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.

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Chorizo & Tomato Rice

On 16th May 2016, This was Dinner

Is it just me that thinks the green bean is underrated?

Well here I am again, posting about food I ate in May and being reminded that it is 21 days since my last post. I shall make a huge attempt to get up to date and start blogging more or I shall throw my blog in the metaphorical bin!

Get set…

  • Chop an onion
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some chorizo
  • Chop some parsley
  • Cook some frozen green beans
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Get rice, tinned chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, smoked paprika, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat a pan and cook the chorizo. Remove and set aside.

Pop the onion and garlic into the same pan (add a little oil if required) and cook until softened.

Add the spices and the rice and stir for a minute then put the tomatoes and stock in. Stir well and bring to the boil then reduce and cook gently until the rice is almost cooked.

Add the chorizo and the green beans to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Season.

Dish is up…

Just a simple sprinkle of parsley.

TWD_1605

I I shall promise myself that once Friday is over (I’m going out for dinner tomorrow night) I shall nail this thing!

Red Curry Sea Bass with Potato Rösti

On 12th May 2016, This was Dinner

If I could only eat one fish for the rest of my life it would be sea bass. So as soon as I saw this recipe in the – you’ve guessed it – John Whaite cook book I had to try it as I had a packet of red curry paste in the cupboard.

Get set…

  • Peel and grate a couple of potatoes
  • Score some sea bass fillets
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Get red curry paste, limebutter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Season the potato and mix well. Get a clean tea towel and put the potato in the middle and squeeze really well to get out all of the water. Divide into four portions. Press into four patties, press it tight – use a chefs ring if you can. If you don’t have one I have used a large cookie cutter in the past.

Heat some oil and butter in a large frying pan and then carefully transfer the röstis to the pan, give it another pat down to help it hold together. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side.

Coat the sea bass in the curry paste with a small splash of oil then place everything on baking trays and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Dish it up…

I had some spinach going spare so I served it all on a bed of that.

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A nice simple meal that feels like you have made an effort and a lot healthier than fish and chips.

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.

Mackerel & Beetroot Salad

Well this is daunting with 17 posts (photo only, at the moment) in my drafts folder. I’ll probably still be doing this by July! Is it really June? Although I may have lost my mojo it doesn’t stop me from buying new books and I recently purchased Perfect Plates in Five Ingredients by John Whaite. If you are looking for a new cook book I would thoroughly recommend it.

So Hugh uses three, John uses five, Jamie uses too many to count. I might write a cook book – This was Dinner with Four. Four hasn’t been done yet has it?

On 9th May 2016, This was Dinner

Get set…

  • Slice some beetroot
  • Flake some smoked mackerel
  • Toast some hazelnuts
  • Cut up some lettuce
  • Get sour cream, wholegrain mustard & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

 

Mix the mustard with the sour cream.

Roughly chop the nuts.

Dish it up…

Arrange the lettuce on a plate then add the beetroot and the mackerel. Scatter with the nuts and serve with a dollop of the sour cream. Season to taste.

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This recipe is definitely more ‘inspired by’ than ‘taken from’ Perfect Plates. John Whaite’s is far more colourful than mine with his variety of beetroots. Try finding that in a Doncaster Morrisons along with his raspberry vinegar! Mine is definitely a more rugged version 😀

Pasta, Tomato & Blue Cheese

Well it has been a while! I feel a little like I have lost my cooking mojo at the minute. No matter how much I plan, I’m not really sticking to it. So this is one factor in my lack of blogging. Then there is the fact that I’ve had my busiest period at work and I’m still playing catch up there. Then weekends are taken up by dogs and helping Mr S with the admin side of his business. Yes, it has definitely taken a back seat.

As I was so far behind I was going to ditch this post. Look at it! It doesn’t look like much does it? I decided to post it because it SHOULD have been good. I just made a poor choice on the pasta. So here we are:

On 14th May 2016, This was Dinner

Get set…

  • Quarter some cherry tomatoes
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Crumble some blue cheese
  • Get pasta, chilli flakes, good oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

 

Mix the tomatoes with the garlic and oil. Add the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper then give it another stir and leave to one side for about half an hour.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions then mix with the tomatoes and add the blue cheese.

Dish it up…

Finish with a pinch of pepper and a little more cheese if you have it.

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Ha, I couldn’t even remember how I posted the blog!

This recipe can be found in Hugh’s Three Good Things, where he uses a lovely penne pasta.

‘Convenience’ Food

I’ve never shopped at Iceland until recently. My image of Iceland was that ropey looking prawn ring that always appeared on their Christmas adverts. However all that changed when a Food Warehouse opened on a retail park close to me. You have to check out a new shop don’t you? It’s freezer upon freezer of frozen goods with fresh, canned and alcohol shelves along the way. Sack of potatoes anyone?

Mr S picked up a couple of bits yesterday and decided to get us some Friday lunch treats instead of the shakes we have been taking to work.

Luckily he bought chicken wings for himself and as he was working from home this didn’t pose a problem as they were oven bake. However, the chicken katsu for me was another matter. Oven AND microwave. That’s not very ‘convenient’ is it? How many people have an oven at work? I couldn’t save it for home either as we don’t have a microwave.

So we had to cook the chicken pieces last night and I then only had to microwave the sauce and rice. To be honest it would be just as quick to make this from scratch!

Iceland

 

Verdict? Pretty tasty really but 25 mins in oven for the chicken and messing about with the microwave, sauce in one min. Still, only two quid.

Oh and they sell these:

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I only eat these if I’m a little hungover and they are better than buying them from Greggs as the pastry is crisper.

That’s why ThiswasDinner goes to Iceland.