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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Wholemeal Herb and Onion Focaccia

This is such an easy bake, quick to mix and only one prove.  I have baked this loaf several times in the last few weeks and yesterday it was a delicious accompaniment to Vegetable and Lentil Soup for lunch on a chilly autumn afternoon.

Wholemeal Herb and Onion Focaccia

300g brown bread flour
7g fast action yeast
1/2 tsp salt
30g grated parmesan style cheese
1 Tblsp dried mixed herbs
30ml/2 Tblsp olive oil
250ml lukewarm water
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 Tblsp sea salt
1 Tblsp olive oil

Put the flour, yeast, salt, cheese, herbs into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the ingredients and add the oil and water.  Mix until a soft dough forms.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, either on a lightly floured surface or in a mixer.  

Once kneaded, put the dough into a lined oven tray and press out into a 25cm/10 inch round.  Cover with greased clingfilm and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled in size.

Whilst the dough is proving, finely slice the onion and coat with the olive oil.  Preheat your oven to 220C/200C Fan.  Once the dough has proved, remove the cling film and sprinkle the onion over the top of the dough followed by the sea salt.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.  Cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Quick and Easy Oven Baked Risotto

My family devour this dinner enthusiastically and always ask for seconds.  It is quick to make with minimal prep and fuss and almost cooks itself.  I love the fact you can cook it in the oven for 20 minutes or so whilst you get on with other things that invariably need doing on a weekday evening when you've children to sort out.  This dinner serves 5 people generously, with a couple of second helpings.

Quick and Easy Oven Baked Risotto

250g pack smoked bacon, roughly chopped into small pieces, or use any leftover cooked meat
2 onions, diced
2 peppers, diced
500g risotto rice
200ml white wine (optional)
1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
400g frozen peas 
75g parmesan style cheese, finely grated

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Fry the bacon pieces in a little oil in an ovenproof pan or casserole dish for 3-5 minutes until golden and crisp.  Stir in the onion and pepper then cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.  Add the rice and stir until coated in the oil.  Pour in the wine and cook until it has been absorbed.

Add the hot stock and stir, heat until stock is boiling.  Cover with a tight fitting lid and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until rice is just cooked.  Stir through the frozen peas and most of the Parmesan then cover with lid and leave to sit for 5 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with extra cheese and steamed greens.

I'm adding this recipe to the Speedy Suppers challenge created by Katie and Sarah, hosted this by Sarah at Maison Cupcake.  The theme is Cheesy and this comforting risotto has paremesan style cheese stirred through and grated on top.

speedy suppers

I'm also entering the Credit Crunch Munch linky this month.  This Quick and Easy Oven Baked Risotto is a cheap and comforting recipe and a great way to use up leftover cooked meat, perfect for the linky created by Helen and Camilla, hosted this month by Hannah at A New Addition