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

Skinny Blueberry and Banana Muffins

Monday morning its cold outside and it was a long weekend – thinking about breakfast is the last thing on my mind! Lucky for me I have a freezer full of breakfast muffins! hurrah!As I continue to plan ahead and think of money saving foodie ideas I am developing my love of breakfast muffins. They are such a great idea, make a batch, put them in the freezer and then they are ready when you need them. The good thing about muffins is you do not need any awkward ingredients, and for most bakers it’s all stuff you have in the cupboard anyway.

I have recently come across a great little recipe for a new breakfast muffin, its full of fruit and not so much bad stuff. Making a skinny muffin means you can enjoy them guilt free. The original recipe comes from the Good Food website, but I have made a couple of small tweaks to it as firstly I didn’t feel there was enough banana goodness in it – I love banana flavoured cakes.

Ingredients

300g Self Raising Flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g light muscavado sugar

50g porridge oats, plus 1 tbsp for topping

3 ripe bananas

284ml buttermilk

5tbsp light olive oil

2 egg whites

180g blueberries

1. Heat oven to 160 degrees C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Put the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Hold back 1 tbsp of the sugar, then mix the remainder with the flour and 50g oats. Make a well in the centre.

With a cup of tea in hand let the baking begin!

With a cup of tea in hand let the baking begin!

Mix the flour, bicarp, oats and sugar together and set aside

Mix the flour, bicarp, oats and sugar together and set aside

2. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas until nearly smooth. Stir the buttermilk, oil and egg whites into the mashed banana until evenly combined.

Mash up the banana until nearly smooth

Mash up the banana until nearly smooth

Add the egg whites, butter milk and oil to the banana and mix well.

Add the egg whites, butter milk and oil to the banana and mix well.

3. Then pour the liquid mixture into the well and stir quickly and sparingly with a wooden spoon. The mix will look lumpy but do not over mix it.  Tip in the blueberries and give it just one more stir. Divide the mix between the muffin cases – they will be quite full – then sprinkle the tops with the final tbsp of the oats and the rest of the sugar ( if you want to be naughty, make a quick crumble topping, butter and brown sugar rubbed together, and top the muffins with it along with the extra oats). Bake for 18-20 mins until risen and dark golden. Cool for 5 mins in the tray before lifting out onto a rack to cool completely.

Yummy blueberries, I could just eat the whole bowl!

Yummy blueberries, I could just eat the whole bowl!

Out of the oven!

Out of the oven!

There you have it, tasty blueberry muffins, and if you add the crumble topping then they are a little bit naughty as well!

With crispy tops and soft moist sponge filled with blueberries, this is a great breakfast or snack

With crispy tops and soft moist sponge filled with blueberries, this is a great breakfast or snack

Enjoy!

Peanut butter and Banana breakfast muffins

On my current run of finding new and exciting breakfast foods I have come across my love of breakfast muffins. You can fill them with lots of goodness and then feel virtuous at breakfast time. Popping them in the freezer is a great way to make sure you always have some!

Ingredients

200g self raising flour

25g oats

75g light brown muscavado sugar

3 medium ripe bananas

100g crunchy peanut butter

2 medium eggs, lightly beaten

25g melted butter

125ml semi skimmed milk

20g millet

optional – 40g chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, gas mark 6. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

The ingredients... the great thing is you can add what ever you like as extras!

The ingredients… the great thing is you can add what ever you like as extras!

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the oats and sugar. In a separate bowl mash the bananas and mix in the peanut butter, eggs, milk, and butter (and chocolate chips if adding). Stir into the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases. Top each muffin with a pinch of oats. Bake for 20mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Add all the ingredients and mix together - you will need some elbow grease as the peanut butter is tough to mix!

Add all the ingredients and mix together – you will need some elbow grease as the peanut butter is tough to mix!

Yum!!

Yum!!

Fill the muffin cases, about 2/3 of the way.

Fill the muffin cases, about 2/3 of the way.

These bad boys can be frozen so make an ideal snack or on the go breakfast. I stock the freezer up and then just get them out the night before or even that morning if I am planning on having one for an elevensie!

..... Yum!!

….. Yum!!

ENJOY!!!

Slow Cooked Chickpeas on Toast

I got the Ottolenghi Jerusalem recipe book for my birthday this year and love it! I am constantly flicking through it looking for new things to cook but also to learn more about Jerusalem ( I am desperate to go to Israel!) Now it’s not just the recipe book that is great, I regularly make the Ottolenghi recipes from the Guardian website, or stop by one of his cafe/ restaurants…. oh and I follow him on Twitter…. ok, I am now starting to think that I may be stalking Yotam Ottolenghi… ooops!

So one recipe that I found recently on the Guardian website by the delightful Mr Ottolenghi is slow cooked chickpeas. Now there is a warning that comes with this recipe – they take 5 hours to make… yes that is right 5 hours! But they are totally worth it. They are an alternative to baked beans and have a nice little spicy kick to them. Pick a Sunday afternoon, put them onto cook and go about your chores!

