Potato and Brocolli Bake

The only way that I love broccoli is with cheese. In that respect, I am a total child, but I don’t care. This is a great easy way to make a potato bake with broccoli with loads of cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup grated cheese

Method

  • Parboil the potatoes for about 30 minutes, then remove from the boil and allow to cool.
  • Preheat the oven at 180ºC.
  • Cut the broccoli florets and place in the bottom of an oven proof dish.
  • Melt the butter in a small pot.
  • Mix in the flour and cook for a few minutes, cooking the flour and butter mixture.
  • Slowly add the milk while mixing into the flour and butter mixture.
  • Stir continuously until the sauce starts to thicken, then  add the paprika and half the cheese.
  • Slice the potato into chunky slices.
  • Pour some of the sauce over the broccoli in the dish, then layer with a layer of potato slices, then a layer of sauce.
  • Layer the potato and sauce and finish with a layer of sauce.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 180ºC.
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Crock Pot Beef Stew

Crock Pot Beef StewFollowing on from my adventure into crock potting with my Tomato Soup, I’ve decided to now try a beef stew. I normally don’t like beef stews because the meat can be very tough, but with a crock pot the hours of cooking softens the meat beautifully and imbues all the flavours together. This is definitely a newly discovered family favourite.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 ¼ tbsp water
  • 500g beef stew meat
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 3-4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1¾ cup beef stock or broth
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes

Method

  • Whisk together the  vinegar,  flour, salt, pepper and water in the bottom of a crock pot.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat is tender.

Recipe based on source.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup

Crock Pot Tomato SoupWith all the hype around Crock pots I gave into peer pressure and got one. the only problem is that I’ve been trying to use all my own recipes but making them in the crock pot which has ended in disaster. So I have gone hunting for some excellent recipes to make the most of my new kitchen gadget. This is a simple tomato soup that should be really hard to mess up.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (1 pint) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli or chipotle sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1  tin (400g) tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 kg ripe tomatos, cut in half
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

(Not quite a simple as chuck it all in and hope for the best, but close)

  • Turn on slow cooker on high and preheat.
  • Place onion and olive oil in a microwave safe dish and cook on high 2 minutes.
  • Place all ingredients except ripe tomatoes into slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Add halved tomatoes and cover then cook on high for 2-3 hours or until tomatoes are soft.
  • Puree soup in a blender and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper. If desired garnish with a dollop of sour cream and parsley

Original recipe source.

Roast Butternut

I love roast butternut, actually any of the pumpkin family is part of my favourite foods. Roasting pumpkin is yummy and in my opinion brings out the flavour. 

Ingredients

  • Butternut
  • Butter/Fry Lite
  • Ground nutmeg/cinnamon

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC
  • Cut up and peel the butternut and place in an oven proof dish.
  • If you are using butter, cut the butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the butternut and then sprinkle with the spices to taste
  • If you are using fry lite, spray with fry lite and sprinkle with the spices to taste
  • Roast in the oven for 25 minutes

Autumnal Soup

I got this recipe from the slimming world website, but I’ve made some changes to suit my personal tastes. 

Ingredients

  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 4 parsnips, chopped
  • 1/2 Butternut, chopped
  • Fry Light
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 swede, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped (I didn’t use any, cause I’m not a garlic person)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 3 pints boiling water
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Peel and chop the carrots and parsnips (and butternut). Place them in an oven-proof dish, Spray with Fry Light and place in the oven for around 30 minutes.
  • Wash and dice the onion and celery, then place them in a large pan sprayed with Fry Light.
  • Whilst the celery and onions are sweating down, bring a kettle to the boil and dice the swede.
  • Add the diced swede to the pan and mix well with the existing ingredients.
  • Remove the carrots and parsnips from the oven and add to the pan along with the bay leaves.
  • Make up the vegetable stock with 3 pints of boiling water and pour into the pan to cover the contents, also add the dried ginger, chilli powder and black pepper. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until all the contents are soft.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool a little before removing the bay leaves.
  • Transfer the contents into a blender or use a hand blender in the pan. I only part blended because I like chunky soups, rather than smooth soups.
  • Add more chilli/ginger/black pepper, to taste.
  • Add more water if necessary to thin the consistency to your liking – you may need to add another stock cube if you add quite a lot of water.

Hassleback Potatoes

Hassleback Potatoes

This is another recipe I stumbled across on Pinterest, it’s really easy and super yummy. I tried it this weekend as a low fat version and it works just as well.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Cooking spray (such as Flora Sunflower cooking oil spray)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  • Place the potato in a spoon (the size of spoon depends on the size of potato)
  • Using a sharp knife, cut down the potato leaving the slices connected at the bottom, this should be just up to the spoon
  • Spray the potatoes on top with the cooking spray. You may be tempted to spray loads, but don’t; just one squirt per potato should do it
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30-45 minutes (based on the size of the potatoes).

