Thursday, 7 April 2011

Lenten Food!

For lent James (my boyfriend) and I have given up meat, junk food and caffeine!

We are a couple of weeks into it and the usual ideas of quorn chilli and potato curry were getting a bit old.

So I wanted to try something new. I am a bit weary of using quorn chicken pieces without masking them in a heavy sauce as I think in previous experiences it has not taken on the flavour of the spices and herbs at all and seemed bland.

I came up with this and think it was really nice!
The taste was kind of like a schezuan flavour.

1/2 bag of quorn chicken pieces
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
1 small sweet potato
1 can chopped tomatoes
1tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium red chilli chopped
1 inch sq of ginger
1 tsp star anise
1 tsp ground chilli powder
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Grind the garlic, salt, fresh chilli, ginger and stir in half the oil. Chop the sweet potato into small chunks and add to a saucepan of boiling water. Dice the onion and pepper.
2. Put the rest of the oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Sauté the onion and pepper until softened. Add the spice and oil mixture to the pan and turn down the heat.
3. Once the sweet potatoes are soft enough to cut easily, drain them and add them to the sauté pan. Add the quorn pieces, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, star anise, ground chilli and pepper. Leave to simmer with the lid on, on a low heat for 30mins. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10mins.

Serve with rice or noodles

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Delicious Foods!

I was doing a brief shop just to top up the cupboards before I get more money and came across some venison meatballs. So my mind started tucking over with possibilities. This is what i came up with.

Venison Meatballs with Tomato, Raisin & Wine Sauce
served with: Tagliatelle and Blue Cheese, Tomato & Basil Foccacia

400g Venison Meatballs or Mince
1 Onion
1/2 Red Pepper
2 Cloves of Garlic
400g Chopped Tomatoes

2 tbsp Raisins
1 Glass of White Wine
500g Tagliatelle

1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1tsp Oregano
1/2tsp Parsley
1tsp Basil
1tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Chop the onion, garlic and pepper into small pieces and fry in the oil until softened.
2. Add the meatballs to the pan and stir lightly until the meat is browned. Add the raisins and put the lid on the saucepan. Leave for 5mins.
3. Add the tomatoes, wine, seasoning and herbs to the saucepan and replace the lid. Simmer for 15mins.
4. Whilst the meatballs simmer, fill a large saucepan with water and put on a high heat. Once the water comes to the boil add the tagliatelle. Remove the lid from the meatballs.
5. Check the meatballs and tagliatelle is cooked and serve.

( I also served mine with a foccacia bread made from a mix and a mixed leaf salad.)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011



I have been super naughty and not put up any posts recently!
I'd say an excuse was working all the time now but I am still cooking loads :)

I have just finished a batch of Yorkshire Fat Rascals (or Turf Cakes). Got the recipe from 'A Taste of Yorkshire'.

First go worked out great! They are Deee-lish!! :)

I have also purchased "Cook Yourself Thin" 
So expect some attempts at those recipes too!! :D

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Can't beat a Ol' Classic!

For all my intrigue into cooking food from far away places and discovering new tastes, you can't beat a 'ween-a spuds', veg with gravy and some form of meat! (if you are that way inclined!)

I reminded myself of this by making toad in the hole for tea yesterday. :P
Using a Delia recipe for the batter and some decent Cumberland sausages I made individual portions. Load of spuds boiled up and turned into mash with some butter and milk!  I was just in from work so didn't make my gravy from scratch, I used bistro with a dash of worchester sauce and mustard. 


Oooh and tonight, following that theme I made Sponge pudding with Strawberry jam and custard!!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

My First Attempt at: Home made Pasta!

My First attempt at: Pasta

I decided to make ravioli with a beef mince filling and a tomato sauce.

