably nicer.

Rice - I happened to have some 7 grain wholegrain microwavable handy, so used that  - but any rice would be fine.

Refried beans:

Sweat leeks and garlic in olive oil, add cumin and a pinch of chilli flakes.  Drain a tin of red kidney beans and add, along with half a cup of water.  Simmer gently.  If I had any fresh herbs I would have added at the end - I didn't so just a spritz of lime juice, salt and pepper and a squish with a masher and they're done.

Red peppers:

Sweat leeks and garlic in olive oil, add a few mixed herbs and sliced red pepper.  Fry - let the peppers char slightly to get a nice smoky flavour, add a little water to allow them to soften without burning.

Fajita chicken:

Marinade chicken pieces in fajita seasoning and olive oil, I used thighs cut into strips, but some would prefer breast.  Fry until slightly crispy on the edges.  The veggie alternative was halloumi in fajita seasoning fried until slightly golden.


Very finely dice a small onion, cut avocado into small pieces, or crush with a fork, add diced tomato and a spritz of lime.

Sour cream
Grated cheddar

(If you are making homemade chappatis make the dough first - gf flour, natural yogurt and enough water to kneed into a dough)

1.  Start with the refried beans.
2.  Then the peppers.
3.  Marinade the chicken and make the guacamole.
4.  Keep an eye on the stove top mixtures, marinade the halloumi.
5. Grate the cheese
6.  Warm the bread, make the chappatis.
7.  Serve, stack ... try to roll greedy sized thing up, spill it all down your front!  Delicious.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Mackerel with colcannon

Paul the fish had some lovely mackerel, and it is very cold ... we needed mash.  Supercharged it with cabbage to get some veg into the veg dodger.  Delicious.

Olive oil

1.  Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle on salt and roast in the oven.
2.  Boil potatoes, steam shredded cabbage above them.
3.  When the potatoes are done mash them, add butter to taste and stir in the cabbage.
4.  Marinade the fish briefly in olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic.  Fry on each side for a couple of minutes.
5.  Serve, scoff

Friday, 18 November 2016

Baked potato with romanesco and mushroom cheese

It looks like a mountain of mush, but it was really tasty.

Meat eaters had a bit of chorizo, veggies didn't ...

All ingredients (except soya milk) available from Todmorden Market.  Cheddar from The Crumbly Cheese, olive oil, mustard, gf flour and chorizo from The Mediterranean Pantry.  Veg from Garry outside.

Olive oil
Romanesco (or cauliflower)
Wholegrain mustard
Flour (GF for us)
Soya milk
Cheddar ... lots

1.  Prick the potatoes with a fork, rub over with olive oil and bake.
2.  Sautee onion in olive oil, when soft add mushrooms.
3.  Steam the romanesco.
4.  Make the cheese sauce by adding a spoonful of flour to the mushroom mixture, mix until it has disappeared into the veg, then add a a spoonful of mustard and the milk (soya for us), mix until a sauce forms.
5.  Add grated cheese to the sauce, stir in the romanesco and put in the oven until potatoes are ready.
6.  At the last minute fry chorizo for the meat eaters.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Chinese tonight: chicken satay, straw mushrooms and beansprouts in oyster sauce and red pepper and cashew stir fry

A little trip into a chinese supermarket gave me the idea, but you can get most of the flavourings from Oriental Foods and me in Todmorden market.

Chicken - legs in this instance
Peanut butter
Sweet chilli sauce
Shaoshin rice wine
Rice wine vinegar
Peanut oil
Spring onions
Straw mushrooms
Oyster sauce
Soya sauce
Red pepper
Chinese vegetable (or pak choi)
Cashew nuts

1.  Cook the rice
2.  In an oven dish mix peanut butter with a dash of peanut oil, sweet chilli sauce, chilli and soya sauce.  Coat the chicken in the marinade and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes.
3.  In 2 woks, fry chopped spring onion, garlic and ginger.
4.  For the cashew nut mixture add red pepper, chilli flakes, soya sauce, rice wine vinegar, rice vinegar and stir fry.  Add the chopped vegetable and stir fry again.  Add a little water to create the steam.  Finish by adding slaked cornflour to thicken the sauce and the cashew nuts.
5.  For the mushroom mixture add a tin of straw mushrooms, a tablespoon of oyster sauce and a tiny splash of water, heat through then add beansprouts.  Finish by thickenning the sauce (if required) with a little slaked cornflour.
6.  Serve, scoff ...

This went down very well, but the chicken legs were fiddly, so next time I'll use diced thigh meat on a skewer.

Cauliflower cheese grill, oven chips and a fried egg

Well, sometimes you just have to ... still the egg was home grown.

Recipe:  follow packet instructions, fry an egg.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Healthy fish and chips

Fish and chips - potato wedges and batter with turmeric in it to make it a bit tastier, and quite a lot healthier.

Olive oil
Soya milk
Fennel seeds

1.  Cut potatoes into wedges and roast in olive oil for about 45 minutes.
2.  Make batter by mixing polenta, a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of fennel seeds and egg and enough soya milk to form a batter.
3. Sautee chopped onion in olive oil, add carrot and a little water, simmer.
4. When the potatoes are nearly done dip fish in batter and fry fro a couple of minutes on each side.
5.  Add frozen peas to the veg.
6.  Done, serve, scoff - really very tasty.

Mediterranean Medley

It's not really tapas as the main starting point was Aubergine parmigiana, but it had very much a tapas vibe.

We had:-

Aubergine parmigiana, with provolone
Sauteed potatoes
Smoked anchovy brushetta
Olives and feta
Green lettuce salad

The aubergine parmigiana was the only "recipe" really.

Olive oil

1.  Make a tomato sauce by saauteeing onions and garlic in olive oil - then add chopped tomatoes, simmer until it thickens slightly.
2.  Slice aubergine and griddle on both sides for a few minutes.
3.  Layer the aubergines and sauce in a dish - tomato sauce, aubergine, cheese ... repeat ... top with grated parmesan - cook in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Sautee diced potatoes in olive oil.


Smoked anchovies
Cherry tomatoes
Red onion

Griddle thinly sliced ciabata, top with sliced tomato, finely chopped onion and an anchovy fillet.

Chorizo - chop it and fry it

Lightly dress the salad with good olive oil and lemon juice.