Category Archives: Savoury

Home for Easter

So I’m back at my parents’ house for Easter and as usual, being back in a non-student house is always a bit of a readjustment.

The cupboards aren’t stocked with Sainsbury’s basics, the toilet paper is plush, the heating can be turned on, there are lots of different condiments and sauces littered about the kitchen and… everything is CLEAN! CLEAN!

Ok, so it may be a bit messy due to the boiler exploding a few weeks ago but the state of the kitchen is heavenly compared to the student ones that I’ve gotten used to.

And with all this comes the added indulgence of proper, mummy-made home cooking. Yesterday my mum and I made a huge amount of onion and potato bhajis for her to take into work and oh my gods have I missed deep fried food. Well, I’ve missed it but I’m only eating small amounts at a time because I’m now seriously past my teens, have a shitty metabolism and am seriously afraid of developing a myriad of cardiovascular conditions.

…..Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to reproduce these by myself one day, though  never to the same exorbitant quantities.

onion bhagi on the left, potato bhagi on the right

Advertisements

Decadent Prawn Macaroni and Cheese

Firstly, I have most awesome news – we have a new oven! It’s all shiny and clean and lights up! And it shall be worshipped for the rest of my tenancy 😀

New oven!

So obviously as soon as it was fitted I leapt for the chance to cook some macaroni and cheese – which I’d been craving all week.

And this version is truly decadent, with a little bit of stilton to give a little kick to the cheese sauce.

Decadent Mac n Cheese

1. Firstly you need to cook about 300-400g macaroni, depending on how pasta heavy you like your meals to be.

While that’s cooking you can prepare the sauce and other fillings

For the prawn and onion filling:

  • 2 red onions
  • 200g prawns
  • 1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • pinch of pepper

2. Fry the onions in a frying pan until slightly browned and add the prawns and cook through.

3. Add the garlic, ginger and pepper and mix thoroughly.

4. Take off the heat and set aside.

For the decadent cheese sauce:

  • 30g butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 50ml milk
  • 150ml cream
  • 200g mature cheddar
  • 80g stilton
  • 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp salad cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard
  • basil
  • breadcrumbs

5. Heat up a large saucepan and melt the butter on a low heat. Add flour and mix quickly to form a paste.

6. Add the milk and cream in slowly and mix thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.

7. Add the 80g stilton and 100g mature cheddar, followed by the ginger, garlic, basil, salad cream and mustard and keep stirring. If you want a thicker or thinner sauce, add more milk or cheese accordingly.

8. Turn off the hob and mix the macaroni, red onion and prawn mixture into the saucepan. Ensure everything is coated in the cheese sauce.

9. Pour into a large baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar and a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs to create a crispy topping.

Lots of macaroni

10. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

I couldn't do without the crispy breadcrumb topping

Now you have enough decadent macaroni cheese for 4 greedy portions 😀 I hope you enjoy this seafood version as much as I did.


Brie and Cranberry Parcels

I love cheese. I really, really love cheese. Seriously, when I’m rich enough I’m going to have at least half a shelf in my fridgedevoted to different cheeses. Sadly that day is still a bit too far away.

I also love filo and cranberry sauce and so these Brie and Cranberry Parcels are one of my most favourite appetisers.

Very tasty party food

I had a variation on these when I went to a steakhouse and finally got round to making my own for my friend when she came round for her Birthday dinner. Now I know that traditionally Cranberry is a Christmassy item but why be restrained by that?

Making these parcels is really easy if a little time-consuming. Fist get your sheets of filo and make sure they’re fully defrosted. Line up the sheets into a neat pile so you can cut them all easily. You’ll want to make two long cuts to get three long strips out of each sheet of filo and then cut down the middle of these strips to make 6 cut out sections.

Almost everything you need

You then need to cut a small piece of Brie, a teaspoon of Cranberry sauce and arrange this on one end of the pastry strip. My pictures below should guide you through the steps of folding and sealing the pastry envelope of goodness but if you need a  proper guide on the techniques involved go here.

1. Fold the end of the filo so it partially overlaps the filling

2. Fold in the sides of the filo sheet all the way to the top

3. Fold the top corner into the middle to make a triangle point and finish rolling

4. Butter the triangle point and the top of the parcel using a pastry brush

And there you have it… Brie and Cranberry Party Parcels 😀


The Weekend of Puff

So it was my housemate’s birthday on the weekend and because I’d been making a lot of sweet things lately, and other people were going to bring cake, I really didn’t feel like making any myself. So instead I decided to make some quick and easy savoury nibbles.

Let me interrupt myself here with apologies for the poor quality of these photographs. I made these items in the evening and light was quickly fading from the tiny little kitchen in my student house. But rest assured these snackadoodles were all eaten up and enjoyed a plenty.

First I made Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Palmiers. Which were very tasty, but the general consensus was that I could do with being a bit more generous with the amount of rosemary. I got the basic recipe for these from Lorraine Pascale’s BBC show but only used about 200g of sundried tomatoes, which to be honest was enough for my taste.

Buying prerolled puff pastry helps to make this an even quicker party snack

The tomatoes aren't actually burnt, but the kitchen light isn't really great for photography

This time my rolling technique was much better than when I made my Citrus Syrup Palmiers.

The next thing I made were Mini Puff Pastry Salami Pizzas.

First, get hold of some more puff pastry. I used 100g and that made around 18 mini pizzas. You need to roll the pastry as thinly as possible and then cut out circles with a cookie cutter. I then brushed these with a little bit of eggwash.

They don't have to be perfectly circular

Make a cheats tomato sauce using ketchup and basil mixed together. I know, I know, but I was feeling very, very lazy. Anyway, spread a little dollop onto each circle and then top with as much shredded salami as you like and then some grated cheddar cheese.

Try to spread out the cheese as much as possible without it spilling over the sides

And the finished product……

The circles will puff up significantly but will deflate as they cool

The brilliant thing about these little puff pizzas is that you can just treat them like normal pizza with an infinite number of topping variations. Plus, puff pastry is quite filling so makes for a good party snack when you want to make sure people don’t get too boozy too quickly 😀