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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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.

Cheese & Vegetable Pie

On 26th February 2016, This was Dinner

I have been going to make my own pastry for ages rather than just buying the stuff and this seemed like the perfect opportunity as it required a cheese one. Then, like an idiot, I forgot to put the cheese in! So instead I had to sprinkle it on as I rolled it out.

My one complaint would be that, although I used Mary Berry’s measurements, it was a bit thin. ‘Your pie dish was probably bigger!’ I hear you cry. Well if you checked out her photo in the book then you would change your mind. AND she had lots of leftover trimmings to make it look pretty!

Although this isn’t a very ‘Friday Night’ meal, there was no way I was letting all of those vegetables go to waste.

For some reason I had forgotten to buy a courgette but I had a spare aubergine and some frozen broccoli that I threw in instead.

Get set…

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Chop a couple of tomatoes
  • Slice some mushrooms
  • Peel & slice a couple of carrots
  • Chop some parsley
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Grate some smoked cheddar
  • Beat an egg
  • Sift 125g plain flour into a bowl
  • Measure out 60g butter and cut into small pieces
  • Measure out 300ml milk
  • Measure out another 30g plain flour
  • Measure out another 30g butter
  • Halve & slice an aubergine (at the last minute)
  • Get English mustard, cayenne pepper, dried marjoram, frozen broccoli, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for a few minutes then drain.

Pop the small pieces of butter into the sifted flour and rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Remember to stir in the cheese (half of the cheddar). Add a tablespoon of the beaten egg and a tablespoon of cold water and bind to a soft dough. I felt there wasn’t enough liquid but I stuck with it and there was. Wrap in cling film and chill.

Melt a little oil and butter in a large pan and cook the onion until softened. Add the carrots and cook for five minutes.

Add the aubergine, mushrooms and tomatoes along with the marjoram and season well. Cook for around 15 minutes. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and add in. Stir through the parsley and remove from the heat.

Melt the 30g of butter and add the 30g of flour. Stir and cook for a minute. Remove from the heat and add the milk a little at a time. Stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then simmer for a few minutes. Add all of the smoked cheese and the remaining half of the cheddar along with some mustard and seasoning.

Stir into the vegetables and let cool whilst you roll out the pastry.

Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan).

Roll out the pastry and transfer the vegetable mixture to a pie dish.

Place the pastry on top of the mixture and trim the edges the press with your thumbs. Make a few slashes with a knife in the top of the pastry then brush with egg. Use the trimmings for any decoration.

Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Dish it up…

Well you don’t need anymore vegetables so just cut yourself as much as you want and enjoy.

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I’ll definitely be making my own pastry again, I was quite chuffed with it.

Bacon, Cheese & Tomato Pasta Bake

It’s three years (and one day) since I registered for WordPress. I looked at a couple of my very early posts and thankfully it has evolved a bit since then.

And talking of anniversaries, it is 20 years since Jarvis Cocker stormed Michael Jackson’s set at the Brits. Which means it is 20 years since I went to see Pulp at the Sheffield Arena. I remember him walking out holding a copy of the Sun newspaper, of which he commanded the front page (and probably a few pages within I would imagine. The British media know how to milk a story). It’s also 20 years since Trainspotting was released. Twenty years though? Without sounding like my Nan, where does time go?

On 22nd February 2016, This was Dinner

I was so hungry today. We went and did some work at Unbloq yesterday and before we knew it, it was 3.30pm and we hadn’t eaten a sausage. (Or a slice of toast for that matter.) We ended up buying a ready roasted chicken from Morrisons and making a chicken and chorizo sandwich. The problem was this was my first bread for a while and it filled me until about 9.30pm when I was ready to eat again but by then it was too late.

I resisted the urge to get a takeaway on Monday night and made this pasta bake instead. This is originally a Bill Granger dish but I changed it up a little bit. The bacon is actually pancetta and the cheese is not just any old cheese, it’s the delicious (and a personal favourite of mine) taleggio.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Break up some taleggio
  • Quarter some cherry tomatoes
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get pasta, milk, plain flour, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the pasta (I used shells) until al dente, drain and set aside.

