Veggie Burgers with Pickled Carrot

On 14th June 2016, This was Dinner

As we were cooking these I thought they were going to be a sloppy mess. They weren’t, but I’d probably make them the day ahead next time as the leftover ones I sent round to my Dad and sister looked a lot easier to cook.

What is a slaw? Is it just a 21st century shortening of the word coleslaw? I can’t find a definitive answer but the original recipe calls this ‘carrot slaw’ but to me it would require another vegetable to make it a slaw so I’ve gone with pickled carrot and left it at that!

Get set…

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Finely chop a couple of portobello mushrooms
  • Peel a couple of sweet potatoes and cube
  • Grate a large beetroot
  • Grate a large carrot
  • Chop some coriander
  • Zest a couple of limes
  • Cook some quinoa
  • Beat an egg
  • Get burger buns, rice wine vinegar, golden caster sugar, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready. You may also need an egg.

Throw it together…

Put the sweet potato in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then drain and rinse when the potato is cooked.

Heat some oil in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Season well.

Mix this with the potato and leave to cool.

Add the quinoa, beetroot, lime zest and coriander. Mix well and then add flour. Add a little or all of the egg to bind it together.

Divide the mixture into eight then form into patties. Chill for at least half an hour.

Add the vinegar, sugar and some salt to the carrot and set to one side.

When chilled, heat some oil in a pan and cook the burgers gently for 6-8 minutes on each side.

Toast the bread buns

Dish it up…

Spread some mayo on the bottom of the bun, drizzle some chilli sauce and top with the carrot mixture.

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Original BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.

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Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns

On 5th June 2016, This was Dinner

As soon as I saw this I knew I had to have a go, I even bought a bamboo steamer for the occasion. As I steamed my buns I was wondering if I had wasted my money but if I never use my steamer again (which I will) it was worth it and I’m now in love with the steamed bun!*

Get set…

  • Cut boneless pork belly into pieces
  • Finely slice a few garlic cloves
  • Finely slice some ginger
  • Cut some spring onions into strips
  • Cut some cucumber into strips
  • Chop some coriander
  • Roughly bash some roasted peanuts
  • Get muscovado sugar, star anise, shaoxing rice wine, dark soy, five spice powder, 250g plain flour, 1 tbsp white caster sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp fast-action dried yeast, 50ml milk, togarashi spice**, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 140°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a flame proof dish and brown the pork belly in batches. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle over the five spice powder.

Pop the sugar into the pan and cook until it starts to dissolve and caramelise then add the garlic, ginger and star anise. Do it quick! Add the rice wine and the soy (and make sure you are wearing an apron and don’t mind the clean up afterwards!) Stir in the pork along with it’s juices then add a little water and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Pop the lid on and transfer to the oven. Cook for an hour and half.

Put the sugar, flour, baking powder and yeast into a mixer with a large pinch of salt.Using the dough hook, pour in the milk and a tbsp of oil along with 100ml lukewarm water and mix for about 10 minutes.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and leave for an hour to double in size.

Take the pork out of the oven and leave to one side whilst you get everything else ready.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Roll it into a sausage shape and cut into 10. Roll each of these into a bun then roll out into an oval, lightly grease then fold over a chopstick or something similar and place on an oiled baking tray and leave for another hour.

Mix the peanuts with the togarashi spice.

Heat the steamer (put some baking paper on the bottom) and steam the buns for about 10 minutes.

Pop the pork back on the heat and cook until the sauce is thick and sticky.

Dish it up…

Make an effort! Sprinkle the pork with coriander and serve separately and let everyone build their own. A nice beer wouldn’t go amiss either.

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* Oh and the pork was very good too 😉

** Whilst I was ordering the steamer I bought some togarashi spice too.

Find the original recipe on BBC Good Food here.

 

Cinco de Mayo Tacos

On 5th May 2016, This was Dinner

I want to say that I made these especially for Cinco de Mayo but it was entirely a coincidence that I saw them in this month’s Good Food mag and made them on the 5th!

These beautiful tacos are quick and what can be more healthy than a recipe with black beans, avocado and pomegranate seeds? I even left cheese of the menu on these which frankly feels like sacrilege when tacos are involved.

All that was missing was the margarita.

Get set…

  • Drain & rinse a couple of tins of black beans
  • Finely chop 4 garlic cloves (3 for the beans, 1 for the guacamole)
  • Roughly chop some coriander (most for the guacamole, some for the salsa)
  • Finely chop 2 green chillis (1 for the guacamole, 1 for the salsa)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Halve & stone a couple of avocados
  • Juice a lime
  • Get cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, ground cumin, pomegranate seeds, tortillas (I used corn & wheat ones), oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Mash up the avocado roughly with a fork and add the garlic, coriander & chilli along with a pinch of salt. Stir in the lime juice and pop the stone back on top to stop it going brown. Pop it in the fridge until you are ready.

