Sunday, 30 August 2015

Jumbleberry Crumble

For pudding I made a berry crumble. I used a mixture or loganberries and blueberries from my garden, blackberries from Walthamstow Marshes and strawberries from the supermarket as I never get a very good crop of strawberries. This was delicious, I love a crumble and the mixture before I baked it looked so pretty, just like jewels.

Jumbleberry Crumble (from Good Food Magazine July 2014)
(Serves 6)

100g plain flour
50g rolled oats
100g butter, cut into cubes
50g golden caster sugar

For the fruit filling:
900g mixed berries and currants, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants
50g caster sugar
1½ tbsp cornflour

Heat oven to 200C. Put the flour, oats, butter and sugar in a bowl, squash together with your fingers into a crumble texture.

Meanwhile, put the berries, sugar and cornflour in a large pan. Stir together and set over a medium heat. Cook until the berries just start to release their juices. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit, and bake in the oven for 30-40 mins until bubbling and golden. Leave for 5 mins before serving with ice cream or custard.

Friday, 28 August 2015


As an appetizer when people arrived I served hummus with carrots from the garden.

Hummus (from Leiths Cookery Bible)
(Serves 4)

1 400g tin chickpeas, drained keeping the liquid
salt and pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice 1 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper

Put the chickpeas into a food processor. Whizz and add the remaining ingredients. Add enough of the chickpea juice to produce a soft cream. Serve.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Caramelised Red Onion and Rocket Tartlets

I had some friends over for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I made these lovely quiches along with a variety of salads. They were a bit of a faff to make with layering up the filo but they were well worth it. Very tasty.

Caramelised Red Onion and Rocket Tartlets (from The Times)
(Serves 4)

1 large red onion
20g butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 large egg
150ml double cream
salt and pepper
15g rocket leaves
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
25g cheddar cheese, grated

For the pastry cases
25g butter, melted
2-3 large sheets shop bought filo
4 tsp thyme leaves

Finely slice the onion. Heat the butter and oil in a large, non-stick frying pan until the butter has melted. Add the onion slices and fry over a medium-low heat for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelised. Remove the onion, drain on kitchen towel and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 190C.

Prepare the filo pastry cases: brush a little of the melted butter in the hollows of a Yorkshire pudding tin. Using a sharp knife, cut 16 squares, measuring 11cm x 11cm, from the filo sheets. Layer 4 filo squares per hole, each at an angle to the previous squares, brushing melted butter and sprinkling thyme over each layer. Scrunch up the pastry edges to add a bit of height.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the cream and salt and pepper. Roughly chop the rocket, setting aside a few leaves for garnish. In a separate bowl, combine the two cheeses.

Carefully spoon the onion into the pastry cases. Scatter over half the cheese and the chopped rocket. Pour in the egg mixtuire, then top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 mins or until the filling is just set and starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove from the tin and serve warm.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Meal Planning Monday

I wasn't going to do a meal plan this week what with the tube strikes and one thing and another, but the strike has been called off and I have a better idea of what is happening this week. I still haven't figured out Friday's lunch but as I'm not staying at home on Thursday night I might treat myself to something yummy for lunch around work on Friday.

Chicken and Mayo Sandwich with Crisps 
Out at Pizza Express

Get fed at work
Seren's Prawn Cakes with Steamed Buns

Cheese and Onion Quiche and Salad


Beetroot and Goat's Cheese Pizza

Wild Rabbit with Broad Beans and Bacon

Mexican Mackerel Nachos
Cajun Steak with Smoky Baked Beans (15 Min Meals)

Orange and Coriander Marinated Salmon

This was the other main course I made for my friends. My Mum had made it a few weeks before and said it was absolutely delicious and she was right, this is a fantastic cold salmon dish, which packs a lot of flavour.

Orange and Coriander Marinated Salmon (from Nick Nairn's Top 100 Salmon Recipes)
(Serves 4)

150ml olive oil
4 salmon fillets, skinned
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 spring onions, shredded
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, seeded and sliced
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped coriander
finely pared rind and juice 1 orange
3 tbsp dry white wine
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a little olive oil and fry the salmon fillets for 2-3 mins on each side until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and lay in a single layer in a non-metallic dish.

