March 3, 2008

“Jamie at Home” cookbook

Posted in Recipe tagged , , at 9:19 am by vicii

I treated myself last week to Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook since they were selling it at half price in W H Smith – and I have been watching the series on TV with great interest, loving everything that he has made.  To be honest though, I haven’t really had chance to look through it since every time I sit down Izzy decides that she wants to be cuddled!  Obviously the cuddles come first… anyway, I was determined to cook something out of it, as I think it is such a waste when I buy a cookbook but then never cook anything from it.  I opted for the balsamic baked onions and potatoes with roast pork – a good choice, it tasted divine and went down a treat at home


February 3, 2008

Recipe: Lasagne

Posted in lasagne, Recipe at 10:45 am by vicii

I made this lasagne during last week and made plenty enough to have one for dinner and have one for the freezer. My OH says that he doesn’t like it what I put carrots and celery in my lasagne, but that’s the way my mum made it and I think it’s healthier. Anyway this time I got wise and decided to “whizz” it up a bit at the end so get rid of the evidence of carrots and celery.

Also I used some red lentils to bulk up the mince meat so that it worked out slightly cheaper and stretched further in my efforts to save money

Ingredients for Ragu
Mince meat
couple of carrots diced
couple stalks of celery diced
handful of red lentils
couple of onions sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic chopped
tin of tomatoes
tomato puree
tomato ketchup
splash of Port
beef stock
red lentils

Method for Ragu
1. Heat up some olive oil in a pan, then add the onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 mins or so until softened.
2. Either in a different pan or remove the veg to a bowl, add the mince abnd brown for 5 mins or so until it is all cooked.
3. Add the veg to the mince.
4. Chop the tinned tomatoes and add to the mince and veg, also add a good squeeze of tomatoe puree, tomato ketchup and a good splash of Port, along with some beef stock (approx 100-200ml depending on how much mince being used.
5. If adding lentils to stretch out the ragu, add a handful now – or more or less as desired.
6. Add some mixed herbs
7. Bring to boil and then simmer for at least an hour. I usually leave it for about 2 – 2.5 hours so that there is not much liquid, since making this into a baked dish, I don’t want it to be very runny.
8. Once cooking time is up and the consistency looks about right I take off the heat and them give a quick blitz with my hand blender to remove obvious traces of carrot and celery, but this isn’t necessary.
9. Leave to cool

Ingredients for White Sauce
1 oz butter
1 oz flour
1 pint milk

Method for White Sauce
This is really simple and very quick to make –

1. Add the butter and flour to a pan large enough to hold at least 1 pint
2. With a wooden spoon stir the mixture constantly whilst heating gently and ensure that all the butter melts and all the flour is incorporated into the mixture.
3. Once combined, cook for at least a minute to ensure that the flour is cooked.
4. Take mixture off the heat
5. Slowly add the milk a little at a time whilst stirring constantly. Ensure all milk is incorporated into the mixture before adding more milk – this eliminates any lumps. Start with a little milk at furst but can then increase the amount of milk added as mixing continues
6. Once all milk is added, put the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil whilst stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken.
7. Once thickened, simmer for a few more minutes then remove from the heat to cool.

Making up the Lasagne
1. In a suitable ovenproof dish, add a thin layer or ragu
2. Cover this will pasta sheets to cover all the sauce (break the sheets as necessary)
3. Repeat this layering 2-3 more times until all the ragu is used (or save some to freeze as a sauce for bolognese) The last layer should be pasta sheets.
4. Pour the sauce over the top of the pasta sheets.
5. If freezing, leave as it is. If cooking now, grate parmasean cheese all over the white sauce.
6. Put in oven for about 40 mins on 180C.
7. Ensure heated all the way through before serving.
8. I like to serve with either some rice or some mixed salad

January 29, 2008

Homemade Burgers

Posted in burgers, Recipe at 9:23 am by vicii

I made these last night and they were really tasty. I have no idea how much mince I actually used – I bought 1.5kg of minced beef with the intention of making both burgers and a lasagne, so I just “borrowed” enough beef to make three burgers; one each

Enough minced beef to make enough burgers
chopped coriander
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepperMethod
1. Put all the ingredient into a mixing bowl except for the egg and stir to combine.
2. Use enough egg to hold the burgers together and using hands, shape into equal-sized patties.
3. Pop the burgers in the fridge for a while to firm up and then remove about 15 mins before cooking to reach room temperature.
4. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers for a few minutes on each side to brown and ensure they hold together.
5. Meanwhile heat the oven to about 160C and then finish cooking the burgers in the oven for about 15 mins until they are cooked through, turning once.
6. Dress the burgers as desired, my favourite is with lettuce, onion, cheese and ketchup.