Friday, 28 June 2013

Tuna and olive pasta

Tuna and olive pasta
Serves 2-3

I eat this at least once a month – usually in the run up to pay day when there’s nothing in the house to eat! If you have any leftover it will sit happily in the fridge until the next day. The sauce is quite punchy with salty olives and capers and a bit of warm heat from the chilli flakes, but you can always leave the chilli out if you are giving it to kids.

125g rigatoni or penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 sprig rosemary (or use ½ tsp dried mixed herbs)
1 garlic clove, squashed
1 stick of celery, finely chopped, reserve a few leaves if there are any
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 small can tuna
6 black olives, sliced
1 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
3-4 basil leaves (only if you have any)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp grated Parmesan, optional

Cook the pasta according to instructions – about 12-14 minutes.
Heat the oil in a saut̩ pan and add the rosemary , garlic and celery and cook until lightly golden. Then add in the can of tomatoes Рbe careful as it will probably splutter! Рand the chilli flakes and season, but go easy on the salt. Leave to reduce and thicken Рabout 5 mins.
Flake in the tuna, but don’t break up too much. Then add the olives, capers and tear in the basil if using. Add the balsamic and cook for another minute or two. Fish out the garlic and discard.
Take off the heat and stir in the parsley and any chopped celery leaves.
Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce. Serve with parmesan if you like.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin
Serves 2

A casserole for 2 people isn’t any bother to make but it might be worth doubling the recipe and freezing half for another time. In fact I think it tastes better when made the day before so you could just make extra and eat it again the next day – you will see from the pics I had it with polenta the first day and broad beans the next . By the way, the sauce will turn into jelly after it’s been in the fridge and there will be a layer of white fat on the top. Just scrape the fat off with a teaspoon and the stock will turn back to liquid when you reheat it.
Another thing to point out, the wine will make the chicken skin go an interesting dark purple! But it still tastes fab.

2 chicken thighs, skin on
2 chicken drumsticks, skin on
Black pepper
1 chicken Oxo cube
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
100g smoked bacon lardons
10 shallots, halved if large
3 cloves garlic, squashed
10 button mushrooms, halved
Small bunch parsley, tied twisted into a knot
1 tsp dried herbs
Few whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
½ bottle red wine
Water for topping up
Chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 180C. Season the meat all over with pepper and crumbled Oxo. Heat a sauté pan with oil and butter and brown the chicken pieces all over. Transfer to a casserole dish. If there is lots of fat left in the pan drain most of it off.
Put back on the heat and fry the lardons, shallots, garlic and mushrooms for a few minutes until crisp and browned. Add all the herbs and peppercorns and pour in the wine. Leave to bubble away for a couple of minutes then tip over the chicken. Top up with water to cover the meat if needed.

Cook for 1 hour until meat is tender and the sauce is rich. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread, rice or polenta.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Divine and decadent mushroom and truffle oil tagliatelle

Divine and decadent mushroom and truffle oil tagliatelle
Serves 1

Wow! This is another dish which hardly warrants a ‘recipe’ but it tasted so good  do not let its simplicity deceive you! In fact it is good to keep the ingredients short because it is the truffle oil that does the talking in this dish. The shoddy picture just doesn't do it justice. I suppose a glug of cream would be nice but I didn’t miss it. Be a great dish to double up for serving on a date J

PS I bought the black truffle oil from the BBC Good Food Show. Was £6 for just 100ml but the nice boys that sold it said it was real truffle steeped in mild grapeseed oil and far superior to supermarket oils that just have truffle “flavouring” added to them. Maybe I’m a mug but I was sold on the taste

60g tagliatelle
1 tsp butter
1 field mushroom, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 spring onions, chopped
¼ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary - a bit of parsley would also be nice
1 tsp black truffle oil
1 tbsp grated parmesan

Cook the tagliatelle for 9-10 mins until al dente. Meanwhile heat the butter in a small frying pan and gently fry the mushrooms with some seasoning on a low heat. When beginning to soften and release moisture add the spring onion and rosemary and continue to cook gently for about 4 minutes until the mushrooms are dark and the onions have lost any rawness.

Drain the pasta and tip in with mushrooms, toss together and drizzle over the truffle oil. Place in a bowl and sprinkle over the parmesan and extra pepper if you like. Eat seductively by yourself or with someone also tasty.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Spicy scrambled eggs with spinach

Spicy scrambled eggs with spinach
Serves 1

Breakfast this morning - had some eggs going out of date and the addition of red chilli and spinach turned out to be jolly nice. It’s hardly a recipe but was very healthy and filling. Would make a nice brunch with some grilled crisp bacon and roast cherry tomatoes on the side.

