Thursday, 30 July 2015

Cauliflower, mushroom and green bean curry

A vegan curry was called for - so a vegan curry was invented.  And very tasty it was too.  One of the people around the table had thirds.

Basmati rice - cooked as you normally would


1 onion, chopped
Garlic, crushed
Olive oil
urad dhal - 1 tsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
turmeric 1/2 tsp
1 cauliflower, in florets
Mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces
Green beans, topped, tailed and halved
1 tin coconut milk
Garam masala - 1 tsp (to taste)

1.  Sautee onions until soft, add seeds and garlic and continue to fry until it has a little colour.
2.  Add cauliflower, mushrooms and beans, and water and put a lid on so the veg soften a little.
3.  After 5 minutes add coconut milk and stir through.  Simmer gently for 15 minutes (ish)
4.  Add garam masala, taste and season, simmer for 5 more minutes - the veg should be soft, but not mush.

Serve, scoff.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Peruvian potatoes

This is an adaptation of a Madhur Jaffries recipe which I have made a few times - it always goes down well.   The cheese sauce tastes very salty when you taste it after first zizzing, but adding the cheese and veg really makes a difference.

The red pepper, mange tout and parsley salad goes really well with it.

Serves 4

1 kg baby potatoes
1 egg yolk
225g feta
250ml milk (soya in this case)
1 green chili
1/2 yellow pepper
olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp flour (gluten free today)


Cos lettuce
Big handful of parsley
Chopped radish
2 spring onions
Mange tout
Red pepper
Salad cress

1.  Put potatoes on to boil.
2.  Zizz together egg yolk, milk and cheese, until it looks like double cream.
3.  Sautee gently the pepper, chopped green chili and garlic until soft - in the olive oil and turmeric.
4.  Add the flour, stir into the vegetables, then add the sauce and simmer, while stirring to thicken.
5.  Tip the sauces back into the blender and zizz again, until smooth.
6.  Make the salad - toss the leaves together, finely slice radish and onion, shred mange tout and cut pepper into rings.  Spinkle cress on top.
7.  Serve - drain potatoes, serve with cheese sauce on top with the salad.

The recipe suggests serve with boiled eggs and olives - but I prefer the salad option.  Next time I think I'll add more turmeric to make the sauce brighter yellow.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Smoked trout salad

The summer seems to have deserted the north - but the lettuces in the trug have still clung on, so despite thunder and lightening, it was time to have sunshine in the kitchen.

New potatoes
Hot smoked trout

Little gem lettuce
Olive oil
Lemon juice

Spring onions
Olive oil

Sesame seeds

So 4 salads ...

1.  start by washing and boiling new potatoes.
2.  Wash and spin lettuce leaves, add fresh parsley leaves and sorrel leaves (not chopped up as a garnish, but as salad leaves).
3.  Drizzle on olive oil and squeeze on the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Toss gently as you serve.
4.  Chop the tomatoes, radishes and spring onions, drizzle with a little olive oil, tear in a few basil leaves and grind on rock salt.
5.  Peel and grate carrots, mix in a spoonful of sesame seeds,
6.  Flake smoked trout into the potatoes,
7.  Scoff

(Turn the heating up and pretend that summer is here)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Broad bean risotto

Olive oil
Red onion
Arborio rice
White wine
Vegetable stock
Broad beans, double skinned,
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan
Parsley oil

1. Sautee onion and celery in olive oil.
2.  Add rice and turn over in the oil.
3.  Add a splash of white wine.
4.  Add chopped courgette and broad beans.
5.  Add hot stock a ladle at a time and simmer until absorbed.
 6.  When rice is ready turn off the heat and add a handful of grated parmesan.
7.  sit for 5 minutes, and serve with extra parmesan and a drizzle of parsley oil.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Cod baked with fennel, with parsley oil

Lovely cod fillet in the organic box today, and some fennel, courgette and new potatoes.  Loads of parsley growing in the trug.  The sun was also beating down, so time for a delicious summer supper.

