lamb koftas

I feel like the whole of January and some of February I was full of the miseries of not just one, but two colds! So I’m not going to say happy new year at this point because here we are in March and, frankly, it would just be embarrassing!  So, while I was lying on the sofa, nicely tucked up with my blanket to keep me and my cold cosy, I put on an episode of Saturday Kitchen.  I fully expected to have a nice snooze but Tonia Buxton kept me awake making her lamb koftas with a spicy tahini dip!

They are really easy to make and I have now made them twice.  The first time I overcooked them – I followed Tonia’s timings but baked them in the Aga, so I only have myself to blame for not checking them earlier!  They were only a little bit overdone – thankfully!  Second time around, they were perfectly cooked.  The dip was delicious but very garlicky so I reduced the number of cloves from four to one and also felt that it didn’t require the juice from two lemons, one was plenty.  It’s a really good dish to have if you’re trying to avoid bread as they’re served in lovely little gem lettuce leaves.  We also had roasted sweet potato as there was some leftover from making the koftas.  (Actually my sweet potato was enormous!)  They also freeze beautifully and defrost fairly quickly, which is useful to know.

I also have a point to note from making/freezing the lamb sausage rolls in my previous post.  The first time I made them I cooked them then froze them and consequently when I defrosted/reheated them, they were a little dry.  The second time I made them I froze them raw.  This is definitely the way to go as they turned out brilliantly and were not dried out in the slightest.  I hope you give the sausage rolls or the koftas – or both – a try, as they’re both very tasty. 

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spice up your sausage rolls

I know it’s been a while, so let’s hope you’ve missed me and I’ll move swiftly on!

I recently lent the Bourke Street Bakery bread book to a friend and after she returned it I sat down and began flicking through it, as you do.  The recipe for lamb, harissa and almond sausage rolls caught my eye BUT, this being the weekend before Christmas when I have lists on my lists, I thought I’d take a few shortcuts.  The recipe includes a list of ingredients for making your own harissa and also making your own puff pastry but neither of these things were going to happen in my kitchen today so I bought a jar of Belazu Rose Harissa and some ready rolled puff pastry. I know, shame on me! 

I adapted the recipe a bit so here’s what you need

150g Belazu Rose Harissa

2 packs all butter, ready rolled puff pastry from the chiller section in the supermarket

 500g minced lamb

50g currants

30g couscous 

an egg for the egg wash

salt and pepper

Poppy seeds for sprinkling over the sausage rolls

Mix the minced lamb, harissa, couscous, currants, salt and pepper together well and divide into two equal (ish) pieces and roll each one into a sausage shape.  Take the pastry out of the packaging and place on some non-stick baking parchment.  Then place one of the sausages along the middle of the pastry, lengthwise.  Brush the long edge nearest you with egg wash and fold the other edge over to seal, flattening the sausage a bit as you do so.  Repeat with the other bit of pastry and sausage.  Trim the long edge and mark nicely with a fork.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Divide each one into five (or 4 if you like them a bit bigger) and bake on a baking tray in the centre of the hot oven of a two oven Aga for about half an hour  – you might need to use the cold shelf after about twenty minutes to stop them from becoming too brown (or at 350/375 degrees F approximately until filling is cooked right through). Leave on a rack to cool.  I’m sure you’ve noticed there are no almonds in mine but only because I didn’t have any blanched ones.  I think they would be a great addition.

I tasted one when they were cool enough and boy was it good!  I bought extra good lamb, minced specially for me at the butcher and it had a really nice texture.  A couple more have disappeared from the rack as we both had them for lunch but the rest are going into the freezer so there will be a wee snacklet for someone over the festive period! 馃槆

I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2017!

Looking forward to seeing you next year!

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the joy of socks

Firstly I should tell you this is one of those non-food posts which pop up every now and then on my blog. 聽I follow (and love) the blog En Brogue聽written by fashion editor Hannah Rochell. 聽If you haven’t gathered by the title, it’s all about shoes. 聽Flat ones. 聽And she’s written a book about them too. 聽I always read with envy as I too love shoes and more often than not these days can be found wearing my ‘flatties’. 聽I do own heels but they don’t come out of their boxes very much. 聽The reason I’m telling you all this is because this week she’s written a post about socks, which I also happen to love. 聽(In fact, I was going to write about my Christmas socks but the time came and went and it doesn’t feel quite right now it’s March!)

I’m going to sidestep a little and tell you I’m reading a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying聽by Marie Kondo聽because sadly I’m not one of the tidiest of people on the planet but I’d like聽to be. Loads of very useful information in the book including a section about how to store socks. 聽No turning them inside out in a pair. 聽Folding is the thing to do. 聽Mmmmm. 聽I suspect this might entail ironing them. 聽This might be a step too far but I’m always open to new ideas. 聽So when Hannah’s most recent post dropped into my mailbox I thought there might just be something to this sock folding lark. 聽Fast forward to today …



I am truly impressed. 聽Not only can I see all my socks at a glance, I no longer have 聽to wade through a double layer of them – real timesaver when I’m trying to co-ordinate myself in the morning! 聽I took the opportunity to have a bit of a clear out too. 聽I confess I haven’t quite finished Marie Kondo’s book (hence the untidy sock drawer) but fully intend will try聽to follow her method to ensure I become a much tidier person. 聽And just so you know, I didn’t have to iron them. 聽Phew!



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a Nopi favourite

I have a copy of the Nopi聽cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully which has been read cover to cover but until today, I hadn’t actually made anything from it. 聽I know, naughty me! 聽Well, I managed to get some burrata (think mozzarella but more creamy!) and it is the season for blood oranges so I thought I’d try ‘burrata with blood orange, coriander seeds and lavender oil’.

This is a very simple dish really but it is the combination of flavours that just lifts it to another realm. 聽I feel sure that Nopi must be supplied with smaller balls of burrata than the one I purchased, because mine was far too much for one! Even a greedy one like me! 聽The oranges are sliced horizontally rather than segmented and placed on the plate with the burrata. 聽The dressing – made from olive oil, honey, garlic, corianders seeds and salt – is then drizzled over the cheese. 聽Scatter some basil over the top and you’re done. 聽It looks beautiful!

I’m sure you’ve noticed something missing in my version … yep, the lavender. 聽I’m afraid I didn’t have any and not sure how keen I am to eat it as I’m not keen on lavender scented body products. 聽That said, now I’ve tasted the dish, I might give it a whirl next time. 聽I left the burrito whole for the photo but when I cut into it to save some for lunch tomorrow, it oozed its creamy middle all over the plate! 聽I don’t know how but I did still manage to restrain myself and just eat half! 聽I can understand why customers go to Nopi just for this!

roll on tomorrow for the leftovers ...

roll on tomorrow for the leftovers …


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padr贸n peppers

This gallery contains 2 photos.

A couple of weeks ago in the guardian’s Saturday Magazine, Yotam Ottolenghi聽gave us a聽recipe聽using padr贸n peppers. 聽I have eaten these in Tenerife but not cooked like this! 聽Fast forward a week or so to when I was looking for inspiration … Continue reading

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coffee anyone?

I love coffee. 聽Coffee chocolates, coffee ice cream and up there at the top is, of course, my morning coffee. 聽Heaven help you if you encounter me before I’ve had it. 聽You have been warned! 聽Only joking. 聽Well, maybe not …… 馃槃!

Last week I came across recipes for coffee cake in three different locations on the same day 聽and thought someone must be trying to tell me something. 聽I decided to make the one baked by Kath over at聽The Ordinary Cook. 聽She weighs her eggs (in the shells) which is something new to me, then weighs the flour, butter and sugar to the same weight. 聽Clever! 聽My eggs weighed quite a bit more than Kath’s so I used two 23cm sandwich tins (9 inch for those who don’t work in metric). 聽I was also rushing a bit as I had a pile of ironing to do so I opted for the all-in-one method for mixing. 聽(Actually, I put everything in the mixing bowl then read the method – oops!). 聽I baked them at 150掳C in my fan oven (which runs quite hot) for 25-30 mins and they looked pretty good when they came out of the oven. 聽The cakes are sandwiched together with a lovely coffee buttercream which isn’t too sweet and, if you have any left, spread it over the top. 聽Thanks Kath – it’s very good – just the thing for a cold and miserable day. 聽Or any day come to think of it. 聽Who needs an excuse!



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Happy 2016

fresh and tasty

fresh and tasty

The second day of the new year already! 聽I really did mean to post this yesterday but didn’t quite get around to it. 聽No I wasn’t partying, nor did I have a hangover. 聽This year I was trying to get myself ready to face the year – you know, gather my thoughts, make resolutions (haha!) and generally get the house tidy after Christmas.

My first meal of the year (yesterday lunch) was delicious. 聽The recipe I found in the donna hay magazine聽(oct/nov 2015) Issue 83 – corn, kale and coriander fritters with crispy bacon. 聽I’ve actually made it a couple of times now as it really is so good. 聽Fritter batter made with greek yoghurt (0% fat for me), flour and eggs then sweetcorn, kale, fresh coriander and chilli stirred in along with some salt and pepper. 聽I couldn’t get all the kale stirred into the batter so I served it on the side with some sweet tomato and chilli chutney. 聽It even sounds healthy! 聽I’ve had it with and without bacon and my 聽preference would be for without, but that’s just me. This is my kind of food.

I hope all my meals are going to be as tasty as this one! 聽Happy New Year!



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