Sunday, 16 December 2012
Saturday, 15 December 2012
Monday, 10 December 2012
Monday, 26 November 2012
Now HERE is a new one! Making a wheat-free pizza crust from cauliflower, egg and cheese. If you are gluten-intolerant or just have a cauli to use up, this is an intriguing idea. You won't get the same texture as a bread crust but it is worth trying. My sister makes a flour-free souffle using pureed cauliflower, so this is on the same lines. First, you have to blitz a raw cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like rice - you can include some of the stalk, too, which is a bonus. Steam the cauli over a little water for about 6 to 8 minutes, then cool. Now, for each 10" base, you need a cup of cooled cauliflower, half a cup of grated cheddar and an egg. Mix together well and season with lots of pepper - you don't need salt because of the cheese. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment, and set the oven to a high 220C. Spread the cauli mix out to a rough 10" circle and spray with a little olive oil (or brush lightly with oil using a pastry brush). Bake for 20 minutes until brown and set. Now top with your favourite pizza toppings (don't go mad, and be stingy with the cheese, given the amount in the crust) and bake again until the topping is done to your liking. Serve asap. This isn't a low-fat option but is a good way to get loads more veg into kids - don't tell them it is cauliflower! Tasty too, and certainly a novelty. I found you can make the base in advance and it reheats really quickly with the toppings on, but it is a bit more fragile than a wheat base, so not easy to pick up in large wedges - hence my advice to not over-load it with toppings.
Sometimes, when it is cold and rainy and you feel under the weather, it HAS to be a stew - or soup - or something in between the two, as this is. Essentially, this is good pork sausages, browned, then braised in herby stock with cannellini beans, carrots and chunks of squash and potato. Lovely served in a big bowl with crusty bread, and under a fiver if you are careful with your shopping - don't skimp on the bangers, though, they should be the best quality you can afford. For 4, take a pack of 6 or 8 bangers, halving them if you like, and brown a little in a tablespoon of olive oil in a casserole or ovenproof pot. Remove, then add an onion, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, a sprig of rosemary, a large potato, cut into chunks (peel if you like), a couple of carrots, also cut into chunks and a wedge of pumpkin or squash of similar quantity to the potato and carrots, peeled and cut into chunks. Stir this all together in the fat in the pan. Whilst this is happening, dissolve a chicken stock cube in a pint of boiling water with a tablespoon of tomato puree and a good splosh of Worcesterrrrrshire Sauce and pour over the veg. Bring to the boil, then tip in a tin of drained cannellini beans (or any other tinned bean of preference, rinsed too) and then place the bangers back on top. Cover, and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or so until the veg is soft and the liquid has reduced a little - a temperature of about 180C should do nicely. Sprinkle over some chopped fresh parsley and dish up the soupy beany stew with thick hunks of crusty bread to dip into the herby broth. Then go back to bed and feel sorry for yourself, albeit on a full tum. That's what I did.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Bojon Gourmet blog. A really interesting flavour, sweet, honeyed but with a hint of tannin from the fruit - if you like pumpkin pie, you'll like this one, an early nod to Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Sunday, 14 October 2012
channel 4 website which gives both the recipe and a nice picture of the finished dish. There is no meat in this - the reference to merguez relates to the classic seasoning for the North African sausage, which is put to use in a seasoned oil to dress the veg and pulses - a heady blend of garlic, caraway, fennel seed, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary and Cayenne pepper. I used tinned chickpeas rather than cook my own (I never seem to be able to get the chickpeas soft when I prep them from dry, and the 'East End' brand provides lovely soft, yielding peas) and I also cheated massively by using a bag of frozen butternut squash from Waitrose - what a BRILLIANT timesaver! Anyway, a really nice dish, and one for the under a fiver thread too.
