Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Serves: 4

Prep: 25 mins;   Cook: 35 mins

These tasty pork meatballs are easy to make and will be popular with the whole family.

Ingredients:
4 tblsp (60ml) oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp (5ml) fennel seeds
8oz (225g) minced pork
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tblsp (30ml) fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp (5ml) lemon juice
4oz (125g) fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 tsp (10ml) wholegrain mustard
2oz (50g) plain flour

Tomato Sauce:
1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
2 carrots, grated
14oz (396g) can chopped tomatoes
juice of 1 orange
3 tbsp (45ml) sherry (optional)
Salt and pepper

Step One : Heat half the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion and fennel seeds until the onion is softened.

Step Two : In a large bowl mix together the pork mince with the onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, egg, seasoning and mustard combining together well.

Step Three : Using a tablespoon scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture and form into round meatball shapes. Roll the meatballs round in the flour shaking off any excess.

Step Four : Heat the remaining oil and fry the meatballs, a few at a time, until browned.

Step Five : Make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a saucepan and cooking the carrots until softened. Add the tomatoes, orange juice and sherry, season well, then simmer over a gentle heat until the sauce is thick and pungent.

Step Six : Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes. Serve hot with potatoes and broccoli.

Other Meatball recipes can be found here …

Pot-roasted Cockerel

CockerelIngredients:

2 tbsp vegetable oil
250g (8oz) pancetta or thick-cut bacon,diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 leeks, washed and sliced into rounds
1 cockerel (3 kg – 4 kg  / 6 lb – 7 lb)
600ml (20 fl oz) chicken stock
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

Serves:  6-8    Prep time:  15 mins     Cook time:  2 hours
Cals per serving:  339     Fat: 26g

Step One: Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).

Step Two:  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta, garlic and leeks, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until the leeks have softened.

Step Three: Place the cockerel, breast-side up, in a roasting tin that is just large enough to hold it and four in the stock to a depth of 2 cm.  Add the pancetta, garlic and leeks and tuck in the thyme and bay leaves around the sides.  Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 2 – 2 ½ hours (plan the roasting time for your cockerel at 15 minutes per 450g / 1 lb), basting occasionally with the pan juices. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes to allow the cockerel to brown.

Step Four:  Leave the cockerel to rest in the pan for 30 minutes and cover with foil while you finish off preparing the vegetables.

Step Five:  To serve, remove the cockerel to a warm dish.  Skim any fat off the sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper.  Remove the thyme and bay leaves and transfer the sauce (and leeks) to a jug.  Serve the cockerel with the sauce.

Tip:  For the best results, the cockerel should be allowed to reach room temperature before going in the oven.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Open Lasagne with Pumpkin and Beetroot

Open LasagneIngredients:
1 large butternut squash
maple syrup;
8 small beetroot
pinch of saffron
200g (6 ½ oz) fresh lasagne sheets
2-3 tbsp cream
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
50g (1 ¾ oz) Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
About 60g (2oz) grated pecorino cheese
Toasted pumpkin seeds, to serve
Chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Serves:  4    Prep time:  60 mins      Cook time: 15 mins
Cals per serving:  561   Fat: 31.2g

Step One:  Heat oven to 190oC (gas mark 5).  Cut the squash into 2 cm (¾ in) pieces, removing any seeds.  Place into a greased roasting tray.  Brush with a little maple syrup and roast for about 30 minutes or until the squash is golden and tender.  Meanwhile, trim the beetroots and simmer in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender.  Remove and cool, then slip off the skins.

Step Two:  Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.  Add the saffron to the water.  Cut the lasagne into 16 x 8cm (3 in) squares.  Boil 8 of the squares for 4 minutes, or until al dente.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water.  Leave for about 30 seconds, then drain.  Lay flat on a dry tea towel and cover with another tea towel.  Repeat this process with the remaining squares.

Step Three:  When ready to serve, mash 1/3 of the squash with about 10ml (3 ½ fl oz) of boiling water or vegetable stock and 2-3 tbsp cream until it forms a sauce.

Step Four:  Cut the beetroot into quarters.  Sauté the garlic in a pan with the olive oil for a couple of minutes over a medium heat.  Then add the beetroot and sauté for a further few minutes to ensure it’s hot.  Stir in the remaining squash and lemon juice and mix well.  Lower the heat and keep warm.  Season to taste.

