Individual Beef Wellington #SundaySupper

I know it is hard to believe it but I am treading slowly back into the blogging world and finally joining in on a Sunday Supper. Something that hasn’t happened in ages.

Today we are celebrating retro foods, foods popular in the 60’s and 70’s. I decided it was time to take up a challenge I have been meaning to do for a while and make a beef wellington. There is very little known about that actual origination of this dish. There were theories is named after the 1st Duke of Wellington but there is very little evidence to back this up. Especially since the earliest recording of the dish is in the 1960’s.

But what ever the source this was a dish made classic in the 1960’s in England and so I decided to give it a try. I do have to confess that the traditional methods using a large joint produce a bit better results as it is easier to overcook the meat when it is in the more individual size. But since I am all about not wasting food and there are only 2 and a half eaters here I decided to opt for this method. I am a bit sad that baby decided to get cranky half way through preparing it so I got distracted and didn’t take the photos of the steps but it isn’t as intimidating as I always felt it was. The Prosciutto layer helps a bit with the meat juices. A tip a friend gave too was to paint the inside of the pastry with the egg before you start to assemble it to add a moisture barrier. I should have thought of that since I do it with my pies. Oh well, next time. 🙂

What is your favourite retro recipe? I can imagine a few of these recipes shared my the rest of the Sunday Supper crew are going to be must tries for us.
Beef Wellington

Individual Beef Wellington

150g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 x 150g fillet or rump steaks, 2-3cm thick
300g puff pastry
2 slices Prosciutto
1 medium egg, beaten

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One Pot Pasta

So the new year came and went and I have a list of reasons a mile long as to why blogging just didn’t make it in my priority list but hey lets not bore you with that. But since life has been so busy my focus has drawn to how I can make life easier with simple meal options. I might have not been blogging but I have been testing out a lot of different recipe ideas and I am now really excited to share with you some big success.

The first one I want to share is something that has slightly revolutioned the way I cook pasta. So I have seen these one pot pasta dishes making their way on the internet for a while but had never given it a try. But once I did I became addicted. I now make most of my pasta dishes this way. You see the benefit of cooking pasta with only enough water to cook without having to drain it is you preserve the natural starches in the pasta, thus resulting in a creamy pasta without having to add cream. I have made lots of variations of this pasta. I have used all different types of shaped pasta and played around with the filling with things like cooked chicken, prawns. I have added veggies and played around with the cheese and it is perfect every time. It is a winner in our whole family for taste and speed.

One-pot-pasta3

One Pot Pasta

1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
(4 1/2 c.) water
500g (1 lb) spaghetti
340g (12 oz) cooked sausage, sliced thin (I used kielbasa)
600g (1 1/2 tins) tinned tomatoes
28g (2 c.) fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
115g (1 c.) creamy blue cheese, I used Blue Castello*
*The original recipe calls for Parmesan and I have used this and it great but I found the blue cheese added a creaminess and flavour that our whole family just loved
adapted from Damn Delicious

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30 Minute Challenge – Creamy Spinach Pesto Pasta

Well I have to confess that I had hoped at this point I could be giving you the good news update that baby had arrived but sadly she is set on being late like her sister was. So I am trying to keep busy until she decides she is ready. This is the worse part for me because I am a very impatient person and the uncomfortable stage of the last part of pregnancy makes me feel a bit physically lazy while mentally wanting to be productive. If that makes sense. So I am glad this month I have challenged myself to stick to quick meals so dinner doesn’t have to be something I work too hard at.

This recipe utilizes a new addiction for me, spinach pesto. Last week when I went to the store to buy spinach all they had was a massive bag so I was stuck with more then I could use before it went bad so I hunted around for more ideas on ways to use it up. I came across a recipe for spinach pesto. I have always loved pesto but more often then not stuck to the basil version. For me this was even better, especially when used as a spread for a sandwich. The pesto can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to one week.

