Friday, 27 April 2012

Brie Stuffed Peppers with Potato Wedges

This recipe uses a combination of balsamic vinegar and oil to coat the potatoes, giving them a nice tang when roasted.

Ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 medium size potatoes, washed and cut into eighths
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 sweet red peppers, washed
  • 12 black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 125g Brie (or a similar soft cheese)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Put the potato wedges in a large bowl and drizzle the oil and vinegar over them.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and then toss the potatoes around the bowl until all of them have a thin coating of oil and vinegar.
  4. Place some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and arrange the potato wedges on top of it.
  5. Put the tray in the oven and start a timer for 20 minutes.
  6. While the wedges are cooking, prepare the peppers by slicing them in half and carefully removing all the seeds.
  7. Place the pepper halves onto another baking tray and then put the sliced olives in side them.
  8. Slice the brie thinly and use it to cover the olives in the peppers.
  9. Once the 20 minutes is up, place the peppers in the oven with the potatoes and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Celeriac Oven Chips

These chips develop a crisp outside while the inside becomes wonderfully soft.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole celeriac
  • 1 tsp dried herbs
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cut the celeriac into slices between 1 and 2 cm thick.
  3. Remove the outside of the celeriac slices with a knife.
  4. Cut the celeriac into long chip shapes and place them in a large bowl.
  5. Season with the herbs, salt and pepper and then add the olive oil.
  6. Use a spoon and fork or your hands to move the celeriac around in the bowl until it's evenly coated.
  7. Cover a baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper and arrange the celeraic chips on it.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the outside of the celeriac is nicely browned.
Serves 2.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Banana and chocolate is a great combination of flavours which blend well in these muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 275g self raising flour
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 150g butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 bananas, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I cut each square into quarters)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Add the self raising flour, sugar and eggs into a bowl and mix.
  3. Put the milk and butter into a microwave proof jug and microwave for a minute and a half, or until the butter has melted.
  4. Add the milk and butter liquid to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Add the banana and chocolate pieces to the batter and make sure they're evenly distributed.
  6. Place 12 muffin cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture evenly between them. As the chocolate and banana pieces will generally sink to the bottom of the bowl, I make sure each muffin gets a fair share by spooning a tablespoon of mixture into each muffin case before going back to the start and topping up each case.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
  9. Once fully cool, store in an airtight container.

Makes 12 muffins.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Microwave Cake

This small chocolatey cake can be made in under 5 minutes with minimal washing up. I originally got this recipe off someone at work after a discussion about what can be cooked in the microwave and I highly recommend giving it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (not hot chocolate powder)
  • 2 tbsp self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Put the sugar, cocoa powder, flour and milk into a mug.
  2. Whisk with a fork until it's a smooth paste.
  3. Break the egg into the mug.
  4. Whisk until the egg is mixed in. Make sure to get the prongs of the fork into the corners of the mug.
  5. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes.
  6. Enjoy hot from the microwave.

Serves 1.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sugar-snap Pea and Courgette Stir-fry

Sugar-snap peas can be eaten raw or cooked and should be eaten whole. This makes them an ideal addition to a stir-fry.

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes, cut in half and sliced
  • 125g sugar-snap peas, washed, ends removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 blocks of medium egg noodles

Method:

  1. Put on a pan of water to boil for the egg noodles.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a wok and heat over a medium heat.
  3. Stir fry the vegetables until the water has started boiling.
  4. Add the noodles to the water and turn the heat up under the wok.
  5. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack, continuing to stir the peas and courgettes so they brown evenly.
  6. Drain the noodles and add to the wok once they're done.
  7. Mix well and then serve.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Potato and Carrot Stuffed Peppers

This is the first time that I've done stuffed peppers with a filling which isn't tomato based. Grating the potato and carrots gives the filling a more interesting texture than if they were mashed.
 

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized carrots, peeled and ends removed
  • 4 small to medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 75g soft garlic and herb cheese, the sort you get as a slice from a roll
  • 2 or 3 sweet peppers, cut in half and de-seeded
 

Method:

  1. Put on a saucepan of water to boil.
  2. When the water is boiling add the carrots and potatoes to the water and boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  4. Drain the carrots and potatoes when they have had their 15 minutes. Refill the saucepan with cold water to help cool them.
  5. Once they are cool enough to handle, coarsely grate them into a large bowl.
  6. Add the chilli powder and cheese to the bowl and mix well.
  7. Place the pepper halves into a greased baking tray and spoon the cheese, potato and carrot mixture into the peppers.
  8. Cover the baking tray with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. They're not very picky about timing, so it's fine to leave them cooking for up to an hour if you prefer your peppers to be softer.
  9. Serve with some rice on the side.
 
Serves 2.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Saffron Rice

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 550ml water
  • a pinch of saffron (probably about 10 to 15 strands)
 

Method:

  1. Fry the onion in the oil in a saucepan with a lid until it starts to soften.
  2. Add the basmati rice, stock cube and water to the saucepan.
  3. Crush the saffron with a pestle and mortar (or the back of a spoon) and add to the pan.
  4. Stir the mixture in the pan.
  5. Place the lid on the sauce pan and cook on a low heat until all the water is absorbed. This should take about 30 to 40 minutes.
 
Serves 2.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Oven Baked Cabbage

This is quick and easy to prepare and can even be done ahead of time if you want something easy to pop in the oven. Don't be put off by the bad reputation which cabbage has, it's very nice if cooked well.
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage, washed and shredded into 1cm pieces
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 175ml white wine
  • 175ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 75g cheddar cheese, grated
 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Place all the ingredients apart from the cheese into a large and deep roasting tin.
  3. Mix well so everything is evenly coated.
  4. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste and then top with the grated cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and fold the foil around the edges of the roasting tin.
  6. Bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
  7. Serve as a main course with boiled potatoes or as a side dish.
 
Serves 3 as main course, 6 as side dish.