Wipe out the pan again until clean and dry-fry the coriander seeds until they begin to release their aroma. Tip out of the pan and lightly crush.

Mix the coriander seeds with all the other ingredients and pour over the salmon. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Serve the salmon fillets at room temperature with a couple of tbsp of marinade.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Lime and Sumac Halloumi Kebabs

To go with the flatbreads I made some halloumi kebabs. I also added courgettes but they didn't cook properly, so I would stick to just tomatoes, which were from the garden, burst and were wonderfully sweet. There is also an onion relish to with the kebabs which I want to try.

Lime and Sumac Halloumi (from The Sunday Times Magazine)
(Serves 4)

2 250g pack halloumi, cut into 2cm pieces
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp sumac
juice and zest 1 lime
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Put the halloumi pieces into a bowl with the tomatoes, sumac, lime zest, juice of half the lime and the sesame seeds. Mix with your hands and leave to let the flavours mingle.

Heat the barbecue or griddle pan and thread the tomatoes and halloumi onto skewers.

Once your barbecue has died down form a very fierce heat, add the kebabs and cook for 2 mins on each side. Spoon the halloumi and tomatoes onto the flatbreads and serve.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Summer Food Happenings

As I haven't done a Meal Planning Monday for a little while, I thought I'd just do a post of some of the interesting things I have eaten this summer!

I tried over the summer to go out for lunch one day a week, primarily to try out some of the places in Soho that I've been wanting to try for ages.

First off we have a Biskie from Cutter and Squidge. This one is Mango and White Chocolate and it was really good.


Then I tried Bunnychow in Soho, it's a South African restaurant that specialises in, well, Bunnychow, which are a small loaf ofbread filled with stew or curry. I had the Durban Bunny, which is a mutton curry in a grainy loaf with coleslaw. I loved the curry soaked bread.


For pudding that day I headed to Crosstown Doughnuts. I went for one of their summer special doughnuts a peach and nectarine crumble doughnut. It was delicious and really tasted of the summer fruits.

I then tried Walthamstow Market for lunch and stopped at Yummy Falafel on the Market. I went for a falafel wrap with halloumi, with spicy potatoes, pickles, red cabbage, tomato and lettuce.

This is what it looked like inside:


I would totally recommend the wrap, it was delicious and only £3.
For dinner one night before the theatre I went to La Porchettaon Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park. I shared a Garlic Bread with my Father, which is topped with tomato and full of garlic and one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Then I had a Calzone Vedura, which I found a bit big and it had way too much cheese. Plus it seemed to major on artichokes and not much other veg. I could have done with some tomato sauce inside the pizza as well as outside.


After the barbecue I had in my garden we had a cream tea. My friend Rhainnon made the scones and I made the jam and we had clotted cream!

I went back to Yummy Falafel last week to eat with some marinated mozzarella. It is usually £1 for 4 but as they were a bit flat she chucked an extra one in! I also got the pickles and red cabbage from the stall.

I bought a new small camping gas barbecue when we were in Warkworth, and I thought I'd have a go and grill some red mullet fresh from Borough Market that morning. However, the barbecue didn't work, so I grilled it instead and served it with sweetcorn picked fresh from the garden minutes before, marinated mozzarella and tomato, samphire, rosemary and olive oil bread and salad. The red mullet was fantastic, lovely and fresh.

Today we toddled off to South Bank to watch a filming of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. Unfortunately we didn't arrive early enough to get in, so we went to the National Theatre foyer and shared the bakes that we had brought with us. I made Baked Apple Dumplings, which rather exploded in the oven!

My friend made Pumpkin Tiramisu which was very tasty.

So that's my food filled summer! Back to work tomorrow and no Meal Plan because I can't quite get my head around what's happening with the tube strike.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Barbecued Yoghurt Flatbreads

A friend came over and we had a barbecue a couple of weekends ago and I had come across a recipe for barbecued bread that I had to try, they were so easy and such fun to make. I heard excited shouts and came running out to see them puffed up on the barbecue. They were delicious and I served them with Lime and Sumac Halloumi which I'll post in the next couple of days.

