Asparagus, Halloumi & Potatoes

On 26th May 2016, This was Dinner

If you plan your weekly meals as I do, this is one of those where you think ‘Did I really put that on the list this week?’. It doesn’t sound much but it is the simplicity of this dish which makes it so bloody lovely!

Get set…

  • Halve or quarter some baby new potatoes, depending on their size
  • Bash a few of garlic cloves
  • Take the woody ends of some asparagus
  • Cut the halloumi into cubes
  • Roughly chop some parsley
  • Get lemon, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Put the potatoes in a baking tray and add oil and seasoning, toss well then add the garlic cloves. Pop in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.

Add the asparagus and the halloumi and toss again then put back in the oven and cook for around another 15 minutes. (Don’t put in a small baking tray, you want everything spread out well.)

Dish it up…

In bowls with a good squeeze of lemon, a scattering of the parsley and a little more seasoning if required.

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Can be found in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Five Good Things.

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Potato Salad with Salmon & Crème Fraîche

On 24th May 2016, This was Dinner

A great idea to use up leftover potato.

Get set…

  • Cook some baby new potatoes
  • Flake some hot smoked salmon
  • Chop some dill
  • Get crème fraîche, lemon and seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Quarter the potatoes, mix the the crème fraîche and dill with a good squeeze of lemon and season.

Mix the potatoes with most of the crème fraîche mixture.

Dish it up…

Scatter the flaked salmon over the potatoes then add extra crème fraîche on top and give it a good pinch of black pepper.

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Not the best looking picture but tasty all the same.

Scandi Trout

On 24th September 2015, This was Dinner

Apparently the Swedish have a saying – ‘Man tager vad man haver’ or ‘You take what you have’ which I think is a pretty good rule to live by (see source). Supermarkets have spoiled us for years with imports and the availability of what you want at any time of the year that I would imagine there are people that don’t even understand the concept of seasonal.

As I buy my fruit and veg from the market I am often told something isn’t available so I adapt my recipes accordingly but of course even at the market I can still by some things out of season.

One of the main things I remember when I was young was having Sunday lunch placed in front of me with boiled new potatoes. Urgh, how I hated them. My young mind couldn’t get around the idea that you couldn’t mash these things so one day my Mum (or was it my Nan) did indeed mash them just to prove a point.

So there’s a lot of waffle just because I looked up ‘what are the staples of Scandinavian cooking’. Fish obviously and for me dill and sour cream, is that right? I still don’t know.

I do know that this was very good and better than the trout I made a couple of weeks ago. It’s not quite warm enough to sit in the garden and eat a dinner like this with a glass of chilled white wine but that’s how I would have liked it.

Preparing:

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Halve some baby new potatoes (yes I like them now!)
  • Thinly slice a red onion
  • Thinly slice a fennel bulb
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Finely chop some dill leaves
  • Finely chop some parsley
  • Get trout fillets, wholegrain mustard, honey, sour cream, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.

Cover the onion and fennel with the lemon juice and set aside.

Mix half the lemon zest with the mustard and honey and add some olive oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment and pop the trout on. Brush the trout with the mustard mixture and bake in the oven. Probably about 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining zest with the sour cream and the herbs. Season well. Stir through the potatoes. You can add the fennel and onion at this stage but I served mine separately.

Great & low fat too!TWD_2409_Scandi_TroutOriginal recipe can be found here.

Baked Chicken & Chorizo One Pot

On 6th June 2015, This was Dinner

Well we were going to have a barbecue today as the sun had finally decided to show it’s face this week. Unfortunately there was wind, more bloody wind. It was quite a chilly wind too. So I checked the forecast and Sunday is supposed to be better (it is – I’m sat here writing this) and rather than waste a good barbecue in the cold we left our stuff marinating and made this rather delicious one pot instead.

Preparing:

  • Thickly slice a chorizo
  • Bash 12 garlic cloves (don’t peel)
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Chop some parsley
  • Half a lemon
  • Halve some new potatoes
  • Season a chicken
  • Get butter, bay leaf, thyme sprig, dry sherry, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat the oil and butter in a large flame proof pan (one with a lid) and brown the chicken all over. Remove from the pan and pop the thyme, bay leaf and half the lemon in the cavity.

