Frittata

This is a handy recipe to have because it is a great way to use up leftovers or small amounts of vegetables that you have in the fridge.  I stick to vegetables and lean meats but you really can add almost anything – cooked potatoes, cooked kale, salmon with dill, chicken with tarragon, steak with… Continue reading Frittata

Sunday Morning Pancakes

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Super satisfaction for very little effort

Ingredients

  • 135g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 130ml Milk
  • 2 tbsp Melted Butter
  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Break the eggs into the milk and whisk them up. Then add in the melted butter.
  3. Add the wet mix into the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix just to combine. The mixture should be like a fairly thick batter.
  4. Using an icecream scoop or something similar drop dollops of the mixture onto a preheated pan containing a little oil and butter.
  5. Leave to fry gently on the pan and bubbles will begin to form on top of the pancake. When the surface has lots of bubbles you can flip them over and cook for just another minute or so.
  6. Serve with a knob of butter and some warmed maple syrup…….Delicious
  7. Feel free to double or treble the recipe!! You can add in sweetcorn, chopped bacon or blueberries….the list is endless.

Spicy Meatloaf

A spicy alternative to warm you up on those cold winter days

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This is the leftover bit – I forgot to snap the whole meatloaf when it came out of the oven.  The delicious smell had my mouth watering and taking pictures was the last thing on my mind!!

Ingredients

1kg minced beef
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp Cajun spice
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 Beef Stock Cube diluted in 50-75ml of boiling water
6 tbsp. dried breadcrumbs
1 Egg
6 slices parma ham
Sauce:
150ml ketchup
100ml Brown Sauce
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle paste
4 tbsp. water
50g butter
Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Place the minced beef in the bowl and add all the spices, mustard, stock cube (diluted), breadcrumbs and egg.  Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.  Remove from the bowl and place on a lined tin.  Shape into a loaf shape.  Use the parma ham to cover the loaf tucking the slices under to help it hold its shape while cooking.

Next make the sauce.  Add the ketchup, brown sauce, brown sugar and chipotle sauce to a bowl and mix well.  Divide this mixture in half.  One half will be used to coat the meatloaf.  Paint the meatloaf with the sauce and place in a preheated oven at 160C for 30 to 40 mins or until cooked through.  DSC_0003

Halfway through cooking remove from the oven and paint again with more of the sauce. Return to the oven. Place the second half of the sauce into a small saucepan and add the water, butter and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.  Heat through gently and whisk to incorporate the butter.  Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 mins.  Slice in 1-2cm slices and serve with salad and fries and the warm sauce.

I had leftovers from this recipe and transformed them the next day.  I sliced 2cm thick slices from the chilled meatloaf and placed them on a dry non-stick frying pan.  Fry on a low heat until nice and crispy on the outside and fully heated through.  Serve with bacon and fried onions, lettuce, cheese and sliced tomato and any leftover sauce on a burger bun…….delicious!

Breaded Fish Goujons

An easy meal to satisfy the whole familyrecipe-image-legacy-id--653606_10[1]

I find it can be difficult to persuade the kids and even OH to eat fish.  With today being Ash Wednesday the only way to get them to eat it is breaded and fried.  I have to admit it is my favourite way to eat fish though not really the healthiest.

Ingredients:

3-4 fillets of any white fish
300ml Milk
250g flour seasoned with salt and pepper
200g dried breadcrumbs (I buy a tub of golden crumbs in the shop)
Sunflower oil
1-2 Lemons
100ml mayonnaise
1 Large Cornichon or a few small ones

Cut the fish into chunky strips and place into the flour.  Dust well in the flour and then place them in the milk.  Next place them in the breadcrumbs and make sure they are all well coated in crumbs. If you have time it is best to chill these for at least 20 mins but you can cook them straight away though you may lose some of the crumb coating.   Heat the oil in a frying pan – you need about 2cm of oil so the amount depends on the size of your frying pan.  Fry for a few minutes, then place on kitchen paper to drain.  Place in a warm oven while you make the tartare sauce.

Chop up the cornichons as fine as you like and mix into the mayonnaise with a squeeze of lemon juice to give a nice dropping consistency.  Cut the rest of the lemon into wedges and serve with the goujons and tartare sauce.  A few oven chips turn this into a lovely meal for the family.  Enjoy!!!

Homemade Apple Pie made easy

No messing or fussing – an easy recipe for any busy mammy to make

This is my foolproof recipe and really the only secret is that I bypass most of the rules.  I don’t have time to be waiting for pastry to rest or fillings to cool so I make it my way and it turns out delicious.

Ingredients:

4 large cooking apples

Handful of sugar

Knob of butter

8 oz plain flour

Pinch of salt

5 oz butter from the fridge

1 oz sugar

1 egg

 

Now I think that is a simple list of ingredients and most of them you will have in the house anyway.

I start by cooking the apples – yes cooking the apples.  This is very unorthodox but I find its the best way to get the sweetness right.  Cooking apples vary in flavour so much that it can be hard to determine the amount of sugar you need until they have cooked.  Peel and core the apples and chop them up whatever way you like – the larger they are the longer they will take to cook that’s all.  I put them in a saucepan with a splash of water, a handful of sugar and a knob of butter, cover them with a lid and cook on a medium heat.  Stir them occasionally to encourage them to break down and when they have started to break down well, take off the lid and cook them until most of the water has evaporated and you have a nice thick puree.  A few lumps are okay though because you still want a bit of texture.  Its best to taste at this stage and decide if you need to add more sugar or not.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool a bit while you make the pastry.

