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

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Pancake day!

 I love a food ritual - so pancake day obviously means pancakes!  Veggie ones for the veggie - and added a bit of bacon for the veg dodger.  Gluten free for this household, but doesn't have to be.
olive oil
red pepper
italian herbs


plain flour (GF for us)
2 eggs
milk (or soya milk)
olive oil for frying

salad leaves

1.  Chop and sautee leeks in olive oil, add crushed garlic, a pinch of herbs, chopped red pepper and mushrooms and cook until soft (you could add a little water or stock and simmer gently), stir in a teaspooon of mustard.
2.  Make the pancakes - whisk 2 eggs and milk into flour  the batter should be about the consistency of emulsion paint.  Fry a ladle full at a time, toss when first side is done, and cook the other side.  Stack, with greaseproof paper in between.
3.  Fry bacon.
4.  Fill the pancakes with a couple of spoonsful of veg and a small handful of grated cheese (add bacon if using), roll up.
5.  Pack pancakes into an oven dish and cover with more grated cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with a simple salad - they are surprisingly filling.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Roast lamb dinner

Bracewell's butchers - Todmorden Indoor Market - had their own lambs this week - totally irresistible.  So we had the top end of a leg.  Also, if you ask them, they will cut out the bone - and stick it back in so that you can roast it bone in, for full flavour, and then simply remove it to carve into slices ... thanks!

olive oil
white wine
chicken stock

1.  Rub the lamb with olive oil, season, chuck plenty of smashed garlic cloves in to roasting pan, with a good sprinkle of rosemary - roast on high for 20 minutes, then turn down a little.
2.  Peel and chop potatoes, toss in olive oil and roast.  The lamb and potatoes can now happily sit in the oven for 30 minutes while you chat etc.
3.  Prep veg for steaming.
4.  Splosh a glass of white wine into the lamb pan, and leave for a further 10 minutes.
5.  Put the veg on to steam, drain the juices from the lamb into a small pan, put the lamb to one side to rest - covered in foil and a teatowel.
6.  Simmer the pan juices, add about a pint of chicken stock, slake cornflour in water and stir it into the grave to thicken it
7.  Serve, scoff

(veggie had halloumi)

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Hake and chorizo, with roast potatoes and asparagus

Todmorden market win again.  Paul had some lovely hake, Garry had some irresistable fat asparagus (from Peru, oops not good on the food miles, but just this once I succumbed) - some chorizo from me at The Mediterranean Pantry and yum!

Olive oil
Frozen peas

1.  Slice the potatoes and toss in olive oil and salt, roast for about 30 minutes.
2.  Steam the asparagus, put the peas in the pan underneath.
3.  Chop the chorizo and fry briefly, remove from the pan.
4.  Fry the hake in a hot pan for a couple of minutes on each side - skin side first.
5.  Chuck the chorizo back in the pan with the fish to warm back through.
6.  Serve, scoff ... the veg dodger doesn't like asparagus ... madness, but more for me.

The pescatarian had the fish without the chorizo.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Red pepper pasta

Occasionally I look in the fridge to see that I have built up a glut of something - this time it was red pepper (which is unusual because I can bung it in nearly anything) - so, I decided to make it the main veg of this easy pasta dish.  The pasta is gluten free, but obviously it doesn't have to be.  The only non vegan ingredient is the cheddar, so miss that out, or replace with tofu, and it could be vegan too.

There are lots of varieties of gluten free pasta available now - we stock 9 varieties at The Mediterranean Pantry at the moment, all of them delicious. I also have olive oil, veg stock, tomato puree, olives and herbs. Cheddar is available from The Crumbly Cheese, and vegetables from Garry outside - so once again, can be fully sourced from Todmorden Market.

Olive oil
Red pepper
Italian herbs
Tomato puree
Vegetable stock
Baby spinach

1.  Make the sauce - sautee chopped onion and celery in olive oil, add crushed garlic and a sprinkle of italian herbs.
2. Add chopped pepper and soften a little, add chopped mushrooms.
3.  When veg is a little bit soft add tomato puree and veg stock and simmer until it forms a glossy sauce, the add a few sliced olives.
4.  Put the pasta on.
5.  When the pasta is done drain it.  Turn the heat off the sauce.
6.  Chuck the pasta, a huge handful of baby spinach and cubed cheddar into the sauce and stir until it's all mixed.
7.  Serve, scoff ...

The cheese mixed into the pasta is a change from melting it on the top - as you eat your way through the nice comforting bowl of tasty sauce you come across half melted little cubes of salty sweetness - it's great.