Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

This week I had a great email from Mum with this recipe which comes highly recommended so thought I would share it with you. According to Marty (AKA Dad) they are ‘Outstanding’ – high praise indeed!!

Pea & Caper Fishcakes

Ingredients:-

500g snapper fillets, finely diced  ( I used Gurnard )
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp baby salted capers, rinsed
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plain flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
Lemon wedges, to serve

Put the fish, peas, capers, lemon rind, mustard, egg and flour in a
large bowl and stir until well combined. Divide the mixture into 8 equal
portions, then shape each portion into a patty.

Heat a barbecue hotplate ( I just did them in a sauté pan with a
little olive oil ) to medium heat and spread oil over the plate. Add fish
cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked
through. Serve with lemon wedges.

P1020155

These are very yummy….. I served them with Feta, Beetroot and Red
Onion Salad and Fresh Asparagus

P1020157

Looks great Mum – this will be on the menu for next week 🙂

Fish Cakes on Foodista

Read Full Post »

Just a quick entry as I have a bit of a back log – so many yummy recipes, so little time!

The leaves are changing and although it is a beautiful sight it is also a tad depressing. Each morning is a little darker than the last and another winter is stretching out before us – boooooo!! However one thing I do look forward to is the pumpkin harvest. Mum makes a great pumpkin soup and it is my all time favourite. Pumpkin is a popular food in NZ, especially as a roast dinner accompaniment but not so much here in the UK. Over the years I have tried to make pumpkin soup a few times but the pumpkins I managed to find were tasteless and bland 😦 That all changed last year when we went on a pumpkin seeking mission and discovered Crockford Bridge Farm and there we found the Crown Prince Pumpkin – now that is more like it! The perfect pumpkin soup pumpkin!

When we went to Hewitts last weekend for PYO I found a couple of Crown Prince’s in the farm shop and so this will be the first of many pumpkin entries!

Baked Pumpkin and Fresh Pea Risotto (courtesy of Tana Ramsay – Family Kitchen)

Ingredients:-

400g risotto rice

1 1/2 litres chicken stock

50g butter

500g pumpkin, peeled & chopped into cubes

12 slices pancetta, or unsmoked streaky bacon

Handful of fresh peas

250g grated parmesan

1 Tbsp flat parsley

Place the rice, stock, butter and pumpkin in an oven proof dish, cover tightly with either a lid or foil and bake for 30 mins at 200C.

Meanwhile, place the pancetta under the grill until crispy. Lay it onto some kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.

Take out the risotto and remove the lid. Stir through, making sure to relieve any bits stuck on the bottom. There will be some liquid, but this will be absorbed.

Sprinkle in the fresh peas and stir through. They will cook in the stock very quickly (approx 3-4 mins).

Sprinkle over the parmesan, stir all through. This will now thicken.

Dish into bowls and lay pancetta over the top, either whole or broken into pieces. Sprinkle over the flat leaf parsley and serve.

Now James cooked this and so it is only appropriate that any additional comments come from him, here we go……

1. We used pancetta cubes and dry fried in frying pan and then rested on kitchen towel. Was then stirred through with the parmesan.

2. We used frozen peas so added slightly earlier.

3. We ended up adding about 15 – 20 mins to the cooking time as there was too much liquid left – we put this down to the heavy Le Creuset pan?

Bon Appetit! A great dish for all the family – Izzy loved it!

IMG_5923

IMG_5920

Most recipes are for between 4 and 6 people and there are only 2 1/2 of us most the time. Hence we often have a good amount of leftovers in the fridge. This works well for us as means that we can heat this up 2 nights later making a minimum effort dinner. Plus James will take anything in the fridge for his lunch.

Read Full Post »

I don’t know about you but the last few months have felt like nothing but doom and gloom. Almost everyone around me has suffered a loss or a bad situation. I have never known anything like it and I can honestly say I am looking forward to the end of 2009 and then start of a fresh and prosperous year for everyone! All this in the midst of a recession too – crappy!

