Nigella’s Chocolate Mousse – It’s Friday :)

This was always going to make an appearance at some point. At home, it is just about my favourites desert, a close contest against the Lemon Posset, but this one does win. It’s a weekend treat though, as it consist of copious amounts of Double Cream and Chocolate ūüôā

I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever struggled like me when making a mousse in the traditional way, with raw eggs, separating the yolks and trying to make it with the worry that if you get it wrong with raw eggs, you’re liable to make yourself ill. No worries, with this recipe. You literally melt the chocolate with some marshmallow and fold through with some whisked double cream and you’re sorted maybe with a dash of Vanilla essence. Also, you can choose any chocolate you want, if there’s a particular alcohol that you like with your chocolate or fruit, rum and raisin, or a very popular Baileys and Dark chocolate, you can doctor¬†the recipe¬†to suit.

I also forgot one of the greatest things. You make it in about 10 minutes and it’s ready to eat an hour later. It’s what you might call a Win, Win, Win, Win scenario. Click here to go to Nigella’s website¬†as below¬†for the instructions:

Nigella Mousse

Or if you want to make it along with her, have a look on youtube here. And if you want to posh it up, serve it in a cocktail glass.

Happy Friday ūüôā

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Cowboy Casserole – An Absolute Must!!!

When it comes to delicious easy food, this is just about as good as it gets. Now there’s a place for Chorizo, Bruschetta’s Proscuttio platters and all sorts of posh food, but you’d be hard pushed to beat this beauty that centre’s around Corned Beef and Baked Beans. I want to credit the genius who came up with this, but it is dogeared in our recipe folder with no form of identification, which means I’ll have to type it!:( If however others can enjoy this as much as I have many times over the last few years, it will be worth it. So anyway, here goes:

INGREDIENTS

2 Medium onions, thinly sliced

340g can of corned beef

1lb of sliced and cooked potatoes

A can of Baked Beans (Just get Heinz for the extra 20p odd)

2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

Large pinch of mixed herbs and a crumbled up beef stock cube.

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c (170c if it’s fan). Spread half of the onion slices over the base of an oven dish (The type you’d use for an apple crumble) Slice up the corned beef and spread out half of it on top of the onions.
  2. Now a layer of potatoes, using half of them. Take the beans, and drain the sauce into a jug which is set aside.
  3. Spread the drained beans into a layer on top of the potatoes. Now with the remaining ingredients a further layer of onions, then beef, then topped with potatoes. (From the bottom, Onions, Beef, Potatoes, Drained Beans, onions, beef, potatoes)
  4. Add the Worcester sauce, mixed herbs and crumbled stock cube to the jug along with the Baked bean sauce, mix up , season and pour all over your layers.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and give it another 10 minutes in the oven.

Then serve up and enjoy. This is what I believe is called Amazeballs!!!!!cowboy caerols

Spicy Chicken Kebabs – Monday Night

Do you know the one thing any good cook will tell you. I don’t know, but I’ll ask my wife and see if she can help. She put together this delight for me last night and I didn’t have to lift a finger, just a knife and fork. The greatest meals are the ones you haven’t had to cook yourself. As part of my continued acceptance speech, I’d like to thank the BBC website for providing Kate¬†the recipe, which can be found here.

Spicy Chicken Kebabs

It is designed for the barbecue, but it works well being grilled. It’s also good to have a patient chef involved who can ensure it is appropriately marinated. I won’t lie, during the week when alcohol is mainly off limits, this can be a tall order, hence under the calm control of Kate it’s probably better. It provides a real kick as well, probably a 2 chilli rating, which is always good. When you see the photo below, it looks as great as it tastes. What the recipe won’t say is how great the courgettes (A flavour I’m really starting to like in my 30s)¬†were grated with a¬†vegetable ¬†peeler¬†, boiled for about 3-4 minutes and tossed in some butter and a sprinkle of pepper, or how the Chantenay carrots (The small ones with the stalks in) were halved, drizzled in Olive Oil, seasoned and grilled along with the kebabs.¬†(Rice noodles for Coeliacs/Gluten Free) It was spot on, for a weekday meal and all the elements combined fantastically.¬†She can make this for me again ūüôā

Chicken Kebabs

Prawn linguine with chorizo – 9 out of 10

Following on from a rather busy few days, there has not been an updated recipe, but the fact I can still eulogise about how good a meal is 4 days later is testimony that I’d struck gold. This is the last bit of praise I deserve. It was created by a lady called Lorraine Pascale, who I believe is a former model, but if she churns out recipes like this on a regular basis, she’s definitely the cooking world’s gain, and there must not be the pressure in this industry to maintain a perfected appearance 24/7. I didn’t even find the recipe. That accolade goes to my beautiful wife. The only thing I did was cook and eat it, but then maybe when I put together an IKEA cupboard with instructions, I try and seek some credit, so maybe I should revise my earlier statement and seek more credit :). To find the recipe, click on this link and it should take you to the recipe. (Bonus that I don’t have to type it out)¬†The page¬†should look something like the below:

Pascale

I agree with Lorraine’s verdict apart from one thing, if you can’t get your hands on a chorizo ring, the correct answer is “try harder, you haven’t looked hard enough. Waitrose, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys, Morrisons &¬†Co-Op Food and many others¬†all sell them.”

