Friday, 30 September 2011

Olive Pesto with roast aubergine



Ingredients

  Basil oil, 30g basil, 30g kamalata
 olives,1/2 clove garlic, 30g parmigiano, salt, baby aubergines, pasta
Serves: 2 Preparation: 30 minutes


Today I treated myself to some Lingue di Suocera squid ink pasta by Pastificio Marella. These long twisted ribbons with "sharp" edges are named Mother in Law's tongues in Italian which always makes me smile - mainly smugly because my MIL to be is so lovely. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to serve this than smothering it with olive pesto and succulent roasted baby aubergines. This Genovese style pesto would go just as beautifully with linguine but if you can get hold of Pastificio Marella products they really are worth a try.


1) Remove the stalk and cut the baby aubergines in half, lengthways. Set them skin side down in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with salt to draw out the bitter juices. Drizzle with a generous slosh of oil and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.


2) Put the pasta on to boil in hot salted water whilst you make the pesto.


3) Genovese style pesto is incredibly fine and involves pulverising the basil literally one leaf at a time in your mortar and pestle - if you don't have the patience then you could use a blender but nothing will release the basil juice and create that silky Genovese texture like the traditional method. 


4) Once the basil is crushed to a fine pulp, add finely diced kamalata olives, minced garlic and parmeggian. Add a glug of basil oil until it has reached the desired consistency. If you can manage not to eat most of it before the pasta is cooked you're made of stronger stuff than I!


5) Once the aubergines have baked, slice them in half again lengthways and stir them into your pesto. Strain the pasta and stir into the pesto, ensuring that the ribbons are thoroughly coated and serve.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Brioche, parmigiano & leek bake

Ingredients
5 slices Brioche, 1 leek, 1/2 cup double cream, 1 tablespoon butter, 10g parmigiano  
Serves: 2 Preparation: 25 minutes

Being a lifelong francophile I am of course a brioche addict. If you've ever made it yourself (recipe coming this weekend) you will be horrified at the sheer level of butter and sugar that goes into this mouthwateringly sweet bread... but it's worth the third buttock and this gorgeous dish is melt in the mouth perfection. The perfect indulgent side dish.

1) Slice the leek and sautee in a teaspoon of butter until the rings can be separated easily by pressing with a wooden spoon. Season with salt, black pepper and pour in the cream.

2) Slice 1.5cm thick slices of brioche, butter each slice and cut in half.

3) Grate the parmeggian and set aside

4) Put the first layer of brioche in a small ovenproof dish (butter side down) and then spoon the creamed leeks over the top. 

5) Top with parmeggian and continue to layer the brioche, leeks and cheese.

6) Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes and serve.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Peanut butter & banana sandwich filling



Ingredients


  Peanut butter, honey, banana 
Serves: 1 Preparation: 5 minutes

I made an Apple & Cinnamon loaf this week and have been fiddling around with serving suggestions for quick snacks. Just when I thought that French toast was the perfect solution I hit upon the gorgeous combination of sweet and savoury to make this lovely, simple filling. 

1) Peel a small, very ripe banana and mash it in a bowl with a fork.


2) Add a tablespoon of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) and half a teaspoon of honey and mix through with the fork until combined.
3) Spread onto the bread and serve!

Feta & bean salad with cucumber & mint dressing



Ingredients

 100g Turtle beans, 100g mung beans, 1/2 cucumber, mint, 100g feta
Serves: 2 Preparation: 20 minutes (plus overnight soaking in preparation)

Being a vegetarian I need to make sure that I get enough protein and beans are a healthy and delicious way of doing so. This salad is almost completely fat free thanks to using cucumber for the dressing - usually oil is necessary for a dressing of that lovely silky consistency but you will find this coats the beans beautifully and has a really fresh summery flavour.


1) Soak the mung beans and turtle beans overnight in cold water, then strain in a colander and boil for 10-20 minutes in fresh water. 


2) Strain in a colander and run under the cold tap to rinse the beans and cool them back to room temperature.


