Roasted pumpkin, red pepper & sausage casserole

Just like my love of soup, it doesn’t matter if there’s blazing sunshine or a swirling snow storm going on outside, I always enjoy a tasty, hearty casserole.  Bar a bit of chopping, this dish is relatively quick and super easy, making it perfect for a mid-week supper, when you don’t really have the time to be slaving over a stove for hours! And any recipe that results in minimal washing-up afterwards, will always be a winner with me! Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or if time allows, a delicious crispy jacket potato.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 400g sausages
  • 180g red (bell) pepper (capsicum), chopped into rough chunks
  • 700g pumpkin, shopped into 3cm cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1tsp of smoked (or regular) paprika
  • 50ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 400g tin of haricot beans, drained
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Put 1tbsp of the olive oil, the chopped pumpkin and red pepper in a roasting tin, give them a good toss to make sure the pumpkin and pepper has a coating of oil and season.
  3. Put the sausages in a separate tin and pop both tins in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, turn the sausages over.
  5. Whilst the veggies and sausages are roasting, get a heavy-based casserole dish and heat up the other 1tbsp of oil.  Add in the onions and garlic, and sauté until they’re turning golden brown.
  6. Add in the smoked paprika and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Pour in the red wine, beef stock, chopped tin of tomatoes, Balsamic, vinegar, Worcester sauce and haricot beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. When the pumpkin, peppers and sausages are ready, chop the sausages up into bite size chunks (be careful not to burn your fingers) and put them and the veggies into the casserole dish, clamp the lid on and put back in the over for 20 to 25 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. When cooking with olive oil – just use the regular one and not the extra virgin option.
  2. Choose the highest percentage meat sausages that you can afford.  I use the 97% pork ones from M&S, which are not only scrumptious, but gluten-free too.
  3. Bangaloreans, Bamburies sell tasty “no spice” sausages.
  4. Instead of pumpkin, you can swap it for butternut squash.
  5. Any bean can be used instead of the haricot ones – aduki, butter beancannellini etc. – whatever you can lay your hands on.
  6. For a spicier result, add in half a finely chopped red chilli, or increase the amount of smoked paprika. I found 1tsp a little too spicy, but The Domestic Prince said the heat of the dish was perfect.
  7. If making it for little ones, I’d leave out the smoked paprika.
  8. Double the recipe and pop in the freezer for future meals.

Have you got any casserole recipes you can share?  And would you like to see other casserole recipes on the blog?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Lemon Mousse

I love an indulgent chocolate pudding, but sometimes a light, fresh zingy is what is called for, and this mousse is just that!  This mousse is quick and easy to put together, so the perfect pudding.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250ml of double cream
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest (approximately 60ml)
  • 50g icing sugar or 5g of stevia
  • 2 egg whites

Method

  1. Put the double cream and sugar (or stevia) in a bowl and whip until it starts to thicken.
  2. Add the lemon juice and zest (keep some back to sprinkle on the mousse as garnish) and whisk until it has thickened to soft peaks
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re have formed quite firm soft peaks.
  4. Using a metal spoon, slowly combine the egg whites into the lemon cream mixture.
  5. Once combined, pour into 4 dishes and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle on a few strands of zest on each mousse and serve with some gingersnap biscuits.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Be careful that you don’t over whisk the cream, otherwise it’ll be hard to incorporate the egg whites.
  2. If you want a milder lemon flavour, just add 1 lemon.
  3. To make this a chocolate orange mousse, substitute the lemon for orange and add 30g of cocoa powder at stage 1.
  4. If you want to make this a more grown-up pudding, substitute one of the lemons for 30ml of limoncello.

If you make this, I would love to hear what you think!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Lemon, Pinenut & Parsley Pasta

This has to be one of the quickest and tastiest dishes ever!  I timed myself making it the other day and from start to finish it was 15 minutes flat.  I love the fresh, clean flavours that make this dish so scrummy!  Perfect for a summer’s day.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 300g pasta
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50ml white wine
  • Juice and zest of 1 to 2 lemons, depending on how lemony you want it!
  • 100g finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 50g pinenuts, toasted
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley, leave some extra for garnish

