Tomato and Za’atar Couscous

I love a simple recipe, something that can be whipped up quickly but tastes delicious like you spent hours making it. I especially love a simple but delicious dish on a sunday evening when you are faced with the prospect of returning to work in the morning, the fun of the weekend is almost over and the sun is starting to dip. For me couscous is a saving grace of many a lunch or dinner. It takes only a couple of minutes to prepare (boiling water and some seasoning) and you can add almost anything to it.

On this particularly sunny Sunday I decided to raid the somewhat bare cupboard and see what I could make from the sparse looking contents. As is always staple in my cupboards I found chickpeas, but of course chickpeas!! they bulk out many a meal so why not add them to my couscous. Throwing in a mix of herbs and a good helping of Za’atar I had myself  a fresh couscous salad that was going to make a lush dinner and of course enough for lunch in the week ( a good lunch is salvation to being locked in an office when the sun is out).

This is a super quick salad, and can be adapted to include a range of other things depending on what you have in the fridge and cupboard. You can serve it warm or cold if making it in advance or taking it for lunch the next day.

Tomato and Za'atar Couscous Salad

Ingredients

100g couscous ( dried)

Boiling Water

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

1 tin of chickpeas (400g)

2-3 sundried tomatoes

handful of mini plum or cherry tomatoes ( if using big ones 1/2 should be fine)

2 teaspoons of Za’atar

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 lemon ( juice)

olive oil to drizzle

1. Put the couscous in a large bowl, sprinkle the stock cube over the couscous and cover with boiling water ( twice as much water as couscous). Mix with a fork and then cover for 5 minutes ( or as the packet instructions).

2. In a smaller bowl put the drained chickpeas and then sprinkle over the za’atar and herbs, lemon juice and drizzle with the olive oil. Give it a good mix. Put to one side.

3. Chop the sundried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes into small pieces and mix into the chickpeas. Taste at this point and add more za’atar if necessary.

4. Once the couscous is cooked, give it a stir with a fork to break it up ( it should be nice and fluffy), then mix in the chickpeas. Taste and season if necessary.

There you have it a fresh and delicious salad that took no time at all.

Tomato and Za'atar Couscous salad

Serve it with some fried halloumi and roasted vegetables. It will also go well with a green salad. A fabulous summer salad full of flavour that takes as long to cook as a microwave meal!

Enjoy xx

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Chorizo Sausage Rolls

The sun is out, spring is here which can only mean one thing, summer is on its way and picnic season is upon us!

I love a picnic, it’s all about grazing, sitting in the sun and grazing as you watch the world go by. Hell, I like any meal that’s about grazing maybe that’s why I end up in the local Lebanese a little too often. I was inspired to make these fabulous chorizo sausage rolls after an afternoon tea at the Ham Yard Hotel, I had never had them before but combined some of my favorite things, sausage, chorizo and pastry! I immediately went home and started looking at recipes.

Depending on what equipment you have, you can blitz the chorizo up with the sausage meat or dice, depends whether you want a full on red roll or just chunks. Adding the chorizo just adds another layer to home made sausage rolls. If you get a good quality chorizo you will have those wonderful spices, the deep red running through the meat and of course that sweet paprika smell.

This is a fairly easy recipe and the best thing is you can freeze them so you have a supply ready at all times. See no excuse not to be whipping up a batch!
Ingredients

Filling

25g butter plus extra for greasing

dash of olive oil

150g peeled shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp granulated sugar

450g pork sausage meat

2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley

100g cured chorizo cut into small cubes

1 tbsp fresh soft breadcrumbs

black pepper

Pastry

375g sheet of ready rolled puff pastry

plain flour for dusting

1 large beaten egg to seal and glaze

1. For the filling heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and add the shallots. Gently fry for about 5 minutes until they have softened. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue to cook over a low heat for another 10-15 minutes until they have caramalised. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool.  At this point pre heat the oven to 200 degrees/180 degrees fan. Lightly grease a baking sheet and line with baking paper.

cook the onions until they are sweet and caramalised

cook the onions until they are sweet and caramalised

2. Put the sausage meat in a large mixing bowl and add the parsley, chorizo and breadcrumbs and season with black pepper. Then mix it all together really well so the chorizo is well dispersed.

Your three main ingredients, sausage meat, chorizo and lots of parsley

Your three main ingredients, sausage meat, chorizo and lots of parsley

Mix everything together

Mix everything together

Until it is well combined

Until it is well combined

3. Lay out the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and cut in half lengthways. Divide the shallot mix in half and spoon one portion onto each piece of the pastry in a 5cm wide strip lengthways down the centre. Divide the sausage meat mixture in half and shape each into a sausage shape as long as the length of pastry. The lay it on top of the shallots. Brush the long edges of each pastry piece with beaten egg then take one long edge and roll around the meat and shallots to encase. Pinch the pastry together to join and cut away any excess. Turn each roll over so that the join is underneath.

spread the caramalised onions onto the pastry

spread the caramalised onions onto the pastry

then top with the sausage meat

then top with the sausage meat

and roll that bad boy, roll!

and roll that bad boy, roll!

4. Brush each roll with beaten egg and cut the long sausage into pieces. I got about 8 small sausage rolls out of each roll but you can make them as big or as small as you like. ( If you are going to freeze them then do not do the egg wash just cut them up and wrap them up and pop in the freezer, only egg wash when you are read to cook them)

Cut to your desired size

Cut to your desired size

5. Place the sausage rolls onto the pre prepared baking sheet and bake in an oven for 25-30 minutes. Make sure you give them space on the baking sheet as the pastry will puff up and you don’t want them sticking together.  Once cooked all the way through and golden brown remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

Golden brown gorgeous sausage rolls!

Golden brown gorgeous sausage rolls!

Yum!!

Yum!!

Serve these delicious sausage rolls as a snack or with a salad or accompaniment to a fabulous picnic.

Enjoy xx

Easy Peasy Victoria Sponge

The first cake I always remember being in our house as children is the good old victoria sponge cake. Its moist vanilla sponge, the jam and the buttercream filling – yum! Its one of the first things I learnt to bake and its one of my favourite still to make and of course eat! I

This recipe is one my mum uses and she taught me to use and is incredibly adaptable should you want to make it a marble cake or chocolate sponge, or make little fairy cakes instead. This is the easy peasy all in one sponge mix – its quick, its easy and you can adapt it to your needs. It’s perfect as a weekend baking treat, or if friends are popping by.

Ingredients

For the Sponge

225g Self Raising Flour

225g butter

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

For the Frosting

Icing sugar

80g butter

25ml milk

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Line and grease a two sandwich tins (20cm) and pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl add all your ingredients, the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and baking powder and mix them with an electric mixer or spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over beat the mix as you will knock all the air out and you won’t get a good rise.

so easy, all the ingredients in one bowl together

so easy, all the ingredients in one bowl together

3. Spoon the mixture evenly into the two tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and the sponge springs back when you press on it lightly.

4. Once cooked take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. While the cake is cooling you can make the frosting. Mix the icing sugar and butter together in a large bowl and once it comes together add in the milk and vanilla and turn the hand mixer up to full and mix until the frosting becomes light and fluffy ( you can leave it in the fridge until its needed).

Victoria Sponge5. Once the cake has completely cooled you can assemble it. Take one of the sponges and spoon the jam on – as much or as little as desired. Make sure the whole base is covered. Then spoon on the butter cream frosting and smooth over the whole base again. Then carefully place the second sponge on top. To finish dust with a little icing sugar.

Cover with jam - strawberry works well or maybe try blackcurrent!

Cover with jam – strawberry works well or maybe try blackcurrant!

Then top with light and fluffy buttercream

Then top with light and fluffy buttercream

Delightful Victoria Sponge

Delightful Victoria Sponge

There you have it, a quick and easy pleasing victoria sponge cake. Its light and fluffy and one everyone will love!