Step Five:  Reduce the oven temperature to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Lay four slices of pasta on the base of a lined baking sheet, top each with a little sauce, then the squash and beetroot mixture, then a slice of Fontina and repeat.  Finish with a layer of pasta and sprinkle with pecorino.  The lasagne shouldn’t be in even layers, it looks better if it’s a little higgledy-piggledy.  Place in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.  Transfer to plats and serve sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and parsley and extra pecorino, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Simple Beef Casserole

Simple Beef Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

If you’ve never made a casserole before, this is the place to start.  This one couldn’t be simpler, as most of the cooking takes place slowly in the oven.  It has a lovely flavour and plenty of juice – don’t leave out the orange zest as it really lifts the flavour of the meat.

Serves:  6-8      Prep time: 35 mins      Cook time:  3 hours    Cals per serving: 619    Fat: 28g

Ingredients:  2 tblsp olive oil; 4 rashers streaky bacon, roughly chopped; 6 small brown onions or shallots, peeled and quartered; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 3 carrots, sliced; 1 ½ kg (3 lb) chuck steak or braising / stewing beef, cut into 3 cm (1 ¼ in) cubes; 2 tblsp plain flour; 500ml (16fl oz) beef stock; 250ml (8 fl oz) red wine; grated zest of ½ an orange; 4 sprigs thyme; 2 bay leaves; 2 tblsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Step One: Heat the oven to 160oC (gas mark 2-3).  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the bacon for 2 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion is tender.  Transfer to the casserole dish.  Add the beef to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the flour.  Mix well.

Step Two: Stir the stock, wine, orange zest, thyme and bay leaves into the casserole and bring to the boil over the medium heat.  Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours. Stir the meat occasionally as it cooks.

Step Three: Remove from the oven.  Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles and plenty of crusty bread.

Cod Fish Fingers

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This delicious dish works just as well with salmon as cod. Once you’ve made it, you’ll see the humble fish finger in a whole new light.

These really are just fillet of cod cut into fingers. I normally take 4 x 6-8oz (175-225g) fillets and cut them in strips/fingers allowing 3 per portion. This recipe can also be used for canapés. Just cut the fish, cod or salmon (both work), into 1 in (2.5cm) cubes. Then crumb and deep-fry before sitting on cocktail sticks. These are good fun and very tasty with the sour tartare sauce.

Serves : 4
Ingredients: 1 tblsp freshly chopped parsley; fresh breadcrumbs made from 10-12 slices white bread; zest and juice of 2 lemons; salt and pepper; 2 eggs, size 2; 2-3 tblsp milk; 4-6-8oz (175-225g) cod fillets, cut into fingers; plain flour for dusting; 1 dsp each chopped shallots, capers and gherkins; 5-10 fl oz (150-300ml) sour cream; oil for deep-frying

  • In a large bowl, mix ¾ of the freshly chopped parsley with the white breadcrumbs and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.
  • Season the fish fingers with salt and pepper and then lightly dust with flour. Dip into the egg mix then into the crumb mix. These are now ready for frying or can be re-dipped in the egg and re-crumbed to give a thicker, crunchier finish. Set aside.
  • To make a sour Tartare sauce to accompany the fish fingers, mix the chopped shallots, capers and gherkins with the remaining parsley and the sour cream. Season then add the lemon juice to taste. Pour into a small serving dish.
  • Heat the oil to 170oC/325oF in a deep-fat fryer. The fish fingers can now be deep-fried in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with the homemade Tartare sauce.

Lobscouse

Lobscouse, or Scouse as it’s commonly known, was originally a sailor’s stew of meat, vegetables and hardtack – a hard, salt-less biscuit. These days, it’s usually a stew made from stewing beef or lamb and leftover vegetables.

Daisy-Anne Borge says of her version of Lobscouse “I used to make this dish when times were lean. But my family still enjoy the recipe as it is cheap, quick and easy – and very satisfying too.” You could also add a little extra flavour by beating in some freshly grated nutmeg, the juice of a lemon or even a little chilli or curry powder.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 1 1/2-2lb (675-900g) potatoes; 1 onion, diced; 5 fl oz (150ml) milk; 13oz (340g) tin corned beef, diced; any cooking vegetables, chopped; 1 oz (25g) butter; salt and black pepper

  •  Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Boil potatoes until tender, then drain thoroughly and mash.
  • Boil onion in milk until soft, drain and add to the mash with corned beef, vegetables and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn the mixture into a buttered ovenproof dish and cook for 20-25 mins. Serve with fried eggs on top.

