Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Rhubarb Crumble

It's just coming to the end of the rhubarb season so I thought I'd take the chance to write a rhubarb crumble recipe.


  • 5 or 6 sticks of rhubarb stalks, washed and cut into lengths

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 4 tbsp water

  • 75g butter

  • 100g flour

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 50g oats



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Place the rhubarb in the bottom of an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the 100g of sugar, lemon juice and water.

  3. In a separate bowl rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of butter. I cheat and melt the butter for 30 seconds in the microwave before hand.

  4. Add the sugar and oats to the flour and butter mix and stir well.

  5. Sprinkle the oat and flour mix over the top of the rhubarb and press down gently.

  6. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.

  7. Serve with lashings of custard.

Serves 3 to 4.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Potatoes Dauphine

This is a rich and decadent dish which goes well as a side for almost any dinner party meal. Make it and impress all your friends.


  • a small amount of butter

  • 10 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced

  • 3 onions, thinly sliced

  • 100g Parmesan cheese, finely grated and split into thirds

  • 1/2 pint single cream

  • 1/2 pint vegetable stock (or water and stock cube)



  1. Pre-heat an oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Use the small bit of butter to grease a large ovenproof dish.

  3. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the dish.

  4. Cover the potatoes with a layer of 1/3 of the onion.

  5. Sprinkly 1/3 of the cheese over the potatoes and onions.

  6. Repeat for the remaining potatoes and onions. Don't worry if it's not exact, it doesn't have to be. Leave the last 1/3 of cheese off.

  7. Mix the cream and stock in a jug until well mixed.

  8. Pour the cream and stock mix over the potatoes and sprinkle the last of the cheese over the top.

  9. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sausage and Pasta Bake

I like doing interesting things with sausages instead of the usual bangers and mash with gravy. Don't get me wrong, I love bangers and mash; I just think that sausages have a full range of usage which should be explored.


  • 3 sausages

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 3 onions, peeled and coarsly chopped

  • 2 courgettes, sliced and ends removed

  • 1 tsp sage, finely chopped (fresh or dried)

  • 4 tsp instant gravy

  • 300ml water

  • 300g pasta, any variety (I used a mix)

  • 40g cheddar cheese, grated



  1. Put on a large pan of water to boil for the pasta.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

  3. Fry the sausages in the oil until starting to brown.

  4. Cut the sausage up into 1cm chunks.

  5. Add the onions and courgettes to the pan and stir well.

  6. Fry for a further few minutes until the onion starts to soften.

  7. Add the sage, instant gravy and water and stir well.

  8. Simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile start cooking the pasta according to it's instructions.

  9. When the pasta is done, drain it and mix it with the sausage and courgette mix in an ovenproof dish.

  10. Sprinkly the cheese over the top and place in the oven.

  11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese goes nice and golden brown.

Serves 2 as a complete meal.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Breakfast Burrito

I adore burritos and when I heard about making a breakfast burrito I thought I just had to try it. Being vegetarian I had to use vegetarian bacon, but it still worked well.


  • 3 sausages

  • 5 rashers of bacon

  • 2 eggs

  • dash of milk

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 tortilla

  • 2 tbsp ketchup



  1. Start by frying the sausages in a pan.

  2. When they're about 5 minutes from being done, add the bacon to the pan and start frying that.

  3. Mix the eggs with the dash of milk and salt and pepper and beat well.

  4. Put the egg mixture in the saucepan and heat it up quickly, while stiring it quickly.

  5. When the egg mixture starts to go solid you can stop stiring and take it off the heat.

  6. Place on tortilla on a plate and spoon the scrambled egg mixture onto it.

  7. Next chop up the sausages and place them on the egg, then the bacon on top of the sausages.

  8. Add plenty of ketchup to the top and then fold up the burrito by first folding in the ends and then rolling up the sides.

  9. Enjoy the breakfast of kings.

Serves 1 hungry person.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Vegetable Kebabs and BBQed Halloumi

The weather not being perfect barbecue weather shouldn't stop you from having a barbecue (just as long as it's not raining). Just invite some friends over, light the charcoal and enjoy barbecued food, even if it isn't sunny.


  • blocks of halloumi cheese, sliced into 1cm slices

  • red onions, peeled and cut into quarters down the middle

  • courgettes, washed, ends removed and cut into 2cm slices

  • sweet peppers, cut into 2cm squares

  • aubergine, sliced into 2cm slices and quartered

  • olive oil, plenty of it



  1. Light the charcoal about 20 minutes before you want to use it.

  2. Cut the vegetables and cheese up as directed.

  3. Slide the vegetables onto metal skewer, alternating them as you go. Make sure to end on a courgette or aubergine so the vegetables can't fall off.