Heat up a frying pan and add the pancetta and cook until starting to crisp. Add the onion and cook until softened.

Add the butter to the pan and melt. Add the flour to the pan and stir well. Gradually add in the milk to create a sauce. Season and add the taleggio.

Stir the pancetta mixture through the pasta, along with the tomatoes and add to a baking dish.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes then remove and add the cheddar and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Dish it up…

This dish doesn’t need anything else. Just tuck in.

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Bean & Feta Stuffed Peppers

On 17th February 2016, This was Dinner

I made these when I got in from the gym. There was a large filling to pepper space ratio and these were decent sized peppers.

I don’t often comment on how I cook things differently from the recipe but this one really stood out. The original recipe (which I hardly ended up following at all) precooks the peppers and I think that would have spoiled them. My opinion of course.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 170°c (fan)
  • Halve and deseed 2 peppers
  • Slice a small red onion
  • Cut an aubergine into cubes
  • Cut some feta cheese into cubes
  • Finely slice a red chilli
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get ground cumin, ground coriander, can of chopped tomatoes, can of kidney beans, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic until starting to soften. Stir in the cumin and coriander. Cook for a few minutes then add the chilli and aubergine. Pour in the tomatoes and the beans (Still in their water is fine). Season.

Cook for about 15 minutes.

Pop the peppers in a baking tray then put some of the feta in the bottom. Add the bean mixture then add more feta.

Keep the remaining bean mixture warm.

Top with the cheddar and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Dish it up…

Put some of the bean mixture in a bowl and top with the peppers.

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I would normally stuff peppers with a rice based dish so this made a nice change.

Cod, Cauliflower & Chorizo Mornay

On 14th February 2016, This was Dinner

We were going to make a ‘special’ meal for Valentines Day but we were naughty yesterday and had a Chinese takeaway which meant the cod that I had defrosted needed using before the pork did. All’s well that ends well as this was a far better meal than the pork anyway.

We took Walter for a walk in the woods today. It was a lovely crisp morning and we donned our wellies and off we went. It is nice to walk him up at Cusworth Hall and the surrounding area but in the woods he can be off the lead a little longer. Although he got a bit cocky at times and had to be shouted back. He has some confidence that little bugger! He doesn’t get to meet as many new friends but he still met some.

I never thought to take him here but was reminded of the place when I read this Doncopolitan post.

Anyway, what is a Mornay I hear you ask? Well it is ‘a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated Gruyère cheese and egg yolk added’ (source: Wikipedia). There’s no egg in this one so does that make it cod, cauli and chorizo in cheese sauce? I’m not arguing with BBC Good Food where the original can be found.

Cooking cauliflower really takes me back to my distant not-so-long-ago childhood. It must have been the go to veg.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan)
  • Cut a small cauliflower into florets*
  • Roughly chop a chorizo**
  • Grate some gruyère
  • Chop a cod loin into bite sized pieces
  • Chop some parsley
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Boil the kettle
  • Get 25g butter, 500ml milk, 3 tbsp plain flour, breadcrumbs, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pop the cauli in a pan and add the boiling water. Add salt and bring back to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes until al dente. Drain and leave to one side.

Heat a frying pan and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes until starting to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon resisting the urge to eat it. Cover it to pretend it isn’t there.

Melt the butter in the pan with the chorizo oil then add the flour and stir to create a roux. Remove from the heat and pour the milk in gradually, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps.

Pop back on the (gently) heat and stir in the most of the gruyère. Season.

In individual dishes (if you can), divide up the cauli. Add the chorizo and the cod then add the spring onions.

Spoon over the cheese sauce. Mix the breadcrumbs and parsley together and sprinkle over the top. Add the remaining cheese.

Pop in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Dish it up…

It’s in an individual dish so no extra effort needed but I have a large bag of frozen green beans so I served it with thise. Let it cool a bit, it’s hot as hell!

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* in the spirit of Miranda – florets is a nice words isn’t it?

** yes I said a FULL chorizo