Good evening lovelies,
On this blog, one of my most favourite topics is food. Not just any food, of course, but good, quality made, delicious food. I am a picky eater, but I’m picky in the way that I care what the quality of the food is like, not what ingredients it contains. Although I do have my likes and dislikes, there are by far some meals that I will favour about all others. Today, I’m going to share my top ten favourites with you.
1. Spaghetti Bolognese
True story: When I was a little girl, I hated spaghetti bolognese with a passion. We were very poor, and to counter the economic struggles that my parents faced, my Mum used to make spaghetti bolognese using “TVP”, or textured vegetable protein (more commonly known now as soya mince). I have nothing against vegetarianism, but vegetables and more vegetables just didn’t appeal to me at that age- I craved meat! Then, one fateful camping trip, my Mum forgot to pack the TVP and she had to use real beef mince from the local butcher. I loved it so much, I refused to let her go back to using TVP ever again! Nowadays, I’m such a spaghetti bolognese lover that I will eat any leftover bolognese next day for lunch with a crusty roll. It’s hearty, it’s filling and it’s difficult to screw-up. Add a good splash of red wine and it’s a culinary nirvana for me.
2. Chicken Tikka Massala
If you know me, you’ll know that a chicken tikka massala is my go-to curry, everytime. Growing up, I used to eat tomato soup nearly every day (by choice!), so when tomato soup met chicken and some gentle spices, I was in love. Ginger also has aphrodisiac properties and a wonderful smell when cooking, making it the perfect way to warm up your senses for a whole night of fun ahead, just go easy on the portion sizes.. trust me 😉
3. Lamb & Pistachio Tagine
This was a recent Gousto curiosity for me, and it really paid off. The combination of spices, sweet dates and creamy pistachios was something that I couldn’t get enough of. I’ve generally long avoided tagines by choice because my father always used to make them far too spicy, but I could definitely go for another plateful of this warming ten-minute dinner!
4. Pesto Chicken With Roasted Vegetable Pasta
A sort of assembly from my own kitchen, chicken breast smothered in homemade pesto, served with roasted tomato, red pepper and courgette pasta. A few roasted garlic cloves, a drizzle of olive oil and a good fresh crack of salt and pepper really help to finish it all off.
5. Lamb Rogan Josh
This is Mr Wolfie’s favourite curry, but he’s been converting me, the little monkey! I’m not generally a huge fan of lamb because I’m aware of the impact that lamb farming has on climate change, so I choose to eat it sparingly. Still though, tomatoes and spices, are you seeing a recurrent theme yet?
6. Conchiglie, Spinach & Chorizo Pasta Bake
Ahh yes, where would I be without a pasta bake or three? The thing I really love about bakes is that you just pop them together, shove them in the oven and forget about them for half an hour, maybe even a little bit longer. One of the things that I have really condemned about Gousto cooking is the number of recipes that have involved doing 4 things at once and all on a high heat. I am one person, with one pair of hands and I like enough time to pause and wipe my forehead between preparing vegetables and side dishes! Regardless, this one involved very little prep, and it’s delicious, lazy after work pick-up food – perfect!
7. Mediterranean Vegetable Couscous & Balsamic Sausages
A little taste of Spain on the table. I’ve served this one to woo my guests, and it worked. It’s light, it’s summery and it’s got a lot of different flavours going on. The most beautiful thing is, if you substituted the pork sausages for vegan sausages and the chicken stock cube for a vegetable option, voila! It’s 100% vegan. Disfrutar!
8. A Good Quality Steak Burger
The essence here really is about good quality, because actually, I have had some truly bloody awful burgers in my time. From pubs that cremated the cow prior to serving it and an establishment that served up a burger so poor that I was physically ill afterwards, believe me, my body has been through it all in my endless quest for that perfect burger. With that being said, the title for the best beefburger around still goes to The Riviera Hotel in Torquay, who were the highlight of our honeymoon with their exemplary food and customer service – Sundaes at no extra cost to ourselves because the two scoops of ice cream we’d ordered were running a little late? You can’t do better than that. We hadn’t even complained about the delay, either!
9. A Classic British Beef Roast Dinner!
I’m English, what else did you expect? A few slices of mustard-crusted medium-rare beef with horseradish sauce, roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, rich beef gravy and a Yorkshire pudding? Oh lovelies, it’s heavenly. When I was a little girl, I can remember a shop here in Bristol that used to sell large Yorkshire puddings filled with sliced beef, vegetables and gravy, and when we were doing a “bee trip”, my Dad would always buy me one of these Yorkshire puddings to eat in the car on the journey to visit his bee bits supplier who lived across town. I can remember now how the gravy used to get everywhere, especially when he hit the bumps in the road! Still, unless it’s mass produced and rapidly cooked, a good old roast dinner is always at the heart of quality time with the family.
10. Scampi & Chips
Another British classic, in the UK, scampi shrimp tails (usually called wholetail scampi) are typically served coated in breadcrumbs and with chunky chips, fresh peas and tartare sauce, plus the all essential wedge of lemon. Before tucking in, it’s best to give the scampi a good squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the sweet, delicate flavour. Growing up in a fishing family and eating scampi on a regular basis, for me, scampi is now just another comforting and familiar food and for that, The Crown here in Bristol still holds the record. My mother and brother told me that their wholetail scampi was the best scampi around and they certainly weren’t wrong!
Alright my lovelies, that’s my top ten meals for this week. Over to you, what meals make it to your list? Let me know in the comments!
Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,