Roasted Vegetables with Anchovy Sauce

There is something about the nights drawing in, and the weather getting colder that makes me long for hearty comfort food.  Not that this in itself cannot be healthy, but occasionally I long for a few more vegetables in my diet, and so I will have a week of eating mainly vegetable based dishes.

I found this recipe in a magazine a while back, but I cannot remember which magazine it came from and therefore there is no link to the recipe.  A recipe is not strictly required, as this is one of those dishes which is so easily adaptable depending on what is available, and what you enjoy eating.

When I make it generally it will consist of fennel, red onions, leeks, courgettes, aubergines, butternut squash, red and orange peppers, and anything else in the fridge that needs using up.  Chop all the vegetables into medium size chunks, give them a light coating of olive oil and a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.

P1010035

Roast at 160ºC (fan oven) for around 45 minutes until their edges are just slightly charred.

For the sauce you will need chopped parsley, chopped capers and chopped anchovies with a few glugs of olive oil.  In spite of the anchovies, this does not taste “fishy” but has a lovely savoury tang to it.

P1010037

Once the vegetables are cooked, stir the sauce through so that it is mixed well into the roasted vegetables.  I like to add a couple of tins of butterbeans and a tin of chickpeas to the mixture.  This helps “flesh” it out into a more solid meal.

P1000965

This can be served as a meal on its own, or as an accompaniment to fish or meat.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

Advertisements

Cheese Scones

Before you read any further, I must warn you, this is a baking fail. Not a fail as in everyone who ate my cheese scones died a long slow agonising death….but a fail as in lack of baking success. The scones are perfectly edible, we are all still alive and healthy (relatively so anyway……) but they did not turn out the way I hoped they would. This happens.

P1000938

I have a go-to scone recipe which I use all the time. It is quick, easy, the scones are light, I’ve adapted it for sweet or savoury and it always works.  The recipe uses oil instead of butter and this results in a wetter dough, which can’t be neatly cut and shaped, but instead is dolloped from a spoon onto the baking tray.  But, looks aren’t everything!

I do from time to time wish however, that my scones looked beautiful and neat.  To do that I would need to use a different recipe.  One which uses butter, and the “rubbing in” method.  After a lengthy consultation with Aunty Google, I chose a recipe for cheese scones which had the word “ultimate” in their title.  Well, there’s a promise!

My only deviation from the recipe was to use less cheese – yes, even I can’t believe I did that.  The quantity seemed to much, and I cut it by a third.  I am glad I did, as I cannot see how the extra cheese could have worked at all.

I did the “rubbing in” bit, but, life is too short really to “rub in”, isn’t it.  So I used my handy tool equivalent (what on earth is it called? I haven’t a clue).

P1000937

Once the required breadcrumb texture had been achieved, I mixed in the grated cheese and the milk.  I began to panic….this didn’t look enough. 12 to 16 scones the recipe said….the dough was very dry and I had to add a bit more milk.  I was worried I’d add too much milk and the dough would be too wet, and I’d feel I’d have to add more flour….and, you know how it goes, we’ve all been there!

Finally I managed to get the dough to come together enough that I could pat it out on a board and cut out my scones.

P1000941

Now those (don’t look at the cracks please!) look nice and neat.  But I only managed to get 10 (medium size) scones out of the dough.  12 to 16 would have been teeny tiny midget scones…. and into the oven they went.

The colour looked fine…..but…BUT…they didn’t rise much.  Why? Baking fail alert!!!  I cut one open – very thin halves because of the lack of rise.  It looked – in my opinion – to be okay texture-wise, it was light, not heavy.  I didn’t bake bricks!  Was there still too much cheese?  I will definitely try this style recipe again, but I’ll source another recipe to see if it makes any difference.

P1000944

Still, the taste is right – lovely mature cheddar, fresh warm scone, cold salty butter….

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful day 🙂

Smoked Salmon Spaghetti

What is it about Sunday night suppers?  For me they need to be an easy, tasty, lazy meal.  I have the rest of the week ahead with work, cooking and chores, why would I want to slave away cooking supper at the end of the weekend!  Tonight was a combination of two of my favourite foods – smoked salmon and pasta.  Before you roll your eyes and complain about cost, you only need a small amount of the smoked salmon – a packet of the trimmings will do very nicely, and really, you won’t break the bank.

ingred

For the pasta you can use linguine or spaghetti, along with fresh dill, capers, crème fraîche and smoked salmon you are almost there!

Simply boil the pasta the way you like it. Reserve a couple of spoons of the cooking liquid and drain, returning to the pot.  Add a glug of olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of crème fraîche, chopped dill, chopped capers and the salmon and mix well together.  Serve with a good dusting of freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Simple, easy, lazy and tasty!

fin

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you have a peaceful day 🙂

Oven Baked Vegetable Frittata

P1000523

I love a good frittata, it is such an easy recipe to adapt and there are so many options. Today I decided to bake it in the oven – so much easier – just throw everything together and stick it in the oven.  What’s not to like?

I decided not to overcomplicate matters by using too many ingredients. Starting off I chopped the potatoes into bite sized pieces, and roasted them with a little olive oil until cooked and nicely coloured. Then chop up some red, green and yellow peppers and three red onions and roasted them in the same pan.

For six greedy people I used eight large eggs, which I whisked until frothy and well blended.  Put the roasted vegetables in a large greased baking dish and scattered some of those delicious sundried tomatoes which are mixed with garlic and herb oil (drain them first). Then chop up a block of Taleggio into small pieces and scatter evenly over the vegetables.  Pour the egg on top and bake in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.  Season to taste.

Pfrittata

Beef Casserole

Yes, I know.  This isn’t a cake, I haven’t baked. But, admit it, this is the weather for comfort food. It’s cold, it’s drizzly and miserable outside (drizzleable…..!!) and, to be honest I get tired of coming home after work and making supper each night.  Which means on the occasional Sunday I need to prepare the week’s meals so that all I have to do each evening is minor preparation and heating up the food.  Of course I don’t always do this (preparing ahead) because I am disorganised, or, come Sunday I can’t bear the thought of standing in the kitchen for a few hours preparing the food.

However, comfort food calls and a good hearty stew, or casserole – it sounds so much more sophisticated, doesn’t it 😉 is called for. Whilst I searched plenty of recipes on the internet I must confess in the end I just bought bits and pieces and flung them together.

p1000358

p1000360

I chopped and braised the vegetables in small batches – I cannot believe I had the patience to do this, and then did the same with the meat.  I put it all in the casserole dish with herbs, chopped tomatoes, concentrated tomato puree, and stock.

p1000361

I covered the casserole dish and whacked the whole lot in the oven. Two hours later, and a house filled with the tomatoey, stewy, winter comfort food smell, it is cooked.

p1000363

I had wanted to serve it with mashed potatoes, but in the end decided on steamed new potatoes.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stay warm and safe. Have a lovely weekend.

 

Cheese Scones

A few weeks ago I baked some cheese scones…….or, as they became known “cheese surprise” scones (SURPRISE!!!! there is no cheese!!).  Yes. I forgot to add the cheese. There’s nothing quite like putting everything in the oven, closing the door…..and thinking “I’m sure I forgot something”.

These things happen. Maybe just to me, but hey ho.  I’ve been hankering for cheese scones since then and thought of trying a new recipe.  My go-to scone recipe uses oil instead of butter.  It is the quickest, easiest scone recipe EVER!  The only down side is the resulting dough is quite soft, but it results in very light, fluffy scones.  I keep thinking I really need to make scones from a recipe where you rub in the butter, to see if I can make a success of them (these scones look so much smarter than mine do).  But I like an easy life and so I used my tried and trusted recipe.

This time I remembered to add the cheese!  I used cheddar with herbs and garlic instead of plain cheddar, for something with a little extra oomf!