Amazing French Onion Soup

This looks so good. Always a complete sucker for french onion soup, especially authentic. I’ll definitely give proper feedback on this once I have.

101 Things Every Cook Should Cook

French onion soup

This is one of the best soups I have ever made. Truly, it is tastiness in soup form. I made it using a recipe written in my notebook by a waitress in a café in Montmartre which had no amounts, cooking times or instructions. Just ingredients, and my memory of what it tasted like. So I made up how to make it, and it has worked an absolute treat.

The secret is a good stock. If at all possible, make your own stock. Chicken, vegetable or beef, whatever your preference. Mine was made with veal bones (happy, farmer’s market veal), which I roasted and then simmered with carrots, celery, a leek, an onion, some peppercorns and thyme and parsley for 6 hours. You can follow this basic method, but using roasted chicken, beef or veal bones. Ham stock wouldn’t really work here. Yes, I know making stock seems like…

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Creamy Honey, Mustard and Cider Pork

We tried this recipe tonight and found it top drawer. I should have been slightly more patient and allowed the cider to reduce a bit before adding the rest. It meant that a lot of time afterwards was spent reducing the sauce but it was definitely worth it. We enjoyed with rice noodles and sautéed spinach which worked a treat. Well done with this recipe 🙂

101 Things Every Cook Should Cook

Creamy honey, mustard and cider pork

This is very simple and ready in less than 15 minutes – a superquick and tasty midweek supper. Good flavours, and you can make it low-fat by using low-fat crème fraiche instead of cream. I actually prefer crème fraiche to ordinary cream anyway, it’s more zingy.

Ingredients
Serves 2

1 pork fillet (tenderloin)
½ a large onion or 1 small one
2tsp wholegrain mustard
2tsp honey
3 tablespoons crème fraiche (I use low-fat)
About 100ml dry cider
A knob of butter
salt and pepper to taste

The Cooking

First slice the tenderloin into medallions, about 1 or 2cm thick. Mix together the crème fraiche, mustard and honey in a bowl and set aside.

Put the butter in a frying pan and set it on a fairly high heat. Slice the onion finely and once the butter is frothing, add them to the pan. You’re not doing long, slow cooking here…

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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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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.