All posts tagged: zest

Sticky Lemon Pudding, 30p

I couldn’t decide between making myself a sticky toffee pudding, classic in its stodgy saccharine comfort blanket, or a lemon drizzle, zesty and bright with its promise of sunny afternoons…so I took to the trusty barometer of reason, Twitter, to ask for help. The poll came back as a 52/48 split, and we all know how contentious those are, so in order to try to satisfy both sides of the pudding referendum, I mashed the two options together. The sticky warm component structure of toffee pudding, with the flavour profile of a rich lemon drizzle cake. I wasn’t sure it would work (but was willing to give it as many goes as was necessary for the name of, uh, research), but to my delight, it came out perfectly first time. [I made mine in a 135mm wide x 55mm deep x 165mm long mess tin, as after six cookbooks and eight years my solitary loaf tin has finally given up on me, and the mess tin holds a third less than a standard loaf tin …

Courgette Chocolate Cake, 16p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Courgettes in cake came into fashion a few years ago, but I only really bothered with them when I had a glut of the green blighters one autumn. Desperate to get rid of them, I made them into wholesome soups, pestos, pasta sauces and smuggled a few into this big chocolate cake. The courgettes are virtually indetectable – a novel way of smuggling vegetables into your children or fussier members of your household – but the moisture gives a pleasurable density and a little heft to an otherwise light snack. Eat your greens, go on! Serves 6 rather generously at 16p each, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 2 courgettes, 40p (£1.60/1kg courgettes, Sainsburys Basics) 50g dark chocolate or 25g cocoa powder, 21p (84p/100g, Sainsburys own cocoa powder) zest and juice of 1 lime or 1 tbsp bottled lime or lemon juice, …

St Clement’s Chicken [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I named this one St Clements chicken after the old nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and lemons, sang the bells of St Clements…’ Although I use mandarins in mine, a mere technicality… Serves 4, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 1 x whole chicken Zest of 1 lemon 1 x 200g tin of mandarins 75g butter (softened) 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs a fistful of flat-leaf parsley First, preheat your oven to 190C. Then weigh your whole chicken to calculate the cooking time. You need to cook it for 20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes at the end. For example, a 1.4kg bird will need just over an hour and 20 minutes in the oven. Grate the lemon zest into the bowl and combine it with the drained mandarins, using a fork to break up the …

Creamy Salmon Pasta, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

This speedy fish supper – really simply a tinkering with a cheap jar of fish paste – takes just a few lazy minutes to put together and tastes absolutely divine. The sharpness of the lemon complements the salmon flavour, and the yoghurt lends a creamy subtlety. When I first put this recipe on my blog, over 100 people tried it, admitting disbelief that such simple ingredients could make such a yummy meal – but it does! (For vegan and veggie readers, this recipe was published in A Girl Called Jack in 2014 – I have simply updated the prices for accuracy.) (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) Serves 2 from 34p each: 150g pasta, 9p (30p/500g) 1 large onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 1 red chilli or pinch of dried, <1p a fistful of parsley, optional 1 tablespoon oil, 2p (£1.20/1l) zest and …

Broad Bean Salad, 38p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

Broad beans can be bought frozen for around £1.50 for a 750g bag – much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and no prising them from fiddly little pods either – although I do love thumbing the velvety lining of fresh pods to pop them out… Whether you choose fresh or frozen beans, this salad uses a lot of storecupboard basic ingredients, like lemon, garlic, herbs and cheese. It takes just minutes to knock together, and I think it tastes like summer’s coming… 140g broad beans, 23p (£1.25/750g frozen broad beans, Asda) 40g hard strong cheese, 43p (£1.60/150g, Smart Price grated hard cheese) 50g salad leaves, 48p (70p/75g, Asda) a fat clove of garlic, 2p (60p for 3 bulbs, Asda) 1 tbsp oil, 1p (97p/1l sunflower oil, Asda) Juice of half a lemon or 2 tbsp bottled lemon juice, 4p (39p/250ml, Asda) A fistful of fresh mint, 3p (60p/25g, growers selection at Asda) Salt and pepper First bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop in the frozen broad beans for two to three minutes …

Orange-Peel Salt

This, like so many of my recipes, came about from a pondering in the kitchen this morning. I had just finished telling Mrs J that I was thinking of blogging more, properly, again, because I miss writing for pleasure rather than writing for deadlines – two books in a year is quite an effort! She agreed with me that wittering about my day to someone other than the cat ought to be a healthy pursuit, and so I pottered back downstairs into the kitchen feeling pleased with myself. Then I made this orange juice, and just as I was about to scoop the peel up in my hands and pop it in the compost bin, A Thought occured to me. What if I didn’t throw it away, and instead gave it a whole new lease of life? I vaguely recalled buying a tiny pot of yuzu peel at Borough Market once, probably for the price of my firstborn and a limb, and set about trying to make something similar. Yuzu is a fruit that I …

