Fish pie

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I make this on quite a regular basis. The recipe varies sometimes, as I try to use up left over veg. I have been known to put a few chilli flakes in as well.

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 800g potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 400g fish pie mix
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 parsnip (grated)
  • Handful of kale (chopped)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 garlic clove (grated)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 lemon (juice and rind)
  • Small handful of parsley (finely chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese (grated)

Method:

Put the potatoes on to boil for 10-15 minutes, until soft.

Meanwhile put the carrot, parsnip, kale, cherry tomatoes, garlic, fennel seeds, lemon juice and rind, fish and parsley into a deep dish and mix well.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Drain the potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Mash well.

Spread the mash evenly over the top of the fish/veg mix and top with cheese.

Cook in the middle of a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about 40 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.

Lamb Rissoles

DSC_0321Thanks to my grandad, these will be forever known in my family as arseholes. I love them, though they don’t seem to be that well known in the UK. There are many different versions available, but this is how I remember them from my childhood.

Serve with boiled potatoes and gravy.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 250g lamb mince
  • 40g breadcrumbs + a little extra for coating
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Handful finely chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove (grated)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Method:

Blitz the onion in a food processor. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well.

Split the mixture into 4. Squash each portion firmly into a ball shape and flatten each ball to form a burger.

Put some breadcrumbs onto a plate and push the rissoles into the crumbs, coating all the edges and sides.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the rissoles for about 5 minute on each side.

Nutroast

IMG_20170406_192806_232This is a traditional Sunday roast alternative – just as time consuming to make, but tasty and super healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 sticks celery (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (grated)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 150g chestnuts (chopped)
  • 80g dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons aqua faba (juice from a can of chick
  • peas)
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and celery for about 5 mins, to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 mins.

Add the red pepper, carrot, cranberries, oregano and paprika and cook for a few minutes.

Add the red lentils, tomato puree, and the vegetable stock and simmer over a very gentle heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is fairly dry.

Stir in the breadcrumbs, nuts, aqua faba, parsley, and season with salt & pepper.

Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin and press down the surface .

Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 mins, remove the foil and bake for a further 10–15 mins until firm.

Salmon gravadlax

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This is a very famous old Norse dish, a traditional method to preserve fish that has become expensive to buy.

Traditionally this would have been fermented, and some recipes add vodka or gin.

Slice thinly and serve on rye bread.

 

Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch

Ingredients:

  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 80g sea salt
  • 20g dill (finely chopped)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Pepper (to season)
  • 2 salmon fillets

Method:

Mix the sugar, salt, dill & lemon juice well and season with pepper.

Place some cling film into a dish and lay 1 salmon fillet, skin side down and cover with the sugar/salt mix.

Place the second fillet, skin side up, on top and wrap tightly in the cling film.

Place something heavy on top and leave in the fridge for 2 – 4 days, depending on how salty you want the fish to be. Turning every 12 hours.

Cheesy asparagus and bacon tart

DSC_0056This one is a bit of a cheats tart. It’s quick to put together, but really tasty. I make it with pre rolled puff pastry, but you could make the pastry from scratch.

 

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 320g Pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 250g Streaky bacon (cut into 2cm pieces)
  • 1 fennel bulb (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 leek (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 100g asparagus sticks
  • A little Cheddar cheese to top

Method:

Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius

Place the pastry onto a baking tray and fold the sides in, to form an edge. Place baking beads onto the pastry and put into the oven for about 10 minutes to brown.

Meanwhile fry the fennel, leek and garlic in a little olive oil, with the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

Take the pastry out of the oven, remove the baking beads and cover with the veg and bacon. Trim and lay the asparagus sticks across the top and cover with slices of cheese, I use cheddar, but mozzarella also works well.

Place in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and started to brown.

Apple & mead cake

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This pudding is inspired by a German apple cake, replacing the milk and sugar to make a really moist honey flavoured cake.

In Autumn I pruned my neighbour’s apple tree in exchange for buckets of fresh apples and this pudding is perfect for using them up.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 125g vegetable spread( I use stork)
  • 160g honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g plain flour (sifted)
  • 1 level tsp baking powder (sifted)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 70 ml mead
  • ½ a dessert apple, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 ½ tsp of demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Beat the spread, honey and eggs together in a bowl with an electric mixer.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt & mead. Mix well.

Spoon into a 7½ inch round cake tin and arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the cake. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cake mix.

Wrap the tin in grease proof paper, this will help prevent the cake from burning.

Cook for 40 – 45 minutes in the centre of the oven.

Remove the paper for the last 5 minutes to allow the top to brown a little.

Drizzle with a little honey and leave to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. The cake will continue to cook during this time.

Banana muffins

This recipe is perfect for using up those slightly sweeter, over ripe, bananas.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 280g plain flour (sieved)
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large bananas (mashed)
  • 125g honey
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 80ml mead
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 40g linseed
  • Pumpkin seeds (to top)

Method:

In a large bowl mix the bananas, honey, eggs, oil & mead.

Add the flour, bicarb, and salt, and mix well. It should still be quite lumpy. Add the linseeds and stir through.

Divide the mix into cupcake cases and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds onto each one.

Put in the centre if a pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius

Lentil bolognese

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A great vegetarian version of the classic bolognese.

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 250g red lentils
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 4 celery sticks (chopped)
  • 2 parsnips (grated)
  • 1 fennel bulb (cubed)
  • 12 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of basil (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 stock cube
  • 125ml red wine
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, (cut in half)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

To serve;

  • Cheddar (grated for topping)
  • Garlic bread
  • Pasta twists

Method:

Heat a little oil in a large pan, on a low heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and stir well. Increase the heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens up.

Serve on top of pasta, topped with cheese, with garlic bread.

Garlic baguettes

DSC_0238This recipe started off as an experiment and due to an error, turned out really good, and now I always make it this way.
The error is the large amount of yeast. This creates big holes in the baguettes, a lot like in a sourdough.

 

Makes 2 small baguettes

Ingredients:

  • 500g white bread flour (sifted)
  • 10g salt
  • 20g dried bread yeast
  • 300ml warm water (give or take)
  • 4 garlic cloves (grated)

Method:

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the yeast and garlic, then slowly add the water and mix together to form a dough. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for 10 minutes. I don’t bother to flour or oil the worktop, I never really found it necessary.

Here is a short video of how I like to kneed my dough. Stretch it out, then roll it back in and give it a 90 degree turn, before stretching it out again. This works quite well for a slightly sticky dough.

Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for about 2 hours until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers.

Divide the dough into 2 and shape into baguettes.

Place the baguettes into a lightly greased baguette baking tray.

Heat your oven to its highest temperature and boil the kettle.

Place some water in a baking tray at the bottom of the oven, this will help to create a good crust on your baguettes.

Add a little olive oil to the tops of the baguettes and slash the tops with a sharp, serrated knife. Put your baguette tray in the centre of the oven.

Put your loaf in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes before dropping the temperature to 200 degrees if the crust is looking pale, 180 degrees if the crust is noticeably browning, and 170 if it seems to be browning quickly. Cook for a further 30 mins.

Remove from the oven and serve whilst still warm.

Sweet & sour chicken

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Based on the delicious hairy bikers recipe, from the BBC. Better than any take away!
Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pineapple chunks (drained, but keep the juice)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 150ml water
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (De-seeded and chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (De-seeded and chopped)
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely grated)
  • Thumb sized piece of root ginger (peeled and grated)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

 

Method:

Put the cornflour into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice. Mix to a paste.

Add the rest of the juice, water, soy, vinegar, sugar, ketchup and chilli. Mix well.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, carrots and pepper for a few minutes.

Add the chicken, pineapple, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few minutes.

Stir the cornflour/pineapple mix and add it to the pan. Season well and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 5 – 10 minute, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and sticky.

Serve with rice and prawn crackers