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and add in the butter.  Rub it in with your fingers until it looks like rough breadcrumbs.  Add in the sugar and mix it through roughly.  Beat the egg and add it in too.  Using a normal butter knife cut the egg through the flour mix until it has practically disappeared.  The mixture will look quite dry still but don’t worry, its meant to.  Get stuck in with your hands and knead the mixture lightly until it starts to come together and form a dough.  Don’t knead too much as it will make the pastry tough.  Empty the dough out onto a floured surface and cut in two.  Roll out the first half until its just big enough to line an 8″ pie tin (I use an enamel tin but you can use an ordinary small dinner plate). Roll out the remaining half for the top.  When you have the second half ready place your apple filling on the first piece of dough in the tin.  (Because the filling is still warm you don’t want it sitting too long on the pastry before going into the oven so this part has to be done quite quickly.) When you have the filling in, quickly place the top on and seal with a fork or some fancy crimping if it won’t take you too long.  Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10 mins and then reduce the temperature to 150 C for a further 25-30 mins.  Just keep an eye on the pastry and don’t let it get too dark – its supposed to be a pale sandy colour, a little darker than shortbread.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with caster sugar or brown sugar with a little cinnamon mixed in.  Allow to cool slightly and then serve with freshly whipped cream or custard.  I apologise now for not having any photos of the opened pie but it was gone before I realised I hadn’t got the “moneyshot”! 🙂

You can change this recipe around by adding 1 teasp. ground cinnamon or whole cloves to the apples.  Or you could add some chopped nuts and serve with caramel sauce if you fancy.  Also you can change the fruit fillings – blackberries, blueberries, cherries etc.  Most berry fillings will need a little help to thicken – I use a tablespoon of cornflour slaked in 2 tbsp. cold water and add in to the hot filling to thicken it up well.  You may need to add more or less.  Just judge by eye.  You want a thick gloopy mess!!

 

Homemade Potato Bread

A great recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes and goes down well with the whole familyDSC_0066.JPG

1 kg potatoes – cooked, mashed and completely cooled
350g Plain flour
2 teaspoons salt (if you’re using leftover mash that already had salt added reduce this to 1 tsp)
70g margarine melted

 

Place the potatoes, flour, salt and melted margarine in a large bowl and using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix the whole lot together to form a stiff dough.  Divide the dough in half and roll out the first half on a floured surface to about a half centimetre thick.  You can either use a cutter of whatever shape you like or just use a knife to cut the rolled out dough into squares/rectangles.DSC_0056.JPG

Preheat a non-stick pan on the stove top.  Place the cut out dough on the dry pan and leave to cook on a low heat until golden brown – at least 5 mins each side and the slower the better as you are trying to cook out the flour in the dough.  Turn and cook the other side too.  Meanwhile roll out the second half and repeat the process.  You will have several pan loads so it may be useful to use two pans.DSC_0058

You can store this in the fridge once it has cooled to room temperature or freeze.  When you’re ready to use it just put it back on a preheated pan with a little vegetable oil and fry gently for a few minutes on each side until warmed through and nice and crisp and golden.  Drain on kitchen paper and serve with grilled bacon, sausages and an egg or on its own for a snack.DSC_0063.JPG

To change the recipe about you could add pieces of chopped cooked bacon or black pudding or even cooled fried onions to the dough.  The possibilities are endless!

Shepherds Pie

DSC_0078.JPGAnother family favourite and it also uses up leftover potatoes.

This is what we call Shepherds Pie in our house though I think strictly speaking it should be called Cottage Pie since I make it with minced beef.  You can of course change the recipe to use minced lamb if you wish and I think a combination of beef and lamb mince would be the best.

1 kg minced beef

1 large onion finely chopped

4 medium carrots finely diced

Ground white pepper

1 Beef Stock cube

2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 tbsp. Tomato Puree

6 heaped tbsp. good quality ketchup

For the topping:

Approx 1 kg of potatoes

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper

Splash of milk

 

Peel and cook the potatoes for the topping.  You want to cook the potatoes until they are quite soft as this will make them mash really easy and give you a nice creamy topping.  Meanwhile place the onions and carrots in a large saucepan with a little oil and butter and cook on a low heat with a lid on.  You want the carrots to steam in their own juice otherwise they will remain quite hard if not cooked well at this stage.  A little salt will help the juices flow and give you more steam.  Add the minced meat and allow it to cook until it turns brown.  Keep stirring and turning the meat to encourage it to break up as you don’t want meatballs in your shepherds pie.  You can then add the pepper and crumble in the stock cube.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and ketchup and mix thoroughly.  Allow the mixture to cook on for a few minutes to allow any water to evaporate but make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.  You could also put in a handful of peas at this stage but my 2 DD’s don’t like peas so I have to leave them out.DSC_0074

When the potatoes are cooked drain and mash them with the butter, salt, pepper and milk.  You want a nice creamy mash to top the pie.DSC_0077

Place the meat mixture in an ovenproof dish and spoon the mash over in little dollops.  Using a fork bring the dollops together to cover the meat mixture and then score the top with the fork.  These ridges will turn into nice brown slightly charred bits on top.  Place in a hot preheated oven (220C) for 20 to 30 mins or until nice and browned on the top.  Serve with salad or green vegetables.

You will most likely have leftovers from this and the pie will be even nicer reheated the next day. For fussy eaters the carrots can be grated in and they will virtually disappear.  The shepherds pie can also be frozen at the point before it goes in the oven.  Defrost fully before cooking and fluff up the potatoes again with a fork.  Also you can use leftover potatoes too but I advise warming them up before topping the pie as its too difficult to spread them on the hot meat filling when the potatoes are cold and you just end up with a mess!!