With all this going on around us sometimes it feels like we have little control over our lives. However one thing we do have control over is what we put in our bodies. In these strange times I have found a real sense of peace in my kitchen. There is a great satisfaction in preparing a meal for loved ones, baking goodies for Izzy’s nursery or our offices or taking a slice of whatever is freshly baked over to our neighbour Sam. I must say I am not totally altruistic – I probably get more satisfaction cooking it than they do eating it.

Comfort food is perfect in these times however traditional comfort food can be stodgy and heavy in the stomach. My ultimate comfort food is mashed potato – love it love it love it! These days I don’t have it very often but James knows when it is needed, just as Mum did for many years!

Tonight we added some mashed potato and although it was not necessarily needed I did have a few potatoes starting to sprout and so needed to be used or they would be in the bin (which goes against my waste not, want not..). The rest of the dinner also consisted of what was in the fridge and cupboards (I am getting good at this!) and we will definitely be making this a Wright family favourite over winter. A perfect comfort food and with chicken and a simple tomato sauce!

I have only recently discovered Rachel Allen and I find that since she is a Mother herself her recipes are very family friendly. One of my work associates told me yesterday that he thinks she is the perfect woman as he imagines that after a night between the sheets she will not only get up and make the breakfast but also bake a cake! Each to their own I guess!

Chicken Casserole with Chorizo, Tomatoes and Beans (courtesy of Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home – Rachel Allen)

Ingredients:-

1 large chicken, cut into pieces (I used chicken breast as this is what I had in the freezer)

2 Tbsp olive oil

125g chorizo, cut into 8mm slices

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole (I crushed – I love my garlic press and so it is always crushed in this house)

Salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar

2 x 400g tins of pre-cooked beans, drained

Squeeze of lemon juice

Brown the chicken in a flameproof casserole with the 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the slices of chorizo, tomatoes & garlic. Season with salt, pepper and 1 or 2 good pinches of sugar. Bring up to the boil, cover with a lid and cook (on top of hob or in an oven preheated to 180C) for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Remove from the oven and add the drained beans and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste, adding a squeeze of lemon juice if necessary.

Rachel recommends serving with orzo, boiled rice or pilaff rice. I found mashed potato works for me!

James and I made this up last night and then put it in the fridge so tonight it was just a case of heating it up – easy peasy!

IMG_5951

Read Full Post »

Well another sunny weekend meant another PYO and we came home with a boot full of pears, eating apples, cooking apples, plums, french beans and sweetcorn – I am going to be busy and I really need to get cracking as I am half way through the week already!!! It would be criminal to let any of this lovely produce spoil!

photo

photo(2)

photo(3)

We have never really been into Sunday roasts (but that could change this winter!) but I do like to make a good meal on a Sunday – feels like you are starting the week on the right foot.  When we were in Scotland I was flicking through Laura’s copy of Happy Days with the Naked Chef and  came across tray baked pork chops with pears, so on the way home from the PYO we stopped in at Drings (our Greenwich butcher) and bought some lush pork chops. The only problem with stopping at Drings is the fact that The Cheeseboard resides next door….so a delicious cheddar and blue cheese later…….

I had also bought some beetroot at the farm shop and so a roasted beetroot and blue cheese salad sounded great! And it was as we had it for dinner last night (I am a bit behind on the blogs)!!!! But for now, back to Sunday…..

Tray baked pork chops with herby potatoes, parsnips, pears and minted bread sauce (courtesy of Jamie Oliver – Happy Days with the Naked Chef)

Ingredients:-

8 pork chops, or 4 double pork chops (I used 6 from the butchers and this was more than enough for 4 people and an Izzy!)

3 parsnips

3 smooth skinned pears

680g potatoes, scrubbed

salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade:-

2 good handfuls of rosemary, pounded (what a smell this creates – amazing!!)

