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Easy cheesy potato bake

Tonight’s tea needed to be quick, easy, hands off comfort food and to use up some of the huge chunk of raclette cheese we bought this weekend.

Gnocchi with leeks and sour cream

Another use up tea, super quick, idea to plate in less than ten minutes. You will need A pack of gnocchi A large leek, finely sliced A good grating of Parmesan A couple of tablespoons of sour cream A couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil Do Cook the leeks in a teaspoon of oil on a pretty high heat until mostly translucent and a few crispy bits then set aside Boil the gnocchi in boiling salted water for 2 minutes then drain and set aside Put a a couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil into a non-stick pan on a high heat Add the gnocchi, cook for a few minutes, tossing occupationally.

Chicken with fennel, leek and lemon

A simple tray baked dinner that’s excellent with rice and can be dressed up for posh dinner parties by adding a glass of white wine and another of cream for the last 20 minutes of cooking

Facehugger Ramen

Every since Our Lady of Survival, Ellen Ripley first brought facehuggers to the worlds attention we’ve had a complex relationship. Yes, they’re harbingers of death, emerging from their cocoons, skitthing about and determined to paralyse you and implant a Chestbuster, but did you know they are delicious?

Chicken dumpling soup

I love chicken soups, and I thought I’d written about various different styles here over the years but it turns out ( only the once ) but on a cold and miserable Sunday evening, having driven for 12 hours out of the previous 36, I was craving comfort food and the idea of adding dumpling (the stodgy kind, not the Asian kind) appealed.

Instapot and Airfrier cabbage saas aloo

Tonight we had strong cravings for a dish rich in green vegetables and I remembered we had some potatoes and cabbage that needed using up.

Cheese savoury sandwich

I thought the cheese savoury sandwich was pretty universal, but after tweeting a photo of mine aroused some curiosity, I guess not. I once lived with a chap who’s family claimed to have invented them, and for this I can only thank them.

Gout friendly InstantPot baked beans

Boston baked beans, cooked with treacle and pork, are a world away from tinned baked beans, good as they are. Sadly, they’re also not very gout friendly due to the amount of pork, so I had a stab at making something as close as I could get.

Making a Marmite Syringe

These days I love Marmite. Once upon a time I could not stand it. Previous me was a jerk at times. We tend to buy Marmite in the 1kg tubs, because it’s so much cheaper, but the nature of the sticky black goo makes it difficult to keep the tubs clean, which is frustrating.

InstantPot Kedgeree

I love kedgeree, and it turns out you can make it in an InstantPot. You will need 1 cup of rice (yes, yes, American measures, but rice is best cooked by volume) Just short of two cups of water 2 pieces of smoked fish (I used two pieces of smoked coley) 3 eggs 3 fat spring onions, finely sliced A cardamom pod A heaped teaspoon of hot curry powder Half a teaspoon of garam masala A small handful of parsley, finely chopped 2x knobs of butter Do Saute the onions in the butter until soft Add the rice, cardamom, curry powder and stir Add the water and then prop the InstantPot Trivet in Balance the fish and eggs on the trivet Cook on rice mode, which is 12 minutes Let the steam out Fluff the rice, peel then chop the eggs and fish and mix Stir though the parsley, garam masala and second bit of butter Results Savoury, lightly spiced, very satisfying.

InstantPot Beef Rendang-a-like

I can’t bring myself to call this beef rendang, because that would be a travesty. It is however super tasty and features some of the same flavours and it quick.

Green scones

I love a freshly made scone. I think savoury scones benefit from being made “short”, eg. not using all butter, but baking block of margarine.

Nachos, but make them roast potato

Our household loves roast potatoes done in the airfrier. War lass loves nachos. I am less keen on them. Luckily it turns out that you can marry the two things and everybody loves them!

Gout friendly turkey chorizo

This year my gout has been really painful, to the point where I started a new side project www.gout-is-shit.com. I’ve also had to cut out from my diet all pork, offal, game, fish, shellfish, beer and whiskey.

Fried fish (forkbeard!)

I very rarely fry fish, but our FishBox contained a couple of big fillets of Forkbeard so I thought I’d give it a go. I used a very thin tempura like batter.

