Spice it up

Start a saucy affair

How do you fancy something hot this summer? We all like a bit of spice in our lives now and again. Well, this week I’m going to give you all the ingredients you will need to “start a saucy affair”!

Some like it hot

There are any number of sauces and marinades on the market, all winking at you from the Supermarket shelves, with their bright labelling and clever marketing slogans all begging you to “EAT ME”. Do you ever pick up one of these products and read the ingredients? In most cases you will find the second one is usually sugar! Below you will find two recipes for sultry summer days, which are quick and easy to make and do not contain huge amounts of sugar, salt and other additives. Both recipes can be made in advance and stored in the fridge:

chicken, juices, roasting, sauce, healthy eating
Reserved roasting juices

Spicy Barbequed Chicken

You will need one large fresh free range chicken, or you can use, chicken pieces, thighs, drumsticks etc. If using a whole chicken, turn the chicken onto its breast on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife. cut through the chickens back bone from one end to the other. Turn the chicken over, place in a roasting tin, flattening the chicken and make slashes into the breast and legs of the chicken, to help absorb the sauce into the meat. The chicken will cook through quicker, with this method.

Set the oven

  • 1tbspn Mustard Powder
  • 1tbspn Curry Powder
  • 2tspns Chilli powder or to taste.
  • 1tbspn Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1tbspn Maple syrup
  • 1tspn Cider Vinegar
  • 4tbspns Tomato Ketchup
  • 2tbspns Olive oil

Place all ingredients in a bowl, whisk together to emulsify.

Spread all over the chicken, rubbing well into the slashes you have made. Roast at 200c, Gas Mk6, 400f, for about 1 hour, ( or barbecue ) still thoroughly cooked through. (If you use the Barbeque for this dish, you will not have the juices for the salad).

Drain the juices from the roasted chicken into a bowl. Whisk in 1 crushed clove of garlic. (Reserve for pasta salad)

Remove chicken to a serving dish.

salad, leftovers, sun dried, olives, pasta,
Pasta & Veg Salad

Pasta and Veg Salad

Cook 1 packet of wholemeal pasta, in salted boiling water, with a drop of oil, until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large wok or frying pan gently fry for 10 mins:

  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 chilli’s chopped (or to taste)
  • 2 large courgettes. halved lengthwise & sliced
  • 2 large red peppers, deseeded and sliced

Drain the pasta, Pour the reserved juices from the chicken over the veg, allow to bubble for 5 mins. Remove from heat. Add the drained pasta to the veg and mix to blend. Add:

  • 4 chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tspns Capers, drained
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • 3 tbspns Olives, drained.
  • 2 tbsns Fresh basil and parsley chopped
  • Seasoning to taste

Mix together well, season to taste, serve with the chicken and salad leaves.

Any left over pasta salad and chicken can be stored in the fridge and mixed together to serve for tomorrows supper.

Enjoy your home made food and say NO to convenience foods. Its better for you and your pocket.

Use your leftovers

Leftover tips & recipes

Good morning fellow foodies. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas? you are probably feeling a few kilo’s heavier & a few pounds lighter today!! To address the balance, here are a few tips & recipes to help you use up those leftovers. After all, do you really want your hard earned cash, dumped in the bin?

If you were up early enough, you will have heard me on The Graham Rogers, Morning Show BBC Radio Wiltshire at 8.50 this morning, sharing these ideas, with the good people of Wiltshire.

TURKEY  (cooked)

Left over turkey breast can be sliced into finger sized strips, dipped in beaten egg & tossed in a mixture of Polenta & grated parmesan. Leave in the fridge for 30mins. Fry lightly in olive oil, turning once & serve with a dip of pesto, mixed with mayonnaise, for the Italian touch.

If its Spicy you are after. Follow the above, but replace the ingredients as follows: Dip in beaten egg & a Tbspn Soy Sauce & coat in sesame seeds. Serve with sweet Chilli Sauce.

Boil some macaroni. Make up a cheese sauce, or use a can of Campbells condensed Tomato Sauce. Layer in a casserole, Macaroni, cooked turkey chunks, chopped peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives etc. Finish with a layer of macaroni. Pour over the sauce, or soup diluted with a little of the Macaroni cooking liquid & sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in a medium oven for 20-30mins.