Enjoy! xx

First Time Quail

I love having people around for dinner, it’s a chance to show off and cook something you wouldn’t normally cook during the week. So there I was pondering what to make as I wandered aimlessly around the supermarket – this happens more times than you would think – and I happened upon the game section of the meat aisle. I love game, its something that I generally only have as a treat when I go out for dinner, I never seem to choose it as something to cook at home. I don’t know why because venison is my favourite meat and I love little birds like grouse and Poussin. Of course I have ventured into the world of game before with delicious rabbit ragu!

Now one thing I haven’t tried before is quail, not sure why, but I haven’t. There in the fridge of the supermarket were quail, on special offer and calling to me. I had to do it, why not, try a new meat and learn to cook something new as well. sold!

Now quail are a tiny bird, not that much meat but as long as you have some good sides then one is more than enough for a person, although if you are feeding a hungry person who eats a lot you may want to serve them two!

tiny quail, enough for one... unless you are hungry

tiny quail, enough for one… unless you are hungry

I decided to keep my first time quail cooking simple. I looked through my cook books and the internet for recipe recommendations, how to cook, what sauce to make with it and some got really complicated. Simple is what I wanted.

To start with I decided to stuff my bird, I didn’t have time to make my own stuffing so good old store-bought would have to do, and also I was going to wrap it with streaky bacon to keep the meat moist and add a bit of flavour ( quail dries out quite quickly so if you are not using bacon make sure you baist it through cooking.

stuffed and wrapped quail ready for the oven

stuffed and wrapped quail ready for the oven

Ingredients (meal for 2)

Stuffing of choice – the size of your quail will depend on how much you make up, so make a little as per the packet to start and if you can fit more in then make some more.

2 Quail, no giblets (take out f the fridge one hour before cooking)

2 strips of streaky bacon

olive oil

mixed herbs to season ( I used thyme, rosemary and a little bit of tarragon)

150ml white wine

300ml chicken stock

1 teaspoon of flour

salt and pepper to season

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan oven). Make up your stuffing as per the packet instructions or if you are feeling super fancy make it from scratch! Once made put it to one side to cool as you do not want to be handling it hot.

2.  When the stuffing has cooled stuff the quail. Wrap one piece of bacon around the bird and secure it with a toothpick. You may want to secure the hole where you stuffed the bird with a tooth pick as well to stop the stuffing coming out. Then drizzle with olive oil and rub the herb mix in to it. Place the birds onto a roasting tin and put them into the oven.

3. Cook the birds for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. The juices should run clear. For the gravy, 15 minutes into cooking pour in 150ml of white wine  and place the tin back in the oven.

4. Once cooked remove from the oven and let the birds rest for 10 minutes. While resting make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat and add the chicken stock, while stirring add the flour. Continue stirring ( with a whisk) until the sauce thickens and season to taste.

5. Remove the tooth picks and place the quail  on to plates. Serve with creamy mash potato and green beans. Serve with the gravy.

so yummy! stuffed quail with creamy mash and veg!

so yummy! stuffed quail with creamy mash and veg!

Enjoy! xx

Blackberry and Apple Crumble Loaf

Berry season is pretty much over, which makes me sad! But the other day I came across a punnet of blackberries in the shop and couldn’t resist. I love blackberries. I remember as a child walking the dogs on a field at the end of our road and it being surrounded by blackberry bushes. We would wander around with a bag and fill it with the big juicy berries. Now of course at the time I decided just to be fussy that I didn’t like blackberries so they were enjoyed by everyone but me but I remember the picking, trying to avoid the thorns (badly) and getting cover in blood-red juice when you pulled them off the bush to hard.

