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Source: Spaghetti Bolognese – one pot wonder (well, two….)

Ah yes, filling the freezer with dinners. Double portion made ready for those dreary days when only spaghetti with bolognese sauce, or ragu, will do. Enjoy your Sunday!


 

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I’ve finally bought a good, old fashioned griddle pan in cast iron, and am having loads of fun with it. The fire alarm is tested weekly to its limit and my hair often smell of charcoal, but who cares – the vegetables are great!
Based on a recipe from the Foodnetwork.

This serves 3-4 people as a side dish.
Prep time is about 15 minutes, and 25 minutes for cooking.

 

Ingredients:

 

1 red & 1 yellow pepper, both seeded and sliced

1 courgette, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

1 aubergine, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

12 mushrooms

4 spring onions

Small bunch of asparagus, when in season

2 fresh figs, sliced

Feta

60 ml, plus 2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

 

Method:

 

1. Place a griddle pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue to medium-high heat. Brush the vegetables with 60ml of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

2. Working in batches, griddle the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the peppers, 7 minutes for the courgette, aubergine, and mushrooms, 4 minutes for the asparagus and spring onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they’ve been placed on the hot griddle.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Crumble in the feta cheese. Add the sliced fresh figs, then serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

The vegetable salad goes really well with roast lamb shoulder. Massive flavours, perfect for autumn.

Enjoy!

Natasja

image

For dinner parties or Sunday roasts the best option for me is often slow-cooked food. Food that takes a little bit to prepare, but then you just bang it in the oven, set your timer and go about your day.

At first I was craving lamb chops for dinner with friends, and a griddled vegetable salad with feta. However – the size and price of the lamb chops deterred me. Then – in the butcher counter I saw a nice lamb shoulder. I’ve never cooked this before, but I know it is inexpensive, tasty and takes a while in the oven. Perfect. A quick Google search to find a suitable recipe resulted in James Martin’s shoulder of lamb with anchovy and rosemary

Not everyone is keen on lamb or mutton, but I was assured it tasted great. My advise is to cover the lamb with foil for the first hour, as the result was lovely, albeit a bit too dark on top. I didn’t have any lemons, so used oranges, and replaced the white wine with rose.

Prep time is 10 minutes and cook time about 4 hours.

  

Ingredients:

• 1½ kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone (I used about 1 kg)

• 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed

• 4 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 tbsp. capers, finely chopped

• 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 whole lemons

• 2 red onions, cut into wedges

• Small glass white wine

  

Method:

1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Finely chop the rosemary, then mix with the garlic, capers, anchovies, olive oil and zest and juice of 1 lemon, reserving the used lemon halves. Make 3-4 slashes across the top of the shoulder, then rub the rosemary mixture all over the lamb. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Scatter the onion into the base of a large roasting tin, cut the remaining lemon in half, squeeze the juices into the tin, and place all the used lemon halves in the tin with the onions. Place the lamb on top and roast for 1 hour on the bottom shelf. *Then loosely fit some foil on top of the lamb. 

Remove the foil and pour in the wine and roast for a further 3 hours. until the meat is tender. 

Leave to rest for 15 mins then serve, pulled into chunks rather than carved, with any pan juices.

  

Obviously, I couldn’t just serve the lamb on its own, so I also baked some sweet potatoes and griddled some vegetables. I bought some flatbreads to soak up the juices, but promptly forgot to stick them in the oven due to a few glasses of bubbles!

Thanks, Charlie! Was so good to see you xx

 

Love,

Natasja

My Brexit testimony 

This post isn’t food related, but it has been on my mind since the referendum. And as this is my blog I can post what I like. And just so you know, I may not be the biggest EU supporter, but I don’t believe leaving once you’re in is the most sensible option….

I am (as many of you know) a Norwegian who has been living and working in the UK for several decades. My life is here, but also in Norway. Do I feel unwelcome? Not by those that matters. But I do feel in limbo and slightly overwhelmed by the PR application I am reluctantly initiating. This piece of paper I’d never thought I’d need, is now needed. And who knows what else is needed once the UK has brexited. But I will remain Norwegian, not changing my nationality. I would consider dual citizenship – however the Norwegian government doesn’t allow it (yet). I am very disappointed and saddened that the United Kingdom has chosen to exit. I think it is a big mistake and a decision based on inaccurate facts. 

I do live in hope that the UK  may revoke its decision. It could happen in this quirky nation. Anyone for a cuppa?   

A Letter to Leave supporters – from a Remain supporter

I’ve decided to go Mediterranean with my eating, and have not had butter nor bread since last Sunday. Not having bread isn’t an issue, but I’m a butter girl, and butter goes so well with bread! Now I have ryvita with avocado and lemon instead. Tonight’s dinner is a two bean and potato salad with a yoghurt, garlic and spring onion dressing, peppered smoked mackerel fillet, with a side salad of tomato, rocket and black olive. Strawberries and melon for after.

I aim to post a weekly food diary on. There’s no easy fix to lose the extra kilos, so I’ll be patient and consistent. Wish me luck!


Pictured is the beginning of my bean/potato salad, and the side salad + the finished meal.

Love, Natasja

This dish is perfect for a Friday dinner after a long working week. It only takes 20 minutes to make and is a very light and tasty meal.

For two people you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 lime
  • 6 tortilla wraps
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste (I love, love, love this!)
  • Fresh coriander
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cod fillets

Step by step:

Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas 6

  1. Place the tortilla on a baking tray
  2. Chop the cherry tomatoes roughly
  3. Slice the spring onion finely
  4. Chop the coriander finely including the stalks
  5. Cut the lime in half
  6. Combine the chopped tomatoes, spring onions and coruander all together on your chopping board.
  7. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and then chop the lot together roughly.
  8. Add the salsa to a bowl and squeeze the juice of half lime, mix through and set aside.
  9.  Combine mayo and chipotle paste with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside.
  • Combine the smoked paprika and half of the ground allspice on a plate with a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix together.
  • Press the cod fillets into the spice mix to coat all over.
  • Heat a large wide-based pan with a drizzle of vegetable oil over a high heat.
  • Once hot, add the cod fillets and cook for 4 min, flipping once.

(Don’t worry if the cod looks like it’s burning, it will become “blackened”, which gives it the smoky, charred flavour you want)

  • Put the tortilla in the oven for 2-3 minute, just until they are warmed through.
  • Cut the remaining lime into wedges.
  • Divide the salsa and cod between the tortillas, and drizzle them with the spicy mayo.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and coriander leaves.

Enjoy!  I know I will, as I’m having this again tonight 😋

Love, Natasja

Dinner for dad

As Andrews dad, Reg, is recovering from a massive stroke, we’re trying to make small and tasty dinners for him. Because of the risk of him chocking on his food, it has to be mashed up. And he dislikes mushy food! After yesterday’s success and a clean plate, we’re continuing our mission of Dinner for Dad. It also helps out Maureen, who is not only his wife but also his full time carer. We made three dinners and two desserts from what we had in the house. Hopefully it goes down well

Dinner 1:

Lentil stew & creamed corn

Apple pie (minus the pastry) and ice cream. With apples from Reg’ garden. 

Dinner 2:

Gorgonzola, spinach and tuna bake 

Creamed chick peas 

Banana ice cream

Dinner 3:

Sausage casserole in tomato sauce 

Cous cous

Small meals, easy to swallow and hopefully full of flavours. 

Above is a picture of Maureen and Reg Clark
Take care of each other, folks. Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.

Love, Natasja 

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