Tag Archives: comfort food

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Bread

Handmade, homemade bread is just the best. It can make a regular tin of tomato soup feel like the best thing you’ve eaten all week, make a quick snack of bread and butter feel luxurious and make a cheese board supper less about the cheese and more about the bread.

This particular bread is full of flavour, soft and thick. Me and Ste absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to bake it again.

Don’t try to substitute the roast garlic with raw garlic or lazy garlic. It just won’t be the same.

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Bread

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g fine sea salt
  • 7g fast acting yeast
  • 300ml tepid water
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 large bulbs of garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with tin foil. Tear off the papery outside from the garlic bulbs, but leaveing on the skin, place on the tray and pour over the 2 tsps of oilve oil. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes until soft and leave to cool slightly.
  2. Squeeze the softened garlic from the skin and finely chop.
  3. Measure the flour into a large bowl and put the salt to one side and the yeast to the other.
  4. Pour in the 40ml of olive oil and two thirds of the water and mix together using a hand or even better in a large stand mixer with a dough hook.
  5. mix in the garlic and rosemary, then slowly add the remaining water until you have a soft dough and all of the flour has been combined.
  6. Knead on a slightly greased surface for around 10 minutes if doing it by hand, then place in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size (approximately 2 hours).
  7. Once risen, tip the dough onto a floured surface and knock back gently with your knuckles, to push out the air.
  8. Knead gently, then tuck the ends of the dough underneath to form a loaf shape. Place on a lined baking tray and leave to rise again for about an hour until almost doubled in size.
  9. Heat your oven to 220C/430F. Lightly make 2 or 3 shallow diagonal slices across the top of the risen dough with a VERY sharp knife. Pop in the oven a for 25 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200C/390F and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Leave to cool slightly before cutting.

Serve as part of a cheese board, with farmhouse butter or with a bowl of piping hot tomato soup.

Enjoy!

Posh Cheese Toastie – Croque Rarebit or Welsh Monsieur?

This is basically an indulgent cheese toastie with bechamel sauce and it’s delicious. It’s neither a croque monsieur nor a welsh rarebit due to the lack of ham and cheese sauce (not to mention I couldn’t find welsh cheddar on island), but something between the two.

Perfect lunch for a rainy Saturday afternoon or a late tea/early supper when you can’t be bothered to cook a proper meal.

I have to add that the vegan worcestershire sauce was perfect for this. A little bit thicker than the traditional lea & perrins (plus minus the anchovies – yuck) and in my opinion, a much better taste.

You can watch me make the recipe here:

Croque Rarebit or Welsh Monsieur?

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter (plus extra for buttering)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 160g cheese (ideally a cominabtion of welsh cheddar and gruyere)
  • 4 tsps vegan worcestershire sauce (I used Annie’s)
  • 5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • A mustard of your choice ( I have used both old style mustard and country dijon before)

Directions

  1. Put the pasta into a large pan with boiling salted water and cook to the instructions on the packet. Also pop the broccoli into a pan of boiling water and cook for around 6 minutes. Drain both when done.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200c/400f and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Lightly toast the bread on both sides.
  4. Heat your oven to 180C/350F. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions and peppers for a few minutes until just softened.
  5. On a low to medium heat, melt the butter in a pan, and the flour and combine, then slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Grate in some nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce will thicken gradually as you continue to whisk.
  6. Butter each slice of toasted bread, pop onto the baking tray and spread mustard onto two slices. Spread half of your thickened bechamel on top of the slices with mustard, then sprinkle 3/4 of the grated cheese between them. Add the cherry tomatoes and 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce on each.
  7. Top with remaining slice of toasted bread (butter side down), spread the remaining bechamel on the toast and add the cheese. Add another 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce on top of each and pop into the oven. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned.

Serve with a side salad or even a tasty tomato salsa.

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Enjoy!

Five Bean Chilli

A delicious full, rounded flavour full of protein, iron and fibre. A perfect comfort food with a bowl of fluffy rice for cozy evenings in, filling for tacos or a topping for jacket potatoes. Just what the vegetarian ordered.

Winging it is how I’d describe how I make chilli most of the time. I don’t follow recipes, never use the same ingredients and just throw in whatever’s in my spice collection at the time. I thought it was about time I made a consistent, repeatable recipe that I would be proud to share.

Something wasn’t quite right with the taste while I was experimenting and I just couldn’t work out how to bring out the flavours to enhance that umami flavour that I crave in these types of dishes. In the end I took inspiration from my favourite vegan gravy recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (I’ll link it below) and used three tablespoons of strong columbian coffee. My mouth is watering just thinking about the final dish.

This will serve 6 to 8 people and freezes really well too. If you want a spicier dish just double the chilli powder to 2 teaspoons.
Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
small bunch of kale, chopped

2 cups dried great northern beans, soaked overnight
1 tin pinto beans
1 tin blackeye beans
1 tin baby butter beans
1 tin black beans
1 tin tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp marmite (yeast extract)
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 vegetable stock cube
3 tbsp strong filtered coffee or espresso

Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and cook the onion and celery until softened. Add the garlic and carrots heat for a few minutes. Next add the peppers, tomato and chilli and cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Drain the beans, add to the pan and mix well with the other ingredients. Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato puree, the add the spices, salt, pepper, marmite, tamari and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle in the stock cube, stir well and simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile brew the coffee. Remove the chilli from the heat a stir the coffee through. Serve immediately or cover and reheat gently once you’re ready to eat. I prefer to make this earlier in the day or at least a couple of hours before we eat to allow the flavour of the spices to marinate and come through.

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Enjoy!

My favourite gravy – Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s Vegan Gravy

n.b. we are northern and as far as I can tell this goes hand in hand with the amount of gravy you prefer on your dinner. If you can relate to this, I recommend you double this recipe if feeding more than 2 gravy loving friends.

SW Syns Update

If you follow the recipe as it is and serve 8 It should be 1 syn per serving.

However, substitute the olive oil for fry light and the tin of tomato sauce for a tin of tomatoes or plain passata and you’ve got yourself a delicious and filling syn free meal 😊

Spicy Vegetable Korma

A mild creamy korma has never appealed to me when ordering or making a curry. When I crave a curry, I want spice and heat and full flavour. I do however, like the creaminess a korma delivers. So I thought, why not have both.

I researched korma recipes and different spice combinations and this is what I’ve come up with. I would describe it as a medium spice. If you like your curry with a slightly milder taste just omit the two green chillies for less of a kick.

Note: a couple of weeks after I made the curry in the pictures I recreated the recipe (without the chillies for my mum), but boiled the cashews in water for 10 minutes before blending. It resulted in a very slightly smoother sauce. It didn’t take away from the final flavour or comfort of a creamy curry, so I guess it just depends on time and personal preference whether or not to add this step.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cashew nuts
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger paste
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 cup water

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
400g cauliflower florets
220g new potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tin coconut milk
1 cup thick cream (heavy cream)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Using a food processor or blender, add the cashews, garlic, ginger, roughly chopped onion and water and blend until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the oil on high and add the cumin seeds. When the start to splutter, add the finely chopped onion. Once the onion is soft, stir in the chillies, turmeric, ground coriander and ground cumin. Cook for two minutes, stirring often. Add the blended cashew mixture and reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the vegetables and stir well to coat with the spices and cashews. Cook for a few minutes before pouring in the coconut milk and cream, then add the curry powder, chilli powder and garam masala.

Simmer on a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

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Enjoy!

Roast Tomato, Garlic & Red Pepper Soup

I’ve been craving smooth creamy soup for weeks, so when Ste came home with a new hand blender for me last week, I thought it the perfect time to try a recipe I’d noted down in December. The original recipe is vegan and from Bosh. I’m not vegan and love garlic so made a few adjustments, but I’ve linked the original recipe below.

It turned out delicious and as it was our main meal, I served it with grilled three cheese sandwiches and a side salad with homemade dressing.

Ingredients

10 plum tomatoes, halved
8 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 large red onion, quartered
1 large red pepper, halved
Extra virgin olive oil, for roasting (I always use extra virgin, it’s just my preference)
Tabasco sauce
Dried Italian herbs
1 litre veg stock
225ml light cream
Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and line a baking tray with foil. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Pop in the oven for 15 mins.

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Add the onion and red pepper to the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Cook for another 30 mins.

Put all the vegetables from the tray into a large pan (I drained off the olive oil and used it for a salad dressing), squeezing out the roast garlic. Add a few drops of tabasco ( I went with 7), the Italian herbs and veg stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Blend until smooth and stir in the cream. It will serve 4 – 6 people and keep well for around 5 days refrigerated in an air tight container.

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Enjoy!

Original recipe from Bosh! – https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/4-winter-warming-soups