Saturday, 20 June 2015

Caribbean Pepperpot Stew

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If like me you live in the North of England, then you'll also know that despite it being Summer Solstice today it really hasn't been feeling like summer.

It's not weather for BBQs and al fresco dining. Instead I'm still happy to have stews and soups and I even made a hot water bottle the other night as I felt really chilly after a late evening bike ride. 

If you're on the SW Extra Easy plan, this is free if you use fry light instead of oil and  1/4 tsp sweetener instead of the sugar. I prefer not to and just syn the oil and sugar which is not much per portion anyways. 

Caribbean Pepperpot Stew (serves 2-3)

1tsp oil 
400g stewing beef, diced
2 red peppers, cut into chunky bite-size pieces
1 onion, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled & diced
200g green beans, trimmed & halved
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2tbsp jerk seasoning
1tbsp red wine vinegar
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp sugar
200g passata
200ml beef stock
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 160ºC/Gas 3. 
Heat the oil in a flame-proof casserole dish and brown the beef over a high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Reduce the heat and add all vegetables, garlic and jerk seasoning. Stir well to coat  evenly. 
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. 
Pop the lid on and cook in the oven for about an hour and a half, or until the beef is tender. 
Serve with boiled rice.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Spanish Green Beans and Tomatoes

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Admittedly I'm not usually the biggest fan of green beans, but every now and then I buy them and this time I had a bunch that were given to me by my neighbours A and G as they headed off for a week in sunny Bilbao. 

In homage to their Catalonian holiday I made them into Spanish Green Beans and served them alongside griddled chicken and some oven potato wedges for a simple dinner and I actually really enjoyed them. I even went back for seconds. 

Spanish Green Beans and Tomatoes (serves 3-4 as a side)

A dash of olive oil 
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
400g green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 3cm lengths
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
20g pine nuts
Juice of half a lemon
1tsp of sugar (optional, but it cuts through some of the acidity of the tomatoes) 
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat a little oil in a heavy based pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or so. Add the beans and continue to stir for about 4 minutes. 

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for around 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced and thickened and the beans are tender, stirring regularly. 

3. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Enjoy!