Cheeseburger Quesadillas

On 11th June 2016, This was Dinner

What an idea! The cheeseburger quesadilla. I thought these were great but Mr S was a little underwhelmed.

Get set…

  • Slice some pickled gherkins
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get minced beef, tortillas, mustard, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and add the mince. Give it a good season and cook through. Wipe out the pan.

Spread some mustard on the bottom of a tortilla, scatter with the beef, add some gherkins and sprinkle the cheddar over. Place another tortilla on top then place in the hot pan and squash down. Carefully flip over and cook on the other side.

Repeat until you have used all of the mince.

Dish it up…

Cut into quarters and serve. A dash of ketchup wouldn’t go amiss either.

TWD_1106.jpg

I’ll try and convince Mr S of their greatness by adding some onion and some spice next time.

Find this and lots of other great recipes in John Whaite’s perfect plates.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

On 17th May 2016, This was Dinner

I suppose there is a thousand and one recipes for spaghetti and meatballs and I probably have about 150 of them. IS there a rule like  ‘it’s only proper spaghetti and meatballs if’?

Get set…

  • Chop an onion and finely chop another
  • Chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get spaghetti, beef mince, tomato purée, tin of chopped tomatoes, dried thyme, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)

Throw it together…

Mix the finely chopped onion with the thyme and mince. Form into balls and pop in the fridge.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and cook gently until softened. Add some purée and stir through then add the tinned tomatoes and some seasoning and leave to cook gently.

Pop the meatball on a baking tray and stick in the oven, they should take around 20 minutes to cook.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions.

Dish it up…

On the bed of spaghetti, topped with the sauce and served with a sprinkle of parmesan of course.

TWD_1705

Not a jar of the dreaded Dolmio in sight.

Spiced Meatballs with Fiery Tomato Sauce

On 11th May 2016, This was Dinner

Sticking with the new cook book. Why wouldn’t I? These jumped right off the page at me. I’m a huge fan of the meatball and in a delicious spicy tomato ‘soup’, yes please!

Mr Whaite must have access  to the juiciest tomatoes as I had to improvise a little with an additional tin otherwise my sauce would have been the size of one of those sachets you get in pubs. I also changed a few of the spices too just because I have unused spices falling out of the pantry.

Get set…

  • Quarter some tomatoes
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Get a few butter, red chillies, sour cream, beef mince, sumac, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, tin of chopped tomatoes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Spread out the tomatoes and chillies on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Leave at room temperature for about half an hour to macerate.*

Mix the mince with the spices and some salt and pepper and form into meatballs, it should make around 16 if you use 500g mince. Leave to chill.

Pop the tomatoes and chillies in the oven and roast for around 15 minutes then pop the meatballs on the tray and cook for another 10 minutes.

Cover the meatballs in foil to keep warm. Put the charred tomatoes and chillies and any juices into a processor (remove the stalks from the chillies) and add the butter. Whizz up and add the tomatoes if yours is as dry as mine.

If you have added the tomatoes you will have to warm it through.

Dish it up…

Place the meatballs on the sauce and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

TWD_1105_Meatballs.jpg* To be fair I probably rushed this bit too.

Greek Inspired Lamb Meatballs

On 23rd April 2016, This was Dinner...

I’ve actually made these Donna Hay meatballs before but forgot to add the feta and served it on top instead. I did it right this time and even though they were very good last time they were even better this time.

Get set…

  • Crumble up some feta
  • Finely chop some rosemary
  • Grate some lemon rind
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Halve some cherry tomatoes
  • Chop some mint leaves
  • Get couscous, lamb mince, honey, chapatis, houmous, baby spinach, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pour the chicken stock over the couscous, cover and leave until the stock is absorbed.

Combine the couscous with the lamb, honey, lemon rind, rosemary and some seasoning  and shape into small balls, flattening slightly. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the meatballs for about four minutes each side, depending on the size and thickness of yours.

Dish it up…

Spread a chapati with houmous and add the spinach, tomatoes and mint then place a couple of meatballs on top then roll, wrap or whatever you want. Just enjoy.

TWD_2304_Meatballs

As I said earlier, this is a Donna Hay recipe and can be found in her book – Fast, Fresh, Simple which I highly recommend.