Barbecued Yoghurt Flatbreads (from The Sunday Times Magazine)
(Serves 4)

200g white spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g Greek yoghurt or 150ml warm water

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball.

Dust a clean work surface with flour and tip the dough onto it. Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together. This is a quick flatbread recipe, so you don't need to knead if for long. Put the dough into a flour dusted or oiled bowl and cover with a plate. Leave to one side for 10-15 mins; it may puff up a tiny bit but it won't rise like normal dough.

Heat the barbecue or put a large frying pan or griddle pan over a medium heat.

Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough into four equal pieces. Pat and flatten out the dough, then roll out into about a 15cm round, 2-3mm thick.

Once the barbecue flames have died down, cook each flatbread for 1-2 mins on each side, turning with tongs until it is puffed up and crisp.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Afternoon Tea at Chelsea Physic Garden

I had a fantastic afternoon at Chelsea Physic Garden today. We went on a guided tour of the garden and then had a walk around the garden ourselves. The garden is the oldest botanic garden in London founded by the Society of Apothcaries in 1673 and unsurprisingly I loved the edible part of the garden.

Then, we had afternoon tea, my second of the week! We got pots of tea and I had hot chocolate as well as water with mint for the table.

The savouries were smoked salmon, cucumber and egg sandwiches and a sundried tomato and goat's cheese quiche. All of which were delicious.

One of the highlights of tea were the lavender scones with clotted cream and jam, which were fantastic. We then had lemon drizzle cake, brownie, and orange and almond cake. The orange and almond cake was so moist and the brownie lovely and squidgy in the middle.

I would totally recommend a visit to Chelsea Physic Garden and the afternoon tea. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Har Gow (Prawn Dumplings)

Whilst on holiday me and my Mum made Chinese dumplings on our own. We made three different sorts at the cookery course but we decided to concentrate on the prawn ones as they were the most simple. They were much more simple to make and a lot less scary than we thought. They were really very easy and I had lots of food fooling about sealing them in different ways and making pretty shapes.

Har Gow (Prawn Dumplings)
(Makes 10)
For the filling:
80g raw king prawns, deveined and chopped
1 tsp water chestnuts, finely chopped
ginger, finely chopped
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornflour
pinch white pepper
For the dough:
30g wheat starch
20g tapioca flour
20g cornflour
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch salt
60g boiling water
1 tsp vegetable oil
Mix together all the filling ingredients.
To make the dough; Put all of the dry ingredients into a small plastic bowl. Weigh out the boiling water into a jug and add it to the dry ingredients, mix rapidly with a spoon for 15-20 secs then cover with a plate for 2 mins to cook the flour.
Add 1 tsp vegetable oil and knead the dough like you do bread for about 5 mins until it forms a soft dough.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Flatten each piece of dough and roll into a 3 in circle, add the filling, fold in half, pleat and seal well. Steam for 8 mins.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

BB Bakery Bus Afternoon Tea

Yesterday I met a friend and we went for an exciting afternoon tea - on a big red London bus!

We started our tour at Victoria Coach Station and then went on a tour around Central London, past sites such as The Albert Hall, Marble Arch, The Ritz and Buckingham Palace.

The table had an indentation for the orange juice, hot drink and a stuck down plate for the food. There was a choice of different teas, different coffees and hot chocolate, they were served in a travel cup to stop spillage.

The food; I had the traditional tea and Rhiannon had the veggie tea. I got a ham and cheese sandwich, a cucumber sandwich, a chicken and tomato roll, a mushroom quiche and a smoked salmon blini. The difference for Rhiannon were a cheese sandwich, a mozzarella roll and she had no smoked salmon on her blini.
There was a fab selection of cake, we had a chocolate macaron, a lemon meringue pie, a fruit tart, a  choux bun, and a cupcake with a raspberry hidden in the bottom.

