Mustard Sausage and Potato Bake

I was fortunate enough to have some days of holiday to use up in finishing my current job but I had to take them toute seule so I decided to go to France to simultaneously see friends and also check if my language classes were serving their purpose. As I would leave my husband on his own and he is too lazy to cook I tried to make something with a few portions before I left to ensure that he wasn’t just eating fish fingers everyday. There was a recipe in my slow cooker recipe book which I fiddled about with and I came up with this lovely mustardy sausage bake which I can see myself making many times in the future. It’s also nice to have a good British recipe which isn’t just pie (as much as I love pie). There’s not much green in this recipe so it might be nice with a side of broccoli or the traditional British accompaniment – peas.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 750g potatoes
  • 25g butter
  • 2 onions
  • 1 pack fake bacon
  • 1 cooking apple
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml stock (I used Massel chicken flavour)
  • 2 tsp English mustard (i.e. the bright yellow stuff)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 8 veggie sausages
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Peel the potatoes and finely slice them

3.) Oil a baking tray and spread out the potatoes on it so they slightly overlap. Season with salt and spray with some oil.

4.) Bake for 30 minutes.

5.) Peel the onion and finely chop. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until starting to soften.

6.) Chop up the ‘bacon’ and add to the pan to crisp up.

7.) Peel and chop up the apple and add it to the pan. Fry for a couple more minutes.

8.) Make up the stock, mix with the mustard and pour over the onion. Add the flour and stir through. Add the sausages and the bay leaf.

9.) Cook for 5 minutes or so until the mixture has thickened. Remove the bay leaf and take off the heat.

10.) Pour the mixture over the potatoes and put back in the oven for 10 minutes.

11.) Grate the cheese.

12.) Sprinkle the cheese over the baking tray and cook for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.

Za’atar Scones & Spring Onion Soup

As a British person, scones are very close to my heart but basically being just a mixture of butter and flour, I don’t eat them as often as I would like. I tend to eat scones as a sweet treat with jam and clotted cream (always jam first! – everyone has an opinion on this in the U.K – it’s a great conversation point.). If you’re a tourist to England and you’d like to try the best scones, you need to go to the teahouse at the Jane Austen museum in the beautiful city of Bath. I saw these savoury scones in the book ‘Palestine on a Plate’ and decided to serve them with Ottolenghi’s spring onion soup. I managed to slice my thumb open in the process of chopping up the immense quantity of 900g spring onions but fortunately it was just as I’d pretty much finished so I’m happy that this soup turned out well considering that I can no longer practice the guitar.

Serves 4 (with 8 scones)

Ingredients

Scones

  • 340g plain flour (plus one handful) and extra for dusting
  • salt
  • 3/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 125g butter
  • 240ml milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 egg

Soup

  • 900g spring onions (or salad onions if possible)
  • 40g butter
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 300g peas (I used frozen)
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 80g parsley
  • 40g crème fraiche
  • 20g parmesan
  • 20g mint leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C

2.) Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda into a bowl. (I found that the flour in the recipe was not enough so ended up adding one more handful at the end)

3.) Chop up the butter into cubes

4.) Rub the butter into the flour but like breadcrumbs as if you were doing a crumble, so you can still see bits of butter

5.) Measure out the milk and add the vinegar (this is my sub for buttermilk), Stir very briefly to combine.

6.) Flour a work surface, tip out the mixture, flour your hands and push it together. Try to work the dough as little as possible.

7.) Sprinkle the za’atar over the dough.

8.) Line a baking tray, cut up the dough into 8 pieces and place on top. You could make these a bit prettier by using a cutter but you’ll just be left with the edges that you’ll need to mix together again at the end and I would rather have light, fluffy scones that look a mess.

9.) Crack the egg into a bowl and beat. Brush the scones with the egg.

10.) Bake for 18 minutes until golden.

11.) For the soup, peel and chop up the garlic. Chop up the white parts of the spring onion.

12.) Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the whites of the spring onions and the garlic. Add some pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.

13.) In the meantime, slice up the green parts of the onion and chop up the courgette. Make up the litre of stock.

14.) Add the bay leaves and the green parts of the onion to the pan and cook for 10 more minutes.

15.) Add the peas and courgette and cook for another 5 minutes.

16.) Take out half the veggies from the saucepan and put to one side. Adding them back later will give the soup a nice texture.

17.) Chop up the mint and set to one side.

19.) Cover the vegetables with stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

20.) Grate the parmesan and measure out the crème fraiche. Zest the lemon.

21.) When the soup is done, remove the bay leaf, add the parsley and blitz with an immersion blender.

21.) Add back the set aside vegetables, warm up, then stir in the crème fraiche and parmesan

22.) Serve and garnish with lemon zest and mint leaves.

Salmon Salad with Marie Rose

I came upon this recipe scanning through Jamie Oliver’s website – ‘Simple Roast Salmon’. The salad dressing is called ‘Marie Rose’ sauce and was created by a famous British chef – Fanny Craddock – back in the 60s. It’s nice to be posting this today as England won their first match in the Euros and I’m feeling patriotic. Back in the 70’s this Marie-Rose sauce was used a lot in ‘prawn cocktails’ and since then it’s come to be seen as a bit outdated. Apparently, however, coincidentally it’s made a bit of a comeback and my husband spotted it in an article on resurging food trends. This and fondue. Was fondue ever out? The usual way to make the sauce is with ketchup which feels a bit like cheating but it taste pretty good.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 tbsp low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 lemons
  • tabasco sauce
  • 2 little gem lettuces
  • 2 handfuls watercress
  • 300g cooked prawns
  • pinch paprika

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

2.) Line a baking tray, season the salmon and put the salmon on the tray and drizzle on some oil (skin on top if there is skin)

3.) Cook for about 10 minutes or as per instructions on packet

4.) Make the Marie Rose sauce. Zest a lemon and add to a bowl, squeeze in the juice then add the yoghurt, ketchup,. Season and add a dash of Tabasco

5.) Wash and chop the little gem lettuces and chop. Add to a mixing bowl. Wash the watercress and add to the bowl. Season, chop the other lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the bowl and a drizzle of oil and mix.

