25 September 2012

Tomato, Chipolata and New Potato Lunch Box

I bought River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for my father a couple of years ago and have longed to cook from it ever since. So, while dog sitting a couple of months ago, I wrote down a couple of the recipes and today I finally did one for lunch using the left over chipolata's from our supper last night.

This is incredibly simple, you don't really need a recipe for it but the dressing is delicious and is actually a nice filling lunch even though it doesn't look much.

Tomato, Chipolata and New Potato Lunch Box

Serves 1

4 cold boiled  new potatoes cut into large chunks
a handful of sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes
2-3 cold, cooked chipolata sausages

For the dressing:
1 tsp English mustard
1½ tsp cider or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
a small pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

You can obviously use as many potatoes, tomatoes, sausages as you like. I used this amount and was the right amount for my lunch... and I have a big appetite.

1. To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl to combine.

2. Put the potatoes and tomatoes in a bowl, trickle most of the dressing over the top and toss together.

3. Transfer to your lunch box, place the chipolatas on top and trickle over the remaining dressing.


21 September 2012

Instant Chocolate Mousse

Although I don't really have a sweet tooth normally I am always a fan of chocolate mousse. Typical then that, now I'm pregnant and only want sweet things, chocolate mousse is often off the menu as it contains raw egg. Thank goodness (as usual) for Nigella Express which has this recipe in for an extra quick, egg free chocolate mousse. I can see this being a pretty permanent fixture in my fridge for the next 7 or so weeks. It seems to be really liquid when you decant it but once it's set in the fridge it has an amazing thickness. I like it best with a good dollop of double cream.

Instant Chocolate Mousse

For 4-6

150g mini marshmallows
50g soft butter
250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
1 x 284ml tub double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water into a heavy-based saucepan.

2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth cohesive mixture.

4. Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller ones and chill until you want to eat.


7 September 2012

Joe's BBQ Steak Marinade

Our lovely South African neighbours have got my husband obsessed with BBQ-ing... or braai-ing to be more precise and even though they can't stop us having his delicious burgers (sooooo un-SA) they have got him into the habit of having tasty marinaded steak strips as a sort of starter.

There are loads of different ways of marinading your steak and if you venture to a South African shop you can find pre-done ones that are to die for but here's one of our favourites. (This is another victim of us being too greedy... no photo of the finished product.)

BBQ Steak Marinade

for 2-4 steaks

4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 spring onions, chopped
black pepper

1. Put the steaks into a freezer bag or container with a lid.

2. Whisk together all the ingredients and pour into the bag/container. Smoosh together a bit and leave in the fridge. Best done a couple of hours before you need them.

3. Cook the steaks on the BBQ and use the marinade to baste them every now and again.

5 September 2012

Spicy Bean and Vegetable Soup

I made this soup for my husband once when we were doing Anna Richardson's Body Blitz and ever since he has requested it and got all misty eyed about how I used to make it all the time. So on Bank Holiday Monday, when he dashed off to Carnival by himself having deemed me 'too blimpy' to be allowed to go too, I bloody well made him some. I've even frozen some for when we get back from our holiday and I am lying in a pre-baby panic coma.

Now I'm not a huge soup fan and I hate courgette's so I don't eat this but my mother and husband love it and I trust their taste buds so here it is. This is from a diet book but you can substitute the oil spray for olive oil if you'd rather.

Spicy Bean and Vegetable Soup

Makes 4-6 servings (depending on who you are feeding)

Mild cooking oil spray
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-1 ½ tsp hot chili powder or smoked paprika
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
400g can red kidney beans
400g can cannellini beans
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded
3 small courgettes, trimmed
198g can sweetcorn, drained

1. Mist a large pan with the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until very soft, stirring regularly. Stir in the chili powder and cook for a further minute.

2. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, then refill the can with cold water and pour over the tomatoes. Drain and rinse the beans and add them, the tomato puree and stock cube to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Cut the peppers into roughly 1cm chunks. Cut the courgettes in half lengthways and then into 1cm slices.

4. Stir the peppers into the pan and continue simmering for a further 5 minutes. Add the courgettes and sweetcorn.

5. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes more or until the courgettes are tender, stirring every now and then. Season with a little salt and black pepper before serving.

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