CHEESES – SALAMI – HAM ETC

Place left over cheeses in a food processor, with chives & some butter. Process until smooth. Pot in small ramekins, seal with clarified butter & serve as a spread. (For adults, use stilton & a couple of Tbspns Port)

Recipe for savoury Truffles can be found by clicking the blue link.

Savoury Truffles Love your Leftovers

VEG & SALAD

How about a different take on that Boxing Day Bubble & Squeak. Whisk yourself up a Breakfast Frittata

leftovers, fritatta, roast potatoes, cheese, pigs in blankets
Left overs. Breakfast Frittata

Have you looked in the salad drawer? I bet a sad looking lettuce & cucumber, lurk there, together with a few spring onions, the odd pepper & that bag of healthy shoots, that would go with….. you can’t remember what!
Well dig them all out, heat some oil in a large saucepan & throw them all in. Saute for a few minutes with a tspn cumin, add some veggie or chicken stock & bring to the boil. Simmer for 30mins & blitz with a hand blender. Season & serve with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top.

veggie soup,lettuce,cucumber,cumin,yoghurt
Left over Veg soup

CHRISTMAS PUD & CREAM
Got an ice-cream maker?
Make a basic custard mix, allow to cool, stir in 500ml double cream & 1 tbspn Brandy. Process according to your manufacturers instructions, 10 mins before the end of freezing time, crumble in Christmas Pudding, or any meringues you may have left over.

Ice cream,leftovers,cream.custard,christmas pud
Christmas Bombe

That it foodies. Hope you have found some inspiration to use up those leftovers. Have a great Boxing Day & Happy New Year.

Christmas Get Aheads

Time saving Christmas Tips.

Christmas Countdown. The big day is nearly here. Could you be interested in any time saving tips, on the run up to that festive feast. No. Of course not, you are not worried, or panicked, no doubt you are sitting down, with your feet up watching your favourite Christmas movie. Or, maybe you are tearing your hair out, bitting those finger nails & wondering how you are going to cope? Have a read, you might find something to assist you.

Lots of things can be prepared, ahead of the big day, saving you time & allowing you to demonstrate just how good a hostess you are:

  1. Laying the festive table, the day before is alway a good idea. Delegate the task to someone else and check that all is in order, with nothing forgotten. Make sure you have enough glasses for all those festive drinks. Don’t stress if they are mis-matched. No one will notice, as long as they have a drink.
  2. Peel the spuds & par boil them. place in a bowl, & toss in whichever hot oil you are using, on the day.
  3. If you are serving mash, invest in a potato ricer. No only can you have your own, cheap, cauliflower, brocolli or carrot rice. It saves time trying to mash those lumps out. Start a new trend, to impress your guests. Place the rice potato in a serving dish, & hand butter or oil seperately. (will satisfy all dietry requirements!)
  1. Of course, if you have chosen a cold starter, this can be prepared the day before. Was salad veg ready & wrap in kitchen towels & store in the fridge.
  2. Slice carrots & celery sticks into chunky strips. Plave in a casserole or roasting tin. Sprinle with chopped parsley & pop in the oven to cook. Drain, reserving the stock for the gravy. & serve. (Any root veg can be cooked in the same way)
  3. Make your gravy the day before, thicker than usual. when the Turkey is cooked pour some of the juices from the roasting tin, into the made gravy to add more flavour & thin it down. If lumpy, pass it through a sieve.
  4. If you need a quick extra pud. Keep a shop bought pastry case to hand. Spread mincemeat over the base & arrange apple slices on top. Grate over some marzipan & bake. Sprinkle with icing sugar & serve.

Hope you find some of this useful. Just remember, delegation is the key. This is after all, just another roast dinner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Above all. ENJOY. It is your Christmas too.

Glace fruits, nuts, vegan Christmas Cake

The Social

BBC Radio Wiltshire, Monday 7pm

Day 17 of Christmas Countdown. Have been invited to BBC Radio Wiltshire tonight, to have a chat on a lovely new programme called The Social, hosted by the lovely Sue Kinnear & jovial Tim Weeks.

Wiltshire, radio, media, blogger, interview
The Social chat. BBC Radio Wiltshire

The Social is broadcast at 7pm on a Monday evening & explores the weird world of Wiltshire online. Sue & Tim invite vloggers, bloggers, podcasters and facebook groups who are making them click, to chat with them, on air, about what makes them tick.

