January is under way.
All my children are back at their studies, Charlie goes back to work on Monday and I will have the house to myself again. I am looking forward to listening to one of my Christmas presents.
It's nice to get back to everyday cooking in these post Christmas days.
These are pretty much the type of meals I throw at my family every day.
They're the sort of dishes that can be adapted to suit the ingredients you have on hand.
Chorizo and chickpea rice.
Cook rice, while that's happening fry some chopped red onion in some olive oil, add diced red peppers and a ring of chorizo, sliced. Fry until the chorizo starts getting crisp. Add chickpeas and peas (I added mine straight from the freezer). Stir in cooked rice.
Smoked mackerel, orange and beetroot salad.
Scatter some salad leaves on a serving dish, grate some beetroot over the leaves. Peel and segment an orange and throw that over the beetroot. It's easiest to do this over the serving dish so that the orange juice drips onto the salad. Break some smoked mackerel fillets into large pieces and add to the dish.
Make a dressing with olive oil, wine vinegar, mustard and honey.
This would be good with feta or goat's cheese instead of the mackerel.
My children will not eat smoked mackerel or beetroot. They had fish fingers.
Charlie wanted to know why he didn't get fish fingers as well.
Leek, ham and potato pie.
Inspired by this.
Roll out pastry into a large rectangle. Put a layer of mashed potato on top leaving a margin of about 3cm.
Cook some finely sliced leeks in a little water, drain well and place on top of the potato.
Scatter chopped ham on top (bacon is good too). Finish with a handful of grated cheese.
Brush the edge with milk or beaten egg and roll out another piece of pastry. Place on top of the filling and press the edges together and brush the top with more milk or egg. Bake in a hot oven for 35mins.
Barley stew with parsnips, carrots and squash and bacon.
Fry a chopped onion or some veg hash, add some chopped bacon. Let it colour a little, then add barley and diced parsnips, carrots and squash. Pour over stock, enough to make it look like a broth. Bring to the boil then turn it down to a simmer, cover and let it cook until the stock is absorbed and the barley cooked but still with some bite.
This is the cake I intended for Christmas morning. I finally got round to making it.
Lovely served warm.