Cheesy Garlic Mushrooms

20141005_190719I love garlic mushrooms, there is something so rich and tasty and fab about them. But it’s always on the starter part of the menu wherever you go. Why can’t it be a main? I decided to rectify this situation with these slices of toasted baguette, piled with garlic mushrooms, covered in cheese and served on a bed of spinach. All in the comfort of your own home!

You will need: 250g chestnut mushrooms, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons garlic puree, a handful of spinach, one baguette, mixed herbs, coriander, 15g grated cheese (I used a nice mature cheddar).

Turn your oven to 160 degrees, slice your baguette into inch thick slices and pop into the oven to warm up. Place the butter into a frying pan, add the garlic puree (use fresh garlic if you wish, but I like the slight saltiness of garlic puree) and stir to make a sauce, then add a pinch of coriander and a pinch of mixed herbs. Quarter the mushrooms and fry in the garlic butter for ten minutes.20141005_183334 Take the baguette slices out of the oven, place the garlic mushrooms on to the slices and cover with grated cheese. Put back in the oven, on a low heat. In another pan, wilt the spinach for half a minute in a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and pepper, then arrange on your plate.20141005_185946

Take your slices out of the oven, place them nicely on your spinach and voila – a lovely restaurant quality dish that only takes a couple of minutes and is super healthy. And if you’re having a dinner party – this will really impress.

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Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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Red Pepper Pasta Bake

pepper pasta bakeSometimes it’s worth just looking at the fridge and deciding to put things together that seem fairly logical. This evening I made a lovely tomatoey cheesy pasta bake, with ricotta stuffed peppers we had in the fridge. I made this bake with slightly less sauce than normal, so the cheese flavours come through. Dead quick and simple after work, really tasty and healthy, healthy as always!

You will need: a tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, 40g cheddar cheese, 100g ricotta stuffed peppers (or if you don’t have any, use normal peppers, mushrooms, whatever ūüôā ), olive oil, 200g fusili.

pepper pasta bakeBoil your pasta in a big pan for 10 minutes. Chop up your garlic and onions and fry in olive oil, add the tinned tomatoes and the mixed herbs, and give everything a good stir. Chop the peppers in halves and grate the cheddar. Drain the pasta and put it into a casserole dish. Add the sauce and toss everything together. Pop your pepper halves in the dish and add half the grated cheese then stir. Sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top of the pasta and bake for 20 minutes on 180 degrees.

Serve straight out of the oven in a big pile and enjoy. This would be a great meal for friends if you just double the quantities. Lots of Mediterranean flavours make a really great meal.

pepper pasta bake

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Melty Aubergine Bakes

2014-03-11 19.43.27You know when you are planning a meal and you realise you don’t have one ingredient? It always happens to me so I’ve learned to improvise. I’d already sliced an aubergine (but had no eggs) so I created these¬† – thick slices of aubergine underneath a tomato and onion layer, then covered with cheese and breadcrumbs. It’s dead quick and easy and doesn’t need many ingredients, have ago!

You will need: 1 large aubergine, 1 small onion, 2 big tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, salt, pepper, 25g cheese, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 1 slice of breads worth of breadcrumbs, olive oil, 2 tablespoons tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and rocket to serve.

Dice your onion and pop in a big frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil, finely chop your garlic cloves and add these. Cook for 5 minutes, chop the tomatoes into chunks and add these and the tomato puree to the pan. Add a big crack of black pepper, a pinch of salt, your cream cheese and some mixed herbs and then take the pan off the heat when the cheese has melted in.

20140311_190041Grate your cheese and mix it in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and a bit of pepper. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees. Chop your aubergine into 4 thick slices and place on a baking tray. Divide the tomato mixture between the slices and then sprinkle a big handful of cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.20140311_190545While that’s cooking, put your rocket on the plate and drizzle with a little balsamic and some good quality olive oil. When the aubergines are cooked put them on your salad and serve. Voila!

This dish seems really posh but it’s actually dead simple and doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. 1 slice of aubergine would be great for a starter and like always, add more cheese, or tomato if you like. It’s really healthy, cheap and delicious – what’s not to love?!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Creamy Mushroom and White Wine Pie with Oven Baked Mash

DSCF1584I made pie for the first time a couple of months ago and since then I’ve been experimenting with different veggie fillings – I think this is the best. Oh, and it’s National Pie Week – which is definitely a reason to celebrate! My mum came up to see us for a couple of days so I wanted to make something really lovely for tea, she has cooked for me for my whole childhood after all, so it’s a bit of a trickier recipe but definitely worth a try if you want to impress!

For the Pie

You will need: 125ml dry white wine, 200g white mushrooms, 1 flat mushroom, 10g dried porcini mushrooms, (Soaked in enough water to cover them), 2 garlic cloves,  3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon aromat seasoning, 1 large onion, 500ml vegetable stock, 150g plain flour,  5 tablespoons of water, 150ml single cream, black pepper, 75g margarine/butter (+ some for brushing on the top).

To make the pastry rub the butter and flour in a mixing bowl until it forms a breadcrumby texture, then add the water and mix with a spoon. Press the pastry into a ball, adding more water if you need, cover the ball in cling film and pop in the fridge for half an hour.

DSCF1572Dice your onion and crush the garlic cloves and put in a large frying pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once the onions are brown, add the stock and the white wine to the pan, turn the heat on high until it starts to bubble and then put a lid on and turn the heat to medium. Chop your mushrooms into quarters, and your flat mushroom into chunks. Add to the pan and stir. Add the porcini  mushrooms, along with the liquid they have been soaking in. Now leave to simmer for twenty five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cream.

Put your oven onto 190 degrees. Take your pastry out of the fridge – chop a third off and keep to one side. Roll out the remaining pastry thinly on a floured surface so it is large enough to line your pie dish. Put the pastry in the dish and blind bake for 10 minutes. In your saucepan, the mushrooms should be soft and the sauce should be nice and thick, season with a little pepper and a teaspoon of aromat, if the sauce is runny still, higher the heat and cook for another five minutes.

Mushroom PieRoll out the remaining third of pastry until it will cover the top of the pie. Pour the mushrooms and the sauce into the pastry, then place the pastry lid on top of the pie. Pinch the edges shut and brush the top of the pie with some melted butter (instead of melting butter in a pan, I place a few little lumps on top and the hot pie filling will melt it for you). Put the pie in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

For the Mash

You will need: 5 potatoes, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon cream.

DSCF1579Peel the potatoes and boil them for 15 minutes then drain in a colander. I also served this with some sliced carrots, but I’m sure you know how to do that! Put the potatoes back in the pan, add the butter and cream, and mash everything together until it is really smooth. Put the mash into a casserole dish and pop in the oven when you put the pie in.

pie and mashThere we go, a lovely, lovely pie, perfect for a family meal or a special occasion (Easter’s coming up folks!). The flavours are really rich and earthy, it’s a great dish if you are entertaining people who aren’t used to veggie food.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Warm Mediterranean Salad

DSCF1518This is a really quick, healthy lunch that tastes amazing. It was my cousin’s wedding on Saturday (congrats Jenny and Nicola!) so we spent Sunday in bed nursing hangovers and eating pizza (even food bloggers need junky days occasionally!). So it was time for a healthy lunch – this salad is full of flavour and a nice detox lunch!

You will need: a handful of black olives, mixed salad, 100g feta cheese, 1 small courgette, 125g cherry tomatoes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

DSCF1512Chop up courgettes into bitesized chunks, half the black olives and the tomatoes. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mixed herbs and chilli flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Toss the courgettes in the oil and heat for 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and olives and cook for another 5 minutes, add the feta, keep tossing everything in the pan and once the feta has started to melt turn off the heat. Place your salad leaves onto the plate and pour your warm veggies onto it. Drizzle the leftover olive oil onto the salad for a bit of extra flavour – crumble a little extra feta on top.DSCF1516

A lovely healthy lunch – packed with Mediterranean tastes and veggie goodness in less than 20 minutes. The sun is shining, summer’s on the way and this is the perfect dish to get you in the mood!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Crunchy Sunflower Crackers

DSCF1445I haven’t made crackers before – but we eat cheese and crackers for lunch all the time. On Bake Off this year they made crackers and it didn’t look too tricky so I thought I’d have a bash myself. I didn’t have any semolina in (which normally dries out crackers) so I used plain flour instead. I think they turned out quite well – crumbly and crunchy, with a nice olive oil flavour. Have a go yourself!

You will need: 200g plain flour, 70ml olive oil, 150ml water, 20g sunflower seeds, pinch mixed herbs and salt.

First of all put the plain flour and olive oil in a mixer, use a dough hook attachment and mix everything. Slowly add the water by tablespoon and keep mixing. Add the salt, mixed herbs and half the sunflower seeds.¬† Squeeze the dough together into a ball and knead for 5 minutes. The dough is quite tough so you have to really work those biceps! DSCF1416Leave for five minutes, and turn your oven onto the highest heat. Cut the dough into thirds, roll each third out as thinly as possible. Some people use pasta makers – which seems a good idea (they’re a bit pricey so I used a rolling pin). Sprinkle the leftover sunflower seeds onto the rolled out dough, flip it and roll again. Use a small cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. DSCF1439Cover a baking tray with baking parchment and place the crackers on the sheet then brush them with a little olive oil. Place the crackers into the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Flip them over and put them in for another 3 minutes. Take the crackers out and place them on a wire rack to cool down. DSCF1448Eat with some lovely cheese and a chunk of butter or if you are vegan, try them with some tasty houmous. Or just have them as a nice healthy snack.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Goats Cheese, Mushroom and Caramelised Onion Quiche

20140202_184034I hate shop bought quiche, but I love my Grandma’s homemade quiche so I thought I’d try my hand at making my own. It’s sat in the oven now and it smells AWESOME! This is a jumble together of a few recipes, based on the contents of my fridge and cupboards – feel free to customize ingredients as you like!

You will need: 125g plain flour, 75g margarine, water, 2 small onions, balsamic vinegar, 125g soft goats cheese (cut off the rind if you have that variety), 100g mushrooms, 2 eggs, 150ml milk, olive oil, flan dish.

20140202_170312To make your pastry, pop the margarine and plain flour into a mixing bowl and rub together til it forms a breadcrumb like consistency Add 3 tablespoons of warm water and form the pastry into a ball. Put it in the fridge.20140202_173429Slice your onions into circles, fry in a little oil on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Slice your mushrooms and add them to the pan, cook for 10 minutes.20140202_174153While the onions are cooking preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Roll out the pastry so it will cover the flan dish and the edges. Bake this for 5 minutes in the oven.

20140202_173736Beat your eggs in a measuring jug, then add 150ml milk, mix it with a fork. Slice your goats cheese and then crumble it into the eggy milk mixture. Mix with a fork until it forms a thick creamy consistency. Take your onions and mushrooms off the heat and add to the mixture.20140202_174132

Take the flan dish out of the oven, pour the mixture into the pastry case and pop in the oven for 15  minutes. Turn down the heat and cook for another 30 minutes.20140202_174941Take your quiche out of the oven, slide a knife into the middle and check it comes out clean, it should be a golden brown colour on top. If the knife comes out wet, cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with a salad or just eat a slice for a nice lunch. This is a lovely dish, really nice flavours and a light texture.

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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