Now older and wiser to the magical berries that grow on the hedgerows around the UK I miss the innocence of berry picking. When its berry season the supermarkets are full of the things, blue berries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries – they are everywhere. You cannot help but by punnet after punnet and top your morning granola with them, or stick some in a pot for a lunch time snack, or for something a little cheekier, put them on top of meringue and cream. Living in the city I do miss being close to hedgerows, passing a big green bush covered in dark plump berries. It just makes you want to go for a walk in the countryside!

Blackberries!!!

Blackberries!!!

Alas, the season is over so when I come across some fabulous looking berries I must have them.  After finishing half the box rather quickly just standing in the kitchen I decided something need to be baked with them. Everyone suggested an apple and blackberry crumble, but with a hatred for crumble I decided to go out on a limb and try a blackberry and apple crumble loaf!

This loaf is perfect when it’s still slightly warm either on its own, or if you want something a little naughty pop a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on it! Yum!

Ingredients

300g Plain Flour

1tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

190g Caster Sugar

210ml milk

1 large egg, beaten

100g butter, melted

finely grated lemon zest of 1 lemon

250g Bramley apple, grated ( use some kitchen paper to absorb some of the water from it)

150g blackberries

For the Crumble

15g butter

25g plain flour

15g Demerara sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan oven), line a loaf tin and set aside

2. First make the crumble, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir the sugar in and work the mixture to form small nuggets.

3. On to the loaf mix, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. In another bowl, beat the milk with the egg, melted butter and lemon zest.

The dry ingredients!

The dry ingredients!

and the wet.....

and the wet…..

4. Stir the wet mixture into the flour and sugar mixture, then stir in the apple and blackberries.

mmmm blackberries!

mmmm blackberries!

stir everything together ... I really should have used a bigger bowl!

stir everything together … I really should have used a bigger bowl!

Blackberry and Apple Crumble loaf

5. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Bake in the oven for approx 1 hour 15 mins ( I would check it after 1 hour and see how wet a skewer comes out). Bake until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Into the loaf tin and get ready to crumble!

Into the loaf tin and get ready to crumble!

post crumble

post crumble

Let the load cool for about 15mins in the tin and then leave to completely cool on a baking tray. Slice it up and serve with a cup of tea or with some ice cream!

beautiful blackberry goodness

beautiful blackberry goodness

Enjoy xx

Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

I think for most people your association with the Ferrero Rocher is christmas or your parents dinner parties. They are something we used to insist on having at Christmas at our house as they were seen as so luxurious… maybe be it was just me and my siblings (shiny things when younger are so appealing!)  Now its more associated with slighty kitche or being funny and saying ‘Ambassador you are spoiling us’.

For me I never stopped like the Ferrero Rocher, they combine hazelnut and chocolate, what is not to love. It’s like a grown up spoonsful of nutella! But for some reason they seem to have stopped coming out at Christmas, and you very rarely seem them in shops, they are usually hidden at the bottom on the sweet aisle of the supermarket. When did Ferrero Roche stop being cool?!

who doesn't love these guys?

who doesn’t love these guys?

Well I have decided to say hurrah for the Ferrero Rocher and I recently found a cheesecake recipe that brings the FR back to life. It was my birthday recently and I had a small wine and cheese soiree with friends as one of my many celebrations and I decided as hostess I was going to make this Ferrero Rocher cheesecake as it just looked simply decadent. The original recipe calls for it to be made as one large one but I decided to go crazy and make enough individual ones seen as I have an abundance of ramekins lying around the flat.

Ingredients

140g unsalted butter

300g digestive biscuits, broken up

500g cream cheese, softened ( I used low-fat cream cheese in mine and worked perfectly)

85g icing sugar

300ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

15 Ferrero Rocher, 5 roughly chopped

4 tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread

25g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1. Make the cheesecake base first by melting the butter in a small pan over a low heat. Then blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they are a fine crumb. Add the meted butter to the biscuits and pulse until well combined. Tip the biscuit mix either into a 23cm spring form cake tin or into individual ramekins( you will get 10 individual cheesecakes if using ramekins) and press the mix down firmly into the base. Chill while you make the filling.

For the base, blitz the biscuits

For the base, blitz the biscuits

and then mix with the melted butter to make your base

and then mix with the melted butter to make your base

2. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl until soft. In another bowl whisk the cream and vanilla into soft peaks then fold it into the cream cheese. Stir through the chopped chocolates and spoon the mix on top of the biscuit base ( either large version or individuals). Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to chill. The large version will take at least 6 hours to chill but the small ones take about 2-3 hours until they are fully set.

Mix the cream cheese with the icing sugar

Mix the cream cheese with the icing sugar

add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mix

add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mix

Get those chopped up chocolates in the mix!

Get those chopped up chocolates in the mix!

Take the bases out of the fridge and top with the cream cheese mix

Take the bases out of the fridge and top with the cream cheese mix

mmm cheesecakes... back in the fridge with you

mmm cheesecakes… back in the fridge with you

3. Once the cheesecake has set its time to top it. Place the hazelnut spread in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat for 3-4 mins until runny. Spread the chocolate over the top of each cheesecake ( or the one large one) and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and the remaining chocolates.

Melt the hazelnut chocolate spread for topping the cheesecake

Melt the hazelnut chocolate spread for topping the cheesecake

Top the cheesecakes with the melted chocolate, along with chopped hazelnuts and ferrero rocher!

Top the cheesecakes with the melted chocolate, along with chopped hazelnuts and ferrero rocher!

Chill the cheesecake until you are ready to serve.

This was a massive hit! Its rich and creamy and covered in chocolate and nuts, there is nothing not to love. Of course you can use the basic cheesecake mix as a starting point for creating any kind of cheesecake you like if Ferrero Rocher doesn’t take your fancy. You could make a cookie based one ( Oreos seem to be everywhere), or some soft fruit like blueberries.

If you are having a party or friends round for dinner this is a real winner!

Enjoy xx

Black Pepper and Parmesan Beer Bread

Summer, its the time of picnics, long lunches in the sun and staying out of a hot kitchen for as long as possible. When its hot and the sun is shining you want food that takes little effort and can be enjoyed al fresco or in a picnic. I look for any excuse to have a picnic on the common and having yummy food to bring along is even better.

Last week I went to a fabulous evening of Jazz at Fulham Palace, it was beautiful. Jazz in the background as we sat in the gardens of this historic house and enjoying the wonderful company of friends. It was an uber picnic affair, some people were taking it very seriously. We of course took the Pimms very seriously, but a few home made treats did make it including this delicious black pepper and parmesan beer bread which just goes so well with slightly warm camembert!

A fabulous evening of Jazz in the gardens of Fulham Palace

A fabulous evening of Jazz in the gardens of Fulham Palace

The beautiful gardens of Fulham Palace

The beautiful gardens of Fulham Palace

This little loaf slices perfectly, is a great picnic staple.

This recipe comes from the fabulous ladies at Spoon Fork Bacon, one of my favourite blogs!

Ingredients

485g Plain Flour

2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

385ml beer ( get a good one full of flavour)

115g melted unsalted butter

zest of 1 lemon (optional0

85g grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, lightly grease the loaf pan and set aside.

2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt ina  mixing bowl and whisk together. Create a small well in the flour mixture and add the beer, half the melted butter, lemon zest, parmesan and black pepper. Stir together until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix it!

Add the beer, black pepper and cheese to the flour mix

Add the beer, black pepper and cheese to the flour mix

lots of cheese and pepper - two great ingredients

lots of cheese and pepper – two great ingredients

Mix to a dough!

Mix to a dough!

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Pour the remaining butter over the top and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10mins, or until a scewer comes out clean.

Into the loaf pan and top with the remaining butter

Into the loaf pan and top with the remaining butter

4. Remove the load from the tin and allow it to cool until warm to the touch before slicing. Serve with butter or eat plain.

Slice and serve warm with lots of butter!

Slice and serve warm with lots of butter!

