Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Fesenjan - Persian Stew


Fesenjan - Persian Stew
A fabulous Persian stew of pomegranate molasses, walnut and chicken. A truly delicious and fragrant dish and pretty simple to make too! 

Serves 4
Prep time:   10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled & finely sliced
½ tsp turmeric
450g walnuts, ground & reserve a few whole for serving
900ml chicken stock
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
4 chicken legs
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 lemons, juice only
50g sugar

To serve
Basmati rice, cooked as per packet instructions

Method

1.  In a large frying pan heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry the onions and turmeric until soft and golden.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a large casserole.  Add the ground walnuts, chicken stock and seasoning.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

2.  Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and add the chicken, fry until browned all over.  Add to the casserole and make sure to cover with the sauce.  Cover the casserole and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.  Skim any excess fat from the surface of the casserole.

3.  In a small bowl mix together the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and sugar and add to the casserole, stir through and let simmer for another 20 minutes.  Season to taste, if needed.

4.  To serve, arrange the chicken on a bed of rice and pour over the delicious sauce, scatter over the remaining walnuts.  



Monday, 19 February 2018

Butter Chicken Curry


Butter Chicken Curry
A wonderfully rich & fragrant butter chicken curry – very, very tasty, quick and easy to make!

Serves 4
Prep time:  5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
150ml natural yogurt
50g ground almonds
1 ½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp crushed bay leaves
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
4 green cardamom pods
1 tsp ginger pulp
1 tsp garlic pulp
400g can tomatoes
1 ¼ tsp salt
1kg chicken, skinned, boned and cubed
75g butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
4 tbsp cream
Basmati Rice and Indian Breads to serve

Method

1.   Place the yogurt, ground almonds, all the dry spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and salt in a mixing bowl and blend together thoroughly.

2.  Put the chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour over the yogurt mixture. Set aside.

3.  Melt together the butter and oil in a medium wok or frying pan. Add the onions and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken mixture and stir-fry for about 7 to 10 minutes.

4.  Stir in about half of the coriander and mix well. Pour over the cream and stir in well. Bring to the boil. Garnish the Indian butter chicken with the remaining chopped coriander to serve the chicken curry with rice and Indian breads.


Bangers and Mash with Roast Onion & Red Wine Gravy


Bangers and Mash with Roast Onion & Red Wine Gravy
This is comfort food at its best!  This dish is full of flavour, you will make this time after time.

Serves 4
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients
Olive oil
12-16 good quality sausages
3 red onions, peeled & sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs of thyme
Freshly ground salt & pepper
400ml red wine
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
400ml good beef stock

For the mash
1.5kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters
100ml milk
Freshly ground nutmeg
50g butter
Sea salt

Method

1.   Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

2.  For the bangers, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a roasting tray on the hob and add the sausages, brown them all over.  Add the onions, garlic, thyme, and a splash of olive oil then sit the sausages on top.  Season with salt & pepper.

3.  Place in the oven for 45 minutes, occasionally turn the sausages and onions.

4.  Remove the sausages from the oven and place the sausages in a warm place whilst you make the gravy.

5.  Remove the thyme and garlic a place the oven tray over a high heat and add the sugar and mustard, mix until the sugar dissolves.  Pour in the red wine and bring to the boil then simmer until the liquid reduces by half. 

6.  Pour in the stock and bring to the boil and simmer until it has reduced by a third and you have rich and full flavoured gravy.  Season to taste.
7.  For the mash, place the potatoes into a large pan filled with cold water and a good pinch of salt.  Bring the pan to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

8.  In the meantime, warm the milk and grate in the nutmeg.

9.  Drain the potatoes and set aside for a few minutes to let them dry, mash with a potato masher or ricer until smooth.

10.  Beat in the milk and butter until you have a creamy mash.

11.  Divide the mash between four warmed plates, share out the sausages and spoon over the gravy and onions.  Enjoy!


Friday, 9 February 2018

Prawn & Chorizo Rice

Prawn & Chorizo Rice
A delicious, quick & easy dish to make!  Chorizo and Prawns are a match made in heaven!

Serves 4
Preparation time:  10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
100g chorizo, diced
1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
250g basmati rice
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
350ml chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground pepper
300g raw prawns
Large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped


Preparation method

1.  In a large frying pan or wok heat the olive oil and fry the chorizo on a medium heat until it changes colour.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened.  Stir in the garlic and smoked paprika and cook for a further minute, stir continuously.

2.  Add the rice, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil for one minute, season to taste.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.

3.  Stir in the prawns and parsley, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes until the rice is tender.

4.  Serve in warmed bowls, enjoy!


Thursday, 8 February 2018

Vegan Banana Pancakes

Vegan Banana Pancakes
These banana pancakes taste absolutely amazing, you would never know that there are no eggs or dairy.  A perfect quick & easy brunch or breakfast!

Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes 
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 banana, mashed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil, plus extra to oil the pan
1 tsp lemon juice
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
400ml almond milk or soya milk
maple syrup & berries, to serve

1.    In a large mixing bowl add the mashed banana, cinnamon, oil and lemon juice.  Now mix in the flour and gradually stir in the milk until fully blended and no lumps.
2.    Place your frying pan over a medium heat, oil the frying pan by smearing the oil onto the pan with a sheet of kitchen roll.  Spoon the batter onto the frying pan.  Flip the pancakes very carefully when you see the bubbles have stopped opening and closing.  Continue to cook until the other side of the pancake is cooked.  This should take a couple of minutes each side.
3.    Place the finished pancakes onto a warmed plate and continue the process. 

4.    Serve hot with maple syrup and berries.  Enjoy!  

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Vegan Shawarma Kebab Flatbreads with Pomegranate Tabbouleh

Vegan Shawarma Kebab Flatbreads with Pomegranate Tabbouleh
This vegan kebab is absolutely bursting with flavour – it is so delicious!  You must try this recipe!

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

For the Tabbouleh:
25g bulgar wheat
1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked & finely chopped
3 plum tomatoes, deseeded & finely diced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
100g pomegranate seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
Sea salt flakes & freshly ground pepper

For the yogurt:
100g dairy-free yogurt
¼ cucumber, grated and water pressed out
1 garlic clove, peeled & minced
Sea salt flakes & freshly ground pepper

For the kebab:
4 Vegan Flatbreads
1 tbsp vegetable oil
175g pack of Vivera Veggie Shawarma Kebab
2 baby gem lettuce, shredded
¼ cucumber, halved & sliced
Pomegranate molasses (optional)



Method

1.    Cook the bulgar wheat asper packet instructions, then rinse well in cold water, drain and put into a bowl.
2.    Mix all the chopped ingredients into the bulgar wheat, alongside with the cinnamon and pomegranate seeds.  Drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice and season to taste.  Mix through all the ingredients and set aside.
3.    For the yogurt, place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together, set aside.
4.    For the kebab, heat a large frying pan and heat the oil, add the Veggie Shawarma and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
5.    To make assemble the kebabs, heat the flat breads per packet instructions and place on 4 plates.  Spread each flatbread with a spoonful of yogurt mixture, then top with the lettuce and cucumber.  Top with the pomegranate tabbouleh and drizzle over a little pomegranate molasses (if using).  Roll up the flatbread and serve warm.  Enjoy!


Vivera Veggie Shawarma Kebabs are available from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Ocado


I have been commissioned by Vivera to create this recipe and share this blog post with you here on my website. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I only endorse products I genuinely would recommend to you.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Spicy Sausage & Chorizo Penne


Spicy Sausage & Chorizo Penne
This is a very quick and easy to make pasta dish with sausages, chorizo, tomatoes, red wine, chillies & garlic... delicious!

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
350g good quality sausages (I used beef & cracked pepper), remove casing & chop
100g chorizo, sliced
1 tsp flaked chillies (more if you like it really spicy)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
150ml red wine
1 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tsp caster sugar
200ml crème fraiche
Bunch of fresh basil, torn
Freshly ground salt & pepper
400g penne pasta
Parmesan cheese to serve

Method

1.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the sausages, chorizo for 2-3 minutes.

2.  Add the chilli flakes and garlic to the sausage and chorizo, fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add the red wine and reduce for 3-4 minutes and then add the tomatoes and sugar and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  In the meantime cook the penne as per packet instructions, drain and set aside.

4.  Add the crème fraiche and basil to the sausage & chorizo and stir until all mixed through.  Season to taste and add the penne and stir until fully coated.

5.  Divide the pasta between four plates and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan.


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie

Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie
An absolutely delicious and succulent chicken & ham pie - when you need something warm and comforting after a long day, there’s nothing like a proper British pie!

Serves 4-6
Prep time:   15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients
450ml chicken stock
3 chicken breasts, skinned
75g butter
2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50g plain flour
200ml milk
2-3 tbsp white wine
150ml double cream
150g piece thickly carved ham, cut into 2cm chunks
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
500g pre-prepared short crust pastry
1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze

Method

1.   Place the chicken stock into a lidded saucepan, add the chicken breasts and bring to a low simmer.  Cover with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes, remove the chicken and place on a plate.  Pour the stock into a jug and set aside.

2.   Melt 25g/ of the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat, add the leeks and fry gently for two minutes, stir occasionally until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute and then add the remaining butter and stir in the flour as soon as the butter has melted. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

3.   Gradually pour the milk into the pan, just a little at a time, stirring well between each pour.  Slowly add 250ml of the reserved stock and the wine, stirring until the sauce is smooth and thickened slightly. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

4.  Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Pour into a large bowl and cover the surface of the sauce with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool.

5.  Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat.
Portion off 250g of pastry for the lid and roll the remaining pastry out on a lightly floured surface, turning the pastry frequently until around 5mm/¼in thick and 4cm/1½in larger than the 23cm/9inch pie dish. Lift the pastry over the rolling pin and place it gently into the pie dish. Press the pastry firmly up the sides, making sure there are no air bubbles. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the sides.

6.  Cut the chicken breasts into 3cm/1¼in pieces. Stir the chicken, ham and leeks into the cooled sauce. Pour the chicken filling into the pie dish. Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg. Roll out the reserved pastry for the lid.

7.  Cover the pie with the pastry lid and press the edges together firmly to seal. Trim any excess pastry.

8.  Make a small hole in the centre of the pie with the tip of a knife. Glaze the top of the pie with beaten egg and place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

9.  Bake on the preheated tray in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the pie is golden-brown all over and the filling is piping hot, enjoy!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Chestnut, Pork, Parmigiano Reggiano & Herb Stuffing


Chestnut, Pork, Parmigiano Reggiano & Herb Stuffing
A great all-round stuffing made with the ‘King of Cheeses’.
This stuffing is absolutely delicious and easy to make, it will compliment any Christmas dinner perfectly!

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes 
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
450g sausage meat
300g pork mince
25g unsalted butter
2tbsp olive oil
150g cooked chestnuts (vacuum packed), chopped
¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
Large handful of fresh flat parsley, chopped
Small handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped -  plus 8 extra leaves
100g Parmigiano Reggiano*, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 egg, beaten
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
8 rashers of streaky bacon



Method

1.    Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/Gas mark 4.
2.    In a large bowl mix the sausage meat and pork mince and set aside.
3.    In a large frying pan heat the butter and oil, add the chestnuts and fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add the nutmeg and allow to cool slightly and add to the pork.  Now add the breadcrumbs, parsley, chopped sage, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, egg and season.  Mix with your hands until fully combined then press into a 1kg loaf tin lined with cling film.
4.    Chill for 10-15 minutes, turn out of the tin and cut into 8 rectangles.  Place a sage leaf on top of each rectangles and wrap with bacon.
5.    Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until the bacon is golden and stuffing is cooked.

*         Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as the King of Cheeses, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.
*         A long ageing period is fundamental in building the aromas and texture of Parmigiano Reggiano. Such complexity is achieved in a totally natural way, without any additives, making Parmigiano Reggiano 100% natural, easy to digest and high in calcium.
*         The minimum maturation time is at least 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is at its best. Ageing can continue up to 36 months or more, during which time the cheese develops its flavour, texture and digestibility.
*         Parmigiano Reggiano is a P.D.O. product. P.D.O. products are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.



Thursday, 7 December 2017

Parmigiano Reggiano Biscuits

Parmigiano Reggiano Biscuits
These biscuits made with the King of cheeses are so light and crisp, make lots because they are extremely moreish!  Make the dough in advance and bake when required.  They are perfect for unexpected guests over the festive season – simplicity at its best!

Makes 60
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour chilling time) 
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients
125g unsalted butter, cubed & softened
70g Parmigiano Reggiano*, grated
50g mature cheddar, grated
150g plain flour
¼ tsp smoked paprika


Method

1.    In a food processor place all the ingredients and blend together, add 1-2 tbsp cold water and blend further until you have a dough.
2.    Lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and spoon half the mixture down the centre to form a log, about 3cm wide.  Firmly roll up.  Repeat this with the remaining mixture until you have 2 logs, now place in the refrigerator for an hour until chilled and firm.
3.    Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4.
4.    Remove the log from the fridge and cut into 3mm slices and place onto a lined baking tray.  Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and become crisp.
5.    These biscuits can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.  Or you can freeze the uncooked dough for up to 1 month.

*         Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as the King of Cheeses, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.
*         A long ageing period is fundamental in building the aromas and texture of Parmigiano Reggiano. Such complexity is achieved in a totally natural way, without any additives, making Parmigiano Reggiano 100% natural, easy to digest and high in calcium.
*         The minimum maturation time is at least 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is at its best. Ageing can continue up to 36 months or more, during which time the cheese develops its flavour, texture and digestibility.
*         Parmigiano Reggiano is a P.D.O. product. P.D.O. products are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.