One of the wife's favourite meals of all time is something that I have never found in a recipe book and can only presume that either my mum invented it or she picked the recipe up from some one's family or local tradition.
Sausage, Tomato and Onion Pie
Pie is probably a slightly misleading word, unless you use it in the Cottage Pie context, because that is what this essentially is; a variation on Cottage Pie.
This is if you're doing this for two people, if you're doing it for more just increase the ingredients as necessary.
4 Quorn sausages (Linda McCartney ones don't work; and obviously meat ones do, so if you're a cannibal then a nice pork and beef will work just as well - arguably better)
1 large onion sliced in thin rings
3 large tomatoes, skinned and sliced in thin rings
Fry your sausages until golden brown, take off the heat and either slice them in half, length ways, or just pop them in the bottom of an oven proof casserole dish.
Fry your tomatoes and season well. When reduced to a nice fresh tomato sauce, pour over your sausages.
Fry your onions until golden brown - be careful not to burn them or under cook them. Put these over the top of your sausages and tomatoes. Cover with mashed potato, stick in the oven until golden brown. Serve with fresh seasonal vegetables and a nice gravy.
Variations can include making the mash with some form of squash - butternut or spaghetti; or adding some grated cheese when mashing.
I dare you not to like this meal!
Interesting Jacket Spuds
Sometimes I get utterly pissed off with potatoes. I am a potato snob, as has been mentioned before. And every so often I fancy doing something slightly different with them other than boiled, mash, roast, chips or jackets. So I came up with this idea a few years ago and we have them at least once a month, especially when you can get really nice floury spuds.
2 large clean and unblemished potatoes - Maris Pipers, King Edwards, Wilja, Kerr's Pink or something like that.
Cook in a hot oven until done. Then take them out, cut them in half and scoop out all the flesh, leaving just a crispy potato case. Put the spuds insides into a bowl, add some butter, a splash of cream (once upon a time the cream off the top of the milk would have done, but that rarely appears now), some freshly milled black pepper, salt, chopped chives and some grated mature cheddar. Mix it all together and then put it back inside the spud cases; sprinkle with some more cheddar cheese and then shove them under the grill until the tops go golden brown. Yummy!
The Wife's Favourite Italian styled Courgettes
I really struggle with courgettes; bland, tasteless, soft yucky things that are just miniature marrows and don't get me started on them. However, she came up with this idea a few years ago that I took and improved on.
2 medium sized fresh courgettes - straight from the garden is best
1 small shallot or onion - finely chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic - crushed and finely chopped
1 tin of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
1 good handful of fresh basil
a glug of red wine
salt & black pepper
Slice your zucchini into 1cm thick rounds and fry over a slightly higher than normal heat in some good frying olive oil until they are just golden brown, but have retained some of their texture and have a little bite. Remove from the pan and drain.
Add your shallot to the oil and fry until just see through; add your garlic and do the same.
Add your splash of red wine, then add your tomatoes and cook until the liquid looks as though it is just beginning to thicken; then add your torn basil and seasoning, cook for a further minute and then put your zucchini back into the mixture - whack the heat up to max and warm the fried veg through. turn it off and serve mixture with an assortment of things. Meat eaters will find it goes very well with pork or chicken; veggies can have it with Quorn sausages or even a firm nut roast.
Also goes very well on some toasted ciabatta.
Funky Baked Beans
1 tin of baked beans
1 small shallot or onion
1 side of an old red pepper (the one you find at the back of the fridge and you can salvage some)
¼ tsp chilli powder
splash of soy sauce
pepper & salt
Fry the onion and red pepper, add the chilli powder and a splash of soy sauce and then add your tin of beans; heat through, season and serve with anything!
Next time - non veggie food, possibly. Such as: what to do with your chicken or turkey carcass and how to make liver palatable...