Category Archives: Make ahead

Smashed Potatoes With Jalapeño Chilli

I like having more of a gutsy potato dish when we are having a gently seasoned meat or veggie dish.

These potatoes aren’t too spicy and make a nice change from a plain spud.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

40g butter

30mls olive oil

1kg baby potatoes, cooked

2 jalapeño chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 spring onions, finely sliced

Salt and pepper

Method

In a large pan, heat the butter and oil over a medium heat.

Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and sliced chillies.

Cook for 3 minutes without allowing the garlic to colour.

Using a slotted spoon, spoon the garlic and chilli out of the pan and set aside.

Using your hands, gently squash the potatoes to break them into two or three pieces and place the pieces in the pan.

Sprinkle over the smoked paprika and turn the potatoes until they are all coloured with the paprika.

Now, over a medium to high heat, cook the potatoes until well coloured, around 15-20 minutes.

Add the reserved garlic and chilli to the pan and stir through.

Sprinkle over the spring onion, season well and serve.

Lemon Infused Salt And Pepper

One of the best cheats to have in your pantry here! Fantastic on fish, prawns, chicken and summery salads.

I make this quantity and then store the extra in an airtight spice jar for another day.

Ingredients

6 teaspoons salt flakes

Zest of 4 lemons

20 peppercorns

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Measure the salt and lemon zest onto the baking parchment.

Bake for 15 minutes until the lemon has dried out and is really fragrant.

Allow to cool a little and then pour into a mortar, add the peppercorns and grind to a powder.

Coconut And Chocolate Squares

Another sweet treat was required this weekend for cricket morning tea so, introducing one of the easiest sweet treats to make with no baking required.

Makes 30-50 pieces depending on how you cut them up.

Ingredients

600g desiccated coconut

420g icing sugar, sieved

2 x 395g condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

50g plain chocolate, I use 70% cocoa 

Method
Line the base and sides of  a large roasting tin with baking parchment.

In a very large bowl, weigh out the coconut and sifted sugar, stir to combine.

Now add the condensed milk, vanilla extract and cider vinegar.

Using your hands, mix really well.

Pour the coconut mixture into the prepared tin and push down with the back of a silicone spatula to flatten it out evenly.

Melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave and drizzle over the coconut base.

Pop the roasting tin into the fridge for three hours and then remove the paper and cut into squares.

I keep this in the fridge here as we are in summer but if you are in a cooler climate, in the cupboard is fine.

Cheese And Bacon Puffs

I have shared my cheese puff recipe before but these combine two of my all time favourite foods.

These little gems are crispy on the outside, slightly gooey on the inside and utterly delicious!

I like to use a smoked bacon as it gives more flavour.

Makes 48-60 mini muffin sized puffs. Leftover batter happily lives in the fridge for 48hours.

Ingredients

200g bacon

350g tapioca flour

170g Cheddar, grated

2 eggs

150mls oil

350mls milk

A pinch of cayenne pepper

A little salt

Method

Over a high heat, fry the bacon until crispy and the fat has rendered.

Spoon the cooked bacon onto some absorbent kitchen towel and squeeze to get as much fat out as you can.

Place the bacon in a food processor and pulse to create bacon crumbs.

Now add all of the remaining ingredients and whizz to form a thick batter.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Grease 2 x 24 hole mini muffin tin, I just use the fat from the bacon!

Fill the muffin hole to two thirds and pop the tin in the oven.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. 

Depending on the size of your muffin tins you may have batter leftover, you can repeat the above or cover and keep it in the fridge, it will last 48 hours.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

This photo really doesn’t do this recipe justice but to be honest the beef was eaten so quickly I only got the one shot!

I’ve taken the principles of using a rub with herbs and spices to coat the meat and then allowing it to sit for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Then, instead of using the BBQ, the slow cooker has stepped in and worked its magic! Finally, I take the meat out and pop it in a hot oven just to crisp up the fatty bits for a fab tortilla filling or serve with lots of salads to cut through the richness of the meat.

Serves 8-10. Leftovers keep well in the fridge, freeze well and are very popular in wraps for school with my boys.

