Sunday, 29 November 2020

A scottish feast


Film night at Kitchen Fairies HQ, Macbeth.  

Venison casserole, neeps and tatties with spring greens seemed appropriate.  The venison, however was much more Yorkshire than Scotland - from Bracewell's in Todmorden Market Hall.

Olive oil
Bay leaves
Red wine
Worcestershire sauce
Tinned tomatoes



1.  Gently fry chopped onion in olive oil, add bay leaves and crushed garlic.
2.  Add venison, brown slightly.  Sprinkle with flour and fry for a minute or so.
3.  Add chopped carrots and mushrooms, then half a bottle of red wine.  Simmer for a few minutes to let the alcohol evaporate.
4.  Add stock and a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a splash of worcestershire sauce.
5.  Simmer for about 2 hours, adding more stock/water if necessary.
6.  Peel potatoes and swede, and boil.
7.  Mash potatoes and swede with butter, and plenty of black pepper.  If there is time pop into the oven to brown the top.
8.  Steam the cabbage.
9.  Serve, scoff.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Squib pie


Film night at KitchenFairies HQ again - which means firing up the imagination (and Google).  The film was Official Secrets, and the whistleblower was employed by GCHQ - so I found some traditional Gloucestershire recipes.  Well one (and adapted it a bit) - and we had double gloucester and crackers for "pudding".

The traditional squib pie would have been made with mutton, onions and apples - flavoured with nutmeg - and baked for 2 hours.

We don't like pudding with dinner so omitted nutmeg, but I did include the apple - bulked it out a bit with swede and potato.  It worked very well!

Olive oil
Diced lamb

Plain yogurt

1.  Sweat off chopped onion in olive oil.
2.  Add diced lamb and brown a bit.
3.  Chop swede, potato and apples into small dice, add to the meat mixture.  Season.
4.  Stir and cook a bit, then add a spoonful of flour and sir in - to help thicken the gravy.  Pour in a pint or so of stock and simmer until its cooked.
5.  Meanwhile make the pastry, rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, add a spoonful of plain yogurt and work into a paste.  Chill for at least 30 mins.
6.  Keep stirring the meat mixture.  When it's reduced down transfer to a pie dish, cover with foil, and put in a medium oven to keep cooking gently.
7.  Roll out pastry and cover the meat mixture with it.  Wash with soya milk (or dairy milk).
8.  Bake at 180 for 35-40 minutes.
9.  Steam carrots and cabbage.
10.  Serve, scoff ... was delicious.

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Bobotie with geelrys


It was film night again, at Kitchenfairies HQ.  Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom. So, I thought I would make the South African national dish - Bobotie.  I had never made it before, and have an aversion to "pudding with me dinner" ie. sweet in savoury, so I toned down the fruitiness - but kept some.  I was also a bit wary of savoury custard over the spiced mince, but it works well.  The traditional accompanying geelrys also usually has dried fruit in it - that would have taken me over the edge - so perhaps this was really more of a pilau.  It was delish all the same.


Olive oil
Butternut squash
Minced beef
Curry powder
Grated apple
Mango chutney
Worcestershire sauce
Frozen peas

Soya milk (or dairy milk, if you're not lactose intolerant)
Bay leaves
4 eggs


Olive oil
Basmati rice

1.  Soften chopped onion and garlic in olive oil.
2.  Peel butternut squash and cut into small dice, add to the onion.
3.  Add minced meat to the vegetables and brown.
4.  Add curry powder to taste (I used mild caribbean, with a little black pepper) and keep cooking.  Add stock and simmer for a few minutes.
5.  Heat soya milk with a few bay leaves.
6.  Add grated apple and a couple of big spoons full of mango chutney to the meet.  Simmer again.  When the mince is just about done add a handful of frozen peas and a good splash of worcestershire sauce, stir in.
7.  Transfer to and oven dish and bake at 180 for about 20 minutes.
8.  Start the geelrys by frying finely chopped onion in olive oil.  Add cinnamon and turmeric, then add basmati rice and turn in the spice mixture until every grain is coated.  Add stock to 1 inch about the surface of the and bring to the boil.  Ass soon as it hits the boil, slam on the lid and turn it down as far as it will go.
7.  As soon as the milk hits the boil turn it off, remove the bay leaves, and let it cool a little.  Whip together the eggs.
8.  Pour the milk onto the eggs and whip together quickly (if the milk is too hot it'll just be scrambled eggs, so do let it cool a bit).  Return to the saucepan and keep whisking as it thickens a bit.
9.  Pour the custard over the meat mixture, and bake for a further 20 minutes.
10.  Serve, scoff, with a bit of salad ... have seconds ... no really - it was fab!  Quite astonishing for something which was pudding with yer dinner.

