Week 42 = Halloween Recipes
1. Sweet Kids Treat: Popcorn Balls
These sweet popcorn balls are best served on the day they are made but you can eat them up to 3 days after popping the corn, however I doubt they’ll last that long!
For a children’s party, fill wafer cones with the mixture before placing a popcorn ball on top. It’s eat-in-your-hand finger food with no plates to wash up. I’m sure I don’t need to mention cautionary tales about children eating popcorn unsupervised etc, we’ve all heard them!
Ingredients (for the popcorn balls)
- 4 bags of Popcorn
- 100g Marshmallows
- 25g Unsalted Butter
Ingredients (for the Salted Chocolate Sauce)
- 75g Dark Chocolate
- 10g Unsalted Butter
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
- Medium Saucepan with secure lid
- Baking Tray lined with greaseproof paper
- Large Spoon
- Large Bowl
- Sunflower oil for greasing your hands when rolling the balls
- Put 25g of unsalted butter into the saucepan on a low heat.
- Once melted add 100g marshmallows.
- Stir well until the marshmallow melts completely into the butter and you have a creamy mixture.
- Pour the liquid marshmallow into the bottom of the large bowl. Add the popcorn on top then stir well until every piece is coated.
- Use some sunflower oil to rub onto both your hands to roll the popcorn mixture into sweet popcorn balls. It stops it sticking.
- Fill the ice cream cones if you’re using them before rolling smaller balls to place on top.
- Leave the balls on the greaseproof paper to come to room temperature.
- To make the sauce, put the dark chocolate, remaining unsalted butter and golden syrup into the saucepan, once it has been cleaned, on a low heat on the hob.
- When the chocolate has melted completely and all the ingredients have been stirred together add a pinch of sea salt flakes before pouring over your popcorn balls and leaving them to cool.
2. Healthy Recipe: Warming Soup
The gentle heat in this soup instantly starts working as soon as I have a bowl in my hand, and the fresh bitter greens along with citrus hit from the lemon is a real change to a classic thick blended soup.
The key to making the soup last is to add the greens just before serving, then a decent squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The base of the warming soup will keep for a little bit longer that way and you keep the fresh, vibrant green colours in the broth.
Ingredients (serves 5)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder or paprika
- 100g pearl barley/soup mix
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into rough chunks
- 1 small turnip (or half a large one), peeled and chopped into chunks
- 300ml hot water
- 1 handful of fresh greens such as spinach, sliced kale, or finely sliced dark green cabbage
- Fresh lemon juice
Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat on the hob. Add the onion and stir for 1 minute, next add the garlic and stir again. Cook for 4 minutes. Add the chilli powder or paprika and step away from the saucepan so you don’t inhale the steam – otherwise you’ll get a lungful of spicy steam & make your eyes water!
Pour in the pearl barley and stir so that the barley is coated with the paste and begins to toast a little in the heat of the saucepan. Add the chopped carrot and turnip, then pour the water on top of the vegetables and pearl barley/soup mix. Bring the saucepan to a simmer, then cover and simmer the contents of the saucepan for 20-30 minutes. Once the vegetables are still slightly firm (not mushy!) the soup is cooked.
To serve the warming soup, spoon a large ladle of soup into a big bowl, then stir in the fresh greens immediately into the hot liquid so that they wilt a little bit. Squeeze lemon juice on top and eat straight away. As there is pearl barley in the mixture there should be no need to add bread to the dish, although it is nice to dunk if you have some.
3. Meal Solution To Go With Colcannon
Braised Beef with Onions and Carrots (serves 5)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
- Stewing Beef
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 200ml boiling water
- 1 beef stock cube
You will need a large heavy based saucepan with a lid for this recipe.
Preheat the saucepan to a medium heat on the hob, this will take about 5 minutes. Add the sunflower oil to the hot pan. Sear the stewing beef in the oil so that it colours on all sides.
Add the onions and coat in the cooking juices, followed by the carrots. Stir well so that everything is coated.
Pour the boiling water into the saucepan, then crumble stock cube on top. Stir so that all the ingredients are mixed well together.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Leave to simmer for 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes the meat should be tender/easily broken up with the back of a spoon.
Serve with a large spoon of the Lidl classic Colcannon.