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Saturday, 4 April 2020

Banana Bread



Banana Bread

  • 2 eggs
  • 125g melted unsalted butter
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • Shot of espresso coffee

Method:
Break the bananas up and place into a food processor and blitz until broken down.  Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until everything is mixed through.

Grease a loaf tin with some olive oil then dust lightly with flour.  Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (fan assisted), leave an oven tray in there so it warms up.  Tip the loaf mixture into the tin and place into the oven on top of the tray and bake for around 40-45 minutes until cooked through (check by inserting a skewer, if it comes out clean it’s cooked).

I can’t believe how quick it was to actually make the mixture!  Obviously if the loaf is going to be eaten by children then leave out the coffee, you can add a couple of tablespoons of apple juice instead.  Whilst I didn’t have any, you can add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the mixture to make it just that bit more indulgent.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Bao Buns with Pork Belly

Bao Buns with Pork Belly
  • Pack of bao buns
  • Crispy chilli pork belly
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions
  • Sweet chilli dipping sauce

Cook the pork belly according to packet instructions.  The pork I used was from The Juicy Meat Company, cut into handy bite sized pieces so no need to shred.  Whilst the pork is cooking, slice the cucumber and spring onions into thin strips, as the buns are not large you don’t want big chunky bits of vegetable, keep it fine. 

I found these bao buns in Marks & Spencer, a pack of 6 costs £2 and takes a minute to heat in the microwave.  Whilst at some stage I will make my own, for the price and convenience these are hard to beat.  Once the pork has cooked and you’ve warmed your buns, divide the pork between the buns, top with the radish, cucumber and spring onion, a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and get stuck in!

I’m all for cooking from scratch but sometimes it’s nice to cheat when you don’t have the time.  The buns are little fluffy clouds of doughy goodness, the pork, which I purchased from Ocado, was packed full of flavour, not overly spicy so if you don’t like heat don’t be put off, go on, make it, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Fennel Salami, Artichoke and Drop Pepper Flatbreads

Fennel Salami, Artichoke and Drop Pepper Flatbreads
  • 2 flatbreads
  • Bag grated mozzarella
  • Few tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • Large handful rocket
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red onion finely sliced
  • Handful of sliced black olives
  • Jar of artichoke hearts
  • Fennel salami, thinly sliced

Method:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  Divide the mayo and mustard on top of each of the flatbreads, using the back of a spoon, smooth it all around the flatbread, top each one with half the mozzarella and the remaining ingredients (excluding the rocket).  Place onto two baking trays and place in the oven for around 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.  Plate up, sprinkle over the rocket and a drizzle of your favourite salad dressing and enjoy.

This is yet another quick and easy recipe.  I have mainly posted this to give a shout out to Calcot Farm Produce who we bought the salami from at the recent Haywards Heath Producers Market.  

This is great sausage, the fennel really lifts the flavour and was perfect with this dish, if you can, I def recommend buying some, you won’t regret it!  Obviously you can use whatever you lay your hands on, but this salami really makes it so give it a go.


Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Chickpea, Lentil and Curly Kale Curry

Chickpea, Lentil and Curly Kale Curry 
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped (reserve a few slices to garnish)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • Thumb sized piece of grated ginger
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin drained chickpeas
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 small chillies, thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp medium curry powder
  • Small pack of coriander, finely chop the stalks and the leaves but keep separate
  • Two large handfuls of curly kale (remove any pieces of stalk)

Method
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, spices, 1 chopped chilli, garlic, ginger and the coriander stalks, fry for around 5 minutes (add a splash of water if it gets dry), then add the chickpeas and a pinch of salt and fry for another couple of minutes.  Add the tomato purée, coconut milk, tinned tomatoes, lentils and curly kale and simmer for around 30-40 minutes.  Garnish with the reserved red onion, chilli and chopped coriander and serve with boiled rice.

This is a wonderful vegan recipe, as ever you can adjust the spice levels to suit your tastebuds, we didn’t find this too hot but it is packed full of flavour, I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Haywards Heath Producers Market

We do love a market and to find out our good friends Jo and Jason had set up their very own producers market, local to us in Hayward’s Heath was amazing news.  They are huge supporters of Sussex producers and makers so this is an ideal avenue for them to showcase the delights that are on offer within a close footprint of Haywards Heath.

