Leftovers

We often cook too much of a portion and most of us either put leftovers in the fridge for later, put in the fridge and forget about them, put them in the freezer or worse of all just throw them away. In my case I put my leftover Sicilian salmon (although there was no salmon left) into the fridge to have for lunch.
However, instead of simply reheating it I wanted to try be a bit more adventurous. I had the idea of shaping them into small balls, coating them in breadcrumbs then shallow frying them and oh boy what a delight!
I very simply added 1 egg into the leftover sauce to get a nice sticky consistency and make some breadcrumbs. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and shape into balls before coating them in the breadcrumbs. Once nicely coated, shallow fry until they have a nice golden colour and there you go, simplicity!

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I served this over some rocket tossed in balsamic vinegar, a lovely light lunch pack full of flavour. The mixture actually tasted a little sweet and sour, the chillies as sultanas in the sauce really married together well.
Quite excited for the next few days, I predict another pizza is on the card soon, I want to try a beetroot risotto and have some chicken as well. Will keep you all posted of course.

Happy eating everyone!

J

Lunchtime Kick

The weather is still foul here; gusty winds and horizontal rain, just horrible. On the positive side however, it is always good to turn to some classic dishes for comfort, this morning I made one such classic to help warm the coggles at lunch time, Penne alla Arrabiata with chilli and fennel sausages.

Yet again, this was a very quick dish to put together, taking the time it took the water to boil and cook the pasta. We got some delicious italian style sausages from our local supermarket bursting with fennel and chilli, they are very very special. I started off by frying the sausages wit some olive oil before turning my attention to the sauce….

I very simply chopped some garlic and onion and added to some passata. I then added 1 tsp of sugar and a whole chilli with all the seeds. I do love chilli, especially when the wind and rain are battering the windows. I cooked the sauce together for around 7-8 minutes as the sausages fried and the pasta boiled.

Once the sausages were done, I cut them into nice chunks and added them to the sauce. A few minutes later and my pasta was nice and al dente. Needless to say I couldn’t stop thinking about my inch all day and it did not disappoint. The mixture of fennel, chilli and tomato together with the delicious al dente pene, it was very special. I just love pasta, and garlic, and chilli and tomato sauce, and fennel haha.

Thank you to all who have visited my blog, I really hope you are enjoying my ramblings on food and do continue to keep in touch. There is no better way to interact with people than through food.

As always, happy eating everyone! Remember that so long as you have food on your plate, you have solved all problems for the time being!

J

Risotto lunch and my first video

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, I suppose I have some catching up to do….
On Saturday evening I made homemade beef sausages with some yummy lentils, very hearty and super healthy too. I used the old trick of shaping the meat into sausage shapes and poaching them in some boiling water for around 20 minutes so they kept their shape. I fried them off just as normal and served them over some hearty lentils and some crunchy homemade bread. Beautiful!

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Sunday ended up being pork day, delicious pork chops with a balsamic rocket salad and for dinner some yummy pork belly strips. The highlight of our family barbecues must be my mums pork belly which she marinades for hours in a lovely spicy sauce, delicious.

I also made today’s lunch last night as well, Risotto Milanese. The thing to say about this dish is that it looks incredibly inviting due to its yellow colour, the workings of saffron. I just love risotto and I would like to think that I have got pretty good at making them over the years. You need a lovely, creamy end product and the rice must be al dente, soft on the outside with a little bite on the inside. It is important to keep stirring throughout the cooking process and that you keep your stock cooking at the same temperature.

A Risotto Milanese is a simple combination of onions, arborio rice, saffron and some chicken stock (or vegetable stock for you vegetarians out there). I added the saffron to the stock and kept it boiling as I added it to the rice, bit by bit. I also experimented by adding some nutmeg and cinnamon, a surprisingly nice addition. When cooking you just have to try new things, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t (avoid post on my first attempt at molecular gastronomy hahahaha – Food or Science?) Once you have a creamy consistency, add a good knob of butter to finish it off.

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Tonight I made delicious turkey steaks, with some kale, chickpeas and courgettes. Instead of talking you through this recipe, I put together a video. I apologise in advance if you have difficulty understanding my broad Scottish accent, and also for the very amateur camera work and editing. It is not meant to blow your mind, but to show you that a lovely meal with only a handful of ingredients is possible in under 10 minutes. I hope you watch the short video and I promise they will get better as I grow more confident in front of the camera.