Roast Chicken Cooking Times

Roast ChickenIn keeping with the original purpose of this blog, I am posting the cooking times for roast chicken. 

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375 F (190 C).
  • Place the chicken in the roasting tin
  • Season the chicken all over with salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Roast for 20 minutes per lb (450 g) plus 10-20 minutes extra – this will be 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours for a 5 lb (2.25 kg) bird.
  • Baste a few times during the cooking
  • For the final 15 minutes of cooking, increase the heat to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C) to give the skin that final golden crispiness
  • When it is cooked, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil
  • Leave to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Smashed Potatoes

This is another one of my family favourites that was inspired and born in Pinterest. I can spend absolute days just pinning and searching and repinning and just while away my life. It is my go to for inspiration and to find recipes. This recipe comes via Pinterest from the Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients

  • 12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt To Taste (I used Sea Salt flakes)
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 450ºF/230ºC.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
  • On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
  • With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
  • Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
  • Bake in a the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Fresh Tomato Soup

Too much baking and eating of cakes and cupcakes have left me in the position where I think I need to cut back a bit and strike out a little healthier. My first quick and easy is this fresh tomato soup. I whipped up a batch and took it to work for lunch for a few days. It’s fresh, filling and you don’t feel like you are are depriving yourself.

Ingredients

  • 500g Fresh Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Tomato Purée
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Vegetable Stock Cube
  • 500ml Water (Or 500ml vegetable stock)

Method

  • In a large pot, fry the onion in the olive oil until it is cooked through.
  • While this is cooking, cop the carrot into thin rounds. These will be blended later so they need to be small and thin enough to cook through.
  • Then add the chopped carrot and tomato purée. A tip I learned was that cooking the tomato purée at the beginning rather than the end of a recipe prevents the purée adding that bitter taste. It also means that you don’t need to add sugar to the recipe to sweeten it. 
  • Cut the tomatoes into cubes and add to the pot, along with the bay leaves and cook until the tomato skins are coming away from the pulp.
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil while stirring. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 1/2 an hour.
  • Fish out the bay leaves from the pot, and using a hand blender blend the soup until it is the right consistency.

The soup can now be served, or let it cool and freeze.

Baked Potatoes with Crunchy Skins

The initial intention of this blog was always to be my own personal recipe book and as such the recipes may turn out to be super boring. This is one of those, so feel free to walk away now. But if you just want to know how to make Jacket Potatoes, look no further.

Ingredients

  • Potato/es

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  • Stab the potato with a fork a few times
  • Place the Potato/es in the oven for about 1-1 1/2 hours (depending on the size of the potato).
  • The skin should be browned, and when you squeeze the potato it should give a little.
  • Careful when you take then out, they get really really hot!

Roast Leg of Lamb

I love a good roast, but I’m never sure what the definitive way to roast meat is. Hence this recipe being here.I made a roast lamb over the easter weekend, and it was divine. The recipe is based on one from BBC Good Food, but it of course has my minor adjustments.

Ingredients

  • 5 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • small bunch rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • large leg of lamb , about 3kg/6lb 8oz

Method

Heat oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan/gas 3.

Scatter the vegetables, bay leaves and a few rosemary sprigs into a large roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil.

Use a sharp knife to make little slits all over the lamb.

Poke a small sprig of rosemary into each one.

Sit the lamb on top of the veg in the roasting tin, add a splash of wine, then cook for 2 hrs if you like it pink, or 2 hrs 15 mins for cooked through.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a board and cover with foil, then rest for 45 mins-1 hr.

The general rule for slow roasting lamb is 35 minutes per 450g/1lb plus an extra 35 minutes. When using a covered tin or wrapping in foil, increase the cooking time by 20-30 minutes. (source)

This is the most amazing and satisfying way to use leftover roast lamb (see the huge roast in my roast lamb recipe), and it’s too easy to mess up. This is also the first time I’ve reblogged anything, and I have no idea what I am doing. So if this comes out all wrong, I apologise. The recipe is still great though. 

Purely food

So life got in the way again and this recipe is later than planned. It’s worth the wait though, as it is a delicious use for left over roast lamb. I’ve made shepherd’s pie a number of times before but always with minced lamb. This recipe uses left over roast lamb (in my case it was slow roast shoulder of lamb but roast leg would work equally well) and was a delicious alternative.

