Pheasant in a Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Aromat flavoured Couscous

Pheasant in a Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Aromat flavoured Couscous

I know it’s been a loooong time since I last posted anything on here; I could bleat on about my lack of inspiration, my fight with work/blogging balance or my absolute laziness but I won’t!

This weekend, I cooked my mother and I (as a belated birthday meal) of Pheasant in a Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Couscous.  My sister picked up the Pheasant breasts from a shopping trip recently, she also picked up Partridge… so you can guess what’s coming up soon.  I’ve always wanted to try them both, I’m going to be compiling a new list of foods I want to try and places I want to eat soon… please get in touch with any suggestions.

The pheasant breasts from Waitrose

The pheasant breasts from Waitrose

Now I’m not going to lie, I actually intended to take the partridge out of the freezer… but grabbed the wrong one!  So, this recipe was created with partridge in mind but it worked brilliantly well.  There are only six ingredients in this dish, apart from salt pepper and rapeseed oil so there’s nowhere to hide, it’s simple but so tasty. 

The ingredients were:

  • One onion
  • 1/3 tub (above) Porcini Mushrooms
  • ½ pint of Vegetable Stock
  • Boiling Water
  • Knorr Aromat Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper

The first thing you need to do is put the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  I left them covered for half an hour, check on the packet of mushrooms you’re using for the instructions.  You can use fresh mushrooms, I didn’t have any in the house but some cremini or button mushrooms.

Steeping dried porcini mushrooms

Steeping dried porcini mushrooms

You’ll notice on the windowsill behind my mushrooms a jar of preserved lemons… these are homemade, it took me a long time to come up with the right flavours and get a preserving process I was happy with…. oh ok!  That’s a lie, well in part anyway; they are home made but by my lovely sister and brother-in-law.

Couscous and Knorr's Aromat

Couscous and Knorr’s Aromat

Once you’ve got the mushies rehydrating put your couscous in a bowl, season and add some Aromat, pour boiling water over and cover; follow the cooking instructions on the packet.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Knorr’s Aromat before, I may have.  Like lots of this recently it’s something Gemma introduced me to, you really should try it!  As you know I don’t get any renumeration for blogging, I’m not sponsored and don’t get any commission lol so when I say it’s flipping good… it’s genuine!  It’s versatile, I’ve used it on rice, sweet potato wedges, fish, pasta salads; you can cook with it or use it as a seasoning – give it a good and tell me what you think.  To find out more about it visit the Knorr Website.

I chopped an onion using the clockwise chopping method

I chopped an onion using the clockwise chopping method

Finely chop your onion, I’ve only used one onion in this recipe because I was only cooking for my mother and I.  You’ve guessed it I’ve used the clockwise chopping method I find so much easier than any other way of cutting an onion.

Heating the rapeseed oil

Heating the rapeseed oil

Heat some oil in a pan, you can use butter but I didn’t, I’ve chose to use Rapeseed Oil, I couldn’t get over how yellow it was!  I know, I know, that sounds like a stupid thing to say, duh Richard; what colour do you think the plants are?  I guess I wasn’t expecting it to be such a vivid yellow, anyway I digress…

… in the pain with the oil cook the onions until they start to soften and turn all Spandau Ballet like (gold).  Scrape them into a bowl and set aside for later; next you’ll need to take the mushrooms out of their water.  I lifted them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside, don’t throw the liquid away it’s got all the mushroomie goodness in; however, there are often bits of grit and stuff you’ll want to get rid of.  To do this I placed a sieve over a jug, the lined that with two pieces of kitchen roll, you can use some muslin but I didn’t have any and then poured the liquid, getting rid of all the nasty bits.  Chop the mushrooms up as small as you’d like them.

Cooking the pheasant breasts

Cooking the pheasant breasts

In the hot pan you’ve cooked the onions in place the Pheasant breasts, you’re supposed to cook Pheasant breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side, I didn’t do that!   I cooked them for a about 1.5 minutes on each side, then set them aside to rest (they were thin breasts and I was going to put them back in the pan later… before people panic).

Frying the onions and mushrooms

Frying the onions and mushrooms

Take the breasts out and add the onions back in and the shrooms, give them a mix and cook for a couple of minutes.

Deglazing the pan to make the sauce

Deglazing the pan to make the sauce

To the pan add the white wine, use that to scrape the bits stuck to the pan (deglaze).  Cook the wine for a few minutes on high then add the mushroom water and the stock.

The pheasant breast warming in the sauce

The pheasant breast warming in the sauce

Cook until it starts to simmer, at this point I added the breasts back to warm for a couple of minutes… oh, unorthodox I know!  Before adding the breasts back, I did add a little of the stock left mixed with some flour to thicken the sauce (because it was a bit watery).

The pheasant breast and couscous

The pheasant breast and couscous

Now you’re ready to eat, I served this with couscous as you know, but you could serve it with rice, celeriac potatoes or sweet potato.

The Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce in the frying pan

The Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce in the frying pan

I finished the sauce off with home grown chives from the garden, I’ve got to say the sauce was proper lush!  I did something I hardly ever do, I didn’t taste it while cooking, I’m a big culprit for (probably over) tasting my food while I’m cooking but I didn’t try this until after I’d seasoned it and added the chives.  It was stunning though, I’m pleased to say, I could have drunk it on its own… or just it over some mashed potatoes… you know how I love my mash!

Pheasant in a Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Aromat flavoured Couscous (with fresh chive flower)

Pheasant in a Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Aromat flavoured Couscous (with fresh chive flower)

Here it is, I know it doesn’t look a lot but it was awesome.  The earthy taste of the mushrooms, with the slight tang of the wine complimented nicely the soft, mild tasting flavour of the Pheasant.  I wasn’t expecting the breasts to be stupidly gamy but I was expecting a stronger flavour than they had… I’m not disappointed though they were lovely, and one more thing off my foodie desire list.

My wonderful mother and I enjoying our belated birthday celebrations

My wonderful mother and I enjoying our belated birthday celebrations

We had a great night we watched a film and had a couple of glasses of wine, very civilised indeed!  What did you all do on your bank holiday, I had a nice chilled out relaxed one in the house, bliss.

Pheasant in a Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Aromat flavoured Couscous

Pheasant in a Porcini Mushroom and White Wine Sauce with Aromat flavoured Couscous

Next week we’ll have a TimeSaving Tuesday post and another recipe, only this time it will be a Partridge recipe… any ideas let me know.

I know I’ve been away for a long time, and I’ve not kept up with my social media… and I’m too scared to look now because I’m afraid I may have offended people.  Do you ever get that, when you leave things so long that they become this massive weight around your neck… that’s what this process has been like for me but we’re getting there… anyway I digress again!  Don’t forget you can get in touch with me via Social Media,

See you soon!

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice, poppadoms, pakoras and mango chutney

Quorn Keema Masala

Heeeelllooo!  Welcome back, happy New Year to you all, I hope you all had a good one, this is my first recipe back for a long while.  As you know I am a massive fan of the Indian curry Keema Masala, you’ll probably remember my review of Asda’s Keema Masala in a tin from July 2015.  It’s one of my favourite meals I’ve reviewed, alas Asda in their wisdom don’t make it anymore but I’ve decided to give it a go.

Ingredients for my Quorn Keema Masala

Ingredients for my Quorn Keema Masala

You’ll notice from the snazzy picture above that Quorn is the main feature of this recipe, that’s because I was cooking it for the lovely Gemma, while she’s not a vegetarian she prefers it to mince.  I was thinking that as I have two vegetarian friends it was a good opportunity to try using it.  Keema is, as far as I can tell traditional done with Lamb and comes from the Hyderabad area of Indian and is usually made with Lamb Mince.  I’ve based this recipe on a recipe I saw on Titli’s Busy Kitchen, Titli’s website is amazing and a hughe source of inspiration for me, make sure you check her out.   I’ve made this twice now and I think the best result is when you use, as she suggests Garlic and Ginger paste, not lazy Garlic and Ginger like I did here.

