Butternut Squash Dip with Toasted Hazelnuts

Deliciously sweet and creamy dip made with butternut squash and tahini, topped with toasted hazelnuts.

thumb_DSC06658_1024

This is another lovely dip recipe from Honey & co, which I have been making a lot recently. When I first made this dip I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never had anything like it, but I was not disappointed, it is absolutely delicious, and probably my favourite dip of all time!

Its really easy to make, and makes a great addition to a mezze meal to contrast with the sharp lemony flavours of hummus.

thumb_DSC06660_1024

Variations: You can leave off the hazelnuts if your not keen, or add a different nut, or you could top it with something different all together like a dollop of yoghurt.

Ingredients: Serves 4 as a starter or mezze

  • 1 large butternut squash (600g peeled and deseeded)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60g tahini
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 30g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped.

thumb_DSC06657_1024

To Make:

Peel and chop the butternut squash into rough cubes. Place in a large pan with a splash of water, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes  – don’t remove the lid or stir in the 10 minutes, you need to keep the lid on so it doesn’t burn!)

Once the 10 minutes is up, remove the lid and stir then replace the lid and leave for another 10 minutes. Repeat this process until the butternut squash begins to fall appart as you stir it.

Once the butternut squash is cooked, keep stiring until it has completely broken down into a puree, then stir in the salt, tahini and honey.

Place in a serving bowl and top with some roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts. Serve with some lovely flatbreads and enjoy!

thumb_DSC06661_1024

 

Quick and Easy Hummus

Super quick, easy and delicious hummus recipe 

thumb_DSC06667_1024

This recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks at the moment; Honey & Co. Ive tried lots of other hummus recipes before, but Ive never found one that tastes as good as this or is as easy! The recipe in the book used dried chickpeas, but I just use a can of chickpeas which means I can have it made in 5 minutes!

thumb_DSC06664_1024

Variations: You can add any extra flavour you want to the hummus, I love using some fresh coriander.

Ingredients: Makes one large bowl full (enough for 4 people as a starter or mezze)

  • 250g can of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 125g tahini paste
  • 1/2 a tsp salt
  • 1-3 tbsp lemon juice

thumb_DSC06665_1024

To Make:

Pour the contents of the tin of chickpeas (including the water) in a small pan and bring to the boil.

Turn off the heat and drain the chickpeas into a blender, reserving the cooking liquid. Add all the other ingredients to the blender along with around half of the reserved cooking liquid.

Blend to form a smooth paste (add more liquid if required!). At this point the mixture will be a bit runnier than you would expect but it will firm up in the fridge!

Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at lest half an hour.

Top with some paprika or cumin and fresh herbs. Serve with some flatbreads and enjoy!

thumb_DSC06666_1024

 

 

 

 

Cranberry and Chestnut Sausage Rolls

Crisp puff pastry rolls, filled with sweet cranberry sauce, chestnuts and juicy sausage. 

 

thumb_DSC06133_1024

 

Its always good to have some quick and easy recipes for christmassy party food at this time of year! I got this recipe from a recipe card in Waitrose, and it looked to good I just had to try it out.

This recipe is super easy, and hardly involves any preparation, its just an assembling job really!

thumb_DSC06132_1024

These sausage rolls tasted absolutely delicious, the chestnuts and cranberry give them a lovely unique flavour, and I think they would go wonderfully on a Christmas buffet table!

Variations: You could use some different flavouring in the rolls, chilli and cheddar cheese would go well. You could also use turkey mince to make a sausage meat instead, for an even more christmassy taste.

 

thumb_DSC06137_1024

 

Ingredients: Makes 16-20 Sausage Rolls

  • Ready rolled puff pastry
  • 500g good quality sausages
  • 2tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 100g ready cooked chestnuts

 

thumb_DSC06134_1024

To Make:

grease two baking trays and preheat the oven to 180C

Get the sausage meat out of the sausages by slicing through the skin, lengthways, and peeling it off. Place the sausage meat in a large bowl.

Chop the chestnuts into small bite-sized chunks and mix into the sausage meat.

Lay out the ready rolled puff pastry and cut into two long and thin rectangles.

thumb_IMAG0241_1024

Spread 1tbsp of cranberry sauce over each puff pastry sheet.

thumb_IMAG0243 (1)_1024

Form handfuls of of the sausage meat and chestnut mixture into cylindrical sections with your hands and lay on top of the puff pastry sheets. Continue until the sausage meat is completely reaching both ends.

thumb_IMAG0246 (1)_1024

Fold over the puff pasty, so the sausage meat in encased, and crimp the edges together.

thumb_IMAG0247 (1)_1024

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 8-10 sausage rolls.

thumb_IMAG0248 (1)_1024

Lay on the prepared baking tray and brush with egg wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Serve immediately.

thumb_DSC06136_1024

 

 

 

 

Potato Cakes

Deliciously fluffy, chewy patties of potato, fried in butter for a crispy finish.

thumb_DSC05402_1024

Potato Cakes were one of my favourite snacks when I was younger, especially when they were covered in baked beans and cheese.

