You all know the feeling. Slight nausea, banging headache, utter dehydration and, on some occasions, it even feels like every muscle in your body aches. Yes, it’s the dreaded hangover.
This recipe is my adaptation of Milton Crawford’s ‘Shakshuka’, from his brilliant ‘THE HUNGOVER COOKBOOK’, which my wonderful friend Rachel Ferguson bought for me one year for my birthday (go buy it, it’s amazing: http://www.miltoncrawford.com/).
Many of my hangovers start with an almost urgent requirement for paracetamol and a glass of cold water, followed by an extended period in bed waiting for the water and pain-killers to take effect. Then, once in a more ‘normal’ state, the next quest is for FOOD. During a hangover, the need for food is usually more pressing compared to the need for food on a usual day, especially as perhaps you may have skipped dinner the night before (after all, ‘eating is cheating’). Therefore, something relatively easy, tasty, filling and nutritious is needed, which will give you the kick-start you need to this rather grim day.
If you’re planning a big night out, check you have all the ingredients ‘in’ first (as to avoid any unexpected, disorientated trips to Tesco in your ‘onesie’). This recipe takes about 30 mins from start to finish, and serves 2 starving people, or 4 hungry people.
What you need:
a good glug of olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 tsp of crushed chilli flakes
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 free-range eggs
2 white baguettes
4 thick slices of smoked back-bacon
a squeeze of tomato ketchup
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, to serve
What to do:
Switch the oven on to 180* / fan-assisted 160*.
Heat some of the oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the bacon on each side, until crisp and golden, set aside on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat.
In a larger frying pan, heat the oil on a medium heat and cook the onion until it has softened and turned slightly golden (about 5 minutes).
Add the bay leaves, cherry tomatoes and garlic and keep stirring for a further 1 minute.
Add the cumin, paprika, and crushed chilli, continue stirring for about another minute.
Stir in the tinned tomatoes and a generous squeeze of tomato ketchup, season with salt and pepper, leave to simmer on a low heat for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place the baguettes on the middle shelf in the oven, to warm through.
When the sauce has thickened, make 4 small holes in the sauce using a spatula, and break an egg into each hole.
Then transfer the frying pan to a low-medium heated grill for 3-4 minutes, check them regularly – as the aim is for the egg yolks to stay runny.
Remove the baguettes from the oven, and slice diagonally on a chopping board, place the previously cooked bacon onto the board, ready to serve.
Once the eggs are ready, take the frying pan to the table to serve (on a heatproof mat or I use oven gloves). Garnish with salt, pepper and a generous sprinkle of the chopped parsley.
Each hungover guest should pile their plates with some bacon, at least one egg, a generous spoonful of the spiced tomato sauce, and have plenty of bread to mop it all up with.
Voilà, breakfast is served…. Happy hangovers, folks. xxx
This is one of my favourite ‘rustle-up’ dinners, for a few reasons: it’s easy, tasty, healthy and QUICK!
I’m not sure if anyone else experiences this, but most days when I get home from work I am STARVING. It’s sometimes borderline ‘hangry,’ and we all know, the best way to avoid that is to ‘snack right’ and eat well throughout the day (little and often and all that), but in reality this is not always feasible. A good way to avoid this is if you have something semi-prepped for when you get in, ready to put your chef-hat on and rustle-up a STORM. This one is also a crowd-pleaser too, if you wanted to impress your friends with an Asian-inspired dinner party.
This recipe serves 2, and takes about 25 mins from start to finish, depending on how quick you are! Here goes;
What you need:
1 packet of The Saucy Fish Company Sweet Soy & Chilli Tuna Steaks (240g) -available at most supermarkets
1 packet (410g) of free range fresh egg noodles (the ones that go straight to wok, we’re ‘hangry’ remember!)
5-6 baby corn, sliced length-ways
handful of mange-tout, sliced diagonally
1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced thinly
2 spring onions, sliced (even the green bits), to serve
a splash of soy sauce, and some extra to serve
a splash of ground-nut oil or a heaped teaspoon of coconut oil
What to do:
Prep the veg as above, to ensure everything is ready for cooking
Heat a griddle pan or a thick based frying pan on a med-high heat
Heat the oil in a wok, also on a med-high heat.
Add the baby corn, mange-tout and red pepper to the wok, with a slash of soy sauce and stir often, leaving them to cook for about 5 minutes.