3) To make the dressing; peel the half cucumber and blitz in a food processor with a handful of chopped mint. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper


4) Stir the dressing through the beans and add the chopped/crumbled feta.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Apple & cinnamon French Toast


Ingredients
Wholemeal bread flour, cinnamon,
  baking soda, eggs, vegetable oil,
   apple sauce, muscovado sugar, vanilla essence, icing sugar, maple syrup, butter


Serves: 1 Preparation: 10 minutes

After making my apple & cinnamon bread I knew there was only one way to serve this... and it turned out to be one of my more perfect recipes.


1) Slice the apple & cinnamon loaf to about 1.5 cm thickness and dip in whisked egg.


2) Melt half a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan and drop the slice of bread into the pan.


3) Toast the bread, turning frequently. When you notice the steam puffing out the bread a little you will have achieved the fluffy yet crispy texture that makes French toast so glorious.


4) Serve dusted with icing sugar and drizzled with maple syrup

Apple & cinnamon bread



Ingredients
   1½ cups wholemeal bread flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  baking soda, 2 eggs, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 2 cups apple sauce, 2
  tablespoons muscovado sugar.
Serves: 10 Preparation: 1 hour

I'm not a great baker - my skills lie in making bread, pastry, pasta, dumplings... cakes and biscuits are always risky experiments for me but I do continue to try until I get it right! This recipe was inspired by some apple and raisin toast that a friend of mine enjoyed recently and turned out to be a lovely combination of flavours.

1) Sift together the flour and baking soda in a bowl.


2) Whisk the 2 eggs, muscovado sugar and cinnamon in a seperate bowl, then gradually add the flour and baking soda, whisking in the vegetable oil to ensure the mixture does not become too dry.


3) To make the apple sauce: peel, core and dice the apples and cook in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow to cool and whisk the apple sauce in with the bread mixture and transfer to a loaf tin.


4) I like to caramelise the top of the loaf so mixed a teaspoon of cinnamon with a teaspoon of muscovado sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence, then crumbled this mixture over the top of the bread batter.


5) Bake for 50 minutes at 200 degrees, or until a skewer comes out clean and leave to cool. For a great serving suggestion, check out my French toast recipe!

Coconut & lentil soup with hazelnut & plantain dumplings



Ingredients


1 plantain, hazelnut butter, coconut
 milk, vegetable/chicken stock, cumin, paprika, 2 cups lentils, coriander, cayenne pepper, bell pepper, orange.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour (plus overnight soaking)

The picture really doesn't do this soup justice - the luscious coconut, tangy orange and cumin and the beautiful delicate flavour of the dumplings make this a great soup to bring some sunshine to the winter months.

1)
Soak the lentils overnight in cold water and rinse thoroughly under running water in a colander. Add into a pan with half a pint of vegetable/chicken stock with 1 tablespoon of cumin and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir through and allow to simmer whilst you prepare the other ingredients.


2) Dice a bell pepper and add into the pan along with a can of coconut milk and the juice of one orange. If you wish to heat things up, add a diced birds eye chilli too.

3) To make the dumplings; bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the entire plantain into it. Boil for 25-30 minutes. You will know it is ready as the skin will split and virtually peel itself! Remove the skin and add the flesh to a blender along with two teaspoons of hazelnut butter. Blend until a ball forms.

4) Pinch off pieces of the plantain mix and form tight balls by rolling between two palms. If you have any left over this makes a fabulous chicken stuffing.

5) Add the plantain dumplings to the soup and leave to simmer for at least 5 minutes. Serve with chopped coriander and a dusting of paprika.

Sausage, leek & goats cheese pasta


Ingredients
2 cups dischi volanti pasta, 100g goats cheese, 3 Quorn sausages, 1 leek, butter, teaspoon of parsley

Serves: 4 Preparation: 20 minutes

The goats cheese in this recipe acts as more of a glaze than a sauce which allows the sausage and leek to stand out as a gorgeous combination of flavours. This recipe is a great vegetarian option but you could use "real" sausages if you wish.

1) Set the pasta to boil in salted water for 10-12 minutes whilst you prepare the other ingredients


2) Cut the sausage into half centimetre slices and set aside.

3) Finely slice the leek and begin to sautee in a little butter. As it begins to soften, stir through the sausages and sizzle, stirring frequently.

4) Once the pasta has cooked, stir through the sausages and leeks and add the goats cheese. I used coeur de lion la bouche goats cheese which gives a lovely, creamy sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper and serve, sprinkled with finely chopped parsley.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

French sage & onion soup



Ingredients


5 onions, 1 pint vegetable/chicken stock, 1 tsp muscovado sugar, 2 tbs butter, olive oil, old bread, 50g grated parmigiano and gruyere.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 45 minutes

French onion soup is a culinary classic - coloured by caramelised onions and always served with a cheesy crouton crust. Breaking through the crust with a spoon always reminds me of the pleasure of breaking through the sugar topping on a creme brulee. Sometimes the joy of food is in the unwrapping!

1) Peel and finely slice the onions then pop into separate rings with a spoon.

2) Bring a frying pan/wok to a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of sugar and allow it to brown. Add the onions and stir through until the onion rings have thoroughly caramelised. Add a little olive oil and stir through.


3) Add a pint of vegetable/chicken stock to the onions and stir through. (Transfer to a soup pan first if you're using a frying pan) Season with salt and add a handful of finely diced sage.


4) Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes on a low heat then ladle into a soup bowl. Top with a layer of toasted bread (I used some ciabatta I had baked the day before), breadcrumbs and grated parmeggian and gruyere then bake under a grill until a crust has formed. Serve.

Spinach & nutmeg bagels



Ingredients


5 cups wholemeal bread flour, 1 egg, 
1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 100g spinach, 3 cups warm water.
Serves: 8 Preparation: 1 hour and a half.

I love bagels - they're so versatile and can be topped with virtually anything, savoury or sweet. Sometimes however I like to make more of the bagel than the filling and that's what inspired these wholemeal, spinach bagels. They're gorgeously crunchy when toasted and have a lovely flavour.

1) In one bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water and set aside to stand for 5 minutes.


2) In a second bowl sift the flour, salt and chopped spinach leaves together and add to the yeast mixture bit by bit whilst hand mixing (I mix with one hand and pour with the other but you might want to ask someone to help you, or use the dough setting on your blender if you have one) once the mixture begins to form a ball, pulling away from the sides of the bowl without sticking you have the right consistency. Adding more flour may be necessary.


3) Once the dough forms a good ball, kneed on a floured surface for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, covered for an hour until it has risen to double its size.


4) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (half, half and half again!) and form balls. Set aside to rise further for 30 minutes.


5) Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch a hole through the dough and stretch until you leave a sort of gaping hole at least double the size of the usual bagel hole. Set them aside to rest for 10 minutes whilst you bring a pan of water to the boil.


6) Using a large slotted spoon or a fish slice drop the bagels one at a time into the water. They should sink to the bottom but then quickly begin to float like dumplings. The rule of thumb is that as soon as they float, they're ready but some recipes suggest leaving them to float for 2,3 sometimes 4 minutes!


7) Remove them from the water with the spoon and set them aside to cool a little and drain. Grate half a nutmeg and whisk into one egg. Using a pastry brush, glaze the bagel and bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven.


Once the bagels are ready allow to cool then slice and toast! Traditionally served with butter or cream cheese but personally I'm a sucker for hummus on spinach bagels!

Courgette linguine with pistou



Ingredients


Linguine, 1 courgette, 50g parmigiano, basil oil, 50g toasted almonds, 50g basil, salt, 1 lemon
Serves: 4 Preparation: 15 minutes

Pistou is a French version of pesto, traditionally spooned onto soup - I happen to also think it is pretty fabulous stirred into pasta as a change from pesto.

1) To make pistou; Roughly chop some basil and then grind in a mortar and pestle thoroughly, adding a pinch of salt, the toasted almonds and a squeeze of lemon to taste.


2) Cook the linguine in hot, salted water for 10 minutes , then strain.


3) Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips from the courgette and add to the pasta along with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little basil oil. Stir through the pistou and serve with freshly grated parmeggian.

Courgette & gruyere soup



Ingredients


Vegetable stock, 1 potato, 2 courgettes, gruyere, lemon
Serves: 2 Preparation: 30 minutes

This soup has a velvety thick texture and the fresh flavour of the courgette and lemon is undercut beautifully by the rich nuttiness of the gruyere.

1) Peel and dice 1 potato and simmer in 1 pint of vegetable stock and the juice of 1 lemon for 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and either mash or blend until completely pureed.


