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Griddled Halloumi & Watermelon Salad

 

What you need:

½ x 1.5kg watermelon

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

250g halloumi

150g Mixed baby leaf salad leaves

1 tbsp fresh basil, finely sliced

What you do:

Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into 2.5cm cubes. Mix 3 tbsp of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar together and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the halloumi length ways into eight slices and toss in the remaining 1tbsp olive oil. Place a griddle pan over a medium heat and cook each slice for 30-60 seconds on each side, or until there are golden brown griddle marks on each side.

To serve divide the salad leave between four plates, scatter with watermelon cubes and top each salad with 2 slices of halloumi. Drizzle over the dressing, add a few slices of basil leaves and some edible flowers.

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Pimm's cake

 

What you need:

For the 3 sponge layers:

350g self-raising flour

350g caster sugar

350g butter

6 med eggs

2tsp baking powder

3-4tbsp Pimm’s

For the Pimm’s buttercream:

450g icing sugar

150g butter

4tbsp Pimms

For decoration:

5 strawberries, chopped into small pieces

Half a small cucumber, chopped into small pieces

1 med orange, chopped into small pieces

Sprigs of mint leaves

What you do:

Preheat oven 180 C /350 F/ Gas mark 4

Line 3 x 20 cm round cake tins with grease proof paper or spray with cake release spray.

In a large mixing bowl whisk with an electric hand whisk all the cake ingredients together using an all in on method.

Once completely mixed , spoon the mixture into the 3 tins making sure you get an even amount in each tin. Bake the cakes for 15-20 mins until golden and springy to touch.

Leave to cool for about 5 mins and then pop out onto a wire rack to cool further.

Make the buttercream by whisking all the ingredients together with an electric hand whisk.

Assemble your cake on a cake board or plate that you’d like to display it on.

Put a bit of the buttercream on the board or plate before stacking your cakes to keep the base in place. Pop your base cake onto the board or plate and cover in the light layer of buttercream.

Stack the second layer and cover this layer with buttercream too. Pop the top layer of cake onto the stack and cover in buttercream making sure it’s as smooth as possible. You can use a palette knife or spatula for this.

Leave to set a little and prepare your fresh fruit – dab with kitchen roll to take off any excess moisture. Sprinkle your chopped fruit in the centre of the cake. Garnish with mint and serve.

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Cloudy Lemonade Cake

 

What you need:

225g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

225g sugar

4 eggs

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

50ml  cloudy lemonade

For the drizzle:

100ml  cloudy lemonade

100g icing sugar

For the icing:

50g unsalted butter, softened

100g icing sugar

1 tbsp lemon curd

6 lemon sherbets, crushed, to top

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas mark  4.

Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin with Grease proof paper.

Mix the cake ingredients in a bowl.

Spoon the cake mix into the loaf tin and bake for 30 mins. Cover the top with greaseproof paper, and bake for 15-20 mins more.

Leave to cool.

In a small pan, heat the cloudy lemonade and icing sugar for about 5 mins until reduced. Leave to cool, then prick the cake all over with a skewer and pour the drizzle over.

Beat the icing ingredients together, spoon onto the cake and top with the crushed sweets.

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  • quick-saag-aloo-curry

 

What you need:

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

350g potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-2cm cubes

150ml coconut milk

200g  ready to eat spinach

20g  Indian inspired Saag cashews

What you do:

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Stir in garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook for 2 mins more.

Add the spices, stir well and cook for another minute.

Add the potatoes, along with 200ml water. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked – about 15 mins.

Add coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the spinach and cashews. Serve sprinkled with another 20g cashews.

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creamy-avocado-and-sweet-chilli-pasta

What you need:

250g  pasta (shells, Penne or Fusilli work best )

2  ripe and ready to eat avocados

2 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

The juice of 1/2 lemon

2 handfuls baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp toasted  pine nuts, toasted

What you do:

Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

Remove the stones from the avocados, scoop out the flesh and mash well. Stir though olive and lemon juice.

Put the spinach in a colander in the sink. Strain the cooked pasta through it, reserving 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water.

Stir the pasta, spinach, reserved pasta water and avocado mixture together in a pan, until the pasta is well coated.

Serve drizzled with sweet Chilli sauce and sprinkle over pine nuts.

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Slow Cooker Taco Soup

What you need:

What you do:

In a medium frying pan or skillet, cook the minced beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.

Place the minced beef, onion, chilli beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chilli peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker.

Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.

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Slow Cooker Thai Pork with Peppers

 

What you need:

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger root

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 red  peppers, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size lengths

1 lb boneless pork chops

What you do:

Place the chicken broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, red bell peppers, and pork chops into a slow cooker, stir together, and set the cooker on Low.

Cook for 5 to 6 hours until the pork is tender, and remove the pork from the sauce. Shred the pork, return to the sauce, let cook until hot, and serve.

 

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Chicken Cacciatore

 

What you need:

3 lbs  chicken, cut up in pieces

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 (6 oz) tins tomato paste

6 oz sliced mushrooms

1 green pepper , finely chopped

2 -4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons oregano

1 tsp dried basil

12tsp  celery powder

1 tsp salt

1cup  dry white wine

3 tbsp  olive oil

1 tsp  crushed red pepper flakes(optional)

What you do:

Place onions in bottom of crock pot.

Add chicken pieces.

Stir all the other ingredients together.

Pour over chicken.

Cook on low heat  7 to 9  hours or high heat for about 3 to 4 hours.

Serve  with pasta or rice.

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Chorizo in Red Wine

What you need:

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

200g fresh chorizo, cut into slices about the thickness of a one pound coin (about 5mm)

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 x bay leaves

200ml red wine

fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (to serve)

What you do:

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Heat olive oil and lob in the shallot. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the garlic. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes. The onion will begin to soften.

Add the chorizo to the pan and fry for another 3 minutes until they have coloured and started to crisp up. Fresh chorizo will exude their own fat into the pan together with some of the paprika, turning this to a lovely bright oily mixture.

Add the bay leaves and red wine. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated off and you are left with a rich unctuous coating to the chorizo.

Tip into a warmed serving dish and sprinkle over a little chopped parsley.

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Tuscan-White-Bean-Stew2

 

What you need:

4 oz pancetta or bacon, finely diced

1 small white onion, peeled and diced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

8 cups good-quality chicken stock

4 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 bay leaf

1 large sprig fresh rosemary

salt and freshly-ground black pepper

What you do:

Heat pancetta (or bacon) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Cook until crispy, stirring occasionally.  Transfer the bacon to a separate plate, using a slotted spoon, reserving about 3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the stockpot.  (Discard any extra grease, or you can substitute olive oil in place of the 3 tablespoons of bacon grease.)

Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken stock, beans, bay leaf, rosemary and half of the cooked pancetta (or bacon).  Stir to combine.  Continue cooking the soup until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and let the soup simmer for 10-20 minutes so that the flavors will meld.

Add salt and pepper to taste.  (I definitely recommend a generous pinch or two of black pepper, and extra salt if needed, depending on your chicken stock.)  Remove the bay leaf and rosemary.

Serve warm, topped with the extra pancetta (or bacon).

Garnish with Parmesan and serve with Italian bread if desired.

 

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