29 April 2013

Cottage Pie with Horseradish Mash

Can't go wrong with a classic school night dinner with a little bit of a twist. Lovely meal that will feed quite a few people and leave plenty of leftovers for next day's lunch.

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 500-600g beef mince
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • 300ml oz beef stock
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • thyme (fresh or dried)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 750g potatoes
  • 2 tbsp of horseradish (without an addition of lemon juice, if you can get any)
  • 3-4 tbsp of butter
  • a splash of milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the minced beef and cook for 3 minutes to brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaf and thyme.
  5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the topping, boil the potatoes, drain and mash with the butter and milk. Stir in the horseradish and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the meat in an oven dish. Top with the mash and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

15 April 2013

Smoked haddock, potatoes and spinach fishcakes

We fancied smoked haddock for lunch one day, so we took a stroll down to the fishmongers in the Newhaven marina and picked up a couple of really lovely, aromatic fillets. I found a bag of spinach in the fridge, one thing led to another... :)

  • around 500g potatoes, unpeeled 
  • 1 smoked haddock fillet - around 250-300g
  • 150ml milk 
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter 
  • 2 onions, finely chopped 
  • 150g of spinach
  • 1/2 glass of plain flour
  • 1/2 glass of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins, then once they're cooked peel their skins off - they should come off really easily, but will be hot, so be careful! Then mash the peeled potatoes with butter and set aside to let it cool. 
  2. Break the haddock into smaller pieces with your hands and put it in a pot with milk. Bring the milk up to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat very low. Cover and poach for five minutes. Drain the fish and keep the poaching liquid.
  3. Fry the onion slightly in a bit of oil until soft and glossy. Put the spinach into a large pot with a little bit of water (just enough to cover the bottom of the pot), cover and cook for 1-2 minutes on a very low heat. It will reduce in size significantly. Drain the spinach and let it cool, then squeeze any excess water out of it with your hands and chop it up roughly.
  4. Mix the potato with the onion, spinach and two tbsp of the poaching liquid. Carefully add in the fish and mix everything together delicately. You want to keep the fish flakes large and not to overwork the mixture.
  5. Mix flour and breadcrumbs on a plate. Pour the beaten egg onto another plate. Form fishcakes from the mixture, then dip each in the egg, then coat in the flour/breadcrumbs.
  6. Fry each fishcake in oil for few minutes on each side until golden brown.
P.S. don't worry if they're not fried all the way through - you just want to brown the outside to your liking, The mixture is fully cooked already and safe to eat

  • 1 part mayonnaise
  • 1 part grain mustard 
  • 1 part herbs and garlic soft cheese
  • 1 tsp dill (fresh or died)
  1. Just mix everything together :) Tartar sauce will go just as well with it.

8 April 2013

Egg in a Cup

A fun alternative to the boring old eggs and bacon on toast.

  • 2 slices of bread 
  • 2 slices of smoked bacon 
  • 2 eggs 
  • salt and pepper 
  • baking paper 
  • 2 ramekins 

1. Line the ramekins with baking paper.
2. Cut a circle out of each bread slice to fit the bottom of the ramekin, and use the rest of the bread to make 'walls', so that the ramekin is lined with bread on the inside.
3. Line the inside of the 'bread cup' with bacon. You may have to cut it to make it fit.
4. Put these in the oven at 150°C until the bread is toasted and the bacon is just done.
5. Put one egg in each 'cup' and place them back in the oven until the eggs are done. Or if like me you can't be asked waiting, nuke them in a microwave ;)

Easy-peasy :)

1 April 2013

Apple Cake

Lovely cake with meringue and chocolate shavings topping. The base of this recipe is one of the most useful things to have in your cook book. It can be stuffed with anything - apples, cherries, rhubarb, peanut butter... Whatever takes your fancy.

  • 3 glasses of plain flour 
  • 250g of margarine 
  • 1.5 glass of sugar 
  • 5 eggs 
  • 1 tspn of baking powder 
  • 1 tbs of cocoa 
  • 1kg of apples 
  • 1 tsp of almond extract 

1. Mix flour, baking powder, 0.5 glass of sugar, margarine and 1 yolk together. This will be your cake mix.
2. roll out 2/3 of the cake mix on the bottom of a cake pan lined with baking paper.
3. Split the remaining third of the cake mix into two parts. Add cocoa to one of the parts. Place both of them in the freezer for half an hour.
4. Blend the apples into a pulp and add almond extract. Place the apples on the cake base you rolled out in the tin earlier. Take the part of cake mix without the cocoa from the freeser and grate it over the apples on a cheese grater.
5. Whisk the egg whites with the remaining glass of sugar until you get stiff peaks. Spread them over the cake.
6. Take the remaining part of the cake mix with cocoa from the freezer and grate it on a cheese grater over the top.
7. Bake at 170°C for around 50 minutes.