6,) Plate up the salad. Divide the prawns between the servings. Add the salmon on top.

7.) Drop over spoonfuls of the Marie-Rose sauce and sprinkle over a pinch of paprika.

Miso Mushroom porridge

I’m not sure if this counts as ‘brinner’ – ‘breakfast for dinner’, because of the porridge. Maybe so as I’d happily eat it for breakfast too. I did very much enjoy having soup and mackerel for breakfast in Japan and Vietnam. The recipe from Deliciously Ella – Quick and Easy instantly appealed to me. I’d had congee before – savoury porridge with rice, but never with oats and I did enjoy it. I like to think of it as a Japanese-British fusion as I don’t think oats exist in Japan.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 120g porridge oats
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tsp miso paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 punnet shitake mushrooms
  • 1 lemon
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 avocado
  • 50g spinach
  • seasoning

Method

1.) Peel and dice the onion and garlic

2.) Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until all is soft.

3.) Wash and roughly chop the mushrooms. In another pan, cook them in some oil until brown.

4.) When the mushroom is cooked, add 1 tsp of the miso, cut the lemon in half and squeeze in one half of the juice

5.) In a saucepan, add the oats, boil some water and measure out 100ml water and add in 50 ml milk. Add to the oats and cook on a low heat until desired porridge consistency is reached. You may want to add some more water.

6.) Peel and slice the avocado

7.) When close to done, add the spinach to the pan with the oats until wilted

8.) Squeeze in the juice of the other half of the lemon, add the rest of the miso paste, season and stir.

9.) Plate up the oats and top with the mushrooms and avocado.

Kedgeree

Kedgeree is a dish that I’ve seen a lot of on cooking programs and admired from afar but never made. It’s a dish that was adapted by the British from an Indian recipe back in the 1800s. It uses a delicious combination of smoked fish and curry powder cooked like a risotto. Sometimes you’ll see this as a breakfast option in English hotels, smoked kippers are a traditional English breakfast so I guess it stems from that. I made this as a weeknight dinner so I just used some leftover frozen fish mix that I had in the freezer but you can be as frugal (or not) as you like. I used the recipe in ‘Gordan Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course’. If you haven’t already seen it, I really recommend the tv show Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip to learn a bit about the food in other countries and also have a good laugh.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 2 bay leaves ( I can never find fresh ones so I just used the dried kind and remove them at the end)
  • 700g smoked haddock (or a mixture of whatever kind of fish you like)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 170g basmati rice
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 100g plain yoghurt
  • coriander leaves as a garnish
  • 4 eggs

Method

  1. ) Heat 750ml water into a deep pan with the bay leaves until simmering. Add the fish and cook for 5 minutes until flaky. Depending on what fish you use, you may need to adjust your cooking times. Set aside the fish and pour the cooking liquid into a measuring jug.
  2. ) Peel and chop up finely the onion.
  3. ) Heat up the ghee in a frying pan, peel and chop the onion, add to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. ) Peel and grate the ginger and garlic. Chop up the two tomatoes.
  5. ) Add the ginger, tomatoes and garlic to the pan with the mustard seeds and curry powder and cook for another couple of minutes until the onion is soft.
  6. ) Weigh out the rice and add it to the pan, stir around the pan for a minute then add a couple of ladles of the cooking liquid.
  7. ) While this is cooking, juice the lemons and add to the measuring jug.
  8. ) Keep on adding ladles of the liquid and simmering until they evaporate until the rice is soft.
  9. ) In the meantime, boil the eggs in some water in the deep pan for about 6.5 minutes, chop up the coriander leaves, measure out the yoghurt and slice up the egg.
  10. ) When the rice has absorbed all of the cooking liquid, flake in the fish, season and stir through the yoghurt. Serve and garnish with the coriander and the eggs.

Florentina Traybake

This is a delicious traybake, long in the oven but easy to prepare. Ideal for a lazy Sunday where you have the time but not the will to do much. The veggies are mixed with a mustardy dressing and roasted, in the last couple of minutes, the eggs are cracked in to have a lovely runny yolk. In Jamie’s ‘Veg’ there is no accompaniment to this and I had it on it’s own also but I did think it would be a great side to some fish or a vegetarian alternative.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 celeriac
  • 2 onions
  • 500g potatoes (Jamie recommends Maris Piper)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 large eggs

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Peel the celeriac, potatoes, onions and carrots

3.) Slice the celeriac and potatoes finely. Chop the carrots into batons and the onions into slices.

4.) Chop the chives finely

5.) In a large mixing bowl, add the vegetables, the mustard, the chives the oil and some seasoning.

6.) Get right in with your hands to get all the dressing in

7.) Pour the veg into a roasting tin and cover with some tin foil

8.) Roast for 1 hour, take off the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes

9.) Make four dents in the layer of vegetables and in each crack in an egg

10.) Put back in the oven for a final 3 minutes until the eggs are poached and serve.