We also got a scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. The whole tea was delicious and it was such a fun thing to tour around London eating it.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Chicken and Mushroom Spelt Pancake Bake

I wanted to make spelt pancakes and then the idea popped into my head of making it into a bake. This is a really lovely creamy dish and although it requires a bit of preparation is really very simple.

Chicken and Mushroom Spelt Pancake Bake
(Serves 4)

For the filling:
2 tbsp oil
3 large chicken breasts, cut into chunks
knob of butter
3 portobello mushrooms, sliced, then slices cut in half
bunch sage, chopped
300ml creme fraiche

For the pancakes:
100g spelt flour
2 eggs
200ml milk

For the bechamel:
40g butter
20g plain flour
425ml milk

100g cheddar, grated

Grease a large ovenproof dish.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chicken. Cook the chicken until golden, about 5-6 mins. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and a knob of butter, add the mushrooms and fry until golden. Add the chicken back to the pan with the sage and season. Stir in the creme fraiche and remove from the heat.

Next, make the pancakes. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add in the eggs and milk, whisk until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a frying pan and add a drop of oil. Pour a ladle of batter into the pan and swirl to cover the bottom. Cook for about 2-3 mins and then turn them over and cook for another 2 mins. The mixture should make 4-5 pancakes.

Fill each pancake with a quarter of the mixture and roll them up. Then place seam side down in the ovenproof dish.

Make the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter gently, as soon as the butter melts, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to cook the flour out. It should form a thick glossy paste.

Add the milk a little at a time and stir again vigorously. Then, when this milk is incorporated, add the next amount and continue incorporating each bit of liquid before you add the next. 

When about half the milk is in, switch to a balloon whisk and start adding large amounts of milk, but always whisking briskly. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the sauce cook for 5 mins, whisking from time to time. 

Pour the bechamel over the pancakes and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 mins until golden brown on top.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sourdough Crackers

I got some 100 year old starter from a lady where I live in Walthamstow. The starter even has a Facebook group! The first thing I made with it wasn't bread but was some crackers. I did however get distracted and so they cooked for much longer than they should have done. They were still pretty tasty but the top tray tasted a bit burnt, ah well I can always have another go. 

Sourdough Crackers (from Zero Waste Chef)

2/3 cup unfed starter from the refrigerator
3 tbsp coconut oil or butter or olive oil
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
olive oil for topping
extra coarse salt for topping

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Melt the coconut oil in a microwave. Combine the starter and coconut oil in a glass bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Combine. If necessary, knead the dough a few times to incorporate the last bit of flour. Cover the bowl with a plate or towel and let it rest overnight or for at least eight hours to develop the flavour.

After the dough has rested for 8 hours, divide it into two halves on a generously floured surface. Lay out a piece of greaseproof paper and roll the dough out to 2-3 mm thick. Sprinkle with flour between rollings to prevent dough from sticking to surface.

Transfer the greaseproof to a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the sheet of dough with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and cut into rectangles with a pizza cutter.

Bake for 8 mins, turn the trays and bake for 8 mins longer. The crackers are done when crispy and slightly browned. Transfer the crackers to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Daring Cooks August 2015: Raw Vanilla 'Cheesecake' with Date Caramel Sauce

For the August challenge Susan from The Kiwi Cook dared us to make healthy and wholesome raw ‘cheesecakes’ with no cream cheese in sight!
So with the idea of clean eating all over the internet I was really keen to try this recipe. To be honest I didn't think much to it, for me it was too nutty and not a patch on proper cheesecake. It was also a bit of a pain to make, I don't have anything anywhere near as powerful as a nutribullet so I had a real problem making things smooth enough. It reminded me of Indian sweets which are also really nutty. Anyway it's always good to try something once, even if it's only to find out that I wouldn't bother making it again!

Raw Vanilla 'Cheesecake' with Date Caramel Sauce
(Makes 6 small cheesecakes)
For the base:
1/2 cup (120ml) (85 gm) (3 oz) raw almonds, either with skins on or blanched (pecans or walnuts will also work)
Optional: 1/2 cup (120 ml) (38 gm) (1.3 oz) flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 cup (120 ml) (77 gm) (2.7 oz) soft pitted Medjool dates
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil, melted (or as needed)

For the filling:
1½ cups (375ml) (225gm) (8 oz) raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 5 hours or overnight
Juice of 1 lemon (two tablespoons worth) (30 ml)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
Optional: 1 teaspoon Savoury Yeast Flakes (Nutritional Yeast) - this adds a ‘cheesy’ flavour
1/3 cup(80 ml) raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup(80 ml) to taste of pure maple syrup, raw honey (solid or liquid), or agave nectar
Water: up to 6 tablespoons (90 ml)

For the date-caramel sauce
1 cup (240 ml) (154 gm) (5.4 oz) loosely packed pitted Sayer or Medjool dates
1-1/4 cup (300 ml) water (warm or hot is best)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2½ to 3 teaspoon (12 to 15ml) pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3.8 gm) baking powder
(Optional): 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (10 gm) (1/3 oz) chia seeds (don’t add if you want a very smooth sauce)

For the base:
Place all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) in a food processor and pulse to chop until they are to your desired texture (process longer for a finer texture).

Test the base by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your base is perfect. If it’s not quite there yet, add up to a tablespoon of coconut oil until the texture is right.

Divide base mixture into a lightly greased 6 or 12 hole muffin tin (I made six cheesecakes as my muffin pan holes are quite deep). Otherwise, if you have doubled or tripled the recipe, pour the mixture into an 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 cm) spring-form cake pan.

Press the mixture firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the surface is even. If making ahead, you can pop the bases into the freezer.
For the filling:
Warm the coconut oil in a small saucepan or fry-pan on low heat until melted (if you’re using solid honey, add it to the coconut oil at the same time and then whisk to combine).
In your most powerful food processor/blender place all filling ingredients, including the melted coconut oil (and melted honey, if using).

Pulse initially to break down the nuts, then blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes and you may need to stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the blender). If the mixture is too thick and it’s not blending smoothly, add a little water (up to 6 tablespoons (90 ml) may be necessary) and continue to process until smooth – the end result should be thick and gloopy (not runny). Give it a taste to check on its flavour and adjust as needed.

Divide the vanilla filling onto the bases in the muffin tin.

Place the pan into the freezer for at least two hours until the cheesecakes are solid.

To make the date caramel sauce: Pulse then blend all ingredients together in a food processor until very smooth (a few minutes). Scrape down sides and blend again for 30 seconds.


To serve, remove cheesecake/s from freezer at least 30 minutes prior to eating and remove from the muffin or cake pan.

Serve the individual cheesecakes on separate serving plates. Or, if you have made a full-sized cake, run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank Pasta with Pesto

I love a lamb shank. I love the flavour that comes from it and this pasta dish was so simple but really flavoursome. I love that I get the time to experiment and cook things that are more involved or take more time at the weekends and in the holidays. That for me is bliss.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank Pasta with Pesto (from Donna Hay)
(Serves 4-6)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1.2kg lamb shanks
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250ml dry white wine
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
4 sprigs thyme
250ml water
375g dried lasagne sheets
125g buffalo mozzarella, torn
4 tbsp pesto

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 1–2 mins each side or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1–2 mins or until softened. Add the wine, tomato, thyme and water and stir to combine. Add the lamb back to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone.

Remove the lamb from the pan and shred the meat from the bones with a fork, discarding the bones.

Break the lasagne sheets into rough pieces and cook in a large saucepan of boiling water for 8–10 mins or until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Add the shredded lamb and sauce and toss to combine.
Divide between plates and top with the buffalo mozzarella, spoon over the pesto to serve.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Gnocchi and Courgette Bake

Ah courgettes! I don't actually have as many this year as I have in some years although having said that I've picked six over the last week, so they're starting to come again. I've had this recipe in mind for a little while and I finally made it. I didn't squeeze the water out of the courgette but I suggest you do as mine ended up a little watery.

