Sunday, 3 December 2017

Chicken with a Dijon mustard sauce

We left the teenagers home alone last night. It’s something we are doing a little more often, not for long just yet, 2 nights at the most. So far we have been spared of unauthorised house parties, and any major mess and damage on return. Let's hope I'm not talking too soon. The temptation when away is to eat out,  but we had been out for a lovely meal the night before and didn’t really want to eat out two nights in a row. My intentions of losing weight by Christmas are becoming more unlikely by the day. A trip to the local Co op and a recipe in mind produced this really tasty, simple recipe. It’s a variation on a meal on the Delicious website. I didn’t really measure the ingredients, so the volume of stock on my recipe is a guess but you would be able to work out the volume of sauce you need by looking.  I cooked some new potaotes on the hob, finishing them off in the oven alongside the chicken just to give them a golden crunchiness. The meal was delicious and it’s one I’ll be cooking again soon. 
Hopefully over the festive period I'll get a chance to try some new recipes. I feel this year has been my weakest on my blog, with recipes few and far between. My sister in law and I have just bought ourselves Nigel Slater's 'Christmas Chronicles' as an early Christmas present to each other. Hopefully it will provide some inspiration for meals over the coming month, if nothing else he is a great writer. I do enjoy this time of year in the kitchen. It's a chance to be a bit more extravagant than usual, create a lovely Christmassy home and welcome friends and family to share the good food and wine.







Ingredients 
Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of flour with seasoning 
A punnet of mushrooms, sliced 
1 onion sliced 
1 clove garlic' chopped 
A glug of white wine
300ml of stock
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard 
A dollop of double cream 
Salt and black pepper


Method 
Heat the oven to 180c. 
Hear the oil in a frying pan, whilst coating the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour.
Fry the chicken breasts until nicely browned. 
Add the onion and cook until golden. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry until cooked through. 
Pour in the wine and let it sizzle away.
Mix together the stock,  mustard and cream and pour into the pan mixing everything together. 
Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof roasting dish and cook in the oven until the chicken is cooked through for approximately 25 mins. 
The sauce should be bubbling away with a lovely rich dark colour 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Chicken Saag


It's got to the point where I need to watch the calories for a while and lose some weight before Christmas. Since I've reached the age of fifty I certainly know what the saying middle age spread means. Talking to friends at the weekend I have been recommended to try and cut out carbs including potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. So I thought I'd give this ago where I can. Of course giving up wine could be beneficial too, but let's start with the easier options. While in Aldi last night I saw a frozen, slimming  chicken Saag meal and nearly put it in my trolley as I was feeling too lazy to cook. Then I remembered I don't like ready meals and given that it was of the slimming variety would probably like it even less. So I looked at the ingredients and bought them instead. There are plenty of recipes for chicken saag on the internet, I chose the slimming world one as I had most of the ingredients and it seemed quick and simple. I didn't have any fresh tomatoes, so I used a tin of tomatoes which I found made it less like a curry, chopped fresh tomatoes would have been a lot nicer. I also added some fresh lemon juice. Even without rice I found it really filling and satisfying.  I had the leftovers for lunch today. Its a recipe Ill do more often, especially if it helps with weight loss.


Ingredients
Serves 4
low calorie cooking spray (I used olive oil)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
200g closed-cup mushrooms, sliced
6cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp medium curry powder
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 chicken stock cube
700g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
100g baby leaf spinach, roughly chopped
large handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander
4tbsp fat free natural Greek yogurt
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Spray a large, deep non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.
Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes, adding a little water if they start to stick.
Add the mushrooms, ginger and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the curry powder, tomato puree, stock cube and 300ml of water and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato, spinach and coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Take the pan off the heat, stir the yogurt into the curry and season to taste. Serve hot with rice and your favourite vegetables.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Flourless Coconut and Lime Cake


I purchased a cookery book called "Tanya Bakes', by Tanya Burr in the charity shop the other day for a £1. A cookbook for a pound is a pound well spent. This recipe jumped out at me straight away as I was having friends around for lunch and one of my friends is gluten free. I could see when I put the mixture in the tin that isn't wasn't going to be a deep cake and once out the oven I was quite disappointed with the look of it. It hadn't risen much at all and looked decidedly flat to me. So instead of the icing the recipe recommended I thought I'd make it look larger and more impressive with lime butter cream. I wasn't really expecting much from the cake given the look of it but was really pleasantly surprised when I tasted it . Infact it was a really lovely cake and I made it again for my sisters birthday the following day . She said it was a close second behind the sticky ginger cake. 

Ingredients
Serves 8-10
150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
150g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
Zest and juice of 1 lime

For the topping
200g icing sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
A sprinkling of coconut flakes

Method
Heat the oven to 180ºC . Grease and line a 21cm round, deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, ground almonds, desiccated coconut and the lime juice and zest.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.




Cheese and Rosemary sablés



I made these delicious little canapés for a family get together a couple of weeks ago. They can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container, but I can assure you they won't need to be stored for very long. They are very buttery and light with a 
wonderful cheesy flavour. I served mine cold but if you could serve them warm they 
would be even more delicious. I didn't bother with the walnut coating . 
They would be a great served with wine at a Christmas party, I have a feeling I'll be making many more of them in the next couple of months. I found the recipe on the Delicious Magazine website. 

Ingredients 
175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
½ level tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp English mustard powder
150g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
75g mature cheddar, finely grated
75g parmesan, finely grated
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
75g walnut pieces, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Sea salt flakes for sprinkling

Method
Put the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and butter into a food processor and mix together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheeses and 1 tsp cold water, then blend briefly using the pulse button until the mixture comes together into a ball.
Tip the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half and, with lightly floured hands, shape it into two 3cm thick logs. Wrap them first in squares of baking paper, then cling film and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours until very firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Unwrap the logs, brush with the beaten egg, then roll in the chopped walnuts, pressing them on firmly by hand. Cut the logs into 4-5mm slices and place the biscuits about 3cm apart on baking trays lined with baking paper.
Brush the tops of the biscuits very lightly with the beaten egg, then sprinkle some with the chopped rosemary and some with sea salt flakes. Bake for 11-12 minutes until richly golden brown. Remove and leave to cool on the baking trays, then store in an airtight tin.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Pizza Fiorentina


I apologise if you are still following Good food and red shoes and thinking when the heck is this woman going to add a new recipe. I kind of lost my mojo in the summer with the blog. That's not to say I haven't been cooking, it's still a big part of my life, but I haven't been trying many new recipes. 
I turned 50 this July, so I catered quite a lot for friends and family over the summer using some of my favourite recipes. On one occasion I catered for 23 family members, and it seemed relatively stress free. I'll share my recipes and photos soon.  My son did pass all of his GCSE's with good grades despite driving us mad with very little work. So both kids are in sixth form now. My daughter is approaching 18 and my husband 50 so I'm sensing a lot of entertaining and cooking in the next month or so. 


I loved this pizza the other night, it's from a book called Quick Cook, one pot. I really like using tortilla, I like the lightness of the pizza base, it feels healthier, I don't know if it is. The egg was a nice touch, I think I might of liked it as much without,  but it made it more interesting. 

Ingredients
Serves 4 
125 g of baby spinach leaves
4 large tortillas (I use 8 as put 2 together)
Tomato purée
125 g of mozzarella cheese sliced

4  eggs
25 g of Parmesan cheese (I used cheddar too)

Method
Place the spinach in a sieve  and pour over boiling water from the kettle until wilted, then squeeze thoroughly to remove excess water.
Arrange the tortillas on 4 pizza bases.  Spoon on the tomato purée then scatter over the spinach. Arrange the mozzarella on top, then crack and egg in the centre of each tortilla.
Sprinkle the Parmesan over the pizzas and place in a preheated oven 220° C for 5 to 7 minutes until the egg whites are just set. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Asparagus and Gruyere tarte


If you want to make something that is so incredibly easy but very impressive at the same time this is the dish for you. 
It's a recipe given to me from my sister in law, and every time I have made it, it has been a huge success. 

