Monday, 26 March 2012

Holiday to Portugal

I won't be posting till after 10th April as I am going on holiday tomorrow to sunny Portugal :-) Woop Woop!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Goats Cheese and Caramelised Balsamic Red Onion Tart

This is one of my favourite dishes. I have only made it once before but I absolutely loved it, so I decided to make it again to share it with you guys. I must say it was even better this time round than the last time I made it. I made a slight amendment to the last time I made it an added a sprinkle of Rosemary on top of the tart after looking up goats cheese in "The Flavour Thesaurus" by Niki Segnit, a book my dad bought me for Christmas. In the book it recomended that goats cheese went really well with Rosemary, so I thought I would put a sprinkle of it on top of this tart and i'm really glad I did. Just like the book said these flavours complimented each other brilliantly, it tasted absolutely delicious.
Suprisingly this is actually a very easy recipe I'd say but looks and tastes fantastic. I recommend people to try it, you won't be disapointed.


- Goats Cheese
- 4 Red Onions (sliced)
- 6 tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
- knob of Butter
- Puff Pastry
- 1 Egg or Milk
- sprinkle of Rosemary
- Salt
- Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7. Then the first thing is to caramelise the onions. Slice all onions and place them in a large pan and add a large knob of butter and 6 tbsps of balsamic vinegar. The first time I done this I was amazed to see that just by adding butter and balsamic vinegar to red onions you get these beautiful caramelised sweet sticky onions.

Let them simmer for about 10 mins until they are caramelised.

2. Roll out the puff pastry and score an inch around the edges.

3. Spoon the caramelised onions onto the puff pastry in the middle within the scored section.

4. Crumble the goats cheese all over the onions in the tart then sprinkle Rosemary on top and season with salt and pepper.

5. Brush either a beaten egg or some milk on the edges of the tart to make it go golden and crispy. Then place the tart in the oven for 10- 15 mins or until the edges are golden.

Take the tart out of the oven and its ready. I served mine with a babyleaf salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was so delicious I ate the whole lot on the plate below. 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Creamy Garlic Mushroom Soup


I decided to make this delicious soup purely because there was a large amount of reduced mushrooms in the shop, and I love mushrooms. The soup is really creamy and tasty. 


- 2 boxes of Button Mushrooms (chopped)
- 2 Onions (chopped)
- 6 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
- 1-2 tbsp of Flour
- spoonful of Butter
- tspn of Thyme
- pint of Vegetable Stock
- pot of Single Cream
- Salt 
- Pepper

1. Finely chop both onions and melt the butter in a large pan on a low heat. Add the onions to the melted butter and cook for a few mins until they are soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further few mins and then add the chopped mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and saute them until they are cooked.

2. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour and really stir it all in. Then add the stock and simmer for about 30 mins.

3. Take it off the heat and blend the mushrooms as much as you can with a hand held blender. Then stir in the cream.

Serve in a bowl with a slice of toast. You can keep the rest in the fridge or freeze some of it.

Baked Salmon topped with Garlic and Dill Mayo and Breadcrumbs

Baked Salmon topped with Garlic and Dill Mayo and Breadcrumbs
I decided to cook this recipe last night when I was pondering what to have for dinner based on what I have. I had some not so interesting frozen salmon in the freezer, fresh salmon is by far better but frozen salmon is a lot cheaper. Anyway on its own it would be a bit bland so I wondered what I could do with it to jazz it up a bit and make it something delicious and I must say this definitely tastes delicious.


-Salmon (fresh would be better but I only had frozen)
- Breadcrumbs
- Mayo
- 1 Garlic clove (crushed)
- tspn of Dill
- Lemon Juice

1. Before you start anything you need to preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Now you need to make the garlic and dill mayo, its really simple but really tasty. Literally just scoop 3 large spoons of mayo into a bowl, add the crushed garlic, Dill and a good few drops of lemon juice to taste. Then just mix it all up.

2. Place the salmon onto a baking tray and spoon the garlic and dill mayo all over the top off it.

3. Then cover it with bread crumbs to make the crispy topping and pop it into the oven for 20 mins.

When you take the salmon out it should be all golden and crispy on the top.

I served my salmon with roasted new potatoes and runner beans. When you eat it the salmon should be tender with the warm mayo and the crispy topping. I think its quite an easy way to make a bland bit of frozen salmon very interesting and delicious, full of flavour.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup

This is really simple soup, but then most soups are. I made this because I had a big sweet potato that I had had for ages and nothing to do with it, so I thought I would make some soup to take to lunch with me at work. Soup is a cheap and healthy lunch. 


- 1 large Sweet Potato (peeled and chopped into chunks)
- 1 Onion (chopped)
- 2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
- A pint of Vegetable Stock
- tspn of Rosemary (fresh rosemary would be better but I only have dried herbs)
- Salt
- Pepper
- Double Cream

1. Finely chop an onion and put in a large pan with a little oil on a low heat. Let them soften for a few mins then add the crushed garlic.

2. Peel and chop the sweet potato into chunks. This may be hard as it seems a sweet potato is the Arnold Swarchenegger of the potato world. That or I am just weak, which I admit I am, I'm forever asking people to open jars for me. Add the chopped potato to the onions and garlic in the pan. Cook like that for a few mins.

3. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper and break a vegetable stock cube up into the pan. Add a pint of boiling water and let it simmer on a low heat with a lid on for 30 mins. 

4. Once its all cooked and the sweet potato is falling apart take it off the heat and use a hand held blender to blend the soup. Add however much you desire of double cream. If the soup is too thick either add more cream or just water. I don't like my soups really thick. 

Serve in a bowl with some garlic croutons on top. 

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Horseradish Mayo

This is following on from my last post about smoked haddock as I made these fishcakes alongside making the smoked haddock topped with poached egg and cheese sauce dinner as I had 2 big fillets of smoked haddock and would not be able to eat them both in one dinner.

Ingredients :

- Smoked Haddock
- Potatoes (peeled and mashed)
- Breadcrumbs
- Butter
- Milk
- 1 Egg yolk
- Half a Onion (chopped)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
- tspn Parsley (fresh parsley would be better but I didn't have any)
- Lemon Juice
- Salt
- Pepper

Horseradish Mayo
- Mayo
- tspn Horseradish
- Lemon Juice

1.  Now is the boring part of peeling the potatoes, God I hate doing it. But its got to be done. Once peeled chop potatoes into chunks and place in a pan of boiling water with a little salt in. Leave to simmer for about 10 mins or until the potatoes are soft so you can mash them.

2. Follow the first step from my last post.Warm some milk and a spoonful of butter in a frying pan. You should use enough milk so it covers the most part of the fish. Place the fillets into the pan of hot milk and heat for about 10 mins until the fish is cooked. Once the fish is cooked remove, peel off the skin and put it to the side.

3. While the fish and potatoes are cooking finely chop half an onion and crush 2 cloves of garlic. Heat up a little butter in a pan and add the onion and cook for a few mins until its softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further few mins. You should do all this on a low heat to avoid burning the onions and the garlic.

4.Once the potatoes are done and ready to mash I liked to use a little bit of butter and the milk used to cook the fish to mash the potatoes. Only a little bit, you don't want to make the mash to wet. but using the milk used to cook the fish in will carry the flavours from the fish.

5. Combine the mashed potatoes, the smoked haddock (flake the fish into chunks), onions, garlic, tspn parsley, salt, pepper, and an egg yolk. Mix it all up.

6. Now is the messy part. You must get your hands in the bowl and squeexe together balls of the mixture to make the fishcakes. shape them into a burger like shape. Once shaped pat them in breadcrumbs and then set aside.

7. Heat some oil in a frying pan on a hot heat, when the pan is hot place the fishcakes into the pan. Serve them on a plate with horseradish mayo and a salad.

After about a minute or so turn them over and cook for a further few mins until they are coked and a lovely crispy golden brown.

Serve on plate with some Horseradish Mayo

Horseradish Mayo
This is really simple. Literally just mix together a few big spoons of mayo and a tspn of horseradish sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. :-)

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes served with Horseradish Mayo.

Smoked Haddock topped with a Poached Egg and Cheese Sauce

I had in my freezer a pack of smoked haddock with 2 large smoked haddock fillets in it, now since I'm only cooking for myself at the moment there was no way I could eat both so I thought about what  could do with the fillets. I cooked both of them and one of them I had for dinner topped with a poached egg and cheese sauce and the other fillet I made fishcakes out of for another day. The following post to this will describe how I made the fishcakes.
This post will explain how I made my dinner of smoked haddock topped with a poached egg and cheese sauce. The flavours all work together wonderfully, this is truly a delicious dish. The cheese sauce and the yolk from the poached egg really go well with the flavours of the smoked haddock.


- Smoked Haddock
- Milk
- 1-2 tsps of Flour
- Grated Cheese ( I used mature cheddar)
-  Butter
- 1 Egg
- Salt
- Pepper

1. Warm some milk and a spoonful of butter in a frying pan. You should use enough milk so it covers the most part of the fish. Place the fillets into the pan of hot milk and heat for about 10 mins until the fish is cooked.

2. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. Use the milk used to cook the fish in to make the cheese sauce, this carries all the wonderful flavours from the smoked fish. Keeping the milk on the heat and stirring constantly with a whisk add a tsp of flour to thicken and whisk it all in.

3. Stir in the grated cheese and whisk in until its melted. At this stage if the sauce is not thick enough just add another tsp of flour and keep whisking until it is thick enough. Add salt and pepper and the sauce is made.

4. Boil some water in a saucepan for the poached egg. Add a tiny bit of vinegar to the water and spin the water around so as to keep the egg together. Crack the egg into the centre of the spinning boiling water and let it cook for a few mins.

5. While the egg is cooking plate up the rest of the food. I served this with mash potato and runner beans. I put the mash potato on the bottom of  plate, runner beans on top and then the smoked haddock. When the egg is done scoop it out with a big draining spoon and place on top of the fish. Pour the cheese sauce all over the egg and fish. Add some salt and pepper and its done :-)