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

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Succulent Chicken Satay Skewers

What gorgeous weather we've been having lately!  With the summer now in full swing everyone's enjoying the chance to get the BBQ out and sit outside to eat; what a difference a bit of sunshine makes.  I like most people certainly feel better when we have nice sunny days!

BBQ

I'd never used black treacle in cooking before but this recipe from Lyle's was not only simple to make (and inexpensive) but it was also really, really tasty; yep this is a keeper.

Nothing says summer quite like the smoky-sweet flavour of a classic BBQ.  Black treacle is perfect in summer for BBQ glazes, marinades and sauces, adding a distinctively dark colour, delicious burnt caramel flavour and moisture to summer dishes.  Lyle's Black treacle worked really well in this recipe, it added a nice depth of flavour to the dipping sauce too.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Spicy Beef and Bean Feast - No Chopping or Weighing Recipe

Frozen food is a life saver for those busy days when you just don't have time to cook.  With the family patiently waiting for dinner to be on the table it's brilliant to be able to open the freezer and gather a few simple ingredients together.  Along with a few store cupboard bits and bobs you can produce a tasty and filling quality meal in under 30 minutes - and that's from start to finish!

I hear you saying 'Under 30 minutes; yeah right, with all that chopping involved'??  But it's true, and whats more there's no need for a knife or kitchen scales anywhere in my amazingly simple and easy recipe.  No peeling, chopping or weighing ingredients!



Having been asked to take part in the #PowerofFrozen campaign by Iceland Foods I took on their 'Cut the Hassle' recipe challenge and I came up this Spicy Beef & Bean Feast.

By using frozen food products that can be cooked straight from the freezer.  There's none of the tedious peeling chopping since it's been done for you!  Frozen food is not only convenient, but can actually save you money too; since you only use what you need from the packet and then just pop the rest back into the freezer.



My Spicy Beef can also be easily turned into a quick Chilli con Carne just by serving with rice instead of tortillas.  Of course the amount of spiciness depends on your taste, you can add more or less chilli, it's entirely up to you.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Bacon and Onion Roly Poly Pudding - Cooking through the Decades

Rennie® have just launched a campaign called 'Cooking through the Decades' where they are challenging food bloggers to cook a recipe from Britain’s past or present over the past 100 years; from 1920's to 2010.  I was allocated the 60's which is great as I was born in 1962 (oh my I feel so old), but I do remember a quite a bit about the 60's and especially the food we ate.

My all time favorite dinner from my childhood has to be Bacon and Onion Roly Poly Pudding.  The pudding is  made with suet pastry, bacon and onions and then rolled up like a Swiss roll (think suet dumpling with a bacon and onion filling) steamed for about 2 and a half hours.

Nothing fancy is added and it's simply seasoned with white pepper; but this is good stuff.  Until this challenge was given to me I'd never made it myself before and it tasted just as good as I remember.

roly poly pudding






























Each decade sees iconic dishes that were popular at the time, whether because of necessity.  Bubble and squeak came from the need to be thrifty in the Second World War or through economic factors; for example in the 80s the privileged few’s increasing disposable income allowed them to spend more on exotic foods.

In the sixties the younger generation were ready to start enjoying themselves again.  Music, miniskirts and swinging London encouraged people to spend more money, while cheaper flights meant more exposure to foreign influences; especially in the kitchen.

A bit about the 1960's
  • The average house price in the UK was £2,530 and most houses now had a refrigerator and a cooker.  
  •  Sliced bread went on sale and a loaf cost 5 pence.
  • The ever popular television program Coronation Street first aired in December 1960 and Dr Who appeared on our television screens at the end of 1963
  • BBC 2 was the first channel to have colour in 1967 and broadcast its first colour pictures from Wimbledon in 1967
  • Sindy Doll and Tiny Tears were just the best toy doll any little girl could wish for; I remember getting Tiny Tears one Christmas and by Boxing day I'd given her a hair cut - I can't believe I did that but I did.  I've just checked with her and my mum still has the said Tiny Tears doll!


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Winter Vegetable Lasagne - Lower your Cholesterol with Flora ProActiv

High cholesterol is a major risk to heart disease as it contributes to the narrowing of vital arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.  There are no obvious signs or symptoms with high cholesterol and HEART UK and Flora ProActiv are urging people to get their cholesterol level checked out.

If you do happen to have a high level of cholesterol the good news for most people is, there are simple and effective ways to lower cholesterol which include changes to diet and lifestyle.  Eating healthier, including super cholesterol busting food like plant sterols and getting more active helps lower cholesterol and most people will see an effect in as little as 3 weeks.

Simple diet changes are often all you need, check out this Winter Vegetable Lasagne recipe by Flora ProActiv.

Winter Vegetable Lasagne



The recipe was simple to make, tasty and very filling.  Fantastic for a midweek family meal and it's a great way to get kids to eat vegetables too!

For more information on Flora ProActiv just click on the link.

Facts about Cholesterol:
  • Over half the population of England have high cholesterol? 
  • High cholesterol is invisible, it has no symptoms but is a major risk factor for heart disease.
  • One in every two people in England having elevated cholesterol, it’s vital to get checked and keep your heart healthy.
  • Do you know your number?  Ask your GP or local pharmacist and get checked out now.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bajan Prawn Tacos with Pink Florida Grapefruit Avocado and Black Beans

Florida Grapefruit has teamed up with celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine to create a number of simple, delicious recipes that use Florida Grapefruit.

