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Gruntie’s Beef & Chorizo Burger stuffed with Stilton-
I love a home made burger. I have a Feta Cheese stuffed burger recipe in the Greek section. Here is another stuffed burger which is just as yummy. I like it served with home made coleslaw. No bun required.
Ingredients: This should make 3 large burgers- 500g of minced beef, 100g of cooking chorizo, a small onion, one clove of garlic, a slice of brown bread soaked in white wine, teaspoon of paprika, plenty of salt and pepper, some stilton cheese, olive oil. For the coleslaw– A few thin slices of red cabbage, a few thin slices of mild onion, half a carrot -grated, a dash of red or white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of mayonnaise [not too much], salt and pepper.
Method: Whizz the chorizo, onion, garlic and bread in a blender until smooth. Combine it with the beef mince with the paprika and seasoning and mix thoroughly. Cool the mixture in the fridge for at least half an hour. When you are ready to make the burgers seperate the mixture into 3 portions. Spread the first one out on a chopping board and place a small ball of stilton [the size of a large marble] in the centre of the mixture. Then form the burger around the ball of cheese pressing firmly, making sure there are no cracks where the cheese may leak out. Do the same for the other two. Rub some olive oil on the burgers and then brown them on a high heat for a few minutes. I then finish them off in a moderately hot oven, although if the weather is nice I would cook them on the barbie. To make the coleslaw; simply mix up all of the ingredients and pop it in the fridge until required.
Gruntie’s Fried Liver- [plain or in an onion, red wine and cream sauce]
The combination of the liver with the cumin and paprika is divine. I love the way it catches and chars if I get it right! If you like liver, I have a rather yummy Chicken Liver Pâté recipe HERE.
Ingredients: To feed 2 peepses- Around 200gms of liver [piggy or cow], a couple of dessert spoons of plain flour, a teaspoonish of paprika, a teaspoonish of ground cumin, salt and pepper, a dash of olive oil and a knob of butter, some chopped fresh parsley for sprinkles.
For the sauce – One onion cut into slices, a dash or two of red wine, a dollop or two of cream or creme fraiche.
Method: Wash and dry the liver and then cut it into smallish slivers or slices. Mix up the flour with the paprika, ground cumin with salt and pepper in a bowl. Pop in the livers and make sure they are well coated in the mixture. Add a dash of oil and a little butter to a frying pan and cook the liver on a high heat until they start to catch, then reduce the heat for around five minutes or so turning the livers occasionally until they are cooked. Don’t overcook them or they may go rubbery.
The sauce – If you want a sauce or onions with your livers, you can make this before you fry the liver. Cook the onions in the oil and butter in a seperate pan on a fairly high heat until the onions start to catch, lower the heat and stir in the cream while you cook the liver in a seperate pan. When the livers are ready, place them onto warmed plates and serve with veg of your choice. Quickly deglaze the frying pan with the wine on a good heat, adjust seasoning as you require and then add this to your onion and cream sauce. Pour over the liver and add the parsley sprinkles.
Gruntie’s Pork and Spinach Paella
In England when we think Paella we often picture the seafood version. There are lots of other types of Paella. This one is tasty and satisfying. For a vegan alternative you can substitute the pork and chorizo for chopped aubergine and courgettes.
Ingredients: To feed 4 peepses- about 400g of pork fillet cut into small pieces, 150g of cooking chorizo cut into small pieces, 2 large onions roughly chopped, half a green pepper cut into chunks, half a red pepper cut into chunks, 4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped, a few roughly chopped sundried tomatoes [in oil], a handful of pitted green olives chopped in half, 1L of stock [chicken or veg], a heaped teaspoon of paprika, a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika, a glass of white wine, 500g of fresh spinach, some olive oil, plenty of ground black pepper and some salt if needed, a lemon cut into 4 wedges.