Ingredients – serves 4

220g chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 1/2 tsp tomato puree

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

2 small red peppers chopped

1 beef tomato roughly chopped

1/2 tsp sugar

To Serve

4 slices sour dough brushed with oil and grilled

4 poached eggs

1 tsp  Steenbergs za’atar

1. Put the oil, onion, garlic, tomato puree, cayenne pepper, paprika and peppers in a food processor, season and blitz to a paste.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Blitz to a paste

Blitz to a paste

2. Put the paste in a pan and fry for five minutes, then add the tomato, sugar, chickpeas and 200ml of water. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook on a very low heat for four hours, stirring from time to time and adding water as necessary.

fry the paste in a large pan

fry the paste in a large pan

simmer for 5 hours.... yep 5 hours!

simmer for 5 hours…. yep 5 hours!

3. Remove the lid and cook for the final hour uncovered. The sauce needs to thicken without the chickpeas becoming dry.

4. To serve, grill the sourdough bread and poach the eggs. Place the chickpeas on top of the  bread and top with the poached eggs and sprinkle with za’atar! The chickpeas keep well in the fridge for a few days so you can make this ahead of time and serve when needed.

serve on toast with a poached egg... yum!

serve on toast with a poached egg… yum!

Enjoy!!

Homemade Granola

I feel like I may be taking my attempt at being a domestic goddess to a whole new level, I have made my very first homemade granola! I know I was shocked at my dedication to homemade products as well. My weekday breakfasts usually consist of my favourite shop bought granola topped with banana or blueberries, not the most exciting thing but its quick and keeps me going until lunch which is great. So I decided it was time to see if I could make some myself and if it taste as good as the ready-made stuff – it has to right, I am putting time and effort into this and nothing chemical… fingers crossed!

So having trawled my many recipe books and the internet I got a good idea of what ingredients were needed, oats are obviously the base, then you need your liquid elements to make the oats stick and crunch. The options used in many recipes are honey or maple syrup, along with a touch of vegetable oil and sugar. I decided to go with honey, for no other reason than the maple syrup in my local supermarket was £5.99….. what!!! I had a mini rant to myself in the supermarket as I couldn’t believe it. I know maple syrup is expensive but that is crazy!  So with my honey, I headed to the tills. So I have my oats, I have my liquid elements that are going to make the oats stick together and the sweetness, now all I need are the extras. The great thing about making your own granola is adding all the things you like and leaving out the bits you don’t, which you cannot do with supermarket granola. After much deliberation and wandering up and down the baking aisle of the supermarket, I went with dried blueberries, dried strawberry, sunflower seeds, pistachios ( I had them hanging around in the cupboard from my trip to Turkey) and some coconut. Now all I have to do is make it!

Surprisingly for something that seems like it should be complicated to make, it isn’t. It was quick and easy and the results are totally worth it!

Ingredients

300g Oats

50g Sunflower seeds

handful of pistachio nuts

150ml Honey

2 tbsp veg oil

1 tsp vanila extract

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

50g desiccated coconut

100g dried berries

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl put the oats, crushed pistachios and sunflower seeds ( and any other seeds/ nuts you want to add). In a small pan add all the wet ingredients ( oil, honey, vanilla extract and sugar), heat on a low heat for a couple of minutes until the sugar is dissolved and all the elements are combined. Then pour over the oat mixture and mix until all the oats are coated in the liquid.

Love that you can add whatever you want to this bad boy!

Love that you can add whatever you want to this bad boy!

get all those liquids mixed together to create a sweet and sticky delight

get all those liquids mixed together to create a sweet and sticky delight

get mixing - make sure all the oats are covered in the sweet and sticky mix

get mixing – make sure all the oats are covered in the sweet and sticky mix

2. Pour the oat mix into the baking tray and spread out evenly, pop into the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 mins take the oats out of the oven and add the coconut and berries and mix until evenly distributed. Put the granola mix back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

into the oven we go

into the oven we go

now add those soft fruits and coconut

now add those soft fruits and coconut

3. Take the granola mix out of the oven, it should be golden brown and crunchy. Let the granola cool. Once completely cooled break the granola up and put it into an air tight container, it should last up to 1 month. You now have a yummy, sweet granola, full of all the things you love, so serve it for breakfast or eat it as a snack!

Granola!!!

Granola!!!

Breakfast just got exciting!

Breakfast just got exciting!

Enjoy!

Courgette and Sweetcorn Fritters

Quick and easy cooking that is what we like! These courgette and sweetcorn fritters are super quick and yummy and a great solution for dinners or lunches. They are a perfect store cupboard staple. The best way to serve these fritters is with a simple avacado and tomato salad.

Ingredients

100g Plain Flour

1 tsp baking powder

150ml milk

1 egg

150g grated courgette

2 spring onions finely chopped

60g sweetcorn

salt and pepper

Whisk the flour, baking powder, egg and milk together into a batter. Then add the grated courgette, sweetcorn and onions and mix it all in. Season well.

