Tag Archives: cheese

Chilli Non Carne

16 Jun

Chilli with cheese on the side

For the past few weeks, I have been wondering what to do, with the collection of ‘mixed bean’ tins that I discovered lurking out of sight on the top shelf of one of my numerous cupboards.  This week I decided it was time for action, and my desire for health and thrift meant this is a vegetarian recipe. This created a huge pot which will easily feed us 2 adults and the children for 2 meals, if not more.

This is more a suggestion and was heavily influenced by the content of my fridge. If there had been garlic to hand I would have added some. And if I was missing one of the other ingredients I would probably have added some sweetcorn.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tins cooked mixed beans
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 red onions chopped
  • 2 red peppers chopped
  • 1/2 head celery chopped
  • 1 aubergine chopped
  • 5 medium carrots chopped
  • 1 courgette chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne chilli powder
  • 1 dessertspoon chopped jalapenos (from the freezer
  • Salt

I did the preparation and initial cooking of this dish just after clearing up from breakfast. Chop all the vegetables roughly (approx 1cm pieces, but don’t worry, no-one is getting the tape measure out!)

Heat the olive oil in a stock pot. Fry the vegetables (reserving the tinned tomatoes and beans) for a couple of minutes, then put lid on and leave to steam/fry for about 10/15 minutes, until they have started to soften. (I had a shower while this was on. but remember to put the time on, as you don’t want it to catch and burn) Add tomatoes, beans and spices and cook on a low heat until the vegetables are tender but not mushy (20/30 minutes depending on their size). The additional time while this was cooking was employed getting the children dressed and getting bags packed for a mini- shopping expedition.

Ready to serve. Or to save for later

SERVING IDEAS

The joy of this meal is you can serve it in so many ways, Tonight we had it with brown basmati rice, yoghurt and grated gruyere.  Alternatively I would use couscous. Flour tortillas work well either gently warmed and filled at the table,  or by encasing the mixture in the tortilla, covering with cheese and baking in the over (15 mins, check it doesn’t burn).  I am considering experimenting and blitzing it to see how it works as a soup. Watch this space.

For the children, I mushed the vegetables a little with a fork, and mixed in some cream cheese to tone down the spice. Mixed with grated cheese and the rice. Although there was some initial reluctance to try it, once they had a little extra sprinkle of cheese, they both started murmuring appreciative noises, and save for a couple of mouthfuls, plates were cleared. Total 10 mins prep, and minimal supervision while the chilli and rice cooked. Job done!

Chilli my way. With rice, yoghurt and coriander

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Frittata, Sausages and Spinach (The spendthrift’s challenge, Day 1)

18 May

Day one of the challenge, and I have already had my resolve tested by an almost too good to turn down 15% off voucher from Ocado. I resisted and turned off the computer, only to receive a text from Sarah (yes, Sarah’s Lime and Ginger Cheesecake Sarah) trying to lead me astray with a report of £2 a bottle off one of our favourite bottles of wine. I returned to the ‘loosely drafted’ rules and noticed that there was  no mention of alcohol being included in the budget (trust a lawyer to try to find a loophole). However in the spirit of good housewifery, I will observe the spirit of the challenge and only use supplies from existing stocks.  

BREAKFAST  

A cinch. Cereal, bananas and toast for the children, fruit, yoghurt and muesli for me.  

LUNCH  

A fridge raid at 11.30 in the run up to lunch yielded the following ‘bounty’  

  • 6 or 7 slightly greying cooked jersey royals from Fridays lunch
  • 2 handfuls of grated cheddar
  • 2 little gem lettuces with a week old sell by date
  • a ‘dollop’ of preserved lemon mayo left over from Fridays lunch
  • a slightly limp looking cucumber

Not exactly a mouth-watering or inspiring collection. Yet this sorry list was wondrously transformed into a delicious lunch in less than 15 minutes, with some butter, herbs, and some delicious ‘Happy Eggs’ (yes there really is a brand called happy eggs, and I really do buy them).  

Method  

  1. Slice potatoes. Place in medium non-stick frying pan with a dessert spoon of oil and butter (the oil allows the butter to cook at a higher temperature without burning).
  2. Add 1 teaspoon chopped garlic and chives, and cook until the potatoes are golden brown.
  3. Whisk 4 ‘Happy Eggs’ with a tablespoon or two of yoghurt/cream/milk and add to the pan. Jostle and jiggle the mixture around then add the cheese and leave on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges start to come away and the centre is still a little wobbly.
  4. Add a handful of grated cheese, then place under a hot grill for 5 mins. Keep a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn.

While the top of the frittata was browning, I rinsed and chopped the lettuce (for me) and dotted the leftover mayo on to dress the leaves. For the children I chopped the cucumber into batons.  

For Mummyinahurry

 

Frittata Finale

 

For the children

 

 Once cooked, gently cajole the frittata onto a plate to serve. This was declared as ‘delicious’ by my almost 4 year old, and saved a few sad leftovers from the landfill. If it wasn’t for my undying attachment to my dishwasher and tumbledryer, I could almost feel like an advert for eco-mum!  

TEA BREAK 

The Cake. Mmmmm

 

I have been craving cake for the past week, and as we had guests after school, I took that as a perfect opportunity to make Nigella’s Never Fail Victoria Sponge, to have after the school run with a cup of tea. Annabel and I made the cake after lunch, and for the filling used up some apricot jam that had been skulking in the back of the cupboard since my hubby declared that he ‘doesnt really like apricot jam’  . That was about a year ago, but at least 5 years of me regularly buying it for him!!  

DINNER  

The starting point was a pack of defrosted Free Range Lincolnshire Sausages from the freezer (bought half price when on offer – yet more thrift in action). Although Mr Mummyinhurry is working late again, David had a school friend for tea, so I had an extra mouth to feed. For the children, I pan-fried the sausages, then served with mash, broccoli and (blush) tinned spaghetti. 2  out of 3 clean plates after dinner. A good result.    

After my mid-afternoon carb fest with the cake, I wanted something a bit lighter and healthier than mash to complement the sausages. I settled on a side dish of wilted spinach, butter beans and tomatoes. Easy, delicious and light.  

Sausages, Wilted Spinach with Beans and Tomatoes

 

INGREDIENTS 

1 bag spinach  

250g mini plum tomatoes  

400g tin butter beans  

chopped garlic and olive oil  

METHOD  

Place a little oil in a wok style pan with some chopped garlic and sweat it off for a minute.  

  1. Add spinach until it wilts
  2. Add chopped mini plum tomatoes
  3. Add a can of drained butter beans
  4. When all is warmed through, strain, season with salt and pepper then add a drizzle of olive oil
  5. Serve

As the sausages were already cooked, once the salad was made, dinner was served.  I had the children in bed and the kitchen tidied by 7.30pm, leaving me time to catch up with a neighbour over a glass of fizz (her treat of course!!)

Microplane Magic

28 Apr

In case you are wondering how I managed to get the grated parmesan looking quite so professionally fluffy, it is all thanks to my Microplane grater. Almost every guest we have had who has tried this out has asked where we got it and has bought one. Even my mother-in-law who can be very hard to please!!

I first discovered them at a cookery demonstration many years ago. They make any sort of grating almost effortless.

The first one I bought had a rubber handle and a plastic frame. After many washes in the dishwasher, the rubber deteriorated and the plastic casing began to crack (probably something to do with the fact that I think it is not dishwasher proof). So I replaced it with the current all stainless steel version, which is in my opinion, nothing short of fabulous.

I bought mine from a kitchen shop, but they are widely available on the High St, and at the online shopping store of choice for this mummyinahurry, Amazon.

If you want to know the science behind the magic, they explain all here

http://microplaneintl.com/english/mpprocess.htm

My stainless steel microplane grater

In praise of the humble omelette

15 Apr

So, after a day of chasing toddlers and keeping our currently ‘up for sale’ house in show home condition (well almost) I could barely face the thought of cooking dinner. After a glass of yummy merlot, and facing an already messy kitchen worthy of any domestic slut, I was rummaging in the fridge when I uncovered a long forgotten and slightly mouldy (but salvageable) piece of smoked cheese. Then I glanced over to the eggs still on the side from the lunchtime shopping delivery (Delicious Burford Browns, and 50% extra free too!) and suddenly inspiration struck. Omelette. Simple. Quick. And generally quite delicious if not overdone (see Delia How to Cook Book 1 for guidance – although I wouldn’t get quite so hung up on the pan – it only lives in this house if it can survive the dishwasher).

Another rummage in the fridge yielded a bag of rocket and some tomatoes and red onion for a quick salad, and hey presto, dinner on the table in under 5 minutes.

Obviously after all that slaving in the kitchen for dinner it was only right that I took a rest on the sofa after we had eaten armed with a gooey 5 minute brownie (recipe and picture to follow) while Mr Mummyinahurry cleared up!

And now to bed.. I have to be up early, ready to clean and scrub for our 2pm viewing. Chocolate and DVD’s for the little ones are on hand.