Friday, 28 May 2010

Aubergine Wellington

This is my vegetarian interpretation of the classic beef wellington.


  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 15g butter
  • 1 aubergine, sliced in half lengthways and ends removed
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Put the mushrooms, onions and butter in a small saucepan and cook with a lid on over a low heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Dry fry the aubergine in a non-stick frying pan or griddle for about 5 minutes on each side. Alternatively you can grill it.
  4. Add the marmite to the mushroom mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes with the lid on. It should be a sauce that has nicely cooked down now.
  5. Layout the puff pastry on a baking tray.
  6. Cover the pastry in the mushroom mixture, leaving a couple of cm at the edge free from the mixture.
  7. Place the two aubergine halves in the middle of the mushroom mixture. Use some water to dampen the edges of the pastry which haven't got mushroom mixture on.
  8. Fold up the sides of the pastry so that they meet in the middle and then seal all the edges well by squeezing them together.
  9. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and crisp.
  10. Serve with crisp roasted potatoes and possibly some gravy.
Serves 3.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Cheesy Pasta Bake

This is really just a modification on macaroni cheese and the inclusion of roast vegetables makes it lean towards being like an 'au gratin'.


  • 6 courgettes, washed and sliced into 1cm slices
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 3 sweet peppers, cored and cut into 1 cm squares
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 568ml milk
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 300g grated strong cheese, such as cheddar
  • 450g pasta, something tube shaped like penne is ideal
  • 150g finely grated cheese, again cheddar is good


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Toss the pepper, aubergine and courgette pieces in the olive oil and then place in a roasting tin.
  3. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
  4. While those are roasting, put on a large pan of salted water to cook the pasta in.
  5. During the time that you're waiting for the roasting vegetables and for the pasta water to come to the boil, put the milk, flour, oil and mustard powder in a saucepan.
  6. Heat up the milk mixture over a medium heat, stirring frequently.
  7. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn down the heat to the lowest it can go and let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then to make sure it isn't sticking.
  8. By now the pasta water should be boiling, so add the pasta and cook as per the instructions on the packet.
  9. A couple of minutes before the pasta is done, add the 300g of grated cheese to the milk sauce and stir it until it all dissolves.
  10. Get a large oven proof dish and combine the pasta and roasted vegetables in it. Mix them well.
  11. Pour the cheese sauce over the top, making sure to get a good covering so the pasta won't burn.
  12. Sprinkle the finely grated cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. Serve on it's own as a complete meal.
Serves 4.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Spicy Stewed Apple

This works great as a dessert on its own or as the filling for a pie or crumble.


  • 3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
  • 75g dark brown sugar
  • 75g raisins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp water


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a pan and place over a low heat.
  2. Place a lid on the pan and leave to cook for 20 minutes or until the apple starts to go soft.
  3. Stir it every 5 minutes or so.
  4. That's it.
Serves 4.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Black Eyed Beans in Sauce

As all ingredients for this can be kept for months in the cupboard it's a great emergency dish. Just serve it with some potatoes or rice and you've got a filling meal.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tin of black eyed beans, strained to remove the liquid


  1. Fry the onions in the oil over a medium heat until soft.
  2. Add the stock cube, puree, paprika and chilli powder to the onion and mix well.
  3. Let this cook for a minute or so to get the flavours to infuse.
  4. Once it's started sizzling add the black eyed beans and stir so that all the beans are coated in the tomato mix.
  5. Turn the heat right down and leave to heat through for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn't stick.
  6. This can be served immediately or kept warm over a low heat until you're ready to serve it.
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Potato Rosti

It took me several attempts to get a good recipe for a rosti which will hold together. I think this is mainly because most potatoes you find aren't ideally suited to it. However it's still possible to use them, you just have to cook it carefully.


  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Wash and cut the potatoes into fairly large chunks (about 2 or 3 per potato).
  2. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes in fresh water.
  3. After removing the potatoes from the pan, put them in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to cool them.
  4. When the potatoes are cold enough to hold, dry them with a tea towel or kitchen towel.
  5. Grate the potatoes coarsely.
  6. Add a pinch of salt to the grated potatoes and place dry the grated potatoes with the tea towel again.
  7. Melt 1 tbsp of ghee or butter in a large frying pan on a low heat.
  8. When the fat is melted and covering the frying pan evenly, add the grated potato and press down firmly.
  9. Cook for 15 minutes over the low heat.
  10. Turn the half cooked rosti out on to a plate (this is easiest to do by placing the plate over the frying pan and turning both over together, being careful not to touch the hot pan).
  11. Melt the remaining ghee or butter in the pan and cook the rosti on the other side for a further 15 minutes.
  12. Serve straight from the pan and eat while still hot.
Serves 1 to 2.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Rogan Josh Carrot Curry

Tomato is always good in a curry sauce and this is my interpretation of the traditional rogan josh.


  • 125g butter or ghee
  • 1 or 2 dried chilis
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced into 1cm slices
  • 6 medium carrots, washed and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 30ml water


  1. Melt the butter/ghee in a big pan. Use your fingers to crumble the dried chilli into it.
  2. Add the onions and leeks to the pan and stir well. Fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and stock cubes (crumbling them up with your fingers as you add them). Stir well and fry for another 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkly the curry powder, turmeric and coriander over the top of the ingredients in the pan and mix well.
  5. Pour the tomatoes into the pan and use the 30ml of water to rinse out the rest of the tomato juice from the tin. Add this tomato water to the pan as well.
  6. Stir well and then place a lid over the pan. Simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice, naan and the usual accompaniments.
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Stewed Rhubarb

It's the start of the rhubarb season and to celebrate I thought I'd make my favourite rhubarb dish.


  • 12 sticks of rhubarb, washed and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 6 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp water


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Place the rhubarb in an oven proof dish such as a roasting tin.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar, lemon juice and water over the top of the rhubarb.
  4. Stir the rhubarb well to ensure it's got an even coating.
  5. Cover the dish with foil, squeezing the edges down to make sure you have a good seal.
  6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Serve hot or cold, on it's own or with a creamy sauce such as custard or yoghurt.
Serves 6 to 8.