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Friday, 5 October 2012
A friend gave me a bag of lovely crisp sugar snap peas during the week, and it was a toss-up between this or a coconutty laksa. I wanted something spicy and cleansing, so went down the hot and sour route. Use whatever veg you have to hand - in my case, some red pepper, mushrooms, beansprouts, onions and the said sugar snaps. The ingredients here are for 2 people but just double for 4. Prep the veg for a stir-fry and leave to one side. Cook some noodles - entirely up to you what variety, but I went for medium rice noodles - one 'nest' per person. Now prepare your broth: make up 700ml of veg stock using Marigold powder and bring to a boil in a pot. Add a good thumb-size piece of peeled grated ginger, a grated clove of garlic and one finely-sliced hot red or green chilli. Now add a tablespoon of tamari or light soy sauce, a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Add plenty of ground black pepper, or a little Szechuan pepper if you have it - careful, it'll blow yer socks off! Finely-chop around a tablespoonful of fresh coriander and slice a lime into 'cheeks' and keep to one side. Keep this broth base simmering as you heat a tablespoon of light oil (I like rape-seed) in a wok and quickly stir-fry the veg, keeping them crisp and colourful. In big, warm bowls, divide the noodles on the bottom, top with the cooked veg and pour over the simmering stock, to which you have added the coriander. Serve right away, with the lime to squeeze over to enhance the 'sour' element, and perhaps some Tabasco sauce to add extra heat at the table. Delicious, warming, reviving and incredibly healthy.
Saturday, 29 September 2012
Friday, 28 September 2012
Google Blogger doesn't seem to want me to upload any photos, so I haven't been able to do any posting for a while. I do apologise, and have a backlog of recipes for when it gets resolved - in the meantime, take a swing through the archives!
Sunday, 9 September 2012
Dorset Cereals - not cheap but great quality. Start the night before. For three servings (he has the leftovers tomorrow), put 9 heaped tablespoons of muesli in a bowl and pour over fruit juice to just cover - I used apple juice. stir well, cover and leave in the fridge over night. The next morning, grate an apple, peel and all, and stir into the muesli with a splash more apple juice. Now stir in yoghurt, whatever flavour you like, but I went with peach yoghurt to match the flavours of the fruit. Use as much or as little as you like to get the texture and consistency you prefer. Spoon into plates and serve with a selection of perfect fruit - I used a glorious French white peach, skinned and sliced, some wonderful scottish raspberries and local strawberries, and a handful of brambles from the wild bit at the bottom of the garden, still warm from the briar. This could only have been improved by eating it on a balcony overlooking the Devon or Cornish coast, but you can't have everything. With gallons of tea, toast and homemade marmalade, I hope the old man had an oasis of rest before back to the slog again tomorrow.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Hurrah! Event of the year on 13 September, when Nigel publishes Volume II of the Kitchen Diaries. You can guess what the subject of this blog will be in 2013! http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Kitchen-Diaries-Nigel-Slater/dp/0007256035/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346013811&sr=8-3
Saturday, 25 August 2012
link to her online recipe - I pretty much followed it but used a glass of the rose wine we were drinking rather than cabernet sauvignon. I also left out the harissa, as we wanted more of an Italian vibe than a southern Spanish/Morrocan one. The fennel seed is essential though, as is the oregano - all of these make it Italian in spirit. This was a fabulous recipe, and I would urge you to make it! We made the full amount of sauce and saved half to make Patatas Bravas tomorrow. Definitely one to make again. My camera was out of juice, so I have pinched Lorraine's photo.
Photo courtesy of Daily Mail/Lorraine Pascale/myles new
Photo courtesy of Daily Mail/Lorraine Pascale/myles new
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
recipe from Smitten Kitchen's blog which, if you haven't discovered yet, I urge you to visit, if only to keep up with the growing charm of her toddler son. This is just about the most famous food blog on the planet so you might have seen it already! Anyway, great recipe, reliable, quick and easy, and I get about 18 cookies from this quantity of dough. Perfect for a work fundraiser tomorrow, along with some chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes, based on the Hummingbird Bakery recipe I've blogged on here before.
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe in his wonderful 'Veg Every Day' cookbook - I added a teaspoon of tomato puree and changed the spicing from smoked paprika to a teaspoon each of ground cumin and dried red chilli flakes, along with his suggested oregano. It was a really lovely soup, thick and hearty and filling. It definitely qualifies for the 'under a fiver' challenge, and will feed four people most generously - low fat and very high in fibre, too. All the ingredients are coming into season now, so it is perfect for drizzly August nights that shade into early September Autumn. If you are lucky enough to grow your own fresh Borlotti or Cranberry beans - these would be a wonderful alternative to the dried or tinned that Hugh uses in his recipe. If you are a carnivore, some online versions include slices of fried chorizo, which would be nice too, but we were happy with the veggie version with some toasted ciabatta to provide complementary protein.
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Friday, 10 August 2012
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
I was challenged at work today by 2 colleagues to make a meal for two people with 2 courgettes and 2 eggs. I've done better than that - I've made a meal for four people (with a little extra help along the way!). This is based on a Sarah Raven recipe from her Garden cookbook, a great option for seasonal veg cooking. You start off by gently sauteeing a chopped red or white onion, 2 medium courgettes, grated, and a crushed clove of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil - Greek if you have it. Let this cook for 15 minutes until soft and most of the moisture has been driven off. Cool a little whilst you beat the 2 eggs in a bowl with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche, some salt and pepper (not too much salt, as the feta is salty), a sprinkle of dried red chilli flakes, and a tablespoon each of chopped parsley and mint. If you have fresh dill, add a tablespoon of this too. If you have toasted pine nuts lying around (I keep mine in the freezer) then add a tablespoon or so to the mix. Now fold in the cooled courgette mixture and 100g of proper Greek feta, cut into squares. Then, melt about 25g of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Take a baking tin (wide and shallow is best) and brush with some of the butter/oil, then line with a sheet of filo pastry, letting the excess hang over the edge. Brush with a little butter/oil, then lay another sheet of filo. Repeat. Now pour the courgette mixture onto the pastry. Fold over the excess overhanging pastry and brush with more butter. Lay another sheet of filo over, brush with butter and then scrunch another couple of sheets over the top. Brush the whole thing with more butter/oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have any (I didn't) then bake for 30 to 35 minutes at around 180C (fan) until golden brown and crisp and the filling is gently set. Serve warm or cold. Definitely under a fiver territory here, and you can scale it up to feed more people in a bigger tin for a picnic, perhaps. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does a version of this in his 'Veg Every Day' book with rice added, but I felt the rice didn't soften enough when added raw. You could bulk this out by part-boiling a cup of Basmati and adding it to the filling, but it will be a firmer, denser stuffing, albeit a more substantial one.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
Saturday, 4 August 2012
I love salads where you distribute everything on a big platter, pour over the dressing and dig in - everything gets well blended as you dish up, and you can layer the dish with texture, colour and flavour. This was a great example with a base of Batavia lettuce leaves, sliced freshly-boiled beetroot, shaved fennel and fillets of orange. Topped with chunks of chicken marinated in lemon, rosemary and garlic, then quickly sauteed, and little croutons of bread sizzled to golden deliciousness in olive oil, and then all dressed with a vinaigrette made from the orange juice, you end up with a vibrant and healthy supper. You can vary this so much, and I could have used smoked or grilled mackerel, poached salmon, chunks of good tinned or fresh tuna, strips of juicy steak, chunks of fried chorizo, garlic prawns, or feta or goats' cheese for a veggie option, instead of the chicken. Use your imagination and whatever is best in the market and in season. Just think about the overall colour and make sure there is textural variation as well to keep things interesting. As well as crunch from croutons, you can get the same effect from cucmber or red pepper, and spring onion adds texture and a sharp savour too.
Friday, 3 August 2012
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
This Portuguese soup is great for a not-particularly-warm summer evening, and provided you watch your timings, you'll have a fresh veggie-packed, vibrant supper, best eaten with lots of crusty bread. There are as many recipes for Caldo Verde as there are Portuguese. However, most seem to require the presence of onion, potatoes and fresh leafy greens such as kale or chard (my green of choice today). You can then add layers of texture and flavour depending on what you have available - I added fresh sweetcorn kernels, some tinned chickpeas, a couple of finely diced tomatoes and half a 'horse-shoe' of good chorizo, sliced. Simmered in chicken broth, with garlic and a little smoked hot paprika to boost the sausage flavours, it was a fabulous, filling, savoury, brothy soup, packed full of veg. Just make sure you add the greens and tomato if used) a few minutes before serving to preserve their colour and texture. As this only uses half a chorizo, this qualifies for 'Under a fiver' easily. You could make it veggie/vegan too, by using veg stock and omitting the sausage.