Jo - founder of the Haywards Heath Producers Market
Jo's vegan and vegetarian rolls

Cheese and Onion rolls by Jo

The market is on the 4th Saturday of every month between 9-2 at St.Wilfreds Centenary Hall, Haywards Heath, it is an indoor market so no worries if the weather is a bit dismal and it’s free entry.

See their Facebook page for full details - Haywards Heath Producers Market

This was our first opportunity to pop along and we weren’t disappointed.  A few stall holders had been unable to make it however there was still a good array of local producers showcasing their wares, gin, boozy sorbet, pies, cakes, sausages, charcuterie, butchery, scotch eggs (both savoury and sweet!), honey and eggs.  The market is growing month on month and the next event promises over 20 stalls, I can’t wait!


Mialls Brilliantly Boozy Sorbet was a hit - we bought a tub of the Passion Fruit Martini, which tastes amazing!

So many to choose from!

We soon took this one home!
Learn more at Mialls.co.uk

Harrys Sausages from Brighton. Producer of artisan sausages made in small batches and gluten free

Harry's Sausages!


Harrys Scotch Eggs

These are Harry's Sicilian Scotch Eggs. 

Nice spicy kick on the Sicilian - pork with chilly, fennel and garlic, coated in smoked paprika and garlic pepper

Harry's Sausage Cake with a spicy coated pastry
Learn more at Harrys Sausages 

Al the Pie Man. Hot water crust pork pies

Shortcrust pies

Shortcrust pies

Lola - one of the most popular pies, containing pork, bacon, mature cheddar and marmite jelly
Learn more at Al the Pieman

Tory's Cafe in the Park, Victoria Park, Haywards Heath

Tory's brownies

Tory's cakes

Tory's cakes
Learn more at Tory's Cafe

Calcot Farm
Delicios hand-made chorizo from Calcot Farm

Charcuterie from Calcot Farm. We bought the Fennel one - so tasty!
Learn more about Calcot Farm

Fresh local honey from Sussex Bee Farm
Learn more about Sussex Bee Farm

Lush organic free range eggs from Grassington Farm
Learn more about Grassington Farm

Generation 11 Distillers Gin producers.Fabulous flavours such as Grapefruit Sussex Dry Gin and Orange and Cardoman
Learn more about Generation Distillers











Saturday, 25 January 2020

Masala Omelette

Masala Omelette
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, deseeded and cut into small pieces
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Small handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • Handful of grated cheddar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • Salt and pepper

Method:
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the red onion, pepper, garlic and chilli, fry for several minutes, add the curry powder and garam masala, stir through the vegetables and fry for a further couple of minutes.  Add a few grinds of freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt to the beaten eggs and pour into the frying pan.  Cook the omelette mix for 5 minutes or so until the mixture starts to set, top with the cheese and tomatoes and cook for a further couple of minutes or so until the cheese starts to melt, sprinkle over the coriander and serve.

Having recently visited India one of our favourite breakfasts was the masala omelette, so now we are home I thought I would recreate it and boy am I glad I did, even if I do say so myself, my version has a lot more flavour, go figure!  As with any heat based recipe you can modify the chilli level to suit your tastebuds.  A quick, easy and oh so tasty recipe, hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Chilli Chicken

Chilli Chicken
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks
  • Oil for frying
Batter
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp chilli powder 
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp water
For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped (keep green ends for garnish)
  • 2 green chilli cut in three 
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ½" ginger finely chopped
  • 2 green pepper diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
  • 3 tbsp Kecap manis
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp corn flour mixed with 3 tsp of water
  • Pinch of salt
Heat the oil in a deep wide sauce pan or a wok, approx 1cm deep.  In a mixing bowl add the corn flour, plain flour, chilli powder, black pepper and salt. Add the vinegar and water; mix to make a thick batter. Add the chicken pieces to it and mix well coating all the pieces with the batter.

Fry the chicken in the hot oil in batches for 1-2 minutes until lightly coloured all over. Drain the chicken on kitchen paper and set aside.

To make the sauce; refresh the oil in your pan/wok and heat on a medium heat.  Add the white part of the spring onions and fry for a few seconds followed by the green chilli, chopped garlic and chopped ginger. Fry for 10 seconds and add the green peppers along with the red onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until softened.

Add the chilli garlic sauce and the Kercap manis and stir well. Add the water and bring to a boil and simmer for a 1 minute on a low heat. Add the corn flour water mix, season to taste and simmer for a further 2 minutes as it begins to thicken. Turn the heat off and cool the sauce slightly.

