Posted in Recipes

Almond Salmon

When you look in your food cupboards and they are full but much of it is ingredients that you may have bought to do one particular dish and you’re left with all these half used packets and jars. That’s happening. For me the current situation is apricots (tagine), sesame seeds (stir-fry) and ground-almonds (cake). I’ve lots of other ingredients likes sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds that I am fairly good to use up – toasted over salads when I think of it etc. – but the ground-almonds had been there for quite a while. Adding them onto baked salmon was experimental and it worked, introducing a nice texture of crumb and nutty taste.

This is such a simple thing to do that a recipe is hardly required. I will however give it below the picture!

Cooked almond salmon with salad

Almond Salmon

You will need / Ingredients:
Salmon pieces
A little oil
Ground almonds
Fresh basil to serve – optional
Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200C
Place the salmon pieces in an oven-proof dish and bake for 15 minutes
Remove from the oven, scatter the ground almonds over the oven and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes (turn up the heat to 220C if you’d really like to get a colour on the crumb)

That’s it. Simple. Enjoy with some baked baby potatoes or salad. I’ve served with some garlic and herb flatbreads above.
xx Sheila

Posted in Baking Day, Recipes

Apple and Blackberry Pudding

Pudding.  There’s something about that word that conjures up comfort.  Something you’ll be hankering as Autumn envelops you bringing darker evenings, cooler air and while you sleep a sprinkling of frost may even be dusting your doorstep.  I can’t get enough of apple in desserts at this time of year; crumbles, tarts and yes oh yes please, pudding.  This would be epic after a long Sunday lunch or an evening of entertainment and something sure to send the recipients over that edge into blissful food coma.

Apple and blackberry pudding

There are some blackberry stragglers still clung to the hedgerows if you get a chance to look or you’ll find them with fruit in the supermarket and those cooking apples are still abundant and inexpensive.  The battery mixture of this almost forms a cake but with all the moistness of the fruit it will never dry into sponginess but will remain sumptuously soft and yielding.  As moist as it already is I do recommend that you take it to the next level and serve with some softly whipped fresh cream.
Apple and blackberry pudding

Apple and Blackberry Pudding : (Serves 9)

You will need:
175g unsalted butter
250ml carton whipping cream
225g caster sugar
3 eggs
400g cooking apples (2 large or 3 medium)
300g plain flour
300g blackberries
Butter to grease the dish
Method:
Preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 6 and grease a baking/pudding dish 25x25cm with butter.
Heat the butter and cream together in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave to cool a little.
Whisk the caster sugar and the eggs together for a few minutes until thick and set aside.
Prepare the fruit by coring, peeling and slicing the apples into rings, and washing the blackberries.
Add the butter and cream mixture to the eggs and sugar mixture, and whisk together.
Gently fold in the sifted flour to make a thick batter.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and push in the apple rings.
Scatter the blackberries over the top and push some of them down into the batter.
Bake for 45–50 minutes and test the mixture with a skewer – if it comes away clean the cake is cooked.
Great served hot, straight from the oven, with some cream.

Enjoy! Sheila.

Posted in Dinner Party, Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

Moroccan Meatballs

Moroccan Meatballs

Moroccan Meatballs

So why would I call this meatball dish Moroccan then?  When I cook with lamb and spices like cumin and cinnamon I think of Middle Eastern or North African cooking so there you have it, the simple explanation is that it just makes me think of Morocco or Moroccan cooking.  Though I’ve never been to Morocco and neither have I eaten in a specifically Moroccan restaurant so I have absorbed this probably mostly from cooking programmes.  There definitely was a Jamie Oliver one where he was in Morocco and oh let me tell you the spice markets are amAAAAAAAzing there.  And how would I know – because I saw it on the telly of course.

The secret is the cinnamon I think.  It’s something that Westerners traditionally associate with sweet dishes, particularly with apple dishes likes pies and crumbles.  It sets these meatballs on a more exotic path than the Italian one’s that we’re more used to.

This recipe is from my first cookbook ‘Gimme the Recipe’ – I haven’t cooked it in ages and it will be gracing my table this week.  Perfect warming Autumnal fare.  I hope you get a chance to try it sometime too.

Moroccan Meatballs

Moroccan Meatballs

(serves 6)

You will need
1 large red onion
3cm thumb-width piece of ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
800g minced lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
Method:
Peel and roughly chop the red onion, ginger and garlic, and blitz together with the deseeded chopped chilli, cumin and cinnamon in a mini chopper or food processor to create a spicy paste.
Use a fork or your hands to mix the lamb with half of the spicy paste in a bowl and then shape them into meatballs the size of golf-balls.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and brown the meatballs.
Push the meatballs to the sides of the pan and cook the rest of the spicy paste in the centre of the pan for 1 minute
Add the plum tomatoes to the centre of the pan and roughly chop them with a knife. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine with the tomatoes, paste and meatballs.
Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 25–30 minutes. (Test the centre of a meatball to check that it is cooked through.)
Serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh coriander and Moroccan couscous or rice.
Enjoy! Sheila