Potatoes and chorizo

Super simple, but it tasty, super savoury. Multiple options. Doing the potatoes under the grill makes it easier to get a good even crispy finish compared to in the pan and without using tonnes of oil.

Salt beef sandwiches

I’ve made pastrami before, but not it’s precursor, salt beef. I couldn’t find my pink curing salt, it came out a little grey in colour, but delicious.

Beef bolognese with Parmesan dumplings

Mince and dumplings are great (I’ve written about how much I enjoy savoury mince and dumplings). Beef bolognese is great. At some point, somebody combined the two.

What a few months of HelloFresh has taught me

I wrote this before HelloFresh had some sort of meltdown leading to missing boxes, poor communications and ultimately us canceling our subscription. It was helpful for a while though.

Salmon with samphire, roast potatoes and delicious butter

You will need A pair of salmon fillets Enough potatoes for two, cut into cubes A slice of a block of unsalted butter roughly 1am wide The juice and zest of half a lemon A teaspoon of capers A bag of samphire A sprig of thyme A big sprig of parsley A quarter of a clove of garlic Olive oil Do Shake the potatoes with a teaspoon of oil and stick in the airfrier on 180 for 20 minutes Drop the samphire into boiling water for 2 minutes and drain, set to one side When you’re about ten minutes off the potatoes being ready, make the salmon Put a good slug of olive oil into a pan and once it’s hot add the salmon in skin down (it should sizzle) Cook skin side down for a few minutes, then turn them over Turn the heat down and add the butter, thyme and garlic Add the lemon zest and capers, keep it cooking for a few minutes, pop the salmon on it’s side if you need to to help it cook though Add the Parsley, samphire and lemon juice, stir round, cook for another minute or two Pile the potatoes into the middle of the plate, point the rest over the top.

Saag Paneer

A very quick, easy and vegetarian tea, perfect for using a huge bag of spinach that was very heavily discounted. Adapted from the perfect saag paneer.

Sausage and roast potato bhorta

I was very skeptical of Fish Finger Bhorta when I first saw it, not because of the fish fingers, but the English mustard. When it was being discussed on TV Nigella mentioned that is was suitable for anything crunchy, so tonight I switched in in a family favorite.

Pine smoked trout salad

We got some lovely pink sea trout in our FishBox and I finished work on time so had a little bit of time to faff.

Peanut (groundnut) chicken

I love the Rivers of London books and all thought it Peter Grant raves about the groundnut chicken dish his mum makes. After a bit of googling I found that groundnuts are another name for peanuts (and fascinatingly in Nigeria “peanuts” are groundnuts dipped in dough and fried).

Tingly pork and braised greens

I love Chinese meals of rice, greens and meat. This months meatbox had a lovely slab of pork belly in it so I got to scratch my itch and try using the Unknown Tingly Green Sauce I last had it in Tingly Chinese Chicken

Roasted veg and chips

This is not a classy dish, or some high end cooking, but it’s a great way to use up any vegetables going a bit soft and it’s a super tasty tea.

Chilli Lemon Pickle

I love Indian pickles, especially lime pickle. I’ve not had much luck in the past making them, but this worked out well and used up a glut of fresh chillis from a grocery box delivery.

Super Savoury Beef Mince and Dumplings

Growing up I hated mince and plain boiled potatoes, which is a shame because other than me it was something of a family favorite. Having grown up, I still don’t enjoy boiled potatoes, but I discovered dumplings, and that changed everything.

Tingly Chinese Chicken

My friend knows I’m always interested in unusual food, so when you messaged me to see if I wanted a jar of “this tingy chilli oil that my wife loves and you can’t get in the UK” I jumped.

Super savoury butternut squash

We had this as a main course (a huge pile of it) but it would make a good side dish. It’s super savoury, with all the boxes being ticked (sour, sweet, salty, spicy, stuck on bits, burnt bits, squidgy bits, everything).

