Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Goat and Beetroot Curry

This was a delicious curry, the original recipe calls for beef but I had some goat meat so I used that instead. I love the flavour of goat. This was a slightly sweet curry with the beetroot, so you don't mango chutney, some raita or natural yoghurt would go alongside nicely.

Goat and Beetroot Curry (from Good Food Magazine February 2016)
(Serves 6)

750g raw beetroot, stalks trimmed to 1cm
finger-length piece ginger, chopped
3 garlic clove
1 red chilli
small bunch coriander, ½ leaves reserved to serve, remaining leaves and stalks roughly chopped
6 cardamom pods
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp treacle
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp fennel seed
¼ tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1½ kg goat meat, cut into big chunks
2 onion, chopped
2 beef stock cubes
2 tsp garam masala

Put the beetroot in a large pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender – check with a skewer; you may need to remove smaller ones first while the larger ones carry on cooking. Drain and cool, then peel the skin and remaining stalks. Chop into large chunks and set aside two-thirds for later.

Put the remaining one-third beetroot in a food processor with the ginger, garlic, chilli, chopped coriander, cardamom pods, tomato paste, treacle, cumin, ground coriander, fennel seeds, cloves and 2 tsp pepper. Whizz to a paste.

Heat oven to 160C.

Heat half the oil in a big flameproof casserole. Fry the goat chunks in batches until browned all over, removing to a dish as you go.

Add the remaining oil, lower the heat, then tip in the onions and fry gently until softened, scraping up the beefy bits. Tip in the spice paste and fry for 5 mins until fragrant. Return the beef and stock cubes with enough boiling water from a kettle to cover. Bring to a simmer, then put on the lid and bake for 2 hrs.

Uncover and bake for a further 30 mins until the goat is really tender. Put back on the hob and stir in the garam masala and reserved beetroot to heat through. Season with salt, scatter with coriander leaves and serve.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Prawn Mac and Cheese

This month for Secret Recipe Club I had Emily from Life On Food, there isn't a lot of information about her on her blog but I could guess she has a sweet tooth! I went for one of her savoury recipes though; Prawn Mac and Cheese. I love mac and cheese but had never though of adding prawns to the mix.

I changed the recipe a little, adding in kale as it needed using before I went on holiday. I also used up all the little bits of cheese in my fridge, but I have put the cheeses from the original recipe below. This was absolutely delicious and the prawns are a fantastic addition.

Prawn Mac and Cheese (from Life On Food)
(Serves 4)

250g dried pasta shapes
bunch kale, sliced
250ml milk
2 tbsp butter, divided
4 tbsp plain flour
170g Gruyere cheese, grated
110g cheddar, grated
salt and pepper
200g cooked prawns, halved
45g Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring some water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions, adding the kale for the last 2-3 mins of cooking time. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the flour. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 2 mins. Gradually add the milk a little at a time, stirring in between each addition until thickened and smooth.

Remove from heat and add the Gruyere, cheddar, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta, and prawns and stir well to coat everything. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the top of the mac and cheese and bake for 30-35 mins until golden on top and the pasta is bubbling.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Cumin, Barley and Cabbage Soup

I got a savoy cabbage in my veg bag, I'm not a big fan of savoy cabbage so I wasn't really sure what to do with it. In the end I made some of it into soup. This was a lovely filling winter soup, filled with veg.

Cumin, Barley and Cabbage Soup (from Cooking On a Bootstrap)
(Serves 4)

200g pearl barley
2 small onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
2 large carrots, grated
1.5l vegetable stock
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
juice 1 lemon
1/2 savoy cabbage, sliced

Put the onions into a saucepan with the oil, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Cook over a very low heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. When the onion and garlic are softened, grate one of your carrots and add to the onions and garlic, and stir.

Add the barley, pour over the stock, squeeze in the lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and reduce to a simmer for 40 mins, if the soup starts to dry out, add a cup of water and stir well. Add the cabbage and cook for 5 more mins. Serve.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Crispy Potato and Beetroot Cake

I made this lovely potato cake for lunch this week and I have to say it is delicious. A really good way to use up those beetroot. It was a bit like a big potato rosti that had been baked. I served it with green salad.

