Tag Archives: bacon

Recipe: Waffles

6 Feb
Picture of a waffle

Don’t think about the calories…

It turns out Bird’s Eye weren’t fibbing when they told us all in the 80s that waffles are waffley-versatile. They are incredible for breakfast, for dinner, sweet, savory, sweet AND savory.

Truly, the only downside is that they compel me to consume a week’s allowance of butter in one sitting and they don’t seem to go especially well with veg. That aside, they’re fun, filling, freezable. All the ‘Fs’ basically. What more do you want?

To buy (for 6):

*Well you’ll need a waffle maker (mine’s a Gordon Ramsey one and is dead easy to use)  *250g plain flour   *1 dessert spoon of baking powder  *2 tablespoons caster sugar   *1 teaspoon of salt   *2 eggs   *450ml milk   *2 tablespoons vegetable oil   *spray oil   *toppings of your choice (I love bacon, maple syrup and M&S salted caramel sauce… not at the same time..although..)

To make:

waffle-maker

Where the magic happens.

1. In a big bowl mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

2. Next mix the wet ingredients together – the eggs, milk and oil – and add this to the dry ingredients then mix until a smooth batter.

3. Heat your waffle maker as per the instructions and spray generously with oil.

4. Fill your waffle-maker to an appropriate level with the waffle batter, seal and cook for as long as you need (around 5 minutes in the case of a Gordon Ramsey waffle-maker).

5. Carefully open your waffle maker and gently ease the waffle out using tongs.

6. Serve the waffles so they’re hot and crispy and drowning in your favourite topping. You might want to serve alongside Buffalo chicken wings for a true Deep South experience or, if you’re about to run a marathon and need to carbo-load or don’t care much about debauched gluttony, try adding chopped-up cooked bacon to the waffle-mix AND popping a few rashers of cooked bacon on top. Hog-tastic.

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Recipe: The King Burger (Bacon, Cheese and Peanut Butter Burger)

13 Nov

Elvis woulda loved it,

Clearly missing the sweet, heart-attack-inducing fare of the Deep South, Josh decided to cook something special last night; a dinner that the King himself would have gladly tucked into.  It was an insane combination of thick juicy burger, crisp smoked bacon, Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce, smooth peanut butter, gooey plastic cheese and more bacon thrown in for good measure.

It sounds a little scary doesn’t it? Well it wasn’t, I promise.  It was epic and staggeringly gorgeous.  The peanut butter  lent a creamy saltiness that countered the sweet shallots within the burger.  The bacon was smokey and added bite.  Plastic cheese, well for me, it just improves everything, right?  And I guess that goes for BBQ sauce too.  So perhaps not one for the weight watchers but as Saturday night treats go, this one was rocking and rolling.

To buy (for four burgers):

*650g really good steak mince   *1 small shallot, finely chopped   *2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce   *1 teaspoon smoked paprika   *1 teaspoon hot paprika   *1 pinch of chilli   *2 teaspoons of BBQ seasoning   *toasted buns   *good quality streaky bacon   *cheese (we used plastic)   *BBQ sauce (we have Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse) but any would be fine.

Josh and his giant meatball

To make:

1. In a big bowl combine the meat, shallots, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce until really well mixed.  Split into four and make meat patties that are an inch or two thick.  Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least half an hour.

2. When you’re ready to eat, under a pre-heated grill or in a hot pan cook the burgers for a few minutes on each side as you like.  I like my burgers juicy and pink inside but seared and blackened on the outside so cook them quickly and at high temperatures but this it totally up to you.  Always good to rest the burgers for a while before serving them though.

3. To build the King burgers, toast the bottom half of the baps and then spread a generous dollop of peanut butter on top.  Add a slice or plastic cheese and then some really crispy bacon.  Pop the burger on top and then add a little more bacon (we chopped it in half before cooking so it fit in the bun better) and a huge, unseemly dollop of BBQ sauce.  Top with the toasted bap lid and prepare for a treat.

Congratulations to Josh for deciding that this could and would work and hat-tip to Fresh and Foodie for providing  him with a recipe to tweak as he went along.  Are you going to make this? Could you think of a way to make it even better? I need to try it, if so.

 

 

Simple Supper: Leon’s Butternut and Bacon Chowder

12 Nov

A Winter Warmer

It’s been months since I posted and I can only apologise and offer this as an explanation: a) I went on a Deep South roadtrip which took up much of my monies and day dreams and b) I am planning a wedding, which does the same!  I hope you’ve all been and eating well.

