Herby Sausage Pasta

Herby Sausage Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A simple pasta dish that’s great for two hobs in a camper van or on a school night when time is tight.
Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe file

Ingredients

  • 250-300g dried pasta twirls
  • 4-5 good quality meaty sausages, skin removed
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1/2 tub Crème Fraiche
  • 250g mushrooms chopped
  • Optional glass of white wine


Directions

  1. Two pans….Pasta in one pan cooked to packet directions
  2. In the other, soften a diced onion, throw in the herby sausages
  3. Break up into bite size bits with back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Occasional stirring until colour changes
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms,
  6. Add a glass of white wine if the bottle is open and simmer until the liquid reduces
  7. Add the crème fraiche and stir through.
  8. Drain the pasta and add the sausage mix, stir through and serve


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Honeyed parsnip and lentil Soup

Honeyed parsnip and lentil Soup

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Hearty Soups are a must for January and the veggie box came with a bag of parsnips this week. This is a warming earthy soup where the honey takes the sharp taste that you sometimes get with a boiled parsnip.


Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe File
Prep: A heavy based soup pan to hold more than 1.5 litre.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 450g root veg (3 parsnips and a carrot) chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1.5l Vegetable stock

Directions

  1. Whilst your chopping the veg soak your lentils, I weigh the lentils and then add 250g water at same time. Not essential I just find they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Heat the oil and add the onions, celery, garlic and rosemary, gently sauté until the onions and celery soften
  3. Add the spices and turn over
  4. Add the honey and coat the onion mix
  5. Add the root veg and stir through
  6. Add the stock and the lentils
  7. Simmer gently for 25-30 mins with the lid on, stirring every so often
    If you like a smooth soup, blitz with a hand blender or mash and stir through

Chilli

Family Chilli

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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The Edinburgh Cooks take on a family chilli.

When is mince and tomatoes a Chilli or a Bolognese? Or when is a Bolognese a Chilli…….I think my definition would be when you add spice and kidney beans and in this recipe, a chilli and some peppers….no oregano or Mediterranean herbs.

This is a good chunky chilli, with no traditional aspect to it! It’s good for using up the spare chilli, onions and carrots in the fridge….makes use of the beans at the back of the cupboard and great for freezer prep.

Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe File

Prep: This roughly covers 10-12 portions, Good sized casserole dish, heavy based pan. Don’t underestimate the chopping…..great thing to do on a cold wet January day with the stereo on.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Onions, finely chopped….I added a red one that needed using
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 tblsp Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 fresh Chilli, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400g tins of Red Beans (I used a tin of Kidney and a tin of Aduki)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 200g of Mushrooms quartered
  • 3 Peppers (mixed adds a nice colour to the dish), seeded and diced

Directions

  1. Heat the oil, and add the onions, celery, garlic and fresh chilli and mince…..gently sauté, breaking the mince down with a wooden spoon until brown and the onions are soft.
  2. Add the rest of the veg to this, the chilli flakes, the tomatoes and puree and turn over
  3. Simmer on a low heat for 40 mins or so with the lid on, stirring occasionally
  4. To thicken up the sauce simmer without the lid off
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Roast Fillet of Fish


Roast White Fish

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy - faith and stick to the timings
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Avoided the Saturday queue by popping into the fish shop on my way home from work on the Friday. The downside being the remains of the day. As a result I discovered and cooked Silver Hake for the first time.

I share this recipe more an aid memoir to myself, part of the recipes for life file. I tend to forget whether the skin goes down first or last and as I write this it feels obvious…..but I swear I forget time and time again.   Pan fry the flesh first before turning onto the skin and placing into the oven.   This gives the fish a lovely colour on top for serving and the Skin protects the rest of the fish whilst in the oven as it cooks through.

Credit: A nod to Nigel Slater and his Kitchen Diaries

Advice: Heat and timing key for this, if your serving with a salad get that done up front. Both a hob and ovenproof pan is needed.

Ingredients

  • 200g chunky fillet of fish with skin on
  • Knob of butter, or a tblsp or so of olive oil

Directions

  1. Crank up the oven, 220°C
  2. In the oven proof pan, bring the oil to a high heat on the hob
  3. Whilst your bringing the heat up, season the fish with salt and pepper
  4. Skin Side up if the key. Place the fish into the pan and fry for a few minutes until starting to turn golden
  5. Turn over onto the skin and then place the pan into the hot oven
  6. Depending on the fish it will take 7-10 mins.       I set the timer for 7 mins…easier to cook for a few minutes more than it is to roll back the clock if it’s over cooked.

Sweet Potatoe and Lentil Soup

Red Lentils

Saturday Morning and the main shop was done yesterday and we are walking around Bruntsfield and Morningside after dropping our bikes off for a service. Waitrose, the foodies supermarket usually calls out to us, to grab those last minute items and a free paper when you spend over £10. I love the Guardian on Saturday Food Supplement! They sell an ideal sized bag of sweet potatoes in their essentials range and apart from the addition of the weight in my rucksack I see no reason to add them to our extra swag for soup making purposes.

This is a lovely creamy style soup, great for those autumn nights.