Enjoy! xx

Discovering the Stromboli

I am always looking for new recipes to try, new exciting flavours and interesting ingredients combinations, because at the end of the day boring food is just boring! So when you discover something new its great. For me its recently been the Stromboli. Before coming across a recipe for one I had never heard of it! I know shocking! I thought I knew all the pizza forms. For those that do not know, a Stromboli is a rolled up pizza – its ingenious and I do not know how I haven’t come across this before.

It’s just as easy to make as pizza but it has a novelty factor. If you are in the mood for making pizza ( and home-made is always so much better than shop bought!) then give this a go for something different!

Ingredients

250g Basic Pizza Dough

3 tbsp tomato puree

100g thin salami

120g spinach

100g thinly sliced mozzarella

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and place a large baking tray in the oven to heat up. Roll out the pizza dough to a 24xm x 30cm rectangle.

rolling out my dough!

rolling out my dough!

2. Spread the tomato puree over the rolled out pizza dough. Then lay the salami over the top, then the scatter the spinach. Finally put the mozzarella over the top. Carefully roll the dough from the shortest side with the seam facing down. Brush with a little olive oil.

base!

base!

layer up those toppings

layer up those toppings

what is a pizza without cheese!

what is a pizza without cheese!

carefully roll that bad boy up!

carefully roll that bad boy up!

3. Carefully lift the rolled pizza onto the pre heated baking tray and place in the oven for 20-25mins until golden brown.

full off oozy cheese goodness - its sooo good!

full off oozy cheese goodness – its sooo good!

To serve slice the stromboli and serve with a green salad. To make it veggie why not use ricotta, spinach and mozzarella or through in some roasted peppers – Yum!!

Enjoy! xx

Its all gone a bit Mexican – Black Bean Quasadilla

With the sun shining and the temperature rising, the summer really did arrive in London this weekend. So why not bring some of that sunshine into the kitchen! The weather always ends up inspiring me, and the sun it really inspired me to make dishes full of colour and full of summer flavour, and for some reason I turned to Mexico for inspiration!

Now I have never been to Mexico but its very much on my list. With holidays for 2015 already in the pipe line Mexico will have to wait in line but I will go and when I do it will be an amazing foodie experience. I love the flavours and the spice that comes out of Mexican food, plus they love to put cheese on things so how could you possibly complain. The food is so simple yet full of flavour and the ingredients so versitile, its fun food to make!

So with the sun out, it of course meant picnic on the common, and once you are full of food it of course means a nap. As I dozed in the sun I pondered new recipes, food to try ( yes thats right all I do is think about food!) and new sources of inspiration, and of course something Mexican inspired popped into my head. Returning home I raided the cupboard and there they were black beans, a lovely little tin ready to cook with. With a fridge full of cheese, a quasadilla was the only way forward!

Of course I cannot just have a quasadilla on its own, and will some lovely ripe avacados sitting in the fruit bowl fresh from the farmers market they just screamed GUACAMOLE!!!

Guacamole is so quick and easy to make that it feel wrong to buy it in the shop. Here is my super quick recipe. Once you start making your own guacamole you will never go back!

Guacamole recipe

1 1/2 ripe Avocados, skinned and chopped

2 spring onions roughly chopped

3-4 small cherry tomatoes chopped in half

a few springs of coriander

1/3 chilli ( add more if you want some heat)

Squeeze of lime

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz – pop in a bowl and serve!

such simple ingredients

such simple ingredients

...... and just whizz

…… and just whizz

And Serve!! delicious

And Serve!! delicious

 

Now you need something to go with that amazing guacamole you just made so here is a recipe for a super easy and tasty quesadilla, and the best thing is you can vary up the ingredients, add in some beef or chicken, or keep it veggie and fill it with peppers.

