Thursday, 24 April 2014

Leftover Lamb Moussaka

This is the first thing I made with the leftover lamb roast. I've never eaten moussaka before as I don't like mince, so after reading this recipe in The Guardian it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. I have to say it was delicious, the leftover lamb worked really well in this recipe and I like the easy bechamel sauce over the top.

Leftover Lamb Moussaka (from The Guardian)
(Serves 4) 
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g leftover lamb
pinch ground cinnamon and paprika
200g tinned chopped tomatoes (about ½ tin)
250ml chicken stock
handful parsley and mint, chopped
1 aubergine
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 eggs
200g Greek yoghurt
100ml milk
1 tbsp crumbled feta and grated parmesan
Olive oil, for grilling
Salt and black pepper
Cook the onion in 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes without letting it brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Chop the lamb finely, either by hand or in a food processor, then add to the onion mix along with the spices. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn up the heat and add the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
While the lamb is bubbling away, turn the oven to 180C. Slice the aubergine into pieces about ½–1cm thick. Rub in a little olive oil and grill – either on a griddle pan or under a grill – for a few minutes either side, until browned and soft. If you do not have either, you can fry it in a little extra olive oil.
Take the lamb mix off the heat, stir in the herbs and pour into an ovenproof dish. Top with the slices of grilled aubergine, and sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Now top the dish with the tomato slices and a little more black pepper.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with the yoghurt and milk, adding the cheese and black pepper. Pour over the top and place in the oven for about 30 mins until the top is golden brown.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Banana Bread Crumble

To have after my delicious roast on Easter Sunday I made a Banana Pudding. I seemed to end up with a lots of bananas leftover after my trip to France and as they'd been sat on the counter top for a week some of them were looking decidedly brown, not so good to eat but perfect for cakes and puddings. This was so good! I loved the combination of cake batter bottom and crumble mixture on top and the bananas were a winner. I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Banana Bread Crumble (from Never Enough Thyme)
(Serves 6-8)
140g self-raising flour
200g sugar
240ml milk
113g butter, melted
4 medium-size ripe bananas, sliced
For the crumble topping:
150g light brown sugar
70g self-rising flour
113g butter, softened
90g oats
Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and milk until just blended. Whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased 28cm x 18cm baking dish. Top with the banana slices. 
To make the topping, in a medium bowl use a fork to stir together the brown sugar, flour, and butter until it forms a crumbly mixture. Stir in the oats.
Sprinkle the topping mixture over the banana slices. Bake for 40-45 mins or until golden brown.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce if you're feeling wicked

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Jamie's Mothership Sunday Roast Lamb

I made my first roast lamb! I thought as it was Easter I'd have a go at roast lamb and as Jamie Oliver is usually pretty good at roasts I thought I'd try one of his recipes. It was really good, lovely and succulent. I served it with the savoy cabbage and bacon recipe from the book and then had mashed celeriac and Mediterranean roast veg, which were reduced in Sainsburys. I had lots of leftovers and I will share the recipes with you over the next few days. I also had pudding which comes tomorrow!

Jamie's Mothership Sunday Roast Lamb (from Saving with Jamie - Jamie Oliver)
(Serves 6)

1 bulb of garlic
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
olive oil
1 2.5 kg shoulder of lamb, bone in
3 onions
4 rashers smoked bacon
1 large Savoy cabbage
1 tbsp plain flour

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

In a pestle and mortar, bash 4 peeled garlic cloves, half the rosemary leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper into a paste, then muddle in a good lug of oil. Stab the lamb ten times, then stick your finger in each hole and massage the marinade in and all over.

Peel and quarter the onions and place in a snug-fitting roasting tray, with the lamb on top. Add 50ml of water, cover tightly with tin foil and cook for 3 hours. Remove the foil, pour away all the fat and add another 200ml of water to the tray. Cook for 1 hour more, or until the meat falls away from the bone, adding another good splash of water, if it starts to dry out.

Meanwhile, chop the bacon and cook in a large frying pan on a medium heat until golden. Trim, roughly slice and throw in the cabbage with a splash of water, cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened, then season to perfection.

Remove the lamb from the oven, transfer to a plate and cover. Put the tray on a medium heat on the hob and stir in the flour, then pour in 600ml boiling water and any lamb resting juices. Stir well and simmer until you're happy with the consistency. Pour the gravy into a jug, or if you prefer it smooth, pour and push it through a sieve first. Serve.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

New York

I have been on holiday for the last couple of weeks. I spent the first week in Picardie, France with a group of 11 and 12 year olds. We visited a traditional bakery and enjoyed croissants and pain au chocolat, went to a market in Etaples, a chocolate factory and a snail farm, all of which were fantastic. Sadly I don't have any pictures as all of them have pupils in, but I brought back lots of goodies. The girls also learnt to make mayonnaise and on the last day we went to an aquarium, so I do have a picture of some giant tortoises!

The second week I spent in New York. I had a wonderful week visiting museums, going to the theatre and wandering around the shops. I also tried out some of the food places I had lined up. 

The first was The Halal Guys, a food truck at the corner of 53rd St and 5th Ave. There were three choses, chicken, meat and falafel. I went for a chicken wrap, which was ok, not the best things I've ever tasted but ok, I forgot to take a picture! I also tasted a black and white cookie and a cupcake from Amy's Bread both of which were fantastic, but devoured too quickly for a picture!

One of the other things I have been dying to try are cannoli. I guess you can get them here but I've never seen them. 