2 thick sliced of seeded soda bread or whatever you have
Spray oil
¼ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2-3 eggs, beaten lightly
Small handful of baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper

Toast the bread. Meanwhile in a small frying pan spray in a few squirts of oil (or a tsp of regular olive oil). Add the chilli and stir fry for about 30 secs to soften slightly. Tip in the eggs and spinach and season. Stir quickly and continuously so that the eggs scramble and the spinach wilts. You can cook until quite firm or leave the eggs a bit soft – it’s up to you. Pile onto hot toast (no need to butter in my opinion) and eat immediately.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Kind of Mediterranean Pasta Bake

Mediterranean Pasta Bake
Serves 1

Leftover turkey and pasta sauce to use up! Pasta bake is a-calling! I tend to go through phases of eating pasta quite a lot and then don't use it again for weeks. No one said I'm normal :)

60g pasta e.g rigatoni
Olive oil
½ turkey or chicken breast, diced
50g smoked bacon lardons
½ clove garlic, chopped
½ stick celery, diced
Few olives, sliced
1 tsp capers
¼ jar tomato and basil pasta sauce
2 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for about 15 mins until tender.

Meanwhile fry the turkey or chicken, bacon and celery in frying pan for a few mins until cooked. Add the olives, capers, pasta sauce and parsley and simmer gently for 3-5 mins to heat through.

Mix with the drained pasta and transfer to an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over cheese and cook under a grill until toasty and bubbling. Eat!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Breaded turkey escalope with rosemary and garlic roast potatoes

Breaded Turkey Escalope with Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes
Serves 1

I had an Italian dinner party at the weekend and decided at the last minute I couldn’t really be bothered to cook! So I bought ready-made breaded escalopes and needless to say they were pretty awful! So this is the made-from-scratch version and not only were they so easy, they were ten times tastier! It was inspired by my favourite dish from Strada.

1 turkey breast fillet
Salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
 Dried breadcrumbs
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 large-ish new potatoes
1 large garlic clove, halved
Olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1 shallot, sliced into half moons and separated out
Few green beans
¼ jar tomato and basil pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 200C. Flatten the turkey fillet a bit and season. Put the beaten egg in a bowl. In another bowl add the dried breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Dip the fillet in the egg and then the breadcrumbs until well coated. Set aside.

Cut the potatoes into chunks and tip into a baking tray with the garlic. Coat in oil and season well. Sprinkle over the rosemary and bake in the oven for 8-10 mins.

Put a bit of oil in a frying pan and sear the turkey fillet until lightly golden on both sides. After the potatoes have had 5 mins transfer the turkey to the baking tray. Cook for another 12-14 mins, turning halfway through. Toss the potatoes halfway and sprinkle over the shallot.

Boil the green bean for 7-8 mins until tender and gently warm the pasta sauce in another pan.

Rest the turkey for a couple of mins and then serve with the roast potatoes and frazzled shallot and  drained beans and  the pasta sauce on the side.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Creamy pesto turkey, asparagus and spinach pasta

Creamy pesto turkey, asparagus and spinach pasta
Serves 1

More asparagus and spinach to use up! This is such a quick and comforting dinner – using just a little cream cheese and adding the pasta water makes a fab low fat sauce. Love it! Sprinkle with parmesan if you have any.

50g rigatoni
5 asparagus stalks, cut into 2in lengths
Handful spinach
1 tsp oil
1 turkey breast steak, sliced into thin strips
2 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp pesto
1 tsp cream cheese
Black pepper

Boil the pasta according to instructions in salted water. Add the asparagus for last 4 mins and the spinach just before draining.

Meanwhile heat the oil and fry the turkey breast strips until just cooked – about 2-3 mins. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and add the pesto and cream cheese. Loosen with a few tsp of pasta cooking water until you have sauce. Season with black pepper and then add the drained pasta and vegetables. Toss to coat then serve. Mmmm

Monday, 3 June 2013

Pommes Boulangere

Pommes Boulangere
Serves 1

I made this side dish to accompany sea bass and veg. It was damn tasty and very savoury in taste – the crispy top and soft, moist layers beneath were gorgeous. It would go with any meat or fish. I think it’s supposed to have thinly sliced onion in between the layers but I would say it’s no worse for no including them.

Small baking potato, sliced as thinly as possible
1 small tip fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Chicken stock concentrate (in a tub)
1 tsp butter

I lightly greased a small dish and layered in the potato, sprinkling in the rosemary and seasoning in between the layers. Put 2-3 tsp chicken stock over the top (mine was jellified which is fine) and 1-2 tsp hot water from the kettle, Add little pieces of butter on top and bake at 220 for 40-50 mins until cooked underneath and crispy and brown on top. Heaven!