Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms

Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for stopping by. I have the easiest, quick lunch for you today, especially if you’re wanting something hot. My Chesse Ham Stuffed Mushrooms are as delicious as they are easy to make!

Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms - the easiest warm lunch ever! www.feastingisfun.com
Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms – the easiest warm lunch ever! www.feastingisfun.com

 

How do you feel about your lunch? Personally I get a bit bored with sandwiches every day. In the Summer I’m happy to toss a few salad leaves on a plate, add some cumbled feta cheese and I’m good to go. During the colder, Winter, months there is usually fresh soup to hand. During Autumn, especially at the start, the weather and temperature yoyo almost on a daily basis. Today the sun is out but there is a definite chill in the air. I wanted something hot and comforting for lunch.

Having a good rummage around in the fridge yielded the mushrooms I have used in this recipe. I’ve seen a few ‘stuffed mushroom’ recipes popping up on Pinterest of late, so I got thinking – always a dangerous pursuit for me! More rummaging ensued and I decided on these Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms.

Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms a delicious warm lunch or appetiser www.feastingisfun.com
Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms a delicious warm lunch or appetiser www.feastingisfun.com

 

I decided I would stuff the mushrooms with ham and cheese, whilst that would be lovely and tasty it felt, well, a bit boring. I don’t do boring!!!! I knew I had some lovely fresh Parsely growing in the garden and right in front of me was a bowl of the most brilliant ruby red, baby, homegrown tomatoes that my Mum had dropped round. I absolutely love it when you have an idea, it grows and the final result is sooo much better than you could ever have imagined.

These Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms are meaty, cheesey, herby wonders – yep I know, there’s no meat involved! Once baked the mushroom flavour is concentrated and the mushroom becomes dense and delicious. You just have to trust me on this one, it’s a good’un.

Recipe : Serve two mushrooms for lunch, or one per person for a delicious starter.

2 Large Field/Portobello Mushrooms

50g/2oz Chopped Ham

50g/2oz Finely Grated Cheese – I used sharp Cheddar

6 Cherry Tomatoes – halved

1tsp Chopped Fresh Parsely

Ground Black Pepper

Method : Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan

Place the mushrooms on a baking tray.

Two field/portobello mushrooms.
Two field/portobello mushrooms.
Divide the diced ham between the two mushrooms.
Divide the diced ham between the two mushrooms.
Add a good grinding of pepper then top with the tomatoes.
Add a good grinding of pepper then top with the tomatoes.

 

Now place the stuffed mushrooms into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. This gives the mushrooms time to cook a little before adding the cheese.

Remove from the oven after 10 minutes.

Top the mushrooms with grated cheese and parsley. Press down lightly so the topping is secure.
Top the mushrooms with grated cheese and parsley. Press down lightly so the topping is secure.

 

Place the stuffed mushroms bake into the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted.

Once baked, remove the stuffed mushrooms from the oven.

Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms delicious straight from the oven.
Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms delicious straight from the oven.

 

Place the Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms onto a plate. Leave for 5 minutes before eating, the mushrooms and tomatoes contain a lot of water and will be very hot – I know, I couldn’t wait to taste my creation and nearly burnt my tongue!!!! This dish actually tastes better after it has rested for a few minutes.

I deliberately didn’t add any oil, I simply didn’t see a need for it and no extra salt was needed as both the cheese and ham have salt in them. When I tasted these mushrooms the flavours worked beautifully together. I loved the grassy hit from the Parsely – but you could totally switch up the herbs. Chives would work well here, as would thyme. The herbs really need to be fresh, if fresh is not available I would leave them out altogether.

Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms so easy and absolutely delicious www.feastingisfun.com
Cheese Ham Stuffed Mushrooms so easy and absolutely delicious www.feastingisfun.com

 

So, there you go. A yummy, warming lunch, that takes seconds to prepare and is ready in minutes. The recipe is for one lunch serving, it’s easy to double, treble etc. if cooking for more people. Please do that? This is definitely a recipe to be shared.

Do you have a stuffed mushroom recipe?

Now I’ve started stuffing mushrooms my brain is swirling with the endless possibilities there are. Watch this space!!! Not literally, that would be boring and we don’t do boring!!!!!