Quasadilla Ingredients ( for 2-3 servings)

Spray oil

1 red onion thinly sliced

1 garlic clove crushed

1/2 tsp chili flakes ( add more if you want the heat)

1 400g tin of black beans

5/6 tbsp. pasata

2 teaspoons of Schwartz Fajita spice mix

2-3 small tortilla wraps

cheese…. as much as you like.

1. Spray a frying pan with a few squirts of oil and add the onions and garlic. Let the onions cook on a low heat until soft and add in the chili flakes. Then add the black beans fajita spice and pasata, stir all together and turn the heat down to low.

such dull looking ingredients but they make such an exciting dish

such dull looking ingredients but they make such an exciting dish

into the frying pan

into the frying pan

 

2. While the beans are heating through get another frying pan out and spray with a little bit of oil, put on a low heat and add a wrap. Gentle heat for about 20 seconds on each side, then on one side spoon some of bean mix onto the wrap and top with cheese. Then fold the wrap over and turn the heat up a little bit and cook on each side for a couple of minutes so each side browns and the cheese melts. If you are doing more than one then keep them warm in the oven, otherwise serve with a salad and home made Guacamole!

fill half the tortilla wrap and top with lots of cheese

fill half the tortilla wrap and top with lots of cheese

brown each side lightly until the cheese melts

brown each side lightly until the cheese melts

Serve with yummy home made guacamole

Serve with yummy home made guacamole

Enjoy! xx

Venetian Duck Ragu

“I cannot believe the price of duck legs, they are extortionate. How much are they in your supermarket?” That was the conversation that introduced me to this lovely recipe for Venetian Duck Ragu. My mother moaning about how expensive duck legs were in her supermarket, and I broke the news to her that they were on special offer in mine, so I promptly headed out to buy some so I could make this slow cooked dish of yumminess.

The recipe is from Good Food, and is so easy to make. I like a good slow cooked dish, it means I can just leave it and get on with other things, it’s a great Sunday cooking project. It’s also great because it freezes brilliantly. This recipe makes about 6/7 portions depending on how hungry you are.

Ingredients

1tsp olive oil

4 duck legs

2 onions, finely chopped

2 fat garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp plain flour

250ml red wine

800g  chopped tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube made up into 250ml stock

3 rosemary springs, leaves picked and chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tsp sugar

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the duck legs and brown on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Then add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute and then stir in the cinnamon and flour and cook for a further minute. Return the duck to the pan, add the wine, tomatoes, stock, herbs sugar and seasoning.  Bring the pot to a simmer and then lower the heat and cover. Cook for 2 hours stirring every now and again.

Brown those duck legs on all sides

Brown those duck legs on all sides

Brown the onions until soft and add the spices and flour

Brown the onions until soft and add the spices and flour

One the onions are soft add the duck legs back in......

One the onions are soft add the duck legs back in……

..... then add some non descript red wine.... cooking wine had to do as there was not Chateaux Neuf du Pap left!

….. then add some non descript red wine…. cooking wine had to do as obviously there was no Chateauneuf du Pape left in the flat!

add the wine and stock and leave to simmer covered ... this is when the magic happens!

add the wine and stock and leave to simmer covered … this is when the magic happens!

2. Carefully lift the duck legs out after the 2 hours of cooking and place on a plate. Pull the fat off and discard. The meat should just fall off the bone at this point. Shred the meat and return it to the sauce. Simmer the sauce for a further 15 minutes. While it is simmering cook the pappardelle .

After their long simmer take the legs out and shred the meat off the bones

After their long simmer take the legs out and shred the meat off the bones

Then add the meat back to the pot and continue to simmer while the pasta cooks.... yum!

Then add the meat back to the pot and continue to simmer while the pasta cooks…. yum!

serve the ragu with fresh parpadella and lots of parmesan..... now that is a good home cooked meal!

serve the ragu with fresh pappardelle and lots of parmesan….. now that is a good home cooked meal!

Serve the sauce with pasta and topped with lots of parmesan cheese.

This is such a low effort dish to make, you just leave it and it does its own thing!

Enjoy! xx