Monday, 12 October 2020

"Tibetan" beef curry with steamed pak choi

So, film night again at Kitchen Fairies HQ.  The chosen film was Seven Years in Tibet, so I looked into Tibetan cuisine.

Apparently the diet is quite calorific, to cope with the climatic conditions, and there is quite a lot of meat included.  There is an absence of yak around these parts, so I made a stew with shin of beef instead.  Also, I was surprised to learn that a lot of root vegetables are used.

Less surprising, possibly, is that there is a real combination of spices used, both from Chinese and Indian influences.  Anyway, this is what I invented, and it was tasty.

coconut oil
shin of beef, cubed
soy sauce
oyster sauce
rice wine
rice wine vinegar
butternut squash
chicken stock
new potatoes
pak choi

1.  Sautee chopped onion in coconut oil.  Add garlic, ginger and cumin seeds.
2.  Add cubed beef and brown off.
3.  Add soya sauce, oyster sauce, rice, wine, rice wine vinegar and chilli flakes.
4.  Add a little water and simmer for a while.
5.  Prep celeriac, carrots and butternut squash - cut into fairly even sized pieces and add to the meat mixture.
6.  Simmer again, after adding chicken stock and a few chopped tomatoes, for about 2 hours.
7.  Boil new potatoes in a separate pan.  When they are nearly done, strain and add to the stew, simmer for another 20 minutes.
8.  Chop pak choi - steam the soft leaves, and add the white stalk to the stew.
9.  Serve, scoff ... it was very tasty, the beef just melting!

I'm not sure how authentic it was, but it was a decent invention.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Pork chops, in a mustard cream sauce, sauteed new potatoes and carrots, peas parisienne


Well , the photo is a disappointment, but the dinner wasn't!  It was film night at KitchenFairies HQ, and I try to theme the dinner with the film.  The film was "Hugo" ... the connection was that the film was set in Gare du Nord, Paris - so it was French Bistro food.

Also, I have no idea if peas parisienne have any authenticity to them - it's just what I have always called leeks, peas and lettuce cooked this way.

Pork loin chops
Olive oil
Meat seasoning (black pepper, garlic, celery salt, paprika)

New potatoes

white wine
Little gem lettuce

Chicken stock
Dijon mustard

1.  Rub the pork loin chops with the seasoning and olive oil, set aside for an hour.
2.  Peel new potatoes and carrots, cut potatoes in to quarters, length wise, and the carrots into diagonal chunks.
3.  Wash and shred leeks.
4.  In a heavy frying pan with a lid melt butter (lots ... twice as much as you think you need) and add the potatoes, carrots and cup of water.  Put the lid on and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5.  Take the lid off the potatoes and simmer off most of the water.
6.  Sweat the leek off in olive oil, add crushed garlic.
7.  20 minutes to go ... heat butter and olive oil in a frying pan, when hot add the chops and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
8.  Stir the potatoes and carrots, put the lid back on and let them crisp up.  Shake about every 3 minutes to stop them catching.
9.  Remove chops from the pan, add white wine to the pan, with a little chicken stock and a teaspoon of dijon mustard, stir and simmer.  Add cream.  Put chops back into the sauce and keep on a low heat.
10.  Add frozen peas and wedges of little gem lettuce to the leeks, add a splash of white wine.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Add a drop of cream.
11.  Serve, scoff ... it was delicious!  really rich - but fabulous.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Pork and beans with pasta

 An exercise in using up the veg and pasta oddments.

  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Fajita spice mix
  • Mushrooms
  • Green beans
  • Yellow pepper
  • Pork chops
  • Tomatoes
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • BBQ sauce
  • Sweetcorn
  • Flour
  • Cannellini beans
  • Pasta
  • Grated cheese
1.  Sautee chopped onion in olive oil.
2.  When onion is softening, add garlic, spices and other chopped vegetables.  After a few minutes move them to the edge of the pan.
3.  Chop pork into bite sized pieces and add to the pan, stirring so that they get the heat from the bottom of the pan.
4.  Keep cooking for 10 minutes or so, then add chopped tomatoes, mustard, BBQ sauce and sweetcorn.  Stir in.
5.  Add a spoonful of flour to thicken the sauce, stir in until you can't see it any more, then add water or stock.
6.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
7.  Cook pasta.
8.  Add tinned beans, stir in and heat through.
9.  When it's ready mix pasta into sauce, serve, with grated cheese an dscoff.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Camping breakfast


Left KitchenFairies HQ for a short camping break - so cheese dreams and baked beans for breakfast.  Easy, but delicious.