So, dear foodies having a couple of large food orders to cook & deliver, before the interview, I just did not have time to post you a promised recipe. To compensate I would like to direct you to my sister site truffleiciousteaches.com 

For those of you, who are interested in The Low Fodmap diet or would like to know exactly what it is, you will find more information by clicking the blue link, above.

You will also be able to find more recipes on my Truffleicious Website

I will also be on The Graham Rogers Showing, give you ideas to deal with those Christmas leftovers on Boxing Day morning at 9.10am.

Until tomorrow, have a lovely evening.

Veg & Leftovers

Vegetarian Recipes

Afternoon foodies from a gloomy, wet, Wiltshire. Veg & leftovers are the topic for day 16 of Christmas Countdown. From a warming Cauliflower dish with a twist, to what to do with those leftovers.

We are all familiar with cauliflower cheese, but have you thought about using different cheeses & turning it into a soup? Below you will find my, lighter,  adaptation of that classic french soup Creme Dubarry. (Creme of Cauliflower Soup). Experiment away with different cheeses, use up those leftover bits of mousetrap from the Christmas Cheese board & if cauliflower is not your thing, substitue it for broccoli.

Cauliflower & Blue Cheese Soup.

Serves 4. Time taken 45mins.         G/F. Vegetarian.  Allergens: Milk. Nuts.

Ingredients:

Large Cauliflower, broken into florets.

Large potato, peeled & chopped into chunks.

2 Bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

600ml Vegetable or Chicken Stock

175g Blue Cheese, crumbled

150ml Milk

White pepper & a little grated nutmeg 

200g Walnuts, Toasted & chopped.

METHOD:

In a large saucepan, place the cauliflower, potato, stock, bayleaves & garlic. Bring to the boil & simmer for 30mins, until tender.

Take off the heat, remove the bay leaves & using a stick blender, blend until smooth.

Add the crumbled cheese & stir over a low heat, until the cheese has melted.

Season with pepper & grated nutmeg

If you prefer a thinner, soup add the milk.

Serve, sprinkled with the toasted, chopped walnuts.

Thats the left over cheese & some nuts dealt with.

You will find another vegetarian recipe using cauliflower in a previous blog:  Cauliflower & Canellonni Burgers

Veg, burgers, beans, cheese, healthy eating,
Veggie Burgers

Left overs

If you have left over roast potatoes & bacon wrapped sausages, make yourself a breakfast fritatta.

Slice the left over potatoes & fry over a medium heat until golden, add the bacon & sausages & fry for a few minutes longer.  Turn up the heat.

Preheat the grill on high.

Beat together, 6 large eggs with seasoning & quickly pour over the potatoes, bacon & sausages in the pan. Lifting the edges, to let the egg run under the veg & set.   While the top is still slightly runny. Sprinke with some more of that leftover cheese & place under the grill, until the cheese is melted. Serve with those soft leftover tomatoes.

leftovers, fritatta, roast potatoes, cheese, pigs in blankets
Left overs. Breakfast Frittata

Thats all for today foodies.  Any comments or requests will be answered tomorrow. Enjoy your evening.

Do real men eat Quiche?

How to make a man sized quiche

Its a bit of a poser this one, “Do real men eat quiche”? Well, to my mind, plonk a large slice of quiche, containing, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, cheese etc, in front of them & as long as you call it a breakfast quiche & they are not vegetarian, they probably do.  Just look at it this way, the quiche in the header photo is just, breakfast on a pastry plate!

Below, you will find the recipe for a man sized breakfast Quiche. The pastry recipe you will find as a previous   Christmascountdown post, by clicking the link.  At the bottom of the page, you will also find some variations, which may also help you use up your Festive leftovers, when the time comes.

bacon, eggs, cheese, pastry, cream,
Bacon & Eggs. Tempted?

Big Breakfast Quiche  

Time taken 45 mins + cooking & chilling.  Equipment 1. 13cm Deep fill flan tin.

225g Short crust pastry   Follow the link for recipe 

200g Bacon off cuts. (Cheaply bought from your butcher. You get nice chunky bits)  Dry fried.

5, Large Free range eggs

200 ml Milk

200g Chestnut Mushrooms, sauted

2 Fresh Tomatoes, Sliced

150g Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Tab Olive oil.

