Mains

 

Saag Paneer (Spinach Paneer)

One attempt to make paneer really won us over - we really can't get enough of it now..we have made it probably five times now 🙂 so easy to make and very tasty eaten together with curry. We have optimized the recipe after making it many times now. The key is to use fresh milk, leave the curd to form for long enough, add enough salt (although you can also put salt in the marinade afterwards to tweak the seasoning) and then to press the cheese really well before cutting it. You can marinate it in any spices you like and fry it on a pan. Just handle it gently while frying it on the pan as it can crumble. Trust me - super quick and you will enjoy it!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Paneer

  • 2 litres whole, fresh milk (not UHT)
  • 80 ml lemon juice (or one large lemon)
  • 4 tsp salt

Spinach

  • lots of spinach
  • onion
  • lots of garlic
  • plenty of ginger, grated
  • green chilli
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp coriander

Instructions

Paneer

  1. Heat the milk until it simmers.
  2. Add lemon juice, stir gently to draw curds together, leave 10 mins.
  3. Strain into a towel in a sieve.
  4. Rinse the cheese curd with water through the sieve.
  5. Add salt (you will need to add quite a lot - around 4 tsp), bundle the towel around the cheese and wring.
  6. Place the towel wrapped cheese in the fridge and place something heavy on top to compress it well.
  7. Leave the cheese to rest for 1 h.
  8. After resting, unwrap the cheese and cut it into cubes.
  9. Fry the paneer cubes in butter, set aside on a kitchen towel and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Spinach

  1. Blanch the spinach in boiling water, drain and cool.

  2. Fry onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until caramelised.
  3. Add spices (add water if necessary) and cook.
  4. Add the paneer cheese cubes and cook for a little longer.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5
Author adapted from https://www.recipetineats.com/chicken-tikka-masala/

Ingredients

  • 10 chicken thighs

For the marinade:

  • 120 ml plain yoghurt
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp coriander, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For the sauce:

  • 65 ml vegetable oil
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp cumin toasted and ground
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp chilli
  • 400 ml tomato passata
  • 400 ml water
  • 100 ml cream

Instructions

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients, add the chicken and leave to marinate for 1 h or over night. Then, brown the chicken nicely in the oven or on the BBQ and set asid while preparing the sauce.

  2. Fry onions, garlic and ginger in the oil and butter for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add spices and fry.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes or longer.
  5. Blend the sauce until completely smooth.
  6. Add the sauce to the chicken and cook in the oven on low.

  7. Just before serving, sprinkle almonds on top and place back in the oven to brown.
  8. Serving suggestion: serve with delicious home made naans. See recipe in the baking section of this blog.

Caramelized red onion, apricot and lemon couscous

We make this lemon couscous often, as it goes well as an accompaniment for many dishes, particularly BBQ meat.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 60 g couscous
  • Medium chunk of butter
  • 80 ml boiling water
  • ½ beef stock cube
  • 1.5 lemons cubed (including rind)
  • 2 medium red onions chopped roughly
  • 4 dried apricots chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp muscavado sugar or brown sugar
  • Mixed herbs parsley, chives, mint, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place the chopped lemons (including the rind) in a small saucepan with a dash of water. Cook at high heat for a few minutes, until softened. Then turn to low/medium heat and cook for about 15 min at a gentle simmer, until soft and a little caramelized. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan.

  2. Combine the onions and apricots with balsamic vinegar and muscavado sugar in another small saucepan. Cook on high heat for a few minutes until softened. Then, turn down the heat and keep cooking for around 15 min, until nicely caramelized and sticky. Keep stirring to prevent sticking to the pan.

  3. Meanwhile, fry the couscous in the butter until a little browned.
  4. Once the lemons have cooked down and softened, add them to the couscous in the pan.
  5. Pour the boiling water on the couscous and lemon. Stir briefly, cover with a lid and leave off the heat for 10-15min.
  6. Once the couscous is done, stir it through with a fork, to separate the couscous grains. Add the caramelized onions and apricots as well as the herbs.
  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Place the chopped lemons (including the rind) in a small saucepan with a dash of water. Cook at high heat for a few minutes, until softened. Then turn to low/medium heat and cook for about 30min at a gentle simmer, until soft and a little caramelized. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan. Combine the onions and apricots with balsamic vinegar and muscavado sugar in another small saucepan. Cook on high heat for a few minutes until softened. Then, turn down the heat and keep cooking for around 30min, until nicely caramelized and sticky. Keep stirring to prevent sticking to the pan. Meanwhile, fry the couscous in the butter until a little browned. Once the lemons have cooked down and softened, add them to the couscous in the pan. Pour the boiling water on the couscous and lemon. Stir briefly, cover with a lid and leave off the heat for 10-15min. Once the couscous is done, stir it through with a fork, to separate the couscous grains. Add the caramelized onions and apricots as well as the herbs. Enjoy!

