Sunday, 2 June 2013

Wee Willie Winkie's Sausages Omelette with Baked Beans

Cocktail sausage omelette and baked beans in tomato sauce

This idea is definitely one that has to be included in the, "What can I do with those leftovers in the fridge?" recipe file. I had been working on a project devising cocktail sausage recipes for serving in the form of hors d'oeuvres at parties. Somehow, I miscalculated and bought one pack of the quaintly named Wee Willie Winkie's sausages too many. There were twenty in the pack so I used eight the first day to make sandwiches for lunch and on the second day I got just a little bit more creative with the result being what's featured in this post.

Wee Willie Winkie's sausages and eggs are only omelette ingredients

Ingredients (Serves one)

12 mini (skinless) cocktail sausages
1 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
2 medium or large eggs
Salt and pepper
Small can of baked beans in tomato sauce
4 or 5 shredded basil leaves to garnish

Cocktail sausages must be fried on a very low heat


When you are frying mini skinless sausages, it is imperative you do so slowly, on as low a heat as possible. Begin by adding the vegetable oil to a small omelette pan followed by the sausages. Place on to your lowest heat and cook for twelve to fifteen minutes, shaking the pan gently every couple of minutes to prevent the sausages from sticking.

Baked beans in tomato sauce ready for heating

When the sausages are almost ready, put the baked beans in to a saucepan and on to a low heat. Break the eggs in to a bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Put your overhead grill/broiler on to preheat to maximum.

Beaten eggs are carefully poured in to the pan with the cooked cocktail sausages

Pour the eggs carefully over the sausages. You will see the eggs don't come anywhere close to covering the sausages but that was deliberate as this was a lunch dish for one person. If you wish to add four or even five eggs instead for a more robust meal or to serve two, you can easily do so. Turn the heat up to medium and cook for just a couple of minutes until you can see the eggs are almost but not quite set. Place the pan under the grill/broiler for a further couple of minutes until the eggs have completely set and puffed up slightly.
Cocktail sausage omelette is halved and plated

Carefully half the omelette with the edge of a plastic spatula and slide the halves on to a serving plate as shown. Spoon the beans in to the gap and garnish with the basil.

Baked beans are spooned on to the plate beside the sausage omelette

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Duck Breast and Piri Piri Sauce Salad Sub Sandwich

Duck breast slices and peashoots sub with piri piri sauce

This duck breast salad sandwich came about simply because I could only buy a packet with two duck breasts in it when I only needed one. I used the one I required for dinner on the first night and refrigerated the second to eat for lunch the following day. It's amazing how often my lunch is determined by supermarkets selling products only in quantities greater than are required to serve only one person. If you're in this position, you may want to think along similar lines as a way of getting round what can often be a really irritating problem.

Duck breast fillet is scored and seasoned for cooking


1 duck breast fillet (skin on)
Salt and pepper
1 sub roll
Handful of peashoots
1 tbsp piri piri sauce


If at all possible, remove the duck breast from the fridge about an hour before you intend cooking it and leave it (covered) to come up to room temperature. Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C.  Lay the fillet flesh side down and score the skin with a sharp knife. Season with salt and black pepper.

Starting to fry duck breast fillet

Lay the duck breast skin side down in a cold, dry, ovenproof frying pan. Season the flesh side. Put the pan on to a very low heat until you can see the fat starting to melt and spread around the pan. Increase the heat for a couple of minutes until the duck skin is starting to crisp and turn golden. Turn the fillet over and quickly colour and seal the flesh side. Put the frying pan in to the oven for about twelve minutes.

Sub roll is halved

When the duck is cooked, remember to use oven gloves and lift the frying pan from the oven. Transfer the duck breast to a chopping board and leave to rest for five minutes.

Cut the sub in half and arrange the peashoots (or salad leaves of choice) on the bottom half.

Peashoots are spread on bottom of sub roll

Normally, I would slice a duck breast across the way - against the grain - but in this instance, I sliced it lengthwise, purely for presentation purposes. Slice it as you choose to a thickness of about a quarter inch.

Slicing rested duck breast

Lay the duck breast slices on the peashoots, drizzle with the piri piri sauce and place the top of the sub on last of all. Press down lightly, slice and serve.

Duck breast slices are arranged on top of the peashoots

Friday, 3 May 2013

Refried Chicken Breast with Oyster Sauce and Chinese Noodles

Refried chicken breast and onion in oyster sauce on a bed of Chinese noodles

One night recently I had a family member visiting and I made and portioned a whole roast chicken. It was a fairly large chicken, so the next day, there were substantial leftovers, including this chicken breast fillet. This recipe was devised quickly, using only other ingredients I had available in the house, and proved really delicious. It was also really quick to prepare.

