Category Archives: Recipes

Browse through our recipes archive and let us know which is your favourite Brookers of Blunty’s recipe!  Alternatively, you may wish to use the search function on our homepage to find exactly what you’re looking for.  We have plenty of inspiration for what to have for supper tonight!

Mango-glazed Ham

Sorry I haven’t been able to blog for awhile; I’ve been taking a quick holiday on the Isle of Skye and the rules were made pretty clear that we should be keeping work and the Internet to the bare minimum! Ever since then, I’ve been trying to get some new recipes up but my WordPress app has not been playing ball. 

More on our trip another day….

As we were staying self-catering, we went to the butcher on the morning we left. On Sunday afternoon, I made my mango-glazed ham, which always seems to go down well. I’ve made this twice for Christmas and once as a hostess gift and it’s a much thriftier way of acquiring enough cold meat to see you through. You’ll need to pay attention to the cooking time on the packet, as this will depend on the size and type of ham.

You will need:

1 smoked gammon joint

1 litre orange and mango juice

1/2 litre chicken stock 

1 bouquet garni

2 bay leaves

Mango chutney, enough to cover the top of the ham – about 3/4 of a small jar or half a largish jar

Cloves

large stock pot

  

1. Unwrap the ham and remove any film or paper. Check the cooking time suggested. I normally knock off about 10 minutes from the boiling time as it will be baked as well.

2. Put the ham in the pot and add the juice and stock. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the ham, top it up with water until the gammon is just covered. Add the bouquet garni and bay leaves. 

3. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Check on the pot every now and again to make sure the ham stays covered. After the recommended cooking town, allow to cool for 10 minutes or so then carefully remove the ham. 

4. Allow to sit to cool a bit more. Trim off the rind and some of the fat. And preheat the oven to about 190C.

5. Score into the fat, but not all the way through, into a criss cross pattern. Stud each corner of the squares you have made with cloves. Spoon on the mango chutney until coveted. This will require some patience as it will melt and drop off the sides a bit when gravity takes hold – just scoop up and pour back over. 

6. Pop on a foil lined tray in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the glaze is golden. You might want to take it out half way through to scoop on any chutney that has come off and turn. 

Carefully slice when cool and enjoy with chutney, crusty bread and salad!

  



Oven-Baked Baked Potato

When I moved into my flat, I made the decision not to buy a microwave. I finally had my own kitchen with pretty much as much worktop space as I could possibly need (although we all know it’s never enough) and I simply didn’t want to give up any of that precious surface area to a microwave. Plus, it’s not something I ever used that often. Though there’s one thing I do miss it for – saving a lot of time in baking a potato.

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To be honest, you’ll need a lot of time and patience for this guy. We’re talking at least an hour, plus time to pre-heat the oven. I had to call EE about getting a new phone so I did that after I’d stuck this in the oven. Once I was done, I had enough time to make up the filling and then it was done and ready to scoff.

Preheat your oven to 200C.

First, you want to brush your potato down (clean it if you’re into that but I don’t bother) and spike it through in various places with a paring knife or skewer, or prick all over with a fork. This lets the heat penetrate more quickly (but it will still take an age!).

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Next, make a little tin foil basket on a bashing tray for your potato to sit in, but use enough foil to make sure there’s enough extra to wrap the potato in once the heat has started to penetrate. Rub the potato all over with olive oil then salt. Put into the oven and leave it alone for 20 minutes or so – but if you’re busy it will forgive you!

Turn and wrap up in the excess foil.

Put it back in the oven for 20 minutes or so then uncover for the final 10 or so. Give it a few stabs with a knife to determine whether it’s cooked enough for you….you may want to put it back in for 10 minutes for a time until you’re happy with it.

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Cut through twice, into four sections, but not all the way through the bottom skin.

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Fill with your favourite filling – I like tuna mayo and sweetcorn.

