Just try and stop your mouth watering. Look at the colours, vibrant, fresh and what it all boils down to, damn tasty.
Take a good old English tradition and turn it on its head. This dish did it perfectly. Spicy sausages with roasted vegetables samothered in mango chutney and jerk seasoning revive this often dull and lifeless dinner into a fantastic assault on the taste buds. Don’t get me wrong I love bangers and mash, but so often you see cheap sausages, lumpy mash and gravy that may as well be water. Cooked properly and the traditional English staple will win hands down for me. Its what I grew up with. But this fusion of flavours is a welcome change.
The vegatables are sweet and sticky but also come with that irresistible jerk flavouring that provides that lovely heat. The sausages were just good quality sausages. I don’t know what the flavourings in them were but that had a nice spicy flavour. The mash was
soft and buttery. Again I don’t know what they were but for mash you need a high starch potato like russets. This means they will mash better and soak up all that butter or milk. I always season my mash especially with pepper.
Slice your peppers into 1 to 2 cm wide slices. They don’t have to be all even, the smaller ones will roast more and get that amazing crispness on the skin. Peel and chop the onion into large 2cm peices. Peel and chop the carrot into batons as big as your little finger.
In a bowl mix olive oil, the jerk seasoning and the mango chutney mix this with the veggies in a tray so everything is covered. Season with salt and pepper and then lay the sausages on top. Prick the sausages a couple of times with a sharp knife. Put it all in a pre heated oven of around 200 degrees and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Peel and chop the potato into 2cm peices, pop the in a pot of boiling water until they are soft in the middle. Once they have cooked drain and put back in the pan with a knob of butter and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth.
Serve it up on a plate and sprinkle with some roughly chopped parsley. Amazing.
Lamb, just using it instead of beef gives you such a rich flavour. Soft aubergines and a mouthwatering creme fresh and Parmesan topping will have you wishing you made enough for thirds.
When I think of Moussaka I think of Greece. It does however, like most dishes, have many variations. Across the Balkans for instance it is more likely to see potatoes instead of aubergine, and to use pork mince over lamb. In Turkey the dish is not layered instead the eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and minced meat are sauteed together and served with pilaf and tzatziki. Across the Eastern Mediterranean the dish varies so much it can become unrecognisable. The Greek version has three layers cooked separately then assembled and baked together.
Cook the onion in some oil for a few minutes before adding the carrot and grated garlic. Before the garlic browns add the lamb mince and cinnamon stick. Cook the Lamb until it has browned, then add your chopped tomatoes. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes adding a little seasoning and a little sugar if you are feeling a bit naughty. While it is cooking, drizzle some olive oil over your aubergine slices and season Grill them for around 10 minutes on either side.
This is where we assemble the moussaka, Remove the cinnamon stick from the lamb mixture and pour into an oven proof dish. Spread your grilled aubergine slices over the top. Then spoon on the Creme fraiche and spread it evenly over the top. Grate over the parmasan and grill it until you get that amazing brown crispy top. Remove it from the grill and then cut the last garlic clove in half and rub it over your sliced ciabatta. Grill it till nice and crisp. While it is grilling toss the rocket in some Extra Virgin Olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve together and enjoy these amazingly simple flavours.
This meal was from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk
Five ingredients, that’s it, five. Proof that if you want good food you just need good quality food.
Sea Bass, what I would call a fishy fish, flavour wise (i know I should be a food critic with descriptions like that). It is though a nice change from the over used cod. The skin was nice and crisp, i used a small sprinkling of pepper to give it a little kick. The flesh was flaky and soft as it should be. It has reconfirmed that I do like fish. I never eat it, I will always choose meat over fish but I think things may change.
Onto the squash, such an amazing flavour. Roasted squash has become one of my favourite flavours. I have always skinned them though no matter how I have cooked them. My mind was blown when I read that you can roast them with the skin still on. I thought they would be tough and chewy but like always I was wrong. They were soft and sweet and the best part of the dish.
Kallets? Never heard of them? Don’t worry I hadn’t either, they are a cross breed between kale and Brussels sprouts. I am going to do a post about them so I wont go into to much detail here. I will say they were lovely. I am not a fan of Brussels sprouts so I wasn’t to eager to try them. Thankfully they are sweeter and taste more of kale than of Brussels sprouts.
Slice your squash into some form of wedges, toss in some olive oil with salt and pepper and put into a pre heated oven for thirty minutes at 220C. Cut the tough bottoms off the kalettes, like you would to your sprouts. Grate your garlic and chop your bacon. Cook the bacon for a few minutes in a pan with a splash of oil, then add the kalettes and cook for another five minutes stir in the garlic and keep it on the heat for another thirty seconds. Remove the mixture from the pan and into a bowl, cover with tinfoil to let the kalettes steam till the rest is cooked. Wipe out your pan and when your squash is nearly done add some oil and cook the sea bass skin side down for three minutes, turn it over and cook for another three minutes. Once everything is cooked plate it up and enjoy the great flavour of simplicity.
