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Friday, 2 December 2016

Rosemary, Leek & Bean Ragu




I made this recipe using home grown leeks and carrots, it's a real winter warmer.




Ingredients:

A little olive oil
500g leeks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary
400g tin of butter beans, drained
400g tin of black eyes beans, drained
500ml vegetable stock 
1 tbsp of corn flour mixed in cold water


Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat & add the leeks. Stir continuously for about 7/8 mins until soft.
  2. Add the carrots, beans, rosemary & stock and mix together.
  3. Bring the pan to simmer, add the corn flour/water mix & stir in well. 
  4. Simmer for about 20 mins until it begins to thicken.

Serve with mashed potato, crusty bread or garlic bread.



Friday, 25 November 2016

Lentil Shepherd's Pie


Ingredients:

Topping:
500g potatoes, peeled and chopped
splash of milk
50g butter
few handfuls of grated cheese
salt & pepper

Filling:
1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp thyme
1 bay leaf
300g lentils
2/3 large carrots, chopped
handful of frozen peas
handful of frozen sweetcorn
1 tin of black eyed beans
600ml vegetable stock
splash of Worcester sauce (vegetarian one)
1 tbsp tomato puree
olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Gently fry the onion, garlic & thyme in the oil, until soft.
  3. Add a little more oil & the lentils, coating them in the oil.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, black eyed beans, bay leaf, Worcester sauce & tomato puree, mix well.
  5. Bring to the simmer, with the lid on the pan simmer for 20-30 mins until the carrots are soft & lentils are cooked but not too mushy.
  6. Whilst the lentils are simmering, prepare the potatoes & boil them in a pan of boiling water until soft.
  7. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk and a handful of cheese. Add the seasoning to taste.
  8. Place the lentil filling into the bottom of an ovenproof dish and top with the mashed potato.
  9. On top sprinkle another handful of grated cheese.
  10. Place in the oven for about 30 mins or until the topping is golden brown.

Serve with a green salad or crusty bread.




Friday, 18 November 2016

Decadent Chocolate & Banana Tart



Ingredients:


Base:
225g ginger nut biscuits, crushed
125g butter, melted

Filling:
4 bananas
150g dark chocolate
280ml double cream
50g butter
2 large tbsps nutella



Method:


Base:

  1. Crush biscuits finely. I used my pestle & mortar, which worked really well.
  2. Melt the butter on a low heat.
  3. Add the butter to the ginger biscuits and mix well.
  4. Spoon into a loose bottomed cake tin & press into the base & sides to create a tart base.
  5. Leave to cool in the fridge for 30 mins.

Filling:
  1. Heat double cream til gently simmering, remove from the heat.
  2. Add the chocolate & butter to the cream, stirring continuously until melted & smooth.
  3. Whisk in the nutella until smooth.
  4. Pour into the cooled biscuit & refrigerate for a minimum of 30 mins.
  5. Before serving slice the bananas & gently press into the surface.

Optional: sprinkle the top with some icing sugar or top with whipped cream.

Serve as a dessert by itself or with some cream or ice cream.


Friday, 11 November 2016

Leek & Squash Risotto





Ingredients:


2 leeks
1kg squash (if I haven't quite got enough squash I add root vegetables ie carrots, swede), cubed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dried sage
350g pearl barley (or risotto rice if you prefer)
1.3l veg stock (made with 2 OXO cubes)
Butter







Method:


  1. On a low-medium heat melt a knob of butter, add the leeks, garlic & sage for a few mins to soften.
  2. Add the squash (& root veg if using) & keep stirring for a few mins again to begin to soften.
  3. Melt another knob of butter & add the pearl barley mixing well & coating in the butter.
  4. Add the stock & bring to boil. Simmer very gently until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the pearl barley, about 30 mins.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Scotch pancakes



Ingredients:

135g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml milk
1 egg
2 tbsp olive oil
Butter for frying

Method:


  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients. 
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients & whisk together until there are no lumps. 
  4. Heat frying pan to medium heat & add knob of butter.
  5. Place a tbsp of the mix into the pan, which will make one pancake & depending on the size of the pan you may be able to cook a few pancakes at once.
  6. Once bubbles appear on the top of the pancake, flip them over & brown nicely on both sides.

Serve with lemon & sugar or maple syrup.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Green Tomato Chutney



Wondering what to do with that glut of green tomatoes from the garden?


Ingredients:

1kg green tomatoes
2 medium onions
400g sultanas
400g dark brown soft sugar
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp nutmeg
800ml malt vinegar


Method:

  1. Chop tomatoes & onions roughly.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a large pan & mix together.
  3. Bring pan to the boil on a medium heat then reduce the heat to continue simmering, stir occasionally.
  4. Simmer for about an hour to hour and a half (can sometimes take longer!) until the mixture is a thick pulp, when you draw the wooden spoon across the base of the pan there should be no vinegar fill that space.
  5. Preheat oven to 150C to sterilse the jars.
  6. Wash in clean soapy water the jars & their lids, then place on a baking tray & put them in the oven for 15 mins to dry.
  7. Fill the jars with the hot chutney, place a wax seal on top of the chutney & screw on the lid.
  8. Leave for about 4-6 weeks for the flavour to develop.

Great to give away as presents for Christmas or to enjoy for yourself with cheese and ham   :)

NB The above recipe made & filled about 4 1lb jars of chutney.


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

An Autumn Owl



My toddler was loving playing with the dry golden brown leaves in the garden so we collected some together to make an autumn owl.




You cannot get an idea of the size from this photo but the owl is almost as tall as my 2 year old :)

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