Archive | October, 2011

Pork and Leek Savory Crumble

27 Oct

Today’s dish was a WI recipe, not something that I had tried before, but we had pork mince in the freezer that needed using so it seemed like a good mid week meal choice. What’s more British than crumble?

A few leeks were softened in oil and then the pork mince was browned. After removing the excess fat, we stirred in tomato puree, a tin of chopped tomatoes, mustard and lots of seasoning. After ten minutes of cooking the meat mix was placed in a dish and covered with a crumble mix. The crumble was butter, flour, Cheddar and oats.

After 30 minutes in a hot oven the top was golden and crisp. This smelt delicious whilst it was cooking, wafts of leek and cheese came out of the oven. The crumble mix was quite dry and both Mr M and I thought that the meat mix could have been juicier to give a contrast. Overall a tasty and filling dinner, Mr M gave it 7.5, which I think was generous.



Chicken tikka masala

25 Oct


I’d been missing curry since the end of Indian month in January, but chicken tikka masala – sometimes referred to as the British national dish – gave us the opportunity to put curry back on the menu. Spurious claims and statistics aside, this was very tasty.

Chicken pieces marinated overnight in some ready made curry paste. Some green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, turmeric and cayenne was fried up in oil before the heat was turned down to soften some finely chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Once softened, this was joined by the chicken for that to fry as well. A tin of tomatoes some yogurt and some garam masala finished off the dish which simmered for 30 minutes or so.

Mrs M provided some rice and scored the dish 7.5 out of 10.

Mr M

Bread and butter pudding

24 Oct

I love this dish, it reminds me of being a kid and comes from the first cookbook I ever wanted – the dairy book of family cookery in case you were wondering. Multiple copies exist in my family and I remember been given my own copy just before I went to uni by my grandma.

Anyway I assembled bread, butter, sugar, raisins, milk and an egg. The butter was lavishly smeared onto the crust free bread and gently laid in an oven proof dish. Once the base of the dish was cover I adorned the bread with raisins,  a sprinkle of sugar and then tucked it in with more bread. The top layer of bread was sugared and then the whole thing was smothered with beaten egg and milk and left to soak for half an hour. About 40 mins in the oven until the top was golden, the raisins plump and the middle gooey.

Mr M enjoyed the retro pudding as much as me and gave it an 8.



24 Oct

The Anglo Indian classic was our supper this autumnal evening. Brown basmati rice was soaked for ten minutes. Whilst it was in water I softened an onion and then added a cinnamon stick, a dozen cracked green cardamom pods and some turmeric. Once the onion was beautifully fragrant and gold I added the soaked rice. This was simmered for half an hour in chicken stock until soft.

Hot smoked salmon was flaked into the rice after the spices were removed. Parsley and seasoning were added and each plate was topped with a poached egg.

Mr M gave it a 7, seems fair to me as it wasn’t quite as nice as I remembered. I think he is still hankering after his mother’s roast and cheesecake from the weekend 🙂


Chicken and ham pies

20 Oct

Delicious perfect picnic food – pretty good for dinner too! Like savory, stuffed muffins made with a bread mix.

I used the breadmaker to cook up a batch of pizza dough, using the recipe that came with the machine and some wholemeal flour. Once done, this was split into 10 dough balls, just a bit bigger than golf balls and then rolled into dough discs which were then placed into a silicon muffin tray. Into each disc a mix of cooked chicken breast pieces, ham bits, grated cheddar, spring onions and cream cheese. A couple of spoons of each mix were added to each “muffin” with the rest of the dough then closed over on top of them.

These went into the oven until the bread dough was cooked and were then served with some salad. Very tasty and good again cold for lunch the next day. These were effective and pretty simple to make. While eating them we were discussing making them again when we have guests and discussing which other savory fillings we could invent.

Mrs M scored it 8.5 out of 10. Yummy.

Mr M

Irish stew

19 Oct

A little preparation goes a long way today, as yesterday’s chopped leeks, turnips, and potatoes were ready and waiting for the morning preparation of dinner. This with some stock, a large amount of crushed black pepper and some stewing lamb (neck on the bone) went into the oven which was then set to turn itself on for four hours at a low heat and finish in time for myself and Mrs M to get home. Easy.

Mrs M scored it 7 out of 10, commenting that it would have been better if it had had pearl barley in it.

Mr M

Vegetable scotch broth

18 Oct

Many root veggies boiled and simmered for a long while. Simple! And tasty too.

Swede, turnip, carrot, leeks and onions were all chopped into small cubes before being boiled for a long time. Meanwhile I prepped the vegetables for the next day’s Irish stew.

Mrs M scored it 8 out of 10.

Mr M

Fish pie

18 Oct

Monday night indulgence was a creamy fish pie. Recipe courtesy of delicious magazine’s top 20 recipes, it was simple to do and scrummy.

First things first, potatoes had to peeled, chopped and then boiled for mash. Once cooked I mashed these with lots of butter and seasoned it.

For the filling I sweated chopped onions with a bayleaf leaf, then added cream which I brought to the boil,then I melted in plenty of hard cheese and some parsley. In went some peas and prawns, so they were defrosted before mixing with the fish.

I bought a fish mix pack from the supermarket, which had salmon, pollock and haddock in it. This was mixed with the creamy sauce in a buttered dish, then topped with the mash. After baking in the oven for 30 minutes the mash was golden and more importantly the fish was cooked 🙂

This was a lovely blend of fresh sea flavours, creamy cheese, sweet peas and prawns with buttery crunchy mash. Mr M gave it a 9, happy days!


Beans on toast

16 Oct

Mr M and I thought we should include that we have eaten that most British of meals this month. Cheesy beany toast. Apparently we eat more baked beans in the UK than the rest of the world put together.

No picture for this one 🙂

Steak and ale pie followed by dad’s special toffee covered apples

16 Oct

As we had guests on Friday we thought we should up our game a little and rolled out one of the gastro pubs favourites in the form of steak and ale pie, mountain of mash and vegetables. As the guests in question included my dad we got him to roll up his sleeves and make pastry covered Bramley apples, which are baked in a wicked toffee sauce.  You get a satisfying crunch of pastry, sweet sauce and tart apple in each every bite.

The pie filling was browned beef coated in flour and nutmeg. Softened onions, garlic, brown sugar, a bottle of ale and seasoning. Cooked until rich and unctuous, about an hour and a half. Then topped with a puff pastry lid and popped in the oven for 30 minutes until golden.

After we were filled with pie, we squeezed in the apples with a healthy serving of cream to help things down. An 8.5 meal agreed our guests.