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  • Chili Cod Fillets

    Sustainable fish…latest thing…actually it’s the tastiest thing. We got a lovely BIG piece of sustainable cod from Costco. Atlantic line caught no less. Now I can’t imagine that there’s a bunch of little men sitting with fishing poles catching cod one by one but I’m guessing it’s something ethically better than whatever the other way of catching cod is!

    Moving swiftly on….the other half is a bit picky when it comes to eating…but he’s way braver than he has been and much more willing to try things so I found a recipe for cod fillets that didn’t look too scary! Plus it’s quick and easy…two of my favorite words when it comes to cooking!

    2 cod fillets about 200g each
    1t chili powder
    1/2 mixed herbs
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    30g butter
    1/2t cumin
    1 lime…juiced

    Pre heat the oven to 200C. Get a pan….pop the cod into the pan. Mix together the chili powder, mixed herbs and salt. Dust the top with the spice mixture. pop in the oven for about 7 minutes…depends on the thickness of the filet….fish is done when it’s opaque. Meanwhile while the fish is cooking melt the butter in a small pan and add the cumin and lime. when the cod is cooked place onto a plate and drizzle with the butter mixture. Easy peasy lemon (lime really) squeezy! I had the pan in the oven already with some cherry tomatoes, sliced courgettes and par boiled baby new potatoes. I drizzled them in oil and seasoning and precooked them for about 20 minutes before popping the cod on to the tray. Enjoy…gotta love one tray/pan/pot meals!

    Chili Cod compressed

  • Porridge…like Mum makes

    2014-06-10 08.37.30

    Now I know this is a pretty boring thing but my Mum always makes me porridge when I go visit…even my kids ask for Grandma’s porridge when they go visit. It’s very easy to make and much nicer than the instant oats stuff. I use rolled oats and water…1 cup of water to every 1/2 cup of porridge and that’s a decent serving per person. Pop it into a saucepan on low…and slowly mix with a wooden spoon until lovely and creamy. Add whatever you like to top it. We always had brown sugar and a bit of milk and when Mum/Grandma isn’t looking you sneak on some golden syrup too! Now seeing as I’m trying to be a bit healthier I had a chopped up Anjou pear and some omega sprinkles on mine!

  • Masterchef Inspired Pan Fried Sea Bass

    Ok, new series of Masterchef UK..always gets my creative juices going to try cooking something new. Now never having cooked sea bass I thought I must give it a try…and it does sound posh!

    2014-04-30 16.27.17

    This was made for one…me!

    1 fillet of sea bass…skin on
    25g butter 1T olive oil

    Heat pan to high. Put in the olive oil, let it warm up, then the butter.

    Season the fillet on both sides and score the skin side, not too deeply though.

    Once the butter is melted place the fillet skin side down and cook until the skin is crispy and the fillet has gone opaque about 2/3 of the way up.

    Flip it over and finish cooking…it is pretty quick 2-3 minutes each side. The fish is done when it flakes easily.

    I served mine with oven roasted balsamic veg. To make the oven roasted veg I cubed a sweet potato, some sweet mama squash, a courgette and a red onion. Popped them in a casserole dish, tossed in some salt and pepper and a couple of glugs of olive oil and pomegranate balsamic vinegar and baked at 180c until the veg were soft! It was a fairly quick easy meal that was tasty and healthy!

  • Chicken Bacon and Leek Pot Pie

    2014-05-02 21.05.38

    Good old classic comfort food! Can’t beat it! So when the end of the week comes and you need something to top you up ready for the weekend this ticks the boxes.

    This feeds 4 people or 2 of us as we always seem to make recipes for four and eat them just the two of us!

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    300 g streaky bacon
    1 cleaned thinly sliced leek (I used the food processor)
    3 medium carrots
    1/2 c frozen peas
    400 ml chicken stock
    1/2 c plain flour
    2 T whole grain mustard
    75g butter
    salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to taste
    storebought puff pastry…I know, gasp, storebought, eek…trust me on a Friday night when you fancy comfort food…the last thing you’d want to do is piss about making puff pastry!

    Preheat the oven to 180c.

    Melt about 25g of the butter over low heat and then saute the leeks until soft and starting to caramelise. Pop them into a casserole dish to await the rest of the goodies!

    Cube the chicken and cut the bacon into chunks about 1″ square and then cook them together in a fry pan until browned, now pop those into the casserole dish.

