Friday, 26 August 2011

Beetroot and Potato Salad, with Mustard dressing

What is up with our weather this week? I finally get my hands on a BBQ, albeit to use in other peoples gardens due to living in a flat and then it rains non stop all week, how typical of our lovely British climate!

I whipped up this easy salad last weekend, to go with our planned-but-rained-on-BBQ and can see it being a regular for parties or even just to go in my lunchbox! Its a lovely combination of ingredients and will happily sit alongside your barbecue, whether it be indoors or outside!

If you are feeling all domesticated, its best to start this the day before when you are making your dinner etc and then on the actual day you can just throw everything together to save time! I roasted both the potatoes and onions the night before, as I had the oven on anyway, which made perfect sense. In fact with the onion I actually roasted a whole tray full as they will keep for a few days covered in the fridge ready to use as desired, or even freeze for future dishes. I like how efficiency feels!

This is also my Salad entry in Tesco Real Food's BBQ Challenge - don't forget to enter your favourite BBQ recipe or idea to be in with a chance of winning a fantastic gas Barbecue!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pesto Monkey Bread

As promised in my recent post about my heavenly Macaroni cheese with spinach, bacon and Dolcelatte, this is the special bread you have been waiting for!

Whenever I make bread, firstly I have to be in the mood – and secondly I *really* like to play around with dough and see how the mood takes me…every time the results are different but overall I've never had an inedible or really bad loaf, so I must be doing something right!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Are you a Queen of the Barbecue? Enter your recipe in the Tesco Real Food BBQ Challenge!

For me, nothing fits the description of a typical British summer better than the classic barbecue! It gives me mental images of men who don’t usually cook, suddenly decide they are going to be king of the Barbie and go in all guns blazing with their pack of burgers and case or two of beer.

However, whilst I am sure there are plenty of excellent male BBQ’ers out there, its time for us girls to show off our fantastic BBQ skills, so my lovely ladies if you think your bbq recipe burns away the competition, plus you fancy having your idea or recipe featured on the Tesco Real Food site, then all you need to do is visit the Tesco Real Food site, and enter your great BBQ suggestion. Easy as that! 

There are eight different categories under which you can enter your recipe idea, and each week for the next four weeks you have the chance of winning a fantastic gas BBQ from Tesco Direct! 

*Closing date for this week’s competition is Wednesday 24th August*

Click here for Terms and Conditions

I have two great BBQ recipes for you coming up shortly on here so don't forget to come back and check - also good luck in the competition! Lets show those boys what we can do!

Many thanks to Helen for the lovely pink BBQ and speakers, I will be testing them out soon! 

Friday, 19 August 2011

Macaroni cheese with Spinach, Bacon and Dolcelatte

Rather excitingly this weekend ‘Anne's Kitchen’ has been featured in ‘Most Wanted’ a great little online magazine site from the people behind the Voucher Codes website which has the best voucher deals on the web, along with my heavenly recipe for Macaroni cheese with Spinach, Bacon and Dolcelatte in! Its macaroni cheese for grown-up’s and quite possibly my most favourite dish to eat!

Please head on over to Most Wanted  to check out my recipe, and also keep your eyes peeled here for the follow up recipe with my very special bread…

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Sundried tomato and pea Risotto and Nigella’s Lamb steaks with Rosemary and port

I love risotto, in particular when either myself of D’s mum makes it. For some reason though when eating risotto out it never tastes quite as good as homemade, I think its just one of those dishes that really does benefit from all the love you stir into it (I am thinking of the mushroom and baby spinach one I had last week out whilst typing this up!) . I like to grab something food based to read (in this case it was the latest GoodFood magazine) , a nice glass perhaps of something and gently while away a good 45 minutes giving it the occasional top up of stock and a stir. Most of the risotto's I've made have come about with what needs using up, rather than a planned recipe, and this one was no exception!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Finally a Batter success – Tuna, Olive and Vegetable pancakes

After my sharing of my batter nightmare some time back with you all, and abstinence from all batter related items for a considerable amount of time since, the fear of failure had finally diminished and after having several successful recipes of late, decided it was high time the scary world of batter was revisited!

Firstly, I will be honest in that I actually don’t like pancakes. There is just something to me that’s not quite right about them, this has stemmed from an early age, so you may now be wondering why I chose to make them…..well, many moons back D and I spent a sunny two weeks in Greece, and in one of our favourite lunch places they used to serve filled savoury crepes, baked in a cheese sauce. Now these were the exception to my no pancake rule – they were really delicious and if I recall correctly we had them a good five times or so during the fortnight! Also being of the mindset that anything is salvageable with a cheese sauce, I spotted this recipe on the good to know site a few weeks and pencilled them into our meal planner, D loves pancakes and my friend / sous chef was coming over, who equally likes them so in the back of my mind I thought if I didn’t like them, I could just eat something scraped together from the cupboards! D was actually out in the end, so we roughly halved the recipe, tweaked the sauce and filling a little……and... they were delicious! I will still avoid regular pancakes but baked in this manner, with the yummy filling it was a big hit with both of us!

