Friday, 29 May 2009

Easy Cheesy Beans

I'm probably going to get some stick for this recipe, but I don't care. It's the credit-crunch/recession/whatever so it's a nice cheap and filling meal. I also feel that, regardless of price and perceived quality of ingredients, it's very important to be able to cook with the ingredients to hand. I also feel you can't really appreciate food and good cooking if you're snobbish about the food that you eat and only go for caviar.


  • 3 slices of bread, cut into triangles

  • 1 tin of baked beans, opened

  • fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp dried sage

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 6 slices of cheddar cheese



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Place the bread in the bottom of a buttered oven proof dish.

  3. In the bean tin mix in the black pepper, sage and cayenne pepper.

  4. Pour the bean mix over the bread.

  5. Place slices of cheese over the beans.

  6. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

  7. Serve and enjoy.


Serves 1 for dinner or 2 for lunch.
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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Broken Vegetable Pancake

This is a dish which is a mix between scrambled egg and a pancake. I always find Spanish omelettes a bit too heavy with all their egg, so I was pleased to be able to come up with a lighter dish.


  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced

  • 20g butter

  • 30g french beans, ends removed

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 egg

  • 30g self raising flour

  • 30ml water

  • 30ml milk

  • a pinch of salt and pepper



  • Put the carrot, butter, beans and red onion in a frying pan and fry on a gentle heat for 7 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Mix up the flour and water. When you have a smooth paste add the milk and salt and pepper.

  • Pour the batter into the frying pan. Leave it to cook on the same gentle heat.

  • After about 5 to 10 minutes the top of the batter should appear to be starting to go solid.

  • Carefully place a plate over the top of the pan and then turn the two together so that the half cooked pancake is on the plate.

  • Slide the pancake off the plate back into the pan, so that it's now the other way up. Don't worry if it breaks up a little, it'll do that.

  • Cook for a further 5 minutes to brown the bottom of the pancake and then serve.


    Serves 1 to 2.
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    Friday, 22 May 2009

    Oven Baked Vegetables with Halloumi

    As you can probably tell from all my halloumi recipes, I really like the stuff. I'd never tried baking it in the oven until now, but I thought I'd give it a go and it turned out really well.


    • 2 Swedes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes

    • 2 sweet peppers, cut into 2 cm squares

    • 1 squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2 cm squares, discard the seeds

    • 3 red onions, peeled and cut into quarters

    • 2 'sprigs' of rosemary

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil

    • 2 blocks of halloumi, sliced thinly



    1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees

    2. Mix all the vegetables, rosemary and olive oil together in a large roasting tin

    3. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes

    4. Stir all the vegetables around and then place slices of halloumi on the top

    5. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is crisp and golden

    6. Serve while still piping hot


    Serves 4.
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    Wednesday, 20 May 2009



    A slightly different style of recipe today. Instead of the usual method and ingredients I'm just going to give a simple rule for easily making porridge.

    To make porridge have half a mug of porridge oats to one mug of milk. Half a cup of porridge oats is about right for each person.

    Just add the oats and milk to a pan and heat on a gentle to medium heat until it starts to thicken, being sure to stir it frequently.

    It's great served with:

    • Golden Syrup

    • Powdered Cinnamon and Raisins

    • Chocolate Chips and Dried Coconut

    • Anything else which takes your fancy...

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    Friday, 15 May 2009

    Leek and Courgette Calzone



    • 3/4 tsp fast action or quick action yeast

    • 400g strong white flour

    • 2 tbsp olive oil

    • 1 tsp salt

    • 230ml warm water

    • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

    • 1 tbsp sugar

    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

    • 2 tbsp olive oil

    • 2 leeks, sliced

    • 25g butter

    • 3 courgettes, sliced

    • 250g grated mozzarella cheese



    1. Mix the flour, yeast, water and olive oil in a bread make on a dough setting. Or mix by hand, kneed well, leave to rise for an hour in a warm place and then leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

    2. Put the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar in a pan and simmer on a low heat.

    3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

    4. Fry the leeks in 2 tbsp of olive oil until they start to go soft, probably about 5 minutes.

    5. Fry the courgettes with the butter in a different pan.

    6. Divide the dough into 4 and roll out into large circles.

    7. Place a quarter of the leek mixture, then a quarter of the courgettes and then a quarter of the cheese in the center of each circle.