But warning, this dish has so much incredible flavour you might struggle sticking to correct portion sizes. This should have been enough to serve 4 people but sadly didn’t make to leftovers because we just couldn’t resist having more.

Creamy-Spinach-Pesto-Pasta

Creamy Spinach Pesto Pasta

350g dried pasta
300mL single cream
(1/2 c.) spinach pesto *see recipe bellow
60g (1/4 c.) parmesan cheese
Recipe inspired by Chow.com

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Challenge Month 30 Minute Meals – Cheeseburger Pasta

I have done so much soul searching about this blog and where it needed to go. And after a much needed posting where I expressed to you my feelings I felt inspired by the responses enough to come to a decision. I am continuing to blog, doing what I love but in doing so I am going to set things up a bit different. You see my purpose for starting this blog was initially a challenge to improve our food budget and eat healthier. One of the many things I loved about this blog is how it felt to be challenged and even more so how it felt to succeed. I also loved when I would hear from readers how I had inspired them to change their spending and cooking habits.

So I have decided two things, one I won’t be blogging quite as often as I was per month so as not to overwhelm myself but secondly every month I am going to give myself personal challenges and sometimes asking you to challenge me so focusing on quality postings rather then quantity. So every month with my new challenge I will post within the rules of my challenge and push myself to grow even more. As I am about to become a mother again one recurring challenge is going to be how to make sure I continue to provide us with meals that are easy to put together so it fits into our crazy lives. Along with the new focus I am hoping to launch a new redesign which is going to be very recipe orientated to make it easier for people who use this blog as their cookbook, like I do, to find the recipes they want. Thank you everyone for your impute over the past month and I hope you enjoy the journey with Small Wallet, Big Appetite.

So Challenge number 1 for October is going to be 30 minute meals. This month I want to focus on meals that from start to finish take only 30 minutes or less because lets face it when you have a family and/or a busy career you don’t always have the time to assemble more complex meals. This pasta dish was very kid friendly and makes enough for 6 portions which for us is perfect because that means it fed us for two nights in a row which gave me a night off from cooking. Served with a different vegetable side each night it satisfied both the toddler and the adults in the family.
Cheeseburger-Pasta

Cheeseburger Pasta

500g (1 lb) lean minced beef
1 medium onion, minced
1 garlic, clove
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
225g (8 oz) uncooked pasta any shape
750mL (3 c.) reduced-sodium beef stock
150mL (3/4 c.) milk
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp mustard*
80g (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
*If using English mustard like I was be aware you might want to use less as it will be very hot. I use about 1/3 tsp of English mustard

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Chicago-Style Pizza #SundaySupper

Today Sunday Supper is honouring the Fathers in our lives with a fantastic menu of men approved dishes. I am lucky in that my husband is more adventurous with food then I am but when I heard this was the theme I thought this would be a perfect time to share my attempt of Chicago-style pizza.

Chris is such an amazing dad who blows me away every day with his love and patience for his daughter. We just recently found out that our new bundle of joy coming is a girl which only out numbers Chris even more. Chris’ excitement when the sonographer said we are expecting another girl brought such joy to my heart. He is a daddy who loves his girls and they love him. I hope he feels honoured and appreciated every day but especially on this day. Love you honey.

Now I have only visited Chicago a few times so I can’t consider myself an expert but both hubby and I agreed this was the best Chicago pizza we have had in a while. I can’t wait until we have an excuse to make it again.

chicago-style-pizza

Chicago Pizza

460g (3 1/4 c.) plain flour
80g (1/2 c.) yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp table salt
2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
295mL (1 1/4 c.) water, room temperature
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons, softened
1 tsp plus 4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Table salt
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
400g (28-oz) tin crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
500g (1 lb) whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
14g (1/2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese (about ¼ cup)
Hot or mild Italian sausage, casings removed
Other toppings of choice
Recipe from Carnal Dish

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