Weekend Shenanagans and Easy Peasy Sweet Jacket Potato

Good afternoon! I am still recovering from one of my oldest and dearest friend’s 30th birthday party at the weekend.  I would love to show you pictures of my rather inebriated attempt at barbecuing late on Saturday night but unfortunately (not) I have no evidence of said activity.  So luckily I can now spread the word of my rather inspired veggie burger creation.  Ok, ok, here’s the truth, I burnt quite a lot of halloumi that night and in an attempt to reconcile with the veggie quota of the party I had to fish around in the kitchen (with some help from some ace sous chefs, might I add) and rustle up a concoction off the top my head.  The results were some very delectable Halloumi and Carrot Burgers consisting of grated carrot, grated halloumi, bread crumbs (I improvised with the grater and a bit of rustic tearing), paprika, basil and egg. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and form into patties then transfer to the BBQ for a quick grilling, and da da! A little cautious turning and transferring later,  sit back and wait for your praise.

Anyways in terms of a proper recipe for today, one involving a picture, I had a little scan through my hard drive and found this simple jacket potato filling idea and thought I would share.  I know this is not fine dining, but it is tasty and it’s the best I can come up with whilst still feeling the effects of too many Jagermeisters, eurrgghh, never again!

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes

For the filling:

An onion, sliced

Some chorizo, chopped into little chunks

A red pepper, sliced

A blob of creme fraiche

Butter and salt

Method:

Bake your sweet potatoes in a hot oven.  Whilst the potatoes are cooking fry the onion, pepper and chorizo until soft and lightly browned.  When the potatoes are cooked, split, fill with salt and butter, the onion, pepper and chorizo and top with a blob of creme fraiche.  What more could you want? Simple, no hassle supper served with a salad.

Sweet Potato Jackets with Chorizo, Pepper and Onion Filling

P.S.  The Roasted Red Pepper Burgers had an outing at this BBQ and were a big success, if you a fancy a meaty addition to your BBQ/grill then look here.

A Pint of Prawns

I had this, well the half pint version, in a lovely little seafood restaurant in Hythe a couple of weeks back.  It’s super simple to assemble and makes quite an entrance with the pinky, orange prawns piled up high in their shells.  You can buy these prawns, frozen, cooked, shell on, sometimes from the supermarket, almost always from Wing Yips and from your local fishmongers.  They’re much more reasonable than the peeled frozen ones you get and make for a fantastic deconstructed prawn cocktail where you have to get all involved, ripping the heads off and peeling the shell away.  Despite this possible palava, I quite like it, the prawns are sweeter and juicier that way and it makes a lovely starter or light lunch.  I had my ‘pint’ for lunch on Saturday served with some seriously old ‘skool’ Marie Rose sauce, a wedge of lemon and a slice of buttered brown bread (gf).

Ingredients:

Shell on, cooked, frozen prawns

Lemon

Bread to serve

For the Marie-Rose Sauce:

Mayo

Ketchup

Creme fraiche

Worcester sauce

Method:

Defrost your prawns in cold water.  Shovel the prawns into a pint glass, I chose a rather pretty Stella glass.  Mix up the Marie-Rose sauce, a couple of teaspoonfuls of mayo and creme fraiche, a squirt of tommy k and a splash of Worcester.  Set up your sauce in a little dish or a ramekin and serve alongside.  To be really kitsch, like me, add a round slice of lemon to the glass and a nice slice of buttered brown bread cut into triangles (don’t you know?!).  Make sure you provide an empty vessel for the heads and shells and eat with someone who loves you or someone you hate and spray them with prawn juice as you get stuck in! Yum, yum!

Sticky Chinese Spiced Drumsticks and Celeriac and Beetroot Remoulade

The sun has come out and I’m feeling all summer-y and that my dear readers means barbecue type foods (even though we don’t have a garden 😦 ) and salads.  These drumsticks have got to be my best yet, spiced with five spice, ginger, garlic and other chinese condiments and then glazed with a sweet chilli sauce, these are moreish little numbers that can’t fail to be loved.  The remoulade is a classic salad dish using the not so summery vegetables of celeriac and beetroot, but they were there in the green grocers so I wanted to use them. 

For the drumsticks:

7 chicken drumsticks (average packet from the supermarket)

A heaped teaspoon of five spice powder

An inch of ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed

A tablespoon of sesame oil

A good slosh of soy sauce (I used Tamari because it’s gluten free)

Sweet chilli sauce

Method:

Slash your chicken drumsticks so that they cook through thoroughly and the marinade penetrates the meat.

Mix all the ingredients together except for the chilli sauce and rub over the chicken.  Marinade for as long as you’ve got, the longer the better, mine spent the afternoon in the fridge. 

Pre-heat an oven to about 200 degrees.  Lay your marinated drumsticks on a tray and cook for 20/25 min.  Then drizzle slather your drumsticks with sweet chilli sauce, return to the oven for 10 more minutes.  Serve hot, cold or warm with whatever you like but remoulade below goes very nicely.

Celeriac and Beetroot Remoulade

Serves about 2/3 people

Ingredients:

A quarter of a large celeriac

A medium sized beetroot

A heaped tablespoon of mayo

A heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche

Half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, more if you like it

Salt and pepper

Lemon juice

A small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Method:

Peel and cut your veg into match stick sized pieces.  Make sure you put the celeriac into a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep it white.  Drain the celeriac and add beetroot.  Mix your mayo and creme fraiche, mustard and seasoning, adjust if necessary.  Squeeze in some lemon juice to loosen the sauce.  Add the veg to the dressing and mix to coat.  Add chopped parsley and stir, you could add chopped gherkins and capers but I didn’t have any. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours combine. 

Serve with your cooled drumsticks or other cold meats and salads.

Enjoy!

Another Retro Lunch: Coronation Chicken

This is one of my favourite things to do with left over chicken.  I served mine with some salad but this makes an ace sandwich or jacket potato filling too. 

Ingredients:

Shredded left over chicken

A heaped dessert spoon of creme fraiche

A heaped dessert spoon of mayonnaise

A heaped teaspoon of mild curry powder

Half a teaspoon of ground coriander

A handful of raisins or sultanas

A dessert spoon of mango chutney (i used a smoothish variety but you could just chop up a chunky one)

Salt and pepper

Method:

Gently toast your spices in a dry pan.  Mix creme fraiche, mayo, chutney, spices and raisins together then stir in chicken until evenly coated, season and there you have it,  a very delicious luncheon with salad, in a sandwich or jacket spud.

BBQ Glazed Sausages, Spinach and Potato Salad and Home Pickled Onions

So for dinner tonight (ok I know it’s early but we were hungry!) we had the above and the below. 

For the potato salad:

Boil some new potatoes

Mix some mayo and creme fraiche (I used half fat) with plenty of salt and pepper.  Add in the cooled potatoes, some finely chopped spring onions and some shredded spinach.  Stir. Done.

For the sausages:

Mix up some BBQ sauce, basically combine ketchup, hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcester sauce and some agave syrup together.  Then roll your sausages in it then cook in the oven for about 15/20 min depending on sausage size.  You can go back to them and re glaze half way through cooking. 

I think this may be a bit of cheats pickle, I kinda browsed the t’internet for ideas and then went out on a limb, I’m not too knowledgeable about pickling so I think this kinda thing will only last about a week in a jar, but it’s lush, and suddenly you’ll be pulling out bits of cheese and cold meats just so you can have a yummy snacking partner for this piquant treat.

I basically had a go at microwave sterilising the jar first (an old jam jar) but I figured I couldn’t do the top (it’s metal) so just washed that in extremely hot water and decided we’d eat it fast and not worry too much. 

Then I half filled the jar with half red wine vinegar and half cider vinegar and a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar.  I stirred this well and tasted to check, I like a sweet pickle you might want to adjust.  Then I sliced a smallish onion and packed it into the jar and poked it down so it was covered by the pickling liquor.  I left it for a little while then couldn’t resist and snacked on some with some cheese, then later we had it with this dinner and went extremely well and I’m sure there may be more pickle action later but you’ll just have to watch this space.  I think ideally this needs to stand for about 4 hours but do as you will…

Retro Saturday Lunch

So I still had some iceburg lettuce in the fridge from last weekend, that stuff really lasts well, and I was thinking what else could I do with it and then prawn cocktail sprung to mind.  I love a nice prawn cocktail and as dated as it might be, done right it is a delicious little starter or light meal.  Easy to make and light and crunchy served with some yummy iceberg and one of my  favourite ingredients the delectable avocado. 

My Marie Rose sauce was made with some creme fraiche, tomato ketchup, a splash of Worcester sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a little salt and pepper.  I mixed it up, defrosted some prawns and mixed them into the sauce.  Served very simply and very seventies styley on some shredded iceberg and some sliced avocado.  Yeah baby!

Garlic, Spring Onion and Cheese Dip

This is a small start to what I am planning to be a big cooking weekend.  Sometimes all I want to eat is nibbly, picniccy things and this lunch time all I wanted was crisps and dips.  Not very healthy so I have balanced my craving with some nice fresh carrot sticks and some lovely ripe and sweet Piccolo cherry tomatoes.  This is my easy start, I have big plans for this weekend’s cooking tasks after a week or so of non blogging I think I need to come back with a bang, this is not it, just a little taster, or amuse bouche. 

Ingredients:

A tablespoon of creme fraiche

A tablespoon of mayonnaise

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic crushed

A tablespoon of your favourite hard cheese (or whatever you have in the fridge), grated

Salt and pepper

Method:

Combine ingredients.  Serve with yummy crisps, mmm crisps and vegetable crudites or whatever else you wish to dip into this lush little snack pot.