Creamy Baked Noodles Romanoff

Creamy Baked Noodles Romanoff

 

This is a one dish recipe. It has a creamy noodle base where diced ham, red pepper and peas have been added, then topped with a cheesy breadcrumb crust.

 

Creamy Baked Noodles Romanoff
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 700ml (24 fl oz) good chicken stock (3 cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) medium egg noodles
  • 375g cottage cheese
  • 1 250ml container of sour cream
  • ¾ tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped basil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 225g (8 oz) ham, diced (1½ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) frozen peas (1¼ cups)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 28g (1 oz) fresh breadcrumbs (½ cup)
  • 28g (1 oz) Parmesan, grated (¼ cup)

  • You will also need a 2.0 litre (8 cup) casserole.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  3. Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan and add the noodles. Cook until tender according to the time recommended on the packet. Once they are tender remove from the heat but do not drain. Then leave to cool a little.

  4. This a good time to chop the basil, crush the garlic, dice the ham and red pepper.

  5. Next add the cottage cheese, sour cream, and cornflour/cornstarch to the noodles and stir. Then add the basil and garlic.

  6. Now add the ham, peas, and red pepper.

  7. Spoon into the casserole dish.

  8. Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together and then sprinkle over the top.

  9. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. The top will be crispy and golden.

  10. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Updated January 12, 2019

Traditional Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

 

Traditional Roast Potatoes
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Ingredients
  • 900g (2 lbs) large potatoes (about 6 medium)*
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) olive oil (¼ cup) OR
  • 55g (2 oz) goose or duck fat (¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • *The best potatoes for roasting in the UK are Maris Piper, Désirée and King Edward.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. Wash and thinly peel potatoes. If the potatoes are large, cut in half then cut each half into thirds.

  4. Place them in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 7–8 minutes.

  5. Drain well and leave the potatoes in the pan for 2 minutes, without the lid, to steam and dry. Then replace the lid and shake the pan to roughen up the surface of the potatoes.

  6. Either heat the oil or the goose or duck fat in a roasting tin/pan and heat for 3–4 minutes until sizzling. Add potatoes and turn to coat.

  7. Pop in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then sprinkle over the sea salt. Roast for a further 45 minutes, turning halfway through, or until golden and crispy round the edges.

  8. Note:
  9. If cooking them at the same time as roasting meat in the oven, roast above the meat and allow 1¼ hours. Then while the meat is resting, raise the temperature to 220°C (425°F) (gas 7) and roast for a further 20 minutes or until golden and crispy round the edges.

  10. Extras
  11. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the potatoes before adding them to the oil or fat to produce an extra crunchy potato.

  12. For added flavour, sprinkle over a little thyme or a couple of garlic cloves (peeled and halved).

 

Steamed Sponge Puddings

Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding

 

A real family favourite for a cold winter’s day. A very light sponge pudding that’s very quick and easy to prepare, and with a number of variations to choose from.

 

Steamed Sponge Puddings
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Basic Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, softened (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp)
  • 115g (4 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1 cup)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp milk

  • You will also need a 600 ml (1 pint) pudding basin and a steamer.


  1. Method
  2. Beat the egg in a small jug and then add the milk. Put to one side.

  3. Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Then gradually fold in the flour alternately with the egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  4. Alternatively put all the ingredients in a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder. Beat until you have a smooth, creamy mixture that will drop gently from a spoon.

  5. Grease the pudding basin and add mixture. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and be secured tightly. Then cut a second length to make a handle which will make it easier to remove the hot basin at the end of cooking.

  6. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  7. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep-sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than halfway up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil, and run a palette knife round the inside. Invert onto a plate and serve.

  9. Serve with a fruit or chocolate sauce.

  10. To make a pudding for 2
  11. Use 1½ oz butter, 1½ oz sugar, 3 oz flour, 1 egg and ½ tbsp milk.
  12. You will need a ¾ pint pudding basin.

  13. To make a pudding for 6
  14. Use 3 oz butter, 3 oz sugar, 6 oz flour, 2 medium eggs and ½ tbsp milk.
  15. You will need a 1½ pint pudding basin.

  16. Variations of the basic recipe

  17. Steamed Fruit Sponge Pudding
  18. Fruit Sponge Pudding
  19. Fold in 50g/2 oz sultanas to the basic mixture just before pouring into the basin.
  20. Serve the pudding with custard.
  21. (Click here for full recipe)

  22. Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding
  23. Jam Sponge Pudding
  24. Place 2 tbsp of jam in the bottom of the basin before adding the mixture. Raspberry jam works well.
  25. Serve with extra jam.
  26. (Click here for full recipe)

  27. Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding
  28. Syrup Sponge Pudding
  29. Place 2 tbsp of golden syrup in the bottom of the basin before adding the mixture.
  30. Serve with extra golden syrup.
  31. (Click here for full recipe)


Updated: January 9, 2019

Chelsea Buns

Chelsea Buns

 

A traditional Chelsea bun is a currant bun which was first created in the 18th century in the Bun House in Chelsea, London (demolished in 1839). It had a rich yeast dough which was filled with currants, spices and brown sugar.

This version has a light rich yeast dough which is filled with mixed fruit tossed in brown sugar and spices. The top is glazed with honey and sprinkled with sugar. So good!

