The weather is definitely starting to feel more Autumnal and as the small people head back to school I have found 2 easy seasonal recipes that I cannot wait to try out. Both are by food writer Jack Monroe, who specialises in affordable, achievable recipes. They are both from her book "A year in 120 recipes" and can also be found on her website.

The first is Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese with Bacon

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese with Bacon. Photography by Susan Bell, from A Year In 120 Recipes by Jack Monroe.

Serves 4:
300g short pasta, like penne, or macaroni
2 tbsp oil
200g cauliflower (about half a head) grated or broken into small florets
200g bacon, chopped
2 eggs
200ml milk
100g hard, strong cheese, grated
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta until al dente (cooked but not so soft that you can squash it between your fingers - about 8 mins in boiling water)

2. Meanwhile saute the caulifower and bacon over a medium heat

3. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, milk & seasoning. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to bring it to a warmish temperature (so it doesn’t turn to startled scrambled eggs when you pop it in the oven) and beat in.

4. When pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the pan with the cauliflower and bacon. Take off the heat, stir in the egg mixture.

5. Pour into an ovenproof baking dish, top with the grated cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the cheese is golden and crispy.


The second recipe on my list to try is Bramley Apple Soda Bread

Bramley Apple Soda Bread by Jack Monroe from "A year in 120 recipes"

200g flour
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp lemon juice
200ml milk
1 large Bramley apple (or other variety, but they do work incredibly well here!)

1. First, mix milk and add the lemon juice, and leave to stand while you do the rest.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.

3. Finely dice or grate your apple and mix into the flour.

4. Pour in the soured lemony milk, and stir well.

5. Lightly grease or flour the inside of a loaf tin, and pour the mixture in. It should have a batter consistency, not a dough.

6. Bake in the centre of the oven at 180C for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the tin.

I think that this would be delicious with some sharp cheddar cheese!


Also in season this month:

Bramley apples, runner beans, blackberries, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, spring green cabbage, white cabbage, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, courgette, cucumber, kale, leeks, iceberg lettuce, marrow, peas, plums, spinach, squash and sweetcorn.

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