- Part 19
Vegetable fritatta

Vegetable fritatta

This video is probably worth watching just for the final 30 seconds! It had to happen – and in many ways it is amazing that it has taken 17 videos for it to happen! All this will make complete sense when you watch it… Whenever we cook new potatoes, I very often make a few too many and use them in a fritatta the following day. For me, the differences between an omelette and a fritatta are that a fritatta is finished off under the grill, it is thicker, generally much “fuller” of ingredients and usually contains potatoes… Fritattas are wonderfully colourful, flexible, easy meals and lend themselves to pretty well any vegetables (and cold meats) you may have to hand. They are also delicious with added feta, cheddar or parmesan cheese. Vegetable fritatta Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 10-15 minutes in total. This served three of us for lunch and there were still two portions for freezing. 6 large eggs 50ml milk One sweet red pepper, chopped 5 large asparagus spears, chopped A good handful of frozen peas 5-7 new potatoes, peeled and sliced (after they have been cooked) Salt and pepper to taste Preheat the grill in your oven to high. Pour a really good glug of olive in an 8 inch non-stick and oven-proof frying pan and gently sauté the red peppers and asparagus. There is no point in rushing this, the vegetables will be all the more flavoursome if cooked relatively slowly. When the asparagus and red pepper is cooked, add the peas and the potatoes. Stir them around the pan so that all...
[VIDEO] The snowed-in, no shopping, tuna puttanesca

[VIDEO] The snowed-in, no shopping, tuna puttanesca

Tired [frankly borderline grumpy at times!] daddy. Tired[ish] toddler. Mildly stressful video! It’s funny how we went from the lovely relaxed and buzzy atmosphere of making the chicken hotpot to this slightly more “edgy” affair. At least Archie’s impeccable sense of comic timing lightened my mood. I think he picks up when I am not on top form – and plays up to it too! We had found ourselves unexpectedly snowed in on Wednesday (there must have been at least, well, 2cms of snow making it impossible to drive on the ungritted roads of our village), meaning we couldn’t do our weekly shop as planned, scuppering our cooking and videoing plans for the evening. At times like this, I revert to the store cupboard, usually pastas, and just make do with what I can find. A lonely tin of tuna immediately said “cook me”. I used a few vegetable from the fridge, my ever-reliable bottle of “in case of no food” tomato passata and some olives too. As it happens, the resulting meal was both simple and tasty and, as a home cook, I cannot ask for much more than that… “Snowed-in, no shopping, tuna puttanesca” Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes. This amply served three of us, with a little to spare 350g conchiglie pasta 300ml tomato passata (or chopped tomatoes) 1 chopped onion 2 chopped garlic cloves 1 chopped sweet red pepper 1 chopped carrot 2 chopped celery sticks 150g green pitted olives, sliced in half 1 tin of tuna Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. Meanwhile, in a large pan...
[VIDEO] Warming butternut squash and carrot soup

[VIDEO] Warming butternut squash and carrot soup

This video is worth watching just for Archie’s brazen cheekiness when operating the food mixer! We were snowed in outside, and feeling pretty freezing inside, so there was no better time to make home made soup. I had actually bought the butternut squash to make in a pasta but it was just too tempting to use it in this deliciously warming, simple and wholesome soup instead. People have often asked me “how” we gave Archie soup, even in the early days, bearing in mind that we didn’t spoon feed him. Generally we gave him thick soups, like this one, and let him scoop it up using fresh crusty bread or even rice cakes. I am not saying this was never messy but he soon became determined to use a spoon and feed himself. In the early days (around 8-9 months) this was very hit and miss, with more emphasis being on the “miss” but he soon got the hang of it and soups became an important part of our eating. The best thing about soups is that they are wonderfully nutritious, generally quick to make and can use up virtually any combination of vegetables you happen to have in the kitchen. Butternut squash and carrot soup Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes maximum This easily served three of us although we regretted not making double quantities as there was none left over after lunch! 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes. You will need a really sharp knife to peel it. It is much easier to cut the squash in half, horizontally, and peel the two block...
Video of us on BBC1 London News

Video of us on BBC1 London News

Many of you will have already seen the report on BBC London News on Tuesday which featured me and Archie cooking muffins in our kitchen, talking about how we cook and our experiences with “baby led weaning”, followed by Gill Rapley’s excellent interview afterwards. Here is a recording of the report for those of you who could not see it. Many thanks to BBC London for coming to film us and for doing an extended feature with Gill too. We had such fun watching the footage – and even more fun filming it. This video is, of course, fully copyrighted to the...
[VIDEO] “Le Cake Salé” (Savoury Cake Loaf)

[VIDEO] “Le Cake Salé” (Savoury Cake Loaf)

This recipe is such a winner. It dates back to my time in France and was given to me by my dear friend Agnès. It really can be served at breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack! It is neither a cake (too savoury), nor a loaf (it is not a risen dough and is much less airy than bread). Whatever it is, it is extremely moreish and somehow, even though it is fairly large, there is never any left over to freeze. The night before we made the cake, I learnt of a tragic story of a lovely mum on the parenting forum I frequent who had lost her two year old toddler suddenly. Hearing news like that really reminded me how precious these quality moments with Archie are and how easy it is to take them for granted. For these reasons, this was a particularly lovely and poignant cooking session with him. “Cake Salé” – Savoury bacon and olive cake Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 60 minutes. This makes a full sized loaf, giving several slices. 250g plain flour 1 heaped tsp of quick/easy yeast powder (or a 7g sachet) 4 Eggs 100ml olive oil 100ml milk 100g pitted green olives, chopped in half. If using olives in brine, make sure you soak them a little or the cake will be way too salty. 250g un-smoked good quality bacon, rind removed and cut into chunks. You can also use cooked or cured hams. 200g grated comté cheese. You can also use gruyère or indeed any flavoursome medium-hard cows milk cheese. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F Put...
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