    Cut the carrots into slices and parboil until slightly tender and pop into the casserole dish as well.

    Pop in the frozen peas.

    Grab a medium saucepan and pour the chicken stock in and add the flour and whisk together over a medium heat until slightly thickened. Whisk in the mustard, herbs and spices and then the last 50g butter. When it’s all combined and looking lush, taste and make sure it’s seasoned properly then pour over the mix in the casserole dish and mix to make sure it’s all covered.

    Cover with tin foil and bake for about 25 minutes then take out and bang the oven up to 210c. Pop the puff pastry over the top, egg wash and pop back in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and puffy.

    Now serve with whatever floats your boat…we had chips!

  • Filet Steak

    Love love love a bit of steak…preferably a large bit! For Valentines I made us Beef Wellington and we had a couple of filet steaks left over from our deal we got from Hazeldines Butchers. Now we HAD to do something with them. So I’d seen on Pinterest a tip on how to cook a mean filet steak like they do in the restaurants.

    2014-03-23 19.24.09-1

    So here’s how you do it!

    Herb Butter

    75 g butter
    fresh herbs…about a tbsp of each (I used parsley, garlic, rosemary and thyme)

    Let the butter soften then beat in all the herbs. Roll up into a log ( use cling film) and rechill so you can cut into discs that you will use later.

    2 good quality filet steaks (because these are good enough to share!)
    75 g butter
    1 T good quality olive oil
    salt and pepper as required

    Get your filet steak and bring it to room temperature and season before cooking. Whack the heat up on your oven to 230 c and get a fry pan on the stove screaming hot. Once these are both ready pop a tablespoon of good quality olive oil and 75 g butter into the pan…once the butter is melted then pop the steak into the fry pan and sear it about 2-3 minutes a side and take some tongs and make sure the meat is sealed all the way round. Baste with the butter continuously while searing. When this is done then pop the steaks on to a baking tray and whack them in the oven. Cook for about 6-8 minutes (this will give you medium rare) adjust accordingly if you like it less pink.In the last minute of cooking pop a disc of herb butter on top….and I beg you….please…please…please don’t eat a filet or any other steak well done as it is sacriledge!

  • Portobello Mushroom Salad

    So with the thought that I need to shift some pounds I thought that lunch today needed to be healthy, tasty, and filling. So off to the fridge I go! This is what I came up with…

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    1 Portobello mushroom
    1 disc of goats cheese
    1 ramiro pepper or any kind of pepper you desire
    1 beef tomato
    2 rashers of lean bacon cooked until crispy
    small onion sliced and caramelised

    This is a serving for one…so adjust accordingly if you are extra hungry or not lonely!

    Get the grill fired up in your oven and take the stalk out of the mushroom and pop the goat’s cheese disc in the middle and pop on a baking tray and bang under the grill. Chop up the pepper and tomato and put on a plate. When the cheese is sufficiently melted take it out and put it in the middle of the chopped pepper and tomato. Crumble the bacon over the top then top with the caramelised onions.

    This salad needs no dressing as you have the creaminess of the goats cheese, the crunch from the crispy bacon…the sweetness of the caramlised onions…it’s heaven on a plate and no carbs!!!

  • Hunters Chicken with BBQ Sauce

    2014-04-06 18.51.39

    Mmmmm this is a dish that smells amazeballs when it’s in the oven. You can use store bought bbq sauce or make the one I make from scratch! I usually serve it with mashed potatoes and a nice green veg of some description.

    Preheat oven to 180 c.

    This recipe makes 4 portions

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    8 rashers of unsmoked bacon
    1 portion of my BBQ sauce
    4 oz grated mature cheddar cheese

    Take your chicken and wrap it in the bacon, 2 pieces to each breast. If you are using streaky bacon you’ll probably need 4 rashers for each breast.

    Pop into a glass 9×13 baking dish.

    Put to one side and prepare the sauce.

    Get a small saucepan

    1/2c apple cider vinegar
    1/2 c honey
    1T maple syrup
    2T black treacle
    3T dark brown sugar
    1t garlic powder
    1T onion powder
    1T smoked paprika….love love love this stuff!
    1t smoke chipotle chili paste (available from Tesco)
    1 shot of whiskey or bourbon
    1t smoked sea salt

    Chuck this all in and cook over medium until the consistency you like. It can be reduced to a thick syrup or have it as a thin sauce, but I’d recommend at least 7 minutes. Taste and season as you’d like.

