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.

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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.

The Best Fish Pie

On 29th May 2016, This was Dinner

One of my oldest (surviving) books is an Antony Worrall Thompson book – The Top 100 Recipes from the Food & Drink TV Series.

I can’t say I’ve made loads from the book but it is where I went to for my original Yorkshire puddings and I made a stand-out bœuf bourguignon. This fish pie is well worth the effort you might have to put in. Here goes…

Get set…

  • Peel and chop some potatoes and place in a pan of salted water
  • Chop a large onion
  • Hard boil some eggs
  • Chop some parsley
  • Chop some thyme leaves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Grate some gruyère
  • Get a salmon fillet, a smoked haddock fillet, some raw prawns, mustard powder, milk, double cream, a clove, a bay leaf, nutmeg, plain flour, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Bring the potatoes to the boil and cook until tender then drain and leave to dry out for a couple of minutes. Mash well and add a little butter, double cream and some seasoning.

Pour the milk in a large pan along with some double cream and add both the fish fillets. Pop the bay leaf, clove and a pinch of nutmeg in and gently poach until the fish is tender. Remove the fish and strain the poaching liquid to use later.

Wipe out the pan and add a little oil and butter and cook the onion gently, you want it soft but not coloured. Add some plain flour and stir well for a couple of minutes.

Pour in the poaching liquid a little at a time, whisking well each time. Simmer gently for around 10 minutes until thickened.

Shell and chop the eggs and add to the sauce along with the parsley, thyme and a very good pinch of mustard powder. Flake in the fish, stir well and move from the heat and allow to cool. Now might be a good time to check the seasoning.

Add the raw prawns when cooled and transfer to an oven proof dish. Leave for 10 minutes then spread the mashed potato over the top and fork up a bit.

Sprinkle with both of the cheeses then bake for around 30 minutes.

Dish it up…

Nothing else required in my opinion. Just a fork and a big appetite.

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It fed us for 2 days but as you can see from the ingredients, it’s not the cheapest pie you will ever make, but as I said before, well worth it.

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.

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.

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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.

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Sausage & Kale Gnocchi Bake

On 14th April 2016, This was Dinner

More kale!  Not that I’m complaining. It’s delicious and a £1.20 bag from the market will do two meals.

As soon as I see the words ‘gnocchi’ and ‘bake’ I’m in. Mr S made this one, I just walked in and served it up. He added some green olives to the bake as we have tons of them at the minute.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)
  • Skin a few pork sausages & break into bite sized pieces
  • Chop some kale
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Break up some mozzarella
  • Get passata, gnocchi, olives, basil, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Boil a pan of water , add salt then add the gnocchi and kale and cook for a minute. Drain and refresh in cold water.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until softened. Remove and set aside.

Add the sausages to the pan and  cook until browned. Add back the onion and pour in some passata. Season well, tear up a few of the basil leaves and cook for a few minutes

Mix together with the kale and gnocchi and pour into an oven proof baking dish.

Pop in some olives and dot the mozzarella all over then put it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Dish it up…

Just a pinch of black pepper and a couple more basil leaves will do it.

TWD_1404_Gnocchi_BakeYou can find the original Delicious Magazine recipe here.

Three Cheese Macaroni Bake with Chorizo & Bacon

On 6th April 2016, This was Dinner

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.

Get set…

  • 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.

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As you can see, there was a side of chicken wings too!

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.

Hot Smoked Salmon Omelette

On 8th March 2016, This was Dinner

After the huge meal yesterday I went for something a little lighter today. I had some hot smoked salmon in the fridge which needed using up so and omelette seemed like the perfect idea. We just made one huge one and halved it.

Get set…

  • Whisk up some eggs
  • Flake some hot smoked salmon
  • Chop some spring onions
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan

Season the egg mixture then add to the pan. Swirl around the pan so the egg is even, when the bottom is set, add the spring onions and the salmon. Before the egg is cooked on top, flip it over at one side to fold in half, the heat will finish the cooking of the egg for you.

Dish it up…

Sprinkle with the parmesan and serve.

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I’ve been a bit lazy on the photography front recently, just reaching for the phone instead of getting my camera out. I must make more of an effort.

Sweet, Sweet Kale

On 1st & 2nd March 2016, This was Dinner

I do adore kale, for a while it was quite hard to come buy unless it was in season but it is very fashionable now isn’t it. I bought a rather large bag of it from the market and new it would do two meals.

Tuesday’s dinner was Spaghetti with Caramelised Onion, Kale & Gorgonzola:

Get set…

  • Halve and thinly slice a red onion
  • Chop come kale
  • Crumble some gorgonzola
  • Prepare a small amount of vegetable stock
  • Chop some thyme leaves
  • Get spaghetti, sherry vinegar, caster sugar, chilli flakes, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and thyme with some seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes until softened then add the chilli flakes along with the sugar and sherry vinegar. Stir then add the stock. Cook for 10 minutes, only stirring occasionally.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions and add the kale for the last few minutes. Drain (reserving a little water) then toss together with the cheese.

Dish it up…

Serve in a bowl with the onions on top.

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Original recipe here.

I think I have actually achieved something I’ve never done before! I have used chorizo over two meals! To use up the kale I decided to make quesadillas and having bought cooking chorizo for another meal, I decided to add half of the pack to these. So Wednesday’s dinner – Chorizo, Red Onion & Kale Quesadillas:

Get set…

  • Finely slice a red onion
  • Cut a cooking chorizo into small pieces
  • Chops some kale
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get tortillas & oil ready

Throw it together…

Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onion until softened. Remove from the pan.

Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until starting to colour and crisp. Remove from the pan.

Add the kale to the pan and stir constantly for a couple of minutes then add a small amount of water, pop the lid on and remove from the heat. Remove the kale from the pan

Wipe out the pan and pop back on the heat.

Set out the tortillas and spread the onion over one half of each. Scatter the chorizo over then add the kale. Sprinkle with cheddar and fold over.

Pop two in a pan and cook on each side until browned and the cheese has melted.

Dish it up...

Halve each one. I like them to cool a little first. Just pop on a plate and serve.

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Before and after, or is that after and before.

This made six, I don’t like to overfill mine.