Thursday, 31 May 2012

Smoked Haddock & Potato Bake

I debated whether to put this on here, as the photo really doesn't do it justice but you're just going to have to take my word for it - it is super tasty!  Hardly slimline I admit but I would even use this for a dinner party, it is nice enough! Thought I would show my mountain of matchstick potatoes alongside the finished product too ;o)

Large piece of smoked haddock
650g potatoes, peeled
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
300ml tub of double cream
100ml milk (I could put semi-skimmed here but what who am I kidding?!)
15g butter

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Put the haddock in a pan, cover with cold water and bring the boil.  Poach for around 5 mins until cooked through.  Drain off the liquid and flake the fish into an oven-proof dish (discarding the skin).

Slice the potatoes into 5mm slices and then cut into matchsticks - this is the only time consuming part.  Place them in a large bowl with the onion and garlic, and mix well.  Place the potato mixture on top of the flaked fish - don't smooth down the potato matchsticks, leave them uneven.

Mix the cream & milk together and pour evenly over the potatoes.  Dot the top with buter and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, turning the mixture every twice (every 15 mins).  If it starts going too brown, cover with foil.

I wasn't sure how this would reheat but I made it yesterday and today put it in the oven on a low setting for around 30 mins and it was fine.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Left-over Lamb Pasties

I was racking my brain for a way to use my left-over lamb from the Sunday roast, and fashioned these.  I would probably add a little more yoghurt next time but they were pretty tasty!

Ingredients (makes 4)
Shortcrust pastry (I used half a packet as didn't have time to make my own that day)
Left over roast lamb (couldn't guess the weight of what I had but it was not much!)
Handful of peas, cooked
Natural plain yoghurt (2/3 tablespoons)
Mint sauce (1 teaspoon)
Egg, lightly beaten

Whizz the lamb in the food processor so it shreds.  Mix the yoghurt & mint sauce in a bowl, and add the lamb and peas. 

Roll out the pastry and cut 4 circle shapes (I used a saucer to cut round, & found it was a good size).  Put 2/3 teaspoons of the lamb mixture into the middle of each circle and wet the edges with water before folding over in two.  The water will seal it together but I crimped with a fork for extra security.

Place on a baking tray and brush generously with the beaten egg.  Bake at 200 degrees for around 25-30 mins.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Past & Present

After driving past it for almost 9 months, I finally had the chance to visit Past & Present toy shop last week when I was looking for a birthday present.  Located on the road out of Haslemere and Shottermill as you drive towards Hindhead, it is unfortunately easy to miss but what a find!  None of your horrid plastic toys here but rather quality traditional wooden toys, many with a modern twist, that you will be proud to give as gifts.  Owned by Sarah, and assisted by her mum, they will be quick to offer you help or advice should you need it, and their recommendation for me was spot on.  I bought this lovely Ballerina Dress-Up Peg Puzzle for a 2 year old's birthday, who by all accounts loved it!


Sarah also does a lovely range of personalised products - Memory, Keepsake and Toy boxes, as well as stools and a whole of smaller items such as pen pots, money boxes and name plaques, which really need to be seen to be appreciated.

Next time you need an interesting toy or a birthday gift pop into Sarah's shop - I guarantee you'll find something lovely.

Past & Present

Friday, 18 May 2012

Mini Toad In the Hole

I was looking for some easy comfort food on a cold & wet day last week so I made these for lunch - the kids loved them!

Ingredients (makes 6)
60g plain flour
1 egg
60ml of cold water
60ml milk
Pinch of dried thyme
3 chipolata sausages
1 tbsp olive oil

Tip the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle.  Crack the egg into the well and whisk - the flour will fall down into the eggs as you whisk and it will all bind together.  Pour over the water and the milk gradually, and mix well.  Stir in the thyme and leave to stand for 10 mins.

Cook the sausages in the oven (at 180 degrees) for around 15 mins - you want them to be partly cooked and starting to brown.  Take them out of the oven and cut them in half. 

Rub a muffin tin with the oil (this is really important - you'll have to pry them out otherwise!) and pour the batter evenly between six "holes".  Add half a sausage to the top of each portion of batter.  If there is a less brown side of the sausage, make sure that is facing upwards if possible.  Put them back in the oven and cook for another 15-20 mins.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara

This is an easy family favourite that I fall back on when I only have 15 minutes to spare.  And it's delicious!

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 onion, peeled & chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 courgettes, grated
1 clove garlic, peeled & chopped
500g spaghetti
2 eggs, yolks only
150ml milk
150ml single cream
60g cheddar cheese, grated
80g ham, diced

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion for 5 mins until soft.  Add the mushrooms and courgettes and cook for around 5 mins more.  Finally, add the garlic & cook for just a minute. 

Meanwhile, you can put your spaghetti on to cook for 10 mins (or whatever the packet recommends).

In a bowl, briefly whisk the egg yolks with the milk, cream and half the cheddar cheese. 

Drain the spaghetti when ready, and add it to the frying pan.  Stir in the ham & cream sauce and cook for 1-2 mins until everything is warm and cooked through (do this on a relatively high heat but keep moving it).

Serve immediately with some freshly ground black pepper and the remaining cheddar cheese sprinkled on the top.