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Showing posts from January, 2010

Valentine's Antipasti Platter

Unearthed, a company who specialises in continental deli-style food, recently sent me some Italian cured meats to try. Here's what arrived on my doorstep;



I thought it would be a nice idea to incorporate the cured meats in a Valentine's inspired Italian Antipasti Platter, suitable for you and your loved ones to share on the 14th ~ or any time of the year for that matter.
Here's whats on the platter Prosciutto from Unearthed
Salami from Unearthed
Buffalo Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Pecorino and Pine-Nut Dip
Sun-dried Tomatoes

A platter like this takes minutes to prepare, leaving you time to....well, whatever you fancy!

But if Italian isn't your thing, then why don't you try a Greek inspired Meze Platter, using  BarrelAgedGreekFeta from Unearthed as a centre piece. Or maybe Spanish style Tapas utilising their SpanishPotatoOmelette and SpanishChorizo. The choices are endless, the important thing is to make sure the products you use are top qu…

Beef and Feta Pasta Bake

I had some leftover slowcookerbolognese and decided to make a greek inspired pasta bake with some feta and additional spices added to the meat. This would easily serve 6 -  with some green vegetables.
| Serves: 6  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour |
Ingredients:3 Cups of leftover meat sauce (or just make from fresh)1/4 TSP Cinnamon1/4 TSP Ground ClovesPinch of Chili Powder500g Pasta (I had Fusilli)50g Butter50g Flour600ml Milk200g Feta, cubed150g Cheddar, grated Instructions:Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c.Step 2: Put the meat sauce into a bowl and mix in the cinnamon. ground cloves and chili.Step 3: Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter, then adding the flour to make a roux, stir for 2 minutes. Gradually add in the milk and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Take off the heat, stir in the cheese and some salt and pepper and leave to one side.Step 4: Cook the pasta according to instructions and mix h…

Slow Cooker Bolognese

With young kids and a hubby who works all hours of the day, my slow cooker is my lifesaver. I can chuck in the ingredients, forget about it all day, and have a lovely home cooked meal for my family by dinner time.
The most time-consuming part of the recipe is browning the mince - which takes all of 5 minutes. You can't beat that for ease.

SLOW COOKER BOLOGNESE | Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 8 hours on Low or 5 on High setting |
1 Large Onion, chopped3 Garlic Cloves, chopped2 Carrots, peeled and grated1kg Minced Beef1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes2 TBSP Tomato Puree3 TSP Dried Oregano100ml Milk200ml Wine (red or white)350ml Beef Stock, hotSalt, Pepper and a pinch of sugar to seasonBasil and Parmesan to serve Instructions:
Step 1: Brown the mince in batches and place in the slow cooker.Step 2: Place all the other ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours.Step 3: Stir through some torn basil and scatter over grated Parmesan befor…

Chicken, Sausage and Leek Pasta Bake

A yummy Dinner that materialised out of leftovers in the fridge, and this one is to be repeated!

CHICKEN, SAUSAGE AND LEEK PASTA BAKE| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes |
3 Leeks, trimmed and sliced finely3 Sausages, skinned and cut into chunks200g Cooked Chicken cut into chunks4 Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped1 TSP Dijon Mustard1 TSP Wholegrain Mustard300ml Creme Fraiche50g Parmesan, grated250g Pasta of choice -I used FusilliHandful of Cheddar, gratedParsley to garnish Instructions:
Step 1: Fry the onions in a little butter until soft, add chunks of sausage, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 5 minutes until brown.Step 2: Add in cooked chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mustards, creme fraiche and parmesan.Step 3: Cook pasta according to the packet, drain and toss into the sauce.Step 4: Tip into a ovenproof dish and sprinkle on grated cheddar.Step 5: Grill under preheated grill for a few minutes until golden and garnish with the …

Cranberry, Dark Chocolate and Almond Biscuits

A Little while ago I was sent some wonderful dried cranberries from Natoora and decided to incorporate them into these deliciously moreish biscuits. I love the flavour combination of dark chocolate and sweet cranberries, and together with the ground almonds which give the biscuits a really delicate texture, they are a match made in heaven.
Cranberry, Dark Chocolate and Almond Biscuits| Serves: makes 24  | Prep Time: 12 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes | Total Time: 24 Minutes |
75g Butter, softened50g Light Muscavado Sugar50g Golden Caster Sugar1 EggA few drops of Almond Extract100g Plain Flour60g Ground Almonds1/2 tsp Baking Powder100g Dark Chocolate Chips50g Dried Cranberries
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 190c (170c Fan/375f/Gas 5) and line two baking trays with baking paper.Step 2: In a standing mixer (or by hand) cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and well mixed. Beat in the egg and almond extract.Step 3: Sift together the flour and baking powder a…

Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie

What could be more comforting on a snowy day! I utilised leftover roast chicken and gammon again in this creation  - you can start calling me Mrs Frugal if you want.

