Sunday 13 October 2019

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Bread

The pasta is not homemade, because I have not managed to ascended to that level of home cook. Atop my fridge sits a pasta maker, that I sincerely wanted two years ago, which has very sadly not yet left its box. Anyway....

I made this meal for friends coming over, and it turned out to be a great one for hosting. The garlic bread and pasta can be put to cook just before they arrive, or held onto if they're running late. The sauce and meatballs just need to be left in a warm pan to heat through once everything is nearly ready.

I've recently become addicted to early Nigella Lawson videos on youtube (you're welcome) and she said something very wise about how people often mistake cooking that takes time for cooking that's hard work. This is a great example of that, as nothing about it is very challenging, except deciding to dedicate a few hours to something you're going to really enjoy eating.

Read on to learn how to make meatballs and sauce from scratch and garlic bread out of any pre made loaf!!

PS: You don't even need the spaghetti. These meatballs on top of slices of garlic bread would be DIVINE, and we very much considered it.


Sunday 25 August 2019

Thai Fishcakes

Forever on the hunt for meal prep ideas? Never enough fishcakes in the shop bought two-pack to quench your never ending hunger for potatoey fishy goodness? Fishcakes are surprisingly simple to make, and this recipe is very no fuss, as all you need to do is whack them in the oven - no breading or frying required. Thai red curry paste adds the most tangy, moreish (and not too spicy) flavour and goes perfectly with salmon. You'll love them, and be very grateful that this recipe makes 14!

[I eat 3-4 fishcakes per portion. 1-2 would be a perfect snack.]

Thai Red curry paste adds all the Thai, lemongrass flavour you want, without being as spicy as Thai green curry. Simply add as much paste as your palette requires and you have some very tasty treats ready for tomorrow's lunch!

Recipe post sponsored by Tala


Wednesday 6 March 2019

Baby / Mini Quiche Recipe

Baby quiche! They're a lovely snack for lunch, to go on the side of a salad or even a midnight snack, and an inventive way to use up the odd ends of vegetables you have left in the fridge too.

Make these for the week, wrap in groups of 3-4 in foil and always have a snack ready to go!

In tupperware they should be fine for 4 or so days.


Thursday 14 February 2019

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken With A Creamy Mushroom & White Wine Sauce

I'm posting this one for Valentines day as it's the kind of aiming-to-impress meal that is actually possible and actually insanely tasty. Plus wine. 

Stuffed chicken breasts are ALWAYS going to be a hit. I think the classic is wrapped in parma ham, which is fine and nice, but bacon always works and you get more for your buck. Also, PSA, this is a garlic lover dish. Some would say Boursin stuffed chicken AND a mushroom/garlic/cream sauce is too far. I would not. It is what it is. It's the flavour palette I chose. You will both smell of garlic. It's fine.

Show me if you make it!

Thursday 22 November 2018

Levelled Up Toad In The Hole

We're going all in!! Why did I never think to do this before? Pigs in blankets in Yorkshire puddings? I mean OBVIOUSLY. And stuffing in there too? Revolutionary.

I always thought making a Yorkshire pudding batter was really difficult - probably due to my mum's numerous (amusing) attempts until she eventually got it just right (love u mum). However this might have been due to the fact she would rarely follow actual recipes, preferring to work it out on her own. I'm quite like that now. Somehow whenever I look through one of my (many) recipe books, I gather the ingredients and then go try to make it...without...actually reading the recipe. Usually it works, but when things actually require specific timings it goes to shit. For instance, when making a Yorkshire pudding, and please listen closely, the batter needs to be poured into hot oil for it to rise. I'm pretty sure this is how my mum finally cracked it too.

If I'm honest, I haven't got the timings with this one 100% down, so a skewer will be a big help here. But are we here for perfect food? Probably not. I'm just trying to provide meal ideas that Gordon Ramsey wouldn't necessarily touch, but you feel accomplished from making.

This is a combination of a few recipes I found on BBC Good Food - the one and only holy grail I subscribe to - and frankly, a national treasure. It turns out you can add a lot of fun stuff to a toad in the hole but the batter is all people care about when they leave their reviews. I've stuck to these measurements for a while, but the success rate basically depends on how long I cook it for and the size of the tin. It works best for me when the batter covers 2cm of the sausages and it's cooked for 20 minutes.

I know the main issue with making your own batter is that it takes AGES to cook and never stops being soggy. This one is very fast. It's got less milk in than lots of other recipes, so it's a thicker batter. Just watch you don't over do it!


Sunday 11 November 2018

Chicken And Bacon Pie For The Family

Pies. We must not forget how good a pie can be. If your family are coming over for dinner, or you'd like to impress your partner with something home cooked (except the pastry, let's not get ahead of ourselves, we have lives to live...) this is absolutely going to hit the spot! Chicken pie is wholesome and timeless, and the flavours of bacon, leek, garlic and white wine NEVER FAIL. THEY SIMPLY WORK EVERY TIME.

This recipe is kind of based on how I make bacon & mushroom risottos, and then after making it for Jack's grandparents a few weeks ago, someone on IG insisted I add mustard next time. It works wonders!!

I'd recommend adding a pot of bayleaves (70p) because for hearty dishes like these, (plug the veggie shepherd's pie here) it just seems to do something good. If you buy fresh rosemary or thyme (also 70p), I'd recommend freezing them in the packet so you always have a sprig to hand. I never manage to use the whole packets at once and they go off so quickly!


Monday 5 November 2018

Katsu Curry Burger

Oh. The delicious... the pure... the universally loved. Katsu curry. Guess what? It's delicious as a burger too, and you do not have to spend £21 on Deliveroo to achieve it on demand. (Yeah, that's based on £10ish per burger - I promise making your own is a lot more fulfilling and friendly to the old wallet!)

People ask me all the time if I have a Katsu curry recipe, and I thought I did (link) but it's really not very good. I forgot that I basically advised you to buy the curry paste, when actually it's really useful to know how to make your own. Curry powder, onions, soy sauce, flour and stock - these are all pretty standard kitchen cupboard items. I've reduced the ingredients down to the minimum, on my quest to keep cooking fun things ridiculously simple. Some recipes advise you to add grated ginger, rice wine vinegar or mirin, but I know they're the sort of things most of you won't have, and won't bother going to the shops for.

This sauce could be more tangy, so for that I'd add lime juice as an easy option. HOWEVER. In the burger it really isn't necessary. With the pickled cabbage/spring onions and mayo, you have all the flavours you need!

I'm also including a 5 minute (literally 5 minute) sweet potato katsu version. News to me, flour and warm water actually works way better than egg (I'm now a convert for life). I've presented it as a street food side, but pop them in a burger for a proper vegan carb feast!

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