Greek Lamb & Macaroni Bake

On 18th April 2016, This was Dinner

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know I love a pasta bake. This BBC Good Food recipe has a suggestion to serve with garlic bread! All those carbs? I don’t think I could manage it! Oh and there was plenty of leftovers for lunch at work the next day, always a winner.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Prepare a small amount of beef stock
  • Get lamb mince, macaroni, ricotta, tin of chopped tomatoes, ground cinnamon, milk, dried oregano, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion. Cooking until softened then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the mince and cook until browned, breaking it up as you cook.

Add the cinnamon and stir. Add the stock and allow it to reduce. Sprinkle in the oregano then add the tomatoes and cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and season then cook for another 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Cook the pasta then drain.

Mix the ricotta with most of the parmesan and some seasoning and stir in the pasta.

Pour the mince into a large oven proof dish then top with the pasta. Scatter over the remaining parmesan. Bake for around 20 minutes.

Dish it up…

Get a great scoop into a bowl and feel the comfort of the pasta bake.

TWD_1804_Lamb_Bake2TWD_1804_Lamb_Bake

Pot Roast

On 12th April 2016, This was Dinner

From time to time I’ve watched The Pioneer Woman. There she is, on her little ranch somewhere beautiful, cooking away and throwing scraps to the dog, whilst her husband does ‘man stuff’ out on the ranch. It looks like an idyllic life to live (minus the children 😉 not my thing!)*.

Pot roast is not something I normally do but I’d bought a piece of beef and a piece of lamb a little while ago when I couldn’t decide which one I wanted and I think I saw her make something very similar.

If you’re organised, it’s not a bad one to make as you can pop it in the oven and go off and paint your bench or something like I did.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Season some beef (I’m not even sure what I used, topside maybe)
  • Peel some shallots
  • Scrub and chop some carrots into shallot sized pieces
  • Prepare some beef stock
  • Get red wine, rosemary & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and brown the shallots, remove and set aside.

Do the same with the carrots.

Add a little more oil if required and brown themeat on all sides and remove.

Deglaze the pan with a good glass of red wine.

Pop the vegetables in the pan and sit the beef of top then add in the stock about half way up the beef and pop in a sprig of rosemary.

Cover and cook for 1-2 hours depending on the size of your beef.

When it is done, remove the beef and season the gravy. Pop it on the hob and bring to the boil to reduce and thicken the gravy.

Dish it up…

With home made Yorkshire puddings and crispy goose fat roast potatoes- what else?

TWD_1204_Pot_Roast*Obviously she does more than cook and look after her kids but for my little dream of putting myself in her place, she does OK?

Malaysian Beef Curry

On 3rd April 2016, This was Dinner

When slow cooking, shin beef turns into the most delicious, melt in the mouth bit of meat you could ever have. Pop it in a mouth buzzing curry and enjoy.

I’m not sure if it is proved but I believe that freezing chillies takes away some of the heat, so with that in mind I used one ghost chilli, two scotch bonnets and two yellow chillies for this. You can use less (or more if that is your thing), we like our stuff hot and this was H.O.T. Oh and I don’t deseed either – ever.

Get set…

  • Trim some shin beef and cut into chunks (don’t be afraid to leave some fat on)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Peel & roughly chop some ginger
  • Peel a few garlic cloves
  • Roughly chop your chillies
  • Deseed and slice a pepper
  • Prepare about 250ml of beef stock
  • Toast some desiccated coconut
  • Pick a few coriander leaves
  • Get curry powder, cardamom pods, 2 star anise, turmeric, light coconut milk, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil and cook the onion until softened, let it cool a little.

Pop the onion in a processor with the ginger, garlic, chillies and turmeric and whizz up.

Heat some oil and brown the meat in batches then set to one side.

Add the paste to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Pop the curry powder in along with the cardamom pods and star anise. Stir then add the beef stock and stir well. Pop the beef back in the pan along with any juices.

Ad half of the coconut milk and simmer then turn low, pop the lid on and cook for two hours. Check it occasionally and if it looks like it is drying out, add water.

After the two hours, remove the lid and add the remaining coconut milk along with the pepper. Stir well and cook for another half hour.

Dish it up…

Serve garnished with the desiccated coconut and some coriander along with a side of jasmine rice.

TWD_Beef_Curry.jpg

This was another old scrap from a Morrison’s magazine.