Pepper, Pesto & Sweetcorn Calzones

On 4th April 2016, This was Dinner

I have to start by saying it’s a real shame that this photo doesn’t do the calzones justice. It just looks like they have a thin layer of sweetcorn in them which is not the case.

Obviously there is some waiting time with these as you have to make a dough. Use a bread mix or make your own. I went down the bread mix route. That’s the only ‘faff’ with these as there is not pre-cooking of the filling. For me, this meant I had enough time to clear up, shower and settle down to watch the finale of The Walking Dead.

The beauty of these is that you could really throw in anything you have left hanging around.

Get set…

  • Prepare a dough from a bread mix according to the instructions and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
  • Drain & roughly chop some roasted peppers from a jar
  • Drain a tin of sweetcorn
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Beat an egg
  • Tear up a ball of mozzarella
  • Season some passata
  • Get pesto, polenta & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 200°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Cut the dough into quarters and roll out each one to an approximately 20cm wide disc.

Spread some passata over the base. Then top each one with the peppers, sweetcorn, mozzarella, parmesan, basil and dollops of pesto.

Fold in half and press the edges, rolling to seal. Carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking tray. Leave for 10 minutes.

Brush with egg, sprinkle with polenta and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes.

Dish it up…

Straight up but I would suggest you leave them to cool a little first!

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I don’t think I will ever exhaust my supply of filed BBC Good Food recipes. Here it is.

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Peanut Butter Cake

This is a belated birthday cake for Mr S. With a hectic weekend, and the fact that Mr S ate all the peanuts, I did not get around to making it. A week later, here it is.

I wish I could bake to half the standard that the people of GBBO do but that is not my forte. I fear Mary would look at me with a look of pity and Hollywood would give a look that suggested I’ve just given him a bake containing a few of my dogs favourite treats! Still, we enjoy them so that is all that matters.

Get set…

  • Butter 2 x 20cm cake tins & line the bottom with baking paper
  • Lightly butter a plate
  • Heat the oven to 160°c (fan)
  • Measure out 200g softened butter
  • Measure out 3 tbsp of peanut butter then keep the tin for however much you want to use for the middle
  • Measure out 200g golden caster sugar
  • Measure out 150ml natural yoghurt
  • Measure out 200g self raising flour
  • Measure out 100g milk chocolate & break into small pieces
  • Get 4 eggs, salted peanuts, icing sugar, milk & Carnation caramel ready

Throw it together…

Beat the peanut butter together with the butter, eggs, sugar and yoghurt.

Fold in the flour then split between the two lines tins.

Bake for 30 minutes. To check it’s done, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean, it’s done!

Allow to cool in the tins for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Toss the salted peanuts (I used about 80g ‘cos we love peanuts) in icing sugar and a splash of water to give a sticky coating. Turn the oven up to 180°c (fan) and spread the peanuts on a baking tray. Cook for about 6 minutes, tossing once. Tip onto the buttered plate.

Melt the chocolate with 2tbsp of milk gently over a pan of simmering water then leave to cool.

Spread some peanut butter over one of the sponges then dot with the caramel sauce and spread with a palette knife.

Pop the other sponge on top then spread the chocolate over. Scatter the peanuts.

Dish it up…

Are you a straight up shove the cake in your mouth type of person or do you like to eat it with a fork? It’s quite sticky so I suggest the fork option!

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This cake is rich with a capital ‘R’. Find it here.

Seafood, Courgette & Aubergine Lasagne

On 18th February 2016, This was Dinner

I’ve been really good this week. I’m finally back at the gym and drinking a protein shake for lunch. I have a dress I want to fit in on the 19th May when I go to see the Ballet at Cast in Doncaster.

However, I went to the gym yesterday but then came home and changed a sausage polenta ragù recipe into sausage, chips and gravy, just because I couldn’t be fussed to mess around (Oh and did you know it was National Drink Wine Day yesterday? Well it was and I did.)

There would be no reason not to think a seafood lasagne would be good but it was very good. I normally buy a bag of mixed seafood from Aldi but for some reason they didn’t have it at all. There has been an Iceland Food Warehouse near us for about six months but I’ve never ventured in. Mr S did and bought a big pack for a fiver.

Get set…

  • Defrost a bag of mixed seafood
  • Slice some courgettes lengthways and brush with oil
  • Slice a couple of aubergines lengthways and brush with oil
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Finely slice a red chilli
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Get fresh pasta sheets, passata & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat a griddle and cook the courgettes and aubergine in batches. Set aside.

Pour some passata into an oven proof dish to cover the bottom. Scatter over half of the seafood and season.

Top with a layer of courgette and aubergine (using a third) and scatter half of the chilli. Pop a layer of pasta.

Repeat with passata, seafood, seasoning, vegetables and pasta.

Add more passata and the final layer of vegetables then scatter over the parmesan.

Dish it up…

We served ours on its own because, as you can see, there was more than enough here for two!

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The original recipe can be found at BBC Good Food.

Mushroom Spinach & Potato Pie

On 11th February 2016, This was Dinner

I should have cooked the potatoes last night for this, then it would have been a quickie dinner, but I didn’t, so much for organisation!

So if you did it, cook your potatoes in advance.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Halve or quarter some new potatoes (depending on their size)
  • Slice some chestnut, portobello & oyster mushrooms
  • Crush a couple of garlic cloves
  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Boil the kettle
  • Get baby spinach, wholegrain mustard, ground nutmeg, crème fraîche, filo pastry, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just cook.

Pop the spinach in a colander and pour the boiling water from the potatoes as you drain them over the spinach to wilt.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms until golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Stir some of the mustard through then add a pinch of nutmeg along with the stock and potatoes.

Bring to the boil and reduce it a little then remove from the heat.

Season and add the crème fraîche and spinach.

Tip it into a pie dish.

Whilst it cools a little, brush the pasty with oil then cut the sheets into smaller pieces to scrunch and place on top of the pie.

Cook for about 20 minutes.

Dish it up…

With whatever you fancy really but there was loads so we had it on it’s own.

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Original recipe here.

Prawn Katsu Burgers

On 9th February 2016, This was Dinner

I don’t think I’ve missed pancake day for a few years but it completely slipped my mind this year.

Instead I made these delicious burgers which jumped of the page in BBC Good Food the moment I saw them.

We could only get our hand on finger brioche buns. I doubled up on prawns and just made mine into eight small ones.

Get set…

  • Slice some white cabbage
  • Roughly chop a few spring onions
  • Separate an egg, keeping the white
  • Bash up some cornflakes
  • Rinse and pat dry some raw prawns
  • Slice the brioche buns
  • Get cornflour, lemon, mayonnaise, ketchup sriracha, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pulse up half of the prawns and all of the onion in a processor with a pinch of salt. Make a rough paste.

Add the cornflour and egg and pulse again.

Add the remaining prawns and pulse a couple of times only. Season.

Divide into patties and then place in the cornflake crumbs, cover all over. Cover and chill.

Mix the cabbage with a good squeeze of lemon juice and some of the mayo.

Mix more mayo with a little ketchup and some sriracha.

When ready, toast the buns. Heat a good bit of oil in a frying pan and cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes turning regularly. I checked one to make sure it was cooked through.

Dish it up…

Pop some cabbage slaw on the bottom of the bun. Cut the patties in half if using finger buns like me. Arrange on top then top with as little or as much sriracha mayo as you wish.

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Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

I’ve had some cooked beetroot hanging about in the fridge (still sealed) for ages and although not quite reaching its sell by date I wanted to use it up. Last week I picked up a bar of dark chocolate with the intent to make this cake. When it came down to it I had to make a couple of adjustments to the original but it was still good.

Oh, and this recipe could not be any easier.

Get set…

  • Roughly chop about 175g cooked beetroot
  • Chop 100g dark chocolate into smallish pieces
  • Measure 200ml vegetable oil (I did not have any sunflower)
  • Measure 2tsp vanilla extract
  • Get 3 eggs ready
  • Measure 200g strong bread flour (weird I know but I didn’t have normal plain flour)
  • Measure 250g golden caster sugar
  • Measure 1tbsp baking powder
  • Preheat the oven to 170°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Blitz up the beetroot in a food processor.

Add a pinch of salt and then everything but the oil and chocolate. Whizz it all back up again until completely mixed.

Turn on the processor to a low setting and add the oil, drizzling it in slowly.

Stir in the chocolate then tip in to a lined tin (or like me use one of the silicone moulds, just oil it a little first – even less to do!)

Pop it in the oven for an hour. When a skewer comes out clean it’s done. Remember though, there are chunks of chocolate in there so don’t confuse that with an unbaked cake.)

Dish it up…

The upside of my recipe error yesterday meant that I had crème fraîche going spare. Cut yourself a slice and stick a dollop on.

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Griddled Halloumi with Bean Salad & Guacamole

On 26th January 2016, This was Dinner

There was a moment, only a moment, when I almost sacked this meal off for fish and chips. It’s so tempting some days to think that way. As it is, we are out all day Friday so will definitely be eating out so we behaved ourselves and made this. I’m so glad we did, it was delicious.

Get set…

  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Finely chop half a red chilli and finely slice the other half
  • Cut a block of halloumi into 8 slices
  • Drain some black-eyed beans
  • Drain some sweetcorn
  • Finely chop a few spring onions
  • Chop up a couple of tomatoes
  • Roughly chop some sun-dried tomatoes
  • Juice a couple of limes
  • Stone & peel an avocado, roughly chop
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper,oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Mix the dried herbs and spice with the oil and garlic and drizzle over the halloumi. Turn and drizzle the rest, gently rubbing the oil mixture all over and pop to one side.

Make the guacamole. Mix the avocado with the finely chopped chilli, some oil, the juice of one of the limes and half of the coriander.

Pop the sliced chilli in a pan with the beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, spring onions, a splash of oil and some seasoning. Pop on a gentle heat and stir now and then whilst you heat a griddle pan up high.

Pop the halloumi on the griddle and cook for a few minutes, turning occasionally until golden.

Pop the juice from the other lime (save a little) into the bean mixture and add the coriander.

Dish it up…

Dish up the beans and place the halloumi on top. Pop a dollop of guacamole on the side and sprinkle over the remaining lime.

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The original BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.