Millie’s Chilli

My  nine-year old daughter Millie has suddenly developed a passion for cooking. I would like to think that I was the inspiration behind it, but I think it is more than likely sprung from watching the television, particularly Junior Bake-Off and Junior Masterchef on CBBC.

Whatever the source of her inspiration, I support her new passion, even if it does mean, which so far it hasn’t that I have to eat some disastrous meals.

I also have promised to share some of her recipes, starting with her child-friendly version of chilli con carne which is something that any kid can make with a bit of guidance from an adult. It is based on my chilli con carne recipe, but she has taken out most of the heat to make more child friendly.

Continue reading “Millie’s Chilli”

Caramelised Cranberry Relish

This is a recipe that I posted a couple of years ago, but I thought I would re-post it, so you can all start getting ahead of the big feast without searching through my archives.

I know Christmas is still weeks away, and I also know that December can fly by faster than Superman on his way to meet Lois Lane when we are busy. It is for this reason that I have decided to get ahead of the Christmas dinner game and prepare my Cranberry Relish now. It only takes ten minutes to make, so I probably could have made it on the day, but why would I want to do that when I could be relaxing with kids?

This recipe will keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but I have chosen not to take any chances. I am making it now and freezing it. Then I can just pop it out a few days in advance (I will be setting a reminder on my phone so I don’t forget) and it will be ready to go with my turkey dinner on the big day.

Carmelised Cranberry Relish

  • Skill level: Easy
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 large orange
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely sliced into matchsticks
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 500g/1lb cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • splash of Port (optional)

Method

  1. Use a zester to zest the orange, or use a speed peeler to peel off the zest then finely shred it with a knife and set aside with the ginger.
  2. Halve and juice the orange. Tip the orange juice into a shallow saucepan and boil gently with the sugar until you get a light amber-orange caramel.
  3. Scatter the zest and ginger into the caramel, cook for 1 minute, then tip in the cranberries and port if using. Cook everything on a high heat for 5 minutes until the cranberries are starting to split but still have texture. Leave to cool and serve with the turkey.

This recipe will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for up to a month.

Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

Pork Chops and Apples cooked in Cider.

Pork chops are not what they used to be. Thanks to people trying to be healthy, farmers are now putting their piggies on a diet so they grow up to leaner. Good news if you are planning on buying one to put in one of those novelty pig races, but bad news if you are going to eat it. Sure the reduction of fat in the world’s little piggies means leaner, healthier pork, but sadly it also means they are not as tasty, because as unfortunate as it is, when it comes to pork, the flavour is in the fat.

Fear not though my friends, you can still get some flavour out of your pork by combining it with some  complementing flavours… And what goes better with pork than apples?

This lovely,simple, quick recipe for example takes a simple pork chop and injects it with some lovely apple sweetness, and because it is cooked in cider, it also keeps the meat moist (Domesticated Mum was particularly impressed). Serve it up with some mash, and some sweet carrots and you will have a dinner perfect for these frosty winter days.

Continue reading “Pork Chops and Apples cooked in Cider.”

Low Fat Steak Fajita

Now that Christmas is over, and the period of over-indulgence is a distant memory many of us are looking for ways to shed the extra baggage picked up last month. This doesn’t have to mean that we settle for soup and salad for the rest of the winter though does it?

Of course not!

Take this low-fat Mexican style fajita recipe. It delivers all the taste of a traditional Mexican meal but cleverly cuts out a lot of the fat associated with Mexican dishes. And it is dead simple to make, and takes no time at all to prepare.

Continue reading “Low Fat Steak Fajita”

Construct your own mince pies

For years I didn’t really like Mince Pies. I didn’t hate them, but they never were anywhere near the top of the seasonal treat list like they are for so many people here in the UK. Domesticated Mum on the other hand really seems to think they are one of the best things about Christmas. So last year I decided to make some for her, and in the name of quality control I tried one, and discovered that it isn’t Mince Pies I don’t like, it is ‘store-bought’ mince pies that fail to hit the treat button of my taste buds.

I am not sure what they do to mince pies in the factory that make them so sub-standard, but I imagine it is probably whatever chemical process they put them through to make them have a shelf life of more than two or three days… Oh, and the terrible pastry they always seem to use.

Of course, store-bought mince pies will always be popular among the masses because to make them from scratch is like a day long mission… Or even longer if you make your own mince meat. If you follow my careful construction method however, you can have a far superior mince-pie that you can use to fool your friends into thinking you spent 10 hours in the kitchen toiling for their treat, and they will taste better than any store-bought pie, for the same price.

Continue reading “Construct your own mince pies”