recipe reacharound: cheesy meaty fingers (600 calories)

Sometimes I look back over the blog recipes of old and wonder what on Earth we were thinking. This was definitely one of those instances but in the spirit of making sure we hadn’t gone fully doolally-tap back in 2016, we decided to revisit these cheesy meaty fingers. Partly for the name, partly for the fact they’re essentially squished burgers topped with cheese and if that doesn’t give you a dewpoint in your knickers, whatever will?

Imagine a future where a flash of pink doesn’t mean you’ll be eating out (cough) but instead, staying in to try a delicious recipe from our wonderfully rainbow new cookbook DINNER TIME. It’s a wonderful thought no? We’ve talked about the new recipes, the funny intros, but one of the things we’re most excited by is how utterly gorgeous the new book is. So many cookbooks out there are as dull as dishwater to look at but ours is a technicolour explosion and an utter treat for your eyes. You’d be a fool not to bring the sunshine home! Luckily you can put that right by pre-ordering now!

Now, before we get to the recipe, my apologies: there’s the final part of our London trip to get through. No I know, but I am determined to finish a bloody holiday trip on here! If you’re hankering for the food just swoosh straight down to the photos. You can find part one here and part two right here.

Rather than write out a big wall of flowing narrative about what else we did in London, I’m going to write out some random bits and bobs because that’s the fresh, forward thinking style you have come to expect from a blog that probably still has Realplayer adverts sitting on the server. Plus it’s been nine years since we were in London and I have only my scribbled notes on my phone to work from. Don’t like it? TOUGH TITTY. (Spoiler edit: I totally didn’t end up doing this, but I’ve left it in to show you my optimism)

We did a fabulous escape room in Shepherds Bush – an officially licensed Sherlock themed room starring the actors themselves. Well videos of them, Benedict Pumpmysnatch wasn’t taking a break from filming Doctor Strange to show me where the fire exits were. It was possibly one of the best rooms we have done to date, even if we did get off to a bumpy start by being paired up momentarily with a very argumentative couple who insisted on sniping at one another through the introduction. I’m not sure if they thought they had come along to a Relate session – my perfect marriage to Paul must have shot jealousy straight into their souls – but after the story had been discussed (you’ve got 60 minutes to…evil Moriarty this…don’t CLIMB ON THE WALLS ROFLMAO…if there’s a fire WE WON’T JUST LEAVE YOU TO BURN OMG LOLZ) we were sent into separate rooms. The puzzles were complex and well done, culminating in a room where you had four puzzles requiring some physical dexterity. Somehow we avoided the urge to push the fire alarm button and let ourselves out, persevered and – hooray – completed the room.

We left the room to have a look around the gift shop – I’m always glad of a chance to purse my lips and say ‘I think the fuck not’  – when the rowing couple also emerged into the gift shop, still bickering, and were told they hadn’t managed to complete the room. Naturally Paul and I took all of four zeptoseconds to announce we had completed the room with a couple of minutes left over with the smuggest grins you can imagine. The girlfriend of the couple came back with the most curious of responses though – she pointed at her partner and told us, thin-lipped and accusatorially, that he ‘had diabetes’. What do you say to that? I just nodded sagely in a manner I hoped conveyed both understanding to her and a ‘get away from her, as far as you can, and if you can’t then don’t buy a rabbit’ to him. Anyway, the room was mint, and I encourage you to give it a go – your ability or otherwise to produce insulin really doesn’t have a bearing on it. You can find more details here.

We spent an hour walking around the Tate Modern, as ever waiting for inspiration to strike, and left the same uncultured swines that we always are. I’ve put many words into explaining the desire of both Paul and I to finally have an epiphany in an art gallery and for us to both finally ‘get’ art, but the only thing we got from our visit was sore cankles and a telling off from someone with a clipboard and a failing art degree (I guarantee it) because we stood in the wrong spot on the unmarked floor. There was a faintly interesting exhibition of an open room with some white powder nicely arranged on the floor (they must have had one hell of a giant credit card just behind the curtain) but once we realised that we could replicate this at home by not hoovering up after Paul has been ped-egging his feet, we left. Thing is, we probably would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t have been rammed with the type of insufferable arse and their utterly awful children all running around screaming and getting in the way.  Now that I am now officially middle-aged I am all for parents being told to leave their children in a locker when they enter such places but even then, those big halls would still echo with the strangulated vowels and upward inflections and pseudo-intellectualism bollocks that doesn’t so much set my teeth on edge as set them on fire inside my own angry mouth and demand I bite the flames out with malice. Ever since I twatted myself off the side of an installation by Yoko Ono I’ve been immoderately angry about art galleries and this looks set to continue ever onwards.

We were lucky enough to have our publishers put us up in the Sea Containers hotel for two days over Valentines – this was very thoughtful as they must have realised we always like to argue somewhere ritzy on Valentines Day – and it really was something else. Paul and I aren’t fancy people – I’ve only just managed to persuade Paul to stop brushing his teeth with reeds from the garden – but it was a beautiful room and a wonderful treat. Our publishers had kindly indicated that we could claim expenses and we did take advantage of that by enjoying the minibar, ordering room service and tipping everything that wasn’t nailed down into a suitcase. Paul had to hold me back from nipping down to Screwfix for a set of wrenches to take the television off the wall. What can I say, I’m a terror. We did laugh the shrill laugh of the long-married at the ‘Lover’s Kit’ included in the room which consisted of flavoured lubes, condoms, a pair of fluffy handcuffs and my personal favourite, those dice with ‘actions’ on one die and bodily parts on the other. So you may roll ‘LICK’ and ‘ELBOW’ to make ‘lick elbow’ (I realise I picked the worst pairing of words there but I’ll be damned if I’m going back to change it) and sexy shenanigans would ensue. We were tempted to give it a go but as I say, we’ve been married fifteen years now and unless ‘THE IRONING’ came up after ‘DO’ or ‘SHOP ELSEWHERE FOR’ came before ‘PENIS’ we’d both be left disappointed. We consoled ourselves with a £6.50 packet of £1.50 Haribo and then went for dinner downstairs.

And what a dinner – possibly one of the best meals we have ever had, although Paul counts a burger he had on an aeroplane as the nicest meal he has ever had so I’m not sure we have an especially high benchmark. As we weren’t paying we took great pains to walk our way through the extensive cocktail menu which was a delight, though we couldn’t help but notice an uptick in service once the snotty waiter had realised that despite our George at Asda shoes we weren’t just going to order tap water and a bread basket. I had bone marrow for starters (and again later, well, it was Valentines) and Paul had some especially good fried chicken which made your arteries crinkle just looking at it. Of course, wat wiv it being ded posh like, you only got enough of a portion to mollify a churchmouse’s hunger pains, so we didn’t feel too stuffed with a heavy starter. I somewhat rashly ordered an oyster when Paul nipped off to the loo, knowing full well I don’t like them but keen for Paul to try. When it arrived he somewhat blithely reminded me that he went to Cambridge University and they had oysters all the time, presumably to keep up their strength for knocking homeless folks about. He refused to try it, citing the fact he had half of the spirits from the bar rolling in his stomach, so it was up to me to take one for the team. I remain resolute in my dislike: there is nothing redeemable about an oyster. The texture, the taste, the look: it’s like a sea captain hockled in my mouth during rough sex. I swallowed, dry-heaved politely into my elbow and spent the next five minutes chewing my way through some roasted padron peppers to take the shame away.

Nothing about that says eat me does it?

The rest of the meal was an utter triumph though: I had a length of pork loin that I’d have blanched at had it slid through a gloryhole and Paul had ribs that went on for days. Halfway through the main course the table next to us was filled by an especially embonpoint banker and his by-the-hour date. I’m not even being catty: we were treated to him asking what his money got him almost as soon as the waiter had brought the water. Happily she played the game very well and ordered the most expensive dish on the menu accompanied by some very costly wine. Speaking of a classy whine, Paul was complaining that he hadn’t left enough room for dessert. I reminded him that in all the time we have been together I’ve never known him not be a greedy pig – he remains the only person I know to ask for a side-dish along with his barium enema – and as soon as the waiter appeared Paul was ordering food without a care. The dessert was the shining star though: two cheesecakes formed into imitation Magnum ice-creams served with jelly rose petals and other exciting flimflam. It was that good that I took great pains to explain to Paul that he was simply too full to enjoy it properly but he was having none of my transparent attempt to steal it. He’s a poor sport. As it happens, halfway through eating his it melted and fell on the floor. You know in the Lion King when we all bubbled and sobbed when Mufasa went tombstoning off the hyena gorge? It was just like that. We asked for the bill, shrieked loudly, charged it to our room and went twirling into the night.

I think, from memory, we ended up back in the Kings Arms which was full of dating couples and all terribly sweet. Paul and I discuss this with (probably worrying) regularity – we’ve been together so long that the idea of being single and going out on dates terrifies us both. Paul is wrong to worry though: if I die, I expect him to dress in black for the rest of his life and become one of those crazy folks who spend their days shouting at the skies about the injustice of a life taken from them. If the unthinkable happens and Paul shuffles off first, we have agreed that I’ll try and keep my knickers on until at least the police officers who came over to break the sad news have left. The dating couples were a keen contrast to the night before which was karaoke night – you’ve never lived until you’ve seen a bloke the size of a transit van caterwaul his way through Think Twice by Celine Dion whilst a hundred other gays hold their lighters in the air until the barman shouts at them for almost setting off the sprinklers. To be fair there were so many open bottles of poppers on the go I’m surprised the whole thing didn’t end up like Backdraft.

We ordered breakfast the next day to take the edge off our hangovers. It was delicious, see?