Ingredients

2.2kg beef brisket, cut into 8-10 large pieces

5 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon ground all spice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons salt

Pepper

375mls passata

100mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

100g brown sugar

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Method

I leave the fat on the top of the brisket, cut it into large chunks, around 5-8cm square. Take a sharp knife and score the fat to create a crisscross pattern.

Combine the spice rub in a bowl.

Tip the meat into the rub and cover completely.

Place the meat and any excess rub into a zip lock bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. 24 hours is better if you can!

Tip the meat into your slow cooker, I use a 6.5l Cooker.

Add the wet ingredients and sugar and using your hands massage the sauce all over the meat.

Turn the cooker on and set to nine hours on low.

After nine hours the meat should be falling apart a little if you push it with the back of a spoon.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Gently spoon the meat into a roasting tray, scored fat side up, and slide it into the oven, roast for 30-45 minutes to let the fat crisp up.

Pull the meat apart with forks to serve so everyone gets a little of the crispy fat as well as the delicious, sticky sauce covered meat.

Brazilian Chocolate Orange Balls

These are a rather dangerous treat to have in the house!

I get the boys involved in rolling the balls out as they are often for their social events or cricket club morning teas.

Makes 28 balls.

Ingredients

30g butter

395g tin condensed milk

100g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa

Zest of one orange

150g desiccated coconut

Method

In a large heavy based pan, heat the butter and condensed milk over a low heat, slowly bring it up to the simmer and simmer, stirring all the time, until it thickens, around ten minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and beat in the chocolate.

Once the chocolate has melted add the orange zest and 100g of coconut. Stir well and set aside to cool.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, pour the remaining coconut onto a plate and roll walnut sized balls of the chocolate mixture in the coconut. Repeat until all of the chocolate mixture has been used up.

Keep in a cool place.

Roast Chicken With Creamy Lingonberry Sauce

Six ingredients make this a seriously tasty dish that’s as simple as combine, bake and baste.

If you don’t have lingonberry sauce, cranberry sauce works just as well!

You can mix the ingredients the day before you bake them if you want and this freezes well, just add a little more cream when you reheat it gently in the oven.

If you aren’t keen on chopping up a chicken, drumsticks, wings and thighs will work just as well.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1.8kg whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces

4 tablespoons lingonberry sauce

2 tablespoons gluten free Worcestershire sauce

4 garlic cloves, crushed

250mls cream

Salt and pepper

 Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

In a roasting tin, combine all of the ingredients.

Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes covered.

Remove the foil, baste with the sauce in the pan and return to the oven.

Bake for a further 30 minutes, basting regularly.

Once cooked and golden, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Peanut And Lime Chicken Wings

In my house the boys go through real fads with what they will eat on their toast!

One of them went through a spell where lime marmalade was his spread of choice but it has gone out of favour so I wanted to use the leftovers up, coupled with peanut butter, garlic and soy sauce it makes a very tasty marinade!

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1.8kgs chicken wings, tips removed and jointed

120g peanut butter

80g lime marmalade 

50mls gluten free soy sauce

4 garlic cloves, crushed

Method

Combine all of the ingredients and leave to marinade for 2-8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade, line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Tip the wings and marinade onto the sheet, turn them skin side up.

Bake for 45 minutes, marinating with the pan juices regularly.

Warm Cheese Dip

The magical combination of cheese and chilli in a dip.

This is one of those fab dips that you can make ahead of time and just pop it into the oven to warm up again. It freezes well and if you want to make it a bit more substantial add some cooked chopped meat, this one has some cooked chicken stirred through. Pulled pork, chorizo and slow cooked beef work well too.

Ingredients

50g butter

1 large onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

375mls milk

1x400g tin crushed tomatoes

200-300g cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Method

In a large pan, melt the butter, add the onion, cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the flour, smoked paprika, chipotle chilli and oregano to the pan and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.

Add the milk and tinned tomatoes and stir constantly until thickened.

Turn off the heat, add most of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.

Serve now or pour into oven proof dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake in a 200 degree oven until the cheese has melted and is golden.

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