Aubergine stuffed with Moroccan turkey (serves 4)

I love aubergines, but I don’t eat them enough. They are so nutritious and take on the flavor of anything you cook with them.

Previously they had to be salted before cooking them to get rid of their bitterness, but modern aubergines rarely need it.

Continue reading “Aubergine stuffed with Moroccan turkey (serves 4)”

Spiced lentils with roasted butternut squash, hazelnuts and goats Cheese – Serves 4

This is based on a recipe I’d torn out of a magazine ages ago.  I thought it looked unusual and if I’m totally honest I really liked the photograph!
It was enjoyable to make, particularly as I love lentils and I thought that the ingredients made a really great combination, and the kitchen smelt great while it was cooking it.
It would be perfect for a vegetarian dinner party or could be served as part of a party buffet if you increase the quantity of the ingredients, or as a side dish, or for lunch………

Continue reading “Spiced lentils with roasted butternut squash, hazelnuts and goats Cheese – Serves 4”

Comforting Cottage Pie – serves 4

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One of my daughters likes to have this after swimming training, as it’s so warm and comforting.  It’s like a big hug in a dish. I like it served with steamed greens or peas.

500g lean minced beef
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, trimmed and chopped finely
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 tbsp. tomato puree
500ml beef stock
1 ½ tsp. herbs de provence
1 tbsp. sweet chilli sauce
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
800g potatoes, peeled+ 2tbsp milk

  • Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas 7.
  • Place the mince, onion, leeks and carrots into a large non stick pan and cook until lightly coloured, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon to ensure it is well combined.
  • Add the tomato puree, beef stock, herbs and sweet chilli sauce and season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are soft.  Drain and then pass them through a potato ricer.
  • Return the potato to the pan and then adding the milk stir briskly until fluffy.  Season with black pepper.
  • When the beef is cooked pour it into a baking dish, top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 25- 30 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling.
  •  Let the pie stand for 5 minutes or so, to cool a little before eating!

American Style Pancakes

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday and while everyone else was enjoying pancakes, I thought I would only be able to spectate, as I hadn’t found a good gluten free substitute. I came across this recipe for gluten free American Pancakes just in the nick of time.  I also don’t have a frying pan at the moment so had to improvise with a cast iron flat casserole, which meant that there was more washing up than usual, but it really was worth the effort! I served the pancakes with Vanilla Ice Cream and fruit, oh, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Delicious!

The recipe serves 5, but that all depends on how much you can trust yourself not to eat the whole lot!

125g gluten free plain flour
1 tsp. gluten free baking powder
1/2tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. caster sugar
150ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
2 medium eggs
15g melted butter

Vegetable oil for frying
Toppings of your choice

  • Mix the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix well to combine.
  •  In a jug, beat together the eggs and milk.
  • Add to the dry ingredients, followed by the butter.
  • Beat until smooth and lump free, until it has a dropping consistency
  •  Heat a few drops of oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  • Using a dessertspoon, drop 3 rounds of batter into the pan (if your pan isn’t large enough do 2 rounds), so they spread to about 9cm in diameter. Reduce the heat.
  • After 2 minutes turn the pancake over with a spatula and cook the other side until golden brown and puffed up to about 1cm thick.
  • Layer the pancakes in greaseproof paper and wrap in a tea towel to keep warm. Make more pancakes until all the mixture is used up.
  • Top with whatever ingredients take your fancy.

Cheese and Onion Muffins- Makes 10

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I’ve never made savoury muffins before, but I wanted to try something different to go with soup.  I’m definitely a ‘convert’ now.  They smell wonderful and tasted even better!

They could also be served with some homemade chutney.

140g Mature Cheddar, grated
240ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
75g Melted butter, cooled
280g Gluten free self-raising flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
5 spring onions chopped
½ tsp. Herbs de Provence
Salt and Pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 190c.
  • Line a muffin tin with 10 muffin cases.
  • Put the flour and xanthan gum into a bowl.
  • Mix the milk, eggs and butter together and mix well.
    (If the butter is added before it is cool enough it will began solidify. It happened to me-I was too impatient! If it does happen, don’t panic!  Heat very gently on the hob until it liquifies again. Not too much incase you make scrambled eggs!)
  • Pour the mixture into the flour and mix until just combined.
  • Stir in the cheese, spring onions, herbs and salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases (an ice cream scoop is about the right size).
  • Bake in the oven until risen and golden brown – around 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm. 

          They can be reheated for 5 minutes in the oven.

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Creamy Tomato Soup-serves 4

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1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
150g carrots chopped
250g potatoes, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
2 ½ tbsp. tomato puree
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
250g passata (freeze the leftovers)
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 ½ gluten free stock cubes
500ml boiling water
200ml whole milk
Salt and pepper to season

  • Put the oil, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes and bay leaves in a large pan.
  • Cook gently until the onions have softened.
  • Stir in the tomato puree, sugar, vinegar, chopped tomatoes and passata, chilli flakes then crumble in the stock cubes.
  • Add the boiling water and bring the soup to the boil.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Cook for a further 10 minutes if it needs its so it purees properly.
  • Remove bay leaves and cool slightly. Puree with as stick blender or in a food processor until it is very smooth, and pop it in a clean pan.
  • Add the milk, being careful not to boil it. (If you are not going to use it straight away don’t add the milk at this point, add it when you are reheating it prior to serving)
  • Season to taste, adding another pinch of sugar if it needs it.

 

This soup is best made the day before it is needed to allow the flavours to develop.

It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. (Add the milk when reheating)

Chicken with Lemon and Honey- Serves 4

cut-themustard:

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Like a lot of food lovers, I have a large collection of recipe books lining my bookshelves (bedside table, desk, kitchen shelves, coffee table- you get the picture!)

I tend to use favourite recipes over and over again and unless I’m entertaining, those recipe books remain on the shelves.  I recently vowed to look at all of my books, as I’m sure that there are some recipes that are worthy of joining the favourites list!

I found a book called ‘Food for Living’ by Rachel Allen on my shelves, and thought that I should try some of her recipes instead of just looking at the pictures (in the same kind of way that I ‘watch’ exercise DVD’s!)

I often adapt recipes to either make them gluten free or to use the ingredients I already have.  However some recipes shouldn’t be changed and certainly can’t be improved and Lemon Honey Chicken is one of those.  Not only does it look delicious, it smells wonderful as it is cooking!

4 chicken legs
2 lemons, juiced, save the lemons
2 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish, skin side up.
  • Mix the lemon juice with the honey and pour over the chicken.  Place the remaining lemon in the baking dish with the chicken.
  • Season with salt and pepper and tuck the rosemary sprigs in between the chicken legs.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven discarding the lemons.
  • Serve with rice or roast potatoes and green beans.

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Pea Soup – makes 6 servings

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2 tbsp. oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
975g frozen peas
1.5ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp. cream to garnish

  • Cook the onion gently in oil until softened but not coloured.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the peas, followed by the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly and then blend in a food processor in 3 batches, until smooth or use a hand blender.
  • Return the soup to the pan.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Season to taste and the pour into warmed bowls.
  • Swirl a teaspoon of cream into each bowl of soup to garnish.