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Pad Thai

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If you’ve never tried Pad Thai, you really have to. This is insanely good. Researching this recipe, I came across a host of different ways to make this dish, and I’m sure a lot (most/all) of them are more authentic than mine, but I’m a fan of switching ingredients to what you have in your cupboards or what’s available at the supermarket at a better value price. Traditionally, Pad Thai is for prawns or tofu, but I’ve had a lot of fish recently so I thought I’d try it with sliced turkey steaks. These are much better value than chicken fillets, as well as being leaner so better for you, plus they really benefit from a good flavoured sauce. You could, of course, add more veg if you’d prefer a veggie version.

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You will need:

1 pack ribbon rice noodles – the straight to wok variety is easiest.

2 turkey breast steaks, sliced into strips

1 clove garlic

1 chunk ginger

2 tbs soy sauce

3/4 tbs sesame oil

1 tbs lime or lemon juice

1 tbs honey

2 tbs siracha or other chilli sauce – I used some tomato and chilli syrup I had in the fridge

beansprouts, peppers, bok choi or cabbage, carrots, broccoli – use whatever veg you’d like. I used a pre-prepared stir fry veg mix then added extra pepper and boiled some broccoli to serve alongside

1 egg

2 tbs peanuts, crushed. Ideally, you should use plain, unsalted ones but they (weirdly) were £2 whilst the salted ones were 48p so I used those and crushed in kitchen towel to dab off some of the oil and salt.

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1. Heat a small amount of oil in a big pan or wok. Grate the garlic and ginger and add to the pan.

2. Add in the chopped vegetables and cook at a medium heat for 5 minutes or so. If you’re serving broccoli, put it on to boil.

3. Mix up the oil, soy, honey, lemon or lime juice and chilli sauce in a bowl and add a tablespoonful or so to the veg.

4. Push the veg to one side and place the strips of turkey into the pan where it is clear. Leave to brown slightly then turn.

5. Mix the turkey in with the veg and add in the noodles and the rest of the sauce mix.

6. Sprinkle in two thirds of the crushed peanuts (to crush, place in kitchen towel and fold it around them then batter with a rolling pin), saving the rest for a crunchier garnish.

7. Clear a space at one side of the pan and crack in the egg. Allow it to set a little on the bottom, then start to stir it in, allowing it to scramble, but don’t overcook it as it will turn to rubber. Don’t worry if the sauce bleeds into the egg – it will make it creamier and season it (it seems wrong but it’s so right).

8. Mix in together, make sure everything is nice and hot and serve, adding the broccoli on top and sprinkling on the rest of the peanuts.

I only managed to eat about 2/3 of mine so I have the rest to take to work for lunch tomorrow. I’ll definitely be adding this to my regular rotation though – it’s just so easy and delicious.

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King Prawn Spaghetti

You might have guessed by now that I can’t live without carbs. This recipe is great though – you get a good spicy tomato sauce in minutes without any of that sharp metallic taste. The King prawns add a meaty sweetness without adding heaviness, and the peppers add some veggie goodness that keeps things nice and fresh.

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You will need:

around 8 king prawns per person

1 clove garlic

chilli flakes

1/2 tin cherry tomatoes (or chopped but I think these work better)

splash white wine

parsley

salt and pepper

a couple of drops of lemon juice

1/2 red pepper

a few green beans (optional)

spaghetti or linguine

olive oil

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1. Put the spaghetti on to cook in salted water. Grate the garlic and fry in a pan with a little oil in it. Add the chilli and chopped peepers and green beans. Fry a little until everything starts to soften.

2. Add the wine and cook out.

3. Add the tomatoes and squash the lumps down a little to help break them down.

4. Add the seasoning and simmer for 5 to 10 mins.

5. Add the prawns and cook for a few minutes on each side until pink and plump.

6. Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan. Mix everything together and serve.

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Coconut Cream Cake

Hey everyone, sorry this is a bit late. I’ve been in a training session at a hotel all day today (where the heating was turned up way too high) and ended up being seated next to the Directors at lunch so no break for me! At least I’m going on holiday in 10 days, but more about that soon. In the meantime…..cake!

This is a beautiful, light, not too sweet cake, which is perfect with a cup of Earl Grey, and a lovely break from chocolate cake, cupcakes, cookies……not that they aren’t great in their own way! Plus, you get to use up that tin of coconut cream that has been lolling about in your cupboard for awhile.