    When you have the sauce how you’d like it pour it over the prepared chicken. Pop the chicken into the oven for about 30 minutes then take it out and sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook for another 10 minutes until the cheese is lovely and golden.

    When done…enjoy!!! This is great comfort food

  • Pork Apple and Fennel Casserole with Bubble and Squeak patties

    2014-03-29 18.40.44

    So I was having a Masterchef catch up and gave myself a savoury box to use up some bits we had in the fridge. Pork loin steaks, fennel, apple and pointed cabbage. So using my refined palate…insert laughter here….I decided to make a casserole/stew of sorts.

    2 pork loin steaks cut into cubes
    1 bulb of fennel cut into cubes
    1 large red apple cored and cut into cubes
    1 yellow onion…you could use a red onion but I didn’t have one
    1 pointed cabbage
    2 potatoes cubed
    25g butter
    2T olive oil
    1t dried sage
    1/2 t dried rosemary
    1/2 t dried thyme
    1/4 t dried tarragon

    Boil up the potatoes until soft. Shred the cabbage and season with salt and pepper cook in water until soft. When cooked put 2/3 of the cabbage and the drained potatoes into a food processor, season and whiz up into a rough paste. Leave to one side.

    Get a large fry pan and put the butter in to melt with the olive oil. Pop the fennel, onion and apple into the pan and cook until starting to soften. Then chuck in the cubes of pork and season with rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. When the pork is nearly cooked through toss the cooked cabbage in and then keep warm. Pork is safe to be slightly pink in the middle, and if you overcook it it is bloody awful…like chewing shoe leather!

    Heat up the pan with oil and make some patties from the potato/cabbage mix and pop them in the hot oil…about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the tarragon and mustard hollandaise sauce.

  • Beef and Chorizo Stew

    Options, something we aren’t great with…having to make decisions isn’t our strong point…so with having different ways to cook this I went for easiest on the day! The ingredients are the same and it’s easy as pie!

    2014-03-22 18.31.12

    400-500g diced stewing beef
    3 or 4 chorizo sausages
    250 ml red wine
    rosemary, thyme, cracked black pepper,and garlic to taste we used about 1T of each
    1 can of chopped tomatoes
    1 onion or 1 leek
    3 or 4 carrot
    2T corn flour

    Now…I put the beef in the red wine and spices to marinate overnight…it’s not necessary but adds flavour. The next day after work I popped the whole shebang into a crock pot, chopped up the chorizo into one inch pieces so you’d get about 4 or 5 to every sausage. Bang them into the pot, peel and cut the carrots to about the same size and bang them in too as well as the onion or leek…or hell use both. Then chuck in the can of tomatoes and mix it all throughly. Put the lid on and I put it on for 3 hours on high. About 30 minutes before you want it take some of the juice out of the cooker and mix it with the cornflour to make a paste and tip it back into the cooker and mix thoroughly. Lid back on and 30 minutes later….dinner! We had ours with mashed potatoes. Now as I said you can cook this a couple of different ways…in the oven at 160c for about 2 1/2 hours…or even in a heavy saucepan on the stove…but you’d need to watch it closely and stir quite often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. I’m lazy so I prefer the crockpot method 🙂

  • Summery Salad

    2014-03-05 13.59.22

    So I found a cool shop in Chichester, Sussex called Zest for Taste…it has a VAST array of oils and vinegars that you can try and buy as well of lots of cool kitchen stuff and dips, jams and just foodie stuff….if you get the chance then check it out. They are also on Facebook and online at www.zestfortaste.co.uk

    Anyhoo…I purchased a bottle of Pomegranate Balsamic vinegar…oh my…it’s smells like I could drink it from the bottle! so on my day off…the veg delivery came and some large red tomatoes screamed make a salad and try that damn vinegar.

    This salad is one where I’m not going to give you specific quantities…salads are truly a wing it thing.

    In mine I put some shredded romaine lettuce, rocket, celery, goat’s cheese, ramiro peppers, salad tomatoes (organic…not the tasteless ones from the supermarket!) sea salt croutons for some crunch and texture! And then I lovingly drizzled 2 capfuls of this amazing vinegar over it and zing….summer in a bowl….well as close as you get for a wednesday in Manchester in March!