Saturday, 28 May 2011

Sausage, Mash and Onion Gravy

One of the jobs in the kitchen I dislike doing the most is peeling potatoes, but I absolutely love mash. So, I put some Glee on and started peeling. Thinking ahead to tomorrow's dinner, I was considering what to serve with a rack of lamb and decided I'd make enough mash for that too.

Cooking things in bulk is a good way of making future meals easy with little extra effort. Mash can be refrigerated for a couple of days, though when reheating you may need to add a touch of milk or butter to help it along. It can also be frozen, just make sure it's defrosted before reheating.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Beef and Red Wine Casserole without dumplings

Originally, this dish was meant to be served with dumplings, but something happened and their texture was horrendous. So, I thought on my feet and quickly got a pan of pasta on the go.

Was really looking forward to those dumplings too.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Greek Salad

As part of mine and my mum's healthy eating regime, we're having salad twice a week. So, to keep it interesting and tasty, I'm making different salads. With the inclusion of radishes, this Greek salad may not strictly be a Greek salad but it sure was nice. It also contained tomatoes, cucumber, green olives and feta.

Normally, I find feta a bit bland and lacking any depth of flavour but I thought I'd splash out on it this time and I bought Tesco Finest Feta - this was definitely the right choice. It wasn't as rubbery as feta can sometimes be, and it certainly wasn't bland and tasteless. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Kids Cooking: Chocolate Circles

Yesterday my niece asked me if I would do some baking with her and my thoughts turned to a disaster filled kitchen with fire and flames every where... how wrong I was.

She had a recipe for Chocolate Circles that was, in fact, little more than melted chocolate which was shaped into circles and left to set in the fridge. But, their simplicity was genius. I proceeded to set up two bain maries (a pan of water with a bowl on top) to melt the chocolate in, while my niece [generously] weighed out the chocolate drops. 

Once the chocolate melted, I showed her how to make the circles and she promptly (if not a little messily) made the rest. She then placed a diamond jelly on each one and left them to set in the fridge.


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Cheese and Onion Tart with minted new potatoes and salad

This is such an easy recipe and it can be made a day or two ahead to save time. It's also a cheap meal if you need to save money or are working to a budget. 
Depending on the type of cheese you use in the tart, you can make it as luxurious or simple as you wish. For this one, I chose cheddar. But, I've also been known to through in some pecorino or mozzarella.

For the tart: 
The first thing to do is blind bake the pastry. This is done by greasing your tart dish, lining it with shortcrust pastry, placing greaseproof paper on top of the pastry and filling it with ceramic beans or dried beans. This is then placed into a hot oven for 10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and lightly golden. The reason for this process is that if it is not done the pastry will not cook underneath its filling (I shall do a post at a later point for pastry).  

 Gently sweat 2 finely sliced onions in some butter for 10 minutes until soft and transparent. Allow to cool. In a bowl, mix 2 beaten whole eggs and 1 egg yolk, 300ml single cream and 150g cheese. Mix in the onions and season. Tip into the blind baked pastry in the tart dish and bake for 1 hour at Gas Mark 4. The mixture should be set but not brown too much on top. Leave to cool before turing out on to a plate.

For the new potatoes:
Cut any larger potatoes so that they are all roughly the same size. Boil in a pan of salted water, with a small handful of fresh mint, for 10-15 minutes (depending on size). Drain, return to the pan, season and add a knob of butter. Serve either hot or cold.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Having had a gorgeous BBQ the previous day I was left with 2 homemade beef burgers and 4 people to feed. By using some basic store cupboard ingredients I always keep (tinned tomatoes and chilli) and some fresh oregano from the garden, I turned the burgers into a more than substantial meal for four. Topped with plenty of cheese, we ate out in the garden just as the sun was setting (you can see Billy's shadow).