Pork meatballs

Enough for 4 people. I froze half of mine for a later meal.

  • 1 large slice of stale bread;Pork_meatballs
  • 1 large portobello mushroom;
  • 1 medium sized onion;
  • 1 clove garlic;
  • 1 small red chilli deseeded;
  • Small bunch of mixed herbs (eg parsley, rosemary & thyme);
  • 500g pork mince;
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup;
  • 3 ‘shakes’ of Worcester Sauce;
  • Black pepper;
  • 3 tsp tahini;
  • Oil;
  • Plain flour.

Finely chop the bread, mushroom, onion, garlic, chilli and herbs (I used my Cuisinart Mini-Processor).

Thoroughly mix the chopped ingredients with the pork in a large bowl. Mix in the ketchup, Worcester Sauce and black pepper.

In small bowl, gradually combine a small quantity of cold water with the tahini, until it becomes slightly runny. Thoroughly mix this into the pork mixture.

Using a plate of flour, take ping-pong ball sized piece of the mixture in your floured hands, and roll in the flour until ball shaped. Place on a flour tray. I made made 24 meatballs from this mixture.

Oil a baking sheet and place the balls on it, brushing or spraying them with more oil.

Bake at 200C (Gas Mark 6) for about 20 minutes, until they begin to brown.

I served twelve of my meatballs in a pasta bake, made with penne (3 ‘handfuls’ of dried penne (cooked)), 1 quantity of Tomato Sauce, topped with grated cheddar, and cooked in the oven for 20 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4). This will feed 2-3 people.

Cajun rice and beans

I had half a can of red kidney beans, and most of the other ingredients, so this seemed like a good winter supper. This is another recipe adapted from Waitrose’s ‘Harvest 2015′ booklet. Enough for 4 people:

  • 1 tbsp oilCajun_rice&beans
  • 1 leek (chopped)
  • 3 tsp ‘cajun’ seasoning
  • 1 chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 courgette (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 200g parsnips (peeled and diced)
  • 60g brown rice
  • 60g Camargue and wild rice
  • 160g can of sweetcorn (drained)
  • 1/2 a 400g can red kidney beans
  • 1/2 a 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegi stock
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the leeks and gently cook for 5 minutes. Add the Cajun seasoning and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the courgette, red pepper, parsnip and the rice, and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in the sweetcorn, the beans, the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes until the rice is cooked (add more stock if necessary). Season with black pepper to taste.

I served mine with avocado (mashed with a little lemon juice) and grated cheddar.

Sausage and white bean stew

Sausage_Bean_Stew

This recipe is based on one in this month’s Waitrose Kitchen. Enough for two:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1 small red chilli (cored, deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 largish carrot (diced)
  • 3 spicy pork sausages (sliced (3cm thickness))
  • 350mls meat stock (about 1/3rd of a beef stock cube is fine)
  • 1/2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 400g tin of cannellini beans (drained)
  • 100g cavolo nero (roughly chopped, with thick stalks removed)
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • Seasoning (black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice)

Heat the oil in a large pan. Stir in the onions and gently cook for 3 minutes. The stir in the garlic, chilli and the carrots, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sausage slices and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The add the stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then turn up the heat and stir in the cavolo nero, add more water (if necessary), and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the parsley and add seasoning to taste.

Serve.

Baked eggs with sweet potatoes and peppers

Eggs_Sweet_Potato-TileThis is a vegetarian version of the a previous recipe (Baked eggs with peppers and chorizo).

Supper – for 2:

  • 1 large potato (peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (cored, deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (coarsely chopped)
  • Black pepper
  • 4 large eggs

Mix together all the ingredients other than the eggs, and place in a roasting dish and cook in the oven (160C (Gas Mark 3).

After about 45 minutes (when the sweet potatoes are soft), remove the roasting dish from the oven, and make four small wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each one.

Return the dish to oven and cook for a further 8 minutes or until the eggs whites are firm. Serve.

Red pepper and butternut squash soup

Redpepper&Butternut_SoupI made this with butternut squash which had previously been roasted and a red pepper which had been ‘charred’ (see below). Both processes greatly enhance the flavour of the soup.

Enough for 3:

  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped or crushed)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 of a large butternut squash (previously roasted (as one piece)) and cut into small chunks
  • 150ml passata
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp vegi stock powder
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • Season with black pepper and lemon juice

Char the red pepper by blackening the skin all over using a gas ring (on high) or a blowtorch.  Rub off the skin in a bowl of cold water, and slice.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for five minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the red pepper, the butternut squash, the passata and the water, and stir in the vegi stock powder. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.

Take off the heat and blend (using an electric blender or a liquidiser). Stir in the double cream and heat until just boiling.

Season and serve.

Tarka dhal

I had some mushrooms, kale and half a can of chopped tomatoes in the fridge, so I made this warming, satisfying dhal. The recipe is based on one from My Goodness by Liz Nolan. Serves 2:

Tarka_Dhal

  • 175g yellow split peas
  • 475ml water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 70g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2cm cube of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A large pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala (ground)
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes (1/2 large can)
  • 90g chopped kale (washed and the stems removed)

Soak the split peas in cold water for 8 hours (or overnight).

Drain the split peas and put into a medium-sized saucepan with 400ml of water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 40 minutes or until the split peas are cooked. Set aside in the cooking water.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan and stir-fry the mushrooms for 3 minutes. Transfer to a dish and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in the saucepan, add the onions and cook gently for 5 minutes. Then stir in the ginger, garlic, cumin, chilli, turmeric, coriander and garam masala. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and 75 ml of water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the split peas and the mushrooms. Bring to the boil, and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the kale. Bring to the boil, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add more water if the dhal is too thick.

Serve with naans.

Courgette and tomato rice gratin

Courgette&rice_gratin_tile

This is an adaptation of a Jack Munroe recipe. Enough for 4 unless you’re really hungry:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped/crushed)
  • 1 chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 120g brown rice
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Hot water (twice the volume of the rice – put the uncooked rice in a measuring jug before you start, and use double that amount of water)
  • 1 tsp vegi-stock powder
  • 1 courgette (finely sliced)
  • Black pepper
  • 80g grated cheddar

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chilli, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the rice, mix well, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, the hot water and the stock powder. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the rice has cooked.

Turn out the rice into a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover the surface with courgette slices. Grind over black pepper to taste, and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Cook in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for 25 minutes (or until the cheese starts to brown). Serve.

Brazilian bean stew

Brazilian_Tile

This recipe is based on one I found on the internet, but the ingredients are what I had left-over or in the cupboard/fridge, so it’s unlikely to be very authentic. Enough for 3:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • A 10cm piece of chorizo (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red pepper (roughly chopped)
  • 1/3rd of a large butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed and cut into approx 2cm cubes) or equivalent amount
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp vegi-stock powder
  • Hot water
  • 400g tinned borlotti beans (drained)
  • Some green vegetables (I used about 70g of kale)
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • Black pepper
  • A few torn coriander leaves

Gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli until they have softened (about 5 minutes); add the sliced chorizo and fry for 3 minutes (stirring occasionally); add the red pepper and butternut squash and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, the stock powder, and sufficient hot water to cover the mixture; bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes (or until the butternut squash has cooked).

Add the beans and the green vegetables; bring back to the boil and cook until the green vegetables are sufficiently cooked.

Stir in the mango chutney. Add black pepper to taste, and serve sprinkled with coriander.

Chipotle prawns

Chipotle_prawns

I had some uncooked king prawns in the freezer and a ripe avocado, so I made this (for 2):

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped/crushed)
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g (1/2 can) red kidney beans (drained)
  • 175g uncooked king prawns (peeled, if necessary)
  • 1 lime (grated zest and juice)
  • 1 avocado (roughly chopped)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Increase the heat, and stir in the green pepper,  and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the chipotle paste and the tomatoes, bring to the boil, and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir in the red beans and the prawns, bring to back the boil, and simmer for 4 minutes (or until the prawns have cooked (turned pink)).

Stir in the lime zest and add lime juice to taste. Serve scattered with chopped avocado; and with brown rice, if you want something more filling.

Left-over lamb tagine

Left-over_lamb_tagine

I had the remains of a slow-roast half leg of lamb left over from the weekend, so I made a tagine – for 2:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 small red chillies (cored, deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped or crushed)
  • 6 dates (stoned and roughly chopped)
  • 4 soft dried apricots (each cut into eight pieces)
  • 12 raisins
  • 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml of lamb stock (I had some in the freezer – you could use a beef stock cube, or beef/chick stock cubes 50/50)
  • 1 carrot (cut into smallish pieces)
  • 1 parsnip (peeled and cut into smallish pieces)
  • 100g swede (peeled and cut into smallish pieces)
  • Cold roast lamb – cut into smallish pieces

Heat the oil in a thick bottomed saucepan. add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in  the chillies, the spices and the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add all the other ingredients except the lamb. Mix well and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until all the vegetables are cooked (about 45 minutes). Stir in the lamb and turn up the heat so that the meat is pipping hot.

Serve with couscous.