Thursday, 13 April 2017

Spaghetti "carbonara"

Dead easy, dead quick - and a visit to Todmorden indoor market can supply all of the ingredients.  Vegetables from Traynor, pasta (gluten free for us) from The Mediterranean Pantry, bacon and chicken from Bracewell's or Fielden's butchers.  We had some left over chicken from a roast, but you could get some ready cooked from Brian's.  An egg from all over the place, and parmesan from The Crumbly Cheese.

Olive oil
Cooked chicken

1.  Sweat the chopped, washed leek in olive oil for a few minutes, then add chopped mushrooms.
2.  Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water.
3.  Fry off chopped bacon and then add cooked chicken.  Add the leeks etc to the meat.  (I was doing a veggie version and a meat eaters version, so then split the leeks etc between the two frying pans).
4.  Chuck in a handful of peas.
5.  Drain the pasta, and add it to the vegetables.
6.  Lightly whip an egg.  Let the pasta cool for a minute, then quickly turn the egg through, forming a silky "sauce".
7.  Serve, top with shards of parmesan and a good grind of black pepper.
8.  Scoff, watch veg dodger have seconds!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Cheese and onion potato bake, lentil ragu, braised celery and cabbage

Olive oil
red peppers
red lentils

1.  Thinly slice potatoes, onions and cheese.
2.  Splash a little olive oil in an oven dish and layer potato, onion, cheese - repeat - one layer of cheddar, one of gorgonzola, and a final one of cheddar - finish with a layer of potato, a mug of stock and a drizzle of olive oil.
3.  Bake for 1 hour ...
4.  Chop celery, add a splash of olive oil, and a cup of water - put in the oven.
5.  Make the lentil rage - start by suateeing chopped onion, then add pepper, courgette and garlic.  Then a good handful of red lentils and some stock - add tinned tomatoes after 5 minutes.  Simmer.
6.  Steam shredded cabbage for about 7 minutes.
7.  Serve, scoff - hope for some left for tomorrow's work lunches...

Work lunches were sandwiches, as all of the potato bake was taken by the veg dodger as a midnight snack.

Cauliflower cheese, sausages and roasties

It all looks a bit pale and wan on this pic - but it was delicious.  Again, everything from Todmorden Market, except the soya milk.  Chipolatos from Fielden's family butchers, cauliflower, cabbage and potatoes from Traynors veg and good strong cheddar from the crumbly cheese ...

Olive oil
soya milk
corn flour
grainy mustard
bay leaf

1.  Chop potatoes and roast in olive oil.
2.  Steam cauliflower florets and shredded cabbage.
3.  Put sausages in oven to cook.
4.  Make cheese sauce - heat soya milk with onion and bay leaf - fish out onion and bay leaf and thicken with slaked cornflour.  Add a big spoonful of mustard and grated cheddar.
5.  Put the veg in an oven dish, cover with sauce - put in the oven to bron on top,
6.  Serve, scoff, watch veg dodger have thirds of cauliflower and cabbage.

Veggie had veggie sausages, but the rest was the same as ours.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Smoked haddock risotto

Sometimes we have fish when it's not Friday!  This was Sunday's dinner, and very nice it was too.

Olive oil
Risotto rice
White wine
Smoked haddock
Frozen peas

1.  Sautee leek in olive oil, add celery and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
2.  Add rice, stir in until every grain is lightly coated in oil.
3.  Add a glass of white wine, and some stock.  Simmer.  Add  more stock and stir in as it starts to get dry.
4.  When the rice is just about al dente  add the smoked salmon on top.  At this point I added a little more stock, and then covered to steam the fish on top of the risotto.
5.  Five minutes later add a handful of frozen peas and big handfuls of spinach, cover again.
6.  3 minutes later stir the wilted spinach and fish, gently, into the risotto.  The fish will naturally fall into big flakes if you are gentle enough.
7.  Turn the heat off, cover again and leave for 5 minutes.  All the juices will then soak into the risotto.
8.  Serve, scoff

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Haddock, with roast pesto gnocchi

Why boil them, when you can roast them?  Roasted gnocchi get a nice crunchy coating, with the soft potato dough in the middle - a bit like super quick roasties (but not quite), these were a bit more interesting as they were filled with pesto.  They were delicious, and incredibly filling.  Paul the fish provided the beautiful haddock, which I roasted on a bed of fennel.  So, to add a bit of veg we had green beans in a garlicky tomato sauce.

Olive oil
Green beans
Baby plum tomatoes

1.  Coat the gnocchi in olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes.
2.  Finely slice a bulb of fennel and spread it in the bottom of an oven dish, put the haddock on top.  Drizzle with olive oil, and a grind of black pepper - bake for about 20 minutes.
3.  Splosh some olive oil in a frying pan, add green beans and halved baby plum tomatoes and lots of crushed garlic.  Splash in a little water to help it cook - stir now and again, it takes about 10 minutes for the beans to be al dente.
4.  Serve, scoff - bu surprised at quite how filling the lovely fresh healthy ingredients are!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Iranian lamb stew

Todmorden market win again - fantastic local lamb from Bracewell's - (it's Hebridean but born and raised in Tod) - garlic, herbs, spices and kidney beans from The Mediterranean Pantry.  Yogurt from The Crumbly Cheese.

I was a little sceptical about lamb and kidney beans, but it works really really well.  I also made a veggie version using mushrooms and courgettes instead of minced lamb, following the rest of the recipe with all the other ingredients.  Both versions were delicious, and very firmly on the "do again" list.
Basmati rice
Sabzi Ghalieh Mahi (Iranian herb mix)
Lamb mince
Chicken stock
Kidney beans
Natural yogurt

1.  Cook rice – put in pan covered + 1 inch with water, boil for 10 minutes, put tight fitting lid on, turn off heat and let sit for a further 10 minutes.
2.   Sautee chopped onion in olive oil, then add crushed garlic.
3.   Add minced lamb and cook until browned (for veggie version at this point add chopped mushrooms and courgettes).
4.   Add about ½ teaspoon of turmeric and about a tablespoon or so of sabzi mix.
5.   Add drained kidney beans and stock, simmer for about 10 minutes.
6.   Add big handfuls of spinach, and stir in until wilted.
7.   Finish with a spritz of lime juice.
8.   Serve with rice and natural yogurt.
9.  Scoff

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Chicken saltimbocca

Quite a posh tea for kitchenfairies ... but actually it's dead easy, and doesn't take long.  We had it with butternutsquash mash and garlic green beans.

Olive oil
Chicken breast, skinless
Serrano ham
Sage leaves
butternut squash
Green beans

1.  Peel and chop the butternut quash, boil until done.
2.  Meanwhile bash the chicken breasts out, between sheets of cling film, with a rolling pin - to about 1cm thick.
3.  Cook sage leaves briefly in a drop of olive oil in a frying pan - until just crisp - literally a minute.  Lift out and save.
4.  Lay serrano ham over the chicken pieces.  Turn over, put sage leaves on chicken and top with another layer of serrano ham.
5.  Fry the chicken and ham for a couple of minutes on each side, in olive oil.  Transfer to an oven dish and put in the oven for 12 minutes.
6.  Mash the drained butternut squash with butter and black pepper, keep warm in the oven.
7.  Top and tail the green beans and steam fry (in a drop of olive oil, put in the beans and a cup of water, cook on high until water has evaporated) for 6-8 minutes until nearly done, add crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.
8.  Serve, scoff - watch veg dodger have seconds of chicken (no surprise there) and butternut squash!  blimey.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Smoked sausage, pine nut and vegetable pasta

Tasty, and ready in 15 minutes.  The veggie version just leaves out the polish sausage.  The pasta in ours was gluten free, but obviously need not be.

Olive oil
italian herbs
red pepper
pasta shapes
frozen peas
pine nuts

1.  Sautee leeks in olive oil, add garlic, herbs and chopped courgette and red pepper, cook until done.  Don't worry about using too much olive oil, it is the basis of the sauce.
2.  Boil the pasta, add frozen peas 4 minutes before the pasta is ready.
3.  Toast pine nuts in a dry frying pan.
4.  Briefly fry slices of kabanos.
5.  Chop cheese into little cubes.
6.  Drain the pasta, toss everything together and mix well - a good grind of black pepper to finish off.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Lentil spaghetti

If you've looked at this blog before you will know that we have a variety of dietary requirements in this household.  This lentil spaghetti was so good that the veg dodger had thirds!  Shocking!  It's gluten free, and vegan if you miss off the parmesan.

Olive oil
Red pepper
Butternut squash
Vegetable stock
Italian herbs
Semi-dried tomatoes
Tin chopped tomatoes
american mustard
tomato ketchup

Spaghetti  (gluten free for us)

1.  Usual start, sautee leeks and garlic in olive oil, add italian herbs.
2.  After a few minutes add chopped butternut squash, red pepper and mushrooms.
3.  Add a cup of red lentils and a jug of vegetable stock.  Simmer ... and simmer, add more stock if it looks like it's going dry.
4.  At some point during the simmer ... and simmer ... add some chopped semi-dried tomatoes and a tin of chopped tomatoes ... simmer ..
5.  Squirt in a healthy splodge of american hotdog mustard and ketchup.  Simmer, as above.
6.  Boil spaghetti, according to packet instructions, drain.
7.  Serve, topped with shaved parmesan (and black pepper for me).

Cheap, cheerful and as mentioned above very welcomed by all, including veg dodgers.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Roast chicken thighs with chorizo

Easy peasy, cheap as chips, but very delicious roast dinner.

Olive oil
Chicken thighs

1.  Chop potatoes in 1" cubes (very approx) - roast in olive oil for about an hour.
2.  At the same time roast chicken thighs, seasonned and with a splash of olive oil - they don't take as long, but our oven is past its best, so I just chuck them in at the same time as the potatoes, on the bottom shelf.
3.  Peel, chop and boil the other root veg, and steam the green veg on top.
4.  When the veg are done, put the green veg, covered, in the bottom of the oven to keep warm.
5.  "Mash" the root veg by slashing multiple times with a sharp knife, until there are tiny fragments of each all mixed up, with lots of butter and black pepper.
6.  Put the root veg in the oven until everything is finished.
7.  Fry chopped chorizo briefly in olive oil, thrown over the cooked chicken peices.
8.  Serve, scoff.... the veggie had halloumi