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Archive for the ‘tomato sauce’ Category

Baked Lasagne


Lasagne is a favourite with a lot of people including our family.  Being a tad lazy I usually just throw it together with my quick fire bolognaise sauce which I have perfected to about 10 minutes preparation and then simmering till required for spaghetti or as a lasagne filling.  
Sometimes however it is nice to spend some time and really develop the recipe.  This is not a quick fix for a week night tea.    It takes a seriously long time to prepare and cook the elements before even considering the putting together and final cooking.   The final dish is most certainly worth the effort and the dish does not hang around long in our household.
Ingredients 
Beef Mince
Vine Tomatoes 
Bacon Lardons
Onion chopped finely
Celery chopped finely 
Garlic chopped finely
Carrot chopped finely
Sugar 
Red Wine Vinegar
Red Wine
Beef stock
Mixed Herbs 
Bay Leaves
White Sauce 
Parmesan Cheese

 It might seem a strange start but wash your mince through in a colander – it helps break up the strands and allows each bit to cook and become crispy.  
 
Lay this mince, which is now quite waterlogged, on a flat baking dish and cook in the oven for 40 minutes (190°c)
 Prepare the tomatoes.  When investing the time and effort in a meal like this it is worth getting good tomatoes (and good quality mince if you can).   Cut the tomatoes in half and lay on another baking tray.  Sprinkle with salt and sugar; these both bring different qualities of taste to the forefront and transform a good tomato sauce into a fantastic one. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are charred and very soft –  this may take longer if they are at the same heat as the mince.
Begin to prepare the rest of the sauce.   Fry the bacon lardons till they are turning crispy.  Add the onions and garlic.  I like to get vegetables into the family and have long used carrots, celery and sometimes even peas in dishes like this. None of which are strictly Italian.   Add any carrots and/or celery at this point (peas can be added shortly before putting the dish together)
  
Cover the mix with a large spoonful of sugar followed by a good slug of  Red Wine Vinegar.  These work as a great combination together.
Follow with a large glassful of Red Wine.

Heat through allowing the liquid to be soaked up by the vegetables.  


If the tomatoes are not ready, remove the mix from heat and let the flavours marry together in a fusion of hits and delicious blends.   

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When the tomatoes are soft and charred add beef stock to the mix with the mince and tomatoes, also add the herbs.  Italian herbs are great, or a mixture of  oregano, rosemary and thyme.  My mother always added a couple of bay leaves to any Italian dish and I follow the tradition popping them in now.





Let the mixture bubble away for a while before layering with pasta sheets.  There needs to be some juice still in the mix but not too much as it will seep out during the baking process.  


 
  


Layer pasta, sauce, pasta sauce, finish with a layer of pasta.





Top the lasagne off with a layer of white sauce (I don’t add any cheese yet) which I had also added a sprinkling of mustard powder to add depth to the sauce.   I like to let the white sauce cool slightly before pouring over the top of the lasagne.  

Then finish with lots of grated Parmesan cheese.  This is one recipe where it is worth getting the real cheese and grating over.  Remember though, Parmesan is strong so you may need less than you think.
 Pop back into the medium oven for about 30 – 40 minutes and serve to a hungry crowd
 It is your choice how you serve this, garlic bread, green salad, glass of red wine or even chips but the dish can hold it’s own in the centre of your table.  
  
Enjoy and let me know the occasion you might serve this dish.   The wait is certainly worth it but I say again this is  not for a speedy supper, so enjoy the meal.    
Tiggy 

Take a look at my day to day blog on Tiggy Hayes

BBQ Sauce


Yet another sunny weekend – it is such a pleasure to be able to plan a BBQ and almost be guaranteed a warm barmy evening to enjoy the last rays of the sun with a cool glass of wine, a few friends and the odd child running round the garden.

Of course it is so easy these days to nip to the supermarket and buy ready prepared meat for the barbie.    However on days like this when I have a plan I prefer to buy meat from the butcher and prepare it myself.  This is such a quick and simple marinade / sauce which has wonderful results.

2 tbs Clear Honey
1 tbs Soft Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Worcester Sauce 
2 tbs Tomato Ketchup 
1 teaspoon of mustard
dash of soy sauce



Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  



Heat very gently stirring regularly till everything has become smooth, blended and there are no sugar granules left.

Take of the heat, allow to cool slightly then  pour over the meat.  If you have enough put some in a small jug to serve separately on the table (I sometimes do double amounts and then split it)




Leave the meat in a covered bowl or plastic bag in the fridge to marinate.



Take the meat from the fridge a little ahead of cooking and when the coals are ready lay the meat over the BBQ and pour any residual sauce over the top, cook depending on meat and bring to the table.

Serve with the reserved jug to rapturous plaudits.

I have used this with chicken, beef steaks, pork ribs, kebab meat or vegetables marinaded before being skewered.   

A very versatile quick sauce; add more honey for a really sticky marinade,  add a chopped chilli or extra mustard for hot tangy sauce.   Or add some sweet chilli sauce and a touch of coconut milk (once taken off the heat) for a more oriental flavour.

I also now use this as the basic for a smoky stir fry sauce, again adding touches depending on mood.

Give it a try and let me hear your adaptations.

Enjoy.

Tiggy


Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Tiggy Hayes

Cottage Pie



I wanted some variation with my usual shepherds pie but it had to be similar enough that no-one noticed.   They actually did notice but they also loved this variation that I produced.


