Chicken sausage with creamy mashed potato

Chicken sausage with creamy mashed potato

Chicken sausage

Chicken sausage

I came across these chicken sausages that were herbed and looked fantastic uncooked and decided to do a straight forward sausage and mash with caramelized onions. It tasted really good and will be a regular week day meal for me. This is a simple recipe to adjust for 1 to many people. (4 people)

What you need

1kg chicken sausage sliced in half lengthwise

4 large onions sliced thinly
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar

Mashed potato

8 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
½ cup hot milk
Salt to taste

The process

In a pan on a medium to low heat, melt the butter, add the onions and allow to cook until soft. Stir them from time to time. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are sticky and brown with very liquid left.

Boil the potatoes in water until soft, drain, add back to the pot and mash with a potato masher. Add the hot milk and mash until smooth. Taste and season with salt, this can also be done in a microwave just as effectively. Place a lid on the mash to keep warm while you cook the sausage.

Now all that I left is to cook the chicken sausage, which take just 2 or 3 mintes. Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the halved sausage until nicely browned and cooked.

Pile a generous amount of the onions on the sausage and mash.

Serve with soft fried tomato seasoned with salt and pepper.

Caramelized onions can be kept for a few days in the fridge, so don’t be shy. This Mediterranean Chicken sausage recipe is another of my favorites.

Spinach and potato bake

Spinach and potato bake

Spinach potato bake

Spinach potato bake

Potato bakes are great with almost any meal to give you a tasty starch and adding the spinach may even get the kids eating spinach! Imagine that. It’s a really tasty potato bake recipe that makes any meal something great. Roast a few chicken pieces, cook a few chops or a piece of steak and you have a great meal with this recipe. (4 people)

What you need

250g washed and chopped spinach leaves
4 medium potatoes thinly sliced
250ml cream
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

The process

Boil some water in a pot and toss in the spinach, allow to soften slightly, this will take about 1 minute.

Drain into a colander. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water and place in a bowl. Loosen it up a bit ready for the potato bake construction.

Mix together the cream, mustard and garlic.

Lightly butter a 19 or 23cm casserole dish and make a layer of potato on the base. This should use about 1/3 of the potatoes. Top with 1/3 of the spinach and 1/3 of the cream mixture. Repeat 3 times.

Cover you dish with aluminium foil and place in a 170 Celsius oven for 1 hour. Then take of the aluminium foil and bake for another 30 minutes. The top should now be a caramel brown colour.

It’s a no hassle and almost impossible to go wrong recipe that will add something special to any meal.

Enjoy it folks. Here is another potato bake recipe

Baked chicken liver pate

Baked chicken liver pate

Chicken liver pate

Chicken liver pate

This Chicken Liver pate recipe is a unbelievably good. It takes a lot of time and effort byt is so worth it. Baked chicken liver pate is great as a starter served as a slice with melba toast or as an all day snack for Christmas day. Give it a try, you will not regret it! You do need a food processor for this one.

What you need

500g frozen chicken livers
400 g butter
2 large onions finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
About 1/2 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper
100 ml red muscatel
100 ml port
50 ml brandy
5 eggs
250g streaky bacon

The process

Thaw the chicken livers completely and then trim off any fatty bits, place in a bowl, cover and set aside.

In a pot on a high medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the onions until transparent, you don’t want them browning, then add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and all the alcohol, increase the heat to high and boil to reduce until you only have about 1/4 of the liquid remaining. This concentrates the flavors for this decadent chicken liver pate.

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place the rest of the butter in another pot, bring to the boil, remove from the heat, skim off the foam and set aside to cool.

Place the trimmed chicken livers in the food processor and blitz them for about 1 minute, then add the onion mixture and blitz again for 1 minute.

Add the eggs and blitz until completely combined and a fine texture. During this blitzing period with the machine still on, add the cooled butter.

Line a bread tin with the bacon slices and then fill with the chicken liver mixture. Fold over any bacon pieces and cover the top with the remaining strips of bacon.

Place a roasting tray in a 150 Celsius oven with a little water in the base and then place the bread tin into the water and cook for 2 hours. It is really important that your oven temp is 150 or slightly less, not higher or it will turn a grey colour. Still tastes good but does not look the best.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then cover with clingwrap and place in the fridge overnight. Leave it for 24 hours to allow it to set properly.

Turn it out and serve slices with melba toast.

This is seriously good folks and the effort will come out in the flavor and the presentation.

Date balls

Date balls

Date balls

Date balls

Date balls recipes have pretty much stayed the same for years. They are great to have around the house for healthier little snacks, taste great and are as simple as pie to make. With Christmas coming up make sure you have a large jar of date balls for people to snack on.

What you need

2 packets Bakers Marie biscuits
250g dates chopped
450g margarine
250g sugar
2 eggs
desiccated coconut

The process

Break up the Marie biscuits and give them a bit of a pounding with a rolling pin or empty wine bottle. You want a combination of fine and small pieces, this gives them a nice little crunch. Make sure you get Bakers Maries, they are crisper biscuits and make a huge difference.

In a pot over a medium heat, add the margarine and sugar. Melt it and simmer slowly until the sugar is dissolved. Add the dates and let it simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes.

While the mixture is simmering, beat the eggs and add them along with the broken up Marie biscuits.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place a generous amount of the coconut onto a plate and once the mixture is cool enough to handle, roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and then drop into the coconut to coat.

That’s that, you have anytime snacks in about 20 minutes.

Place them into a large jar with a lid when completely cooled to store.

Try the peanut brittle recipe for a real treat.

Onion and raisin confit

Onion and raisin confit

onion confit

onion confit

This is excellent for summer lunches of cheeses, cold meats crunchy bread. Make up your own ploughman’s platter with a selection of cheeses, meats, breads, raw vegetables, salad and serve with this delicious accompaniment. It’s summer time folks, get outside and have fabulous, healthy platters.

What you need

500g baby onions (they should fit into a teaspoon once cleaned)
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
300ml water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons tomato puree
75g raisins
Sprig rosemary, sprig parsley

The process

Clean the onions,then place all of the ingredients into a pot, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until the onions are very soft.

The time will vary depending on the size of your onions but should be about 45 minutes.

You will also know when most of the water has evaporated and the liquid is syrupy but still fairly liquid.

Remove the herb sprigs, and allow to cool. It can be served warm as well but personally I prefer it cold.

Strawberry cream cake

Strawberry cream cake

Strawberry cream cake

Strawberry cream cake

Strawberry cream cakes or Victoria sponge cakes are really quite simple to make. They are very light and can be filled with all sorts of great fillings. This one uses strawberries and whipped cream for a decadent and very impressive cake which is perfect as both a dessert or a tea cake. If you havn’t baked much, this is a great one to start with. You will need a scale for this recipe and 2 x 23cm cake tins.

What you need

The cake
225g soft butter
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
25g corn flour
3-4 tablespoons milk
2 x 21cm sandwich tins, buttered

For the filling
4 tablespoons of strawberry jam
1 punnet of strawberries, cleaned and halved
125ml double cream whipped

For the topping
2 tablespoons or so of caster sugar

The process

Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius and line the cake tins with grease proof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar with a spatula until white and very easy to mix, add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time with a spoon of flour in between each egg addition and mix well with an electric beater until well combined.

Add the rest of the flour and maizena and fold it in.

Add the milk, mix with the spatula until combined and pour the mixture equally into your cake tins.

Bake for about 25 minutes. You will know they are done when the cake is beginning to come away at the edges of the tin.

Leave the them in their tins for 10 minutes to cool slightly, then turn the out onto a wire rack to cool.

Now for the fun part.. Place one layer onto a plate and spread the jam generously over the top. Scatter a layer of strawberries over the jam and finally spoon over a nice thick layer of whipped cream.

Place the second layer on top of the cream and sprinkle generously with the caster sugar or pile more strawberries and cream on top like this one.

Impressive and seriously delicious.

You can really go to town with the fillings, I have used caramel before which is very sweet but for me it’s best with berries and cream. Most other recipes I come across don’t use jam and berries but it really make a great addition.

Paella

Paella

Paella

Paella

There are loads of Paella recipes around and this one is a fairly traditional Paella recipe which uses spicy sausage, chicken and prawns but you can add other ingredients to it to suit your own taste. Some like to add mussels, some like more chicken and less sausage. Personally I sometimes add more sausage, I just love the strong flavor of chorico. It’s really not difficult to make, just be sure to pay attention the last 10 minutes. Paella is a perfect dish to make over the weekend, put the pan straight onto the table, make a salad and let everyone send it. (Good for 6 hungry people)

What you need

250g spicy sausage like chorizo sliced
250g boneless skinless chicken breasts in cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 cup white rice (uncooked)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes 440g in juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch salt
Pinch turmeric
500g peled and deveined prawns
1 red pepper sliced thin
1 green green pepper sliced thin
1/2 cup frozen peas

The process

Heat a large wok or heavy based frying pan (a big one with sides at least 7cm or so high) and add a little oil. Cook the chicken cubes and sausage until the chicken is lightly browned.

Now add the onion and garlic and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring constantly. Now toss in the rice and allow it to begin to brown on the edges, you must stir it every minute or so.

Once you can smell the rice browning, it has quite a distinctive smell, add the chicken stock, tomatoes and all of the spices. Mix it up a bit to distribute the tomatoes evenly, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer it for 15 minutes with a lid or covering on.

Remove the lid, add the prawns, peppers and the peas, give it a little mix to incorporate them and allow to simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes uncovered. It is important to keep an eye on it during this period and to test the rice for tenderness. As soon as the rice is done and there is no liquid left, it is done. If you have some parsley, chop it up to finish it off but not required.

Serve it straight from the wok or pan with a salad and some crisp bread.

Here is a Mexican chicken and rice recipe which you will really love if you like this type of food.

Braised brisket

Braised brisket

Braised brisket

Braised brisket

Brisket has got to be one of the most under rated cuts of meat around. the best part of it is that the cooking methods that suit it best are slow cooking like braising, so it is almost impossible to muck it up no matter how inexperienced you are in the kitchen. It will always be moist and tender… just remember one rule.. the longer it cooks the better.Braised  brisket is so great for entertaining, little effort and beautiful smells.

What you need

2 – 2.5kg brisket
6 cloves charlic roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
500ml apple cider
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion roughly chopped

The process

Season your brisket with salt and pepper quite well.

In a large pot that has a lid add the olive oil and sear the brisket on all sides to give it a nice brown colour all over.

Add the apple cider, garlic, onion and dried rosemary and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low, you want a slow simmer. Then place the lid on and leave it to simmer for 3 hours. This really could not be easier..

Don’t try to reduce the time, the brisket needs to braise for at least 2 1/2 hours but 3 hours is best. It will be tough unless you give it the time.

Slice with a very sharp knife, it falls to pieces very easily.. sometime those are the best little bits!

Serve with a rich gravy, your favorite roast vegetables, this Warm potato salad recipe and keep the leftovers for sandwiches. It’s truly fantastic.

If you are feeling adventurous try the roast brisket, it is unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Apple pie

Apple pie

Easy apple pie

Easy apple pie

Apple pie is realy so simple to make these days with frozen pastry available so freely in supermarkets. This is a really fantastic apple pie recipe with a caramel type sauce that cooks the apples. I’s sweet, like apple pie should be aitha nice cinnamon smell that will really mess with your senses.

What you need

500g frozen shortcrust pastry thawed
6 red apples
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
Pie dish 23 cm

The process

Heat your oven to 220 Celsius

Take the pie dish and line it with a layer of pastry that reaches just over the edges of the pie dish. You should not need to roll it or anything.

Slice your apples into wedge shapes that are about 1cm at the base and fill the pie case.

Make 8 strips of pastry that are about 3 or 4cm wide with what is left over of the pastry and criss cross them over the top leaving spaces in between. Then fold over and squeeze the edges all the way round to seal the edge and join the strips to the edges.

In a pot on a high heat add the water, butter, sugars, salt and cinnamon and bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

Take a serving spoon or ladel and spoon the sauce over the pie, ensuring that the lattice you have created is well doused in the caramel sauce.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes at 220 Celsius then reduce the oven to 160 and bake for another 40 minutes.

Be sure to let it cool completely before cutting, the caramel sauce and apples are seriously hot and if you have ever had a hot sugar burn you will know what I am talking about.

Serve with ice cream are whipped cream and if you love pies, you must try the lemon meringue pie recipe

Fish in beer batter

Fish in beer batter

Fried fish in beer batter

Fried fish in beer batter

Fish and chips just like the take away makes it. This is a light and crunchy beer batter good for any white fish. Kingklip is my favorite. The Crispy beer batter is what makes fish and chip shops famous, so here you go, try this crispy fish batter. It is so much better eating it the moment it’s ready.

What you need

1 340ml can beer
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika

The process

In a glass bowl, pour the whole can of beer.

Sift in the flour, salt and paprika and give it avery good whisk.

You are looking for it to froth up and be well combined.

Place some plain flour on a plate and dust the pieces of fish before you dip them into the batter and then straight into hot oil. The oil should not be smoking but hot and it’s important to have enough oil to completely submerge the pieces of fish.

Remove when the batter is golden brown and crisp all over.

Drain in a colander or a wire rack and serve with chips. I must say that the McCains chips done in the oven are really fantastic, they need about 40 minutes or so in the oven so only start cooking the fish about 10 minutes before the chips are ready.

You could also try the potato wedges, which are just fantastic.