Little Rosemary Roasties

Rosemary Roasties

If I put these on the table they disappear.  Not so much a magic trick but more one of my families absolute top ways to eat potatoes.  One of my favourites to cook too as they couldn’t be easier and go with so many things.  More crunchy and full of flavour than boiled potatoes and quicker than traditional roasties but just as good.  I could eat these everyday.

Simply chop potatoes (no need to peel), tumble into a pan with some olive oil, salt and finely chopped rosemary.  Then roast.  In the meantime you can get on with something else and they will transform from hard little raw blocks into crispy edged, fluffy centred, rosemary scented bits of deliciousness.

If you want to make more of them you can lay some fish fillets over the potatoes for the last 10 minutes of cooking with a spritz of lemon juice and there you have it – fish and chips for supper with the absolute minimum of fuss and effort, no frying and no claggy batter.  I’ll be back after Easter!

Rosemary Roasties 2

Little Rosemary Roast Potatoes

I generally use baking potatoes because then I only have two to chop but you can easily use an equivalent weight of smaller potatoes.  I reckon on a regular size baking tray full of roasties for the 4 of us (two big and two smaller people).  If you are more or just hungry it couldn’t be easier to do several trays….

2 large baking potatoes, unpeeled

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon olive oil (ordinary is fine, no need for extra virgin)

1 teaspoon salt, I like crunchy sea salt but use what you have

Preheat the oven to 200.  Chop the potatoes into 2cm dice (roughly 2cm, there is no need to get a ruler out) and put them onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment along with the rosemary, olive oil and half the salt.  Mix it well so that each cube is coated in oil and flecked with rosemary and then roast for 30 minutes, turning once half way through the cooking time.  When they are golden, crispy and thoroughly tempting sprinkle with the remaining salt and serve to thunderous applause.

 

 

Raspberry Larder Pudding

Raspberry Larder Pudding

Remember I said I couldn’t imagine Sunday lunch without a pudding?  This one is another contender for the ‘had to be rustled up from an empty larder’ prize.   Our plans changed one weekend and we found ourselves at home, a main course had been found but a pudding was, of course, required.

I always have frozen raspberries tucked away and am never without a jar of raspberry jam for breakfast or just in case it is a day for scones.  In this instance I used the final jar of the Loganberry jam I made last summer and there couldn’t have been a more fitting or appreciative last hoorah for it.  I would get panicky if I didn’t have the wherewithal to make a cake in the house and so it was that all these ingredients made themselves available.

Raspberry Larder Pudding 2

This is essentially a light vanilla sponge atop a juicy, fragrant, sweet and sharp raspberry sauce – but it is so much more than merely that!  With cold double cream (for me) or further heady vanilla in the shape of ice cream (my husband and children) this is dream worthy.  Somehow a pudding of distant memory or perhaps just nostalgia as I don’t recall ever being given this as a child.

No matter, make this next time you need to rustle up afters a bit pronto and find yourself caught short in the shopping department.

Raspberry Larder Pudding

100g soft butter

100g golden caster sugar

2 eggs

125g self raising flour

2 tablespoons milk

150g frozen raspberries

1/2 jar raspberry jam

Icing sugar to dust

Preheat the oven to 180.  Place the raspberries in an ovenproof 1 litre dish and dot over the jam along with 2 tablespoons water, give it all a mix and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar well and then add the eggs one at a time with spoonful of flour.  Finally gently mix in the reminder of the flour along with the milk and a pinch of salt.  Pour this batter over the raspberries, smooth to cover and bake for 35-40 minutes until just firm on top, you can put in a toothpick to double check, if it comes out clean it is done.   Dust with icing sugar if you like, serves 4.  This is easily doubled in which case you will need to cook it for about 1 hour.

Raspberry Larder Pudding 3

 

Chicken with Chorizo, Parsley and Lemon

Chicken with Chorizo 2

It is a funny time of year.  Yesterday I got caught in a hailstorm whereas today there is a definite whiff of Spring in the air.  Primroses are nudging snowdrops out of the way, lambs are bouncing and I am tempted to put washing out on the line.   Rather as fashion magazines talk of that tricky between seasons time, what to wear, what to wear?  So in the kitchen we can feel caught on the hop.  Rich, hearty, belt loosening stews feel a little de trop now but salady lunches are still a way off.  Winter veg remains on offer and the bounty of Spring produce is yet to appear.

This then is the answer.  An unbelievably easy, one pot wonder that is both cooked and served in the same pan (less washing up, marvellous) and doesn’t require any hard to find or particularly seasonal ingredients.  Indeed, if like me you tend to keep chorizo in the fridge, then you may well have all the necessary to hand.   This will serve you well for lunch or supper and is just the ticket if you have friends over for dinner as it will tick along in the oven quite happily whilst you sit with a glass of something chilled.  You don’t really need to serve anything with it but my favourite green salad (January 2014 without the croutons I think) would be a verdant, refreshing side dish if  you want.

Chicken with Chorizo

For pudding I can’t think of anything better than Vanilla Pannacotta (July 2014) but instead of the summer blackcurrants in that recipe serve it with some baked rhubarb.  I made this last week for a girls lunch and was delighted with the combination, both creamy and refreshing, perfect for Spring – see the photograph at the bottom.

Chicken with Chorizo 3

Chicken with Chorizo, Parsley and Lemon

I serve this alongside a bowl of yogurt that has a little finely chopped garlic and salt added, it works an absolute treat with the chickpeas.  By the way, if chickpeas are really not your thing (ahem Miss and Master May) then omit them and serve with waxy little new potatoes which will be equally fabulous.  Incidentally don’t scrimp on the parsley, it is very much part of the dish and not just a garnish!

1 red onion

100g chorizo, sliced into discs

4 chicken thighs

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lemon, halved

1 tin of chickpeas

1 small packet parsley, chopped

Plain yogurt to serve, see introduction

Preheat the oven to 200.  Peel and cut the onion into eighths and put into a large roasting pan with the oil, chorizo, chicken and garlic and turn it all over in the oil.  Season with salt and put in the oven for 30 minutes.  After this time take the pan out, baste the chicken, add the chickpeas and squeeze both lemon halves over it all and put these halves in the pan too.  Cook for a further 10 minutes, remove from the oven.  Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.  This amount serves two but it is easily doubled or tripled.

Vanilla Pannacotta with Rhubarb

Pannacotta with rhubarb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penne con Salsicccia (or Sausage Pasta)

Sausage Pasta 3

So I promised you easy, everyday family food and then give you shortbread.  This is to make up for it.  For those days when I have so much on my to do list I can’t think straight and whilst busy writing and testing a couple of recipes I don’t actually have anything for supper.  For those days you need emergency food that can be conjured up from whatever you might keep in your fridge or larder.

Any day of the week my daughter would choose pasta for tea.  Ideally a Bolognese type ragu or this sausage pasta.  My son however doesn’t like pasta or sausages…. Quite a conundrum and this tends to remain for days when he is out.  I must stress though that of all the people, child or adult, who have tried this, he is the only one who doesn’t like it!

Sausage Pasta_

I love this though and whenever I cook it for my daughter I hover greedily and wish I had thought of it for our supper.  Speedy and simple, the sauce takes no more time to make than the pasta does to cook.  Add as much or as little chilli as you like depending on your diners.  I struggle to find spicy, Italian sausages around here so add heat with some dried chilli flakes whose  smoky flavour is perfect here.  Should you be able to find some genuine salsiccia (you lucky thing) the taste a bit once it is cooked before adding chilli in case it is not required.

This is supremely comforting, quick, cheap and easy – what more could you want?

Sausage Pasta

I might add the some leaf spinach along with the cream and water if this is for our dinner letting it wilt in the heat of the sausage sauce.  My daughter would be horrified if I did this to her favourite supper so I tend to leave the spinach out for her but sometimes I add some peas…..

1 tablespoon oil

6 good sausages, skin removed

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Pinch of chilli flakes (see above)

1 tablespoon cream

1/2 a small bunch of parsley, chopped

150g short pasta, I use penne but it is up to you

Parmesan to serve

Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.   Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the sausage, breaking it up as much as you can.  When it is starting to look a little brown and crisping around the edges add the garlic and chilli.  Cook for a few more minutes to lose the rawness in the garlic and then add the cream and 3 tablespoons of water out of the pasta pan.   When the pasta is cooked drain then add to the pan with the sausage, give it all a good mix, taste and see what seasoning it needs then sprinkle over the parsley and serve with lots of grated parmesan.  Enough for 2 but easily doubled or tripled.

Sausage Pasta 2