Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Fried gnocchi with salad and pesto

Fried gnocchi
Well this isn't really something hard to create. It's one of those meals when you have things in your cupboard but you want to do something a little different with it.

So one Saturday night I wanted to try something a little different with it. Why don't we fry it for a change? The texture is amazing, almost like a roast potato. Crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Why hadn't I don't something like this before?

What you'll need:
x1 packet gnocchi (we used the one that you buy off the store shelf)
olive oil
salt & pepper to season
chilli flakes (optional)
red pepper pesto
sundried tomatoes (optional)
fresh basil (optional)
rocket or any other salad leaves
parmesean cheese

How to make it:
1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan.

2. Tip in the packet of gnocchi and lightly fry it until they turn light brown and crispy. Add the chilli flakes at this stage, then the sundried tomatoes.

3. Season well with salt & pepper, add some fresh basil and serve on top of the rocket or salad leaves.

4. Drizzle some red pepper pesto over the top and sprinkle with parmesean cheese.

5. Stuff your face and wonder why you hadn't done this before!

Monday, 15 October 2012

"Skinny" sweet & sour chicken

Sweet & sour chicken
I love a good takeaway and usually it's good ol' fish & chips if I'm honest, but sometimes I feel like a curry or maybe Chinese.

Recently the Hairy Bikers went on a mission to lose a bit of their excess weight that they'd put on over the years. To be fair, I'd rather cut down my portion sizes rather than make recipes "low fat", but I thought I'd give one of theirs a go.

We made this last Friday night, served it with some flavoured rice and the result was lovely! We both agreed it tasted better than a shop bought one and it was minimal effort so you could even make it mid-week.

I substituted the bamboo shoots with carrots and it worked perfectly for us. I recommend you give it a go.

You can find the recipe on the BBC Food website: Sweet & sour chicken, by the Hairy Bikers

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Lolly Cake, a NZ childhood staple.

Lolly Cake cut into slices
When I was a kid, my mum used to make this amazing 'cake' out of what seemed to be biscuit crumbs and sweets. When you are small, this was the nectar of the gods and a huge sugar high too.

I had a craving last week for NZ lolly cake. So I thought I'd make some. Unfortunately over here in the UK I can't seem to find all the correct ingredients, but my lovely friend back home posted the two ingredients over, Eskimo lollies and Malt biscuits.

The way to explain Eskimo lollies is that they are the same texture as foam shrimps and foam bananas. The lollies are pink, yellow, green and white and extremely sugary, oops. As for the Malt biscuits? Very similar to the malted milk biscuits I've found in Tesco, but the NZ ones are more malty and a have a stronger flavour.

My next test is to make the Lolly Cake with UK ingredients, but for now, the NZ one made me think of home (after stuffing my face with three slices...)

Eskimo lollies, malt biscuits
What you'll need:
100gms butter, melted
1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 packet (250gms) of malt biscuits
1 packet 'Eskimo lollies', cut into pieces
Dessicated coconut

How to make it:
1. Cut your Eskimo lollies into smaller pieces and set aside. Scissors work really well!

2. Using a food processor, rolling pin or hand blender, blitz the malt biscuits down into crumbs, just like you are making a cheesecake base place into a large mixing bowl.

3.  Make a well in the crumbed biscuits and first add the melted butter, then the condensed milk.**

** I've just read another recipe that says to gently melt the butter and condensed milk together first, then add to the crumbed biscuits, making sure it's not too hot.
4. Before stirring, add a couple of handfuls of the chopped Eskimo lollies, stir again, then keep adding more lollies and stir well until it's all mixed together. You might want to use your hands to make sure the mixture is well combined.

5. Now shape the mixture into a log/roll using your hands and make sure the mixture is pressed together well.

6. You can divide the log into two at this point to help with space in your fridge!
Roll the log in coconut, pressing it onto the mixture. Place on a tray, cover in clingfilm and place in the fridge until firm. Overnight works best, though a few hours is fine.

7. When set, cut slices off the log, stuff into your mouth and enjoy!