The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Yummy lamb steak recipe: lamb, halloumi, couscous and summery salad served in warm pitta/pita envelopes

Posted in Lamb | 4 comments

Yummy lamb steak recipe: lamb, halloumi, couscous and summery salad served in warm pitta/pita envelopes

Sometimes I get sick and tired of conventional meat and two veg sit down suppers. I want something that I can pick up in one hand and eat beside the pond or balance a plate on the arm of the sofa and guzzle whilst I watch a bit of TV. I know that there’s a big move to get people to sit down at a table and eat together so I’m bucking the system a bit here. What I’m saying is that as Danny and I always sit down to eat together – sometimes it’s good to have a meal that just needs a fork simply our hands to eat. This sort of meal is a...

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Recipe for pork tenderloin in a tomato and pepper sauce

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Rice and Pasta | 3 comments

Recipe for pork tenderloin in a tomato and pepper sauce

Every year we bottle/can loads of tomatoes for use over the winter. These are sweet and the flavour is delicate. But however many jars I make we find that they always run out by Christmas. Luckily we love good quality tinned plum tomatoes. They have to be whole tomatoes rather than the chopped ones. These tinned toms are more expensive than the value brands but they taste so much better. Over the last few months there have been loads of half price offers in the supermarkets and I cashed in big time. A few days before I invented this recipe, I...

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Recipe for sausages baked with herby garlic infused beans, bacon and tomato

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 6 comments

Recipe for sausages baked with herby garlic infused beans, bacon and tomato

There are two words that sent Danny into a fluster. “Bake” and “penne”. There is just one phrase that makes him visibly pale and narrow his dark Irish eyes. “Pasta bake”. The reverberations that take place when I dare to mouthe these two innocent words deserve their own paragraph. I watch with envy as families in the TV commercials tuck happily into pasta bakes. I love simple, sling in the oven and repair to a comfy chair sort of recipes. Between you and me I’m planning a baked risotto for next week but I wouldn’t dream of...

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Recipe for squid in marinara sauce over spaghetti

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 4 comments

Recipe for squid in marinara sauce over spaghetti

This may sound crazy but up until the past month or so I’ve always though of squid as a starter. It’s often knocked right down in price at the supermarket but I’ve tended to avoid it – my eye being on ingredients for a main course. When I made my yummy squid soup I suddenly realised that this seafood had enormous potential. Surely if soup could be this easy and this good there must be other ways to use squid? I spent a couple of hours researching squid as a pasta sauce. 95% of sauces used tomatoes so I decided to go with that. This is...

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Recipe for Spanish style squid and tomato soup

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Starters and Soups | 8 comments

Recipe for Spanish style squid and tomato soup

I picked up a whole squid a couple of days ago. I had not come across this wonder before – just those lovely white open ended envelopes that regurgitate a baby squid when pressed. This half priced one had skin and an eye! Maybe two, I couldn’t/didn’t want to work out the physiology. But I did venture onto the Internet to learn squid preparation skills. I was so pleased that I did as I was tempted to just slice it up, skin and all. I didn’t know about the stomach, quill or the beak. Yes a squid has a beak! Generally I think of squid as...

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Summer rabbit casserole recipe for the slow cooker/crock pot

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 5 comments

Summer rabbit casserole recipe for the slow cooker/crock pot

A few years ago Danny and I went to stay in the Cinque Terra in Italy. This is in Liguria and the five towns are seaside or clinging to hillside near the coast. This is a great region for walking and farming. We’d watch the walkers leave as we enjoyed our breakfast and return when we were lifting the first glass of the evening. We were staying in a small town called Monte Rosso. A beautiful old fashioned seaside place with a truly sleepy feel. Despite this it was packed with good restaurants and shops selling foodie delights. We’d guzzle...

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Quick and easy smoked salmon spaghetti recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 8 comments

Quick and easy smoked salmon spaghetti recipe

Sometimes I get bored with our old favourites when it comes to rustling up the evening meal. Although the freezer is full of my own ‘ready meals’ nothing appeals. I pick through the shelves and even consider a takeaway. Last night I found a pack of Atlantic line caught smoked salmon – 100g for £3.99 happily discounted to £2.50 on the CFC. Danny refuses to eat farmed salmon so I only buy the good stuff on offer and stash it away for chic canapés or scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for a very special breakfast. Last night was a...

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Belly of pork roasted on a nest of tomatillos recipe. Halogen oven/conventional oven recipe

Posted in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages | 5 comments

Belly of pork roasted on a nest of tomatillos recipe. Halogen oven/conventional oven recipe

  Tomatillos are extremely easy to grow. They are great for making salsas and sauces and they freeze well. They also do not get blight so it’s always worth growing a couple of plants if you have a greenhouse or conservatory to get some tomatoey tangy flavour if your tomato crops fail. You do need to grow at least two plants to guarantee that the fruit will set but apart from that I’ve always found them very obliging, tolerant to haphazard watering and they always give a good harvest. I tend to freeze tomatillos, but they can be dehydrated...

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