Surrey’s New Campaign Could Provide Inspiration to Casserole Cooks

Hey, Casserole Cooks! Feeling stuck when thinking of a delicious meal to make for your Diner from your leftovers? Surrey County Council is here to help with their new Love Food Surrey campaign and accompanying Facebook application.

With staggering facts about how much food Surrey alone wastes each year (over 75,000 tonnes!), the Love Food Surrey campaign offers an interactive platform for people to share their creative recipes and tips to make the most of their leftovers. So stop tossing those apples that are a little too soft, and the banana that has some brown spots on it, and use it to make Fruit Bowl Muffins! Soak your wilting greens in cold water to salvage them for your sandwich, and save your money for something you don’t already have in your fridge.

In honor of the new application, the person with the most likes on their posted recipe will receive a gift, generously donated by local fine food and drink companies. The competition closes on 31 December, so get signed up and post your best leftovers recipe!

Love Food Surrey makes using leftover food and saving money easy! Click here to like their application on Facebook and gain access to their online campaign. Then visit Casserole Club to find a Diner near you who would appreciate a portion of your home cooked meal! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to find out more ways to get involved with your community.

Recipe Wednesday #8: Rachel’s Mum’s Two Mustard Green Beans

Hello!

We’ve been a bit off with our Recipe Wednesdays recently – apologies!

This week is another from my family archive. Over the weekend I hosted a belated Thanksgiving dinner for some friends – Thanksgiving is one of my all time favourite holidays, because its entirely about sharing food with those nearest and dearest to you – not unlike Casserole!

This green bean side dish is one my mum (or Mom in the States!) used to make all the time growing up, and always reminds me of home. It’s really easy and quick to make and is a great addition to most mains.

Green Beans with Two Mustards

Ingredients: 

Green beans cooked until crisp/tender

lemon juice

Dijon mustard

mustard seed

olive oil

garlic

salt, pepper to taste

 Method: 

In a skillet, heat up about enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and then a little (you want a fair amount.  The recipe calls for 6 tablespoons, but I found that a bit much, maybe about 4 should do)

Add about 3 tablespoons of mustard seed

When they start to pop out of the pan, remove it from heat

Add the minced or pressed garlic (use a couple of cloves at least) and brown but don’t burn

Set pan aside

In a bowl put about 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (more or less depending on how mustardy you want it to be)

Add fresh lemon juice and whisk together. (Should be medium consistency)

Add some salt and pepper

Add the olive oil mixture from the pan and whisk together.

Pour over green beans and toss to coat

Can serve hot or room temperature

(The dressing shouldn’t be too thin so watch how much lemon juice to mustard you use.)

Recipe Wednesday #7: Maggie’s Tartiflette

It’s that time of the week again! Sorry we missed you last week, we had a couple people on leave and unfortunately Recipe Wednesday got lost in the mix! But not to worry, we have an extra special recipe this week from one of our loveliest members!

Maggie has been a huge part of Casserole since the relaunch of the pilot last February – a regular Cook in a Pair Up, she has also been a referring machine, and a few weeks can’t go by that we don’t hear from her with a new friend or neighbour who wants to get involved in the service.

Maggie has sent us a recipe for a dish she first had in a little French restaurant in Northeast England. She’s riffed on the original and created her own version of this traditional Alpine dish.

She says, “I haven’t tried this on my Diner Pam, but will ask her if she wants to give it a go!”

Maggie’s Tartiflette

This recipe serves 2, but you can change the proportions as needed.

Ingredients:

500 grammes potatoes, cooked and cut into thin slices.

1 onion, thinly sliced and fried

2 rashers of bacon, chopped and fried with the onions

200 grammes Rebluchon cheese ( Brie will do, apparently !)

clove of garlic, chopped

salt and black pepper

about 100 mls double cream

Method: 
Boil potatoes until done, spread half onto a greased shallow dish, add
onions and bacon mix and top with final layer of potatoes. Season
layers with salt, garlic and black pepper.
Slice cheese and place on top of potatoes. Pour over double cream and
cook in a hot oven until the cheese bubbles and browns. I added a few
browned breadcrumbs to help the browning process.

Recipe Wednesday #6: Nancy’s Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Puff Pastry Tart

This week’s Recipe Wednesday is another favourite from one of our brilliant cooks, Nancy. Nancy’s Diner is mainly vegetarian, so she’s been cooking up some delicious veggie-based dishes for her, with this being one of her quick, simple, but impressive go-to recipes (we get to hear about all the lovely things she cooks and her menu always makes our mouths water!).

It’s best to hear about the dish from Nancy’s own words –

 The recipe is written for a single portion, but can be easily adapted to suit any number of people, either as one large tart or as small individual portions. I have been deliberately vague with the quantity of vegetables, as any leftovers can be used for pasta dishes, salads etc.