For another quick lunch idea you might like Perfect Panini Pizza

Sammie x

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Easy Crusty Baguettes

Hi, so I’ve now had feastingisfun.com for a year! Thank you to everyone who has taken time to read and comment on my blog. I appreciate you more than you could ever know. If I could bake each and everyone of you a cake I would. Instead I have a bread recipe for you!!! I know, I’m all heart – but this is a recipe you will, hopefully, thank me for. Easy Crusty Baguettes.

Easy Baguettes
Easy Crusty Baguettes

 

You may be thinking – “why bake my own baguettes when I can pick them up from the grocery store?”

Well, not everyone can get to a shop, they can be out of stock – but mostly I’m the kinda girl who is inquisitive. If I can buy something, I want to know if I can make it! Personally I get a real kick out of making something that’s so easy to buy – knowing exactly what’s gone into my creation! Easy Crusty Baguettes are so easy to make (if you have a stand mixer with dough hook or a bread maker they are easier still!) and taste so good.

The only ‘special’ piece of equipment I use is a French Baguette Tray.

French Baguette Trays
French Baguette Trays

 

I purchased my baguette from Amazon UK

Swift Faringdon Collection Bakers Pride Non-Stick French Bread Pan Carbon Steel 39 cm x 16 cm x 2.5 cm

by Faringdon Collection

 

I have made baguettes on a baking sheet, they were ok but tended to spread a little. I decided to buy one French Baguette Tray, used it, was thrilled with the results and quickly purchased a second tray. The advantages of using the baguette tray are that they really do hold the shape of the baguette, whilst it’s proving and baking and they are longer than most baking trays so you can put them in your oven at an angle – giving you longer baguettes. These Easy Crusty Baguettes are made using these trays.

Gorgeous imprint on the underside of the baguette from the tray.
Gorgeous imprint on the underside of the baguette from the tray.

 

Recipe : makes 3 x 16″ (40cm) Easy Crusty Baguettes

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 x 7g Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast

1tsp Sugar or honey

300ml/10floz Lukewarm Water

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

1tsp Salt

Method :

I use a bread maker to mix, prove and knock back the dough, instructions will also be given for a stand mixer using a dough hook.

Place the water into the bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Swirl with clean fingers to mix.

Add the flour so that it covers the water/yeast mixture. On top of the flour add the salt and butter.

If using a bread maker set the program to mix and prove.

If using a stand mixer slowly start to mix the ingredients. Once combined increase the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes. Once mixing is complete form the dough into a ball, place back into the stand mixer bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.

When the bread mixer has finished proving, or the dough in the stand mixer is doubled in size it is time to knock back the dough.

Using the bread maker mix and prover cycle, start again and allow to knead for the mix part of the cycle then stop the machine and remove the dough.

Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment as before, remove the towel and start the mixer on low increasing to medium to knock back and knead the proved dough. If the dough doesn’t all pull together, stop the mixer. Using clean hands pull the dough into a ball shape. Knead the dough on a medium speed for a further 10 minutes. Stop the mixer and remove the dough from the bowl/dough hook.

Place the dough on a floured surface.
Place the dough on a floured surface.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces - unlike mine!!!
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces – unlike mine!!!
Roll each piece of dough out to just under the length of your baguette tray.
Roll each piece of dough out to just under the length of your baguette tray.
Place the baguette roll in the tray and using a very sharp knife slash lightly through the dough as in the photo.
Place the baguette roll in the tray and using a very sharp knife slash lightly through the dough as in the photo.

 

I could have recombined my dough to create three equal sized baguettes. What I did instead was to place the smaller baguette in a separate tray, knowing it would cook a little quicker than the other two! Very lazy I know!!

Place the trays in a draught free place and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to it’s hottest setting and place a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven. The steam produced will help give your Easy Crusty Baguettes the super crusty, crunchy exterior that is required in a baguette!

Removing the towel place the baguette trays into the oven diagonally. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the baguettes are golden, with a hard crust. They should sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.

Easy Baguettes - golden, crunchy, crust.
Easy Crusty Baguettes – golden, crunchy, crust.

 

Remove from the oven and place the baguettes on a cooling rack.

We ate one baguette the day they were made. The other two were stored in our bread tin. 2 days later I sprinkled them with a little water and placed in a preheated, hot oven for 5-8 minutes. Below is the baguette I refreshed in the oven. It tasted as good as the day it was made. Absolutely delicious with a really crunchy crust.