Method

  1. Boil a large pan of water, add some salt and pop your pasta in, taking note of how long it’ll take, as each type of pasta is different.
  2. Whilst the pasta is boiling, pour the cream, white wine, juice, zest, Parmesan cheese and egg yolks into a bowl and give a good mix, until all combined
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain and pour back into the saucepan,
  4. Add the cream mixture to the pasta and give a good stir, making sure all the pasta is coated.
  5. Add in the pinenuts and stir again.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
  7. If the sauce is not as thick as you’d like it, pop it on the heat for a few minutes, whilst stirring constantly.
  8. Just before you’re ready to serve, gently stir in the chopped parsley.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Any pasta will work well in this dish.  I think a short pasta like fusili or farfalle (which is what I used for the photo) is my favourite, as there’s lots of gaps for the sauce to get into.
  2. If you’re making this for children, you can omit the wine and it’ll still be delicious.
  3. I never find the instructions on pasta to be very accurate, so I always test it about 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time is up, and then keep checking it until it’s al dente.
  4. Fresh pasta would be delicious in this recipe and would make it an even quicker dish!
  5. Bangaloreans, you can buy pinenuts in Hypercity and Nature’s Basket.
  6. If you’re a low-carber, then you can try this zucchini “pasta” instead of the traditional kind.

Please give this recipe a go, it really is so quick and easy!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Elderflower & Cucumber Jelly

With Jubilee fever sweeping the UK, and even reaching as far as Bangalore, I thought I’d post a recipe this week that was quintessentially British.  I’d be proud for this recipe to take pride of place on any Jubilee street party table!  What could be more British than a recipe with elderflower and cucumber in it?  This recipe was inspired by the Pimms jelly we had for supper last weekend at the lovely Jody and Fred’s house – it was divine!  Jody served mini portions of the Pimms jelly with mini portions of other scrummy puddings, which worked really well and looked fabulous on the plate!

Makes 4 x 200ml portions

Ingredients

  • 535ml white wine (with a glass spare for the cook 😉 )
  • 265ml elderflower cordial
  • 1½ cucumber
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 8 sheets of gelatine
  • Extra cucumber or mint leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Fill a bowl with cold water and put in the gelatine leaves to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Top and tail the cucumber and chop into chunks.
  3. Pop the wine, cucumber and elderflower cordial into a blender and whizz until smooth.
  4. Sieve the blended mixture into a saucepan; make sure all the liquid is pushed through.
  5. Add the caster sugar into the saucepan and gently heat until the sugar is dissolved – this takes merely seconds.
  6. Remove any excess water from the soaking gelatine leaves and add them to the heated wine mixture.  Turn off the heat and stir until the leaves are dissolved.
  7. Pour the jelly mixture into either wine glasses, a funky mould, or if serving “a la Jody”, pour into a loaf tin, ready to cut into small pieces when set.
  8. Put in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
  9. When ready to serve, garnish with either a mint leaf or two, or make a little ribbon from the remaining cucumber, and tie into a bow (again, thank you Jody!)

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Any variety of white wine can be used.  I used Pinot Grigio, as that’s what I had in the fridge, and am not a big fan of it as a drink – give me Cloudy Bay any day!  But it tastes great in the jelly!
  2. If you wish to make the jelly a little posher, substitute the white wine for either Champagne or Prosecco (or any sparkling wine).  The bubbles get trapped in the jelly and fizz on your tongue when eating it!
  3. If you want to make this a child friendly recipe, then you can swap the white wine for water, or half water, half pear juice (the cloudy variety), which works really well with elderflower and cucumber.
  4. If you’re making this for vegetarians, or aren’t sure if somebody might be vegetarian, then substitute the gelatine for agar flakes.  It’s generally available from health food stores; I found mine in Waitrose.  Use one heaped teaspoon for every 250ml.
  5. If you wish to vary the quantities, the general “rule of thumb” for gelatine to liquid ratio, is 1 gelatine leaf for every 100ml of liquid.
  6. If you’re not a fan of cucumber, then just omit it from the recipe, it won’t make any difference to the setting of the jelly.  You could swap it for raspberries.  About 100g – 150g of raspberries would work.
  7. If you want to “unmould” the jelly in front of your guests, use copper or plastic moulds; avoid ceramic ones because the jelly has a tendency to stick to the sides.
  8. If using a mould, pop the base into warm water for a few seconds before slithering it out.
  9. This is quite a firm set jelly, so if you’d like a softer-set one, use either a bit less gelatine, or increase the liquid.
  10. Bangloreans – you can find gelatine in Sorbet and elderflower cordial in the Waitrose section in Hypercity.

So, there you have it, a jelly fit for a Queen, or maybe a Domestic Princess!  Have you made homemade jellies?  If so, what flavours have you used?  Are you celebrating the Jubilee this weekend?  I’d love to hear all your plans.

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

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