Swedish Cream Sauce

A fabuliciouzly versatile sauce with countless applications!

An absolute must in your culinary arsenal.

DSC_0002.jpg

To have a variety of sauces up my sleeve has saved me so very many times from kitchen disaster! The ability to create a fam-bam pleasing meal from standard pantry & fridge items is both totally satisfying to me & their tummies!

For this gorgeous sauce, start by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over low heat before adding 1 tablespoon of white flour & then whisk it until it turns a lovely golden colour, just to make sure that the flour is cooked out.

Next, pour in 1 cup of beef stock, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of thickened cream & a good splash of soy sauce. Give that lot a jolly good stir before seasoning well with salt & white pepper.

Turn up the heat to thicken up the sauce to your liking & use it any which way your imagination can dream up!

In the photo here I’ve teamed this Swedish Cream Sauce with pasta & meatballs. These basic meatballs I’ve shared before but just a quick reminder of what’s in these ones.

Into a bowl place 500g of either pork or chicken mince (whichever floats your boat) along with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup, 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper & then season generously with salt & white pepper. Mix it all up well with your hands then roll into balls. Heat up a little oil in a pan & fry them off until cooked through.

Advertisements

Spinach & Mushroom Cannelloni

Boasting Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomato & Mince,

this is not-your-average meat & 3 vege!

Yes I am well aware that Tomato is a fruit & Mushroom is a fungi, but let’s not ruin my joke here 😉

This is such a fabuliciouz mince bake meal that it’s sure to be just as big a hit with your fam-bam as it is with mine.

Bonus is, it’s deadset easy & you can even prepare the filling earlier to speed up dinner time.

Start by heating a good glug of oil in a large frypan & bunging in 250g of sliced up mushrooms to cook off. Then add in 500g of whatever mince floats your boat to brown. Remember to season the meat with salt & white pepper as soon as it hits the pan. Pour in an entire 700g jar of passata & give that lot a jolly good stir. Let it bubble away on a simmer for a good 10 minutes.

(Now this is the bit that you can pause at if you’re pre-preparing ahead, otherwise, press on.)

Meanwhile, pop a pot of water onto the boil & gently wilt off an entire 150g bag of baby spinach leaves. Drain them well & stir them into the sauce.

Grab your baking dish & ladle in some of the sauce over the bottom, then start filling your cannelloni tubes using a teaspoon to help you get the saucy goodies in there. Lay each filled tube, side by side, into the baking dish. Ladle all the leftover sauce on top of the filled tubes before spreading the contents of an entire 250g tub of mascarpone cheese over the top. Finally crown your culinary creation with a handful of whatever crumb floats your boat & a generous handful of parmesan cheese too.

Whack that lot into a 200c oven for 30 minutes.

Thai Green Chicken Curry

A fabuliciouzly quick & easy curry that’s sure to please the whole Fam-Bam!

This is another gem of a dish from my post ballet arsenal that I can not believe I haven’t shared with you all already! Forget stopping for takeout on the way home, you’ll have this whipped up quicker than the store can!

Simply pop a pot of water on to boil, salt & cook off some rice before draining.

While that’s happening, grab a medium pot & bung in 2 diced up chicken thighs then pour over a 400ml tin of coconut milk. Get that onto a medium heat to cook off the chook.

In a small pot, pour in a 400ml tin of coconut cream & gently heat it up before popping in 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste along with a splash of soy sauce. Stir it well to incorporate & then add it into the chicken pot. Give the whole lot a jolly good stir.

Whack in the cooked & drained rice & dish up!

Now that’s the base recipe! Back in the day, before Mini-Me, I used to use 4 tablespoons of the curry paste which makes it really pack a spicy punch! Also, if you have a wee bit of extra time, load that curry up with a gazillion veggies for a more substantial meal.

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.

Yellow Fish Curry

A surprisingly easy curry to whip up in a flash!

This taste of Thailand will surely become a post ballet quickie favourite for my Fam-Bam!

Simply heat a glug of peanut oil (or whatever type floats your boat) in your wok over medium to high heat before adding in 1/2 cup of Thai yellow curry paste. Stir fry that until it’s beautifully fragrant, another way to tell it’s done is when the oils start to separate.

Bung in 1 cup of coconut cream & stir it through. Bring it to the boil, then reduce your heat to medium-low. Whack in a couple of diced fish fillets (I use Basa but love Barramundi too – any white fish will do) & just let that cook gently, giving it the odd push about the wok now & then.

When the fish is cooked through (it turns lovely white, sort of like a self timer!), turn the heat completely off & stir in 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar & 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Serve it up with fluffy white rice & It’s Chompin Time!

Chicken & Mushroom Mac Cheese

If you’re watching your weight or counting calories,

look away now!

Nobody can ever accuse this one of being healthy but sometimes, you just really need a hit of comfort food no matter what the consequences to your hips!

Start off by popping a pot of water onto boil, add salt & cook off an entire 500g bag of macaroni pasta before draining & bunging into a large oven-proof casserole dish.

While that’s doing it’s thing, bubbling away, you can multi-task ~ Da Da Dum!

Heat a wee glug of oil in a frypan & add in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with 500g of diced chicken thigh to cook off. Once lovely & golden, throw in a punnet of sliced mushrooms too. I prefer Swiss Brown Mushies but use whatever type floats your boat. Once everything is cooked, add it into the casserole dish & mix through the pasta.

Then we move onto making the cheese sauce. Far from being something to be scared of, it’s actually pretty easy to make so take a deep breath & here we go!

Bung 2 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan over the lowest heat possible. When it’s melted, remove from the heat & stir in 2 tablespoons of plain flour & 1 teaspoon of salt. Pop back onto the lowest heat, stirring to cook off that flour – you’re looking for when the butter ‘remelts’. Finally, slowly add in 2.5 cups of milk (you’ve just made a classic white sauce) before dumping in an entire 450g bag of whatever multiple cheese blend floats your boat (now you have a cheese sauce). Turn up the heat to medium to thicken it up a wee bit then simply pour over the pimped up pasta in the casserole dish. Stir through thoroughly before crowning your creation with copious amounts of grated cheddar cheese & a scrumptious layer of shredded parmesan cheese as well!

Whack that lot into a 180c oven for 20 minutes.

Crunchy Fish Fingers

This is so utterly easy,

you’ll be shaking your head in disbelief that you haven’t done it earlier!

DSC_0005.JPG

To get these super crunchy, super tasty nuggets of fishy goodness on your table is unbelievably simple!

Grab your favourite chips (crisps), we absolutely can never go past Smith’s Original, pop some in a plastic freezer bag & crush them up before setting aside.

Slice a couple of fish fillets (I’ve used Basa but my all time fav fish is Barramundi) into nice pieces.

Set up your production line of a bowl of whisked egg & another bowl of flour with the bag of crushed chips at the end.

Dip the fish in the egg, dust in the flour & whack in the bag.

When all the fish pieces are in the bag, twist it closed & shake it all up baby! This will coat all the fish nicely.

Heat some oil in a frypan to shallow fry off the fish before draining on a cooling wire set over a baking tray.

Bung that lot on a serving board or plate along with some tartare sauce or thousand island dressing then stand back & bask in the glory chef!

Layered Tatties

This is a recipe from my Mother in Law, which I’ve adapted.

Traditionally, in Hungary, they use cabbage rather than potatoes.

DSC_0003.JPG

Start by steaming some peeled whole potatoes until they’d pass for par-boiled then slice them up into thin discs.

Heat a wee splash of oil in a frypan & brown off 500g of mince (I use chicken mince but whatever type floats your boat is fine) along with a teaspoon of minced garlic. Remember to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Pop 1/2 cup of rice into a pot of boiling water & once cooked, drain & bung in with the mince, combining well.

Grab a nice baking dish & let’s layer up – tatties on bottom, then mince/rice mix, more tatties, more mince/rice mix etc making sure you end with tatties on top.

Next, make the sauce by simply combining 1/2 cup each of thickened cream & sour cream seasoned with salt, white pepper & paprika. Pour over the layers then simply drizzle extra thickened cream around the edges of the dish to ensure it remains nice & moist.

Whack that into a 200c oven for 40 minutes.

French Onion Soup

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

French Onion Soup.jpg

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.

DSC_0012.JPG

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!