Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sausage, Cabbage and Potato Saute

For this recipe you'll need a saute pan or a deep frying pan which has a lid.
 

Ingredients:



  • 6 potatoes, washed and cut into quarters

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 6 vegetarian (or meaty) sausages

  • 1/2 a cabbage, finely chopped

  • 2 bunches of broccoli, washed and cut down to small pieces

  • 1 stock cube


 

Method:



  1. Heat up some water to boil.

  2. When the water is boiling add the potatoes to it. Boil them for 15 minutes.

  3. While the potatoes are cooking place the oil, onions and sausages in the saute pan.

  4. Fry on a medium to high heat until the onions are starting to go a bit soft. Turn the sausages every so often.

  5. Add the cabbage and broccoli and turn the heat down.

  6. Crumble the stock cube over everything. Place the saute lid on the pan and leave it.

  7. When the potatoes are done, drain them and add them to the saute pan, giving everything a good stir. Cut up the sausages using a knife so that they're in pieces a few cm long.

  8. Cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on and then serve.


 
Serves 2.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Blue Cheese and Broccoli Pasta

This recipe isn't at all Christmas themed, but follows on nicely from the previous recipe so it's going to be here. Happy Christmas!
 

Ingredients:



  • 8 spinach leaves, roughly chopped

  • 1 piece of broccoli, cut into smaller pieces

  • 150ml creme fraiche

  • 100g blue cheese, such as Stilton

  • 1 packet of cheese tortellini


 

Method:



  1. Boil the broccoli in a pan of water for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the spinach and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  3. Drain the spinach and broccoli and mix with the creme fraich and blue cheese.

  4. Add a couple of tablespoons of tap water (or some of the cooking water if it's still around).

  5. Use a blender to puree the spinach, broccoli and cheese mix.

  6. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

  7. Mix the pasta with the sauce and serve.


 

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Spinach and Creme Fraiche Pasta

 

Ingredients:



  • 2 large handfuls of spinach, washed and roughly chopped

  • 4 tbsp water

  • 150ml creme fraiche

  • 1 packet spinach and ricotta tortellini


 

Method:



  1. Put the spinach and water in a pan and bring to a simmer.

  2. Once the spinach has gone a darker green, remove the pan from the heat.

  3. Stir in the creme fraiche.

  4. Cook the pasta according to the instructions provided with it.

  5. Stir the spinach sauce into the pasta and serve.


 
Serves 2.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Tempura Vegetables with Noodles

It took me a while to perfect cooking tempura vegetables. Two important things I discovered: make sure the oil is hot by dropping little bits of batter in it before using it and to make sure the batter is the right consistency.
 

Ingredients:



  • 1 egg

  • 100g self raising flour

  • 75ml water

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • enough sunflower oil to fill a pan to 2 cm depth

  • 2 courgettes, washed and cut into thin strips 3 or 4 cm long

  • 3 salad chilli peppers (or sweet peppers if you don't like hot peppers), washed and cut into 3cm pieces

  • 8 runner beans, ends removed and knife run down the edges to remove stringy fibers, cut into 3 cm pieces

  • 2 blocks of medium egg noodles

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 salad onion, chopped into slices and quartered


 

Method:



  1. Put on a pan of water for the noodles.

  2. Mix the egg, flour, water and salt and pepper in a bowl until you get a thick batter.

  3. Start to heat up the oil in a pan. Make sure it doesn't get too hot as then you'll have a bad fire (which you shouldn't use water to put out) but make sure it's hot enough so a bit of the batter dropped in sizzles and crisps up quickly.

  4. Put the noodles in the boiling water in the noodle pan and boil for 4 minutes.

  5. Coat the courgette, chilli and beans in the batter.

  6. Place the batter coated vegetables carefully and one at a time in to the oil.

  7. After the outside has crisped up nicely remove the vegetable and place on some kitchen towel to drain.

  8. Repeat until all the vegetables are fried.

  9. Once the noodles are done (which will probably be while you're still frying vegetables unless you use a very large pan) strain them and stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce. Then place them in a pan with the lid on until you want to serve.

  10. Once you've done all the vegetables, put the noodles onto the plates, distribute the vegetables between them and garnish with the salad onion.


 
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Goat's Cheese and Onion Ciabatta

This is a bit of a classy sandwich, but one which is worth the extra bit of effort.
 

Ingredients:



  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 ciabatta

  • 75g soft goat's cheese

  • 50g rocket leaves, washed and dried


 

Method:



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Put the onion, vinegar, sugar and olive oil in a pan with a lid on and cook on a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. While the onion is cooking, cut the ciabatta in half on a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

  4. Remove the ciabatta and spread the now soft onions over one half.

  5. Spread the goat's cheese over the other half.

  6. Pile the rocket leaves on top of the ciabatta and press the two halves together.

  7. Finally cut it in half with a sharp knife and serve.


 
Serves two for lunch or one very hungry person for dinner.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Pan Fried Brie

It's rather difficult to get much more unhealthy than fried cheese, however this way of frying brie makes it so wonderful and melty that it's really best to forget about your health for this one meal.
 

Ingredients:



  • 100g plain flour

  • 75ml water

  • black pepper to taste

  • 100g breadcrumbs

  • 175g not quite ripe brie, cut into 2cm cubes

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 3 tbsp strawberry jam

  • 75g rocket and spinach leaves, washed


 

Method:



  1. Mix the flour and water into a batter in a bowl.

  2. Mix pepper into the breadcrumbs and spread them out on a plate.

  3. Next take the cubes of brie one at a time and coat it in the batter, then roll in the breadcrumbs and then place on a clean plate.

  4. Once you've done this to all the brie heat up the sunflower oil in a frying pan on a medium to high heat.

  5. Place all the brie pieces in the frying pan once it's got up to temperature.

  6. Fry the brie and turn it when each side is crisp.

  7. Serve immediately with a dollop of jam on the side and with the salad leaves.


 
Serves 3 to 4.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Mini Pizza

These are inspired by something I once saw a killer robot cook. Seriously.
 

Ingredients:



  • 1 quantity of pizza dough made as in here

  • 1/2 a tube of tomato puree

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 300g of cheese, cheddar or mozzarella work, thinly sliced

  • 25g butter

  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced


 

Method:



  1. Make the pizza dough as in the other recipe.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

  3. Mix the tomato puree with the oregano.

  4. Divide the dough into 16 (split it in half four times).

  5. Roll each small dough ball out and place some of the tomato puree and some of the cheese on it.

  6. Place it on a greased baking tray and then repeat for the other 15.

  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until they are almost done.

  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the side.

  9. Melt the butter in a frying pan with the garlic.

  10. When the garlic starts to sizzle place the half cooked pizzas in the frying pan. Unless you have an insanely large frying pan you'll need to have 3 or 4 batches.

  11. Fry the pizzas for 2 to 3 minutes until the bread on the bottom starts to go golden brown.

  12. Serve while still hot (and ignore the calories).


 
Makes enough mini pizzas for a snack for 6 to 8 people.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Raspberry Muffins

The raspberries cook wonderfully inside the muffins in this recipe, providing little moist pockets of strong fruit flavor.
 

Ingredients:



  • 100g butter, at room temperature

  • 180g caster sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 250ml buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • 300g plain flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

  • pinch of salt

  • 150g raspberries


 

Method:



  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they are well mixed (this is called creaming).

  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk to the butter and stir well.

  4. Then mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Don't mix too much, just enough to get it all blended.

  5. Finally add the raspberries and stir enough to get them evenly distributed.

  6. Pour into a muffin tin lined with muffin cases.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes.

  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack.


 
Makes 12.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Aubergine and Courgette Thai Style Curry

The coconut milk in this curry adds both creaminess and a wonderful flavor.
 

Ingredients:



  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp fenugreek powder

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 10g (one lump) of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 aubergine, cut into cubes

  • 2 courgettes, cut in 1 cm slices

  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 cm pieces

  • 1 tin coconut milk


 

Method:



  1. Put the onion, oil, all the spices and ginger into a frying pan and fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the courgettes, aubergine and carrots and make sure they get coated nicely with the spices and onion.

  3. Fry for a further 5 minutes.

  4. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Serve on a bed of sticky rice.