Ingredients
Olive Oil
Onions
Beef mince
Brown Sauce – I had HP in the cupboard
Carrots diced finely
Frozen Peas
Tomato Sauce
Potatoes mashed – I had half a yam left so added this in which sweetened the mash.  
Butter and Milk
Cheese –  cheddar grated

Heat the oil




Add the onions and fry gently, removing when soft and beginning to caramelise.  Line the serving dish.









In the same pan, fry the meat till it is browned all over, then add a good dollop of brown sauce, Mix well then add to the onions.






Without cleaning the pan,  drain it if there is excessive fat;  add the carrots to begin cooking after a few minutes add the frozen peas and mix well.     Add another good dollop but this time of tomato sauce  and mix well.






Layer this above the onion and meat.   If it has become very dry add a few millimetres of boiled water to keep it moist whilst cooking.







While all this is going on have the potatoes on and boiling so they can be mashed with butter and milk.  You will have your own method of making the perfect mash for your family.   Layer this on top of the carrot and pea mix.




Sprinkle liberally with cheese and put in a high pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes until the mixture is clearly bubbling and the cheese on top is turning a golden brown.




Serve piping hot with a salad or further bright coloured vegetables.   

This is a great pre-prepared dish that can sit ready and waiting till you are ready to cook when you get in from the school run or work.  It works very well for a cosy supper dish with relaxed friends that can be organised before they arrive and then cooked when needed.

Spice it up by swapping the brown sauce for Worcestershire Sauce or add a chopped chilli to the meat.

let me know what you try and enjoy.


Tiggy
Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Dawn Chorus



Chicken Burger

This is just the easiest meal in the world to prepare and serve.  The boys love it and there is often a fight for the last piece of chicken around our table.  This is also a great party food with children’s friends coming round to tea.

This may not be the healthiest of meals for them but as an occasional treat is quick, easy and you can add nutritional sides.

Ingredients

Breadcrumb coated Chicken pieces
Baps /  burger buns

Optional ingredients

salad leaves
cucumber / tomato
relishes
mayonaise

Cook the chicken in the oven till it is cooked through and ready.

Slice the buns in half and add for a moment to the oven

Serve to hungry and very appreciative family.

I served with a fennel and spinach gratin and buttery broccoli.  I also used up some home made Beetroot chutney.

Baked beans and sweetcorn would add vibrancy or coleslaw for crunch.

French fries would go well, and as a party food serve some carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes.

Tomato ketchup is a must.

With the last piece (only 5 in our family), I cut the cold cooked chicken up into thin slices and added Mayonaise, spinach and chutney and put in my husband’s sandwiches the next day.   Who said you can get to a man through his stomach.!

don’t forget to read my other blog at https://tiggyhayes.wordpress.com/

happy eating

Tiggy

Pizza Time


We like all families love Pizza but it becomes expensive to take a family of five out to a well known chain and have them cater for all our different tastes. 

Occasionally instead of baking bread for lunch on a Saturday I will make pizza dough and then I can fill it with whatever I wish.  This is not a quick grab it and go like a bought one might be, this takes time especially if like me you make your own pizza dough.  I love the fact that I have control over what goes on and vegetables can be disguised easily for younger selective taste buds.

Ingredients
Pizza base bought or ready made

Tomato sauce – I do cheat here and buy the jars of pizza topping (although you can chop garlic and basil leaves, heat gently and add plum tomatoes till it thickens – cool slightly before adding to pizza base)




You can choose to put anything on top of your pizzas

We had: 

Anchovies / capers / mozzarella / green olives (I didn’t have black) on one half and 
Green peppars (roasted in olive oil and brown sugar)  / mozzarella / slithers of ham / jalapeno peppers on the other half

Sweet corn/  tuna /  cheddar

Spanish Tapas – Serrano Ham / chorizo / Salami / Iberico Cheese / green peppers







The putting together is so easy and a great adventure for a cold wintery half-term morning to get the children to help (especially if you use the pre-prepared pizza base and jar of tomato sauce)

Spread the base with tomato sauce, quite thinly really so as not to lose the other flavours.

Then pick and choose which topping you want.  Add them liberally according to taste.

Add to a hot oven 200°c and let them cook for about 25 – 30 minutes checking regularly especially towards the end.  You will know they are nearly ready when the house fills with the glorious warm aroma enticing you back into the kitchen.

Enjoy

Tiggy

Let me know what different toppings you add to yours.

Enjoy my struggles to become a writer by following ;  Tiggy Hayes

Meatballs





This came about because I wanted to make something the children would enjoy as we were going out for dinner.   It became an instant hit and is now requested whenever  I say we are going out.   It is so quick and easy  that it really is a cheat’s meal that goes down so well.  
    
 Ingredients

A pack of meatballs
Tin of tomato soup
Squeeze of tomato sauce



Tip the meatballs into an oven proof dish, cover with the soup and add a squeeze of tomato sauce.  Stir and add to a pre-heated oven for 25 mins.   

Check a couple of times and just turn the meatballs over.

Serve with pasta and bright vibrant peas or sweetcorn; you have an instant hit.  If using spaghetti run it through the meatballs or tip them into the pan and coat generously with the sauce.

Try it out on your little ones and let me know what they think.

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