Crispy Potato and Beetroot Cake with Sweet Mustard Sauce
(Serves 8)

25g butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
2kg large Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved
1 onion
4 tbsp olive oil
500g beetroot, washed, trimmed and peeled
100g Jarlsberg cheese, rind removed
1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme leaves, plus extra to garnish

For the sweet mustard sauce
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill leaves

Preheat the oven to 190°C.  Grease a 23cm loose-bottom spring-form tin with butter, line the base with baking parchment and grease that too. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

Put the potatoes into a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Cook for just 5 mins then drain and leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, coarsely grate the onion and squeeze to remove any juice. Divide the onion evenly between 2 large mixing bowls. Coarsely grate the cooled potatoes into one bowl, tossing with the oil and some seasoning as you go. Coarsely grate the beetroot and Jarlsberg into the other bowl and toss with the thyme and some seasoning.

Scatter half of the potato mixture into the tin, without pressing it down, season, then scatter the beetroot mixture over the top, again without pressing down. Season again then finish with the remaining potato, without pressing it down, and dot with the butter.

Cover with a generous tent of foil that doesn't touch the top. Bake on the preheated tray for 1 hour, then remove the foil and cook for a further 30 mins or until tender and the top is crisp and golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients together with 2 tbsp warm water and season to taste.

 Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife, then remove the tin and parchment and slide onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with extra thyme leaves before cutting into wedges serve with the sauce alongside.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Meal Planning Monday

So, once again I am late with this.

Last week was lovely and I saw some of my favourite people. On Tuesday evening I went to The Breakfast Club for what in the end was a really disappointing meal. We had Salted Caramel Milkshake, which was really good. Then, Chicken and Waffles with Chilli Butter, Gravy and Maple Syrup, which was well, not very crispy, and there were just too many conflicting flavours going on. We also shared a portion of poutine, which had way too much gravy, not enough curd and ended up soggy.

At the weekend I met my sister and we went to Shoryu for lunch. I had the Curry Ramen, which was really good, the broth was pretty spicy but once the noodles and chicken were out of the broth they were edible! 

Then I went out on Saturday evening to Sodo Pizza in Walthamstow. Their speciality is sourdough pizza, I went for Winter Goat, which had olives, goat's cheese, walnuts and caramelised onions, it was good pizza!

We also had pudding, Tiramisu and Brownie with Salted Caramel.

Then we went to Mirth, Marvel and Maud for a David Bowie tribute evening and we saw this lovely lady; This Is Cleo sing.

This week is short because on Saturday I am off to Vietnam for 2 weeks. I am kinda scared, kinda excited! So the meals are clear out the fridge, quick and easy meals, especially as I have a few things to get sorted for my holiday in the evenings.


Salmon and Watercress Quiche with Salad

Salmon and Cream Cheese Wrap with Crisps



Chicken, Squash and Pesto Lasagne

I've been making lots of stuff with squash, I had one huge one and I've made several things with it. This lasagne was delicious. The top layer went lovely and crunchy and then teh soft pasta underneath.

Chicken, Squash and Pesto Lasagne (from Good Food Magazine July 2013)
(Serves 6)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onion, chopped
2 garlic clove, crushed
4 skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp plain flour
600ml chicken stock
500g tub mascarpone
190g jar pesto
bunch basil leaves, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
good grating of nutmeg
12 lasagne sheets
85g Parmesan, grated
splash of milk
50g pine nut

Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a few mins more. Push the onions and garlic to the edge of the pan, add the chicken breasts and cook for a few mins each side to brown. Sprinkle over the flour and stir it into the onion mixture. Pour in the stock and season. Cover and simmer for 10 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.
Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Add half the mascarpone and the pesto to the chicken, stirring until the mascarpone has melted into the sauce, bubble for a few mins to thicken a little, then remove from the heat and stir in the basil.

Meanwhile, put the squash in a large bowl with 2 tbsp of water, cover with cling film and microwave on high for 12-15 mins, until really soft. Season the squash with a little nutmeg and some salt and pepper, and mash lightly with a fork.

Heat oven to 180C. Spoon half the chicken mixture into the bottom of a 20 x 30 cm ovenproof dish. Cover with 4 lasagne sheets, then the butternut squash and half the Parmesan. Top with another 4 lasagne sheets, the remaining chicken mixture, then a final layer of lasagne. Mix enough milk into the remaining mascarpone to make a smooth sauce. Season with more nutmeg, salt and pepper, then pour over the lasagne. Scatter over the remaining Parmesan and the pine nuts.

Put into the oven and bake for 40 mins until crunchy and golden on top. Scatter with a few extra basil leaves before serving.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Falafel Hash with Baba Ganoush

I made this delicious salad to take to lunch a couple of times this week. The baba ganoush was really good and I added in pickled cabbage to add a contrast in flavour.

