Breakfast, cake, Dinner, Food, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized

Bank holiday Best Eats: Brunches, Dinners and Bakes

So the spring bank holiday is coming to an end. Its dark outside. We are debating on if that was a bat or a bird we sort darting past the window… and i have to say it is one of the best dinner bank holidays that I can remember in a long time…. so heres a bit of a brag.

Roasted Harissa and Garlic Chicken in Pittas

It started with a Friday night: with a quick roasted small chicken dressed in Harissa paste, garlic, coriander and olive oil. Served in pitta breads with dips and some salad. Proper finger (licking) food that was really a bit of mucking about with the mortar and pestle, smothering the flesh and then letting it rock out in the oven while we (I) do the post work shake off and feet up and perhaps a bit of the ol’ red leg rum… Roast chicken doesn’t have to stay tucked away for a Sunday…

Saturday morning….

Continue reading “Bank holiday Best Eats: Brunches, Dinners and Bakes”

Dinner, Healthy, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 30 min

Sweet Potato Topped Indian Dahl

So we needed something warming and filling tonight. Something that’s not going to break the bank or take over the whole night to cook. And I’m not opposed to a veggie night – I don’t think there’s a need to eat meat every meal – nor every day- so here we have the solution to the above equations making one very tasty dinner ……

  • 650g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 onion, Sliced into fine half moons
  • 2 carrots, chopped in to finger length batons
  • 1 corgette chopped into finger length batons
  • Thumb of ginger + 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100 split red lentils
  • good handful coriander- I use the frozen kind cos I always have it as a store cupboard staple – but fresh is going to be very good.
  • Greek-style yogurt – a good spoon full.
  1. Chopped sweet potato goes into a pan of boiling water ,cook for 15 mins, or until tender.
  2. While the ‘tatos are getting to the mash able state, heat the oil in a pan
  3. fry the onion and carrot, 2 minutes,
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 min more.
  5. Stir in the curry powder,
  6. Mix the Stock cube, tomato puree to 750ml of  boiling water, add this with the lentils to the Veggie pan
  7. Cover the pan and rapid simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  8. Stir in the chopped coriander.
  9. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them with the yogurt and season
  10. Spoon the lentil mix into one big or individual dishes then top with the sweet potato-mash.
  11. Season with the coriander and pepper

wash up roll call-

1 deep fry pan, 1 sauce pan, 1 chop board, 1 knife (and peeler if you used it), 1 wooden spoon (masher if you use it)
whatever you serve it in and whatever you eat it with

Breakfast, Dinner, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 30 min

Middle Eastern eggs with merguez and Pistachios – Brilliant Brunch

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Found as I was flicking through one of my numerous cooking magazines- an April edition from a few years back- and He and I spy something that we both think “now that would make a good Saturday brunch.”

If he and I are both off on a weekend day breakfast normally rolls over into being some sort of brunch and its becoming as somewhat reliable tradition.

I confess that I did not actually use the sausages named in the title -merguez- which are a lamb and beef sausage from north Africa. I am sure I could have found some if I had looked harder – but what I found were some nice Aberdeen Angus beef sausages reduced down – have I mentioned He is Scottish?- and I cannot resist a good yellow label if I know I have a recipe it will work in.

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What you will need

Drizzle of olive oil / rape seed oil

1 red onion – chopped

6 merguez sausages (I ended up using Aberdeen angus and black pepper chipolatas.)

15 cherry tomatoes halved

Pinch of sugar (any sugar)

3 tsp harissa paste

2 eggs

2 wholemeal pitta breads

Pinch of paprika (apparently optional – I think not so optional-

2 tbsp. Greek yogurt

Few sprigs of parsley

Heat drizzle in heavy bottom small frying pan – cast iron if you have it. Something sturdy if you don’t

Add onion and cook for a few mins until soft, push them to one side. Add sausages and fry for 5-20 mins rolling them around in the pan till they get golden.

