Monday Meals – Paella

This week for Monday Meals we’ll take a look at a quick and easy Paella recipe. I love Paella as you can use it a great way to throw in extra veg, leftover meat or fish and you can feed a large group for very few ingredients. I have in the past followed some very expensive recipes, but this one is just as tasty and you don’t need to buy expensive saffron!

Ingredients (adjust quantities depending on how many will be eating)

– Chicken
– Chorizo
– Prawns (if you like, most times I do without)
– Paella Rice
– Onion
– Red Pepper
– Frozen Peas
– Passata
– Sugar
– Chicken Stock
– Paprika
You can use leftover chicken for this too – just pop in before you add the stock.
Also, if you can’t find Paella rice, Arborio is a good substitute that may be more easily available.

1. Fry your cubed Chicken & Chorizo
2. Add your chopped Onion to the pan and sauté
3. Then add your chopped Red Pepper
4. Add in a nice handful of Frozen Peas
5. Add your Rice
6. Add Passata, along with a small bit of Sugar
7. Cover with Chicken Stock
8. Add Paprika – I use both smoked and normal
9. Give it all a nice stir and then let it bubble away
10. Try to resist stirring too often
11. When the liquid has evaporated, and your rice is al dente, you’re good to go!

(If you’re adding Prawns, I add them a few minutes before serving)
*Pic is from my last Paella in Spain…just to bring some sunny joy!

Enjoy this and let me know if you try it! What do you like in a Paella? Have you any tips?

Monday Meals – Sweet & Sour

This week on Monday Meals I’m going to share a recipe for a delicious Sweet and Sour. I made this for dinner lastnight so its fresh in my mind!

You can use prawns, chicken or even pork for this dish. I just love it with breaded chicken balls from my local butchers. I always serve with long grain rice. Chips on the side if we’re feeling hungry!

Sweet & Sour Sauce
🍗🍤Cook your choice of meat or protein separately and add it to the sauce at the end
🥕🫑Add in any veg you want to use up – I love it with onions, baby corns and water chestnuts but sometimes use carrots, broccoli, sugar snaps – whatever I have and want to use.

-1 carton of Passata
-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
-1 Red Chili, chopped finely
-2tbsp White Rice Vinegar
-1 can 7up Free
-Splash of Orange Miwadi
-1 tbsp Soy Sauce
-1 tsp of Ginger
-1 tsp Thai 7 Spice (or Chinese 5 spice or even Spice Bag seasoning)

1. Fry your veg for a few minutes and then remove from the heat
2. Now use the pan to make your sauce!
3. Add in all of the ingredients and let simmer for about 15 minutes
4. If you feel your sauce needs to be thicker, add a teaspoon of Cornflour mixed with a little warm water
5. Add in your meat/protein and your veg.
6. Serve with rice. Enjoy!

Monday Meals – Bolognese

This week’s Monday Meals is my favourite Bolognese!! There are so many different recipes for making a nice Bolognese sauce, and I mix them up depending on what I have in, but this one is my current favourite. I use pork mince rather than beef mince for this recipe and this gives a delicious flavour. Please don’t let the milk put you off, it’s good I promise!
Bolognese is one of those meals where you can make a nice big batch and use it in so many different ways. Leftovers can be turned into Chili, Shepherds Pie, Nachos and so much more, and it’s ideal for freezing.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
– 1lb Pork Mince
– 2 Carrots
– 3 Sticks of Celery
– 1 Onion
– Fennel Seeds (1 Teaspoon)
– Glass of White Wine
– 2 Garlic Cloves
– Basil (1 Teaspoon)
– Oregano (1 Teaspoon)
– Chopped Tomatoes (1 Tin)
– Carton of Passata
– Sugar (1 Teaspoon)
– 100ml Milk
– Nutmeg (1 Teaspoon)
1. In a saucepan, sweat the finely diced Carrots, Onion and Celery
2. Add in the Pork Mince and brown
3. Add the Fennel Seeds
4. Add the White Wine and let it reduce
5. Add in your Garlic, Basil & Oregano (in whatever form is easiest for you)
6. Now it’s Tomato time – I like the combination of 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 carton of passata
7. Whenever I cook with tomatoes, I add a teaspoon of Sugar so do that now too
8. Let the sauce reduce down
9. Now add 100ml of Milk and the Nutmeg
10. Let that reduce a little until it’s the consistency you like
Serve with pasta of your choice! You can add mushrooms or red peppers if you have them too.
So this is my current favourite way to make Bolognese – I just love the flavour combination. What’s your favourite way to make it? Any secret tips you just love including?

Monday Meals – Coddle

On Monday Meals we’ll take a look at meal ideas – mostly simply with basic ingredients. Where relevant, I’ll suggest leftover ideas so we have no waste. Hope you enjoy this new series!

This Monday I’ve chosen a Dublin favourite – Coddle. The history books tell us that Coddle would have been known as ‘city food for the working class’, traditionally made on a Thursday evening to use up all the meat before the Friday fish. Though I’m from Dublin, I only tasted Coddle in later life and now love it as a good hearty meal on a cold day! My sister told me how she makes it a few months back so all credit on this one to her!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):
-12 Sausages; I like to chop them in quarters
-Piece of Ham or Bacon; cut in cubes (cooking ham or gammon steaks are particularly budget friendly for this one)
-4 Carrots; chopped
-2 Onions; chopped
-4 large Potatoes; peeled and quartered
-Parsley, Thyme & Rosemary; teaspoon of each
-1 cup of Pearl Barley; this is optional, but adds something lovely

This is a one pot meal, so choose a nice big pot!

1. On a high heat, brown the sausages just a little
2. Add the cubed ham
3. Add the chopped onions
4. Add the chopped carrots
5. Add the parsley, thyme & rosemary
6. Add the pearl barley
7. Give the ingredients a nice stir and cover with water
8. Bring to the boil and as it starts to boil, add the potatoes
9. Boil away for about 20 minutes or until your potatoes are just done

Serve in bowls, delicious with some nice soda bread! Pint of Guinness optional 😉 Also delicious if you mash up the potatoes in your bowl – but that’s my childish side!

This is a great one to cook ahead of time and heat up when needed, you can even leave out the potatoes and just cook them when needed. I almost prefer the leftovers the next day!

Let me know if you try it, or if you’ve never even heard of it and think I’m mad for boiling sausages! Or if you’re a coddle fan, and add anything different, let me know too!