Showing posts with label Main. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Main. Show all posts

Monday, 22 June 2015

Vegetarian Chinese-style Spicy Beef and Peppers made with Quorn

Although we're not vegetarians it is sometimes good to have a meat free dinner.  In any case Quorn is super quick to cook.

I must say the Quorn beef strips (sold frozen) are as I say, easy to cook but in my opinion actually taste more like tofu rather than beef; that said personally I much prefer the Quorn beef than the chicken.  I find Quorn chicken a bit dry.
This dish can be on the table in a matter of minutes and since you cook the beef strips from frozen my recipe really is a doddle to make and is really tasty.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Cheats Kefta Mkaouara - Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Eggs

Kefta Mkaouara is a delicious, and very popular Moroccan tagine of meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce and is usually served with flatbread.  
I’ve adjusted the amount of spiciness to make this suitable for children.  Also instead of coriander which is more common to finish the dish, I’ve used flat leaf parsley since it will appeal to the whole family. 
Life is so busy for pretty much everyone these days, but with my simple cheat you can still provide a delicious meal your family will love.  Scan Meatballs don't contain any artificial colour or flavour either so that's good to know. 

There's no need to faff about making meatballs; by using ready made Scan Authentic Swedish Meatballs (which only need to be reheated) this lovely Moroccan dish can be on the table and ready to eat in around 45 minutes.  Once you've added the eggs it can be bubbling away in your oven whilst you have a shower.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Persian Halloumi Cookalong with Toshiba and Gousto

Recently myself and a few other bloggers were invited by Toshiba and Gousto to take part in the #ToshibaCookalong via Skype.  To take part we were all sent a box of ingredients from Gousto and a Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 laptop and very nice it is too, more about that in a minute!
We all had to link up via Skype to cook-along with Gousto's talented Chef, Alice Feaver and follow her recipe for Persian Halloumi.
 
It's a shame I didn't get any pictures of the actual cookalong (apart from one I shared via FaceBook and Twitter) as I was too busy worrying about how it would go since I'd never taken part in a cookalong before!

All set with the Toshiba laptop and ingredients at the ready when 6pm came we were off.  The cookalong was great fun despite a couple of us loosing connection at one point.  But with the recipe to hand I carried on regardless and hoped for the best.  Once the connection back up and running I had pretty much managed to keep up with everyone apart from my onions; yes my onions could have done with being cooked a little longer to caramelise but hey ho the finished dish not only looked good but it tasted good too.  

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Sizzling Steak with Peppers Onions and Chilli

Steak needs to be cooked quickly over a high heat so that it seals, keeping it tender and juicy.  All you need is a good piece of steak, sliced along with onions and peppers; coated in tiny amount of oil, soy sauce with a bit of seasoning, and a few chilli flakes and you have dinner ready in just a couple of minutes.






















But of course your pan needs to be HOT really hot, and this cast iron sizzle platter from Judge Cookware is perfect for creating sizzling meals or side dishes that can be taken straight to the table thanks to the maple wood stand that's included.  Sizzle and Serve range is suitable for all hob types and barbeques, and is oven-safe up to 240°C

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Greek-style Shoulder of Lamb - Oven or BBQ

With the gorgeous weather we've been having here lately, no one including myself, wants to spend hours in the kitchen cooking.  Food that's simple to prepare and requires little looking after is what I'm after.
My Greek-style roast lamb fits in perfectly and the lovely spices remind me of holidays in Greece. When it's cooking your kitchen will smell amazing.


Hopefully the coming bank holiday weekend will also be nice and sunny (and dare I say it) perhaps even warm enough to have a BBQ - I have to point out I've never tried to cook a piece of lamb like this on a BBQ but if you're all clued up, then I say go for it!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sweet and Sour Pork - Tefal ActiFryDay Challenge

 







Takeaways are big business in the UK with Brits spending more than £6 billion on takeaway meals each year.  But this means that in just one year Britons feast on more than 12,000 tonnes of saturated fat from those takeaways.  As Friday night is the most popular time for Brits to order a takeaway, Tefal asked me to take part in the ActiFryDay Challenge which is to swap a Friday night takeaway for healthier alternatives.

Supplied with the ActiFry Express XL, the recipe and ingredients I was all set to cook!

Sweet and Sour Pork cooked in a far healthier way.  


Using the ActiFry doesn't mean  you  have to completely give up the food you love - just use less oil.
I'm loving my ActiFry Express and yes it does cook quicker than the ActiFry Family.  The ActiFry Express XL cooks up to 30% Faster than the ActiFry Family.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Get ready for your Summer Holiday - Let's Cook Paella

Oh yes, it's that time of year when we all soon start to think about our summer holiday.  Well okay, the weather isn't even spring like at the moment here in the UK, but I don't care!  I'm getting into the holiday spirit a bit early as I'm going to make the most of this years holiday abroad since we didn't have one last year.





