Beef and Bacon Olives with Lemon & Thyme

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This slowly braised beef, stuffed with bacon then served in its own sauce, is a real rich classic and a meal from one pot. The texture of the meat in this dish becomes really moist and tender, while the bacon and lemon flavours go together so well. I like to use rashers of back bacon (smoked or unsmoked) at least ¼ in (5mm) thick. This will give you plenty of meat content in the rolled olives. Incidentally, to avoid confusion, anything rolled up and secured with a cocktail stick is an “olive”.

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 4 x 4-6oz (100g – 175g) slices beef topside or rump; 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme; finely grated zest of 1-2 lemons; 4 x ¼ in thick (5mm) rashers back bacon; oil; 1 ½ – 2 pints (900ml – 1.2 litres) beef or chicken stock; 1 garlic clove; 1 small thyme sprig; 2-3 carrots; 2 onions; 1 large swede; 3 celery sticks; 2-3 large potatoes; 1 leek; 2oz (50g) butter

  • Place the beef slices between 2 sheets of cling-film and flatten with a rolling pin, to give escalopes ¼ in (5mm) thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix together the chopped thyme and grated lemon zest and sprinkle over each beef escalope. Then lay a rasher of bacon on top of each escalope and roll up to make an olive. Secure each with two cocktail sticks and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the olives and brown evenly. Then remove them from the frying pan and place in a saucepan with the stock. Add the garlic and thyme sprig. Then bring the stock to the simmer and cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours, skimming any impurities from the surface of the stock.
  • Prepare all the vegetables and chop them into ¾ in (2cm) dice. Then add them – except the leek – to the stock for the last 20-25 minutes of cooking time. Add the leek to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  • Strain 10fl oz (300ml) stock into a saucepan, boil to reduce by half. Whisk in butter. To serve, remove thyme sprig and garlic, spoon veg into centre of plates or bowls. Sit olives on top, remove cocktail sticks, spoon the sauce over.

For braising the beef olives:

A Gary Rhodes recipe book:

Banana Corned Beef Hash

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp sunflower oil; 1 onion, peeled and chopped; 225g corned beef; 3 tomatoes, quartered; 2 bananas, cut into chunks; 1 large potato, cooked and mashed

  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion until soft. Cut corned beef into cubes and add to the pan with tomatoes, banana and potato. Cook for about 10 mins. Serve with a green salad.

Bacon & Onion Tart

Serves: 6; Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 40-50 minutes; Cals per portion: 354

A crispy short-crust pastry tart with a creamy onion filling – ideal for a summer picnic.

Ingredients:
Pastry: 6oz/175g plain flour; 1/2 tsp/2.5ml salt; 3oz/75g hard margarine; 2-3 tblsp/30-45ml water
Filling: 2oz/50g butter; 1 lb/450g onions, chopped; 2 rashers bacon, chopped; 1 1/2oz/40g flour; 7 fl oz/200ml milk; 2 eggs; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 8 in / 21cm flan tin, greased

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 5 / 375oF / 190oC. Sieve the flour and salt into a small bowl. Cut margarine into small pieces and rub it into flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to mix to a firm dough. Roll out on floured board and line the tin.
  • Melt butter in pan, add onions and bacon and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in flour and mix well. Beat milk with eggs and pour over onions, mixing well. Season and pour into flan case. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve.

Bacon and Mushroom Tagliatelle

Serves: 4; Prep: 5 mins; Cook: 15 mins; Cals per portion: 595

Ingredients: 2 x 5 ml tbsp olive oil; 1 onion, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 225g/8oz rind-less smoked back bacon, chopped; 115g/4oz button mushrooms, sliced; 1 x 15ml tbsp tomato puree; 1 x 550g jar passata; 1 x 15ml tbsp red wine vinegar; 2 x 15ml tbsp capers or pitted green olives, drained; pinch of sugar; freshly ground pepper; 335g/12oz Egg Tagliatelle; 1 x 15ml tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 x 5ml tsp dried oregano

* Heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 mins or until softened. Stir in bacon and mushrooms and cook for 5 mins.
* Stir in the tomato puree, passata, wine vinegar, capers and sugar. Season the mixture generously with fresh ground black pepper, then simmer for 5 mins.
* Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add taleteller and cook for 5 mins, or until al dente. Drain well, then toss with oregano and bacon sauce.
TIP: For extra flavour add a vegetable or chicken stock cube to the water while cooking pasta.