The Ingredients:

  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Potatoes
  • ½tsp of Chilli flakes
  • 1tsp of Turmeric
  • 2tsp Ground Corriander
  • 1tsp Lazy Ginger
  • 1tsp of Lazy Garlic
  • 2 x Tins of chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 x 450g pack of Quorn Mince
  • ½ Cup of frozen peas and a bunch of fresh Coriander (not pictured)

As with all the spices, you can add as much or as little as you want, when I made the recipe for the second time I didn’t use fresh coriander, but I did the first time, if I’m honest I’m not a fresh coriander fan but I think it added to the dish.

Preparing the ingredients for my Quorn Keema Masala

Preparing the ingredients for my Quorn Keema Masala

Now comes the fun part, peel and quarter the two onions, set aside, then peel the three potatoes… I like this recipe so much I even peeled all the vegetables on my own lol.  Cut the potatoes into cubes and place in water for later on, then peel the two carrots.

Preparing the carrots and onions for my Quorn Keema Masala

Preparing the carrots and onions for my Quorn Keema Masala

Place the quarters of onions in a food processor and blitz, you don’t want a pulp but you do want them to be finely chopped.  Then add the  grater attachment if you’ve got one and grate the two carrots, if you haven’t you can grate them by hand or finely chop them but try and keep them the same size as the onion.  If you do have a grater attachment press down on the carrots for a finer grate.

Quorn Keema Masala Spice Mix

Quorn Keema Masala Spice Mix

Once you’ve done that you can leave them in the food processor bowl for now, then place the spice mix on the plate – apologies for the photograph it’s shocking, I wasn’t drunk your honour!  The spice mix is:

  • ½ teaspoon of Chilli flakes,
  • 1 teaspoon of Turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of Ground Coriander (you can grind your own if you have a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Again as I said earlier, you can add to this or take away, some recipes use Garam Masala, I think I may try that next time as it adds a depth that you only get from a blend of spices.

The Quorn before anything is added to make my Quorn Keema Masala

The Quorn before anything is added to make my Quorn Keema Masala

Place the mince in a bowl, this is where the flavour begins

Adding the spice mix and the garlic and ginger to the Quorn for my Quorn Keema Masala

Adding the spice mix and the garlic and ginger to the Quorn for my Quorn Keema Masala

To the mince add all the spices and a teaspoon of lazy garlic and ginger.  If you’re using a garlic and ginger paste add two teaspoons of it.  Mix thoroughly, my one regret now is not cutting the ginger smaller, you can see it looks like bits of wood in the rubble that is the Quorn Mince.

Frying my carrots and onions for my Quorn Keema Masala

Frying my carrots and onions for my Quorn Keema Masala

Heat a pan, once it’s come to temperature place the onion and carrot in and stir for a few minutes.

Adding the Quron mix to the pan for my Quorn Keema Masala

Adding the Quron mix to the pan for my Quorn Keema Masala

Add the Quorn mince and stir thoroughly cook for two minutes on a high heat.

Adding the peas to the Quorn Keema Masala

Adding the peas to the Quorn Keema Masala

Next add the frozen peas and stir thoroughly to combine, cook for a fture two minutes on a high heat.

Adding the potatoes to the Quorn Keema Masala

Adding the potatoes to the Quorn Keema Masala

Next add the potatoes and stir them through thoroughly to combine, I microwaved the potatoes for about ten minutes in boiling water so that they were slightly softer as they were hard the first time I cooked this recipe, and let’s be fair no one likes a hard spud.

Adding the tomatoes and stock to the Quorn Keema Masala

Adding the tomatoes and stock to the Quorn Keema Masala

To the potatoes add two tins of tomatoes and stir thoroughly, then pour some boiling water in one of the tins, break up a stock cube and stir so it starts to dissolve.  Pour the stock into the other tin of tomatoes picking up all the tomatoey goodness.