I do love Spanish food and when in Spain I can't resist Paella. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Great British Dish - Cottage Pie with Porter Ale

There's nothing quite like a good old Great British dish, and cottage pie is perfect for this icy cold weather we've been having - cottage pie is also the ultimate comfort food.  My addition of Porter ale adds richness and depth of flavour.
I've been cooking up all sorts lately in my nice STOVES oven and I love how it cooks everything so evenly.  No turning food around to get it evenly browned (as I had to in my old oven) my Stoves Sterling 600MF oven gives a perfect result every time.

























STOVES is proud to be part of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, the only manufacturer that builds freestanding cookers, built-in ovens, hobs and range cookers right here in the UK.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Chicken Tagine with Chickpeas - Simple Recipe

A tagine is historically a dish from North Africa and is the name given to the actual earthenware pot that the dish is cooked in.  Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tagine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables.
























Moroccan tagines are savoury stews typically made with meat, poultry or fish along with spices and vegetables and often fruit is added.  The result is melt in the mouth meat or poultry which is tasty, warming and proper feel good food.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Crock-Pot BBQ Pork Steaks - Easy Slow Cooker Recipe

I say Crock-Pot or Slow Cookers are a brilliant invention!  Great for all kinds of easy and delicious dinners. My slow cooked pork steaks in a rich and tangy BBQ sauce melt in the mouth - just the thing to come home to a long day at work. 

I suppose you could serve this with some nice crusty bread for dipping and moping but I say for the ultimate comfort food it needs mashed potato.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Cheesy Beany Crock-Pot Potatoes and Digital Crock-Pot Giveaway

Crock-Pots or slow cookers have become really popular again, lets face it they are quite a marvelous invention.  They offer a very cheap way of cooking and dinner can be ready to eat as soon as you get home from work - no mess no fuss.  Now whenever you think of a meal cooked in a slow cooker you tend to think it's all stews and casseroles.  But you can actually cook certain foods wrapped in foil which of course means even less washing up as the crock-pot is as clean at the end as it was before any cooking began!


Perfect for bonfire night or great for students these cheesy beany potatoes may not look amazing but let me tell you if you this was good!  Prepared in just five minutes then left to cook all day long while you're working or maybe you just have something else to do other than stand over a cooker. 
Lets face it baked beans are really good for you too, high in fibre and virtually fat-free which is probably just as well since these potatoes are loaded with cheese!

So since Crock-Pot are making October #Crocktober a slow cooking campaign, I was asked to make a recipe and was sent this Digital Crock-Pots and a Crock-Pot Food Warmer (a great little gadget that re-heats cooked food while you are in the office) just put the food into the bowl, plug in and 3 hours later your food will be piping hot and ready to eat.  Sadly I don't work in the kind of place where you are able to do that but if you do then it's ideal.


 I love this Crock-Pot - the digital timer allows you to see how much longer you have till your food is ready and it auto switches to keep warm when it's done.  So no need to worry if you're running late.
Crock-Pot UK are supplying one of these rather nice Digital Crock-Pots and a Crock-Pot Food Warmer for my Giveaway.  But first here's my recipe for those cheesy beany potatoes. 

Print Recipe
https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/cheesy-beany-crock-pot-potatoes

 To serve 4 you will need:
1kg new potatoes (I used Charlotte) cut into bite sized pieces
sea salt and black pepper
1 x 400g can Baked Beans
200g of Extra Matured Cheddar - grated
200g Red Leicester - grated
a sprinkling of Cayenne or Chilli powder

How to do it:
Lay two big sheets of good quality kitchen foil to form a cross.  Line the crock-pot with the foil - it needs to be big enough to be able to pull the sides up and to cover the potatoes.
Throw in the potatoes and season with sea salt and black pepper.  Now pour over the baked beans and stir very carefully taking care not to tear the foil.  
Add half of the cheese (saving the rest till later) and sprinkle a little cayenne or chilli powder.  
 

 Pull the foil over to loosely cover the food.  Pop the lid on and switch on the Crock-Pot.  Cook for 8 hours on LOW add the rest of the cheese towards the end of cooking - say ten minutes before just giving it enough time to melt and then serve.


