Two Ingredient Flat Breads

These two ingredient flat breads are incredibly simple to make. They are so simple that my children get stuck in when making them. The best thing about these flat breads is that they take literally no time to make them and they are really difficult to mess up.

I have been buying Naan breads from the shop for years out of convenience. They are the perfect side for a curry, especially my butter chicken recipe.Although shop bought flatbreads are great, I always love being able to make the things I buy as it gives me a bit more satisfaction and with a bit of experimentation they usually end up being better. I make butter chicken curry once a week with some yoghurt dip and flatbreads. It always goes down well with the family and it’s a pretty cheap dinner.

When you buy flatbreads from the shop you usually only get between 2 to 4 and cost anywhere between two and three pound. When I make these, I make about 8 to 10 flatbreads which means I can save some for the next meal. They keep in the freezer for about a month.

Recipe

300g self raising flour

200ml 0% Greek Yoghurt ( I usually buy a 500ml tub and using some for the flatbreads and the rest for the yoghurt dip)

If you want to add some extra flavour to the mix you can add some herbs or some garlic granules. They are absolutely fine plain.

Method

Put the flour and yoghurt in a bowl and mix until fully combined. Depending on the flour you may need to adjust the amount of yoghurt you need. I tend to ‘eyeball’ it and add a little bit more if the mix is a little dry.

The dough should come together easily by working it together with your hands. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in. My kids love this part.

Once it’s together take it out of the bowl and knead the dough like you would bread on a clean surface for about 5-10 mins. It should have a smooth surface when it’s ready. Then roll it out into a sausage shape and cut it in to 8-10 portions of equal size. Roll these portions into balls and then press down to flatten. Use a rolling pin and roll then out to about 1/2 centimetre thickness.

You can add some oil or a sprinkle of water to the surface of the flatbreads and then cook. I cooked the featured flatbreads on a health grill for about 8 minutes. Flatbreads need a little colour, so if you get some charred bits all the better. To cook in the oven, preheat to 200C and cook for 6-8 mins. I always do test flatbread first as the mix varies dependiing on what flour I have used and how thick and large I have made the flatbreads.

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Our go to curry favourites – Butter chicken, quick flatbreads and yogurt dip

If your interested, see these recipes to make the curry and the dip:

Butter chicken curry

 

Yoghurt dip side for curry

 

 

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Indian Raita Yoghurt Dip

The perfect accompaniment for curry and flatbread, this dip is super simple and delicious. The part is it takes no time at all to get together and you can make it in advance. Just chuck it all in together and mix, then pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Prep – 2 mins

Recipe

250ml 0% Greek yoghurt or plain yoghurt

1 tsp mint

Half a cucumber – Grated and squeezed to drain the juice

1tsp Ground cumin

1 tsp Ground or fresh Coriander

1/2 tsp Lemon or lime juice

Check out my other recipes to go with this:

Spice Friendly Lamb Curry

Butter Chicken Curry

Two Ingredient Flatbreads

Lamb leg steaks with roasted rosemary and thyme crushed baby potatos with a side of quick cook garlic mushrooms

If your fed up of having the same beef steak on a treat night, lamb leg steaks are a great alternative. Not that I get fed up of steak that often – it’s just nice to have a change. There’s not much to this dish buut we love it with a glass of white wine on a friday night. It’s one of my go to meals for a treat. The lamb has bundles of flavour and cooked correctly is absolutely worthy as a replacement for a good beef steak. I used to cook this plain a simple with a bit of veg on the side until I experimented with some fennel seeds and butter to take it to that next level. Crushing and roasting boiled baby potatoes is another way to make some pretty ordinary ingredients a bit more special. The skin goes crispy, adding another texture to the dish. The garlic mushrooms are quick and easy – anyone can make them.

 

Serves: 2  

Cooking Time: 35 mins 

Prep: 5 mins 

Ingredients 

2 Lamb leg steaks

15-20 baby potatoes

6 chestnet mushrooms

Garlic or Garlic Powder

Rosemary

Fennel seeds

Thyme

Salt and Cracked Black pepper

Method 

  1. Clean and chop baby potatoes into halves and boil in salted water for 10 mins. when finished boiling, drain and crush the potatoes with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a pan. Then drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper on top. Put in a preheated oven at 200C. The skins will go nice and crispy by the time your ready to plate.
  2. Leave lamb steaks out to come to room temperature. Rub salt and cracked black pepper and a pinch of fennel seeds into the meat.
  3. Cut the mushrooms in half and fry on a medium heat in plenty of olive oil and garlic or garlic powder.
  4. Preheat a heavy base saucepan on a high heat like you would a sirloin steak. Cook the leg steaks in a small ammount of oil for about 2-3 mins each side. Do not move the steak around as you want a nice colour on either side. Add a small amount of butter and fennel seeds about 2 mins before finishing cooking.
  5. Take the steaks out to rest whilst you finish the garlic mushrooms by adding a table 50ml of double cream to your mushrooms.
  6. Serve once your lamb has rested for a few minutes.

