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

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Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Even at 28 years old I still have to trick myself into eating healthy foods. I’ve dramatically improved over the years but I think a part of me will always be a fussy eater. With me, half the battle was texture & ‘eating with my eyes.’ This unbelievably delicious recipe solves both those problems in one fell swoop!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Seriously, what if I told you that you could get all the above veg into a fussy eater and they wouldn’t even realise? I kid you not! The trick? A food processor. Take out the texture & you are left with a visibly appealing sauce that is jam packed full of the good stuff AND tastes fantastic!

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 generous portions/1.5kg. (Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.)

Top Tip! With it just being me and the Mr, I used 2 portions straight away and froze the rest in freezer bags for a later date.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Sticks of Celery
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 Peppers, I used 1x Red 1x Yellow
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Mushroom Ketchup, optional
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • Food Processor or Stick Blender
  • Large pot/saucepan with a lid

Firstly, prep your veg.

Slice the onion, celery, leek & carrot into pieces roughly the same size. Core and slice the peppers and set to one side.

Over a medium heat, add the oil into a large lidded pot/saucepan.

Add in the onion, celery, leek & carrots and cook for about 20mins until softened. Stir occasionally so nothing catches on the bottom.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Add in the peppers and cook for a further 10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Tip in the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, mushroom ketchup (if using) and garlic powder. Generously season with salt & pepper and give it a good stir.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Pop on the lid and allow to simmer for about 20mins until everything is nice and soft.

Then remove the lid and allow to reduce for 5-10mins.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!Lastly, give it all a good stir and leave to cool a little before either blitzing in a food processor or with a stick blender.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!See the difference pureeing can make? If I was still as bad as I was when I was younger – there is no way in hell I would have touched this before it had been through the processor! Now it looks completely unassuming and harmless. See?! A perfectly deceitful way of sneaking veg into those fussy eaters.

Healthy Sauce for Fussy Eaters!As I recommended before, unless you are cooking for a lot of people anyway – this is a great  recipe to split & store in the freezer for those days when you just can’t be bothered. Making you much less likely to reach for the takeaway menu & far more likely to inject some goodness into you!

Top Tip! If serving with pasta, when warming through the sauce, add a little of the pasta water and stir it through. This will make it lovely and smooth.

In other news, If you weren’t already aware, me and the Mr are expecting our first child in around 4-6 weeks. Yesterday, our wonderful family & friends surprised us with an amazing Baby Shower!

Baby ShowerClearly this (and the large amount of cake!) made us extremely happy! I sincerely feel very lucky & privileged to have such a wonderful bunch of people in my life. Huge thank yous all round to everyone that was involved/attended. My mini KitchenMasonite is already so spoilt and she’s not even arrived yet!

Speaking of cake – I would like to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to my Dad. Why you ask? Well, my Dad has never decorated a cake in his entire life but he’s always relished a challenge…

Baby ShowerSeriously, he’s never made a celebration cake before. EVER. How unbelievably awesome is this?! Not only did it look incredible, it tasted incredible too. The vanilla genoise sponge was beautifully soft & light and the buttercream was so smooth – absolutely divine. Move over Mr Kipling, there’s a new cake maker in town!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Back To Basics: Salad

Back To Basics- SaladContrary to popular belief – I do actually try and make an effort to eat well. I can’t live solely on Chocolate Mousse Brownies, Millionaire’s Shortbread & Doughnuts. Despite the fact that I really want to!

Even though I eat far more now than I ever used to, I still have to ‘trick’ myself into eating healthy things. Take this salad for example. It’s seemingly healthy from the outside (not all that appealing to me if I’m honest) but when you look inside? There’s smokey bacon and feta cheese. These two ingredients make anything taste a bazillion times better! Helping me get my “5 a day” (something I find to be unrealistic at best) and making me feel better when I do ram a slice of Ice Cream Cake down my pie hole.

In the spirit of trying to be healthy, here is what you will need to make my “How to train a fussy eater to eat salad” salad.

(Serves 2 as a side for a main course.)

  • 2 Slices Smokey Bacon
  • 1 Whole Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Sweet Bite Pepper (mini pepper)
  • 2 Large Tomatoes or 6-7 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Spring Onions
  • 200g Feta Cheese (I use Apetina)
  • Salt & Pepper

For The Dressing

Back To Basics- SaladFirst up – the bacon.

There are tons of ways to cook bacon but I find this way to be no mess, no fuss & almost embarrassingly easy. Naturally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. Line a baking tray with tin foil and lay on the bacon strips.

2. Place the tray onto the middle shelf in a cold oven & turn up the temperature to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

3. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, (usually until you can just start to smell it) then turn each slice of bacon over and cook for a further 10mins or so until the fat is crispy. Yeah, non of that god awful stringy fat that a lot of people leave on – crispy. And don’t even think about cutting it off either – that’s where all the flavour is! Crispy.

4. Leave the bacon to one side to cool. When you have done, simply throw away the tin foil & put the baking tray back in the cupboard. No pots to wash either! Win.

Top Tip: When I am making a cooked breakfast on a Sunday morning, which almost always involves bacon, I cook a couple of extra slices in the same way as above. Once they are cooled, I chop them up and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days and then just toss them straight into this salad. Saves time & effort after a days work when, lets face it, we can’t really be bothered to to anything!

Onto the actual salad.

Back To Basics- SaladSlice the whole romaine lettuce into approx 1cm wide strips, then chop a couple of times in the opposite way to make the strips shorter. Dump it all into a large glass/serving bowl.

Slice the sweet bite pepper into small strips.

De-seed the tomatoes and slice the flesh into 1cm pieces. (If using cherry tomatoes, just quarter them & don’t bother de-seeding.)

Trim & slice the spring onions.

Top Tip: Find that you only use a few spring onions and the rest have gone bad by the time you go to use them? Simply trim and slice the whole bunch, allow to dry in the fridge for 20-30 minutes on a plate, then store in the freezer in an airtight plastic tub or plastic bottle. You can use them straight from the freezer in salads. As they’re cut so small, they defrost almost instantly!

Finally, cut the Feta cheese into cubes.

Place all the ingredients into the bowl with the lettuce & season well with salt & pepper.

Back To Basics- SaladTo make the dressing, simply add all the ingredients into a small glass or mug, mix together and pour over the salad.

Using two spoons, toss everything together in the bowl to distribute the dressing evenly.

Then serve alongside some sort of chicken or fish, or whatever you like really!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s really not that difficult or expensive to make. And with the added bacon & feta – well, they say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, this is probably the savoury equivalent!

Back To Basics- SaladIt’s also a great way to clear out your fridge of all those leftover vegetables you don’t have enough of to do anything with.

I Hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Veal Sausage Casserole!

Good evening Kitchen Masonites! Today I want to share one of my new favourite recipes. This delightful sausage casserole.

I adapted a recipe from a blog I have shared with you before. KayoticKitchen. I bought some Veal sausages when I was at the BBC Good Food Show and have been wondering what to do with them ever since. I had a nosy on my favourite blogs & sites and came across this belter! The best thing is how little time & effort you have to put in to get out such tasty & flavourful food. So… without further ado! Here is what you will need.

Serves 2 (Easily doubled)

  • 8 Veal Sausages
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 Orange Pepper
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 5 Small Potatoes
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped finely
  • Oregano, 1.5 tsp
  • Olive Oil 2 tbsp
  • Balsamic Vinegar 4tbsp
  • Chicken Stock, approx 100ml

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

First you need to brown the sausages. You don’t have to use veal, you can use whatever sausages you like. Heat some oil in a heavy pan and cook until they are just starting to brown. Don’t worry that they are not cooked all the way through as they will get plenty of time in the oven later on. Remove from the pan & keep to one side until needed.

Prepare your veg next. Slice the peppers, peel the potatoes and cut them in half & then chop the onion into wedges. Put all of this in a big roasting tray and top with the sausages. My other half grew some King Edward potatoes this year and we pulled them all out a couple of weeks ago. I used them for this recipe… it’s always more satisfying when you’ve grown it yourself!

In a jug, combine the chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, oil, oregano & garlic. Pour the mixture over the sausages & veg, season with salt & pepper then cover with foil.

Put in the oven for 40 minutes. Then sit back and wait for the amazing aromas to fill your home!

Take out of the oven and remove the foil. Give it a good mix to make sure everything is coated in the juices and pop back in the oven uncovered for about 15 minutes turning the sausages half way.

And there you have it… a hassle free, minimal pot washing, extremely flavourful dinner! The next time I make it it will probably add some carrots into the mix just to bulk it out a bit but apart from that I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It’s so tasty & simple and you’re mad if you don’t give it a go! I promise you won’t be dissapointed.

If you do try it out, let me know how it goes!

Until next time.

Miss Kitchen Mason

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

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