 

Chelsea Buns
Prepares: 8 buns
 
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the dough
  • 225g (8 oz) strong plain white/all-purpose flour (1¾ cups)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 28g (1 oz) caster/superfine sugar (2 tbsp)
  • 14g (½ oz) butter (1 tbsp)
  • 7g sachet fast-action/quick-rise dried yeast (2 tsp)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) tepid milk (½ cup)
  • 1 egg, eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten

  • For the filling
  • 115g (4 oz) mixed dried fruit (currants, raisins and sultanas) (¾ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) soft light brown sugar (¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice/pumpkin pie spice
  • 28g (1 oz) butter, melted (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick)

  • For the topping
  • 2 tbsp runny/liquid honey
  • 6 sugar cubes, crushed OR
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  • You will also need a 18cm (7 in) square deep baking tin/pan, lightly greased.


  1. Method
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar.

  3. Then cube the butter, add to the bowl and rub in until the mixture is crumbly.

  4. Now sprinkle over the yeast and mix in.

  5. Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Pour in the warmed milk and beaten egg and mix well to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. Then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes (6 minutes if using a mixer with a dough hook) until the dough is silky smooth.

  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 30 x 23cm (12 x 9 ins).

  7. Now for the filling. Mix together the dried fruit and brown sugar. Stir though the spice and melted butter until the fruit is well coated.

  8. Evenly distribute the mixture over the dough to within 5cm (¼ in) of the edge.

  9. Now carefully roll the dough up as tightly as possible from the long side, like a Swiss/jelly roll.

  10. Cut the rolled dough into nine equal sized slices and place in the prepared tin with the cut sides down, spacing evenly apart.

  11. Loosely cover the tin/pan with cling film/wrap and leave in a warm place to prove, about 30 minutes. The buns should rise, feel springy when lightly pressed with a finger but retain a slight indentation.

  12. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  13. Bake the buns for 25–30 minutes until they are golden brown and feel firm when lightly pressed with a finger.

  14. Remove the buns from the oven. Gently heat the honey in a small pan until just warm and then, using a wetted brush, brush the honey all over the buns. Sprinkle the crushed sugar over the top.

  15. Allow to cool in the tin/pan before removing and then separate the buns by gently pulling them apart.

Updated: January 7, 2019

Fresh Fruit Salad

How about a  refreshing dessert after all that rich Christmas fare? A Fresh Fruit Salad just fits the bill.

 

Fresh Fruit Salad

 

Fresh fruit salad is always a good standby for a quick dessert. A selection of fruits in season are mixed in a lemon syrup. Wine or liqueur can also be added to enhance the flavour further.

 

Fresh Fruit Salad
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 2–3 hours
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes

  • Example of ingredients for a winter fruit salad
  • 115g (4 oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • A selection of 4–5 fruits
  • 2 small or 1 large red skinned apple
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 banana
  • 115g (4 oz) seedless grapes (1 cup)
  • 1 small tin/can pineapple slices or fresh pineapple
  • (or any other seasonal fruits)

  • You will also need a glass serving bowl.


  1. Method
  2. Dissolve the sugar in 300ml (10 fl oz ) (1¼ cups) water over a gentle heat. Then bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Now stir in the lemon juice and pour into the glass bowl.

  3. Next prepare the fruits and put them into the syrup as you go. Quarter, core and thinly slice the apples. Peel the oranges, making sure all the pith is removed. Break into its segments and then cut each one into three. Slice the banana. Halve the grapes. Take four pineapple slices, halve each one and then cut into three. Mix them in the syrup, coating all the fruit.

  4. Let the fruit salad stand for 2–3 hours to allow the flavours to blend.


  5. Variations
  6. A tipsy fruit salad
  7. Replace the lemon juice with 15–30ml (1–2 tbsp) of any fruit liqueur or white wine.

  8. A summer fruit salad
  9. Combine summer fruits, for example, strawberries, raspberries, cherries with dessert pears and melon.

Updated: January 7, 2019

Provençale Roast Haddock

Provencale Roast Haddock

 

This is a lovely mediterranean fish dish that is so full of flavour and cooked in just one dish. Chunks of red and yellow peppers and wedges of red onion are roasted in olive oil. Diced Italian tomatoes are then stirred through and the vegetables topped with baby spinach. The haddock fillets lie on the top and are drizzled with more olive oil and fresh rosemary and then roasted. All those delicious juices left on the plate can be soaked up with warm crusty bread.

 

Provençale Roast Haddock
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Hands on time: 30minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 180ml (6 fl oz) dry white wine (¾ cup)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 400g (14 oz) tin Italian chopped tomatoes /can diced tomatoes
  • 225g (8 oz) pkt baby spinach
  • 4 x 140g (5 oz) skinned haddock fillets
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • crusty bread

  • You will also need a large dish that will take the fish in a single layer and be suitable for roasting.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. Skin the onion and cut into thin wedges. Spread in the large dish, drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the oil and roast for 10 minutes until softened.

  4. Meanwhile, wash, deseed, and cut the peppers into thick chunks.

  5. Now add the peppers, wine, and a sprig of the rosemary to the dish and roast for a further 15 minutes.

  6. Then stir through the tomatoes and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

  7. While the tomatoes are cooking, place the spinach in a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of water and, over a medium heat, cook for 2 minutes until just beginning to wilt. Turn over the spinach a couple of times as it is cooking. Drain into a colander and, using a saucer or small plate, press down onto the spinach to remove the excess water.

  8. Place four mounds of spinach on the roasted vegetables and top each one with a haddock fillet. Drizzle with the remaining oil and the leaves from the other sprig of rosemary. Season well.

  9. Roast for 10–15 minutes until the fish is cooked through. It should be white and begin to flake when separated with a fork.

  10. Wrap the bread in foil and put in the oven for the last 3–5 minutes of cooking to warm it through. Then pop in a basket to serve at the table. Pieces can then be torn from the bread to mop up all the delicious juices left on the plates.