300g Plain Flour
3 Eggs

200g Beef Mince
1 Small Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Parsley
1 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Parmesan
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Small Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tsp Oregano
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

I made quite a mess!!
1. Sieve the flour on to your work top and make a well in the middle to accommodate your eggs. (Hopefully you won't make as big a mess as I did!!)
2. Mix with your hands until your mixture forms a dough like consistency. Add extra flour if necessary and hold some to one side for rolling out.
3. Knead your dough for 10 mins and then put in the fridge whilst you make your filling.
4. Chop your onion finely as you can and press the garlic. Mix the garlic into the mince with a teaspoon of parsley, oregano and a large pinch of salt. Fry the onions in a pan until cooked and add the mince mixture until brown. Drain the mince of all moisture and leave to cool.
6. Roll out the dough until it is fine enough to be able to see your hand through it.
7. Use a glass to cut out your pasta shapes (or cutter if you have bought one!). I would recommend boiling a small pan of water and testing a bit of your pasta so you have an idea of cooking time.
8. Add the parmesan to your cooled mince mixture. Spoon a teaspoon amount into the centre of the shapes and fold in half. Moisten the edges with water and crimp with a fork. (I also tried two circles on top of each other)
9. Chop the onion and garlic for the sauce and add to a pan with the oil. Fry on a low heat until softened and then add all other ingredients and simmer for 15 mins on a medium heat.
10. Put a large pan of water on heat to boil with the oil. Once the water has come to a rumbling boil add your ravioli to cook for 6-7 mins. I recommend testing your pasta just as your thickness may differ from mine.

11. Drain the water off your ravioli and toss in the sauce, serve with grated parmesan.

I realise mine doesn't look like much but it was my first go and it tasted good, which is the main thing for now!!

Play around with fillings and folding the ravioli!


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Fresh Pasta!

I have decided I am going to make my first attempt at home-made pasta, and I reckon I will make ravioli. 
Not sure what filling I will do but can't wait to try it!! Maybe goats cheese and bacon? :P YUUUUM! 
Watch this space, on my next day off I will give full details good and bad!! 

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Faery Favourite Recipe #1 : Fruity Baked Cheesecake

My first recipe favourite!!
Just so you know my writing is in green so my additions to the recipe are clear!

I purchased a fabulous little cookbook called 'Easy Everyday Desserts' 
( ). 
I believe it cost me £2.00 on offer! It is a collection of many chefs recipes which have been tried out by BBC Good Food magazine. 
I straight away went for the Fruity Baked Cheesecake, partially because I love baked cheesecake and the other reason being that my boyfriend and I had given up chocolate for lent.
It was my first attempt at baking a cheesecake and I have to say it was delicious!!

Fruity Baked Cheesecake
by Jenny White

50g (2oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
150g (5oz) Digestive Biscuits, crushed
75g (3oz) Sultanas or Raisins*
Grated Zest and juice of 1 Lemon*
450g (1lb) Mascarpone Cheese (I have tried with Cream Cheese and it works fine!!)
100g (3 1/2oz) Caster Sugar
2 Egg Yolks, beaten
2 tbsp Cornflour
200ml (7floz) Sour Cream

(1 tbsp Vanilla Essence or flavouring)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 (or 180 for fan), gas mark 6. Grease a 20cm (8in) springform cake pan and line with baking paper. Place the crushed biscuits and butter in a bowl and combine well 
(can add a tsp cinnamon or nutmeg to taste!). Transfer to the cake pan and press down well into the base to form a crust. Bake for just 7 minutes and leave to cool.

2. Put the raisins or sultanas and lemon juice in a small pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the mascarpone
(or cream cheese) and sugar until smooth. Stir the egg yolks into the mascarpone with the lemon zest, cornflour, sour cream and fruit (and vanilla).

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden. Allow to cool completely, then remove from the cake pan

Hope it turns out well! :)

I also serve my cheesecake with a mixed fruit coulis, just by boiling down tinned, frozen or fresh berries with sugar and water. 

*If you aren't partial to lemon or sultanas they can be left out without any change to the rest of the recipe!