Thursday, 25 February 2010

Sausage And Mixed Bean Casserole

Ingredients (For 2 People)

6 Pork and Beef Sausages
1 Mug of Dried Mixed Beans
1 Large Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Vegetable Stock Cube
1 Large Maris Piper Potato
½ Teaspoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Dried Mixed Herbs

Equipment you will need

1 Saucepan, Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 1 Deep Roasting Tin, Frying Pan and Tin Foil.


You will need to soak the mixed beans overnight in the water in the fridge. Now jumping forward 24hrs, put a pan of water on to boil and add a vegetable stock cube. Drain off any excess water from your pre soaked beans and wash thoroughly. Add the beans to the boiling water and wait for the beans to boil again and stir, when the beans are boiling turn them down to the lowest setting so there are just simmering. Leave these cooking for 15 minutes. Once these have had 15 minutes run cold water into the pan to cool, then drain. Chop the onion into chunks (I recommend 8’s) and do the same for the potato. Crush and chop the garlic and leave with the onion. Heat the frying pan with ½ teaspoon of olive oil and prick your sausages, add them to the frying pan and turn them occasionally to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and leave them in your roasting tin.


Turn your oven on to 130 degrees. Heat up the frying pan, add a little olive oil to the pan if necessary (there should be enough fats from the sausages), now add the onion, potato and the garlic. Fry these on a medium heat to soften the onion and the potato for about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle the mixed herbs over the potato and add the mixed beans, add ½ mug of water and give this a good stir for another 5 mins. Now pour your mix from the pan over the sausages and cover with water. Put tin foil over your roasting tin and place in the oven for an hour.

Almost There

After half an hour of cooking check the liquid in your roasting tin. Now would be a good time to add water if necessary (note the liquid will help make a sauce for later). Add a little salt and a generous sprinkle of pepper (I prefer cracked black pepper). Cover and place back in the oven.


The time has come to reap the harvest of the work you put in. Carefully remove the tin from the oven, remove the tin foil. Now you have to decide if the sauce is right for you, does it need to thicken slightly? If so you can use thickening granules or gravy granules. Give it a taste and now is the last chance to adjust the seasoning before you wow you guest with your Sausage and Mixed Bean Casserole. Serve in warm bowls, maybe with a chunk of warm crusty bread and Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


INGREDIENTS (For 8 Pancakes)
120g Plain Flour
2 Eggs
250ml Milk
50ml Water
20g Unsalted butter
Vegetable oil for frying

Equipment you will need: 1 Mixing Bowl, 1 Whisk, 1 measuring jug, 1 Frying Pan.


Measure out the ingredients and add the flour to the bowl. Now add the eggs and the water and mix. While you are mixing this you can add the milk. Continue mixing until you have a smooth batter(no one likes lumpy pancakes).Pour your smooth batter mix into your measuring jug. Clean out the bowl and dry.


Heat up your frying pan and then add 2 tablespoons of oil, when the oil slides around the pan then you know the pan is hot enough. Pour any excess oil into the bowl and add a small knob of butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt a little, then add enough batter mix to form a thin layer across the pan, tilt the pan if necessary and cook for a few minutes. When the underneath of the pancake is cooked enough it will move when you move the pan. It may need a little help around the sides, maybe with a palette knife or an egg flipper.

Almost There

So here it is! Do you go for the flip? One Handed? Double Grip? Or do you just ease it over with the egg flipper? The choice is yours but you are only few moments away from eating your pancake. Turn the pancake out onto a plate and serve it with your favourite topping/s.


Everybody is different and enjoy many different flavours! The list is endless to what you can put in these versitile beauties. But here are some of my favourites:

The Original - Lemon and Sugar
Nanna's Fav - Your choice of Jam spread
Banoffee - Banannas And Toffee Ice Cream
Chocolate Nut - Peacans, Almonds and Melted Chocolate
PC Fruity - Fruits of the Forest gently warmed served with crème fraîche
Strawberry Heaven - Strawberries with vanilla ice cream and Strawberry Sauce

How about Savoury?