Shepherd’s pie
Serves 2

1 tbsp oil
1 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped into discs around 1cm thick,
Leftover roast lamb, chopped in to bite size pieces
1 tbsp plain flour
Handful of frozen peas
200ml lamb stock
1 tsp tomato puree
Good splash of Worcestershire sauce
Mashed potato to top (For two I use two good-sized baking potatoes and prepared in the usual way)
Salt and pepper

  • Pre heat the oven to 200C (180 fan).

View original post 125 more words

Homemade Apple Sauce

I love apples, and this apple sauce recipe is the first time I tried it. Mainly because I made a roast pork and found we didn’t have any apple sauce in the fridge. I changed the recipe to be a smaller quantity and to use what I already had in the house. It may not look like the best apple sauce ever made and is a bit lumpy because I didn’t use cooking apples, but it tastes amazing.

Ingredients

2  Apples Peeled and Cored (the recipe said to use Bradley apples, but I used pink ladies)

25g Caster Sugar

25g Butter (I used unsalted butter)

2 tablespoons water

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan, over a medium/high heat stirring constantly to make sure the butter doesn’t burn. Once the sugar and butter are melted, add the apples. Turn the heat down to a medium/low heat, cover with a loose lid and stir occasionally. (I used this time to peel the potatoes for the roast potatoes).

After about 15-20 minutes or the apples are soft, mash with a potato masher, add the water and place back on the heat to cook for another 10-15 minutes.

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The secret to a great Roast Pork

I am far from a domestic goddess, and I don’t cook often and why I do venture into the kitchen, it usually turn out to be a complete nightmare. It’s not that the food isn’t good, it’s just that it is sometimes, well, a little odd. You see, recipes to me are a guideline, not an actual formula. So I tweak, and sometimes it’s a mess, and sometimes, it turns out well. This is one that turned out well, so I am documenting the recipe for two reasons: 1. so I have it when I need it again and 2. so anyone else who wants to know how can find it.

Start with a great piece of pork (a loin or belly that’s been tied up with string is great for this) and then some olive oil, salt and some black pepper.

Take note of the pork’s weight (you will need this a little later to work out the cooking time)

Put the oven rack in the centre of the oven

Pre-heat the over to 240 Degrees C for a normal oven or 220 Degrees C for fan assisted ovens

Line the roasting pan with heavy foil (shiny side up), add some olive oil and place in the oven to heat up (the foil makes it easier to clean out the roast pan later)

Score the skin of the roast with a sharp knife, making sure to not cut through the string

Rub the roast with a handful of olive oil, and then rub the salt and black pepper all over the saddle of the roast (the fatty bit).

Wait until the oven is hot, and carefully take the pan with the hot oil from the oven, and place the pork roast in the pan (fatty crackling side up) and put in the oven for 20 minutes

Once the twenty minutes is up, lover the heat to 190 Degrees C (normal) or 170 Degrees C (fan assisted) for the required cooking time. To work out how long you need to cook the pork for, you need to leave the pork in the oven for half an hour per 450 – 500 grams. So if your roast is 1.5 kilograms (as mine was), round to 1 1/2 hours.

Once this is done, turn the heat back up to 240 Degrees C (normal oven) or 220 Degrees C (fan assisted) for a final 10 minutes and voila’! You have a roast pork with crackling.

Lamb and vegetable stew/soup

This is our own figured out from scratch recipe for vegetable and lamb stew. we don’t like watery stew so this comes out as a thick soupy stew (or a thick hearty soup). This is a thick hearty soup which is perfect for those cold winter evenings.

Ingredients

5 medium size carrots (chopped into rounds)

1 medium/large turnip (chopped into rounds)

¼ medium onion (chopped)

¼ chopped medium sized leek

Small swede (or ½ a large one) (chopped)

400g stewing lamb (cut into squares)

6 small peel new potatoes

1 vegetable stock cube

1 beef stock cube

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter (we used flora squidgy butter)

water

Fry the carrots, turnip and swede in ½ the butter for about 15 minutes on a medium heat. Then add the onions and leek, stir and then add the remaining butter (you may want to add a little extra butter if you need to). Fry until the onions are soft, but not brown.

Add enough water to cover the vegetables and simmer. Crush the vegetable stock cube and add directly to the pot. Keep adding water to make sure that the vegetables are covered. About half an hour in, crush the beef stock cube and simmer for about another half hour or until the carrots and turnips are soft, making sure the vegetables stay covered in water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate pan, brown the lamb cubes and season with salt and pepper. Then add to the vegetable stew and simmer for another hour on a medium/low heat, constantly adding water and stirring.

20 -30 minutes before serving (depending on how soft you want your potatoes), add the potatoes to the pot and continue simmering on a low/medium heat, constantly stirring and making sure the mixture is covered in water. When the broth has reached the right consistency, serve with warm bread and butter.

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