Wednesday 22 June 2016

Bloody Mac

Bloody Mac

  • 1 x portion starter sauce (see The Don Macaroni)
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g macaroni
  • 230g mature cheddar, grated
  • 90g Monteray Jack, grated
  • 30g Parmesan, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sticks celery, cut in half and slice lengthways, to serve

First make the topping.  Pop the tomatoes into a small bowl along with the Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil and mix gently so all the tomatoes are lightly coated.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, until al dente.  Tip into a colander and leave to drain completely.

In a heavy bottomed pan, make the starter sauce, then reduce the heat to low.

Add all the cheese and stir until melted.

Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and mix thoroughly.

Divide the Mac n cheese into 4 serving bowls.  Spoon the tomatoes evenly over each one along with a little of the dressing from the bowl.  Stand a couple of celery pieces in the Mac and season with freshly ground pepper and a dash more Tabasco, to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Anna Mae's Mac N Cheese

For those who know me, I am a huge lover of Mac N Cheese, receiving a copy of Anna Mae's cook book for Christmas tipped me over the edge.  I am in Mac N Cheese heaven, I seriously recommend this cook book if you are a fellow lover of the cheesy goodness!  The sauce in the dressing really sets this off, every mouthful had a kick to it, pure bliss!  Excuse me whilst I calm myself down!!!

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Orzo Pasta, with Oregano, Feta, Tomato sauce and Chorizo

Orzo Pasta with Oregano, Feta, Tomato and Chorizo

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 fresh oregano sprigs
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 150g black olives, pitted
  • 300g orzo
  • 150g feta
  • 150g chorizo, sliced
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the chorizo and after a few minutes once the oils have started to release and the onion and garlic and continue to fry for around 10 minutes until soft.

Add the tomato paste and herbs and for 1 minute, stirring.

Add the plum tomatoes and olives and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened, crush the tomatoes in the pan with a wooden spoon until broken up.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the orzo for around 8 minutes until nearly cooked.  Rinse the orzo under warm water and drain well.  Add the orzo to the tomato sauce, season lightly and stir through.  Crumble over the feta and serve with extra herbs and lemon wedges.

This was a surprisingly light dish, I think next time I might pep it up a bit with some chillies, as you will know by now, I do like a bit of a kick to my dishes!  This serves 4 generously, however it would be a great recipe to double up on when you have people round for a bbq as would go great with a variety of meats and also roasted vegetables.  

Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Pork belly with chorizo, shallot and bean stew

Pork Belly with Chorizo, Shallot and Bean Stew

  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 2kg free-range British pork belly, scored
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • A few fresh thyme sprigs 

  • 5 shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 120g cooking chorizo, cubed
  • 4 large carrots, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 250g spinach
  • Small bunch fresh parsely, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 140 degrees/120 degrees fan.  Line a large roasting tin with a double layer of foil. Lay the sliced onions in the middle of the tin along with the garlic to create a trivet.

 Sit the pork on top, skin-side up.  Generously rub all over with salt, getting it between the score marks. Pour the stock and wine into the tin around the pork, then add the thyme sprigs and a grind of black pepper.

Cook in the oven for 4 1/2-5 hours, uncovered, until the meat is fall apart tender.  Remove the pork from the oven, then turn up the heat to 240 degrees/220 degrees fan.  Drain and reserve the juices from the roasting tin, but spoon off almost all the fat from the surface (reserve 1 tbsp and cool and chill the rest for up to 3 days – it makes great roasties).  Return the pork to the oven for 25-30 minutes until the skin is crisp and crackled.

Meanwhile, heat the reserved 1 tbsp fat in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the shallots and soften for 5 minutes over a low heat.  Add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the chorizo and carrots.  Fry for a further 5 minutes over a medium-high heat, then add the wine (reserving a splash to finish) and bubble for a further 2 minutes.  Add 350ml of the reserved pork juices and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are nearly tender.

When the pork is ready, remove it from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, uncovered.

For the last 5 minutes of the resting time, stir the beans and spinach into the stew and gently simmer.  You may need to add the spinach in batches.

Slice the pork into thick pieces.  Stir the parsley and the remaining splash of wine into the stew, then serve straight away.

Whilst there is a lot of cooking involved in this recipe it is worth it to ensure the meat is fall-apart-tender and it will also be packed with flavour.

This recipe went down a treat in our household and is definitely on the do again list!  This recipe feeds 4-6 people, I therefore reduced the ingredients down somewhat as there were only two of us!  This dish is ideal any time of year, for a stew it's not actually really heavy and is certainly perfect for a dinner party.

Recipe courtesy of Delicious Magazine          

Thursday 2 June 2016

Roast Beef Salad With Mustard & Horseradish Dressing

Roast Beef Salad with Mustard & Horseradish Dressing

This isn't a full blown recipe, more of a suggestion as to what to do with leftovers when you have a roast dinner.  We love nothing more than a nice bit of roast beef on a Sunday, to be fair, we don't usually have leftovers as we both love roasts and also we are both pretty greedy!  However on this occasion, having cooked a piece of beef that feeds 6 people and there were only the two of us, we found ourselves with plenty of leftovers!  Rather than snacking on the leftover beef, I decided to put it into a salad the following day, which I have to say was pretty tasty.  The only recipe to this dish is the dressing that I used.

For the dressing:
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard of your choice
  • 1/2 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
It's as simple as this, whisk together the ingredients with a pinch of salt and pepper until you create an emulsion, that is it!

For my salad I plated up some mixed leaves, radishes, green pepper, cucumber and tomato which I then topped with a warmed Yorkshire pudding, over which I then drizzled the dressing.

Such a simple dish but boy was it good!  I must make a point next time we have a roast to make sure there are leftovers as I will definitely be making this again!