Welcome

Welcome to my recipe blog.  I aim to share recipes for you to try.  From the simple and tasty to the somewhat weird!  I may not own all the pictures of the food but they are all in the public domain.

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Apricot Liqueur

This needs to left for at least a month before drinking. It can be served neat and cold or it can be used to make an apricot kir.

Ingredients

  • 450g sugar
  • 1 x 75cl bottle of dry white wine
  • 500g fresh apricots, halved and stoned
  • 500ml vodka

Method

Put the sugar and wine into a large saucepan and heat to just under the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve.

Add the apricots and simmer gently until they are tender.

Add the vodka.

Add the contents of the pan to a container with a tight fitting lid. Leave to cool and then cover and set aside somewhere cool for a week.

Strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug.

Pour into sterilised bottles and leave for at least a month before drinking.

Adapted from a Diana Henry recipe in the Daily Telegraph.

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Yuk Sung

Pork Yuk Sung (Chinese Lettuce Wraps) is a Chinese appetizer or side dish that features ground pork and diced vegetables stir-fried in a sweet soy sauce mixture, then wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ginger Puree or 1 inch piece if using fresh.
  • 2 Small Carrots
  • 250 g Mushrooms – shiitake work well
  • 2 Orange or red peppers
  • 500 g Pork Mince
  • 3 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce

To Serve

  • 3 Spring Onions – Chopped
  • 2 Red Chillies (optional)
  • 1 Iceberg lettuce

Method

Instructions

  1. Chop onion and mushrooms. Peel and crush garlic. Peel and finely chop carrots. Peel and chop ginger (if using fresh).
  2. Heat the oil in large open wok, fry the pork mince, with 1 tsp of Chinese 5 Spice, until browned.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, remaining 5 spice, soy sauce and oyster sauce.
  4. Cook on a medium to low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture is browned, sauce has thicken slightly and absorbed into the meat.
  5. Serve in lettuce leaves, and top with chopped spring onions and chillies. (Chillies are optional).

Thanks to the ‘Tamingtwins’ for this recipe I have adapted

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Chicken and Chorizo Rice

A one pot meal that is full of flavour. This freezes well in batches to create useful and tasty work lunches.

Makes 4 portions

Ingredients

  • 2 tbspn olive oil
  • 180g chorizo, halved and sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 400g chicken thigh fillets, chopped into 2.5cm pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 220g basmati rice
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan with a tight fitting lid and fry the chorizo over a high heat for one minute. Add the onion and fry fir a further minute. then add the chicken and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the pepper and basmati rice and stir well to combine. Add the chicken stock and stir. Turn tghe heat down low and put the lid on. Leave for 12 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heatbut do not remove the lid and leave for a further 12 minutes for the rest of the water to be absorbed. Season and serve.
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Butternut Squash Yellow Curry

An easy one pot curry that freezes well in batches for weekday work lunches.

Makes 5 portions with rice.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbspn coconut oil
  • 1 minced medium shallot
  • 2 tbspn minced root ginger
  • 2 tbspn minced garlic
  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 tbspn red Thai curry paste
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tins coconut milk
  • 2 tbspn coconut sugar
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbspn light soy sauce
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tbspn lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup roasted cashew nuts
  • large handful chopped coriander

Method

  1. Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, shallot, ginger, garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the pepper and curry paste and stir, after a couple of minutes add the squash and stir, cooking for a further couple of minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, turmeric, salt and soy sauce and stir. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
  4. Reduce the hear and cover. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the squash is tender add the broccoli, lemon juice and cashews. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes.
  6. Scatter over the coriander and serve with rice.

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Chicken and Apricot Tagine

A really simple and tasty version of tagine which I freeze for lunches at work.

Makes 4 portions.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tspn cumin
  • 1.5 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 500g diced chicken breast
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, halved
  • 1 tbspn honey
  • 125g giant couscous
  • large handful of fresh, chopped coriander
  • 50g flaked almonds

Method

  1. In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat and gently fry the onions until soft, then add the garlic, ginger,and spices and cook for a minute or so until fragrant.
  2. Add the chicken to the pan and fry until brown – around 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, apricots and honey and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Stir in the couscous and simmer for a further 6 minutes. Scatter over the coriander and almonds and serve immediatelywith flatbread.