Gnocchi and Courgette Bakes (from WeightWatchers Cooking For Two)
(Serves 2)
(11 WW ProPoints per serving)

cooking spray
1 courgette, grated
200g fresh gnocchi
75g baby plum tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp pesto
6-8 fresh basil leaves, torn into shreds
2 eggs
100g low fat soft cheese
20g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 190C. Spray a shallow ovenproof dish with the cooking spray.

Grate the courgette into a tea towel and then squeeze out as much of the water as possible.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the gnocchi and cook according to packet instructions. Drain well, return to the saucepan and add the tomatoes, courgette, pesto and torn basil leaves, stirring gently to combine. Pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish.

Beat the eggs together with the soft cheese. Season with pepper and pour into the dish. Sprinkle with the parmesan.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 mins until set and golden brown. Serve with a green salad.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Bengali Spiced Trout Parcels

I loved this recipe. I made the trout and then ate it as a sandwich in a wrap with some lettuce and mango chutney and it was so good. Massively flavourful and not too bad for you either. You could equally use salmon and serve it with rice.

Bengali Spiced Trout Parcels (adapted from Skinny Meals in Heels by Jennifer Joyce)
(Serves 4)

4 trout fillets
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
3 sm piece of ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
small handful coriander, chopped
2 green chillis, seeds removed and chopped
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
200g low fat Greek Yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 200C. Rub the trout with the tumeric and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Place the ginger, garlic, coriander and nearly all of the chilli in a bowl. Add the mustard, half of the yoghurt and some salt and pulse to combine.

Prepare four doubled sheets of foil. Spread the paste on both sides of the fish. Place a piece on one half of a sheet of foil, then bring the other half over and fold in the sides to make a parcel and seal. Repeat with remaining fish.

Cook the parcel for 8-10 mins. If the fish is thick you might need a few more mins.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

I was looking through my Mum's cookbooks vaguely thinking about things I could do with loganberries and this recipe popped out at me. I had given her some loganberries which she had frozen on a tray and then packed into bags. Perfect for baking. I really enjoyed these brownies and loved the addition of the fresh fruit.

Chocolate Loganberry Brownies (adapted from Leiths Baking Bible)
(Makes 9ish)

2 eggs
200g caster sugar
115g butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla essence
55g self raising flour
45g cocoa powder
115g fresh loganberries

For the icing
85g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
15g butter

Heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8in square tin.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the cooled butter and vanilla essence.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together into the bowl and fold into the egg mixture with a metal spoon. Fold in half the loganberries.

Spread the brownie mixture into the tin then scatter the remaining brownies over the top.

Bake for 30-35 mins until risen and set. A skewer should come out slightly sticky. Allow to cool.

Make the icing: place the chocolate and butter unto a small bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Melt and stir together. Spread over the cooled brownies.

Chill until required and cut into pieces.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Pig's Trotters with Crunchy Coleslaw

So, pigs trotters, I picked these up at the farmers market in Walthamstow a couple of weeks ago. I'll try anything once, but this one, never again. Basically there was no meat on my trotters only skin and fat, so I don't think I'll be bothering with this again. Amazing crackling but not much else!

Pig's Trotters with Crunchy Coleslaw (from Good Food Channel)
(Serves 2)

4 pig's trotters
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1 onions
1 red pepper, seeds removed and sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeds removed and sliced
dash lemon juice

For the coleslaw
1 small white cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, grated
1 small courgette, grated
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp caster sugar
splash cider vinegar

To serve
baked sweet potatoes
hot sauce
cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash the trotters well and remove any excess hairs. This can be done by burning them off.

Rub the trotters in salt and lemon juice, then in the Cajun seasoning, rubbing them in well. Place the trotters on a baking tray or small roasting tin with the sliced peppers and onion. Roast for 1½ - 2 hours or until really tender.

For the coleslaw: while the trotters are cooking, combine all the coleslaw ingredients in a bowl, then season to taste with salt and pepper and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve the trotters with the coleslaw, baked sweet potatoes, hot sauce and vinegar.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Courgette and Cheese Spelt Scones

When we went to the e5 Bakehouse a couple of weeks ago, I bought a bag of spelt flour and was looking for something to try it out on. I made scones, I had courgette and a lump of mouldy cheese and so made courgette and cheese scones, these are lovely with soup and my Mum loves them for breakfast!