Ingredients
Serves 4
1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
A pack of asparagus
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
A block of gruyere cheese

Method 
Unroll the ready rolled puff pastry onto a large baking tray keeping it on the greaseproof paper that it is wrapped in . Score a line around the edge of the pastry about half an inch in, and prick the inside of the pastry with a fork to stop the pastry rising too much. Spread the Dijon mustard onto the pastry. Grate on the cheese to your liking. Lightly steam the asparagus then lay on top of the cheese. Grate a little more cheese over the Asparagus. Put the tarte in a hot oven for about 20 minutes unitil the pastry is golden and the cheese is bubbling. It can be eaten hot or cold. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Roasted new potatoes with Brie and sundried tomatoes




Tesco recently sent me a box of free goodies for being a good customer. It included a packet of jersey royal potatoes, some Cornish Brie, some sun dried tomatoes and a recipe card. 
Heat the oven to 200C, then roast the potatoes in olive oil with a bit of mustard power mixed in and lots of seasoning. When the potatoes are golden, slice on the Cornish Brie, add the sundried tomatoes and put back in the oven until the cheese is just starting to melt. Sprinkle with parsley when it's out of the oven. I added the Parma ham at the cheese stage and it crisps up beautifully in the oven. 
It was a very simple but delicious meal, perfect for alfresco dining in this wonderful weather we are experiencing. 

Note: if you haven't got mustard powder any mustard would be fine mixed in with the olive oil. I think a sprinkling of spring onions half way through cooking stage would add a good flavour and blue cheese melted like cambozola would be good too. 


Monday, 12 June 2017

Nigella Lawson's Peanut Butter squares



These delicious chocolate and peanut treats were made as a bribe for James to do some revision the other evening. Did it work? No, he ate and enjoyed them but still didn't do the revision required. We haven't got long to go, it will all be over by Friday and there starts a very long summer. We will then have the job of finding a prom suit for the following Friday, hopefully it won't be as difficult as the prom dress search last year. Anyway, if you like Reece's Peanut butter cups you will love these, they are very similar. The recipe is an old favourite from, 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'.

INGREDIENTS
Serves: 12


For the base
50g muscovado sugar
200g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter
200g smooth peanut butter

For the topping
200g milk chocolate
100g plain chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Method
Stir all the ingredients for the base together. You can simply use a wooden spoon and bowl or throw it all into the magimix for a couple of high powered seconds.
Press the sandy mixture into the lined brownie or similar style tin and make the surface as even as possible.
To make the topping simply put the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and microwave for only a minute or two to melt.
Spread on base and put the tin in the fridge to set.
When the chocolate has hardened cut into mini squares. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tray-roast salmon and vegetables with creme fraiche and crumbs



There is a similarity with this dish and one of my favourite salmon dishes which is the salmon with a lemon and Parmesan crust. Both are really lovely recipes and very easy to prepare. The salmon was fresh and perfectly cooked, it's a wonderful meal for the summer months. The meal is from the delicious website. I'm very tempted to subscribe to the magazine and have a change from Olive Magazine, which hasn't been inspiring me that much recently. 

Ingredients
Serves 4
700g unpeeled new potatoes, thinly sliced
Olive oil for drizzling
50g half-fat crème fraîche
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh dill
Zest 1 lemon, plus wedges
4 sustainably sourced salmon fillets, skin removed
6 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
230g asparagus, woody ends removed, halved if thick
125g pack tenderstem broccoli, trimmed and halved if thick

METHOD
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange the potato slices in the tray, season and drizzle with oil. Roast for 20 minutes; toss halfway through.
Mix the crème fraîche with the dijon mustard, dill, lemon zest and seasoning. Set aside.

