Jack Daniel’s is no longer found only in the alcohol aisle, now they’ve started making barbecue sauces and glazes. Eager to try them out and to make the most of the remains of summer, I used three of them on some barbecued food.
Although I used them as a marinade, you can use them however you like: as a marinade, a recipe ingredient or just to dip your chips in.
The mushroom, pepper and halloumi kebab was coated in the Full Flavor Smokey variety, the Linda McCartney burger in Hot Chilli, and the Linda McCartney chicken-style burger was covered with Smokey Sweet.
I stuffed a sandwich pitta with the kebab.
And the bread filled me up, so I had the burgers on their own.
These barbecue sauces are full of flavour and although I like my food drenched in sauce, I didn’t need any extra to dip into.
I should have learnt my lesson last week when making burgers that they’re a bit of a faff. These took almost two hours to make (although the recipe says one hour – I’m a slow cook) and I really did think I’d spent two hours making something that was going to turn out to be a disaster.
The lentils and bulgur wheat didn’t absorb their water and although I could just about drain the bulgur wheat, the lentils were soggy and I thought there’s no way these burgers are going to firm up.
Still, I persevered, and they didn’t fall apart too much in the frying pan but even after they’d come out of the oven they weren’t that firm but they tasted okay and I could imagine them being great cold, stuffed into pitta bread with salad. Not a recipe I’m going to be making again though (not that I would need to for a while – there’s four leftover in the freezer)
75g brown or red lentils 50g bulgur wheat 4 tablespoons olive oil 8 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 medium leeks, cleaned and finely chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon tomato purée 50g toasted cashews 2 eggs 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 50g toasted breadcrumbs
Bring the lentils and at least 475ml water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked and beginning to fall apart. Transfer to a baking sheet or mixing bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, bring 150ml water to a boil. Stir in the bulgur wheat with a pinch of salt, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for about 7 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture and it evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and wipe out the sauté pan.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are completely softened and beginning to caramelise, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir to mix.
Combine half of the lentils, half of the bulgur wheat and half of the leek mixture with the cashews, eggs, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until uniformly pureed but still slightly chunky. Add the puréed mixture and the remaining lentils and bulgur wheat to the remaining leek mixture in the bowl. Work in the breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.
In a large ovenproof frying pan or non-stick sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6-10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
I seem to be going through a pasta and pizza phase at the moment. We had spaghetti on Friday, chilled supermarket pizza on Saturday, Papa John’s delivery pizza on Sunday, pasta bake on Monday and lasagne tonight.
Tonight’s lasagne was from the Quorn Kitchen cookbook. It contains pesto and The Meat Eater’s not a huge fan of pesto but recently he said he’s ok with it in stuff, just not when it’s the main part. So, I thought I’d be ok with a bit of pesto in a lasagne but after a couple of mouthfuls he asked what was the ingredient that tasted of perfume. Unlike me, that boy has well-developed tastebuds – I would never pass the palate test on Masterchef.
Anyway, forget what he says about it tasting of perfume, it doesn’t. It just has a slight pesto kick to it which is ace (obviously only if you like pesto).
I didn’t stick rigidly to the recipe; I used Sainsbury’s meat-free mince instead of Quorn, green pesto instead of red pesto (it’s hard to find veggie red pesto), and used red wine vinegar instead of real wine.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Add the diced mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the Quorn Mince and then add the passata, red pesto, oregano, wine, sugar and vegetable stock cube. Gently simmer for 8 minutes. Season to taste and stir in the basil. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a pan and slowly stir in the flour. Slowly add the milk stirring continuously to avoid lumps, until it thickens. Stir in three quarters of the grated cheese, keeping the remainder for the top of the lasagne.
To assemble the dish, put 2 pasta sheets in the base of a lightly greased shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon a third of the mixture on the lasagne sheets. Repeat these layers finishing with a layer of lasagne. Pour over the cheese sauce, scatter over the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
Oh blimey, it’s courgette season again. This means weeks of courgette soup and stuffed courgettes. Just as well I like courgettes then, eh?
I found this recipe in Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian and what I liked most about it is that I already had all of the ingredients (or variations of them), which saved me a trip to the supermarket and which kind of makes it a free meal.
It was fab. It was so fab, The Meat Easter has insisted I make it twice this week. Suits me.
I served it with fresh broad beans and new potatoes.
Stuffed courgettes with mushrooms (serves 4)
4 large courgettes
1 garlic clove
175g button mushrooms
125g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for greasing
25g-50g grated Gruyére or Parmesan-style cheese
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Parboil the courgettes for 5 minutes, then slice in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh. Mash the courgette flesh. Place the courgette shells side by side in an oiled ovenproof dish.
Crush the garlic, slice the tomatoes and mushrooms, and fry lightly in the butter until tender, then mix with half the breadcrumbs, the mashed courgette centres, the lemon juice and rind, parsley and some salt and pepper.