When you’re ready to serve add the fried chicken pieces to the gravy, stirring well making sure to coat all the pieces with the sauce evenly. Simmer the sauce on a low heat for a minute. Serve with fried rice and garnish with the green part of the chopped spring onions.

Another tasty takeaway dish that you can make in the comfort of your own home.  This recipe feeds 4 and I can guarantee it will be a hit with you and your friends.  As usual, you can adjust the chilli powder and amount of chillies to suit your taste.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Strawberry Cero

Strawberry Cero Cocktail

  • 1 measure of non alcoholic botanical spirit 
  • 25ml rose syrup
  • 200ml hibiscus tonic
  • Strawberry
  • Mint sprigs
  • Black peppercorns
  • Ice


Add the non alcoholic spirit to a cocktail shaker along with the syrup and a handful of ice.  Shake well and pour the drink (excluding the ice) into a suitable glass, garnish with a strawberry and the mint, add a few peppercorns to the glass and enjoy!

As party season is upon us, if you are the designated driver you can feel like you are missing out or indeed for those who don’t drink, the same old fruit juices and fizzy drinks get a bit samey, then this mocktail is for you.

I came across a brand of non alcoholic spirits but at over £20.00 a bottle I know people would begrudge paying that, why would you when you can buy alcohol for less!  I then stumbled across this particular brand at a leading budget supermarket for half the price!  With promises of juniper, coriander, hibiscus and lingonberry, it sounded like a good gin, but minus the alcohol.

I have to say, this tasted amazing and hard to tell there was no alcohol, the peppercorns gave a little spicy hit to the drink which was light, fruity and refreshing.  You will love this if you are a gin fan, it certainly is like a gin cocktail but without any alcohol whatsoever, go on, give it a try.  This will also be perfect with dry January just around the corner!


Sunday, 17 November 2019

Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tbsp dried oregano
  • 8 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 flat breads

Method:
In a large bowl, add 3 tbsp of yoghurt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice, oregano and a good pinch of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly, add the chicken breasts and coat with the marinade then place into the fridge for 2 hours.

Whilst the chicken is marinading we will make the tzatziki and salad to go with the gyros.  Using a box grater, grate half of the cucumber and place into a bowl along with 5 tbsp of yogurt.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, 1 clove of minced garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and place into the fridge.

To make the salad, cut the remainder of the cucumber into bite sized chunks and place into a bowl, deseed the tomatoes and cut into small pieces, add these to the bowl along with the chopped onion mix together then place into the fridge.

Once the chicken has marinaded, turn your grill onto high, place the chicken breasts onto a tray (I would recommend placing tin foil onto the tray) and cook for around 20-30 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through.  Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken.  Alternatively you can cook the chicken on a griddle pan.

Now the chicken has cooked, place onto a chopping board and leave to rest for 5 minutes.  Heat your flatbreads in the oven for a couple of minutes.  Slice your chicken into chunks and place onto the flatbread with a good portion of the tzatziki and salad.

This dish is so fresh and tasty, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!  Next time I’m going to try this with some halloumi which will go just as well as the chicken.  Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Large bag of tortilla chips
  • Grated cheddar cheese (as much as you like)
  • Handful of sliced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Small tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • Small tin of retried beans

Method
In a large bowl, mix together 1 tbsp olive oil, the lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add a couple of tablespoons of the chicken stock and mix to form a paste, add the chicken and coat with the mixture.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken for 20 minutes, turning as you go until the chicken is cooked through, then set aside.  Add the chicken stock to the pan along with the tomato purée, sugar and any remaining marinade mix, stir through and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Shred the chicken using two forks and return to the frying pan, mix thoroughly to ensure the chicken gets a good coating of sauce.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  Place a layer of tortilla chips on two dinner plates, top with grated cheese and some of the chicken mixture.  Top with the remaining chips and the chicken and sprinkle over some sweetcorn, refrained beans, jalapeño peppers and some more cheese.  Place the plates into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts.  Serve with some homemade guacamole, sour cream, salsa and hot sauce.

This is comfort food at its best, the chicken packs a punch and has plenty of flavour, I guarantee this recipe will soon become a firm favourite and again, it is quick and easy to make, I hope you enjoy as much as we did.