Mexican Breakfast & Scanpan Giveaway!

Mexican BreakfastThis week I have been sent a new Scanpan lidded sauté pan to test out. Having loved their roasting pan so much, I was really quite excited to try it out!

On another note, the Mr absolutely loves Mexican cuisine and he found a fantastic one pot recipe from Jamie Oliver. Guess what? You need a lidded sauté pan to make it, it was meant to be!

So here is what you will need to serve 3 people:

  • 1 Small Onion, peeled & diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, peeled & diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, deseeded & diced
  • 1 Red Chilli, deseeded & diced
  • 2 Fresh Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Tortilla Wraps, to serve *
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese, to serve

*For a gluten free version either serve on it’s own or use gluten free wraps.

Once you have prepped all your veg, heat a large frying/sauté pan over a medium heat. Make sure you have a lid for it.

Add the olive oil into the pan followed by the onion, garlic, red pepper & bay leaves. Season with a healthy amount of salt & pepper and cook for about 15 minutes until soft & golden.

Mexican Breakfast

Mexican BreakfastAdd in the chopped tomatoes & bring to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

Mexican BreakfastGive it a taste, if you think it needs it – add in some more salt & pepper.

Lay the sliced fresh tomato over the sauce. Then make 3 wells, drop an egg into each one & sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.

Mexican BreakfastPop the lid on & cook over a medium heat for about 4-5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked how you like.

Mexican Breakfast

Spoon into the tortilla wraps & get it down ya! This is a seriously delicious breakfast & so easy to make. I love that it hardly makes any pots too! Certainly makes a change from that boring bacon & egg cob. Yes, it’s a ‘cob’ where I come from! 😛

Scanpan Giveaway

Right, onto the Sauté Pan. A few things to note, the first being just how fantastic the quality is! There’s a reason this retails at £149, you really do get what you pay for. For starters, it’s nice & weighty but not too heavy to pick up, just the right balance. It’s safe for use on pretty much all hobs and it’s even oven & dishwasher proof. Making it really versatile in the kitchen & easy to clean. Not got a dishwasher? It’s still insanely easy to clean. Even the really tough crusty stuff just wipes straight off!

Also, because of the multi layered base (made from ceramic titanium, aluminium & other metals) it distributes heat really evenly and quickly. So you’re not stood there for ages waiting for the pan to heat up, nor do you get any uneven cooking.

And the non stick coating really is amazing. Not only making light of the cooking & the washing up, but you can even use metal utensils on it. Yeah, seriously. They literally won’t touch it it’s that good!

Another thing I noticed whilst using it is, due to the sides being quite high, it pretty much stopped all spatter from getting out the pan. I hate having to clean the hob every time I use it, and now I don’t have to! Brilliant.

 

Want to win one of these incredible pans for yourself? To be in with a chance of winning – just do one, or all, of the following 3 things:

1. Like the KitchenMason & Scanpan UK pages on Facebook then share the photo on my timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @ScanpanUK on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinScanpan

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

It really is that easy!

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Monday 18th May 7pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter afterwards.

I hope you enjoyed the post, and good luck!

Miss KitchenMason

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsOk, I’ve been hammering the sweet tooth a little hard recently. Figured I’d change it up a little bit this week with these scrummy, savoury sensations! For me, rosemary always tastes so homely. Ok, that may sound a little strange but I feel it’s almost like the herb equivalent of that winter ‘sitting in front of the fire with a mug of soup’ feeling. I don’t know what it is but I just love it. Like a herby hug!

Anyway, they’re blooming amazing and obviously you’re gonna have a go at making them because they’re super duper easy & quick!

Here is what you will need to make approx 25 – 30.

(Recipe from the lovely I Bake He Shoots.)

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese, Finely Grated
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Finely chop together the rosemary and chilli flakes.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsIn a food processor, add in the flour, butter, cheese, baking powder, salt & herbs.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPulse until it just comes together to form a dough.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsTip the dough out onto a sheet of grease proof or baking paper and knead gently into a log shape.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsUsing the paper as an aid – roll it up into a round log then press the ends in to fill any gaps.

Place this in the freezer for 25 minutes to chill.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsMeanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C & line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone baking sheet.

When the 25 mins are up – remove the dough from the freezer and slice discs approx 3-4mm thick.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPlace the chilled discs onto the baking tray, slightly spaced apart to allow for spreading.

Put into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 – 12 mins or until just turning golden on the edges.

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsLeave on the tray for a minute or two to harden then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (That should only take about 15 mins.)

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsThese would make great nibbles if you’re having friends over for a few drinks, or the perfect accompaniment to any cheese board! Far better than most crackers you can buy in the shops that’s for sure.

And if you’re worried about the heat of the chilli flakes, it’s not hot I promise. It’s more like a pleasant, gentle warmth in the back of the throat as an after taste. They’re just… well, blinkin’ gorgeous!

I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post my lovelies, until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Crab Linguine

Crab LinguineYou may or may not be aware that I have been trying to train myself to enjoy the great riches of the ocean. I’m not fond of fish or crustaceans and I never have been, (if you can’t tell by the distinct lack of fish recipes on my blog!) but I can’t help feeling that I’m missing out on a great deal of fantastic food! So, as part of my ‘training programme’ I opted to try out this zingy crab linguine recipe from the awesome guys over at Sorted Food.

Here is what you will need to serve two people. (Easily doubled)

  • 200g (approx) Dried Linguine
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 1 large Clove of Garlic
  • Handful of Fresh Parsley
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3-4 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tin of Crab (170g) *

* It’s better to spend a little extra & use the jumbo crab chunks as opposed to the shredded crab

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then cook the linguine as per the packet instructions.

Crab Linguine

Crab LinguineMeanwhile… make the dressing.

Finely chop the garlic and the chilli. You can leave the seeds in if you like it a bit fiery, if not – take them out.

Then chop the parsley and add this along with the garlic, chilli, olive oil and lemon juice to a small glass or jug. (Reserve a little parsley for decoration) Season with plenty of salt & pepper and stir to combine.

Crab LinguineWhen the pasta is cooked, drain the water and return it to the pan.

Drain the crab meat and stir this through the hot pasta along with the dressing.

Crab LinguineDivide between two warmed plates and sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley to finish.

Crab LinguineAnd that is literally it! It’s SO quick and easy to make and surprisingly (for me) really very tasty! It has a real ‘zing’ to it along with a little kick from the chilli, just delicious!

If you have never seen or heard of Sorted Food I highly recommend their website HERE. They have mountains of quick and easy recipes, most of which come with funny, yet informative, step by step videos on their YouTube channel HERE. I guarantee you will fall in love with these talented & fun, food loving lads!

Well, that just about wraps things up here. I hope you all enjoyed the post lovelies!

Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Honeyed Carrot Soup

Honeyed Carrot SoupAlthough spring is just around the corner, there’s still a definite chill in the air and I’m in need of some good old fashioned comfort food! This delicious home made soup has been a favourite of mine for a very long time. Yet for some completely bizarre reason, I’ve neglected to share it with you lovely lot! What a travesty! Today, I plan to rectify this mistake.

This recipe makes about 6 servings. (Approx 400ml each.) It also freezes very well so is worth while making a batch and saving some for those lazy days. Brucey bonus? It’s naturally gluten free!

(Recipe adapted from the BBC Good Food website.)

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Small Leeks, roughly sliced
  • 800g Carrots, peeled & roughly sliced
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • Pinch Chilli Flakes
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 1.8 – 2 litres Good Quality Vegetable Stock
  • Soured Cream to serve

Firstly, melt the butter in a very large saucepan over a medium heat and add in the leeks.

Honeyed Carrot SoupSweat for approx 4-5 minutes until softened.

Honeyed Carrot SoupNow add in the carrots, honey, chilli flakes and bay leaves.

Honeyed Carrot SoupCook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes…

Honeyed Carrot SoupThen add in the vegetable stock. (I used 4 x Knorr stock pots dissolved in boiling water.)

NOTE: If you like your soup thicker, use 1.8 litres. If you like it a little runnier, use 2 litres.

Honeyed Carrot SoupBring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Honeyed Carrot SoupVery important… Remove the bay leaves! Then all that is left to do is blitz it all up (in batches) in a food processor.

Once you’ve done that, return it all to the pan and give it a good stir. Have a taste and season with salt & pepper as needed.

