3 tins tuna 1 tin sweetcorn 4 medium potatoes, diced good handful frozen peas 2 carrots, diced 2 onions, diced 2 parsnips, diced 15g butter handful plain flour glass of white wine glass of milk 3 good pinches of dried herbs (whatever you have in the cupboard, i.e. oregano, thyme, basil, etd) 2 slices brown bread large handful cheddar, finely grated Packet of Lidl bacon bits
Open and drain the cans of tuna. Peel and dice the vegetables into approx 1 cm chunks. Toast the slices of bread and use a blender to zap into breadcrumbs, set aside.
Turn your oven on to 180° C and set aside a large casserole dish.
In a large stock pot or frying pan, heat up some oil and add the onion, potato, parsnips and carrots and fry on a medium heat for 10 mins. Add the peas and sweetcorn and fry for another 2-3 mins. Add the tuna and stir well until it breaks up.
Turn up the heat and add the butter, letting it melt and coat all the vegetables. Toss in a good handul of plain flour and stir well until it vanishes.
Add 1 glass of white wine. As it starts to boil off, turn the heat back down to medium and add the glass of milk and slowly add glass of water as needed – the mix should be wet and move freely, but there shouldn’t be too much free liquid. Now add your pinches of herbs and a little salt and pepper (half a pinch or so of each).
Stir the mix well and cook for another 5 mins, then turn the heat off. Pour the mix into your casserole dish and smooth down. Top with the breadcrumbs, then the handful of cheese, and finally scatter the Lidl bacon bits over the top.
Bake for 30-40 mins, until the top is golden and the bacon bits are well cooked. Keeps well for a few days and leftovers can easily be microwaved in a bowl, approx 2 mins on high per portion.
2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 eggs, beaten 2 1/3 cups mashed banana (approx 3 bananas)
You will need 2 bowls and a 2lb loaf tin. The older and browner the bananas, the better this recipe will turn out.
Preheat your oven to 190 C.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a second smaller bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar (easiest done with a hand mixer). Stir in the eggs and banana to this bowl.
Finally add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well until the flour mix is incorporated fully.
Liberally grease your 2lb loaf tin with cooking spray or butter and pour in the mix.
Bake at 190 C for approx 50 mins. Test if it is done by sticking a cocktail stick into the loaf and swirling around gently. If the stick comes out clean or covered in crumbs, then the loaf is done.
Remove from loaf tin and leave to cool before cutting. Gorgeous served with a thin spread of butter or some Nutella. This loaf will improve after a few days storage, keeps for 5-7 days in an airtight container.
1 large onion finely diced 1 sweet red pepper finely diced 2 sticks of celery finely diced 2 cloves of garlic finely diced butter olive oil 250g risotto rice 2 vegetable stock cubes, mixed with 1.5l boiling water handful of parmesan finely grated
Begin by chopping the vegetables as finely as you can. You can use a julienne peeler on the carrot and then cut across the strips for very fine dice.
In a very large saucepan or stewpot, melt a knob of butter with a lug of olive oil. Throw in your vegetables and fry softly on a medium heat for 15-20 mins, until the vegetables soften. The onions should not take on any colour, so don’t have your heat up full whack.
Once the veg is soft, place 2 stock cubes in another saucepan and add the boiling water. Keep this on a low simmer.
Turn the heat right up under your veg pan for 2 mins and add the risotto rice. Stir this well, and once the grains have soaked up the juice from the veg and begun to toast lightly, throw in a glass of white wine (or a good splash of vermouth). As this starts to boil off, reduce the heat again and add your first ladle of stock.
Stir it well and wait for the liquid to be absorbed. Keep the mix moving regularly, as this will encourage the grains to release their starch. Once each ladleful is absorbed, add another ladle of stock (usually about 2-3 mins apart). You should keep this pan at a simmering temperature.
After about 20 mins of adding stock and letting it soak in, taste your rice – it should be soft, with just a hint of a bite. If it’s still too hard, keep on adding the stock as needed. If you start to run out of stock, then top off the stock pan with some boiling water.
Once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and add another knob of butter and the handful of parmesan. Stir well to mix it in, then put a lid on the pan and leave for 2-3 mins. This is when the magic happens and the mix all comes together… Taste it and add salt as pepper as desired at this point.
You can serve the risotto plain or add whatever toppings you fancy – fried bacon bits & Gorgonzola, pesto, flaked cooked salmon – as your own tastes dictate.
225g Plain Flour
a pinch of salt
195g Dark Chocolate
6 Tablespoons of cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of cognac
6 medium sized bananas
Making the crumble
Take your flour, 60g of sugar, 115g of butter and a pinch of salt and place them in a bowl, simply scrunch the lot together with clean hands until it looks like breadcrumbs and put this to one side.
Take a small saucepan and place it on a low heat, to this add 115ml of water and a tablespoon of sugar. Bring this to a low simmer while stirring. Keep it simmering until all the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and add 30g of butter and the dark chocolate while stirring constantly. It’s best to break the chocolate and butter up into small chunks as they will melt quicker this way. Keep stirring until all the chocolate and butter have melted completely.
Next, add the Vanilla essence, cognac and cream and keep stirring until they all combine to give a smooth looking sauce.
Peel the bananas and split each of them lengthways into 3. This is done by gently pushing your finger into the end of the banana where that tough seed like lump has been removed and running your finger to the other end. This should leave you with 3 separate segments.
Arrange all the segments in a large oven-proof dish and pour the chocolate sauce over them, making sure that all the bananas are chocolate coated.
Unless you are planning on cooking and eating immediately stop at this point and cover both the crumble and the chocolate+banana and refrigerate until ready to cook.
When you are ready to cook, get your oven up to 200C. Sprinkle the crumble over the chocolate+banana making sure to spread it out evenly. Then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. If the crumble has not turned a golden brown at this point simply pop it under the grill for a minute or 2 to brown the top and let it stand for a few minutes before serving with a few scoops of berry ice-cream.