Butternut Squash soup (via BBC Good Food, serves 4)
- 1 butternut squash, about 1kg, peeled and deseeded
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tpsp butter
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 mild red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 850ml hot vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche, plus extra to serve
- Heat oven to 200c, 180c fan. Cut the squash into large cubes, then toss into a large roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins until golden and soft (turning once).
- While the squash cooks, melt the butter with the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, garlic and 3/4 of the chilli. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the onions are completely soft.
- Tip the squash into the pan, add the stock and creme fraiche, blend until smooth.
- Serve the soup with swirls of creme fraiche.
Mushroom and thyme lasagne via M&S Food...
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 750g mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 75g butter
- 200g shallots, finely sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 100ml white wine
- 50g plain flour
- 400ml milk
- 200ml single cream
- 60g parmesan, finely grated
- 180g dried lasagne (9 sheets)
- 125g mozzarella, sliced
- Pour 100ml just boiled water over the porcini mushrooms and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry half the mushrooms for 5 minutes until golden, then repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat, add 25g of the butter to the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic, 3/4 of the thyme and the mushrooms. Increase heat, pour in the wine and bubble for 2-3 minutes. Strain the porcini mushrooms and add to the pan with the soaking liquid, simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour to make a paste and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the milk, gently bring to the boil, then stir in the cream and half the parmesan.
- Heat the oven to 190c, add half the sauce to the mushrooms, and spoon a third of the mushroom mixture into a lightly buttered ovenproof dish. Top with 3 lasagne sheets and repeat twice.
- Pour over the remaining sauce, top with the sliced mozzarella, the remaining parmesan and thyme, and season with black pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and cooked through.
Rose Bakery Tartlets
(Enough to make 3 x 28xm tart crusts)
- 500g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 egg yolk
- 250ml cold water
- Process the flour, salt and butter for about 5-8 seconds, then put the mixture in a bowl.
- Now make a well in the middle of the flour and butter mixture and add the egg yolk and half the water. Stir with a fork, adding more if necessary.
- When the fork can't go anymore, use your hands to bring the dough together.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Take it out and divide into 3 pieces.
- Roll out one of the pieces on a floured surface. When it is around 4mm thick, line a tart tin. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Chill again for 30 minutes.
- Bake the tart cases for about 25-30 minutes until golden.
- 500ml single cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- Beat all ingredients together in a bowl until they are mixed well.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 400g mushroom, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 200g grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 handful chopped chives
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms with the garlic and salt and pepper till all the liquid has gone.
- Scatter the cheese over the base of the tart cases. Place the mushrooms on this and pour as much the cream mixture into each one as you can.
- Sprinkle with chives and transfer into the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the filling
has set and is golden.
Caramelised Chicken (via Red Online)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
- 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp chilli flakes or chilli paste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken legs
- 4 large red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200°C /400°F/ gas mark 6. Put all the marinade ingredients in a big sandwich bag, add the chicken and the onion wedges. Shake around so all the ingredients get well coated in the marinade.
- When you are ready to cook, put the chicken legs into a roasting dish with the marinade, onions and the tomatoes. Cook in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. The tomatoes should burst and the onions will go crispy around the edges. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in the microwave at 800W for eight minutes – you can pop them in the oven with the chicken when they are done to crisp up the skins.
Via Jamie Oliver's 'Ministry of Food'
- 10 slices smoked streaky bacon or pancetta
- Small bunch of mint, chopped
- 150g parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- 400g dried mini shell pasta
- Olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 300g frozen peas
- 2 heaped dessertspoons creme fraiche
- 1 lemon
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the mini shells and cook according to the packet instructions.
- Get a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil and the butter. Add the bacon to the pan, sprinkle a little pepper over and fry until golden and crisp.
- Add your frozen peas and shake. After a minute, add the creme fraiche and chopped mint to the bacon and peas.
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the frying pan. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice over the pasta. When it's bubbling, remove from the heat. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved cooking water. Add the grated parmesan.
Ingredients (serves 8):
220g dried apricots, very finely chopped
215g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
205g unsalted butter
8 tablespoons single cream
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
225g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Place the apricots in a bowl, pour 300ml boiling water over them and add the bicarbonate of soda. Set aside until cool.
Put the dark brown sugar, 115g of the butter and the cream in a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the mixture is smooth.
Pour into eight ramekins (about 3 tablespoons in each) and leave to cool.
Preheat oven to 180c.
Beat the remaining butter with the caster sugar and vanilla extract until light. Add the egg and beat well. Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the dried apricots.
Mix well and divide between the ramekins. They should be about 3 quarters full.
Put the ramekins in a bain marie with enough water to come one-third of the way up their sides, and cover with foil.
Bake for about 30 minutes until just set. Turn the puddings out onto individual plates.
Ainsley Harriott's Sausage, Tomato and Butter Bean Bake
- 6-8 pork sausages
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 400g can butter beans, drained (original recipe uses 2 cans)
- Salt + pepper, 4 tablespoons olive oil
1) Preheat the oven to 180c. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan, add the sausages and cook for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
2) Heat the remaining olive oil and fry the onion and sage in a pan for around 10 minutes, until the onion is softened.
3) Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
4) Transfer the tomato mixture to an oven dish and stir in the butter beans, then bury the sausages into the mixture. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the butter beans are bubbling and the sausages are cooked through.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins or until tender.
- Meanwhile, place the milk in a saute pan. Add the salmon fillet, ensuring it is fully covered, then poach for 3-5 minutes or until just tender, depending on its thickness. Transfer the fish to a plate until cool enough to handle. Flake into bite-sized chunks, checking for any stray bones. Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve into a jug.
- (At this point, I cooked the broccoli in a saucepan and when ready, left aside until later).
- Melt half the butter in a large non-stick pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour in the reserved poaching liquid, a little at a time, whisking continuously after each addition.
- Once all the liquid has been added to the sauce, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has slightly reduced and thickened. Season to taste. I added some dill (as it was in the cupboard!).
- Drain the cooked potatoes and mash them, beat in the remaining butter and season to taste.
- Lightly butter a deep ovenproof pie dish and add a couple of tablespoons of the sauce. Scatter over the flaked salmon (and the broccoli), then spoon the remaining sauce on top. Allow a light skin to form, then carefully spread over the mashed potatoes to cover completely. I then sprinkled over some grated cheese (just because I love it). Bake for 25-30 minutes until the fish pie is completely heated through and bubbling at the edges.
Jamie's Chicken Tikka Masala
(from Jamie's Ministry of Food)
Ingredients (serves 4 with a bit left over):
- 3-4 chicken breasts (depending on how much chicken you like!
- 2 medium onions
- 1 fresh red chilli (I sprinkle extra chilli flakes, too, as I like it hot!)
- Thumb-size piece piece of root ginger
- Small bunch of coriander (I use from a jar)
- Vegetable oil
- Knob of butter
- 1/2 jar Patak's tikka masala curry paste
- Salt and pepper
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 400ml tin of coconut milk
2) Put a large pan on a medium heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the butter (I use a large saucepan). Add the onions, chilli, ginger and chopped coriander and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.
3) Add the tikka masala paste and the chicken. Stir well to coat everything and season with salt and pepper.
4) Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Fill the tomato tin with water and add into the pan and stir. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.
5) When the meat is tender and cooked, taste and season.
6) I serve with risotto rice (nice and sticky texture). Jamie Oliver suggests serving with sprinkled almonds and a few spoonfuls on yoghurt on top.
Illustration by Haley Austin