Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Following on from my last post saying that it is all going to be healthy foods, I decided to make carrot and coriander soup at the weekend. All fresh and healthy.

Well it was made and the whole pot was finished in two days. My wife and 7 month old daughter loved it, and I had the nappy changes to prove it was healthy.

Anyway here is the recipe:

1 large chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
500g of chopped peeled carrots
100g of chopped potato
2 litres of chicken stock
A good handful of fresh coriander
250ml tub of low fat Cream fresh

Method: -

1 – Put the onions and garlic in a large pan with a little oil and soften till the onions are transparent.

2 – Add the chopped carrots and potato.

3 – Add the chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock if required).

4 – Simmer the soup until the veg is all cooked and soft, usually about 45 mins.

5 – Add the coriander and liquidise using a hand blender. (you can also use the liquidiser and blitz a bit at a time, and season to taste

6 – Now you can either add the cream fresh now and stir into the soup, or add it when serving as a spoonful in the middle of the bowl.

7 – Enjoy this with some crusty bread.

Now be careful, we managed to finish all of this soup in two days, and we paid the penalty with regular trips to the toilet. Maybe too much info there, but it is so delicious.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Venison Steak

OK, to start off my healthy food try this Venison Steak. Venison is a really good lean meat thast can help you lose weight. the meat is tender and high in good protiens.

Ingredients: -

1 off Venison Steak - Get this from Flethchers - see link below
1 table spoon of chinese five spice

1 - Take the Venison and rub the five spice into the meat. leave overnight in the firdge to marinade

2 - Preheat a griddle until it is smoking, of use a heavy frying pan.

3 - Place the venison on a worktop and rub a little sunflower oil into the steak. this helps it cook.

4 - Place the steak in the griddle or pan for about 2 mins each side, or until slightly chared, and still pink in the middle. the steal should still be slightly springy when cooked, and not tough like an old boot.

5 - Now serve this with some steamed veg like cabbage or even some roasted peppers as they work well with venison, and some boiled salad potatoes.

I love Venison done with five spice they really do work well together. but try it with just cinamon and ginger powder as they work well too. or even do not have any spices as the meat speaks for itself.

Christam is over

So that is Christmas over for another year, and thank god for that. i managed to get my way through some great food and drink over the festive period, and found myself drinking far too much Jim Beam.

I got two bottles of Jim Beam Black, and this stuiff is now my favourite tipple. it was so good i managed to polish off both bottles in less than 4 days. i also manged a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a bottle of some other borboun that i can't remember.

Well I'm now 7 pound heavier and going to eat more healthy food for the next month. So my blog will be all healthy foods that can take away the pounds, and also not be the usual boring salad related vegitation.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you all, and hope this year is a good one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spanish Fish Stew

Sorry to everyone who reads this blog, as there were no new posts for a few weeks? The reason behind this is due to the fact that I was unwell. I managed to catch Swine Flu from someone in my work and it basically floored me for over a week. But I am back at work now and feeling much better.

I have been trying to think of some good recipes to add to the blog, but can never think of any, then it comes to me usually when I have to make dinner and open the fridge to see what we have, and that’s how this dish came about. It was a Thu night and we do not do our shopping until a Friday, so the cupboard was a little Mother Hubbard. We had some frozen fish and that got me thinking about a dish my wife and I had in Spain.

Spanish Fish Stew

500g of mixed fish. (Best to use a mix of smoked fish, white fish prawns and some shell fish; to be honest any fish will work with this)
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of Garlic crushed or finely chopped
2 heaped teaspoons of Smoked Paprika
A good handful of chopped basil and parsley
A little corn flour mixed with water to thicken the sauce.
2 table spoons of lemon juice
½ a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce

Method: -
1 – Take the garlic, tins of tomatoes and add to large saucepan or cast iron casserole dish, and heat over a medium heat until the tomatoes are simmering.

2 – Add the chopped basil and parsley, and reduce to half

3 – Add the paprika lemon juice and Tabasco sauce.

4 – Turn down the heat to low and add the fish, and the corn flour if required.

5 – Let the fish cook for about 10 mins on low or until the fish is cooked, and try not to stir the dish as this will break up all the fish.

6 – Now serve in a bowl with some crusty bread.

This is a great winter meal as it is warming and the taste is really great with the smoked paprika. Simple but yet so delicious.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roast Haunch of Venison

Sorry I’ve been away for a while, but I have just moved jobs from Glasgow office to the site office at the Grangemouth refinery and have not had time to do much this week.

Well at the weekend my wife and I went to Mitchells in Carmunock for our annual birthday meal and it was great. She had fillet steak and I had Venison, so in honour of the venison I had here is my own recipe for Haunch of venison.

Ingredients: -
1 off Haunch of venison
1 table spoon of Chinese five spice
2 glasses of red wine


1 - Take the haunch of venison and rub the five spice into the meat. Leave overnight to marinade

2 - Preheat oven to 190deg C / Gas Mark 5

3 - Take a roasting dish and place a large piece of tinfoil in the base. Place the venison in the foil and pour over the red wine. Close the foil around the venison ensuring it is sealed.

4 - Cook the venison for about 1.5 to 2 hours dependent on the size of the meat. The foil will allow the venison to steam in the red wine and the meat should be tender when cooked. Baste half way through cooking as this will allow you to check how the meat is cooking.

Serve this with either creamy mash potatoes or crispy roast potatoes. It is so amazing you will never go back to roast beef.

I like to get my venison at a place near my mother-in-law's in Kinross. They are called Fletcher's and they do mail order. Here is the link:

Fletchers of Auchtermuchty


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Well the weekend was another rainy time, and I had to try and find something to take away the rain blues with my son. My wife said why don’t you make a Pavlova with him. What a great idea.

So I checked the fridge to make sure we had everything and we set to work. There is nothing as frustrating as trying to separate eggs with a two and a half year old.

We managed to make it and he had some with his dinner, then lunch the next day and then dinner and then wanted some before bed.

A complete success I think.

Anyway here is the recipe: -

Ingredients: -
4-5 egg whites - dependent on how big the eggs are.
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of corn flour
2 teaspoons of vinegar
2-3 drops of good quality vanilla extract
300 ml of Whipped cream and sliced fruit for the topping

Method: -
1 – Preheat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 ºF / Gas Mark 4.

2 – Beat the eggs until stiff peaks. (Until you can hold the bowl upside down without the beaten eggs falling out.) Remember not to show off doing this as many times I have ended up with the eggs on the floor and the dog eating them.

3 – Add the sugar and beat in. now add the corn flour, vanilla and vinegar, and mix together for about 20-30 secs. Not too much or you will release the air from the eggs and the Pavlova will be flat...

4 – Place greaseproof paper on a baking tray or flat oven proof dish, and pour the mix onto the tray / dish till about 1 high and the diameter of a diner plate.

5 – Place in the oven and immediately turn it down to 150 deg C / 300 ºF / Gas Mark 2. and cook for 1hr 20 mins. (Do not check on the Pavlova until about 1 hr and 15 mins or it will collapse and be ruined)

6 – Turn off the oven and leave the Pavlova in the oven to cool for about an hour.

7 – Remove from the oven and turn over onto a plate, so the top is now the base. Peel off the greaseproof paper carefully so not to take the Pavlova with it, use a knife to scrap it off if necessary.

8 – Cover in fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit such as pineapple or strawberries or raspberries.

The Pavlova is all lovely and crispy meringue on the outside and like marshmallow on the inside. I grew up eating this when my Gran and my Mum made it for every occasion like Christmas. No one could ever make it as good as they could. Every time I tried it was flat and rubbish.

But when my mum died a few years ago I tried to make it again and I seem to have picked up the knack. Maybe my Mum and Gran were watching down on me giving me that helping hand.

Now when I make it for Christmas dinner, it brings a tear to my Dad’s eye.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Great Real Gravy for Roast Beef or Chicken

This is a recipe that I got when talking to an old lady in a hotel when I was away with work. She described it in such detail then went away and wrote it down for me. She was really sweet. This can be used for any roast meat Beef, Chicken, Pork, Venison, you choose.

Step 1 – lay sticks of celery, quartered pealed onions and large peeled halved carrots on a roasting tray. Add a touch of water. Place the meat you want to roast on top of the veg. and roast your meat as normal using the juices to baste.

Step 2 – When the meat is cooked to your desired taste, remove the meat from the pan and remove the veg to a bowl. Now put the roasting pan over a low heat and deglaze with either a few glasses of red wine for beef or venison, and white wine for pork or chicken. Number of glasses of wine will be dependent on the size of the meat roasted. I say about 1 glass for every 1 kg. use a whisk to deglaze it’s much better.

Step 3 – As a great touch now add a few teaspoons of horseradish sauce if it’s beef gravy, or fresh sage for either chicken or Pork. Now add a few teaspoon of corn flour to thicken the mixture till it’s a sort of rue.

Step 4 – As the mix starts to bubble, ensure it is not burning, add about a litre of stock. Chicken stock if the meat is chicken, Ham stock if the meat is Pork, or beef stock if the meat is Beef or Venison. Mix well and add the veg again. Allow it to thicken.

Step 5 – Remove from the heat drain the gravy into a large jug. (you can use the vegetables as a base for a soup by liquidising them, have them with your meal as an accompaniment or just throw them away. Sometimes I actually liquidise the whole lot and have that as my gravy, but it’s not really smooth when you do that, more rustic and hearty than

Step 6 - Now into the jug of gravy add a few tea spoons of gravy granules and whisk until the gravy is thick. This may sound like sacrilege after all the work you have done, but it works really well and makes nice thick tasty gravy.

Step 7 – Enjoy this with your traditional roast dinner. It is really nice and well worth all the effort.