Sweet Pumkin Pie O’Mine

It’s nearly Halloween and I’ve been meaning to try pumpkin pie for the last few years. I bought a pumpkin earlier this week and did some funky roasting with it but todayw as a day for sweet stuff.

So here’s how this went. There are 2 stages to this. First and foremost, the pastry. You need to line a loose bottomed tart tin with shortcrust pastry. While the oven is heating to 180 C, place the pastry line cased in the fridge for 15 minutes. Before putting it in the oven, place some baking parchment paper and some dry beans, lentils or rice. Place in the oven for 15 min, remove the paper and pulses and put the pastry back in the oven for about 10 min or until it’s golden brown and all biscuity.20141029_125859

For the filling you will need: 750 g of pumpkin flesh, peeled and seeded, 2 large eggs + 1 egg yoke; 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, a good pinch of nutmeg and 2 of cinnamon, 140 g of sugar, 175 of condensed milk, bitta salt.

Boil the pumpkin until soft and let it cool. Press it through a potato ricer if you have it or just mash it down as smooth as you can. Beat the eggs and incorporate all the ingredients (minus the cinnamon) together.

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Pour it in the cooled down blind baked pie dish.

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The oven needs to be pre-heated to 210 C. Place the pie in the oven for 10 min and then bring the temperature down to 180 C. Leave it in for 30 to 40 min or until it’s fully set.

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Dust with cinnamon powder.

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Roasted Pumpkin Asian Style

I wanted something that packed a punch and I bought a massive pumpkin. When I say I massive I mean bigger than my head. That’s massive!

I cut a good chunk of it, peeled it and hacked it and sprinkled it with oil and ginger powder.

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Banged that in the oven at 180 C for 20 min, turned them around and put them back in for another 20.

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I steamed a load of edamame which I shelled and put in the bowl.

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I made this sauce and just added a bit (a lot) of wasabi paste to it for an extra burn. https://recessionbitesblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/thai-riffic-sauce/

Delicious!

Mediterranean Pumpkin

I love autumnal food and I love pumpkins. There are SO many things you can do with them. They’re so versatile. Today I’m doing a simple mediterranean style dish with them.

Ingredients:

Pumpkin slices (peeled and seeded); fresh thyme; feta; multi seeds; fresh thyme; garlic; salt; pepper; olive oil; half a lemon.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 C.

Place your sliced pumpkins on a baking tray with the garlic cloves left unpeeled. Pour some olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

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Leave them for about 30 min and turn them around. Leave them in the oven for a further 30 min. They should be lovely and golden.

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Peel the garlic and plate the pumpkins with the garlic, feta, seeds and some bits of green if you have them. Drizzle of lemon juice and that’s you done. Gorgeous!

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The Bacon Bomb (as seen in the Irish Times)

The Irish Times asked me to feature the recipe as part of their Food Month and here is the result!

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/recipes/feeling-delicate-try-a-bacon-bomb-1.1992697

There is this sexy poet. And he sent me a recipe. A recipe wrapped in bacon, about bacon made of bacon. Did I mention the bacon? So I started plotting and twisting and looking up bacon porn on the internet. Let me tell you there are a lot of bacon freaks out there!

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I mean who wants to be bacon? Clearly a lot of people. Those products were quite bad but then, there was this terror. The internet nearly imploded. I mean cats and bacon. It’s the end of the world. Even the cat doesn’t look impressed.

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So I got sick a bit and then I ploughed through with my baconning. Here’s how it went.

Buy 3 packets of streaky bacon. Two shall be unsmoked and just one will be smoked. Put some baking parchment on a tray (oven at 180 C) and place 5 plain streaky rashers plain across and 5 down. Like a tasty salty crossword. And then a couple of random ones just because bacon.

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In a bowl take about a pound of sausage meat (I used some herby garlicky romanian sausages from the local butcher but toulouse sausage will do just fine too) and mix it with a good tablespoon of piri piri chilli and a bunch of scallions finely diced.

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Mould it in a dome or whatever shape you fancy and lay it on the bacon.

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Wrap the bacon around it and top it with the smokey streaky rashers. Sexy or what?

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Place it in the oven for 30 min and it should look like this:

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You would, wouldn’t you? Sausage on bacon, wrapped in bacon. Gowan. I served it with potato mash and it was lovely.

Left overs will make a fine sandwich and I’m fairly sure one of these days I’m going to try and make a sausage roll out of it! Now pork forth and make this! You know you want to!

My Favourite Stew

As the wind is raging outside and the rain battering the windows, I am so happy to sit back and feel cosy with a belly full of this beauty. It’s hearty, warming and delicious. Get it made for the freezer. You really won’t regret it.

Ingredients: 

1 bag of dry canneloni beans; 500 g of diced lamb or mutton (I prefer mutton as it’s more flavoursome); 1 chorizo sausage; 1 large onion; 2 bouquets garnis; 2 vegetable bouillon cubes and patience. Lots and lots of patience.

Method:

Soak the beans over night in cold water, rinse and reserve. In a large pot, sweat the cubed chorizo on low heat for 5 min. Add the onion and lamb and brown the meat, you want the onions translucid but no more.

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Add the beans, bouquets garnis and cover with the bouillon. You are going to be cooking this and topping it with bouillon for a good 5 hours on very low heat.

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Please do NOT add salt to the dish as it will stop the beans from cooking. Once the beans are all soft your stew is ready.

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My Hangover Buster

We all have dirty little secrets when it comes to fighting the Hangover Monster. It may be self inflicted but still, love thyself and fight it with cheese and bacon!

Take 2 frozen potato waffles and put them in your toaster. While they’re heating up place 2 rashers on a pan and slowly heat them through.

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When the waffles pop up, place them on the bacon and slice some cheese on top.

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Cover the pan and let it cook slowly for 10 min on low heat. Place under a really hot grill for 2 min and sprinkle generously with black pepper. This WILL sort you out!

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In 6 seconds it looks like this:

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I was in Lidl yesterday and decided to buy a couple of veggies I don’t eat very often. I also promised myself that if I bought them I had to cook them and eat them.  I’m trying to control my food waste and planning menus has been great for it. They also had a special on salmon fillets so here we are!

This is perfect as a starter for 2 or as a main course for 1!

Ingredients:

2 large portobello mushrooms; 1/3 of a packet of feta; 1 salmon fillet (skinned); 1 egg; parsley; salt and pepper

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C.

Shred the raw salmon and in a bowl mix it with the other ingredients and fill the mushrooms with the mixtures. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and place in the oven for 20 min.

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Chicken with Olives

Just a very quick mid week dinner for two.

Ingredients:

2 chicken legs, 2 cups of marinated olives from a deli, 1 tablespoon of oregano, drizzle of oil.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Marinade the chicken with the olives, oregano and oil for an hour. Place in the oven for 40 min until golden brown. I served this with a cheesy pumpkin mash. The olives give a lovely saltiness to the chicken.

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Scrumptious Ham and Cheese Cake

So very easy. This one is to be eaten warm with a side salad or on the go as part of a picnic. I made the easiest combination as it’s what I had at home but you can really get creative with it.

Ingredients: 

100 g flour; 1 sachet of yeast; 150 g of ham or chopped bacon, 100 g of decent cheddar or some compte maybe for that extra nutty flavour, 3 large eggs, half a mug of milk, quarter of a mug of olive oil, pinch of nutmeg, black pepper.

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients apart from the ham and cheese. Beat it well until the mixture is nice and smooth. It will be quite liquid so don’t be worried about it. This is not a bread but in fact a cake mixture as strange as this may sound. Once you’re happy with your mixture add the chopped ham and grated cheese. Pour into a buttered mould and place on a baking tray in the oven for 45 min. It will be nice and golden! The inside is fragrant, soft and delicious.

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Warm Shredded Chicken, Edamame and Potato Salad

Today is a back of the press kind of day. It’s grey and dull and I’m feeling remarkably lazy so I doubt I’ll make it to the shops. So I had a good sniff around the fridge, freezer and the back of the press and here’s the lunch I came up with. I won’t lie. It was very tasty indeed!

Ingredients (for 2 – 400 calories per person):

4 baby potatoes; 1 chicken breast; edamame beans; few sprigs of rocket and parsley; for the dressing: soy sauce; fish sauce; garlic; lemon juice; sesame seed oil; chili pepper.

Method:

Boil the potatoes and leave them to cool once they’re cooked.

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Boil the chicken and steam the edamame over it.Shred the chicken and pop the edamames out of their pods. In a bowl mix the ingredients for the dressing. Plate up. Enjoy!

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