Pile the mixture into the prepared courgettes, place in a shallow oiled ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the rest of the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
While I was out running yesterday, I had the urge to make moussaka. I don’t know why, as I usually find it a bit of a faff and I’m not especially fond of faff.
I said to The Meat Eater that I was going to make moussaka and he asked why that reminded him of Demis Roussos. I said because it’s Greek? The Meat Eater said yes. I said I could put some Demis on if he liked but The Meat Eater said no. Then I said we could watch Abigail’s Party but The Meat Eater said no to that too.
450g aubergines, sliced 115g green lentils 600ml vegetable stock 1 bay leaf 225g fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped 25ml olive oil 1 onion, sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed 225g mushrooms, sliced 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 400g can chopped tomatoes 2 tbsp tomato puree 2 tsp dried basil 300ml natural yoghurt 3 eggs 50g cheese, grated salt and black pepper
Place the lentils, stock and bay leaf in a pan. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender. Drain well and keep warm.
Heat 10ml/2 tsp of the oil in a large, non-stick pan, add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, mushrooms, chickpeas, fresh and canned tomatoes, tomato puree, basil and 45ml/3 tbsp water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the slices in batches for 3-4 minutes, turning once.
Season the lentil mixture. Layer the aubergines and lentils in an ovenproof dish, starting with aubergines and finishing with the lentil mixture.
Beat together the yoghurt, eggs and sale and pepper, and pour the mixture into the dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
As I was going to be out all day on Wednesday, I’d left instructions with The Meat Eater to rescue the Riverford veg box from the hiding place our nice veg delivery lady leaves our box in if I’m out, and when I got back in late that night, he said ‘WE’VE GOT AN ALIEN VEGETABLE’ and dragged me off to the fridge to show me. I already knew we were getting some kind of weird looking vegetable, as after seeing on the Riverford website this week’s box contents, I’d seen we were getting a kohlrabi and looked up what it was. It’s one of these
and after uploading the photo, I thought it looked familiar and realised it’s the spit of The Running Bug logo.
Separated at birth, eh?
I had a look in The Boxing Clever Cookbook which lists recipes by season and decided to make this, halving the ingredients to serve 2:
Kohlrabi gratin with buttery crust (serves 4) 900g kohlrabi, peeled, halved vertically and cut into thinly sliced semi-circles 3tbsp fresh parsley Finely grated rind of one lemon Salt and freshly ground black pepper 90g butter or margarine 300ml carton single cream or fromage frais 90g white breadcrumbs 1-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 120g Gruyere or Edam cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 190C/Gas 5
Lightly grease 1.5 litre gratin dish
Arrange half the kohlrabi in the bottom of dish. Sprinkle with half the parsley and lemon rind. Season
Dot kohlrabi with 1/2oz butter or margarine
Make second layer with remaining kohlrabi, parsley and lemon rind, and season again
Pour cream or fromage frais over the mixture and dot another 1/2oz butter or margarine over the top
Loosely cover the gratin with foil and bake for about 40 minutes until kohlrabi is just tender
Meanwhile, melt 50g butter or margarine in frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and garlic and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until crumbs have absorbed butter or margarine and are beginning to go crisp. Season.
Remove foil from gratin, first sprinkle over cheese, and then breadcrumbs, and bake uncovered for about another 15 minutes
I had planned to make Lazy cheesy vegetable hotpot from the BBC Good Food website but I didn’t have any leeks and I didn’t want to cook it in the microwave, so I kind of did my own thing and I’m glad I did, as the result was The Meat Eater telling me to never cook it again, which translated to English means he enjoyed it very much and would like to have it again some time in the near future.
It was creamy and cheesy and crispy and everything else that makes a proper dinner.
Brie and potato vegetable bake (serves 2 if you’re too lazy to make anything else to go with it)
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 small cabbage, chopped
2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
8 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 pack of Brie, rind left on and cut into pieces
4 large tbsps of crème fraîche
Put the oven on at 180C
Heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan
Add the onions and fry for a few minutes until soft
Add the cabbage and mushrooms and fry for a few more minutes
Add the spinach until wilted
Stir in the creme fraiche and season
Put the vegetable mixture into a dish
Lay the potato slices on top
Scatter on the cheese
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
Mmm, my first post-detox dinner. I had some spinach, broccoli and chili to use up, so I went to the supermarket and bought some marinated tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, beansprouts and hoisin sauce (oops, processed food, naughty) and managed NOT to buy any wine and went home and heated a bit of sesame oil in a wok, stir-fried the tofu and veg, added the hoisin sauce, boiled some basmati rice and had my first hot, cooked, solid food of the week, eaten out of a bowl with a fork and not drank out of a smoothie jug.
And I didn’t even have a massive portion. Full of self-control, me.