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.
This recipe is my adaptation of a recipe in Waitrose Kitchen magazine of February 2015. Serves 2:
For the roast tomatoes:
- 8 small tomatoes (halved)
- Leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 tsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Black pepper (a few ‘turns’)
For the fritters etc:
- 100g frozen peas (defrosted – use the cheap peas for this recipe)
- 2 spring onions
- Leaves from 6 mint sprigs
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp milk
- 70g plain flour
- 1 rounded tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp oil (for cooking)
- 150g pack of kiln roasted salmon (flaked)
- Soured cream
Place the tomatoes halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with silicone paper. Shake together the thyme, garlic, sugar, oil, lemon juice and black pepper, in a small jar, and drizzle over the tomatoes. Roast at 200C (Gas Mark 6) for 20 to 25 minutes, until they start to char.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
Place the peas, onions, mint, egg and milk in a food processor, and process until smooth.
Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Add this to the food processor. Once the mixture is smooth, spoon it into the frying pan to make 4 even fritters. Cook over a medium heat (2 minutes either side) until golden.
Serve with the tomatoes and the flaked salmon, with a dollop of soured cream.
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 flour
- 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.
Jambalaya is a fairly quick one-pot Cajun rice dish. This version is based on a recipe from the Hairy Bikers. Enough for 3:
- Chicken thighs (boned and cut into smallish chunks
- 40g cooking chorizo (thinly sliced)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 celery sticks (sliced 1cm thick)
- 1 green pepper (cored, deseeded and cut into rough 2cm chunks)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
- 1 heaped tsp paprika
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
- 1 bay leaf
- 90g brown rice
- 200ml chicken stock
- 1 courgette (cut into chunks), so other equivalent green vegetable(s)
- 40g peeled uncooked king prawns (defrosted)
- 2 spring onions (sliced)
- Lemon juice & black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Fry the chicken over a medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the chorizo and stir-fry for another minute. Remove the chicken and chorizo from the pan.
Stir in the onion, celery and green pepper, and cook very gently for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes, cut into quarters and remove the seeds (save the liquid from the tomatoes by rubbing the seeds though a sieve, and reserve together with any other accumulated tomato liquid on the chopping board). Roughly chop the tomatoes flesh.
Stir the garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf into the onion, celery and green pepper mixture. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and the reserved liquid and cook over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened.
Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, stir in the rice, and cook gently for 1 minute. Pour over the stock and cook for about 20 minutes (stir occasionally, and if the rice is drying out add more water or stock) until the rice is just cooked.
Stir in the prawns and spring onions and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. Serve.
This recipe appeared in Waitrose’s Kitchen magazine in May 2014. Enough for 4 people as a side dish:
- 500g small new potatoes
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil (good quality)
- Juice 1/4 lemon
- 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
- 4 cornichons (chopped)
- 1/2 tbsp capers (drained)
- 6 sprigs of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 6 sprigs of fresh tarragon (finely chopped)
Cook the potatoes (boil for about 15-20 minutes until cooked).
Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, oil and lemon juice in a large bowl.
Drain the potatoes (reserving 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid). Return to the pan, and allow to dry over a gentle heat for about 2 minutes.
Cut the warm potatoes in half and add to the mayonnaise mixture, together with the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to combine, and set aside to cool.
When cool add the spring onions, cornichons, capers and herbs.
I served mine with smoked mackerel, horseradish (combined with creme fraiche) and beetroot.
Enough for lunch for 2 (served with bread):
- 100g feta (cut into small cubes, or crumbled)
- 2 spring onions (sliced)
- 1/3rd of a cucumber (diced)
- 14 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
- 12 olives (stoned and halved)
- A few sprigs of mint
- A few sprigs of flat parsley
- 1 clove garlic (crushed/chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- less than 1 tbsp wine vinegar
- Black pepper
Combine the feta, spring onions, cucumber tomatoes and olives in a bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking together the herbs, garlic, oil, vinegar and black pepper. Stir into the salad.
Not my recipe but today’s suggestion from BBC GoodFood for a quick supper (slightly modified so as to use basic couscous and sundried tomatoes (ie things that are in my cupboard!)):
- 110g couscous
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Lemon juice (a good squeeze)
- 200ml vegetable stock (made with vegi-stock powder)
- A handful chopped fresh herbs (eg parsley, plus thyme, tarragon or rosemary)
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 salmon fillets, approx 140g each
- Black pepper
Cut the garlic in half and rub the inside of a bowl with the cut side. Put the couscous into a bowl and stir in the oil, followed by the lemon juice and stock. Cover with and leave to stand 10 mins, then uncover and fluff up with a fork. Keeping back some herbs, mix in the rest of the ingredients, other than the salmon. Season with black pepper.
Heat oven to 180C (Gas Mark 4). Cut two large sheets of non-stick baking paper, then divide the couscous between them. Place each fillet on the couscous, top with the remaining herbs and season with black pepper. Fold the paper over, then twist the edges to seal – like a Cornish Pasty. Place the parcels onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until the fish is cooked. Serve in the bag.