Principal ingredients for chicken and onion in oyster sauce on noodles


1 leftover chicken breast, sliced in to 4 or 5 pieces (skin on or off as per preference)
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 nest of dried Chinese egg noodles
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Black pepper
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 or 3 basil leaves, rolled together and finely sliced

Dried noodles are added to boiling water


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and cook on a simmer for five minutes, or for the time period prescribed on the packet if different.

Chicken and onion are chopped for frying

Put the oil in to a frying pan (or wok, if you prefer) and bring it up to a high heat. Add the onion quarters and stir fry for about a minute before adding the chicken. Season with black pepper and stir fry until the chicken is starting to crisp and turn golden. This should take two to three minutes.

Chicken and onion are fried in sunflower oil

Spoon the oyster sauce in to the frying pan and stir fry just long enough to evenly coat the chicken and onion.

Oyster sauce is added to chicken and onion

Drain the noodles through a colander and twist them around a fork. Carefully slide them off the fork in to the centre of a serving plate.

Noodles are laid as a bed on the plate

A slotted spoon is ideal for transferring the chicken and onion on to the bed of noodles before the shredded basil leaves are added as a final garnish.

Fried chicken and onion is spooned on to bed of noodles

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Duck Confit and Duck Liver and Orange Pate on Toast with Watercress and Orange Salad

Toast is spread with duck liver pate, topped with duck confit and served with an orange and watercress salad

A few nights ago, I made a very simple duck confit for dinner and deliberately prepared extra that I would have leftovers for lunch the next day. This is the dish I thereafter prepared - quick, easy and delicious.  This recipe is perfect for lunch when time is short but you are looking for something a little bit different and possibly hoping to impress family or guests with an interesting and tasty dish.

Duck confit

Ingredients per Person

1 confit duck leg
1 slice of wheat, spelt and rye bread (or bread of choice)
2oz duck liver and orange pate
Handful of fresh watercress
Skinned segments of half an orange
Teaspoon of pine nuts
Salt and black pepper
Chopped parsley to garnish

Slice of wheat, spelt and rye bread for toasting


Cut the slice of wheat, spelt and rye bread and put it on to to toast. Pick the flesh from the confit of duck leg in large clumps.

Confit duck meat removed from bones

Sit the toasted bread on a chopping board.

Wheat, spelt and rye toast

Spread the hot toast with the duck liver and orange pate.

Duck liver and orange pate is spread on toast

Toss the watercress, orange segments and pine nuts together with some seasoning. Lay on one side of a serving plate.

Watercress, orange and pine nuts salad

Sit the toast and pate beside the salad. Lay the pieces of duck confit in an even layer over the pate. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Duck confit and pate on toast is plated with watercress and orange salad

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sausages, Bacon and Black Pudding with a Fried Duck Egg and Baked Beans

A classic fried breakfast slightly adapted makes a wonderful lunch

The plate pictured above may be one you would expect to see on a breakfast table rather than a lunch table. The truth is, however, that the full English breakfast or full Scottish breakfast can be enjoyed every bit as much at any other time of day and above all makes the perfect brunch. A little tweak here and there - like using a duck egg in this instance rather than a chicken egg - can really freshen it up. Even taking a little time to vary the presentation and use a dish for the beans can make it seem like a completely different meal.

Pork sausages, black pudding and Ayrshire middle bacon

Ingredients per Person

2 pork sausages
1 slice of black pudding
2 slices of Ayrshire middle bacon (or 3 or 4 of ordinary bacon)
1 medium tomato
1 large closed cup mushroom
Vegetable oil for frying
1 duck egg
2 tbsp baked beans in tomato sauce
Freshly sliced basil leaves to garnish
HP Sauce (optional)

Any rind should be removed from the black pudding before it is fried


You will need two frying pans to prepare this recipe. Add a little oil to the larger pan and begin frying the sausages over a low to medium heat, turning them frequently. They will take about twenty minutes in total. After ten minutes, remove any remaining rind and add the black pudding to fry for five minutes each side, as well as the halved tomato and the mushroom.

Frying sausages, black pudding, tomato and mushroom

Very lightly wipe some oil over the surface of a small, non-stick frying pan and bring up to a medium heat while you transfer the sausages, black pudding, tomato and mushroom to a heated plate. Cover them with foil to keep them warm.

Break the duck egg in to a small bowl and gently pour it in to the pan. Leave it to fry for four to five minutes.

Frying the duck egg in a separate frying pan

Add the bacon to the pan the sausage was taken from to fry on a fairly high heat for a couple of minutes each side. The beans should be gently heated in a small saucepan.

Frying Ayrshire middle bacon

Plate the sausages, bacon and black pudding. Pour the beans in to a small round dish and lay on the same plate.