Remove the baking tray from the oven, then add the salmon fillets. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture evenly over each fillet, then top with the breadcrumbs.
Arrange the veg
around the salmon and potatoes in the tray. Drizzle with oil and season. Roast for 12-15 minutes until the salmon is cooked, the breadcrumbs are golden and the veg are just tender. Serve with the lemon wedges.



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Mexican Bean Burgers





Well the exams have started. Stress levels have reduced a bit, because let's face it there isn't much that can be done at this stage, apart from night before cramming, which thankfully is happening. I'll continue the good food to keep up the energy levels and feed the brain. We will just hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed. A month today it will all be over. It seems a very long way off though. 
I am surprised that the kids like this meal as they can be a bit funny about things made with beans, but these burgers went down a treat last night. Use the recipe as a guide but throw in other things to enhance the flavour. We didn't have salsa but found that sweet chilli sauce was a lovely accompaniment. They are quick and easy and I would think reasonably healthy. The recipe is from the BBC goodfood website, which suggests the burgers can also be frozen.

Ingredients
Makes 6 burgers

2 x 400g/14oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
100g breadcrumb
2 tsp mild chilli powder
small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped
1 egg
200g tub fresh salsa
150ml low-fat natural yogurt
juice ½ lime
Burger buns, sliced avocado, sliced red onion and salad leaves, to serve.

Method
Tip the beans into a large bowl, then roughly crush with a potato masher. Add the breadcrumbs, chilli powder, coriander stalks and ½ the leaves, egg and 2 tbsp salsa, season to taste, then mix together well with a fork. 

Divide the mixture into 6, then wet your hands and shape into burgers. The burgers can now be frozen if required. If cooking straight away fry in hot oil on each side until golden and crisp.To cook from frozen, bake at 200ºC for 20-30 mins until hot through.

While the burgers are cooking, mix the remaining coriander leaves with the yogurt, lime juice and a good grind of black pepper. Split the buns in half and spread the bases with some of the yogurt. Top each with leaves, avocado, onion, a burger, another dollop of the lime yogurt and some salsa, then serve.

Tip: I always have fresh coriander left over if I have bought it for a recipe, freeze the left overs in the packet, as they come in handy for recipes like this. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Italian meatballs

I haven't posted in a while. This may have something to do with the fact that my son James is sitting his GCSEs in a couple of weeks time. The only person who isn't stressed in the house is James. I  have no energy left for anything but trying to make him revise . I will cook and feed him, wash his clothes,  create the right environment for him to work in, but short of removing every distraction in the house there is nothing more that as parents we can do. I curse smart phones, I curse Snapchat, I curse Instagram, I curse you tube. I even curse the piano, which he has never played as much of in his life.
The other night James asked for homemade meatballs for tea, which I made with a homemade tomato sauce and afterwards he said I think I prefer Ikea meatballs. I kept calm, really I did. 
I  haven't even got the energy to write out the recipe so I'll link to the page . Sorry. 


BBC food, Italian meatballs




Sunday, 26 March 2017

Juicy Lucy burger




I've made quite a few homemade burgers in the past,  but these I made last night were by far the best. I bought mince with a higher fat content and I think that's the trick to keeping them moist and juicy, not to mention tastier. There is no skill required to making them, so given the choice between some pretty anemic looking ready made ones and making my own, it was definitely the latter. The recipe is from this months Olive magazine,  topped with whatever I had in the fridge. 


Ingredients
Serves 4
500g beef mince
Worcestershire sauce 
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Half tsp Garlic salt
4 cheese slices
Oil for frying
1 shredded little gem lettuce
1 large tomato sliced to serve
4 burger buns
1 small red onion sliced
Sliced gherkin to serve


Method 

Put the mince in a bowl and add a splash of Worcestershire sauce, the mustard, garlic salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well with clean hands and then divide into four balls. Take each ball, divide into two, then shape into thin patties.  The easiest way to do this is to put the balls between clingfilm and use a pan to press into a flat patty. Make them bigger than your bun as they will shrink when you cook them.

Cut a cheese slice into four, then stack them in the middle of a patty. Put the other patty on top then pat down and pinch the edges so that the cheese  is completely enclosed. Repeat with the other burgers.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan. Oil and season the burgers then add to the pan and fry for four minutes each side. Put some lettuce and tomato on the base of each fun. Sit the burgers on top then add onion and gherkins to finish. 

Mix some English mustard with mayonnaise for a great accompaniment. 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Jamaican prawn, pepper and coconut stew



It may have been because I replaced the ground allspice and the thyme leaves with   some lime juice and a drop of fish sauce, but to me this was more like a Thai dish. Either way it was a great supper dish, very light and fresh with minimum effort to cook. This is a recipe from Olive magazine, it's also gluten free. 

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2
spring onions 6, chopped (including the green bits)
ginger a small chunk, finely chopped
garlic 1 clove, crushed
scotch bonnet chilli 1, finely chopped (i just used a normal red chilli)
olive oil
ground allspice ½ tsp
thyme ¼ tsp of leaves, chopped
red pepper 1, seeded and chopped
half-fat coconut milk 400g tin
spinach 100g, chopped
raw peeled prawns 150g
basmati rice 100g


Method
Cook ¾ of the spring onion, all of the ginger, garlic and chilli in a little oil for 5 minutes, then stir in the allspice and thyme and cook for a minute. Add the pepper and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and prawns and cook for a few more minutes, until prawns are pink. Cook the rice, then serve with the stew and a scattering of the remaining spring onions.




Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Crusty pasta and broccoli cheese bake




My intention last night was  to make a broccoli and cheese soufflé, when it came to meal time I decided to look for an easier recipe that I knew everyone would eat and enjoy. This may not look that appealing but it was very tasty for a meat free Monday evening. I used the recipe as a guideline and followed some of the suggestions from readers of the good food website that had made and tweaked the recipe. The suggestions were to use less pasta and more broccoli. Fry the red onion which I did, I also added a tin of tuna for a little more flavour. I only had a small amount of creme fraiche so I used some low fat natural yoghurt to make up 200g. I sprinkled a few chilli flakes over too and baked the meal rather than using the grill. 

Ingredients

400g penne or macaroni
1 red onion, roughly chopped
250g head broccoli, stalks chopped and florets halved
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp French or German mustard
200g pot half fat crème fraiche
100g grated mature Gruyere or cheddar
small handful parsley leaves, chopped
4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs (or put 1 slice crustless white bread through a food processor)
½ tsp dried mixed herbs or thyme

Method
Boil the pasta, onion and broccoli stalks in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 7 mins, then add the florets and cook for another 3 mins. Reserve about 400ml of the water, then drain the pasta and vegetables.
Return the reserved water to the pan and dissolve the stock cube, whisk in the mustard and crème fraîche, then season to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir in the drained pasta, vegetables and half the cheese, mixing until melted. Stir in the parsley.
Heat the grill for 3 mins. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, then scatter on top.
Stand the dish on the base of a grill pan and grill for about 3 mins, turning if it starts to brown. Keep watching so the top doesn’t start to burn or the cheese will toughen. Remove and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.



Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mushroom, sundried tomatoes and nut bake



I try to stick to meat free Mondays as often as I can. This dish came about quite by accident as I was planning on making The Hairy Bikers mushroom, feta and tomato baked peppers. The kids didn't fancy that so I decided not to roast the peppers and just use the ingredients that I had for the stuffing. It was a meal in itself and very quick to prepare and bake. I didn't feel that it needed feta and just stirred a handful of Parmesan in instead which gave a nice creaminess.

Ingredients
Serves 2

8 sun-dried tomatoes pieces in oil, drained well
2 tsp sunflower oil
2 x 175g packs of chestnut mushrooms, wiped and diced
20g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
50g of dry white or brown bread crumbs
1 tsp chilli flakes
100g feta cheese or soft goats cheese (or just a handful of Parmesan)
freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 200. Roughly chop up the sundried tomatoes. Heat the oil in an oven and stir fry the mushrooms over a high heat for 4 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped hazelnuts and fry for a further minute until the nuts are lightly toasted. Season with a good grind of black pepper and remove from the heat.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and chilli flakes until thoroughly combined. Break the cheese into small chunks and toss them through the stuffing lightly. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the mixture and bake for about 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are crispy. Serve warm with a lightly dressed mixed salad.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Flourless Chocolate Cake



Well you couldn't eat a huge slab of this cake, even my daughter, the Queen of consuming chocolate cake found it on the rich side. I just fancied giving it a go yesterday after seeing the recipe on the Delicious website. It was relatively easy to make, but quite extravagant with ingredients, its certainly not an everyday cake. Was it better than chocolate brownies or a basic chocolate cake?  I'm not sure. Everyone who had a slice said how lovely it was, but left a little. Maybe a bit too chocolatey, but if that's what you like this one is for you. The middle is moist and gooey and the recipe says to serve with fresh raspberries, which would have been perfect to combat the sweetness. 


Ingredients
Serves 10-12

250g unsalted butter
300g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
5 medium free-range eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
Cocoa powder for dusting
Fresh raspberries, and double cream to serve

You’ll also need…
23cm springform cake tin, greased and base-lined with baking paper


Method
Heat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the butter starts to turn brown and smell biscuity. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. 

Remove from the heat, then whisk in the egg yolks. Transfer to a large clean mixing bowl.
In another large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks using an electric mixer (the peaks should droop when the beaters are lifted out). Mix the sugar and almonds into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the egg whites using a large metal spoon. Pour the mixture into the tin.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, then chill until needed.
Just before serving, dust with cocoa powder, then decorate with raspberries and rose petals, if desired. Serve with cream.


Friday, 13 January 2017

Pasta with a Quick Sausage Sauce



This may look like a basic ragu, the principal is the same but its actually quite a different flavour from a beef based sauce. I love the addition of the rosemary and the herby taste of the sausages. The recipe is an old one from the River Cafe Cook book,  now I have remembered about it I'll make it more often. I love the Italian name for it "Penne con Sugo di Salsiccie alla Cloe". Comforting, wintery, perfect for a cold January weekend, accompanied with a nice glass of red. Unless you're doing Dry January of course. 


Ingredients
Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil
2 small red onions, peeled and chopped
6 Italian spiced, fresh pork sausages, meat removed from skins and crumbled (Any sausages will be fine)
1½ tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 small dried chillies, crumbled
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g penne pasta, (more for a larger appetite)
5 fl oz double cream
120g parmesan, freshly grated


Method
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion until light brown. Add the crumbled sausage, the rosemary, bay leaves and chilli. Fry together over a high heat, stirring to mash the sausages. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, and continue to cook for 20 minutes. The sausage meat should become brown and disintegrate. Add the tomatoes, stir and return to the boil. Remove from the stove. Cook the penne in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly. Stir the cream into the sauce along with the drained penne and half the parmesan. Serve with the remaining parmesan.


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy New Year

Christmas was as usual filled with wonderful food and spent with family and good friends. I didn't eat too much, but what I did eat was quite indulgent as you can see from the pictures below. Probably my favourite meal was the Pre-Christmas meal that my husband and I  cooked together,  when the kids were out for the night. I could just eat it now, my mouth is watering looking at the photo of the pheasant in cream and calvados sauce. Christmas Day dinner was a very delicious turkey cooked by my mum and brought along on Christmas morning, we added all the traditional accompaniments to it and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. New Year's Eve dinner was pulled pork, roasted slowly for hours in an aromatic rub, with potato wedges and homemade coleslaw, followed by lemon cheesecake and salted caramel pavlova. So now the thought of some homemade soup for tea seems quite dull and boring, but in typical New Year fashion, it's time to cut back a little, so it will have to do this evening.


Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog, I'm sometimes amazed that people still do and I really appreciate all of you.