Favourite recipes of 2013

I’m not going to beat about the bush, last year was a shitty, shitty year for me in almost every sense- but my goodness, I discovered some brilliant recipes.  

Aside from a borderline obsession with reading other food blogs, I’m also an avid follower of a lot of lifestyle and beauty ones too.  The latter all seem to do roundups of their favourite products of the year, mainly on youtube, and as I enjoy watching them so much I thought I’d follow suit (you will NEVER catch me on film though).

I decided on picking my 13 favourites from 2013 (see what I did there), I didn’t mean to pick out different categories, but funnily enough now I look at my choices they all kind of do fall in to separate ones.  I’ve linked all the recipes I based my versions on in the captions below the photos, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Scotch eggs with piccalilli 

Aren’t they beautiful?! Who doesn’t LOVE a scotch egg, well, other than vegetarians but they aren’t exactly the target market for this recipe anyway.  If you can, use duck eggs, the yolks are far superior. Oh and the pink bits are ham hock, not raw sausage meat!

If you really can’t be bothered to make your own (it is a bit of a faff) and you live in Brighton, then check out the eggs from Picnic Corner– voted runner up of Brighton’s best street food- they are AMAZING, and baked, so they are pretty much a healthy snack…

Prawn burger with chipotle cream and coconut peach salsa

I discovered this recipe on a lovely blog I follow called ‘How sweet eats’ and knew I had to make it- so many of my favourite things in a toasted bun. Don’t stress if you haven’t got a food processor- I didn’t use one- just chop up the prawns really small and mix in all the rest of the ‘burger’ ingredients with your hands so they’re thoroughly combined.  The recipe doesn’t state this, but if you refrigerate the patties for half an hour or so they will hold their shape far better when cooking. If you’re going to make this when peaches are out of season, i.e. any time that isn’t summer use tinned or jarred.

Chard & smoked bacon open lasagne

This came from a food blog called ‘All that I’m eating’- so many fab recipes on there, next on my hit list is the potato, swede and bacon dauphinois.

The person I made this for said it was the best thing I ever cooked for them, and seeing as I cooked for them almost every day for 3 years, this is quite the accolade.  I didn’t make my own pasta and I’m not afraid to admit it, this may be total laziness on my part, but unless it’s a very special occasion, I think life is too short, especially when they sell such high quality fresh pasta in supermarkets and delis.

Spicy fish with noodles & greens

This has been made over and over again. I love it.  Simple, healthy, fresh-tasting and quick- I love it.  It came from a site called ‘Kitchen maid’- it’s actually one of my favourite blogs of all time. You can use any noodles you’d like with this dish, I always opt for my favourite glass noodles as I love the texture and they’re carb free. You can use whichever greens you fancy as well, but the dressing is non-negotiable!

Ramen

I only posted about this a few weeks ago (link above) so I’m not going to bang on and on about it.  It’s lush, I make it in some form at least once a week and it’s easy peasy too.

Halloumi aubergine burgers with harissa relish

I bloody love halloumi, even if the squeakiness is a bit weird.  This could also be made with portobello mushrooms stuffed with garlic butter and herbs if you’d prefer.  Griddle the aubergine so it gets lovely charred black lines on it and don’t forget to salt it too.  Perfect for any vegetarians in your life.

Salted caramel apple tart

This comes from another of my favourite blogs ‘A cozy kitchen’ and I loved it so much I did a blog post about it too. I actually took it to a friends for supper and we got so wasted we couldn’t bring ourselves to eat it after the main course so had it for breakfast the next day.

Chinese braised beef

Another beauty from the BBC Good Food website.  Other than the odd steak I don’t cook much with beef at all, but this dish is an absolute winner and great reheated for lunch too.  I served mine with egg fried rice and choi sum. Everyone I’ve cooked it for has loved it.

The ‘Elvis’

There’s many different ways you can make this, I know Elvis allegedly had his fried and with no bacon, but take it from me: this way is friggin’ good.  I used skippy super crunch peanut butter, a perfectly ripe banana, smoked bacon and just a drizzle of maple syrup.  Not one for the faint-hearted or anyone watching their weight but excellent if you want a calorie-laden treat.

Melting middle aubergine parcels

Another one for all you vegetarians.  Although, that said I did serve this with a big fat fillet steak and sweet potato wedges.  They were gorgeous, but also make me feel a bit sad as they were the last meal I cooked in my old flat. Don’t you hate it when bad memories ruin certain foods for you?

Duck & pineapple red curry

I tried this for the first time in a very lovely Thai restaurant and knew I had to recreate it immediately.  It was actually the first meal I made in my new flat and was such a success I’ve made it 4 times since. N.B. Don’t make it when you are really drunk- I forgot about 4 vital ingredients and it tasted AWFUL, bless my friend for valiantly chowing down on it and not complaining. I only noticed the next day when I went to eat some more! Tips on how to make my red curry look more rich in colour would be greatly appreciated.

Thai inspired chicken 

This comes from the blog of the Great British Bake Off winner Joanne Wheatley.  I’ve found a few gems on her blog (incl the festive fudge recipe ) nice, homely and uncomplicated dishes.  I served this with greens and new potatoes dressed in mayo and mango chutney.  Perfect for a midweek supper and then leftovers for the rest of the week.

Almond, pistachio and lemon drizzle cake

Despite the name of my blog, i’m not a huge fan of baking, it makes me nervous, there’s just not enough margin for error, once it’s in the oven that’s it, if you’ve got it wrong, well, you’re fucked. 

I used my kitchenaid stand mixer for mine but it’s not really necessary.  I made triple the amount of lemon drizzle cos I love it.

What were your favourite recipes from 2013?  Post links in the comment box below, I’d love to see them!

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