Thursday, 1 March 2018

Slimming World Chips




I MUST admit I'm a bit of chips fan but lately I have been trying to eat more healthily and have given up deep fried food. So I was delighted when a friend gave me this Slimming World recipe for oven chips. I love them.
Slimming World Chips

Serves 4
Ingredients
900g medium sized Maris Piper potatoes
Low calorie cooking spray
Crushed sea salt and malt vinegar
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas 9. Peel the potatoes using a potato peeler and remove any blemishes or 'eyes'. Slice lengthwise into approx 1cm thick rectangular chips.
2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the chips and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and leave aside for 10 minutes to dry.
3. Return the chips to the dry saucepan, cover with a lid and shake to ''''rough up'''' the edges of the chips - this roughness is important to the texture of the chips.
4. Spray a metal baking tray with low calorie cooking spray. Transfer the chips to the tray, spray lightly with low calorie cooking spray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides. Drain them on absorbent kitchen paper and serve with salt and vinegar.

Tip: For extra flavour sprinkle your chips with garlic salt, herbs and spices




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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Honey-Mustard Parsnip and Potato Bake




My brother, an expert gardener, has been giving me lots of parsnips over the past few weeks. I have roasted them and I have mashed them with carrot. This Sunday I cooked Honey-Mustard Parsnip and Potato Bake, a BBC recipe, which I served with roast pork. The dish was a big hit and I shall be cooking it again.

Honey-Mustard Parsnip and Potato Bake

Ingredients
800g potato like DesirĂ©e, cut into 2½ cm cubes
800g parsnip, cut into 2½ cm cubes
85g butter
85g plain flour
600ml milk
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
85g fresh white bread, whizzed to crumbs
25g grated parmesan (or vegetarian option)

Method
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tip in the potatoes and parsnips, bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Gently drain so they don’t rough up too much, then tip into a baking dish.

2. Melt the butter in a big saucepan, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Gradually stir in the milk to a smooth, lump-free sauce. Cook gently, stirring constantly, until the sauce is nicely thickened – about 5 mins.

3. Stir in the mustard, honey, vinegar and some seasoning. Pour evenly over the potatoes.

4. Mix the crumbs and cheese together, then scatter over the top and set aside until ready to bake. You can cover the dish and chill for up to 24 hrs before finishing.

5. Cook the bake at 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 for 30-40 mins until the top is crisp and golden and the sauce hot through.


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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Dauphinoise Potatoes



WE were invited to dinner at the sister-in-law's on Saturday evening - and very nice it was too. Accompanying her main course of pheasant and veggies was a  big dish of dauphinoise potatoes. Delicious.

I always use Delia Smith's recipe; it seems to be foolproof. The better half likes his pretty garlicky so I always add an extra clove.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Serves 3-4
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C)

Ingredients
1 lb (450 g) good-quality potatoes (King Edward or Desirée)
1 small clove garlic, crushed
5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream
5 fl oz (150 ml) milk
freshly grated nutmeg
1 oz (25 g) butter
salt and freshly milled black pepper



Method
First, peel the potatoes and slice them very, very thinly (a wooden mandolin is excellent for this operation, if you have one), then plunge the potato slices into a bowl of cold water and swill them round and round to get rid of some of the starch.
Now dry them very thoroughly in a clean tea cloth. Then in the gratin dish arrange a layer of potato slices, a sprinkling of crushed garlic, pepper and salt and then another layer of potatoes and seasoning. Now mix the cream and milk together, pour it over the potatoes, sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg, then add the butter in flecks over the surface and bake on the highest shelf in the oven for 1½ hours.
 










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Monday, 8 January 2018

Squash Bolognese


 

 Squash Bolognese

 

IT'S NewYear so my thoughts have turned to dropping a few pounds (OK, lots of pounds!) and getting fit. Have you been watching celebrity chef Tom Kerridge on TV? He lost a massive 12 stone - he was 30 stone to start with - by giving up the booze, cutting the carbs and exercising more. Sounds a sensible regime.

Cutting carbs can be hard if you love your pasta. But I have found one way to do it fairly painlessly. My sister gave me a spiralizer for Christmas and I have been spiralizing everything - better not stand still for too long in my kitchen or you'll end up in a salad!

Spiralized courgettes (courgetti) or butternut squash (boodles) make a perfect base for pasta dishes. If you really can't give up pasta completely, replace half the pasta with courgetti or boodles. You don't have to have a spiralizer - you can use julienne veg or shave ribbons with a peeler.
 

Below is a very simple, low calorie bolognese recipe from Slimming World. Use a mound of spiralized vegetables as a "spaghetti" base. I used boodles which I placed on a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper and a few dried herbs (I used an Italian herb mix). Toss these ingredients, spread them out and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 200C.  

Bolognese Sauce
Serves 4
Ingredients
Low calorie cooking spray
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
225g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
280ml beef stock
1 level tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Spray a pan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the shallots and garlic for 2–3 minutes until just softened. Stir in the mince and cook for 2–3 minutes until browned.
2. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season lightly and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15
minutes until reduced and thickened. Check the seasoning.