It felt unusual to have a hotel breakfast where a battery of children, or an oversized man-child, hadn’t sneezed into the sausage tureen

The final thing to talk about with this trip to London is the fact we got to film some recipes ahead of the book launch, something which is always a delight because working with our publishers and the camera chap is great fun. However, it doesn’t half hammer home how difficult it is to actually ‘cook to camera’ – neither Paul or I have the coordination, grace or ability to not mutter ‘for fucks sake’ under our breath to master it. I’m fairly confident speaking to most people but stick a camera in front of me and I lose the ability to speak with any sort of coherence. Paul is worse, he freezes and worries about making a boob of himself, which he really shouldn’t because he always comes across so well. Even if it does look a little like I’m operating him like a glove-puppet. Which to be fair, I usually am. However, you will hopefully enjoy this little blooper reel of ours.

I will never tire, never, of the bit at 1:23 where Paul cracks up at my little boop noise in his ear.

And that, as they say, was that – our trip to London. We made our way back on the late train to Newcastle, thoroughly exhausted but having had a wonderful time. Naturally, because we were looking like we had been freshly dug up, not one but two people recognised us and wanted a photo. This is the weirdest feeling of them all, not going to lie, but we don’t mind in the slightest – if anything, I like to imagine someone showing their partner a photo of us and said partner asking what it was like to meet Hale & Pace. We arrived home safe, delighted to see Goomba had managed to figure out how to use a tin-opener and feed himself, and off to bed. All in all, a bloody fun weekend!


Now, shall we look at the cheesy meaty fingers? It’s so weird looking back and seeing recipes where we dithered about whether to use a bread roll that was 64g instead of the prerequisite 60g Slimming World used to allow. That said, if you are following SW, then you could still use a wee wholemeal breadbun, so no harm no foul.

I’m going to say it: these don’t photograph well! They look like the pure junk food that they are. But you know what? They’re delicious. The type of food you need sometimes to leave your chin greasy. Serve with chips on the side if you really want to trouble your cardio system.

Side note: the article that accompanied the old recipe was a walkthrough of my pyrophobia of old. I mention that growing up my biggest fear was the house burning down and that I used to have a little routine that my young self had to do before going to sleep to stop such a thing. Thankfully growing out of that tic had no real consequence. Still, we gotta be strong, and we need to be brave [high note intensifies]

cheesy meaty fingers

We recommend making sure the pepperoni is totally under the cheese if you don’t like it cremated. But I do, and these cheesy meaty fingers are mine, so swivel

cheesy meaty fingers

Add green chilli if you like your bum troubled with cheesy meaty fingers

cheesy meaty fingers

Add chilli sauce to your cheesy meaty fingers if you REALLY like your bum troubled

cheesy meaty fingers (600 calories)

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8 cheesy fingers

Cheesy meaty fingers then. As always the calorie counts are approximate - you can lower them depending on what bread roll you use, how much cheese you put on vs how much you say you put on, whether or not you bother with the sauces...just a guide folks. This makes eight halves and the calorie count is for two, so one submarine roll.

Ingredients

  • 500g of extra lean beef mince
  • four submarine rolls - we used the bog standard Tesco white rolls, but you can drop the calories by using wholemeal or smaller buns if you want
  • 50g panko or other breadcrumbs
  • one egg, beaten
  • one medium onion, diced fine
  • one teaspoon each of thyme, garlic powder, pepper
  • half a teaspoon of salt
  • two tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • one tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • green chilli sliced finely (or use jalapenos)
  • 50g of mixed grated cheese - we used spicy because we're scum
  • a few slices of pepperoni

Instructions

  • preheat the oven to 220 degrees 
  • slice the submarine buns along the horizontal and pop on a baking sheet with the cut side up
  • bake in the oven until lightly toasted and then remove, turning down the temperature to 190 degrees
  • mix together the beef, onion, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic, beaten egg, salt and pepper and panko in a bowl until nicely combined
  • spread the beef across the top of the buns, making sure to cover all the edges so the buns don't burn
  • spread the tomato sauce on top with a little egg brusher
  • bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, making sure the beef is cooked through at the end by breaking a bit off and checking it isn't pink
  • remove from the oven, add the pepperoni, chilli, then top with cheese and grill until bubbling and lovely
  • drizzle with chilli sauce and serve

Notes

Recipe

  • as discussed, feel free to jettison the pepperoni, extra cheese or chillis to control the heat and calories of this dish. I mean we both know you won't but isn't it a pleasure to do the dance

Books

  • twochubbycubs: Dinner Time is coming out soon and will give you satisfaction every night, unlike whatever it is that you bought from lovehoney which you need to power with a car battery - you can pre-order here!
  • our second book, Fast and Filling, is full of recipes that are either quick to make or super filling - well actually, they're all both of them and then some: order yours here! 
  • our first cookbook might not have a sexy cover but there's so many classic recipes in there you'll be cooking for days: click here to order
  • if you're struggling with keeping on track, get yourself a planner - there's cartoons of us to colour in and everything: here

Tools

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Courses fakeaways

Cuisine fingers

I know, we’re fabulous. Looking for something else to fill your gob? Try these! 510 calories for a sloppy mince. I mean haway! Click the picture to go to the recipe.

‘Cause when you’re half-way up, you’re always half-way down (sing it Celine!)

Jx

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