Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Spanish rice casserole

I made this from this recipe on A Year of Crockpotting. It called for a pound of browned meat but I had loads of left over roast turkey from the weekend so I chopped that up and used it instead.

1 lb meat - any kind (browned mince or chopped leftovers)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup brown rice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
Large pinch mixed herbs
salt and pepper to taste
water or stock

Brown your mince if not using leftovers. Add it to the crock pot with the onion, rice, garlic and herbs. Drain the liquid from the tomatoes into a measuring cup and put the tomatoes in the crock pot. Make up the juice from the tomatoes to 2 cups with water or stock and add. Cook on low for 2-4 hours, until the rice is tender. Season to taste.

Yuk Sung

This is most likely a completely unauthentic recipe but it uses ingredients I had and we all loved it.

1 lb pork mince
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 small tin waterchestnuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp five spice
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Ice berg lettuce

Brown the mince in a large frying pan or wok. Add the carrot, spring onions, water chestnuts and other ingredients (except the lettuce). Cook for a few more minutes, until the mince is cooked but stop before the veg has lost it's crunch.
Serve the mince rolled in the iceberg lettuce leaves. A drizzle of hoi sin sauce on top is really good too.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Slow roast leg of lamb

Leg of lamb
Sprigs of rosemary
2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
Pinch of seasalt
splash of water

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/190 oC/ 375 0F Make a small cuts in the lamb and tuck a sliver of garlic or a small sprig of rosemary inside them. Sprinkle over a little seasalt. Place the lamb in a roasting pan with a splash of water and cover with tin foil. Roast in the oven for 3 1/2 hours.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Phoebe's chowder

My daughter loved this soup so much she insisted it had to be named after her! It was a big hit, although the little guy needed his sieving as he hates the corn skins in it.

50g shell-less prawns
100g mussel meat
1 large tin sweet corn (or a cup or two)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 medium potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and diced
1.5 litres stock
Large dash of milk or cream
salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients except the milk or cream and salt and pepper into a crock pot. Make sure the mussels are beard free! Cook on low for 6 hours. Add the dash of milk or cream and blend (you can leave it partly or completely whole if you prefer). Check the seasoning and serve with chopped parsley on top if you are feeling fancy!

The amounts and types of shellfish are pretty arbitrary. Just add what is available. Blending them into soup gets all sorts of interesting sea foods past small children!

Friday, 10 April 2009


This is an adapted recipe from Nourishing Traditions. I've made it on top of casseroles before but I made it on it's own this week and really enjoyed it. I managed to leave out the baking powder which gave a denser texture, somewhere between fluffy spoon bread and polenta. I really like it that way so I'm going to pretend I did it on purpose.

1/2 cup fine polenta (cornmeal)
1 cup buttermilk (or another slightly acidic soaking mixture)
1 large egg
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 oz grated cheese
1/2 tsp baking powder (or not)

Soak the polenta in the buttermilk for 12-24 hours at room temperature. In NT there are instructions for a previous soak to free up the vitamin B3. I've never done this as quite honestly, getting my act together to soak it once is enough of a challenge!
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 /375 oF/ 190 oC. Separate the egg and place the white in a large bowl. With a pinch of salt, whisk the white until it forms soft peaks. Add the yolk to the polenta and whisk in. Add a pinch of salt, baking soda (if using) and the cayenne pepper and mix well. Stir in the grated cheese. If your bowl is big enough, then add the whites to the polenta mixture and cut in very gently with a metal spoon. If not then do it the other way around, but with a great deal of care so you don't lose the air in the whites.
Put the mixture in a buttered dish and bake for 45 - 60 minutes. I suggest letting it cool somewhat before serving as it gets easier. This dish is also delicious cold as a snack.

Sausage casserole

This is a great way to stretch a few left over sausages into a whole meal. However in my house there are never any leftover sausages but I like this so much I often cook some specially for it.

2 - 6 cooked sausages, sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tins chopped tomatoes (or passata)
2 cups / 1 tin cooked chickpeas
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
A little salt and pepper

Bung all the ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Above is the basic recipe to which I always add an assortment of things. Anything in the fridge about to turn feral goes in. I add spices and herbs according to my mood. This is lovely hot with Moroccan style spices or cool with french herbs. Chorizo or pepperoni as the sausage is lovely. Or just leave it as it is and enjoy.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Chocolate mousse

Serves 6
12 oz dark chocolate (70% at least)
6 eggs (good ones - they are going to be raw so absolutely need to be free range and preferably organic)
1 oz of butter (unsalted)
pinch of salt
A little sugar if you have a very sweet tooth - up to 1 tbsp

Gently melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over some simmering water. Meanwhile separate the eggs, placing the whites in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the whites with a pinch of salt until they are fluffy and forming peaks. If you are using sugar, whisk it into the yolks, a third at a time. In another bowl, break up the yolks a little. Take the chocolate off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir into the yolks. Add a spoonful of the egg whites and stir in gently. Then, using a metal spoon, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, retaining as much air as possible. Pour the mousse into glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Remove from the fridge about half an hour before serving.

Cauliflower pizza

I got this recipe from here. I often use cauliflower rice with curries - even the children like it. So this recipe looked to be a good way to get some veg into them as well as tasty. It doesn't turn out quite like pizza (or at least it didn't for me) as you can't pick up the slices to eat them. But it is delicious and very filling.

Makes 1 10" pizza (will serve two)
1 cup cauliflower rice, cooked
1 egg
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Pinch of herbs and salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 oF/gas mark 7. Mix the ingredients and press into a pizza base shape on a greased baking tray. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Top with your favorite sauce and (cooked) pizza toppings then grill until the cheese is melted.

This was quite a success. All the children ate it, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Most surprisingly the little guy declared it was 'yummy' and had seconds! I had to scrape my jaw off the floor - this from the child who hates veg. My eldest quite liked it but says he prefers 'proper' pizza. My daughter wasn't keen but ate it as there was chocolate chickpea cake for afters.

*** I just had some of the leftovers of this pizza cold for lunch. Wow! It is so tasty cold. It was nice last night but today it was delicious. I might just make it in advance and serve it cold in future it was so good.