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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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!

TWD_Calzone.jpg

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

Sloppy Joe Pizza

On 22nd January 2016, This was Dinner

I don’t think we really do the sloppy joe in England. Sure, like everything else, we might make them but (and correct me if I’m wrong) you don’t really see them on menus. I’m going to guess it is because they are so messy that no one in their right mind would order one out. Would they?

These were more pizza than actual sloppy joe and I’m guessing even messier due to the addition of melted cheese. I tried (in vain) to eat them without getting it everywhere!

Get set…

  • Finely slice a chilli
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Tear up some mozzarella
  • Halve a couple of baguettes* lengthways
  • Get minced beef, passata, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook until softened then add the beef. Brown the beef, breaking it down as you go. Add the chilli and some seasoning then pour in the passata.

Cook for at least 15 minutes uncovered. I do leave mine for longer as a personal preference.

Heat the grill (*I used par baked ones so they were still warm and didn’t need toasting but if you use fresh bread, toast them first).

Divide the mince over the baguette halves then scatter with mozzarella. Grill until the cheese is bubbling.

Dish is up…

Carefully halve again and serve. Make sure you have plenty of kitchen paper on hand as it might get messy!

TWD_2201_Sloppy_Joe.jpg

The original BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.

Seafood & Tapas Pizzas

On 20th June 2015, This was Dinner

So Mother Nature conspired against us again this week. We had plans to go to an exhibition in Sheffield then jump on a train to Hope Valley to walk Walter. We had to pop to the vets first to get Walter weighed (4 HUUUGE kilo’s, by the ‘weigh’). Whilst in the vets a downpour started.

By the time we got out it had stopped but didn’t look too clever so we turned back home. Half way home we got soaked. I needed wipers for my specs, my mascara had run and we were all wet through. Come on! It’s June. I’d like to take my dog on new adventures.

We treated ourselves to fish and chips for lunch then made a couple of pizzas for dinner.

I made my own bases (I usually cheat and use a bread mix) which I thought were going to be a disaster but were very good. Pop a couple of baking trays in the oven then roll out the bases when you’ve left the dough for an hour.

Tapas Pizza

Mix some passata with a little Gran Luchito smoky chilli paste.

Spread over the base then cover with a selection of tapas meats. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and grated cheddar. Season with pizza seasoning.

TWD_2006_Tapas_Pizza Seafood Pizza

Cover the base with passata.

Spread tuna flakes and prawns over. Sprinke with mozzarella and cheddar. Add finely chopped red chilli.

TWD_2006_Tuna_PrawnThese went down a treat.

BBQ Triple Cheese 147ers

On 11th April 2014, This was Dinner

It was such a beautiful day yesterday. I, like many others I would guess, was hoping it would stay well into the weekend. Well nearly but not quite. We got rain, wind and then some sun but you definitely needed a jacket.

So as of today, we have had the barbecue out twice more than last year. We decided to make burgers. And oh what good burgers they were.

These took the advice of Jamie Oliver to use braising (or chuck) steak then we added some bits we had that needed using up to create a 147g burger. I then added mushrooms, shallots and brie. I was craving one I say on ‘You Gotta Eat Here’.

Preparing:

  • Fire up the barbecue
  • Mince some good quality braising steak
  • Grate some manchego
  • Slice up some mushrooms
  • Slice up some shallots
  • Slice up some brie
  • Shred some lettuce
  • Get brioche buns, breadcrumbs, sugar, grated mozzarella, butter, jalapeños, mayo & seasoning ready.

Making:

Mix the minced steak with breadcrumbs, mozzarella, manchego and seasoning. Form into four equal sized patties. Chill for at least half an hour.

Pop the shallots in some tin foil along with some butter and a little sugar. Seal and pop on the barbecue.

Melt a little butter and brush on the cut side of the brioche buns. Toast on the barbecue on either side.

Cook the burgers on the barbecue, turning regularly until fully cooked through. Add the brie for the last couple of minutes.

Fry some mushrooms in a little oil and butter.

