Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Loving the return of winter food!

I love summer food, all the salads, fresh fruit, colourful plates... But I always love it when the summer comes to an end and it's time for all the great winter dishes, i.e. perfect comfort food! Despite being from the country that believes they have the best food in the world, I absolutely love proper English food... Toad in the Hole, Sausage and Mash, Pies... it makes me hungry just thinking about it! One of my favourite dishes to make is Lasagne. Although this is not an English as such, it's definitely up there with comfort food. Most of my friends get treated to this when they come over for dinner as it's easy to make and always tastes great! You can also add or change some of the ingredients as you wish to keep it interesting!
I apologise in advance as this is a recipe I have absolutely no measurements for. I have made it so many times I am able to just "chuck" everything into the pan and I end up with the right amounts for the dish I have.... Therefore I will mostly be posting the photos of the lasagne I made last night.
Mince is obviously the main ingredient. Barry and I love lamb mince as it has more flavour than beef mince I tend to buy it frozen as you get more for your money and I can then use just the amount I need for each meal. Last night, I also added carrots, peas, balsamic vinegar, sundried tomato paste, mixed spice, ginger, pepper, chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic. The last two I now buy frozen as it is great for cooking and avoids wasting veg that doesn't get used.
The next step is the B├ęchamel sauce. This took me a long time to perfect and many batches ended up in the bin! I think the breakthrough for me was when I was living in Paris. I used to go and collect a little girl from her primary school, take her back to hers, help out with homework and cook dinner for the family. This particular family loved b├ęchamel sauce with everything, so I had no choice but to perfect it pronto! Last night, I went crazy and added grated cheddar to the sauce, which I don't usually do.

Then comes the layering up bit. For years I did this all wrong, and only recently added (a lot!) more layers to my lasagne. It is meant to be a pasta dish after all! And I have to say, this has greatly improved the overall taste of the dish.

More cheese on top, some seasoning then it goes in the oven for about 40 minutes. Et voila!
What about you, what are you favourite comfort foods now that the summer is over?
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*All images unless otherwise noted are my own, so please do not use them without my permission.*
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