Meatball and pasta bake

Pasta-meatballs_Tile

I used half of the meatballs (see Pork meatballs) to make this hearty, comforting dish. Serves 2-3 people.

  • 3 ‘handfuls’ of dried penne (cooked);
  • 12 meatballs;
  • 1 quantity of tomato sauce;
  • 30g grated cheddar.

Place the cooked pasta in an oven proof dish. Place the meat balls within the pasta. Pour over the tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated cheddar. Cook in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) until piping hot and cheese is browned.

Green chilli rarebit

Chilli_rarebite1

I also made chilli rarebit with large green chillies.

Enough for 2 people:

  • 2 large green chillies (deseeded and finely sliced)
  • 100g mature cheddar (finely grated)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 8 very small slices of rye bread (toasted)
  • Black pepper

Mash the chilli, cheese and milk together with a fork. Spread the mixture evenly over the slices of toast.

Grill until the cheese starts to brown. Dust with black pepper and serve.

Mash with kale and cheese

Kale&Brie_Mash_Tile

This is the ultimate in comfort food. The recipe is based on one from Waitrose Kitchen magazine for March 2015. This is a very simple dish, which can be eaten on its own. But it would also go well with poached eggs or sausages. Enough for 2 people:

  • 100ml milk
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 500g potatoes (peeled and cut into 2cm chunks)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 20g butter
  • black pepper
  • 100g shredded kale (with tough stalks removed)
  • 4 spring onions (cut into 2cm lengths, and split in half lengthways)
  • 50g brie (thinly sliced)
  • 20g cheddar (grated)

Heat the milk, to boiling, with the thyme. Cover, and leave to infuse.

In a saucepan, cover the potatoes, bay leaves and garlic with cold water. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Drain, remove the bay leaves, and return to the pan. Leave, uncovered, over a very low heat, for about 5 minutes, to dry the potatoes.

Mash together the potatoes, garlic, 10g of butter and the milk (having removed the thyme), and season with black pepper. Keep warm.

Heat the remaining butter in a large pan. Add the kale and spring onions and stir fry for about 3 minutes, until the kale is just about cooked. Stir in the mashed potato and the cheeses.

Serve.

 

Sage and onion cornbread

This recipe is adapted from one which appeared in the Guardian Cook supplement on 3 January 2015. It’s good warm, on its own with butter, or for mopping up soups and casseroles.

  • 110g plain wholemeal flourCornbread
  • 100g polenta (not instant polenta)
  • 4 tsps (heaped) baking powder
  • 70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
  • 1 bunch spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • 100g mature cheddar (finely grated)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 240ml milk
  • 120 ml olive oil (and a little more to grease the cake tin)

Line the base of a 20cm cake tin with silicone paper and paint the sides with olive oil.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6).

Sift together the flour, polenta and baking powder. Stir in the breadcrumbs, onions, sage and cheese, until the mixture is evenly combined.

Beat together the eggs, flour and oil in a separate bowl.

Mix all the ingredients together, and spoon into the cake tin, levelling the top is necessary.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked inside (if you insert a skewer and it comes out clean, it will be cooked).

Allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or store in an airtight tin for later use. Freezes well.

 

 

Cheese, onion and potato hotpot

Hotpot_side

We’d just got back from a long weekend and there wasn’t much to eat in the house. I fancied something warming, so I made this – enough for 2:

  • 3 medium sized onions (finely sliced)
  • 3 fairly large potatoes (peeled and sliced (2-3cm)
  • 100g grated cheddar
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • Black pepper
  • 15g butter
  • Grated nutmeg

Take 1/4 of the potatoes and make a layer at the base of an ovenproof dish. Cover with 1/3rd of the onions and then 1/3rd of the cheese. Grate over a little black pepper.

Repeat the above (potatoes, onions, cheese etc), twice; and then add the final layer of potatoes.

Dot the final layer of potatoes with butter and lightly dust with pepper and nutmeg.

Gently add the stock at the edge of the dish.

Cover (either with the lid or aluminium foil) and cook at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for 2 hours. Then turn up the heat to 200C (Gas mark 6),  uncover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes to crispen the top layer of potatoes.

Serve with a salad (if liked). I used baby leaf salad with cherry tomatoes and spring onions, with a honey and mustard dressing.

Chilli rarebit

Chilli_rarebiteI was feeling hungry, so stale bread, left-over soured cream and a glut of chillies (due to the sunny weather), resulted in this snack recipe. Chilli rarebit is usually made with chilli jam or chutney, but raw chillies seem perfectly OK. Enough for 2 people:

  • 4 small red chillies (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 100g mature cheddar (finely grated)
  • 2 tbsp soured cream
  • 6 small (or 4 large) slices of wholemeal bread (toasted)
  • Black pepper

Mash the chilli, cheese and cream together with a fork. Spread the mixture evenly over the slices of toast.

Grill until the cheese starts to brown. Dust with black pepper and serve.