Whilst the veg is cooking, add the tuna steaks to the hot griddle pan and leave to cook on one side for 2 minutes.
Check the veg, giving it a toss in the wok to ensure it’s all coated by the soy sauce, then add the noodles and a little more soy sauce and stir.
As the noodles begin to warm through in the wok, go back to the griddle pan and use tongs to turn the tuna over, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Once the tuna is cooked, transfer it to a chopping board and slice diagonally.
Now you’re ready to serve: separate the noodles and veg mixture into two bowls.
Place the sliced tuna steaks on top of the noodles in the bowls, and garnish with the spring onions and a little extra soy sauce.
Spaghetti Carbonara is such a great dish when made fresh. It’s perfect for all lovers of pasta and cheese (what’s not to love?!), so here is the Sophie’s Scran take on a classic…
I see this as falling into both Sophie’s Scran categories, as it can be a simple Mid-week ‘rustle-up’ or a great Weekend-gourmet dish, depending on your situation. Choosing a shop-bought garlic flat bread saves time during the week, but, you can really ‘pimp’ this recipe up at the weekend by home-making a garlic bread and serving with a classy bottle of white wine, such as a crisp and zesty Sauvignon Blanc (http://www.nakedwines.com have a great selection).
This recipe serves 3 very hungry, or 4 ‘normal hungry’ people , I like to serve it with a shop-bought rosemary and garlic flat bread (Waitrose do a good one) to save time, so all in all this recipe takes about 30 minutes.
What you need:
40g finely grated parmesan cheese + a small handful each to serve
30g finely grated cheddar cheese
3 large free-range eggs (organic if possible)
3 tbsp olive oil (aka 3 lugs)
300g frozen petits pois
3-4 rashers of smoked back bacon (snipped into small pieces)
2 big garlic cloves (leave whole with the skin on, but crush them slightly with a flat blade)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of finely chopped parsley (to serve)
What to do:
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with a good lug of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and a second small saucepan of just water to the boil.
Lightly beat the eggs and mix the grated cheeses together, then add the eggs, cheeses and a good grinding of black pepper into a bowl.
Cook the petits pois in boiling water for 3 mins, drain and set aside until later.
Add the spaghetti to the large saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes, or until ‘al dente‘.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan. Add the smoked bacon and the two crushed whole garlic cloves, and gently fry until the bacon starts turn golden brown. Add the petits pois and check the progress of the spaghetti.
When the spaghetti is ready, turn the pan with the bacon/garlic off the heat, and remove the two crushed garlic cloves. Lift the spaghetti out of its pan with a pair of tongs and add it into the frying pan with the garlic, bacon and petits pois.
Then quickly pour the egg and cheese mixture into the pan, using the tongs to lift and stir all of the ingredients together, making sure the spaghetti is evenly coated. At this point, it is good to add a dash of the pasta water, which helps create a light sauce, and ensures the spaghetti is evenly coated with the eggy, cheesy goodness!
To plate, simply lift and twist the spaghetti mixture into (pre-warmed) shallow serving bowls using a the tongs as before.
Sprinkle on the extra cheese, some finely chopped parsley and some freshly ground black pepper to serve!
So my first blog post on my new WordPress blog, scary, but exciting, here it goes…
I am opting to keep this first post simple, and thought it might be nice to share with you the scrumptious food I ate last night. I’d had a bad day at the office, so my boyfriend decided we would dine-out and took me to The Black Swan Inn, a quirky Cheshire pub just 15 minutes away from Alderley Edge. They have some great dishes on the menu (link here: http://www.blackswancheshire.com/), which is pretty refreshing compared to other pubs in the area, and it’s definitely nice to see something a ‘bit different’.
The food is tasty, simple and well-executed (it unfortunately took a fair while to arrive… but we didn’t get to the ‘hangry’ stage, so will let them off). The place is beautifully decorated and has a wonderful outside area with a wood fired oven, that is used on sunny weekends – a shame they are very few and far between now in this neck of the woods!
Took an aerial snap of my Char-grilled Chicken burger from the Special’s Board, served with spicy fries, homemade coleslaw and rather huge onion rings…. #yum
What’s your favourite country pub to visit in the UK? Or more specifically, the North West? Feel free to comment your thoughts and suggestions, I am always looking to add to my list of places to eat-out and welcome any suggestions if you have any.