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Zingy Salmon and Brown Rice Salad

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Ingredients

  • 200g brown basmati rice
  • 200g frozen edamame beans, defrosted
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • small bunch spring onions , sliced
  • small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • zest and juice 1 lime
  • 1 red chilli , finely diced, deseeded
  • 4 tsp light soy sauce
  • small pack of trimmed mange touts

Method

  • Cook the rice and 3 mins before it’s done, add the edamame beans. Drain and cool under cold running water.
  • Meanwhile, cook the salmon fillets by which ever method you prefer. Allow to cool slightly, remove the skin with a fork, then flake.
  • Gently fold the cucumber, spring onions, coriander, mange touts and salmon into the rice and beans. In a separate bowl, mix the lime zest and juice, chilli and soy, then pour over the rice before serving.
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Nigella’s Spicy Sesame Noodles

Ingredients

Serves: 8

For the dressing

  • 1 tbspn sesame oil
  • 1 tbspn garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 tbspn soy sauce
  • 2 tbspn sweet chilli sauce
  • 100g smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbspn lime juice

For the salad

  • 125g mangetouts
  • 150g beansprouts (rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper (deseeded and cut into small strips)
  • 2 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 550g egg noodles (ready prepared)
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 4 tbspn chopped fresh coriander

Method

  • Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jug.
  • Put the mangetout, beansprouts, red pepper strips, sliced spring onions and the noodles into a bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over them and mix thoroughly to coat everything well.
  • Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped coriander and pack up as needed.
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Sticky sweet-and-sour plums and sausages

We were given some plums and it happened to coincide with this recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi in the GuardianThis one-tray bake celebrates plums in all their red glory, as they slowly break down into a sweet-sour sauce for sausages and potatoes. Use any kind of sausage you like here: duck or chicken would work well, as would vegetarian ones.  Venison might be good also.

Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr 35 min
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 5 red onions, peeled and cut into 6 wedges each (750g net weight)
  • 2 heads garlic, cut in half widthways
  • 3 baking potatoes (750g), skin-on, cut into quarters lengthways
  • 120ml olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 750g plums (ie, about 10), halved and stoned (600g net weight)
  • 3 rosemary stalks, leaves picked and stems discarded
  • 8 pork sausages
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 90g pomegranate molasses
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 2½ tbsp (10g) parsley, picked leaves with soft stalks attached

Method

  • Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6.
  • Put the onions, garlic, potatoes, five tablespoons of oil, 100ml water, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of pepper in a large roasting tin (roughly 40cm x 30cm).
  • Toss together, then bake for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway, until the vegetables have softened and started to take on some colour and the water has evaporated.
  • Lay the plums cut side up in the tray, add the rosemary leaves, then nestle in the sausages. In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, molasses, sugar, two tablespoons of water, a tablespoon and a half of sumac, two tablespoons of oil, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, pour this all over the contents of the tray, then return to the oven for 40 minutes, turning the sausages once halfway, so they cook and colour evenly.
  • Turn up the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 and roast for 10 minutes more, until everything is nicely browned, the plums have broken down and the sauce is bubbling and sticky.
  • Toss the parsley with the remaining teaspoon and a half of sumac and remaining tablespoon of oil, dot all over the sausage mixture, then serve warm straight from the tray.
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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

This is a creamy, dairy-free, gluten-free sauce that is perfect for pasta.

 

Ingredients

1 tsp coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets

1 cup water

1/2 tsp fine Himalayan salt (I used Cypriot smoked salt instead for a smokey flavour)

black pepper to taste

 

Method

Saute the garlic in the coconut oil over a low heat in a saucepan until the garlic is tender and fragrant but not browned.

Add the cauliflower and water into the pan and bring to the boil (the water will not cover the cauliflower).  Once boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and cover until the cauliflower is fork-tender and very soft.

 

Transfer the entire contents of the pan to a blender or food processor, season and blend until very smooth and creamy (release steam pressure regularly).  Season again if required.  serve hot with pasta.

 

I served this recently with sprinkled with toasted pine nuts, once you’ve made the sauce you can do all sorts!

 

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Spicy Gingerbread Gin

I had sampled gingerbread vodka at a tasting event and so decided to try and make gingerbread gin.  It is best to make the gingerbread gin 1-2 months in advance.  If you leave the gin to infuse for longer, the spice flavours will become stronger.

Ingredients

75g finely chopped fresh ginger – not peeled

75g crystallised ginger, chopped with a knife

2 x 7cm cinnamon sticks

10 cloves

1/2 a vanilla pod, split lengthways

100g light muscavado sugar

1 tsp black treacle

1 litre gin

 

Method

Put all the ingredients into a large airtight jar. Give it a stir and leave it to infuse in a cool, dark place for a week, giving it a shake twice daily.

 

Strain the gin into a bowl through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin (discard the flavourings).

 

Pour the finished gin into bottles or decanters, seal, then store in a cool, dark place until needed.

 

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