Olive oil
Sliced bread
Cheddar cheese
Baked beans

1.  Butter bread, make sandwiches with sliced cheese.  Cut into quarters.
2.  Whisk eggs, dunk sandwiches into eggs, seal on all sides.
3.  Fry cheese dreams in olive oil and butter.   Turn over and cook on the other side.
4.  Stack cheese dreams to make room for the beans, add beans and heat through.
5.  Serve, scoff ... don't laugh, it was fab and very welcome.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Stuffed pork chops, chips & beans


There's a thing about this home delivery malarky which means you kind of loose the "oh that looks nice, what should I do with that?" Don't get me wrong I also support my local shops and market.

So today, the veg box comes tomorrow - the outside market opens on Wednesday - so it was very much - what have we got?  and trying to do something a tiny bit different ...

So - cheese and mustard stuffed pork chops, coated in breadcrumbs - frozen chips, steamed green beans and baked beans.  Surprisingly, it worked well - and it got some green things into the veg dodger!

Pork chops
Mixed herbs
Whole grain mustard
Sliced cheese (maasadam)
Olive oil

Frozen chips

Green beans
Baked beans

1.  Bash the pork chops out until quite thin (I reckoned on doubled in area, halved in depth)
2.  Match the pork chops up as close as possible to each other.
3.  In the pairs, smear wholegrain mustard on one, top with cheese and plonk the other squished chop on top.
4.  put the chips in the oven.
5.  Squash the pork "sandwich" together, and then pop into flour, dust, and then shake off the excess.
6.  Now add the "glue" - put the porky cheesy thing into whisked eggs, and cover every surface.
7.  Transfer the pork to breadcrumbs seasoned with herbs.  Squish into the breadcrumbs making sure all surfaces are covered.
8.  Chop the green beans, put them over a pan of water to steam, put the baked beans in an oven proof dish in the oven.
9.  Fry the pork in a hot pan - 3 minutes on each side.  Transfer to an oven dish and bake for a further 20 minutes.
10 Serve, scoff ... delish

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Caribbean chicken curry and rice


Movie night at Kitchenfairies HQ ... the film is "Straight Outta Compton" - a wholesome american tale of rap, drugs and alcohol, etc ... but also, dig deeper - Dr Dre (the dj) has dug deep in these troubled times and donated a shed load of money to help feed the community in Compton, joining up with restaurant chain "Everytable" ... and has provided 150K meals to people who need them in his community.  Respect!  This is my interpretation of one of the dishes on the menu.  It were lovely!

Vegetable oil
Caribbean curry spice mix
Green beans
Chicken thighs 
Yellow pepper
Chicken stock
Mango chutney

Basmati rice

Natural yogurt

1.  Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in oil, add in curry powder.  Add chicken thighs, skin side down to brown a little.
2.  Chop all the veg, turn the chicken, chuck veg in the pot, stir.
3.  Add about a pint of chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes, stir in a couple of spoons of mango chutney and simmer again for about 10 minutes.
4.  Cook the rice.
5.  Serve, with natural yogurt, scoff ... 

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Chicken, ham, leek and mushroom pie


This was actually an exercise in using up leftovers, but it was delicious as well as "frugal".  We had chicken left over from some roast chicken thighs and ham left over from BBQ pulled gammon.

I made a sauce using the last of the leeks and mushrooms from the veg box, and some soya milk.  Threw on a pastry lid, bunged some potatoes in the oven, and we finished the coleslaw.

Olive oil
Cooked chicken
Cooked ham
Plain flour
Soya milk

Cold water

1.  Make pastry - rub butter into salted flour.  When it resembles breadcrumbs add a couple of spoons of natural yogurt and a splash of cold water, work together gently to make the pastry.  Form into a ball, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
2.  Fry mushrooms and leeks in olive oil, add cooked meats.
3.  Sprinkle a spoonful of flour into the pie filling mix, coat all of the elements, then add about a muful of soya milk, stir in to form the sauce.
4.  Transfer pie filling to pie dish, roll out pastry and cover the top.  Wash with soya milk.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
5.  Serve, scoff