Meal Plan 30th July - 5th August 2012

Second week of the Summer holidays already.....it's going far too quickly, please slow down.

Monday 30th July
Sausage Ragu with Penne

Tuesday 31st July
Ham, Egg and Chips

Wednesday 1st August
Turkey Pasta Bake

Thursday 2nd August
Fish, Homemade Sweet Potato Wedges and Peas

Friday 3rd August
Prawn and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Noodles - a variation of this recipe

Saturday 4th August
Lasagne with Homemade Garlic Bread

Sunday 5th August
Leftover Lasagne and Salad

I'll also be baking a Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake this week

Feta Tart with Fig & Plum Relish

Feta

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Twitter really is a wonderful thing (most of the time!), especially when it means I discover fab new foodies like Kitchen Garden, an award winning producer of preserves and condiments.


Barbara (the owner) and I got 'chatting' over Twitter and next thing I knew some fab product samples (including the Fig and Plum Chutney I have used in this recipe) landed on my doorstep. All of the Kitchen Garden products have handy recipe suggestions on the side of the jars and the Fig and Plum Chutney suggested pairing with salty feta or goats cheese....so that's what I did in this puff pastry tart. I used ready rolled all butter puff pastry as I had it to hand but some day soon I will have a go at making my own. The basil gives the tart some extra colour and visual appeal but I wouldn't go out of your way to buy some - I just had some to hand on my windowsill. I served the tarts with a green salad and crusty bread....best eaten outdoors and in the sunshine.

Another product Barbara sent was a Summer Berry Jam, combining raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants. I stirred a couple of TBSP into a second batch of my Strawberry and Almond Crumbles, which gave them an extra fruity kick. We had these for dessert with a dollop of clotted cream. Don't you just love summer!


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Feta Tarts with Fig & Plum Relish
Serve straight out of the oven with a crisp green salad
Ingredients
  • 1 Sheet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry, cut into 4
  • 150g Fig and Plum Relish
  • Drizzle Balsamic Vinegar
  • 200g Feta, cubed
  • Small handful Basil leaves
Instructions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 200c and lay the 4 pieces of pastry onto a baking sheet (you might need 2 baking sheets).Step 2: Score a 1cm edge with a sharp knife around each square of pastry then spread on a thin layer of fig and plum relish.Step 4: Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and the edges puffed up.Step 5: Serve scattered with basil leaves and a side salad.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Portions
Thank-you Kitchen Garden for the samples.

Meal Plan 23rd - 29th July 2012

The first week of the summer holidays and the weather looks great. Plenty of picnics on the beach and meals eaten in the garden.

Monday 23rd July
Spaghetti Carbonara with homemade garlic bread

Tuesday 24th July
Chicken and Mushroom Curry with Basmati Rice

Wednesday 25th July
Chicken, bacon and Pea Risotto

Thursday 26th July
Sausages Braised in Cider

Friday 27th July
Takeaway

Saturday 28th July
Sausage and Fennel Seed Ragu served with Penne

Sunday 29th July
Eating out

Our strawberries are coming through thick and fast now so I will be using them in some Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Individual Strawberry and Almond Crumbles

Strawberry Crumbles




















I don't know about anyone else but my strawberries haven't done too well this year.... thanks to the grey skies and rain (although I think things could be on the up weather wise next week). The few strawberries that have ripened on my drowned plants have been very sour, far too sour for the children to eat. Thankfully I stumbled across Nigella's solution to my strawberry problem in the form of her Strawberry and Almond Crumble in 'Nigella Kitchen'. Apparently sour strawberries are transformed in this recipe....and she was right - my sour strawberries became tender, juicy and sweet. I changed the recipe from the one stated in the book, not least making them in individual ramekins, which I think look nice. I've also used my own topping recipe (I make double the amount I need and freeze the half I don't use for future use). Serve with clotted cream for a summery dessert.

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Individual Strawberry and Almond Crumbles
Serve with a dollop of Cornish Clotted Cream
Ingredients
  • 400g Strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 35g Caster Sugar
  • 20g Ground Almonds
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • For the crumble topping (leftovers can be frozen)
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 2 TSP Baking Powder
  • 150g Cold Unsalted Butter, diced
  • 100g Demerera Sugar
Instructions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 190c and lightly butter 6 small ramekins.Step 2: In a bowl mix together the sliced strawberries, caster sugar, ground almonds and vanilla extract. Spoon equally into the ramekins.Step 3: In another bowl, run together the flour, baking powder and butter until you get breadcrumbs. Stir through the demerera sugar.Step 4: Sprinkle half of the crumble topping over the 6 ramekins and freeze the rest.Step 5: Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6

Meal Plan 16th July - 22nd July 2012

The last week of term edition....involving a lot of chilli!

Monday 16th July
Turkey Stir Fry with Noodles

Tuesday 17th July
Chilli Con Carne with Sour Cream, Guacamole, Grated Cheddar and Rice

Wednesday 18th July
Chilli Pasta Bake

Thursday 19th July
Leftover Chilli Pasta Bake with Salad

Friday 20th July
Homemade Pizza's

Saturday 21st July
Sausage and Bean Casserole in the Slow Cooker


Sunday 22nd July
Spaghetti Carbonara

What's everyone else having this week?

Sausage and Fennel Seed Ragu

Sausage and Fennel Seed Ragu

Wintry wet weather of biblical proportions definitely called for warming and hearty food at Dinnertime this week. This Sausage and Fennel Seed Ragu was one such meal and uses a slightly unusual method for cooking the sausages - they are boiled in their skins - sounds disgusting but trust me it works. The fennel seeds give the dish a wonderfully punchy flavour so if you are making this for very young children it might be best to half the amount of fennel seed.

Have a great weekend.


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Sausage and Fennel Seed Ragu
A hearty pasta dish
Ingredients
  • 8 Good Quality Pork Sausages
  • 300g Penne
  • 2 Shallots, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 1 TSP (scant) Fennel Seeds
  • 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • Handful Parmesan, grated
  • Small handful Basil leaves
Instructions
Step 1: Boil the sausages in their skins for 8 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Once cool, slit the skins and chop up the sausage meat, set to one side.Step 2: Cook pasta according to packet instructions.Step 3: While pasta is cooking, toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for a minute then tip onto a plate.Step 4: In the same frying pan, add a glug of oil and cook the shallots and garlic for 5 minutes until softened.Step 5: Stir in the chopped sausage meat, wine, tin of tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes on a very low heat. Check seasoning.Step 6: Tip the pasta into the sausage ragu and stir to combine and heat through the pasta. Serve in bowls with grated Parmesan.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 adult portions

Quick Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge

The end of term is nearly upon us (eeek) so Lowen and I decided to spend yesterday evening making some chocolate fudge to give to her teachers as an end of term present.

Anyone and I mean absolutely anyone can make this - you really can't go wrong (I don't think!..). I bought some clear cellophane bags to pop the pieces of fudge into and then Lowen got creative with stickers! I'm sure her teachers will appreciate the effort (well, it doesn't exactly take much effort) and is much nicer and more personal than a box of shop bought chocolates or fudge. If you wanted to, you could add some chopped nuts into the mixture or even dried fruit - we kept it nice and simple though.

On a different but school related note, I had an email from Voucher Codes regarding some Marks and Spencer voucher codes and I noticed one for 20% off school wear (which expires today)......time to start thinking about the new school year already and not leave it until the last week in August to find PE shorts in a small enough size to fit around 5 year old's minuscule waist (currently wearing age 2-3!)


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Quick Chocolate Fudge
A great edible present idea
Ingredients
  • 350g Dark Chocolate
  • 397g Tin of Condensed Milk
  • 30g Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
Instructions
Step 1: Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.Step 2: Put all the ingredients in a heavy based saucepan, put on a low heat and stir until melted.Step 3: Pour this mixture into prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.Step 4: Refrigerate for a couple of hours before cutting into pieces. You can quite easily store the fudge in the freezer, just wrap it in foil or pop into clear bags and give to your favourite teacher. Best stored in the fridge if it is warm!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 80 pieces
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Meal Plan 9th July - 15th July 2012

Here is the meal plan from the Jam and Clotted Cream household this week:

Monday 9th July
Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

Tuesday 10th July
Leftover Sausage Casserole

Wednesday 11th July
Goats Cheese, Bacon and Pea Risotto

Thursday 12th July
Frittata with salad

Friday 13th July
Macaroni Cheese with Bacon

Saturday 14th July
Chicken and Chips

Sunday 15th July
Eating Out

Sausages Braised in Cider

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A warming one-pot for this unseasonal weather, which doesn't look like improving any time soon! I don't think my plants and herbs can take any more rain - hurry up sun before Summer is gone. I served this tasty dish with brown rice but creamy mash would be good too.

We are off to London to visit family tomorrow so see you all next week!

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Sausages Braised in Cider
Serve with brown rice or mash
Ingredients
  • 8 Pork Sausages
  • 2 Smoked Bacon Rashers, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 TBSP Plain Flour
  • 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
  • 500ml Dry Cider
Instructions
Step 1: Heat a glug of oil in a pan or casserole and brown the sausages. Take out of the pan.Step 2: Add the bacon, onion and thyme and cook for 5 minutes.Step 3: Sprinkle over the flour and cook for 1 minute before adding the mustard and cider - cook for a few minutes.Step 4: Put the browned sausages back in the pan and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Portions

Giveaway: Chicken Chasseur Seasonal Box from Knorr

COMPETITION CLOSED
On Friday I received my first seasonal box of the year from Forman and Field in association Knorr which contained the following ingredients to make a tasty Chicken Chasseur:

1 Chicken
Brandy
White Wine
2 Shallots
Tomatoes
Tarragon
Parsley
Tomato Juice
Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
Button Mushrooms

You can find the recipe, created by Marco Pierre-White on the Knorr website, along with lots of hints and tips, including how to make the most out of Knorr stockpots. Knorr have also created a recipe inspiration board which will be updated every month with seasonal recipes, using quality British products. I definitely want to try this Crab and Pea Salad on June's inspiration board.

For your chance to win the Chicken Chasseur Seasonal Box here is what you have to do:

To enter:
1. Complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
2. Entries can be via blog comment, Twitter, Facebook etc
3. UK entrants only
For more information on how to enter blog giveaways using Rafflecopter please see this short video.
Please remember you need to complete the mandatory entry first - which is a blog comment.
Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf. For information on finding the URL of your tweet please see this.

Please note that the boxes will be delivered on Friday 13th July, please do not enter if you cannot receive them on that day.
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