Difficulty

Indian rice

Rice is nice isn’t it? (Rhetorical.)

Put a scoop of butter and a glug of oil into a saucepan. Add a good tablespoon of garam masala. Fry for a bit.

Add some mixed veg from the freezer. Stir for a bit.

Add 50g rice per person. Measure this rice in cups so you know how “big” it is. Stir it round a bit.

Then add 2.5x as much boiling water as there was rice, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes ish, or until cooked.

Ideally, as it’s rice you shouldn’t poke it too much, but if it looks like it is drying out then add a bit more water. The aim is that you won’t have to drain it at the end, just spoon it out.

Season with salt and black pepper, and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on if you are feeling posh.

Optional: stir in some dessicated coconut, sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Goes well with curry, or just a spoon of thick yogurt. Mmm!

Categories: Cooking, Easy, Mains, Rice, Sides | Tags: | Leave a comment

Frozen fruit ice cream

Just watching Jamie’s money saving meals and have already cooked a recipe from it. He suggests freezing fruit when you’ve got too much which is a fab idea. The only problem is the reasons I waste fruit are both cant be bothered to eat it and can’t be bothered to prepare it. But will be using this tip a lot, especially when we move to the new house which will fit a chest freezer in the cellar! I will also be trying out his tip of freezing the ingredients for a smoothie together in a little bag, even including a few oats, so you can just tip them into the blender with milk. Yum yum!
Anyway, the ice cream. It’s supposed to use fruit you’ve frozen yourself but I had half a pack of bought frozen raspberries left over from a a raspberry bakewell I made so used them. There aren’t really any measurements, just trial and error I guess!

Blend frozen fruit with plain yoghurt (I used two pots of children’s apricot yoghurt as hadn’t got any natural) until smoothish but cold
Eat!

This is definitely in the permanent collection!

Categories: Desserts, Easy | Leave a comment

Flat breads

Or is it flatbreads?

I had to make a curry from leftovers and thought I would excite it up a bit with some homemade breads.

As follows (makes 4):

Ingredients
75g strong bread flour
50g wholemeal flour
Dollop milk
Pinch salt
1tsp sugar
1/4 egg (yes I know, but you can always scale it up and make 16. Or do what I did and make egg fried rice with the remainder.)
Spray oil and butter as required

Making it
1. Mix all ingredients except the butter and oil.
2. Mix some more.
3. Knead. It’s a very sloppy dough – you’re best to oil the surface fairly liberally and slap it around quite a lot, probably for about 10 minutes.
4. Cut into four pieces, roll into balls and rest in an oiled, covered bowl for a bit. This can be left overnight if you like.
5. Flour a surface this time, and roll out into frying pan sized, thinnish rounds/squares (depending on your rolling pin skillz).
6. Spray some oil and chuck a lump of butter into a hot pan. Fry the breads on both sides. Stack under foil to keep them warm. Refresh the oil and butter between breads a bit like pancakes.

These are lovely and work out about 120 calories I reckon (disclaimer: guesswork!). The recipe is adapted from what was described as a Thai roti flatbread but they don’t have much bread in Thai cuisine so I’m not sure how authentic this is. It’s like a delicious chapati (sp?) – try it!

(It isn’t like a delicious chaplain which is what the iPad is desperate to correct it to.)

Categories: Mains, Medium, Sides | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shortcrust pastry

As with most things, this is easy. If you don’t have something just put something else similar in.

Ingredients
225g plain flour
100g butter or butter-a-like
A pinch salt
Water or something like it

Okay.

Put the flour in the food processor with the butter and the salt. I didn’t have any butter so I used the light stuff that they always tell you not to use. Also my hand slipped with the salt so I can confirm that anywhere up to a teaspoon of salt is fine.

Mix them up.

Add water bit by bit until it comes together as a dough. I was making sweet pastry so I put a bit of icing sugar in too. I once read that lemon juice was good in pastry but we didn’t have any of that as Juliet had used it in one of her extravagant recipes (see above… and probably below).

So I used Morrison’s Peach fruit and barley squash.

Once it’s together as a dough take it out, knead it a bit, and then use it.

Voilà!

I have been reading the blog and I see now why Juliet has not been keeping the house tidy. Posts will slow down now as I correct her behaviour. Enjoy your pastry.

Categories: Cooking, Desserts, Difficulty, Easy, Pastry | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warning: may contain nuts

I have never made Nut Brittle before, but I will again. It is tremendously easy.

I used cashews as my mum had given me her leftovers from Christmas. I’m sure it would work with peanuts too. Or other nuts – let me know.

Ingredients
50g cashew nuts
50g sugar (I used golden caster)

Method

  1. Put nuts and sugar into a pan.
  2. Heat until the sugar caramelises.
  3. Pour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  4. Let it set.

You might have noticed me struggling to string out the instructions. Really it’s just “mix, heat, cool”. You should wash your pan straight away though – if it cakes on it could be challenging.

To be fair there are probably better pans to use – I used a 30cm IKEA wok as we hadn’t done the washing up for a few days. I’m such a pro.

Categories: Cooking, Desserts, Easy | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Red lentil and sweet potato pate

This is going quite well at the minute isn’t it? This pate is totally delicious. I was gutted this evening to find it was finished! Will hopefully be making it again next week because it’s a) delicious b) 1 of your 5 a day and c) low-calorie! Yum yum!