I don’t know about you but I am starting to hug the duvet a little more when I wake up in the mornings, starting to eye up knitwear when out shopping and very recently crave liqueur coffees at odd times of the day; it must be the season.  With whole aisles of the supermarket dedicated to mincepies and goose fat and bonfire night behind us it’s definitely that time between autumn and winter when you could eat a salad but what I really want is stew or soup or pies or roasts. I love it.

This butternut and bacon chowder is from the unsurpassed Leon Ingredients and Recipes cookbook and is rich and sweet and warming all at once.

For four:

To buy:

*3 tablespoons butter   *200g streaky bacon, diced small   *1 large onion, diced   *1 small butternut squash (about 650g), peeled and cut into 2cm dice   *2 medium floury potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2cm dice   *500ml stock   *100ml double cream   *500ml full-fat milk   *3 big handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped   *1 tablespoon of thyme, roughly chopped   *salt and pepper

To make:

1. Over a medium heat melt the butter in a big saucepan and add the bacon – not in one big clump – once the butter’s nutty and browning.

2.  Cook on a medium heat until the bacon starts to crisp and go golden brown. Then stir in the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

3. Add the onion and some salt and cook for another 10 minutes or so with the pan lid on until the onion is soft  but not browning.  Add a few splashes of water and then the squash and potatoes.  Turn the heat down a little and continue to cook and stir occasionally for 10 minutes.

4. Now turn the heat up a little and add the chicken stock and cream.  Simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes until the veg is soft but not collapsing.

5. Add the milk and bring to a simmer and then quickly turn off the heat – Do not let the milk boil or it will split.

6.  Using a slatted spoon remove the veg from the soup and blend into a smooth puree and add back to the soup.

7. Season as you like, add the herbs, a dribble of cream if you’re being a fancypants and serve with crusty bread, butter and your favourite box-set.

Super Simple Supper: Carbonara

19 Apr

Summer supper

London right now is balmy.  It’s weather for bare legs and summer dresses, BBQs and lazy beats, new freckles and tan marks.  I frigging love it.  But on a sweltering hot evening I want to be sipping rum on my balcony, not sweating in my kitchen.  And for evening’s like this, this meal – from Jamie Oliver – but tweaked ever-so, goes from hob to table in about fifteen minutes.  Win.

To buy:

*250g fresh pasta   *1 egg   *50ml double cream   *salt and pepper   *6 rashers of smoky bacon, roughly chopped   *a couple of handfuls of fresh podded petits pois   *Big handful of fresh mint   *freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

To make:

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the packet instructions.

2.  Whisk the egg in a bowl with the cream, salt and pepper and meanwhile, put your pancetta or bacon into a second – large – pan and cook until crispy and golden.

3. When the pasta is nearly cooked, add the peas for the remaining minute or two.  When cooked, drain in a colander, saving a little of the cooking water.

4. Add the pasta to the pancetta and stir in most of the mint, finely sliced.

5. Now add the egg and cream mix to the pasta.  What’s important here is that you add it while the pasta is still hot.  This way, the residual heat of the pasta will cook the eggs to give you a silky smooth sauce.   Toss together and loosen with a little of the reserved cooking water if necessary.

6. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the cheese (about a bucket-load if you’re anything like my guy or me) and the rest of the mint leaves, and serve as soon as possible.

Serves 2.

Recipe: Leek, potato and bacon soup

4 Dec

It's soup-er.

Contrary to popular belief, the weather outside is not frightful. Well not for me at any rate. Yes it’s well and truly Baltic – both outside and in my chilly office – and yes when the snow starts to melt your boots and socks get soggy, but like the overgrown kid that I am, I resolutely love the snow.

From catching snowflakes on your tongue, stamping through fresh white fields and leaving swirly tracks, to harvesting icicles to store in your freezer for a summertime surprise, winter is a treasure-trove of good clean fun. It’s easy to grumble about it – when the trains don’t turn up and the pavements fill with slush – but I am wishing I’ll never stop smiling at the sparkling silvery snowflakes and I hope that the moment when I whip open my curtains to see white sheets have settled on London never stops being heart-racingly thrilling.

Of course a good winter deserves good eating.  I like to ensure a steady supply of hot drinks – tea makes everything better and that includes gentle frostbite and colds and sneezes – hot and spicy curries and noodles to gobble, stews and broths to fill up my tum and soups by the gallon. Wonderful wonderful soups.  Whether it’s the soup of the day at Prêt and Eat (Malaysian Laksa say is the jackpot for me!) or a tin of Heinz and a slab of cheese and toast, I ruddy adore slurping on soup. The best bit? That they are so easy and cheap to make.  A big pot of soup can keep an army marching for days and you can chuck almost anything into your pot and produce a treat. Also any excuse to eat crusty bread and butter is marked with a giant ‘WIN’ for me.

