ClapShot

A nod to my Scottish heritage,

this fancy mash is fabuliciouzly sweet.

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It’s one of the most treasured of Scottish dishes but it’s one of those oral knowledge recipes that’s usually passed down in the family rather than recorded, so here is how you can all make this classic wee bonnie meal!

Start off with 2 saucepans because the veggies take different times to cook. Place 500g of peeled & chopped potatoes in one & 500g of peeled & chopped swedes in the other. Cover both in water, add salt & bring to the boil. Let those bubble away on your cauldron until the root vegetables are soft & tender before draining them well.

Now you can mix them together in the one pot. Mash them up good & proper before adding in 50g of butter along with 75ml of double cream. Mash them thoroughly until lovely & smooth.

Season the ClapShot generously with salt & white pepper then finish off by stirring through 1 tablespoon worth of freshly chopped chives.

Hubby declares this to be the BEST mash EVER!

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Spiced Pumpkin Bites

These bite sized Indian inspired balls of spice

could be directly from my witches cauldron for the grown up trick or treaters! 

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I had a 1/4 of a butternut pumpkin leftover in my fridge & thought what on earth can I do with that?!?! Read on to find out how scary the inner workings of my brain can be!

So, I started by peeling & chopping up that 1/4 butternut pumpkin, tossing it into a pot of water & bringing it to the boil.

Whilst that was happening, I grabbed out my mini wok to create a spice paste. How I did that was to pop in a splash of peanut oil along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger powder & 1/2 tablespoon of red thai curry paste. Then I turned on the heat to fry those spices off until Hubby came running with the fragrance!

By this time, the pumpkin was nice & soft so I drained it, put it back into the now empty saucepan & mashed it up. I added in a good knob of butter too!

Into the spice paste in my mini wok, I added a splash of full cream milk, just a normal amount that I’d use to make a mash (you know, how you do butter & milk to any mashed tattie or pumpkin) but I put the milk into the spices first to loosen them up so the milk I used for my mash was spiced, rather than placing the spice paste directly into the pumpkin.

Next, I mixed through some cooked rice to continue along with my Indian theme & which would act as my binding agent.

Pop that lot in the fridge to chill.

When you’re ready to eat, simply heat up some oil in a pan, roll the spiced mashed pumpkin into balls & coat in whatever crumb float your boat before frying them off to colour as it’s already cooked. Make sure you set the balls aside to drain excess oil off & serve whilst still hot.

Now these are soft, so not finger food by any stretch of the imagination, so you will require forks for these wee beauties.

 

Pan Fried Ricotta Gnocchi

Delightful wee pillows of fluffy potato that simply make you smile.

I’ve always loved making my own gnocchi. There’s something which I find just so satisfying about taking a humble potato & creating a fabuliciouz meal from it. Now that Mini Me & I are both Coeliac, I thought my “fluffy pillows” ,as she calls them, were yet another distant memory of our culinary past but NO! I have discovered a Gluten Free recipe which is a somewhat acceptable alternative.

Start by popping 3 large, starchy tatties into a pot of water & bringing to the boil. Make sure you leave their skins on so that no water can get into them. Once they’re cooked through, peel them whilst hot (careful not to blister the prints off your fingertips!) then use the fine side of your grater to mimic what a potato ricer would do with a nice fine shred.

Make a well (hole) in the centre & add 1 egg yolk with enough ricotta cheese to knead into a dough.

Heat some oil in a pan to shallow fry before pinching bits of the dough off to roll into balls then use your thumb to add a slight depression in the middle before placing gently into the hot oil.

Turn the gnocchi carefully to crisp up both sides before removing to drain any excess oil.

You can team them with your favourite pasta sauce or whack them through a fresh salad.

Roast Capsicum & Tomato Soup

A full bodied soup which leaves a tingle on your tongue,

simply perfect on a chilly evening.

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Grab yourself a baking dish & bung in 2 capsicums (deseeded & quartered), 1kg of juicy red tomatoes (quartered also) & 3 garlic cloves (peeled & crushed open with the side of your knife). Drizzle over a wee bit of olive oil & whack in a 200c oven to roast for 40 minutes.

When time is up, simply transfer that lot, including all the luscious juices, into a saucepan & give it a jolly good blitz with Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) until it’s lovely & smooth before seasoning well with salt & white pepper.

Stir through an entire tub (300g) of sour cream, then gently reheat.

Pop in some cooked pasta to oomph it up a wee bit & It’s Chompin Time!

French Onion Soup

It’s well & truly soup season here on our mountain top!

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French Onion Soup is one of those super easy retro classics that every home cook should have up their sleeve.

Start by peeling a couple of large onions & cutting into thick slices.

Heat up a generous knob of butter in a stock pot & chuck the onions in with a teaspoon of sugar (I use raw sugar). Stir that until the onions are nicely translucent, they should be golden but not darkened in colour.

Throw in a dessertspoon of plain flour & cook that off before gradually pouring in 2 litres of chicken stock. Season it well with salt & white pepper.

Whack the lid on & cook that over a gentle heat for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Then it’s Chompin Time!

Potato Soup

Lusciously creamy hot soup with a flavoursome crunchy surprise,

this is Hubby’s second favourite soup that I make.

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This is hands down so dead set easy to make, you’ll be sure to whip it up all Winter long!

Heat up a good glug of oil in a pot & bung in 3 large spuds, which you’ve peeled & chopped. Pop the lid on & let them do their thing over low heat for 10 minutes.

Next, pour in 1 litre of chicken stock before throwing in 2 bay leaves & bringing to a simmer. Whack the lid back on for another 10 minutes cooking time.

Meanwhile, let’s crack on with the potato chip croutons!

Peel & dice 1 large tattie, heat a good glug of oil in a deep sided frypan, throw in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with the diced potato & simply toss those about to cook over a high heat until they’re gorgeously golden – how easy is that?!?!?!

Back to the soup – remove the lid & take out the bay leaves, they’ve done their job, then remove from the heat before adding in 250ml of sour cream. Give that lot a jolly good stir. Now it’s time for good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to make his grand appearance! Whazz that soup up until sumptuously smooth & finally season with salt & ground black pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls & plop the potato chip croutons into the middle.

Fabuliciouz!

Oh, & in case you’re wondering, Hubby’s favourite soup is my Nan’s recipe I use for my Pea & Ham Soup!

Hasselback Potatoes

Gorgeously crunchy exterior meets lusciously soft interior,

creating what could possibly be described as the best ever roast tatties!

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To make these wee pillows of chippy awesomeness you will first need to crank your oven to a stonking hot 200c so that it gets ready whilst you crack on!

Peel 4 good sized potatoes before cutting them in half lengthways. Bung them, cut side down, on a chopping board before ever so carefully slicing very thin slits the length of each tattie making sure not to cut all the way through, so stop about 2/3 of the way down.

Next, gently melt a couple of tablespoons of butter over low heat. Brush the melted butter onto a baking tray then pop your sliced tatties carefully onto it. Smother the tops of the tatties in more of the melted butter by brushing on with abandonment! Don’t use it all though!

Whack into the oven for 30 minutes to bake, ensuring to brush with the reserved melted butter roughly every 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, into a mixing bowl goes 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese along with 2 tablespoons of whatever crumb floats your boat. Give it a jolly good mix & when the half hour on the tatties is up, evenly sprinkle the mix across them, shake a nice amount of paprika on & whack back in the oven for another 15 minutes to turn golden brown.

Curried Egg Filling

Aussies of my generation will well remember the good old Curried Egg Sanga in the school lunchbox!

Nostalgic love or Dear Lord let it go?!

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Nothing could be simpler than this classic filling! Use it in sandwiches, rolls, wraps or even sushi!

Use a fork to smash up a hard boiled egg before adding in a tablespoon of whole egg mayonnaise, a teaspoon of curry powder (naturally, I use the good old Keens!) then season well with salt & pepper.

Mix it all together & voila! You’re ready to spread!

I’d love to hear your memories on this one in the comments below!

Mushroom Soup

This is most definitely a lick your bowl clean worthy recipe for all those fungi loving foodies out there, and I whipped it up in only half an hour!

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This is one of the very rare recipes I’m going to tell you to measure your oil! Shock horror, I know! A good glug just won’t cut it in this one I’m afraid.

Start by heating 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil in your large saucepan over a medium heat, before melting 4 tablespoons of butter in it.

Bung in 1kg of sliced mushrooms to cook down until they’ve released most of their liquid. Grab a few out to set aside for garnish later on.

Throw in 3 teaspoons of minced garlic & just let that cook off for a minute before whacking in 3/4 teaspoon of dried Tarragon & 1 litre of chicken stock (you can use Veggie stock instead if that’s what floats your boat). Bring that lot to a simmer & allow it to cook away, uncovered, for a good 10 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat & grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blend it all well before whisking in 1/2 cup of thickened cream in a slow, steady stream.

Season ever so generously with salt & white pepper before serving in large bowls & garnishing with a flourish of thickened cream drizzled from a teaspoon & those reserved cooked mushrooms from earlier.

BBQ Polenta Wedges

Fabuliciouzly Creamy & Cheesy surprise parcels to plop on the table at your next backyard gathering, then get ready for the WOW’s chef!

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Hubby was more than a wee bit sceptical when I slipped these beauties under his nose to whack on the alter of burnt offerings (aka BBQ) but he was absolutely blown away when he tasted them & kept going back for more!

Start by bringing a litre of chicken stock to the boil before slowly pouring in 1 cup of instant polenta in a steady stream, whisking well. Keep whisking until it gets nice & thick, coming away from the sides of the pan – about 5 minutes or so.

Remove from the heat & bung in 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese & a generous amount of chopped fresh basil (about a couple of tablespoons worth should do the trick). Whisk it well to combine then season with salt & white pepper.

Pour that lot into a very well greased cake tin (I use a square one but there’s no reason you can’t use another shape, whatever floats your boat really) then pop in the fridge for a few hours to set (it needs to be completely cooled the whole way through).

When you’re ready to eat, simply turn it out of the tin onto a board, slice it into wedges, brush both sides with a wee bit of oil & whack on the hot BBQ to get gorgeously golden on each side (say around 2-3 minutes each side).