Easy Baguettes - perfect with cheese and chutney.
Easy Crusty Baguettes – perfect with cheese and chutney.

 

Of course there are times when we all buy baguettes – because, LIFE! If I lived near an artisan bakery I may never have made these. Really I am so glad I tried. For minimal effort, delicious bread is on hand. Easy Crusty Baguettes so worth the few minutes prep time.

Have you ever made baguettes?

I love reading your comments and appreciate you taking the time to write them.

You may also like Crusty White Bread                                                                 Wholemeal Cob Loaf

Sammie x

This is not a sponsored post, item links provided for information purposes only.

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

Hi, I’m celebrating – today is the first day I’ve not woken up with a migraine for too long. When I get a fairly good day I smile and give thanks – harder to do on the other days, more like clinging on by my fingertips. AND I made the easiest tart ever! This Blackberry Nectarine Tart is made with shop bought, all butter, puff pastry, a tub of blackberries (mine were frozen) and a punnet of nectarines – you could easily use peaches instead.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

If you think roasting vegetables intensifies their flavour, then imagine what 30 minutes in a hot oven does to the fruit in this tart? Even with the addition of a sprinkle of vanilla sugar the intense fruit flavours in this Blackberry Nectarine Tart are a delight on the taste buds. This is not a sweet tart. For me it’s a perfect balance of fruity flavour and flaky, buttery pastry.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - beautiful and delicious.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – beautiful and delicious.

 

I really can’t emphasise how easy this tart is to make. The pastry and blackberries were in the freezer, the nectarines, ridiculously cheap and in season, ripening at an increasingly rapid pace, needed using. Given how well this tart turned out I would happily make this during the colder months using, shock, horror – tinned peaches! Yup I would, with custard poured over. I am shameless!!!

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - a perfect summer dessert, even in the winter.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – a perfect summer dessert, even in the winter.

 

I hope I’ve convinced you to give this tart a try? As they say “The proof of the pudding, is in the eating!”

Recipe : Serves 6

375g/13oz All Butter Puff Pastry – defrosted, if frozen

300g/11oz Blackberries – if frozen don’t defrost

7-8 Nectarines – peaches are a good substitute

1tbsp Vanilla Sugar

Method : Preheat oven to 215C/200C fan

Grease or line with parchment paper a baking tray with shallow sides, the fruit give off juices when baked, 26cm x 39cm (10.5″ x 15.5″).

On a clean, dry, lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry so that it will just fit in the baking tray – I haven’t given dimensions, as if your baking tray size differs from mine a few centimetres either way, it won’t matter.

Using your rolling pin transfer the pastry to the baking tray.
Using your rolling pin transfer the pastry to the baking tray.

 

I lightly scored the pastry approx. 1cm in from the edge with a sharp knife. This would ensure that a nice, even, crust, bordered the tart.

Next slice each nectarine into 6 equal(ish) portions. If they are still firm this should be fairly easy. Mine were very ripe so I cut out the slices, against the stone, whilst holding the nectarine, over a bowl to catch the juices.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - arrange the nectarine slices in rows.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – arrange the nectarine slices in rows.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart - sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar.

 

You can buy Vanilla Sugar, or alternatively you can make your own.

Vanilla Sugar - I have a Kilner jar filled with caster sugar and a few vanilla pods. Leave for one month and the vanilla will have infused the sugar with it's delicious flavour and scent.
Vanilla Sugar – I have a Kilner jar filled with caster sugar and a few vanilla pods. Leave for one month and the vanilla will have infused the sugar with it’s delicious flavour and scent.

 

Tip : A light (little goes a long way) sprinkling of Vanilla Sugar over homemade popcorn is delish!!

Next arrange the blackberries on the tart, however you choose. I chose to go with the lines of the tart.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - using frozen blackberries I think helped them retain their shape during baking.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – using frozen blackberries I think helped them retain their shape during baking.

 

Place the tart in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. There will be some juice that leaks, but I found, once the 30 minutes baking time was up, it had concentrated and did not make that part of the tart soggy.

The tart is cooked when the outside crust is golden brown and the base, when gently lifted, is golden brown too.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - once baked remove from the oven.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – once baked remove from the oven.

 

Immediately remove the Blackberry Nectarine Tart from the baking tray and place on a cooling rack. This keeps the tart bottom and crust nice and flaky.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - if you like a bit more sweetness a dusting of icing sugar would be perfect.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – if you like a bit more sweetness a dusting of icing sugar would be perfect.

 

Serve warm or cold. This tart was perfectly complimented by a scoop a good, vanilla ice cream.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart - utter deliciousness.
Blackberry Nectarine Tart – utter deliciousness.

 

If you keep pastry and fruit in the freezer regularly, I’d say this is the perfect, pull together, easy dessert, fit for snuggling on the sofa watching a film, or entertaining last minute, or even planned dinner guests!!

I used nectarines as their skin is so tender it doesn’t need to be removed.

What go-to freezer staples do you keep on hand?

Apart from ice cream!!!

Sammie x

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Super Light Scones

Hi there, I hope wherever you are the sun is shining on you today. Here in Kent it is beautifully sunny, with a light breeze. Perfect Summer weather. In fact it inspired me to bake Super Light Scones for breakfast this morning.

Super Light Scones with Strawberries, Strawberry Jan and Clotted Cream.
Super Light Scones with Strawberries, Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream.

 

I don’t make a habit of making scones every morning – in fact, as a general rule I don’t like scones!! Well at least the heavy, dense prepackaged ones from the supermarket. I don’t know why, they’re just not my thing. But, it’s Summer and scones with clotted cream and jam are a MUST! Oh and the clotted cream has to be Rodda’s from Cornwall!

Super Light Scones, super easy to make and even easier to eat with a dollop of Rodda's clotted cream!
Super Light Scones, super easy to make and even easier to eat with a dollop of Rodda’s clotted cream!

 

This probably sounds crazy, but I trawled through at least 8 cookbooks this morning, as well as looking online, but I just couldn’t find a recipe I was happy with. So I came up with my own!! And it worked!! I watch enough Food Network UK to have picked up some tips along the way and the Green Goddess (my friend, but unbiased taste tester) gave them the thumbs up – although she would have preferred them a little sweeter. Just trying to keep it honest round here!!

Super Light Scones - the quintessential British cream tea.
Super Light Scones – the quintessential British cream tea.

 

I had these Super Light Scones for my breakfast. They are soooo light with soft flaky layers inside. I didn’t even use a knife to cut them open, they pulled beautifully apart. I now like scones – these ones!!

 

Super Light Scones - so light they just pull apart. Delicious!
Super Light Scones – so light they just pull apart. Delicious!

 

If you are not in the UK and wish to have the British cream tea experience, but can’t get hold of clotted cream, Mascapone would make a good substitute. Or book a holiday to the UK and stay in Dorset, Devon or Cornwall – cream tea’s are readily available, although, I admit, it’s probably a long way to come for a cup of English tea and a cream scone – or maybe not??

Super Light Scones - a very proper English Cream Tea - delish!
Super Light Scones – a very proper English Cream Tea – delish!

Recipe : Makes Approx 20 Super Light Scones

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

50g/2oz Cold Unsalted Butter

25g/1oz Vegetable Shortening

2tbsp Caster Sugar

250mls/9fl oz Cold Whole Milk

3tbsp Milk – for brushing on top of scones

Method : Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the butter and shortening, use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work the fat into the flour.
Add the butter and shortening, use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work the fat into the flour.
Small pea sized lumps of fat should be present in the mixture.
Small pea sized lumps of fat should be present in the mixture.

 

Add the sugar and stir through to mix. Make a well in the middle of the mixture, pour in the milk and stir together using a butter knife (ordinary eating knife).

Stir until the mixture just comes together.
Stir until the mixture just comes together.
Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Bring the dough together with your hands. Gently pat the dough out to approx 2.5cm thickness. The less you handle the dough the lighter the scones will be.
Bring the dough together with your hands. Gently pat the dough out to approx 2.5cm thickness. The less you handle the dough the lighter the scones will be.

 

Using a straight sided, floured, 2 inch deep cutter, press straight down through the scone dough. Do not twist the cookie cutter as you press down as this will affect the rise on your scones. Cut out as many scones as possible then collect the pieces of dough together, pat out and cut out more scones until the dough is used up.

Place the cut out scones onto a non stick baking sheet, or line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the cut out scones onto a non stick baking sheet, or line a baking tray with parchment paper.

 

Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk. Try to avoid the milk dripping down the side of the scone - as this affects the rise of the scone.
Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk. Try to avoid the milk dripping down the side of the scone – as this affects the rise of the scone.

