Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tuscan style sausage bake

This meal is a new favourite, with such wonderful flavours and it's ease of preparation. My sister in law cooked it for me from a Marks and Spencer recipe app, and I cooked it for friends a few nights later. We both roasted some new potatoes in a separate dish, but these could also be done in the same roasting dish if the dish is large enough. Add the potatoes first and cook from raw for about 10-15 minutes before adding the sausages.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
8 pork sausages
500g vine cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 red or yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
60g pitted black olives, drained
150ml hot chicken stock
400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
small bunch of fresh basil
Heat the oven too 220°C. Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a large roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully add the sausages and roast for 10 minutes until browned, turning half way. Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, onion, peppers and olives in 1 tbsp oil and season well. Tumble into the roasting tin and re-arrange the sausages on top. Roast for 15 minutes, turning the sausages half way.

Pour the hot chicken stock around the vegetables, add the butter beans and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the sausages are cooked through and the vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle over the red wine vinegar and a handful of fresh basil leaves to serve.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

An easy summer lunch for 10

Sometimes the thought of cooking for 10 people can seem quite daunting. At a recent family gathering, I decided to make it an easier affair by including lots of salads in the meal, so the actual amount of cooking was minimal. Also a meal like this is perfect for summer lunches.

Lunch comprised of a large nectarine and feta cheese salad. 

A sliced tomato salad with basil and parmesan, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned well.
A homemade coleslaw, sliced white and red cabbage and a red onion chopped. Mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoning and some cider or white wine vinegar. 
A gorgeous date salad, which I had at a friends house for lunch and pinched the recipe. See the following link for the recipe, Date and spinach salad
All of the salads could be prepared in advance (without the dressing on the leafy salads) and stored in the fridge until needed.
I cooked two free range chickens side by side in a large roasting dish and a pile of roast potatoes.  I spooned off some of the chicken juices to coat the potatoes to give them that extra wonderful flavour. Once the chicken is ready and left to rest the potatoes can be turned up to finish off and get that crunch. All that is left to do is carve the chicken and dress the salads.