This leek, potato and bacon soup (from, where else, the goodfood website) will make about five mega portions and keep for a few days in the fridge (don’t add the cream if you want to freeze it mind..) if it remains uneaten for that long.

Smells so sweet.

 

To buy
*25g butter   *3 rashers of bacon chopped   *1 red onion, roughly chopped   *2 shallots, roughly chopped  *400g leeks, trimmed, chopped and well washed   *3/4 potatoes washed, peeled and diced   *Around 1.4lr of hot vegetable stock   *142ml pot single cream   *bacon to serve

To make
1. Melt the butter in a large pan, then fry the bacon, shallots and onion, stirring until they start to turn golden. Season at this point if you like.

2. Tip in the leeks and potatoes, stir well, then cover and turn down the heat. Cook gently for 5 mins, shaking the pan every now and then to make sure that the mixture doesn’t catch.

3. Pour in the stock, season well and bring to the boil.

4. Cover and simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are soft.

5. Leave to cool for a few mins, then blend in a food processor or with a hand-blender in batches until smooth.

6. Return to the pan, pour in the cream and stir well. Taste and season if necessary. Serve scattered with tasty crisp bacon and eat with warm crusty bread or garlic bread on the side. Yum and double-yum.


Recipe: Ugly Stew

23 Mar

It aint got no alibi.

Were this stew a person it might be the maths geek at the back of the class who you didn’t notice at first. The one with the too-big bag, wonky glasses and lopsided smile. It wouldn’t be the hipster or the sporty one, no. This stew doesn’t look very handsome but – like the geeky kid – it has all the answers.

It’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s super-filling and it’s easy like a Sunday morning. Hurrah for the geek!

To buy:

* 1 Pack of sausages (I used Giggly pig spring onion and ginger)   *1 x 200g pack of diced pancetta (or you can use bacon if that’s easier)   *a couple of sticks of celery   *200g Cannellini beans   *200g Borlotti beans   *Big swig of olive oil   *Big know of butter   *3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped   *1 x onion   *1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes   *500ml chicken stock   *About 4 big leaves of green cabbage (like savoy) finely sliced   *Salt and Pepper   *Few handfuls of thyme   *Bunch of fresh parsley if you have it . Serves well with cheese and bread and wine.

To make:

1. Warm the oil and butter in a large saucepan and add the pancetta. When starting to cook and bubble add the garlic and stir well.

2. Add a sliced onion and ensure the heat is on quite high.  Chop the sausages into about 5 or six chunks and throw in the pan. Cook for about ten minutes or so. Throw in celery, which you’ve roughly chopped.

3. Season well and then add the tomatoes and stock.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or so.

4. If using dry beans you will have had to drain them overnight and then cooked and rinsed the beans for about 40 minutes. If canned beans then wash and drain. Add to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.

5. Add the herbs and the cabbage and cook for just over five minutes (try and make sure the cabbage stays crisp and bright) and then pop into bowls.

Feeds between 3 and 4 people and is great with warm bread, good company and slightly aching muscles after a long walk in the rain!

Review: Inn The Park

20 Mar

Soon to be Inn My Tummy

Address: St James’s Park, London, SW1A 2BJ

Telephone: 020 7451 9999

Email: info@innthepark.com

Set in possibly my favourite of all of London’s beautiful parks (I really love Richmond and Battersea Parks too in case you were wondering) with epic views of Buckingham Palace, Westminster and even the London Eye, Inn The Park is sitting pretty.

On a summer’s day you can sit on the terrace and hear the huge array of ducks and geese – and yes, Pelicans too! – squawking and quacking as you tuck in to your plate of food, but this morning was a grey day so we elected to sit inside.

The decor is super stylish and light-infused by massive windows.  The cafe boasts gorgeous, sleek leather-bound chairs and has some really ace retro-orange formica tables and little vases of flowers. Cute.

Josh (who I may refer to as “The Brunette” in the style of AA Gill from now on..) ordered some bacon and scrambled eggs and asked for a sausage too, I wanted the girdle scones but was told they had run out. Overcoming a mini-sulk I ordered a round of toast and a Strawberry Flight – a whizz-up of strawberries, pear and bananas – and was a bit surprised when the waitress didn’t offer any coffee or tea. What is breakfast without coffee or tea? I mean really? Our food promptly arrived and my toast was missing marmalade – there had been no delivery that morning apparently – and the toast was freezing.  That said, there was lots of it and the Peyton and Byrne Perfect Raspberry Jam was just that – perfect.

