Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Beans and Things

When I was at college it was not unusual for me to need a quick meal between coming home from lectures and zooming out again to socialise. One of my stand-by meals was baked beans. The standard way of serving baked beans is simply to heat them in a pan and pour them over a piece of toast. But rarely did I do them this way. Usually I added another ingredient – Imagination! I still do this today when I'm feeling lazy.

Among Ingredients that you can add to spice up your Baked Beans are:-

Pickled onions;
Spring onions;
Pickled gherkins;
Mixed herbs;
Chopped ham;
Chopped Spam or tinned ham and pork;
Small pieces of cooked chicken;
Chopped tomato;
Cherry tomato;
Tinned Tomatoes;
Red pepper;
Green pepper;
Yellow pepper;

And you could always top the mixture with a poached egg!


Open the tin of beans and pour into a saucepan.
Add the other chosen ingredients;
Heat, stirring as necessary;
Serve on toast or with French bread and butter.

Can’t get easier than that!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Helen's Nut Roast – with and without (cheese)


Mixed nuts (e.g., walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, almonds, cashews) - 250g
Shallots - 100g
Chopped tomatoes - 400g tin
Egg - 1, beaten
Dried thyme - 0.5 tsp
Dried sage - 0.5 tsp
Dried mint - 0.5 tsp
Parsley - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Marmite or other yeast extract - 1 tsp blended with 1 tsp boiling water
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Black pepper
Optional - Cheddar cheese - 100g, grated

Butter / margarine for greasing tin

1) Dry fry the nuts, stirring gently, until golden and fragrant, taking care not to burn. Remove to a bowl and leave to cool.
2) Blend the nuts in a food processor until thoroughly ground.
3) Drain away some of the liquid from the tin of chopped tomatoes.
3) In a large bowl, combine the ground nuts with all the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
4) Preheat the oven to 180° / gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin with butter/margarine.
5) Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for around 45 minutes, until firm and golden. Cool slightly, then turn out. 

Note 1 - I have tried it both with and without the cheese and prefer it without. It tastes a bit too rich for me with the cheese and also remains a little bit sloppy.

Mote 2 - As an alternative to making your own nut mixture you can use a 250gm packet of Co-op Truly Irresistible Roasted Mixed Nuts. These will not need dry frying and can simply be ground.

Note 3 - Can be eaten hot with vegetables or cold with salad or bread and butter.

Note 4
- WARNING - May contain nuts !!!!!