I love me some marmalade on toast, so finding out that this week was National Marmalade Week (25 Feburary to 3 March) just gave me excuses I didn’t need to attack the sticky orange stuff! My favourite by far is Tiptree’s Tawny Thick Cut by Wilkin & Sons, which has a delicious abundance of shreds. For the record, shredless is an abomination and will never be tolerated under my roof!
But marmalade is not just for toast! Somewhere, somehow, I found out that marmalade goes insanely well with cocktail sausages… Really! So in honour of Marmalade week may I present to you my exceedingly moreish Sticky Marmaladey Sausages – they’re great for handing round at parties, and even went down really well cold at an office charity buffet lunch type thing.
The recipe below (if you can call it a recipe!) is for party sized quantities, but it’s totally scalable if you happen to have cocktail sausages lying around and fancy a cheeky hot snack 🙂
I used to buy cheap and cheerful marmalade for this, but I do think the better the marmalade the better the glaze, so don’t be afraid to use whatever you have on hand for toast. Your tastebuds will thank you for it!
Sticky Marmaladey Sausages
Gooey, sweet-tart marmalade goes perfectly with the sausages, perfect for parties or a cheeky weekend snack.
While the oven is warming up, melt the marmalade in a saucepan and then pour the gooey loveliness over the sausages in the roasting tin and mix until coated.
Place the lot in the pre-warmed oven for 15/20 minutes, and then take the tin out and give the sausages a good shoogle about. Don’t worry if the marmalade looks a little runny, it will eventually thicken back up again.
Put it all back in the oven for another 15/20 minutes, at which point the marmalade should have become a magical sticky delicious glaze all over the sausages. The sausages will be cooked through after 30/40 minutes so you can take them out at this point, but if you like your sausages a little browner then put them back in the oven until they have reached your preferred shade.
Once out, give them a few minutes to cool down, and then tuck right in!
Spaghetti Bolognese is my go to comfort food, even if it bears little if any resemblance to its Italian ancestor! Like most of my favourite dishes it started off as a hand-me-down recipe from Mum, and over the years I’ve added to it, and taken away from it (pancetta, I’m looking at you!), until it’s settled down to this recipe.
In an ideal world, make it the day before and let it develop overnight. But it’s such a mood thing for me that I usually cook it and eat it the same night, and it tastes just fine. Also freezes really well for another day.
So if you’re ever looking for a hug in a bowl, allow me to heartily recommend this 🙂
Slow-Cooked Spag Bol
My take on a classic British favourite, and my first go to dish when I need comfort in a bowl.
Dice the onions and mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Simples!
Heat some oil in the pot and cook off the onions and garlic on a medium heat until the onions start to look transparent.
Add the mushrooms (you might need to add a little more oil if it starts to get a bit dry) and once they've cooked down too, remove the lot to a bowl.
In the same pot, brown the mince. I find the best way is to push the mince down until it covers the entire base of the pan with no gaps, this helps it to brown rather than broil. Once one side is browned, flip the mince over to cook off the other side.
Turn the heat up to high and tip in the milk, and keep the heat up until the milk has all soaked in to the mince (the milk really helps to tenderise the mince).
Turn the heat back down to medium and squeeze in about half a tube of tomato purée. Stir it all in before adding the onions, garlic and mushrooms back into the pot.
Then, add the can of tomatoes and the stock cube and give it all a good stir. (fifi's top tip - If your canned tomatoes are whole I recommend draining the tomato juice into the pot first, then take a tomato and holding it over the pot squish hard in your hand and drop whatever is left into the sauce. Repeat until all the tomatoes are squished, it's almost as satisfying as popping bubble wrap!! Be warned, though, as the tomatoes do have a tendency to kick back and end up on your clothes if you squish too hard.)
If there’s not a lot of liquid then add some water, about 1/3rd of the empty can of tomatoes.
Season! Salt and pepper, bay leaves, a splash of balsamic vinegar (the sweetness cuts the tinniness that you sometimes get with tomatoes), and a dash (or ten!) of Worcestershire sauce. This last is really a personal taste thing. Me, I like LOADS of Worcestershire sauce so there’s no such thing as too much of it, but it’s easier to add more than remove what you've put in, so start with a little and taste it and work up to the perfect amount of dash for you.
Once it’s all bubbling away, turn the heat right down to the lowest setting and put a lid on it for 1.5 hours, stirring and tasting to check the seasoning every half hour or so.
Take the lid off for the last 30 minutes. If it starts to look a bit dry then add a little hot water. If it looks too wet then turn the heat up a little.
Serve on spaghetti with a generous grating of parmesan. And if you like a little heat in your food, try adding a couple of dashes of Tobasco to the spaghetti. I’m sure it’s the last thing an Italian would add to their ragu, but I’ve been Tobasco-ing mine since I was a kid and couldn't eat Spag Bol now without the hot red stuff!
Hello there, and welcome to my little corner of the foodie blogosphere, and my husband’s wedding anniversary present to me! In all fairness, our anniversary was back in August, but I’ve been so paralysed by “first post anxiety” that it’s taken me until now to actually grab the blog by the horns and say my first something. That, and the increasingly sadder panda face that my husband turns on me when he checks here and finds it still unblogged…
So why another foodie blog? To be honest, I never set out to be a blogger, and I’m not sure that I will actually ever BE a proper blogger. What I am is a girl who loves to cook, and a foodie magazine addict. More than that, I’m a recipe-tearing-out foodie magazine addict! Only, torn-edged recipes are easily lost, not to mention easily splattered upon whilst following them. So the original fifigoesnom was less a blog and more a place to hold those recipes that the husband and I had tried and liked, or to share with friends the family recipes that I’d cooked for them and they wanted to try themselves. And then my very lovely husband decided to surprise me on our wedding anniversary with my own domain name for fifigoesnom so that I could actually try this blogging thing properly.
So here I am! And here you are! Hello! And welcome! Again!
The plan, as much as there is one, is to try out those magazine and cookbook recipes and see if they really taste as good as they look (because sometimes they really really don’t…) and to share the best ones with anyone who happens by. I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for a little bit of kitchen inspiration, and hopefully that’s what you’ll find here.
Tried and tested by fifigoesnom! That pretty much sums up this little blog’s raison d’etre 🙂
ps – “fifi goes nom!” is my happy shout out at home when my husband has made something particularly tasty, which is most of the time to be honest as he’s an insanely good cook and now that I think about it should probably be the one blogging about food, not me… the tricksy hobbit!!