Can you tell I had a bit of a ‘use it all up’ moment by the name of the recipe? Well I did and it turns out it was a great dinner too.
Finely slice some leeks
Cut some brie into pieces
Grate some cheddar
Cut some cooking chorizo into bite sized pieces
Tear up some basil
Get streaky bacon, macaroni, frozen peas, soft cheese, English mustard, oil & seasoning ready
Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
Throw it together…
Heat a frying pan and cook the strips of bacon. Remove and set aside. Cook the chorizo until it releases it’s oil and remove and set aside.
Heat some oil in the pan and cook the leeks until softened. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and refresh reserving a little of the cooking water.
Add the peas to the leeks and cook for a couple more minutes.
Snip the bacon into bits and then mix everything together along with the soft cheese and the brie. Add some of the pasta water if required. Season well and then bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Dish it up…
Sprinkle with basil and serve.
As you can see, there was a side of chicken wings too!
I had the day off today, and such a productive day it was. A nice walk with the dog boss, a reorganisation of my wardrobe, a good sort of all my food magazines and a man came and cleaned my oven so it looks like new!
Now I suppose I can’t complain as I haven’t had one in a lot of quite a few years. When I decided to research whether you could still buy the Findus Crispy Pancake (a staple of my youth) I found this recent shocking piece of information. Yes, the demise of the crispy pancake is not only imminent, it has probably already happened.
So if there are any disappointed crispy pancake lovers out there, this recipe is for you, but you might need a little longer than 15 minutes along side your oven chips!
I actually cooked the filling on Sunday then made them on Monday. The mixture needs chilling time so I would suggest this unless you have all day.
Finely chop an onion
Finely chop some chestnut mushrooms
Chop some parskey
Whizz up a couple of slices of bread (without the crusts) for breadcrumbs
Poach the chicken breasts in boiling water for about 17 minutes or until cooked. Remove and set aside.
Heat a pan and cook the bacon lardons until starting to crisp. Remove and set aside.
Add a little oil to the pan if required and cook the onion for five minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for around 10 more minutes until the mushrooms are done.
Stir in a couple of tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute then add 400ml of the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil to thicken a little, a couple of minutes should do. Season.
Chop the chicken into small pieces and add to the pan along with the bacon lardons and parsley. Mix well then leave to cool. When cool, transfer to a dish, cover and chill.
Make the pancakes by adding some salt to the sifted flour and then make a well and crack in both of the eggs. Mix together then slowly add the remaining 150ml milk and whisk to a thin batter.
Heat a frying pan and add just under a ladleful to the pan. Swirl around quickly to cover the surface. When the bottom is golden, flip and cook the other side. Make three more, you should just have enough.
Brush egg around the edges of the pancakes then pop the chicken mixture in the middle. Fold over and press together.
Pop on a baking tray and brush with more egg, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and back for about 20 minutes.
Dish it up…
Well I would have served them with baked beans but Mr S wasn’t bothered so I didn’t open a tin just for me. They are very filling so I’m glad I didn’t bother with chips.
I really enjoyed these but I’m not sure I would bother again. Two things to mention. I thought there was far too much filling for the pancakes (but then I didn’t measure anything other than stated and my chicken breasts were HUGE) and my edges would not stick.
Well it’s hard to believe we are officially into the second half of the year! And what a start to the second half of the year it was. So very, very hot. It’s not often I would say this but I did NOT want to leave my office and it’s hard working air conditioning.
The train was hot, the bus was hotter. The area I live in is in the middle of some horrendous road works so there has been a lot of walking involved but today I just did not have the energy so instead I sat melting on the bus.
In terms of media, there are two things guaranteed:
It will be quoted as being hotter than Tenerife/The Bahamas/The Algarve/The South of France*
There will be a photo of young girls in bikinis on Bournemouth/Torquay/ Blackpool* beach (usually eating an ice cream)
* delete as appropriate
We had shop bought fish cakes with the cheap curry sauce on Wednesday.
On Thursday we had this carbonara.
Finely chop a shallot
Grate some parmesan
Get eggs, bacon lardons, pasta, oil & seasoning ready
Get the pasta cooking in boiling, salted water.
Heat some oil in a pan and add the bacon. Cook the bacon until starting to crisp. Don’t stir a lot, this is the key to crispy bacon. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the shallot to the pan and cook until softened.
Mix the parmesan (save a little) with the eggs and some seasoning.
Drain the pasta and add to the shallot along with the bacon and the egg mixture. Stir well and this will cook the egg. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.
I’ve read a debate about the cream v.no cream in a carbonara and this is the first time I’ve made it without. Nice, but I’ll use cream next time.
We went away for the (long) weekend. I did cook chicken goujons and also made a Sunday dinner which, considering I was using someone else’s facilities, I was very proud of. The rest of the weekend consisted of takeaways and ended with a burger. Cooked at home but prepared by a butcher.
I made this meal and it really took me back to the gravy my Nan used to make when I was little. My poor Grandad probably liked the gravy too but there I would be, sat with my slice of bread to dip in his ‘leftovers’!
Cut up some pieces of smoked streaky bacon
Slice an onion
Slice some live into small strips
Prepare some beef stock
Get tomato ketchup, red wine vinegar, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready
Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the bacon until starting to crisp. Remove and set aside.
Cook the onion in the pan until softened. Remove and set aside with the bacon.
Add a little oil to the pan if necessary. Add the strips of liver and cook for a couple of minutes to colour all round. Add the plain flour to the pan and stir well, cook for another minute.
Add a splash of red wine vinegar and a good squirt of ketchup. Stir well then pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer then season well and add the onion and bacon.
Cook for about 10 minutes and serve with whatever you fancy. Mash would be good but I had some croquettes in the freezer. Oh and to explain why I told the story above? I mopped up the gorgeous gravy with a bit of bread!
On Thursday we made a quick, improvised turkey curry using powdered curry sauce that you add water to. Cook some turkey steaks then add to the sauce with some frozen peas.
I bought the March edition of Delicious magazine after I saw their tweet that there was a section inspired by best-loved children’s books, more importantly, from my favourite books – Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series.
The recipe was for Pop Cakes which I remember fondly, I might make them, but with something else inside. Go and take a look at all other recipes:
and last but not least, Bubble & Squeak recipe from Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows. Although it kind of defeats the object that this is in a ‘Magical Bakes’ section and I cheated and bought the bread.
Cut some potatoes into cubes
Shred some savoy cabbage leaves
Finely slice an onion
Cut some slices of sourdough
Get bacon lardons, butter, nutmeg oil & seasoning ready
Par boil the potatoes until almost done. Drain and pop to one side. If you can, pop the cabbage in another colander and as you drain the potatoes, pour the water over the cabbage.
Heat the oil in a pan and cook the bacon until starting to crisp. Remove and set aside.
Cook the onion until softened. Add the potatoes to the pan and cook until the potatoes start to colour and crisp. Don’t over stir. Add the cabbage and pop the bacon back in. Season well and add a grate of nutmeg. Stir and leave whilst you toast your bread.
As I mentioned before, I messed up with the camera, the result was that some of my photographs ended up completely blurred with no way of saving them. These meatballs are the last photo I got before I realised my mistake which came from changing the settings back incorrectly after taking some photos of Walter.
I’ve added some details of a few of the meals we had that were worth a mention. Here’s the Sesame Turkey Meatballs from the Smitten Kitchen cook book my sister bought me for Christmas.
Whizz up some fresh breadcrumbs
Finely chop some garlic cloves
Toast some sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
Get minced turkey, an egg, ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes, cayenne pepper, oil & seasoning ready
Mix all of the ingredients together and form into balls. Chill for about 20 minutes.
Heat some oil in a pan and brown the meatballs.
Transfer to a baking tray and cook for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven.
I served ours with baked, smashed sweet potatoes and a dollop of sour cream and cranberry sauce.
We had a visit from the in-laws on Saturday so enjoyed an afternoon with three crazy dogs.
