Recipe: The Black Farmer’s burgers with roast red vegetables

Today I’ve been asked to sample some beef burgers from The Black Farmer. The company was set up by Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones and produces gluten-free products that are also RSPCA assured which means the company has a vision for all farm animals to have a good life and be treated with compassion and respect. Well, I’m all for that.

The beef burgers look beautifully plump and juicy and I decided to think laterally and come up with a different way to cook them. Sometimes my somewhat weird cooking ideas don’t work out quite as I’ve visualised them in my head, but today this dish was even better than I’d expected.

I started off by roasting some vegetables. Colour in food is so important to me and when I was trawling around the supermarket choosing my veg, lots of vibrant reds attracted me. So red roast vegetables it is.

For two servings I used:

1 red pepper, cored and sliced

1 red onion, peeled and quartered

12 cherry tomatoes, whole on the vine (I think cooking them on the vine enhances the flavour of the whole dish)

3 tbsps olive oil

Place the pepper and onion in a roasting tray and pour over the olive oil. Make sure they are well coated in the oil.

Place in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes until they start to soften. Then add the tomatoes.

IMG_3941

A tray of redness to roast

I love the large portobello mushrooms around at the moment and came up with the idea of using them as a base for the burgers instead of a bun.

Add the mushrooms to the roasting tray when you add the tomatoes and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Cook for another 10 mins.

Then place the burgers on top of the mushrooms, return the tray to the oven and cook for 10-15 mins until the burgers are mostly cooked through. I like them very slightly rare in the middle.

IMG_3948

Vegetables sizzle and the burgers cook atop the juicy large mushrooms

Check that your burgers are cooked and serve with mustard mayo. I make the mustard mayo by mixing three large tsps of mayonnaise with one large tsp of Dijon mustard. It’s really delicious and goes equally well with the veggies and the burgers.

The combination of sweet vegetables, earthy mushroom, meat burgers and spicy mayo is fabulous. Give it a try. Do you have any inventive ways of serving burgers? I’d love to hear your recipes, do get in touch.

TBF_Beef_Burgers

The Black Farmer produces a range of sausages, burgers, free range chickens, bacon, eggs and meatballs. Much of the range is available online at Ocado and you’ll also find the beef burgers at Asda and the chickens at selected Budgens.

Find out more at theblackfarmer.com

Recipe book review: Savage salads

It’s always exciting to acquire a new recipe book for my ever-expanding collection. And I was certainly inspired as I started paging through Savage Salads to decide what to cook for dinner.

The book is the brainchild of Italian chef Davide and Swedish food expert Katrina and the recipes came about because of their highly successful market stall in London.

They came up with the idea after noticing a distinct lack of healthy food options in London’s many food markets. And they also cleverly decided to offer a range of salads that were more interesting than your average leafy collection, as well as being substantial enough to leave you full and satisfied.

The book offers so many choices, it really does take salad to a new level. It’s divided into the four seasons and encompasses a mind-boggling array of ingredients, all of which are easily available in the UK.

The recipes are clearly laid out and easy to follow and I loved the mouth-watering photography.

So far I’ve tried three recipes, all of which have got a huge thumbs up from everyone who sampled them.

From the autumn section I made this fabulous potato salad with new potatoes, apple, spring onion and wholegrain mustard. Such a lovely sweet and sour combination with great crunch. It was served with a perfectly grilled pork chop.

IMG_3905

Something new for my potato salad repertoire

I love gazpacho and I love beetroot so it seemed a no-brainer to try this. Okay it’s soup, the book gets away with this by including what they call a Blitzed Salad at the end of each season. This is summer in a bowl, beautifully pink, sweet and health giving.

IMG_3911

Gotta love a bowl of pink soup

My third choice was from the winter section. No, I’m not confused it’s just that summer hasn’t really turned up so I’m still looking to cook comfort food. Little lamb kebabs marinated in garlic, lemon juice and rosemary are served with roasted sweet potato and turnip and served with crispy kale. Wow! I’m making crispy kale all the time now, it’s so easy and tasty and so full of goodness.

IMG_3931 (1)

There’s also a range of dip, dressing and mayonnaise recipes to try out. I’m loving the sound of smoked paprika and lime hummus, or maybe a bit of watercress mayonnaise. Salads are certainly never going to be boring again – the book certainly lives up to its strapline: Fierce Flavours Filling Power-Ups.

SavageSalads_Cover high res

Savage Salads by Kristina Gustafsson & Davide Del Gatto, photography by Kim Lightbody, is on sale now. Published by Frances Lincoln (£16.99). More information on the book can be found here

If you don’t want to cook them yourself (though I really recommend you do),  you can visit them at one of their stalls. You will find them in Berwick Street in Soho from Monday to Friday, Stratton Ground on Victoria Monday to Wednesday and at St Giles in field market in Covent Garden every Thursday.

