Posted by: backinthegroove | February 11, 2008

Quick and Easy Tomato and Basil soup

This is so good, and takes about 40 minutes from start to mouth.

1 tin of plum tomato’s

1 table spoon of olive oil

Chili flakes (a pinch…but you can add more depending you like it spicy or not)


Creme Fraiche (I use greek yogurt)


garlic (2 cloves)

roughly chopped basil (4-5 leaves)

onion (1 small onion)

cut the garlic and onion into small pieces and add to hot saucepan containing the olive oil and heat until translucent, add plum tomato’s and then refill tin twice with water and add to mix.

Add chilli flakes, salt, pepper and a small pinch of sugar bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Roughly chop fresh basil add to soup and add 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche, then give it a blitz in the blender and serve…yum.

Posted by: backinthegroove | February 8, 2008

Healthy Martini

Pomegranite and mint Martini (taken from Cook Yourself Thin)

113 calories per serving

1 part Vodka

3 parts 100% pomegranate juice

3 sprigs mint

1 pomegranate

measure the vodka and juice into a shaker, add ice and 2 sprigs of mint…….shake it.

take each glass add spoonful of pomegranate seeds and strain into vodka mix and decorate with final mint sprig.

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 23, 2008

Depression food

Chew Chew Caramel Ben and Jerrys icecream is good…..followed by a cadburys creme egg…

sickly but heaven

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 20, 2008

Seafood Pasta (emilys)

Serves 2


8 Squid (calamari)

10 Mussels (unshelled)

6 Scallops (remove coral)

6 Tiger-prawns (uncooked)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Plum Tomato’s

250 g of Creme Fraiche.

chilli flakes

Black pepper

sea salt

Put on the water for your pasta, while you are waiting for the water to come to the boil, put a another pan on the hob and put it on the heat, when it is hot enough add 2 table spoons of oil, sea-salt and black pepper. Add the pasta to the boiling water.

Now add the shell fish to the other pan and cook for 3 minutes, when the prawns have become pink add the chopped tomato’s and chili flakes, keep stirring so it doesn’t stick and turn it down. Now add the creme fraiche and stir in until well mixed.. add salt and pepper for seasoning. (add chilli to your liking)

Take the Pasta off the heat (read label for how long it should take).

Serve with warm crusty bread.

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 19, 2008

Cook a long live: Dessert

The dessert is so simple to make and delicious…however it was to rich for me so I had to save mine for today!

Taken from: Channel 4

Serves 4

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 250ml crème fraiche
  • 284ml double cream
  • 25g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tbsp coffee liquer (optional)
  • 2 chocolate covered honeycombs (frozen for 10 minutes)

Method: How to make chocolate mousse

1. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces (reserving 25g for grating later) and place in a bowl that fits snugly over a pan of boiling water. Leave until the chocolate has completely melted and then remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Add the crème fraiche to the melted chocolate and whisk until combined. Put the double cream and icing sugar into a separate bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold the chocolate mixture into the cream, add the coffee liquer and stir to combine.

3. Remove the chocolate covered honeycomb bars from the freezer, remove the packets and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Place the tea towel under a chopping board and press down hard on the chopping board to crush the honeycomb. Open up the tea towel and tip the crushed honeycomb into the mousse and gently fold through with a spatula. Spoon the mousse into four small serving dishes and then grate over the remaining chocolate and serve.

My attempt:

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 19, 2008

Cook a long live: Main Course

For the Main course we were asked to prepare Sirloin steak and wedges…Simple but using desiree potatoes with chilli flakes and then serving it with rocket and parmesan it made it special.

From: Channel 4 

Serves 4


For the chips

  • 4 large Desiree potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Groundnut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A generous pinch chilli flakes

For the steak

  • 4 sirloin steaks (approx 200g-250g each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 25g butter

For the salad

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 120g rocket
  • 50g parmesan, shaved

Method: How to make steak and chips with a rocket and parmesan salad

1. To make the chips: preheat the oven to 220C/ Gas 7.

2. Fill a large pan with boiling water, add a pinch of salt and place over a high heat. Cut each potato in half lengthways and then place the cut side down onto the board. Cut each half potato into 1cm thick wedges.

3. Add the potato wedges to the boiling water, bring to the boil again and boil for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and then place the colander sitting over the pan, off the heat, to allow the wedges to dry further. Add the groundnut oil, salt, pepper and chilli flakes and toss well to coat.

4. Tip the wedges into a large baking tray (big enough so that the wedges sit in one layer so they crisp up evenly) and shake the tray until they are evenly spread out. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Shake the tray once or twice during cooking to ensure even cooking.

5. To cook the steak: place one large or two smaller non-stick frying pans over a high heat and leave until smoking hot.

6. Place the steaks onto a large chopping board and if one needs to be cooked well done, roll it flatter with a rolling pin so that all the steaks can all go into the frying pan at the same time. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and black pepper and once the frying pans have reached temperature, add approximately two tablespoons of groundnut oil.

7. Carefully lay the steaks (the well done one first) in the hot frying pan. Tilt the pan away from you so that the fat is touching the side of the pan to ensure the fat is cooked and golden. Shake the pan to make sure the steaks aren’t sticking. Fry for 3 minutes on one side and then using tongs turn the steaks starting with the first steak you placed in the pan. Fry for 2 minutes and then add the butter to the pan. Spoon the melted butter over the steaks to baste them. Remove the rare steaks from the pan and set aside on to rest.

8. Leave the medium/ well done steak in the pan to cook for another minute. Remove the steaks from the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes on a large plate. Spoon the juices from the pan over the steaks to add extra flavour.