I have always wanted to make them, but never actually got round to it. This weekend I was trying to think of something savoury to bake, and my boyfriend requested that I tried to make potato cakes like his grandma used to make them, so I had to give it a go!

thumb_DSC05408_1024

I had a look online and saw that the recipe was really very simple, just mashed potato, egg, butter and flour!

I made half of my potato cakes plain, and the for the other half I added some grated cheddar cheese and chives, for a bit of extra flavour.

These potato cakes taste really good, and they are great as a snack or as part of a meal. Next time I’m making mash potato, I will definitely make extra so that I can do a batch of potato cakes!

thumb_DSC05405_1024

Variations: you could mix in whatever you want to the potato cake mix. I think some little chunks of bacon would be great, or some onions.

Ingredients: Makes 25 Small Potato Cakes

  • 1kg mashed potato (mashed with milk and butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 150g plain flour plus extra for kneading
  • 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese (optional)
  • handful of chopped chives (optional)

thumb_DSC05403_1024

To Make:

In a large bowl combine the mashed potato with the melted butter, egg and four (and the cheddar and chives if using) and mix thoroughly.

thumb_IMAG0542_1024

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for a few minutes until it forms a doughy like consistency  – add more flour if it is required.

thumb_IMAG0543_1024

Roll out the dough to about 1.5cm thickness, and use a cookie cutter to cut out individual potato cakes.

thumb_IMAG0544_1024

thumb_IMAG0545_1024

Fry the potato cakes in butter, over a medium heat for about 3 minutes either side, until golden brown and crispy. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with a good covering of butter.

thumb_DSC05406_1024

Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Smoky mackerel fillets, blended with crème fraîche, zingy lemon and fiery horseradish.

DSC04393

Since my chicken liver pâté had been such a success, I have been wanting to try and make another, so when planning a light dinner after a big lunch on Sunday, I thought that a pâté and some freshly baked bread would be prefect.

I decided to make a smoked mackerel pâté, as it would be a nice change from my chicken liver one. I have opted for a very light and fresh version (not light on calories though, unfortunately), made with crème fraiche rather than a heavy cream cheese and flavoured with horseradish and lemon, for a clean and tangy finish.

I would recommend this for either a light dinner, or as a starter at a dinner party, served in small individual pots!

Excellent served with my Wholemeal IPA Beer Bread.

DSC04401

Variations: smoked salmon or kipper fillets could be used instead of the mackerel, and the crème fraîche could be replaced with cream cheese to make a less fishy flavour.

Ingredients: Makes one jar

  • 2 Smoked Mackerel fillets
  • 2tbsp Crème  Fraîche
  • 30ml Lemon juice
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1tbsp Fresh Horseradish, grated
  • 50g Butter

To Make:

Blend together one mackerel fillet, with all the other ingredients (excluding the horseradish), until it has all been combined into a smooth paste.

Transfer the blended mixture to a bowl.

Grate in the fresh horseradish, and flake in the remainder of the smoked mackerel.

Spoon the pâté into a serving dish and top with some finely sliced spring onions.

Serve with some big wedges of crusty bread.

DSC04400

Related Recipes:

Wholemeal IPA Beer Bread

DSC04398

Chicken Liver Pâté with a Port and Elderberry Reduction

DSC04096

Chicken liver Pâté with a Port and Elderberry Reduction

Creamy Chicken Liver Pâté topped with a Sweet Elderberry, Port and Thyme Syrup.

DSC04094 

 Last week when out for a meal, I had a particularly delicious chicken liver pate. The sweet cranberry syrup topping complemented the rich flavour of the pate perfectly, so I decided to re-create something similar at home. However I have used port and elderberry for the syrup because that’s what I had in the cupboard!

 Variations:

Other berries can be used in the syrup topping such as cranberry, redcurrant or blackberry, alternatively citrus fruits like orange would work well.

Dried fruits such as apple or cranberries would also be lovely mixed into the Pâté.
DSC04096

Ingredients: Makes One Pot

  • 400g Chicken Livers
  • 100g Salted Butter
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic
  • ½ Red Onion
  • 1tsp Allspice Berries
  • 1tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 50ml Double Cream
  • Bunch of Thyme
  • 50ml Port
  • 50ml Elderberry Syrup

Sauté the onions and garlic in half of the butter until soft and translucent, then add a splash of port.

Remove the connective tissue from the chicken livers and add to the onions and garlic, cook until just a little pink on the inside – around five minutes.

Transfer to a blender and add a splash of the double cream, the black pepper and allspice berries. Blend until smooth. (Add more of the cream if necessary.) Season to taste.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine the rest of the butter, the elderberry syrup and the port, cook on a high heat, allowing it to boil vigorously for a few minutes, then add the thyme leaves.

Spoon the Pâté mixture into a sterilised jar, and pour over the thickened syrup.

Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours before using; it will keep in the fridge for around one week.