January Joy: Try some new recipes

One of the things I wanted to do for my New Years resolutions was to eat a wider variety of food. I don’t know about you guys but I feel we are in a rut of eating the same 5-10 dishes night after night, Spaghetti Bolognese, Fajitas, Stirfry, Pasta, Salmon… In winter theres the added problem of eating too much stodge so I wanted warming winter foods that wouldn’t make me look like a polar bear even if I felt like one. I’m not so sure about how I’m doing on that last point but I have found some great recipes I thought I’d share.


The Carb-free comfort dish: Cod, Cauliflower and Chorizo mornay
The healthy breakfast: Bircher Museli with Apple and Banana
The Vegetarian option: Roast Aubergine Parmigiana
The one your kids will eat: Cheesy ham and broccoli pasta

To inspire me with some new recipes I bought Good Food magazine and I really enjoyed it. All of the recipes above have been tried by us from this months magazine and I’m seriously considering a subscription – it’s £5 for 5 issues right now! Despite being carb free the cod mornay was amazingly satisfying and comforting, the bircher muesli is awesome for getting some fruit in right at the start of your day and the cheesy pasta was a massive hit with Bea – including the broccoli!

Have you tried anything new this month? – I’d thoroughly recommend all of these!

Love,
Rebecca x

Florence’s Food: Monkfish and Chorizo Skewers

Today’s guest post has been sent in by Lynsey and looks like the perfect summer dish for light eating or special enough for entertaining – I reckon these could even go on the BBQ. Thanks Lynsey and if you have anything you would like to contribute to help me while I am on maternity leave, click here to find out how you can get involved (scroll to the end of the post.)

Monkfish and Chorizo Skewers:
400g monkfish
200 g chorizo sausage
2 red peppers
1 tsp paprika
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
8 wooden skewers

  • Start off by trimming the monkfish – make sure to remove any skin and grey flesh, and cut into dice approx. 1 inch in size. Monkfish can be quite expensive / tricky to find at the supermarket, but this dish works equally well with chicken. Peel any skin from the chorizo, and cut into smaller dice. Chop the pepper into neat squares. Aim to have approx. 24 dice of each ingredient to make 8 skewers.
  • Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and parsley together, and season with salt and pepper. Add the monkfish, and toss thoroughly to coat with the dressing. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinade, and let the flavours infuse into the fish.
  • Once marinaded, thread onto the skewers – alternating with the diced chorizo and pepper. Cook in a frying pan / under the grill / on the BBQ if the weather allows (!) for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the peppers are starting to blacken slightly. A good rule of thumb is 3 minutes and turn, repeating this about 4 times. I used a George Foreman for mine, as my grill decided to break as soon as I started preparing the fish…, so it really is a versatile dish.

Tabouleh Salad:
200g plain cous cous
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber
3 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 handful of fresh mint, chopped finely
1 small red onion, chopped roughly
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season

While the fish is marinading, you can get started on the salad. Cook the cous cous according to packet instructions (usually equal parts boiling water to equal parts cous cous, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes), fluff up with a fork and stir through the olive oil. Place all the chopped vegetables and herbs in a large bowl, add the cous cous, season and mix together well. Serve alongside the skewers and enjoy!

Lynsey

Friday Food: Braised Steak in Ale with a Herby Cobbler Topping

When I described todays Friday Food to Gemma last night I told her it was ‘a beef stew with a herby cheesy cobbler topping. Kind of like a cakey-cheesy-scone on top.’

‘You mean like a savoury-cakey-cheesy-scone on a beef stew?’

Exactly.’

It is that good. And it would be a crime not to make it during the hibernation-inducing weather we’re experiencing.

So here’s how: (taken from The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook (Yeo Valley))

Ingredients (Serves 6)
One kilo of chuck steak
5 tbsp sunflower oil
200g smoked bacon lardons
500ml good beef stock
25g butter
250g mushrooms
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thinly
1 tsp white sugar
3 garlic cloves crushed
20g plain flour
500ml brown ale/stout
the leaves from 3 large thymes springs
4 fresh bay leaves
3tbsp worcester sauce
salt and pepper

For the cobbler topping:
165g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
90g chilled butter
1tbsp thyme leaves
1tbsp curly leaf parsley
50g finely grated cheader
1 medium free range egg
1 tbsp soured cream
100ml whole milk

1. Season the beef. Fry off the bacon and remove onto a separate plate. Brown the beef in batches on a medium/high heat and put aside on a plate.
2. Add half the stock into the pan and rub the base to release the caramelised juices and tip back into the stock. With half the butter cook the mushrooms and also set them to one side. Add the remaining oil and butter to the pan with onions and sugar for 15-20m until caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
3. Stir in the flour, ale, stock, thyme, bay and worcester sauce and bring to the boil. Add the beef, bacon and mushrooms, and simmer for 1.5-2h. Remove the bay leaves, allow to cool and preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Add the beef mix to your oven proof dish ready for the cobbler.
4. For the topping sift the flour, baking powder and half teaspoon of salt. Add the cubed butter and rub together with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the herbs and cheese. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk and sour cream. Mix together into a batter and spoon large dollops around the edge of the beef.

Bake for 35-40 mins until golden.

The beef is melt-in-your-mouth good. The cobblers are like cheesy, cakey pillows of loveliness. It really is worth the time (not not as much effort as it sounds) to make this dish. We’re having friends to stay this weekend and this is on the menu for Saturday night’s dinner.

I hope you all have a fun and friend filled weekend too :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo