Family recipe ideas

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  • Family recipe ideas
  • Premier Icon Stoner

    I cook pretty much most days for the family. Sometimes I defrost pre-prepared batch portions from the freezer.

    As do most people, I guess, I have a repertoire of recipes that I cycle through. But it’s getting a bit samey and I’m looking for ideas. What I’m not really interested in are those celebchef recipes for weird and wonderful “but-you-can-cook-them-every-day” my arse recipes. But some staples that Im missing off my list. Especially if they can be batch prepared and frozen.

    This is pretty much what I usually cook:

    Cauliflower cheese
    Macaroni cheese
    Bolognese/Chilli beef w pasta or rice
    Various curries
    Beef stew
    Pork Stew
    Rolled lamb breast
    Steak & Kidney pie
    Grilled salmon (sometimes en croute)

    I generally only roast a chicken at the weekends, and rarely a beef or pork joint. Reading that list I’m reminded I haven’t done a baked ham or corned beef hash for a while.

    So what have you got for me?

    How about my take on chicken noodle soup? Easy to make up in advance, and then cooks up in no time.

    Large pan, chop and add
    Chilli (one or two, sliced lengthways, seeds left in to taste etc)
    Asparagus (Sliced lenghtways if thick)
    Baby corn (As above)
    Other veg if you like (Bok choi, mange tout, etc)
    A veg stock cube
    Some soy sauce
    Some fish sauce
    Juice a lemon

    Leave it to steep in cold water for as long as you like.

    Bring to the boil, and add some cubed chicken breast (goes well with prawns, but watch the cooking time).
    Add noodles, cook for three or four minutes more

    Serve with lime to squeeze over the top, and chopped coriander if you like

    Really easy, really healthy.

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    Add risotto to your list. I hated it until I came across a rather fine Jamie video on how to make it and now it’s on the standard list along with most of yours

    Premier Icon Stoner

    I try and make paella when I have chicken stock, but it rarely comes out as good as I would like.
    Could try a risotto instead.

    “soup” is asking for it with a 3 & 6 yr old around 😉

    I know, hence suggesting it! Gets them used to different formats and flavours as well. Worth a try!

    Another nice “cheat” roast from me;

    Pork neck fillet, sliced almost through lengthways.

    Fill the gap with stuffing of your choice. Cover with a couple of bits of streaky bacon, tie it all up with string.

    Roast in the Aga/oven for about forty mins. Serve with veg of your choice, and gravy. Goes really well with roast spuds and roast garlic.

    Premier Icon paladin

    Got kids?

    Home made fish fingers (my 6 year old makes them with haddock normally, but used mackerel he’d caught himself last time).

    Lentil soup is great this time of year, really thick so you could eat it with a fork…..big pan, bag of lentyils, pile of carrots, onion, celery, tattie, garlic, few tins of chopped toms, packet of bacon offcuts. Chop everything big, cook until cooked, then get in there with a tattie masher.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    all goes on the list, thanks.

    Premier Icon binners

    I hope you’re remembering the law on Fridays though….

    hey… I don’t make the rules 😀

    Premier Icon binners

    Some good suggestions here

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Specialite de la maison at our house is.. forget its name, but it’s something I had in Finland. Potatoes, onion and bacon chopped up small, fried and then baked covered in cheese. It probably has another name too 🙂

    Premier Icon Stoner

    molly – that’s basically a rosti by any otrher name.

    Nice dish though. Good comfort food. Needs leaks with it though I reckon 🙂

    Binners – how would you do “slowcooking” effectively with a conventional oven and casserole (Le creuset, natch)?

    Is temp critical? Because there’s no way the thermostat on my oven is accurate. Im guessing not the fan oven?

    Big bag of frozen chicken portions from Iceland.
    Jars of Chicken Tonight.
    Uncle Ben’s microwaveable rice portions.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    It’s great comfort food, and works well with sausages in it. Also needs ketchup 🙂


    A chicken pie always goes down a treat with our 2 (4 yrs)

    We basically have to blend half of the contents so they will actually eat it, but its amazing how presenting a kid a individual pie with its initial on it, motivates it to eat.

    As expected serve with chips and peas.


    If you want vegan recipes give me a shout …predicts a long wait 😀

    Premier Icon Stoner

    If you want vegan recipes give me a shout

    We’ve already got that covered with fish fingers and cauli cheese, but thanks Junky.


    They actually make vegan fish fingers
    I have never tried them


    sausage casserole
    chicken cacciatore (chicken thighs, tomato base, mushrooms, herbs)

    stir fry – meat + veg + ginger/garlic/soy
    fajitas – chicken, spices, mushroom, onion, veg, flour tortilla

    staples in the baker house

    Premier Icon binners

    Stoner – slow cookers are dirt cheap. You’ll get one for twenty quid. Money well spent. Especially in winter! They’re unbeatable for comfort food!

    Bung it all in in the morning. Then you get the pleasure of walking into your front door after work to delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, and your tea already cooked!


    Meatloaf: Mince of choice, mixed herbs, Garlic, seasoning, diced and cooked onion, smoked bacon or ham, a few eggs to help bind. Place all of them in a bowl, mix together and roast in the oven.

    Jambolina: Dice – chicken, onion, peppers, carrots, chillies and fry in a large bowl. Add a few cups of uncooked rice and fry slightly. A few tspoons of chilli powder and tumeric. Add chicken stock (enough to cover the ingredients) and allow to simmer slowly (adding more stock)until the rice is cooked through. You can also add whatever veg you like such as peas, asparagas etc.


    Also, home made chicken nuggets.

    Dice chicken, put through flour, whisked egg and then breadcrumbs. Either bake, shallow fry or deep fry.


    Fish pie? V tasty, easy to scale up or down as required.
    Fish cakes – think Jamie Oliver has a pretty good recipe
    Honey/ orange chicken – a Nigel Slater recipe, basically needing chicken thighs. Cover them with honey and orange, shove them in the oven for an hour til it goes sticky. I do homemade potato wedges (peel, cut, parboil spuds; mix in a bowl with oil, place on a baking tray) with them normally.
    Rick Stein has a sausage casserole thing in one of his books. I’m not a fan of his, but this is pretty good – it’s quite fresh, with spuds and sausages in there, plus lemon and parsley.

    My good lady makes a brilliant smoked haddock chowder.

    Soften onions or leeks, add sliced potatoes & fry off. Add veg stock & boil until spuds are al dente. Add chopped smocked haddock & cook for a few mins. Add creamed corn (basically a mix of frozen corn & a bechemel sauce). Cook for a few more mins.

    Serve with parsley, hot sauce & warm fresh bread. Lovely stuff.

    Half roast some halved wee salad potatoes, in their skins, in a tray with olive oil. Add chopped up raw sausages, cherry tomatoes, some chopped thyme, ripped up ciabatta and sprinkle over some paprika, give it a good mix. Back in the oven for 20 mins, till all cooked.

    Bring out and toss through loads of rocket till it wilts, and a few shakes of balsamic and mix thoroughly. Lovely crusty ciabatta goes slightly soggy, wilted rocket is lovely, then there’s good sausages and roast potatoes. Yummmmmm.


    Agree with the comments above about using a slow cooker. I haven’t got one so I just turn the oven down low instead. Works just as well.

    From reading your list of staples I’d say it looks pretty good, maybe focus on what is in season to give you some variety? My current fave is a Normandy pork casserole – cubed pork shoulder from the local farm, cider from the local brewhouse, apples from the garden etc etc with Dijon mustard and creme fraiche going in at the end.

    Also don’t forget puddings, they don’t have to be full of sugar and shite.


    Honey & Mustard Chicken

    Boneless & skinless thighs
    2 Parsnips
    2 Carrots
    1pt of chicken stock
    Tablespoon wholegrain mustard
    Tablespoon honey

    Seal the chicken then add everything and cook for 30mins on the hob.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    Sausage and bean bake – sausages and beans with a mash topping and then cheese, slammed under the grill.

    Jacket spuds, with a variety of toppings

    Slag carbonara, but done properly. No good for batching but takes 12 mins start to finish. Put pasta on. While cooking, fry some diced bacon / pancetta cubes. Mix up in a measuring bowl equal qtys of eggs and parmesan, one egg’s worth per person. When pasta done, drain, return to pan (off the heat) and stir in the egg and cheese mix. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg, portion it out, dress with bacon bits, done.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Tuna sauce on pasta. (Staple for the other Sandwiches, I can’t abide it now).
    Basically a white sauce with a tin of tuna, some peas, sweetcorn and Worcestershire sauce added to it and chucked poured onto fusilli.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    Theres a nice side dish I’ve been doing recently thats a good way of fancying up a meal as it gives a nice sauce as a byproduct thats good with fish (even fish fingers actually) or potatoes. EDIT – might add a nice dimension to Macc and cheese or cauliflower cheese too

    “a french thing with peas”

    Glug of olive oil in then pan
    stir in a tea spoon or two of plain flour to make a thin roux.
    add a mug full of veg or chicken stock (made from cubes is fine) and bring to a simmer. Up to this point it won’t look very appetising

    then add
    half a dozen spring onions (or sometimes shallots instead)
    two shredded little gem lettuces
    a 400gm bag of garden peas

    it’ll seem like far too much stuff for the cooking liquid but it’ll be fine

    bring that back to a simmer (the frozen peas will chill it totally to begin with) then another 3 mins or so to make sure the peas are warmed through, the lettuce wants to be barely cooked

    season and add lemon juice. I usually juice a whole lemon but do half first then add more to taste.

    Its an easy one to throw together while you’re cooking other stuff and its makes everything lovely and fresh tasting.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot

    theotherjonv – Member

    equal qtys of eggs and parmesan, one egg’s worth per person.

    You is bling ain’t you 😉

    That’s about £5 cheese for 4 people? Though I guess the rest is fairly cheap.


    Homemade pizza
    Spaghetti carbonara (proper one, none of that cream bunged in, just raw egg)
    Whatever cheap spicy sauce I find from Approved Food( bunged over some chicken
    Risotto (1,000,000 times easier than some people think it is )
    Huge batch chili
    Chicken fried rice


    (High five’s theotherjohns)
    That’s pretty much the recipe I do – lots of garlic too.

    Had one like that in Les Gets a few years ago on a biking holiday, came complete with raw egg yolk in a half shell for me to pour over. Mmmm.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    Chicken and potato thing

    Quite a lot of chicken thighs
    Quantity of spuds
    pack of cherry toms

    Boil and drain the pots

    place in a baking dish with the chicken and the toms (prick the skins of the toms)

    toss with a bit of oil then add a healthy glug of red wine vinegar and some oregano then roast. The chicken and leaking toms create a nice sauce (but if you over cook it that can evaporate)

    Premier Icon kimbers

    paellas a good one, dont usually bother with chicken just onion/garlic/parsley chorizo and random seafood, bit of saffron, turmeric, peppers, cherry tomatoes, peas, few olives, chicken stock (just oxo is good for me) aldi paella rice ftw

    lamb tagine is soo yummy when its cold outside
    onions, garlic, lamb, some dried apricots crushed almonds, saffron, turmeric, pepper, cumin, carrots chopped tomatoes, tin of chickpeas if the lambs not great just let it cook for longer! serve with lemon n corriander couscous , hmmmmmmmm think thats sunday dinner for me sorted

    oh yeah slow cookers are very good


    My Mrs makes a blinding goulash,
    I make a ‘kedgeree’ with courgette, leek, smoked mackerel fresh chilli, rice, boiled egg, mangetout, curry powder and lemon juice. At Xmas I add brussel sprouts and chestnuts too.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Some French inspired favourites
    Chicken Fricase (look online but Raymond Blanc recipe good)
    Cassoulet (basically french version sausage and bean casserole as above can add canned duck confit legs to make it authentic)

    As winter is coming some pasta bakes, eg with sausages or vegetarian
    Homemade pizza – Jamie Oliver recipe simple and very good, you can freeze spare dough
    Risottos – easy to do – vegetarian (mushroom especially good, dried porchni plus chestnut / other types) or with cooked chicken added

    Your chilli / bolognese / curries are good family favourites and freeze well as you know so thumbs up for those

    Cooking for the kids is wonderful, I miss it (all grown up and left home)

    Premier Icon Stoner

    some great ideas here that I hadnt considered before, thanks.

    Just off to the weekly shop with the boys now, and I think we shall be having a go at the meatloaf, nobeerinthefridge’s bread & sausage toss, and I’m hankering for some rosti as well now.

    And I like the sound of macc’s french pea thing.

    Other ideas remind me that there’s actually a lot I left off the list that we do less regularly like kedgeree, goulash, homemade pizzas, pork & cider etc. So will try to remember to do them more often.

    Time to go and raid Morrisons for fresh croissants for breakfast….


    I also like Spanish Tortilla or it’s Italian equivalent, Pizza pie (substitute the potatoes with spaghetti)

    Premier Icon colournoise

    Can’t see goulash on your list. We use this one – – but make sure you use ‘hot’ paprika to give it some kick, and add mushrooms and some new potatoes in for the last 30 minutes or so. Freezes well for batch cookery too (although would freeze it without the mushrooms and spuds and cook those in it as you reheat).

    Another favourite here is what we call chilli eggs. Bit of a Spanish/Mexican made up thing. Diced pork shoulder and/or chorizo, onion, peppers, tomatoes, paprika, chilli. Cook up into a spicy stew then put into oven proof dishes (a cazuela works well), make some dimples in the top and crack some eggs into them. Lots of black pepper on the eggs and bake for about 10 minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking. Serve with warmed crusty bread (or rice if you must).

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop

    I know these can’t be frozen but I like a nice stir fry. Bung into the wok whatever veggies or meat you have and cook with either rice or noodles.

    Sausage casserole: Fry decent quality sausages, cover with a tin of chopped tomatoes, dried herbs (garlic if they like it). Meanwhile cook some spuds, mash them and stick the sausages with the tomato sauce into an oven proof dish, top with the mash and plenty of cheese, cook in the oven until cheese is golden brown.

    We always played a game with veg soup when my nephew was little. He had to guess all the types of veg he was eating (I always cut them up into large pieces), anything up to 8 types. It was the only way I could get him to eat it.

    I also make easy barbecue sauce with chicken, onions and garlic, which all goes into the oven for a quick meal. Can be eaten with rice (that I hide veg in) or pasta.

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    Wants sausages now -like right now :(. It’s on the list of things we stock up on when back in uk

    Premier Icon Stoner

    There’s a win there for nobeerinthefridge.

    Sorry to to stick to your recipe 100%, but I fancied lamb sausages, so this one has rosemary rather than thyme in it and I have no rocket so fried up some leeks instead.

    Went down very well with the two bottomless pits that are my sons.

    Chicken pices with skin on and bones etc. In oven dish with onions whole garlic cloves smoked paprika and chorizo, bang in oven and cook. Add bkack olives near the end if you have some. Serve with spuds and brocolli or whatever.
    Or onions, weated with garlic some risotto rice white wine, chicken stock, oregano, tin of chopped toms and some to puree add in some browned off chicken pieces and bang in oven.

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