They also actually work out very cheap to make, and served with a nice green salad make an ideal light dinner.

Whilst the original recipe served 4, as mentioned earlier I roughly halved it, and we ended up with 3 regular sized pancakes and one halfy! Additionally, I made a quick light sauce to pour over the pancakes, to moisten and also make them slightly more appealing to me! If you save the pancake pan to make it, its also one less pan to wash up!

There are a few stages to the dish but don't let this put you off, it is very easy, even better if you have another pair of hands to help you!

So roughly to serve 2, with our tweaks:

For the pancake filling:
150ml milk
15g butter and 15g plain flour
½ can tuna steak in spring water, drained
I didn’t weigh out but used a small handful each of frozen sweetcorn and peas (the original recipe suggests either frozen or leftover veggies)
8 green olives, roughly sliced
S&P to taste
½ tsp garlic puree
grated cheddar cheese – also didn’t weigh, a scant handful was used to fill AND to finish the dish with

For the pancake batter:
37g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
75ml milk
A little oil for frying

For the sauce:

125ml freshly boiled water
125ml milk
1 heaped tsp cornflour
1 tsp marigold boullion powder


For the filling:
1. Place the milk, butter and flour in a medium pan, bring to the boil, whisking all the time until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer for 1 min. (I had never done all-in-one method and was dubious but am converted!)
2. Drain and flake tuna steak and stir into the sauce with the garlic, vegetables and olives. If using frozen vegetables steam for a couple of minutes in microwave/ boil in saucepan first.
3. Divide the filling between the pancakes and place in heatproof dishes

For the batter:
1. Place the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl with half the milk. Whisk until the mixture is lump free. Add the remaining milk and whisk again until smooth.
2. Heat a 20cm/8in diameter non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe it around with a piece of kitchen paper. Now pour a little of the batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly over the base. Cook for 2 mins or until the top is set and the base golden. Turn the pancake over with a spatula or if you are feeling brave, flip the pancake!
3. Cook for a further 1-2mins or until the base is golden. Transfer to a plate and interleave with greaseproof paper, keep warm. Use the batter and a little more oil to make a further 3 pancakes in the same way - it depends upon their thickness.

For the sauce:
1. Place the water, stock powder and milk in the frying pan, bring to boil, add the cornflour and whisk very quickly together, until thickened, remove from heat
2. Pour over the pancakes and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and pop under a hot grill until the top is crisp and golden.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Turkey Meatballs

This post is a little overdue, seemed to have gotten buried within a pile of stuff I've been meaning to blog about! A few weeks back I bought a packet of turkey mince in the reduced section for a whopping 75p; having never really cooked with turkey mince before that point but I just couldn't resist for that price to give it a try! When I made this, it must of also been a week for meatballs as separately the lovely Jenny from Jenny Eatwells Rhubarb & ginger blog had also made a similar batch!

I didn’t look at any recipe in particular, was more a bit of this, and a bit of that! Considering it was my first time with the turkey mince, I was pretty impressed and will be definitely making these again, as I oven baked them with just a little spray oil, they are a very lean, and healthy option for dinner!

Whilst the meatballs are quite delicious on their own, especially cold the next day for lunch (though maybe less garlic if you work close to people), you could also serve these hot with a tomato sauce if desired. Due to some health issues I’ve been avoiding off anything saucey or tomatoey for some time (oh how I miss you tomatoes!) but I quickly made up a tomato and smoked paprika sauce for my nieces to go with theirs, apparently it tasted delicious – the plates were licked clean so always a good sign! I additionally made the meatballs a couple of weeks later but with a bacon and tomato sauce, it smelt so good but I managed to resist it! We really are converts now to turkey mince and it is starting to feature quite regularly here!

Makes 35 meatballs – around 6 servings depending on appetites and ages!

665g Turkey mince
Breadcrumbs – a good handful (mine were from ASDA!)
1 beaten Egg
2 heaped tbsp plain Flour
1 heaped tbsp freshly chopped Parsley
S&P to taste (white pepper makes a nice change here)
2 cloves garlic finely minced
½ white onion, finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 160o fan/ 180o regular

Place the onion and garlic in a shallow dish, microwave uncovered for 3 minutes to soften them and take the raw edge off. Having made batches with both raw, and the cooked mixture, the latter is far superior so don’t skip this stage! Though if raw garlic appeals you might just like...!

Combine all the ingredients using your hands, until all squished together nicely. Roll into walnut sized balls and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet (I recently discovered a non-stick baking sheet thingy that is awesome!) and bake approximately for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through - always worthwhile chopping one in half to double check, and of course if cooked then it becomes chefs perk!

Serve with sauce if desired, or chill and eat cold later.

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