6 cloves of garlic, crushed

10 lugs of olive oil

3 lemons, halved, juiced and skin squashed

freshly ground black pepper

For the minted bread sauce:-

3 handfuls of fresh mint

1 handful of chopped bread

extra virgin OO

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons mustard

red wine vinegar

Make marinade by mixing everything together and then rub and massage pork chops with the marinade and ideally leave for 1-6 hours for maximum flavour.

Pre oven

Marinating

Preheat the oven to 220C. Wash the parsnips and pears and slice into quarters lengthwise, removing the cores from the pears, then cut the potatoes into 0.5 cm thick pieces. Dry them with kitchen paper, then put them into an appropriately sized roasting tray with the parsnips, pears, pork chops and the marinade. Toss over to lightly coat everything then season and roast in the oven for 45 mins to an hour, depending on the size of the chops.

While the chops and veg are cooking, make the minted bread sauce. It’s great smeared all over the pork.

Finely chop the mint and bread and stir in some olive oil until the mix has ‘loosened’. Then balance the flavours by carefully seasoning, adding the mustard and splashing in some vinegar to taste. The flavour improves with time.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

We must be on a run at the moment because I was really pleased with how this turned out!. I was not too sure of the potatoes at first as I had failed to toss them while cooking and so had sat in the marinade at the bottom and failed to brown & crisp up but they turned out delicious as they were infused with lemon and lovely and soft. I really enjoyed having the roast pear in the mix too. I know many people who don’t have ‘afters with your dinner’ but I am a big fan of adding this sweetness (no surprise from the lady who loves Moroccan food!) – makes it much more interesting. I remember my Mum always serving friend bananas with schnitzel – don’t know where this comes from or whether it is just a ‘Di’ thing but it works and is such a treat! Of course pork works so well with apple sauce that pear is a natural too.

This was my first attempt at a bread sauce too and it was nice but I must say I do prefer the mint on lamb although that’s not to say I would not make it again with pork. Next time we have lamb I will certainly make the bread sauce rather than have a mint jelly.

This dish can possibly be made mid week too as once it has sat in the marinade, and this could be done the night before, then it is just a matter of putting the tray in the oven.  It is a great result for such little work!!

Read Full Post »

I have been very excited about 1st Sept and the release of Jamie’s new book. As I have said before I am a big Jamie fan – I just like his style, his personality and his attitude to food & cooking. He may not have 6 Michelin stars, or even 1 but he has made food exciting for the masses, from the kids at school to pensioners – not just for those that can afford to frequent Le Gavroche or Claridges!

So I was very excited to shoot down to my closest Waterstones and pick up Jamie’s America on Tuesday. Needed it on hand for the start of the accompanying TV series on Tuesday night!!! So, how is Jamie going to cover the whole of America???…well, he’s not really……This new series visits LA, NYC, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia and the Wild West (Wyoming & Montana). Looking forward to it – especially the time with the Navajo people in Arizona.

The first episode is in LA and thank goodness it’s more than a macrobiotic lettuce leaf. Jamie heads to East LA and spends time with Mexican families and learns about Mexican food (no Taco Bell in sight!). It all looked so blimmin good. There were actually many delicious Mexican salads and I just cannot wait to make some – need to be brave with the chillies though!

Back to Jamie’s book – first page, first recipe!! Burgers!! Although were only using the recipe for the burger mix as I had a jar of freshly made sweetcorn relish beckoning. James actually did all the work this time and then cooked them on the BBQ – delicious! Just a good basic burger mix! According to James this was super simple and quick – just keep in mind that they need to go into the fridge for about an hour before cooking so that they firm up.

Burgers (courtesy of Jamie’s America – Jamie Oliver)

Ingredients:-

Olive oil

2 medium red onions, peeled and finely chopped

6 Jacob’s crackers or 4 slices of bread, crusts removed

500g good-quality lean minced beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic, beaten

a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Put a splash of olive oil into a large frying pan on a low heat and add you chopped onions. Fry for 10 minutes or until the onions have softened, then put to one side to cool completely. Blitz your crackers or bread in a food processor until you get a fine consistency. Oil a clean baking tray and put aside. Put the cooled onions into a large bowl with the rest of the burger ingredients. Use clean hands to scrunch the mixture together really well, then divide into 6 equal balls. Wet your hands and roll the balls into burger-shaped patties about 2cm thick. Place your burgers on the oiled tray and pat with a little olive oil. Cover them with clingfilm and put the try into the fridge for at least an hour, or until the patties firm up.

Open burgers - James' patties and Brodie's relish!

Open burgers - James' patties and Brodie's relish!

On another note, today was the Adidas Women’s 5km challenge in Hyde Park and Izzy & I both managed to come home with a medal. A great day – 17,000 women running & walking for a vast number of charities. This was the 3rd event I have taken part in this summer and as always it was a lot of fun. This time I walked with Justine and raised some money for The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust (every penny helps!) – http://www.ectopic.org.uk

There was also a Kid’s challenge – it was so cute. A 30m race for kids of all ages which was sensor timed – even with the chips tied into their shoe laces. All the kids received a medal and key ring – what a great event. The kid’s were loving it. We were very proud of Izzy – she was awesome!!

READY, STEADY, GO....

READY, STEADY, GO....

IMG_5831

IMG_5835

Medals for Mummy & Izzy :-)

Medals for Mummy & Izzy 🙂

Read Full Post »

Well my first week back at work is over and it was surprisingly enjoyable and I am actually pleased to be back into the swing of things! However it does mean less time & energy for the kitchen. Not all is lost though and James and I have spent one evening this week chopping and stirring in order to use up some of the sweetcorn that we picked fresh in the weekend. I consulted the WI Book of Preserves and found a recipe for Sweetcorn and Red Pepper Relish – apparently perfect for on top of homemade burgers……can’t be a bad thing! Yum!!

The plan is to try out the homemade burger recipe in Jamie Oliver’s new book (Jamie’s America) tomorrow night so will report back then on how it actually tastes. At the moment it does not look particularly relish-like but we will wait and see…..

Sweetcorn and Red Pepper Relish (courtesy of Book of Preserves – Women’s Institute)

Ingredients:-

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 jalapeno or other green chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into small dice

1 small red onion or sweet white onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

4 ears fresh sweetcorn, kernels removed from the cob (or 350g frozen sweetcorn)

100g granulated sugar (or less if you prefer a less sweet relish)

Juice of 2 limes

100ml water

1 Tbsp cornflour

3 Tbsp freshly chopped coriander, chopped, or more to taste

1 tsp salt

In a large saucepan or preserving pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the chillies, red pepper, onion and garlic and cook gently until softened, about 5-7 minuted. Add the sweetcorn kernels, sugar, lime juice & water. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Simmer for about 7-8 minutes until the sweetcorn is tender.

Meanwhile, mix together the cornflour and a little water. Add to the saucepan, stirring constantly, and return to the boil for a further 2 minutes.

Stir the coriander and salt into the mixture and remove from the heat. Allow to cool briefly before pouring into hot sterilized jars and sealing. Allow the relish to cool completely before labelling. The relish is ready to eat the next day, but can be stored, sealed for up to 6 months. Once open, eat within a week.

IMG_5791

Read Full Post »

Made in Morocco

Today has been a great day in the kitchen. I love Moroccan food – something about the spices, the combination of sweet and savoury and the delicious ingredients. James and I first went to Morocco in 1999 in order to avoid the whole millenium hoo-ha. We spent 2 weeks on a tour starting in Casablanca and ending in Marrakech. What an amazing country! At the time James and I were not particularly ‘foodie’ orientated but memories of the food on that trip lingered. Although there is a small confession to be made here…….by the time we hit Marrakech we were all a bit ‘couscous and tagined out’ (I don’t think that would happen these days!) and a group of us jumped in a cab and shouted those words that need no translation …..’McDONALDS!’. It’s a shameful thing to admit!!!

