Posted in Fish, Quick Eats

Salmon Fishcakes

I LOVE salmon, but we’re looking for ways to cut down the cost of our weekly food shop and make our shopping go further. This recipe is PERFECT. I use frozen salmon fillets and two will make 4 large fishcakes. I serve with salmon and potato wedges and you have 4 meals for less than a fiver!

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets (I always use frozen in fishcakes – defrost before use) 
  • 3 large white potatoes (boiled and mashed) 
  • 2 spring onions sliced 
  • 1/2 red chilli 
  • 3 garlic gloves minced 
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I like to use a mix of panko & golden) 
  • Handful of grated cheese (optional but makes them a little creamier!) 
  • Squeeze of lemon 
  • 1 egg, whisked 

How to:

Started by mixing together the raw salmon, garlic, spring onion, chilli and lemon together in a large bowl and season well, before adding in your mash potatoes and combining. Divide the potato mixture into four balls and mould into thick patty’s. Coat in the egg and then into the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Bake in the oven with a dash of oil for 25 mins until golden brown and ENJOY!! 

TIP: I always used to make a huge batch of these and keep them in the freezer fo a lazy dinner! Cook from frozen for about 35-40mins until piping hot! 

Posted in Comfort Food, Quick Eats

Sausage, Red wine, Basil & Tomato Pasta

Once you master the perfect homemade tomato pasta sauce, I promise you, you’ll never go back to the jar. Full of flavour, no hidden nasties and super easy to make! I make a big batch and freeze it in portions ready for a lazy lunch!

This is also a perfect store cupboard dinner – if you’re like me you always have a packet of sausages in the freezer and everything else can be substituted for things I’m sure you’ll have at the back of your cupboards!

Serves 2 / Ready in 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 sausages

Pasta of your choice (I use linguine or tagliatelle)

1 onion

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp garlic granules / 2 cloves of fresh garlic

1 tsp dried Italian herbs

Generous glug of red wine

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Handful of fresh basil / dried basil

1/2 sugar

Parmesan to serve

Pinch of chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Finely chop onion & garlic and fry in a little oil until softened. Add in the dried herbs with the balsamic vinegar & wine and cook until reduced
  2. Add in the chopped tomatoes, sugar, chilli flakes & season well – leave on a low heat to reduce further
  3. Squeeze the sausages from their skins creating meatball like chunks. Heat oil in a pan and add the sausages
  4. Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to packet
  5. Once the sausages are browned, add half of the fresh basil followed by the tomato sauce with a ladle of pasta water
  6. Add the pasta directly into the pan and coat with sauce – you may want to add more pasta water at this stage to make sure the sauce coats the pasta well
  7. Serve with fresh basil & a sprinkling of parmesan!
Posted in Chicken, Comfort Food, Fakeaways, Quick Eats

Egg Fried Rice

There’s something about a big bowl of egg fried rice – it’s like a bowl of pure comfort. Something so simple, but so tasty. I’d happily order it from the Chinese and nothing else!

It might sound strange (especially considering how faithful I am to the weekly Sunday roast), but I LOVE this as a quick Sunday treat and it’s great to clear out the veg drawer before the weekly shop. I’ve popped below the recipe I use, but in all honesty it really depends what we have left that needs using up – pretty much any veg is great it in and I love chucking in some prawns if we have some (they’re a freezer staple for us). Take the ingredients with a pinch of salt and feel free to substitute where needed!

The secret to the best egg fried rice is pre-cooking the rice first and leaving it to cool & dry (none of this pre-cooked microwave rice nonsense). Using cold rice will allow it crisp up more when stir fried! That being said – you need to be careful reheating rice and I love having this as leftovers the next day so if that’s the plan I’ll cook the rice and use it straight away instead of letting it cool, that way I can reheat it. And don’t forget to always make sure the rice is steaming hot!

Serves 3 ( generous portions!)

Ingredients:

1/2 shallot / onion diced

Greens of your preference sliced (I love a big handful of spring greens / kale and some sliced broccoli )

3 eggs whisked + 3 extra if you want a fried egg on top (I’ll judge anyone who doesn’t!)

1/2 cup of peas

250g basmati rice (cooked and left to cool – unless planning to reheat leftovers don’t leave to cool, read above!)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp five spice

1/2 tsp fish sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste (you can use fresh garlic and ginger but this is always a quick meal for us!)

Protein of your choice – I love adding in a diced chicken breast & handful of prawns!

To serve:

Cucumber, spring onion, chilli, coriander, sliced ginger, sesame seeds and generous serving of sriracha!

Method:

  1. Heat 1tbsp of vegetable oil a LARGE wok and add the garlic, ginger and shallot and cook through for one minute before adding the protein – keep stirring to stop burning
  2. Once the meat / fish has cooked through, remove from the wok and set aside and add the veg
  3. Whilst the veg is cooking through, mix the sesame oil, fish sauce, five spice, oyster sauce and soy sauce in a separate bowl until combined
  4. Once the veg is almost cooked, add back in the protein and stir through the rice. Give this a few minutes without stirring too much to allow the bottom layer of rice to crisp slightly!
  5. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a frying pan and crack in the eggs
  6. Whilst the eggs are cooking take you bowl of sauce and mix into the rice before adding in the whisked egg – keep stirring the eggs to make sure its fully mixed in and cooks through
  7. Serve the fried rice with the the fried egg on top with a generous handful of garnishes and enjoy!!