Smoked Salmon Tart

This was an excellent tea made by my girlfriend, well worth a write up. Pre-rolled pastry is a great shortcut to delicious dinners. You will need A pack of pre-rolled puff pastry Half a large onion (finely sliced) A pack of smoked salmon (great use of the cheap packs of offcuts) Half a small tub of soft cheese A big squeeze of lemon juice A good scattering of capers Egg if you’re bothered about glazing the edge a slug of olive oil Do Softened the onions in a pan with the olive oil until translucent Let them cool a bit Add the soft cheese and lemon juice Bake the pastry on a sheet at 180 for a few minutes Pile it all into the middle of the pasty and spread towards the edges, leave as much crust as you’d like Scatter with salmon and capers Egg wash the crust if you’re into that sort of thing Return to the oven and bake until the edges are golden and the topping has a hint of char Result I’m sure this was meant to feed six but we didn’t let that get in the way.

Courgette Fritters

We had a few courgettes that needed using up and I came across a recipe on BBC Food that I adapted to make a quick and tasty tea.

Blue Peter Jigsaw Log Cake

Many years ago this was made on Blue Peter and from that point on it became a family favorite and Christmas tradition. Famously one of my elderly relatives absolutely refused to share the piece we gifted her each year.

Gado gado airfried salad

Gado gado is one of my favorite dressings, sour, sweet, hot, salty, deeply umami. Rather than the usual noodles, I broke out the airfrier, and crisped a heap of potatoes.

Autumnal traybake

Perfect for a cold day as the nights draw in, this used up some sausage meat in the freezer from last Christmas, some past their best parsnips and the last of my homegrown apples.

Beef and aubergine hotpot with quince

I’m trying to reduce our food waste by not letting anything spoil, so tonight’s dinner was the reduce of googling “aubergine and beef”, because we had some aubergine needed using up our The Christmas Farm meatbox contained are beef cut for stirfry.

Okonomiyaki meets Wales

This week I ran across okonomiyaki on twitter (mostly because I jokes about the potential farts from a cabbage and egg based meal), but we had a big green cabbage to use up, so I figured I’d have a go.

Cornish pasties

I love a Cornish pasty and a pair make a great tea. I used beef mince because it’s what I had in, next time I’d probably use very finely sliced steak.

Lockdown catch up mega post

This morning I noticed that since I started posting more to Instagram I’ve basically stopped updating here, which is bad badness. Where you post matters, because ultimately you’re putting all your effort into growing their platform, and they own you and your audience, so this morning I downloaded most of my content from there and rolled the last few months worth into this post.

Super savoury garlicky jam

Over lockdown we’ve been getting deliveries from Grainger Market which have been tremendous. The veg boxes always come with a net of garlic bulbs and so we’ve got quite a stash.

White fish with chorizo, chickpeas and cider

One of my favorite cookbooks at the moment (I collect them so we have a few) is Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite and recently we ate the chickpeas cooked with chorizo and cider, a marvelously savoury dish.

Making fruit liqueurs

It’s been an amazing summer for fruit and during lockdown I’ve been walking a lot round a local industrial estate, listening to podcasts and occasionally picking fruit.

Soupy Beans

This week I read an article about redbeans and rice which looked delicious. I didn’t have any of the ingrediants, but the idea of soupy beans cooked with strong flavours and pork sounded great so I improvised.

Baba Ghanoush

I’ve always strayed away from baba ghanoush on menus because I thought it would be slimy. Last weeks vegetable box included a pair of big purple aubergines and I didn’t want them to go to waste.

Smoothered Pork Chop

I love a pork chop, they’re a much underrated cut of meat. There were a pair of them in our meatbox this month and I couldn’t resist.

Oven baked aubergine, tomato and garlic

This week the content of our veg box lead to a super dinner. Firstly we had a tonne of garlic (2 nets, 12+ bulbs) and we had fresh aubergines, avocado, tomatoes and a massive loaf of bread.

InstantPot Shin Beef Chilli

I’ve written about shin beef chilli in the past, but when a big chunk of shin landed in our meatbox I couldn’t resist giving it the InstantPot treatment.

Mongolian beef

I saw this Mongolian Beef recipe this morning and it ticked all the boxes, sweat, sharp, crispy fried bits and such lovely colours, so it went on my mental list to make.

Lockdown InstantPot Dhal

This week we got a great delivery from Grainger Market, salad, fruit and an Indian Cookbox from Hector Hall. I’ve always loved dhal, it’s great comfort food.

Sweet and sour pork (lockdown edition)

I’ve blogged about sweet and sour porksweet and sour pork before, but this recipe was a variant to use up some bits and pieces whilst on lockdown.

