Saturday, 14 March 2009

Baked Sausage Parcels and a Couscous Salad

I am always trying to think of new or different things to take to work for lunch each week. I like having variety in what I eat and could not take the same sandwich day in, day out, but sometimes I struggle to think of things to take. Mondays and Thursdays are easy because I work until 8pm so I need to take a hot lunch, which is usually left overs, so the problem is with the days where something smaller is needed.

Yesterday I went for a couscous salad, really simple and quick to prepare. I used half a sachet of couscous and poured the required amount of boiling water over it, and then left it for 5 mins. The night before I had sauteed some courgette until it looked soft and cooked. When the couscous had adsorbed all the liquid, I added some butter and fluffed it with a fork. Then I added the cooked courgette, some halved cherry tomatoes, some halved olives and some feta cut into cubes, and voila, a lovely filled salad.

Dinner last night was Baked Sausage Parcels. I had lots of ends of vegetables left over from other recipes and this is a perfect dish to use them up in. This time it was red pepper and courgette but I have previously used mushrooms and cabbage which worked just as well. I also used merguez sausages as it adds a nice spicy element to the dish. I served the parcel on top of a potato and carrot rosti, but you could add potatoes to the pepper mix, after boiling them for about 10 mins.

Baked Sausage Parcels (adapted from a Waitrose recipe card)
(Serves 1)

2 sausages
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 courgette, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1/2 tsp paprika or pimenton
25ml approx white wine of veg stock

Preheat the oven to 200C

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil and fry sausages for 4-5 mins, or until just browned. Remove from the pan. Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and fry the peppers, red onion, courgette and garlic for 3 mins, until starting to soften. Stir in the paprika and season.

Line a square of foil, about 30cm square, with a slightly smaller piece of baking parchment. Put the pepper mixture in the square and top with the sausages. Drizzle with any juices from the pan.

Fold the squares in half to form a parcel and turn in the edges to seal, leaving one edge open. pour the wine or stock into the parcel then fold over the last edge to seal completely. Lift onto a baking sheet and place in the for 30 mins or until the sausages are cooked through.

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