…it is a very simple recipe but tastes and looks impressive!

Bon Appétit!

This recipe is perfect if you have a bounty of veg like this!

Roast vegetable and pesto puff pastry tart

Ingredients: 
Drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
Selection of vegetables including peppers, red onions, butternut squash, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, leeks, mushrooms…anything you fancy really!
Ready rolled puff pastry, cut to approx. 10cm x 18cm
1 tbsp garlic and herb or plain soft cheese
Handful of grated cheddar or parmesan
1 Dessert spoon of pesto
Beaten egg or milk, to glaze
A few fresh basil leaves
Method:
Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 6/200C. Chop the vegetables into roughly 1” chunks, arrange in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Season to taste, then roast for around 30-40 mins until they are soft and golden.

Cut the pastry to the desired size and, with the tip of a sharp knife, score a border 2cm from the edge.

Mix together the soft cheese and pesto, then add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on top. Spread on to the pastry, inside the scored area.

Place the vegetables on top of the cheese mixture.

Glaze the exposed pastry border with the egg or milk, then place in the oven for 20-25mins. 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove from oven and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top. Cook until golden brown.

Garnish with the basil leaves and serve with a green salad.

Recipe Wednesday #5: Murtz’s Gran’s Kuku Paka Chicken

This week’s recipe from our very own Project Lead Murtz! He’s the heart behind Casserole, working away to develop, design and grow the service, and can make a mean meal to boot!

This recipe comes from Murtz’s Gran’s stockpile of delicious dishes, and one that Murtz has claimed in the past is his favourite. If you are a vegetarian, I’m sure switching chicken for sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or squash would be a delicious alternative.

So without further ado, take it away Murtz!

My gran’s Kuku Paka chicken

This is a recipe that my gran always cooks for the family, it’s an East African Asian dish and has a mixture of East African flavours like coconut mixed with Asian spices and chillies.

It’s really great with rice and pretty easy to cook for large numbers of people.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 whole chicken; skinned cut in quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves (or garlic paste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons crushed ginger(or ginger paste) (depending on how ginger-y you want it)
  • 3-4 Green chillies (or dried chilli flakes/powder)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Medium onion; chopped fine
  • 6 medium potatoes; peeled, and cut into quarters
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 400 ml of warm water
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander for garnish
Instructions:

If your chicken is whole, cut it into quarters and add 3 crushed garlic cloves (2 teaspoons of garlic paste) and the ginger, lemon juice, and salt and marinate the chicken for a couple of hours.

In a big pot on the hob, heat up the oil and fry the chopped onions until they are golden, add the chicken and cook for around 10 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes and mix it all up.

Add in the potatoes to the pot with the turmeric and cook it for another 5 minutes.

Add in the warm water and put the lid on to simmer for 15 minutes.

Finally add in the coconut milk and let it simmer for a final 10 minutes.

When serving add on some freshly chopped coriander and serve with rice.

Recipe Wednesday #3 – Nancy’s Lamb Tagine with Harissa Couscous

It’s week #3 of Recipe Wednesday and this week’s dish comes from one of our wonderful Reigate-based Cooks – Nancy, whom we first met properly at our Cookery Class a couple of months ago and who has been a positive voice and member of Casserole ever since! She sent through this simply delicious tagine recipe, and had this to say about it:

It is a super-easy lamb tagine that was a real success when I cooked it for a group of friends. It is so simple but tastes really impressive. It is the perfect meal to prepare ahead, as the flavours develop and it tastes better the next day. My ‘pair-up’ Edith is vegetarian, so I swapped the lamb for butternut squash and the chicken stock for veg, and reduced the cooking time. The harissa paste is a simple way to add flavour and spice to the couscous and if any couscous is left over it makes a lovely lunch for the next day with roasted veg and salad.

Thanks for sending us the recipe Nancy, and to everyone else, bon appétit!

Nancy (on the left) and another Casserole Cook Laura at our Curry Cookery Class

Nancy’s Lamb Tagine with Harissa Couscous

You will need:
1 tbsp olive oil
500g diced neck fillet of lamb (or lean diced lamb if you want to make the recipe low fat)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp ras-al-hanout (a blend of Moroccan spices including cardamom, cumin, coriander, cloves. Nutmeg and turmeric)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g tin of chickpeas
Handful of dried apricots, halved
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
For the Harissa Couscous
400g couscous
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Pack of cherry tomatoes, quartered
400g hot vegetable stock
1 tsp Harissa paste (add more if you like it spicy!)
Juice and zest of one lemon
Handful of chopped herbs – mint, coriander, parsley according to taste
Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4/180C.

Heat olive oil in a large casserole and brown lamb. Remove and place on a plate. Brown onions, carrots for a couple of minutes, then add garlic.