We returned to Marrakech in 2006, along with Amy & Daz and Mum, to celebrate the big 3-0!! and this time we were far more appreciative of the food on offer. A trip to Marrakech would never be complete without a dinner in the Djemaa El Fna (which is the square & market place in Marrakech’s medina quarter) – it’s a crazy place and walking around is an experience and a half. Everyone wants your business. You either love it or hate it, but regardless it is an assault on all your senses and there is a dazzling array on offer. For the more adventurous visitors (and many locals!) there are cooked goats heads ready to be split open for the brains inside (sorry, am just not brave enough for this!), and then there are delicious juicy kebabs and succulent meat everywhere you look, served with breads and salads. It’s a must do culinary experience! During the day it is full of carts selling fresh dates, figs, pistachios, almonds..and then there are the orange juice carts. We ended up visiting the same vendor every day and savoured our glass of OJ which helped kick start another day in the souks.

Marrakech is also full of top class restaurants and after a bit of research we booked Dar Moha for my 30th dinner. It has the most beautiful setting around a candlelight pool – just perfect for a light balmy evening. The food is a step away from the traditional Moroccan fare and has a modern twist – delicate and delicious.

So, hopefully from the above you can tell that I enjoy some Moroccan grub!! As I had some time this afternoon I decided it was time to crack out the tagine pot. Perusing the cookbook shelf I pulled out Julie LeClerc’s (fellow Kiwi) Made in Morocco and started thumbing through.

After having a bit of a clear out in the cupboards this week I found we have about 3 bags of red lentils and so decided to make the quick Spiced Split Lentil Soup. James then jumped in and decided that bread was required and so he quickly knocked up Barley Bread to accompany.

The soup as so simple and although there is a consider amount of spice required in the Simple Moroccan Spice I did cheat and use the mixed Moroccan spice that I picked up in the souk in Marrakech. Considering the length of time I have had it we were not surprised to learn it may have lost some of its strength and pungency and unfortunately this meant that the soup was nutritious and filling but a bit bland. Next time I will make up a batch of JLC’s Simple Moroccan Spice and ditch my authentic but out of date spice blend! Not a great choice for Izzy though as she has proved to be averse to onions and tomatoes. We keep trying although the gag reflex kicks in even when we sneak it onto the spoon unnoticed!

Spiced Split Lentil Soup (courtesy of Made in Morocco – Julie LeClerc)

Ingredients:-

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 onions, finely diced

2 Tbsp Simple Moroccan Spice blend (recipe to follow)

2 x 400g cans choppped tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock (or substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)

1 cup split red lentils

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or coriander

Heat a large saucepan, add oil and cook onions for 3-4 minutes to soften but not colour. Add spice blend and cook for 1 minute to release essential spice flavours.

Add tomatoes, stock or water and red lentils and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more water if the mixture becomes too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley or coriander as preferred.

Simple Moroccan Spice blend

2 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger and cinnamon.

1 tsp each of white pepper and turmeric

14 tsp each of chilli powder and ground nutmeg

Combine all spices and store in a sealed jar.

IMG_5777

Barley Bread (also courtesy of Made in Morocco – Julie LeClerc)

Ingredients:-

1/2 cup warm water

3 teaspoons active dried yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or barley flour if available)

1 cup strong flour

1 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup tepid water

extra flour for kneading

Place warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle with yeast and then sugar. Set aside in a warm place to activate for 5-10 minutes (when activated the mixture will be frothy).

Place the flours and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the frothy yeast mixture, oil and tepid water and mix to form a firm dough. Turn dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Divide dough into two and shape each portion into a large flat disc. place on a lightly floured oven tray and cover with a clean cloth. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until when dimpled with a fingerprint the dough returns to its former shape.

Preheat oven to 200C. Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

IMG_5774

Onto the main course……..