This was from the grocery store/deli near where we stayed and it was yummy; sweetend cream cheese inside a chocolate biscuit shell.

I also had a diner meal somewhere near Chelsea Market, which we wandered around but as we wanted to sit down and eat we found a diner. I had a diner burger with bacon and cheese served with sweet potato fries.

And a red velvet shake.

I also finally tried Katz's Deli as I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. I had a Corned Beef Reuben with pickles and at $17.45 it was ridiculously expensive for something that I didn't think was that great. It was a bit bland even with the thousand island dressing. I don't think I'll bother going back. 

On a recommendation from my friend Laurel I went to The Two Little Red Hens Bakery and got cherry cheesecake. It was out of this world. So smooth and creamy with a crunchy base, the best cheesecake I have ever eaten.

As you can see we'd already tucked in before taking a picture!

I also bought a 1912 cookery book: Lowney's Cook Book

Which I was told by the bookseller was THE cook book of the South.

There are still so many other places and dishes I want to try, I can't wait to go back. Fingers crossed!

Chicken and Broad Bean Filo Pies

My first meal home from holiday was these Chicken and Pea Filo Pies that I grabbed out the freezer. They were really tasty and the filo was lovely and crunchy. I'll share some foodies New York pictures with you later in the week, when I get around to organising them!

Chicken and Peas, Filo Pies (from Olive Magazine)
(Makes 12)

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
300g peas
6 tbsp low fat creme fraiche
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
small bunch parsley, chopped
juice 1/2 lemon
8 sheets filo pastry, cut into 15cm squares

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the chicken, peas, creme fraiche, paprika, garlic, parsley and lemon juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush a 12 hole muffin tin with oil. Take 4 pieces of the Filo and lay them over each other, overlapping to make a star shape. Brush with oil then punch into a hole to make a pastry cup. Repeat until all the holes are filled. 

Divided the chicken mixture between the cups then scrunch any overhanging pastry to cover the tops. Cook for 25-30 mins until golden. Serve.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

On one of the last nights before I went on holiday I made this very easy Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken. It used up leftovers and was so easy so that I could concentrate on packing! It is also ridiculously tasty! I served it over oregano spiked rice.

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken (from Slender Kitchen)
(Serves 8)

675g chicken breast, skinless and boneless
450g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
salt and pepper
750g/2 jars salsa verde
Combine everything is the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours. Serve over rice.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Dorset Apple Traybake

In an effort to use up the last of my eggs I made a cake! I took about a quarter of it on holiday with me and have the rest to my next door neighbour Vicky to enjoy. It was a little dry around the edges but lovely and moist in the middle. It also might have benefited from a little cinnamon or mixed spice in the mixture.

Dorset Apply Traybake (from BBC Good Food Magazine May 2006)
(Makes 16 large pieces)

450g cooking apples
juice of ½ lemon
225g butter, softened
280g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
350g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
demerara sugar, to sprinkle
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a rectangular baking tin (approx 27cm x 20cm) with parchment paper.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples then squeeze the lemon juice over. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Then fold in the flour and baking powder and mix well until smooth. Spread half the mixture into the tin. Arrange half the apples over the top of the mixture, then repeat the layers. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.

Bake for 45-50 mins until golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 mins, then turn out of tin and remove the paper. Cut into bars or squares.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Roast in the Hole

This was something a little bit different and a very easy way to pack loads of veg into toad in the hole! The original recipe uses chicken thighs and that would be just as delicious. You could also play around with the veg you want to use. Most veg tastes really good roasted so the word is your oyster. Lovely served with lashings of gravy or brown sauce.

Roast in the Hole (adapted from Belleau Kitchen)
(Serves 4)

8 sausages
2 large carrot, sliced
3-4 parsnips, sliced
1 onion, chunkily sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
calorie controlled cooking spray
2 eggs
100g plain flour
6fl oz milk
4fl oz water
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Put all the veg into a roasting tin, season well  and add the herbs, then spray over the cooking spray, toss a few times until the veg is coated. Lay the sausages on top.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 mins or until the veg are soft, then remove the foil and roast for a further 15 mins until the sausages are browned.

Meanwhile, make the Yorkshire pudding batter. In a large bowl beat the eggs into the flour, then add the milk and water, season and beat well. Pour this over the veg and sausages and place back in the oven for another 20-30 mins until the batter has risen and turned golden brown. Serve.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Steak and Cream Cheese Sandwich

This was a very easy but really delicious sandwich, such a simple idea but you can't beat a steak sandwich!

Steak and Cream Cheese Sandwich (from The Ultimate Philadephia Cookbook)
(Serves 1)

2 tbsp caramelised onions
1 steak
1 brown roll
30g low fat soft cheese

Heat the caramelised onions in pan over a low heat.

Heat a griddle pan and cook the steak for 1-2 mins on each side depending on the thickness of the steak and how well you like it done.

Toast the bun and spread with the soft cheese. Top with the steak followed by the onions. Eat!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

I had some very sad looking cauliflower in the fridge and was looking for ways to use it up. I tend to eat soup about once a week, those WeightWatchers habits are hard to break! So soup it was. This soup is fantastically flavourful and creamy, lovely served with some crusty bread.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup (from BBC Food)
(Serves 4)

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
800g cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
1l vegetable stock
150ml single cream

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 2-3 mins, or until just softened.

Add the ground cumin and ground coriander and fry for a further 1-2 mins, or until fragrant.

Add the cauliflower and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-12 mins, or until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender.

Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and warm through for 1-2 mins. Serve.