Chicken,Bacon and Mozerella Cheese served with a chunky tomato sauce
Beef Mince and Onion Gravy
Smoked Salmon with honey, grain mustard and dill cream sauce
Stir Fry Vegetables
Garlic Prawns with salad leaves
Stilton and Mushroom

Try adding coconut milk instead of milk to your batter mix to give it a twist. What ever you put in your pancake, make it special for you and enjoy! Please share your filling ideas?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Shepherd Jackets

Ingredients(For 2 People)

500g Fresh Lamb Mince
1 Large Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
3 Carrots
½ Swede
2 Large Jacket Potatoes
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
100g grated cheddar
Worcestershire Sauce
Gravy Granules or Thickening Granules

Equipment you will need: Baking Tray, 1 Large Frying Pan, 1 Saucepan, Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 2 soup bowls, and 1 mixing bowl.


Take your jacket potatoes and prick them with a fork in 4 -5 different places. You could rub them with oil or covering them in tin foil to make them a bit crispier.
Turn your oven onto 180 Degrees and place your jackets into bake, they will take about 45 mins to an hour. Finely chop the onion and the garlic and leave in a bowl. Chop your carrots and your swede into chunks about the size of a 20p piece and leave in a bowl.


Heat your frying to a high temperature and dry fry the lamb mince, there is no need for oil since lamb can be quite a fatty meat. Continue frying the mince until the meat has completely browned, now add the onions and the garlic. Stir the onions and meat together and continue frying until the onions have softened, now add the chop tomatoes, carrots and half the swede with a generous glug of Worcester sauce. Give this a good stir round and cover with cold water, when the pan has come to the boil then reduce the heat to simmering. Leave this simmering for around 20 mins to soften the vegetables. Thicken the mince if required with thickening granules or gravy mix. Add seasoning to taste.

Almost There

Put a saucepan of water onto boil and cook the remaining swede until soft, about 20 mins. Drain the water from the swede and leave in a mixing bowl with some butter.
When your jackets are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins. Cut the jackets in half lengthways so when you place the jacket on the plate, white potato side up it sits quite well on the plate without rolling around all over the place. Scoop out the middle of the jacket and put with the swede. (Carefully without breaking the jacket skin)
Mash up the potato and the swede together with butter, salt, oodles of crushed black and a little milk.


Now everything is ready, it’s time to put it together. Place the jacket skins onto a baking tray and spoon in the mince into the jacket so it fills the jacket by ¾’s. Now take your mash mix and fill and mound up your jackets with peaks of mash, top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven for 15 mins or so. Carefully remove from the oven and arrange on the plate and spoon on any remaining mince depending on how hungry you feel. The mince that doesn’t get used can be frozen and used at a later date or maybe the start of a lasagne for tomorrow.

Beef Stew & Herb Dumplings

INGREDIENTS (For Two People)

1 Large Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
4 Medium Carrots
1/2 Small Swede
6 Button Mushrooms
250gm Stewing Beef/Steak
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
8 New Potatoes
4 Celery Sticks
1 Mug Of Peas(Frozen/Fresh)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Glass Of Red Wine(Optional)
2 Tablespoon of Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoon Oil(Olive,vegetable,sunflower are all good to use its up to you)
Dumpling Mix: 100g self raising flour, 50g suet mix, pinch of salt 1 tablespoon mixed herbs and water.

Kitchen Equipment you will need: 1 Chopping Board, Sharp Knife, 2 Soup Bowls, 1 Large Saucepan, 1 Mixing Bowl and a ladle.


Put your beef into the mixing bowl and add the flour and season well(don't be shy). Mix throughly so all of the meat is coated. Heat your saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and brown your meat off in the pan. Once the meat has a dark brown colour to the edges of the meat, remove from the pan and leave in a bowl for a bit. Roughly chop all the veg: potatoe, swede, carrotts, onion, mushroom, celery and the garlic(you will want to chop the vegetables into the same size pieces as the beef). Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and genlty fry the veg mix to soften slightly. Add the beef back into the pan and add the wine if you have chosen to. If you have added the wine then cook this until the wine has reduced by half. Add the bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and the chopped tomatoes, now add enough water to cover the beef and the vegetables and then add the same amount of water again. Cover the pan with a suitable lid or you could use some tin foil(carefully cover the pan with tin foil, it will be hot). Leave on your stove top for one and half hours on the lowest heat you have.