2) Add the potato back to the vegetable stock and stir through until fully integrated.


3) Grate 2 courgettes into the soup and stir through. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


4) Allow the courgette to soften, simmering it on a low heat for 5 - 10 minutes and then finish by stirring through a handful of grated gruyere.

Broad bean hummus



Ingredients


Chickpeas (dried or canned), garlic,
 olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds, salt, broad beans (dried or fresh).

Confession, I hate broadbeans. I can remember eating them at school - these big, hard grey THINGS from a tin that were mixed in with soggy carrot, peas and sweetcorn. I realised yesterday that I have avoided them my entire adult life and this is an ideal opportunity to prove my own philosophy that if you don't like something, it just hasn't been made properly!
Do you know what? I still don't like broad beans, but at least here they are somewhat diluted. *shudder*



1) If you are using dried chickpeas and beans leave them to soak in cold water for a minimum of 6 hours (ideally 10-12) and cook them for 1 1/2 hours it hot salted water, changing the water frequently to avoid a bitter aftertaste.


2) If using fresh beans, cook for 4 minutes in hot salted water. For canned chickpeas drain them and rinse well with cold water. It's entirely your choice whether you shell the chickpeas first, but do shell the broad beans!


3) Place your beans and chickpeas into a blender or mortar and pestle along with two tablespoons of water and pulse thoroughly.


4) Roast 2 cloves of garlic in the skin for 25 minutes and squeeze the pureed garlic into the chickpea and broad bean mixture.


5) Flavour with sesame seeds or tahini, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste. After blending thoroughly, serve.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Banana & walnut cake



Ingredients

   3/4 cup butter (127g), 2 ripe
  bananas, 3 cups plain flour (681g), 1
 1/12 tsp baking soda, 2 cups sugar
    (454g), 3 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla
   essence, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (339g), walnuts.

1) Sift the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt and set aside


2) Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence together and beat in the eggs one at a time


3) Whisk in the flour a cup at a time, alternating with the buttermilk


4) Mash the ripe bananas and whisk into the rest, stirring a handful of finely chopped walnuts at the last minute


5) Pour into a cake tin (this quantity fills one large cake tin or 2 loaf tins) and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. Put immediately into the freezer for 10 minutes - this will stop the steam from rising and make the cake incredibly moist.


6) Once cool, cream equal parts of icing sugar, butter and cream cheese together and slather onto the top. I had some leftover caramel from making my caramel apple pie so I swirled that over too!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cassoulet



Ingredients


Pork belly, cannellini beans, chicken
  stock, sage, onions, garlic, goose/duck fat, Merguez sausage.
1) Peel and roughly dice 2 white onions and sautee in a tablespoon of goose fat. Add 4 cloves of crushed garlic and some roughly chopped Merguez sausage.


2) Pour in 1 pint of chicken stock and a small handful of freshly chopped sage. Stir through and add 2 cans of cannellini beans.


3) Layer the pork belly in the bottom of a casserole dish (I used 6 pieces of pork belly per 2 cans of beans/pint of stock) and pour over the beans, sausage and stock. The trick is to cover the meat with the beans so that a crust can be formed, but ensure that the meat is set in enough liquid so that it doesn't dry out.


4) Cook in the oven for at least one hour. The top should have a lovely crispy crust, and the meat fats should have reduced into a creamy, rich sauce underneath.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Melting plantain & cashew burger



Ingredients

1 Plantain, cashew nuts, cheddar,
 1 jalepeno, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil
Plantains are fabulous. They're a kind of savoury banana that grow in tropical climates and are used quite a lot in Caribbean and Mexican cooking. When shopping for plantain please remember that the best ones are the ripe, almost completely black ones. Don't cook with unripe ones as the flavour and texture will probably put you off for life! This burger has a gorgeous thin crust, slightly sticky soft plantain and a spicy melting centre. Definitely an ideal introduction to plantain if you've never tried it.


1) Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the entire plantain into it. Boil for 25-30 minutes. You will know it is ready as the skin will split and virtually peel itself!


2) Blitz a handful of cashew nuts in the blender until you have rough chunks of nut. Add the peeled plantain into the blender and pulse until it combines with the nuts and a slightly sticky ball is formed.


