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!


Sunday, 28 October 2018

Lentil & Red Wine Shepherds Pie

I think a large part of English culture is cooking traditional family meals, like this, that are guaranteed to fill everybody up. And they're always meaty. Which poses an issue for those of us who have decided to cut out their intake completely, or (like me) think it's important to at least reduce our consumption, but really don't want to miss out on the hearty dishes we've always eaten.

Over the last two years I've stocked up on several vegetarian cook books to inspire this new venture, including The Hairy Bikers Go Veggie, which is a brilliant book because it's definitely written for meat eaters transitioning. (Well, it's marketed as a diet book so I just ignore the low fat commentary). My favourite chapter is the "we miss meat" bit, because they make a point to cook really hearty, traditional recipes, reinvented. And this shepherds pie is based on their Mushroom and Lentil Ragu, which means the leftover 'mince' would be lovely over spaghetti!

Maddeningly, I couldn't find the book anywhere. I don't know where the heck it could be, because it couldn't have left the house. Regardless, I know their ragu almost off by heart at this point, so the pie proceeded.

The marmite, coco powder and cinnamon are flavourings of my own which I think bring out a deeper flavour, and the parmesan (note that you'll need to source a vegetarian version) really makes the dish.

I used both Quorn and tinned brown lentils for this post, so thats half of each stated, however you can use one or the other if you like!


Sunday, 21 October 2018

Creamy Satay Chicken

Satay chicken!! A firm favourite in my life. My boyfriend claims I never make enough of it, which is a compliment on the taste but maybe a consideration for my portion sizing. 

Earlier this year I had an extreme craving for skewered chicken and satay sauce, so googled how to make it and was surprised at how easy the recipe was! As always I taste tested while cooking and almost couldn't control myself - IT'S SO TASTY. I realised a dipping sauce portion was not going to cut it, so chucked in the rest of the coconut milk, extra of everything else, covered my meal in it and haven't looked back.

I know there's a curry version, so this doesn't claim to be that (with its lack of spices and all) but my god it's tasty. Peanut buttery, very creamy, and the tanginess is what makes it so moreish.

This is a meal idea post which will walk you through plating the whole thing up, instead of just the sauce. Jasmine rice, toppings and cooking times. It serves two people, and if you're cooking for any more than that I advise doubling the recipe in full! Let's go!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

An Impressive Omelette

Look. You've had a guest stay the night and you're in charge of showing them you are a competent host. You've checked the bread and it's mouldy. One banana on a plate will not do. That's okay. 

This omelette of dreams is also very filling  and can be super nutritious  depending what you decide to put in it!

My mum used to make these for breakfast all the time and they'd feed the three of us (as kids) before school. It's based on a Spanish omelette, with the chopped potato adding all that filling-ness, but with loads of toppings to personalise to your palette. 

It's a great brunch idea when you have more time to spare, but it's also great to portion out for lunches and you can easily keep it in the fridge for three days!

The reason you finish it off in the oven is because it's so thick the egg can take a while to cook, so covering it with a lid while frying will help speed up the process a lot!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Easiest Banana Bread Recipe


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Studio Life: August 2018

August was a big month for Sighh & I. I moved into the new Newcastle city centre flat with my boyfriend and excitedly put together my own designated studio (aka second bedroom, once the bed and chest of draws were negotiated away). Jack took a week off work to sort the place out, which helped as everything I ordered seemed to arrive on a different day. This all happening at the same time as the largest sale I've had in years was something to navigate, as was dragging sacks of envelopes through the cardboard strewn corridors of our flat... but it was all finished in just over a week. And then graduate life really began! Well, partly. August has felt like a battle between me being so excited to start my new life and genuinely incredibly happy, while also definitely procrastinating and doing things very slowly, in summer mode. Anyway, here's what I did, according to my overflowing camera roll...

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