 

Place your scones into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes. They are cooked when well risen and lightly golden in colour. Once cooked remove from the oven and transfer the scones to a baking rack to cool.

Delicious Super Light Scones - cooling!
Delicious Super Light Scones – cooling!

 

Once cooled, split in half and slather on your favourite jam. For added indulgence add a dollop of clotted cream and some sliced fruit. Enjoy with a refreshing cup of tea.

These are a great treat and perfect for Fathers Day – you could use a larger cutter, just add a couple of minutes onto the baking time.

Most Dads just want to know they are loved. Making or baking them a gift is such a personal way to say I LOVE YOU.

What jam and fruit combo do you like with your scones?

Sammie x

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Perfect Panini Pizza

Hi, I’ve just made the easiest, tastiest, lunch ever: Perfect Panini Pizza. It’s so simple, yet so delicious.

Perfect Panini Pizza
Perfect Panini Pizza

 

Our daughter is at home, working hard on study leave. It’s exam time people! That means lots of study and lots of brain fuel – FOOD!! So in an effort to make lunchtime fun I decided to turn 2 panini rolls (ciabatta rolls would work fine too) into something other than a sandwich! Not that sandwiches aren’t good, but I wanted to change things up a bit and treat Star to a fabulous lunch. Perfect Panini Pizza totally hit the mark!

Perfect Panini Pizza - fuel for studying!
Perfect Panini Pizza – fuel for studying!

 

I’ve made pizza using baguette before, but I’ve always found it really, really hard to stop the curved edges of the baguette from toppling the whole pizza over, dumping the topping as it rolls. Now I’ve found a solution – Ciabatta bread. It’s flat!! I know right!! Takes me a while to catch on sometimes (always!!!!). But I got there in the end and ooh what a delicious result.

Perfect Panini Pizza - totally scrummy!
Perfect Panini Pizza – totally scrummy!

 

The best thing about this recipe is that you can top your pizza with whatever you have in the fridge. I’ve used Salami, but ham, peppers, olives, sweetcorn, really the list is endless. If you try this please let me know what toppings you try?

Recipe :

1 Panini roll/1/2 ciabatta loaf per person

Olive Oil

Tomato Salsa – or tomato pasta sauce (in a jar!)

Mozzerella Cheese – or any other good melting cheese

Salami – or any topping of your choice!

Method : Preheat oven to 200C/185C fan

I specifically haven’t given quantities for the ingredients above as it really depends on how many pizzas you are making and how hungry the people you are making them for are!!

Here is how I made our Perfect Panini Pizzas :

Take two panini rolls....
Take two panini rolls….
Slice in half, place on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with Olive oil.
Slice in half, place on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with Olive oil.
Spoon over some bought tomato salsa/pasta sauce, so it just covers the bread. Don't overdo it or your pizza will be soggy.
Spoon over some bought tomato salsa/pasta sauce, so it just covers the bread. Don’t overdo it or your pizza will be soggy.
Lay slices of mozzarella over the top......
Lay slices of mozzarella over the top……
Then top with slices of salami.
Then top with slices of salami.

 

Bake in the oven for 20 mins until the base and edges are all crispy and the cheese is gooey and melting over the sides!

Remove the pizzas from the oven and get ready for the best lunch ever!!!!
Remove the pizzas from the oven and get ready for the best lunch ever!!!!

 

Star and I thoroughly enjoyed our Perfect Panini Pizzas and had fun deciding what other toppings we’d like to try.  The perfect break from studying. Rested and refuelled.

I’m sending lots of love to all students and school children ( it’s SATS week ) who are studying and taking exams at the moment.

What is your favourite refuel food?

Sammie x

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

Hi, have I got the easiest, tastiest, make ahead side dish for you?? Oh yes I have! Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – this dish does not disappoint – it is delicious.

Soooo delicious - Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo - the perfect Pasta side dish.
Soooo delicious – Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – the perfect Pasta side dish.

 

Although I’ve said this is a side dish (& vegetarian), it also makes a fab light lunch. A few shavings of Parmesan would add extra oomph for lunch, served alongside some crusty, crunchy bread.

I’m getting hungry!!!!

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo - perfect served at room temp!
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – perfect served at room temp!