Sausages, bacon, black pudding and beans are plated first
Lay the tomato and mushroom on the bacon and carefully sit the fried duck egg on the beans. Garnish the egg with the basil and add HP Sauce if required.

Fried breakfast/lunch is ready for final garnish and sauce

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Pan Fried Mackerel Fillets with Pink Grapefruit Salad

Simply fried mackerel fillets are laid on a bed of pink grapefruit and peashoots

The arrival of the month of September always saddens me in one very specific way: it represents the beginning of the end of another prime mackerel fishing season. Soon, although mackerel will still of course be available in supermarkets and fishmongers, the super fresh stuff to which I have grown accustomed to catching and eating will not be available until mid-Spring 2013. Mackerel - even more so than most other species - is a fish which really has to be eaten as fresh as possible in order to be enjoyed at its very best and this incredibly quick and simple recipe is perfect for a lunch for one person.

Pink grapefruit is carefully peeled


1 whole fresh mackerel
1/2 pink grapefruit, separated in to segments
Handful of peashoots or green salad leaves of choice
Flour for dusting mackerel
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for frying
Chopped basil leaves to garnish
Granary bread and butter to serve

Pink grapefruit segments are mixed with peashoots to form salad bed for mackerel


Peel the grapefruit and carefully cut out the segments. Mix with the peashoots and lay on the bed of a serving plate.

Preparing to fillet a whole mackerel

Filleting mackerel is a very quick and easy procedure. Simply lay the fish on one side on a chopping board and cut in to it behind the fin at the side of its head. Slice off the first fillet, turn the fish over and simply repeat the process for the second fillet.

Fillets are removed from mackerel

Cut out the bone down the centre of each fillet by making a v-shaped cut. Wash the fillets in a bowl of cold water and gently pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Washed and boned mackerel fillets

Scatter the flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Pour some olive oil in to a non-stick frying pan and put it on a medium heat. Pat the skin sides only of the mackerel fillets in the flour and gently shake to remove the excess. Lay them in the pan, skin sides down to fry and lightly season the flesh sides.

Pan frying mackerel fillets

After about three minutes, you should see that the fillets are almost cooked. At this stage, reduce the heat to minmum and carefully turn the fillets over with a fish slice or spatula. They will be ready after a further minute's cooking.

Lay the fillets on top of the salad as shown, scatter with the chopped/sliced basil and serve with fresh bread and butter.

Buttered granary bread makes the perfect accompaniment to this mackerel salad

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Chicken and Chive Butter on Toast with Simple Summer Salad

Chicken and chive butter on hot toast can be served with any salad of choice

This simple yet delicious lunch idea came about when I decided to take the herb butter I frequently make at home one step further. I had been making duck confit one night (a way of cooking and preserving the meat) when the adaptation occured to me and I decided that the next time I had some leftover chicken, I would give this idea a go.

Note that it is necessary to prepare the butter the night before to give it time to set overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients (Serves Two)

3oz leftover cooked chicken (approximately)
1 tsp freshly chopped chives
3oz butter (approximately)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 diagonal slices from bread stick
2 handfuls peashoots
1 medium tomato
3" piece cucumber

Leftover chicken is mixed with chopped chives and seasoning


Carefully shred the chicken with your hands in to fairly small pieces. Mix it with the chopped chives and season with salt and pepper. (Omit the salt if you are using salted butter.) Arrange the combination in a small ramekin that the dish is around two-thirds full. Do not pack it down too tightly, as the melted butter needs to penetrate through the chicken and set it in place.

Chicken and chives should two-thirds fill a ramekin

Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it is almost but not fully melted, remove the pan from the heat and simply swirl it to complete the process. This prevents the butter from overheating and perhaps starting to split. Pour the butter in to the ramekin to fill it level with the top. Cover and leave to cool and partially set. After a couple of hours, the butter should be partly solidified. Wrap the ramekin in clingfilm and place it in the fridge overnight.

Melted butter is carefully poured in to the ramekin to fill level with the top
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On the following day, try to remove the ramekin from the fridge a couple of hours before you intend eating lunch to let the butter become spreadable. If this is not practical (or you forget!) all you have to do is half fill a cup with boiling water, sit your knife in it for a few seconds, quickly dry the knife with kitchen paper and employ the hot knife through butter technique. It works very well.

Dipping your knife in to boiling water makes the butter easier to spread

Cut your bread and get it on to toast while you assemble your salad. The peashoots in this instance were laid on the plates and the segmented tomato and cucumber laid on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Spreading the chicken and chive butter on the hot toast

Spread the butter evenly over the hot toast and plate beside the salad. I like a little bit extra black pepper before service but this is of course entirely optional.

Toast is spread with the butter and ready to be plated and served