The Toast Sandwich
This really does fall into the “living on the bread line” category. But, tasty all same!
Toast one of the slices of bread.
Butter the other two slices, and season with salt and pepper.
Put the piece of toast in between the two slices of bread, and chomp this carbfest down.
Hot cross bun and butter pudding
This is a bit of a late post, but after the Easter festivites with loads of hot cross buns flying around, which were now going stale, my Dads fabulous girlfriend treated us to this take on a bread and butter pudding, but using up the buns instead. It is very clever indeed, because the buns already contain the currants. Bloody genius! I can tell you honestly, it was great. I think I ate half of it, i knew I shouldn’t, but i did it anyway! Story of my habitual eating patterns. So here is how….for next year:
Cut the buns in half, and butter each piece.
Put eggs, milk, and sugar in a bowl and beat vigorously.
Arrange buns in a suitably sized bowl. Pour on mixture. sprinkle with extra sugar if you wish, or maybe some nutmeg.
Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Gammon, egg and chips!
Say hello to this delicous classic. Gammon bought on the reduced aisle for £2.15, and then frozen, so it keeps for a long time, then defrosted when ready to be used up.
To cook a piece of gammon I just roast it with some tin foil covering it for as long as the packaging suggests.
Once cooked, I let it rest whilst chopping some potatoes into chip shapes, covering with oil, salt and pepper then cooking in the oven for about 30-25 minutes at 190 degrees and turning halfway.
5 minutes or so before the chips were ready I fried an egg and carved some meat off my hunk of gammon. Lovely jubbly!
There was so much meat leftover that I also cooked for my sister and boyfriend. With the rest of the left overs (and there were still plenty more!) I used it in sandwiches, omelettes, and a ham and leek pie which I have frozen for another day.
Make your own pot noodle. Fire some vegetables (this one uses carrot, peas, cabbage, spring onion and peppers) cooked rice noodles, coriander, lemon grass, chilli and ginger into a pot, and pour on chicken stock. Delicious!
Mango Yoghurt drink
This was a random, spontaneous decision to create. But, turned out to be an absolute triumph!
Simply mix together 2 parts yoghurt with 1 part mango pulp (bought from a Tesco Metro) and a dash of milk to loosen it all up.
Really rather good!
Sweet potato candy
This was interesting to try. Quite sickly, but nice. Here is how:
Pre-heat grill to medium heat.
Peel and chop the sweet potato into small chunks.
Cook them in salted boiling water, until just tender.
Melt the butter and sugar together, and when the sugar has dissolved add 1/2 the marshmallows.
Allow these to melt into the mixture too.
Now, gently stir in the sweet potato and coat all over.
Pour into a baking dish and cover with the rest of the marshmallows.
Grill until marshmallows are toasted.
Love this dessert. Easy to make and also quite cheap! And you don’t need a blow torch, because you can melt the sugar under the grill! This recipe makes 6. You can either divide the mixture into seperate ramekins, or make a big one in a baking dish. Easy for everybody! Here is how:
Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
Put cream in a saucepan and bring to boiling point (bubbling over), then reduce to a low heat gently simmering for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until pale and fluffy.
Bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour into the bowl with the sugar and yolks.
Whisk this mixture until it thickens (this will be the eggs beginning to cook).
Put your ramekins or baking dish in a roasting tray and fill the tray with boiling water upto half way of the ramekins (this is called a bain-marie)
Cook the brulee on the middle shelf, for about 40-45 minutes, or until the mixture is just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool to room temp. Chill them for longer if you need to until they are ready to be eaten.
When you are ready to eat the,. Sprinkle with more sugar, not too thick and either put under a grill at a high heat, or use a blow torch to caramelise the sugar.
Be careful not too burn it though. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes so they don’t burn you too!
My comfort food at its best. Eat with homemade chips. Love it. Here is how:
Preheat oven or grill to medium.
Steam broccoli, or boil it, or microwave it, but cook it! Not until it’s ridiculously mushy though, I cook mine with a slight crunch still.
Melt butter in a sauce pan.
Now add the flour and whisk. This will form a roux. Keep stirring this to cook out the flour for a couple of minutes.
Now add milk, I add a bit at a time. Constantly whisk to ensure you get no lumps until the sauce is thick.
Now add grated cheese, saving a bit for going on top.
Put broccoli in a baking dish. Top with your cheese sauce. Then sprinkle on more cheese. Bake/grill until cheese melted and slightly brown.
Serve with whatever you fancy!
Quick tomato soup meal
Sometimes I don’t have time to cook, or I can’t be bothered. For these times I usually have, loads of back ups of left over foods in my freezer. However, I fancied something a little fresher. This is quite simply, tinned tomato soup, couscous (which takes 5 minutes to cook. Cover in boiling water, just enough to cover all the couscous, then put a plate on top of the bowl to keep the heat in.) Rocket, and some pesto dotted around. Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar, which is amazing in tomato soup.
This is also a really filling and healthy lunch, if you have access to a microwave of course.
Sweet potato and aubergine curry with mushroom fried rice
Healthy curry, and loads of left overs! Here is how:
For the rice
Peel and chop the sweet potato into small chunks.
Then, boil in salted waterfor 4 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and when smoking hot add the onion. Cook until softened and see through in appearance.
Finely chop the garlic and add this to the sauce pan.
Chop the aubergine into small chunks and add this. Cooking for about 10 minutes, or until the aubergine is beginning to soften.
Now add all other ingredients apart from the green pepper. Stir and leave on a low heat for about 30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Chop the green pepper in half, remove seeds, but keep stalk and drizzle with oil on a baking tray.
Pop in the oven.
Meanwhile, rinse rice in a sieve to free it of starch. The water will run clear when all the starch is gone. Heat the oil for the rice in a pan with a large surface area.
Add the onion and cook until softened.
Now add the garlic. Cook for a couple more minutes.
Now add the rice and stir, coating in the oil.
Pour on 10 fl/oz of boiling water. Stir once. Put a lid on the pan and leave for 15 minutes. Check the rice is tender by biting into a grain.
Now heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan, and when smoking hot add the mushrooms and cook until they have softened.
Add the rice and turmeric and fry on a high heat, stirring for a few minutes.
Take pepper out of oven, and on a plate top with the curry, and serve with the rice.
Chuck it in Frittata
I love frittatas, because they are healthy, cheap, quick, filling and brilliant for using up leftover vegetables. This will give you about 4 portions, and it is really nice cold at lunchtime with some salad. Here is how:
Peel and chop the potato into small chunks.
Cook the potato in a pan of boiling salted water, until just tender. This should take about 5 minutes, depending on the size of you chunks.
Now heat the oil in your frying pan. When smoking hot add the onion and cook until softened and see through in appearance.
Now add your tomatoes, or other vegetables, and cook.
When softened, add the potato, egg, peas and loads of seasoning.
Keep on a medium/low heat, until the bottom has set (you can check this by using a fish slice to slip under. And if the frittata can be lifted up then it is set.)
Now pop under the grill on a medium/low heat to continue cooking, This will set the rest of the frittata.
Healthy, and easy!
Meat with mustard dauphinoise
These potatoes are delicious and work relly well with any meat. If you can get your hands on steak, then I think that would be a match made in heaven. Pork, however was on offer in the supermarket, and worked very nicely indeed. Add some greens though if you can to make it a bit healthier! Here is how:
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Thinly slice the potato and onion.
Spread evenly in a baking dish along with the cream, mustard and garlic, and seasoning.
Put the meat on top and bake for about 30- 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the chop. No pink in the middle!
If you are using a different meat, then cooking times will be different. So I suggest putting the potatoes in the oven then adding the meat only for the length of time it should be cooked for so the meat doesn’t go dry.
If you are doing a steak, then maybe just cook the potatoes seperately to the steak, so it doesn’t go tough.
I only put the pork on the potatoes, because it takes about the same cooking time, and all the juices mix into the cream. Lovaley!
Oooh you tart!
Gooey blackcurrant jam tarts. So, so good. And a great way of using up leftover pastry. Here is how:
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
Roll out pastry, cut out circles big enough to fit in your muffin tin.
Place circles in your muffin tin, and squash aorund a bit so they fit nice and snuggly. If you are not sure how non-stick your tin is, I suggest rubbing it with butter, just to ensure your lovely tarts don’t stick.
Now fill the pastry cases just under half full with jam. If you make them too full the jam spills out, and they are a disaster. But, still, a delicious disaster.
Now bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the pastry looks golden brown.
Mini tuna and caper fishcakes
I’m having a caper frenzy, and there is still loads left in my jar. Hoorah. I made these small fishcakes, which will serve at least 2 people. They would be quite nice to pick at if you were having friends over too. Here is how:
Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks. The smaller the chunks, the quicker they cook.
Add to a saucepan of salted boiling water, and cook until really soft, should take around 7 minutes, depending on size of the potato chunks.
Drain the potatoes.
I used a food processor for this next bit, however you don’t need too. It gives a slightly different consistency, which is a lot gooier. If you are using one, just lob all the ingredients in together (apart from the capers, because we want these to be whole and not mush) with loads of seasoning. Whizz up until a smooth consistency, then mix capers in.
If you are not using the food processor, then just mash the potato with the butter. Then stir in all the other ingredients.
Now make small balls, and roll in the flour to dry out the mixture a bit and make it easier to handle (this is mostly if you have used a food processor).
Then roll around in the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
When smoking hot add the little fish cakes, and cook on each side until brown all over.
These are really good with a fresh salad.
Armed with my jar of capers I also created this delicious aubergine dish. As you can see it will serve 2 people, or keep the other one refrigerated and have the next day. Or, eat them both! Here is how:
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Chop the aubergine in half, place on a baking tray, and drizzle each half with 1 tbsp oil.
Put the aubergine on a middle shelf to roast for about 40 minutes.
You will know when it is cooked when you squeeze the outer skin and it feels mushy inside.
Meanwhile, over a medium heat, heat the other tbsp of oil in a frying pan. When smoking hot add the onion, and cook until softened and see through in appearance. Now add the bacon. When the bacon is cooked add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, and all the other ingredients. Keep this cooking on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Leave on a low heat, until the aubergine is ready.
When the aubergine is cooked, take it out from the oven, and allow to cool until you can handle touching it! Scoop out the flesh of the aubergine, leaving the outer skin intact.
Chop up the flesh, and add this to the frying pan of tomatoes. Put back on a medium heat, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Now stuff each aubergine skin with the filling, and sprinkle on some grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted nicely.