Ingredients
Oil
1/2 onion (I used a small one)
1 small sweet potato
140g red lentils
Thyme
Paprika
500ml stock
Red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Heat the oil, add onion and cook until golden.
  2. Add paprika and cook for 2 more mins.
  3. Add sweet potato, lentils, thyme and stock. Cook for 20 mins and all tender.
  4. Add vinegar and season. Mash/ blend. Add paprika/ olive oil/ thyme as wanted, then chill.

Another Julietbec special- easy and delicious. Whoop Whoop!

Categories: Cooking, Easy, Starters | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Weird prawn fingers

They say the key to a successful recipe is in the naming.

I wanted to make some fish fingers to go with the square potatoes but we didn’t have any fish in. No salmon, no cod, not even a tin of tuna. But we did have some prawns in.

And so, a legend was born. The legend of the slightly shit prawn fingers.

Fish fingers

They didn't look like this. But these are in a very neat stack! Bonus points!

Ingredients
A handful of prawns (there is a recession on)
A couple of sticks of celery
A chilli (red)
Some leftover sweet potato.
An egg
Flour
A couple of slices of bread

Special equipment
A stick blender/whizzer/wand/whatever you like to call it

Method

  1. Chop the celery and chilli into small pieces.
  2. Mix the prawn, celery, chilli and potato. Season.
  3. Beat the egg in a separate bowl and add a tiny bit to the prawn mix. I said a tiny bit!* Save the rest of the egg.
  4. Shape this mix into fingers. I got six out of it, but it will depend on all the obvious things like how much of each ingredient you used and how big your fingers are. Your prawn fingers, I mean, not your actual fingers, although I suppose if you had really big fingers you might not be able to make very small shapes…
  5. Whizz the bread into breadcrumbs using the blender thingy.
  6. Set out the flour, egg and breadcrumbs into plates or bowls and dip the prawn fingers into the flour, followed by the egg (not for too long or they’ll fall apart) and then roll them in the breadcrumbs.
  7. Lie them on a baking tray and oven for 20ish minutes or until they look good.
  8. Serve in a stack! Always serve in a stack! I also earnt extra cringe points by doing a circle of tomato ketchup round the outside of the plates. This is optional. Lemon wedges could also work.

I rated this as medium because it is a little fiddly to coat in breadcrumbs without them falling apart, but it’s not hard.

Let me know how you get on! If you don’t have any of the ingredients, pretty much anything else similar will also work.

NOTE: If you have arrived here via Google looking for “weird prawn fingers” for some other reason than you were looking for this recipe then I can only offer you my sympathy.

 

* The problem with egg is that even when you have beaten it all together it still has a tendency to “clump”. If you pour it out of the bowl it is very difficult to just get a small bit, as the remaining egg tries very hard to join it in your fish fingers. Perhaps spooning a small bit of egg into the mix is the answer? Anyway, be aware!

Categories: Cooking, Fish, Mains, Medium | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lemony chorizo and prawn rice pot

Hello!

I am not as poncey as Chris, and as a result will be sharing only delicious and easy recipes which do not require the use of fancy biscuit cutters. Unless I make biscuits, in which case fancy biscuit cutters are OK, especially if baking with Panther (our small baby- she is only 11 months and therefore pre-cooking age, although in a future post I will share the story of when we made Halloween biscuits with her!)

This one comes from my good food magazine and it’s really delicious. So delicious we’re having it again this week. Keeping every new recipe on the menu will not be practical for very long so we’ll need to be careful, otherwise if we keep them all on we’ll be eating 50 meals a week after the year, which would really be too many!

Anyway, here goes (from memory):

Ingredients
200g prawns (recipe calls for raw, which you’d heat through at the end, I used cooked and left over from Christmas)
50g chorizo (for cooking, about 3 small ones, but could happily take more, sliced)
1 sliced onion
2 sliced peppers
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 red chilli, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
250g long grain rice (I’m not really one for measuring that much, and the scales don’t work, but this amount is quite important so it boils down to the right consistency!)
100g frozen peas
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. boil kettle. Fry onion, peppers, chorizo, garlic and chilli for 3 mins
  2. Add turmeric and rice. Stir. Add 500ml boiling water and cook for 12 mins, covered
  3. Uncover and stir, should be nearly cooked. Add prawn and peas, and more water if not needed. Cook for 1 min until prawns are cooked (obviously this doesn’t apply if you use cooked prawns like me – they can be added later or even at the table!)
  4. Stir in lemon zest and juice and eat. Serves 4 and is yummy!
Categories: Cooking, Easy, Mains, Rice | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Square potatoes

Let’s start off with something simple! This isn’t an exact-quantities recipe, it’s more of a make-use-of-what-you’ve-got-lying-around one.

Ingredients
Some potatoes
A bit of egg
Whatever else is in your fridge/cupboard

Special equipment
Biscuit cutter

Method

  1. Boil potatoes in plenty of salted water.
  2. Drain and mash when cooked through.
  3. Add other things – I added a bit of sweet potato, you could add some sautéed spring onion or something (I don’t like them but I can see they would work), maybe a bit of cheese. I always recommend a knob of butter and some (not too much!) milk. And salt and black pepper of course!
  4. Make shapes on a baking sheet (astute readers will have guessed that I boringly used squares) using your biscuit cutter. Brush with the egg and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are crisping up and going brown.

Cookery books never say “going brown” do they? I think I mean “turning a delicate golden colour”. Yes, that’s better.

Use more adventurous shapes and give your children some home-made smiley faces/alphabites!

Categories: Cooking, Easy, Mains, Potatoes | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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