Sweet peas and salty ham – it’s a perfect combo. Pea and ham soup is even more satisfying if you’ve roasted your own ham, but if not, chopped pancetta or bacon lardons are just as good.
Using my leftover ham stock (made when preparing my honey & mustard roasted ham), I boiled up some frozen peas along with a clove of garlic. Once the peas are cooked, blend. It’s up to you how smooth you want it to be. I prefer to leave about half of the peas whole, to add to the texture of the soup. Then, bring back to the boil and add your choice of chopped ham.
It really couldn’t be simpler! And there’s no need to add seasoning because the saltiness and flavour of the ham is all you need to complement the sweetness of the peas. To spruce it up a bit, add a poached egg and top with cracked black pepper. I had this for lunch the other day with cheese on toast. Quick, easy and healthy pea and ham soup!
Posted in Food
Tagged food, ham, peas, photos, soup
It’s rare that I’ll ever roast a plain chicken with just butter, salt and pepper. I usually like to spice it up and give it a twist – whether that be with Indian flavours, a Chinese mix or just whatever I have to hand in the kitchen. Last time I decided to do a garlic, chilli and herb chicken (using some herbs I had waiting to be used up in my freezer).
In my mini chopper I whizzed up some garlic cloves, fresh ginger, a red birds eye chilli, basil, thyme and lemon thyme. With a glug of good olive oil, a splash of malt vinegar, along with some seasoning, my marinade was good to go.
I wasn’t quite sure quite how this would turn out with ginger added to the mix, but the result was a beautifully fragrant and zesty chicken, with a citrusy edge thanks to the lemon thyme. I served it with white basmati rice, flavoured with the juices from the pan, along with a salad of green beans, sliced red onions and cherry tomatoes (dressed with balsamic and olive oil). Definitely recommend for a different take on a roast chicken dinner!
Not too long ago I watched a documentary about supermarket ham and other processed meats here in the UK. We eat a lot of ham in our house, mainly on toast or sandwiches. But not only is it relatively quite expensive (10 slices of pre-packed and sliced ham for £3), it’s also pumped full of salt and water and other things. Not good.
So Instead of buying 10 slices of ham for £3 from Sainsbury’s, which usually lasts us just over a week, I bought a gammon joint which hopefully will be a) tastier, b) healthier and c) go much further. Plus there’s nothing quite like cooking your own honey and mustard roast ham.
First I put the joint in a heavy based saucepan and covered it with water, adding to it some onions, carrots and peppercorns. I brought it to the boil and then reduced to a simmer for about an hour. I then removed the gammon, set it on a roasting tray and slathered it with honey and mustard. After an hour in the oven, I let it cool down before carving and storing in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s especially delicious as a snack with a few drops of tabasco sauce.
And whatever you do, do not throw away the water used for simmering! This, along with the onions and carrots, is perfect stock. I like to use it for pea and ham soup (post coming soon).
Posted in Food
Tagged food, ham, honey, mustard
This weekend we (by ‘we’ I mean my husband) spent a lot of time treating and oiling our oak kitchen worktops. Which meant the kitchen was almost out of bounds – not good for me as the weekend is really the only time I have to get my cooking on. It’s also when I like to enjoy a heartier breakfast than a quick slice of toast (which is what I usually have during the week). So I had to think creatively about what I could conjure up with essentially no worktop space whatsoever. The result? Baked eggs!
In two stoneware ramekins (I have a set of cheesy heart shaped ones from Le Creuset ) I cracked some eggs and then added some tasty little tid bits for flavour. In mine I had cherry tomatoes, pancetta and some fresh chives from the garden. A few pieces of mature cheddar layered on top, seasoned with cracked black pepper (no need for salt due to the pancetta and cheese) and in they went to the oven for about 15 minutes.
If you time it right (and I’m still working on this!), they should be perfect for dipping warm buttered toast into:
Another gorgeous thing to whip up with over ripe bananas is banana bread. It’s so easy and simple to make, with very little preparation time – plus it fills your house with the comforting aroma of baked goods
The standard recipe I use contains chopped nuts. I usually have walnuts in my cupboard, but there’s no reason why you can’t try other varieties. And for an extra special treat, substitute half the nuts with dark chocolate chips (I like the kind with 70% cocoa solids). Sometimes I throw in a sprinkling of cinnamon too, adding a slight sweet spiciness to the bread.
Mix 2 cups of self-raising flour, 1 cup of granulated brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs and then add 3 mashed bananas along with half a cup of vegetable oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Stir in half a cup of nuts (and/or chocolate chips!). Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 160 C. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
On a cold and dark evening, this is best served warm with vanilla custard: