Blog Every Day in May: What’s in your fridge?

“Describe and/or photograph what is in your fridge right now. Be honest!”

So my fridge contains all the usual things, organic butter, yoghurt and milk; free range eggs; leeks; charlotte carrots; half a butternut squash and some mixers….but rather than share a complete list of all those types of things, I thought I’d write about some of the more ‘special’ things that are in there.

We regularly buy fancy and posh jars of stuff from food festivals, markets and whatnot, and they inevitably hang around in the fridge for ages before we finally get around to finishing them. At the moment we have lots of really yummy jars in the fridge, including but not limited to….

Humbers Homemade Rosemary Jelly….this is made locally to us and you can buy it from local markets as well as delis. It’s lovely to cook sausages in or to serve with lamb!

We found the wonderful Pink’s range of chilli products at the Maltby Street Market whilst we still lived in London, and we just love their Green Chilli Jelly and Smoked Tomato Tapenade. They make great dips or sauces to cook fish with.

There are currently four full jars of Jules & Sharpie jams and jellies in the fridge….we discovered them at the local chilli festival last year and love the Hot Marmalade, Hot Apple & Sage Jelly, Hot Rhubarb & Ginger Jam, and Hot Lime & Green Pepper Jelly. These are lovely along with a cheese board.

Other regulars are Alfez Harissa (which I chuck into tagines and hot sauces) and Thai Taste Green Curry Paste which is a great base for a yummy curry. We also tend to keep in a few nice jams and marmalades, and currently still have a delicious Fig & Walnut Ball homemade by our friend Hannah.

Ems x

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Halloween Recipe: Pumpkin and Squash Soup

With all the pumpkin flesh we carved from our Jack-o-Lantern, I couldn’t wait to make something seasonal and hearty to eat. It always seems a shame to me when people just carve a face onto a pumpkin and let the flesh go to waste. Not in this house though!

Here follows my recipe for pumpkin and squash soup….it has a little bit of a Thai style twist and because it’s thinner than my usual soups (although incredibly velvety) it’s great as a starter. You could of course scoff it with bread for lunch though, which I just did!

What you’ll need to make a batch of eight servings:

  • 1 tbspn butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 butternut squash, in 2cm cubes
  • 1 medium pumpkin, in 2cm cubes
  • 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 thumbs of ginger, grated
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tspn lemongrass paste
  • 2 ltr hot chicken stock
  • 1 tspn Bouillon powder
  • 1 tin of Coconut Milk (don’t forget to shake the tin!)

How to make it:

  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan
  2. Add the onions and soften
  3. Tip in the squash and pumpkin, stir well and cook for around 10 minutes until the onions are browned and the rest starts to soften
  4. Then add the chillies, garlic, ginger and lemongrass paste, season well and cook for a further 5 minutes
  5. Now pour in the hot stock, followed by the Bouillon powder and bring to the boil
  6. Simmer for around 30 minutes until the pumpkin and squash are tender
  7. Remove from the heat and blend well
  8. Stir in the coconut milk, and blend a little more if needed
  9. Return to the heat to ensure it’s all piping hot, then serve

I’ve really enjoyed this soup, perhaps because it’s thinner but creamier than the ones I usually make. We certainly needed the bread to dip into it, although I suspect it’d work really well as a starter before the risotto I’m making for dinner (smoked bacon and pumpkin!). Either way, a very satisfying way to make best use of your pumpkin!

Ems x

Sweet Potato with Chilli, Ginger and Coconut Soup Recipe

 

One of the biggest regrets when I joined Weight Watchers was that sweet potatoes are not ‘free’…. meaning that they do cost you some points. I felt a bit miffed because most vegetables, including butternut squash are completely point free! Still, sweet potato is at least a bit ‘cheaper’ for points than normal potatoes, so I’ve not been totally put off them!

Now whilst I usually love to cover them in oil and bake them as wedges, I thought I’d try to find a more healthy way to enjoy the big batch of sweet potatoes I bought at the market last week. And because I’m all about the soups at the minute, that seemed like a good idea. The result was pretty dreamy actually….sweet and creamy, but with a good punch! AND each serving is only a few Weight Watchers points!

What you will need to make four servings:

  • 1 tbspn butter
  • 1 large white onion, chopped fine
  • 1.5kg sweet potatoes, pink fleshed, peeled and diced in 1cm cubes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced fine
  • 1 tbspn grated ginger
  • 2 large red chillies,  seeds removed and chopped fine
  • 1 tspn lime juice
  • 1 tspn Aromat
  • 750ml hot vegetable stock
  • 50g creamed coconut
  • dried, crushed chillies to garnish

How to make it:

  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan
  2. Tip in the onions and fry until soft
  3. Add the sweet potato, garlic, ginger and chillies
  4. Cook until the sweet potato starts to soften
  5. Now add the Aromat, lime juice and hot stock
  6. Simmer for around 15-20 minutes, until the potato is tender and ‘mashable’
  7. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth
  8. Pop back on a low heat and crumble in the creamed coconut, stirring through
  9. Once piping hot and well blended, serve up with a scatter of crushed chillies on top

I find this one pretty filling, so I don’t think it needs anything else like bread for dipping (and this coming from a bread fiend!).

Enjoy!

Ems x

Made with Love: Super Simple Summery Sausage Supper

Who else was caught off guard with this weather?! Just as I was starting to think about cardigans and homemade pies and snuggling up at home, out of nowhere came the sun and a lovely late bout of summeryness!

I can’t complain of course…I like the sun to shine as much as the next person….but it did somewhat scupper my meal planning (not to mention my outfit planning). But never fear! Out of hearty wintery ingredients, I bring you a delightfully summery dish!

I have been making this dish for years and it’s always been a summer to autumn favourite because it’s not overly filling or wintery, whilst still being substantial enough for my healthy appetite! As with almost everything I make, it’s dead easy and pretty quick….

You will need (to make enough for two)….

  • Two to three large, good quality sausages, cut into large chunks
  • A tablespoon of olive oil
  • Four cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • One large red onion, roughly chopped
  • Around 250g new potatoes, cut in half and part boiled
  • Around 150g butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes and part boiled
  • A good handful of rosemary, leaves stripped off the stalks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Aromat

And to make it….

  1. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan
  2. Add the sausage and lightly brown
  3. Tip in the onions to soften, then the garlic, allowing them to brown a little too
  4. Chuck in the rosemary
  5. Stir in the part cooked potatoes and butternut squash, season with the salt, pepper and Aromat
  6. Give it a good stir and allow the lot to brown to a lovely golden colour

You don’t need anything with this dish, save from maybe a few shavings of Parmesan if you like (everything works better with cheese).

Enjoy!

Ems x