Veggie Burgers with Pickled Carrot

On 14th June 2016, This was Dinner

As we were cooking these I thought they were going to be a sloppy mess. They weren’t, but I’d probably make them the day ahead next time as the leftover ones I sent round to my Dad and sister looked a lot easier to cook.

What is a slaw? Is it just a 21st century shortening of the word coleslaw? I can’t find a definitive answer but the original recipe calls this ‘carrot slaw’ but to me it would require another vegetable to make it a slaw so I’ve gone with pickled carrot and left it at that!

Get set…

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Finely chop a couple of portobello mushrooms
  • Peel a couple of sweet potatoes and cube
  • Grate a large beetroot
  • Grate a large carrot
  • Chop some coriander
  • Zest a couple of limes
  • Cook some quinoa
  • Beat an egg
  • Get burger buns, rice wine vinegar, golden caster sugar, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready. You may also need an egg.

Throw it together…

Put the sweet potato in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then drain and rinse when the potato is cooked.

Heat some oil in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Season well.

Mix this with the potato and leave to cool.

Add the quinoa, beetroot, lime zest and coriander. Mix well and then add flour. Add a little or all of the egg to bind it together.

Divide the mixture into eight then form into patties. Chill for at least half an hour.

Add the vinegar, sugar and some salt to the carrot and set to one side.

When chilled, heat some oil in a pan and cook the burgers gently for 6-8 minutes on each side.

Toast the bread buns

Dish it up…

Spread some mayo on the bottom of the bun, drizzle some chilli sauce and top with the carrot mixture.

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Original BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.

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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.

Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns

On 5th June 2016, This was Dinner

As soon as I saw this I knew I had to have a go, I even bought a bamboo steamer for the occasion. As I steamed my buns I was wondering if I had wasted my money but if I never use my steamer again (which I will) it was worth it and I’m now in love with the steamed bun!*

Get set…

  • Cut boneless pork belly into pieces
  • Finely slice a few garlic cloves
  • Finely slice some ginger
  • Cut some spring onions into strips
  • Cut some cucumber into strips
  • Chop some coriander
  • Roughly bash some roasted peanuts
  • Get muscovado sugar, star anise, shaoxing rice wine, dark soy, five spice powder, 250g plain flour, 1 tbsp white caster sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp fast-action dried yeast, 50ml milk, togarashi spice**, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 140°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a flame proof dish and brown the pork belly in batches. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle over the five spice powder.

Pop the sugar into the pan and cook until it starts to dissolve and caramelise then add the garlic, ginger and star anise. Do it quick! Add the rice wine and the soy (and make sure you are wearing an apron and don’t mind the clean up afterwards!) Stir in the pork along with it’s juices then add a little water and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Pop the lid on and transfer to the oven. Cook for an hour and half.

Put the sugar, flour, baking powder and yeast into a mixer with a large pinch of salt.Using the dough hook, pour in the milk and a tbsp of oil along with 100ml lukewarm water and mix for about 10 minutes.

Transfer to an oiled bowl and leave for an hour to double in size.

Take the pork out of the oven and leave to one side whilst you get everything else ready.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Roll it into a sausage shape and cut into 10. Roll each of these into a bun then roll out into an oval, lightly grease then fold over a chopstick or something similar and place on an oiled baking tray and leave for another hour.

Mix the peanuts with the togarashi spice.

Heat the steamer (put some baking paper on the bottom) and steam the buns for about 10 minutes.

Pop the pork back on the heat and cook until the sauce is thick and sticky.

Dish it up…

Make an effort! Sprinkle the pork with coriander and serve separately and let everyone build their own. A nice beer wouldn’t go amiss either.

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* Oh and the pork was very good too 😉

** Whilst I was ordering the steamer I bought some togarashi spice too.

Find the original recipe on BBC Good Food here.

 

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.

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.

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.

Sweet & Sour Orange Chicken

On 18th May 2016, This was Dinner

I was going to delete these unfinished posts due to how old they were, I’m glad I didn’t if just to share this one with you. It took some time and should have really been a weekend dinner, the cooker needed a right good clean too.

It’s from Dirty Food by Carol Hilker which was well worth the fiver I paid for it. I did change mine a little, mainly with regards to the rice

Get set…

  • Chop a couple of chicken breasts into pieces
  • Whisk up a couple of eggs
  • Grate some ginger
  • Grate some garlic
  • Slice a yellow pepper and a green pepper
  • Chops some spring onions
  • Cut some pineapple rings (from a tin) into pieces, reserve the juice
  • Slice an onion
  • Zest an orange
  • Get rice, rice wine, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, cornflour, plain flour, sugar, chilli flakes, sesame oil, groundnut oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Mix the eggs with some salt and pepper and a little sesame oil, add the cornflour and plain flour and mix well. Add the pieces of chicken to coat and pop to one side.

To make a sweet and sour sauce, mix soy sauce, sugar, white wine vinegar and water together and add the zest of the orange. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.

Heat the groundnut oil in a large pan. You need about 2cm of oil (or you could deep fry). Add the chicken a few pieces at a time without overfilling the pan and cook for 4-5 mins each side. Remove and set aside.

Put your rice on to cook.

Heat a little more oil in the pan if required and add the garlic and ginger, stir for a minute then add the green pepper, some chilli flakes and the rice wine, along with half of the pineapple. Stir well then add the juice from the pineapple along with the sweet and sour sauce. Add the chicken back to the pan and leave on a gentle heat to warm through.

Put ANOTHER pan on and heat some oil. Cook the onion and yellow pepper until softened. Add the remaining pineapple and once warmed stir through the rice.

Dish it up…

A good spoonful of rice and the chicken in a bowl scattered with the spring onions. Shut the door on the kitchen and enjoy the delicious goodness of the closest thing to takeaway food there is, worry about the mess later.

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Regardless of the time it took it was more than worth it, it was wonderful.