Divide your boodles between four plates and top with the bolognese sauce.


Here's a wonderful spiralizer which has received excellent reviews.
 


To take a look at lots more spiralizers, click HERE and put SPIRALIZER in the search box.



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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Sweetcorn and Courgette Fritters with Poached Egg


SOME of you may have gone vegetarian for November in aid of Cancer Research (details here). If you're not used to vegetarian cookery, here's a simple but delicious recipe, courtesy of the BBC.


Sweetcorn and Courgette Fritters with Poached Egg





Serves 2

Ingredients

198g can sweetcorn, drained
2 spring onions, finely chopped
50g courgette, grated
1 tsp smoked paprika
50g self-raising flour
5 eggs, 1 beaten, 4 for poaching
40ml milk
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
juice 1 lime
1 tbsp vegetable oil
mixed leaves, to serve

Method
1. Mix the sweetcorn, spring onions, courgette, paprika, flour, beaten
egg, milk and some seasoning in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Put a large pan of water on to boil. In a bowl, mix the chilli sauce
with the lime juice and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick pan and spoon in four burger-sized
mounds of the fritter mixture, spaced apart (you may need to do this in
two batches). When brown on the underside, turn over and cook for 3
mins more until golden.

4. Meanwhile, poach the eggs in the simmering water for 2-3 mins until
cooked and the yolks are runny. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve
the fritters topped with a poached egg, mixed leaves and a drizzle of the
chilli dressing.



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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Autumn Salad with Pears, Devon Blue Cheese and Caramelised Walnuts


Devon Blue Cheese
I HAVE recently discovered Devon Blue Cheese and I am already addicted!  If you're a blue cheese fan, you'll love this moist, slightly crumbly cow's cheese.

It is made by Ticklemore Cheese in the South Hams, Devon.

Having enjoyed it with crackers and home-made bread, I cast around for some recipes using this delicious cheese.

I came across this autumn salad recipe on the Yeo Valley Farm website.  It's lovely and ideal for this time of year as the autumn evenings are drawing in.

I live in North Devon and discovered they sell it at The Cheese Larder in South Molton. But search the internet and you will find many places that sell it. If you have difficulty sourcing it, you can buy it by mail order.

 Autumn Salad with Pears, Devon Blue Cheese and Caramelised Walnuts


Ingredients
2 ripe but firm dessert pears
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 small heads green chicory,
broken into separate leaves
2 small heads red chicory,
broken into separate leaves
40g watercress sprigs
50g radicchio leaves (optional)
100g de-rinded Devon Blue cheese
The seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate

For the caramelised walnuts:
100g walnut halves
2 tbsp clear honey

For the dressing:
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp clear honey
1 tsp walnut oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the caramelised walnuts, preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Scatter the walnuts over a lined baking tray, drizzle with the honey and roast for 8-10 mins until toasted and caramelised. Leave to cool, then break into small pieces.

For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and honey, then gradually whisk in the oils. Season well with salt and black pepper.

Slice the pears away from the core, toss with the lemon juice and set to one side.
Toss the salad leaves with 2 tbsp of the dressing and divide between plates. Tuck the slices of pear and cheese in bet ween the leaves and scatter over the walnut s and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle a little more dressing over and around each plate and serve straight away.


  • Incidentally, this is a delicious salad dressing that can be used in just about any salad.


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Monday, 17 July 2017

Summer Salads



I hope you've been enjoying the warm weather. It's been glorious here in Devon and we've taken the opportunity to eat in the garden as much as possible. Salads are, of course, always popular when the sun is shining and they go well with anything you may have cooked up on the barbecue. 
Below I have added a few of my favourites. I haven't given quantities as it's all a matter of personal taste. These are merely ingredients that go well together. Add your favourite dressing and you're away!
Chicken, Walnut and Apple
Mixed salad leaves, plus cooked chopped chicken, sliced apple¸ and half a small tin of butter beans (add fresh coriander and spring onions – optional). Sprinkle walnuts.
Goat's Cheese, Beetroot and Mint
Mixed salad leaves plus sliced goat's cheese or Halloumi, sliced cooked beetroot (preferably not pickled) and fresh mint leaves (add few cooked or soya beans – optional).
Smoked Salmon, Lentil and Avocado
Mixed salad leaves, half an avocado sliced and smoked salmon with lots of lemon and black pepper. Serve on lentils with a little horseradish plus mayonnaise.
Smoked Mackerel, Fennel and Grapefruit
Add to salad leaves smoked mackerel fillets, sliced fennel and grapefruit slices - and serve on some ready cooked quinoa if you like.
Aubergine and Hummus
Mix cooked aubergine, olives with sliced beef tomatoes and rocket. Add marinated or fresh peppers and a scoop of hummus (homemade with coriander or basil ideally) – serve with pine nuts.




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