This meal was from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk
Before making this I thought it was missing something, potatoes, couscous, anything. There didn’t seem to be enough food for a dinner. I’m wrong again. It was satisfying, fresh and super tasty.
Maybe I have conditioned myself that the bigger the plate of food the better, or the more satisfying. In my head your dinner should have meat, potato or some kind of carb and some token vegetables. I don’t feel I have finished my dinner until I have had all three. In the same way I don’t feel that I have had lunch unless I have had the holy trinity of lunchtime foods; sandwhich, crisps and chocolate (eaten in that order) I could eat my sandwhich and crisps and then be given a whole bucket of KFC and I will still need to eat the chocolate before my brain says “ok and now we’re done” However there is some light at the end tunnel.
Besides this dinner being basically chicken, peppers, onion and tomatoes I felt satisfied afterwards. The flavour was as much to do with the olive oil and balsamic as it was about the actual ingredients.
This is so simple, simply cut your tomatoes and peeled onion into wedges, cut the pepper into chunks. Chuck them all into a roasting pan with the chicken thighs. Squash the unpeeled garlic cloves and throw them in as well. (Don’t worry you squeeze the garlic out of its skin afterwards) Throw in the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the paprika. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and one of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper and then without decorating your walls toss it all together so everything is coated. Roast it in your oven at 180C for around an hour. Dress some salad leaves once it has cooked in a little olive oil and balsamic and serve together.
This meal was from our hello fresh box. Www.hellofresh.co.uk
In previous posts when I said you only need a few ingredients to make a great meal you know, keep it simple.. scrap that, because this little beauty took my opinion, chewed it up and spat it back in my face.
I will go as far to say this is in my top three meals I’ve cooked since starting this journey. I had to check the recipe card and make sure it wasn’t called “Miracle Lamb and chickpea curry” as it kept my wife silent the whole time she was eating it (I’ve made a big batch to have for breakfast lunch and dinner for the next week). There’s a supermarkets worth of ingredients in it and there is a fair bit of prep to do, believe me when I say it’s worth it. You can taste every ingredient and every one you wouldn’t be without.
For the perfect rice cook it in double the amount of ml in water to the amount of rice in grams. So in this case 175g of rice to 350ml of water. Add the star anise to the water to infuse the rice with that fantastic aromatic flavour. Get it to boiling then turn it down to a simmer. Pop a lid on and cook for 10 minutes, then take it off the heat and leave it with the lid on for another 10 minutes. When your ready for it just use a fork to fluff it up a bit. Season it now to your liking.
So once your lamb mince has browned in the pan add your mustard seeds, onion and pepper and cook for five minutes to soften. Then add the Sri Lanken curry powder, ginger and garlic. Cook for another minute until your kitchen smells amazing then add the passata, cook for a minute and add the water and stock. Let this marvellous medley of flavours simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. When it has thickened add the chickpeas and baby spinach until the former are hot and the latter is wilted. Take off the heat and stir through the coriander. Serve with your rice and let the miracle begin.
I’m being split on this. On one hand I think my wife’s stroganoff has a better flavour overall. On the other hand I loved the mix of flavours in this with the pickled onion and the herbs.
My wife’s is more saucy. Where as this is more of a marinade and only coats the ingredients. I’m not sure which of these is more authentic I know that it is a traditional Russian dish of beef in a sauce with sour cream. I just don’t know if the Russians are as saucy as my wife.
The onion pickle was the surprise for me. It’s not something I have ever done. I used my Kin Knife so managed to get the onion paper thin
This is not my recipe. This recipe came with our Hello Fresh box. www.hellofresh.com
Follow the link to the recipe on their website here.
I could have sworn if I had looked up while eating this I would have seen white washed walls and crystal clear turquoise water. This really is the Mediterranean in a bowl. The lamb and the feta talk to you of comfort, family and Greek tradition. While the orzo pasta gently whispers in your other ear of passion and style that only the Italians can. The fusing of the two gives you something that is as much at home at a romantic candle lit dinner for two as it is around a great big table filled with family.
I may have used a bit to much olive oil in the pan for the vegetables, but I love olive oil. The meatballs weren’t sealed in a pan they were added raw to the vegetables and cooked with them. It’s only when you taste the finished dish that you realise why, all the juices that would have been sealed into the meat have now mixed in with the oil and vegetables. The lambs flavour is robust enough to handle loosing these juices and still have that delicately sweet flavour.
This is definitely up there with my favourites from Hellofresh.