Honeyed Carrot SoupAt this point you can heat it up again and serve with a big swirl of fresh sour cream. Or, like me, pour individual portions into Pour & Store Bags & freeze for a later date. Then when you do want it, simply take out the freezer the night before and allow to defrost in the fridge. If you are really pushed for time, tip the block of frozen soup into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. It will slowly melt and then heat up. But do keep an eye on it as the melted soup may start boiling before the block has completely melted, resulting in some spitting!

Honeyed Carrot SoupAnd there you go, a wonderful and healthy home made soup to warm your cockles! The blend of flavours is just lovely. First you get the sweetness from the carrots and honey, then a little kick from the chilli flakes… and the sour cream just brings it all together. Absolutely delightful! This has been and will remain one of my all time favourite soup flavours. Nothing in the world can replace that warm, comforting feeling you get from a good bowl of home made soup. Perfection!

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Sweet Chilli Jam!

Sweet Chilli JamBefore I disappeared to York for the weekend, I realised I had polished off the last of my sweet chilli jam. CRISIS! I cannot & will not have a fridge that does not bear this jam! It was the first jam I ever attempted & still, by far, my absolute all-time favourite. (Adapted from the BBC Good Food website)

Here is what you will need to makes enough to fill 1 x 500ml jam jar.

  • 4 Red Peppers
  • 5 Red Chillis
  • 5cm sized piece of Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Half a 400g Tin of Tomatoes
  • 375g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 125ml Red Wine Vinegar

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • 500ml Jam Jar (I used a clip top Kilner)
  • A Very Wide Saucepan/Pot

Firstly you will need to prep your vegetables. De-seed and roughly chop the peppers, slice the green tops off the chillis, (leave the seeds in – it won’t be hot I promise!) slice the skin off the ginger and roughly chop. Lastly – peel the garlic cloves. No need to be neat as the food processor will do most of the work for you.

Once you have your veg ready, chuck it all into the food processor along with the tinned tomatoes.

Sweet Chilli JamBlitz until everything is chopped reasonably fine and pour into a wide heavy based saucepan/pot. The wider the pan the better, as it will reduce much quicker. The first time I ever made this, I made the mistake of using a small pan and I was cooking it for about 5 hours! Trust me, it’s not very fun that way haha!

Add in the golden caster sugar & the red wine vinegar then give it a good stir. Turn the heat up quite high and bring to the boil.

Sweet Chilli JamOnce it starts to boil, you will notice an orange, frothy ‘scum’ floating to the top. You need to skim all this out. The easiest thing to do is to get a small bowl and a spoon and just scoop it out whenever it appears. This will only last for the first 5 minutes or so then no more should appear.

Sweet Chilli JamNow bring the temperature down to a simmer, allow to bubble away and reduce until it becomes thick & sticky and looks something like below. Make sure you stir it every now and again to keep it all mixed well. This could take about an hour or 2 but depends on the size of your pan and the heat you have it over.

Sweet Chilli JamAt this stage, you need to keep a close eye on it and stir more often so it doesn’t catch & burn on the bottom of the pan. You will probably want to turn the heat down a little too. When the jam has reduced to the point where, if you run a spoon through it, it leaves a trail – it’s ready to be poured (still hot) into a sterilised jar.

Sweet Chilli JamIt is worth noting that the jam will pretty much stay the same consistency even when cooled (due to the lack of pectin in the ingredients) so if you would like it a little thicker, keep cooking until it reaches your desired texture.

Sterilising Jars

This is a very simple process. If using a clip on jar like me, make sure you remove the rubber seals. I have forgotten this once and it melted everywhere & smelt revolting! Oops.

Lay the jar open, place on a baking tray and pop into a preheated 180°C oven for 20 minutes. Et vous voila! Sterilised jar. Told you it was simple!

Then whilst they are still warm, place the seal back on, pour in your jam & seal. Be sure not to touch the inside of the jars though as this will contaminate them and you will have to start again.

And there you have it folks, my all time favourite preserve… Sweet Chilli Jam!

In my opinion, the best way to enjoy this sticky deliciousness is on some cheese on toast, or just with some cheese/cold meats and crackers. I refuse to have a cheese board without its presence!

Hope you all enjoyed the post lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

York Food Festival!

Hello guys! So sorry there hasn’t been any new posts for a while, Me and the other half went to York for the weekend so I have been absent from my beloved kitchen!

We had a lovely time away. York is such a beautifully picturesque city, so I thought I would share the highlights of the trip with you all!

Day 1

When we arrived it was about lunch time on Sunday. We had read about a groovy little pub tucked away above a real ale shop called “The House of Trembling Madness.” So we decided to go there for some lunch. It was a cosy little place with a lot of character. Firstly we ordered some drinks. I opted for a strawberry beer they had on tap called “Timmermans” (pictured below) & my other half went for a cider.

Both choices were delicious! So whilst we sipped we also ordered some food. My oh my, what got brought out to us was quite literally the best burger I have ever eaten in my life. This, I considered to be quite confusing. Especially as they did not have a kitchen. They prepared & cooked all food behind a tiny little bar. I have absolutely no idea how they did it but it was superb!

Instead of the typical lettuce, tomato & sauce filling… they had lettuce, caramelised red onion & blue cheese sauce. Holy cow pat it was good! I have no idea what beef/herbs the burger was made of either but whatever it was, it was very flavourful & tasty.

By the way, please excuse the blurry-ness of the burger photo, I was so excited to try it I rushed the photo taking part!

So, once we had devoured our lunch we decided to have a wander around the city centre until we could check into our hotel. Thinking that my day could not get any better than it was, we turned a corner and saw this sign.

Oh my god, perfect timing or what?! We had no idea that the food festival was on in York that weekend. Although this did explain why it was so busy on a Sunday, which we were rather perplexed about!

I actually did a little jumping on the spot & reverted to acting like a 6 year old girl when I saw it.

Then the next thing I heard was a lady shouting through a mega phone, “Come and make your own chocolate lolly, free until 5pm” Oh hell yes. Off to the tent we went!

Whilst we were standing in the queue, surrounded by children I might add, we had a brief moment of wondering if it was only children allowed. But then I realised that I didn’t care, I wanted to make a chocolate lolly! So we carried on queuing. First they gave you a tray and asked you what decorative toppings you wanted. Then they “blob” a load of melted chocolate on a polythene sheet and tell you to bang the tray down hard a few times until the chocolate flattens out into a “lolly shape.” Lastly, you put a lolly stick into it & have 5 mins to decorate how you like.

15 minutes later we went back to the tent to collect our lolly’s and they looked like this.

I will point out straight away, mine is the one with the Smarties flower & Dan’s (my other half) is the one with the smiley face, if you couldn’t tell!

NOTE: This is a great, creative & easy Christmas present idea!

Once we had checked into the hotel later on, we decided to potter about & look for somewhere to eat dinner. We landed in a nice little Italian place called La Vecchia Scuola. (Where, ironically, the head chef was Chinese!) I had a “Romana” pizza which involved a topping of Tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, pancetta, garlic, red onions, fresh basil topped with rocket leaves. And Dan had an “Americana” which had a topping of Tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, pepperoni salami, fresh chilli, red onions and oregano. 

Both were rather delicious. The pizza dough especially was very tasty & had a wonderful texture. Unfortunately, we were both too excited to tuck in and I therefore forgot to take any photos of them! Sorry guys, but I can assure you they were very yummy!

After dinner, we were glad of the ghost walk we went on to let our belly’s absorb the mass of pizza that had just been consumed. I must admit, I was a bit passive about the whole ghost walk thing but it turned out to be very funny and quite interesting. All in all a perfect evening!

Day 2

We didn’t pay for breakfast at the hotel so we could go out and sample some of York’s finest. After gawking at what felt like a million cafés, we came across a lovely place called Café Luca.

Here, me and Dan both had a Sausage & egg cob. But these weren’t just any sausages. These were the award winning sausages from the Shambles. (A small, very old area in the centre of York.) I can assure you, they were lip smackingly delicious! Hands down one of the nicest sausages I’ve had in a breakfast cob. If you’re interested, here is the website for the shop Ye Olde Pie & Sausage Shoppe

Once our belly’s were full we decided to do a bit of site seeing. We started by walking along the famous York Wall. Now I should mention at this point, this was Dan’s idea. If I had known how long this wall was & how many steps were involved at the start I may very well have changed my mind!