3) Using your thumbs, depress a hollow into the ball and fill with grated cheddar and finely chopped jalepeno. Reform into a ball ensuring that the cheese is locked away in the centre. Season with chopped oregano, salt and pepper.


4) Add a few drops of olive oil into a frying pan and sizzle the burger for a few minutes before flipping over. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and serve.

Potato skins stuffed with leek & bacon



Ingredients

Potato, leek, bacon, butter, cheddar

I make mashed potatoes in 3 different ways depending on the time I have, or the type of mash I'm making.
On the occasions where I bake the potatoes in the oven I cannot resist saving the skins to stuff them with scrummy things.


1) Cover the potatoes in foil and bake for 1 and a half hours.


2) Scoop the potato from the skins ensuring that you leave a thin layer of potato to give the shell some integrity. Set the potato aside to cool.


3) Slice and roughly dice the leek and sautee in a little butter for 2 minutes. Add pancetta, or thin strips of bacon and stir through the leeks for a further 2 minutes.

4) Spoon into the potato shells and top with grated cheddar. Bake for 10 minutes and serve.

Potato skins stuffed with Mexican mole



Ingredients

   Potato, cheddar, soured cream, Quorn  
   Mince, 1 white onion, dark chocolate,
   tomato puree, mixed beans, red
  wine, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, olive oil

I make mashed potatoes in 3 different ways depending on the time I have, or the type of mash I'm making.
On the occasions where I bake the potatoes in the oven I cannot resist saving the skins to stuff them with scrummy things.


1) Cover the potatoes in foil and bake for 1 and a half hours.


2) Scoop the potato from the skins ensuring that you leave a thin layer of potato to give the shell some integrity. Set the potato aside to cool.



3) Melt 4 squares of dark chocolate in a pan (I used some chilli and lime chocolate from BonBon to give this some extra heat) and add 1 finely chopped white onion and a glug of olive oil


4) When the onions have just begin to soften add the packet of Quorn mince (you could use some cooked, drained beef mince if you are not a vegetarian) and stir thoroughly until the chocolate has coated the onions and beef.


5) Add in 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of chopped coriander. Stir thoroughly and add in a glug of red wine.


6) Add in the mixed beans - red kidney beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans and haricot beans (Tesco sell "taco beans", 2 cans of which are perfect) and stir well. Add salt, tomato puree and chopped chillis to taste.


7) Spoon the mole into the potato shells, top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with a dollop of soured cream and chopped coriander.

Potato skins stuffed with courgette & pistachio pesto



Ingredients

Potato, courgette, basil, basil oil, parmigiano, pistachio, baby plum tomatoes. 

I make mashed potatoes in 3 different ways depending on the time I have, or the type of mash I'm making.
On the occasions where I bake the potatoes in the oven I cannot resist saving the skins to stuff them with scrummy things.


1) Cover the potatoes in foil and bake for 1 and a half hours.


2) Scoop the potato from the skins ensuring that you leave a thin layer of potato to give the shell some integrity. Set the potato aside to cool.


3) To make the pesto: Grind a handful of pistachios in a mortar and pestle, then grind a handful of basil into the nuts. Stir through some basil oil, a little finely grated parmeggian and stir the pesto into roughly grated courgette.


4) Spoon the courgette pesto into the potato shells, top with halved baby plum tomatoes and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Potato skins stuffed with carrot & Wensleydale



Ingredients

Potato, carrot, orange, cumin, coriander, Wensleydale with cranberries.

I make mashed potatoes in 3 different ways depending on the time I have, or the type of mash I'm making.
On the occasions where I bake the potatoes in the oven I cannot resist saving the skins to stuff them with scrummy things.


1) Cover the potatoes in foil and bake for 1 and a half hours.


2) Scoop the potato from the skins ensuring that you leave a thin layer of potato to give the shell some integrity. Set the potato aside to cool.


3) Peel your carrot and then use the vegetable peeler to cut razor fine strips of carrot. Sautee these in a little butter with ground cumin for 2 minutes. Add the juice from one orange along with the zest into the pan and sizzle for a further 2 minutes. 


4) Spoon the carrot into the potato shells, crumble Wensleydale over the top and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Garlic, lemon & mustard mash


Ingredients

  4 potatoes, 1 lemon, 1 bulb of garlic, mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper.
1) Cover the potatoes in foil and bake for 1 and a half hours.