I gently cooked the leeks for 40 minutes and they turned lovely and sweet, a perfect compliment to the chicken and ham. You'll also see I used ready made puff pastry for this pie - sometimes life is too short....especially when there are snowmen to build.

CHICKEN, HAM AND LEEK PIE| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes | 
Splash of Olive and Oil and a little Butter1kg Leeks, washed and sliced2 Rashers of Bacon, chopped1/2 Bunch Thyme400g cooked Chicken250g Ham, cubed2 TBSP Plain Flour2 Pints of Chicken Stock3 tbsp Creme Fraiche250 Puff Pastry1 Egg
Step 1: Preheat oven to 190c. Fry bacon and thyme with the butter and olive oil in a casserole for 3 minutes and season.Step 2: Add the sliced leeks, cover with a lid and cook gently for 40 minutes.Step 3: Add cooked chicken,…

Chicken, Ham and Spinach Lasagne

This lasagne utilised the leftover meat I had in my fridge, both from my Sunday Roast and also the large gammon I cooked on New Years Day.

CHICKEN, HAM AND SPINACH LASAGNE| Serves:  6 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 55 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes |
Ingredients:75g Butter1 Onion, chopped1 Garlic Clove, sliced50g Plain Flour600ml Milk300ml Chicken Stock1/4 tsp Fresh NutmegHandful of grated Parmesan CheeseHandful of washed baby Spinach leaves400g Cooked Chicken200g Cooked HamFresh Lasagne Sheets150g Grated CheddarInstructions:Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c (350f). Melt 25g of the Butter in a pan and gently fry the Onion and Garlic for 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan and set to the side.Step 2: Melt the remaining butter and then add the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk and whisk until you have a smooth sauce.Step 3: Take off the heat and add the baby spinach, parmesan and nutmeg.Step 4: Put half of the chicken and ham in a 20cm x …

Ice Cream Cheesecake

A great alternative to a normal cheesecake - and much easier to make. Nigella's Girdlebuster Pie was the inspiration for this creation and the great thing about it is it will sit happily in the freezer for a month - no need to eat it all in one go then!!
ICE CREAM CHEESECAKE| Serves: 8  | Prep Time: 20 Minutes plus freezing | Cook Time: - | Total Time: 20 Minutes plus freezing |
Ingredients: For the Base:375g Digestive Biscuits75g Soft Butter100g Dark Chocolate Chips 1 Litre of Triple Chocolate Ice Cream
Instructions: Step 1: Process all the ingredients for the base in a food processorStep 2:Press into a 23cm pie plate - forming a lip a little higher than the sides of the plateStep 3: Freeze the biscuit layer for 1 hour and in the meantime let your ice cream soften.Step 4: Spread the ice cream into the biscuit base and return to the freezer. Serve as and when needed with cream.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 5th January 2010 |

Ham in Cola

This delicious ham originates from the Deep South, but was popularized over here in the UK by none other than the domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. It appears in two of her books, How to Eat and laterly an updated version of the dish in Nigella Bites.
As we'd somewhat missed out on the seasonal festivities this year, I decided to cook this on New Years Day to appease hubby who felt hard done by at missing Christmas Lunch. I served my own version of his delectable salty, spicy ham with Macaroni Cheese and buttered Peas.

Ham in Cola| Serves:  6 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes | Total Time: 2 Hours 50 Minutes |
2kg Mild Cure Gammon Joint1 Onion, peeled and cut in half2 Litres ColaGlaze:1 TBSP Black Treacle2 TBSP Demerera Sugar1 TSP Mustard Powder
Step 1: Place gammon fat side down in a large pan with the onion and cover with the colaStep 2: Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover loosely with a lid and cook for 2 and 1/2 …

Nightmare at Christmas....

....and a competition winner! Firstly then to the winner of Delia's 'Happy Christmas' ....drumroll please......
I can reveal the winner is Helen in the UK who correctly answered the question 'On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a PARTRIDGE in a pear tree.

Here is what she wrote;
' ....partridge...couldn't resist the chance to win a copy of Delia's new book. Merry Christmas to you :)'. Well done Helen, please don't forget to email me your postal address and I'll get it sent out asap.
Now onto the Nightmare. Picture this, its Christmas Eve and I had all my Christmas food bought and prepared... mince pies, stuffing, Christmas cake, even a gammon in the slow cooker (and of course the wine and champagne in the fridge).... and then Rory was taken ill, suffering from Bronchiolitis. So, instead of feasting on a juicy turkey with the all trimmings on Christmas Day, hubby and I were stuck in an isolation room with our poorly baby boy at a h…