Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sicilian sausage casserole

1 pack of Sicilian sausages (Sainsbury's!)
1 small pack of pancetta
1 celeriac
1 fennel bulb
1 large onion
1 smallish courgette
1 small head of celery
Good squeeze of garlic
Black pepper
Fresh sage - about a tablespoonful, chopped
Liquid concentrated chicken bouillon
2 cartons of butter beans

Start by browning the chopped up sausages in a large pan.

While that's doing prepare the vegetables - the fennel, celery and onion to be sliced thinly and the celeriac and courgette to be diced fairly small.

When the sausages are browned take them out and put to one side, then add the pancetta, cook for a few minutes, and then add the onion and celery. When that's softened add the garlic and the other vegetables plus a splash of water and the bouillon, put the lid on and let everything cook with the lid on so it can soften. Oh and add the sage.

Stick the sausages back in after about ten minutes and then add as much or as little stock as you want, add the beans, stick the lid on and give it at least twenty minutes on a low heat. Serves about four people, three if you're bloody starving.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lentil, chorizo and sausage casserole

This is slightly adapted from Allegra McEvedy's recipe in the Guardian. I did look at it sideways initially and wonder if rosemary really went with chorizo, but I'd forgotten about my lovely chorizo, chicken and rosemary risotto...it's genius.

Anyway, this will serve probably about 3 people, or 4 with some bread.

1 pack of Toulouse sausages (ie, 6. Sainsbury's sell them), each sausage cut into 4
1 sausage-sized piece of chorizo, peeled and chopped into lumps
1 big onion, diced
1 big carrot, peeled and diced
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
a big squeeze of garlic paste, or 3 cloves, crushed
1 whole red chili
200g red lentils
chicken stock to cover and cook

Brown the chopped Toulouse sausages in a pan and then take them out and put to one side.

In the same pan, saute the onion and carrot til slightly softened, then add the chorizo and allow to cook for a few minutes. Follow this with the garlic and rosemary, and allow that to cook in too.

Add the sausages back to the pan along with the lentils and the stock. Put the whole chili in as it is, cover and allow to simmer until the lentils are soft and the stock is mostly sucked up. Give it a few minutes extra if you want it dryer, but I quite like it a bit soupy if you're having bread with it.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Lemon and ginger cupcakes

Another variation on a theme, but a very nice one.

175g self raising flour
175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
zest of two lemons
75g chopped crystallised stem ginger

Cream together the butter and sugar, and add the beaten eggs and flour a little at a time. Fold in the lemon zest and ginger and bake for about 15 minutes in a moderate oven - 190 degrees.

To make icing, mix the juice of the lemons with icing sugar and drizzle. :)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Half-imagined goulash

Now, this is sort of meant to be a goulash, but the only recipe I have for goulash is from Bram Stoker's Dracula, where Jonathan Harker describes it as being 'beef with paprika, good but very thirsty', so I've improvised.

2 onions, 1 white, 1 red, chopped
2 red peppers
2 smallish courgettes
1 can of thick cut chopped tomatoes
a gratuitously large squeeze each of tomato and garlic purees
1 heaped teaspoon La Chinata smoked sweet paprika
1.5 teaspoons of regular paprika
Diced steak - however much you're wanting/can afford
Small lump of leftover chorizo caserno

Start by gently sauteeing the chorizo to let out the lovely juices and oil, and then add the diced steak and let it seal.

Add the onions, put the lid on, and cook til everything is gently softened and browned. Add the garlic and let it cook in.

Add everything else - veg, tomatoes, tomato paste, spices - stick the lid on and let it cook til the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce is bright red, thick and bubbly.

Serve with steamed rice and some soured cream if you've got it.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Christmas Soup

This is simple but quite honestly one of the best soups ever. It's made from the last container of the stock made from the Christmas turkey - made, of course, by my mum.

1 onion
large squirt of garlic paste
1 large bottle of passata
1 small tin of tomato puree
1 large container of turkey stock, unskimmed
About 150-200g rice (we're making a CAULDRON of soup here)

Saute off the onion. Add the garlic and cook that down for a few minutes too.

Add the passata, stock and tomato puree and bring up to a boil, then simmer with the lid on so it doesn't reduce for about 15 minutes to let everything cook together.