Add the ras-al-hanout, then tip the lamb back into the pan. Cook together for about 2 mins.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well.

Add chickpeas and dried apricots and then pour in stock. Bring to the boil and simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Add the sliced spring onions and chopped cherry tomatoes to the dried couscous in a large bowl.

Prepare 400ml of vegetable stock and add 1 tsp of harissa paste. Stir well, then pour over the couscous mixture. Cover with a lid or a clean tea-towel until the couscous has soaked up the liquid, then separate grains with a fork.

Add the lemon zest and juice, plus chopped herbs and stir through.

 

 

Recipe Wednesday – #1 Natasha’s Chicken and Tarragon Casserole

We WANT your recipes!! We now (amazingly!) have over 800 people signed up on the Casserole site – the vast majority of whom are Cooks eager to share meals with their neighbours. Given we have such a community of kitchen aficionados, it seems silly not to take advantage of all that knowledge and start sharing your favourite recipes with the rest of Casserole and beyond. From now on – every wednesday is Recipe Wednesday, where we’ll feature one delicious recipe from a Casserole member. If you have a recipe you’d like to share, send it to hello[at]casseroleclub.com with the Subject Title “Recipe Wednesday” and it may just appear on the blog! If you have a picture of your tasty dish, or an anecdote about why its a favourite, send that along as well!

Photo by WordRidden

To kick things off, we thought we’d start with the recipe Natasha cooked up for The Times article a few weeks ago – a scrumptious and moorish sounding casserole, perfect as the weather gets colder. So send in your recipes and enjoy this first of many recipes to come!

Natasha’s Chicken and Tarragon Casserole 

Ingredients

  • Two chicken breasts on the bone
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 85ml white wine
  • 5 tbsp double cream
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Method

Cut the onion into eight wedges, cut the carrots widthways into sizeable slices and crush the clove of garlic.Lightly fry the onion wedges and carrot slices with the garlic until they start to brown, and place to one side. Lightly fry the chicken breasts until brown all over. Place the chicken breasts in the centre of a baking dish and arrange the vegetables around the edges. Boil the chicken stock, mix with the white wine and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook in a preheated oven at 200C for 40 mins, turning the chicken and vegetables after 20 minutes. Separate the tarragon leaves from the stalks. Warm the double cream and stir in the tarragon leaves as it starts to simmer. Serve the sauce on top of slices of chicken breast and vegetables.

Reporting back from – Lunch and Learn

Last Saturday was Casserole’s first ever Lunch and Learn event in Redhill! It was a chance for the community to come together and share some delicious dishes, hear about the latest Casserole news, and give everyone an opportunity to feedback with opinions and suggestions for the project.

To start off the day, we premiered our brand new Casserole film, which was put together just before Christmas with the help of markthreemedia. The film follows Pam and Betty, two of the first members of the Casserole community, through the Casserole process, from cooking to eating, seasoned throughout with some truly lovely words about their experience.

After the film, we shared a presentation on what we learned from the first stage of the project, followed by a great and lively discussion where people shared their opinions on Casserole and what we should do next. From this insight, we will be looking at key things that stood out in the conversation, starting with how we can develop the Casserole community further with stuff like regular events and get togethers just like Lunch and Learn.

"Heaven and Earth Pie"

From our trial in December, we discovered that a big part of Casserole is the cooking community it creates – from sharing and learning new recipes, to tips and tricks for mastering the mid-week meal. So, one of our ‘stations’ at Lunch and Learn was all about sharing a recipe by writing it on a plate and sticking it on the wall. We had some interesting suggestions including an amazing recipe called “Heaven and Earth Pie” (can’t wait to try it!). We’re now testing how we can keep the momentum of recipe exchanges going, beginning by putting them up on our facebook page (so make sure you join up and add in a recipe of your own!).

Thanks to those who attended, we also managed to get some great new contacts at Ravens Housing Trustlocal Redhill Councillors and East Surrey College who we’re looking forward to visiting over the next two weeks to talk more about Casserole and how we can get even more people involved.

There were plenty of things on the menu for the day, but we must admit, the most exciting of all was our big crowd-sourced lunch, which went down an absolute treat. We had everything from a goats cheese, tomato and basil tart to broad bean salad and homemade bread – it was quite a feast!

Look at the flaky pastry on that goats cheese, tomato and basil tart

Lovely homemade dishes at Lunch and Learn

We learnt a great deal from our first Lunch and Learn event and we’re going to make sure we make them a regular occurrence in Redhill over the next few months, so keep your eyes and ears open for the latest news on what we are planning.

We’re also working on some new sign up forms based on what we’ve learned so far, making it even easier to get involved in Casserole, so watch this space!