Tag Archives: bacon

RECIPE: Mac n cheese with bacon, broccoli and sweetcorn

I don’t get to cook that much these days. When I get home from work I spend time with Little O and then bath and get him to bed. It makes sense for Mr O to cook while I am doing bed time so we don’t end up eating really late. Every now and then though, I sneak in a recipe and this one is a new favourite. It’s perfect for cold winter nights, doesn’t take very long to make at all and you can feel good about eating it as it’s full of veg. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #106: Italian chicken bake

During the week I really like recipes that are easy. Most of nights by the time I have gotten home from the gym it’s late and I’m tired and hungry and something I can just chuck in the oven is ideal. This recipe definitely fits the bill. It requires minimal prep, everything gets cooked in one dish and it’s really, really tasty.

Italian chicken bake

Adapted from BBC Good Food

1 red chilli
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves
8 skinless chicken thighs
500g new potatoes
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
140g cubetti di pancetta (or smoked bacon lardons)
400g plum tomatoes (either full size or baby but if you go for the big ones, quarter them)

Preheat your oven to 200 C.

If you don’t like your food too spicy, cut open your chilli and scrape out the seeds. Otherwise put the chilli in your blender with the tomato paste, olive oil and garlic cloves and process to a paste.

Place the chicken thighs in a baking tray big enough to hold them and the potatoes in a single layer. Spread the paste over the chicken thighs, add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and then mix everything together well with your hands. Sprinkle over the thyme and roast for 30 minutes.

Stir in the pancetta and return to the over for 15 more minutes. Then add the tomatoes and return to the oven for a final 15 minutes.

Serve straight from the pan with green salad and crusty bread if you like.

Serves 4 – 6


Things I have been cooking lately #17: Mega stuffed jacket potatoes

Who doesn’t love a jacket potato? I recently discovered this unusual but rather delicious filling. Think you could probably try a number of different veggies in place of the broccoli. I am definitely going to get on the sweetcorn next.

Mega stuffed jacket potatoes

2 large baking potatoes

1 tsp olive oil

½ tablespoon flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

½ Cup milk plus a couple more tablespoons

½ cup grated cheese

3 rashers streaky bacon

75g broccoli florets (This recipe is going to give you lovely crunchy broccoli. If you prefer your broccoli soft, nuke it in the microwave for a couple of minutes first).

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Prick the potatoes all over and place them in a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour.

When the potatoes have been in for about 40 minutes, start making your filling. Grill the bacon until crispy and chop into small bits. While that’s on the go, heat up the olive oil over a medium heat in a small sauce pan. Then stir in the flour, nutmeg and salt to make a paste. Slowly add the half a cup of milk a little at the time to combine without lumps. Once all the milk is combined, continue to heat for 5 more minutes, stirring continuously so the sauce thickens. Add in the cheese and stir over the heat until smooth.

When the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven (leave the oven on) and cut each one in half lengthwise while holding them with an oven glove (unless you’re big on third degree burns).  Scoop out the inside of the potato, leaving a shell about ½ cm thick.

Mash the scooped out potato with a couple of tablespoons of milk and a pinch of salt. It should be runnier than conventional mash. Mix this together with the broccoli and bacon and scoop back into the potato shells. Top with the cheese sauce and pop back in the oven for ten minutes.

Serves 2.


Things I have been cooking lately #8: Pasta Bake

This is a kitchen staple in the Osbiston household and probably my hubby’s favourite thing that I cook.

Pasta Bake

4 rashers of smoked back bacon, fat removed and roughly chopped

50g mushrooms, sliced

2 gloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons of soft cheese e.g. Philadelphia but I buy the cheap supermarket brands

1 teaspoon of dried basil

Black pepper

75g cheddar cheese, grated

200g dried pasta – shells, fusilli or macaroni are ideal

Heat a medium sized non-stick pot. Add the bacon and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms have browned. Add in the tomatoes, soft cheese, basil and a good shake of the black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the sauce is going to come to the end of its simmering time, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions but reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes so it’s still just a little chewy.

When the sauce and the pasta are both done, mix them together and pour into a large baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees (190 for a fan oven) for 20 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread and a green salad. Serves 4.