Sunday, 25 January 2015

Gnocchi with sausage meatballs!

We are eating from the fridge, freezer and cupboard today...being only two of us, we often end up using just three quarters of something for a meal, leaving not enough for a whole meal left maundering in the fridge. Salads and sauces need using up quickly, or they will end up in the bin, so a compound meal like this is quick and economical.

I have to use up:
a quarter of a pack of sausagemeat
few slices of Parma ham
few slices of Mortadella
half a tub of coleslaw
various nearly used up bags of salad
third of a bottle of spaghetti sauce (tomato & pancetta)
quarter of a can of chopped tomatoes
raggedy end of a supermarket basil plant
handful of button mushrooms
1 large tomato, still firm enough to slice (there were others too, but getting a bit soft, so they will be grilled for breakfast) 
end knuckle of a cucumber
the freezer and store-cupboard offer me:
green olives
parmesan cheese
home frozen from fresh potato gnocchi
Freshly made vinaigrette from olive oil and white balsamic vinegar

The sausage meat I made into little balls and fried, then combine with the tomato sauce and end of the can of tomatoes and simmer through whilst the gnocchi cook (only about 3 minutes straight into the boiling salted water from frozen) 

Meanwhile the bags of salad go into a bowl with the sliced raw mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and olives, to be served with the meat and coleslaw.

And it comes out like this...

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

a Fish Pie - one for you, one for me...

I usually make a big single fish pie for us, but this time decided to make individual ones.

I was trying out the Fish Pie mixed fish from Aldi, inexpensively prepacked with salmon, smoked haddock and cod ready cut into cubes. Not as inexpensive as I initially thought as there wasn't really that much fish.   Barely enough for the two of us. So to make sure that it was evenly shared, I made two pies. One each.

The way I make fish pie isn't tricksy, I poach the fish lightly in milk, use that milk to make a parsley sauce, mix fish and sauce, top with slice hard boiled eggs, and then with mashed potato. Flakes of butter on top, into the oven fast and furious and 15 minutes later (enough time for the green veg  - french beans and broccoli this time) on the table.

And we both got seconds from our little dishes :)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

a dinner of watercress - The Watercress Company

I was hugely pleased before Christmas to receive a sample pack ( A HUGE sample pack...) of the most delicious watercress from The Watercress Company .  I stuffed it into egg mayonnaise sandwiches,  I made huge beds of it under chargrilled steaks,  I made soup and kebabs with watercress salad and watercress rice. It is such a good salad vegetable and can also be used as a herb,  rather like you would parsley. I can't get enough of it.

The soup is simplicity itself, just some potato and leeks or onions simmered in stock until very tender, watercress then added (no weighing really, just trust your judgement as to how much you need, LARGE handfuls though, more than you does wilt down. You want the soup to taste of watercress, not potato) and allowed to wilt down until softened. Then blitz with a hand blender until smooth (or use a normal blender).  It can be kept at this stage for a while and reheated just before serving.  Once reheated, check the seasoning, add another large handful of cress and blitz immediately. The raw cress will give the soup a wonderful bright green colour,and the flavour will be lively and hot and spicy.

The kebabs are simple, lamb cubes marinated in oil, lemon juice and oregano, skewered with peppers and onions and grilled until tender and well charred along the edges.  Whilst the lamb is cooking, cook basmati rice and steam to dry it off thoroughly. Before serving, use a fork (not a spoon) and mix in a good couple of handfuls of finely chopped watercress.

Healthy eating... not half!

it's just a bowl of soup.....

What vegetables have you got in the bottom of the fridge? Shred and chop them all!
Have you got any ham or bacon? Chop it up!
Noodles in the cupboard?  Bung them in!
water... a dollop of chicken stock powder.... simmer for half an hour.

Look..... soup!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year! Happy 2015 Dinners to us all...

Here's wishing us all a very Happy 2015 and lots of dinners to come this year.

Thanks to everyone who has commented on the quick, easy dinners I have eaten this year. I have been eating really boring things this winter, that haven't merited any blog posts, but I will try harder in 2015, I promise!

(Don't forget to check out my other blogs: A Greedy Piglet (for recipes) and A Greedy Piglet - the sidebar (for reviews and short notes)  )