Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Broccoli, leek and Pea Soup


Your all going to think I'm a big weirdo for saying this but I actually kind of like all the rain were having at the moment, I know it's July and we should be spending long lazy day's in the park playing Frisbee, eating ice cream and drinking Pimms, and I really do love doing all those things.
But I also love wearing snugly socks, listening to radio 4 whilst watching the rain drip down my window eating a big bowl of homemade soup even though that does make me sound about twice my age.

Broccoli, Leek and Pea Soup

Large Head of Broccoli
2 big leeks
4 big handfuls of frozen peas
home-made chicken/veg stock or Swiss bouillon
Salt and Pepper
Creme Fraiche to serve (optional)

Saute the leeks in butter and little a little oil until soft then add your chopped broccoli and cook for a few minutes before adding your stock. Season with a little salt and pepper and leave to cook until your veg is starting to soften. At the last moment add your peas as cook very quickly. Now blend it all together and add any more seasoning if it needs it and stir a dollop of creme fraiche in which I think go's really well with peas.
It's a lovely fresh tasting soup but with all soups I think it will taste better the next day when the flavours have had time to mature.




Sunday, 17 July 2011

Random Recipies #6 Nigella Lawson Macaroni Cheese De Luxe with Honey Roast Gammon

I even put the book on a festive red blanket!

This will be the first time I participate in Dom's Random Recipe Challenge and I'm really happy to be taking part and it's about bloody time I did so here it is.
I have a huge collection of cookbooks and I love them all, I'm one of those people that reads cookery books in bed and I bloody love it I do!
It was really hard to choose due to my undeniable love for each and every one of my precious books, It could have been 'The Prawn Cocktail Years' by Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham who both also wrote and contributed to 'Roast Chicken and Other Stories' which is another all time favourite and regarded as one of the best cook books ever written. I adore all Nigel Slater books especially 'Good Food' that I am pretty sure I have cooked every dish from! Or what about a recipe from Sam and Sam Clarke from 'Moro' with their rustic bowls of beautiful food......
Well I came to my decision and I know it's July but the weather has hardly been that fabulous and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that Nigella Lawson's book 'Nigella Christmas' was not one of my all time favourite books and the fact I have a year round obsession with Christmas may also have something to do with my choice, I would have been fully prepared to do roast goose with all the trimmings, no joke.
I adore the photography in Nigella's book, it's just so beautiful and I love the way she writes a little story and her own thoughts on each and every recipe which is why it's exactly the kind of cook book I will snuggle up in bed with.
I got my boyfriend to flick through the pages and I closed my eyes and shouted when to stop and it turned out to be 'Macaroni Cheese De Luxe', now I'm not gonna lie I was a teeny bit disappointed because Ive made macaroni cheese a thousand times before and was hoping for something new and exciting but I have never made one using evaporated milk so that was a little bit exciting, every cloud and all that.
I will admit that I did not stick to the recipe exactly as I forgot the Dijon mustard and I almost halved the quantities because it felt slightly excessive to use three cans of evaporated milk so I just used one and omitted the mustard. Here is Nigella's full recipe that unless your cooking for a small army you may want to scale down.

Nigell Lawson's Macaroni Cheese De Luxe
175g Soft butter, plus more for greasing
150g plain flour
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
3 cans evaporated milk 500g in total
1.5 litres of semi-skimmed milk
2 550g packs of macaroni
275g of Emmental, grated
300g Cheddar
75g Parmesan

You make this as you would any other macaroni cheese and I'm pretty sure you all are accomplished cooks here and can make a macaroni cheese so Im not going to write out the reipe and some may say that's lazy but hey ho I say it's paying you all a compliment! The only difference with this one is mixing your semi-skimmed milk with the evaporated milk and use that to make your cheese sauce with when adding to the roux.

Accidentally picked up 'light' evaporated milk, I hate anything that's diet or light so was not impressed when I got home.

I bought a small gammon joint and boiled it before covering in honey and roasting in the oven. And yes there is a bit missing because I ate it alright.


Starting to add the mountains of cheese, you can never have enough cheese in a good cheese sauce and that is a real fact

Yes there is a hell of a lot more sauce than pasta and even I think I may have gone over board this time as that is a very deep saucepan with the macaroni just resting on top, but it was inevitable I like sauce, I always make to much and I always will

Ready to go in the oven


So gooey and cheesy with a delicious golden crust

You may have noticed that my tomato's are un-roasted and that's because I forgot but still included them because you really do need something to cut through the richness of the cheese sauce.