Credit: EdinburghCook

Ingredients

  • 1.25kg bag of sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • Olive or Rapeseed Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 200g split red lentils
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder

Directions

  1. Rinse and then soak the lentils in 500g/500ml or so in cold water for 30 mins
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into chunks, roast for 45 mins to an hour until soft
  3. Dice the onion
  4. Bring a tbsp of the oil to a soft heat in a heavy based pan that will hold a good 2litres of liquid.
  5. Add the onion and crushed garlic and soften until translucent
  6. Add the bouillon powder and stir in
  7. Add the coconut milk
  8. Then a litre of water, which I add boiled from the kettle, bring to a simmer and stir through
  9. You can add the lentils at this stage and cook in the broth
    1. Or cook separately in their own water to then add later
    2. I choose to do this as I didn’t want to blitz the lentils…preferring to keep them whole
  10. When the potatoes are ready, add into the broth mix and blitz using a hand blender
  11. Add the lentils if you cooked them separately.

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Tales from the table – October Challenge

2017-10-17 08.45.30

Welcome into the kitchen, it’s Friday at last and I’ve poured us a glass of Beaujolais. A light and fruity wine made from the Gamay grape (I’ve just discovered). I left work early (around 4) and made it to the fish shop on the way home where they were clearing up for the day. Eddies fish market is always welcoming and they were very quick to ask me how my cookery course had gone on Tuesday (I’d bought fish then last thing!). I shouldn’t have been surprised this lady is the warmest lady you could ever wish to buy fish from and been tracking my boys progress through school like a long lost ant. She gives you feeling that your there only customer and always willing to find what you are looking for.

When it comes to fish, I’m not very knowledgeable or confident to experiment, the choice is immense. Things come with bones, eyes and with all manner of textures and methods and a broad range of costs depending on the fish. Then you need to think about the whole supply and demand thing. What was caught yesterday, what was in the net so to speak. So the whole confidence thing comes into play when you walk up to the counter with a specific cut that’s in a recipe. I usually look at the window and pick something very similar to what I had last time and it’s easy to point. This is what I did with the fish for my cookery course. I’d had Coley before and knew it would fit the bill.

For the Saturday night tea though I didn’t want to scrimp on price and I wanted to stay true to the recipe. So bold as brass I asked for a nice piece of white fish for roasting…..there was a pause and a look at the window….it was half empty or half full depending on your inclination….it was close to closing so I’m going the empty route. I was about to use the I can come back in the morning card….when she leaned over and fished(!) out 2 long fillets. Silver Hake….and then we went into a conversation about eating the skin and chicken feet!

The Nigel Challenge……well he’s got a new book coming out in a few days and I’ve almost got a full bookshelf dedicated to the guy….he was the one….the cook who turned my endeavours around in the kitchen and gave me hope!  So the new book called Christmas Chronicles I believe covers the winter period with the run up to the main event in his foodie writing diary style. I already have Kitchen Diaries 1 through 3, with untried recipes, so how could I justify the next might tome, to add to bookshelf already creaking. So I’ve got myself a list of all the recipes in each diary for October through to December and I’m going to pick them off. A good 150 or so in all. There are some…that I’m just not going to attempt, most likely the game birds (see fear of fish shops and apply to butchers!) and a couple of repeats from KD1 and KD2 (pear chocolate crumble and ham with butter beans). I never really got into KD3, just felt different.

This weekend sees me tackling, Roast Haddock….(Except using Silver Hake) with bacon, Fennel, Watercress and Pear Salad (With addition of Kale!), English Apple Cake and then Orzo with Courgettes (Something the boys can take on for Sunday night tea)!

Doesn’t that just make you happy rice

Plain Basmati Rice

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A cup of rice, with magic just waiting to happen

Rice is one of the worlds treasures, the magic that exists in a palm full of rice is amazing, simple and versatile and easy to unlock with a simple method.  Water and heat, but in which combination.   I grew up with the boil to death technique, sieve and pour over a kettle of water and hope that the rice has survived the process.  Then when I left for university I discovered and upgraded to brown rice, and this to my mind enjoys the boil to death technique, 30 mins should do it.  It was good, it was healthy but it didn’t quite have the magic that white basmati has when cooked to perfection.  The recipe below comes close to it!   When the time comes to take the lid off…….it will just make you happy!   

  • The key to this recipe is steam and warmth, a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid is essential to this process, it keeps the heat and steam to cook the rice through.
  • Do not lift the lid or you will miss all that heavenly glory!  (Sorry Bruce Lee quote coming through there)

Ingredients

  • 200g basmati Rice, or a teacup
  • 15 butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 400ml boiling water, or 1½ teacup full

Directions

  1. In a heavy pan melt the butter
  2. Add the rice to the butter and stir through, the rice will become slightly translucent and gasping for water
  3. Add a pinch of salt and then the water
  4. Bring to a simmer and then place the lid onto the pan.  Turn the heat down as low as possible.
  5. Leave to cook for 12 minutes…..without peaking!
  6. Take the pan off the heat and leave for another 10 minutes…..without peaking….have faith!
  7. Now you can lift the lid and carefully using a fork, fluff the rice up and serve
  8. Doesn’t that just make you happy?