Falafel Hash with Baba Ganoush
(Serves 6)

3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 aubergines
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1½ tbsp tahini
1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
2 x 400g cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
28g pack fresh coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped

To serve
6–12 pitta breads
chilli sauce

Preheat the grill and line a baking tray with tin foil.

Slice 2 cloves garlic in half lengthways. Make a deep slit in the side of each aubergine and push two halves of garlic into each one. Place the stuffed aubergines on the baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil and place under the grill. Cook for 20 mins, turning over halfway through, until soft and lightly scorched on the outside.

Leave until cool enough to handle, then place on a chopping board, slice off the stalk and discard. Slice each aubergine open and scoop the soft flesh and garlic onto the board. Discard the skin. Top the aubergine with the tahini, juice from half the lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil and season. Chop all the ingredients together repeatedly to make a rough paste. Transfer to a dish and top with a drizzle of olive oil.

Place the chick peas in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Simmer for 5 mins then drain and leave to cool in the sieve.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the red onion and stir-fry for 2–3 mins until starting to soften. Chop the last clove of garlic and add to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 mins until the onions have softened. Add the chick peas and carrots, stir to combine, then fry for 1 min more. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the chick peas until about half are crushed. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the juice from the remaining lemon and the chopped coriander. Season to taste. Serve the hash with the aubergine dip, warmed pittas, olives with feta, chilli sauce and lemon wedges.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Salmon, Prawn and Spinach Curry

This was a delicious curry, lightly spicy and very favourful. 

Salmon, Prawn and Spinach Curry (from Delicious Magazine November 2010)
(Serves 4)

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 cm piece of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 fresh curry leaves
1 400ml tin coconut milk
juice 1 lime
150g baby spinach leaves
200g raw king prawns
200g salmon, skinned and in chunks

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 mins until softened.

Whizz the ginger, garlic and chilli in a small blender until finely chopped. Add to the onion with the ground spices. Fry for 3-4 mins.

Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, and cook for 6-7 mins. Pour in the coconut milk and lime juice, simmer over a medium heat for 8-10 mins.

Add the spinach to the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 mins until wilted, stirring occasionally. Add the prawns and salmon and cook for 3-4 mins or until the prawns are pink. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Cream Cheese and Chive Scones

These are the savoury scones I made for Mother's Day. I really like a savoury scone and these were lovely, light and fluffy.

Cream Cheese and Chive Scones (from The Creekside Cook)
(Makes 10-15)

375g self-raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
70g cold butter, cut in small cubes
115g cold cream cheese, cut in small cubes
250ml buttermilk
1 bunch chives, chopped
extra buttermilk for brushing.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

Put the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse 10 times or so until completely mixed. Add the butter and cream cheese cubes to the processor and pulse another 10 times or so.

Add the chives, distributed fairly evenly over the surface of the flour mixture and then pour the buttermilk over. Hold down the pulse button for a few seconds at a time, turning on and off 5 to 7 times, until a dough forms.

Flour a board, and put the dough onto the board. Sprinkle the top lightly with flour, and flour your hands as well. Knead gently a few times until you have a fairly smooth ball. Pat or roll the dough into a circle, about an inch thick. Cut them into scone shapes.

Place the scones onto the baking sheet, leaving spaces between them. Brush the top of each scone with buttermilk. Put into the oven and bake for about 15-18 mins, until nicely browned on the top.

Serve with lots of butter.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Meal Planning Monday

So I had a lovely Saturday, I met my Mum and we went on a tour of Broadcasting House, which was fantastic and I even got to read the news! Sadly the tours will stop in April and our guide told us that her whole department has been made redundant.

Afterwards we went to Chotto Matte in Soho. It is a restaurant serving Nikkei cuisine; a fusion between Peruvian and Japanese. We had the Pre-theatre menu, which for £25 included a glass of Prosecco. We started with miso soup and then had a bento box with Padron peppers, den miso, Wild prawn tempura huacatay, Nikkei sashimi salad, Sea bass ceviche, Sushi with toppings, Spicy tuna and yellowtail sushi roll, Black cod aji miso, BBQ chicken picante and Steamed rice.

It was absolutely delicious. Then for dessert I went with the Passionfruit brûlée with Guava Ice Cream and my Mum had mango sorbet.

All in all the meal was delicious, really interesting flavours and textures. The bento in the end was a lot of food but it was worth it to try a bit of everything! They made changes to it to fit our dietary requirements. 