I’ve used red onion, peas, sweetcorn and red bell pepper in this dish – but feel free to switch up the veggies (celery is good) with whatever you have on hand. All I would say is the Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo is best served at room temp, or even warmed – BUT NOT COLD!!! No matter how much lemon/oil you add, when served fridge cold the Orzo clumps together and not in a good way!!!! So there you go, an easy recipe that doesn’t take up any room in your fridge, or require any last minute fiddling. Yay!! We like easy!

Sooo easy, sooo delish - what's not to love - Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Sooo easy, sooo delish – what’s not to love – Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

 

Recipe : Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo serves 6-8 as a side dish.

500g/1lb Packet Dried Orzo

Juice of 1 Large Lemon

1 x Small Red Onion

150ml/5fl oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 x Garlic Cloves – crushed

200g/7oz Frozen Peas

Medium Can Sweetcorn

Fresh Basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method :

Put a large pan of water on to heat up for the Orzo.

Place the lemon juice and finely diced red onion into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix together. Leaving the onion in the lemon juice will remove the acrid taste!

Once the water in the pan is boiling add salt and then the Orzo. Cook according to the packet instructions – taking care not to overcook or the Orzo will simply clump together!!

Whilst the Orzo is cooking gently heat the Olive Oil and garlic together, for approx 2 minutes on a medium heat so the garlic infuses the oil and is lightly cooked. Pour the garlicky oil over the onions and lemon juice.

Lemon Garlic Onions and Oil - add salt and pepper.
Lemon Garlic Onions and Oil – add salt and pepper.

 

Drain the Orzo as soon as it is cooked and pour straight into the bowl. Using a large slotted spoon immediately toss the Orzo in the oil/lemon juice – this will stop the Orzo from sticking together.

Place the frozen peas (I used petit pois) in the bowl and mix in with the hot Orzo.

Add the sweetcorn (drained) and the diced, red, bell pepper. Mix together and taste for seasoning – add salt/freshly ground pepper as necessary.

Take a handful of Basil leaves, roughly chop and sprinkle over.

Cover with cling film and serve at room temp.

Voila!!! 10 minute side dish - Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo - delish xx
Voila!!! 10 minute side dish – Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – delish xx

 

This side goes fabulously with fish – Salmon especially, Chicken and Pork. It makes a fab alternative to roast potatoes and hot veggies for a Summer roast and completely seals the deal as part of a buffet. With very little effort. Gotta love that?!

Enjoy feasting on this scrumptious dish and may we have many sunny days ahead to spend with friends and family, having fun round the BBQ!

With hidden ‘Super-Soakers’ primed for action if it gets too hot – or boring!!!!

What do you look forward to now the days are longer and the sunshine is out??

Sammie x

 

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Easy Tex Mex Chicken

 

Hi, have I got the easiest, quickest meal for you? Yep, I have – Easy Tex Mex Chicken!

Easy Tex Mex Chicken tipped into a pan, ready for the oven.
Easy Tex Mex Chicken tipped into a pan, ready for the oven.

I am talking 5 minutes prep in the morning. Leave in the fridge all day and then throw in the oven for 45 mins before you want to eat. I told you it was Easy!! This delicious dish is fab served in Tortilla Wraps Fajita style, or alternatively, as I have, with potato wedges – well if you’ve got the oven already on…..

Oh my, this Easy Tex Mex Chicken served with wedges - delish!
Oh my, this Easy Tex Mex Chicken served with wedges – delish!

 

Recipe : Easy Tex Mex Chicken serves 5-6

750g/1.5lb Boned Chicken Breasts (approx 5)

1 Large Spanish Onion

3 Peppers – the colours are up to you!

1 Packet Fajita Seasoning

2 tbs Olive Oil

Method :

Pat dry the chicken breasts using kitchen paper.

Drying the chicken makes a real difference to the cooked dish.
Drying the chicken makes a real difference to the cooked dish.

 

Cut up the chicken into bite sized chunks (I used scissors) and place in a large, freezer bag.

With these 3 ingredients Easy Tex Mex Chicken is just that, EASY!
With these 3 ingredients Easy Tex Mex Chicken is just that, EASY!

 

Pour a couple of glugs of Olive Oil over the diced chicken then tip in the contents of a Fajita mix.

Massage the seasoning into the chicken.
Massage the seasoning into the chicken.

Next it’s time to get chopping!