Seriously Chocolatey Sunday Cake

 

Cake making on a Sunday is one of our favourite things to do. We have our breakfast and then the kids are ready to make the cake for our after dinner treat. I haven’t made a chocolate cake for a while as we have concentrated on making cupcakes over the last few months. The kids love making cupcakes because they are quick and they like to decorate them and eat as they are going. I wanted something a little more naughty this sunday and I had some leftover ingredients perfect for this cake from easter. I had some seriously good dark chcocolate as a gift and it’s always nice to do a dessert with great ingredients.

I have history with chocolate cake…a few years back I made the best chocolate fudge ever! Beginners luck though as I totally winged it. Chucked a bit in there and a little bit more there and hey presto! One. Amazing. Cake. Rookie mistake though as I didn’t write it down and tried to repeat it for my son’s first birthday….needless to say, it was awful the second time. It was dense and eggy – no where near the lusciousness of the first one I had made a week earlier. My friends and family were very kind and gulped nearly all of it down with a smile on their faces. I gaurantee you they didn’t like it. My wife is a very honest, straight talking woman and she had no qualms in telling me how bad it was. It has become one of those ‘remember that cake you made ‘ stories which will haunt me forever. Luckily, I have learnt the errors of my ways and now write down everything I experiment, discard the bad and improve the good. This cake is a top notch recipe that I have been playing with for a while. It’s fudgy, rich and moist – everything you want it a seriously good chocolate cake.

If you’re on a diet you might want to look away. I try not to eat that much chocolate nowadays but I need a good fix to keep the choccie monster at bay. This is a chocolatey, fudgy, and ultimately a gorgeous Sunday cake. I hope you enjoy! It’s an absolute belter of a cake.

Ingredients 

Cake Mix

200g Self raising flour

200g sugar

90ml olive oil

110ml boiling coffee water  ( 3tsp instant coffee)

2 eggs

1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

60g cocoa powder unsweetened

1 1/4  tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

Filling 

250g mascarpone

2 tbs nutella

2 tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened

Topping 

100g dark chocolate – finely chopped or grated

1 tbsp heavy cream or 75ml of double cream if you haven’t got the heavy stuff

 

Method

  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celcius.
  2. Add and mix the flour, cocoa powder and vanilla together.
  3. Add and beat the oil in until smooth and thick.
  4. Make the coffee water. It has to be boiling water and added when just made. Again beat this into the mixture.
  5. Add the milk and beat the mixture until fully incorporated.
  6. Crease a large cake pan. I used a 10 inch cake pan for my cake.
  7. Cook in the oven for 40mins. Check the cake at 30 mins. It should be a fudgey cake so the cocktail stick will be slightly covered but not runny.
  8. Let the cake cool for at least 20 mins before completing the filling and topping of the cake.
  9. For the filling, mix the mascarpone, nutella and cocoa powder together. I then put in to a piping bag and keep in the fridge until I am ready to complete the cake.
  10. For the topping, make a rich chocolate ganache by warming the cream on the hob on a low to medium heat. Do not boil the cream. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream and stir whilst off the heat. It will become a thick ganache and spreadable.

 

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Sicilian Style Cherry Tomato Linguine

I’ve always been pasta mad! In my mind, if you don’t love a bit of pasta there’s something inherently wrong with you, or you’re just not making it right. No offense intended.

Now you can either make your own pasta or you can buy some from your local supermarket. The supermarket stuff can be great to be honest and if your time poor it’s a great way of getting that pasta hit without the hassle of making your own. Although, I would say that with a bit of time management you can whip up some great pasta the day before and from there it only takes 10 mins to make a great spaghetti, tagliatelle or linguine. Either way I am not a snob when it comes to pasta. You choose what you like.

 

The other most important aspect of a great pasta dish is making sure you have a delicious sauce to go with it. There are so many to choose from and sometimes a simple sauce is all that’s needed. From a stay at home dad point of view, the quick sauce is usually the best and least ammount of effort at the end of hard day entertaining the kids. By the time the kids say they are hungry you know it’s too late and within minutes I know I am going to have hangry kids. This meal takes a maximum of 30 mins from start to finish. I am pretty quick at prepping as I have had plenty of practise. If you are better than me and have planned your time more effectively today and have fiven yourself time to get this dinner done, this dinner is low effort and great with a glass wine.