On the 20th I made a Lemon and goats cheese pasta which I have made before and can be found here. I’ve used the original photo to tempt you.
On the 21st I made Bacon & Sausage Baked Mushrooms:
Like breakfast in a mushroom minus the eggs. An egg would have gone nice on top of this to be honest but I didn’t have a spare.
Get the largest mushrooms you can.
Take the stalks off some large mushrooms (I did 4)
Finely chop the stalks
Remove the casings from some sausages, pulling into small pieces (I had 6).
Chop a large tomato
Grate some cheddar
Pick some thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
Get oil, butter, bacon lardons and seasoning ready
Grease a baking tray and place the mushrooms top side down. Add a little butter to each mushroom and sprinkle with the thyme leaves and the chopped stalks. Season.
Divide the sausage meat between the mushrooms then add the bacon lardons and the mushrooms. Season again then cook for about 15 minutes. Take out and add the cheese, cooking for another 5 minutes.
The original recipe can be found on the Delicious Magazine website.
This West Indian Chicken with Sauce Chien was very good on the 22nd April:
So chicken with dog sauce then? It appears to come from the idiom ‘avoir du chien’ which in French is the equivalent of saying someone is a fox – as in – Derek’s GF is a fox (no – I would NEVER use that term either!).
I was very organised and remembered to marinate it last night.
Pop the ginger, shallots, garlic, zest and juice of the limes, parsley, half of the chilli and spring onions in a processor. Add the rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar and blend well. Add a little boiling water and some seasoning, give it another whizz up.
Rub the spices and the remaining chilli over the chicken then cover with half of the sauce.
When they have had their marinating time, heat the oven to 180ºc (fan) then cook the chicken for about an hour or until cooked through.
On Thursday night we had hot dogs. Mustard, ketchup, cheese, leftover dog sauce and variations thereof, along with lovely sweet sticky onions made using the largest onion I have EVER seen.
We had this Thai Style Mince on the 24th which is another firm favourite that has been sidelined since I started the blog. Again, my original photo.
I did a large pie version of some Trinidadian Aloo Pies (or spicy meat and tatty pie) from a great book called Dirty Food which was very tasty and fed us for a couple of days.
We had Chicken, Corn & Slaw on the 26th April:
We went on a lovely walk today. The forecast had been for it to be pretty grotty after a lovely week but the weather was gorgeous. I hope this is a sign of the summer. Sunshine makes everything better doesn’t it? I think it caught everyone by surprise as there was no smell of barbecue in the air.
And what could make it better? A dish that screams of summer days. The girl on the chicken stall misheard me and gave me two kilo of chicken wings instead of one. I didn’t bother correcting her as they were only £3.80 and Mr S would polish them off, no problem.
Prep some chicken wings
Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
Finely slice a red onion
Finely slice some white cabbage
Grate a couple of carrots
Zest & juice a lemon
Get corn on the cobs, natural yoghurt, clear honey, soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame seeds, paprika, butter, oil & seasoning ready.
Pop the wings on a baking tray. Season then drizzle with oil and cook for about 15 minutes,
Mix honey, soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame seeds and a little salt. If it’s a little too thick, add a bit of water.
Put the onion, cabbage and carrot in a bowl and mix in the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning.
Take the chicken out of the oven and pour the peanut butter sauce over. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until cooked though.
Cook the corn in a pan of boiling water until done. I bought a boil in the bag pack that took eight minutes.
Serve the wings with a good serving of the slaw and the corn with a little (or a lot) butter and a sprinkle of paprika.
On Monday night we had the remainder of the pie from Saturday with some beans and the leftover slaw.
The last thing I didn’t get a photo of was Middle Eastern Eggs with Merguez & Pistachios:
This Mary Berry recipe was kind of a three day thing. Don’t let that put you off though, it was only a case of rescuing some leeks that meant I started making it on Saturday and the fact that Mr S doesn’t like warm quiche so we ate it today.
The recipe was in the March edition of BBC Good Food, I didn’t make my own pastry.