Florida Grapefruit is a great way to brighten up your winter diet.  I had a go at making one of Gizzi's recipes and I must say these Bajan Prawn Tacos were really, really tasty.  As Paul (the husband) doesn't eat prawns I did the very same recipe but used chicken instead and it worked well.  A lovely mix of spiciness that works really well with the other ingredients. 

Bajan Prawn Tacos



Florida Grapefruit is like no other as it isn't bitter in taste.  Because of  Florida’s unique climate that includes both tropical and subtropical attributes, as well as sandy soil perfectly suited for citrus trees, that receive over 130 cm of rain per year; this makes Florida Grapefruit sweeter and juicier than their Mediterranean counterparts.

Did you know?
  • Florida Grapefruit is fat free, cholesterol free, and high in fibre
  • One half of a Florida Grapefruit is only 60 calories
  • One Florida Grapefruit provides 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C
  • Each Florida Grapefruit is packed full of vitamins, iron and essential anti-oxidants that help give your immune system a much needed kick start this winter
Read on for the recipe.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Gratin with Parmesan

Purple Sprouting Broccoli is at its very best between February and April; the stems are edible too so no throwing them away please!  Easy to prepare and cook, just trim any woody stem ends with a sharp knife and slice though thicker stems so it cooks evenly.  Rinse under cold water then either boil for around 5-7 minutes or steam for around 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of floret.

I prefer to steam broccoli as it keeps its colour and also the vitamins are preserved rather than washing them down the drain after cooking.  Once cooked season with a little sea salt and it is truly delicious with butter a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Brocolli
























A bit naughtier but nice way to serve is to make my gratin with garlicky cream topped with crispy crumbs and Parmesan.

Brocolli Gratin



Purple sprouting broccoli can also be used in a quiche and is great in pasta dishes too.  Another  favourite way is to do as Nigel Slater suggests; in a shallow pan, fry a little garlic and torn pancetta in olive oil.  Add the purple sprouting broccoli which will take just 3 or 4 minutes to come to tenderness.  Add a scattering of Parmesan, grated finely, over the top and serve with thickly cut bread and butter.


Friday, 27 November 2015

SPAM® Mac ‘n’ Cheese

SPAM® have a lovely selection of really easy to make recipes that can be made and served in next to no time.  So once you're fed up with eating left overs from that huge Christmas dinner you made, why not have a go at this filling and comforting SPAM® Mac ‘n’ Cheese. 




Of course I'm not saying you have to wait until after Christmas to make this, give it a go tonight; kids and adults alike will love it!

Monday, 19 October 2015

How to Make - Leek Brie and Bacon Quiche using a Pie Maker

Regular readers will know all about my amazing, life changing pie maker from Judge Cookware! 
Now, my first attempt at quiche wasn't brilliant as the filling didn't cook enough while the pastry was getting a little too done for my liking.  Well I've been experimenting and after a couple of attempts, I think you'll agree I've now perfected quiche. 

























Of course you can use Cheddar cheese if you don't like Brie.  I just happened to have some in my fridge left over from my Moroccan dinner party the weekend before; and yes I know Brie isn't in any way very Moroccan, but after dessert we ended our meal with cheese and biscuits.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Good and Filling - Sausage and Vegetable Crock-Pot Recipe

My favorite Crock-Pot recipe has to include sausages, good ones though; only proper butcher's sausages will do.  My one-pot sausage and vegetable recipe served with a good dollop of creamy mashed potato makes for perfect comfort food and is the very thing for cold weather days.

Crocktober is an exciting (and rather tasty), 30-day event to promote and celebrate all things slow cooking.  As part of the Crocktober recipe challenge, here's my latest sausage Crock-Pot or slow cooker recipe.
  
An easy, one-pot, no fuss, good and filling dinner.  Crock-Pots are fantastic since they cost very little to run making them far cheaper than having then oven on for hours.  Also as dinner cooks without you having to tend to it, Crock-Pot cooking is the way to go - marvelous!



Friday, 7 August 2015

Tefal ActiFry Recipe - Slightly Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken

I must say I really do love my Tefal ActiFry and I have to admit before I had one I thought they were all about chips; but I was wrong, check out my Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings recipe.  The ActiFry is fantastic for cooking speedy and healthier meals; my sweet and sour chicken cooks in under 30 minutes.  Armed with my now ageing Tefal rice cooker cooking the rice for me, dinner was served in next to no time and was virtually fuss free. 



Please note; I used the Tefal ActiFry Express XL for this recipe which does cook up to 30% faster than the ActiFry Family.  Therefore timings may have to be increased by a couple of minutes.

I used Ketjap manis which is Indonesian sweet soy sauce but you can use dark soy sauce if you don't happen to have any.  I really like it as it's thicker and sweeter and it can be found in any good supermarket in the World foods section if it isn't with the Chinese ingredients.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Meat-free Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

We keep being told we're going to have a heat-wave here in the UK; but it has to be said I'm thinking they are perhaps talking about next year!  So with summer sadly not too on the summery side at the moment, how about trying my meat-free sausage and white bean cassoulet?  This easy one-pot meal is made with Quorn sausages which are high in protein and fibre but low in saturated fat this is a nice and filling but healthy kind of meal.


Personally I'm not a huge fan of Quorn sausages but their 'Chef's selection are far nicer than the regular ones and make a meat-free meal in next to no time.

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 - Judge Sizzle and Serve

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.