What made this so great was the rich full bodied tomato flavour, including red wine, which is¬† great excuse to open a bottle :), but with Chilli, Garlic and Chorizo as well it would be a spectacular effort to make it bland, although I have occasionally risen to the challenge. One thing we did, that you might consider is just buying cooked prawns and adding them about 3 minutes before the end. If someone else can cook them for the same price and same taste, don’t waste time. It can be better spent making Nigella’s instant chocolate mousse, which is likely to feature in a future post. (Incidentally Friday’s dessert)

All that remains is to sit back and enjoy, and for Coeliac/Gluten Free diets, use appropriate spaghetti – Heinz GF Pasta is a current favourite.gar

Chorizo yummu

 

It was all Greek to me.

Everyone who sets off with a target in mind has set backs where it doesn’t go to plan, and sometimes you can look forward to that perfect meal and be slightly disappointed. I had high hopes for my Greek pasta, and it tasted great, but there was a key ingredient I added that I couldn’t taste, namey the block of Feta that was added. Considering this is one of the strongest flavoured cheeses, it took a supreme effort on my part to nullify it’s flavour, but I managed it.

image

The inspiration behind Greek Pasta was a lovely meal I had on a recent holiday in Zante, and like a lot of foodie’s when this happens you are naturally going to want to recreate it at home.

Basically, I needed to make the following flavours blend:

yellow pepper

Feta

Tomato

Onion

(Optional olives and capers, alas not unanimously liked in my household so not included tonight)

It DID have the most amazing tomato and pepper flavour, so for anyone Veggies and Vegans included, omit the feta, fry the onion, chopped pepper, carton of chopped tomatoes and half tube of tomato purée and mix through with the cooked pasta and it should do nicely for a week night. If it were down to me, bung in a few capers and chopped olives as well. In the revised format without feta, it also transforms into quite a healthy recipe, which is a bonus.

My wife is a coeliac, so we actually use Gluten free pasta as well. I will have another go in the future, possibly without the chopped tomatoes and just use a quarter of a tube of tomato purée. Anyone who reads several of my recipes will come to learn tomato purée is an ingredient I like to use. Strong flavour and dirt cheap.

If at first you don’t succeed, eat up as it was probably still a 7 out of 10.

The Ultimate Power of TripAdvisor

imageWhere on earth did this come from? I’m sure if I looked into it, I could find the origins of TripAdvisor, yet it seems we have always had it, and now it is so powerful. Unless you’re a high street restaurant, Pizza Express, Nandos, Cafe Rouge etc , it is your lifeblood. In a recession, people want to make their money work harder, and if they have limited time, during the week, it’s a chance to enjoy quality time with friends and family. When my wife and I are able to eat out together, once a month, sometimes Less often, we are no exception. It’s time away from work, responsibilities and a chance to truly relax and have the best meal you can at the time. Tripadvisor is a must in the quest to get it right first time with your food. If you’re paying an extra ¬£20-¬£40 to eat, it needs to be better than what you have at home, and now as there is so much anecdotal evidence, restaurants have no choice but to be on top of their game. Speaking to waiters, they know exactly where they are in TripAdvisor, with some even asking for reviews if you are complimentary at the end. (I’ve never been a fan of this. It comes across a bit too desperate.)

We, like many, use it a lot to improve the odds of having a great meal, but for a restaurant, it is petrifying as they cannot relax, as they are only as good as their reviews past and present. It keeps the good ones on their toes, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Feta and Chorizo Frittata

This casual delight works well as either a brunch on Saturday if you were a bit full to eat Breakfast or as a snacky evening meal. In all honesty, you can pretty much have it any time. I like it, as there are few ingredients and it doesn’t take long. It has evolved possibly from a Pancetta and different cheese recipe. I’d credit if I could remember. Once you’re familiar with the concept, you can change cheese, put different meat in, mushrooms, spring onions, shallots, whatever you want or whatever is left in the fridge. I’ll go with the preferred option in our household below:

INGREDIENTS

3 Eggs

1 Chorizo sausage (1 of the large chunky U shaped ones.)

1 Block of Feta

1 Red Onion

1 Red Pepper

Directions

Turn your grill onto medium, approx 180c. Get a medium sized frying pan ready. Slice up the onion, pepper and Chorizo. (I half the Chorizo slices again to make them spread further).

Fry it all in a little Olive Oil for about 5 minutes.

Feta Chorizo1

In this time, crack the eggs into a cup and whisk with a fork/whisk. Also grate half the Feta. Now mix this all together in the frying pan until you can see the egg starting to cook and harden and everything is mixed through.

Now put it under the grill for 7 minutes, and grate the remaining Feta. Once time is up, remove with an Oven Glove to avoid 3rd degree burns and sprinkle the remaining feta on top.

Feta Chorizo2

Put it back under the grill for another 7 minutes, then serve with Beans or Veg or enjoy on it’s own. In our view it’s that tasty, it makes an appearance on average once a fortnight.