9. While the steaks are cooking, start making the salad. Pour the white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a salad bowl and then whisk to combine. Place the salad servers together over the dressing, place the rocket on top and then using a vegetable peeler shave the parmesan onto the rocket. Leave until you are ready to serve and then toss.

10. To serve, lay out four plates, place a steak onto each plate, pour over the juices from the resting plate, divide the chips between the plates and add a spoonful of salad.

My attempt:

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 19, 2008

Cook a long live: Starter

In the U.K there have been a series of cookery programs led by famous chefs, last night saw Gordon Ramsey cooking a long live with the nation and I fancied a go!

I had to substitute the fresh scallops for frozen.


From: Channel 4

Serves 4


  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 80g pitted, drained black olives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ bunch coriander, leaves only
  • ½ bunch basil leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 12 scallops (hand dived if you can get them), coral removed.

Method: How to make pan-roasted scallops with tomato and herb salsa

1. First, place a small saucepan over a gentle heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the oil. Add the pitted black olives, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir over a low heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Hold the stalks of the coriander and basil together and slice down with a sharp knife to shave off the leaves. Discard the stalks, gently roll the coriander and basil leaves into a ball and chop. Add the coriander and basil to the salsa and stir to combine.

3. Roll the lemon on a chopping board to soften it and release the juices and then chop in half. Add the juice of half a lemon to the pan, stir and set the salsa aside to allow the flavours to infuse.

4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot and then add one tablespoon of olive oil. Lay the scallops out on a board, pat dry with kitchen paper and then season one side with salt and pepper.

5. Think of the frying pan as a clock face and add the largest scallop (seasoned side down) in the twelve o’clock position. Continue adding the scallops clockwise working your way round 1,2 3 etc until you get to 12 again. Season the unseasoned side of the scallops and after 1-2 minutes or when the underside is turning golden brown, with a palette knife or spatula, flip over the scallops starting with the scallop you placed in the twelve o’clock position. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the scallops and give the pan a good shake to ensure even cooking.

6. After 1-2 minutes or when the scallops are golden brown on all sides, tip the pan onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.

7. To serve, lay out four small plates and place a large spoonful of the salsa in the middle of each plate, arrange 3 scallops on each plate and serve immediately.

My attempt!

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 19, 2008

Christmas cake

Christmas Cake ( Delia Smith)


1 lb (450 g) currants
6 oz (175 g) sultanas
6 oz (175 g) raisins
2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
2 oz (50 g) mixed candied peel, finely chopped
3 tablespoons brandy, plus extra for ‘feeding’
8 oz (225 g) plain flour
½ level teaspoon salt
¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice
8 oz (225 g) unsalted butter
8 oz (225 g) soft brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 oz (50 g) almonds, chopped (the skins can be left on)
1 level dessertspoon black treacle
grated zest 1 lemon
grated zest 1 orange
4 oz (110 g) whole blanched almonds (only if you don’t intend to ice the cake)

You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin or a 7 inch (18 cm) square tin, greased and lined with silicone paper (baking parchment). Tie a band of brown paper round the outside of the tin for extra protection.

You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the brandy as evenly and thoroughly as possible. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave the fruit aside to absorb the brandy for 12 hours.

Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). (For important information about cooking at gas mark 1, click here)Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients, ticking them off to make quite sure they’re all there. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water.

Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it’s light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won’t curdle. If it does, don’t worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can’t fail to taste good! When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel, chopped nuts and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests.

Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon and, if you don’t intend to ice the cake, lightly drop the whole blanched almonds in circles or squares all over the surface. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking). Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don’t look till at least 4 hours have passed.

Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it’s cold ‘feed’ it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in double silicone paper secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 19, 2008

Mince Pies

English Mince Pies (Delia Smith)


1¼ lb (560 g) mincemeat
12 oz (350 g) plain flour
3 oz (75 g) lard
3 oz (75 g) butter
pinch of salt

For the top:

a little milk
icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

You will also need one (or two) trays of 2½ inch (6 cm) patty tins, one fluted 3 inch (7.5 cm) pastry cutter and one 2½ inch (6 cm) cutter.

Make up the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and rubbing the fats into it until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then add just enough cold water to mix to a dough that leaves the bowl clean. Leave the pastry to rest in a polythene bag in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, then roll half of it out as thinly as possible and cut it into two dozen 3 inch (7.5 cm) rounds, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling. Then do the same with the other half of the pastry, this time using the 2½ inch (6 cm) cutter.

Now grease the patty tins lightly and line them with the larger rounds. Fill these with mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry. Dampen the edges of the smaller rounds of pastry with water and press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges. Brush each one with milk and make three snips in the tops with a pair of scissors. Bake near the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Posted by: backinthegroove | January 19, 2008

Spinach and Goats Cheese Bricks

Spinach and Goats Cheese Bricks

Preparation : 45 min
Cooking : 20 min
Ingredients (for 20 bricks) :

– little less than a pound of spinach (if it’s frozen, cook it, then drain it well)

– 1 roll of goats cheese
– 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
– pinenuts
– Puffed Pastry
– salt and pepper


Mix the spinach, 2 whole eggs, pinenuts, salt and pepper.

Cut the pastry sheets in half to have a total of 20 sheets.
Moisten the philo sheets, fold the round side up to obtain a sort of band.
Place 1 large spoonful of the mixture in the center of each sheet, now add layers of sliced goats cheese and make triangles while folding back each fold and alternating left to right just until the top of the band.
Moisten the last edge so that it doesn’t fall apart.
Place them on a cooking sheet lined with parchement paper, then brush egg yolk on each triangle to give it a golden color once cooked.

Cook in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.

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