Baked Stuffed Potatoes

So obviously my intention is to cook every recipe from this book, some are pretty basic and I never think it’s going to turn into anything much to write about. I never expected to have issues over a baked potato…

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I do like a baked potato but it does have to be done in the oven and have a soft fluffy inside and a crispy skin. However I was hungry after work and couldn’t wait for an hour and a half so I decided to follow the shortcut this book gives for cooking baked potatoes. It doesn’t say to microwave as I’m assuming they weren’t found in many kitchens in the late 40’s! Instead it suggests boiling them for 10 minutes first…

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So I think this was my mistake! I perhaps left them boiling a bit too long, it can’t have been more than 15 minutes but by then the skin was all peeling off!!

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I had to just shove in the oven and hope for the best! While they were baking I poached some smoked haddock and then mashed..

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My parsley never did grow back and don’t have any dry stuff so I opted for chives instead, they were added with lemon juice, milk and nutmeg..
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As expected my potatoes were a bit rough looking round the edges, and I couldn’t spoon out all the inside in case they completely fell apart! So had to remove what I could, mix that with the fish and then pile back in..

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After about another 10 minutes in the oven they were ready, and am annoyed this looks so messy!

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Well this will never win any prizes for presentation but it tastes pretty good! It’s not the most exciting recipe, but smoked haddock in a baked potato is a new one for me and was good, but next time I’ll stick to cooking them in the oven only!

Would I make this again? Yes..

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Bubble and Squeak

I haven’t had this in years and I had some cabbage that needed using up and thought these would go nicely with tonight’s haddock..

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The recipes doesn’t actually specify cabbage and potato quantities. I had less than a quarter of a cabbage, it wasn’t cooked so I shredded it and boiled for a few minutes. I didn’t actually have any leftover mash either but I had one large potato left in the cupboard so I cooked and mashed that!

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They were mixed together with some seasoning..

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So from the recipe I thought I was to cook this altogether but I decided to make three separate ones. It is quite a wet mixture and at first it looked a bit messy in the pan and was almost falling apart!

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After about 20 minutes and a couple of turns they had firmed up and bit..

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They didn’t really crisp up much, but I didn’t want to leave cooking for too long, so once they were nicely browned I removed and we had these with haddock baked in cream..

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These are really really soft. I was expecting them to be a bit firmed. Taste wise they are ok, I think they’d would’ve been better if I’d made with the nicer, outer leaves of the cabbage. It was good with the fish and a nice way to serve potatoes!!

Would I make this again? Yes.

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Parisienne Potatoes

I know I say this quite often as well but I am always looking for different ways to serve potatoes, I’ll do anything to avoid plain boiled spuds! So this was looking like an interesting recipe!

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So I actually went out and bought a melon baller specifically for this recipe! May seem a bit extravagant but my kitchen has been lacking in the melon baller department and am sure I’ll get plenty of use out of it in the future!!

Not sure how old my potatoes are, possibly a week but does that matter? Guess it might make them easier to shape. I did find it quite tricky to get nice proper round shapes..

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I put these on to boil for 5 minutes, and I also put the remaining potato on to boil in another pan. I hate wasting food so plan to make some mash with the leftover bits and use them for another meal.

They were pretty soft after only 5 minutes..

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Then it was into the pan with butter and oil..

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I did start off shaking the pan to keep them moving but they started to breakdown slighty…

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I was a little more gentle with them for the last few minutes in the pan until they were starting to brown..

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We were having these with sausages and sweetcorn! Well I loved these! They had turned out like I expected, I had imagined perfectly round, smooth balls of fried potato. They are softer and I need to work on my balling technique but as a way to serve potatoes it’s great!

Would I make this again? Yes, definitely!

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Baked Mushrooms

This isn’t really a recipe, more like a suggestion, but I’m carrying on with tonight’s plan of emptying the vegetable drawer!

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I remember reading somewhere that you shouldn’t wash mushrooms, instead they should be cleaned with a mushroom brush. Unfortunately I don’t have a mushroom brush so I just wiped clean with some kitchen roll! Then it doesn’t specifically say to cut the stalks but the ones on my mushrooms were all random lengths which I thought would make it tricky to top with butter, so I trimmed them..

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Then topped with a little butter and seasoning..

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After 20 minutes in the oven they didn’t look terribly appealing and I was thinking I should’ve topped with a bit more butter..

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So tonight’s dinner was pan fried turkey with the carrot salad, tomato salad and these. I was pleasantly surprised at these, they were soft but tasted good and went really well with the turkey.

Would I make these again? Possibly, good way to use up mushrooms!!

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Glazed Carrots

I had made the candied carrots a while a go and didn’t actually enjoy them, they were far too sweet. So I was a bit unsure if I’d like this recipe.

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The butcher I shop in also does a great selection of fruit and veg so it was there that I picked up these chantenay carrots, not sure if they are technically young but I thought they were cute and ideal for this recipe..

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I don’t have lumps of sugar so had to guess an amount. I was making this with one pound of carrots so I think I put in about one teaspoon of sugar.

I left them to boil for about 20 minutes and by then the carrots felt soft. Once I had removed the carrots I increased the temperature and got the liquid boiling rapidly..

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It’s not clear from my photos but it does become dark, thick and sticky very quickly..

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I just threw all the carrots back into the pan with the glaze, I coudnt be bothered to do it a few at a time..

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I didn’t have any parsley so sprinkled with thyme which is the only herb in my garden that’s survived the winter!

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Well these are a million times better than the candied carrots. They aren’t overly sweet, I think that fact that I had used a chicken stock has helped with the flavour. The carrots are nice and soft and the glaze is just great! I think my daughter loved these too, thinks she was especially taken with the size of the carrots!

Would I make this again? Yes definitely

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Aubergine Fiesta

Before I started cooking from this book I actually don’t remember ever making anything with aubergines. I’ve done a couple recipes now and have enjoyed them, I think a favourite was the scalloped aubergines with meat. I do like the name of this recipe!

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I was making the full quantity of this as I didn’t want to half a can of tomatoes and a can of sweetcorn! Two aubergines weighed just over 1lb so decided once they were peeled that would be enough.

When I poured the water over the aubergine it floated right to the top and then it started to brown really quickly!

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After 5 minutes it was really soft and have to say it wasn’t looking particularly appealing just now..

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The recipe says to just put everything in an ovenproof dish, but I gave everything a mix in the pan first and then transferred to the dish. Was looking a bit better now..

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2oz of grated Parmesan looks like loads, and the dish was looking even better now..

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After 20 minutes the cheese was melted and the sauce bubbling away. The cheese topping didn’t look massively appealing so I decided to give it another few minutes under the grill to brown slightly.

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It’s not exactly the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, even adding a little parsley didn’t really make it look much better!

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We were just having this with some sausages for tea and don’t think my 6yr old was very impressed! After making this I had a vague recollection of reading somewhere that aubergines should be salted before cooking to reduce the bitterness. There was a slight bitterness to these so do wonder if I should added salt to the water when the aubergine was boiling. Despite that I did enjoy this, it did need an extra grind of salt to lift the flavour. Overall though it was nice but the cheese on top was the best bit!!

Would I make this again? Maybe, would try adding salt to the water and maybe some more herbs mixed through the veg as well

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Stuffed Tomatoes

There seems to be a lot of recipes that involve stuffing things that I wouldn’t normally stuff! I remember well the stuffed frankfurters which weren’t exactly a success and then there was the stuffed roll this week which was actually quite enjoyable! Today I fancied trying this for breakfast today..

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I do love having porridge for breakfast and it has to be with salt and milk which may sound repulsive to some but that’s my breakfast of choice midweek!! This recipe may sound like a bit of a faff first thing in the morning but I had the tomatoes filled and in the oven in 10 minutes and left them to cook while I got ready for work!

I made the baked stuffed tomatoes last year and they were a bit of a disaster! I had bought unusually large tomatoes for that and think I didn’t cook enough. For this I just used regular tomatoes, which were easy enough to prepare..

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The filling is pretty basic stuff that I almost always have in the fridge. I have to admit I opted for bacon rather than cooked ham so I did give the mixture a few extra minutes cooking. The quantities are quite small and I was halving so really wasn’t much filling. I also opted to put cheese in, really not a hard decision for me!

So the filling was done and put back in, and pretty much squeezed it all back in..

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The lids were put back on and then in the oven.

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After 15 minutes the tomatoes were looking softer so didn’t leave in any longer.

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These two tomatoes were just for me as breakfast. The tomatoes are nice and soft and did pretty much fall apart as soon as I cut into them! I don’t mind that though as I prefer that to a hard tomato! The filling is great, can’t really go wrong with bacon, onion, cheese and tomato!

Overall it was tasty and a nice alternative for breakfast!

Would I make this again? Yes tastes way better than I make it look!!

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