The Batter
The Batter
The Ingredients
The Ingredients
Adding the courgette and sweetcorn to the batter mix
Adding the courgette and sweetcorn to the batter mix

In a heated frying pan ( I used spray oil to grease the pan) spoon a tablesoon of the mixture into the pan ( you can usually get 3-4 fritters in the pan depending on the size). Let the fritters cook on each side for 1.5 – 2 mins, they should be fluffy and golden brown on each side. Pop them on a plate and put them in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batch.

Put the batter into the frying pan!
Put the batter into the frying pan!
fry in the pan until golden brown
fry in the pan until golden brown

Serve them with this fresh avacado and tomato salad.

Ingredients

1 avacado chopped.

1/2 spring onion

1 half a tomato finely chopped.

salt and pepper

Mix the chopped avacado, spring onion and tomato together in a bowl and season well. Using a form smash some of the avacado so you get a mix of smooth and chunky avacado.

Avacardo!
Avacardo!
chopped tomato
chopped tomato
Mix the ingredients together for Avacado salad
Mix the ingredients together for Avacado salad

Serve the fritters with the avacado salad and top with some roast tomatos or salsa!

Courgette and Sweetcorn fritters with avacado salad and roast cherry tomatoes!
Courgette and Sweetcorn fritters with avacado salad and roast cherry tomatoes!
 
Enjoy!

Stuffed Mushrooms with Halloumi and Roast Tomatoes

This time of the year I can find it hard to motivate myself to cook as all I really want to be doing is drinking Pimms in the sun or sitting in the park with a good book. With the sun out and looking like its here to stay ( well at least for this week) I need to get myself kitchen motivate and the easiest way I find is quick easy meals that I can make without really thinking.

One of my all time favourite summer ingredients ( who am I kidding, it’s an all year round fridge staple for me!)  is Halloumi.  It’s an ingredient that makes you think of BBQ’s and summer holidays in the Mediterranean. It’s such a versatile little cheese and goes with nearly everything. Halloumi is best served warm, grilled or fried and because it takes barely any time at all to cook its a brilliant quick summer food.

Most recently I decided to top stuffed mushrooms with the almighty halloumi.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Halloumi and Roast Tomatoes

serves 2

2 large Portobello mushrooms

100g cherry tomatoes

100g Halloumi

olive oil

salt and pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees ( fan oven) and halve the cherry tomatoes. Place the mushrooms on a roasting tray and season. Scatter the tomatoes around the mushrooms again, season and drizzle with oil.

Mushroom and tomatoes ready for the oven

Put the mushrooms and tomatoes in the oven. While cooking, slice your Halloumi. After 15-20 minutes the tomatoes should be oozing, the skin starting to wrinkle and crisp. If the mushrooms are soft in the middle ( and will be releasing a bit of water) take the tray out of the oven. Scoop the tomatoes up and place them in the middle of the two mushrooms and then top with the Halloumi. Place them back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes until the cheese starts to brown around the edges.

adding the Halloumi

Once ready serve with a nice salad, and that is quick and easy summer meal!

Mushroom with salad

Roast Chorizo Hash

Staring back at me in the fridge is a chunk of left over Chorizo, its been there for a couple of days now, its baiting me, I can hear “eat me” every time I look at it. My problem with chorizo is once I open the packet I want to consume the whole thing straight away, the moment I smell the sweet smoked paprika I am lost, so having a piece of chorizo left in the fridge is torment. This particular chorizo was bought to make a spanish chicken casserole ( to appear on this blog shortly) but I didn’t need the whole thing so I am left debating what to make with the left overs. I could of course just fry it off and toss it on a salad, or make a tortilla, but no, I want something new,something exciting and then on a sunday morning it hits me – Chorizo Hash!

Chorizo

The Hash solves many a meal time dilemma, its quick and easy and you can pretty much make it with any meat. Of course my favourite to date is my Mum’s corned beef hash which I never seem to be able to make as well so fate has meant me to make my own signature hash!

Throwing the Chorizo in a roasting tray with some new potatoes and red onion, top with herbs and roast. 20 minutes later topped with a poached egg I had a perfect brunch!

Hash, its such a perfect meal! Normally I always make it with corned beef but when chorizo calls. This recipe makes about 2 meals, or 3/4 if you are just having it as a side dish to something else. The poached egg is optional but I would always recommend it as the runny yolk is just what you need on the side.

Roast Chorizo Hash

275g new potatoes chopped or cubed

100g chorizo sliced

1 red onion chopped ( fairly chunky)

a touch of oil

salt and pepper

Par boil the new potatoes for about 7/8 mins then drain and pop them into a roasting tin. Add the chorizo and onion and drizzle with olive oil and season.

Chorizo hash

Pop them in an oven ( 180 degrees) for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and golden.

Chorizo hash and poached egg

Serve your hash piled high and topped with a poached egg!