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Easy Home Cooking

Lentil Soup (serves 2)

Red lentils4 oz
Veg/Ham stock½ pint
Parsley1 or 2 sprigs
Butter1 oz
potato½ large

Soak lentils 24 hours before. Chop onion and potato. Gentle sauté potato and onion for 2 minutes without colour and add drained lentils for further 2 minutes; add stock and boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes etc are cooked. Season and garnish with picked sprigs of parsley.

Macaroni Cheese with Béchamel Sauce (Serves 2)

Macaroni pasta6 oz
Grated cheddar cheese4 oz
Plain flour2 oz
Milk½ pint
Butter2 oz
Worcester sauceDash
English mustard½ teaspoon
Tomatoes sliced (opt.)1 large

Boil macaroni for recommended time or until soft and refresh in cold running water. Put butter in a separate pot to melt, add flour and mix to roux on low heat. Add milk slowly mixing little at time to form sauce beating lumps! Add grated cheddar cheese, Worcester sauce and English mustard, mix well till cheese melted and season with black pepper. Drain pasta well and add to sauce, heat through. (Optional: retain some cheddar, place pasta in ovenproof dish and lay sliced tomato on top, sprinkle with grated cheese and place in pre-heated oven 200 deg C for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crisp)

Chilli Con Carne (Serves 2)

Minced beef (lean)8 oz
Fresh chilli (seeded or not)½ preference (or dried teaspoon)
Green pepper½
Garlic1 clove
Celery½ stick
Tinned tomatoes14 oz can
Tomato puree1 tablespoon
Veg stock¼ pint
Oregano driedPinch
Kidney beans8 oz can (drained)
Flour plain2 oz
Grated cheddar cheese (optional)1 oz

Chop peppers, onion, garlic, celery, carrot and fresh chilli. Put seasoned mince in hot pan and stir browning, quickly add chopped vegetable and oregano, stir for 2 minutes. Add flour and tomato puree, after 2 minutes addtinned tomatoes (with juice)and stock (or red wine if preferred); stir well to mix and thicken. Simmer slowly for 20-30 minutes. Serve with hot plain rice, sprinkled with grated cheddar cheese (optional).

Can also be served in baked potato with cheese.

Boiled rice

Long grain rice2 oz
Water½ pint

Boil water with little salt and add rice for 10-12 minutes or until soft, cool in cold running water. Microwave or plunge into boiling water to heat and serve.

Fisherman’s Pie with Mash Potato (serves 1)

Maris piper / red rooster potato1 large
Butter2oz (2 x 1oz)
Double cream1 splash
Grated cheddar2oz
Haddock fillet1
Peeled prawn1oz
Plain flour1oz
Double cream1 splash
Water¼ pint

For the mash topping peel and boil potatoes until soft, drain and dry out on stove. Mash with butter and cream until soft. Place haddock fillet in water and bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes with lid on. Remove fish and flake into chunks removing any bones. Mix butter and flour together to paste. Finely chop onions and add to stock. Bring to boil and whisk butter and flour mix slowly until thickens, add cream and season. Put fish into sauce and prawns, then into “pie dish”. Smooth or pipe mashed potato on top, sprinkle with grated cheddar and bake in oven until golden brown.

Apple Crumble (serves 1)

Eating apple (granny smith etc)1
Plain flour2oz
Butter2oz soft
Granulated sugar2 x 1oz
Cinnamon1 pinch

Chop and core apple. Put butter, apple, half of the sugar and cinnamon in pan and gently cook for 4-5 minutes. Rub soft butter, flour and other half of sugar until sandy texture. Place apple mixture in dish and top with crumble mix pressing down quite firmly. Bake in oven (pre-heated to 180 deg C) for 10 minutes until mixture is bubbling under crumble mix. Serve with cream, ice cream or crème fraiche.


Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

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