“Fridge raid pasta” for BBC Radio Leicester

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I came up with this recipe about 4 weeks ago for BBC Leicester on my regular slot with Ben Jackson  but it had completely slipped my mind to post it, it sometimes happens with myself as I do so many recipes in a week.  So I must post this now as sadly, our lovely British asparagus are now coming to an end for their season this year, but if  you did want to recreate this as it is, you should just manage to find some still around this week and maybe next. As for the peas though, they are now coming into season so you could even use fresh British ones. They would be brilliant for this recipe.

This was done literally how it says in the title. I let Ben look into my fridge, we picked out a few ingredients ( Seasonal too) and then I came up with a dish on the spot. It was to show people really how easy and quick it is to come up with a dish as great tasting and looking as this, just by using up things that are in your fridge! I suppose one would call this a “Ready steady cook” thing maybe? I love doing that and  I love to show people what they can acheive just from a few ingredients or leftovers they have. Say no to waste!
I cook meals like this quite regularly in the week, maybe not with the exact ingredients but I always ensure I have a bag of pasta in so I can create something like this. It’s also great having a jar of homemade Pesto in your fridge as that alone with pasta and a sprinkling of parmesan is a dish in itself.  It doesn’t have to be a wild garlic one, you could use a basil or another green vegetable/herb pesto. Creating dishes like this in under 15-20 minutes, you’ll never turn back.

Click this link and you can hear me making it on BBC Radio Leicester

 

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Fridge raid pasta

Ingredients:
(Serves 2 -3)

*One thing I must add for this recipe is that I can’t mark it as Vegetarian as it has Parmesan in my pesto recipe*
– Approximately 200g Fusilli Pasta or any pasta of your Choice
– 1/4 Leek sliced
– 2 Spring Onions chopped finely
– 2 cloves of Garlic
– 8 British Asparagus Spears, wood end cut off
– 5-6 British Purple Sprouting Broccoli Stems
– A handful of Petit Pois defrosted and drained or British Fresh podding Peas
– 1 Tbsp Of Wild Garlic Pesto or can use Basil Pesto
– Small Handful of Pea Shoots
– Cracked black Pepper
– Sea salt to season

 

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Method:

*  Take of wood ends off the Asparagus and peel the outer layer at the bottom couple of inches and pop into Ice cold Water to keep them vivid green.

*  Chop Purple Sprouting broccoli into 3 and pop into the Ice cold water too.

*  In boiling water Cook the Asparagus and the Purple sprouting Broccoli for 2 minutes then plunge into Ice cold Water

*  Cook Pasta to packet instructions in the same Pan with boiling water used for the Veg.

*  Fry off your Onion, Leek and Garlic for a couple of Minutes adding a little Cracked Black pepper.

*  Chop your Asparagus into 3 and add them and the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, stir for a minute or two.

*  Drain your Pasta and keep a little water  to pop into the frying pan to add a little moisture. Add your Pasta to the Vegetable mix now.

*  Stir in your Pesto and cook for a minute making sure whilst stirring your pasta it is all coated with it.

*  Pop in your Peas, stir for 30 seconds and then add your pea shoots. Add a little Salt to season and you are ready to serve!

 

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Super Spring Green Asparagus Salad





I have been meaning to post this Recipe for a good couple of weeks now. I had so much interest for the recipe it’s unbelievable, I was so pleased.  I suppose like myself others love vibrancy on their plate and know that what tastes fantastic is also great for one’s body too. 

By now, you will know that I love colourful dishes, many different colours on one plate however with this one, sticking to all green really worked. I based it around a salad I used to do years ago, but really raided my fridge and added as much other herbs that I needed to use up. Not only was it a great healthy dish that day but as always I was using things up, so Bonus! 


  If you love really Fresh, seasonal vegetables and want a bit of a boost, this is for you. The taste that the sexy, slinky Asparagus gives along-side the Peas, mint and fennel is just divine.  I don’t like to overpower Asparagus too much, I love to taste them as they are…At their best and they don’t have a very long season, so in that time, appreciate them! 