Recipes: Two tasty dishes using lamb mince

So I’ve been asked to enter the Lamb Recipe Challenge and come up with a tasty, original lamb recipe. Never one to turn down a challenge, I put my mind to creating something deliciously different. I had so many ideas I’ve ended up creating two dishes using lamb mince – so you’ve got double value today! #LoveLambChallenge

Here’s my take on a lamb burger first. I was thinking about putting a different twist on a cheeseburger and came up with the idea of stuffing the burger with a herby goat’s cheese mixture. And that got me to thinking of French flavours which is when I added the Dijon mustard mayo. Along with a large, juicy slice of tomato and a handful of rocket, this is a splendidly mouth-watering combination. The cheese mix keeps the meat beautifully moist and is a lovely surprise when you slice your burger open.

Don’t forget to read on for my spiced kofta kebab recipe with a special secret ingredient.

HERB AND CHEESE LAMB BURGERS

IMG_1778

Add Dijon mustard mayo, tomato and rocket for a dream combo

Makes 4 burgers

500g lamb mince1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 egg, beaten

100g white breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

For the filling

100g soft goats cheese

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

To serve

4 ciabatta rolls

Mayonnaise

Dijon mustard

A large tomato

Rocket

Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the onion over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft and transluscent. Allow to cool

Mix the cooked onion, lamb, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper together thoroughly.

Divide into four and roll into balls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mix the goat’s cheese, basil and oregano together thoroughly. Cover and chill for five mins.

When you’re ready to cook, make an indentation in the centre of the lamb ball with your finger (making sure not to pierce the other side). Fill it with a large teaspoon of the goat’s cheese and then make a meatball again around the filling. Flatten it to make a burger.

Heat the remaining oil and cook for 10 mins on each side until nicely browned.

Spread a halved ciabatta roll with a mix of half mayonnaise, half Dijon mustard. Place the burger on top and add a large slice of tomato and a handful of rocket. Serve immediately.

IMG_1776

A substantial burger with a cheesy centre

One of my favourite South African dishes is called bobotie. You can find my recipe for it by clicking here. It’s a kind of lamb mince bake with spices, fruit, eggs and cream added and is truly delicious. So I thought I’d try to produce something similar in the form of a kofta kebab. My special ingredient is the marmalade – make sure you use a chunky one, I used Hartley’s Olde English thick cut marmalade. It adds a lovely sweetness and balance to the spice and really brings out all the flavours. I’ve served it here in a warmed mini naan bread – but these tasty little kebabs would work just as well with a salad or vegetable dish or served as snacks. How’s that for versatile?!

SPICED AND SWEET LAMB KOFTA KEBABS

IMG_1792

Cucumber raita and chutney in the naan complete the delicious parcel

Makes 12 kofta

500g lamb mince

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsps cumin

2 tsps coriander

2 tsps medium curry powder

2 tbsp thick cut marmalade

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Salt and pepper

To serve

8 mini naan breads

Cucumber and yogurt raita

Chutney

Fry the onion for about 10 minutes until softened.

Mix together all the ingredients well.

Shape the mince into sausage shapes on small skewers.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the koftas for around 15 minutes turning regularly to make sure they are evenly cooked.

Spread a dollop of cucumber raita inside a mini naan bread. Slide the kofta off its skewer, place on top of the raita. Add a dollop of chutney and serve.

IMG_1788

Close up to the spiced kofta

Do you have a favourite recipe using lamb mince? Or any other cut of lamb for that matter? I’d love to hear about it, so do get in touch.

Home cooking made easy with Gousto

Today I’m trying out a fantastic new concept from Gousto that’s going to make cooking tasty meals oh-so-easy. Their strapline is “Everything you need to cook delicious recipes, delivered weekly”. If you love cooking and find the decision making, shopping and organisation is putting you off, this is for you.

All you need to do is visit www.gousto.co.uk and choose from 10 delicious recipes that change every week. Your box of goodies will then be delivered with exact pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards. It’s fantastic to have exact quantities for each dish as it means there’s absolutely no wastage.

Gousto_002

Your box of ingredients arrives on your doorstep

There’s a wide range of different cuisines to select from, the ingredients are all high quality and the recipe cards are easy to follow. I love the pictures of the ingredients so you can check off your list before you start cooking.

Here’s the recipe card for Miso-Crusted fish with noodle broth.

Card

Well laid out recipe cards make for easy cooking

Even unpacking is fun, it’s like you’re opening a gift. With everything packaged up and labelled it’s simple to assemble your ingredients before turning your card over for cooking instructions.

IMG_3741

All my pre-proportioned ingredients for a perfect fish broth

This was a fabulous dish and very easy to make. The fish was bass from Vietnam and was one of the sweetest I’ve tried for a while. The broth was spicy and flavourful.

IMG_3777

The sweetest of fish and a spicy broth

My other choice for the week was Hoisin beef meatballs with sesame cabbage. Obvious a week with a desire for the food of the East for me.

IMG_3748

All my ingredients ready to go

Clear instructions made for easy preparation again and the dish was wonderfully rich and balanced – loved the crunch of the sesame cabbage.

