Posted in Other Stuff, Uncategorized

Always in my Cupboard

Now I know there are a million and one of these kind of articles, but I am super nosey so love reading them! Here the basics mean I can always good a tasty, nutritious dinner even if I have nothing in the fridge.. So here goes, along with a few recipe ideas!

Tinned Produce:

  • Tomatoes
  • Kidney Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Anchovies
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tuna (I hate it, but my boyfriend eats like a horse so tuna pasta will keep him happy for a wee bit)
  • Gin and tonic (self explanatory, when the going gets tough)

Packets:

  • Walnuts
  • Dried Figs/Rasins
  • Dark Cooking Chocolate (can be useful in times of need)
  • Veg OXO Cubes
  • Pasta
  • Rice

Jars:

  • Honey
  • Black olives
  • Red wine (maybe a bottle, not a jar…)

Herbs and Spices: (I share these with my flatmates, but I think these are the essential!)

  • Chilli flakes
  • Cumin seeds
  • Paprika
  • Italian Herbs
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Perishable Produce:

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Oil

 

Here are a few recipe ideas, need nothing more than the contents of the cupboard:

  • Pasta all Puttanesca (a classic tomato sauce with anchovies and black olives)
  • Honeyed Legumes Salad
  • Olive Omelette
  • Spicy Tuna Tomato Pasta
  • Chickpea and Sweetcorn Salad
  • Spicy Egg Fried Rice with Sweetcorn
  • Scotch Woodcock (Creamy Scrambled Eggs and Anchovies)

Let me know if you have any more ideas!

Posted in Baking, Uncategorized

Shortbread – Fathers Day Special

shortbread.jpg

My lovely dad is an easy customer, just beer and shortbread. I have always bought it in the past, but due to a sudden influx of time (I have finished university forever…!) I thought I would give making it from scratch a go. It was surprisingly easy and rather tasty. This is based on a recipe from the Guardian, where they find the ‘best’ recipe. The results have always been brill!

1 hour

butter (at room temp), plain flour, caster sugar, semolina and a pinch of salt

Start by preheating the oven to 150c. Then cream 115gm of butter and 55gm of caster sugar until smooth, with a pinch of salt. Then sieve 130gm of plain flour and 40gm of semolina or any ground rice. Beat together and when it is starting to bind, with clean hands push the mixture into a dough. The dough should be durable to roll to 1cm thickness (this may be easier to do in small batches) and cut with a cookie cutter or a glass. Place the shortbread slightly spaced apart onto a lined baking tray. Prick the top of the shortbread with a fork to get the ‘authentic’ shortbread holes and put in the fridge for 15 minutes. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until firm but not brown. Allow to cool and sprinkle the top with caster sugar and make your dads day!

Posted in Uncategorized

Aubergine and Feta Salad

aubergine salad.jpg

I love aubergines, but always buy them and can’t think what to make with them. Here is a lovely recipe that works great as a pack lunch, cheap, healthy and packed with flavour you can’t go wrong! It takes a while to cook but throw it in the oven when you are watching tele and jobs a good un’.

aubergine, feta, rocket (or any salad leaves), chickpeas, walnuts, oil, chilli flakes, honey, Italian herbs, salt and pepper

45 mins serves 2

Pre heat the oven to 180c. Then start by cutting up the aubergine roughly into 2cm cubes, place on a high sided roasting tray with 2tbsp of oil, 2tbsp of honey, 1tsp Italian herbs, pinch of chilli flakes and season well. Mix together and pop into the oven, after about 20 minutes add a tin of drained and washed ready to eat chickpeas and mix it all together. Cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the aubergine has halved in size and is starting to brown. Stir through 100gm of chopped feta, a handful of salad (rocket works well), 50 gm chopped walnuts (optional!) and if you fancy a bit of balsamic.

Posted in Quick Cook, Uncategorized

Veggie Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppers

A great little recipe for an quick, easy and light dinner that looks impressive. I love peppers and more so now I have found out how few calories are in a whole pepper (roughly 44 if you didn’t know!), they are also a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A, so even more excuse to eat them!

15 mins – serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side or starter

whole red pepper, couscous, (tastes so nice they named it twice-my dad isn’t a huge fan of the stuff!) red onion, tomatoes, tomatoes puree, oil, cheese, garlic, chilli flakes, cumins seeds, salt and pepper, salad leaves to serve

Start by slicing the pepper in half and deseed, then place skin side up under a hot grill, until starting to char slightly. This should take about 5 minutes. While the pepper is cooking, follow the pack instructions on the couscous. I normally measure 35gm/person dried and cover in a bowl with double the amount of boiling water, put a plate to keep the steam in a fluff every so often.

Then fry half a red onion in a splash of oil, with a clove of crushed garlic and add a sprinkle of chilli flakes and cumin seeds. Then add 1/2 tsp of tomato puree and a handful of chopped tomatoes, stir together then mix in the cooked couscous. After a couple of minutes spoon the couscous mixture into the charred pepper halves. Top with some grated cheese and grill for a few minutes until bubbling, serve with a side salad and enjoy!

Posted in My Favourite Dishes, Slow Cook, Uncategorized

Hit and Run Chicken

roast chicken

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and is great when you are pushed for time. Takes less than 10 minutes prep and cooks for an hour. Result is lovely, rich flavours and 4 out of your 5 a day too!

1 hour 10, serves 3-4

chicken thighs, 2 peppers (any colour), red onion, beef tomatoes, garlic, oil, balsamic vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper, salad and new potatoes to serve.

Preheat the oven to 200c. Start by quartering 6 beef tomatoes, peel and quarter 2 red onions, deseed and cut two peppers into chunks, and squash 3 garlic cloves (with skin still on), then throw all you veg into a large roasting tray. Cover in 2 tbsp of oil and balsamic, 2 tsp of paprika (add a little chilli powder if you like a little spice) season well and mix all together. Add the chicken thighs (a 750gm packet) on top of the veg mix and throw into the oven. After half an hour bast the chicken and move the veg. Serve with a green salad and if you need the carbs new potatoes or some crunchy bread.

Posted in My Favourite Dishes, Quick Cook, Uncategorized

Chicken and Chorizo Salad

chicken salad.jpg

Tis the season for yummy salads, tra la la la la… Salads do not need to be boring and here is one of my fave combos, so good I had it for dinner two nights in a row. Roasting a chicken and using the leftover meat for various dinners is a really cost effective way of eating meat as £2.50 will stretch to a minimum of 6 meals.

leftover chicken, 40gm chorizo, half a red onion, mozzarella, salad leaves, lemon, oil, honey, wholegrain mustard, tomatoes and balsamic glaze

15 mins serves 1

Start by heating a frying pan with a tbsp of oil, then gently fry a red onion. After a couple of minutes add the sliced chorizo. Once it is starting to darken in colour, add the chicken and then add a squeeze of lemon, 1tbsp of mustard and 2tbsp of honey. Mix together and cook for a further couple of minutes on a low heat. While it is cooking, make a bed of salad leaves with sliced tomatoes and a squeeze of balsamic. Top with the chicken and chorizo mixture and enjoy.

*If you would like some carbs, add a tortilla wrap cut into small squares when you are frying the onion with another tbsp of oil*

Posted in My Favourite Dishes, Slow Cook, Uncategorized

Roast Duck Breast with a Red Wine Sauce

duck edit

duck breast, potatoes, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, red wine, balsamic vinegar, red currant jelly, oil, butter, salt, pepper

Such a treat of a meal, but not that expensive as Aldi now sell duck breasts! The aim is to have nice crispy fat on top of the duck, with crisp mini roast potatoes with a rich homemade sauce. This is dish for when you want to impress but want something more straightforward- trust me!

Serves 2

45 minutes

Start by scrubbing 3 large potatoes (keep the skin on), cut into small cubes and boil for about 5 minutes. Once slightly soft, drain and toss in a roasting tray with a glug of oil, knob of butter, a few sprigs of rosemary and season. Mix together and cook for 25-30 minutes at 190c.

While the potatoes are cooking, season the duck breasts and place on a cold griddle fat side down. Turn the heat on high and cook for 5 minutes without moving them, turn over and cook for one minute fat side up. The transfer to the oven for 10 minutes. Once cooked lift them out and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Next the red wine sauce.. Firstly, drain the fat from the griddle pan. Without cleaning it add one finely sliced onion, 5 halved cherry tomatoes, a sprig of thyme and 2 crushed cloves of garlic. Cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, then add 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 glass of red wine and 2 tbsp of red currant jelly. Mix together and bring to a simmer. Then using a hand blender, blitz the sauce until it is a thick, smooth consistence. Serve with the rested duck breast, mini roast potatoes and a green salad.