   What is also great about this dish is that you can have it as it is or as a great accompaniment to chicken or Fish. I can just see myself among Family and friends tucking into a huge bowl of this whilst passing it around, the Sun shining down on us and of course in hand with a lovely crisp White wine… or even a Light Beer.




Super Spring Green Asparagus Salad:




Ingredients:


Salad


( Can’t be too specific, after all it is a Salad so you put in as much as you want)


–  A handful of Asparagus Spears, wood end taken off

–  A handful of Washed baby Leaf Spinach
–  A Large handful of Washed Watercress, take off some of the thicker stalks
–  A good Handful about 50g of Petit Pois, defrosted and drained
–  Fennel Sliced very finely. Remember to peel the outer string like you do with Celery
–  Also Fennel fronds to sprinkle
–  Snipped Salad Cress
–  Fresh Flat leaf Parsley
–  Fresh Mint Leaves
–  Chopped Dill ( not too much as very strong)

I personally feel that this Salad doesn’t need anything to go on it as it shines on its own, however I did try a few dressings to check and one in particular jumped out. 


Dressing:


–  Plain Greek style Yoghurt ( You could use Low fat if you wanted but contains more sugar in some cases)

–  Cucumber peeled and diced finely
–  Finely Chopped Fresh Mint 
–  A spritz from a Fresh Orange and a little Zest




Method:

*  In a pan of boiling water cook the Asparagus Spears for 2 minutes, then plunge into iced water to keep them Vividly Green.


*  Chop into 1-2 inch pieces.


*  Assemble your Salad as you wish.


*  Place your Yoghurt dressing ingredients into a small glass Jar and shake or mix in a bowl.


*  Done! 


  

Bruschetta with Asparagus, Soft cheese and Homemade "Sun-Blushed" Tomatoes




One thing you will know about myself already is how passionate I am about Seasonal Food and I don’t care how many times I will repeat myself in saying this.  I feel very lucky to live in Britain and what amazing seasonal produce is all around us.  Of course I also try my best with this subject in my own Kitchen Garden.

  One seasonal Vegetable that I yearn for at this time of year and I am totally honest when I say I will NOT touch it grown from any other country but Britain, and that My readers is the Sexy, Slinky Asparagus. I know I am quite a frugal Queen, but I don’t mind a little splurge with this! 
  There is just something about the taste of our British Asparagus that is NOTHING compared to other countries who grow it. Ours has a lovely Sweet, yet Earthy and Nutty taste, not to mention the Lovely Vivid Green colour that it gives off. 



  This year, the British Asparagus season starts today, Thursday 23rd of April but prior to this, and this is just how passionate I am about seasonality. I decided that Myself and my fiancé would travel all the way over to the Wye Valley, Ross on Wye to be precise to get my hands on the very first few bunches that were starting to be sold.  My friend Ben Jackson called this “Mental Asparagus searching” which I like that! 

So to kick start off my Asparagus recipes, I wanted to do something very Easy, Fresh and clean cut, not to overpower the taste. This recipe just hit the nail on the head.  You may remember about 3-4 weeks ago I made my own “Sun-blushed” tomatoes, well I decided to use those in this recipe but of course made a fresh batch last week. It worked a treat! 


Bruschetta with Asparagus, Soft Cheese & Homemade “Sun-blushed” Tomatoes:




Ingredients:

–  Good Quality bread. I used Multigrain Rye bread. Sourdough would be great too.
–  Good Quality British Asparagus, Mine was from the Wye Valley
–  Homemade “Sun-blushed” Tomatoes or bought 
–  Soft Cheese or a mild Goats Cheese
–  The oil that the “Sun-blushed” tomatoes sits in
–  2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
–  Ice and cold water in a bowl



Method:

*  Take a Large Bowl and place in  some Ice cubes and cold water

*  Boil a small amount of water in a large saucepan

*  Take your Asparagus and take off the bottom, the woody stalk end with a knife. About an inch.

*  With a Veg/potato peeler, peel ever so slightly down about an inch 1/2 of the top layer of asparagus skin at the bottom. You will see this reveals a lovely bright vivid green.

*  As soon as you have done this, plunge the Asparagus into the Iced water, this will keep it that vivid green colour.