  4. Don't be tempted to skewer the halloumi, it'll just break apart and fall into the ashes.

  5. Brush everything with olive oil and place on the barbecue, turning regularly to ensure even cooking. If you don't have a brush for the oil, then use the end of some kitchen roll dipped into a cup of oil.


Friday, 11 September 2009

Cheesy Baked Leeks



  • 4 fresh leeks, washed and with ends trimmed off

  • 200ml dry white wine

  • 100ml vegetable stock (or water with stock cube added)

  • 100ml single cream

  • 200ml milk

  • 2 tbsp plain flour

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • pinch of salt

  • 200g cheddar cheese, grated



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

  2. Cut the leeks into 6cm long pieces and place in an ovenproof dish.

  3. Pour the wine and stock into the dish and place into the oven for 30 minutes. Halfway through turn the leeks so that the top ones don't dry out and burn.

  4. Mix the milk, cream, flour, pepper and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to the boil slowly, stiring constantly to avoid lumps.

  5. Simmer for 10 minutes once it's reached the boil.

  6. The leeks should have had about 30 minutes by now, so drain off the liquid surrounding them (I suggest you keep it and use it as stock in a soup, it tastes wonderful).

  7. Mix about 175g of the cheese into the milk mixture and stir until the cheese has all melted.

  8. Pour the cheese and milk sauce over the top of the leeks, being sure to cover all of them.

  9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven.

  10. After 10 to 15 minutes the top should be browning nicely. Remove from the oven and serve.

Serves 2. Best served with some steamed potatoes on the side.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Spinach and Cheese Pizza

This is a lighter, although not necessarily healthier, take on normal pizza. It leaves off any tomatoes so is great for people who don't like tomato.


  • 1 quantity of pizza dough made as in here

  • 200g or so of washed spinach leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 250g grated mozzarella cheese



  1. Make the pizza dough as in the other recipe.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

  3. Toss the spinach, oil and garlic together in a bowl.

  4. Roll the dough out on to a baking tray and spread the spinach and garlic out over the top. Make sure it's fairly even otherwise you'll get burn and uncooked bits.

  5. Sprinkle the cheese all over the spinach, making sure it's well covered.

  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the spinach is cooked and starting to dry, but not burning.

Serves 2.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Leek and Pasta Cheese

A simple variation on macaroni and cheese; the addition of leeks adds a new flavor and texture that was worth recording.


  • 2 leeks, trimmed to remove root end and thick leaves, thinly sliced

  • 25g butter

  • 2 slices of old stale bread, blended/grated to breadcrumbs

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 25g cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 2 pint (1 litre) milk

  • 1 tbsp mustard powder

  • 4 tbsp plain flour

  • 15g butter

  • pinch of salt and pepper

  • 400g pasta, any shape

  • 175g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated



  1. Add the leeks and butter to a large pan and put on a medium heat. Cover with a lid and leave for 15 minutes, stiring every-so-often.

  2. Put on a large pan of well salted water to boil for the pasta.

  3. While the leeks cook and the pasta water heats up, mix the breadcrumbs, 1 tsp mustard powder and finely grated cheese together on a plate.

  4. Once the leeks are done transfer them to a bowl and place the milk, 1 tbsp mustard powder, butter, flour and salt and pepper in the pan the leeks were in.

  5. Bring the milk mixture to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly. As it heats up from cold milk the flour will slowly dissolve and you shouldn't get any lumps. If you do get lumps, don't worry about it, the pasta will hide them.

  6. Once the milk mixture has started to thicken turn the heat right down and let it simmer gently.

  7. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as instructed.

  8. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and put it to one side.

  9. Mix the coarse grated cheese into the milk mixture and stir well until dissolved.

  10. Once all the cheese is dissolved, add the pasta and stir well.

  11. Next spread the leeks out on top of the pasta and milk mixture, but don't mix them through the pasta.

  12. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the leeks and press gently down.

  13. Place the whole pan under a hot grill (careful not to melt the handle if it's plastic) until it starts to brown.

  14. Serve straight from the pan.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

BBQ Banana and Flakes

It might be coming to the end of summer BBQ season, but these delicious deserts are worth remembering if you do happen to have a late September barbecue.


  • 4 ripe bananas

  • 2 'flake' chocolate bars, carefully cut in half



  1. Run the tip of a sharp knife lengthwise down the middle of one side of each banana. It's important to go deep enough to cut the skin and the banana flesh inside, but not so deep that you cut the skin the other side.

  2. Carefully place the flake inside the slit you've made.

  3. Once you've finished with the main course on the barbecue place these on the grill, including their skins.

  4. The bananas are ready when the skin is well blackened.

  5. Eat with a fork and be careful as the chocolate can be hot.