The Quorn Keema Masala ready to thicken

The Quorn Keema Masala ready to thicken

When you’ve added all the ingredients, give it a stir to allow all the ingredients to come together.  Then place the lid on it and cook for 20-25 minutes on a low heat.

Cooking the Quorn Keema Masala on a low heat

Cooking the Quorn Keema Masala on a low heat

Check on a regular basis, stirring occasionally keeping an eye to make sure that everything is not sticking and also that the potatoes are cooked.

Quorn Keema Masala after it had thickened

Quorn Keema Masala after it had thickened

The aim is for it to thicken, this is how it was the first time I made it, it’s thicker and not so saucy.  I personally like a saucier curry so the second time I didn’t let it thicken so much.

An option to add Coriander to the Quorn Keema Masala

An option to add Coriander to the Quorn Keema Masala

I’m not a big lover of coriander but when I made it the first time Take the ramekins off the baking tray and place on a plate; this recipe is ideal to be served as a quick and easy, yet luxury breakfast over the bank holiday, or as a simple supper.

Quorn Keema Masala is an ideal recipe to cook for work

Quorn Keema Masala is an ideal recipe to cook for work

I’ve cooked this twice, both times I took it to work the next day, the other pot in the first photograph is my Spiced Butternut Squash Soup, which I also took in to work.  I think it’s fair to say that Gemma enjoyed the curry, I was really chuffed her daughter tried it and liked it too… winner winner!

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice and poppadoms

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice and poppadoms

We served it with packet boiled rice and some poppadoms, I can honestly say it was really enjoyable.  It could have used some more heat maybe, but I’m not a fan of stupidly hot food as you know.  This is a dish I order a lot from my local Indian takeaway, only theirs is made with lamb and it’s much hotter than mine was.

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice, poppadoms, pakoras and mango chutney for Gemma and I

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice, poppadoms, pakoras and mango chutney for Gemma and I

Gemma picked up some Pakoras and some Mango Chutney from our local supermarket and they were a great accompaniment to this dish.

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice, poppadoms, pakoras and mango chutney

Quorn Keema Masala, boiled rice, poppadoms, pakoras and mango chutney

I thoroughly enjoyed this, I’d make it with lamb next time, or would I, to be honest it was great made from Quorn.  It was easy to make and didn’t involve much fuss, especially if you use the good old food processor.  I’ve used Quorn once or twice but wasn’t completely convinced but it works here and I’d definitely use it again.  I’m a big fan of Titli, check her website out, her recipes are great and her videos, well they’re amazing!  Thanks to Kirsty for her help cooking it, and to Gemma for her taste testing… thanks to both for their photography skills,

Remember to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you, don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for a great Waste Not Want Not recipe and then we’ll have a restaurant review on the weekend.

See you Wednesday

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce

So on my low carb diet I’ve started eating lots more fish, you know I have always eaten fish but I’m finding it easier cooking creatively with fish than I am with meat… why, who knows 😆

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Ingredients

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Ingredients

You’ll notice the ingredients are basic, I’ve got tinned tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, ginger and tomato purée to accompany the salmon.  I also used dried oregano in this sauce which isn’t seen in the picture.  The equipment is straightforward, knife, wooden spoon, frying pan and a wok.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Putting the oil in the wok

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Putting the oil in the wok

Firstly spray some oil in the wok and heat it, I’ve used the light spray.  I’m not overly convinced by it but I’m prepared to give it a go.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Chopping the onions in half moons

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Chopping the onions in half moons

Chop the onion into half moon shapes, try and keep them thin so they’ll cook quicker.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Fry the onions until they soften

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Fry the onions until they soften

Fry the onions until they start to soften, don’t stir them too much, keeping them moving will mean they’ll take longer to cook.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Add the garlic and stir thoroughly

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Add the garlic and stir thoroughly

After a few minutes add the ginger, I’d use a small knob of ginger if you’re using fresh or a few strands of the lazy ginger.  Again stir them through and allow them flavours to get to know each other.  I’ve started chopping the strands of lazy ginger up now, but for this recipe I forgot lol.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Add the tomato purée and stir to mix all the flavours together

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Add the tomato purée and stir to mix all the flavours together

Add the Tomato Purée and stir through, you should give this time to cook through, here’s an interesting article on cooking with Tomato Purée

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Add a tin of tomatoes and some water

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Add a tin of tomatoes and some water

Next add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and then add 200ml of water to the can of tomatoes and swish it about, picking up any tomatoes left behind, then pour that in to the pan.  Stir thoroughly so all the ingredients have combined, allow that to cook through for five minutes.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Stir the tomatoes through so all the flavours come together

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Stir the tomatoes through so all the flavours come together

Turn the heat down and let it sit on its own, stirring occasionally to allow it to thicken.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Take some olives and capers and wash them

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Take some olives and capers and wash them

Take out a handful of olives and a teaspoon of capers, rinse them and set them aside.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Add the olives and capers to the sauce

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Add the olives and capers to the sauce

Add the olives, capers and a couple of teaspoons of Oregano/Basil to the sauce and stir thoroughly, you’ll notice I’ve changed pans above.  I’ve kept the olives whole, but you can chop them up if you’d prefer.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Sprinkle the Cajun Powder over the salmon

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Sprinkle the Cajun Powder over the salmon

Sprinkle the Cajun powder on the salmon steaks.  Cajun seasoning is one of my favourite seasonings, I really like the deep spicy taste, its warming and comforting and I try and use it in many dishes.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Season the salmon with salt and pepper and spray oil over them

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Season the salmon with salt and pepper and spray oil over them

Season the fish with salt and pepper and spray with oil, put the oil on the fish not in the pan because it smokes less.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Place the fish in a boiling hot pan

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Place the fish in a boiling hot pan

Make sure the pan is very hot, then add the fish, don’t play with them, just leave them cook.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Cook the fish skinned side down

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Cook the fish skinned side down

Cook the salmon for a few minutes, don’t overcook fish you can see the fish cooking as the colour changes.  Cook for the majority on the back and then turn over for the last part, you’ll know when the fish is cooked because it’ll come away the pan.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Turn the fish over and cook further

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Turn the fish over and cook further

Turn over when you’re happy with how cooked the salmon is and cook for the last part on the other side, no more than a couple of minutes on a high heat.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Put the sauce on the plate

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Put the sauce on the plate

Spoon the sauce on to the plate, the sauce freezes quite well and can be used to accompany rice, pasta or mashed potatoes without the salmon.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - When cooked, peel off the skin

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – When cooked, peel off the skin

When the fish is cooked, peel the skin off, you can eat the skin, my mother likes it, but I’m not so keen.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - Put the salmon on the sauce

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – Put the salmon on the sauce

Serve the salmon on top of the sauce, if you are eating carbs you can have something like rice with this but I had it as it was.

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce - The Salmon works lovely with the sauce

Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean Sauce – The Salmon works lovely with the sauce

I really enjoyed making this and even more so eating it 😆 the sauce was deep and flavourful and the spice of the salmon was just right.  I liked the addition of the olives and the capers, they gave the sauce a different dimension.Cajun Salmon on a Mediterranean SauceAs I said earlier I really enjoyed this, it was deep and flavoursome with a mild level of spice, you can ramp up the spice if you want to, that’s totally up to you.  If you enjoy Salmon you could also try one of 2015’s Strictly Suppers recipes, it was the first in the series, Salsa Steamed Salmon.  If you’re not on a carb ban you could try my Quickstep Leftover Fishcakes or if you’re looking for something more substantial than the fishcakes you can try my Quick and easy mid week pan fried salmon with Ainsley Harriet’s Creamy, you can find the recipe here.Wheelie Good Meals Social NetworkingWell that’s three posts this week… I know I’m making up for lost time but it’s all good!  Hope you have a good weekend, Greg my mother and I are off to Caradog’s tonight, looking forward to that a lot.  As always you can get in touch on social media, I’m hopefully going to be working on my youtube channel soon and going to try and work on some videos, as soon as we have one ready you’ll be the first to know.