Posted in Baking Day, Dinner Party, Recipes

Chilli Con Carne

With three of my kids studying away from home this year I’m cooking with them in mind lately at home too.  This means that what I’m sharing on my Instagram feed may give them some ideas that are simple, tasty and easy should they take the figary to chop an onion.  Chilli Con Carne is one of those versatile dishes that can serve a party or a gaggle of students.  Usually served on rice I really find a baked potato to be a more satisfying vessel on which to prop the chilli.  And by the way if you don’t eat the skins of your baked potato you are really missing out on something special – load with some sour cream, some melting butter or better again melting cheese – delicious.  This recipe is one of the mainstays from my first book ‘Gimme the Recipe.’
Chilli con carne Pick 3

Ingredients – serves 6

You will need:
1 tbsp olive oil
500g round steak mince
2 medium onions
1 red pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp oregano
500ml beef stock
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can kidney beans
Fresh parsley or chives to garnish
Baked potatoes or boiled rice to serve.
Method:
Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan or saucepan and brown the mince over a medium/high heat until the juices run clear.
While the mince is browning, finely chop the onions, dice the pepper into small pieces and crush the garlic.
Push the browned mince to the side of the pan, add the chopped onion and red pepper to the centre, and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Push the onion and pepper towards the sides, add the garlic, chilli powder, paprika and cumin, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomato puree, sugar, oregano, beef stock and canned tomatoes and mix well.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain, rinse and add the kidney beans and return to the boil.
Reduce heat again and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Great served with a baked potato and a dollop of sour cream with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley or chives.
Enjoy! Sheila

 

Posted in Recipes

Chicken Biryani, a delicious creamy one pot curry

I love food. That’s a given. This is one of the best things that I have ever cooked. What that means is that this is a really good dish. REALLY GOOD! Okay, you get it, I like this Chicken Biryani. Let me count the ways though : It is easy. It is relatively quick. It is a crowd pleaser. It will feed a crowd (yes, these are two different points). It cooks in one pot. It is delicious. I like it. 7. There are 7 reasons why this is a really good dish! And you don’t care, you just want the recipe so move along there Sheila and share…

Couple of notes, if you are finding your way with cooking and exploring new things you may yet have come to use cardamom. Don’t be put off by ingredients that may be unknown to you. You will find cardamom pods easily in the super market and you will bash the outer husks using a pestle and mortar or a rolling pin to release the inner seeds. Another note I like to share is about fresh ginger. Keep it in the freezer and grate what you need straight from frozen using a microplane grater, there is no need to peel ginger.

Chicken curry

Chicken Biryani Recipe
Feeds 6 easily.
You will need :
250g frozen peas
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion chopped finely
spices :
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp Garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
8 cardomon pods seeded
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
Chicken breast 500g
2 tbsp tomatoes purée
2 cups quick cook rice = approx. 350g
Tin coconut milk
2 cup veg stock = approx. 250ml
Flaked almonds to toast
Fresh Coriander to serve
Method:
Place 250g frozen peas in jug of boiling hot water and set aside
Finely chop the onion, grate the ginger, crack open the cardamom pods to release the seeds
Melt 1 tbsp coconut oil in large pan over medium heat
Gently fry the onion for 5 mins.
Stir in the following spices :
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp Garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
8 cardomon pods seeded
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
Cook spices couple minutes stirring through the onion.
Add chopped chicken 500g and 2 tbsp tomatoes purée, mix to coat chicken with spice
Add the drained peas stir through
Add 2 cups rice stir through
Pour in Can of coconut milk and the 2 cups veg stock
Raise the heat until just begging to bubble, stir well reduce the heat to medium and cover with lid for 10 mins
(Check every so often with wooden spoon that nothing is sticking to bottom of pan if it is give it a stir and turn down the heat a little.)
Toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan
Chop the fresh coriander
Once the Chicken Biryani has simmered for 10 minutes remove the lid and test to see if rice cooked, if not simmer a little longer covered and add more liquid if any danger of sticking.Turn the heat up for a few minutes more until just bubbling again.
Serve with the toasted almonds and fresh coriander.}
Enjoy! Sheila.

Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

Crispy Lardon & Mozzarella topped baked potatoes for a Simple Supper

Tasty, Easy and Very Affordable here’s a simple supper idea.  Here’s another dinner idea told mostly in pictures.

Crispy Lardon & Mozzarella topped baked potatoes for a Simple Supper

You will need:
Potatoes for baking
Bacon lardons
Onions
Some oil
Dried basil
Mozzarella ball
Iceberg lettuce
Plum tomatoes
Mini mozzarella balls
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar

Method:
STEP 1 – Put potatoes on to bake in hot oven (takes 40mins to 1 hour depending on size)
10 minutes before the potatoes are fully cooked do the following :

Fry up the lardons – 5 mins approx.

add diced onion and a little oil to the pan of lardons – cook 5 mins more

add basil – i used 1 tbsp

Remove almost cooked potatoes from oven

 

Cut the potatoes in half

 

 

 

top with the bacon and onion mixture

 

Tear apart a ball of mozzarella

 

 

Hot Oven for 5 more mins to melt mozzarella