Now for the Giveaway!
As mentioned Crock-Pot UK are supplying a Digital Crock-Pot and a Crock-Pot Food Warmer which lucky reader of this blog will win.  
How to Enter - Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget:
Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK only. To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed as will anyone that says they have left a blog post comment but really hasn't! 
For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget along with the terms and conditions.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Chicken with Bacon Saffron Tomato and Potato - One Pot Meal

 Readers of this blog would have seen my recent review of the beautiful cook book 'Café Kitchen' by Shelagh Ryan.  As soon as I opened the book I knew I had to make this dish.  This is a lovely recipe full of flavour and easy since it's all cooked in one pot.  Suitable for everyday eating but I say would go down a treat at a dinner party too.


As I've already said Café Kitchen is a truly lovely cook book.  I did slightly titivated the original recipe as the book doesn't mention whether or not the potatoes should be precooked or not.  I decided they wouldn't be cooked through simply by adding them in the last 20 minutes of cooking as the book suggests and so I par boiled mine first. I also used one tin less of tomatoes and less chicken stock and wine.  I still had plenty of liquid so I've decided that's the way to go but of course it's just down to personal preference.  The recipe says it serves 8-12 people using eight to twelve chicken thighs - we are greedy so I used 9 to serve two people.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Express Sausage Casserole using Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker

The Tefal Cook4Me is a Multicooker which means it can brown, cook, reheat, steam, pressure cook, or cook 50 different pre-programmed recipes or be used manually to create your own thing.  All in all this really is a brilliant invention.  Having been sent one to review (you can read about the Cook4Me in more detail here) and also see how easy it is to make a dish such as Beef Madras in just 20 minutes.

Well today let me tell you about this seriously quick and very tasty Sausage Casserole with cooking time of just 9 minutes.  No fancy ingredients either, in fact I used a shop bought cook-in sauce in order to show just how very easy and simple this multicooker really is.  

 
The Cook4Me as I said come with 50 pre-programmed recipes and to create your own recipe is just find a similar recipe, in this case it was Sausage and Bean Casserole.  Now, none of the recipes are difficult at all nor do they require any fancy ingredients.  But the pre-programmed recipe called for dicing a carrot and a red pepper and a glass of red wine.  Okay that's nothing tricky as I say but what if you actually can't be bothered to even do that?  

So, armed with a jar of sausage casserole cook-in sauce 'Homepride' if you must know!
I chopped an onion and a few mushrooms which you don't have to but doing so will of course give more flavour.  I then selected the sausage and bean stew recipe on the Cook4Me and browned the sausages and onions as instructed. Then I poured in the cooking sauce, closed the lid and waited a whole 9 minutes for it to cook!  Now, this caught me out a bit since the mashed potatoes weren't ready.  All my fault as it does tell you at the start how long or should I say quickly it will take to cook. Please note the cooking time of 9 minutes is to serve 4 people - to serve 2 people the cooking time is less and just 6 minutes!


Anyway, no need to fuss since the Tefal Cook4Me automatically switches to keep warm.  Food can be kept warm for up to 90 minutes.


 Up next time is soup using a pre-programmed recipe but I can't decide between Butternut or Leek and Potato, what do you reckon?

To find out more on this and other great products pop over to the Tefal website.

Disclaimer:  I was given the Tefal Cook4Me multicooker for the purpose of a review which can be read by following the link mentioned earlier in this post.  All thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Mexican-style Spicy Pulled Brisket Fajitas

Brisket of beef is a cheaper cut of meat that requires slow cooking and when I say slow cooked I really mean it!  Yes 12 hours in a slow cooker is what's needed to get perfect melt in your mouth beef.  I'd never cooked brisket before and fancied it would be rather nice cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce.  The result we perfect and well worth the wait. 

  
Once done, simply pile onto soft warm tortillas and top with a corn and black bean salsa.
If you cook a bigger piece of brisket than I did, once cooled it can easily be popped into the freezer making this meal perfect for an informal dinner party with friends or family.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Express Beef Madras - Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker Review

 Imagine being able to cook a Beef Madras Curry with a cooking time of just 20 minutes?  Fantastic, but only of course if the beef is juicy, tender, full of flavour and tastes good.
 Well, this Beef Madras using casserole beef (braising steak) actually did cook in 20 minutes and it was seriously good.  Oh yes we're seriously impressed with the Cook4Me Multicooker from Tefal.



 Having recently been asked if I'd like to review the Tefal Cook4Me Multicooker the answer was of course yes please.  I wasn't really sure what to expect since I've never had a multicooker before and wasn't quite sure how they worked.  So, armed with lots of questions as soon as it arrived I wanted to use it!
I'll answer all of my questions and of course if you have any please leave a comment and I'll answer it.