Tagine of Chicken with Prunes & Almonds (courtesy again of Made in Morocco – Julie LeClerc)

Ingredients:-

1.4kg free-range chicken, cut into 8 portions (I used about 1.1kg of chicken thighs and drumsticks)

2 onions, tickly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crusshed

1 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger

1 cup pitted prunes

1 cup green olives

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1/4 cup white wine viegar

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken portions in a tagine or large casserole. Scatter over remaining ingredients in the order listed, except the parsley, and season with salt & pepper.

Cover the pan and bring the liquid to the boil, then turn down the heat to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, turning the chicken pieces once or twice, until the chicken tests cooked and the liquid is much reduced, The cooking can alternatively be done in an oven heated to 180C.

Adjust seasoning of sauce if necessary before serving. Serve scattered with parsley.

So very easy!! The only problem I encountered was that my tagine pot was a bit small and I ended with chicken stock flooding my stove top! Oh well, it’s only a bit of mess!

The perfect accompaniment to tagine must be couscous – a perfect partnership. My couscous has always been a little hit and miss – sometimes fluffy and light and other times stodgy and lumpy. Tonight I took my time, googled it, checked recipes and think I finally came up with a, hopefully consistent, method.

Couscous should be prepared with 1 1/2 cups of water or chickenstock (or a combination) to 1 cup of couscous. Heat up  saucepan and melt a small knob of butter and then lightly stir in some chopped spring onions. After a minute or two I added the stock/water. Once it is almost boiling take it off the heat and pur into the bowl of couscous. Then cover with cling film (or glad wrap as we Kiwi’s call it) and leave to steam for about 10 mins. We had a couple of peppers and courgettes in the vege bin and so James grilled these on the BBQ and then chopped into small pieces while I toasted a handful of pine nuts. When the couscous has steamed then add some lemon juice and a small glug of extra virgin olive oil before fluffing up with a fork. I then added in the chopped veg and pine nuts and gave it a good stir.

Serve alongside the tagine.

IMG_5778

Overall, I think we can call tonight’s dinner a success! Even a partial success for Izzy – she devoured the chicken and couscous once the peppers and courgettes had been removed. Although I did bribe her to try a courgette so it’s a start. The prunes were a no go even with bribery on the table and trying to sell them as a big sultana once they had been cut up didn’t help. Olives are never a problem though – Izzy is mad for them!

Read Full Post »

After yet another Doctor’s appointment (won’t bore you with the details but I did enquire about any ‘frequent flyer’ points……) I was already down in Greenwich this morning and so I thought I would pop into Waterstones to buy Izzy the new Julia Donaldson book. More about that later!

So I parked up and then wandered through the market to pick up some sushi for lunch (I love, love, love sushi!) and the stand in the market prepare it fresh – it’s divine! and then while having a quick look around I came across Mama G and her delicious jams and chillies. I could not help but linger for a tasting and then I needed little convincing to put my hand in my pocket for a jar of the Sweet Kiwi and Honey Apple Jam and a jar of Hot-Hot Mama G Chilli pot (Scotch Bonnet Chillies in a Mango base, along with some other ingredients of course).

I got chatting with Gladys (aka Mama G) who is originally from France and found out that she makes everything in her own kitchen, along with making the labels, doing the marketing etc. A busy operation! So if you are passing through Greenwich Market on a Thursday or Friday call in and see her and pick up a jar or 2!  So much more satisfying to pick up some homemade jam rather than some generic brand in the supermarket.  I love to support local people who are out there giving it a go – it’s a trait I really admire. Plus, no preservatives or additives either. It’s win, win, win!!

Mama G at Greenwich Market

Mama G at Greenwich Market

So eventually I came away from Greenwich with sushi, jam, chilli, a jigsaw puzzle for Izzy, a book for me and the new Julia Donaldson and to be honest that is for me & Izzy. I love Julia Donaldson books, particularly those illustrated by Axel Scheffler.  Julia is most famous for The Gruffalo and it’s a great book but my favourite is Monkey Puzzle. Uncle Doug & Aunty Juls bought this for Izzy when she was born and I have been hooked ever since. The latest book is called Tabby McTat – another imaginative and beautiful book!

Dinner tonight was not really blogworthy – using up potatoes and sweet potatoes by making wedges, along with some left over Chilli con carne that was in the freezer (a Jamie Oliver recipe that I will definitely share at a a later date) and some Cauliflower.

Read Full Post »

Looks like I am back on a roll and after finally doing some groceries I am prepared for an exciting week in the kitchen!

Tonight’s dinner certainly was delicious – and once again, easy!!

A frittata is such a versatile dinner and once you have made one and know the base ingredients you can chuck in whatever you have lying in the fridge.

I found this recipe from Rachel Allen and without a doubt I will be serving it again. Even Izzy devoured it so that is a good sign on the road to ‘family favourite’.

At this stage there is no chance that Izzy will even consider salad – ‘no green stuff Mummy’ – but I prepared a quick basic salad of red chard & lambs lettuce (from a bag of course!) and some of Sam’s (our lovely neighbour) tomatoes which were lovingly grown in his greenhouse. While we were in Scotland we drove past Moniack Castle (www.moniackcastle.co.uk) and stopped into the shop where we purchased some Wild Garlic sauce along with some jellies to be used with game meats. I mixed some of the garlic sauce with olive oil and used this to dress the salad. Worked really well.

Potato, Chorizo & Feta Frittata (courtesy of Rachel Allen – Favourite Food at Home)

Ingredients:

250g potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1cm pieces

6 tbsp olive oil (I only used about half of this)

1 onion, peeled and sliced

8 eggs

100ml single cream

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram (I used Mint – have very rarely actually found Marjoram)

125g chorizo, sliced

125g feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, or until just cooked. Do not over-cook or they will go mushy. Drain and set aside.

Heat a 25cm ovenproof frying pan, add 3 Tbsp of olive oil and the sliced onion, cover with a saucepan lid and sweat over a gentle heat until soft and slightly golden. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the cream, 1 tsp salt and the marjoram. Stir in the sliced chorizo, the cooked onions and potatoes.

Heat 3 Tbsp of oilve oil in the frying pan. When it is hot, pour in the egg mixture and stir briefly to distribute the ingredients evenly. Top with the crumbled fet cheese. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until set in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow too cool a little before sliding it onto a large serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For a vegetarian option you can leave out the chorizo. You can also substitute the potato with butternut squash.

IMG_5555

P.S – Had a beetroot brownie today and I think it tasted better than yesterday! No ice cream or cream needed. Go figure!

Read Full Post »

This morning I stared at my recipe books stumped – what to make for dinner? Then my eyes hit Nick Nairn – why not continue with the Scottish theme?. Nick Nairn has produced a great recipe book – all Salmon recipes and therefore appropriately called ‘Nick Nairn’s Top 100 Salmon recipes’. A quick flick through and I came across Salmon Crumble with Lemon Courgettes. A great mid week supper – a handful of ingredients and ready in less than 30 mins. Perfect! I don’t hesitate to use the ‘A’ word, or should I say ‘A & E’ for this recipe as well – a good one for adapting and experimenting with herbs and spices!

Salmon Crumble with Lemon Courgettes (courtesy of Nick Nairn – Top 100 Salmon Recipes)

Ingredients:-

4 x 140g salmon fillets (preferably Scottish!!)

For the crumble topping:

85g fresh breadcrumbs

25g parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs (parsley & basil)

2 tablespoons melted butter

freshly ground sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the lemon courgettes:

3 tablespoons olive oil (I use about half this)

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 medium courgettes, thinly sliced

juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a baking tin with butter and lay the salmon fillets inside.

Put all the crumble ingredients into a bowl and lightly rub together until large lumps begin to form. (I just blitzed it all in the Magimix). Sprinkle evenly over the fillets and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until crisp and golden. If theya re not golden enough after this time, finish off under the grill – you don’t want the salmon to overcook.

Meanwhile, make the lemon courgettes. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Throw in the courgettes and stir-fry for 3 minutes until beginning to colour and soften. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_5543

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »