Thursday, 23 June 2011

Simple suppers round-up

Having acquired 101 Simple Suppers (BBC Good Food) for 50p at a book sale, this week I went mad and tried four recipes.

Pork with paprika - basically pork fillet, onions, stock, paprika, half fat creme fraiche. I added mushrooms (lots of mushrooms) and served with roast squash and courgette. I also discovered that you can't freeze half fat creme fraiche because it splits :(  It was really very tasty but quite watery and of course the split CF detracted a bit. The mushrooms were a great addition though. I used lots of normal paprika and just a smidge of the hot smoked stuff. Would be good with mash I think - will definitely do again and keep refining.

Greek lamb with potatoes - lamb leg, potatoes, onion, garlic, stock - the only thing making this Greek was some oregano - and not even a lot of it. It was OK but not stunning, a bit boring frankly. I served it with roast courgette and cherry tomatoes. Probably wouldn't do it again.

Honey and soy salmon - this was very good - the salmon was just cooked, the sauce was a tasty mix of sweet and savoury with the pop of mustard seeds, and the stir fried veg (mange tout and shredded cabbage) were still crisp. A good non-stick pan made washing up painless too. Will make again.
Mix together 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 2 tsp clear honey, 1 tbsp soy sauce. Fry skinless, boneless salmon fillets for 5 minutes, turning once, and pour over the mixture. Bring to the boil and add 100 ml vegetable stock. Bubble for a few minutes. Serve with rice and stir fried vegetables.

Chick peas with bacon and cabbage - I can see this becoming a one pot staple. Below is my slightly amended recipe (pre-cooking the squash and cooking the onion in the bacon fat). It said to serve with cous cous, but we just had it as a one pot meal. Crisping the bacon is essential!
Peel, de-seed and chop a butternut squash. Microwave on high with a splash of water for 7-9 minutes to start cooking. Meanwhile, fry a couple of rashers of streaky bacon until crisp, and cut into pieces. Remove from the pan and cook a chopped large onion in the remaining fat. Add the squash and a cube's worth of stock,and simmer for 15 mins. Stir in 2 tbsb wholegrain mustard, 2 tins of chick peas (or 1 CP and one of another pulse, forvariety), the chopped bacon, and a good handful or two of shredded green cabbage. Cook for a further 5 minutes and season with lots of black pepper.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Chocolate ginger marble cake

This was a basic 8oz/225g sponge mix: 4 large eggs, 225g each of butter, light brown sugar and SR flour; begin by creaming the butter and sugar really well, then add the eggs (beating after each) and finally the flour.

Divide the mixture in two, and add:
  • 1-2 tsp ground ginger, and a handful of crystallised ginger, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp good cocoa (Green & Black's for me) and a handful of dark chocolate chips
Dollop into a tin (I used my 9" square silicone pan), swirl together and level off, indenting the middle a bit. Bake for 55 mins at 170°C (fan oven) or until done according to the skewer test.

Photos and taste verdict to follow!