This week is somewhat busier as things hot up before I go on holiday. I am going out for dinner tomorrow to The Breakfast Club, then to Ceilidh on Friday and out for Pizza and to see a David Bowie tribute evening at Maud, Mirth and Marvel on Saturday evening.

Crispy Beetroot and Potato Cake with Salad
Salmon Hash with Salad

Salmon and Prawn Cauliflower Chowder with a Scone
Out at Breakfast Club

Cumin, Barley and Cabbage Soup
Macaroni Cheese with Prawns and Kale

Crispy Beetroot and Potato Cake with Salad
Goat and Cashew Curry with Rice

Salmon and Prawn Sandwich Pie with Crisps
Bacon, Courgette and Goat's Cheese Filo Pie with Salad

Veggie Burger
Out for Pizza

Veal Burger
Spaghetti Squash Chicken Casserole

Triple Ginger Cake

So this formed part of the cake bit of the afternoon tea we made for my Mum on Mother's Day. It was delicious, lovely and moist. 

Triple Ginger Cake (from Good Food Magazine October 2006)

250g pack butter
250g dark brown muscovado sugar
250g black treacle or molasses
300ml milk
2 eggs
100ml glacé ginger from a jar, finely chopped
375g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp ground ginger

For the icing
3 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar
5 tbsp icing mix

Butter and line a 23cm square baking tin (or use a shallow roasting tin, approx 30 x 20cm). Preheat the oven to 160C.

Put the butter, sugar and treacle into a saucepan and heat gently for about 5 mins until the butter and sugar have melted. Stir in the milk. The mix should be just warm to the touch; if not, leave to cool a little longer, then beat in the eggs.

Mix the chopped ginger and dry ingredients together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the melted mix into the well, then gradually draw the dry ingredients into the wet with a wooden spoon, until you have a thick, smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then bake for 1 hr until risen and firm to the touch. Poke a skewer into the centre to check that it's cooked - it should come out clean. If not, give it 10 mins more and check again. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Once completely cool, turn out of the tin ready for icing.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the gingery syrup. Beat well until you have a smooth, runny icing. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle with icing and cut into squares. If you're planning to let the cake mature for a while, make the icing on the day you want to cut it.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Hash Brown Pizza

So I have a lot of mushrooms in my fridge at the moment and in looking for something to do with them I came across this hash brown pizza which fitted in perfectly with afternoon tea on Mother's Day. This was really tasty and I will definitely be making it again. You can always change the topping to whatever you have in the fridge.

Hash Brown Pizza (from Slimming Eats)
(Serves 1)

1 large potato, peeled and grated
3 large mushroom, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 slices of bacon, chopped
40g mozzarella cheese, broken up into small pieces
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 200C.

Place the grated potato into a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Put into a bowl and season well with salt and pepper.

Spray a baking tray with cooking spray and flatten out your grated potato on the tray, making it into a circular shape. Spray the top with cooking spray and place in the oven. Carefully turn over with a spatula when the underside is golden to repeat the process with the other side.

Meanwhile, spray a frying pan with some cooking spray and add you onions, mushrooms and bacon and cook for a few minutes until golden.

Remove the hash brown from the oven and arrange the mushroom, onion and bacon mixture on top, leaving a space in the centre. Put the halved tomatoes and mozzarella on top of the mushroom mixture. Crack the egg into the space in the centre. Return it back to the oven and continue to bake until the egg is cooked to your liking, about 7 mins for a runny yolk. Serve topped with the parsley.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Foodies Read 2016: Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust

I love a good culinary mystery from Buttercream Bump Off to White House Mysteries, I'm slowly making my way through some of the series that are produced mostly in the States. I have a huge stack of them to read so maybe doing this will make me read more of them!

This is the first in a new series - The Spice Shop Mysteries - by Gail Oust.

This one wasn't the best I've read, the main character owns a spice shop and sleuths out the murderer of a local chef, after she is first a suspect and then cleared of his murder. Some of it doesn't ring true but I liked the depictions of the South and it was at least fairly fast paced. About half way through the book the hunky local vet invites her over for dinner and makes chicken tandoori using a garam masala that she blends for him in her shop, so that's what I decided to make.

Tandoori Chicken (from Good Food Magazine October 2011)
(Serves 4)

juice 1 lemon
2 tsp paprika
8 skinless chicken thighs
vegetable oil, for brushing

For the marinade
150ml Greek yogurt
large piece ginger, grated
2 garlic clove, crushed
¾ tsp garam masala
¾ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric

Mix the lemon juice with the paprika in a large shallow dish. Slash each chicken thigh three times, then turn them in the juice and set aside for 10 mins.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and pour over the chicken. Give everything a good mix, then cover and chill for at least 1 hr. This can be done up to a day in advance.

