These are two suppers from the past week which got the thumbs up from the family.
The first was a Pork Pastry Plait.
250 g minced pork
Place in a bowl and add all/most/some of:
Chopped spring onions
Generous handful of chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary)
Salt and pepper
Soy sauce (actually tamari)
Two to three cream crackers whizzed to crumbs in the processor (or breadcrumbs or porridge oats)
Mix together and shape into a stubby, fat sausage.
Unroll a sheet of puff pastry and roll it out a little thinner. Place the pork on top and cut horizontal slashes in the pastry. Bring the ends up and then lattice the pastry strips across the meat, crossing them over and tucking the ends in as you go.
Place on a baking tray, brush all over with beaten egg and bake at Gas Mark 5 for about half an hour, until it is golden brown and cooked through.
I served this with some courgettes, fresh from the garden, which I cubed and then cooked quickly in about a teaspoonful of butter in a pan.
The second is Creamy Store Cupboard Pasta
This is a really fast tea and is perfect for one of those happy moments when you find the tail end of a tub of creme fraiche in the fridge, along with odds and sods of other tasty little treats.
Boil a handful or two of pasta per person in a big pot of salted water for 10 minutes, until al dente.
Raid the fridge for: Mushrooms, ham, cheese (soft or semi-soft, preferably blue), leftover olives anything really that goes with all of the above. Chop them up a bit. Toss the mushrooms into a pan with a little butter and some garlic, if you've got some (and you're not going to the dentist tomorrow. Although last time I went to the dentist she had definitely been eating garlic!)
When the pasta is cooked scoop out a cupful of the cooking water, drain the pasta and put it back into the hot pan. Add the creme fraiche and the mushrooms and all the other yummy bits you could find, stir around so that everything gets hot. If the sauce is a bit thick, add some of the water you reserved (which also helps the sauce to meld with the pasta).
Add some lovely fresh chopped herbs too, a good handful and some pepper and a swipe or two of nutmeg on the grater.
Pile into bowls and top with freshly grated parmesan and lashings of ground black pepper. This is never the same twice (it varies from fridge to fridge!) but it's always delicious!