Braised Fennel and Tomato
1 fennel bulb
small clove of garlic, finely chopped
small onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon smoked streaky bacon, chopped
3 tomatoes halved
125 mls white wine or stock
salt and pepper
olive oil to drizzle.
Cut the fennel into quarters leaving the core intact.
Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add bacon and fry for another few minutes. Add tomatoes, fennel, white wine or stock, salt and pepper. Stir and cook at a simmer for 30-45 minutes or until fennel is soft and can be pierced with a knife. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
To serve: Crusty bread.
A tip I learned a few years ago from a good friend:
If the outer layer of the fennel bulb is tough and fibrous, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer layer- just like peeling a cucumber.
Nutty Potato Cakes
375g potatoes, boiled & mashed – some may wish to add a little milk and butter
Seasoned flour for coating (add a dash of your favourite spice for extra flavour)
1 egg, beaten
125g almonds, finely chopped
15 ml sunflower oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Parsley sprigs, to garnish
Place the seasoned flour on a plate, the beaten egg on another and the chopped nuts on a third.
Divide the mashed potato into twelve pieces and form each piece into a medallion shape, then coat in seasoned flour, then dip in egg and then the almonds.
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the medallions, a few at a time for about 6 minutes, turning once, until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.
Serve hot, garnished with sprigs of parsley.
The idea for my lunch today came to me in the middle of the night. I was almost tempted to get up then and there to make and have a midnight feast!
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 small red onion, sliced thinly and quartered
1 tomato, chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
A couple of diagonally cut slices of Ciabatta bread
crumbled crisply grilled streaky bacon.
Place the avocado, red onion, tomato & lime in a bowl and stir.
Toast the Ciabatta bread on both sides.
Spoon the salsa mixture on top of the bread and garnish with the chopped bacon.
Sausage & Tomato Patties
450g sausage meat
½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato chutney
Oil for frying
mustard for serving
In a bowl, mix the sausage meat with the chilli flakes (if using) and tomato chutney. The easiest way to do this is with your hands. Then form into 8 patties and chill. When ready to cook, fry over a medium heat for about five minutes on each side, until cooked through*.
Serve with toasted muffins, extra chutney or a dollop of mustard.
* You can bake these in the oven if you wish. Preheat the oven 200°C and cook on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
75g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
330g can sweetcorn, drained
3 spring onions, trimmed & finely sliced
oil for frying
grilled bacon & tomato chutney, to serve.
In a bowl, mix flour and baking powder with a pince of salt. Make a well in the centre and whisk in egg, oil, and 75ml cold water. It is best to make this batter just before you want to cook the fritters.
Stir in the sweetcorn and spring onions, Heat oil in a large frying pan and fry spoonfuls of batter until golden on each side. Do this in batches, keeping the cooked fritters warm in the oven. Serve with grilled bacon and tomato chutney.
OK, I hear you laughing… GM making a pudding with butter?????
This is a savoury alternative to the traditional pud. Garlic bread with cheese and baby courgette sliced thickly made for a simple lunch with a salad. That is how a sister of my friend served it the other day for lunch. Since she used store bought garlic bread and I was not sure of how much cheese she used, I had to give it a miss and go with just the salad. It looked scrummy and the aroma was divine. I asked for the recipe and wondered how I could adapt it to suit my needs. Here is the recipe as it was given to me:
Garlic Bread & Butter Pudding
Preheat the oven to 180°C
For 4 people you will need:
340g garlic bread cut in slices
100g cheese of choice grated, crumbled or finely sliced
200g baby courgettes thickly sliced
3 large eggs
400 ml crème fraîche
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grease a 1.75 litre ovenproof dish. Arrange the slices in the bottom of the dish. Then scatter sliced courgettes on top. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and crème fraîche. Add the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then pour over bread and courgettes. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. Bake in oven for 45 minutes till golden and set. Serve with a green salad.
I love garlic bread, I use a small amount of olive oil in place of butter, or on occasion no oil at all, spreading the crushed garlic on the sliced bread before placing it in the oven. Now if I use a small amount of grated Parmigiano Reggiano for flavour and a greater ratio of eggs to low fat crème fraîche, it might work for me.
If I live until next week, I’ll have another recipe for you. 😉
Vegetable & Chicken Quiche
Preheat oven to 180°C
Pastry of your choice to line a flan dish ( I am no good at pastry making)
For the filling:
½ a small onion peeled and chopped
3 slices of smoked streaky bacon chopped
I chicken breast cut in strips
⅓ yellow pepper diced
6 ozs mixed cooked vegetables:- carrots, celery, corn and peas
2 ozs mushrooms chopped (optional)
¼ pint of milk
Pepper & salt
Fry the onion, bacon, chicken & peppers. Add cooked vegetables and stir.
Beat the egg and add the milk.
Line the flan dish with pastry, fill with vegetables & chicken mixture. Pour over the egg and milk. Bake for 25 minutes.
Serve with a salad & crusty bread
(or chips if nobody is paying attention 😉 )
Pasta & Bacon Layer
Preheat oven to 190ºC
100g pasta twirls cooked
300g broccoli florets cooked
1 medium onion finely chopped
100g mixed pepper diced
8 slices streaky maple cured bacon chopped
100g flaked almonds
20ml pesto sauce
15ml oil for frying
grated cheese to top
Fry the onion, pepper and bacon in a pan or wok for 4 minutes. Add sultanas and flaked almonds. And cook for a further few minutes. Stir in the pasta, broccoli and pesto sauce. Pour into a pie dish and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.
Smoked Salmon Hash
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
400g leftover boiled potatoes, roughly diced
Pinch of paprika or chilli
1 egg very lightly beaten
3-4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
150g smoked salmon, torn into pieces
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the potato. Cook until beginning to brown. Keep the potatoes moving round the pan so that they do not burn. Add more oil if needed. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir through the paprika or chilli. Add the egg and continue stirring to mix through, add the tomatoes and when they begin to soften, mix in the smoked salmon. Remove from the heat and check for seasoning.
Italian Cauliflower Pasta
Preheat the oven to 180°C
1 Cauliflower cut into florets & steamed
100g penne or spirals, cooked
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 dessert spoon of flaked almonds
Pancetta torn in small pieces
2 dessert spoons of Pesto sauce
grated cheese to top
Steam the cauliflower and cook the pasta until al dente. Fry the onions, almonds and sultanas until soft and golden. Add the cooked pasta, cauliflower and pancetta. Next add the pesto sauce and and mix through. Spoon into an oven proof dish and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with with bread and or a side salad.