I’ve had an interest in food fundamentals and cooking which goes back many years.
My interest has led to dabble in varying competitions, volunteering opportunities or dinner parties to really take me out of my comfort zone and try something different.
I once even had a direct communication from Channel 4 about Come Dine With Me, but that would have been way too much pressure.
One of my favourite memories started with a subscription to BBC Good Food magazine which I started in 2009 and continued long into 2010.
They were great magazines for ideas, inspiration and the occasional freebie too.
In one of the magazines, there was a segment that talked about becoming a Taste Team member.
The idea was that once registered, you would be selected to cook items from an upcoming article or piece and they would cover the cost of you cooking the food up.
Then you would feed things back to them and they would publish your brief pieces within the magazine.
I was lucky enough to be selected for one of these segments and was set the task to cook up four items for review. These would be included in the January 2010 edition of Good food magazine.
I had lost the magazine years ago due to moving addresses, down-sizing and all sorts. But it was just by chance when I was checking some listings on eBay that I came across a seller who had the January 2010 edition of BBC Good Food magazine and was selling it.
I jumped at the chance to get this copy to get things framed up and add as part of my blog.
Below are all the recipes that I tried out as well as a couple of photos of the magazine and my feedback.
All recipes created by Jane Hornby of BBC Good Food and can be found below.
Spicy Fry-Up Rice
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra to fry the eggs
- 400g basmati rice, well rinsed
- 12 cocktail sausages, or 6 chipolatas twisted, then snipped in half
- 6 rashers dry-cured streaky bacon cut into bite-size pieces
- 140g chestnut mushroom, halved
- 2 red or green chillies, deseeded
- 3 garlic cloves, bashed flat to remove the skin
- 6 eggs
- 20g pack coriander
- soy sauce and chilli sauce, to serve
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Thinly slice half an onion, toss with 1 tsp oil on a baking tray, then cook in the oven for 15 mins, turning once, until golden and starting to crisp. Meanwhile, put the rice into a large pan with enough water to cover by a fingertip. Bring to the boil, stir once, then cover and simmer for 10 mins. Take off the heat, leave covered for 10 mins, then fluff up with a fork.
- While the rice and onion cook, add 1 tsp oil to a frying pan. Fry the sausages for a couple of mins. Now tip in the bacon and sizzle for another 5-7 mins until the bacon is golden and sausages cooked. Tip into a big dish. Fry the mushrooms for 3 mins until golden, then tip in with the bacon and sausage. Wipe out the pan.
- Put the chillies, garlic, remaining onions and 1 tbsp oil into a small food processor, then whizz to a paste. The paste can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Gently fry the paste for about 3 mins until fragrant, stirring. Tip in the rice, stir well, then fold in the meat and the mushrooms. Add a splash of water and stir everything together. Tip into the dish, cover, then keep warm in the oven while you fry the eggs.
- Wipe the pan, then heat a thin layer of oil over a low heat and crack in however many eggs the pan can hold. Gently fry, spooning over some of the hot oil now and again, until cooked to your liking. Take the dish out of the oven. Roughly chop the coriander and fork it through the rice with a splash of soy, then spoon onto plates. Top each with an egg, then splash with more soy and chilli sauce to taste. Scatter over the crisp onions
Cottage Chilli Hot Pot
- 800g braising steak, cubed
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned well
- 4 tbsp
- olive oil
- 300ml red wine
- 2 red onions, cut into chunks
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves, bashed to remove skin
- 2 red peppers, deseeded, cut into chunks
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and sliced
- few thyme sprigs, plus 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
½ tsp each cinnamon and chilli flakes
2 x 400g cans chopped plum tomatoes
- 2 tsp caster or granulated sugar
- 250ml good beef stock
- 400g can red kidney beans, drained
- 1kg potatoes
- knob of butter
- Toss the beef in flour, then brown half in a pan, using 1 tbsp oil. Once browned, spoon into a bowl. Add 100ml wine to the pan and scrape up any bits. Reduce a little, then pour into the bowl with the cooked beef. Wipe the pan and repeat with the remaining beef and another 100ml wine. Meanwhile, whizz the onions, carrots and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and tip in the chopped veg, peppers, fresh chilli, thyme sprigs and bay. Fry for 10 mins. Tip in the spices, cook for 1 min, then add the rest of the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, sugar, beef, winey juices and stock, season, then simmer for 1½-2 hrs until the meat is meltingly tender. Stir in the beans and allow to cool.
- Peel and slice the potatoes about 5mm thick, then boil for 5 mins. Drain, then tip back into pan. Add the butter and thyme leaves, season, then toss to coat. Tip the chilli mix into a 35 x 25cm dish, then layer the potatoes on top. Dot with butter. Cover with cling film and cool completely if freezing. Will freeze for 1 month – defrost before cooking. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 50 mins-1 hr, until the sauce is bubbling and potatoes golden. Serve with soured cream and green veg.
Cauliflower Pasta Bakes
- 850ml milk
- 50g plain flour
- 50g butter, plus 1 tbsb
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 100g extra mature cheddar, grated
- 25-50g blue cheese
- ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
- 250g penne
- 1kg cauliflower
(2 medium ones), cut into florets
- 750g frozen spinach
(whole leaf), defrosted and squeezed dry
- 25g toasted pine nuts
For the tomato sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, 3 sliced, 1 left whole
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 700g jar tomato passata
- For the tomato sauce, cook the sliced garlic in the oil for 1 min, then add the passata. Season, half-cover the pan and simmer for 20 mins until rich.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Put the milk, flour and 50g butter into a pan. Heat, whisking non-stop, until smooth, then bubble for 3 mins, stirring to make sure any flouriness is lost. Cool for 5 mins, then stir in the mustard, most of the cheddar, half the blue cheese and half the nutmeg.
- Boil the penne and cauliflower for 8 mins in salted water until the pasta is almost cooked and the cauli is tender. Keep 2 tbsp water from the pan, then drain. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan, add the whole garlic clove, spinach, remaining nutmeg, salt and lots of black pepper. Stir for 2 mins, then remove the garlic clove.
- Set aside 300ml cheese sauce and mix the rest into the cauli and pasta. Divide half the tomato sauce between 6 dishes and top with some spinach. Fill with cauli mix, top with more spinach, then the rest of the tomato sauce. Top with the cheese sauce, cheeses and pine nuts. Cover with cling film, cool and chill for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To cook, defrost if frozen. Heat oven to 200C/ 180C fan/gas 6. Cook on a baking sheet for 18-20 mins until golden and bubbling. Good with green salad or garlic bread.
Hot Chocolate Milkshakes
- 200g plain chocolate (we used 70% cocoa)
- 600ml full-fat
- ice cream
- mini marshmallows
- a nip of rum or brandy for the adults (optional)
- Break 200g plain chocolate (I used 70% cocoa) into cubes and put into a pan with 600ml full-fat milk. Gently heat until the chocolate melts, then bring almost to the boil, whisking regularly until even and smooth. Can be made ahead, then chilled for up to 2 days.
- Re-heat if necessary, whisking, then ladle or pour into heatproof glasses or mugs. Top with scoops vanilla ice cream and mini marshmallows. Add a nip of rum or brandy for the adults, if you like.