 

Moroccan Chicken, Cinnamon and Almond Pastilla

I adapted this recipe from the 'Hairy Bikers', exchanging some ingredients for things we had in our cupboards. It worked very well and was so easy to make.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author adapted from http://www.hairybikers.com/recipes/view/moroccan-pastilla#6dq5u9SadyGGZkVr.97

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 560 g chicken thighs skin on
  • 10 g butter
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of saffron
  • 500 ml chicken stock either home made stock or 500ml water with 1 stock cube
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 75 g ground almonds chopped
  • 75 g dried apricots chopped
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pack filo pastry sheets about 8 sheets
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Fry the chicken in the oil, skin side down, until nicely browned. 

  2. Remove the chicken from the pan.

  3. Cook the onions in the butter until soft and browned. Add the garlic and spices and fry for another few minutes.

  4. Put the chicken back in the pan and pour in the stock. 

  5. Season, then cover the pan and simmer for 30min until the chicken is tender. 

  6. Remove the chicken from the pan and when cool, chop it into small pieces.

  7. Simmer and reduce the chicken cooking liquid by half.

  8. Add the eggs to the cooking liquid and continue to cook over a low heat until it looks like loose scrambled eggs. It is important to reduce the liquid down enough and get this loose scrambled egg consistency. Otherwise the pie will be soggy!

  9. Add the ground nuts, apricots, orange juice, orange zest and chicken.

  10. Allow to cool before assembling the pastilla. 

  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C

  12. Assemble the pie in a round, metal flan tray (ideally with a removable bottom, for ease of transfer of the pie later).

  13. Take a sheet of filo pastry and brush it with olive oil. Place the filo sheet so it covers the centre of the pie dish. Now, take the next filo pastry sheet and place it at a right angle to and overlapping the first sheet by a third. It should hang over the side of the pie dish. Spread with olive oil. Repeat this with the next filo pastry sheets, placing it on the other side of the central sheet, again overlapping the central sheet by a third and hanging over the side of the pie dish. Place the remaining sheets on the diagonal to the central sheet, again hanging over the edge of the pie dish. Spread all sheets with olive oil. The main thing to take care of is not to tear the filo pastry sheets. You want the filling to be enclosed by filo pastry, so it does not leak out!

  14. Place the filling in the middle of the pie dish, on top of the filo pastry.

  15. Fold all the overhanging bits of filo pastry one by one over the filling into the centre of the pie. Drizzle lightly with some more olive oil (don't be worried about the amount of oil you use. It is important for the crispy texture of the pie after cooking.

  16. Bake the pie in the oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

  17. Once cooled a little, dust with the icing sugar and cinnamon.

salmon and parsnip chowder

This is a healthy, warming, autumn/winter dish. You can also eat it without the fish or vary which type of fish you use.

I use just parsnip, without adding potato. I feel the potato just makes it more heavy and the parsnip on its own does still give a good consistency.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author adapted from https://www.afamilyfeast.com/salmon-parsnip-chowder/

Ingredients

  • 500 g parsnips peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 120 g pancetta or bacon cubed
  • 1 leek small, chopped
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme fresh or 2tbsp dried
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger fresh, grated
  • 120 ml fish stock either home made from prawn shells or 1/2 fish stock cube in water
  • 360 ml chicken stock home made chicken stock or 1 stock cube in water
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 4 salmon filets
  • 1 dash milk or double cream

Instructions

  1. Brown the parsnip cubes in the oil, in a pan.

  2. Add the chopped leek, onion and pancetta/bacon. Fry until golden brown.

  3. Add thyme, salt pepper, smoked paprika, ginger and fry for a little longer.

  4. Add the fish stock and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down so the soup simmers gently, until the parsnip is soft.

  5. Blend the soup roughly and add the dash of milk/doublecream.

  6. Fry the salmon on a pan, to your liking and serve on top of the soup.

Puff pastry game pies

This recipe may look daunting, from the longer list of ingredients. Don't be discouraged to try it! It is well worth it on a rainy autumn or winter day. 

You can make it with shop bought puff pastry sheets or make your own rough puff pastry (which is what I did).

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6 pies
Author adapted from https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/game-pithivier-recipe

Ingredients

  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten

Filling

  • 250 g game meat minced mix of e.g. venison, pheasant, partridge
  • 250 g venison diced
  • 250 g fatty bacon diced
  • 2 whole duck breasts diced
  • 2 whole pheasant breast diced
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g bread crumbs white
  • 1 pinch ground allspice or a mix of clove, cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs parsley, tarragon, oregano, thyme
  • 100 g caul fat, from pig this may be unfamiliar to you, but helps keep the filling moist
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare the filling by combining the miced game meat with the diced meat, egg, breadcrumbs, herbs, spices and salt and pepper. Pan fry a little bit of the mixture to taste the seasoning!

  2. Make sure the filling is well combined. Then, divide it into 6 even portions and shape them into round balls.

  3. Wrap each filling ball in a thin layer of caul fat (caul fat is a thin membrane which surrounds internal organs of some animals - in this case, wrapping the filling in this will ensure moisture retention - by the end of the cooking time the caul fat completely melts, and you won't actually notice it while eating it. It additionally provides a bit more flavour in a pie filling. You can get caul fat from the butcher. Most likely you will get it as a frozen lump. As it defrosts the thin lace like sheets will peel off easily.)

  4. Once you have wrapped the filling of each pie in caul fat, leave the filling balls in the fridge to rest. 

  5. Once the filling balls have cooled down and set a little (approx. 1h of resting), roll out the puff pastry and cut out 12 rounds (approx. 10cm in diameter) with a pastry cutter.

  6. Place each filling ball onto a pastry round. Lie the remaining pastry rounds on top of the filling balls. Stretch them down carefully over the filling and press down on the pastry bottoms to form tightly sealed pies. 

  7. Brush each pie with the beaten egg and place in the fridge to chill for 15 min. Brush again with egg and chill for another 15 min in the fridge.

  8. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan oven)

  9. Use a sharp knife to score evenly spaced, curved lines down from the top of the pies to the bottom. This will give them a nice appearance when cooked.

  10. Place the pies in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until well browned.

Ricotta and pesto stuffed chicken

My brother and his wife made us stuffed chicken when they were visiting. It was really tasty and now we have made and adapted it multiple times. We use chicken thighs, instead of chicken breast, compared to many stuffed chicken recipes available online. Chicken thighs just don't dry out easily and this allows you to cook the chicken for quite a while to infuse more flavours.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author adapted from my brother's recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 large boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp ricotta
  • 4 heaped tsp basil pesto
  • 8 slices of black forest ham or parma ham
  • 2 medium red onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 12 medium plum tomatoes halved
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes in juice 400g wet weight
  • 240 ml white wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of thyme

Instructions

  1. Prep-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan oven).
  2. Lay the chicken thighs flat on a chopping board and beat with a meat mallet to flatten them out more.
  3. Spread 1 tbsp ricotta and 1 heaped tsp of basil pesto over each chicken thigh.
  4. Carefully roll the chicken while keeping the filling inside.
  5. Wrap the rolled chicken in the black forest/parma ham and set aside.
  6. Chop the onion and celery into medium chunks and place in a baking dish together with the halved plum tomatoes and roast in the oven for 10-15 min until browned (no need to add any oil at this stage. There will be enough fat from the chicken and oil from the pesto.
  7. Place the wrapped chicken on top of the onion and tomatoes in the baking tray.
  8. Pour the wine and add the chopped tinned tomatoes including the juice around the chicken. Crumble in the stock cube, and mix around the sauce.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and add the bay leaves and sprig of thyme.
  10. Cover the roasting tray with aluminium foil and place in the oven for 40 min.
  11. After 40 min, remove the aluminium foil and cook for another 10 min, or until the top of the wrapped chicken is browned and the ham starts to crisp.
  12. We serve the chicken with wilted spinach tossed with crispy bacon bits and some grated strong crumbly cheese - e.g. strong cheddar, gruyere or parmesan).

Sausage stew with cobbler bread topping

You can get this recipe on the BBC good food website, but you can make it even more tasty by adding extra herbs, spices and red wine to it as I have described below. This makes it wonderful winter comfort food.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author adapted from BBC good food recipe

Ingredients

For the sausage stew

  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • 12 sausages of your choice chipolata or herby ones
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon
  • 2 medium red onions chopped into wedges
  • 1 medium carrot chopped into small cubes
  • 1 celery stick chopped into small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tsp dried sage or 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried thyme or leaves from 2 thyme sprigs, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary or leaves from 1 large rosemary sprig, chopped
  • 3 tsp sweet smoked paprika powder
  • 1 hot chilli chopped finely or as much or little, depending on the spice levels you like
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 400 g can black eye beans drained and rinsed (or any other small bean variety).
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 240 ml cooking red wine
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

For the cobbler bread topping

  • 250 g self-raising flour plus extra for dusting
  • 50 g cold butter cubed
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 50 g parmesan finely grated

Instructions

For the sausage stew

  1. Pour the glug of olive oil into a heavy based pan and heat on high heat.
  2. Once the oil has heated, place the sausages into the pan and fry until golden brown all over.
  3. Take the sausages out of the pan, chop into chunks and set aside for later.
  4. Fry the bacon rashers in the same pan until browned, chop into medium sized pieces and set aside for later.
  5. Now fry the onion wedges, chopped carrot and celery and once they have browned, add the garlic and fry for an extra minute.
  6. Add the sage, thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika and chilli to the vegetables and fry for a minute to bring out the flavours.
  7. Stir in the tomato puree, followed by the chopped tomatoes and muscavado sugar.
  8. Add the red wine and Worcesterchire sauce.
  9. Finally, add the beans, the sausage and bacon pieces to the stew.
  10. Bring all to a gentle simmer and simmer for 30min until it has reduced down to a stew consistency.

For the cobbler bread topping

  1. While the stew is cooking, mix the flour with a pinch of salt and rub in the butter with your finger tips, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  2. Beat the milk, half the egg and the cheese and add to the flour and butter mixture.
  3. Bring everything together to a soft dough without kneading.
  4. Split the dough into 6 pieces, dust with a little flour, roll into a sausage shape and finally into a spiral.

Assembly and final cooking

  1. Transfer the sausage stew into an oven proof dish.
  2. Place the cobbler bread spirals on top of the stew.
  3. Baste the cobbler bread spirals with the rest of the beaten egg.
  4. Place the stew into the oven and bake for another 20-30min until cobbler bread has cooked and is golden brown.
  5. We served the sausage stew with an accompaniment of green beans, mixed with some grated strong cheese and fried bacon cubes.

Lentil, leek, cheese stuffed pumpkin

The great thing about this recipe is, that you do not need to peel the pumpkin! Just the right thing for a comforting autumn/winter dinner. We adapted it to include more spices (turmeric, garam masala and paprika), which creates a more warming taste.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author adapted from Waitrose recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp smokey sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 250 g mixture of wild rice different colour lentils or anything similar you fancy - cooked according to packet instructions)
  • 1 medium leek washed, sliced thinly
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 small spicy chilli such as basket of fire
  • 100 g creme fraiche
  • 100 g grated cheese something quite strong, like Gruyère
  • 100 g blue cheese such as Roquefort
  • 200 g spinach leaves washed and chopped roughly

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
  2. Clean the pumpkin from the outside, to remove any dirt.
  3. Cut the top off the pumpkin and set aside (you only need to cut a thin slice from the top to reveal the hollow of the pumpkin).
  4. Hollow out the pumpkin seeds (if you like, you can wash and dry the seeds and then roast them in the oven until crisp - this can serve as a garnish for the pumpkin).
  5. Mix the oil and spices (paprika, turmeric, garam masala, salt, pepper) and rub into the hollow of the pumpkin, covering all sides nicely. Also baste the outside of the pumpkin with some olive oil
  6. Place the pumpkin lid onto the pumpkin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. In the mean time, prepare the filling.
  8. fry the leek and garlic on a pan until lightly browned
  9. Mix the leek and garlic with the cooked rice/lentils
  10. Add chopped chilli, creme fraiche, grated cheese, blue cheese and chopped spinach.
  11. Mix the filling well and place into the hollow of the pumpkin
  12. Roast the pumpkin with the filling for another 30min, until heated through and bubbling.
  13. Serve large wedges of the pumpkin

 