Now your stew has been working its magic for an hour or so, its time to check on a few things. Firstly check to see if the beef has started to get tender a little bit, it should still be a little firm and about half an hour away. Secondly check to see how much liquid you have covering the meat, you just need it to just cover, no more. Add some water if needs be, if you think you have too much don't worry it will all get made into a gravy for mopping up later. Now you need to check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Is the thickness of the gravy ok for you? or do you need to thicken it slightly?

Almost There

You need to make your dumplings. Take one mixing bowland measure out your ingredients, add to the bowl and work the mixture with your fingers. Add some water a little at a time until you have a pliable dough, once you have got this you can make your little dumplings by rolling them in your hand. Keep your hands well floured to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
Now you have your dumplings, place them into your stew and cover the pan cook for around 20mins. Your stew should be simmering but not boiling.


It's time to eat! The dumplings have double in size and smells escaping from you pan should now be making your tastebuds tingle. So grab yourself a big bowl and ladle, serve yourself a large portion of homemade stew and dumplings, you deserve it!

Chicken & Mushroom Rissotto


2 Small Chicken Breast
1 Medium Onion(red or white)
6 Medium Cup Mushroom
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Chicken Stock Cube
25g Unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon of Oil(Olive,Sunflower,Vegetable)
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika(Ordinary Paprika will work fine)
1 Tablespoon Oregano
3/4 Mug of Rissotto Rice

Equipment you will need: Chopping board, Sharp Knife, 1 Frying Pan, 1 Saucepan, 2 soup bowl


Put 2 pints of water of water on to boil. When this has reached boiling point add the stock cube and stir until all of the cube has dissolved, remove from the heat. While you are waiting for the water to boil(don't watch it because folk law says it won't) you could cut the mushrooms into slices about the thickness of a ten pence piece, leave these in a bowl. Finely chop the onion as small as you can(mind those fingers you will need them for the rest of this dish), leave these on the side of the chopping board. Repeat this process with the garlic and add with the onion to your other soup bowl. Depending on how zippy you are with the knife the water should be done by now. You will need to chop the chicken into bite size pieces, they should be roughly the size of the mushroom you cut earlier. I personally prefer to slice the chicken with a knife, but I have seen people use scissors, I know some people don't like touching raw meat, it's down to you really how the chicken gets chopped.


Heat your frying pan for 5 mins and then add the oil, you will know when the pan is hot enough because the oil will move quickly around the pan. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken has browned in colour. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onions and the garlic, if necessary add half the butter to the pan to prevent the onion and garlic mix burning and sticking to the pan. Cook until onion has soften, now add the remaining butter and the rissotto rice, you may want to reduce the heat in the pan slightly. You need to keep stiring the rice, now add the mushrooms, paprika and the herbs.

Almost There

Continue to stir and slowly add about a mug full of the stock water carefully it may spit a little when you first add it to the frying pan. The idea of frying the rice gently in the pan with butter and the herbs is so the each rice kernal splits and allows the flavours to flow and infuse into the rice when you gradually add the water. You may want to turn the heat up slighty and add little amounts of water often. We are trying to get as much flavour into the rice as possible by letting the water reduce to nearly nothing and then adding more flavour. You do not want the rice swimming in the water and equally nor do want it too dry. Keep stiring and adding flavour. When I have made this recipe the rice cooking time is about 20 mins but depending on the heat you are cooking with the times may vary. When you think the rice is 5 mins from being done you can add the chicken. Don't forget to add liquid if necessary, at this stage it could be just water if you have run out of stock.


Check to see if your chicken has cooked by cutting into it. If the chicken is done then taste the rice to see if that is cooked, it should have a bite to it and the sauce should just coat the rice. Continue to cook if needs be but be sure to get the liquid levels right, its very difficult to take liquid out at this stage but adding is a lot easier.Add salt and pepper to taste, serve and enjoy!