Sunday, 15 March 2009
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Ingredients: (serves 4 approx)
4 large onions
1 tablespoon of coarse grain mustard
1 bottle of brown ale (I use Mann's but any will do such as Newcastle brown etc)
1 average sized spud
Knob of butter or alternative
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 a pint of veg stock (I use swiss veg bouillion)
Salt and pepper to taste
50g of mature cheddar cheese to garnish
Peel the spud and chop into 4, put on the boil... then whilst this is boiling, melt the butter slowly in a large pan and cover with the olive oil, avoiding burning, add salt and pepper to taste.
Roughly chop the onions and put them into the melted butter and oil mixture.
Stir through, coating all the onions. Add the mustard and a couple of splashes of the ale and stir though coating the onions. Cook on a low-medium heat for about 10 mins, keeping stirring.
Then begin to add the rest of the ale bit by bit, and stir through. You may not need the whole bottle. I find about 2/3rds is enough and leaves you some to drink whilst you are slaving over a hot stove.. but it depends how thick you like your soup!
Once the spud is cooked through add this and stir in, add the stock.. again dependant on how thick you like your soup and stir. Leave all this to simmer for about 20 mins on a low heat with the lid on.
Then blitz the lot with a hand held blender.
Serve topped with a bit of grated cheddar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
Today I decided that I wanted to make something warming and hearty. A stew would be nice.. so in my usual way, I decided to just go for it & make one, deciding as I went along what I was going to do. I find these recipes (if you can call them that! ) are the ones I go back to again and again, this one being no different!
Again this doesn't take long to prepare, so no excuses that there isn't enough time! I got this ready to leave bubbling away in the pan in less time than it took to listen to my favourite album of the moment by Mr & Mrs, which contains just the 10 quality tracks.
So here goes...I don't have a name for it so it's going to be, "Spicy make it up as you go along Hotch-Potch Stew... "
Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 cloves of garlic
2 small fresh chillies
3 teaspoons of paprika
a large glass of red wine
1 tables spoon of olive oil
100g of green beans
1 tin of back eyed beans
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 large onion
1 carton of freshly chopped tomatoes
5 large potatoes peeled and cut into halves
2 tea spoons of veg stock
a few drops of Tabasco
1 desert spoon of butter or alternative
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large casserole/sauce pan, and add the olive oil, paprika, Tabasco, half the red wine, and a pinch of salt and pepper. (dependant on your taste for spice, you can reduce the chilli amount or lose the Tabasco.. but I like it hot!)
Chop the garlic, chillies, onion and pepper, and add to the hot pan, coating in the oil and wine mixture. Put the lid on and cook for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.
Add the rest of the wine, the chopped tomatoes, and the beans (all 3 types). Stir all this through. Then add the potatoes, and fill with enough water to cover all the veg. Add the stock and stir thoroughly, then as the mixture begins to boil add the butter (this helps the sauce to thicken once reduced).
Turn the heat down to minimum, and then go and do something else exciting for about 1 hr 45 mins (although you may need to pop back for a quick stir).
This is one of those dishes that benefits from slower cooking. The longer and slower you simmer, the more the flavours begin to fuse. It has a short preparation time, and no effort to let it cook down nicely, just a little patience if you are hungry!
Once it has reduced down and the sauce thickened check the spuds are done (nothing worse than a hard spud.. but if you've left it long enough they will be nicely cooked!), and then enjoy with a nice warm crusty roll! (If your sauce is too thin add a little more butter, leave to cool then bring to the boil again).
Easy, hearty, made up in an instant, and not too fattening!
Monday, 16 February 2009
Neither of us are big cake eaters, or sweet stuff of any kind really. But we do not enjoy the odd bit of home-baked cake. Shop bought cake tastes....well that's the point really, often it doesn't taste of anything!
Lemon cake is perfect for me as it combines sweet and sharp. It's almost like not actually eating cake!
Anyway, this is an easy cake to make, it looks beautifully rustic, and is delicious in the afternoon with a nice cup of tea.
2 large eggs
125 ml vegetable/sunflower/extra virgin oil
175 g caster sugar
zest of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
125 ml milk
250g self-raising flour
& for the top:
The juice of the 3 lemons
4 tablespoons sugar
(Soak the poppy seeds in the milk for at least an hour before you make the cake)
Pre-heat the oven to 180c
Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, lemon zest, milk & poppy seeds in a bowl
Add the flour & mix in to form a batter
Tip into a 2lb loaf tin (lined or greased & floured)
Bake for 40-50 mins (depending on your oven) on the middle shelf
While it's baking, mix the juice of the lemons with 4 tablespoons of sugar
Check the cake's done by poking with a skewer. As it's such a light coloured batter you'll pretty much know by the colour of the top. If it's burning, it's done!
Poke a skewer into the top of the cake in several places. Tip the lemon/sugar all over the top of the cake.
Leave for 20 mins and then tip out to cool
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Whilst my lentils were cooking I fried a red onion, added 2 green chillies and a clove of garlic. I added this to the cooked lentils along with the curry powder & a teaspoon of paprika. (A couple of drops of Tabasco add a richer flavour too.) I do like my food spicy!