Add the rice, cover, and leave to cook til the rice is soft and broken down. Perfect. It freezes and reheats amazingly well and is delicious.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Chicken, paprika and basil with pasta

I remember dimly making a soup with roughly these ingredients and in roughly this order; this came out okay but I do seem to remember using fresh basil, which I didn't have.

Chicken breasts x number of people eating
Smoked paprika
garlic paste
juice of one lemon

1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 onion
lump of chorizo (optional, but we had some left over)
1 carton passata
3-4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
handful black olives, chopped
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
black pepper
teeny squeeze of chicken bouillon concentrate

Start by cubing the chicken and marinating in a mixture of the smoked paprika, lemon juice and garlic. The earlier you do this, obviously, the better.

When you're ready to go - and I'd leave the chicken at least an hour - begin by gently sauteing the chorizo, which is now hacked into lumps, until it starts to release its oil and colour up a little bit. Then add the chicken and a little swish of oil so it doesn't burn, and cook til it's lovely and crusty and brown.

Add the sliced onions and let them sweat down and then the rest of the veg (pepper, courgette). Cook down while you chop the sundried tomato and olives finely, and then add them to the pan with the basil and a shake of black pepper. Put the lid on and let everything cook down for a few minutes until the vegetables are going soft, and then add the passata and squidglet of bouillon, stir well and stick a lid on. It can be left now over a really low heat until you're ready to cook the pasta, and then when that's done it's just a matter of stirring it all together and eating enthusiastically.

If you do have fresh basil just stir it in at the end instead of the dried basil.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Chicken and tarragon risotto

Well, if there's one thing continuous viewing of the Good Food channel will do to you, it's make you want to try new ingredients, and I've never tried tarragon and I'd got leftover roast chicken and wine, so here we go.

1 onion, chopped finely
1 courgette, chopped finely
1 heart of celery, chopped finely
Double handful of interesting mushrooms (ie, not the white boring ones), wiped and sliced
glass of white wine
leftover roast chicken, however much you want - I put about a (chicken) breast's equivalent each
couple of slices of bacon, chopped up finely
dried tarragon, to taste
stock and risotto rice - today I tried some organic chicken bouillon concentrate, it was very good.

So - crisp up the bacon in a dry pan and let any fat render, then add the finely chopped onions and celery and let that sweat off gently for a few minutes before adding the garlic to cook through. Add the courgette and go and make a cup of tea.

When you come back, add the chicken and the wine together and when the chicken is heated through and the wine cooked off a bit, stick in the mushrooms and tarragon and pop the lid on to let everything get mooshy and sexy.

When it looks soft and squidgy and goooooooooood, add the stock and rice and let it do its thing. Lovely! This one will be making a repeat appearance.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Sort-of kedgeree

Okay SO. My mum used to feed us kedgeree quite often, but always at dinner time (I know it's traditionally a breakfast dish). Anyway I loved it and I haven't had it literally for years so I decided to have a go at making it tonight, sans recipe, and with a sort of half remembered list of ingredients and various phonecalls to my mum. I'm including my recipe that I sort of made up and my mum's variations.

1 pack of smoked mackerel (cooked, you know the sort - flaked up with your fingers, skins off)
4 eggs, hard boiled (my mum just whisks hers and scrambles them in)
handful of sliced mushrooms (my mum uses mostly mushrooms)
1 green bell pepper, diced finely (she doesn't add this)
1 onion, diced finely (mum uses sliced spring onions)
1 tablespoon medium curry powder (mum uses soy sauce, apparently - I don't remember that!)
About 250g (dry weight) cooked, cold basmati rice

How I do it:

Cook the rice, and leave to cool. Also, hard-boil the eggs, and leave those to cool too. Go and do something else for an hour or whatever.

When you come back, saute the vegetables gently until soft, with the curry powder. Add the mackerel and (gulp) some butter, and then stir fry the rice until it's all piping hot and lovely. Stir your sliced up hard boiled eggs in and shovel in quickly while it's hot, preferably in front of the football.

My mum does the rice ahead too, and sautes the onions and mushrooms together too, and then she scrambles the eggs into the veg, adds the mackerel and rice and soy sauce and str fries it all together. I'd have thought that'd be hyper salty but I remember it being delicious so I am sure it was :)

Anyway mine came out lovely although almost certainly hotter than anyone in my family would have enjoyed.