Monthly Archives

October 2017

Savoury

Mexican Bean Soup with Tortilla Chips

October 29, 2017

It’s officially soup season…

A spoon in one hand and a deep bowl of warm soup in the other, slightly too hot so that it tingles your tongue and yet we still go ahead and reach for more. There’s something so satisfying about making your own soup, that you’re creating and developing a new recipe every time you make it as no single bowlful is exactly the same.

I’ve kept this recipe even simpler by removing the blending step, so it’s chunky and full of flavour with every mouthful. The tortilla chips are perfect for scooping up the beans and peppers, bringing this dish to a whole new level.

This recipe makes two large bowls, so feel free to double the ingredients if you want to prepare it for a family of four, or to have for lunch in the working week. You could even add a spoonful of sour cream, guacamole or cooked rice to change up the recipe a little. Try whatever you fancy!

First up, the mexican bean soup. Scroll further down to get your hands on how to make the tortilla chips…

Mexican Bean Soup

You will need:

  • 100g roasted red pepper (I used the jar variety)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can of black beans
  • 1 stock cube (beef or vegetable)
  • 70g of sweetcorn
  • handful of coriander
  • salt and pepper

How to make:

  1. Crush the garlic clove, dice up the roasted red pepper and add to a large pan on a medium heat.
  2. As the pan starts to warm up, drain and rinse the black beans and set to one side. Put the stock cube into the empty can and top with freshly boiling water.
  3. Add the spices to the pan and stir, pour in some of the stock to stop the spices catching on the bottom.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, black beans and the sweetcorn. Mix together and top with the rest of the stock.
  5. Simmer on a medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the pan, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spoon into large bowls and serve with the tortilla chips (recipe below) or add sour cream, a squeeze of lime  or fresh chilli to garnish.

The mexican bean soup would be perfectly delicious served on its own but if you’ve got the time, I’d definitely recommend pairing it with these simple homemade tortilla chips. And the beauty of making your own is that you can experiment with the ingredients, swap and change some of the spices for different ones and you’ve created a brand new flavour!

Simply double the ingredients to make more, I mean who would say no to that anyway?!

Tortilla Chips

You will need:

  • 2 small tortilla wraps
  • olive oil (I used the 1 cal spray and approximately 10 sprays)
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c.
  2. Slice the tortilla wraps in to half, then quarters and finally quarter again. You should have 16 tortilla chips in total.
  3. Add the tortilla chips to a bowl and spray with the olive oil.
  4. Mix the spices in a small dish and sprinkle into the bowl, using your hands make sure each chip is coated with the seasoning evenly.
  5. Lay out the chips on a baking tray, ensuring they don’t overlap each other.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, turning once.
  7. Leave to cool and crisp up, serve wth the soup.

If you try out either of these recipes, be sure to mention me in your creations using #jennifermakes and tagging me in your post over on Instagram.

Baking

Apple & Blackcurrant Crumble with Coconut Cream

October 22, 2017

Autumn, my most favourite time of the year.

As the clocks go back and the days begin to get shorter, I always start to crave more warming dishes, from chunky vegetable soups through to comforting bowls of sweet dessert. A crumble hits the spot every time, and you can’t get much better than the classic combination of apple and blackcurrant.

This recipe is surprisingly simple, and I’ve created it so it’s gluten & dairy free and also vegan friendly too. I always think if there’s a way to share recipes with more people who may be intolerant to certain foods etc then the more the merrier! And I certainly wouldn’t want to keep this recipe all to myself, it’s that delicious.

I’ve used frozen prepared apple and blackcurrants in this crumble from Field Fare however you can use fresh instead, just be sure to peel the Bramley apples first. You could also use blackberries instead of blackcurrants if you prefer, any sort of dark berry would work well with the apple.

To accompany the crumble, I whipped up some coconut cream, this is super easy to make and adds a little twist to the dish. You will need 100g of creamed coconut and a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract. Using an electric whisk, simply whisk the two ingredients together until it starts to thicken.