That being said, it was a pleasant, albeit exhausting, walk : D

You could see plenty of eye catching sites from different parts of the wall. I must admit though, at one point in-between walls, we did get lost & couldn’t find the next part. So we decided to regroup at the nearest pub haha! I laugh because it was only 11.50am. I know, it’s bad isn’t it!

Anyhoo, when we had got our breath back we tootled on over to the Cathedral to have a nosy. Below are some photos of the wall, the cathedral & some general sites around York just to show how truly beautiful this city is.

Once we were well and truly knackered we decided to go and sample the delights of the Food Festival once more.

One of my favourite stalls was a fudge stall that had all these beautiful wedges & bars of fudgey colourful loveliness! They were so lovely that me and Dan bought a slice each for ourselves. Dan got a Milky Bar slice & i got a Toffee Crisp slice.

There were plenty of stalls to feast your eyes on. One in particular we went to when were were peckish for some lunch. It was a stall that sold grass fed beef in all shapes & sizes. Sausages, burgers, steaks etc. We each had a grass fed Red Leicester cow burger. The difference in texture between these and normal burgers was phenomenal! There was no gristle, it didn’t fall apart it was just perfection.

Another stall to note was the Chilli Jam Man stall. Dan has a thing for all things hot so this was a must for him.

Just so you know, my face looks like that for one reason and one reason only. Dan made me try one of the sauces. He assured me that it wasn’t that hot but it was very tasty and that I would like it. Also, the bald man at the stall told me that the sauce I was about to try had just won an award at the Brighton chilli festival. So I tried it. And my partially angry, partially “in pain” expression in the photo is the result. Yeah, thanks for that Dan. Love you too! Haha.

Well that just about concludes my weekend trip to York. It was absolutely wonderful and I would honestly recommend this city to anyone thinking of going away in the UK for a weekend. Not only are there amazing things to be seen but amazing local food & produce to be had too.

Hope you enjoyed my York highlights and I promise there are some normal posts with recipes coming up!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Miss Kitchen Mason

Home Grown Pizza!

This weekend I decided to go for simple but delicious. A home made pizza. As a house warming gift, I was given chilli & purple pepper plants. I had also just ransacked my Gran’s garden & returned home with some amazingly flavourful tomatoes & some home grown chives.

So I cheated a little and bought the dough mix. However, I decided to mix things up a little this time and chucked in some oregano.  I’ve not done this before but I figure it can only improve the flavour. Here’s hoping!

Once I had made the dough, rolled it out & prepared two trays as above, (one for me, one for the other half) I realised there was a little dough left. So instead of wasting it I decide to roll out two little circles, then sprinkle on some grated mozzarella & some garlic salt. They only took about 6 minutes in the oven. Et vous voila! Mini garlic bread pizza with an oregano base! I can assure you, they tasted as calorific & yummy as they look.

So then came the hard part. I had to choose what was going to top my pizza. I started by chopping all the “garden picked” veg & herbs and laying them all out so I knew what I was dealing with.

I started by spreading some creamed tomatoes onto the oregano base & sprinkled over a handful of mozzarella. I then found myself staring at this chopping board full of colourful, delicious looking home grown produce. (All bar the onion anyway!) I just thought, bugger it! I’m having the lot! So I preceded to pile it all onto my pizza. And this was the, may I say, very pretty result!

 

It went into the oven at 200°C for 15 mins as per the dough packet instructions. And it came out better than I expected. I think there is something to be said for using home grown produce. It all tastes so much better than shop bought. It’s also incredibly satisfying knowing that you grew it! Well, granted, my Gran grew most of this but next year when I’ve got my garden the way I want it, it will all, fingers crossed, be grown by me!

To be honest though, I’ve not had much luck with plants this year. I started some chilli & sweet pepper plants off but my cats ate all the seedlings! They also ate half my tomato seedlings too. Little sods! Thus the chilli plant & pepper plant as house warming gifts haha. All I have remaining is 5 Alicante tomato plants, a tub of potatoes which was my other halfs project & some beetroots that my lovely Gran gave to me!

Which, in all fairness, ain’t bad for a totally novice gardener! I can only get better, I hope!

Thanks so much again for reading.

Miss Kitchen Mason