<![CDATA[ Fresh Basil . . . - Recipes]]>Sun, 06 Dec 2015 12:42:13 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[Porridge with Figs and Maple Syrup]]>Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:07:37 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/porridgePicture
Yes, I love porridge on a cold morning. This "recipe" comes from wanting to try something different after a few weeks of the same thing..

I really like the different textures with this combination. Honey would be a good substitute for the maple syrup. I just happen to have a maple syrup addiction.

Other interesting and healthy toppings can be found in this article

Serves: 1

 Please refer to the packet of your porridge oats for instructions on the amounts and timings per single serving.

If the instructions are not available, a suggestion is 1/4 cup or 60mls of medium course rolled oats to 270ml of fluid (either milk or water, or even a mixture of both). Normally this should be brought to the boil over a gentle heat and stirred constantly for 3-5 mins. It may take a little longer, depending on how thick you like it.

Then add the following toppings (in this order):
1 tsp of cinnamon ​​- either leave sprinkled on top or stir through
A small handful of raisins - again stir through or leave on top​
1 tbsp. golden linseed​ sprinkled on top (available from health food shops & sometimes called "flaxseed") - great for crunch
Drizzle of maple syrup to taste
1 fresh fig cut into 8 pieces scattered on top.​​
1 fig cut into 8 pieces

<![CDATA[Weird & Wonderful Toastie Fillings]]>Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:17:34 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/weird-wonderful-toastie-fillingsPicture
There is something so satisfying about traditional toastie fillings - cheese and ham, tuna and cheese or just cheese. However, sometimes, I feel the need to mix things up a little bit.

Armed with my George Foreman Grill, all these toastie ideas are tried and tested. This post will be updated as and when a new one is created!

You may love 'em or hate 'em, but at lest give them a go ...​

Tuna, Cheese & Baked Beans
Tuna, Cheese, Mayo & Lime Pickle
Cheese, Mayo & Lime Pickle​
Banana & Marmite - ​
you heard correctly. Thanks to my brother for this one. It was a bit of a shock to be served it, but it was curiously satisfying.
Goats Cheese and Mango Chutney (with or without halved baby tomatoes)​
<![CDATA[Hearty Beef Casserole with Fluffy Dumplings]]>Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:05:55 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/hearty-beef-casserole-with-dumplingsPicture
I combined my favourite parts from my mum and grandma's many beef casserole recipes as well as other suggestions online. I have even included the purple carrots that I picked up randomly from Sainsburys. These, however, are optional! This recipe is ideal to make to freeze half for another cold and miserable day because it serves 8. It is also a great excuse to ask some friends for dinner.

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 45 mins
Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Recipe Card - Hearty Beef Casserole with Fluffy Dumplings
File Size: 198 kb
File Type: pdf
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1.3kg braising steak
500g lambs liver
2 small onions - chopped
1½ mild onions – chopped
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
4 celery stalks  - chopped
5 purple carrots - chopped
3-4 orange carrots - chopped
3-4 parsnips (medium not mammoth) - chopped
Flour, salt, pepper, thyme
850 ml beef stock bouillion  + 1 extra stock cube
2 tbsp tomato puree
Mixed herbs to taste
1 tsp mustard powder
½ tsp ground cumin

250g plain flour
120g suet (eg Atora)
2 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. freeze dried mixed herbs or 2 tbsp. of chopped parsley, oregano, marjoram
1 tsp dried mustard powder


Preheat the oven to 160/140 fan
1. Cut steak into largish pieces 4-5cm – removing any tough sinew. Roll in a mix of flour, s&p and thyme.
2. Flash brown the liver cut into bite size pieces in veg oil and set aside.
3. Brown the steak in batches in the casserole dish. Set aside
4. Soften and brown the onions first in the dish followed by the carrots, celery & parsnips and garlic.
5. Add the meat and the liver with beef stock bouillon , tomato puree over heat with sprinkle of mixed herbs
6. Mix extra cube with mustard powder, cumin and touch of water in a paste and mix in.
7. Once boiling pud lid on and into oven for 2 hours turning occasionally.
8. Make up the dumplings and add to casserole for 20 mins before serving.

<![CDATA[Lorne Sausage (Square Slice or Scottish Flat Sausage)]]>Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:36:14 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/lorne-sausage-square-slice-or-scottish-flat-sausagePicture
I love these sausages! Perfect for breakfast, lunch or tea. They remind me of staying with my grandma in
Scotland. Comfort food and the ultimate hangover cure in one scrummy square. Go to Scotland and you will find them everywhere. Swap your normal sausage in a full "English" breakfast for a couple of these and you will never go back. Or, ... just stick them in a roll with brown sauce. Grill or fry them for a few minutes each side (depending on thickness) - do not think of cooking them in the oven! I found this recipe in my grandma's collection. I have reproduced it faithfully (albeit with metric conversions!) and have left my suggestions at the bottom.

Makes: 12-14 sausages
Prep time: 5 minutes (plus a couple of hours to freeze until solid enough to slice - but not rock solid!)
Cook time: 5 minutes each side (if 1/2 inch thick)

Recipe Card - Lorne Sausage aka Square Slice
File Size: 193 kb
File Type: pdf
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1lb (450g) minced beef
1lb (450g) minced pork (the fattier the better - it keeps it moist)
6oz (170g) fresh breadcrumbs
4 fl oz (115 ml) cold water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

My optional additions:
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. mild chilli powder


Line a 2lb loaf tin with cling film so that the mixture can be packed into it. 

In a large mixing bowl, put all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly by hand. Prepare to get a bit messy.

Pack the mixture into the pre-lined tin.
(Tip: I found using a clean brick in a plastic bag is ideal for weighting the mixture down.)

Transfer to the freezer until solid enough to slice (a couple of hours).

Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices and either cook immediately or place into a bag with greaseproof paper in between each slice and keep in the freezer.

<![CDATA[Friday Night Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Aubergine]]>Mon, 15 Jun 2015 10:17:26 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/friday-night-slow-cooker-chicken-curry-with-aubergine
This is a brilliant recipe that started off as quite a healthy one at (click here for the original) . Not any more! - add aubergine, cream, almonds, and this spicy curry becomes  nutty and indulgent!

It was perfect for starting off before work on a Friday and simple to finish at the end of the day. Pop it in a bowl, curl up on the sofa with a naan bread and a glass of wine.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 6 hours
Serves: 4-6

Recipe Card - Friday Night Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Aubergine
File Size: 192 kb
File Type: pdf
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1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. coconut oil (or high heat oil)
4 large chicken breasts
1 onion (diced)
1 aubergine (smallish chunks)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped or minced)
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tablesp. curry paste (I used massaman thai)
3 tsp. garam masala
175g tomato puree
15 green cardamom pods
1 can of coconut milk
200g natural yoghurt
4 tablesp. double cream
3 tsp. ground almonds
handful flaked almonds


Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the chicken, onion and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until the chicken has browned and the onion has softened.  Stir in the curry powder, curry paste garam masala and tomato puree until no lumps of the tomato puree remain. Pour into the slow cooker. Stir in the cardamom pods,  ground almonds, aubergine, coconut milk and yoghurt. Season with salt to taste.

Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. The sauce should be thick and chicken tender. Stir in the cream and the flaked almonds. Remove the cardamom pods before serving.

With peshwari naan, pilau or coconut rice.
<![CDATA[BBQ Marinades - something for everyone!]]>Fri, 05 Jun 2015 11:06:57 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/bbq-marinades-something-for-everyonePicture
A list of fabulous marinades for anything - beef, pork, chicken, duck, fish or vegetables.

Recipe Card - BBQ Marinades
File Size: 214 kb
File Type: pdf
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In all cases marinate the meat or fish in a covered dish in the fridge for as least 30 mins for the best flavour.

Chinese Marinade 
Mix 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice, 2tbsp honey, 2tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp sesame oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves and a 2.5cm piece of crushed ginger (grated) Use with beef, pork , chicken, duck or fish

Garlic and Herb Marinade
In a processor whiz 75ml olive oil, 3 tbsp fresh sage,2tbsp dijon mustard, 25ml vinegar, and 2 peeled garlic cloves. Season with pepper. Use with pork and chicken

Provençal Marinade
In a processor whiz 75ml olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 3 peeled garlic cloves, leaves from 3 sprigs of rosemary. Season with pepper. Use with lamb, pork and chicken

Spicy Marinade
Mix 225g natural yoghurt with 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 2.5 cm piece of grated ginger, juice of 1 lime, 1tsp ground cumin, 1tsp ground coriander, 4 crushed cardamom pods, 1 finely chopped red chilli and stir well. Use with lamb, beef, chicken and fish

Tangy Marinade
Whisk 75ml olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1tbsp crushed coriander seeds, grated rind of 1 small orange and 2tbsp honey. Use with fish and chicken

 Mustard and Beer Marinade
Mix 4 level tbsp of grainy mustard with 150ml beer. Use with beef and pork

Mustard and Honey Marinade
Mix together equal quantities of mustard and honey. Add a little rosemary.Use with sausages

Spicy Tomato Marinade
Mix together 8tbsp tomato ketchup with 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2tbsp chilli sauce and 4tbsp red wine. Add 2tbsp Jamaican jerk seasoning. Use with pork, chicken or sausages

Ginger and Red Chilli Marinade
Mix a grated 5cm piece of ginger with 1 small chopped onion, 1 finely chopped red chilli, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1tbsp soy sauce, 2tbsp oil and 2tbsp honey. Use with chicken thighs or breasts

Hot Devilled Sauce 
Combine 1tbsp olive oil with 2tbsp mango chutney, 1tbsp tomato ketchup, 1tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1tsp Dijon mustard, 1tsp paprika, 2tbsp dark brown sugar and 45ml orange juice. Use with chicken

Yoghurt and Saffron Marinade
Beat together 200ml greek yoghurt, 2 crushed garlic cloves, pinch of saffron strands, 1tbsp fresh mint and 2tbsp olive oil. Use with chicken

Thai Marinade
Blend together 4tbsp olive oil, 1 chopped red chilli, 1 shredded stalk of lemongrass, juice and zest of 2 limes and 2tbsp chopped coriander, salt and pepper. Use with chicken and fish

Red Wine and Herb Marinade
Mix 150ml red wine with 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper. Use with beef and lamb

Barbecue Classic Marinade  
Mix 1tbsp soft brown sugar with 100ml orange juice, 1tsp English mustard, 2tbsp tomato ketchup and 2tbsp olive oil. Use with sausages, ribs and chicken

 Barbecue Ultimate Marinade
Mix together 3tbsp olive oil, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 3tbsp balsamic vinegar, 4tbsp sherry, 3tbsp tomato purée, 3tbsp sweet chilli paste, 300ml passata and 5tbsp runny honey. Simmer for 5 mins then use with chicken, pork, burgers or sausage  

Honey and Sherry Marinade
Combine 4 tbsp soy sauce with 2tbsp sherry, 2tbsp honey and 2tbsp sesame oil. Use with sausages

Sticky Tomato Ketchup Marinade  
Crush 4 garlic cloves and mix with 5tbsp of marmalade, 2tbsp red wine vinegar ans 2tbsp tomato ketchup. Use with sausages

Five Spice Marinade
Combine 2 crushed cloves of garlic with 1tbsp chinese 5-spice , 4tbsp hoisin sauce, 3tbsp soft brown sugar, 2tbsp soy sauce and 2tbsp orange juice. Use with pork

 Mustard, Sage and Apple Marinade
Stir 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage into 2tbsp Dijon mustard with 50ml apple juice, 1tbsp vinegar and 1tbsp oil. Season. Use with pork chops

<![CDATA[Pork Fillets Sauté Hongroise]]>Thu, 04 Jun 2015 14:27:21 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/pork-fillets-saute-hongroisePicture
To describe something as "Hongroise" or "à la Hongroise" (in the style of Hungary) refers to the use of paprika.

This version was published in Penguin Cordon Bleu Cookery book (mine is the 1977 edition). It is not, as far as I know, still in print but lots of pre-loved editions are available to buy on the internet. "My" copy is my mum's.

I have posted this recipe as true to the book, although I have put the metric conversions next to the ingredients where possible.

My edition does not specify servings or preparation time, but from experience:

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 40-50 mins
Serves: 6-8

Recipe Card - Pork Fillets Saute Hongroise
File Size: 188 kb
File Type: pdf
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2-3 pork fillets
1 oz. clarified butter
2 shallots
1 level dessertsp. paprika
1 level dessertsp. flour
1 glass of sherry (60 ml)
1/2 pint (280 mls approx.) jellied stock
1 tin of "champignons de paris" or 2-3 oz. (55 - 85g) button mushrooms;
1/2 gill of cream (75ml)

Chop the shallots
Cut the fillets into nice sized pieces
Sauté the pieces quickly in the butter, add the shallots and paprika, and cook slowly for 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the flour, add the sherry and stock and bring to the boil.
Simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes.
Add the "champignons" drained from the liquor, or, if fresh, sauté in butter for 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour in the cream, adjust the seasoning, and serve with boiled rice or a purée of potatoes.
<![CDATA[Almond Chicken Curry]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2015 15:15:06 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/almond-chicken-curryPicture
This recipe is based on one that I discovered on the BBC food website while searching for something to make with the leftover turkey over Christmas.

It is so versatile. You can cook the meat from raw following the recipe or use up leftover cooked meat by just adding it ten minutes or so before the end.

All sorts of fruit and vegetables work well in this curry. I have listed a few variations that I have tried below.

A blender or food processor is a must!

