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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Wow, two posts in a week! Two recipes, no less! Made this tonight and thought I’d blog it, because it was tasty.

Ingredients

  • 200g tagliatelle
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 1 packet of oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 packet shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • Small glass of wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube

Method

  1. Put the pasta on to cook.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan and gently sautee the mushrooms, shallots and garlic.
  3. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the wine to the pan and simmer till the pasta is ready.
  4. Drain the pasta water into a jug with the crushed stock cube, and add a glug or two of the pasta water/stock to the pan with the mushrooms. Simmer while you set the table etc.
  5. Season the mushrooms with black pepper.
  6. Toss the pasta in the mushroomy mixture.
  7. If you like, grate over some Parmesan and devour.

I think this would be great with some fresh herbs, probably parsley, but I didn’t have any (I suppose marjoram, thyme or maybe sage would have worked, but our garden is under several inches of ice and snow!). A pinch of chilli flakes would give it a nice kick, too. And of course you could use some vegetable bouillion instead of the chicken stock cube.

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Daal

I made this today and thought I’d better blog the recipe before I forget it, because it was really tasty. It’s a jazzed-up version of a recipe a colleague gave me years ago. I’d made her recipe a few times as an easy side dish to go with curry, but I found it a bit bland. The version I made today was really good, and I thought I’d post it here for future reference!

Ingredients

  • 200g red split lentils
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Approx 450ml chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbl vegetable oil
  • 2 tbl butter
  • A handful of chopped fresh coriander

Method

  1. Put the lentils, all the spices and half the garlic in a pan and cover with the stock. Bring it to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, gently fry the chopped onion and the rest of the garlic in the oil and butter. Pour over and stir into the daal.
  3. Just before serving, stir in the chopped coriander.

This made enough as a side dish for 2, plus enough left over for my lunch tomorrow. It would probably serve 2 as a main dish, with rice and/or chapatis.

 

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Penne cheese

I make macaroni penne cheese every so often, and I can never remember what quantities to use, so I tend to end up with a massive pile of pasta with rather too much sauce. But I just made what I consider to be a damn good attempt at it, and I thought I’d record what I actually did for future reference.

Ingredients

  • 200g penne (although I don’t see why you couldn’t use actual macaroni or another small pasta!)
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • A bay leaf
  • Black pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 120g mature Cheddar cheese
  • A tablespoon of breadcrumbs
  • A tablespoon of grated parmesan

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water.
  2. Melt the butter in another large pan. Add the flour and stir to form a roux. Cook gently for a couple of minutes.
  3. Remove the roux from the heat and whisk in the milk, a bit at a time. Add the bay leaf and peppers and return to the heat.
  4. Cook on a medium heat, stirring well, until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the Cheddar.
  5. Drain the pasta and mix it with the sauce.
  6. Place in a small casserole dish. Top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
  7. Brown under a hot grill or bake in an oven at about 200C for 15-20 minutes.

This made enough for 2 fairly large portions.

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Tuna and bean salad

A friend tweeted about making a tuna salad for her lunch, and after a morning working hard in the garden I decided that a tuna salad sounded like a really good idea. So I raided the fridge and the cupboards, and here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients

  • Approx 6 small salad potatoes
  • A handful of green beans, chopped in half
  • A tin of tuna
  • A couple of anchovy fillets
  • 2 spring onions
  • A can of butter beans
  • Half a packet of salad leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • A teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A teaspoon of seeded Dijon mustard

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes if desired and cut into smallish pieces. Boil the potatoes and green beans for 10 minutes until cooked.
  2. Drain the butter beans and tuna and combine in a mixing bowl.
  3. Finely slice the spring onions and anchovy fillets and add to the bowl.
  4. Make a dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard.
  5. When the potatoes and beans are done, let them cool slightly and then mix into the bowl.
  6. Add the dressing and the salad leaves, mix well and eat!

This made enough for a bowl of salad for my lunch today, and there’s some leftover for a packed lunch for my journey to visit my parents tomorrow.

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The Fella is working late tonight, and I couldn’t be bothered to go to the supermarket, so I decided to make a pasta sauce based on whatever we had in the fridge. The result was so good that I thought I’d post the recipe (such as it is – it’s really very simple) for my own future reference as much as anything! Apologies for the lack of photos, the light is dull and it tasted so good I just ate it.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Olive oil
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • A large clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 150g pancetta lardons
  • A small glass of white wine
  • A good handful of sliced mushrooms
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • A drizzle of double cream
  • A small handful of fresh basil, torn
  • Black pepper
  • 2oog spaghetti

Method

  1. Heat up the olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and pancetta. I sauteed them all together, but a better way to do it would probably be to fry the pancetta on a high heat to brown it, then turn the heat down to gently soften the onion and garlic.
  2. Add the white wine and mushrooms and let it bubble for a few minutes (this makes the mushrooms taste deliciously winey!).
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree (come to think of it, you could probably add a pinch of sugar at this point). Let it simmer for about 20 minutes until it thickens.
  4. Stir the cream into the sauce and let it warm through.
  5. Cook your spaghetti. Don’t believe the packet. It takes 8 minutes.
  6. Season with black pepper and stir in the torn basil leaves just before you serve it.

Even better? I’ve got most of the bottle of wine left for tonight and half the pasta sauce for my lunch tomorrow!

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Whisky cream sauce

Tonight is Burns Night, which is an opportunity in Scotland to eat haggis, drink whisky and read Robert Burns’ poetry (if you’re English, good luck with pronouncing all those weird Scots words). So we had some friends round last night for haggis, neeps and tatties. I decided that the haggis needed something to moisten it, but didn’t have enough cream for any of the outrageously creamy “whisky sauce” recipes I found on the Internet.

So I took my favourite Nigella gravy recipe, mixed it in with some of the recipes on the Internet, and made it up. It turned out really well, so I’m posting it here for next year! Quantities are approximate – I wasn’t really measuring.

Whisky cream sauce (serves 8)

  • Butter and olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp dark brown soft sugar
  • A glug of whisky (approx 3 tablespoons)
  • A dessertspoon of flour
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • Some more whisky
  • Black pepper
  1. Heat the butter and oil gently in a pan.
  2. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Add the sugar and whisky, and cook over a very low heat for 10 minutes (Nigella says to cover the onion mixture with tinfoil placed as low down in the pan as possible).
  4. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the stock and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Return to the pan and add more whisky to taste, then stir in the cream and season with black pepper.


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