Lemon & Thyme No-Churn Ice Cream [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I made this for a Mother’s Day past, with an accidental large amount of cream to get through. It’s a lemon and thyme semi-freddo, but by the end of dinner and several glasses of wine, we’d affectionately named it Fred – ‘Anyone for the last of Fred?’. Fred was a huge success with all the mothers present. If you’re a bit suspicious of herbs in desserts, leave them out or substitute a fistful of chopped berries. Serves 10 zest and juice of 2 lemons or 4 tablespoons bottled lemon juice a fistful of thyme sprigs 6 egg yolks 100g caster sugar 500ml double cream First, grate the zest from the lemons, if using, and pick 2 teaspoons of leaves off the thyme sprigs. Squeeze the lemons. Put the zest and thyme leaves into a small bowl. Set to one side. Next, line a 700g loaf tin, Tupperware box or empty ice-cream tub with two layers of cling film, using your fingers to push it into the corners, with a few centimetres spare all round. This …

Preserving Garlic, Three Ways

Garlic is often cheaper to buy in bulk packs than as individual bulbs – so every now and again I buy a bag or two containing 10 bulbs and spend an hour preserving them. There are three main methods I like to use: freezing, making garlic paste and preserving in vinegar. You can also dry the cloves in a warm oven and grind them into a powder, but I only do this if baking something else at the same time. Freezing: Break open the garlic bulb to remove the cloves, and for each clove chop off the ends and peel away the papery skin. You can freeze the garlic cloves whole if you want to use them whole, but I finely chop mine and freeze the chopped garlic spread out thinly (for ease of breaking off a chunk when it’s frozen). You can just pop the frozen chopped garlic straight into the dish when cooking. Garlic paste must be stored frozen, as home-made garlic paste can cause botulism (due to the low acidity of the …

Spinach, Lentil & Lemon Soup, 34p [Cook For Syria]

This easy, comforting spinach and lentil soup was inspired by a recipe in Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf. I made it a few times as a quick late-night supper, before I lost the notebook with the details in one of my many house moves. For a long while, as a single mum on benefits, I all but lived out of a pile of boxes as I ran from rent arrears to damp and mould to a single mattress on a floor in a shared house, and a lot of pieces of paper – and nerve endings – got lost along the way. Here’s what I remember of it, in happier times these days, with a few blanks filled in. Homely, comforting and filling, it can also be made with tinned lentils and frozen spinach for the ultimate easy, inexpensive lunch or dinner. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if …

Don’t Throw That Away! An A-Z of leftovers, tired veg, etc and what to do with them.

This piece started after an article in the Independent about the top 10 foods that we apparently throw away in the UK. I took to Twitter to ask people what usually ended up in their bin, and then spent a whole day and night answering hundreds of queries – some of them came up a lot, like bread and mushrooms, and some were rather more surprising, like ‘half a jar of caviar’ (not a problem I can say I have ever had, but I am here to help, and inverse snobbery is as ghastly as the original kind so please, resist the urge.) I have compiled them all here as an A-Z, and will keep this list going, and add to it regularly, as a handy reference point – so keep checking back! And add your own tips at the bottom, our ‘hive mind’ is a much better thing than my admittedly limited experience!! Also remember you can always use the search bar on the blog to find recipe ideas too, for that stray carrot, …

Chickpea & Tomato Brunch Loaf [A Girl Called Jack]

This loaf is a favourite weekend recipe of mine, which is easily adapted to personal tastes and what you have in the cupboard. Sometimes I like to thoroughly mash the chickpeas for a smoother bread, and sometimes I chuck them in whole for a knobbly, crunchy texture. Delicious toasted or grilled with butter, or bacon, or an egg, or all three… Makes 1 small loaf: 240g canned chickpeas (drained weight) 300g plain white flour, plus a little extra for kneading a 7g sachet of fast acting dried yeast a handful of chopped fresh rosemary zest and juice of half a lemon, or a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice 1 large tomato, chopped into small chunks Drain the chickpeas, thoroughly rinse them, and tip them into a large mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher to loosen the skins, and pick them off as the chickpeas separate (not an essential step but definitely worth it if you want a smooth bread – if you’re leaving the chickpeas whole then don’t worry about this!). Add the flour, …