Spread a little mayo on the bottom half of the bun. Top with lettuce.

Add the burger to the bun then top with the shallots and mushrooms. Add ketchup if required.

TWD_1104_Burger2TWD_1104_Burger1These were exceptionally good. We actually had two each but didn’t want to eat the other immediately so cooked the other on in the house. A barbecue really does make a difference!

I must say though, finishing the shallots off in the frying pan made them so sweet and sticky.

What do you mean, no grilling for me?
What do you mean, no grilling for me?

Pesto, Mozzarella & Roasted Tomato Wheels

I’m at a party on Sunday. I meticulously planned my baking around all of the other things I have to do on Friday and Saturday and started with these on Friday (late afternoon). As there is quite a bit of waiting involved they only came out of the oven at 10.30pm.

Obviously this recipe involves waiting times. I used my mixer to do the hard work with the bread too.

Preparing:

  • Quarter some tomatoes
  • Put the oven on high
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get basil leaves, grated mozzarella*, pine nuts, olive oil, a 7g sachet of fast action yeast and seasoning ready
  • Measure out 450g strong white bread flour, 1tsp golden caster sugar, 2tbsp olive oil and 1½tsp salt

Making:

Pop the tomatoes on a baking tray, cut side up.Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil. Pop in the oven, turn it off and leave for a couple of hours. (or you could buy semi dried tomatoes as per the original BBC Good Food Recipe April edition).

Whizz up the pine nuts and basil in a processor then add the parmesan and oil. Season well.

Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the mixer then add 280ml of warm water along with the oil. Mix until you have a soft, springy and elastic dough (about 5 minutes). If it is a bit dry, add a little more warm water.

Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl and turn over in the oil then cover with oiled cling film and leave to double in size. Mine took about two hours but it depends how warm the place you leave it is.

Line a baking tray with parchment.

Knock back the bread a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Sprinkle your worktop with flour and roll out the dough to about 40x30cm.

Spread the pesto over the base. Roughly chop your tomatoes and sprinkle over then sprinkle with mozzarella.

Roll up along the long edge then using a sharp knife, cut into 12 pieces. Pop them on the baking tray, cut side up.

Cover with oiled cling film and leave for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan) and cook for about 35-40 minutes.

TWD_Baking_BreadOnce cooled I popped them in the freezer as I didn’t want them to be stale for Sunday.

*I don’t normally buy pre-grated anything! I was going to buy a block of hard mozzarella but the man in front of me at the cheese stall took the last piece – the cheek of it!

(Pea) Courgette & Mozzarella Fritters

On 7th October 2014, This was dinner

Another Bill Granger Easy, if you were to analyse my blogging, and I’m sure you won’t, you’d see that I ‘book binge’, clearly at the moment it’s Bill. I added peas to mine.

Preparing:

  • grate some potatoes
  • grate a courgette
  • chop some spring onions
  • chop some parsley
  • grate some mozzarella*
  • cut a lemon into wedges
  • get an egg, some plain flour, oil, peas, paprika, natural yoghurt & seasoning ready

I bought buffalo mozzarella in error so that was obviously impossible to grate, I finely shopped the ‘harder; bits and threw in the softer bits.

Making:

Put the potato and courgette in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.

Pop in a bowl and add the spring onion, mozzarella, parsley, egg and peas. Stir gently and add flour and seasoning.

Heat some oil in a pan and drop spoonfuls of the mixture in, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon. Cook on each side, turning carefully, until golden brown.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with a squeeze of lemon and natural yogurt with a paprika sprinkle to dip.

TWD_0710_Courgette_Fritters

These will definitely go down again!

On 8th October 2014, This was dinner…

I bought a pack of ten basics fish cakes from Sainsburys and thought they would be rubbish but they were actually quite decent. The only problem being that they were quite small and so I cooked them all, I didn’t need to, five was FAR too many for me. we had them with oven chips and processed peas. Kids food but it just hit the spot. (I’m a simple girl at heart.)

fishcake