Involves waiting times.
Get some ready made shortcrust pastry to room temperature
Finely slice some leeks
Grate some gruyère
Grease a flan dish
Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
Get bacon, plain flour, oil, butter, wholegrain mustard, eggs, single cream & seasoning ready
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line the dish, gently pushing in the pastry and trimming the edges. Prick the base all over with a fork. Pop in the oven to chill for half an hour.
Remove from the fridge and line with baking parchment then add baking beans. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes then remove the beans and paper and cook for another 10 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 170ºc (fan)
Heat some oil and butter in a pan and add the leeks along with a pinch of salt. Cook gently for about 15 minutes until very soft. Remove from the pan.
Cook some streaky bacon in the pan. I like to leave the strips whole then snip them into pieces as I find you get an even cook that way.
In a bowl, mix the eggs, cream, 2/3rds of the cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Spread some of the mustard over the base then scatter the leeks and bacon. Poor over the cream mixture and then add most of the remaining cheese. Transfer gently to the oven on a baking tray and cook for 25-30 minutes. Whilst it is still warm, add the remaining cheese.
We ate it cold and served it with some of the asparagus sauce (warmed through) from yesterday then took the rest for work lunches.
Not only was it my first day back at work but it was our first day of leaving him entirely alone for an hour or so. Talk about separation issues (me, not him!). Luckily he settled in his pen straight away and was really well behaved, which calmed me a little. Getting home from work and being smothered in excited kisses, I can really see why they are ‘Man’s Best Friend’.
On the plus side of being back at work, one week and the mornings are lighter!
It’s Shrove Tuesday so pancakes are on the menu. This was a given when I was younger but has only really become a tradition since I started the blog. I had sweet pancakes last year and Japanese vegetable pancakes the year before.
This is our new pancake recipe since we had the Gallettes Soubises before Christmas. We decided to have these with bacon and maple syrup. Here’s something – I’ve NEVER had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, so this was a new one for me!
Sift 125g each of plain and buckwheat flour into a bowl with a tsp of salt
Measure out 300ml of milk and 125ml water in the same jug
Get 2 large eggs ready
Melt 30g of butter
Get bacon and maple syrup ready (or indeed whatever you fancy
Cook the bacon the way you like it.
Make a well in the bowl of flour. Beat the eggs with the milk and water then gradually pour in, whisking as you go. It helps if you have a chief whisker like Mr S, then you can just pour.
Whisk well then add the melted butter and leave to rest a while.
Heat a tiny amount of oil in a pan and add a ladleful of the batter. Cook until browned then flip and cook on the other side.
When all cooked, serve as you like.
I saw a recipe on Facebook for pancakes for your puppy and funnily enough they recommended buckwheat pancakes. Walter had a little nibble of one and loved them.
The pancake recipe is credited to Diana Henry in her Roast Figs Sugar Snow – Food to Warm the Soul.
Haha. Jamie and his 15 minute meals! Yeah of course. Get everything out, measure it, chop it, make sure everythings boiled and then maybe 15 minutes but in reality never, NEVER 15 minutes.
I still love Jamie’s books though. He makes some bubble and squeak type side but we didn’t want potatoes.
Slice a red onion
Prepare & halve some sprouts
Slice some savoy cabbage
Oil & season some rib eye steaks with salt and mustard powder
Season some liver with salt & mustard powder
Get bacon, plain flour, worcestershire sauce, oil, ale, blackcurrant jam & seasoning ready.
Blanch the sprouts and cabbage, drain but save the water. Leave both to one side.
Heat some oil in a pan and cook the red onion until starting to soften and go brown. Add some flour and stir for a minute. Add a big spoonful of jam and a dash of the worcestershire sauce and stir. Add a good swig of ale then add the veg water, bring to the boil then season and leave to simmer.
Heat a pan and cook the steaks to your liking, remove and leave to rest in foil.
Cook the liver until done then the same with the bacon. Remove from the pan.
Pop some butter in the meat pan when it’s all cooked and toss the veg in the butter to cook.