Method: Fry the cubes of pork for a few minutes in the oil in a large paella pan or frying pan, remove the pork with a slotted spoon and place to one side. Add the onions, garlic, chorizo and sundried tomatoes and gently fry them for about 10 minutes. Give it a stir and add the sliced peppers and continue to cook for a further ten minutes making sure the ingredients do not burn. Throw in the olives and then add the glass of wine and the rice. Give it a stir and allow it to bubble then add the stock and the paprika. Simmer until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and is soft, stir it gently on occasion as it cooks but it doesn’t mattertoo much if it catches a bit on the bottom of the pan. While this is happening wilt the spinach in a steamer and then stir in the pork into the rice mixture and spread the spinach on the top. Cover the pan with a lid [or foil] and gently simmer for another 8-10 minutes. Serve straight away on warmed plates with the lemon wedge. A healthy squeeze of over the paella is wonderful.
Gruntie’s [not quite] Authentic Carbonara
Everyone probably knows the creamy version. The authentic version uses no cream at all but it’s really creamy! I love it.
Ingredients: to feed two to three peeps: 200 grams of pasta [spaghetti works well, but on this occasion I chose penne], about 50 grams of pancetta, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 whole eggs, one egg yolk, a slug of olive oil and a knob of butter, as much parmesan as you fancy, ground black pepper, chopped parsley. And for the not very authentic bit – a few slices of mushrooms thrown in with the pancetta.
Method: Mix the eggies in a bowl and stir into it a large amount of finely grated parmesan cheese and some black pepper until its a thick gooey mush. Slowly fry the pancetta pieces in the oil and butter and add to this the garlic which you have squashed with the flat blade of a knife. Allow the garlic and pancetta to crisp nicely. Remove the garlic at this stage [my wifey and I like to nibble on it]. While this is happenning you can cook the pasta in a saucepan with plenty of salted water. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Then gently stir the cheesy eggy mush into the pasta. Serve immediately and finish off with the chopped parsley sprinkles. The end result should be rich and inviting and not eggy. No cream required!
Gruntie’s Chicken in a Caramelised Mushroom and Bacon Sauce
I invented this recipe by accident. I was [sort of] following Keith Floyd’s recipe for chicken with mushrooms and I broke my golden rule and walked away and subsequently forgot that I was frying mushrooms and bacon on the hob. What I was confronted with was not actually burned, but very dehydrated, so I threw in some brandy and rescued the dish and the resulting sauce was delicious!
Ingredients: To feed 2- 3 peeps- 2 chicken boobies [whole or cut into chunks], a handful of thinly sliced mushrooms, 2 rashers of streaky bacon chopped into small pieces, half an onion finely chopped, a clove of finely chopped or crushed garlic, splash of olive oil and a knob of butter, a dash of brandy, a small glass of dry white wine, a couple of dollops of cream and a couple of dollops of creme fraiche, some chopped parsley and salt and pepper.
Method: Brown the chicken breasts in a casserole dish or deep frying pan in the oil, then remove and put to one side. In the same pan add the butter and fry the mushrooms, bacon and onions on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring on occasion. Add the garlic and continue to fry for another 5- 10 minutes. What you want is the mushroom, bacon and onion mixture to caramelise but not burn. Don’t worry that the mushrooms look sorry for themselves as the next stages bring them back to life! Increase the heat a little and pour in the brandy and give the mixture a good stir to lift all the lovely sticky caramalised bits from the bottom of the pan. When the brandy has evaporated add the wine and let that bubble and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Return the chicken and any juices back to the pan and continue to fry until it is cooked. Stir in the cream, creme fraiche and some chopped parsley and adjust seasoning. The sauce should be really rich and tasty. Serve with parsley and paprika sprinkles to give it some colour. It works well with fried taters or rice and green vegetables.
Gruntie’s Chicken Breast in a Beetroot Sauce
This is my slightly healthier adaptation of Keith Floyd’s recipe which uses loads of butter and cream. It looks rather colourful and tastes good too.
Ingredients: To feed 2 peeps: 2 chicken boobs, one finely chopped shallot. a finely chopped clove of garlic, a couple of cooked and skinned beetroots [you can do this yourself or buy it pre-cooked – don’t get the vinegary version], a large knob of butter, a little olive oil, a glass of white wine, a couple of large dollops of creme fraiche, handful of chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Optional – chopped fresh dill or parsley for sprinkles.
Method: Make the sauce first by simmering the onion and garlic in a saucepan with the wine until most of the wine has evaporated and then whisk in the butter. Roughly chop the beetroot and it add to the pan. Allow it cool a little and then whizz this in a blender until it is smooth. Return to the saucepan and add the creme fraiche and chopped parsley and put to one side while you cook the chicken in a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When the chicken is cooked, pour any juices into the sauce then reheat the sauce and season well with plenty of pepper and some salt. Pour onto a plate placing the chicken breast on top. Add the sprinkles and serve with vegetables of your choice.
Gruntie’s Chicken Breast stuffed with Gruyere and wrapped in Parma Ham
This is another simple dish that is similar to, but more subtle than Hunter’s Chicken [chicken boobs stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon] which I find a bit salty.
Ingredients: To feed 2 peepses- 2 chicken boobies, a couple of slices of Gruyere cheese, 3-4 slices of Parma ham, a dash of oil, a splash of white wine, salt and pepper.
Method: Carefully butterfly the chicken breast with a sharp knife and open it up. Lay a couple of slices of cheese in it and shut the breast up again. Wrap a couple of slices of Parma Ham tightly around the breast and then place the wrapped chicken in a baking tray. Season with a little salt and pepper and drizzle over some oil and add the splash of white wine. Cover them in foil and bake in a hot oven for 10- 15 minutes. Reduce the heat a little and remove the foil, baste the breasts in the juices and allow them to cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with some of the cooking juices poured over and with veg of your choice.
Gruntie’s Duck Breasts with an Orange and Red Wine Sauce.
Leashia and I love duck, I cook duck boobies on the barbie if I can. The sauce is a bit of a cheat, but accompanies the duck really well. You can save the duck fat to use at a later date for lovely roasty taters.
Ingredients: To feed 2 peeps- Two duck boobs, one finely chopped shallot, two glasses of robust red wine, quarter of a pint of beef stock, a spoon or two of Seville orange marmalade, a dash of soy sauce, salt and pepper,
Method: I make the sauce first and reheat it when required. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and drink it. Simmer the shallot in a small saucepan with the other glass of red wine until half of the wine has evaporated. Stir in the stock, marmalade and soy sauce and simmer until it has reduced and thickened slightly. You can thicken the sauce with some flour if you want but I try to avoid this. Wash the duck boobies and dry them thoroughly with kitchen paper. Cut incisions into the fatty skin and season well with salt and pepper. Fry the boobs skin side down in a frying pan until it starts to brown [do not add any oil], then turn them over and cook for another 10 minutes until the flesh is nice and brown too. Flip them over again and crisp up the skin. You can finish it off under the grill if you want. Allow the duck to rest for a few minutes and then slice them into attractive morsels. You can add some of the juice to the sauce if you want. Finally reheat the sauce and drizzle it onto the plates and add the sliced duck. Serve with fresh veg of your choice, I think broccoli spears and red cabbage works well. I also like duck breast served simply with green lentils- see recipe below.
Gruntie’s Green Lentils and Bacon
A lovely earthy dish which works well on its own or as a side with duck breast. Leave out the piggy if you are vegetarian or vegan.
Ingredients: To feed around 4 peeps as a main. more as a side dish- 200g of green continental or Puy lentils, half a bottle of gutsy red wine, about a pint of beef stock, a few slices of smoked bacon cut into small pieces, a couple of red onions, 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic, one carrot cut into chunks, a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a bayleaf, a few sprigs of fresh thyme [or use dried], a squirt of tomato puree, some olive oil, ground black pepper. Option- You can use sausages instead of the bacon to make a hearty sausagey lentil stew.
Method: Roughly chop the onions and simmer in some olive oil in a heavy pan until it softens. Then add the garlic, diced bacon and bayleaf and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Rinse the lentils thoroughly and add them to the pan with in the stock. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer partially covered for another 20 minutes or so. Add the thyme, the carrot, tomato puree and the wine and bring it up to a simmer again and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. If more liquid is required during the cooking just add more water or wine. You can’t really overcook the lentils, they are very forgiving. You want the lentils to be soft and the carrots to soften too. Have a taste and add ground black pepper or more smoked paprika if you like it smokey like me. You probably won’t need any salt as the stock will have seen to that.