InstantPot Biryani

This is probably a complete travesty, but it’s a dead easy and super tasty. The InstantPot left-right-left of saute, pressure cook, saute is an absolute winner.

Chicken Methi

Many years ago there used to be two Indian takeaways next tone one another near us. One was excellent, every dish different and a wide ranging menu.

Savoury flaky pasties

driving home this afternoon I caught a bit of Radio4s Food Programme about pasties and couldn’t resist cooking some up this evening. I’ve spent a week in Minsk with work and one of the things I’ve really enjoyed (and that reminded me of eating in Czech Republic in the late 90s) was the use of cumin, so I decided to break it out tonight.

Indian style spicy wings

This week I ran across The Cury Guy’s spicy chicken wings and couldn’t resist. Whenever I buy chicken breasts from Block’n’Bottle the wing is still attached.

Blackbeans done easily in the InstantPot

Beanbeans are a staple of Mexican and texmex food, but they’re not that common in the UK. You can get them in tins but they’re faily expensive and they’ve never had the texture I remember.

Pastrami and warm german potato salad

I’ve love pastrami ever since I first ticked a food tourism box by going to Katz Deli, being overwhelms by it all but managing to order it on rye, and fell in love.

Friday night spicy meatballs

Early this week I saw a tweet about a Smitten Kitchen post from last year for braised ginger meatballs in coconut broth which looked excellent and I was excited to try it when I got home.

The Perfect Christmas Cake

I love a real Christmas cake, a dark fruit cake, slightly too soft, a little booze, and disproportionately more marzipan than strictly necessary. This year I decided to to follow the very excellent Completely Perfect by Felicity Cloake.

Instant Pot beef Curry

The more I use the Instant Pot, the more I appreciate being able to easily use different cooking techniques without doing more washing up. Recently I’ve used it a few times to make curries and uncovered the left-right-left of Instant Pot cookery: saute - pressure cook - saute.

Spicy roast potatoes

I made this as a side dish the other night, but it was the star of the show, hence writing this up, but the lack of photos.

Christmas dried fruit tart tatin

Whilst noodling through John Whaite’s very excellent Comfort I ran across his fig, prune and port tart tatin. I’ve always rather enjoyed tart tatin, with it’s unctuous and gooey fruits and pleasingly crisp base/top, and it’s the time of year when dried fruits are often on offer in the supermarkets.

Herby cheese and onion push together bread

I remember this from growing up, but didn’t know where it came from. A bit of googling suggests it was probably from Nigella Christmas. The original recipe calls for snipped sage leaves.

Turkey Samosa

You will need For the dough 200g of plain flour 60g fat (I used some lard) About 6 tablespoons of cold water For the filling In total it should add up to a couple of big handfuls

Spicy Sweet Potato InstantPot Soup

Instance I joined the Cult of Instant Pot I’ve become a fulltime convert. The thing I love about it most is having everything in one pot which does everything.

Christmas Loaf

This is an enriched bread dough, with a bunch of seasonal fruit, a dose of spice and some light brown sugar. I threw in a tangarine too, which lead to too much moisture and to load sinking in the middle, but it tasted great.

Tiny meatballs in roast tomato sauce

Roughly this time last year I made 5 ingrediant tomato meatballs for the first time and it is excellent, we’ve had it numerous times. Tonight I decided to enrich it a little with some leftover double cream and tweak the spice mix a bit.

Sausage Roll Tea

Yet more Completely Perfect for a Saturday tea, but this time I went off piste when following the perfect sausage rolls. I love a sausage roll, they’re much better than the sad limp party food they are thought of as.

The perfect chicken tikka masala ans naan

I’m continuing to work my way though Felicity Cloake’s excellent Completely Perfect and for a Saturday night what’s more fitting than the perfect chicken tikka masala with the perfect naan.

Chicken liver pate

I got a copy of Felicity Cloake’s Completely Perfect for my birthday and I’ve been working through it for the last few months. It’s brilliant, you should absolutely buy a copy.

Saag Aloo Paneer

The airfrier came into its own this week when I discovered I could use it to make tiny cubed roast potatoes. Delicious in their own right, but excellent as part of the bulk of a meal.

Fakeaway vindaloo

Another Friday night fake takeaway, though this time probably just as unhealthy as the bought variety. I realised I’d never had a vindaloo before, always writing them off as too hot (and thus generally not very flavoursom), but the combination of pork and mustard always sounded good.

Fakeaway duck pancakes, lemon chicken and salt&chilli prawns

I love Chinese food, especially dim sum and Sichuan hot pot, but when it comes to takeaway, naff English style dishes are my weakness. There’s something about crispy fried things in a slightly gelatinous sauce that really hits the spot.

Quick roast vegetable tea

Tonight was one of those nights where I wanted something quick, tasty and passingly healthy. “Vegetable corner” of the kitchen looked like it needed a clearing out, so it was a good excuse to roast it all.

Beef and mushroom chilli with sweatcorn cornbread muffins

This year I’ve had more success than last year growing chillis, so it was high time I made a chilli with them. I also managed to grow a tonne of herbs, so I thought I’d make use of them too.

Blooming onions and fried chicken

Many years ago, whilst watching Buffy, Spike (the best Buffy character) mentioned Blooming Onions. The idea piqued my interest, and then I forgot about it.

Green beans with pork, peanut and lentils

A quick writ eup for a quick tea. I had a big bag of green beans that I neeed to use up and some diced pork shoulder in th freezer.

Saag Black Pudding

Recently I’ve been cooking a lot of spiced spinach dishes. It’s a tonne of green vegetables, full of spicy goodness and if you squint you can convince yourself it’s healthy.

Day long marinades and lightly smoked wings and ribs

I’ve not had a lot of time for fun cooking recently, but I’ve bene really enjoying simply cooked meat on the BBQ with fresh salad.

BBQ Garlic mint lamb

My garden is producting a tonne of mint and parsely this summer so everything at the moment is being made with as much of both as I can get away with.

Saag paneer

After a busy week mostly fuelled by snacks and black coffee we needed a dinner full of vegatables than was also satisfying. The combination of a tonne of spinach and cheese fitted the bill.

Lamb kofta with a bitey salsa verde

Another meal wrapped in a flatbread! I think I have an obsession, possibly an addiction. You will need Flatbreads (I used some bought (and discounted!

Soft wraps with oven roast veg and two cheee

Reasonably often we make flat breads, pile them full of tasty things and hot sauce and at them with our faces. It might be a bit formulaic, but it’s always tasty.

Making yoghurt

In a recent tweet my friend Branden mentioned making his own yoghurt to reduce the amount of single use plastic in the house and it reminded me that I’d always meant to have a go.

Friday night tacos with corn & pineapple salsa

All the best food is interactive, and some rare beef tacos with a sweet and spicy salsa are just the ticket on a Friday night after a long week.

Easter Bread & Butter Pudding

I love bread and butter pudding and I love hotcross buns, so when I left a pack of hotcross buns out and they went stale there was only one option - another using up combo recipe.

Rare steak and asian flavours noodle salad

A super quick tea with lots colour, crunch and spice. The rare steak melts in the mouth. You will need A small steak of of high quality as possible (this was a 300g filet between two) A block of noodles A big handful of beansprouts 3 spring onions, green parts finely slices, white parts sliced into battons 1 carrot grated A few inches of cucumber, cut into fine battons 1 red chilli finely sliced 1 teaspoon of runny honey 2 teaspoons of soy 1 teaspoon of fish sauce 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds Half a teaspoon of grazed ginger The juice of half an oranges A hard handful of peanuts, ideally unsalted but salted will be ok.

Super quick squeaky cheese salad

A super quick tea, ten minutes from coming in the door to getting in your face. This is also a super quick write up too, sorry.

Jerk spiced beef stew

For April is still unfeasibly cold and grey, so I fancied some sunny flavours. Nothing tastes more like the sun that jerk with is sweat chilli, bright thyme and fragrent spices.

Spiced pineapple slices

I love fresh pineapple. Recently we’ve been eating it in salsa a lot (grill until blistered, mash with chilli and corriandar), and it made me thing of something I heard years ago but can’t source, that ripe pineapple is great with salt and chilli powder.

Spicy dry fried beef with roast tomato salsa taco-a-likes

Another using up meal which turned out really well. I firmly believe that food you put togehter with your hands at the table is always the most fun, this being no exception.