 

Recipe ( Serves 4-6)

One tin of cherry tomatoes (You can use chopped tomatoes here instead )

Half Onion – Diced

Half Aubergine/Egg plant – Sliced and diced in to small cubes

1 carrot – sliced and diced in to cubes

Half Large Courgette – Sliced and diced in to small cubes

1 Red Pepper – Sliced and diced in to small cubes

1 tbsp tomato puree concentrate

Salt and Pepper to taste

150g Bacon lardons (Can leave or replace to go vegetarian)

Mozzarella mini balls/ 1 large Mozzarella cut in to small pieces

150ml water

Pack of linguine or homemade pasta of your choice

 

Herbs & Spices – You can be as simple or elaborate as you want – Here’s what I add

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp garlic granules (You can use fresh garlic here – 3 to 4 crushed and diced gloves0

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp dill

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp  chives

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

 

Method

  1. Prep the vegetables and start to boil a saucepan of salted water. Also, preheat a large frying on a high to medium heat with a tablespoon of olive or rapeseed oil.
  2. Fry the bacon lardons until browning and crispy. Remove the lardons, keeping the oil in the pan. This will give the veg some flavour. When I do the vegetarian version, I replace the bacon with some quorn or mince and use some vegetable stock.
  3. Add the cubed and diced vegatables to the pan and turn down the heat to medium. Fry, constantly moving the veg, for about 5 mins until they soften. Add the tomato puree and cook for 2 mins making sure you get a even mix across the vegetables.
  4. the bacon back to the pan, along with with tin of cherry tomatoes. At this point add the linguine to the boiling salted water. These cook for about 9-11 mins if your using the dried, shop bought packs. Fresh pasta takes minutes to cook so adjust the time you put the lingiune on accordingly.
  5. Add the herbs and spices. If you want a more grown up version, or your kids can take a spice of spice, add some flaked chillis to the pan. Add the water and let the sauce simmer for the time the linguine is cooking.
  6. When the linguine is cooked, drain and add a bit of pepper. Put the liguine in the sauce and stir to coat the pasta with the sauce.
  7. Finally, add the mozzarella to the pan of pasta. Stir until the mozzarella is melted and stringy throughout the pasta.

Pasta for me isn’t complete without a bit on salty, tangy cheese on top. I used Parmigiano-Reggiano which has a great flavour to top this dish. This dish serves four hungry people of you can be sensible and serve a few normal size dishes to 6 people.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love a bit of cheesecake, especially when it’s got Oreo cookies in the mix and the base.

I made this for our family Easter dinner. I made the usual roast dinner but as always, the best part of special dinners is the special dessert.

After a few botched desserts recently, I needed this one to regain some of my reputation and bolster my cooking ego.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t be putting this one in the blog if it hadn’t gone down well. I made individual cheesecakes on this occasion but cooks just as well in a 12 inch cake pan. I love the feeling of having a dessert all to my self and using a medium to large size ramekin was perfect.

 

As it was Easter I decorated the top with come chocolate ganache and some crushed and whole mini eggs. You can decorate this with whatever you like.

Recipe

300g mascapone

300g cream cheese

1 large egg

75g icing sugar

12 Oreo cookies

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp honey

100g good quality chocolate (I’ve used 70% cocoa dark chocolate here)

1 tbsp heavy cream ( I used a slash of milk to thin the ganache slightly)

Bag of mini eggs ( as much or as little as you want)

Method

Base

  1. Place the Oreo cookies in a food blender and process until they are like crumbs.
  2. Add the honey and mix. You can use a little melted butter which is the most popular method. I like the hint of honey in the base.
  3. Line the ramekins with half to two thirds of the cookie crumbs. Press the mixture in firmly to create the base. Place in the fridge whilst making the cheesecake mix.

Cheesecake mix

  1. Combine the mascapone and cream cheese with a hand mixer.
  2. Whisk the egg and add to the mix a little at a time. Do the same with the icing sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until little and fluffy.
  4. Spoon and fold in the remaining cookie mixture left over from the base. Be careful not to add too much as it will end up making a very thick mix.
  5. Spoon in the mixture to the ramekins. Fill to about 1 – 1.5 centimeters from the top of the ramekin. This leaves space for the ganache.

The Bake

  1. Fill a large roasting pan with the ramekins and fill the pan with water so that the ramekins are half to two thirds submerged in a water bath. This helps cook an even cheesecake which I find is even more important when cooking in the ramekins. I tries it without and found the sides got too much heat and resulted in a pretty awful cook.
  2. Cook in a preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the ramekins from the water and cool on a rack before adding the ganache

Ganache

  1. Heat the cream and dash of milk on a low heat until warm.
  2. Chop or finely grate the chocolate.
  3. Add chocolate to the cream and stir whilst off the pan is off the heat until it has combined and is a velvety and moderately thick consistency. I like it to be able to run easily off the spoon a bit like honey does.
  4. Add to the ramekins and decorate with crushed and whole mini eggs.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.