 Picture of Cook4Me supplied by Tefal since it's so shiny I found it almost impossible to take a picture that didn't show myself  and my kitchen in it!


 Does is really cook meals in super quick time and if so, are they just as tasty as you'd expect?
Can someone that really isn't into cooking (such as Paul the husband) be able to use the Cook4Me to create a proper meal without any stress?
  •  How does Cook4Me work?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • What kind of foods can you cook in it? 
  • Do the pre-programmed recipes actually work?
  • Can you make up your own recipe? 
  • Is it easy to clean after use? 
 About Tefal Cook4Me and how it works:
 Cook4Me comes with 50 pre-programmed recipes and it guides you step by step to cook meals for 2 to 6 people. With just the push of a button you can cook a variety of meals in next to no time - great if you want to spend less time in the kitchen. 
The pre-programmed recipes include Starter and Side dishes, Main dishes and desserts.  I haven't tried any desserts as yet but will include one in another post.  I have to try the Molten Chocolate Puddings, don't you think?
Five cooking settings allow you to pressure-cook, steam, brown, simmer, or reheat your meals.
    There's no need to stand watching it either as when the meal is ready, the cooker automatically switches to keep warm until it's time to eat.

The display menu is both easy to read and understand: 
Ingredients, Recipes, Manual and Favourites. By selecting one of these takes you to the following:  Meat and Chicken, Fish and Shellfish, Rice and Cereals.  The OK button is like a select button, you turn it to your chosen category.  The arrow button is like a return button and takes you back to the last menu.  In a word, it's really simple to use.  Yes tried and tested - Paul (the husband) actually made Chicken Tikka Masala all by himself - let me tell you that really is something! 

What other kinds foods can you cook: 

You can of course set it to cook a specific ingredient such as Rice, Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat,  Apples, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Potatoes, Peas and Spinach to name just a few.  Everything you want to cook the Cook4Me guides you as to how to cook it.

Do the pre-programmed recipes work:
I've used mine a good few times now and have found it really easy to look for a similar recipe and adapt it to your own recipe.  So far I've cooked Chicken Tikka Masala, Beef Madras, Carrots and Cauliflower and every time the result has been perfect.  The Chicken was really tender as was the meat in the Beef Madras.
Just following the instructions on the screen - select how many you are cooking for and it will display the recipe for you to follow.


Can you use a similar pre-programmed recipe in order to make your own:
Yes you can , just find a recipe that's similar to what you want to cook and use your own ingredients rather than those suggested.  For example there is a pre-programmed recipe for Sausage and Bean Stew.  But since I didn't have all the ingredients to make it I chose to make a Sausage Casserole using a jar of shop bought cooking sauce. It turn out just perfect and since this post is already getting quite long I'll include that in a later post.
     
What about Cleaning:
      At first glance of the instructions you could think that cleaning looks a bit of a bother - only due to the fact that you have to remove the pressure valve and wash the drip tray.  Take it from me this honestly takes a couple of minutes in total to remove, clean, dry and reassemble.  The removable pot and steam basket are dishwasher compatible.  The removable pot is non-stick and a doddle to wash by hand in sudsy water so personally I can't see the need to put it in the dishwasher.

All in All:
  Okay, this muliticooker isn't cheap (RRP £249.99) although at the time of writing I see it's now £220.00 but with that said I wonder if cheaper multicookers on the market would perform as well.
Cook4Me is available from Lakeland instore and online - you can also buy it through Amazon too. 
 I'd go as far as to say it really is worth investing in - especially if you work and have a family to feed.  None of the recipes are tricky nor do they require many ingredients either.  Easy to clean and easy to use.  Since it lots of recipes cook in extra quick time - it will of course save you money too.  Remember the beef madras used casserole steak/braising steak which usually requires cooking slowly for at least 3 hours took just 20 minutes in the Cook4Me. Personally I'd recommend this to anyone.

50 pre-programmed savoury and sweet dishes with a maximum of six ingredients
    Keeps food warm for up to 90 minutes after cooking
    Easy to clean - the ceramic- coated bowl is non-stick, removable and dishwasher safe
    Tell it the ingredient and weight and it will automatically suggest the best way to cook your food
    36.5 x 36.5 x 32cm H. Watts 1300 Capacity 6 litres



Many thanks to Tefal for sending me the Cook4Me to review.

Disclaimer:  I was given this multicooker for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Pork Ragu with Rigatoni Pasta

 A nice steaming bowl of pasta with a lovely rich meat sauce is always a good thing.  I usually make ragu with half beef and half pork mince, but my freezer failed me there was no beef mince to be found!  Anyway, all was okay as this turned out just as tasty.


   If you've never tried Sacla sun-dried tomato paste then you haven't lived, marvelous stuff.  Rich and sweet tasting and great in pasta dishes or soups - just saying.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Giveaway - £25 Morrisons Voucher plus Scandilicious Cookbook

Norwegian salmon is a mouth-watering fish with a fresh, smooth, rich flavour and a soft, red flesh and defined flakes; perfect for dining al fresco this summer.  Turning a delicate pink colour when cooked, Norwegian salmon is deliciously sweet and its succulent flakes fall away easily when cooked making it an ideal key ingredient for any summer meal.


 Pictured above this beautiful dish by Singe Johansen Marinated Norwegian Salmon with Asparagus, Shiitake Mushroom, Sesame Seed and Rice Noodle Salad - click here for the recipe.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Pan-fried Pork Steak Feast - Entertaining Made Easy

An easy dinner which not only looks good but is also quite simple to make.  Lovely thick and juicy pork steaks smeared with good quality olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and pan-fried. 
Turn this meal into a feast by adding a couple of side dishes as shown - one of which includes potatoes but if you still think you need to add more, then of course fresh crusty buttered bread is always a good thing.


 Entertaining made easy:
Since the vegetable dish can be prepared in advance (just don't add the feta until your ready to pop into the oven) this makes entertaining family and friends easy.  The corn can be prepared too to the stage where that has to go into the oven.  All that's left to do then is pan-fry your pork steaks at the last minute.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Tuscan inspired Chicken Dish - Easy to Make Recipe

Just recently Filippo Berio launched their premium Gran Cru range of Extra Virgin Olive Oils and having been sent them to try, I couldn't wait to use them.  For this dish I used Gran Cru Toscano - a chicken dish which just seemed to happen, purely because I happened to have some lovely peppers and tomatoes in the fridge but also because I was feeling inspired by the wonderful oils I'd been sent. 
Nothing but good fresh ingredients, it's easy to make and ended up as something quite wonderful. 
Tuscany is somewhere I've always really fancied visiting - in fact Italy in general really interests me and the food always looks so, so good. 

  

Just for the record, I'm not claiming this to be authentic Tuscan food, just Tuscan flavours and something I made up as I went along.

 About Filippo Berio:
 Filippo Berio, of Lucca, Tuscany, has been dedicated to Olive Oil since the 1800s and selects the very best and most distinctive regional Italian oils. Filippo Berio is therefore a true expert, with oils ranging from their standard Extra Virgin Olive Oil to this super premium Gran Cru range. 


























The Gran Cru range is a selection of three regional Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Each of the three Gran Cru oils - Dauno, Monti Iblei and Toscano have their own unique characteristics.

Filippo Berio Gran Cru Toscano:  Produced in Tuscany from Frantoio, Pendolino and Leccino olives, this delicate green Extra Virgin olive oil has a strong aroma and a well-balanced flavour; a ripe, sweet and fruity taste with a peppery finish. The mainstay of many traditional Tuscan recipes, it is excellent with fish, soups, vegetables and fresh salads.  Perfect for pasta, pulses and barbecued meat too.

Filippo Berio Gran Cru Monti Iblei:  Produced in the Monti Iblei area of Sicily and made using Tonda Iblea olives, this Extra Virgin olive oil has an intense aroma, reminiscent of tomato leaves. It has a full-bodied, intense flavour and is excellent with salads, fish and shellfish.  Perfect with white meat and boiled or grilled vegetables, it is also spectacular on fresh Pecorino and salted Ricotta.    

Filippo Berio Gran Cru Dauno:  Produced in Puglia, in the heel of Italy, and made exclusively from Ogliarola and Coratina olives, this golden green coloured Extra Virgin olive oil is tangy, aromatic and intense. It is best suited to enhancing strong flavours such as game, bitter herbs, artichokes and turnips. It also goes well with vegetable soups and barbecued meat and fish.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Hot Steak Ciabatta Sandwich with Mustard Mayo

Cooked correctly a good steak is something truly special.  Easy, simple no fuss cooking is all that's needed.  Oh yes this is thing of deliciousness.  But of course a good piece of steak and mine came from Meat Porter.  


Apologies to any vegetarians out there.  Personally I'm a fan of rump steak over sirloin - why?  Because it seems to have more flavour than sirloin.  A decent amount of fat around the edge is vital for cooking in a grill pan since it adds flavour and keeps the steak moist and tender.  Rump steak also happens to be cheaper than sirloin too!
Medium rare is the way to go, although being awkward I like my steak to be more rare than medium, if that makes sense - I know what I mean anyway!

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