Baba Ganoush and Flatbread

Baba Ganoush! Have you ever tried it? I think I just made it because I like to say it…Baba Ganoooooush. Go on say it with me, I can hear you trying to pronounce it.

Baba Ganoush is a mezze or dip that is made from roasted aubergines and it widely eaten in Lebanese cuisines. Now I know what you are thinking, it is not the most attractive looking dish, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up in flavour.

It is very easily made and you can whip it up in no time. Just roast an aubergine in the oven until dark and soft (don’t forget to prick the aubergine with a fork before roasting, otherwise it will explode and you will end up wearing it) and leave to cool afterwards. Then scoop out the flesh and roughly chop it up. After this, simply add 1 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste), 1 fresh garlic clove (minced), lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. You can spice it up a bit with some cumin seeds if you want that extra flavour and it’s done!

It’s a great dip that can be eaten with flatbread, pitta bread, or veggies. Yes it is slightly unusual and people might frown at it, but my husband is known for loathing aubergines, and he happily lapped this up. I think the freshly baked bread helped though.

I made a flatbread called ‘Maneesh’ from Paul Hollywood’s recipes (click here for the recipe) and it is so delicious. Easy to make and soft and airy.

So next time you have some people over, why not give it a try? Thanks for reading!

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Garlic, Rosemary and Chilli Sausage Rolls :)

Have you ever tried making your own sausage rolls? They are so easy and a lot tastier than some of those ready made ones you find in the supermarkets. Making your own means you can add whatever flavour you want and you know what goes into them. No hidden nasty ingredients!

All you need is some lean pork mince (I bought the kind with very little fat) and some ready rolled puff pastry. Flavour the mince with whatever you have! I added fresh garlic, chopped rosemary and chilli and seasoned it with lots of salt and pepper. But you can add the classic combination of sage and onion, or some smoked paprika or fennel seeds. Get creative!

Cut the pastry into long strips (about 3 inches wide), place the pork mince in a long sausage shape in the middle and brush the edges with a beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the mince and seal with a fork. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Lastly, cut them into edible sizes and you are ready to bake! Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.

They are so tasty and much better than those bland supermarket sausage rolls. Great for parties, picnics and more. The only problem is trying to not eat them all! Go on…give it a try. Yum.

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Sausage Rolls

A Christmas treat…Gingerbread!

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the best time of the year, a time when you can bake as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. So this year I decided to make gingerbread and oh my gosh they are so delicious and dangerously easy to keep eating.

Now please don’t laugh at my attempt at decorating. I am fully aware that one of my gingerbread men looks like he has had a bit too much sherry. I have no skills in decorating because whatever I make doesn’t seem to last long enough in my house.

I got this recipe from BBC Good Food and it is definitely one that I will keep. The gingerbread is not too sweet and has the right amount of spice. It is also slightly soft and chewy on the inside (if you don’t over bake it) and crisp on the outside, which I love.

They are great fun to make, especially if you have kids. I am a big kid myself so I was quite content making them for myself. So why not give them a go this Christmas?

Get cosy with a nice hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, perfect for dipping your gingerbread man in. All you need now is a classic Christmas movie, some warm socks and someone else to do the dishes. After all, this is the time to relax and treat yourself. But don’t eat too many!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday!

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The Great Yorkshire Pudding

The big day is nearly here! Are you ready to make an epic Christmas dinner? It’s the best part of the day and what would it be without homemade, fresh and crisp Yorkshire puddings!

I think a great roast dinner has to be served with the best roast potatoes and the best vegetables. I also think it has to have the best Yorkshire puddings! I have to admit, when I was young I remember eating ready made Yorkshire puds and didn’t think twice about them. And then I learnt how to make them and I have never looked back since.

They are so easy to make and very satisfying. I seem to find myself staring through the oven door and watch them rise. Yes I know, I need to get out more.

All there is to it, is 2 eggs, 100g plain flour and 100ml milk. Whisk it all together and add some salt. Get your muffin or cupcake tray and put a tiny drizzle of oil in each section and heat up in a very hot oven (gas mark 9). Once the oil is smoking hot, pour the batter into the tray and place back into the oven and do not open the door for about 20 mins. I turned the oven down after about 10 minutes to gas mark 6.

And there you have it, delicious, hot, crispy Yorkshire puddings ready to be dipped in some gravy. Go on give it a try, you will never look at another ready made pud again!

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Blueberries…a tasty topping!

We all know that blueberries are super healthy for us, but I have to admit I don’t eat them enough. They can be a bit expensive but I do think are worth it. I bought some recently and they are like tiny bullets of sweetness. Delicious!

Of course, the baker in me wanted to cover these blueberries with batter to make muffins or whip up a batch of blueberry pancakes smothered in maple syrup. But there was a tiny voice inside me screaming about how my hips didn’t need it. So I pimped my breakfast instead. Yes I know you are disappointed in me.

Just a handful of blueberries on top of your morning porridge or granola can really give it a lift. I had some homemade granola, topped with blueberries and natural yoghurt. I could have added some honey but didn’t want the sugar content to go through the roof. It was fresh and yummy.

I get bored of eating porridge every day so I am always looking for ways to mix it up. I also like to freeze the blueberries and when you bite into them they certainly wake you up! What do you guys have for breakfast? Let me know!

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Bored of the same lunch? Try something new…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my boring sandwich or same old salad for lunch and thought, surely I can eat something else? Especially in the winter, I long for something warm that won’t make me feel sleepy all afternoon.

So today I decided to make leek and potato soup, and it was very satisfying. I didn’t add any cream (even though I really wanted to!) because as a weekday lunch I didn’t want it to be full of calories . All I did was fry a medium sized chopped onion, two garlic cloves, 2 sliced leeks and one small sliced potato in some olive oil. I let them sweat down a little bit and then added some chicken stock. I boiled it until the potato was cooked through and then added a splash of semi-skimmed milk, seasoned with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. I also added some fresh parsley to give the soup a bit of a lift.

I think soup is a great idea for lunch, you can make a batch on the weekend and then freeze into individual portions for the week and off you go. I’m not a fan of those packet soups because who knows what is in them and they taste a bit watery to me. I like to know that I am getting some real veg in me. And there are so many different combinations you could try, such as sweet potato and carrot soup or tomato and red pepper soup. What flavours do you like?

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Friday Night Curry…Butter Chicken

With all this hype about how butter is now good for us, I couldn’t not cook butter chicken and share it with all you lovely people. Now I don’t know if butter is good for us, bad for us, or simply tormenting us but what I do know is that it’s delicious and seems to make everything taste better. But yes, everything in moderation I can hear you say.

I based this dish from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube video on butter chicken by Maunika but gave it my own spin. It’s such a delicious dish and if you are not a fan of very spicy curries, then you have to give this one a try.

I basically followed this recipe but used Pataks Kashmiri spice paste rather than a powder. You can get this in most of the supermarkets and it gives the curry a great flavour.

I marinated the chicken (for the whole day) in yoghurt, ginger, garlic and chilli paste, tomato puree, Kashmiri paste, lemon, salt, chilli powder turmeric, ground cumin and coriander powder. I then placed the chicken on skewers and cooked it in the oven to get nice and charred.

To make the sauce I fried a chopped onion in some butter, and once browned I then added a chopped tomato, ginger, garlic and chilli paste, tomato puree and the Kashimiri paste. I added different spices such as turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander powder and let this cook into a thick paste. Next I added about 100ml of single cream to give the sauce a creamy taste. I let the sauce down with some boiling water and let it simmer. I preferred to do this than use lots of double cream so I would feel less guilty!

Once the chicken is charred I added it to the sauce alongside all its juices and its done! Add some fresh coriander and serve with naan bread or chapatis and basmati rice. Delicious!

If you are vegetarian you can always make this sauce and use hearty veg such as cauliflower and sweet potato. I like my curries a bit spicy but if you don’t then you don’t have to add any chilli, but go on…spice up your life! (Gosh that was cheesy)

Thanks for reading and check out my website www.jbimagery.co.uk

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