Friday, November 25, 2011

Competition: Black Garlic Recipe Competition


Yes, i've won another won! This time it's with a company called Black Garlic. They sell a product, conveniently, called black garlic, that you may not have heard of. Black garlic is an aged version of normal garlic. This aging or "fermentation" process turns it black, changes its flavour slightly (its less strong than normal garlic, and has a nice rich kinda molasses-y flavour to it), increases its level of vitamins and antioxidants, and also does not give you garlic breath!! Cool right??

Well they held a recipe competition, and i entered a version of my Ginger and coriander salmon with sesame noodle salad, using plenty of black garlic instead of normal garlic. So i won £100 and a load of black garlic goodies! Brilliant!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recipe: "Secret Ingredient" Roast Vegetables


I guess it kinda becomes a "well known" ingredient once i blab about it all over my blog, but never mind. I just call it that because theres an ingredient in this recipe that people wouldnt expect you to use for roast vegetables, but it ends up completely perfecting the dish. The couple tbsp i use of cherry cordial in the recipe just makes the vegetables go beautifully caramelised in the oven, as well as providing a slightly sweet fruity flavour too. You can use any type of undiluted cordial or squash that you want, i just use cherry because theres this type I get from Sainsburys that's so delicious, so I always have some in the cupboard and that's how i ended up trying this out. I served this alongside some roast chicken and gravy- but reckon it would be fantastic on the side of a big roasted leg of lamb.

“Secret Ingredient” Roast Vegetables (serves 4 as a side dish)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cherry cordial (undiluted)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 red onion, diced
1 large or 2 medium leeks, diced
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put all these ingredients into a roasting tin, mix until all the vegetables are well coated and combined, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
2. Stir the roast vegetables and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Remove, and serve!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Competition: Take a Break My Favourite Recipes Magazine


Hey guys. Well i've won another competition- just a little one, winning £25 in Tesco Vouchers, but i've found myself much more interested in the organisation that ran this competition since i won it. I joined their facebook page about a month ago, and in started learning about them. They are a new small magazine, published every 2 months, made up entirely of reader recipes, rather than professional chefs/ regular food writers. Not only do they run regular competitions on their facebook page to win vouchers/cookbooks, but every recipe you enter onto their facebook page gets a chance to be published (where you receive £25 if your published). Furthermore, if your recipe is published, every entry there is a facebook vote for everyones' favourite recipe, and the one that gets the most votes wins £500!

So my recipe for Black Bean Chilli won me £25, but I am hoping that one of my recipes will be published in January's issue, and that i'll have a chance of winning the £500 on top of that! Will keep you all updated on this one xx

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recipe: Autumn Vegetable Soup with Pesto


My mum loved this soup so much- she said this should be the next recipe competition winner! Lol! Maybe i'll enter it into one of New Covent Garden soup recipe competitions, i dunno. I always want more soups in winter, and this soup is packed full of all of the delicious root veg that reminds me of autumn. I think autumn is my favourite season- maybe because of Firework night on the 5th November, and my birthday on the 17th November. Not sure what i'm doing this year for my birthday- it's 21 so maybe i should do something big? Anyway, the pesto in this is optional of course, but i think it really adds the finishing touch to the dish.

Autumn Vegetable Soup with Pesto (makes 3 bowls) £1.25 per portion (1.35 with bread and butter)

30g butter
1 white onion, diced
1 large or 2 medium leeks, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 swede, peeled and diced
100ml red wine
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp readymade pesto
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Sautee the onion, leeks and garlic in the butter for 10 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the red wine and cook for a further 5 minutes, uncovered. Add all the other ingredients (except the pesto and olive oil) and cook on a high heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Blend half of the soup, and return to the pan. You may need to add more water/ vegetable stock at this stage if the soup has become too thick.
4. Season to taste and heat the soup up again until nice and hot. Mix together the extra virgin olive and pesto, and serve the soups with this “pesto oil” drizzled on top.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipe: Braised Leeks and Peas


This is a nice little side dish- tasty, sweet, moist, and full of vitamins and minerals. We had this on the side of chicken and mushroom pies and it worked really well. A really nice dish to show off the flavour of home grown leeks.

Braised Leeks and Peas (serves 4 as a side dish) 71p per portion

40g butter
30ml extra virgin olive oil
4 large leeks or 6 medium leeks
450g frozen peas
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
250ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 spring onions, finely sliced

1. Sautee the leeks in the olive oil and butter on a medium heat, for 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Cook a further 5 minutes, uncovered.
2. Add the peas, parsley and stock, and cook on a high heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste, garnish with the sliced spring onions, serve!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Recipe: Chilli Jam


Yay. Finally, I can give up preserving for a while. My room is full of jars and i have spent so much time and a fair amount of money this year making all these things. I've just got to make chilli jam until the frosts kill my chilli plants, and i'm all done. In this recipe, it's hard to judge how hot the recipe is going to be, because there are so many different sizes and varieties of chilli, all with different heat (or "scoville") ratings. The ones i've been picking from outside "Apache" chillies, are fairly hot, and very little. I would guess using 8 "normal" large red chillies that you get in the supermarket would do the trick though. This Jam is not that hot really, its just delicious and peppery and sweet- would be a good accompaniment to asian dishes (like spring rolls/tempura etc), and dad actually loves it in cheese sandwiches! He'll put chilli in anything, lol!

Chilli Jam (makes 5 normal jam jars) £1.50 per portion

8 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
15 little red chillies
10g crushed ginger
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tin chopped tomatoes
½ tsp chilli flakes
750g sugar
200ml red wine vinegar
50ml cider vinegar

1. Blend the peppers and chillies in batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Add all the ingredients to a large pan, bring to the boil, skim any scum that forms, and cook on a high temperature for 1 hour and 10 minutes, stirring often.
2. Pour into jars, allow to cool, and then seal!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recipe: Apple and Brazil Nut Chutney


Phew, at last- my final batch of apple based chutney of the year! At the moment i am just drowning in jars of preserves and i really honestly need to stop making things! The only thing i've got left to make is a couple of batches of chilli jam, and then I'm done. I've definitely stored up enough stuff this year to not even have to bother making anything next year actually, which is a good thing because i'm sure by February-time i'll be up to my ears in my degree work/revision. This chutney is a festive tasting, very sweet chutney. I would say interestingly that this chutney would go best with meats such as duck and pheasant, due to it's orange flavour and it's sweetness.

Apple and Brazil Nut Chutney makes 10 jars, 72p per serving

6 small white onions, thinly sliced
950g peeled diced apples
200g Brazil nuts, diced
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp allspice
Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
400ml cider vinegar
450g sugar

1. Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan, put on a high heat, and cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and allow to settle for 10 minutes, then transfer to jars. Allow to cool, and then seal with the lids.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recipe: Root Vegetable Savoury Crumble


I know, a "savoury" crumble does sound a little weird I guess, probably because when we think of crumble it conjures up images of custard, blackberries and ice cream! However strange this may seem, it's really worth a try- you end up with a delicious creamy root vegetable casserole, with a golden crunchy topping, which is just perfect served with some steamed greens and a nice veggie gravy!

Root Vegetable Savoury Crumble (serves 4) £1.90 per person with lots of green veg and veggie gravy

500ml vegetable stock
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large or 3 medium sized leeks, sliced
100g Philadelphia
20g wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
120g butter
120g flour
60g parmesan
30g flaked almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the celeriac, carrots, sweet potatoes and leeks in a large pan with hot vegetable stock, and cook on a high heat, with the lid on, for 15 minutes.
2. Put the butter, flour, parmesan and flaked almonds in a mixing bowl, and rub together with your fingers until you have made a fine crumble mixture.
3. Mix the Philadelphia and mustard into the cooked vegetables, season to taste, and pour into an ovenproof dish. Top with the crumble mix, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Put under a hot grill for a further two minutes until browned on top, and serve!