New potatoes
Lemon juice
Olive oil
salt and pepper

1.  Wash new potatoes and put on to boil (about 15 minutes).
2.  Chop fennel into 3/4 cm strips - removing outer tough leaves.  Place in oven proof dish and splosh on olive oil and the juice of half a lemon, season - and microwave to soften for 5 minutes (if I had more time I would steam).
3.  Chop courgettes and add to fennel. 
4.  Layer cod onto veg and drizzle with olive oil, spritz of lemon juice, season and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes or so.
5.  Zizz huge handful of parsley in olive oil, add a spritz of lemon juice and a turn of salt and pepper.  Zizz a bit more, strain through a fine sieve.  Drizzle over the fish and veg when it is served.

This was light and very tasty.  Fennel and parsley oil is particularly delicious, and not something we had tried before.  Definitely a do again dinner.  Next time I might fry the courgette briefly first, and add some petit pois for colour, but it doesn't really need it.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Stuffed mushrooms with steamed veg and watercress sauce

This was delicious, the photo does not do it justice at all... I will be working on my presentation!

Anyway, I started with the rice and lentils, and got them on the way,  then I chopped the veg for steaming.  Then I prepped the mushrooms.  Then I made the watercress sauce.

When all that had happened -the rice was cooking gently in the oven, the lentils were 2/3rds cooked ... so I started off the mushrooms in the oven.

Brown rice
Green beans
Field mushrooms
Rape seed oil
Crushed garlic
lemon juice
Zatar spice
Spring cabbage
sesame seeds.

1.  Cook the brown rice, follow your favourite method - I do ... put in heavy pot, cover with water to 1 inch over the surface.  Bring to the boil.  Cover and leave in a medium oven for at least 20 minutes
2.  Boil lentils in loads of water for 20+ minutes.
3.  Chop veg (leeks, carrot, beans) and steam over boiling water for about 20 minutes.
4.  Drizzle rape seed oil in a baking tray, add mushrooms, stem side down, drizzle over a little more oil, grind over black pepper and bake for about 20 minutes.
5.  Chop an onion, and fry gently until golden brown, add garlic and zatar spice - stir in drained lentils and rice.
6.  Turn mushrooms over, layer in basil leaves and spoon rice mixture onto the top.  Pop back into the oven for 5 minutes.  At this point add the shredded cabbage to the steaming vegetables.
7.  Zizz together 1 small gherkin, large handful of watercress, 2 chopped garlic cloves, juice of half a lemon and good splosh of oil.
8. Serve ... sprinkling the vegetables with sesame seeds.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Asparagus and green bean pasta salad with pine nuts

Yay!  Asparagus in the veg box! Yay!   oh, were you watching? How very embarassing!  But, frankly, I don't care - I was very very pleased to see the new season asparagus in the organic veg box - it's a late spring, and it's been a while coming.  I wondered whether to showcase the asparagus, as often happens, as a starter and then have our main dish - but I decided to go with our usual one dish dinner and to have asparagus as a delicious ingredient amongst others.

So, ...

Rape seed oil
Chinese leaf
Green beans
Farfalle pasta
Pine nuts
Parmesan (to serve)

1. Put water on to boil in a pan big enough to take the pasta, and hold steamers for the vegetables.
2. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus, chop the stems into 1 inch pieces, reserving the delicate spears.
3. Top and tail the beans and cut into bite sized pieces.
4.  Boil the pasta in water, after a minute or so put the veg pieces on to steam (not the spears, put them in 5 minutes later.
5.  Drizzle oil onto a serving plate, squirt on lemon juice and add some seasoning.  Chuck on the salad leaves .. whichever you are using.
6.  Lightly fry the pine nuts until golden brown - watch them, they WILL burn if you take your eyes off them.
7. Drain the pasta and veg, drizzle on oil and squirt with lemon, toss and add to presentation plate.
8. Liberally sprinkle on toasted pine nuts, shave on parmesan to date.

Scoff.  Bring on summer.