Cook the chorizo in the pan until it starts to release its oil. Add the potatoes and garlic. Stir then add the sherry, let it bubble down then add the stock.

Put the chicken in the pan and then stick the lid on and cook for about an hour. Making sure the chicken is cooked. Sprinkle with parsley and demolish.

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Shepherd’s Pie

On 27th February 2015, This was Dinner

Carrots? They really do go off quickly. This has always been a source of irritation for me so I read up on how to store them a long time ago. There are lots of suggestions but the one that works for me is to top and tail them then store in the fridge. I topped and I tailed the ones I bought last week but forgot to fridge them. Luckily I noticed this on Wednesday and managed to rescue, blanch and freeze them. Can someone create a long life carrot please?

I think we all know the difference between cottage and shepherds pie but here’s 10 facts about shepherd’s pie from Jamie Oliver including my favourite:

The Chilean version of “pastel de papa”, a dish similar to shepherd’s pie eaten in many parts of the world, also contains hard-boiled eggs, raisins and black olives.

I’m definitely trying that. I’d forgot about Jamie’s Comfort Food version, I’ve been making this one for years.

The carrots are my only contribution to this meal as Mr S cooked it whilst I was at work. All I had to do was take it out of the oven and serve it up.

Preparing:

  • Chop a large onion
  • Peel & chop a couple of carrots
  • Peel and cut some potatoes
  • Prepare some beef stock
  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Get minced lamb, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, dried rosemary, milk, butter, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted water. Drain, leave to steam for a few minutes then mash adding milk, butter and seasoning.

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until soft and starting to brown. Add the lamb and brown. Stir in the flour, Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée and stir well.

Add the carrots, herbs and stock then bring to the boil. Season well. Cover and cook for about half an hour. Add water if it starts to dry out.

Transfer the meat to an oven proof dish and spread the mash over evenly then cook for another half hour.

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Ir’s National Pie Week next week, we’re a little early.

Spanish Chicken with Crispy Paprika Potatoes

On 18th January 2015, This was Dinner

Preparing:

  • Cube some baking potatoes
  • Chop some roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • Heat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Get paprika, balsamic vinegar, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, chorizo slices, mixed salad leaves, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Pop a baking tray in the oven

Mix olive oil with paprika, balsamic vinegar and seasoning. Toss the potatoes in the mixture and spread over the hot baking tray.

Pop them in the oven, they should take about 40 minutes.

Mix the peppers with the mascarpone and cream cheese, cut a hole in the chicken breasts and spoon this mixture inside. Season the chicken. Pop a few slices of the chorizo on some foil and add the chicken and wrap tightly. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Fry some more chorizo slices and pop on top of the chicken.

Serve with the salad drizzled with an oil and balsamic mix.

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This recipe is in the January edition of BBC Good Food.

Coronation Jackets

On 13th January 2015, This was Dinner

I’ve only had ‘Coronation Chicken’ once and at best it is probably an insult to the term. It was in some insipid shop bought sandwich and put me off the idea of it. I should know better but it was still with some trepidation when Mr S suggested these.

Preparing:

  • Season a couple of chicken breasts
  • Dice a red pepper
  • Chop some spring onions
  • Get baking potatoes, butter, lime, mango chutney, curry powder, fromage frais, mayonnaise & seasoning ready

Making:

Bake your potatoes.

Whilst they bake, cook your chicken breasts. Mr S cooked ours by placing them skin side down in a cold pan then cooking gently for 12 minutes on that side then 8 on the other.

Dice the chicken and put in a bowl, leave to cool.

To the chicken, add the red pepper, spring onions, fromage frais, lime juice, curry powder, chutney, mayo and seasoning and mix well. Chill until your potatoes are ready.

Cut the potatoes and add a know of butter then spoon the mixture on top.

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Something I would just have never thought to have was so bloody lovely! I do love a cold filling with a hot potato.

On 14th January 2014, This was Dinner

Having frozen some of the Spicy Butternut Squash Soup we had that today. Instead of bread we cut some wheat tortillas into wedges and shallow fried them, sprinkling with a little salt whilst still hot.