Tag Archives: Onion

Tomatillo Taste

What does a Tomatillo taste like to you?

I have only tried it when I have been on holiday in Mexico & Miami, with it being served as Salsa Verde but now I am growing my own I have taken to trying any that fall off or get ripped off by the dogs.

So to me they taste like…… STATIC! Yes I know strange..


Red Wine & Onion Gravy

Sausage, Mash & Onion Gravy


  • 2 White Onions, Sliced
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 1 Tbs Corn Flour
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Heat Butter & Oil
  2. Fry Onions until soft, approx 5 mins
  3. Add Sugar and continue frying until onions are brown & caramelized, keep stirring so they don’t burn (or they will be bitter!) approx 20 mins
  4. Stir in Corn Flour till Onions are coated
  5. Sprinkle over stock cube & stir well
  6. Add wine & de glaze the pan
  7. Add hot water & bring to the boil
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the gravy has thickened & become shiny
  9. Taste & season


Fry Onions

Add Sugar to Caramelize Onions

Flour & Stock Cube

Onion Gravy- Done



Chicken Stock, Chicken Soup & Chicken Sandwich Recipes

Soup & Crusty Bread

Last week I was feeling a bit under the weather so I decided to make a nice Chicken Soup, including my own Chicken Stock


For Chicken Stock

  • 900g Raw Chicken Necks (or you could use any other cheap parts- Wing Tips etc)
  • 1 Onion, quartered
  • 1 Carrot, Snapped in half
  • 2 Celery Sticks, Snapped in half
  • A few sprigs of fresh Parsley
  • 8 Black Peppercorns
  • Pinch of Rock Salt (Kosher Salt)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Water
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil


  1. Heat Butter & Olive Oil in a large pan
  2. Add Chicken Pieces & fry until golden
  3. Add Vegetables, Herbs, Salt & Pepper
  4. Add enough Hot Water to just cover ingredients
  5. Bring to the Boil & skim off any ‘scum’ that rises to the surface
  6. Reduce heat & Simmer for approx 1.5 hrs with the lid on
  7. Taste & add more Salt if necessary
  8. Allow to cool & pour through a sieve (discard veg & chicken bones)
  9. This can be used immediately, frozen or stored in the fridge for 3 days (once cool you can scrape off any fat that solidifies on the surface)

Chicken Necks

Bubble Bubble

Skim Skim Skim

Ingredients (serves 4)

For Chicken Chowder Soup

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Shredded (I poached mine in the same pan I was making the Stock in)
  • 25 Grams Butter
  • 25 Grams Corn Flour (or Plain White Flour)
  • 2 Bacon Rashers, diced
  • 1 Potato, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Chervil
  • 1 Small Tin Sweet Corn Kernels, drained (I didn’t have any but I wanted to add them!)
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Melt Butter in a heavy based saucepan
  2. Fry Bacon till brown
  3. Add Potatoes & Onions, fry gently for 2 mins (do not allow to colour)
  4. Add Flour & mix well to coat ingredients in the pan
  5. Add Stock slowly, mixing well to avoid lumps
  6. Add Milk & Cream
  7. Bring to the boil stirring well until thickened
  8. Reduce heat to low & cook until Potatoes are done
  9. Add Chicken & Sweet Corn, stir well
  10. Season to taste
  11. Garnish with Parsley & Chervil or Chives if you have some!
  12. Serve with Crusty Bread

Chicken Breasts (for soup)


Close Up


After cooking I used my Stick Blender to roughly blend my soup- the blended Chicken & Potatoes made it quite thick so I added a little extra Water


I had some leftover Chicken as my 2 Chicken Breasts were HUGE and I didn’t want to put it all in the Soup so I used this to make my sandwich filling for the next day- Chicken, Bacon & Avocado.


For Chicken Sandwich

  • Shredded Chicken Breast (leftover from Soup Making)
  • Crispy Bacon, diced (also leftover from Soup Making)
  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado, diced
  • 3 Basil Leaves, Torn
  • Mayonnaise, to bind mixture
  • Salt & Pepper, to Taste
  • Iceberg Lettuce, Shredded
  • Toasted Crusty Bread


  1. Mix all ingredients well
  2. Fill Toasted Bread slices
  3. Enjoy 🙂

Friendly Creature 🙂

Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole with Garlic Bread

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (Big Slow Cooker!)

A really easy recipe that’s good for using up all the vegetables I find at the bottom of the fridge, sometimes I’ll add some Leek or Tomatoes that are past using in a salad or sandwich, you could add some cubes of potato, peas, sweetcorn the list is endless really..

