Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leek and Potato Soup


1lb of Peeled and chopped potatoes (chunky!)
1lb of peeled and sliced leeks
1 pint of chicken stock
1/2 pint of milk
little bit of double cream to taste
1 tablespoon oil

  1. Chop the leeks and the potatoes and put into a large saucepan with a little hot oil.
  2. Lightly fry for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  5. Add the milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring back to the boil.
  7. Take roughly half to two thirds of the soup and put into a blender, once blended add to the remaining soup in the saucepan (you can blend it all but it's nice to have a few lumps of potato and leek!)
  8. Add a little cream to taste and serve with yummy crusty bread!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rainbow Trout and Asparagus


Whole rainbow Trout with skin on
Baby New potatoes
Asparagus spears
Orange slice

  1. Thoroughly wash the trout and remove the head and tail, place in an oven dish that has been lined with kitchen foil (enough to make a parcel).
  2. Place some thyme, parsley and butter into the fish with the orange slices, and a few bits of butter on top. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Wrap the foil so that it makes a parcel and can steam the fish inside.
  4. Place in an oven that has been preheated to 180c for 20 - 25 minutes.
  5. Put the potatoes on to boil.
  6. When the fish is cooked, turn the potatoes off and leave to sit in the water while you cook the asparagus.
  7. Take the fish out of the oven and open the parcel, place back in the oven for a few minutes to let the skin go a but crispy (no more than 5 mins!)
  8. You can boil or steam the asparagus while you are waiting for this but I prefer to shallow fry it in butter for 5 mins until its almost roasted.
  9. Serve - remove the thyme and orange slices!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Asparagus and Parma Ham Salad


Lettuce of your choice (I had a mixed bag of Salad leaves, Rocket is nice too)
Cherry Tomatoes
Parma Ham
Sunflower Seeds (toasted)


2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Salt

  1. To make the dressing - put all the ingredients into a jar or something with a lid and shake. The sugar and the salt are up to you - add to taste really - I like it a little sweeter so I add sugar.
  2. The Salad is pretty simple really, the hardest part is toasting the sunflower seeds which you can do easily by placing them in a totally dry frying pan, and turn up the heat! Toss them around until they begin to brown (after a couple of mintues) and leave to cool.
  3. The asparagus is also simple, I like to shallow fry in a little butter for about 4 minutes, this makes them really tasty but you can also steam them or boil if you prefer.
  4. As for the salad - it's just a cse of chopping up all the ingredients above and putting it all together on a plate.

If you can't manage that - well there really is no hope for you!!! lol

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

American Sliders and Fries

OK So this is what we in the UK would call Burgers and Chips! But as I'm in America I have to do the right thing and go with the flow - they are called sliders because they are essentially mini burgers.

We did these yesterday in honour of the 43rd Superbowl (American Football!)

Will make 8 sliders/burgers


1 lb minced Beef Salt and Pepper

Additional fillings:
Red Onion Cheese slices Tomato Crispy bacon

Servced with corn on the cob and chips

  1. Add some salt and pepper to the minced beef and blend in with your hands, then take a small handfull and shape into curcular patties and place to one side.
  2. Heat a frying pan with a little oil and place the meat patties in to cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side until the look done to your liking.
  3. Slice some tomato, onion, lettuce and other fillings to your liking, Pat uses pickled gherkin which I personally think is just nasty!
  4. Boil some water and drop the corn in for about 6 minutes
  5. Put the fries (chips) into a hot oven as per the instructions on the packet - we cheated and bought oven chips! They are a little better for you anyway :)
  6. Serve with burger relish - or if you are me - mayonaise and tomato ketchup.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Beef stew & dumplings

Serves 5 people



2 large onions
1 medium swede
1 pack of celery
4 medium leeks
4 bay leaves
2 cubes of beef stock
Salt & Pepper
2 lbs of stewing or braising steak


4oz self raising flour
2oz suet
pinch of salt
cold water, approx, 5 tablespoons

  1. Tenderise the meat. Cut the meat into small size cubes, about an inch thick, place in frying pan
  2. Peel and chop onions into medium size chunks and place into frying pan
  3. Cook on a high heat until meat is browned
  4. Add the meat to a large stock pot, add the bay leaves, good pinch of salt and pepper, stock cubes and cover with hot water
  5. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 3 hours. Keep stirring and if water level drops, add more hot water
  6. Chop the leeks, carrots, celery and swede into cm cubes and add to the stock pot, add more hot water to cover, bring back to the boil, then simmer for 25/30 minutes
  7. Now make the dumplings. Add all the dumpling ingredients together, divide into 8 balls, then place on top of the stew for 20/25 minutes
  8. You can thicken the stock with cornflour before serving, if you like

Stew can be served in a bowl served with crusty bread, or with mash potato, the choice is yours.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chicken with mushrooms, parma ham and mozzarella

Serves 2


2 chicken breast fillets
4 medium chestnut mushrooms
Parma ham
Mozzarella cheese
150 grams of rice
Olive oil
Garlic butter

  1. Heat oven to 190c/375f or gas mark 5.
  2. Slice mushrooms and place on top of chicken, wrap chicken with two pieces of Parma ham and place in dish. Add two large pieces of rosemary to each chicken. Stab it through or place on top.
  3. Get a saucepan of hot water on the boil. Place chicken in oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  4. Once the water has boiled, add the rice and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Drain rice and run through cold water. With 5 minutes to go, turn on wok and add about four tablespoons of olive oil.
  6. Turn on frying pan add a large knob of garlic butter.
  7. Take out chicken, cover with a large amount of mozzarella, put back in oven for 3/5 minutes.
  8. Add the rice to the wok and the asparagus to the frying pan, cook both for about 4 minutes then serve.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pat and Elly's individual Wellies!

This is our variation on a Beef Wellington recipe, done as individual parcels (because Walt doesn't like mushrooms, and Pat only had steaks in!)


1 packet of chestnut mushrooms (crimini mushrooms to the Americans!)
1 white onion
1 pack of puff pastry (ready made and ready to roll)
1 fillet steak per person
1 garlic clove or 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
Olive oil
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for the egg wash.
Green beans

  1. Pan sear the steak for 5 minutes on each side in a little olive oil then place in 230C/450F oven for 10 minutes, remove from the oven then let it come to room temp in the pan.
  2. Sautee a finely chopped white onion in a little olive oil, with a little garlic and salt to taste for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent, then set to one side.
  3. Sautee some finely chopped chestnut (crimini - US translation!) mushrooms in butter until the liquid dissipates and set to one side.
  4. Do the same with the sliced mushrooms, keep separate and set to one side.
  5. All of this can be done using the same frying pan!

  1. Lay a square of puff pastry (suitable to the size of the steak - we had about 3 -4 inches over on each side for folding) on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Add a single layer of chopped mushroms.
  3. Place the steak on top of the chopped mushrooms.
  4. Add a layer of chopped onions.
  5. Add a layer of sliced mushrooms.
  6. Fold the edges of the pastry up and around the parcel (ensure there are no gaps or piercings in the pastry!) and use the egg wash to help the sides stick.
  7. Place the parcels seam side down on a baking sheet and brush with the egg wash.
  8. Bake in a 450f oven for 30 minutes or until brown and crisp on top.
  9. Serve with vegetables (we had green beans) and a potato if you wish.

Here are the layers for you to see:

The finished wellies!