*  Slice your bread and drizzle some rapeseed oil onto the bread. place in a Frying pan to colour each side

*  Once your Water is Boiling, plunge your asparagus and cook for roughly 2-3 minutes depending on size.

*  When Bread and Asparagus is cooked, Start to assemble your dish and voila! A lovely starter, breakfast, Lunch…the List goes on! 



Seasonal Scrumptiousness

A Couple of weeks ago, Friday 13th of June to be precise, Ben Jackson at BBC Radio Leicester popped over to my house to do another Fab Food Friday recipe.
  My Kitchen Garden was an array of  fresh herbs and the start of seasonal vegetables, so what a lovely way to pop into the garden and see what we could salvage.
  I decided to do a dish that Families or anyone could get involved in the making of these little beauties. I chose to do Chicken Goujons but made them more exciting with the use of all the herbs that went in there. One in particular that I feel makes this recipe stand out is the lemon verbena. If you like growing herbs, please go and get some now as its fab! 

  I find it really hard sometimes when I hear families say they don’t have time to make these because in the same time I made them, it would take longer to open a frozen packet job  *cringes*  and cook them in the oven. Children AND Adults will love making these.
  This is a Great Dish for this time of year. Its Seasonal, Zingy, Vibrant and using up herbs and vegetables from the Garden. 
  Lots of Sport going on at the moment, So just the Goujons alone with that dressing and an Ice cold beer is great when having your mates round. This certainly has gone down a storm for my Friends and Family already. 

Just click on this link to hear Ben and myself preparing, cooking and more importantly EATING this recipe

Herby Chicken Goujons with Seasonal Salad and a Ranch Style dressing:


Here is a photo AFTER we dived in there!

Ingredients:

Chicken:

–  1 x 460g pack of Skinless Chicken Thigh Fillets
(6 Thighs will make approximately 20 Goujons)
–  2 slices of stale bread (I used Sourdough)
–  A Handful of a selection of fresh herbs;
         -Lemon Verbena
         -Lemon Thyme
         -Sage
         -Rosemary
         -Oregano
–  1 1/2 spring onion (only green parts)
–  Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to season.
– 2-3 eggs whisked
–  3 Tbsp of Plain Flour
–  Tbsp of Rapeseed oil or any oil of your choice

Salad:

–  Jersey Royal Potatoes or New if you can’t get
–  Fresh fine British Asparagus (still in season now),Blanched and chopped into inch and a half pieces.
– A selection of Salad Leaves such (I used a “Living Salad”) Spinach, Watercress, curly etc would all work fine also.
–  A Handful of Fresh Broad Beans
–  A handful of fresh Radishes Sliced
–  Fresh Peas podded, could always use Frozen if need be
–  Edible flowers to decorate:
    – Borage
    – Sage
    – Rosemary

Ranch Style dressing:

–  2 Tbsp of Greek style Natural Yoghurt
–  2 Tbsp of Mayonnaise 
–  1 Tbsp of cider Vinegar or White wine vinegar
–  2 Tbsp of Finely grated parmesan cheese


Method:

–  Preheat your oven to 180-190c 
– Cook your Jersey Royal potatoes for about 15 mins
– Whilst they are cooking away, pop your herbs, bread, Spring Onions and seasoning into a Hand Blender or Processor and Blitz
–  Take 3 bowls, Place whisked eggs in 1, Flour in the other and your breadcrumb mixture in the 3rd.
–  Slice your chicken thighs into 3-4 pieces per thigh (long strips)
–  With one hand place the chicken into the flour, then egg, then Breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and put all onto a plate.
–  Heat up a frying Pan with a drizzle of your oil. Fry off the Goujons for a minute or 2 until starting to colour, then turn over and repeat.
–  Pop into the Oven on a baking tray for approximately 12 minutes
–  Drain off your Potatoes and Blanch your asparagus in boiling hot water for no more than 1 minute.
– Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process
–  Make up your dressing by mixing all ingredients together
–  Arrange your salad “rustically” with the added Peas, Broad beans and Radishes. Place the Goujons on top, drizzle with the dressing and decorate with the edible flowers! Done!