Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Show-off brunch: Aubergine and potato middle eastern inspired brunch

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This is a faffy brunch.  It takes a while, there’s lots of different bits to the recipe that are done separately and brought together at the end, and it involves poached eggs, which are the ultimate in egg faffiness.

However, I have made it time and again because it is utterly delicious and a fantastic way to impress people (even if that person is just you).  And also brilliant for hangovers (not so great to make it if you’re feeling really ill though…possibly one for that moment when you feel ok, and you realise you’re still drunk!).  Even thinking about it now is making my mouth water.  It’s that tasty.  So it’s worth the faffiness.  But not one for when you’re in a hurry.  I like to make it when I have an aubergine or two lurking in the fridge.

It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi – the king of faffy cooking, and to be fair, I think I have made this as he says, at least once, but mostly, I adapt it, and it’s still just as good.  I do still follow the recipe because it’s so faffy, it’s hard to remember it all, but I think have now mostly remembered it.  You can find it here:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/31/brunch-recipes-eggs-yotam-ottolenghiI

I have to say, I have never been able to find tahini in the shops, so just make my own with sesame seeds.  Which adds to the faffiness.  But a great job to give someone that’s hanging about annoying you in the kitchen.  If you want to make tahini, here’s a recipe:  http://homecooking.about.com/od/condimentrecipes/r/blcon110.htm

And here’s my adapted version:

Middle-eastern inspired Aubergine and potato brunch

Serves 2

  • 1 aubergine cut into 2cm ish cubes (if that’s possible with something round)
  • 2 medium potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes (depending on size), diced
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp siracha sauce (or use any tomato chilli sauce, not sweet chilli though)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • A lot of oil
  • 40g tahini paste (I make 1/2 the recipe above, which usually works out well)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 4 eggs (I also do a couple of slices of bacon and 1 egg per person at times)
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  1. Place the aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain in the sink for about 30 minutes
  2. Whilst the aubergine is draining, boil the sliced potatoes for about 5-7 minutes, or until half cooked.  Then drain and refresh under cold water so they stay crunchy
  3. Next mix together the tomato, spring onion, and half the coriander in a small bowl.  Combine with the siracha sauce and white wine vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside
  4. Mix the tahini paste with the garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of water with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  5. Tip the aubergine onto a plate with kitchen towel and dry off.
  6. Pour enough oil (should be sunflower, vegetable, groundnut etc) into a high sided pan to come up about an inch.  Heat on a high flame until bubbles form around a spoon end in the middle of the pan.
  7. Tip in the aubergine and fry until golden brown on all sides.  Then tip out onto fresh kitchen towel using a slotted spoon.
  8. Pour most of the oil, away (I normally save in a jar for later), leaving about 2 tsp in the pan.
  9. Fry the potatoes in the pan until browned and blistered on both sides, takes about 10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, boil the water and make the poached eggs (and grill bacon if using)
  11. Split the potatoes between two plates.  Sprinkle over 1/4 of the tahini mix on the potatoes on each plate.  Next take the aubergine and place on top of the potatoes and sprinkle over the remaining tahini mix.
  12. Next take the tomato mix and place on top of the aubergines and potatoes.  Sprinkle over the reserved coriander
  13. Finally top with the eggs and bacon if using.
  14. And enjoy the fruits of your labour and faffing about.  Feel the hangover recede.
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Lunchbox lunches: bacon and lentil soup

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My stomach is upset. It’s having an issue (in government speak). Probably from eating too many Easter eggs and drinking too much wine (and cocktails, and g&ts…). So I’m going back to basics and eating simply – nothing too rich, too spicy, too oily or too acidic. And what could be better than a simple healthy lentil soup? Comforting, tasty, easy on the stomach and nothing too exciting to upset it.

And lentils being good sources of both protein and carbs, means I don’t need bread of any kind with it, which may just push my stomach right over the edge. The bacon gives it a nice flavour but it’s not too intrusive. And keeping it chunky means it’s both simple and quick to make (in fact I made it this morning and let it cook whilst eating breakfast and then just dished it into tupperware to take to work.

This recipe is a variation on one I found in my Leith’s Simple Cookery book and my go-to book when I’m not sure about anything.

Bacon & Lentil soup

Serves 3-4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 rashers bacon (your choice), cut into lardons
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 200g red or green lentils (choose red if you’re in a hurry they cook quicker)
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 250ml passatta (seived tomatoes – or use pasta tomato sauce)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (be careful if using smoked bacon)
  1. Heat a large saucepan on a low-med heat. Add the bacon and onion and allow to sweat slowly and the bacon to release it’s fats. There’s no need for oil as the fats will provide it and make the bacon crispy.
  2. Then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add in the lentils and stir well to coat in the mixture. Then add stock, tomatoes, and passatta. Bring to the boil, stiring well and then reduce to a low simmer and cover.
  4. Simmer until the lentils are cooked – about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste and serve with hunks of farmhouse bread, or just eat on it’s own enjoying it’s pleasing chunkiness.
  6. Enjoy 🙂
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Easy healthy midweek pasta: spicy bacon & aubergine pasta

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This was one of those – random things in fridge and in need of something quick and healthy to eat before the gym. And it worked really well actually. At just over 400 calories it certainly ticks the healthy box, and it was very tasty and didn’t take very long to make either – certainly a Jamie Oliver contender. You could even leave the bacon out (and maybe add mushrooms) for a vege option too.

The recipe came from my trusty BBC good food site http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/874651/aubergine-chilli-and-bacon-pasta and I didn’t really change that much of it, although I made less than it suggested and it was enough to go round.

Spicy bacon & aubergine pasta

Serves 3

  • 225g pasta shapes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into small cubes
  • 4 rashers of rindless back bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 red chillis, finely chopped
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • handful of grated parmesan to serve (optional)
  1. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and add the aubergine. Cook over a medium heat until softened – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crispy, about another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and chilli and stir through for a minute before adding the tomatoes, breaking them up with the spatula if necessary.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to the boil and then simmer until you have a nice thick sauce.
  7. Stir through the pasta and then tip onto plates, topped with parmesan if using.
  8. Eat immediately and enjoy!
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Weekender breakfast: hotcakes and eggs

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Just a quick Hope update – thanks so much for your support.  When I posted about her on Thursday I got the most views to my site ever – and then the second highest views ever yesterday too.  Please do repost, retweet, like on facebook, etc – to get the message out and get support for her family.  Such a brave family in such a terrible situation.

These hotcakes are inspired. Super quick and easy to make, without requiring much effort on your part (essential when hungover) and soooo tasty. They probably have a million calories in them but if the hangover from hell is knocking – do you care?! And even if you don’t have a hangover, weekends are not for counting calories. And these are delicious and well worth whatever calories are in them.

The recipe suggests poached eggs, which sound lovely but as I can’t make decent poached eggs, I did fried and they were delicious with it too.

The original is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8239/bacon-and-parsley-hotcakes and to be honest, I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting, so I pretty much followed it.

But here it is, reproduced, just for you. Don’t say I’m not good to you.

Hotcakes with bacon and eggs brunch

Serves 2

  • 50g bacon lardons (I did 1.5 rashers)
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 25g cheddar, grated
  • 1 tsp thyme (or fresh thyme if you have it)
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp milk (the recipe suggests less but I found that it needed it)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (plus more if they start burning)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 rashers bacon
  1. Fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan, in their own fats until browned and crispy. Turn out onto kitchen towel, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
  2. Put the flour, cheese, bacon, herbs, salt & pepper in a bowl and mix well. Make a well and crack the egg into it.
  3. Whisk from the centre to beat the egg, gradually drawing in the flour mix. Add the milk gradually until you have a very thick batter.
  4. Heat the grill and grill the bacon rashers.
  5. Heat the bacon oil in the frying pan on a medium heat and add a tablespoon of the mixture to the pan, and another, until you have 3-4 in the pan with enough space so they aren’t touching.
  6. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side until browned and golden. Turn out onto kitchen towel. And repeat until all the batter is used (should make about 4-6 depending on how generous your spoonfuls are)
  7. Crack the eggs in the frying pan and fry in the remaining oils until cooked to your liking.
  8. Serve with the hotcakes in the middle of the plate, piled high with the bacon and the eggs and the sauce of your liking (mine was brown sauce for these).
  9. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea and try not to remember what happened last night!

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A post Christmas hangover brunch: mexican breakfast skillet

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This is super easy to make, which is good when you’re trying to do it when hungover. And it’s full of veges and a bit of chilli – to replace the vitamins and flush out the toxins. Trust me by the time you’ve eaten this, you’ll feel much, much better!

Plus, you can use up Christmas leftovers as well, if you have them, or not. It doesn’t really matter. This is about reinventing the British classic of a fry up. Not that I’m opposed to a fry up, but sometimes you want something a bit different. Well this is it.

The original recipe came from here http://cookingtipoftheday.blogspot.com/2011/09/recipe-mexican-chorizo-and-eggs.html

But of course, I changed it. And without having eaten the original, I can’t tell you if mine’s as good or better, but I like to think so. And being British, I believe you’ve gotta have some bacon and sausages in it! You can fry the eggs in the same pan if you want but I found it easier to do them in another pan whilst I was finishing off the potato mix.

Mexican breakfast skillet

Serves 4

  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 50g chorizo, finely chopped
  • 4 rashers bacon (of your choice), cut into lardons
  • 8 chipolata or cocktail sausages, or 4 normal ones
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 peppers, finely chopped
  • handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large green chillis, cut thickly on diagonal (remove seeds if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (or use 1 if you don’t want too spicy)
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 2 normal sized tomatoes)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander (optional)
  1. Preheat the grill. Grill the sausages on all sides until browned and cooked.
  2. Put the potato cubes in cold water to remove some of the starch. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan (don’t add oil). Add the chorizo and bacon and fry over a medium heat until they start to release their oils, then turn the heat up so that they start to crisp.
  4. Then add the potatoes, onion and peppers. Fry for a few minutes, stiring well to coat in the bacon and chorizo oils.
  5. Then add the mushrooms, chillis and cayenne pepper and fry for a further few minutes until the potatoes start to go crispy and the mushrooms start to release their oils. If you need more oil, add slowly. You want enough to fry everything in but not so much its swiming in it. It depends how much fat is in your meats.
  6. Reduce the heat to a medium and cover the pan. Use tin foil if you don’t have a lid. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Take the lid off and add the tomatoes, stiring them in so they get all mushy.
  8. In another pan, fry the eggs in the olive oil until crispy underneath and cooked on top. Check for seasoning in potatoes (it shouldn’t need any as the bacon & chorizo will have a lot of salt anyway)
  9. Stir the coriander into the potato mix. If using large sausages, cut up into pieces and add to the potato mix.
  10. Serve the potato mix onto plates top with sausages, then top with the fried egg.
  11. Enjoy with some fresh orange and coffee and feel your hangover subside 🙂
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A different kind of fish pie

My mother in law’s gone on holiday, and hubby brought back the contents of her fridge! I’m not sure why, but there you go. And most of it was out of date and about to go off! So I’ve been frantically trying to figure what to do with it so it doesn’t go to waste. So this was one of those – ‘lets just put everything in a pie’ moments! And it actually turned out quite well.

You can, of course, just make a normal fish pie with this recipe – you want about 800g of fish – anything really – cod, pollock, salmon, haddock, plaice, sole – whatever. Usually it’s just cheap stuff. I had a piece of hot smoked salmon, half a packet of normal smoked salmon and a load of bacon. So I added some prawns to it and just bunged it all in the sauce! If using fish then I suggest you either steam it first or poach it in the milk, and then reserve the milk for the sauce.

Bacon, fish & prawn pie

Serves 4

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into small even cubes
  • 180ml milk
  • blob of butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 100g bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 50g butter,
  • 50g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 200g salmon fillets
  • 100g smoked salmon, chopped into small pieces
  • 400g king prawns (raw or cooked, doesn’t matter)
  • 100g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  1. First put the potato cubes onto cook in plenty of salted boiling water. Boil until cooked. Drain and mash the potato. Then push to one side of the saucepan and add the milk, butter salt & pepper to the empty side of the pan. Place on a medium heat over the milk and heat it until just about to boil. Remove from the heat and mash quickly into the potato making sure the potato is fully mashed and it’s nice and creamy. Leave to one side until needed.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  3. Dry fry the bacon in a pan on a medium heat, stiring constantly to prevent sticking, at least until the juices from the bacon start to release. Add the onion and fry until both are browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and mix into the butter. Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes. Then gradually add the milk whisking hard to combine and prevent lumps. When all the milk is added, put the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns in the mix. Bring to the boil and simmer until a reasonably thick sauce is produced. Remove from the heat and remove the whole spices from it.
  5. Tip the bacon and onion into the sauce, followed by the fish, prawns and peas. Mix well.
  6. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Top with the boiled eggs (which should be chopped into small pieces) and the parsley. Then top the whole lot with the mashed potato to make a thick topping. Sprinkle paprika over the top of the potato and cook in the middle of the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling up and the potato is crispy and a little burnt in patches.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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Potato and bacon salad

In the spirit of Friday afternoon work avoidance (although how that differs from any other day’s work avoidance, I’ve no idea – other than I am now so broke from online shopping I’ve had to ban myself….oh for at least a week!) I thought I’d blog about my lunch (made at some ungodly hour this morning!).