Courgette spaghetti with garden green pesto and lentil croquettes

Entirely vegetarian and super super tasty. We really preferred the lentil croquettes to falafel, as they aren't quite as dry. They would also work well just as snacks, dipped in a yoghurt dip. And the courgette spaghetti is a lovely alternative to pasta for a healthy quick meal.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author adapted from an Edeka supermarket recipe booklet

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow courgette
  • 1 large green courgette
  • For the lentil croquettes
  • 200 g red lentils
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 3 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 7 tablespoons oats
  • 2 teaspoons linseeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the garden green pesto

  • very large handful of garden greens rocket, nasturtium leaves, beetroot leaves, basil, mint, parsley, chives
  • 100 g walnut halves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • enough olive oil to give desired consistency
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 50 g parmesan

Instructions

  1. Bring the lentils to a boil in 600ml water and then simmer on low heat for 15min until tender.
  2. Combine all the croquette ingredients and leave to stand for 15min.
  3. In the mean time, combine all the garden green pesto ingredients in a food processor and keep adding olive oil until a pesto like consistency is reached (approx. 5-6 tablespoons).
  4. Form 20 lentil croquettes with your hands and place on an oiled baking tray.
  5. Cook the lentil balls for 20min at 180 degrees C, until hot and browned. Don't worry about cooking them for quite a while, they won't really dry out easily.
  6. In the mean time, cut the courgettes into spaghetti shapes with a manual vegetable spiralizer machine
  7. Once the lentil balls are cooked, mix the spiralized courgette with the pesto and combine well.
  8. Serve topped with lentil croquettes.

Haggis, Asparagus and Munster Cheese Crêpes with Trester Schnapps sauce

Yes, we LOVE haggis...and it is asparagus season...and in our area of Germany they sell delicious Munster cheese...and our neighbour produces Trester grape schnapps. Yes, this combination totally works. In addition, prepare all of the above on the BBQ to obtain a deliciously smokey filled pancake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Alex & Ausma

Ingredients

For the filled pancakes

  • One portion of pancake batter Delia Smith basic pancake batter recipe - http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/british/basic-pancakes
  • 1 medium haggis
  • 18 spears of asparagus
  • 1 small Munster cheese
  • large handful of chopped parsley

For the sauce

  • 200 ml double cream
  • heaped teaspoon grainy mustard
  • a glug of 'Trester' grape schnapps
  • a glug of 'Marsala' wine
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. First, prepare the basic pancake batter (according to Delia Smith basic pancake recipe - http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/british/basic-pancakes)
  2. Then, combine the sauce ingredients and simmer for a few minutes in a pan on medium heat, until nicely infused.
  3. Then, crumble the haggis and fry on a tray on the BBQ until browned and slightly crispy (or on a pan on the hob).
  4. Cut off the ends of the asparagus spears, peel off the tough outside layer and grill the whole asparagus spears on the BBQ (or on a pan on the hob).
  5. Cut the Munster cheese into slices.
  6. Now, cook a pancake on a tray on the BBQ (or on a pan on the hob).
  7. As soon as you have turned over the pancake, top with crumbled haggis, 3 spears of asparagus, some slices of Munster cheese and a generous sprinkle of parsley.
  8. Now, wrap the pancake around the filling and cook for a few more minutes to allow the Munster cheese to melt.
  9. Reheat the sauce and serve with the pancake.

Recipe Notes

This recipe arose from our love of haggis, our love of BBQing in any weather and because of the asparagus season, which has just started

Asparagus with hollandaise

Fresh asparagus from local farmers with a velvety smooth hollandaise sauce. You'll find it funny that you've ever bought ready made hollandaise, once you've tried this. So easy!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author our method for asparagus with hollandaise

Ingredients

  • 20 asparagus spears
  • 100 g cubed ham
  • For the hollandaise
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 130 g butter
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. Peel the asparagus and cut off the ends.
  2. Put asparagus into a saucepan and add boiling water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. This will depend on the type of asparagus you use. Green asparagus doesn't need as much cooking.
  3. For the hollandaise
  4. Melt the butter.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl.
  6. Place the bowl over a just simmering Bain Marie and keep whisking the egg.
  7. Slowly add the butter, while continuing to whisk the egg (Some recipes say to leave the butter solids out, but we just use it all and it works fine and is less of a hassle).
  8. Whisk the egg and butter mixture continuously over the Bain Marie until smooth, silky and thickened. This usually only takes about 10 minutes.
  9. At the end, add the lemon juic and salt and pepper to taste.

