Blood Orange Sour

We are nearly half way through the month and let’s be honest, we are all preparing for the Christmas holidays. Preparation is well underway in our household and it’s kicking off with a banger. Starting with this glass of deliciousness; a blood orange sour. Blood oranges are just so so tasty, a beautiful dark red flesh with a sweet but ‘soury’ citrus flavour that is just too good! I’ve doubled the alcohol quantity on this one and believe me, you won’t be disappointed and nor will your guests be over the celebratory period.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml Blood Orange Gin ( I used Beefeater Gin)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (golden syrup will also work well)
  • 350 ml smooth blood orange juice
  • Rosemary
  • Ice … lots of it

Method:

  1. Using a jug mix the gin, syrup and blood orange juice together thoroughly.
  2. Take 2 tumbler glasses and a couple of rosemary leaves and rub around the rim of both glasses
  3. Place 3-4 rosemary leaves at the bottom of each glass and fill generously with ice cubes.
  4. Evenly distribute the gin mixture into both glasses. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve.

Enjoy 😊

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Beef & Peanut Stew

The perfect combination of meaty, spicy and nutty all in one. A classic if you’re feeling a mix up of flavours in this hearty dish; perfect for Autumn.

Ingredients:

  • 350g diced beef
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 450ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite size chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

Method:

  1. On medium heat, start by browning the meat for a couple of minutes, then remove and keep to one side.
  2. Pour in the oil and add the shallot, garlic, fresh chilli and ginger and fry together for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potato, cayenne pepper and season with salt and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix and bring to the boil.
  5. Pour in the stock and add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Drop the heat to medium low, cover and leave to cook and thicken for two hours or until the beef has become soft and tender, stir every 15-20 minutes or so ensuring that nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Enjoy ☺️

Persimmon & Burrata Salad

That’s right guys, we are back with a cheeky little autumnal recipe. Keeping it nice and simple with this first week back, plus, let’s be honest it’s not so cold out there for this time of the year so I think we can get away with a salad, albeit a ‘warmish’ salad.
As a kid I had known persimmon as ‘Kaki’ fruit as that’s the word my parents had taught it to me as. In Italian it’s referred to as Kaki and it wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered that here in the UK it is called a persimmon and I’ve also heard it referred to as Sharon fruit? I don’t know where the Sharon comes from but hey?! Now I’m just going off on fruit names, let’s get back to the good stuff. Go on have a lil’ read of this recipe, you know you want to give this a go…

Ingredients:

  • 2 Persimmon/ Kaki fruit, cut into rings
  • 1 Burrata, drained
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 fan. Evenly distribute the persimmon rings on the baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip them over half way through.
  2. In the meantime, take a small bowl and add the mustard, golden syrup, olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  3. Dress your dish of choice by starting with the persimmon, then using your hands tear the burrata and delicately place on and around the fruit. Drizzle over the dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Courgette, Halloumi & Tahini Salad

Autumn is just beginning which means courgettes are at their best. They’re often overlooked but this recipe gives them a leading role. Perfect for a quick and easy lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette, sliced into rings
  • 115g halloumi, sliced into batons
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 50g fine bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) or grill at medium-high heat. Either using the same or two baking trays place the courgettes and halloumi into the oven or grill and leave for 10 minutes. Check after this time and flip both the courgette and halloumi. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so or until the courgette and halloumi are lightly- golden brown.
  2. Prepare the bulgur wheat according to the packet and set aside.
  3. Take a small bowl and mix the tahini and the tablespoon of water together thoroughly. Initially, it may look like it has separated but keep stirring and until they combine and the liquid thickens a little. Then add the lemon and do the same until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour in the olive oil, parsley, and mint into the bulgur wheat and mix.
  5. Take your dish of choice and start assembling all the components. Start with the bulgur at the bottom and then the courgette and halloumi, distributing both evening around the plate. Finally, drizzle over the tahini dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Oyster Mushrooms with Bacon and Walnuts

There’s something about this combination that screams FLAVOUR. Real, deep flavours that are so powerful and delicious you don’t even need any seasonings to jazz it up.

Ingredients:

  • 100g unsmoked bacon lardons
  • 150g oyster mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 dsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Small handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Start by frying the bacon lardons on medium-high heat; this will take some time. Cook until the fat has rendered and the meat starts to crispen.
  2. Add the garlic and and cook until both are crispy; then remove from the heat and place in a bowl.
  3. Using the same pan, cook the mushrooms on medium heat in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Put the bacon and garlic back in the pan and cook together for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve in the plate of your choice. Sprinkle over the basil and walnuts evenly and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Plums with Feta

An ideal autumn starter for two or a light lunch for one. Bringing a mouth watering balance of both sweet and savoury to your taste buds. The crisp and bitter lettuce and the soft plums provide a really tasty contrast; a treat if you have some friends over for dinner.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 plums, halved and deseeded
  • 80g feta, crumbled with a fork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 6-8 little gem lettuce leaves
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°
  2. Place the plums on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until blistered and juicy.
  3. In the meantime, take the dish of your choices and distribute the lettuce evenly on the plate.
  4. Now make the dressing by getting a small bowl. Mix the thyme, olive oil and golden syrup thoroughly and keep to one side.
  5. Remove the plums and place on the plate, scatter over the feta, drizzle over the dressing and generously crush black pepper on top.

Best served immediately.

Sweet Potato Soup

Now that we have arrived in September I automatically get that overwhelming feeling that we getting closer and closer to the end of the year and forgive me for saying it… but Christmas! I associate this time and the next few months with the preparations for the end of the year and the slow change we make from summer into the autumn time. Before we know it the leaves on the trees will start to fall and the temperature will drop and soon we shall be referring back to those cosy jumpers and jackets that we are very well acquainted with.

To slowly ease ourselves back into those ‘winter warmer’ meals I have made this Sweet Potato Soup which is so flavourful, and currently brilliant to have as a light lunch with some sourdough bread. Fantastic for those who are still working from home but fancy that lunchtime heartiness instead of a cold dish.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 165ml coconut milk
  • 400ml water
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (I used Knorr)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the garlic, ginger and onion in the olive oil until lightly browned on medium-low heat.
  2. Then add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the sweet potato, tomato, coconut milk and stock cube and mix well for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the water and give it a good mix.
  5. Leave to boil on medium-low heat for 13-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and put the contents into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.
  7. Put the soup back in the pan and give it a taste. Season with salt and pepper if required.

Best served hot.

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