Category Archives: Comfort Food

Smoked Haddock with Spinach

I recently got my hands on some beautiful smoked Haddock from Scotland. Any firm fish, smoked or not, works really well here.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

800g baby potatoes, cooked and halved

400g baby spinach leaves

A little freshly grated nutmeg.

50g shallots, peeled and finely sliced

500g fresh of smoked fish

150ml cream

150mls mascarpone

40g fresh chives

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Place the spinach in a large colander, pour over a kettle full of just boiled water, set aside.

Butter the inside of an oven proof dish.

Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the water and chop roughly.

Place the potatoes in the bottom of the prepared dish.

Sprinkle over the chopped spinach and grate over a little nutmeg.

Top the spinach with the shallots and then place the fish on top, I break it up a little.

In a jug, combine the cream, mascarpone and chives, pour this over the fish.

Sprinkle over a few more chives and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little

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Sausage and Apple Casserole

Yet more comfort food here!

Apples and good pork sausages are a match made in heaven! I tend to use nice fat pork sausages, I get 10 to a kilo and sweet red eating apples as that’s what tends to be in the fruit bowl.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

20mls oil

2 red onions, finely sliced

1 kg pork sausages

4 sweet apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

500mls chicken stock

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

In a large oven proof pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and cook the sausages for 5 minutes until the skins have some colour.

Remove the sausages, set aside, add the onion to the pan and cook until soft, around 10 minutes.

Set the onions aside with the sausages and add the apple to the pan, fry over a high heat until they have coloured a little.

Return the onion to the pan, stir through the apples, top with the sausages.

Spread the mustard over each sausage.

Pour the stock into the pan, cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Uncover the pan and return to the oven, bake for a further 25-30 minutes until the sausages are golden.

Moroccan Spiced Potatoes

I love potatoes, the ultimate comfort food!

They are a great way to fill the boys up and they pair so well with onions and spices.

If you have leftovers, reheat gently and serve for breakfast with a poached egg on top.

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

750g baby potatoes, skin on, cooked

30mls oil

2 onions, halved and cut into 1cm wedges

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2-1 teaspoon salt flakes

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Pepper to taste

Fresh dill

Method

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat, cook the onion until softened, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

With the pan over a medium to high heat, add the potatoes, crushing them a little with your hands as you go.

While the potatoes are beginning to brown, use a mortar and pestle to lightly crush the coriander, cumin, thyme, chilli and salt.

Once the potatoes are beginning to get some colour, add the coriander mix, sesame seeds, cooked onion and garlic slices.

Stir constantly over a medium heat until the potatoes are golden and the onions are browning.

Sprinkle over the fresh dill and serve.


Slow Cooker Spice Rack Pork


At the beginning of winter I bought a slow cooker and a few months later I am a complete convert on nights when we are all coming and going.

The seasoning for the pork is very simple but don’t be tempted to add more liquid, it really doesn’t need any.

I love chimichurri and it goes so well here, cutting through the rich meat and adding a gorgeous splash of colour.

Serves 8. Any leftover meat freezes well with the pan juices and the boys have wraps with salad, pork and chimichurri for school in the days after we have this.

Ingredients

2kg boned pork shoulder/pork butt cut into 5-7cm dice

1 large orange, juiced

3 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons dried oregano

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Chimichurri Ingredients

20g parsley leaves

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 lime juiced

2 garlic cloves

75mls olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine all of the pork ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for six hours.

To make the chimichurri…….

Process all of the ingredients, add a little more oil if you need to.

Pork And Mango Meatballs

Anyone who has read my blog knows we like a meatball in this house and these are no exception.

One of those fun recipes that evolve as I’m digging through the fridge looking for inspiration. The cream thickens to make a sweet yet savoury sauce, I serve these over rice.

Choose any mango chutney that you would happily eat on its own, not one that’s loitering in the fridge because it tastes awful!

Makes 18 meatballs and feeds 6.

Ingredients

500g minced pork

130g mango and ginger chutney

280g zucchini, grated and liquid squeezed out

1 red chilli, deseeded, halve lengthwise and sliced

10g fresh chopped chives

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Salt and pepper

250mls cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Combine all of the ingredients, except the cream in a bowl.

Form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs.

Lay the balls in a roasting tin and pop into the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until beginning to colour.

Take the roasting tin out of the oven and pour in the cream, swirl it around the meatballs, turning them as you go.

Return to the oven and bake again for 10-15 minutes until the cream has thickened and the meatballs have coloured.

Chickpea Pizza Base

Another pizza base!

I love how quickly these can be made and then personalised and the base only has three ingredients, chickpea flour/besan which I always have a box of,water and salt, too easy!

This pizza is topped with passata, chorizo, Parmesan and spring onions.

To make this vegan, just use oil in your pan and select your usual toppings.

Makes 5-6 pizza bases.

Ingredients

275g chickpea flour

750mls water

Pinch of salt

Butter and or oil

Method

Measure the flour into a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk the water into the flour to form a very runny batter. Set aside for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, heat your grill or broiler to high.

Take a non stick, oven proof, 22/24cm frying pan and heat over medium to high heat with 10g butter and 10mls oil.

Whisk the batter, season and whisk again.

Once the butter has melted, swirl around the pan and add 200mls of batter.

Swirl the pan and pop back on the heat.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until the surface appears to dry a little.

Now slide the pan under the grill, my pan doesn’t have an oven proof handle so I have it sticking out away from the heat!

Grill for 3-4 minutes until colouring.

Now you can choose to top the pizza and grill again to melt your toppings or as I do, make all the bases and then bake them in a 210 degree Centigrade oven until the toppings have melted, less than a minute for the pizza in the picture.

Thai Pork Meatballs in Coconut Sauce

Got any leftover Thai red curry paste hiding in the back of the fridge or cupboard? This is the perfect way to use it up!

Not too spicy, full of flavour and hidden veg to boot! 

Did I mention gluten, dairy and nut free???

Serves 6. Makes 28 meatballs.

Ingredients

60g gluten free fresh breadcrumbs

330g zucchini/courgette

80g fresh coriander/cilantro

4 spring onions/scallions

2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1 egg

500g minced pork

2 x 270mls coconut milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

In a food processor, whizz the bread to make crumbs and tip into a large bowl.

Now grate the zucchini in the processor and again, tip into the bowl with the crumbs.

Next, whizz the coriander, spring onions, soy sauce, curry paste and egg, tip into the bowl.

Add the meat to the bowl and using your hands mix very well. Form into 28 balls.

Lay the balls in a non stick roasting tin as you go along with a little space around each one.

Bake the balls in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Remove and gently move the balls around so they have loosened from the base.

Pour the coconut milk into the tin and swirl around, covering the meatballs, scraping any pan juices into the milk.

Return to the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until the coconut milk is thickened and bubbling.

Garnish with a little leftover coriander.