On the table in less than 15 minutes and absolutely DELISH!!!

Don’t forget to tag me! @foodmakeskatiehappy

Posted in Quick Eats

Herby Chicken and Peach Salad

A salad. For dinner?!?! This is something that really doesn’t happen very often. Because, who really wants a salad for dinner? Someone who has spent 16+ weeks in lockdown with nothing to do other than bake & eat.

And has far salads go this is pretty good. Maybe that’s because it actually grilled chicken breast with roasted sweet potato and and sweet peaches served on a bed of lettuce…. but that counts as a salad, right?

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

2 peaches – peeled, cored and sliced

Lettuce leaves of your choice

1/2 shallot, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, finely diced

Handful of rosemary, thyme – your choice of fresh herbs

Good quality olive oil

1 Large tomatoes quartered

1 Large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/4 cucumber, diced

Squeeze of honey

Handful of nuts / seeds – I use pine nuts, walnuts & sunflower seeds

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and in a tray add the sweet potato, a generous dash of olive oil, sprinkling of fresh herbs and season. Bake for 35 minutes – turning occasionally
  2. Whilst the sweet potato is roasting pop the chicken in a bowl, with olive oil, herbs, season and set aside. Before this stage, you might want to use a meat tenderiser to flatten the chicken breast to enable them to cook evenly.
  3. Heat up a griddle pan and coat the peach slices in herbs, olive oil, s&p and a squeeze of honey. Place on the griddle pan for a couple of minutes before turning. Once cooked remove from the pan and add the chicken
  4. Lets start with the salad – start layering up with with the salad leaves, cucumber, pepper, shallots and tomatoes before adding the peaches.
  5. In a dry pan add the nuts / seeds and toast for a few minutes and watch to stop them burning
  6. Remove the sweet potato from the oven, leave to cool slightly and add to the salad before slicing the chicken and placing on top.
  7. Finish with a sprinkling of toasted nuts, season and a drizzle of olive oil! Enjoy!
Posted in Comfort Food, Quick Eats, Vegetarian

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Another dish on the table in less than 15 minutes – packed full of flavour and with only a handful of ingredients! Perfect for a stress-free dinner or a speedy lunchtime snack!

If you’re looking for something slightly lighter for lunchtime, (or even breakfast!) try the mushroom mixture on toasted sourdough!

Serves 2

Ingredients

Half a pack chestnut mushrooms (sliced)

200ml double cream

Handful of fresh parsley

1 garlic clove (sliced)

Pasta of your choice – I used fusilli

Knob of butter

Parmesan & Parsley to serve

Method

  1. Add pasta to boiling water as per instructions on the packet
  2. Add a dash of oil to a pan and gently fry the garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms
  3. Once the mushrooms have softened add in the parsley and knob of butter followed by the cream & a dash of pasta water and season, and leave to reduce for a couple of minutes
  4. Once cooked, drain your pasta (set aside a cup of pasta water) and add to the mushrooms – coat in the sauce adding extra pasta water if needed.
  5. Serve with fresh parsley and sprinkling of parmesan
Posted in Comfort Food, Quick Eats, Vegetarian

Mushroom Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne – one of the most versatile dishes there is. Have it with rice, on a jacket potato, on chips, in a burrito, with salad…the list goes on. We always batch cook this and have portions in the freezer for a panic lunch prep, or a quick comforting dinner. Chilli cheese chips is a favourite in our house!

Usually, I’d screw my face up at something like this – chilli con carne should ALWAYS be made with beef…or so I thought. Swapping the beef for mushrooms in this was a welcome change – not only making it even cheaper, but also a great way to get some more veggies into your dinner! You dice the mushrooms up finely so I’m sure you’d even be able to trick the veggies haters into loving this!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 onion (finely diced)

2 cloves of garlic (finely diced)

1 tbsp cumin

1tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder (if you’re not a fan of spice go for 1/2)

2 tsp paprika

1 packet of mushrooms diced

2 carrots grated

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin of kidney beans

Method:

  1. Start by heating a little oil in a pan and adding the coriander, paprika, cumin and chilli powder and stir through to make a paste with a pinch of salt – leave to cook for 2 minutes
  2. Add in the onion and garlic and cook through until soft (you may want to add in a tbsp of hot water to stop them burning)
  3. Next, add in the mushrooms and carrot and leave for a few minutes before adding in the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and half a tin of water – leave to simmer for a minimum of 30mins / until reduced. Season to taste.
  4. Serve with rice, guac & soured cream!

This is a dish that tastes even better the following day – I really recommend batch cooking this and mixing it up with how you serve it!

Posted in Quick Eats, Vegetarian

Carrot Top Pesto and Mushroom Pasta

The perfect lazy dinner. Pesto Pasta. So simple, but so satisfying. Pesto pasta is another go to quick meal for us and brilliant for last minute lunch prep. We’ve always got a couple of jars stashed in the cupboard but nothing beats homemade. I’m usually a straight up basil pesto kinda gal and have been lovingly nursing my basil plant throughout lockdown but this carrot top pesto makes a lovely change!

Often with basil pesto I find it a little sharp and am guilty of adding a LOT of cheese, but what I love about the carrot top pesto is that it’s a lot more subtle – offering a brilliant base to add in some veggies! Also a great way to use up the tops that would usually end up in the bin!

I always make a pot of pesto and then leave it in the fridge for as and when – it’s usually okay for about a week!

Ingredients:

Carrot tops from about 7 carrots (I picked up some carrots at the farmers market & you should be able to grab them in some supermarkets, if not check out your local grocers!) #supportlocal

Handful of pine nuts (toasted for a few minutes)

1 clove of garlic

3 tbsp good quality of olive oil

Few fresh basil leaves

Lots of s&p

1 tbsp of grated parmesan

Handful of chopped mushrooms

Pasta – I’ve used fresh tagliatelle but your choice! Fresh is great!

Method:

  1. Let’s start with the pesto – remove the larger stems and keep the leafy top section, roughly chop & add to a food processor
  2. Blitz slightly before adding in the pine nuts, parmesan and crushed garlic clove and blend. Slowly add in the olive oil until you have your desired consistency and season to taste
  3. Cook pasta as per instructions on the packet and dry fry some mushrooms (dry frying allows them to release their flavour!)
  4. Once the pasta is cooked – use tongs to add the pasta to the mushroom pan (this will help also transfer some of the pasta water) and add a spoonful of pesto (2 tsp per serving) along with another dash of pasta water & combine! You can add more / less pesto depending on your preference!
  5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of parmesan!
Posted in Comfort Food, Quick Eats, Vegetarian

Spinach and Mascarpone Pasta

For those of you London foodies who have been to Flour and Grape in Bermondsey, it is likely you will relate when I say their Spinach & Mascarpone pasta dish is out of this world. It’s proof that the best dishes are the simplest. And whilst we’re in lockdown and unable to get our hands on it – I thought I’d share the recipe for my version. Ever since we visited their restaurant at the beginning of the year I’ve been desperately trying to recreate the dish and whilst it will never quite live up to their standards, it really does hit the spot.

Before lockdown, this became a weekday evening staple for us – it can be ready in less than 10 minutes with very little effort, limited washing up and usually leftovers for lunch the next day. That to me, is perfect in itself. Using frozen spinach also means it’s a great one to make last minute – it’s our go to when one of us is unexpectedly stuck at work late.

Serves 2 with leftovers

Ingredients:

500g fresh pappardelle

12 cubes of frozen chopped spinach

2 cloves of garlic (peeled & finely sliced)

1/2 tsp nutmeg

500g mascarpone

Squeeze of lemon juice

Lots of s&p

Garlic bread – not essential but highly recommended, preferably with cheese

Method:

  1. To start put the spinach in a microwaveable bowl and give a quick zap in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Then, heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic for a couple of minutes and then add the spinach to the pan
  3. Add in the nutmeg and season with s&p
  4. Boil your pasta in salted boiling water as per instructions on the pack
  5. Add the mascarpone to the spinach and leave to simmer on a low heat
  6. Drain your pasta and add to the spinach (set aside some pasta water in case you need it later – it’ll help the sauce combine with the pasta) and stir through some parmesan and squeeze of lemon!
  7. Serve with another sprinkling of parmesan and touch of nutmeg!

How quick & easy was that?!

Posted in Fish, Quick Eats

Roasted Chorizo Cod with Crispy Potatoes

My favourite way to cook fish is by wrapping it in parchment paper with some veg and letting it work its magic! For this, I used frozen cod pieces which I love. They’re great to have in the freezer for a last minute dinner and also to save a few pennies! A great dinner to have on the table in less than 40mins & super tasty!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 cod fillets (if using frozen you may want to use 3 as they tend to be smaller & shrink more!

100g chorizo (peeled and sliced)

300gish white potatoes (peeled and cubed)

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chilli flakes (more if you like it spicy!)

Handful of fresh parsley

Squeeze of lemon

Drizzle of good quality olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190C
  2. Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 8-10 minutes, meanwhile fry the chorizo in a large pan with a little oil.
  3. When the chorizo starts to crisp up, add in your garlic. Cook for a few minutes before draining and adding in the potatoes. At this stage, you want to crisp up the potatoes slightly and coat them in oil released from the chorizo!
  4. Place a large sheet of parchment paper in a baking tray and add in the potato & chorizo mix, then placing the cod pieces on top and topping with fresh parsley, paprika, chilli flakes and a drizzle of oil. Fold the parchment paper over the top to make a parcel and place in the oven (15 mins for fresh fish, 20-25 for frozen), until the fish is cooked through and flakey!
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, salad and vine roasted tomatoes!