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Recipe Card - Almond Chicken Curry
File Size: 268 kb
File Type: pdf
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1 onion (chopped)
2 red chillies (medium strength) (deseeded & chopped)
1 tsp. coriander seeds
2 tsp. massaman thai curry paste (or tamarind paste)
1 tbsp. caster sugar
2 garlic cloves (peeled and bruised)
small knob of root ginger (peeled and chopped)
1 tbsp. sunflower oil
500g chicken breast (diced)
3 sprigs of thyme (or 1 tsp of dried thyme)
400ml can of coconut milk
150ml chicken stock
2 large waxy potatoes (peeled and diced)
250g spinach (washed and chopped)*
handful of green beans
bunch of fresh coriander (chopped)

crushed dried red chillies to taste
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground almonds
1 tsp. desiccated coconut
handful of flaked almonds

substituting 1 apple and a handful of mushrooms for the spinach is a tasty variation

Into a blender put the onion, fresh chilli, coriander seeds, curry paste, sugar, 1 of the garlic cloves and ginger. Blitz until blended into a paste. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat with the other clove of garlic and the fresh sprigs of thyme.
Remove the meat with a slatted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Fish out the garlic and any twiggy bits of thyme. Warning - a cooked whole garlic clove can look suspiciously similar to a bit of diced chicken!
In the same pan with the residual oil, cook the blended paste for a few minutes and then return the white meat to the pan.
Add the coconut milk, stock, potatoes, cumin and coriander.
(If using apples and mushrooms, add them at this point too)
Cook gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Stir through the spinach with the ground and flaked almonds and desiccated coconut.
<![CDATA[Slow Cooked Sausage, Mustard & Apple Casserole]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2015 08:44:51 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/slow-cooked-sausage-mustard-apple-casserolePicture
The quality of the sausages, the herbs and the red onion chutney are really important. Keep tasting - I am guilty of loving the chutney a bit too much.

I like to brown the sausages in the oven beforehand. It gives me free time to prep the apples and onion, caramelising them as slowly as possible. (This is not strictly a one pot slow cooker dish, but the browning and caramelising is worth it.)

This recipe uses a slow cooker but can be changed for the oven.
You can also freeze it just before ​the dash of cream is added.

Preparation: 20-30 minutes (including browning the sausages)
Cooking Time: 4-5 hours (1st hour on high, the remaining 3-4 hours on low)
Serves: 4

Recipe Card - Slow Cooked Sausage, Mustard & Apple Casserole
File Size: 201 kb
File Type: pdf
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8-10 pork sausages
2 red eating apples (skin on chopped into chunks)
1 large red onion (roughly chopped)
1 sprig of rosemary (or dried if not available)
a few leaves of fresh sage (or dried if not available)
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
2 tbsp. red onion chutney (or cranberry sauce)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 pt. vegetable stock
sprinkle of dried chillies
small knob of butter
salt and pepper
dash of double cream

Preheat oven to 200/180 degrees.
Brown sausages in the oven for 15-20 mins. (Keep checking and turn the oven up if they are looking a bit pale).
Meanwhile in a frying pan slowly soften the red onion in the butter while the sausages brown. Add the apples to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
Transfer the sausages to the slow cooker with the onion and apple.
Add the stock and the herbs as well as half of the mustard and half of the chutney. (The sausages should be mostly covered).
Cook on high for the first hour and then turn down to low for 3-4 hours.
Check half way through and add the remaining mustard and chutney. Season to taste. You can add some extra dried herbs if needed.
Just before serving add the dash of double cream.

Serve with mash or boiled potatoes and some fresh green beans or sugar snap peas.

<![CDATA[Poached Cod in Coconut Milk with Chilli, Peppers, Ginger & Spinach]]>Mon, 01 Jun 2015 21:37:41 GMThttp://freshbasil.weebly.com/recipes/poached-cod-in-coconut-milk-with-chilli-peppers-ginger-spinachPicture(c) Zestuous
The original recipe tasted delicious (click here for details). However, I wanted something a bit thicker to serve with rice rather than as a broth. I also fancied bit more of a kick and more green vegetables. 

Read on for my version....

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins (25 mins if making thai jasmine rice with it) 
Serves: 4

Recipe Card - Poached Cod in Coconut Milk with Chilli, Peppers, Ginger & Spinach
File Size: 198 kb
File Type: pdf
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  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • red pepper
  • 1 green chilli (I used an apache chilli)
  • Dried chilli flakes to taste if needed
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • knob of fresh ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 lime
  • Chicken Bouillion (a drizzle - not enough to thin the sauce)
  • 1 can coconut milk (about 1 ¾ cups)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 cod fillets
  • Handful of green beans
  • salt and white pepper
  • 4 cups spinach
Dice the peppers, finely chop the garlic, the chilli & ginger, and zest the lime.

Melt the butter in a wok over a medium high heat. Saute the peppers, garlic, chilli, ginger and lime zest for 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, the green beans, the juice of half of the lime and ½ tsp salt along with a drizzle of chicken bouillon. Bring to the boil.

Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper and gently lay in the coconut milk. Leave for 5 minutes. Turn over for a further 3-5 minutes. 

Remove the fillets and place in individual bowls.

In the remaining sauce, wilt the spinach and serve over the fish with thai jasmine rice.