Courgette and Cheese Spelt Scones
(Makes 8)

1 medium courgette, grated
250g spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder
50g cheddar or blue cheese
3 tbsp finely chopped chives or parsley
125ml buttermilk or milk with a dash of lemon
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

Put the grate courgette into a tea towel and squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink.

Combine courgette, flour, cheese, chives and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add the buttermilk and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 2cm-thick piece.

Use a 5 cm-round pastry cutter dipped in flour to cut out rounds from dough.

Place on tray and brush a little milk over the top of the scones.

Bake for 10-15 mins until risen and golden.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Spring Veg Sausage Casserole

Ok so it's not really the weather for casseroles, but this is a delicious one and well worth making. I used broad beans out the garden and I would recommend double podding them but I didn't bother and it would have been better if I had. This is just such a bright and flavourful dish, I love all the fresh veggies in it.

Spring Veg Sausage Casserole (from Good Food Magazine July 2013)
(Serves 4)

1 tbsp oil
8 good-quality sausages
1 small onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, quartered, then sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp plain flour
150ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
200g pack green beans, halved
300g broad beans, double podded (unpodded weight)
300g peas
zest 1 lemon, juice of ½
handful parsley, chopped
handful basil, chopped

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sausages, cook for a few mins until browned all over, then transfer to a plate. Tip the onion and fennel into the pan and cook for 10-15 mins until nice and soft, then add the garlic and the fennel seeds. Cook for a few mins more, moving everything around the pan now and then, to prevent the garlic from burning.

Stir the flour into the vegetables, and cook for 1 min. Pour in the wine, let it bubble for 1 min, give everything a good stir, then add the stock and return the sausages to the pan, seasoning well. Cover, then gently simmer for 30 mins.

Add the green beans, broad beans and peas, then cook, uncovered, for 2 mins more. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, and herbs. Add a little more salt and pepper if it needs it, then serve with crusty bread.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Mexican Chicken Salad

I made this into a warm salad but there is no reason why you can't pack it into a lunchbox, just pack the tortilla chips separately and sprinkle over at lunchtime. I loved the combination of flavours and textures in this dish.

Mexican Chicken Salad (adapted from Good Housekeeping Salad Days)
(Serves 4)

2 chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
1 tsp fajita seasoning
225g sweetcorn
125g cheddar, grated
25g jalepeno peppers, chopped
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 spring onions, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
juice 1 lime
50g tortilla chips, crushed
salt and pepper

Heat a frying pan with come oil over a high heat. Sprinkle the fajita seasoning over the chicken and then add the chicken to the pan, cook for 5-6 mins until golden and cooked all the way through.

Divide the salad leaves between 4 bowls and top with the sweetcorn, jalepeno, beans and spring onions. Sprinkle over the tortilla chips and then top with the chicken followed by the grated cheese. serve.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Fish-rizo with Broad Beans

Apparently this dish is called fish-rizo because the seasoning resemble chorizo! I'm not sure that's try but it was a very flavourful dish. I couldn't keep my fish chunks whole, they rather disintegrated, if anyone knows how to keep them whole let me know, but this was till a lovely dish

Fish-rizo with Broad Beans
(from River Cottage Light and Easy - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
(Serves 4)

700g white fish fillets - pollack, coley, whiting haddock, cut into chunks
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
small pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 garlic clove, sliced
2 tbsp oil
150g cooked broad beans
juice 1/2 lemon
chopped mint

Put the fish into a bowl with the spices, garlic and oil. Add a pinch of salt and mix so that the fish is covered. Leave for up to half an hour in the fridge if you have time.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add a little oil, then the fish, cook tossing often, for 4-5 mins, until cooked through. Stir in the broad beans and cook for another min. Squeeze over the lemon juice and remove from the heat.

Divide between bowls and sprinkle over the mint.