Take care, enjoy the weekend!

Rich

Mini Portable Pizza Pies

Merry Christmas, happy New Year and Happy Easter (oh wait we haven’t got there yet lol). It’s been a while since my last post, but I’m back, the beginning of the year has been slightly hectic but now things have calmed down I can start cooking… and eating again!

Visit To Old Trafford

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Greg and I at Old Trafford

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Greg and I at Old Trafford

We were only a day into the New Year and Greg and I were off to the Theatre of Dreams Old Trafford, home of our beloved Manchester United. We were lucky enough to get tickets for Manchester United v Swansea, a game that always weighs with us because Swansea is our local Premiership team.

My mother wanted us to take some food with us, so she suggested making these Pizza Pies, as she calls them. She’s been cooking them for parties for years for us, she also cooks them for me if she goes away so I’ve got something to munch on. It was my turn to make them this time, although I didn’t make the pastry – my mother is the queen of pastry so why reinvent the wheel, her pastry is better than anything I do. It was a short crust pastry, I can’t give you the recipe because she makes it by eye but there is a good recipe on the BBC Good Food website. The pastry was rolled out and cut into circles which were put in lined cake tins.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - The pie cases before being filled

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – The pie cases before being filled

I made two types of Pizza Pies one with Chorizo and a little bit of spice and one with tinned potatoes and herbs.

Chorizo Pizza Pie

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Ingredients for the Chorizo Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Ingredients for the Chorizo Pies

Other than the chorizo the ingredients are fairly simple mainly store spices and a few store cupboard essentials. It’s a quick and easy recipe to make and great to take away on trips or for parties, you can mix up the recipe, add more spice – other types of meat like cooked chicken etc.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Chopped onion and peppers for the Chorizo Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Chopped onion and peppers for the Chorizo Pies

The first thing you need to do is preheat your oven to 1800C, then you’ll need to chop all the ingredients. I’ve used onion, peppers and chorizo in this one, you can use any form of cooked meat, I’ve had some with chicken in and they were lovely. You can also grate the cheese at this point, it saves time later – grate enough for both recipes!

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - The process of cooking the Chorizo Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – The process of cooking the Chorizo Pies

Here comes the easy bit, whack it all in a pan and away to go! Firstly add some oil to a pan and heat it up, then fry the onions until they start to soften (1). Add the garlic and cook that for a few minutes (2), then add the chorizo and the chilli flakes (3). Cook the chorizo for a few minutes so that the oils start to come out, stir regularly so that all the flavours get to know each other. Add the roasted red pepper and stir continuously so that all the ingredients are mixed together thoroughly (4). Lastly add the tinned tomatoes and stir thoroughly, allow to cook through so that all the ingredients come to temperature (5). Let the ingredients cook until they start to thicken, season and take off the heat.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Filling the pastry cases and topping with cheese for the Chorizo Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Filling the pastry cases and topping with cheese for the Chorizo Pies

Allow the mixture to cool first then spoon into the individual pastry cases, remember not to fill them too full as you’re topping them with cheese (1). Top each individual pie with a handful of grated cheese (2).

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - The Chorizo Pies read to be eaten

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – The Chorizo Pies read to be eaten

Place in the oven and cook until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted. As all the ingredients have been cooked earlier you’re just cooking the pastry case and melting the cheese. Once cooked take out of the tray and place on a wire cooling rack to cool, you can eat them out of the oven but they will be hot, be careful because of the cheese.

