Fruit Mince Bread And Butter Pudding

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There is something about the smell of fruit mincemeat that always makes me rather nostalgic, not just for the Festive season but cold winters nights and roaring fires!

Ofcourse, we are now heading for summer in Western Australia and when it hits it will be with us for months so just before it warms up too much, one final blast of winter comfort food!

This pudding can be made with regular or gluten free bread. If you are using gluten free bread try and find the lightest loaf you can!!! The ones like bricks are not ideal!

If you want to sneak some wholemeal bread in, go ahead, the mincemeat colours the bread enough for the fussiest of children not to notice!

Serves 8.

Ingredients

8 large slices of bread

250g fruit mincemeat

50g butter, softened

4 eggs, beaten

250mls milk

150mls cream

50g caster sugar

Method

Grease a 18x22cm baking dish.

Cut the crusts off the bread, spread lightly with the butter and then cut the bread into quarters, I like triangles!

Lay a layer of bread, with each triangle overlapping, butter side up.

Sprinkle over half of the mincemeat.

Add another layer of bread and again sprinkle over the remaining mincemeat.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream and sugar.

Pour this egg mixture over the bread and press gently down so that all of the bread is soaked.

Set the pudding aside, if you have time 24 hours in the fridge will do it no harm, otherwise an hour or two is enough.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Bake the pudding for 35-40minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.

 

 

 

 

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Baked Chicken Nuggets

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These are cracking, even if I do say so myself!

Crispy baked gluten free nuggets at their best, happily munched on by the boys for years with no one realising that they are gluten free.

Gluten free bread is very expensive here so I tend to buy up big when it is on special! Due to the cost, I don’t bother removing crusts and in fact the nuggets in the photo used GF bread rolls, crusts and all!

Leftovers freeze well or the boys get them in their lunch boxes as a wee treat.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

1.2kg chicken breast, boned and skin off

3 eggs, beaten

240g gluten free breadcrumbs

225g freshly grated Parmesan

freshly ground pepper

a little salt

3 tablespoons mixed herbs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180degrees Centigrade.

Line four baking sheets with baking parchment.

Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, pepper, salt and herbs in a large bowl.

Beat the eggs in another bowl.

Slice the chicken into thin, 0.5cm thickness pieces and then depending on the size of the breasts, half the slices, especially if your cooking for younger children, less waste!

Using only one hand, because you know the phone will ring if you get both hands dirty, take a piece of chicken, dip into the egg and then coat with the breadcrumb mix.

Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Bake for 15 minutes and then turn and bake for a further 5-8 minutes until the coating is crispy.

Quinoa, Broad Bean And Herb Salad

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This is a lovely fresh salad that goes so well with the whole grain mustard dressing I think.

Broad beans are in season again as we head into spring in Western Australia and I really don’t mind shelling and skinning them, it’s rather therapeutic when you have the time!

I like to make this salad ahead of time to allow the flavours to develop and for sheer convenience!

Leftover salad is great in wraps.

Serves 8-10.

Ingredients

175g quinoa

500mls water

500g shelled broad beans

3 spring onions, finely sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped roughly fresh dill

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

saltand freshly ground pepper

Method

Bring the quinoa and water up to the boil and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Let the quinoa sit with the lid still in place until cool.

Meanwhile, bring a pan of water up to the boil and cook the broad beans, 2-3 minutes.

Drain into a sieve and then cool under running water.

Once the beans are cool enough to handle, slip off the outer skins.

In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, skinned beans, spring onions, mint and dill.

Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad, mix through.

Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder With Lemon And Garlic

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I have mentioned before my love for slow roasting and the benefits to my soul knowing dinner is quietly getting on with itself while I’m out and about.

This lamb is melt in the mouth consistency and to be honest I always roast two shoulders now as one isn’t quite enough and I love leftovers!

Leftovers are used up in Turkish prides and stuffed bread, recipes in my blog. Apologies, if I knew how to do a link for them I would!

A shoulder this size feeds 4.

Ingredients

 1.8kg lamb shoulder, bone in

2 lemons

50mls olive oil

6 gloves garlic, peeled

20g parsley leaves

Salt and pepper

500mls water

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Centigrade.

Take the shoulder and stab it all over, as deep as you can without piercing the underside, waggle the knife around a bit so there is space to fit a couple of fingers into the cuts where able.

Whizz the zest and juice of 1 lemon, the olive oil, garlic, parsley and seasoning to make a loose paste.

Pop the shoulder into a deep roasting tin.

Rub the paste all over the underside of the shoulder, flip over and then push the paste through the cuts and cover completely.

Take the second lemon and slice very thinly, remove the seeds and lay over the top of the shoulder.

Pour the water into the base of the pan.

Measure a piece of baking parchment to fit over the roast and tuck in to the sides. Squish it up under running water and then lay it over the roast, tucking the edges in.

Cover the tin with tin foil and seal well.

Pop the roast into the oven and roast for 7 hours.

Turn the heat to 200, remove the foil and parchment and drain the pan juices.

Spoon the fat from the pan juices back over the lamb and return to the oven, baste again after 20minutes and then remove after a further 20mins.

To serve, warm the pan juices back up, check for seasoning and then pour over the roast as you serve.

Paper Parcel Baked Salmon With Dill And Lemon

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Simplicity at its best!

I love fresh dill and salmon and this is one of the quickest hands off ways to prepare a really healthy meal, throw a salad together while the salmon bakes and you are ready to eat in less than 20 minutes.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

4 salmon fillets

4 large sprigs of fresh dill

1 lemon, sliced very thinly

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Take four large pieces of cooking foil and top them with similar sized pieces of baking parchment.

Lay a salmon fillet in the centre of each piece of paper, top with the dill frond and slices of lemon, season well.

Wrap the paper layer first, sealing the long sides first with folds, followed by the short sides, repeat with the foil and place the parcel on a baking sheet, repeat with the remaining fillets.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before opening.

The Best Gluten Free Toad In The Hole

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Comfort food at its best!

My butcher makes award winning sausages and I like his French Toulouse sausages for this, made with garlic and pepper, the main thing is to get a pure pork sausage with no fillers and nasties!

If your sausages are smaller you may need to cut the prosciutto in half or have a few more slices.

As rich as this is, I serve it with some steamed veggies, that’s really all that you need.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

400g speck or streaky bacon, rind removed, cut into 0.5-1cm chunks

1 onion, chopped into wedges

1kg pure pork sausages, 6 large sausages

6 slices prosciutto

150g gluten free plain flour

2 eggs

250mls milk

100mls water

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Centigrade.

Line the base and sides of the tin so that the pudding can’t escape into the pan.

Add the chopped speck or bacon to the pan with the onion and pop into the oven for 20mins.

Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each sausage and add to the pan, bake for 15mins.

Measure the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre, crack the eggs in to the centre of the well and begin to whisk gently. As it thickens, pour and whisk the milk and flour in. Season well.

Once the sausage has baked for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and very carefully pour the batter into the pan, going around each sausage.

Return the roasting tin to the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the pudding has risen and is golden.

The pudding will deflate a little once you take it out of the oven.

 

Autumn Vegetable Soup

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A very simple soup but so satisfying and healthy!

I liquidise the soup just to stop fussy children picking bits out but this is a very pretty soup and looks lovely as it is without the stick blender getting to it!

Serves 10.

Ingredients

Splash of olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

400g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

400g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

300g parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped

500g beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped

a large sprig of parsley

2.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

salt and pepper

parsley to garnish

Method

In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft.

Add the garlic, carrot, potatoes, parsnip and beetroot and stir through.

Cover with the lid and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring up to the boil.

Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes until the veggies are soft.

Allow to cool a little and then blend with a stick blender.

Return to the heat and bring back to a simmer, season well.

Serve with a little parsley sprinkled over the top.