Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Cauliflower cheese, gammon steak, mini roasties and a few peas

Feasts for a fiver - take 2!

There are a couple of provisos on this - if you get good quality gammon, you might not get that much - but enough for 4 people to have a decent piece.  The frozen peas don't come economically, in small bags - so I have assumed a smallish supermarket bag split into 4 meals (40p x 4), and the soya milk - half a litre.

Potatoes - 80p
Cauliflower - £1
Gammon £1.50
Cheddar £1.50
Soya milk - 33p
Frozen peas - 40p

Total £5.53

This is a tough challenge.  If you can afford to buy in bulk you can shave some pennies off here and there.  We are a veggie - meat eater household - so need protein on both sides - if it was veggie (ie. no gammon ...easy peasy ... if it was gammon - cauliflower without cheese - also easy peasy) ... so, I have exceeded the budget by 53p - and some bits from the larder (olive oil and cornflour).

1.  Chop potatoes into 2cm (ish) cubes, and toss in olive oil.  Roast for 1 hour.
2.  Separate cauliflower into florets and steam for 20 mins.
3.  Heat soya (or dairy) milk.  Grate cheese.
4.  Slake cornflour in a couple of tablespoons of water.  Stir into milk, with the grated cheese to make the sauce.
5.  When the cauliflower is cooked, put in an oven dish, cover with sauce and stick it in the oven with the potatoes.
5.  When the potatoes have been in for 40 mins, stir them around and stick the gammon steaks in the oven.
6.  At about the same time boil the peas.
7.  Serve, scoff ...

Roast vegetables, feta and salad

Feasts for a fiver?  Well, I'll see what I can do.

new potatoes (£1)
cauliflower (£1)
red pepper (55p)
spring onions (55p)
feta (£1.20)
mixed salad leaves (69p)

I had a couple of tomatoes in the fridge, so I chucked them in as well, but they're not necessary.

olive oil - drizzle

Total:  £4.99 + store cupboard

1.  Wash potatoes and toss in olive oil.  Roast at 180.
2.  Chop the cauliflower into florets, and the red pepper and spring onions into bite sized pieces.  Add to the potatoes after 20 minutes, mixing into the oil.  Roast for 40 minutes.
3.  Our salad is from the garden, but mixed leaves, or other salad ingredients would be fine.  Wash and dress with a little olive oil.
4.  Crumble feta onto vegetables, and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
5.  Serve, scoff.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Tuna pasta bake

It may not be an elegant dish - but it's quick, easy and tasty ... what more could you want?

Ingredients from Todmorden market - pasta (gluten free and regular), tuna and garlic from The Mediterranean Pantry, veg from Kevin outside and cheese from The Crumbly Cheese.

Olive oil
Red onion
Red pepper
Cherry tomatoes
Frozen peas

1.  Boil the pasta according to packet instructions, until al dente.
2.  Sautee veg, chopped into smallish pieces, in olive oil, for about 10 minutes.
3.  Drain the pasta and the tuna, mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Add a handful of frozen peas.  Splosh in a little olive oil if it looks too dry.
4.  Chop cheese into chunks and stir into the pasta mixture.
5.  Heap into an oven dish and bake for about 20 minutes.
6.  Serve, scoff

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Keema mattar, aloo gobi, tarka dhal and basmati rice

Leftover roast lamb and a romp around the cupboards and the spice drawer … delicious curry tea.

olive oil
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Coriander seeds
urid dhal
fennel seeds
chilli flakes
tikka masala mix
roast lamb
tomato puree
red lentils
garam masala
basmati rice
frozen peas

1.  Mince 3 onions in a food processor and divide between 2 deep sautee pans - 1 for the lamb curry, 1 for the potato and cauliflower.  Sautee gently in olive oil, with crushed garlic.
2.  Mince leftover roast lamb in the food processor - add to the onions with a tablespoon of tikka masala spices.
3.  Boil lentils in plenty of water.
4.  Cook rice - I use the adsorption method 1 x rice, 2 x water, bring to the boil, slam the lid on and turn the heat right down.
5.  Into the other sautee pan add dry spices - mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, fenned seeds, coriander seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes, heat through until they release their aroma - them add chopped potatoes, florets of cauliflower, chopped tomatoes and a squidge of tomato puree.  Add a big mugful of water, stir, cover and leave to steam.
6.  Add some tomato puree to the lamb and stir, simmer, add a little water if necessary.
7.  Keep an eye on the lentils, add more water if needed and stir so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
8.  When the veg are soft it's pretty much done, just add a little garam masala to the mixture, to taste.
9.  Pop some frozen peas into the lamb mix, stir in.
10.  Serve, scoff …

Amazing what some leftovers and spices can do.

Roast leg of lamb for Easter Sunday lunch

Traditionalists that we are it was roast lamb with all the trimmings for lunch.  The lamb was a monster - from a local butcher who breed their own.  The potatoes were simply roasted, the leeks braised, the carrots roasted and the tenderstem broccoli steamed.  It was 3 hours from start to finish - but that's because of the size of the lamb!

Olive oil
Cumin seeds

Red wine
White wine
Tenderstem broccoli

1.  Chop 3 cloves of garlic into slithers.  Stab the lamb all over and squish garlic into the meat.  Slather with a little olive oil, run over with salt.  In a roasting tray, lie the lamb onto a bed of rosemary and tip in a large glass of red wine and one of water.  Roast at 180-200 for quite a while!  (20 minutes per 500g + 20 minutes + 30 minutes resting time).
2.  Prepare the vegetables.  Peel potatoes, chop into roastie size and toss in olive oil.
3.  Top and tail carrots, scrub and put in roasting tin with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin seeds.
4.  Chop leeks into rounds, wash, put in an oven dish with a small glass of white wine and a few knobs of butter.
5.  Cut the woody ends off the tenderstem broccoli and put in a steamer.

The hard work is now done - you just have to get the veg on in a suitable order and make the gravy.

6.  An hour and a half before ready to eat, bang in the potatoes.
7.  30 minutes later put in the carrots and the leeks, turn the potatoes over.
8.  30 minutes later, pull the lamb out, drain the juices for the gravy and cover to let it rest.
9.  10 minutes later, put the heat under the broccoli to steam it.
10.  Make the gravy using meat juices, slaked cornflour in water … possibly some more red wine and/or stock to taste.
11.  Serve, scoff 

There was LOADS … the leftover lamb became a lamb curry the following day.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Roast gammon, with hasselback potatoes, butter bean leek and mushroom casserole and stir fried celeriac slaw.

Some days you fancy something just a little bit different … ie. a tiny bit different... so I hasselbacked the potatoes - other than that it really is a pretty standard roast gammon dinner.

Olive oil
Veg stock
White wine
Butter beans
Leftover celeriac slaw
Apple juice
Chicken stock cube

1.  Roast gammon - 25 minutes plus 20 minutes per 500g - in foil, then another 20 minutes without foil.  10 minutes to rest.
2.  Wash potatoes, cut slices that don't go all the way through the potatoes by cutting between two chopsticks, or on a wooden spoon.  Brush the potatoes, into the gaps with crushed garlic mixed with olive oil.  Roast for an hour.
3.  Sautee leeks and mushrooms for a few minutes, then add a splash of white wine and a cup of veg stock.  Simmer, add butter beans, transfer to oven dish and keep warm while everything finishes.
4.  When you uncover the gammon pour in a glass of apple juice.
5.  After 20 minutes make the gravy using the apple juice and meat juice, chicken stock - simmer this and then thicken with cornflour (slake cornflour in water, add it to gravy, stir as it thickens).
6.  Stir fry left over celeriac slaw  (or prepare whatever veg you are using, obviously)
7.  Serve, scoff, have seconds

… loads of gammon left for tomorrow's lunch.

The bucket list dinner

We have introduced film night to Kitchenfairies entertainment, and, because I can't resist a food ritual I have decided to match the food to the film.  Tonight it was "The Bucket List" - so I asked for bucket list food suggestions.  
The requests were BBQ ribs, bacon wrap shrimp and cheese souffle.  To these I added potato wedges and celeriac slaw.

The ribs take a while - overnight to marinate and then 2+ hours to bake.  I have written the "recipe" in order of process, so omit the bits you don't want, or add in your own bits.  The soufflé recipe has a page of its own.

Baked BBQ ribs

pork ribs
barbeque spice rub
brown sugar
BBQ sauce

Celeriac slaw

red onion
white onion
red cabbage
lemon juice

raw shrimp
smoked streaky bacon

1.  Mix together the barbeque spice, a big pinch of salt and a spoonful of brown sugar.  Massage this mix into the pork ribs.  Wrap in foil and marinade for up to 24 hours.
2.  Bake the ribs, in their foil, on a tray for 2 hours - at 200.
3.  Start the cheese sauce for the soufflé.
4.  Prep and chop veg for the slaw (finely slice onions, peel and julienne carrots and celeriac, shred cabbage) mix, spritz in the juice of 1 lemon, and add a big pinch of salt, mix well.  Cover and leave in the fridge until everything else is ready.
6.  Prep potato wedges, roast in olive oil for about an hour.
7.  Bake soufflé.
8.  Wrap shrimp in bacon, toss in olive oil and roast for 10 minutes.  I also roasted some with crushed garlic for the pescatarian.
9.  Take the foil off the ribs, slather with BBQ sauce, put back in the oven - on the foil, they just get stickier - bake for 5 minutes
9.  Serve, scoff … also serve mayonnaise for those who like their coleslaw creamy.

Cheese souffle

We have introduced film night to Kitchenfairies entertainment, and, because I can't resist a food ritual I have decided to match the food to the film.  Tonight it was "The Bucket List" - so I asked for bucket list food suggestions.  One of these was cheese soufflé - check here for the others.

Souffle is notoriously easy to muck up - but if you make sure the cheese sauce is nearly cold before mixing in the eggs, and fold the egg whites in gently, and NEVER open the oven door, then it is achievable.

Soya milk  (about 500ml)
Gouda  (about 100g)
Cheddar  (about 100g)
Parmesan  (about 30g)
4 eggs, separated

1.  Make the cheese sauce by heating the soya milk, slaking the cornflour in a little water and mixing in.  Simmer the sauce, whisking, until it has thickened.  Add grated cheese and stir until melted.  Set aside.
2.  Wait for the cheese sauce to cool, vigorously whisk in any skin which has formed on the top.
3.  Whisk egg yolks until they go a little creamy, stir into the cheese sauce.
4.  Whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
5.  Butter an oven (or soufflé) dish.
6.  Fold the egg whites into the sauce mix.  Start by folding in a spoonful, quite quickly, with a metal spoon to loosen the sauce mixture.  Then fold the rest of the egg whites in, gently, until there are no blobs of white left.
7.  Bake at 180 for 30 minutes.
8.  Serve, scoff, gloat

Monday, 18 March 2019

St Patrick's Day - baked gammon and colcannon

St Patrick's Day - and I am now in a largely Irish household, so any excuse for a roast gammon dinner and a pint or three of the black stuff.  It was made even more special by the beautiful gammon from Bracewell's butchers in Todmorden market hall - absolutely first rate.

Gammon joint
Apple juice
Chicken stock cube

1.  Bake the gammon at 180 for about 2 hours (obviously depending on the size of your joint, this was just under 3lbs).  Turn it over after an hour, and add a cupful or so of apple juice to help make the gravy.
2.  After 1 hour peel the potatoes and put on to boil for the mash - steam chopped onions and shredded cabbage above the potatoes, and steam the peeled batons of carrot over them, for about 15-10 minutes, until the potatoes are done.
3.  Drain the potatoes, mash in the cooked onions and cabbage with plenty of butter.  Place in an oven dish and put in the oven to brown the top.  Cover the carrots with foil and put in the boom of the oven to keep warm.
4.  Drain the juices from the gammon, and make a simple gravy with chicken stock and cornflour.
5.  After another 30 minutes the dinner will be nearly done, so fry an egg for all those who want one.
6.  Serve, scoff ..

This is the veg dodger's plate - 4 carrot batons!  honestly!  But everybody had seconds, most had thirds and fourths .. success

Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Masalla, Allo Gobi and Tarka Dahl - for movie night

 Tonight's film choice was A Theory of Everything - the story of Stephen Hawkings.   Did you know that curry was Professor Hawkings' favourite food?  No, neither did I!

So, curry it was - chicken two ways - Korma for the lactose intolerant,  tikka masala for the veg dodger, aloo gobi and tarka dhal for the veggie, and brown rice for all.

Lucky me - I can have all of it!

Chicken thighs
Tikka masala spices
Natural yogurt

Olive oil
Ground almonds
Cashew nuts (ground)
Brown basmati rice
red lentils
mustard seeds
coriander seeds
cumin seeds
urid dhal
garam masala
chilli flakes
veg stock
chopped tomatoes
curry leaves

1.  Marinate the chicken thighs.  Mix tandoori spices with natural yogurt and a little olive oil.   Massage into chicken.   Sautee onion and garlic with a little garam masala, add ground nuts - pour over the other dish of chicken thighs.
2.  Start the rice and lentils, cover both in an inch over the surface with water and bring to the simmer.  When the rice starts simmering, slam on a tight lid and put it in a medium oven until everything else is ready.  Watch the lentils, add more water if needed and keep simmering.
3.  Put the chicken thighs in to roast.
4.  Start the aloo gobi by sauteeing chopped onion and garlic, add spices (mustard, cumin and coriander seeds, urid dhal, turmeric and a pinch of chilli flakes).  Add cubes of peeled potatoes and cauliflower florets, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a cup of veg stock.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, add more liquid if needed.
5.  Magically everything should just about be done - so make the tarka by heating spice seeds and curry leaves in a little olive oil and fling onto the dhal.
6.  Serve, scoff … enjoy the film

Everybody had seconds - the veg dodger had thirds - and we all loved the film.