Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roly-Poly Pizzas

These Roly-Poly Pizzas are always a lunchtime winner.  They freeze well too, so you can stock up for the days and weeks ahead.  Also they're great for packed lunches and Picnics, plus you can change the fillings to suit to what you have in your store cupboard. The kids will love making these and are a great way for them to get involved in food and choosing flavour combos, with delicious rewards for their efforts. x

  • 300g/ 10 1/2 oz Strong White Flour                     

  • 1/2 tsp Fast-Acting / Easy-Bake Yeast

  • 1/2 tsp Caster Sugar

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 200ml/7 floz Tepid Water

  • 4 tbsp Passata / or Sauce of Choice

  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano / or Dried Herb of Choice

  • 100g / 5 oz Ham, Thinly Sliced / or any Combo Choose

  • 125g / 5 oz Grated Mozzarella / Any Cheese you have in the Fridge or prefer

  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat the Oven to 180 c / 350 f and line a baking tray with Baking Paper.  Either in a mixer with a dough hook or by hand, make your Pizza Dough.  Put the Flour, Yeast, Sugar and Salt in a large mixing bowl.  If your using a mixer pop in the Water and Oil as well and turn on to combine.  If your using your hands make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the Water and Oil and using a spoon to star with begin to mix together.  Once you have a lump of dough start using your hands and knead on a floured surface.  After about 5 minutes  you should have a nice smooth dough that bounces back when rudely poked with a finger.  Place your dough into a clean mixing bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes.  When you return, the dough should have doubled in size.  Remove from the bowl and knead again for about a minute before pulling out on a large chopping board into a rectangle approx 40cm x 25cm.  Spoon on the Passata or Sauce and spread evenly then add the other ingredients, sprinkling them over the surface.  Turn the Pizza so that the longest side is in front of you and carefully begin to roll the Pizza up like you would a swiss roll.  Cut the roll of Pizza into 12 pieces and lay them on the Baking Tray with the cut side up.  Pop into the Oven for around 25 minutes or until cooked.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Leftover Lamb Ragu

After a satisfying Sunday Roast Lamb, I found that I had quite a lot of meat leftover.  I had a little nose online for some inspiration, but couldn't find a ragu for Lamb, so had to wing it a bit.  And so from the far reaches of my foodie mind and the contents of my cupboards, Leftover Lamb Ragu was born.  I cooked this in my trusted and much loved Slow Cooker, this should still work just as well simmering gently in a covered pot on the hob, or covered in a med-low oven. Couldn't have been too bad, as there were clean plates all round.  And with another joint of lamb waiting in the wings of the freezer for a Sunday soon, I'm pretty sure I know how to take care of the leftovers the following day.  I hope you enjoy this easy and very tasty recipe. x

  • Olive Oil

  • 1 Onion, Chopped

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped

  • Leftover Lamb

  • 1 Tin of Tomatoes

  • 200ml Stock, whatever is available, I used Chicken

  • 5-6 Sun-dried Tomatoes, Sliced

  • 2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree

  • 1 tsp (each) Dried Oregano & Basil

  • Salt & Pepper

In a pan sweat down the Onion and Garlic, before added in your chopped Leftover Lamb and gently warm through.  Then place all the ingredients into your Slow Cooker or add the remaining ingredients into the pan.  Pop on the lid and allow to slowly simmer away until all the lamb breaks down.  I had my Slow Cooker on low for around 5-6 hours, but adjust your times to your method.  Serve with a pasta of your choice, would also be great with Gnocchi.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Macaroon Bars

For quite some time my Hubby and his family have been banging on about these Scottish Sweeties from their childhood and with anything sweet I'm willing to give it a try.  However, the only place that you can get them is Scotland, and I really couldn't be much further away in the UK.  Fortunately though, my mum told me that she would be travelling to Edinburgh for work, so I was straight in with my request for the Macaroon Bars.  And as baffled as me to what these sweets were, she asked about and found the treasure to return home with.  Well wasn't I impressed, and disappointed that I hadn't got my hands on Macaroon Bars sooner.  Not of the patient type, I didn't really want to wait for my Mum to return to Scotland before I could have them again.  So I set about looking up recipes on the internet, and appeared easy and cheap to make.  The biggest surprise of course was that it is made with Potato!  Well at least I could get one of my five a day in, of sorts.  Please give these wee sweeties a try, they will not disappoint. x

  • 1 Small Potato

  • Icing Sugar

  • Chocolate, Plain, Milk or White

  • Desiccated Coconut

Firstly peel, chop, and boil the Potato until cooked through. Whilst that's on, put the Coconut into a frying pan and lightly toast.  Place to one side.  Mash the cooked Potato and pop into the fridge for a little while just to cool through.  In a bowl add the Potato and enough Icing Sugar to form a firm dough.  To start with the Potato will go like liquid.  Don't Panic! Just keep adding the Icing Sugar.  The amount you will need will depend on the Potato, so have a big box to hand.  Dust a piece of baking paper with Icing Sugar and place the mix on top, roll out about 6"x6", again this will depend on the Potato, but aim for around 1/4" thickness.  Pop back into the fridge to firm up little more, or a flat surface in the freezer is ideal and quicker.  While you wait gently melt the Chocolate in a bowl sat over lightly simmering water.  Take a large clean plate and sprinkle the Coconut over.  Remove to the fondant from the Fridge/Freezer and cut into your prefered shape or bar size.  Now the production line begins.  Take a piece of fondant and add to the Chocolate, make sure it's covered.  You can use forks or spoons, but i found it easier to just get my hands in.  And anyway it's melted chocolate, so any excuse works for me.  Then just place on top of the Coconut.  Repeat until all the fondant has been covered in chocolate and is on the coconut plate.  Then simply sprinkle the remaining Coconut over the top.  Now put the bars back onto the baking paper and return to the fridge.  Allow to set, then eat.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wild Garlic & Parsley Butter

Today I decided to make use of the vast supply of Wild Garlic that lives not to far from me.  So I collected a small bunch after the morning's school run, and set to work making Wild Garlic and Parsley Butter.  I simply softened a block of Butter (room temp) in a bowl, and added a good handful (or two) of washed and finely chopped Wild Garlic and Parsley and combined well.  Placed the mixture on some kitchen foil and rolled into a sausage, approx 1 inch thick.  Twisted up the ends like a cracker and the placed in the freezer.  When needed all you have to do is use a hot knife and slice the amount you want and store the rest.  I used some of mine for Garlic Bread to accompany our Spag Bol Dinner... I've tasted it, and it's the future. x