2) Roast a bulb of garlic for half an hour, then squeeze the pureed garlic from the clove skins. Stir a teaspoon of grainy mustard into the garlic and set aside.


3) Scoop the potato from the skins (if you want to set the skins aside, these are fabulous to re-bake, stuffed!) and mash/blend with the garlic and mustard.


4) Zest and juice 1 lemon and add to the potato along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Roast garlic, leek & goats cheese bruschetta



Ingredients

 Ciabatta (I used La Brea walnut bread), leek, goats cheese, garlic, butter, mustard, parsley.
1) Slice the ciabatta and brush one side with a little basil oil - grill lightly and set aside.


2) Roast a bulb of garlic for 30 minutes, then squeeze out the garlic puree from each clove skin. Stir half a teaspoon of mustard into the garlic and smooth onto the untoasted side of bread.


3) Slice the leek and fry in a little butter, turning until both sides are lightly browned. Layer the leeks with slices of goats cheese onto the garlic.


4) Grill for 2 minutes and serve with chopped parsley - I added a little soured cream with mustard stirred through (I have a hangover and needed a splurge!)

Pistachio pesto & roast tomato bruschetta



Ingredients

   Ciabatta (I used La Brea walnut
   bread) plum tomatoes, basil, basil
  oil, pistachios, parmigiano, balsamic glaze.
1) Slice the ciabatta and brush one side with a little basil oil - grill lightly and set aside.


2) Slice the baby plum tomatoes in half and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.


3) Grind a handful of pistachios in a mortar and pestle, then grind a handful of basil into the nuts. Stir through some basil oil and spread the pesto onto the untoasted side of the bread.


4) Layer the tomatoes over the pesto, then sprinkle freshly grated parmeggian over the top and grill for 2 minutes. Serve with balsamic glaze.

Chicken, bacon & parmigiano burgers


Ingredients


4 chicken breasts, 3 rashers of unsmoked bacon, parmigiano, old bread. (makes 8 burgers)
1) Pulse 1 almost stale crust of bread in the blender until breadcrumbs form - set aside.


2) Mince 4 chicken breasts in the blender.
(Your butcher will be able to mince chicken breasts for you (it's rare to find minced chicken in a supermarket, though you could substitute turkey mince if you like which is more readily available and lean for those who are dieting)



3) Add the bacon rashers and pulse in the blender - this should form a sort of sticky meat ball so break it apart with a wooden spoon before adding the breadcrumbs and a generous knob of parmeggian, freshly grated.


4) Pulse in the blender until another meatball forms. This should not require seasoning due to the salty tang of the bacon and the parmeggian but this would be fabulously enhanced with some chopped parsley stirring through it.


5) Separate the ball into 8 patties by rolling a handful of meat and flattening it a little with the palm of your hand.


6) These are best cooked on a BBQ, or if you're dieting use a grilling machine which allows any fat to drain off. I cooked these in a pan for 10 minutes, turning continually and using the flat of a spatula to press the patty. 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Pork & apple rice salad



Ingredients

     Basil oil, pistachio, basil, pork
   strips, apple, long grain rice, wild rice, lime.
1) Mix the rice together and boil for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.


2) Peel and core 2 apples and dice the fruit. Warm a little basil oil in a frying pan and add the apples, stirring through until they begin to soften. Add the pork strips and sizzle until cooked.


3) Crush a handful of pistacho nuts in a mortar and pestle and add 2 handfulls of roughly chopped basil. Grind the basil into the nuts until it forms a paste. Stir through some basil oil, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt.


4) Stir the pesto through the rice and add the pork and apples.

Pea & mint rice salad



Ingredients

  Almond butter, garden peas, mint,
 wild rice, long grain rice, goats cheese.
1) Mix the rice together and boil for 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add in the peas.


2) Strain the rice and stir through with almond butter. Slice the goats cheese into chunks and sprinkle with chopped mint. Serve hot or cold.

Fig & feta rice salad



Ingredients


Long grain rice, wild rice, oranges, cardamom pods, feta.
1) Mix the rice together and boil for 20 minutes. Strain and set aside.


2) Zest 4 tangerines and squeeze the juice. Add to a milk pan with a handful of cardamom pods and simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Stir through the rice.


3) Slice the figs and feta cheese into chunks and stir through the rice. Serve hot or cold.

Butternut squash rice salad


Ingredients

    Butternut squash, long grain rice,
    wild rice, pumpkin seeds, sage, lemon, butter.
1) Peel the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Dice the flesh and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.


2) Mix the rice together and boil for 20 minutes.


3) Squeeze lemon juice into a little melted butter and finely diced sage leaves. Strain the rice and stir through the dressing and butternut squash. Spinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve hot or cold.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Beetroot coleslaw

Ingredients

 
White cabbage, carrot, beetroot, eggs, mayonnaise: 4 eggs, lemon juice/white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, 1 pint vegetable oil
I have a confession to make... I LOATHE onions. I cannot eat them raw, they do not belong in salad or sandwiches and when I cook with them they are only ever the base of a sauce or soup for example... never an "active" ingredient. I do dearly love coleslaw though and think it is vastly improved from the acidic, randid, pungent slop once the onions are removed!

1) To make the mayonnaise: separate 4 egg yolks from the whites (discard the whites) and put in a large clean bowl to whisk (or use the whisk attachment on your blender if you have one). Add the lemon juice/vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly, adding the oil ONE DROP at a time until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy. You don't have to use all the oil - I like it quite thick but if it's too thick you can always add a little warm water to thin it back down again.

2) Wash the beetroot and slice off the stalks and leaves. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Carefully peel the beetroot with the nick of a knife, then once it's cool slice into matchsticks.

3) Peel the carrot and slice it into matchsticks (I cut it in half, then into slices, then slice the slices into individual matchsticks.

4) Slice 3 cabbage leaves into fine strips about the length of the carrot matchsticks.

5) Stir mayonnaise into the carrot, beetroot and cabbage with a spatula and serve!

Pear coleslaw

Ingredients

 
White cabbage, carrot, pear, eggs, mayonnaise: 4 eggs, lemon juice/white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, 1 pint vegetable oil
I have a confession to make... I LOATHE onions. I cannot eat them raw, they do not belong in salad or sandwiches and when I cook with them they are only ever the base of a sauce or soup for example... never an "active" ingredient. I do dearly love coleslaw though and think it is vastly improved from the acidic, randid, pungent slop once the onions are removed!

1) To make the mayonnaise: separate 4 egg yolks from the whites (discard the whites) and put in a large clean bowl to whisk (or use the whisk attachment on your blender if you have one). Add the lemon juice/vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly, adding the oil ONE DROP at a time until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy. You don't have to use all the oil - I like it quite thick but if it's too thick you can always add a little warm water to thin it back down again.

2) Peel the carrot and slice it into matchsticks (I cut it in half, then into slices, then slice the slices into individual matchsticks.

3) Slice 3 cabbage leaves into fine strips about the length of the carrot matchsticks.

4) Peel a pear and slice the flesh from the core. Slice the fruit into matchsticks.

5) Stir mayonnaise into the carrot, pear and cabbage with a spatula and serve!

Coleslaw

Ingredients
White cabbage, carrot, eggs, mayonnaise: 4 eggs, lemon juice/white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, 1 pint vegetable oil
I have a confession to make... I LOATHE onions. I cannot eat them raw, they do not belong in salad or sandwiches and when I cook with them they are only ever the base of a sauce or soup for example... never an "active" ingredient. I do dearly love coleslaw though and think it is vastly improved from the acidic, randid, pungent slop once the onions are removed!

1) To make the mayonnaise: separate 4 egg yolks from the whites (discard the whites) and put in a large clean bowl to whisk (or use the whisk attachment on your blender if you have one). Add the lemon juice/vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly, adding the oil ONE DROP at a time until the mayonnaise is thick and glossy. You don't have to use all the oil - I like it quite thick but if it's too thick you can always add a little warm water to thin it back down again.

2) Peel the carrot and slice it into matchsticks (I cut it in half, then into slices, then slice the slices into individual matchsticks.

3) Slice 3 cabbage leaves into fine strips about the length of the carrot matchsticks.

4) Stir mayonnaise into the carrot and cabbage with a spatula and serve!

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