Next, the star of the show…

You will need:

For the filling

  • 300g of bramley apple slices (fresh or frozen)
  • 100g of blackcurrants (fresh or frozen)
  • 20g of soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml of water

For the crumble

  • 100g of oats
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 40g of soft brown sugar
  • 40g of pecans
  • 40g of coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  2. Begin by making the filling by adding all of the ingredients to a pan, ensuring the apples are peeled and sliced first. Heat on a medium flame and using a spoon, stir the filling every so often until the sauce thickens and the fruit begins to become soft.
  3. While the filling is cooking, make the crumble. Add all of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together.
  4. Melt the coconut oil briefly (I popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds) and then add to the mixing bowl. Stir together until the crumble is coated with the coconut oil.
  5. Using a pie dish, spoon the filling into a thick layer on the bottom.
  6. Next, gently spoon the crumble mix over the top of the filling until it’s completely covered. You can be quite generous with the crumble mix, however this recipe makes enough mix for two crumbles. Put the remaining crumble mix into a zip lock bag and pop in the freezer to use for next time.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with the whipped coconut cream, custard, ice-cream or simply on it’s own. If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share your pictures with me over on Instagram and let me know what you think!

Enjoy x

Book Reviews

The Little Library Crumpets

October 21, 2017

Crumpets, glorious crumpets.

One of my absolute favourite breakfasts to enjoy is the humble crumpet, at its finest slathered with butter and jam and bringing back nostalgic feelings of chilly winter mornings, snuggled up in my dressing gown, cup of coffee in one hand and a plateful of crumpets in the other… each little bite perfectly soft and sweet with warm jam. Yes please.

I’ve never really thought about making my own crumpets, always opting for the store bought versions, believing it would be far too difficult to even dream about attempting to make my own… Well, little did I know, you can and they are even simpler than I imagined. Which leads me on to where I found the recipe, in the midst of Kate Young’s brand new book ‘The Little Library Cookbook’, and it just happens to be one of the many recipes I couldn’t wait to try out. So I thought I’d share my views on Kate’s book (some of you may have watched my Instagram Stories showing a little preview) and try my best to explain why it should be an essential in your kitchen too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When discovering a new book, or revisiting an old favourite, my mind wanders, imagining what the food the characters are enjoying would taste like.” – Kate Young

Firstly, I absolutely adore the sentiment and idea behind the book, as an avid reader in my childhood (I’d go to the library on a Saturday morning, pick out ten books at a time and read them all at once and be back the following weekend for new ones) I was excited to find that some of the recipes that Kate explored were from books that I’d read over and over. The book combines moments in stories where the author touches on certain foods, tastes and feelings, which Kate then interprets into a recipe and literally brings fictional food to life.

For example, ‘Marmalade’ from Michael Bond’s A Bear called Paddington, ‘The Queen of Hearts’ Tarts’ from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and even ‘Figs & Custard’ from James Joyce classic novel Dubliners.

That was a wonderful breakfast. It is unusual to begin the day with cold apple pie, but the children all said they would rather have it than meat.’ – The Railway Children, E.Nesbit

You can feel the amount of emotion poured into the book, it really isn’t like any other recipe book I’ve found, it almost feels like a fictional novel in itself, and Kate allows us to follow her recipes and bring the book alive. Which is exactly what I did with the crumpets, following each step carefully until they were ready to eat and enjoying every mouthful with a sense of satisfaction, feeling like I’ve been able to bring a little piece of the story to the real world.

I think you might have guessed by now that I’m pretty passionate about this book, whether that’s to do with the stories Kate’s picked up on, or if it’s just down to the clever concept, I 100% know I’ll be making more of her recipes and I’d even go so far as to say that I’d be keeping hold of it to pass down the generations.

It’s worth getting your hands on it, just for the crumpets alone!

You can pick up a copy of her book here.