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Saturday, 29 August 2015

25+ Delicious ways with courgettes

It's definitely been a good season for courgettes, and I've seen lots of them over social media, of all shapes, sizes and colours - well maybe not all colours, but definitely green ones, yellow ones and some of a mottled variety.

This year we managed to grow a few of our own up at the allotment, and there are still more to come. When you grow your own vegetables it can be easy to get sick of the sight of them, especially if they all come at once, so it's good to have various different ways of eating a particular vegetable to ensure you don't get bored.

Courgettes are a very versatile veg and can be eaten in many ways, and here are just a few. If you live on the other side of the atlantic you may also know these as zucchini.

 photo 25 courgette_zpsritndp3t.jpg

Ratatouille is a one pot stewed vegetable dish usually made with courgettes, peppers and aubergine. I like to add any vegetables I have sitting at the bottom of the fridge, and bake an egg on the top - One Pan Egg Ratatouille

Spiralised courgette, or courgetti or zoodles, is a healthy way to enjoy sauces usually served with spaghetti or noodles. There are some amazing looking and sounding courgetti/zoodle recipes here, including Pad Thai, Chicken Zoodle soup and zoodles with kale pesto.

I love falafel, which is made with chickpeas but here there is an added healthy addition of grated courgette in this Healthy Zucchini Falafel.

Why not try baking your courgettes for a healthy alternative to chips and crisps. These courgette fries, zucchini bites with garlic dip and salt & pepper zucchini crisps all look so mouthwatering.  

Two unusual ways that caught my eye were vegetarian zucchini 'meatballs' and a zucchini crust pizza made from grated courgette, egg and flour.

If you've been inundated with courgettes then why not try a spot of pickling. This zucchini relish and this apple & courgette chutney would be great with cheese.

If you have a sweet tooth you can also use your glut of courgettes in cakes and muffins, such as my lemon & courgette madeira cake, these chocolate chip muffins, zucchini bread, courgette cake and carrot & courgette muffins, are just a few ways you can enjoy a sweet courgette treat. 

Find these recipes and more on my Courgettes & Zucchini Pinterest board

Don't under estimate the courgette...

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Pulled Pork & Potato Frittata

One thing I dislike quite a lot is food waste. By this I mean the fresh foods and leftovers that households throw away every day. There's not a lot of food that gets thrown in the bin here, mostly because I try and re-use leftovers from one day in a meal for the next. I make a rough meal planner for the week which I use when doing the online shop, but it's usually really flexible and I don't stick to it rigidly, especially if there are foods that need using up.

Last week I cooked a shoulder of pork in the slow cooker and made pulled pork for dinner. There was some leftover but I knew it wouldn't be enough to go around 4 or 5 of us the following day, so I decided to be creative with it, along with some leftover boiled potatoes from the allotment (there was rather a lot of these!), and some green beans.

Frittatas are a great way to use leftovers as, I suppose, it's a bit like a bubble and squeak made with the leftovers from a roast dinner, with the addition of eggs. 

This can be eaten warm or cold, and is great for taking on a picnic.

Pulled Pork & Potato Frittata

Pulled Pork & Potato Frittata 

2 tbps olive oil
leftover boiled potatoes, sliced
leftover green beans
leftover pulled pork
6 eggs
splash of milk
approx 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan
  • Add the potatoes and fry until lightly browned on both sides
  • Add the pulled pork and green beans, and fry gently, dispersing evenly in the pan
  • Beat the eggs with the milk and pour into the pan
  • Cook gently until slightly wobbly on the top
  • Scatter the grated cheese over the top
  • Place under a hot grill until bubbling and golden grown
Pulled Pork & Potato Frittata Pulled Pork & Potato Frittata Pulled Pork & Potato Frittata

A couple of days later I still had lots of allotment potatoes, along with some chorizo left over from my chicken & chorizo paella, and made a chorizo & potato frittata in much the same way as this one, with the addition of some red pepper and chopped tomato.

chorizo & potato frittata

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

When I had my new induction hob fitted a few months ago, one of the silly things that I was pleased about was that my paella pan worked on it when many of my other pans didn't. I didn't use it very often but didn't feel ready to part with it.

As the majority of the family isn't keen on seafood I've never made a seafood paella, and instead use chicken & chorizo, which gives the dish some rich Spanish flavours. I don't know why I don't cook this more often as it really is simple, yet tastes so good and the family loves it. One pot dishes are always a winner too, as there's not much in the way of washing up either.
  Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Chicken & Chorizo Paella - serves 4/5

3-4 chicken breast fillets
pinch Saffron strands
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded & chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded & chopped
1 onion, chopped
100g chorizo, sliced
350g paella rice
50ml white wine
800ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp paprika
fresh parsley, chopped
lemon wedges
  • Cut the chicken breasts into strips
  • add the saffron strands to a small dish and pour approx 30ml boiling water over
  • heat the oil in a paella pan (or large frying pan)
  • add the chicken and fry over a high heat until browned on the outside, & remove from the pan & set aside (it will finish cooking later)
  • turn the heat to medium and add the garlic, peppers, onion & chorizo
  • fry for 5-10 minutes until the onion starts to soften
  • add the rice and stir for 1 minute
  • add the wine, & 750ml of the stock, along with the saffron strands & water and paprika
  • bring to the boil whilst stirring
  • turn the heat down, cover with a lid or sheet of foil and simmer for 15 minutes - check after 10 minutes and add more stock if needed
  • after 15 minutes turn the heat off and leave covered for 10 minutes before serving
  • scatter with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges

Chicken & Chorizo Paella Chicken & Chorizo Paella Chicken & Chorizo Paella Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Cheese & Chive Beer Bread - No Yeast, No Proving, No Kneading

Another week of Great British Bake Off has passed, and this week it was time for bread to be in the limelight. You can't beat the smell of freshly baked bread, and it's hard to resist slicing off the end and slathering in butter, which is why I don't often make it!

Bread can be time consuming though, and can easily go wrong, but on the other hand it can taste and look amazing, as could be seen in this week's show - wow that lion sculpture was incredible. It's worth making the effort for a great loaf  if you have the time, but no yeast, no prove breads are a way to have freshly baked bread if you're in a hurry

I stumbled upon beer bread when browsing Pinterest one evening for no prove breads. All of the recipes I came across seemed to be American, and used cup measurements, but I've decided to stick with weighing my ingredients as I find it to be more accurate when it comes to baking.

It's not quite as light as home baked bread with yeast, but it's just as good, and an amazing way to get  a freshly baked loaf quickly. I've now baked a few of these loaves whilst playing with the quantities to reach a recipe that works well. I've made this cheese and chive flavour as well as cinnamon & raisin, which Hanna said tasted like cinnamon raisin bagels. 

Cheese & Chive Beer Bread

Cheese & Chive Beer Bread
- makes 1 large loaf

450g self raising flour
20g chives, chopped
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp caster sugar
440ml can of lager/beer
25g butter, melted
  • Add the flour, chives, cheese (reserve a small handful of cheese for later) and sugar to a large bowl & stir to combine
  • Add the beer and mix well
  • Brush some of the melted butter around the insides of a large loaf tin
  • Pour the mixture into the tin, filling to around halfway
  • If you have any mixture leftover you can pour into a buttered muffin pan
  • Bake in a preheated 175C oven for around 50 minutes - 10-15 minutes before the end of the cooking time brush the top of the loaf with melted butter and scatter a handful of grated cheese evenly over before returning to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time
  • Once cooked, remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack
We enjoyed ours with pulled pork.

Cheese & Chive Beer Bread Cheese & Chive Beer Bread

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