Heat the grill. Lift the chicken pieces onto a grill rack. Grill for 8 mins on each side or until lightly charred and completely cooked through.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Salmon and Aubergine Cannelloni

I made this beautiful cannelloni bake last week. It was a bit fiddly to make but delicious. It did start to go brown very quickly so I would check on it and cover with foil if it looks brown on top before the cooking time is up.

Salmon and Aubergine Cannelloni (from Good Food Magazine November 2011)
(Serves 6)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, halved and sliced
2 aubergine, sliced and diced
1kg carton passata
200ml dry white wine
3 tbsp capers
1 tbsp caster sugar
500g tub mascarpone
300ml milk
145g tub fresh pesto
3 egg, beaten
6 salmon fillet, skinned
12 sheets fresh lasagne
2 x 400g bags spinach
50g Parmesan, grated

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions for 10 mins, until starting to turn golden. Stir in the aubergines, then fry 5 mins more to soften them. Pour in the passata and wine, then stir in the capers, sugar, 1 tsp salt and some black pepper. Cover and cook for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, put 250g mascarpone into a bowl with the milk, pesto and eggs, and beat until smooth.

Halve each salmon fillet to make 2 long pieces. Spread 1 tbsp of the remaining mascarpone over each pasta sheet, add a piece of salmon, then season and roll up.

Wash and wilt the spinach in a large pan (you don’t need to add oil), then squeeze as much liquid as you can from it – this is important as otherwise the pasta bake will be too wet. Spread the spinach on the base of a large lasagne dish or roasting tin, measuring approx 27 x 35cm.

Arrange the salmon and lasagne parcels on the spinach, then pour over the tomato and aubergine sauce. Carefully pour over the pesto and mascarpone layer.

Preheat the oven to 190C, sprinkle the Parmesan over the mascarpone and bake for 40 mins until bubbling. Serve with a green salad.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Meal Planning Tuesday

Once again this is a day late, in my defence, it's been a busy couple of weeks.

Let's start with last week. So I went to The Afghan Kitchen in Islington on Monday evening with a friend and we tried the Aubergine with Yoghurt, Lamb with Spinach and Rice, we would have had the bread too but it doesn't start until about 7.30pm! The meal was delicious and very reasonably priced too, just a shame about the bread. They also do take away, hot or cold.

We then wandered up Upper Street to Belle Epoque a new french patisserie/cafe closer to Highbury and Islington. We had hot chocolate and tried two cakes, Belle Epoque and Dulcey and Fig, both of which were absolutely delicious and I would totally recommend trying them out.

On Wednesday my veg bag arrived, in it was a cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, parsnips and cavolo nero. I haven't used any of it yet but I have plans for this week. It's definitely making me be more creative with veg.

Thursday was World Book Day and one of my friends made me a beautiful cake to take into work. It was beautiful and just as tasty. Everyone at work loved it.

I also spent the week decorating gingerbread men with all the classes and got this lovely thank you drawing from one of the nursery children!

The weekend continued to be busy. On Saturday I met some friends and went to Vapiano on Southwark Street. I had prawn and spinach pasta, it was so fresh, made there right in front of you. I also had a mini tiramisu, which was yummy.

Then on Sunday my sister and I made Afternoon Tea for my Mum. I made fruit scones, cream cheese and chive scones and triple ginger cake. Emma made mini pavlova, which were fantastic and the sandwiches, complete with homemade bread. It was such a lovely afternoon, we went for a stroll round the Olympic Park and then back for the tea. 

To keep in the spirit of the week we also decorated gingerbread men!!

This week is much quieter and it needs to be. So i'm going to the theatre on Wednesday with my father and on a tour of Broadcasting House on Saturday and that is it! I am so looking forward to the rest and being able to get housework done!

Thai Green Chicken Soup with Scone
Turkey Biryani with Salad


Out before the theatre

Tartiflette with Pickles and Salad




Eggless Gingerbread Men

So last week it was World Book Day and I did a project with the whole school in library lessons last week. I read the gingerbread man to the younger classes and then they decorated gingerbread men and the older ones decorated them as book characters. It was a lot of fun. I had one child who was allergic to eggs so I made some eggless dough, which was just as easy to handle as normal dough and baked the same.

