Sweet and Dark Dipping Sauce (v)

This is a delicious sauce to serve with loads of different things.

For enough to serve 4-6 people you need:
60ml dark soya sauce
60ml sweet sherry
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 spring onions, chopped finely
1 chilli, sliced
2 tbsp fresh corriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp honey (or use agarve nectar for vegans)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch length ginger, grated
2 tbsp sesame seeds.

Combine everything together and use liberally 🙂

Vegetable Spring Rolls (v)

This is a dead simple recipe, and the filling can be varied depending on what you fancy.

For about 8-10 rolls you need:
4-5 sheets filo pastry
1 pack stir fry veggies
sweet chilli sauce to serve
a little vegetable oil

Quickly stir fry the bag of veggies and leave to drain in a colander. Cut the sheets of filo in half and place a spoonful of the veggies on each one. Brush the sides and edges with a little oil and roll up. Place on a baking sheet and brush the tops and sides with a little more oil. Bake in a hot oven for 15-20 mins till golden brown. Serve with sweet chilli sauce to dip.

Cheesy Leek and Potato Pie

OK so this is a but of a cheat recipe in that it’s the same as the pasties but sufficiently different to warrant its own entry. IMHO.

For one pie you need:
1/2 quantity onion, leek and potato filling from the pasty recipe
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry

Line a pie dish with the puff pastry, saving the trimmings for the top. Add the filling and brush the edges with egg wash to seal. Lay on the top piece and crimp. Brush with egg wash and then bake for about 45 mins till hot and golden brown. Serve with new potatoes, veggies and lashings of gravy. Spiffing.

Cheesy Leek and Potato Pasties

Apparently Lex likes these. Who knew… Which means I will be making them a bit more often as a result. He seems to prefer the pastry element more than the filling so all the more for me mwahahahah…

For 12 or so individual pasties you need:
500g pastry made from 250g plain flour and 250g butter
2 leeks, sliced
1 onion, diced
450g potatoes, peeled, diced and par boiled for 4-5 mins till tender
1 tsp each fresh thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage; chopped
25g butter
salt and pepper
150g cheddar, half grated and half chopped into cubes
1 egg and a little milk for egg wash

Begin by making the pastry and leaving to rest. Meanhile saute the leeks, onion, herbs and butter for 20 mins or so in a lidded pan. Cut out large circles of the pastry and fill with a tbsp of the filling in the middle of each. Either fold over or cut out more circles for the tops. Crimp, brush with egg glaze and stab in a few steam holes. Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 mins till golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

Pecan Pie

I have never made this before, but a visit from my mum prompted me to make it as she likes it! I will be making it again..!

For 1 medium pie and a couple of individual pies you need:
1 quantity pie crust:
110g butter
260g plain flour
2-3 tbsp water

For the filling:
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml golden syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
50g whole pecans
60g butter, cubed

Begin by making the pie crust. Blitz the flour and butter in a food processor and then dribble in the water. Bring together in to a dough and leave to rest.

Meanwhile make the filling. Melt the syrup and sugar together. Boil briefly and then leave to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs with the vanilla and then slowly whisk in the sugar/syrup. Add the chopped nuts and butter and mix well until the butter is melted. Roll out the pastry and line a dish. Pour the filling into the dish and top with the whole pecans. Bake in a moderate oven for 45-60 mins till golden brown and risen. Cool and then scoff. Yum.

Moroccan Spiced Vegetables with Bulghar Wheat and Haloumi (v)

This is another endless variation on the same theme, but tasty none the less. Today’s dish was a bit dry if truth be told so I am open for suggestions as to a sauce to combine with it. I was thinking either yogurt and harissa or maybe some runny tahini sauce…

Serves 4 people

For the baharat beetroot and squash you need 2-3 beetroot, scrubbed and peeled and cut into 6ths and 1 squash, cut into chunks. Toss in a little olive oil, season with salt and sprinkle over 1-2 tbsp baharat. Roast in a medium oven for 20-30 mins.

For the ras-el-halout mixed vegetables you need handful mushrooms, 1 courgette, 2 carrots, 2 red onions, 1/2 cauliflower broken into florets. Begin by roughly chopping the onion, courgettes and carrots. Toss in some olive oil and 1-2 tbsp ras-el-halout with the mushrooms and cauliflower. Roast in a medium oven for 20-30 mins.

For the haloumi chop a packet into chunks and roast in a hot oven for about 10 mins.

For the bulghar wheat place 1/2 cup bulghar wheat in a bowl with 1/2 tsp stock powder and pour over 1 cup boiling water. Leave to mingle for 20-30 mins. If you are vegan, omit the haloumi and add a can drained chickpeas to the bulghar wheat.

Serve, scoff and enjoy 🙂

Lemon and Lime Syllabub

I adore syllabub. It’s something to do with the fabulously light texture I think. That and the fact that it contains copious amounts of booze 😉 This recipe is quick to whip up (pardon the pun) and keeps for a day or two in the fridge before separating.

For 4-6 portions depending on size you need:
100ml white wine
75g sugar
juice 1 lemon
zest 1 lime
300ml double cream

Whisk everything together until light and fluffy. Spoon into glasses and devour.

Sweet Onion Tart with Goats Cheese and Courgette

This is such a quick and simple dish to make, but tastes like you spent hours making it. Use ready rolled puff pastry to save time and mix and match what you have in rather than religiously following this recipe…

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
1 jar red onion marmalade
1 goats cheese log, sliced
2 medium courgettes, sliced
about 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
a sprinkle of fresh thyme and oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil

Begin by unrolling the pastry and placing it on a lined baking sheet. Score around the edge to leave a 1cm border. Spread the onion marmalade in the middle, ensuring it covers the base evenly. Lay on the courgette slices, then add the goats cheese. Add the tomatoes and finally sprinkle over the herbs, seasoning and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake in a hot oven for 15-20 mins till cooked and golden brown. Serve with a green salad. Eat any leftovers cold for lunch the next day.

Baked Mushrooms with Stilton

I used to make these a lot but haven’t made them recently. But our veg box contained three beautiful mushrooms and I created this to show them off 🙂

For 2 as a side dish you need:
4 portabello mushrooms, cleaned
75g stilton, crumbled
salt and pepper

Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and season. Scatter over the cheese and bake in a moderate oven for about 10-15 mins till the cheese has melted and the mushrooms are cooked. Enjoy with a green salad and some bread to mop up the juices.

Pea and Saffron Risotto

This is unctuous, creamy, naughty risotto goodness at its best. Eat in small quantities and make the full recipe to enjoy risotto cakes the next day 🙂

For 2 portions of risotto plus about 6 risotto cakes you need:
400g risotto rice
300ml white wine
1 litre hot veggie stock
80g parmesan
50g butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup peas
salt and pepper
pinch saffron strands

Begin by sauteeing the onion and garlic in a tsp of the butter and a little oil for about 10 mins till lightly golden. Add the rice and toast for 2-3 mins. Add the wine and let it boil furiously and reduce. Place the saffron in the hot stock and add the stock once the wine has reduced (I am lazy and do it all in one go…) and reduce the heat. Cook for about 10-15 mins till the rice is al dente. Season and stir through the remaining butter and 90% of the cheese. Cover with a lid and allow to rest for 2 mins. Serve sprinkled with the extra cheese. Belissimo 🙂