Bacon Chops with Garlic Mushrooms

Serves: 4  :  Cals per portion: 252

  • Heat 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil and 25g (1oz) butter in a frying pan. Add 225g (8oz) quartered mushrooms and two crushed garlic cloves. Fry for 5 mins, then stir in 100g (4oz) trimmed and chopped green beans and fry for a further 5 mins until beans are just tender. Season.
  • Meanwhile, spread a little smooth mustard on each side of four bacon chops and cook in a cast iron pan or under a medium grill for 4 mins on each side until tender and crisp at the edges.
  • Serve the bacon chops with garlic mushrooms, beans and boiled rice.

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.

Beef and Mushroom Stew

This stew really does look after itself. The beef is simmered slowly to produce the most delicious stock, which gives a really glossy, well-flavoured sauce. If using a pressure cooker, cook the stew for 50 minutes. You can also add a bay leaf, orange peel, fresh thyme or Worcester sauce to help liven up the other flavours.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients: Cooking oil; 2lb (900g) stewing steak, cut into 1 1/2 in (4cm) cubes; 3 onions, sliced; 1 garlic clove, crushed; 2 glasses red wine (about 8 fl oz/250ml); 1 lb (450g) button mushrooms; 1· packet Crosse & Blackwell Bonne Cuisine Madeira Wine Gravy or White wine Gravy; Salt and pepper

* Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry half the steak for a few minutes to seal. Repeat with the rest and set aside.
* Place the onions, garlic and red wine in a large pan and boil until reduced by half. Add the sautéed steak and 2 pints (1.2 litres) water, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 1 hour. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 30-40 minutes. You could also add some sliced carrot and celery to the stew at this stage.
* When beef is tender, mix gravy powder with a little water until smooth. Stir in and simmer for 5 minutes. If sauce is too thin, boil and reduce. Season to taste and serve.

Tasty Ways with Mushrooms

  • Peel and dice 1 large potato and fry in a little melted butter for 10 mins until golden. Set aside, then fry 250g (9oz) mushrooms and 6 rashers of unsmoked chopped bacon in the pan until bacon is crisp and the mushrooms are soft. Drain potatoes, mushrooms and bacon on kitchen paper. Toss in a large bowl with the contents of a 142g (5oz) packet of spinach salad, a light dressing and garnish with fresh basil.
  • Stir-fry a little crushed garlic and grated root ginger in hot oil for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 bunch of chopped spring onions and 450g (1 lb.) mixed mushrooms. Stir-fry until the mushrooms begin to soften, then add 60ml (4 tbsp) teriyaki sauce and 30ml (2 tbsp) light soy sauce. Simmer for 2-3 mins then serve with rice or noodles.
  • Stuff flat mushrooms with a mixture of cooked white rice, chopped tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese and fresh chopped basil. Season and drizzle with a little virgin oil and bake in a hot oven for 10-15 mins until tender. Serve with salad or crusty bread.