Thursday, 7 July 2016

Roasty Toasty Lamb










Roast Leg of Lamb

Weekends like these, when it is cold, rainy and miserable outside are made for roast dinners with the family and good a film on the telly. This is one of my favourite roasts which I first made at Christmas a few years ago for a lot more people. Its simple and along with a few sides of veg can all be made in advance, popped in the oven while you enjoy an hour on the sofa. Its not something I would do during the week when time is short but great when cooking can be a more leisurely affair.
We enjoyed ours with roast potato, roast carrots and parnsips and medley of sweetcorn, mushroom and chillies all topped with some onion gravy.

Serves 4

Ingredients

800g leg of lamb with bone in
3 Garlic cloves
1 tin of Anchovies in olive oil
3 sprigs of Rosemary
Sea salt and Black Pepper

Equipment

Roasting Tray
Oven at 200 degrees Fan, 220 degrees or Gas Mark 7

Method

1.Trim any excess fat off the lamb leaving only a thin layer on top

2.Using a sharp knife make slits into the meat





3.Chop garlic into thin slices



4.Wrap anchovies around the garlic slice and stuff into the slits in the lamb, I find using the end of a teaspoon makes this easier



5.Add a sprig of rosemary into the slit

6.Generously season lamb with salt and pepper




7.Cover loosely with foil and cook for 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven

8. Prepare all the trimmings

9.Remove the foil, baste lamb and cook for a further 40 minutes

10. Rest for 15 minutes

 







11.Serve with all the sides and enjoy



Aubergine and Ricotta Bake

Aubergine, Ricotta and Spinach Bake

This is a healthier spin on cannelloni as it replaces pasta with strips of aubergine, also reminded me a bit of a veggie moussaka too with the natural layers formed and tomato sauce. Glad to be able to make a veggie dish to upload finally that made the cut. This dish did not picture well but it tasted amazing, perfect for these colder autumn evenings. Enjoy with a crisp green salad, garlic bread and a glass of red on the side.

Serves 2 with leftovers

Ingredients

2 large Aubergines
Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
1 medium Onion
250g Ricotta
2 tbsp. Pesto
260g Spinach
500g Passata
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Italian Herbs
Salt and Pepper
40g Breadcrumbs
50g Parmesan or Vegetarian Alternative


Equipment

Saucepan
Grater
Mixing Bowl
Baking Tray

Method

1.Slice aubergine lengthways into long strips, place on a bake tray in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil, bake in preheated oven at 190 Fan/200/Gas Mark 5 for 10 minutes until it has softened and beginning to colour



2.Combine ricotta and pesto together



3.Blanch spinach – save time and dishes I did this in microwave by cutting a small hole in the bag and cooking on high for 1 minute then squeezing out the moisture – chop finely 




4.Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a pan, add finely chopped garlic, onions and spinach





5.Combine with ricotta and pesto mixture

6.Take one aubergine slice place ricotta mixture in centre and roll up, place down in a baking tray, repeat with remaining aubergines and mixture




7.Top with passata, garlic salt, herbs and season with salt and pepper

8.Top with breadcrumbs, parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes







Guacamole

Guacamole

We visited Mexico back in 2010, where we enjoyed a beautiful week of sunbathing, book reading and eating delicious food.
One afternoon we managed to prise ourselves away from the pool and cocktails to attend a cooking class and learnt how to make this whilst sitting on the beach and since then I have always stuck to the simple recipe; letting the ingredients and flavours do most of the work.


Serves 2



Ingredients



2 Avocados
2 Spring Onions
6/8 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Chilli
2 Garlic cloves
¼ cup of chopped Coriander
1 lime 
Sea Salt and freshly milled Black Pepper



Steps



1.Mash together Avocado with juice of half the lime

2.Finely chop spring onions, cherry tomatoes, chilli and garlic cloves



3.Combine avocado, chopped ingredients, coriander and remaining lime together with salt and pepper

4.Enjoy with tortillas, black bean chicken, chicken nuggets, quesadillas…. The list is endless 



Pitta Pizza



Pitta Pizza

This is a great snack or quick lunch, also perfect for Bubbas lunch who is now beginning to feed himself more rather than throwing it all on the floor around him.

Ingredients

Pittas (wholemeal or white)
Chilli Pesto
Tomato Ketchup
Ham
Spring Onions
Spinach
Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Dried Oregano
Tomato Paste
Cherry Tomatoes

Equipment

Baking Tray
Grater

Steps

For the adult version I spread a mixture of chilli pesto and tomato ketchup over the pitta and top with any pizza style ingredients I have in the fridge, top with cheese and dried herbs and cook under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes



For the baby version I use tomato paste and a few cherry tomatoes squished up, again top with pizza toppings, cheese and oregano and cook under the grill. Cut into finger shapes, making it easier for little hands to squish and stuff into their mouths.





The perfect poached eggs!




Fathers Day Brunch

Perfect Poached Eggs


This year for Father's Day I decided to do brunch for Mr S and my dad, although due to my continued 30th birthday celebrations the night before it was actually a very late brunch starting at 2pm.

To start we had little granola parfaits, followed by muffins topped with spiced avocado, wilted spinach and poached eggs served with a side of prosciutto wrapped asparagus and baby vine tomatoes.




















Desert was coffee, cakes and pastries. It was a really easy meal to prep and cook so perfect for weekend entertaining.



I will have to admit I have always been scared of poached eggs, feeling that I would never be able to recreate the type I love in eggs benedict at home however this was my second time making them and I ended up making nearly 12 poached eggs all of which turned out perfect so I'm now over my phobia.

The method below is such an easy way to do them.
1.Start my ensuring you have fresh eggs at room temperature.
2.Boil a large saucepan of water and immerse the eggs in their shells still into the boiling water for 10 seconds.
3.Remove and crack the egg into a ramekin.
4.Into your boiling saucepan add a dash of vinegar and swirl the water to form a vortex.
5.Slowly lower the egg from the ramekin into the water and reduce heat to simmer.
6.Cook for around 2-3 minutes until the egg white has come together, this leaves a perfect runny yolk so cook for longer if prefer your eggs well done.
7.Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water and dry on paper towel.
8.Season with freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.

On a side note I apologise for the lack of post the last few months have been amazing with 3 holidays and celebrating my big 30 several times over however I am looking forward to a summer full of blogging and bringing some more travel diaries of all our travels too.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe, perfect for a weekend brunch.