Mix the pomegranate seeds with the other chilli, the onion and the coriander. Chill.

Heat the oil very gently in a pan and add the garlic, as it starts to turn golden (be careful not to burn it) add the beans.

Pour in the spices and stir then add the vinegar and the honey and season.

Cook until the beans start to soften, crush a few occasionally until you get the consistency you see in the photo.

Dish it up…

Well the choice is yours but I went with tortilla – black beans – guacamole – salsa – and finish with a flourish of hot sauce. Don’t forget the napkin to wipe your chin!

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I can’t recommend these enough. I wish I’d done extra to take to work on Friday. Wait! I had Friday off!

These can be found in the current edition of BBC Good Food so there’s no link.

Butter Chicken

On 24th April 2016, This was Dinner

Oh my! I put this on the shopping list for the month a few weeks ago but in the meantime I happen to watch Vivek Singh make a more authentic one on the last Saturday Kitchen episode involving James Martin. I thought ‘Wow! I;m on to a winner with butter chicken I think’ and I was right.

Get set…

  • Cut some chicken breasts into chunks
  • Finely slice an onion
  • Crush a few garlic cloves
  • Finely grate some ginger
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get passata, garam masala, cashew nut butter, double cream, butter & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some butter in a large pan and cook the onion until softened.

Add the chicken and cook until starting to brown.

Add the garlic and ginger along with some garam masala and stir for a minute. Pour in the passata and gently bring to the boil. Reduce and lave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cashew nut butter and some of the cream and season to taste.

Dish it up…

With some wilted spinach and steamed rice. Sprinkle with coriander (which isn’t shown here).

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It’s yet another BBC Good Food recipe but if you fancy putting some extra effort in then here’s the one from Saturday Kitchen.

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.

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Chicken & Chorizo Paella

On 15th April 2016, This was Dinner

I had some paella rice in the cupboard and some chicken thighs in the freezer so it made sense to take inspiration from this BBC Good Food recipe in the March edition. Apart from the chorizo, most things are store cupboard anyway so I didn’t need to pick anything else up.

Get set…

  • Cut some chicken thighs into pieces
  • Thickly slice a chorizo
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Finely slice a large onion
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get saffron, paprika, turmeric, paella rice, frozen peas, lemon, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and brown the chicken. Remove and set aside.

Add the chorizo and cook until it starts to release oil. Remove and set aside with the chicken.

Add the onion and cook until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the spices and stir then add the rice and stir again.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil then add the chicken and chorizo and cook for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the peas and cook for a few more minutes. Check the seasoning.

Sprinkle with the parsley.

Dish it up…

Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

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I was going to put some cooked prawns in but forgot to get them out of the freezer in the morning.

Tuna Caesar with Anchovies & Kale

On 9th April 2016, This was Dinner

Well, behind as usual, what better opportunity to get up to date but a real wash-out of a bank holiday. We didn’t even get to the Tour de Yorkshire as we were going to walk the dog to see it but would have got soaked to the skin. Well done to everyone who braved the rain and made the most of it.

Fresh tuna is not a favourite of mine. This might sound weird but it is a little too meaty and not quite fishy enough for me. However, being the nice person I am, I force myself to put it on the menu sometime as Mr S likes it. After eating this though, I think I might have tuna a little more often.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan)
  • Cut up a ciabatta into large chunks
  • Zest a lemon
  • Roughly chop a few anchovies
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Grate some parmesan and shave a little more for serving
  • Chop some kale, removing the thick stalks first
  • Get tuna steaks, mayo, buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Toss the bread in the oil and pop on a baking tray, cook for around 10 minutes until golden.

Oil the tuna steaks and add half of the lemon zest and season well.

Heat more oil in a pan on a gentle heat and add the anchovies and garlic. Break the anchovies down to form a paste. Transfer to a bowl and add mayo, buttermilk, Dijon, Worcestershire and the grated parmesan. Add the remaining lemon zest and a good squeeze of juice then mix it up to a nice dressing.

Add the kale leaves and stir well. Leave it a while to get the kale nice and softened.

Cook the tuna for around 3 minutes each side and leave ti rest whilst you plate up.

Dish it up…

Place the kale on the centre of the plate, arrange the croutons around then top with the tuna. Add a squeeze of lemon then top with the parmesan shavings.

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The original, using cavolo nero which I couldn’t get hold of but Aldi sometimes stock, can be found here, at BBC Good Food.