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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Recipe of the week - 29th June 2011

My boyfriend and I went to stay with his parents in Manchester today. I wanted to say thank you by cooking a quick (because I was tired from the journey) and also tasty meal. I therefore decided to plump for my old favourite of papadelle with bacon and leek. I tend to make the papadelle myself, although this is actually a huge lie. Rather, I buy sheets of fresh lasagne and then slice it into 1 cm thick lengths. This gives a lovely rustic feel to the pasta, since all the strands are slightly different.

Papadelle w bacon and leek

serves 4

2 packs of fresh lasagne
3 leeks
5 rashes of smokey bacon (sliced into thin pieces (lardons))
25g flour
50g butter
200 ml milk
100g cheddar cheese (mature and grated)

optional: parmesan cheese

1. Begin by toping and tailing the leeks. The white portion is the part you want to eat with only 1 inch of the green part.
2. Wash the leek thoroughly and then slice finely.
3. Add 25g butter to a saucepan, cover, and then, on a medium heat, sautee the leek for 15 minutes. 
4. Fry the bacon in a separate frying pan until nice and crispy.

To make the cheese sauce:
1. Begin by making a simple roux. To do this add the milk, butter and flour to a saucepan and heat on a medium heat, stirring continuously. It is important to stir all the while to prevent lumps from forming.
2. Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir.

5. Boil a large pan of salted water.
6. Add the fresh pasta and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the leeks, bacon and cheese sauce to the pasta and stir through.

Serve immediately, add a grating of parmesan.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Recipe of the week - 24th June 2011

Vegetable curry w cous cous

This is a very tasty, cheap way of making a crowd pleasing curry. Easy to double up or even triple the recipe in order to feed hoards of hungry people.

Feeds 4

1 onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 large can of coconut milk
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
1 mug of cous cous
1 tsp bouillon stock powder
Fresh coriander
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp olive oil

Pick and mix from the following selection of vegetables (ensure that each is chopped into a bite sized piece):

2 courgettes (sliced)
1 small butternut squash
1 sweet potato
6 small salad potatoes
1 cauliflower

natural yoghurt to serve

to make the curry:
1. Par boil the vegetables for approximately 10 minutes until almost tender.
2. Fry the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil in a large frying pan for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the spices and tomato puree and dry fry for an additional few minutes.
4. Add the par boiled vegetables, tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and 500 ml of water to the frying pan.
5. Allow the curry to simmer gently for 10 minutes.

to prepare the cous cous:
1. Dissolve the bouillon in 2 mugfuls of boiling water.
2. Add the stock, cous cous and olive oil to a large bowl and give it a quick stir.
3. Cover with cling film and leave for 5 minutes.
4. Fluff up the cous cous using a fork.

Serve the cous cous and curry immediately. Finish the dish with a sprinkling of coriander and some natural yoghurt.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Fresher Food - Spaghetti Bolognese

I've made a new Fresher Food video. This time showing you how to make a quick and tasty spaghetti bolognese. hope you like it!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cake bake

It was recently my last day at a school where I've been training to be a Science teacher. I baked 40 cupcakes (lemon and caramel flavoured), some chewy american style cookies and a coffee cake to thank the staff. It took me hours, but it was worth it. All the staff seemed to enjoy them the following day. There's a sneaky extra cake in the photos too. It was my boyfriend's birthday the day before so I made him a hungry caterpillar cake with jam, butter icing and soft icing for the decoration. A hungry person has already eaten at least a third of it!

The many, many cakes....

Me taking a little break in amongst the baking. I hadn't even bothered to change out of my school clothes in order to bake! In retrospect, that might have been a good idea. Poor dress.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Recipe of the week - 8th June 2011

Baked eggs florentine

This makes weekend breakfasts just that little bit more special, but is also fab served up as either a light lunch or starter. Exceptionally easy to make.

Serves 4

4 organic eggs
1 small pot of double cream
A few handfuls of fresh spinach
100g gruyere cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees C.
2. Add 2 cm spinach to each ramekin.
3. Crack an egg into each ramekin.
4. Add a dash of double cream and a sprinkling of cheese.
5. Season with the salt and pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
6. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes.