Saturday, 31 July 2010
This was really easy to make, and very tasty as well. I am entering this into this week's Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Check out her blog on Friday for the round up.
Linguine with Snails, Sorrel, Tomato and Courgette
24 snails (6 per person)
3 small zucchini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bunch of sorrel
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
pinch of saffron
Zest of one lemon
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Put the saffron in a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of boiling water.
Cut strips of courgette with a vegetable peeler. Sauté the strips of courgette in oil with a punnet of cherry tomatoes and crushed garlic. Put the saffron, snails and sorrel in cook for a couple of minutes. Season to taste, adding lemon zest.
Drain the pasta and toss though the snails and sorrel sauce. Serve.
Friday, 30 July 2010
It was delicious. The courgette that I left round the sides had gone lovely and soft and the cheese had melted in the middle. Fantastic. I served it with a green side salad.
Courgette Stuffed with Ham and Cheese
1 round courgette
two slices of ham, chopped
grated cheddar cheese
50g cream cheese
1tbsp tarragon, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200C
Chop the top of a round courgette and scoop the middle out of the courgette, but leave a bit of the flesh around the sides. Mix it in a bowl with the cream cheese, grated cheese, breadcrumbs, ham and tarragon.
Put the cheese, ham and courgette mixture back into the middle of the courgette. and put the top back on.
Bake in the oven for 30-45 mins until the courgette feels soft. Serve.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
I served it with cilantro and lime rice and tomato salsa. I also added coriander seeds to the rice as well as the fresh leaves and that increased the coriander taste.
Tex-Mex Fish Fillets (adapted from Good Food Magazine March 2007)
4 boneless white fish fillets (I used Rock Fish)
2 tbsp fajita seasoning or Tex-Mex seasoning
2 tbsp sunflower oil
200g pot guacamole
Put the fish in a zip-loc bag and add the seasoning, shake about and leave to marinate a bit.
Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan, then fry for 3-4 mins on each side until crisp.
Serve each piece of fish with a spoonful of guacamole on top and a lime wedge for squeezing.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Rice, Black Bean and Avocado Salad (adapted from Good Food Magazine July 2009)
200g cooked basmati rice
1 x 400g tin black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and quartered
1 tsp ground cumin
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 tsp tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
Put the rice, avocado, watercress and beans in a bowl and combine.
Mix the cumin, 1 tbsp oil, lime juice and zest and hot sauce and season. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
I made this Bacon, Pea and Basil Macaroni at the weekend. My sister gave me a load of basil that she couldn't use and I needed to use up the bacon in my freezer so this seemed like the perfect meal. It was really tasty, but I think I like traditional macaroni cheese better, so if I made it again I'd use a bechamel sauce with cheese in like normal.
I am adding this to this week's Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Janet of The Taste Space. Check out her blog on Friday for the round up.
Bacon, Pea and Basil Macaroni (Good Food Magazine July 2009)
6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
2 leeks, finely sliced into rings
1 tbsp vegetable oil
140g frozen peas
200g pack soft cheese
85g mature cheddar, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
small bunch basil, shredded
Fry the bacon and leeks in the oil for 10 mins until the bacon is golden and the leeks soft. Tip in the peas and heat through. Meanwhile, boil the pasta and heat the grill to high.
Reserve 150ml of the cooking water before you drain the pasta, then add it, the soft cheese, half the grated cheese and the mustard to the pan with the veg. Stir until the cheese melts into a creamy sauce. Stir in most of the basil and the pasta, then scatter with the rest of the cheese.
Grill for 2-3 mins until the cheese melts. Scatter with basil to serve.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
I had this for lunch one day last week, and I actually like the mix of colours and flavours that went into it. Better than my normal attempts!
It contains: Prawn and Coriander Spring Rolls, Egg Fried Rice, Grated Courgette with Soy Sauce and Rice Wine Vinegar, Pickled Ginger and a Cat full of Sweet Chilli Sauce.
Monday, 19 July 2010
Dinner: Bacon, Pea and Basil Macaroni
Dinner: Hummus, Carrot and Cucumber, Chorizo, Olives etc
Dinner: Tuna Burgers, Baked Chips
Dinner:Cheese and Ham Stuffed Courgette
Dinner: Stir Fried Spaghetti Bento with Carrots, Courgettes, Sausage and Pickled Ginger
Dinner: Sea Bass with Herby Butter, Potatoes and Veg
Dinner: Tex Mex Style Fish with Lime and Coriander Rice
Saturday, 17 July 2010
In other news still no cat or date for spaying the cat. I'm going to ring tomorrow to see if I can get some more information, otherwise I just have to wait.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
I have to say it actually worked quite well. I was a bit dubious but it was tasty. I served it with a tomato and onion salad, watercress, coleslaw and potato salad. The coleslaw and the potato salad and mayo in the sandwich made it a bit mayo heavy, so maybe it's better served with just a green and/or tomato salad.
Prawns, Avocado and Mayo on Toast/Toastie
1/2 avocado, chopped
5 or 6 cooked prawns, peeled
2 tbsp mayonnaise
squeeze of lemon juice
couple of dashes of hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
salt and pepper
1-2 pieces of sliced bread
Put the first 6 ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Add as much or as little hot sauce and lemon as you like.
Toast the bread and spread the prawn and avocado mixture on the toast. Either sandwich together or like an open sandwich.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
We had four recipes to choose from for this month's Daring Cooks all of which featured different nut butters. I actually did two of the recipes, one making the nut butter from scratch; the Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms and the other using a jar of ready made peanut butter; the Asian Noodle Salad. I was a bit disappointed with the Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms , I made it for my parents and we all agreed that it actually wasn't that tasty. I think if I make it again I would try rosemary instead of thyme to see if that gave it more flavour. The Noodle Salad however was delicious. I used ready made peanut butter because I don't like cashew nuts, but the flavour combinations were fantastic.
Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms
Recipe notes: Substitute your favorite pasta or rice in place of the egg noodles. Use fresh rosemary or parsley in place of thyme if you prefer.
3/4 cup (180 ml) coarsely chopped pecans*, toasted
1 cup (240 ml) water
¾ teaspoon (3 ml) salt, more as needed
½ pound (225 g) egg noodles or pasta
4 (6-ounce / 170 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil, more as needed
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) deglazing liquid (water, broth, wine; optional)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil, more as needed
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped shallots
½ pound (225 g) mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fresh thyme leaves
Chopped pecans, (optional garnish)
Prepare pecan cream. Grind pecans in a food processor for about a minute or so until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add water and 3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) salt; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Set aside pecan cream. (*If starting with prepared pecan butter, blend ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (90 ml) pecan butter with the water and salt until smooth.)
Cook noodles according to package instructions in salted water. Drain, rinse, and keep warm.
If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sauté 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cook the chicken in 2 batches, adding more oil if needed for second batch. Set aside cooked chicken on a clean plate, cover to keep warm.
Add deglazing liquid to pan if using and stir up any browned bits. If needed, add another teaspoon (5 ml) of oil (or more) to pan for sautéing the shallots and mushrooms. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown. Add fresh thyme to the pan. Stir in pecan cream; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 minutes till reduced slightly.
Slice chicken into thin strips. Divide the noodles among serving plates. Add a scoop of the mushroom pecan sauce on top of noodles. Lay sliced chicken on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and/or a pinch of chopped pecans if desired.
Asian Noodle Salad with Cashew (or Peanut) Dressing
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe notes: Customize the salad by adding or substituting your favorite vegetables. Shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, and slivered carrots would make nice additions. Obviously, you can omit the shrimp, or substitute chicken or tofu or the protein of your choice. The dressing is equally as good with peanut butter rather than cashew butter. We tested the dressing with nut butters made from salted cashews & peanuts with good results.
1 cup (240 ml) cashews*
½ inch (1 cm) slice of fresh ginger, chopped
8 cloves garlic, more or less to taste, chopped
½ cup (120 ml) cashew butter
¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) vinegar
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) toasted sesame oil
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon (75 ml) water
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
1/2 pound (225 g) linguine or thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1/2 pound (225 g) small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin strips
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced
1/4 cup (60 ml) sliced green onions
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped cashews (optional garnish)
Lime wedges (optional)
Make cashew butter: Grind cashews in food processor for about 2 minutes until smooth. (*Or start with ½ cup (120 ml) prepared cashew butter.)
Prepare cashew dressing: Combine ginger, garlic, cashew butter, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and water in food processor or blender. Process/blend until smooth. Be sure to process long enough to puree the ginger and garlic. The dressing should be pourable, about the same thickness as cream. Adjust consistency – thinner or thicker -- to your liking by adding more water or cashew butter. Taste and add your favorite hot sauce if desired. (If the cashew butter was unsalted, you may want to add salt to taste.) Makes about 1 ½ cups (360 ml) dressing. Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator.
Prepare noodles according to package instructions in salted water. Rinse and drain noodles. Set aside.
Heat oil in large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add shrimp to the pan and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes or until opaque throughout. Alternately, cook shrimp in boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes or until done.
Slice basil into thin ribbons. Combine noodles, bell pepper, cucumber, onions, and basil in a large bowl. Add about ½ cup (120 ml) cashew dressing; toss gently to coat. Add more cashew dressing as desired, using as much or as little as you’d like. Scatter shrimp on top. Squeeze fresh lime juice over salad or serve with lime wedges. Sprinkle with chopped cashews if desired.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
I served it with lamb cutlets and a tomato, onion and tarragon salad.
Broad Bean, Sorrel and Asparagus Risotto
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh sorrel leaves
400g podded broad beans
250g bunch asparagus
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g risotto rice
750ml hot vegetable stock
100ml white wine
handful grated Parmesan plus shavings, to serve
Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan and fry the onion for 2 mins until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another min.
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Add the broad beans and rice to the pan, then stir well. Pour in the stock and wine and bring to the boil.
Season to taste, cover and bake for 20 mins, then add in the sorrel and asparagus and bake for 5 mins longer or until the rice is just cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the grated Parmesan, check the seasoning and sprinkle with extra Parmesan shavings to serve.
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Seafood Noodle Soup
handful frozen cooked seafood mix, defrosted
handful sugar snap peas
handful stir fry mix salad leaves
1 tsp grated ginger
enough noodles for 1 person
2 tsp dashi no moto
500ml boiling water
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and run under cold water.
Mix the dashi no moto with the water in a pan and bring to the boil. Add in the ginger and sugar snap peas and cook for a minute or so, then add in the stir fry mix and spinach and cook for another minute.
Add in the seafood mix and cook until its warmed through. Then add in the fish sauce and soy sauce.
Place the noodles in a bowl and tip the broth mixture over the noodles. Serve sprinkled with chopped spring onions or sesame seeds.
Monday, 5 July 2010
I put cheese, Mexican black beans and spring onions in the middle and then fried until brown on each side. Served with guacamole.
Dinner: Out for my Mum's birthday
Dinner: Tomato and Cheese Tart, Salad
Dinner: Lamb Cutlets with Asparagus, Sorrel and Broad Bean Risotto
Dinner: Smoked Haddock Fishcakes, Salad
Dinner: Chicken with Hummus, Olives and Thyme with Lemon and Sorrel Rice and Veg
Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Courgette and Pesto Pasta
Sunday, 4 July 2010
American Carrot Cake (adapted from Leiths Baking Bible)
Makes a 2 layer 20cm/8in cake
250ml vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
225g soft light brown sugar
140g carrots, peeled and finely grated
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
140g chopped walnuts for the icing
45g unsalted butter, softened
170g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
lemon juice to taste
Heat the oven to 180C. Line two sandwich tins with baking parchment.
In a bowl stir together the oil, eggs, sugar and carrots. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger into the bowl. Fold the two mixtures together and then fold in the walnuts.
Divide between 2 tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 mins or until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centre. Cool on a wire rack for 10 mins in the tin, then turn out and cool completely.
To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Sift the icing sugar over the top and stir in. Flavour with vanilla and lemon juice. Use the icing to fill the cake and ice the top.
Saturday, 3 July 2010
Victoria Sponge Cake (adapted from 365 Cakes and Puddings)
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175g self-raising flour
3-4 tbsp jam
for the butter cream
75g butter, softened
175g icing sugar
few drops of vanilla essence
Heat the oven to 190C. Grease and line two 7 inch sandwich tins.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs. a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in half the flour, using a metal spoon, then fold in the rest.
Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level with a knife. Bake in the oven for about 20 mins until they are well risen, firm to the touch and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tins. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Whilst the cakes are cooling make the butter cream. Put the butter in a bowl and cream until soft. Sift and gradually beat in the icing sugar, then add the vanilla. Beat until smooth.
When the cakes are cool, sandwich them together with jam and butter cream and sprinkle the top with icing sugar.
Thursday, 1 July 2010
I've been off work for a couple of days and the weather has been glorious. I have been out in the garden planting pretty plants and also picking some of the fruit and veg that is now ripe. I have had loads of loganberries, two small courgettes and some broad beans. I cannot wait to try them.
I also have some exciting news! I went to Wood Green Animal Shelter on Saturday and chose a cat. She is a 1 year old grey brown tortoiseshell cat, and I'm waiting for her to be spayed before I can take her home. She was so friendly and affectionate when we went to look round and really inquisitive. I'm so excited and can't wait for her to come home.
I made this recipe just before I went to my parents for the weekend, the crispy garlic chicken was delicious. I served it with ratatouille made with last years courgettes and white bean mash with mint.
Crispy Garlic Chicken
2 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
75g low-fat soft cheese
4 skinless chicken breasts
1 medium egg(s)
75g fresh breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp pepper, black, freshly ground
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F.
In a bowl, mix together the garlic and parsley with the soft cheese and black pepper. Cut a deep pocket in each chicken breast, taking care not to cut right through, then stuff the soft cheese mixture inside, closing the flesh around the stuffing as far as possible.
Beat the egg with the milk in a shallow dish, and spread the breadcrumbs out on a plate.
Dip each chicken breast first in the egg mixture and then in crumbs to coat all over. Place on a non stick baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until crisp and cooked through.