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.

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.

Broccoli and blue cheese soup

Being on holiday this week, I bought tickets for a National Trust site, Lyme Park – the stately home used as Pemberley in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (the BBC one, not the rubbish film with Keira Knightley). However, being in England, shortly after we arrived it started to hail and it was too cold to stay more than an hour despite it being April and I didn’t even manage to stay long enough to find the Mr Darcy statue in the lake. When I got home, I just wanted to warm up with this winter soup that I adapted almost to non-recognition from ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’. This recipe works best with the strongest blue cheese you can get i.e. the British Stilton.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 small heads of broccoli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion
  • small bunch of thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • seasoning
  • 1.5 litres flavour chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • 100g Stilton cheese

Method

1.) Chop up the stalks of the broccoli into pieces and heat the oil in a large pan/crockpot

2.) Add the stalks on a low heat and peel and chop up the onion

3.) Add the onion to the pan with 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

4.) Strip the rosemary leaves from the sprigs and finely chop. Strip the thyme leaves and chuck all the herbs into the pan

5.) Add 200ml water to the pan and put on the lid. Cook on a low heat for 40 minutes

6.) When the 40 minutes is nearly up, make up the stock and chop up the florets of the broccoli

7.) Add both to the pan and put the lid back on, cook for another 15 minutes

8.) When done, take off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until smooth.

9.) Add the cheese and stir until melted, season and serve.

cheese and Chive flapjacks

If I remember correctly, in the US, if you spoke about flapjacks you’d be referring to pancakes. In the UK, however, you’d generally be referring to golden syrup (light amber coloured molasses), mixed with oats and butter and baked. It’s a very well-loved treat here so I was going a bit left field with this savoury version which I found on the BBC good food website but it was a revelation. Unfortunately, as I discovered it only keeps for a couple of days so it’s best making to share.

Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250g porridge oats
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10g chives
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp golden linseeds

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan oven)

2.) Peel and grate the carrots

3.) Melt the butter in a large pan then add the oats, chia seeds and carrots

3.) Grate the cheese

4.) Chop the chives finely

5.) Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl

6.) Add the oat mixture, the cheese, chives and the seeds to the bowl and give it a stir

7.) Spray a 20 x 20cm baking tin with oil and tip in the oats

8.) Spread out the mixture and press down so it covers the tin evenly

9.) Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden

10.) Leave to cool and cut into slices to serve.