Staple Ingredients- Onion, Carrot, Celery

Ingredients (Serves 2)

For The Casserole 
  • 4 Good Quality Sausages (I use Pork but I’m sure Beef or Chicken would work equally well) Chopped into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Rosemary, Leaves Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
  • 1 Dried Chilli, Chopped Finely (or 1tsp Dried Chilli Flakes)
  • 2 Carrots, Washed & Chopped (as fine or rough as you like!)
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Celery Stick, Chopped (as you see fit!)
  • 1 x 400g/14oz Tinned Beans (of your choice) Borlotti, Kidney, Butter Beans etc , Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 x 400g/14oz Tinned Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Puree
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 400ml/14fl oz Stock (to suit your choice of Sausage) Chicken/Pork/Beef etc
  • 1 Cup Red Wine (optional)

Omit chilli if you dislike spicy food! It is quite hot..

Chop Chop!

For The Garlic Bread

  • Crusty Bread, Sliced (I do 2 each)
  • 50 Grams Salted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped

Keep me in The Freezer!


I used to start off heating Olive Oil & frying the Sausages (whole) adding the garlic, herbs, chilli, onions, celery, carrot, beans, tomatoes, stock, seasoning then leaving for about 30 mins to simmer..

There were 4 in The Bed & the Little One said 'Roll over'

Now I throw all the ingredients into the Slow Cooker & leave to cook on Low for approx 6 hrs (or until the Carrots are done). It’ll cook in about 2.5 hrs on High! Then you can leave it on Warm & its perfect if people can’t all sit down to eat at the same time. I also chop the sausages up now before cooking or you could fish them out before serving & do this- it just makes more sense than having a Whole Sausage in a bowl with a fork and spoon, who’s bright idea was that anyway..

The only difference I can see with using the Slow Cooker  is that A. Its healthier- you don’t have to use any Oil or Fry anything & B. Its easier

Family Sized

For the Garlic Bread- leave your Butter to soften to room temperature, mix in the Garlic & Parsley and put in the fridge till you needed- personally I like to SEE some garlic butter before it totally melts, but if you don’t leave it out of the fridge & it will melt in seconds. Toast the Bread just before serving (the Casserole will be hot enough to sit in a warmed bowl for a few minutes!) & smear on as much Garlic Butter as you like just don’t go out on a date afterwards..

No Lost Boys round here!

Lovely Garnish!


If you decide to add any delicate vegetables such as Green Beans (like me) either add these half way through cooking, add them ready cooked at the end OR add Frozen ones half an hour before serving.. Otherwise they will be all limp & grey rather than bright green! I put the Tinned Beans in both at the beginning & near the end- it just depends how solid they are, if they are already turning to mush in the can I would put them in at the end, save them breaking up too much.. after all they only need warming through,someone else cooked them for you..

I finished mine of with a few drops of Pesto (hand made- it was already in the fridge!) and a garnish of Fresh Coriander (the only Herb I had left 😦 ) but it looks nice with some Flat Leaf Parsley also. Everything looks nicer with a bit of Garnish, humans included

Hey Pesto!





For the Compost Heap


Pretty Rosemary Flowers

Useful Rosemary Flowers!

I left the Rosemary Flowers on a shelf over night & Lo and Behold I now have about 15 Rosemary Seeds! How exciting (you can tell I’m not very bright when it comes to gardening) I shall be going straight back to clump of Rosemary in the ‘Wagon Wheel’ area of the garden & picking all of those flowers..  And I thought I’d just use them for Garnish! Doh..

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

These are handy to keep in the fridge for adding a bit of heat and smokiness to whatever you might be cooking! If you make up a decent sized batch you can put them in (sterile) jars and store them in the cupboard along with any jams and chutneys!


  • 1 Cup Chipotle peppers/ Other dried chilli – whole , stem removed
  • 4 Tbs Sieved Tomatoes (Passata) or Tomato Puree
  • 2 tsp Paprika Powder
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbs Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbs Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 Large Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 3 Cups Water


Pour oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan & fry onions and garlic gently (do not allow to colour) for 2 mins.

Add all other ingredients, stir well, cover and cook over a low heat for 1-2 hours

The chillies should be very soft & the sauce should have reduced to approx one third (about a cup)- leaving a medium thick ‘gravy’


Once cool I put some of the chillies & their sauce in a jar to keep in the fridge, the rest I froze in individual portions for when I just want one chilli for a recipe. If you are dealing with a lot of chillies you can scale the recipe up & then put the finished article in jars.

I’m sure they would go down well at the Cooks Wednesday Market at Ozanköy Bookshop 😉

Uses for your new creation?

Chipotle Mayonnaise


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotle chilies
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce


Blend in a food processor or with a hand blender & serve!

Delicious with chips, sandwiches, burgers etc

You can also make salsa, ribs, chicken, burgers, tacos the list goes on…


If you don’t have any Chipotle chillies you could use any dried chilli to make this sauce.  I currently have a healthy amount of unknown chillies growing on a plant in my garden which I am thinking to experiment with- picking 1/2 now (green) threading 1/2 of these with cotton, leaving in the kitchen to dry & then the other half dry roasting in a pan (till black), removing the skins and pickling in jars. The final chillies I will leave to go red and do the above with also. Its nice to have the red and green chillies to cook with!  to be continued..

Random Plant!