After trying Nigella's version of macaroni cheese with evaporated milk I don't think I would make it again as the evaporated milk gave it a strange taste and I much prefer when I make it using just normal milk. I usually love the taste of evaporated milk so was a bit surprised by that but there you go. Thanks Nigella and thanks Christmas, I love you both! And Thanks Dom for coming up with such a great idea, I will be taking part far more often!


Thursday, 14 July 2011

I'm going to University...AHHHHH!!!!!!!

As much as I enjoy doing jobs I really don't like that leave me cold inside and may be taking a tiny piece of my soul with them every time I go ( dramatic but true) I decided to apply for a place on a real life course at a real life University after years of telling myself I just wasn't academic enough because Ive always been told the same by teachers at school, well do you know what maybe I am really academic but your teaching style was so fucking boring and in fact I would hang on every word if the person teaching me was teaching me about something I truly loved and had passion for..... and guess what, that's how I feel about food, I love the feeling you get when you feed people and make them happy with your is love people!!! And my passion must have come across in my interview because I was offered a place on the course by the lovely tutor there and then so up yours teachers and self doubting!
Here I come 'Culinary Arts' HOORAY FOR ME,YEY!!!!!!!!!!

P.S sorry about the swear word, I don't tend to swear on my blog considering how much I swear in my everyday life (I can be quite uncouth you know) but I think the 'F' word had to be used on this occasion, sorry if your sensitive to that kind of thing.....actually I'm not sorry 'fuck' look I did it again.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Roast chicken stuffed with Herby Cream Cheese

It's been to far to warm here in Brighton for a traditional Sunday Roast so I opted for something a bit more summery and a little less taxing and something with chicken came to mind.
Now I am always the first to voice my utter disgust at the pairing of 'chicken' and 'cheese' bloody horrible combination if you ask me. It reminds me of that vile creation of smothered chicken (chicken covered in BBQ sauce and cheddar then microwaved) they always offer at places like 'Harvester' but something like a cool crumbly ricotta or smooth creamy mozzarella is actually a rather delicious accompaniment to a chook.
So I came up with the idea of separating the skin from the bird and putting a rather lovely mixture of cream cheese, garlic and some fresh herbs in there before covering the whole thing in Piri piri oil that I bought back from Portugal and a bit of butter and roasting in the oven with some lovely big tomatoes kindly donated to me by a friend from her garden.

I would like to point out that the chicken I used was free range and organic and I really do believe that it's worth spending that extra bit of cash.

Hello delicious little chicken.......

I served my chicken with salad, buttered new potatoes, fried hallomi and a blob of mayonnaise before covering it all in pepper.

It really was a very juicy bird and you couldn't taste the cream cheese just all the lovely herbs and chill kick from the piri piri, I recommend you try this dish as I think it's great for Summer and you get lot's of lovely leftovers for sandwiches, salads, stocks and soups.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

My lovely trip to Cornwall

The View from the front garden of the cottage we rented, I can see the sea!!

I just spent an idyllic week with my Boyfriend and four of our friends in a place called 'St Just' in West Penwith in Cornwall and it was lovely.
We rented a 3 bedroom cottage with two double rooms for me, Mercer and the our other two friends got to sleep in bunk beds...yey!
We did lot's walking including a 7mile long walk to a place called 'Sennen Cove' which had a stunning beach and the best crab sandwiches I have ever eaten but forgot to take a photo of as I'm a greedy girl who thinks about her stomach to much and so I forgot to take pictures of rather a lot of gorgeous food I ate like: Buttermilk scones with home-made strawberry jam and clotted cream, Fish and Chips with mushy peas whilst sitting on the side of a cliff with the most stunning views out to sea, freshly caught mackerel stuffed with samphire, butter and lemon before being baked on the BBQ, big fat Cornish pasties, crab and prawn salad with aloie and bread and Cornish butter and a beautiful risotto with prawns, clams, squid, chorizo and organic chicken. I adore Cornwall and would love to live there one day but for now I am happy to just go on holiday there and eat all there yummy food.


A nice jug of orange and raspberry Pimms

Thai Green Curry with local organic chicken

Prawns in Oyster Sauce that we bought off a local fisherman


My lovely home-made Sangria

The beach just a short walk from the cottage