A tip for using coconut cream – if you live somewhere cold or it’s winter, you may find that your coconut cream has split into solid parts and watery parts due to the cold temperatures. To fix this, gently heat it in a saucepan, stirring to combine, then take it off the heat and allow it to cool a little before using it.

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You will need:

175g softened butter

175g golden caster sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons coconut cream

175g self-raising flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

50g desiccated coconut

For the icing and filling:

100g softened butter

3-4 tbs coconut cream

280g icing (confectioners’) sugar

jam to fill the cake, I like the sharpness of raspberry

50g or so desiccated coconut

glitter sugar, I used gold (optional)

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1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan. Prepare 2 sandwich tins by lining with greaseproof paper and greasing with butter.

2. Cream the butter with a hand/standing mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and cream again. Mix in the coconut cream and beat.

3. Crack in the eggs and beat until the mixture is full of air and almost mousse-like. Add the coconut and mix in.

4. Fold in the flour and baking powder, gently, trying to keep the air in, and stop mixing as soon as the flour has been properly combined with the mixture.

5. Divined the mixture between the tins and bake for 15-20 mins, or until golden and only just springy to the touch, with the cake coming away from the edges. Allow to cool a little then turn out, peeling the paper from the bases. It’s a good idea to run a paring knife around the edge to stop sticking and breaking first. Set aside to cool completely.

6. Best the softened butter until lighter and fluffy. Add the coconut cream and icing sugar (bring careful not to let it puff out all over you and the kitchen) and cream until combined and fluffy.

7. Once the cakes have cooled, place one upside down on a plate or board. Spread a good layer of jam on it then sandwich the other layer on top.

8. Spread the coconut icing over the top and sides of the cake with a knife or spoon then decorate with sprinklings of coconut and glitter sugar.

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup

This weekend, the snowdrops popped out and the sun winked at us for the first time in a good long while. I had a sudden feeling that Sunday might just be the last soup Sunday in awhile. So, for what might be the last hurrah, I had to take on a classic, in a rather majestic way. The secret to the strength of flavour that comes with this smooth, dark orange soup is the oven – pre-roast the veggies and everything intensifies.

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This recipe makes about 6 portions, so plenty to share or put in the freezer.

You will need:

2 large red onions, or 4 small ones

1 1/2 red peppers

3 cloves of garlic

1 large carrot

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

6-8 tomatoes on the vine

12 salad tomatoes

Note: use wherever tomatoes you like in whatever quantity. I tend to mix up the types by what looks good in the supermarket. The salad ones are cheapest and give you bulk, but I like the cherry tomatoes for a sweeter, deeper flavour. Beef tomatoes work well too.

olive oil

chicken or vegetable stock, 2 cubes or about a litre plus extra water

salt and black pepper

oregano, basil, paprika, chilli powder

lemon juice

a pinch of caster sugar

Worcester sauce – just a dash.

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1. Heat the oven to about 200C and line a couple of baking trays with tin foil, then add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and place in the oven to heat.

2. Quarter the onions and chop the the peppers into chunks. Don’t peel the garlic – it’ll roast nicely inside the skin. Chuck into a tray, carefully (don’t burn yourself) and season. Half the tomatoes and add to the trays.

3. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, chop the carrot into fine pieces and sauté without browning and prepare the stock.

5. Take the first tray out of the oven when the onions are starting to look vaguely translucent and the skin on the peppers is starting to shrivel. Allow to cool for a short time as this will help you to remove the pepper skins more easily. Chop up the onions, peel and chop the garlic and peppers, add to the soup pot and sauté.

6. The tomatoes are a bit fiddly, but it will help everything go more smoothly if you roast them until the skins have started to come away themselves, and if you let them cool a little so you can pull the skins off with your fingers. Then chop the larger ones and add to the pot.

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7. Add the stock and seasoning, stir, put a lid on and allow to simmer on a medium heat for around 40 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.

8. As you’ve removed the skins, most of the stuff you would normally need to sieve out has been taken away, however, you’ll still need to blend with a stick blender and sieve out the tomato seeds and any bits of stringy pulp. Be patient – your soup is worth it!

The soup will keep well in the fridge for around 4 days, and is great frozen and reheated.

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Rib Eye Steak with Oven-Baked Chips

This is a great weekend night supper. It doesn’t take that long to cook, but it’s a nice treat to cook for people you love, and to enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.

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There are a number of cardinal rules for steak:

1. Buy the highest quality beef your budget allows. I like rib eye because it’s marbled with fat which adds more flavour to the steak, but you have to heed how thick it’s been cut when you’re considering the cooking time.

2. Take it out of the fridge at least half an hour before you intend to cook it. To get flavour, you need colour, and to get colour, you need the steak to sear on the outside, not boil.

3. Season. Salt and pepper always, but I think paprika adds an extra something delicious to the mix.

4. Oil the steak on both sides after seasoning, not the pan.

5. Heat the griddle/pan until it’s smoking hot. Cook for max 2 mins each side for a medium steak (depending on the thickness). But be careful not to burn yourself like I did.

6. Rest. It might be a cliché but it’s really important to let the grain relax, preventing a chewy steak.

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For the chips, you need an oven as hot as you dare, about 200 – 220C should do it. Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil on a tray and pop it on the top shelf of the oven to heat. Cut a couple of large potatoes into narrow wedges and season. Once the oil is hot, chuck them in the tray, carefully toss them around and put in the oven. They should take about 30- 40 minutes to get nice and crisp, so keep an eye on them and turn once when they’re more than halfway ready.

Serve with caramelised onions, mushrooms, cubed and cooked in butter and mustard or ketchup on the side. Also great with roasted peppers!

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Turkey Tacos

I happened upon some turkey fillets at the local farmers’ market at the weekend, and then stumbled upon corn taco shells at the supermarket.  Add peppers and onions from the fridge and you’re pretty much there for a delicious Mexican supper!

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You will need:

turkey, chicken, beef or pork, sliced into strips

1/2 red pepper

1/2 onion, red or white, whichever you have or prefer

2 tsp cornflour

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp parsley

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 tsp tomato puree

taco shells (3 if smallish and you’re greedy like me) or tortilla wraps, flour or corn, folded or rolled

sour cream, guacamole, grated cheese and salsa, to serve with, optional

salad to serve alongside, optional

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1.  Slice the onions and peppers and chuck into a hot pan, medium to high heat, in a little oil.  Stir occasionally to keep the veggies moving, to avoid burning.

2.  When almost done, lower the heat and stir in the tomato puree – cook out for a couple of minutes.

3. Whilst all that is going on, mix up the herbs, spices and cornflour in a bowl and cut your meat into strips.  Toss in the spicy flour mixture and turn the heat up under the pan.

4. If using crunchy taco shells, turn them upside down on a tray and put in the oven to heat up – this will make them crunchier.  Remove from the oven, lay on their sides and sprinkle grated cheese inside then pop them back in the oven.

5. Add the turkey to the pan and fry ’til taking on colour and cooked through – this shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes – stirring back into the vegetables for the last few minutes.

6.  Now it’s time to construct them!  Once the cheese is nice and melted, fill with the turkey and veg filling, layering with sour cream, guacamole and salsa if you wish (which I do), or you can keep those as dips for the side if you prefer.

7.  Serve with salad and a heap of napkins – you’re going to have to eat these with your hands!  Buen provecho!

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Sweet Potato Wedges

These are a delicious and nutritious alternative to chips and go really well with anything spicy (they are a delight with chilli con carne) or dishes that don’t really have much in the way of sauce, like baked chicken or salmon.  I know this will seem like a pretty obvious recipe, but they are my go to when I want a substantial veggie accompaniment that’s lighter and tastier than potatoes, and dinner guests have asked for the recipe on a number of occasions.  You may not know that sweet potatoes count as one of your 5-a-day, whereas potatoes don’t, as they apparently don’t contain enough nutrients and vitamins.  By the way, do you guys in the US have the concept of 5-a-day or is it just an NHS thing?  I promise to share a sewing project soon – I have part of it drafted up but the instructions are going to be pretty mammoth!

