RECIPE: Saag Aloo

saag aloo

I am a big fan of spice and Indian dishes are my favorite type of cuisine. Occasionally, I also enjoy eating vegetarian food. Therefore, it makes sense that saag aloo is one of my top Indian vegetarian dishes to make. This spinach and potato based dish is meat-free, budget-friendly, packed full of flavour and easy to make. My family either enjoy it as a main dish served with rice or as an accompaniment to a curry. Here is a quick and simple recipe for how to make saag aloo.

Ingredients for Saag Aloo

  • 3tbsps ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed.
  • 1 red and 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 level teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 level teaspoon turmeric
  • 500g potatoes cut into chunks
  • 250g bag washed spinach leaves
  • Salt
  • black pepper

How to Make Saag Aloo

  1. Put the chopped potatoes into a pan of salted water and bring to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onions, chillies, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Drain the potatoes as soon as the water begins to boil.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onions, chillies, garlic, and ginger to the frying pan. 
  6. When the onions have turned golden and softened, add the turmeric and cumin.
  7. Next, add the par-boiled potatoes.
  8. Roughly chop the spinach leaves and add to the pan.
  9. As the spinach begins to wilt, stir in the mixture.
  10. Cook for a further five minutes on a medium heat to allow the flavor of the spices to infuse the potatoes and the spinach. 
  11. Serve with rice or naan bread.

Tips

  • Meat lovers– you can easily adapt this to a meat dish by adding chicken, beef or lamb.
  • Different textures– you can leave the spinach leaves, whole, roughly chop them or finely chop them.
  • Spice levels– you can experiment with different levels of spice to suit your taste by adding more or less of ingredients including garlic, chillies, ginger, turmeric, and cumin. 
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RECIPE: Corned Beef Fritters

fritters

The other day I posted about using up your leftovers and said I was planning on adding some of my leftover recipes to the blog. I also posted a recipe for corned beef hash. Therefore, it made sense to me that the first recipe for using up leftovers was corned beef fritters. If you have used my corned beef hash recipe and have leftovers, then making fritters is a great idea. It takes just seconds to transform the dish into something that tastes completely different. Here is how to make corned beef fritters.

Corned Beef Fritters

  • Divide your leftover corned beef hash into balls about the size of your fist. 
  • Roll each piece into a ball and then press down to create a thick disc.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan until it is sizzling. 
  • Add the fritters and cook for a few minutes until the underneath has turned golden brown and crispy.
  • Flip over the fritters onto the other side using a flat fish lift.
  • Cook the second side for a few minutes until the fritters are hot in the centre and both sides are golden and crispy.
  • Serve immediately to retain the crunch.

TIPS

  • Add vegetables- You can change the flavor each time you make these by adding different cooked vegetables to the leftover corned beef hash. Garden peas, sweetcorn, or cooked carrots work particularly well. 

If you missed the corned beef hash recipe, you can read it here.

 

RECIPE: Corned Beef Hash

hash

Corned beef hash is not one of the most glamorous meals and it certainly isn’t something that you could classify as a fine dining experience. However, it is absolutely delicious, quick and easy to make, a budget-friendly option, and the kids love it. Here is how to make corned beef hash. 

Ingredients for Corned Beef Hash

  • 1 x tin of corned beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 kg white potatoes
  • 2 tbsp gravy granules
  • Salt and pepper to season

How to Make Corned Beef Hash

  1. Peel the potatoes and dice into small cubes.
  2. Add the potatoes to a pan of salted water and bring to the boil.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, finely chop a large onion and dice the contents of a tine of corned beef.
  4. Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil before adding the onions.
  5. Cook the onions until they are softened and brown and then add the corned beef to the pan. 
  6. When the potatoes have softened (check with a fork) drain most of the water from the pan. You will need a little if you want a small amount of gravy in your corned beef hash.
  7. Transfer the potatoes and the remaining water to the frying pan and mix into the corned beef and onions.
  8. Sprinkle over the gravy granules and season the dish with pepper.
  9. Cook the ingredients together for a further five minutes before serving. 

Tips

Leftovers- If you have any leftover corned beef hash, do not throw it away. Instead, refrigerate it overnight and use it the next day to make delicious homemade corned beef fritters.

Serving– I usually serve this with peas and some pickled red cabbage. My partner and kids also like sliced bread and butter with corned beef hash. 

RECIPE: Savoury Cheese, Bacon and Mushroom Pancakes

pancakes

Although pancakes are traditionally eaten on Pancake Day, they are just as great at any time of the year. Often, people associate pancakes with desserts. However, they are also fantastic as a savoury dish. There are many different fillings you can add to a pancake, but cheese, ham and mushroom is a great combination. Here is how to make savoury pancakes with a cheese, bacon and mushroom filling.

NB: This recipe makes 12 European-style thin pancakes, also known as crepes, and will serve six people if you each have two savoury pancakes.

Pancake Batter Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 oz/ 100 g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10 fl. oz/ 300 ml/ 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable, plus extra oil for frying
  • A pinch of salt

Cheese, Bacon and Mushroom Filling Ingredients

  • 2 x 180g tubs of soft cheese
  • 8 rashers of smoked bacon
  • 4 oz/ 100g chopped button mushrooms
  • Black pepper

How to Make Pancake Batter

  • Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Crack the eggs into the centre of the flour and add the oil.
  • Gently combine with a whisk to create a thick mixture.
  • Gradually add the milk and whisk to create a smooth mixture.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes before making the pancakes.

How to Make the Savoury Filling 

  1. Make the savoury filling before starting to make your crepes.
  2. Cook the rashers of smoked bacon in a frying pan on a medium heat. 
  3. When the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove from the pan.
  4. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan in which the bacon was cooked and fry until brown.
  5. Add the two tubs of soft cheese and turn down to a low heat.
  6. Season with black pepper and stir mixture.
  7. Chop the cooked bacon into small pieces before returning to the pan.
  8. Stir well for even distribution.
  9. Keep the filling on a low heat while making the pancakes. 

Cooking Pancakes

  1. Put some vegetable oil on a piece of kitchen roll and wipe around a medium-sized frying pan to grease.
  2. Put the frying pan on a medium heat on your hob.
  3. Once hot, pour some pancake mixture into the centre of the pan and tilt to coat the base with a thin layer of the batter.
  4. Cook for one minute before turning the pancake over. Either, use a flat fish lift to do this or, if you are brave enough, toss the pancake.
  5. Cook on the second side for one minute and then serve.
  6. To serve, lie a pancake on a plate and add some of the filling in a line down the centre of the pancake. 
  7. Fold the pancake over the top of the filling and then roll.

RECIPE: Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

cauliflower and broccoli

This vegetarian dish is delicious as a meal on its own or as a vegetable accompaniment to meat. It is quick and simple to make as it just involves cooking broccoli and cauliflower and then adding a cheese sauce. I use double the amount of the basic cheese sauce recipe when I am making this and add some mustard for extra flavour. I also switch the white pepper to black. Here is how to make a delicious broccoli and cauliflower gratin.

Ingredients for Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

 

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 oz/ 50 g butter
  • 2 oz/ 50 g plain flour
  • 6 oz/ 160 g cheese for the sauce
  • 3 oz/ 80 g cheese for topping
  • 2 slices of stale bread, crumbed
  • 2 tbsp English mustard
  • 1200 ml/ 2-pint milk
  • Black pepper and salt

How to Make Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

  1. Measure your ingredients first.
  2. Remove the leaves and main stem from the cauliflower and broccoli, then break into florets.
  3. Add cauliflower and broccoli to a pan of salted boiling water.
  4. While the broccoli and cauliflower are cooking, start the cheese sauce.
  5. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. 
  6. Sieve the flour into the melted butter and stir.
  7. Cook for two minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk a little at a time continuously stirring until you have created a smooth sauce.
  9. Season with the salt and black pepper  and add the mustard.
  10. Simmer gently over a low heat for approximately eight minutes.
  11. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese.
  12. Drain the broccoli and cauliflower before adding to a large, oven-proof dish. Any excess water will cause the sauce to split, so dabbing with kitchen paper can help to make sure the broccoli and cauliflower are thoroughly dry.
  13. Pour over the cheese sauce so it is evenly distributed.
  14. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the dish and then add breadcrumbs.
  15. Cook on a high heat in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top of the dish is golden brown. 

TIPS

Meat lovers– If you do not enjoy vegetarian meals, this is delicious if you add your leftover ham

 

RECIPE: Easy Cheese Sauce

cheese sauce

A cheese sauce is one of the easiest sauces to make. You will need to learn how to make this if you want to make cauliflower cheese, fish pie, and many pasta dishes. There is just one more ingredient in this than in a simple white sauce, so it is not complicated to follow. Here is how to make an easy cheese sauce.

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce

  • 1 oz/ 25 g butter
  • 1 oz/ 25 g plain flour
  • 3 oz/ 80 g cheese
  • 600 ml/ 1-pint milk
  • White pepper and salt

How to Make a Cheese Sauce

  1. Measure your ingredients first.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. 
  3. Sieve the flour into the melted butter and stir.
  4. Cook for two minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk a little at a time continuously stirring until you have created a smooth sauce.
  6. Season with the salt and white pepper.
  7. Simmer gently over a low heat for approximately eight minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese.

TIPS

  • Cheese- I use mature cheddar cheese as it has a good consistency and the perfect flavour for a sauce. Good alternatives are gruyere or Gouda. 

RECIPE: How to Make Pancakes

pancakes

Although pancakes are traditionally eaten on Pancake Day, they are just as great at any time of the year. Depending on how you serve them, pancakes are perfect for breakfast, savoury family dinners, and desserts. It might surprise you just how easy pancakes are to make. Here is how to make perfect pancakes.

NB: This recipe makes 12 European-style thin pancakes, also known as crepes.

Pancake Batter Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 oz/ 100 g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10 fl. oz/ 300 ml/ 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, plus extra oil for frying
  • A pinch of salt

How to Make Pancake Batter

  • Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Crack the eggs into the centre of the flour and add the oil.
  • Gently combine with a whisk to create a thick mixture.
  • Gradually add the milk and whisk to create a smooth mixture.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes before making the pancakes.

Cooking Pancakes

  • Put some vegetable oil on a piece of kitchen roll and wipe around a medium-sized frying pan to grease.
  • Put the frying pan on a medium heat on your hob.
  • Once hot, pour some pancake mixture into the centre of the pan and tilt to coat the base with a thin layer of the batter.
  • Cook for one minute before turning the pancake over. Either, use a flat fish lift to do this or, if you are brave enough, toss the pancake.
  • Cook on the second side for one minute and then serve.