Seasoning + (Cayenne pepper, nutmeg & thyme if liked)

METHOD

Make the pastry, according to the recipe, pop in the fridge to chill while you a preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 200f 400c Gas 6  With a large tin baking tray inside.

Dry fry the bacon, remove & drain on kitchen paper add, 1tbspn oil to the pan & quickly saute the mushrooms.

Lightly grease flan tin with oil.

Line the tin with pastry, crimp the edges & placed the cooled bacon & mushrooms on the base.

Beat together eggs, milk & seasonings, pour into the tin.

Place the tomato slices on top & spinkle with the grated cheese.

Carefully place on the heated tray, in the oven & bake at the above temprature for 15mins. Reduce the temp to 180c 350f Gas 4 & bake for a futher 25 – 30mins, until puffed up & golden brown.

Serve to your man with a side of baked beans.

Variations:

 Replace the bacon & veg with smoked salmon, chopped dill & blanched fennel.  Use 2 Whole Eggs & yolks of 3. Replace 1/2 the milk with double cream. Omit Cheese.

Use, pitted black olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic, roasted green peppers & Bazil. Top with Grated Parmesan.

Blanch Tenderstem Broccoli Spears, add to pastry shell & top with crumbled Blue Cheese.

Use, chopped left over turkey & veg. Cheat & pour over a can of Cambells Condensed Chicken Soup. Use left over pastry to make a lid. ( Roll trimming to the size of your tin) Place on top ofthe filling, brush with milk & make a small steam hole in the middle of the lid. You now have a turkey & Veg pie. And YES real men do eat these.

Don’t  forget, you can always line a small patty tray to create, individual tartlets. Great with drinks.

If you have any questions, please ask, by leaving a comment in the box below.

Until tomorrow.

Halloween Butternut Squash

Autumn is finally upon us. Apart from the cold mornings the weather continues to be glorious. Walking my furry friend across the fields, the early morning mist creates an eerie atmosphere & evokes memories of smoky bonfires, leaves rustling underfoot and of course Halloween.

Here at TRUFFLEicious, we are preparing for the closure of Great Chalfield Manor for this year & concentrating on our winter activities.  Writing my recipe book  TRUFFLEicious, Nutritious, Nutrition is one of my projects for the winter months & continuing to retail my homemade Gluten free Cakes, Spelt & Rye Breads & of course, Chocolate Truffles (Full details on my website www.truffleicious.org) is another.

Right enough waffling back to Halloween with its Pumpkins & Gourds.  This month’s recipe is vegetarian, for the carnivores amongst you, some spicy sausages or chicken, would make a great addition. You can also make double the amount & serve one half hot & save the rest to have as a salad for the next day.

Oriental Butternut Squash, Black Kale & Spelt with Sesame & Pomegranate Dressing

Serves 6.  Low Fodmap. DF, V, Vegan.  Oven heat 180c, 350f, Gas 4

INGREDIENTS:

2 Medium Butternut Squash, Halved, seeds removed & chopped into large cubes.

1 Large Bag of fresh Black Kale. Shredded.

2 Red Onions, Peeled & quarted.

2 Red Peppers. Deseeded & cut into chunks.

Seasoning

4 Tbspns. Rape Seed Oil.

Sesame Oil to taste.

For the dressing:  Put all ingredients in a screw top jar. Shake to emulsify.  Adjust to taste.

100ml. Cider Vinegar.

tspns Lemon Grass Paste

2 Crushed Cloves Garlic

2 tspns Clear Honey.

50ml. Low Salt. Vegan Soy Sauce

Ground Black Pepper

200ml. Rape Seed Oil.

150g Brown Spelt. Cooked to packet instructions.

METHOD:

Preheat the oven.

Place the oil in a large roasting tray.  Add the Squash, onion, peppers, season well with salt & pepper.

Toss everything together to coat veg with the oil. Roast for 15 – 20 mins, until cooked but not mushy.

While the veg are roasting make the dressing & quickly stir fry the black kale in a large Wok.

Using a slotted spoon, place cooked veg in a large serving dish; add the drained spelt & kale.

Toss together, drizzle with Sesame Oil, to taste & serve either on its own with crusty bread or with grilled halloumi.

If you are having a Halloween or Bonfire party, this dish looks brilliant served in a pumpkin shell or individual halved, different coloured gourd shells.

Enjoy.