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    Thursday, August 31, 2017

    Creamy Corn with Pasta - You Want Heathly and Tasty - Youve got it

    Always looking for Delicious Food for the Kids
    Browsing through my emails I found this recipe in The NY Times Cooking
    Kids love Corn
    They love Pasta
    What could be better...but Creamy Corn Pasta?

    Lots of fresh herbs for that extra boost of flavour
    As Corn is not fresh here at this time of the year, I used Frozen Corn Kernels
    It worked perfectly
    Make the Corn Puree earlier in the day and just reheat when you are ready to go

    2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling  
    1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
    2 Cups Corn Kernels either Frozen, or Fresh shucked off Cobs 
    Sea salt
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more for serving
     3 tablespoons unsalted butter
     ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
     ⅓ cup torn basil or mint, more for garnish
     ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
     Fresh lemon juice, as needed
    700gms dry orecchiette or farfalle
    Reserved Pasta Water 
    Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
    Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to the package directions.
    Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

    Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat;
    Add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 3 minutes.
    Add 1/4 cup water and all but 1/4 cup corn;
    Simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
    Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture
    until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.

    Heat the same skillet over high heat.
    Add butter and let melt.
    Add reserved 1/4 cup corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
    (It’s O.K. if the butter browns; that deepens the flavor.)
    Add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
    Reduce heat to medium.
    Add pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat.
    Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water
    if the mixture seems too thick.
    Stir in 1/4 cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, the red pepper flakes,
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
    Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. 

    Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with more scallions,
    herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Shepherd's Pie - Thank You Jamie - Cheap and Cheerful Comfort Food

    When I was young, My Mother made Shepherds Pie, using the leftover lamb roast from the weekend.
    She minced the lamb with an onion and also used leftover gravy to moisten it
    Yummy Mashed potatoes on top

    I don't even think that you could  buy raw lamb mince at the butcher, or if it was even considered using Lamb mince
    Beef was mince and that was that,
    Of course now, who needs a mincer, you can buy any kind of mince

    This version...Thanks to Jamie Oliver is full of vege
    There's a layer of peas under those tasty mashed peas
    Hidden treasures

    It is delicious

    500 g lean minced lamb x2
    2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
    2 large onions
    2 carrots   3
    2 sticks of celery
    250 g chestnut mushrooms
    1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
    800 ml organic chicken or veg stock   

    800 g swede
    800 g potatoes
    2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
    15 g mature Cheddar cheese
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon mint sauce
    350 g frozen peas

    Put the mince into a cold casserole pan.
    Place on a high heat, add a really good pinch of black pepper and cook for 15 minutes, or until dark golden, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
    Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, drain the beans, then stir both into the pan.

    Cook and stir for 8 minutes, or until the beans start to pop and it’s all getting dark and gnarly.
    Peel the onions and carrots, trim the celery, wipe the mushrooms clean, then finely chop it all (or blitz in a food processor).
    Stir into the pan and sweat for 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally.
     Stir in the flour, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    Wash and peel the swede and potatoes and cut into 3cm chunks.
    Cook just the swede in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes,
    Add the potatoes for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through,
    drain well, mash with the milk and grated cheese, and season to perfection.
    Check the consistency of the mince – you want it slightly wetter than you think, as it will thicken further in the oven.
    Add the Worcestershire and Mint sauces, taste, and season to perfection.
    Place in an oven proof casserole dish
    Sprinkle the peas over the mince, letting them sit on the surface to help prevent the mash from sinking in too much.
    Put spoons of mash randomly on top, using a fork to scuff it up and make valleys and mountains, increasing the surface area, and the crispy bits.
    Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
    You can cook some extra greens if you feel like it
    But it is just perfect as it is, in my book