My Bolognaise sauce

Serves 4 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 30 minutes Ready in: 40 minutes
I was making lasagna the other day and wanted to refresh my memory so I went to my “Cookery book for my Mother” just to check if I had everything needed to make a bolognaise sauce, and realised I had never actually written how to make this sauce. I know, it’s just something that happens and it was taught to me by both my mother and my Italian grandmother, who would turn in her grave seeing this recipe. She would insist that the sauce should simmer for between 10 and 12 hours. Sorry grandma, we don’t have the time nowadays.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable/olive/rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500g minced beef
  • 1½ tin (600g) chopped tomatoes (maybe blended)
  •       or 500g pure “Tomato Passata”
  • ½ tube of Tomato Purée
  • 200ml chicken stock
  •      (or 1 crushed stock cube dissolved in 100ml boiling water)
  • 1 tsp of mixed herbs –
  • or pinch of: sweet paprika powder, oregano, basil, thyme & rosemary
  • 1 pinch of salt & black pepper

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 pinch fresh grated nutmeg or powder
  • 1-2 carrots, roughly grated
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 1 small glass sherry/brandy/wine

Method:

  1. Add the onions and garlic to a frying pan (or wok) with the oil.
    Fry until the onions are slightly tranluscent.
  2. Add the mince to the frying pan until all of the meat is brown –
    but only just brown as you don’t want your meat burnt.
  3. Once the meat is slightly brown, add the tinned tomatoes (blended – if you want),
    tomato purée, chicken stock and mixed herbs, paprika, salt and pepper if you want.
  4. Cover the pan (or wok) with an anti-splatter lid, lower the heat to just less than half
    and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 min. stirring now and again
  • Serve with pasta or use in a lasagna.

Tip

  • A small glass of sherry/brandy/wine added to the simmering sauce will enhance the taste. Keep the sauce in fridge for 2-3 days or freeze and keep for up 3 months. If frozen: thaw in fridge overnight. Don’t use from frozen.
    .
Advertisements

A healthy evening meal

This meal is nearly vegetarian; just remove the pork and you have a very nice dish. Its not too filling and it only takes 5-10 minutes to cook and serve.
evening-meal

  • 1 medium Carrot roughly julienned
  • 1 Pak Choi – cut into 1cm slices (except for the leaves)
  • 5 thinly cut slices of a pork chop
  • ½ onion, sliced finely
  • 1 tsp butter/rape seed oil
  • Herbs: salt, pepper, garlic-salt, mixed herbs
  • Heat the oil in a high sided frying pan
  • Fry the onions until translucent
  • Add the julienned carrots and fry for approx. 5 minutes
  • Then remove from pan; but leave the juices
  • Fry the pork adding the herbs to taste.
  • When the pork is sealed re-add the carrots and onions.
  • Also add the chopped Pak Choi and leaves, stir a little
  • Cover with lid and reduce the heat to minimum.
  • Leave simmering for 3-5 minutes; and then serve.

This meal is nearly vegetarian; just remove the pork and you have a very nice dish. Its not too filling and it only takes 5-10 minutes to cook and serve.

1 rotisserie chicken – 7 different meals

Today I purchased one rotisserie chicken; which of course, for one person, is rather extravagant. I decided to dissect the chicken into: 1 portion of deboned chicken legs; 2 portions of skin-less chicken breast; scrape and cut all remains of chicken meat off the carcasses and bones, split this in 2 portions roughly ¼ and ¾; and finally place all the bones, skin and carcasses in a large saucepan for stock.

chicken

    For the stock (makes upto 4 portions):

  • the bones, skin and carcasse
  • 1.5-2 ltr water
  • 1-2 roughly cut onions,
  • 2-4 chopped carrots,
  • 1-2 potato roughly cut
  • Herbs to taste
  • 200g green/mixed lentils
  • Let it simmer gently for 1-2 hours.
  • What I also did was hang a strainer into the pot/stock placing the lentils in the strainer; thus still part of the stock but without them getting mixed into the stock
  • Drain the stock; then add the lentils and set aside to cool.
  • Portion into 4 small containers; freeze when cool enough

As I had a portion of Bombay cooked lentils I use the ¾ chicken bits and mixed it to the lentils, added some spices, and had my lunch.

The ¼ portion of chicken meat went into a chicken mayo, spiced with garlic and chilli powder and a drop of lemon, ready for spreading tomorrow.

The 2 portions of chicken breast went straight into a small freezer bags each, and when they are cold enough, place them in my freezer.

Now – I ask – am I still extravagant? No, I think not. For £4 for the chicken & £1 for the vegetables getting food for 5-7 people depending what I do with the chicken breasts; not bad if I say so myself.

Deep Fried Rabbit

I was experimenting and mixing a couple of recipes and came up with this one. I am not a great lover of deep frying but this is worth it. You don’t need a deep-fryer all you need is a steel/iron saucepan and 1 ltr of rapeseed oil. I must admit it’s the first time that I have cooked rabbit; but not the last. I was pleasantly surprised with the result, even though it wasn’t quite successful. The batter was a bit thin & runny; thus it fell off the rabbit. Never the less it was fun and a very nice result; for all it was relatively quick produced. I changed the recipe to be coated in egg and bread crumbs. I went to the butcher who stocks game and asked for a cleaned and jointed rabbit. The pieces he had were too big so he cut the saddle in half and separated the legs. I ended up with 8 pieces and it wasn’t OTT expensive.
DeepFriedRabbit

  • 1 ltr rapeseed oil
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 x 50g sachets panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 wild rabbit, jointed and each leg also
    jointed into a drumstick and thigh
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Heat oven to 160°C/140°C fan and have ready a large baking tray with a wire rack placed over it.
  • Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan (or use a deep-fat fryer) until the oil reaches 140°C. Depending on the size of your pan you will be frying 3-4 pieces at a time; hence the hot oven. So fry the biggest pieces first.
  • Meanwhile dry each piece of rabbit.
  • Beat the eggs in a plate/soup plate (I like to add some herbs to the egg – e.g. salt, pepper and maybe some thyme).
  • Mix the Parmesan and breadcrumbs on another plate
  • Dunk each piece of rabbit in the beaten egg, lift out with a fork
  • And coat in the bread crumbs.
  • Repeat with a couple more pieces.
  • Lower into the fat and fry for about 9 mins for smaller, 12 mins for larger pieces (11 mins if resting in oven), until deep golden and cooked through. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on the rack in the oven while you do the next batch. Never leave the pan unattended.

Serve the rabbit with a sprinkling of flaky salt and plenty of lemon wedges.
You can also add small bowls with mayonnaise and/or tartar sauce and/or sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

Potatoes and leftover Stir-fry

Serves 1 Prep & Cooking Time: 10 minutes

meat41

 

  • 1 onion medium sized or 2 large Charlotte onions
  • 1-2 clove Garlic
  • 1-2 baby sweet peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 4-5 small tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme & basil to taste
  • Some leftover cooked meat/chicken
  1. Finely chop the sweet pepper, onions and garlic
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a wok, then add the chopped onions, garlic and peppers.
  3. Use a mandolin to julienne the potatoes and add these to the wok.
  4. Dice the leftover meat/chicken and add to the wok.
  5. Dissolve the stock cube in ½ litre hot water and add this to the wok.
  6. Stir and add the peas and herbs.
  7. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir and add the quartered tomatoes, un-cover but leave simmering for 2 more minutes.

 

I love real wheat pasta

A week or so ago, I cooked some pasta, for 9-10 minutes as prescribed. It was taste-less and still half cooked, not very nice. I thought it was because I wasn’t feeling too well, and filed the thought at the back of my brain that I don’t like pasta anymore.

Today; I really fancied some pasta but felt reluctant: “do I want to cook for 10 minutes – only to throw the result away?” Hmmm … That was the thought that went through my mind. Anyway, I did cook some pasta but I also notice that the pasta I had cooked last time was gluten free “FreeFrom” pasta. And that has just joined my rubbish bin. So now I have re-discovered that I love real wheat pasta. To accompany the pasta I had stir-fried pak choi, Vichy carrots and a lovely tender dry-fried Angus beef steak. Followed by strawberries and cream.

Corn Pancakes

Cook Time: 1.5 minutes per pancake Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

2014-11-25 13.48.15

  • 100 grams of corn flour
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (Gram flour)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml low-fat milk (Soya drink/milk)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter for frying
  1. Mix corn flour and other flour with salt.
  2. Add the milk and whisk it completely so there are no lumps left.
  3. Beat in the eggs.
  4. Let rest at least ½ hour.
  5. Fry now light brown pancakes in a little butter and fill them with your favourite stuffing and sprinkle with grated cheese as in the picture. (2mins under the grill)

For the fillings: chopped beef or chicken and mix with spices such as chili, sweet chili sauce, paprika, cumin; or put the hot pancakes on the table and let your guests compose their own mixture.