Another one of those really easy dishes that don’t really require much in the way of preparation and save on the washing up, here’s what you need…
Okay so basically you need pork sausages, potates, carrots, parsnips, onions or shallots, garlic,apples and any other veg you personally want to include plus a bunch of Thyme.
The ultimate combination pork sausage and apples, my preference is pink lady apples but everyone has their own favourite and it would work equally well with braeburn or dessert apples, first thing to do is slice and dice all the veg including the apples removing the cores, if you want to leave your potatoes and root veg in larger chunks it is worth part boiling them first just to get them started. I like to skin my garlic and chop each clove in half but for those who are not so keen on it you can leave it out.
Once everything is chopped place it all in a big casserole dish or roasting tray…
Spread a few sprigs of thyme around the dish and drizzle with oil, as you can see I am using the Thyme infused oil I made from the thyme left over the previous time I made it for extra flavour. The into the middle of the oven for around an hour at gas mark 6
As you can see some parts do get a little crispy so it is important to go give it all a stir round half way through. Once it is finished remove the woody thyme stalks and transfer to a serving bowl.
Then let every one dive in, in my house I serve with gravy and yorkshire puddings, and I have to be honest there is always a fight over the sausages no matter how many I put it, it is my daughters dinner of preference when she stays over.
Okay today I am sharing my mum’s Parkin recipe this is partly from a self reason that whenever I write it down I lose it so if I publish it here I will know where to find it. Parkin is traditionally made for Bonfire/Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK. Yup we have special food to eat while we stand in the cold watching an effigy of a man burn. But it is so good why only eat it one night a year plus I found three bags of oatmeal in the cupboard so here we go again it is really simple to make.
First gather those ingredients…
4 cups of Plain Flour (think that is all purpose flour in the US – use the one you would use for pastry rather than sponges)
4 cups Medium Oatmeal
6 tbsp golden syrup
2 cups milk
Mix together all your dry ingredients
Then add the margarine or butter if you prefer until it resembles breadcrumbs,this is the rather messy bit
then after rubbing in that lot make a well in the middle and add the golden syrup and milk..
Then give it a good stir or have your assistant do it…
Once you have ensured all the dry mix is well and truly stirred it it will look a little like porridge but the smell will be amazing already
Next step is grease and line your tin, you can either use loaf tins or I prefer using a bigger tin and making a big slab – I do have one tip here for you if like me you like having proper butter at home when you finish it or unwrap it to put it in the butter dish save the wrappers just fold them up and keep them in the fridge and when you need to grease anything just grab one use and throw – it save using extra greaseproof just to rip up and use and it means you are less likely to over grease.
Tip the mixture into your lined tin and level it out
Then into the oven cook for half an hour on gas mark 4 then turn down to 2 until its done which will be about another half hour.
Remove from oven and place on rack to cool before removing greaseproof paper.
Divide up into squares…
Then place in a tin. A metal tin is better I am experimenting as I only had a plastic one by wrapping tin foil round them. The longer you can leave it in the tin in theory the sticker it gets but that is if it lasts that long – it can seem a little dry to those not used to Parkin but it also tastes lovely served warm with custard over it.
So that’s my mums Parkin recipe please if you decide to try it out let me know what you think.
Well as promised we have a little trip into my kitchen today. Now let me be quite clear if you are expecting Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey you are going to be sadly mistaken, its just me and my assistant the monster cooking food we love. So here we go…
First select your vegetables, I confess I decided not to add the onion as I decided that it would be too much with the leeks. This is a great idea for the end of the week, not matter how much supermarkets tell us the quality of food has improved I think we all know that veg does not last as long as it used to. If you are lucky enough to have green fingers and a garden or allotment then you have a head start on the rest of us though we are going to attempt veg again this year lets just hope for less rain.
So you have your veg now choppy choppy choppy time…
I like to have everything ready before I start I hate cooking then half way through needing to stop to weigh something or dig it out of the cupboard. Now you will notice I am using my soup maker but you really don’t need one I use it because I love gadgets and persuaded the other half to buy me it for Christmas last year and given the price tag he would not be happy if I didn’t use it so if you don’t just grab your biggest pan and throw the veg in.
Now at this point throw in a knob of butter – I don’t really understand why only that my Soup book says so for every recipe I have tried so I just do it automatically now. Then add around a litre of vegetable stock. I personally like the knorr stock pots but any stock cube will do just remember to put in enough to cover the veg but so that it does not bubble over – boiling soup travels far further than one would expect as I learnt from experience.
Keep any spare stock on one side you can always add it later if the soup is on the thick side. Next bring to the boil then simmer until all the veg are soft.
Now comes the fun bit blitzing it all up. At this point you may wish to add extra stock or water depending how thick you like your soup. Now the advantage of the soup maker is that I just hit a button and it blends it for me, if you are using a pan you need to either transfer it to a blender or use a hand blender, personal taste now comes into play but I am not a fan of lumps in my soup so I blitz mine until smooth. Then taste time at this point season to taste and I decided to throw in Rosemary and Thyme (which worked really well taste wise but possibly could have done with being added about ten minutes earlier just to soften the thyme a little more) .
Give it a another quick blitz to chop the herbs up then serve with crusty bread.
Really simple and really tasty, fills a couple of your five a day and any spare can the thrown in the freezer for another day or taken to work for lunch the next day. Anyway hope this was interesting for you I will try to cook some more interesting things at some point but I can say that I have Tasty Tuesday posts lined up featuring Parkin, Roast Butternut Squash Soup (so simple its ridiculous) and Sausage and Apple Pan Roast
Finally I am back my christmas present from the other half arrived yesterday and after a few hours pressing buttons, swearing just a little and making oaths that I will never let a computer die on me again the new one is just about set up. I say just about as there is always at least one hitch in my case it is Word I cannot find the disc anywhere much less the code that is attached to it therefore I have got a 60 free trial while I tear the house to bits searching for it before admitting defeat and shelling out money for the new one. I have got Corel office but I have no idea if that is compatible with amazon or whether I can download straight from scrivener bypassing word altogether if anyone know the answers please let me know.
I hope you all had a good christmas I did as I think this picture sums up…
The one thing I actually quite like about Christmas is the table, I love the excuse to get out all the tableware and the best dinner service, and if I lived in a different age and had servants to do the washing up I may be tempted to do it far more often.
I was lucky though I did have a little help making the starter and dessert this year…(for the foodies out there it was roasted butternut squash and sweet potato soup for starter and triple chocolate cheesecake for dessert)
I am working out a new blogging schedule for the new year which I hope to share with you over the next few days as I get back into the swing of things plus I need to work out how to use the photo software on this computer to make new headers for the categories.