At 8pm on his birthday, after the shops had shut and after weeks of saying that he didn't care what we ate as long as it involved beer, DB decided that what he REALLY wanted was black forest gateau. Go figure. This isn't really dark or slick enough to be black forest gateau, but it's what I made with what I had in the cupboards, and was pretty quick and easy to do, and involved chocolate, cream and cherries - so after a couple of cans and a lasagne it sufficed! Probably a good recipe for kids who aren't ready for the really rich and bitter flavour of proper BFG.
A flat-oven baked bread originating in Italy. Don't be afraid by the amount of topping suggested - a whole red onion will be so much that you can't see the surface of the bread anymore; but it all shrivels up when cooked, and using less will make it quite bland. Dill and sage also both work quite well with this recipe. Although this makes '1 loaf' because I only have 12 x 8 baking trays I tend to split this into two loaves and bake them separately, or else it gets squashed. Also beware of adding extra liquid - this tends to suck liquid away and then surprise you when you start kneading, so make sure you've properly mixed before you add anymore
A sweet potato and carrot mix with feta cheese, wrapped in shortcrust pastry. This is one of my first real forays into a recipe made up on the spot with what you have in the cupboard, so I'm quite proud!
This also keeps well wrapped in foil in the fridge, for a lighter meal with a salad.
I've also tried this with just sweet potatoes (although the carrot enhances the flavour) and with spinach (about 125g) instead of broccoli.
I've tried for ages to find a recipe that actually makes lentils taste GOOD. (I'm a vegetarian and eat lots, but am really not that fussed by how they actually taste). This recipe came from Channel 4's show "Come Dine with Me" in the UK.
A flapjack is a simple oaty cake that is sweet, chewy and very British. After getting sick of snacking on shop bought cereal bars that tasted more like cardboard, I decided to have a play with a basic flapjack recipe to produce a high protein version that would be a good post-workout snack (the normal butter is subbed for crunchy PB!) The reduced sugar also seems to encourage me to eat fewer of them! You could add sultanas too, or in place of the seeds.
The British tradition is for a very dark fruitcake, with marzipan and icing, but we've always made this rather lighter version instead. You can make it the day before you want to eat it (rather than ages in advance) and it keeps for a couple of months wrapped in tin foil. We also never put nuts in, although similar recipes contain a handful of almonds or walnuts. The "mixed fruit" referred to in the ingredients is a mixture of raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, and maybe other things like currants. It's just something we buy ready mixed.
Soda bread is great for people with yeast allergies, but it's super tasty too. This recipe has spelt flour in it, which has a lovely nutty taste, but can be quite expensive.
The dough is very free form, and prone to take off, so I tend to do this in a tin if I want it for sandwiches, but it also works well on a baking tray.
I think this recipe was originally done by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, but was adapted by a colleague of mine.
A lovely warming sauce; a good sinus-clearer; or just some proper traditional Italian cooking! This sauce announces itself at full volume, because of the chillies, but is also full of flavour. It is pantry food - a sauce that can be thrown together from ingredients you can keep in the cupboard for months at a time. This is the simplest recipe for it I have found, but is still delicious. When condensed down there may not seem to be much sauce, but you want to treat this like pesto - a small quantity swirled through lots of pasta, rather than drowning in sauce. If you try to split this only between two you may find it too rich.
A quick and easy way to make the gooey sticky treat!
Since I'm aware that shortbread is a typically Scottish biscuit, and may not translate across the pond, I've included how to make it from scratch. However, this works just as well with the shop bought kind.
A lovely starter or great finger food for a buffet. Makes a great meal served with garlic bread and salad. Definitely worth making for its own sake, but is also a great way to use up leftover risotto.
This originally came from the Good Housekeeping Vegetarian book.
This is an awesome no-bake chocolate cheesecake that is quick to whip up and then just needs 3h to chill. It's designed to be made with sweet dark English chocolate (e.g. Bournville), rather than really 'good' 75% brands, or US chocolate so may not work so well with American brands, and it needs quark, which I know is pretty hard to get outside of Europe, so no promises if you end up making it with substitutes!
It is well worth waiting the full time for the cake to set as the flavour is so much better when it's stiff. This was planned to serve 10, but we cut it into 12 and it still took us forever to eat because it's so rich!
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