  10. Just before serving, fry the ham cubes in a little olive oil, until golden and crispy.
  11. Serve the asparagus on a plate, topped with hollandaise sauce, crispy ham and some parsley to garnish.

 

Asparagus, Tarragon and Mascarpone tart

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

For the short crust pastry

  • 225 g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 50 g parmesan grated finely
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • approx. 60ml cold water

For the filling

  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 100 g pancetta cubes
  • large handfull of rocket chopped roughly
  • 3 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  • lemon juice salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour and butter with your finger tips until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Add the parmesan and mustard powder
  3. Gradually sprinkle over the cold water and combine the dough with a knife and finally with your hands to make a smooth dough ball. Don't overwork the dough.
  4. Rest the dough in the fridge for 10mins
  5. Roll out the dough according to the shape of the tin you will use (I used a rectangular 19 x 30cm flan tin)
  6. Line the pastry with baking parchment and pour baking beans on top
  7. Blind bake the pastry for 15mins. Remove baking beans and baking parchment half way through to allow the pastry to brown all over.
  8. While the pastry is cooking combine the mascarpone, sour cream, eggs and mustard
  9. Boil the asparagus for 3 minutes until just cooked
  10. Add the pancetta, rocket, tarragon and lemon juice to the asparagus.
  11. Once the pastry is cooked, spread the asparagus mixture over the bottom of the pastry
  12. Pour over the mascarpone and egg mixture
  13. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked through and nicely browned

Ratatouille

A delicious version of Ratatouille. We have adapted this recipe to our liking. A little shorter cooking time and with an alternative serving suggestion which we think works nicely.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author adapted from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/jul/15/how-to-make-perfect-ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion cut into small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced - 1 kept separate
  • 4 ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and cut into small dice, plus juices
  • 3 sprigs of thyme plus 1tsp thyme leaves
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar optional
  • 3 courgettes a mix of yellow and green is good if possible, thinly sliced
  • 1 aubergine thinly sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra to serve
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 thick/chunky slices of bread

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 230C, cut the peppers in half, removing the seeds, and place them cut-side down on a lightly oiled baking tray. Roast until the skin has blistered, then remove and leave to cool, turning the oven down to 140C.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over a low heat, add the onion and cook until softened and browned, adding 3 cloves of minced garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and juices, and the sprigs of thyme, and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Peel the pepper, cut into small dice and add to the pan to soften along with the saffron. Remove the thyme, season to taste, and stir in the vinegar if using.
  4. Spread the sauce on the bottom of an oven dish, then arrange the sliced vegetables on top. Mix the remaining clove of garlic with the extra virgin olive oil and thyme leaves, season and sprinkle over the top. Cover tightly with foil, and put in the oven for 30 minute until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove the foil, and cook for 30 minutes more.
  6. Meanwhile cut the bread into bite sized chunks, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and toast in the oven until crisp.
  7. Serve the ratatouille topped with croutons and some basil

Mixed Mushroom and Tarragon Risotto

Very flavoursome, aromatic risotto. We find that use of dried mushrooms gives the risotto a much deeper flavour.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people
Author Alex & Ausma

Ingredients

  • 50 g mixed dried mushrooms
  • 300 g Arborio Risotto rice
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 300 ml white wine
  • 2 x chicken stock cubes
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon chopped roughly
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • parmesan shavings for serving

Instructions

  1. First, place the mushrooms in 300 ml cold water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the onion, celery and garlic in butter, until nicely browned.
  3. Add the risotto rice and fry until it becomes translucent around the edges.
  4. Start adding the white wine bit by bit, stirring continuously as the rice absorbs it.
  5. Then start adding the mushroom soaking water to the pan, again stirring after each addition.
  6. Once all the liquid has been added, add more hot water gradually if the rice isn't cooked yet.
  7. Crumble in the stock cubes, add the tarragon, salt and pepper for seasoning.
  8. Continue cooking and adding water until cooked through.
  9. Serve, topped with parmesan shavings and drizzled with olive oil

 

Chicken, Chorizo and Saffron Risotto

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Alex & Ausma

Ingredients

  • 300 ml white wine
  • pinch saffron
  • 1/2 of a Pasilla Chilli
  • 300 ml chicken stock 2 stock cubes
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 200 g Arborio rice
  • 1 chicken breast cubed
  • 1 long red pepper
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cm piece of chorizo cubed
  • 100 ml cream
  • lemon juice 1/4 lemon
  • 50 g parmesan in shavings
  • olive oil for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Put the wine in a pan and add the saffron, chilli and chicken stock and heat gently.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the garlic and onion in the pan.
  3. Add the rice and fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the wine/saffron/stock mixture one ladle at a time to the the rice while stirring.
  5. Meanwhile sear the chicken cubes and fry the chorizo until golden.
  6. Roast the pepper in the oven, until charred.
  7. Remove the skin of the pepper and chop the flesh into strips.
  8. Add the chicken, chorizo and pepper to the pan with the rice.
  9. Add the cream and season to taste with salt, pepper and the lemo juice.
  10. Serve, garnished with parmesan shavings and drizzled with olive oil.

 

Chicken and Veg Pie

We've had many a discussion about pies and how a real pie should have a pastry base. So here is our version of 'Chicken and Veg' Pie!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Alex & Ausma

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 225 g flour
  • pinch salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 60-70 ml cold water

For the white sauce

  • 15 g flour
  • 15 g butter
  • 300 ml milk

For the filling

  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • splash of white wine
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

For the pastry

  1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and add the butter.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers, until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  3. Drizzle the water over the flour/butter mixture and mix in, using a knife.
  4. Once the dough starts sticking, press it together with your hands and knead lightly for a few seconds until it holds together and is smooth (don't overwork).
  5. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry into a 2 mm thick circle, a bit bigger than the pie dish you are going to use.
  6. Line the pie dish with greaseproof paper and put the pastry base inside, pressing the dough along the sides to fit the dish.
  7. Put the dish with the pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill.
  8. Put a piece of greaseproof paper ontop of the pastry, once chilled, and cover the bottom of the pie with pastry beans to stop the base from shrinking while cooking.
  9. Blind bake the pastry at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper and cook the pastry base for another 5 minutes, until browned.
  11. Remove the base from the oven and set aside.
  12. Roll the remaining 1/3 of the dough into a circle big enough to cover the top of the pie and put in the fridge to chill.

For the white sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a pan.
  2. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
  3. Take of the heat and gradually whisk in the milk.
  4. Place back on the heat and whisk continuously until boiling and thickened.
  5. Add a splash of white wine (or as much as you like!)
  6. Reduce if too thin.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

For the filling

  1. Chop the vegetables and brown on the pan.
  2. Chop the chicken into 5cm cubes and brown on the pan.
  3. Combine with the white sauce and season to taste with salt, pepper and the tarragon.
  4. Pour the filling into the pie base.
  5. Put the pie lid over the top.
  6. Baste the top with milk or beaten egg.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until browned and hot.

 

Haggis supper

This is our variation on haggis supper...a few deviations from the traditional Burn's supper
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Alex & Ausma

Ingredients

For the haggis

  • 1 large haggis none of those tiny little hagglets 😉
  • 6 medium potatos
  • salt pepper and fennel seeds to taste
  • peas/beans ideally from the garden

For the sauce

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 button mushrooms
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 heaped teaspoon grainy mustard
  • a dash of whisky a dash may vary from person to person
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash the potatos and cut into wedges.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and fennel seeds.
  3. Roast for about 30 minutes or until browned and crispy around the edges.
  4. Meanwhile cut the haggis lengthways in half and place on a roasting tray.
  5. Drizzle haggis with a bit of olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until hot and crispy ontop.

For the sauce

  1. Chop the onion and mushrooms finely and fry until browned.
  2. Turn down the heat and add the cream, mustard, whisky, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Finally, cook the peas/beans.

 

 

 

 

 

Flammkuchen

Well, this is what we had for dinner tonight. Our version of the Flammkuchen, a traditional dish around where we are living.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author adaptation by Alex & Ausma

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 220 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 150 ml water

For the topping

  • 2 medium onions
  • 200 g bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 250 g quark
  • 100 ml sour cream

Instructions

For the dough

  1. Combine flour, salt, olive oil and water to form a dough.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

For the topping

  1. Chop onions and bacon finely and fry on a pan until nicely browned.
  2. Combine quark and sour cream in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide dough in half and roll each half out into a thin circle (2-3mm thick).
  4. Spread quark/sour cream mixture ontop of the base.
  5. Top with the onion and bacon.
  6. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until browned and edges are crisp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *