Friday, 23 January 2015

It's an eclectic mix, but it was quite alright

Rice & lentils
Carrot and swede
Garlic yogurt sauce

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

"Crab cake" bake

Crab cakes are delicious, right?  But they don't always have to be re-fried... so why not make the mix, and then stick it in a hot oven to heat through and crisp up on the top - that's what I did - and it was DE-LI-CIOUS.

So, crab cake bake....

1 small onion, finely diced
Celery, finely diced
Red pepper, finely diced
Olive oil
Red chili, very finely diced
Crab (white and brown meat)

Serve with... well, whatever you want, we had fried tomatoes and frozen peas...

1.  Peel and chop potatoes, boil and mash ... meanwhile get on with 2. ...
2.  Sweat onion in olive oil.
3.  Add finely diced celery and red pepper, garlic and chili soften a bit.
4. When veg is soft -add to mashed potato, mix through well.
5.  Put into oven proof dish and bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes, or so, until you get nice browned crispy bits on top.

Scoff, scoff, .... fan-bloody-tastic

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Roast trout ... yum ...

Got a really good deal on some fish this week, so bought some trout.  Simple treatment - but so, so, so delicious.

The timing for this dinner is ... start with the potatoes, chop and put on to boil - then put oiled tray in oven for oil to heat  - then prepare the fish, with slices of lemon in the cavity.

When the potato pieces have boiled for 5 minutes, drain and transfer to hot oil.  Turn, so that they have every surface coated in oil - put back in a hot oven.

After 20 minutes - put the fish, in an oven dish  - with oil and lemon into the bottom of the oven

- there are about 20 minutes to go now

Sautee finely diced celery in oliev oil.
Add crushed garlic and a splosh of white wine.
After 5 (ish) minutes add shredded cabbage to softenned celery.
Add a cup of frozen peas. Simmer, until all cooked.

Receive praise .

Monday, 19 January 2015

Red pepper risotto

Veg box victory once again.  We bought Friday's fish, some extra potatoes and onions, and had one dinner out, but otherwise ... all organic veg and cupboard dinners ... hurrah.  Tomorrow's veg box arrives with special offer fish, so I am looking forward to those opportunities too.

Anyway, tonight - red pepper risottto ..

Olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
Celery, chopped
Garlic, crushed
Risotto rice
White wine
5 tomatoes, grated (this removes the skins really easily and lets the pulp be integrated into the sauce)
Salt and pepper

1.  Sautee chopped, washed leek in olive oil.  (I had my oil a little too hot, which resulted in the few caremalised specs of black, which actually added to the taste, in my humble opinion.)
2.  Chuck in diced red pepper and celery, soften a little.  Add crushed garlic. stir in.
3.  Add a small handful of risotto rice, turn over so every grain is coated with a film of oil and veg juices.
4.  Add a splosh of dry white wine and stir in.
5.  Add stock a ladle at a time, simmer, stir.
6.  After about 10 minutes, add grated tomatoes and seasoning.
7.  Stir and taste, adding stock when it goes a bit dry.
8.  When rice is just  nearly ready, turn off the heat and let the last of the liquid be sucked up into the rice.

Serve the lovely, smooth, tasty mixture with parmesan grated on top. (Vegan if you don't sprinkle parmesan on top).

Saturday, 17 January 2015

I used to peel my squash .... not any more!

Well, I used to peel my squash ... but I have seen Jamie Oliver tell me it's not necessary so many times now, that the last couple of times I have cooked squash - I haven't ... and do you know?  he's right!  Infact. it's probably nicer unpeeled.  The first time was butternut squash - which I thought - OK, that makes sense it's not too tough a skin - and it was delicious. Tonight was acorn squash (I think, I'm not an expert) much tougher skin - it was absolutely fabulous.

So from start to finish:-

Roast beetroot

Olive oil

1.  Roast beetroot (whole, skins on) in olive oil, with garlic cloves in the pan - covered with foil - for about 2 hours.
2.  Allow to cool.
3.  Remove skin, and chop, toss in a little balsamic vinegar.

Roast squash

Olive oil

1.  Cut the top and bottom off the squash, scoop out seeds etc, cut inot wedges.
2.  Roast wedges in olive oil for an hour or so.

.. at the same time

Spicy potato wedges

Olive oil
Cajun seasonning

1.  Chop potatoes into wedges.
2.  Roast in olive oil, sprinkled with cajun seasoning and salt for about an hour.

Cheesy kale and cabbage

Olive oil
Mixed cheese, diced (we had stilton, gorgonzola, cheddar and cheshire left over from Christmas)

1.  Sautee chopped leek in olive oil.  When soft aff crushed garlic.
2.  Add kale - shredded, after cutting out tough stems.  Add to the pan, with a splash of water.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Add shredded cabbage, and simmer again.
4.  Chuck in diced cheese, transfer to an oven dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve, scoff... have seconds.  Blimey, it was good.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Fish and chips with peas ... cajun style (ish)

Friday night fish and chips, with peas - cos we love it ... but tonight some cajun spicing and some extra veg from the organic box make it a new version of a consistent favourite.

So, coming in from the train/commute like me ... you need to i - get that oven on heating up - chop the potatoes and get them on to boil.  Then calm down a bit  and take the next bits more slowly.


olive oil

Par-boil potatoes, put olive oil in a roasting dish to heat up.
When potatoes are par-boiled, and oil heated up, drain potatoes and bung into the roating pan.
Stir them around until they have a film on every surface sprinkle with salt.
Roast for an hour or so, until crispy.

Green veg

1 onion, finely chopped
olive oil
crushed garlic
savoy cabbage
dry white wine
petit pois

1.  Sweat down chopped onion in olive oil.
2.  When a bit soft add crushed garlic, and wine.
3.  Chuck in shredded cabbage, simmer until soft,
4.  5 minutes before serving chuck in frozen peas .. season ..


Olive oil
White fish
cajun seasoning

1.  Mix polenta and cajun seasoning to taste ... in our case about 50/50 ... because it's on the outside of the fish and not HOT HOT HOT all the way through ... but the fish is nice and spicy.
2.  Dredge the fish in the spice mix.
3.  Shallow fry each piece - a couple of minutes each side.
4.  Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you do the rest.

When everything is done .. serve... scoff.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Butter bean casserole, barley groats and kale

Lovely wintery casserole, using seasonal veg from the veg box.

Butter bean casserole

Olive oil
1 leek, chopped and rinsed
Garlic, crushed
3 carrots, peeled and diced
Mushrooms, chopped
1 tin butter beans, drained
Splash of white wine
Mixed herbs
Salt and pepper (chili if you fancy)


Barley groats (boil in the bag - from Polish shops, take 15 minutes)
Kale - shredded and steamed (10 minutes in a steamer on top of the groats)

So, in from work ... do this ...

1.  Chop and rinse leek, put a tbsp of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat, tip in the leek - and gently sautee - about 5 minutes.
2.  Peel and chop carrots into smallish dice - add to leeks, stir through.
3.  After a few minutes, add mushrooms and a glass of dry white wine, crushed garlic and a tsp of mixed herbs. Tip in drained butter beans
4.  Put a pan of water on to boil for the groats, when boiling add groats, put shredded kale in steamer on top to steam.
4.  Add water/stock and simmer.

15 mins later... serve