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You will need (to feed 1):

sweet potato – 1 or 1/2 depending on how big the sweet potato is.  I find the size of these varies tremendously depending on supermarket and crop

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper (optional)

oil for roasting

salt and pepper

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1.  Heat your oven to about 200C.

2.  Chop your sweet potato into wedge-shaped chunks, or cubes, as chunky or narrow as you’d like, bearing in mind that they will shrink with roasting.  When I started making these, I always peeled the sweet potatoes first, but Charles suggested leaving the skins on “because that’s where the nutrients are” (lazy boy) and we tried it.  Now, I leave the skin on every time – it goes chewy and marshmallowy and delicious – plus, no peeling! (Or washing up the peeler…urgh).

3.  Line a baking tray with foil (you may want to fold up the sides if it’s smaller than your tray and add a small glug of oil (sorry, I don’t measure my oil!) onto the foil, and swish it around a bit.  Put it into the oven to get the oil nice and hot  – about 5 mins or so should be fine.

4. Once your oil is nice and hot, remove the tray from the oven and quickly dump in the sweet potato, which should sizzle when it hits the oil.  Be careful here – the oil and tray will be ridiculously hot so please don’t burn yourself.  Toss the wedges in the oil so all sides are covered, with tongs, a fish slice or your hands  (I’m hard like that).

5. Sprinkle on your spices and seasoning and toss again.  Put back in the oven.

6. These take about 30 minutes to cook, depending hot your oven is, but check them after about 20 minutes. When they are looking golden, flip them over and they should only take about another 5 minutes from there.

7. Serve and enjoy!

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Chewy Oat and Sultana Cookies

There are some days when you just have the urge to bake cookies -whether it’s for joy of loading up butter with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, for the guilty pleasure of licking raw dough off the spoon, or the utterly delightful smell of them baking – nothing can match them.  I recently made a batch of my famous chocolate chunk cookies for a colleague’s birthday (and I’m afraid that recipe is staying a secret for now!) but I knew I had oats and sultanas in the cupboard, so a take on oatmeal raisin it was to be.  I got a decent batch out of this recipe (though not quite the 24 she suggests), though I kept a small amount of the dough back to put in the freezer for emergencies (you know exactly what I mean!).  This isn’t my own creation, but has been adapted from the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, which I found I had to play around with a bit.  they are simple and delicious, but I’ll report back another time as to how well they froze!

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You will need:

230g salted butter, softened to room temperature

150g light brown sugar

50g dark brown sugar

50g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (more on this beautiful ingredient another day – use extract if you don’t have paste, but Sally uses   1tablespoon and assures us that it’s correct)

1 tablespoon golden syrup (Sally uses molasses, but I have a horrendous dislike of molasses)

190g plain flour (all-purpose, America)

1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

240g rolled oats

190g sultanas or raisins

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1. Cream the butter with your electric beater/mixer until soft and fluffy.

2. Add sugar, syrup and vanilla and beat thoroughly.

3. Add the eggs and mix again until combined.

4. Add cinnamon and oats, mix.

5. Add flour and bicarb, mix until combined, then add the sultanas/raisins. It’s best to use an electric mixer as the dough will be very dense and sticky by this point.

6. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour.

7. Preheat the oven to 170C fan/190C non-fan and prepare baking sheets/trays with silicone parchment or grease-proof paper. 2 trays at a time is probably enough per bake depending on the size of your oven, so this stage can be much more time consuming than making the dough.

8. Roll balls of dough slightly smaller than a golf ball (but it depends how large you want your cookies to be) and then flatten a little so they look more like small hockey pucks – this helps to speed up the baking and make sure they’ll be cooked through. Try to make sure your sultanas are fairly evenly distributed between the cookies.

9. Spread 3 – 4 cookies on each tray and bake for about 10 minutes, or until brown round the edges and cooked through. If the centre is still transparent, they’ll need a few more minutes. Allow to cool (they’ll harden a little) then enjoy! (They should still be chewy on the inside and will keep for around a week in an airtight container.