Eggless Gingerbread Men (from Spice Up the Curry)
(Makes 15-18 gingerbread men)

200g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
90g butter
1 1/2 tsp oil
70g light brown sugar
6 tbsp molasses

Sieve the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder into a bowl.

Put the butter, oil and light brown sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and beat until it is all combined.

Sieve the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder into the bowl and mix with a spoon to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and put into the fridge for 30 mins.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let it stand for 5 mins, so it softens slightly. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180C.

Flour a wooden board or work surface and roll out the dough until about 1/2 cm thick. Cut out using a gingerbread man cutter and transfer to the lined baking sheet.

Put the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray for 5 mins and then transfer to a wire rack. Decorate and eat!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet Bake

This is the last of that languishing jar of sauerkraut. I actually really enjoyed this dish, it was caramelised and yummy with the crispy potatoes on top.

Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet Bake (from Platings and Pairings)
(Serves 6)

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper
125ml dry white wine or vermouth
2 tbsp chopped parsley
400g kielbasa sausage, sliced
450g sauerkraut, rinsed and squeezed dry
5 tbsp sour cream
1 cup shredded Emmental cheese
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 tsp oil

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large oven-proof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and red pepper and cook until softened. Add the sliced sausage and saute until beginning to brown. Add the sauerkraut, mustard, fennel seeds, cayenne, and pepper, and stir until heated through, about 4 mins.

Add the wine and parsley and cook for an additional 2 mins. Spread the sour cream over the mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Toss the potato slices with 1 tsp oil and the salt. Arrange the seasoned potatoes in a tight formation over the sauerkraut mixture and bake for 40-50 mins, until the potato slices are browning at the edges and the mixture is bubbling. Serve.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Quinoa, Smoked Salmon and Dill Lunch Pot

I made this yummy lunch pot a couple of weeks ago. It was really simple to make and used up lots of the things in my fridge. 

Quinoa, Smoked Salmon and Dill Lunch Pot (from Good Food Magazine April 2015)
(Serves 2)

100g quinoa
2 tbsp half-fat soured cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ pack dill, finely chopped
½ cucumber, halved and sliced
4 radishes, finely sliced
100g smoked salmon, torn into strips

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. Drain and run under cold tap, drain again well.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Mix the soured cream and lemon juice together in a bowl, then add most of the dill, reserving a quarter for serving.

In another bowl, combine the quinoa with the cucumber and radishes, and stir through half the dressing. Season and top with the salmon and the rest of the dill. Put the other half of the dressing in a small pot and drizzle over the quinoa just before serving.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Squash Gnocchi, Sausage and Kale Bake

I have a lot of squash leftover sitting in my shed from the Pick Your Own back in October. So I'm now endeavouring to do things with it, the first thing I thought of was gnocchi, so I made a huge batch of the dough, most of which I froze but the rest of which I used to make this lovely bake. It was very tasty.

Squash Gnocchi, Sausage and Kale Bake
(Serves 4)

250g gnocchi or squash gnocchi
6 sausages, sliced
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml milk
2 tbsp pesto
100g mozzarella, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
25g parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an ovenproof dish.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over a medium-high heat for 8-10 mins or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; set aside. Place the frying pan back on the heat and cook the kale for 5 mins, or until wilted a little. Put the sausage back into the frying pan.

In a saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the garlic and cook until lightly golden, about 1 min. Whisk in flour until mixture thickens. Add the milk gradually and whisk until the sauce thickens. Stir in the pesto and 50g of the cheese. Stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the gnocchi, sausage, and kale to the cheese sauce and stir to combine, pour into the ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove the foil and bake for an 5 mins longer, or until the cheese is golden and melted. Serve with a green salad

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Meal Planning Monday

So you will all note that this wasn't posted yesterday as usual. I spent most of Sunday making and baking 124 gingerbread men for World Book Day as the kids at school are decorating them in library lessons this week.

We also have an inspection coming up at school this week so I have been busy preparing for that as well.

I did have a wonderful Saturday afternoon having Afternoon Tea on a boat on the Thames for my sister's 30th birthday. It was a fab afternoon and the food was delicious.

This week is fairly quiet, I'm off to The Afghan Kitchen tonight and making more gingerbread men until I get to 220!!

Baked Potato with Prawn Cocktail 

Curried Parsnip Soup with a Scone
Out at Afghan Kitchen

Meatloaf with Celeriac Mash


Salmon Pasta Salad
Chicken Tandoori with Rice



Out for Mother's Day