Josh’s eggs, bacon and bangers were utterly beautiful. Top-notch and cooked to perfection. There is no faulting the integrity of the ingredients or the flair in which everything I have ever eaten from here is cooked. However, the service throughout breakfast was – like my toast – stone cold and pretty perfunctory.

And then there’s the cost. I am not known for my stinginess and I have been known to shell-out for good food. This is good food. But, but, but the ‘Half a grapefruit’ listed on the menu was £3. Josh’s single sausage came in at £2.50. The small glass of OJ was £3. Whilst not eye-watering the prices here are a little on the steep side…

Everything in the Inn is incredibly tasty and the setting is hard to beat.  I left feeling a little like they could have tried harder with the service and Josh’s, sorry – the brunette’s – wallet was a lot lighter but  I will certainly look forward to my next trip for a fabulous breakfast in the park.

Recipe: Cold Day Stew

3 Mar

Full of yum

Hands up who wants a recipe for a dinner that is fast, wholesome and cheap. Me me me! And luckily here is just that. It takes no more than about 45 minutes and feeds four greedy-guts. I love it.

To buy:

*A knob of Butter   *1 tbsp olive oil   *250g good quality bacon   *2 leeks, thickly sliced   *100g chestnut mushrooms (although I’m sure any will do…)   *2-3 garlic cloves, finely sliced   *300g pearl barley   *350g butternut squash, cut into big chunks   *2 tbsp thyme   *salt and pepper   *1 litre chicken stock.  (This meal also tastes amazing with home made dumplings or served with bread and butter).

To make:

1. Heat a large, deep pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter.  Fry the chopped bacon for about 5 minutes until it looks juicy and sizzling.

2. Add the garlic and the chopped and cleaned leeks.  Fry for a few minutes.

3. Add the chopped mushrooms, the pearl barley, butternut squash and thyme and then the chicken stock.  Season well and simmer for about 40 minutes (adding more water if you need to) before chucking on a plate and scoffing with a grin.

I like to have a big chunk of cheddar grated on top of my stew, but then I am a little lardy!

Recipe: Trucker’s Breakfast

14 Feb

Girl-portion on left, Boy-portion on right.

I am not sure if the Ice-Road Truckers (I freaking love that show!) would tuck into this breakfast on a Sunday morning, but I do like to think so…

I am still a beginner in the kitchen and don’t know about you, but find that some of the seemingly easiest things to cook make me quite nervous. Eggs, for example are a tricky one – how can you check they’re still fresh, how long to soft-boil? I ALWAYS end up googling Delia to check! And so this is a simple fry-up but if you get it right you can guarantee credits with your girlfriend/boyfriend/family/flat-mates all day long!

To buy (this is for 2 people):

*nice coffee/tea   *2 english muffins   *Danish bacon   *Juicy sausages   *3 free-range medium eggs   *big knob of  butter   *6 tbsp milk   *salt and pepper

To make:

1. Turn your grill on, and pop your sausages on a tin lined with baco-foil, cook for about 15 minutes or so on a high heat (my grill is pretty slow…) and turn them regularly and brown on all sides.

2. Crack the 3 eggs into a jug, add the milk and season well. I keep my eggs in a bowl out of the fridge and sometimes forget how old they are. Delia says that you can tell how fresh they are by placing in a tumbler of cold water: completely horizontal means it’s fresh, if it tilts up slightly or is semi-horizontal it’s a week or so old and if it is vertical then it’s stale. Thanks Delia!

3. When the sausages are looking almost-there add the bacon to the tray and get grilling.

4. Meanwhile add a generous knob of butter to a non-stick pan, pour the eggs in and let them cook for a minute or so, fold the eggs gently and let them cook. Pop the muffins into the toaster and stick the kettle on.

5. The eggs should be folded (not mixed or scrambled) a few times and should be juicy and sloppy, whilst they’re still wobbly, take the pan off the heat and leave to cook for half a minute or so.

6. Brew your coffee or tea and mug it, butter your muffins and pour on the eggs, and whack the meat on the plate. Ketchup as you wish, grab the paper and tuck-in.

For lots of people this would be stupidly easy but I do believe that if you can confidently carry off the basics and make honest food that tastes good it will make you – and your family and friends – very happy. What more can you ask for?