Happy eating everyone, and I hope you enjoy the video……..

James xo

A welcoming bowl of soup, an omelette and Tuscan inspiration.

I was greeted with a lovely bowl of homemade creamy mushroom soup upon my return from work. A delicious combo of onions, garlic, nutmeg, milk, cream and of purse mushrooms. I just love homemade soup, especially mushroom soup.

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Yet again, I made a quick meal for my lunch this morning, a very quick and simple omelette with cavolo nero and rocket salad. I added the cavolo nero to a pan of boiling water and left to boil for 5 minutes whilst I combined 3 eggs, salt, pepper, a dash of milk and some leftover cream. heat some butter in a pan and once the cavolo nero is nicely blanched, add to the omelette mix and throw into the pan. The omelette only takes around 4 minutes to cook and I placed it on a bed of rocket tossed in some delicious balsamic vinegar. Needless to say, I cannot wait for lunch! Have you tried making a quick, easy meal for your work lunch? It is definitely worth the effort!

Emily is still feeling under the weather, so tonight I am going to make a dish similar to Garmugia, a Spring stew from the province of Lucca in Tuscany. This is traditionally made in the spring, taking full advantage of the fresh vegetables and is known for having ‘healing’ qualities. I will leave the original until spring time, but I want to steal the idea and make a hearty stew of my own.

It has been a long month and pay day is still a week away. Not to worry, a rummage in my fridge last night revealed a batch of cavolo nero, some pork mince and some leftover broad beans. I also have some chillies so I am going to combine the lot.

I will post again tonight with the results of my own Tuscan inspired stew, so stay tuned.

Happy eating everyone!

J

Lunch in Minutes

I am beginning to get good at conjuring up dishes with available ingredients and cooking them very quickly to take to work for lunch. This morning my meal was a combo of cupboard favourites and leftovers. I’ve made capers and olives in a tomato sauce served on top of leftover crusty bread.

I quickly, but carefully, slices 1 onion, 1 red chilli and added to a saucepan.

I then added 1 tbsp of capers and a handful of black pitted olives.

To finish, a generous dashing of passata to cover all the ingredients, and 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar.

Whilst it cooked on the stove I cut a piece of Emily’s delicious home baked bread and placed at the bottom of my little plastic tub. Pour over the sauce and add a sprinkling of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil, delicious. I just cannot wait for lunch now!

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Emily was feeling a little under the weather this morning so I may have to try a centuries old recipe from Tuscany, one that is said to have healing properties, Garmugia. Watch this space……

Hope you all have a great day, fuelled on good food

Happy eating

J

My love of peppers

One of my favourite vegetables are peppers. I adore how versatile they are and I use them very regularly. Whether chopping and adding to paella’s and other pasta sauces, or stuffing them with a mixture of other vegetables and couscous or even slicing and adding to a sandwich, peppers are awesome. One of my very special memories of going to Slovakia (my mothers homeland)in 2000 besides the wonderful scenery and people were the white peppers we bought from a market in Bratislava. It is difficult to get hold of these peppers in Britain although I was delighted to discover them recently in a local large supermarket. These are a very pale greenish colour and they are very distinctive in terms of flavour. We added them to ham sandwiches for our long return journey back to Scotland, and ironically these beautiful peppers became one of the highlights of the holiday!

One of the best things about the weekend is that it gives me more time at home and in the kitchen. I have already blogged about omelettes, but I think the frittata I had for lunch is worth a mention: sweet and sour pepper frittata. A frittata is an more Mediterranean take on the classic omlette, it is fried for a few minutes and then baked. For this omelette I used sweet peppers!
For this I simply caramelised some chopped sweet peppers with a tbsp of sugar and olive oil until they were softened. I then added these sweeties into my mix of eggs, cream, salt and pepper and for this recipe, 3 tbsps of white wine vinegar which will give the egg it’s acidity. I added the peppers to the mix and fried gently for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a per-heated oven at 180degrees and bake for 10 minutes. So simple and quick too, a perfect light lunch. Tonight I will be cooking pork belly, so watch this space…….

Happy eating

James

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