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.

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Lamb Kofta Curry

On 16th March 2016, This was Dinner

I know that these are not presented in the best way possible but take it from me when I say these are good. Very good. If I could eat another bowl of these right now I would. I’ve made another very good lamb kofta curry before but wanted to try a different recipe.

Get set…

  • Toast some fennel seeds
  • Peel a couple of garlic cloves
  • Peel & roughly chop some ginger and grate another small piece
  • Roughly chop a couple of green chillies
  • Peel & roughly chop a shallot, finely chop another
  • Get lamb mince, garam masala, turmeric, tin of chopped tomatoes, natural yoghurt, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pop the garlic, roughly chopped ginger, chillies & roughly chopped shallot into a small processor and whizz up.

Mix with the mince and the fennel seeds. Season and roll into small balls. Cover and chill.

Heat some oil in a pan and then add the finely chopped shallot and cook for a few minutes. Add the grated ginger, along with the turmeric and garam masala and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the tin of tomatoes along with a little water. Simmer for a few minutes then pop the meatballs in, cover and cook for around 15 minutes, stirring a few times to get the meatballs coated.

Dish it up…

We served ours with brown rice, a dollop of the yoghurt and a sprinkling of coriander.

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Did I say I could eat this right now? Oh yes, sorry! Anyway, the original Delicious Magazine recipe can be found here.

Chicken Biryani

On 7th March 2016, This was Dinner

I’m not obsessed with the stats on the blog, I just love doing it, but what I always notice when I’m making sure I’ve replied to my comments is that a Jamie Oliver Lamb Biryani post is my most popular and still gets plenty of views weekly.

So every time I notice it I think ‘I must make that again’. I finally decided to make a chicken one instead after organising my old recipes last week when I came across this Delicious magazine recipe which claims to be ‘The Best Chicken Biryani’.

I must admit, the lamb one was better but this was still good. You won’t forgive me for all the washing up later either.

A bit of prep before – one to two days before…

Halve some chicken thighs.

Bash & finely chop 6 garlic cloves.

Roughly chop 2 green chillies.

Peel & Grate some fresh ginger.

Get Greek yoghurt, hot chilli powder, sweet paprika, ground coriander & ground turmeric ready.

Mix everything (apart from the chicken) together then stir in the chicken pieces. Cover and chill.

Get Set…

  • Halve some chicken thighs
  • Bruise 6 cardamom pods
  • Finely slice a couple of onions & coat in plain flour
  • Toast some cashew nuts
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get vegetable oil, basmati rice, saffron, ghee*, cloves, milk, bay leaves, cumin seeds, ground nutmeg, star anise, tomato purée & salt ready

Throw it together…

Soak the rice in cold water for an hour.

Heat about 1cm of the oil in a pan and cook the onions for 2-3 minutes until golden, do in batches. Remove to kitchen paper.

Heat more oil in a large pan. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardomom, bay leaves, cumin seeds, nutmeg & star anise and allow everything to release their aromas then add the chicken, along with the marinade.

Cook for 5 minutes then add tomato purée and salt. Simmer for about half an hour until the chicken is cooked. Keep warm over a low heat and add water if required but you don’t want the sauce runny.

Soak the saffron in a little milk.

Cook the rice in boiling, salted water for a few minutes then drain and stir in the ghee.

Heat more of the ghee with some water in a casserole pan with a lid.

Put a third of the rice in the bottom of the pan, drizzle with saffron milk then scatter some of the onions. Pop on half of the chicken then repeat finishing with rice and onions on top.

Pop the lid on and turn up the heat to start the steam then turn down low and cook for 20 minutes.

Scatter over the coriander and cashews.

Dish it up…

Just a big old couple of spoonfuls with a beer!

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I loved the onions done like this so much that I’ve used the method again since.

** I couldn’t get my hands on any ghee so I just boiled some butter for around 3 minutes then reduced the heat. It produces a foam which disappears. After about 7 to 8 minutes a 2nd foam appears and the butter turns brown. Strain and use this liquid.

Braised Coconut & Chilli Beef

On 9th January 2016, This was Dinner

Out with the old in January, I thought it was time to use up all the odds and ends in the freezer and pantry. This recipe stemmed from having a can of coconut milk, plenty of chillies and a piece of ginger. It was £3.05 f0r 2 glorious pieces of shin beef.

Preparing:

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Peel & bash 3 garlic cloves
  • Finely chop a ghost chilli (be careful!)
  • Peel & grate a piece of ginger
  • Cut some charlotte potatoes into pieces
  • Get ground mace, madras curry powder, sumac, shin beef, coconut milk, chopped tomatoes, dried thyme, oil & seasoning

Making:

Mix the curry powder with the sumac and mace. Season the beef and add to the spices, mixing well.

Heat some oil in a pan and brown the beef (in batches if needed).

Pop in a casserole dish then add a little more oil to the heated pan and cook the onion and chilli for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and any leftover spices, stir for a minute then add everything to the beef.

Pour in the tomatoes and the coconut milk along with a little of the thyme. Bring to a gentle simmer then partially cover and cook for a couple of hours. You might need to add some water from time to time.

After two hours, check the seasoning and add the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are tender.

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I made mine with a couple of changes, a little spicier too. The original can be found here.

Baked Sea Bass with Fried Brussels Sprouts

On 19th December 2015, This was Dinner

A fabulous version of fish & chips. And with one of my most loved but loathed by many vegetables, the sprout!

Preparing:

  • Slice some potatoes
  • Prepare some brussels sprouts (I did mine whole as they were tiny and halved the larger ones)
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Get butter, sea bass, fennel seeds, caster sugar, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan)

Making:

Par boil the sprouts.

Toss the potatoes in oil and seasoning and bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes depending on how thick you have cut them.

Season the sea bass and drizzle with oil and sit on top of the potatoes when there is about 15 minutes left.

Heat some oil and butter in a pan and add the sprouts. When they start to turn golden, add the fennel seeds, lemon juice and zest and the sugar.

Nice and simple and very, very tasty.

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This meal can be found in the December edition of Delicious magazine.

Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Pies

On 23rd August 2015, This was Dinner

I have a fish pie recipe which is a fairly decadent business and requires a fair bit of effort and a big chunk of change. I’ve not made it since starting the blog so have stuck it on the to-do list. This one is a totally different kettle of fish (puntastic!). It’s very tasty and a (fairly) quick and easy affair. I thought a whole fennel might be a little overpowering but it wasn’t.

Preparing:

  • Peel and cut up some potatoes
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Finely chop a few garlic cloves
  • Skin a small piece of smoked haddock and cut into small pieces
  • Skin a small piece of haddock and cut into small pieces
  • Drain & rinse some capers
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Chop some parsley
  • Prepare some fish stock
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Get plain flour, crème fraîche, raw prawns, milk, oil, butter & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat some oil and butter in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and cook until softened. Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring well.

Gradually add the stock to the pan, stirring as you go. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. Season well and add the fish, prawns, capers & parsley.

Pop it all in the dish (or dishes) you are going to cook it in and set aside.

Cook the potatoes in salted water and bring to the boil, cooking until tender. Drain and let steam for a few minutes then return to the pan and add some butter and milk and mash, seasoning to taste.

Cover the mixture with the mash and sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

It was great that I had yummy leftovers for lunch at work on Monday but there were some sarcastic comments on the fishy smell. That’s great, normally I take a sandwich and have to suffer the horrendous smell of various people’s lunch merging together and offending my nostrils for the rest of the day as my office is very close to the kitchen!

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TWD_2308_Fish_Pie

Just managed to catch this fella before he got to my pie!
Just managed to catch this fella before he got to my pie!

Here’s the original recipe on the Delicious magazine website.

Sri Lankan Salmon Curry

On 11th June 2015, This was Dinner

Tonight I had to say goodbye to my dualit mini-blender which went kaput as I was trying to whizz up a paste. I’ve had it for years. It was a Christmas present from Mr S, and before you say anything, yes I was pleased. I’d have kitchen based Christmas presents over other stuff any time.

So now I am mini blenderless and I had to revert to the pestle and mortar, which is how the paste is made in the original Delicious Magazine recipe.

Preparing:

  • Finely chop a couple of green chillies
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Finely chop some ginger
  • Chop a red onion
  • Cut some broccoli into small florets
  • Chops some salmon into bite sized pieces
  • Get a tin of chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, mild curry powder, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Bash up the chillies, garlic cloves, ginger, curry powder, oil and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar to form a paste.

Heat some oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook until softened.

Add the paste a cook, stirring well, for a couple of minutes.

Add the tin of tomatoes and half a tin of water. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes.

Add the coconut milk (you won’t need a full tin) and broccoli and cook for another ten minutes with the lid on.

Add the pieces of salmon and put the lid back on. Cook for around five minutes until the salmon is cooked through.

Serve with rice.

TWD_1106_Salmon_CurryWe were supposed to have Indian Scrambled Eggs for dinner on Friday night. Not much of a Friday night dinner – I know. We had fish butties instead.