This week’s recipes proved to be a bit hit and miss, but not in the way I was expecting. Some things I was really looking forward to fell flat, others were unexpected revelations. Particular highlights were a ridiculously easy Spanish chicken traybake and some cheeseburgers packed with stealth veg.
Chicken & Leek Pot Pies
Who doesn’t love a creamy chicken stew laid hidden in wait beneath a mound of pillowy mash? This was even more attractive prospect as the mash was half parsnip, half potato and didn’t have anything else added so the calorie count was kept really low. I was worried about using a ricer (not suggested by the recipe, just our preferred way of mashing potatoes) but the parsnips went through as easily as the potatoes and the mash wasn’t dry at all, despite the lack of butter and milk, and had a pleasant sweetness from the parsnips. Sadly my husband isn’t keen on leeks so we won’t be making this again, but I really enjoyed it and might use the topping again for things like cottage pie.
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you are trying to reduce carbs or calories but still want comfort food.
Pork Tenderloin and Lemon Cauliflower
From October’s Olive in a feature on Roasting Pan Suppers which is available here
This was quite involved for a roasting tin lunch but so worth the effort. The pork was beautifully tender- I overcooked it ever so slightly because I get a bit scared of undercooking pork, but it didn’t dry out too much- if I’d followed the timings from the recipe it would have been perfect. The spice blend made it sweet, smoky and aniseedy 😋 and who doesn’t like a bit of roasted cauliflower?! Having said that, my husband doesn’t like cauliflower that much as a rule (are you noticing a theme?) but he actually really enjoyed this and our one year old wolfed it down too. It did take slightly longer to cook than stated.
Would I recommend it? Yes! A perfect light meal and something a bit different.
Pork & Aubergine Noodle Stir-Fry
Did somebody say stir fry? This is a recipe from Good Food a few months ago that we liked enough to put in our ‘family book.’ Only half of the dish went with the noodles, the rest was set aside, as suggested, to go inside lettuce cups for a lunch in the next couple of days. Only 100g of pork mince in enough to serve 4 people, easily replaced by quorn if you need to cater to vegans but also such a good way to use meat almost as a seasoning or piece of textural interest while you make the veg the main event.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s quick, healthy, tasty and cheap.
Spanish Chicken Traybake
Apparently it’s all about the simple traybake at the moment. This was one of my easiest cooks recently and I just want to put paprika and olives on everything right now. I replaced the thighs with chicken supremes as my husband prefers them and it helps me keep the WW points down.
Would I recommend it? Yes- we enjoyed it so much we’ve added it to our family book!
Smoky Fish Curry
From Waitrose Magazine’s Curries Supplement. The recipe isn’t on their website but supplement is free to download in their app.
I don’t always enjoy smoked haddock but it worked reasonably well with the chilli and flavours from the curry powder- presumably that’s why it works so well in kedgeree! Also, classic me, forgot to add the cherry tomatoes when I was supposed to and didn’t realise until I’d already added the fish! So added the equivalent amount of chopped tomatoes and it seemed to work just fine. Phew! Overall though, it was a rather underwhelming recipe. Perhaps if I hadn’t misread the recipe and missed out the cherry tomatoes, forcing the substitution of chopped, the flavours would have melded in a more impressive way but as it was I got bored of eating this halfway through.
Would I recommend it? No, there are many better fish curry recipes out there. Give this one a miss.
I was pretty cynical about these- they couldn’t possibly be as good as a regular burger when they were only about half beef, could they?! Never have I been more happy to be proven wrong. No, they weren’t as good as my HG burger recipe from the Hawksmoor book, but they were also much better than a lot of standard burgers I’ve had. Shivi Ramoutar is a flipping genius. The timings were pretty spot on (although if I were making these for very young children or pregnant women I’d cook them for slightly longer) and they were absolutely delicious. We left the mushrooms out as my husband has an allergy, but I can only imagine they’d add a fantastic extra umami kick.
Would I recommend it? Yes. I’d recommend this to any omnivore. Heck, if you’re veggie, try subbing in quorn and let me know how it works. I’d especially try this if you have veg-sceptics and you need to sneak veg into meals or if you’re trying to cut down on red meat, but you don’t need those excuses.