    8. Dampen the edges of the circle with water and then fold over and press together well.

    9. Move the semi-circles of dough onto a greased baking tray.

    10. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the outside starts to brown.

    11. Serve with the tomato sauce from the pan.


    Serves 4.
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    Wednesday, 13 May 2009

    Pumpkin and Pea Vegetarian Haggis

    After having my first vegetarian haggis I got a little obsessed with making them. The combination of the oats with the peas and other flavours is a combination I find hard to resist, especially with the moistness that the oats provide which is sometimes missing from other forms of roast (like nut roast).


    • 2 onions, finely chopped

    • 40g butter

    • 400g split yellow peas

    • 900ml vegetable stock

    • 300g oats or oatmeal

    • 300ml boiling water

    • 150g pumpkin seeds

    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

    • 2 tsp mustard powder



    1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

    2. Fry the onions in a large pan with the butter until they start to go soft.

    3. Add the yellow peas and vegetable stock to the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

    4. Add the oats, the boiling water, pumpkin seeds, pepper and mustard powder and stir well.

    5. Simmer for a few more minutes until it starts to thicken.

    6. Pour into a greased oven proof dish.

    7. Bake for 30 minutes.


    Serves 5 to 6.
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    Friday, 8 May 2009

    Jerusalem Artichokes with Tomato Cous Cous

    I'd never had Jerusalem artichokes until they arrived in our organic vegetable box one day. After deciding that they could probably be cooked like potatoes I came up with the following recipe.

    • 2 onions, finely chopped

    • 12 to 14 Jerusalem artichokes, washed and sliced into half-cm slices

    • 2 carrots, sliced like the Jerusalem artichokes

    • 4 tbsp sunflower oil

    • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped

    • 300g cous cous

    • 600ml boiling water



    1. Add the onions, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots and sunflower oil to a big frying pan or wok and heat on a medium heat. They'll take 20 to 30 minutes, so stir them often to stop them burning.

    2. About 5 minutes before the artichokes are ready they'll start to look a bit golden brown. This means it's time to make the cous cous.

    3. Mix the cous cous with the tomatoes and then add the boiling water. Stir well and leave for 2 minutes.

    4. Fluff up the cous cous with a fork and then serve with the Jerusalem artichokes when they are nicely browned.


    Serves 3 to 4. This is nice served with some kale pesto on the side.
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    Wednesday, 6 May 2009

    Quick and Easy Pizza

    This is a really quick and easy pizza. Replace the mustard with any other sort of pickle or relish such as tomato pickle if mustard isn't your thing. I recommend the mustard though, all the heat leaves it as you cook it.


    • 3 tbsp. self-raising flour

    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

    • 1/4 tsp. mustard powder

    • 10g butter

    • 4 tbsp. water

    • 1 tsp. mustard

    • 25g vegetarian bacon chips or pre-cooked bacon

    • 25g cheese, grated



    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

    2. Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and butter in a bowl. If the butter is still soft then heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

    3. Add the water and mix with a knife. Once a dough starts to form then kneed it with your hands until it's uniform.

    4. Press the dough out into a circle on a greased baking tray.

    5. Spread the mustard on the dough.

    6. Add the bacon (chips) and then lastly add the cheese.

    7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and crisp.


    Serves 1.
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    Friday, 1 May 2009

    Three Cheese Gnocchi

    I adore gnocchi, there's something wonderfully simple about them, but they make a nice and hearty meal. I think they're a much under-rated form of pasta, especially as they cook so quickly.


    • 1 bag of gnocchi (500g)

    • 100g blue cheese, such as Stilton or Danish blue, finely chopped

    • 75g Mascarpone cheese

    • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated



    1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees.

    2. Put on a big pan of water to boil and salt well.

    3. Lightly butter a large oven proof dish.

    4. When water is boiling, add gnocchi to pan.

    5. Watch the pan of gnocchi and use a slotted spoon to remove them when they float up to the top. This should only take a few minutes.

    6. Place the gnocchi in the oven proof dish and gently stir in the mascarpone and blue cheese until well mixed.

    7. Sprinkle half the Parmesan over the top.

    8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

    9. Serve with the other half of the Parmesan cheese.

    Serves 2
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