Peas, Pancetta and new potatoes a La Grecque

[Total: 1   Average: 5/5]

Peas glorious peas… We love peas. They say that growing vegetables is great with kids: the picture of a small child sowing seeds, watching with excitement each day as they grow and then seeing their unbridled joy when they get to harvest the plants they have lovingly tended. The truth is that our kids have never been that excited! However, many happy moments have been shared picking fresh pods of peas, shelling them when they are small and sweet and eating them straight from the plant…

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Banana pancakes

[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]

If I’m going to cook for breakfast then it needs to be easy, quick and at a minimum not-too-unhealthy. Porridge is my default (I must post my Chai porridge recipe at some point), soda bread if I’m up early and we’ve not got any good bread in, or fresh sourdough if it’s been proving in the fridge overnight and is all ready to cook. Recently though, these little banana pancakes have been on the menu at least once a week in our house: pick-them-up-and-eat-them-in-two-bites sized; banana-y (but not too banana-y); brown on the outside but fluffy and moist on the inside; drizzled with honey or maple syrup, greek yoghurt, and if at all possible soft fruit like blueberries or raspberries. Yum. Even better when the sun is shining and you can eat them out in the garden!

Cook them on a griddle (if you have one, and unlike me you can maintain a vaguely even heat!) or in a non-stick frying pan.

Ingredients

Serves 4 for breakfast (about 32 pancakes).

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 450 ml milk
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • spray oil for cooking
  • toppings of your choice. We like honey or maple syrup, greek yoghurt and soft fruit.

Method

  1. If you’re using a griddle, get it on to preheat.
  2. Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the bananas and mash with a fork or potato masher. I deliberately leave some small lumps in.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spray your griddle or pan with oil and ladle out the pancakes — I use about 1.5 – 2 tbsps of mixture per pancake.
  6. Cook until brown on one side. 30s to a minute depending on how hot your griddle is and then flip and cook on the other side.
  7. Remove and cover with a tea towel whilst you cook the remainder.
  8. Serve with honey / syrup, yoghurt and soft fruit.

Easy no-knead sourdough rolls or “bruffins” (TM)

[Total: 2   Average: 5/5]

Sourdough: 1200g flour = 2 good sized crusty loaves. We eat one fresh the first day, we eat one over the next couple of days. And then I bake again. All good. But it can get a bit boring just baking the same round loaves over and over. I’d really like to make sourdough rolls, but the dough I make is really just too wet to handle. Lightbulb moment: what would happen if I were to bake it in a muffin tin???

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Kale wraps with Guacamole and Southern fried chicken

[Total: 2   Average: 5/5]

This is a bit of an odd one out on this site (and indeed in the things that I cook). Soft flour tortillas, raw kale with a big hit of chilli, lime and fresh coriander and Guacamole is very typical: fresh, healthy, wholesome, vegetarian. But then we go and add frozen southern fried chicken fillets. Why? Because it just tastes SO good…

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When you really feel you shouldn’t eat more bread…

[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]

I love bread. I’d happily eat bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s not unusual that I do. I pretty much invariably start my day with porridge, but it’s always followed by toast (ah… the joy of a beautiful toasted piece of sourdough with marmalade and a black coffee). Sandwiches for lunch more often than not. And then we just need pizza, or flatbreads, or naans, or flour tortillas or … with dinner and we’ve made it to three.

But sometimes my conscience gets the better of me…

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Roasted Cauliflower with barley and herbs

[Total: 1   Average: 5/5]

This is another of our go to recipes when we want an easy, economial, healthy and bread free lunch. The recipe calls for the zest and juice of 2 lemons which gives it a really big, tangy, hit of lemon. I like it that way, but you might want to start with half the amount and add more to taste!

Roasted cauliflower with barley and herbs

Ingredients

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids for a light lunch so long as you get a decent sized cauliflower…

1 Cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 Onion, chopped
2 tsp Ground cumin
2 tsp Ground coriander
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Chilli flakes, a good pinch
2 tbsp Groundnut or olive oil
200g Pearled barley or spelt
2 Lemons, zest and juice
2 good handfuls of herbs (either one or a mixture of parsley, coriander and mint)
Natural yoghurt to serve

Method

1.  Heat the oven to 200’c.  Put the cauliflower and onion in an ovenproof dish or tin.  Add the spices and 2 tbsp oil and toss together.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender.

2.  Boil the barley in salted water until tender then drain well and put in a large bowl. Tip in the hot cauliflower and the lemon juice and zest and toss together.  Serve with some natural yoghurt on the side.

Sourdough pizza and dough balls

[Total: 2   Average: 5/5]

After years of experimenting with different types of pizza this is the one that I’ve settled on. At least for now! Main components:

  • Sourdough pizza dough. Recipe below, based very closely on my super-simple sourdough recipe. This is really low effort and makes a great, easy to shape dough, that works brilliantly for both pizza bases and doughballs.
  • Dan Lepard’s frying pan tomato sauce.
  • Garlic butter (for the dough balls). No recipe needed. Butter, fresh garlic and lots of chopped fresh parsley.
  • Toppings of your choice.
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Sourdough made simple

[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]

Or should that be “Sourdough made. Simple”? Read on if you…

  • want to be able to make great tasting, fresh easy sourdough
    • whenever you want it at short notice
    • on a schedule that works for you (e.g. 2 minutes work the night before and have fresh sourdough for lunch, or start in the morning for fresh sourdough the next day for breakfast)
    • for just ~20 minutes of total effort to make two good size loaves
  • don’t want any effort maintaining your starter (just feed once a month)
  • don’t want lots of waste (no need to keep throwing half your starter away)
  • want a recipe that can be easily adapted to make e.g. rolls or Sourdough pizza and dough balls
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