In this post, I’m going to show you how to create an authentic, Mexican feast. Everything is so easy and simple, and I even throw in a veggie option. I made this for my friends a few weeks ago and they loved it. I hope you do too!
Hummus is a really easy, simple recipe which can be knocked together in no time based mainly on ingredients you can always keep in the cupboard. I like my hummus to be lemony, garlicky and with a hint of warmth from the cumin. There are loads of variations you can experiment with but this one seems to be a real crowd pleaser. It makes enough for about 6 people as a starter, or more as part of a party selection. This weekend I made it with my Thyme & Tabasco Sausage Rolls for a few friends and it went down a treat.
What you need:
- 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas (reserve the liquid, plus a few chickpeas for topping)
- 3 tbsp. tahini
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. crushed sea salt
- 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- The juice of 2 large lemons
- 1 tsp. cumin
- A pinch of paprika for dusting
- Greek basil (for topping)
- Extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling, optional)
What to do:
- Get the bowl-blade option ready on your food processor. Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and add to the bowl. Next, add the tahini, garlic, salt, lemon juice, cumin and a few tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the tinned chickpeas. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the olive oil as everything combines.
- When the mixture is fully combined, tip it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped Greek basil leaves for decoration.
Spicy King Prawn Empanadas for Tabasco #FunWithFlavour
This is the starter recipe for my Tabasco #FunWithFlavour menu, I hope you enjoy!
First things first, prep and make your Empanadas… This recipe takes about 45 minutes in total and should make about 12. Once you have done this, treat yourself to the cocktail recipe which is here.
What you need:
- 1 tsp coconut oil (or you could use olive oil)
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli (deseeded), finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 150g raw king prawns, roughly chopped
- a good few drops Tabasco Habanero (the hot one!)
- a sprinkle of Paprika
- ½ tsp tomato puree
- juice of ½ a lime
- small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 pack of filo pastry
- some olive oil for brushing
What to do:
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Add the chopped chilli and garlic and continue to cook until softened but not browned (reduce the heat slightly if needed).
- Add the roughly chopped raw king prawns and gently cook on a low heat until cooked through (pink & opaque).
- Add at least 5-6 drops of Tabasco Habanero for a fiery kick.
- Season with a sprinkle of paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir in the coriander, tomato puree and lime juice.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely before assembly, then discard any excess liquid.
- To make the empanadas, take two sheets of filo pastry and lay them on top of one another. Cut the pastry into four, equal horizontal strips. Note: it is best to work with just one strip at a time, so place the other 3 strips under some cling film and a damp towel to keep them from going dry.
- Brush the strip of pastry with oil.
- Place a small teaspoon of the prawn mixture at one end of the strip. Fold at right angles into a triangle, and keep folding over until you reach the end of the pastry strip.
- Brush with oil and place on a some parchment paper on a baking tray, ready to pop into the oven or save for later.
REPEAT this process until you have used all the filling up, I managed to get 12 small samosa-like parcels 🙂
If cooking immediately, pop in the oven for 8-9 minutes at 200C. If making ahead, you can keep them covered in the fridge for a few hours beforehand (just make sure you separate them with parchment paper so they don’t stick).
So, Christmas is over. Part of me is kind of thankful. It was wonderful, full of friends, family & food. The three best things in life, pretty much ;-). Now January is well and truly upon us, and in my world, a little bit of indulgence is still acceptable. I know most posts this time of year are health and detox orientated, ‘New Year, new me’ and all that codswallop – but I reckon January should be a mild extension of the festive season. Ease yourselves in gently, that’s what I say!
You might also notice these bad boys are served up on my ‘Sophie’s Scran’ solid wood chopping board. Best Christmas present ever, thanks Sis 😀
So here it goes – a simple, easy, super scrummy Saturday night treat. Cheesy Jacket Pots. This serves two hungry, hungover mongrels and takes about 1.5 hours from pot to plate.
What you need:
- 3 decent sized floury white potatoes
- 50g grated cheddar cheese (or any leftover cheese from the Christmas cheese board)
- 20g goats cheese (just a small amount for topping, no need to measure)
- 3 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
- Olive oil (plain, or you can use an infused olive oil such as garlic)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Baked beans
- BBQ sauce (I used The Market Wraps Louisiana BBQ Sauce from Market Wraps, via Flavour Full Stop.)
What to do:
- Heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
- Clean your spuds and dry off with a tea towel, then use your hands to rub a layer of oil over them
- Season your spuds with some sea salt which should stick to the oil nicely
- No need for a baking tray – once the oven is hot, place them directly on the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. If you’re using really big spuds, they may need a little longer, so add 15 minutes to the cooking time if you think it’s needed.
- Whilst they are cooking, griddle your bacon on a hot skillet until it’s crispy, they transfer to some kitchen paper to absorb any excess grease (or don’t, depending on how healthy you’re feeling!)
- Grate the cheese and set aside.
- To check your spuds are baked, take them out of the oven and examine them to make sure they are a golden brown colour and the skins are nice and crisp. If you insert a knife into the biggest spud and it’s piping hot when you take it out – they should be done.
- Turn off the oven, and preheat your grill to a high heat.
- Cut each baked spud in half and scoop out the fluffy potato filling into a bowl, then add 2 thirds of the the grated cheese and crispy bacon and mix to combine.
- Using a spoon, scoop the mixture back into each jacket potato skin until each skin is full again and all the mixture is used up.
- Transfer your loaded skins onto a baking tray and top with a thin layer of of the remaining grated cheese, and top again with a small crumbling of the goats cheese.
- Transfer the cheese-topped spuds to the grill and keep an eye on them for about 10 mins – just until the cheese is melted, bubbling and golden.
- Serve with BBQ baked beans (I added a few lashings of Market Wraps Louisiana BBQ Sauce to some Heinz Baked beans, but you could use a sauce of your choice) and a little rocket salad.
Enjoy, Scranners! -x-
It’s getting towards that time of year when we need a little bit of ‘comfort’ food to help us through the cold autumn and winter months. It’s pretty much a great excuse to stuff our faces with tasty treats. After all, we need a little bit of extra fat for the winter, so we might as well start now. Agreed? Good, then read on….
These sausage rolls are warming, moreish, comforting and super-easy to rustle-up in about 45 minutes. They also have a slightly ‘festive’ feel about them. You don’t have to cook them straight away either, you can save them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days beforehand, so they can be made well in advance if you are planning a little party or get-together. After all, it’s 100 sleeps until Christmas, so why not!
This recipe makes about 40 sausage rolls (I told you, they are moreish!) but if you don’t want to make so many, you can easily halve the quantities (but may live to regret it)…
What you need:
- 1 knob butter
- small glug of olive oil
- parchment paper
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (removed from stalks)
- 690g good quality sausage meat or 10 sausages with the meat pushed out from the skins (I use Sainsbury’s Ultimate 97% Pork Sausages)
- 4 320g sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
What to do:
- preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
- melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the finely chopped shallots until they are golden and soft. transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- to the mixing bowl, add the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, fresh thyme and sausage meat and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. mix together until thoroughly combined, using your hands if necessary!
- next, roll the puff pastry out into a large rectangle, then cut into two long rectangles.
- place a layer of sausage meat mixture down the middle of each pastry rectangle, then brush each pastry rectangle with beaten egg along one side.
- fold the other side of the pastry over onto the egg-washed edge. press down to seal using a fork (which makes a nice pattern) and cut each pastry roll into about 10 small sausage rolls
- repeat this for the second pack of puff pastry (if using), until you have as many sausage rolls as required.
- lightly oil a baking tray using the kitchen paper olive oil, and place the sausage rolls the tray and then into the oven.
- bake for 18-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden and the sausage meat is completely cooked throughout.