Vegetarian Pizza Pie

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Ingredients for the Vegetarian Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Ingredients for the Vegetarian Pies

These are not spicy, they’re more Italian/Mediterranean orientated… with potatoes! You can cook these in the oven at the same time as the Chorizo Pizza Pies, not to waste the oven heat. I’m also using a jar of Sun-Dried tomato paste from Sainsbury’s which is not in the picture

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Chopped Potatoes and Peppers for the Vegetarian Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Chopped Potatoes and Peppers for the Vegetarian Pies

Firstly, like their non-vegetarian cousins to start this recipe you’ll need to chop all the ingredients. I’ve used onion, peppers and tinned potatoes in this one, you could add other vegetables like courgettes, carrots, butternut squash or fennel for example.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Store Cupboard Essentials, Sainsbury's Char-Grilled Red Pepper Paste

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Store Cupboard Essentials, Sainsbury’s Char-Grilled Red Pepper Paste

There are two random in this recipe, there’s Sainsbury’s Char-grilled Red Pepper Paste, a product my sister bought for me years ago. It’s does what it says on the tine, it’s not so much of a paste as a purée and has the smoky taste of roasted red peppers, I use this in loads of recipes and always have a jar either unopened in my cupboard or open in the fridge, but if it’s open it doesn’t last long.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Store Cupboard Essentials, Mixed Herbs

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Store Cupboard Essentials, Mixed Herbs

The other random ingredient is mixed herbs…. ok not so random you’re probably thinking but they are when they come from the dispenser above! Heather and her family bought it for me for Christmas it has a few different dry herbs, and a section for mixed herbs, it’s ideal for someone who has a small kitchen and doesn’t want to go to the expense or hassle of buying lots of herbs. It’s also great for someone who hasn’t got the time to mix all the dry herbs together – like me in this instance. If you haven’t got mixed herbs, you could use a packet of blogenese herbs or Italian herbs.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - The process of cooking the Vegetarian Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – The process of cooking the Vegetarian Pies

Again like the previous recipe, this is the easy bit, one pan cooking, what more can you ask for? Firstly you’ll need to add some oil to a pan and heat it up, then fry the onions until they start to soften (1). Add the garlic and cook that for a few minutes (2), once you’ve done that add the Sun-Dried Tomato Paste and stir through to ensure all the ingredients have combined (3). Give that a couple of minutes then add the Char-Grilled Roasted Red Pepper Paste and stir through to ensure all the ingredients have combined (4). Cook that for a few minutes then add the peppers and potatoes, these are already cooked so they won’t need long in the pan (5). Remember to stir continuously, next add your herbs and stir to combine all the ingredients in the pan – as I always say it’s like a party, you want to make sure all the guests meet each other (6). Lastly, add the tinned tomatoes and stir thoroughly so that everything combines really well (7).

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - The Vegetarian Pie filling thickening

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – The Vegetarian Pie filling thickening

Leave to thicken, season and take off the heat.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - The Vegetarian Pie ready to be eaten

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – The Vegetarian Pie ready to be eaten

Repeat the same process as above, once cooled place the mixture in the pastry cases and top with cheese, cook in the oven until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Once cooked take out of the oven and place on a cooling rack – or eat straight away if you dare!

Multi-Purpose

These are awesomely practical and massively tasty, they’re great for parties, trips or late at night when you come home from the pub.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Before they go in the oven

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Before they go in the oven

You can use any hard cheese; you could grate Parmesan over or Gruyère for a more nuttier texture.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - Freeze the leftover cooked Vegetarian Pie filling for use again

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – Freeze the leftover cooked Vegetarian Pie filling for use again

If you’ve got any leftover, put it in the freezer and you can have it again, you eat the vegetarian version with fish or meat, the chorizo version you can have with pasta or rice.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies - After they've been in the oven

Mini Portable Pizza Pies – After they’ve been in the oven

They can be frozen, eaten hot or cold and are great, as I’ve said in a number of different scenarios. They’re popular with lots of my friends and served Greg and I well when we went to Manchester.

Mini Portable Pizza Pies

Mini Portable Pizza Pies

I hope you enjoy these, give them a go, you can download a step-by-step recipe here, but be warned you’ll need paper in your printer! I’ll be back on Tuesday with a quick and easy pasta/rice sauce and then Cauliflower Cheese Burgers on the weekend… yep you heard me, Cauliflower…. Cheese…. Burgers (happy days!)

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See you Tuesday

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Time-Saving Tuesdays – Asda Beef Bourguignon with Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa

Just a little later than planned but you expected that didn’t you, come on we all know you did!

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Asda Beef Bourguignon with Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Asda Beef Bourguignon with Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa

This is a mix and match one for you this week, it’s Asda’s Beef Bourguignon in a tin and Merchant-Gourmet’s Red and White Quinoa, why you ask? The reason is because I wanted to use them up lol.

Asda Beef Bourguignon cooking instructions and nutritional information

Asda Beef Bourguignon cooking instructions and nutritional information

The idea between a meal in a tin is that it’s quick and easy when your in a hurry. The tin describes it as

Beef chunks with mushrooms, silverskin onions and smoked streaky bacon in a red wine sauce.

The nutritional information can be seen in the picture above, I’m not sure why it states “hob heated”, would that make a difference for the nutritional content?

Asda Beef Bourguignon ingredients

Asda Beef Bourguignon ingredients

I cooked it in a saucepan and stirred it occasionally on a medium heat, it’s important to ensure that all the ingredients are hot. I served this with the Quinoa to use it up, the Quinoa had cooking instructions on the back of the packet.

Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa cooking instructions

Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa cooking instructions

The cooking instructions are clear and concise, and include cooking instructions for three types of microwaves. There was also cooking instructions for cooking on the hob…. but I didn’t see them when I was preparing things lol. I also didn’t realise you could eat it cold straight from the package…. win win!

Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa nutritional information

Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa nutritional information

The calories were quite high in this pack, I realise that it was a pack for two but if you were someone with a large appetite. There was also 15.2g of fat in the whole pack which again is quite high.

Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa ideas to keep

Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa ideas to keep

The package cleverly provides you with some handy hints on what to do with the contents of the package, it also gives you the link to the website for more information.

  • Serve warm with lightly spiced chicken, fresh coriander and a spoonful of natural yoghurt.

  • Combine with tuna, spring onions and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fresh lunchtime option.

  • Create a superfood salad by mixing quinoa, feta, soya beans, cucumber, pomegranate seeds and sugarsnap peas. Dress with soy sauce, olive oil and lemon juice.

The package states that Red and white Quinoa has a nutty flavouring and is firm in texture. As I said earlier it can be used straight from the pouch in a cold salad or heat in the microwave and mix with roasted vegetables and cheddar cheese.

Overall thoughts…

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Asda Beef Bourguignon with Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Asda Beef Bourguignon with Merchant-Gourmet Red and White Quinoa

Where do I start, the Beef Bourguignon was ok, not brilliant but ok. It had a real winey taste to it, which I wasn’t overly fussy on and the texture to the ingredients weren’t a lot to be desired. I didn’t really get the smoked streaky bacon flavour and thankfully I couldn’t pick up the mushrooms. I was really disappointed and that’s why it’s getting a thee star rating3 stars

The Quinoa was slightly better although I don’t think it went with the dish I was serving it with, the accompaniment should have been mashed potatoes. I wouldn’t like to eat it cold from the pouch and I wasn’t’ overly enamored with the texture of it, but with some fish or chicken I suppose it would be a healthier option to rice. I’m awarding this four stars, I’ve tried lots of Merchant-Gourmet products over the years and this wasn’t one of my favourites.4 stars

In their favour though both products were quick and easy to prepare and not particularly expensive.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

Coming up next week for Time-Saving Tuesday we have my review of Tesco’s Italian Spaghetti Carbonara We’ll have the last installment in my Strictly Suppers range on the weekend, it’ll be my take on a Slimming World/Weight Watchers dish Fanta Chicken…. only I’m doing Tango chicken. Who do you want to win, personally I quite like Jay or Katie. Remember too, if you’ve got a product you’d like me to review get in touch on the methods above.

 

See you on the weekend

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