As previously mentioned – I have a ridiculous number of potatoes, and not being a huge fan of them, it’s been somewhat taxing trying to eat them all!  And this was one of those recipes – ‘what’s in the cupboards that I can turn into a meal’.  As it turned out, the vege company had handily delivered my box of vege, which included spinach, yesterday and there was leftover bacon in the fridge – so this recipe was pretty much perfect.

The only things I did differently were I added tomatoes and left out the parmesan – mostly because at 7am this morning, I could not be bothered with grating!  And the tomatoes needed eating.

I found the original on the trusty BBC Good food website.  And you can see it here.  http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3782/spinach-bacon-and-new-potato-salad

The one thing I forgot to do was take a photo of it – I ate it before I remembered!  But there’s a very pretty one on the bbc’s page.

This, I reckon, is a pretty healthy lunch option – potatoes are good carbs – they release their energy slowly unlike rice and pasta – so it keeps you going all afternoon whilst you work really had at that online shopping!  Bacon is pretty low calorie (especially if you use dry cured, like I do) and spinach is good for you – popeye and my mother said so.  And if you leave out the parmesan, there’s really nothing bad too it.  Even the olive oil is virgin!

Bacon, spinach and potato salad

Serves 2

  • 250g new, salad or small potatoes (or large one, peeled and cut into small chunks)
  • 3-4 rashers of bacon
  • large handful of fresh spinach (remove stalks if not using baby spinach) and roughly chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard (you can use other mustard but reduce quantity accordingly)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Halve and boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked – about 10 minutes.  Drain, refresh and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crispy.  Cool and then crumble (chop)
  3. Then make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar and mustard.  Then add the salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Put the spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Add the bacon and the potatoes.  Pour over the dressing and toss well to coat in the dressing.
  5. Leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to be absorbed.
  6. Serve, with parmesan flakes on top (if you like) or some farmhouse style bread.
  7. Enjoy!
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Easy risotto: bacon & pea baked risotto

This is another recipe off the BBC good food website. I do love that website. You can always find something on there that fits what’s in the cupboard, suits what you fancy and will be ready in the amount of time you can tolerate. Plus there are loads of reviews on there so you can quickly find something you know will be a winner.

Many people, myself included, are afraid of risotto. Don’t be. It’s not difficult and once you’ve done it once or twice you’ll feel much more confident. It’s all those fancy chefs on tv scaring people with cooking times and ‘al dente’ nonsense. Well, if you’re worried, try this recipe. It’s super simple – you just mix it all together and shove it in the oven, no worrying about stiring or not stiring and how ‘al dente’ it is. And it was beautiful – I am contemplating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, right now!

You can find the original recipe here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1120679/ovenbaked-leek-and-bacon-risotto

Again, this is a good one (I reckon anyway!) for the kids as there’s nothing really for them to object to, it’s good for midweek as it can be all ready in 40 minutes and it’s good for the dieters, under 500 calories. You can even make a vege version if you want. This is another milder, more subtler tasting recipe, so it’s perfect for those afraid of spice. If you like it spicy, just add some chilli flakes with the stock.

The original recipe has leeks in it, but I don’t have any of them, so I used 2 medium onions instead and just bunged in a few more peas. I also added some wine before the stock (I had a bottle of chardonnay that I don’t like to drink, hanging around the fridge, which is why every recipe recently has had wine in it!). But apart from that it’s pretty much the same.

Bacon and pea baked risotto

Serves 4 (ish)

  • 1 tbsp oil (I used oil)
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 4-6 rashers of bacon, chopped
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 70-80ml white wine
  • 650-700ml chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken as it has more flavour)
  • 150g peas or petit pois (frozen and defrosted)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 30g parmesan
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat the oil in a flameproof, ovenproof dish on a medium heat (if you don’t have one use a high sided frying pan with a lid). When its hot, add the onion and bacon and fry until the onion is softened and the bacon cooked.
  3. Add the risotto rice and stir well to coat in the oil. When the rice is translucent on the outside but opaque in the middle, add the wine and allow to bubble and reduce.
  4. Then add all the stock, stir well, cover the dish and place in the oven for 20 minutes, stiring half way through.
  5. When the water is mostly evaporated and the rice cooked, add the peas. Leaving the lid off, cook for a further 2-3 minutes in the oven.
  6. When the water is evaporated and the rice is tender, add the butter and cheese, stir well to mix and return to the oven for a further 2 minutes with the lid off.
  7. Remove from the oven, add the zest and seasoning to taste. Stir well and serve.
  8. Eat with the satisfaction of having mastered something supposedly complicated and metaphorically stuck your finger up to the celebrity chefs and all their scary talk.
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Sweet pepper and bacon pasta

I loved this recipe – I didn’t think it would work with all those peppers in it – seemed a bit much, but it worked really well and it’s super low in calories for a pasta dish, which is an added bonus. Along with the 4 different kinds of potatoes Mr Jackson bought on the last shopping trip, he also decided to buy 3 different kinds of sweet peppers. So it really had to be this recipe, there wasn’t anything else for all the peppers in the fridge!

It’s a great midweek recipe as it has bacon in it, so the cooking times aren’t too long – although some cooking is needed (of course!). You could make it without meat if you just wanted a great vege pasta option.

The original recipe used breasola, but as I didn’t have that and do have bacon, I just substituted it and it tasted delicious. I think minced beef or pork would work just as well too.

Sweet pepper and bacon pasta

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 150g bacon, cut into thin strips (pancetta or streaky bacon would be best but I used wiltshire cured back bacon!)
  • a handful of basil or parsley, chopped
  • 4 peppers – I used different colours to make it look more colourful, diced
  • 125ml (small glass) white wine
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 300g dried pasta (I used fusili but any shape is fine)
  • 50g grated parmesan cheese
  1. The the oil in a pan on a medium heat, and add the onion and bacon. fry until softened and starting to brown
  2. Add the parsley or basil, the peppers and stir well. Then add the wine and some salt and pepper. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes
  3. Add the tin of tomatoes and increase the heat to bring to the boil. Then reduce and simmer again for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and quite creamy
  4. Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain and turn it into warmed bowls
  5. Taste the sauce for seasoning, then pour over the pasta and top with the grated parmesan.
  6. Serve with garlic bread and the remainder of the bottle of wine!
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Winter greens inspiration: quick chorizo and bean stew

You may have noticed, I’m slightly obsessed with my pulses at the moment! But really, what’s not to obsess over? They’re cheap, last ages in the cupboard, healthy, hearty, nutritious, yummy and comforting – perfect for Winter!

This is another recipe I found courtesy of foodpress. It is totally delicious. I was surprised at how nice it was! Not that I was expecting it to be horrible, I was just thinking it might be average because it’s always a bit hit and miss with blog recipes (not mine, of course – but that’s because I’m personally vetting them for you first! And being a foodie I wouldn’t put anything on here that isn’t totally yummy).

And unlike the last one on lentils – this is not confused. It’s most definitely European and not in the least Asian. It’s French or Italian really – which I’m not totally sure – you decide. And its somewhere between a cassoulet (without beans) and a risotto (but not made with risotto rice). You can find the original here:

http://ps295wellness.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/lentils-and-rice-from-mark-bittman-new-york-times/

I didn’t really deviate much from the original recipe, although next time around I’d grill the sausages separately, cut them up and add them to the rice and lentils at the end of cooking. Cooking the sausage as they suggest made it a bit anaemic and I like my sausages nice and brown! Although, of course, if you’re using bacon then I’d cook it as they suggest. But chicken breast diced, would be nice too, or diced pork. Or just leave out for a vege option.

European style rice and lentils

Serves 2-3

  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseed if you don’t want too spicy, or leave out)
  • 2-3 sausages, or about 100g bacon, chopped small (or grill sausages first as I suggest above)
  • salt & pepper
  • 50g red split lentils or moong dhal
  • 75g rice (I used white basmati)
  • 700-800ml chicken/vegetable stock or water (I used chicken as it gives good flavour)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley (I used dried)
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or work. When it’s hot, add the onion, carrot and celery and fry until the onions are browned. Then add the garlic and meat (if using, or not grilling) and fry for a further few minutes until the meat is browned on the outside, or the bacon is crispy.
  2. Add the lentils and rice and mix well to coat in the oil and veges. Then add about half the stock or water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the bay leaves (and dried parsley if using) and then cover.
  3. Leave to cook for about 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan and add more stock or water as needed. It’s ready when the lentils and rice are well cooked. If there’s some excess water – turn up the heat and boil it off. You want it just sticking to the sides of the pan. Then add the lemon juice and parsley (if using fresh), stir well and serve.
  4. Enjoy!
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