Ooh so pretty. Choose whichever colour peppers are your favourite and...
Ooh so pretty. Choose whichever colour peppers are your favourite and…

 

Chop the Peppers and Onion so they are about the same size.
Chop the Peppers and Onion so they are about the same size.

Pop the chopped veggies into the freezer bag with the seasoned chicken and smoosh about a bit so they are covered in the spicy oil.

Easy Tex Mex Chicken in a bag!!
Easy Tex Mex Chicken in a bag!!

 

I prepared the Easy Tex Mex Chicken in the morning and then stashed it in the fridge until dinner time.

To cook, tip the contents of the freezer bag into a shallow oven proof dish. Place in a preheated oven 200C/185C fan and cook for 45 minutes.

Easy Tex Mex Chicken with softened peppers and caramelised onions - delish!
Easy Tex Mex Chicken with softened peppers and caramelised onions – delish!

 

To serve either warm some soft tortillas and load up fajita style, or, as I did tonight homemade potato wedges – simply cut 1 jacket potato per person, in half and then into long wedges, toss in Olive oil and season with salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet, put in the oven 15 mins before the Easy Tex Mex Chicken.

Well that’s dinner sorted!!

Enjoy how easy this feast is!

Sammie x

 

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr

Best Beef Casserole

Hi there, thank you for stopping by ; this really is the easiest Best Beef Casserole. Perfect for colder spring evenings, warming you through with minimum effort!

Delicious dinner! Best Beef Casserole, served with Creamy Mash and Broccoli.
Delicious dinner! Best Beef Casserole, served with Creamy Mash and Broccoli.

Even though it’s officially Spring, here in the UK, some evenings can still be pretty chilly and this Best Beef Casserole is the perfect antidote. Also I think I’m going down with a cold, so I wanted any easy meal (I’ve zero energy) that wasn’t too rich.

Gorgeous, melt in the mouth beef.
Gorgeous, melt in the mouth beef.

Recipe: Serves 4 Adults

1 Large Onion – finely diced

2tbsp Olive Oil

450g/1lb Beef Steak (braising/chuck)

3tbsp Plain Flour

3 Large Carrots – peeled and diced

2 Bay leaves

1 Beef Stock Cube

2tbsp Tomato Puree

Salt and Pepper to season

Method :

In a wide pan add the olive oil and warm over a medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent.

Sauté the onions until......
Sauté the onions until……

 

This!! Translucent onions - it takes approx 5 mins over a medium heat
It looks like this!! Translucent onions – it takes approx 5 mins over a medium heat.

Whilst the onions are sautéing  chop the beef into bite sized chunks.

Nice bite sized chunks of beef.
Nice bite sized chunks of beef.

Now add the 3 tablespoons of flour and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the beef chunks in the seasoned flour.
Toss the beef chunks in the seasoned flour.

Toss the flour coated beef chunks into the pan. Shake the pan so the beef is in one layer. When browned turn the chunks over, repeat until the beef chunks are browned on all sides.

Don't worry if you get sticky bits on the bottom of the pan. This means flavour!
Don’t worry if you get sticky bits on the bottom of the pan. This means flavour!

When the beef is browned all over add the diced carrots a 2 bay leaves.

Bay leaves and Beef are made for each other!
Bay leaves and Beef are made for each other!

Pour water over the pan contents, until just covered. As this heats up, the flour will thicken the casserole.

Crumble in a beef stock cube.

I used a Knorr beef stock cube.
I used a Knorr beef stock cube.

Next add the tomato purée.

The tomato purée adds flavour, colour and will also help thicken the sauce.
The tomato purée adds flavour, colour and will also help thicken the sauce.

Stir, scraping all the delicious dark, beefy residue from the bottom of the pan, so that it mixed into the sauce.

Mmmm. Simmer on a low heat, or place in a 140C oven for approx 2 - 3 hours, until the sauce is reduced and the beef is soft and tender.
Mmmm. Simmer on a low heat, or place in a 140C oven for approx 2 – 3 hours, until the sauce is reduced and the beef is soft and tender.

The beef should be tender enough, once cooked, so you can cut through it with a spoon! Delicious the Best Beef Casserole.

I served this casserole with mashed potato and broccoli.

A delicious, warming, homemade beef casserole. Just what I needed.
A delicious, warming, homemade beef casserole. Just what I needed.

This meal was absolutely scrumptious. Perfect for a weekday meal. A feast in a bowl!

Sammie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinteresttumblr