RECIPE: Corned Beef Hash

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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. 

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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: Easy Red Wine Sauce

red wine sauce

Red wine sauce is one of the simplest sauces you can make. It is a great accompaniment to steaks, red meats, and game. There are many variations to this basic sauce. So, once you have mastered this simple version, you can start experimenting with different variations. Here is how to make a red wine sauce.

Ingredients for Red Wine Sauce

  • 2 cups of red wine
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 30g butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking

To Make Red Wine Sauce

  1. Chop the onions and crush the garlic.
  2. Melt the butter over a medium heat with a little olive oil. The oil is for heat while the butter is for colour and flavour.
  3. Add the chopped onions and crushed garlic and fry over a medium heat until softened.
  4. Add the red wine to the pan and stir.
  5. Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to the boil as this will cook the alcohol out of the sauce.
  6.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for three to four minutes.
  7. Add in the beef stock and bring to the boil again before reducing to a medium-low heat.
  8. Simmer for 12 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  9. Season sauce with salt and black pepper.

TIPS

  • Smooth sauce- If you prefer, you can sieve out the garlic and onions after cooking for a smooth sauce.
  • Quicker thickening- The sugars in the wine are what thickens this sauce during the cooking process. If you want the sauce to thicken faster, you can add one teaspoon of cornflour to the sauce. However, this can give the sauce a slightly different appearance.

RECIPE: Creamy Chicken, Chorizo, and Tomato Pasta Bake

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Pasta dishes are some of the simplest and quickest to make. That makes them perfect for busy families who want something delicious and nutritious for their tea but don’t have hours to spare for food preparation. This creamy chicken, chorizo and tomato pasta bake is really tasty and very simple to make. Here is how to make creamy chicken, chorizo, and tomato pasta bake.

Ingredients for Creamy Chicken, Chorizo and Tomato Pasta Bake

  • 10oz/ 300g dried penne pasta
  • 3 diced chicken breasts
  • 3 1/2oz/ 100 g chorizo, chopped
  • 400g chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5oz/ 150 g chopped mozzarella cheese
  • 3oz/ 75g soft cheese
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 oz/ 30g torn fresh basil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Creamy Chicken, Chorizo and Tomato Pasta Bake

  1. Prepare all your ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220 C/ Gas mark 8.
  3. In accordance with the instructions on the packet, cook your pasta in salted boiling water.
  4. In a large frying pan, cook the chorizo for 3-4 minutes over a high heat until the oils from the chorizo are released.
  5. Next, add both the chicken and the crushed garlic to the pan. Cook for a further five minutes.
  6. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes and tip in the can of chopped tomatoes. Bring the mixture to simmering point.
  7. Add the soft cheese and stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce and has a creamy consistency and appearance.
  8. Add half the oregano and three-quarters of the fresh basil.
  9. Drain the cooked penne pasta and transfer to the mixture.
  10. Stir well to make sure the pasta is thoroughly coated in the sauce and the chicken and chorizo are evenly distributed.
  11. Season with black pepper and stir through.
  12. Transfer everything from the frying pan to an oven-proof dish.
  13. Sprinkle over the chopped mozzarella, the parmesan and the remaining oregano.
  14. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the mozzarella and parmesan topping is bubbling and golden.
  15. Serve onto plates or into pasta bowls and sprinkle over the remaining basil to garnish.  

TIPS

  • Switch the meat– this dish works just as well with diced turkey if you prefer this to chicken.
  • Pasta alternatives– this recipe uses penne pasta, but most other varieties of pasta will work just as well.
  • Fresh pasta– If you prefer, you can make fresh pasta. However, you will need to adapt the cooking time as this cooks in just minutes.
  • Serving suggestion– This is fantastic with a tossed side salad and crunchy garlic bread.

RECIPE: Funky Red Cabbage Slaw

red cabbage slaw

Although I make the regular slaw, my kids really love my funky red cabbage slaw as there is something fun about having such a colorful side dish on the plate. It is quick and simple to make and is a great way of getting the kids to eat a variety of vegetables. Here is a quick guide on how to make funky red cabbage slaw. It makes enough for approximately eight good-sized side dishes to accompany a meal.

Ingredients for Funky Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage grated or finely sliced
  • 4 large carrots grated
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 8 heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons of salad cream
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Funky Red Cabbage Slaw

  1. Grate the carrots and red cabbage and finely slice the red onion.
  2. Add the grated and sliced vegetables to a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the mayonnaise, salad cream, and double cream to the bowl.
  4. Stir well until all the vegetables are coated.
  5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Tips

  • Extra ingredients– you can add extra ingredients if you want a little variety. Try adding chopped apples, sultanas, or walnuts for a twist. 
  • Spice it up– this is delicious as it is, but you can also spice up this dish. Adding a teaspoon of curry powder or smoked paprika are just two ways you can change the flavor of this accompaniment.
  • Reduce the fat– it is easy to reduce the fat content of this side dish. Simply use low-fat mayonnaise and salad cream and omit the double cream from the recipe. 

 

 

RECIPE: Courgette and Tomato Bake

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Although I love meat, I also enjoy the occasional vegetarian dish too. This courgette and tomato bake is really quick and easy to make. It is something I sometimes make myself for lunch as there is enough for two days. I also make it as an accompaniment to meat as a family meal. There is an ingredient that some people think is rather unusual (yes, it does say ready salted crisps on the ingredients list), but this is a delicious topping. This dish will serve two people as a main meal or four to six as a side dish. Here are the recipe and some tips for adapting this recipe to your own tastes.

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Ingredients

  • 3 courgettes (zucchini)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 6oz/ 170g crumbly cheese
  • 2oz/ 60g butter
  • 2 packets ready salted crisps (potato chips)
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to the highest setting.
  2. Thinly slice the courgettes and halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes. 
  3. Cover the bottom of an oven-proof dish with a layer of the courgettes.
  4. Add all the tomatoes to the next layer.
  5. Continue adding layers with the remaining courgettes. 
  6. Season the dish with salt and black pepper.
  7. Chop the butter into small cubes and place them across the top of the courgettes.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the courgettes have softened.
  9. Remove from the oven and crumble the cheese evenly over the dish.
  10. Open your bags of crisps and crush the crisps by squeezing the packet until they become crumbs. Sprinkle the crisps crumbs over the top of the cheese.
  11. Return the dish to the oven and bake until the topping has turned a golden brown. This should take around ten minutes.

Tips

Meat lovers– if you are not a fan of vegetarian food, then simply add some ham or crispy bacon to the dish. Alternatively, serve it as an accompaniment to grilled or roast meats.

Fish lovers– courgettes and tomatoes work well with most fish, so this recipe is a great side dish to serve with your favourite fish. 

Switch the cheese- I use Lancashire crumbly cheese and this is produced locally in the area in which I live. However, any crumbly cheese will achieve the same results. If you prefer a cheese with a different consistency, switch to using cheddar, Mozzarella, or any other cheese of your choice.

Adding flavours- I like this dish just as it is. However, there are plenty of other flavours you can add. Try adding garlic or herbs to give this a different twist. 

On a diet- You can reduce the fat content of this dish by sprinkling the vegetables with water rather than adding butter before cooking. Using a low-fat cheese is another way to reduce the fat content. Rather than using ready salted crisps for the crunchy topping, opt for wholegrain breadcrumbs, instead.