Recipe: Seared Curried Scallops and Creamy Leeks

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Did you know that Leeks are one of my favourite vegetables?! #lovemyleeks

Leeks are best during the colder months and are in season - I picked up these beauts from my local farm shop #shoplocal 

I love how simple, nutritious and delicious they are. I tend to use them in stews, casseroles or bolognaise but today I thought I'd try out a new recipe idea!

Creamy leeks with seared curried scallops.

This dish is quick, simple and would be ideal as a starter or a main dish - win win!

Let's get on with the show....

Firstly I heated the butter on a medium/high heat and then added leeks, water and salt and pepper to the saucepan and cooked until soft and tender.

Meanwhile I patted dry the scallops and sprinkled with curry powder.

Then I added cream and a pinch of nutmeg (perfect for Christmas!) t the leeks and cooked until the sauce thickened.

Using my griddle pan I heated the oil and seared the scallops for 5 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

To serve - add the scallops on top of the leek mixture and voila! Simple dinner or starter.


2tbsp butter
1/3 cup water
2 leeks chopped (I like to keep them in circles and fairly chunky)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of cream (I used double)
A pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp olive oil


1. Melt butter on a medium to high heat in a saucepan, add 1/3 cup of water, leeks, salt and pepper to taste and stir occasionally until soft and tender.
2. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream and nutmeg. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
3. Meanwhile pat scallops dry and sprinkle with the curry powder (both sides) and a pinch of salt.
4. Heat oil on a medium to high heat (I used my griddle pan here). Cook scallops until golden brown brown on the outside, turn once. The centres should be opaque. No more than 5 minutes.
5. Serve on top of the leeks.

Best bolognaise/ragu recipe

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


I may have mentioned in a previous post that I like to spend my Sunday's batch cooking for the week ahead. My mantra is "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!" 

I need to have a fully stocked fridge and freezer full of quick and easy dishes and snacks to keep my on track with my clean eating regime.

Pretty much every other Sunday I tend to cook a kilo of mince and make bolognaise, taco mince, cottage pies and chilli con carnes for the freezer. 

This week I decided to mix it up a bit - I chose to use beef AND pork mince and the gamble paid off!! (Yes, I do realize this isn't a game changer for most people but for us it revolutionized our spag bol's.)

Firstly, I browned off the mince with a glug of olive oil. I used 500g of beef and 500g of pork, both at 5% fat so nice and lean.

While the mince browned I gathered together the rest of the ingredients and chopped mushrooms and a red onion. I was extra lazy this week and picked up a Veg Base Mix (carrots, onions and celery pre-chopped super finely) so my chopping time was minimized drastically.

I added the red onion and pre-chopped veggies and let them cook down for 5 minutes and then added the other ingredients (again being lazy!) a Knorr garlic flavour pot and extra rich beef stock, a stock cube, Herbs & More rosemary and thyme melt, half a jug of veg stock, leftover passata and a tin of plum tomatoes, Worcester sauce and red wine (phew!!)

Then begins the simmering process. I try to let it simmer for 2-3 hours before letting it cool fully and transferring to freezer containers or zip-lock baggies. 

During the simmering time I taste tested often (treat for the cook!) and added a few sneaky extra's to enhance the flavour. A lidful of mixed herbs (official chef terms coming out now, ha) and a whole tray of mushrooms cut on the chunky side - my fave!

And voila! THE best bolognaise/ragu recipe I have ever made. The meat was soft and crumbly and the sauce almost authentic, even if I do say so myself!


500g lean beef mince
500g lean pork mince
1 tbsp of olive oil
Finely chopped veggies (2x onions, 2x carrots, 2x celery)
Mushrooms (optional)
500ml of stock (i used 300ml of Bouillon veg stock and added a Knorr extra rich beef stock pot and a stock cube)
1 Knorr garlic flavour pots/4 cloves of garlic (minced)
250ml of passata
1 tin of plum tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 cup of red wine
2 tbsp mixed herbs


1. Heat oil in large pan and fry mince until brown
2. Add veggies and fry for a further 5 minutes
3. Add rest of ingredients and give it a good stir, bring to boil
4. Simmer for 2-3 hours

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Monday, 7 December 2015

Stuck for last minute Christmas gift ideas?

In my eyes you can't go wrong with chocolates. And to make sure your loved ones enjoy this gift over and over why not sign them up to the Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club!

The Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club is unlike any other subscription boxes I've seen before - The Cocoa box is the perfect balance of milk, dark and white chocolate with a different box of recipes delivered every 4 weeks.

It's the gift that keeps on giving. Imagine the delight every month at having a gorgeous box of sumptuous chocolates being delivered to your door, mmm!

I have an exclusive 1st Box Offer where you can get your first box for just £9.95! Sign up today and you will receive a FREE bag of salted caramel puddles! Wouldn't that be an ideal Secret Santa present.

Or for that chocolate loving family member there are also 3, 6, and 12 month offers and you can unsubscribe at anytime! Check out my exclusive discount codes below:

Save £15 - Get £5 off your first 3 club boxes – Enter code: TCX15X3B
Save £33 - Get £5.50 off your first 6 club boxes - Enter code: TCX33X6B
Save £72 - Get £6 off your first 12 club boxes - Enter code: TCX72X12B

I know what I'm adding to my Christmas list!!

My Christmas Wishlist

Friday, 4 December 2015

 This Christmas my wishlist being sent to Santa Claus is all home wares and cookbooks! 

Since getting our fur baby last year (a snowy white and tabby patched cat called Drizzle) everything has become covered in fluff and i have pined over the Dyson cordless hoovers. 
In my quest to get the Hubby's approval to purchase such an extravagance investment I have boasted about the benefits of having such a versatile tool in our home! From the powerful suction (begone Drizzle hair!) to being able to quickly whizz it into the corners of the rooms with the handheld function, to me being able to hoover the stairs and 1st floor of our home with ease due to its lightweight nature. Please Santa bring me one of these!!

I have added the Deliciously Ella cookbook to my list - I try to make healthy treats where possible as I try to follow a "clean eating" program coupled with personal training 3x a week. I have also added a couple of comfort-food cookbooks to my list by Barefoot Contessa and The Pioneer Woman; i love their shows on Food Network!

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups! Well, because I will need assistance with all the new recipes I will be making in the New Year!

When me and my partner first moved in together we struggled to find a pot & pan set that we liked so we just settled for a cheapy one with the hope of upgrading when we found a set we liked ... 4 years have past and we still haven't changed them! We have some wedding vouchers to use and i think we shall start the search soon for a lovely pan set that will see us through many years. I really like the Jamie Oliver Tefal ones or the Tefal Ingenio set where you have one handle for the whole set and chop and change as you use them - genius!

And finally The Pioneer Woman serving dishes! As I mentioned earlier I really enjoy watching Ree Drummond's show on Food Network on a Sunday morning before starting my batch cooking. I have a bit of an obsession at the moment for finding some lovely patterned serving dishes for my kitchen and these are ideal - only problem is they are available in America and shipping would be astronomical for the set *sad face* 

Annnd that is it for my 2015 Christmas Wishlist - hopefully a few of these will be crossed off and the others picked up in the January sales!

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs