Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Bank holiday memories and hash for the road

Recipe of the week...
... Brussel Sprout Hash
Ingredients: a glug of cooking oil, 1 large parsnip (or 2 small ones), half a dozen shallots, half a dozen Brussel sprouts, 2 eggs, a shake of Herbes de Provence.

Time taken: 45 mins (quarter of an hour veg prep and then half an hour cheffing).

Serves: One mighty portion.

Hi readers,

How are you today? Hope you’re well and feeling upbeat about the return to work, after our long four-day weekend. Did you have a proper relax and a decent catch up on sleep? And did you have lots of fun, too?? And lots of chocolate! Hope you managed to strike a balance, readers, between Easter antics and a recharge of your batteries.

Work got me an egg and wrote my name on it!
All is forgiven.
I’ve had a hoot this weekend, readers. Made it out on a night out (a rare occurrence these days!) and, despite the numerous hangovers around the table, we managed a harmonious family gathering. Had a big Easter lunch and toasted Sheff United (the family’s no.1 footy team) who have won an unusual number of games this season. They’re going to play better teams next season and – no doubt – lose an alarming number of games. But for now, at least, it’s good news.

This weekend, I also took the train to Scarbs for some salty fresh air, and had a catch up with the wonderfully wise CoolyColey. We slurped milkshakes together by the sea. And I ventured to Wakefield, too, to spend a day with Suzeroo. Baked an Easter cake-pancake together! Do you find, readers, that spending time with your best of friends – once you make it to them, wherever it is they may be living – is the easiest thing in the world?

Our pancake-cake (entirely 2D)
I think – you go weeks or months or what feels like years (maybe it is!) without seeing your best friends. Then, suddenly, they’re there again. You have a big hug and there’s some remark about the journey/weather/occasion. And you fall back into step. You shoot through gossip central, on into comfortable silences.

Did you have the chance to see your friends or family this weekend, readers? Or, like me, have you had the pleasure of both friends and family for company, filling your bank holiday with fun? I hope you did, readers. Later in life, you won’t look back on the sad times and you might not recall those you lost touch with, but you’ll definitely remember having fun with the fools that lasted. Who knows… maybe you’ll remember spending this weekend with them?

Never a dull moment when they're around

CoolyColey shared with me an article, this weekend, which is definitely worth a read. The article is called ‘Single Minded: The Difference Between Being Single And Being Alone’ by Bella Mackie (which you can read here), and it highlights the positives tied with being single minded. And the opportunities, and the acceptance, that enable single minded people to live happy lives today. As no one need feel alone – whether single or in a relationship. A good read.

My weekend has also been brightened, readers, by a little new music. I’ve been listening to some tracks by a band I’ve hit upon, called Blaenavon, who will be playing at my city’s summer music festival, Tramlines, in July (try the track… Take Care). Also, I loaded my music library with the Hungry Yogis’ March playlist – which you can find here – containing a big range of new-to-me songs. Good stuff to listen to while out jogging, I think, or while watching the world go by out of a train window (try the track… Sorry Hills). 

Loving their taste in music!

Readers, I’ll stop now and get on with my recipe. BUT I hope that you had a fabulous long weekend and that you’ve made it back to work today feeling happy and energised. Starting as we wish to go on – let’s make this a fantastic week. And why not kick it off with a wonderful new recipe? Like my recipe of the week, readers, for Brussel Sprout Hash?? 

This recipe is a killer way to use up any leftover veg you may have lingering in your fridge, from the Easter roast this weekend. I was inspired to give this recipe a try after seeing an Instagram post from @cleaneating_paleo who had given something similar a go… with a delicious looking tea resulting.

Hash a la @cleaneating_paleo

So, I googled “sprout hash” and found a recipe for ‘Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash’ by Angela Simpson, on a website called Greatist (which you can read here). I followed this recipe but subbed the sweet potato for parsnip instead – as parsnips were on sale at the supermarket for only 6p (!!!) – and set about throwing together a hash for my tea last night.

It went well, readers. I’m not going gush but – dear lord – this hash was a fine way to end my long weekend. Eaten while watching the finale of Broadchurch on TV (what did you think of the ending??) and while savouring my final few hours of freedom. It tasted how your leftover veg should taste, readers, like they’ve been used for the power of good! Fancy trying your hand at this recipe? Well, here’s how to cook up a Brussel Sprout Hash in just ten simple steps…

Recipe: Brussel Sprout Hash

1.     Set some soothing tunes playing and pour yourself a tasty beverage.
2.     Time for veg prep! Peel your shallots and cut these into quarters, chop the ends off your parsnip and cut it into bite-sized chunks, then lop the bottoms off your sprouts and cut these in half.
3.     Heat your oven to 200C and boil the kettle.
4.     Pop your parsnips into a small saucepan and set these boiling for 5 minutes.
5.     In the meanwhile, heat a little cooking oil in a skillet or a small frying pan.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If, like me, you would have to google ‘skillet’ to know what one of those is… a frying pan works fine. Just turn the heat to medium/low and make sure to keep everything moving around the pan, so you don’t singe your sprouts.
6.     Set your Brussel sprouts and shallots frying, and then take your saucepan off the heat and drain the parsnips.

7.     Add the parsnips to your frying pan, along with a good shake of Herbes de Provence.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If, like me, you totally forget the herbs for a good five minutes… just style it out. Get shaking and add them as soon as you remember. It’ll be alright.

8.     Keep everything moving around the pan for five more minutes until all your veg are browned and coated in herbs, then make 2 small indentations in mixture and crack an egg into each one.

9.     Turn the heat off under your frying pan and carefully transport it into the oven, to bake for ten minutes. Use this time wisely… set the table and wash some dishes!
10.  Once your eggs reached desired doneness and your veg has turned slightly golden, then turn off the oven and safely lift your pan out onto the counter. Plate up – so you don’t burn yourself on the edge of the pan while eating – and tuck in!

To a delicious plateful of
Brussel Sprout Hash
And that, readers, is that. You chuck it all in a pan. And then you chuck the pan in the oven. And then something wonderful happens, and you tuck into a steaming plateful of hash. Which is actually, when you look at the ingredients list, quite healthy I’m going to say! 3 of your 5-a-day on that there plate. And not a carb in sight.

What do you think, readers? Are you tempted to give this a go? Do you have some veg you could do with using up? Be creative! Whatever’s lingering in your fridge… get it out of there! I wouldn’t recommend adding trifle to the pan, but I do think you have quite a deal of scope here for adding and subtracting ingredients. Making it up on the spot. Seems like my shallots expired five months ago without me noticing! And into the pan they went.

The 8th November?!
Readers, if you give this recipe a go… let me know how you get on. What did you put in the pan and did it work? If it didn’t work, what should we never ever put in the pan? This would be good to know. Do share any tales of hash-related kitchen adventures, whether highly successful or to warn future generations. And do have a brilliant week back at work. Take it by storm.

And sprout safely,


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