Meatballs

Plump meatballs with a rich, glossy sauce

I was delighted at the quality of the ingredients, the lovely recipe cards that are both well designed and easy to follow and, of course, at the delicious final product. Prices vary depending on the recipes, you can find out more at www.gousto.co.uk

Recipe: Cheesy pork steaks and potato rosti plus the winner of a handy Microplane Cube Grater

It’s time to announce the winner of this fantastic Microplane Cube Grater. Congratulations to Elaine from Oxfordshire who will soon have a lovely addition to her kitchen.

The perfect way to make preparing food so much easier, the grater features three original Microplane blades. The Fine blade is ideal for grating citrus, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic and ginger and Parmesan to sprinkle liberally on your pasta.

The Ribbon blade, which conveniently grates in both directions, is ideal for grating chocolate, apple, soft and hard cheeses and a variety of vegetables, like onion, carrots and courgettes.

And then there’s the Coarse blade which is best for grating medium to hard cheeses like cheddar and a range of fruit and veg like apples, ginger, coconuts, carrots and potatoes.

This space-saving grater includes a durable, transparent cover that is also a box to contain whatever you’re grating, so no mess. It also has handy measurement marks on two sides and is available in black, red and green.

To celebrate this handy little grater I’ve came up with two tasty dishes that I needed to grate ingredients for. Altogether it’s a simple and amazingly tasty meal that you have to try.

Cheesy Pork Steaks

Serves 2

4 thin pork steaks

2 tbsps vegetable oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 beef tomato, sliced into four large slices

1 cup grated comte cheese (or any strong-flavoured cheese like cheddar)

Pour the oil into an ovenproof dish. Add the pork steaks and make sure they are well coated with the oil.

Lay the tomato slices on top of the pork and sprinkle with the oregano.

Top with the grated comte cheese.

Place in the oven at 180C and bake for about 20 mins.

stage1

Top the pork steaks with the juicy tomato slices

stage2

Top with the grated cheese before baking in the oven

 

pork

The delicious dish straight out of the oven

Simple potato rosti

I love potato rosti! It comes in many different forms and every chef has their own favourite. I’d never made it before today so decided to try the simplest method I could. Here it is, basically one ingredient and so tasty – obviously grating those potatoes makes some kind of magic.

Makes enough for two as a side dish (with a little left over for later)

2 medium potatoes

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Boil the potatoes until they are tender but not soft. Allow them to cool then chill for about an hour.

Grate the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Heat half the butter and oil in a heavy-based non-stick pan until it is sizzling. Add the grated potato and cook for a couple of minutes, then shape the potato into a flat cake by pressing down on it gently with a spatula.

Cook on medium for a couple more minutes, then gently shake the pan to make sure it’s not stuck to the bottom.

Cook for about 10 minutes until golden.

Place a place on top of the pan and invert it so the potato cake sits cooked side up on the plate.

Add the rest of the butter and oil to the pan and slide the cake in with the uncooked side on the bottom. Cook for another 10 minutes until crispy and golden on the other side.

rosti

A portion of deliciously golden rosti

Cube Grater - Green

And here it is in green…the handy Microplane Cube Grater

You can find out more about Microplane at www.microplaneintl.com

Recipe book review: Lebanese home cooking

Having been inspired by the many tasty and inventive vegetable dishes I ate on my recent cruise around Greece and Turkey, I was delighted when this book came through my letterbox.

Lebanese Home Cooking’s subtitle is Simple, Delicious, Mostly Vegetarian Recipes and it’s packed with wonderful ways with lentils, beans, aubergines, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, bulgur wheat…I could go on and on.

The book is written by Kamal Mouzawak who grew up in Lebanon and was the founder of Beirut’s Souk el Tayeb Market. So he knows what he’s talking about. Even paging through the book makes your mouth water.

I love Lebanese flavours and spices, too, and there’s plenty of that going on. And although the dishes look and sound exotic, the recipes are simple and often don’t have many ingredients.

I started with the spinach stew with pine nuts. Cooked with garlic and coriander (a staple of Lebanese cuisine), the spinach condenses down and absorbs all the flavours. And spinach and pine nuts is simply a heavenly combination in my book.

lebanese1

Health-giving spinach and pine nuts

I also made the chickpeas with yogurt, incredibly easy, especially as I cheated slightly and used tinned chickpeas.

lebanese3

Chickpeas livened up with garlic and tahini

This white butter bean stew was wonderfully easy to make and the flavours of the creamy, buttery beans (my favourite in the bean family), garlic, onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander producing a fresh and tasty dish to savour.

lebanese2

A heartily tasty bean dish

There are some great potato and rice recipes crying out to be tried – simple, genius ideas like mashed potatoes with spring onions and mint mixed through, beautiful bread and pie recipes and the sweets! I’ll be heading back in there soon.

lebanese4

A recipe book you definitely need in your kitchen

Lebanese Home Cooking is on sale from tomorrow the 5th of November at £15.99.

Get in there quickly and I’m offering you a discount too.

A special offer for readers of Eating Covent Garden.
To order Lebanese Home Cooking at the discounted price of £12.99 including p&p* (RRP: £15.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG380.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.