Add tomatoes, sugar, harissa, season well and add a splash of water – cook for 5-10 mins stirring now and again

The tomatoes will cook down into a nice chunky sauce

Push sauces to one side and create two large holes in the sauce so you can crack your eggs in. cook for 4-5 mins until whites are set and yolks are still runny – toast the pittas at this stage.

Sprinkle paprika on to eggs- just a pinch, dollop on the yogurt and sprinkle with pistachios and parsley

Serve with the pittas cut in half and on the side

Listen to something that makes you feel like you’re in the sun. Enjoy. This really was a treat for my taste buds. And His. And She came home and thought the house smelt delicious… WINNER

Wash up.

Chop board

Knife

Measuring spoons.

1 frying pan

Whatever you serve it in if you don’t eat it straight from your pan when you bring it to your table.

Nom nom nom

Dinner, Fish, Healthy, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 30 min

Cod and Chorizo Mélange

Serves 4 OR 2 Dinner meals and 2 lunch boxes for the next day

  • Tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tin of butter beans
  • 4 fillets of cod
  • Onion – Fine Chopped
  • 200g Cooking Chorizo- sliced/ chopped

In a DEEP Frying pan heat oil and cook onions till softened (5 mins)

Add Chorizo, get the oils releasing from the Spanish sausage, Coating the onions with this tasty pigment

Pour in the Tomatoes, and then refill tomatoes tin with water and add this to the pan as well. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a bubble.

Once you have a good boil going on in the pan, put your cod fillets to bed in the sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer for 7- 8 mins- the cod will poach in the tasty-ness.

Gently mix in those butter beans and cook for the 2 mins so hot through.

Scatter with your green parsley and serve – I also sprinkle some of my Chilli and Garlic sprinkles over- but that because I have a small addiction to this.

Eat – and be impressed (like He and I were) about how tasty and filling this low cost, low fuss Fish dinner is!

 

Wash up roll call – one deep frying pan, your stirring implement. Whatever you serve it in

Dinner, Healthy, Lunchbox Revamp, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 15mins

Chicken Bomb Bang Salad For when you want a Healthy KICK

Renamed by She, the room-mate. This is a a step away of the same old (boring) chicken Salad and dressing.

It utilizes a spiralizer, one of the kitchen gadgets du jour.

I’m not going to pretend that courgetti replaces spaghetti in a good old fashioned  spag bol. But I am going to say that it is useful in making this Bang Bang Chicken “da bomb”

 

This served 4, (2 hungry after work dinners and 2 work lunch boxes that got a few “ooo that looks good)

What you need

The Basic Bones of your Salad

  • Courgette x2
  • Large Carrot x2
  • Spring onion – a  Bunch
  • Mangetout -130g
  • cooked chicken breasts x2 (you can poach/ grill these from raw but you gotta let them chill out, or even use left over roast chicken)

Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons of nut butter- peanut or cashew – low fat is fine
  • 3 table spoons low salt soy sauce
  • 3 table spoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 table spoons sesame oil
  • 1 table spoon water
  • Juice and zest of a lime

To serve

  • Coriander leaves
  • Smashed nuts- peanuts or cashews-handful – I use a mezzaluna, but you can use a smashing (rolling) pin while they’re in a baggy – or a mortar and pestle. You don’t want them too fine. They are for texture
  • Chili optional (not an option in my flat- required)

 

 

Spiralize the long thick veg -carrot and courgette. Diagonal splice the spring onions and mangetout, mix up in a bowl. Shred the chicken with some forks. – again mix into your veggies.

 

In a smaller bowl- or jug- mush up the soy into the nut butter – so it becomes “looser”

Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, whisk away till it’s a “dressing consistency” – I add some chopped chili at this point depending on those around the table

Pour dressing into the salad bowl and mix it all up.

 

Serve on to a plate (bowl) and sprinkle with the “to serve items”

– you can dish this out on a big serving platter but it’s safer in my flat to serve into bowls for each person –