Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recipe: Aloo Gobi

A traditional street food dish- aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry) can be found cooking on all the food stalls in Pakistan, as well as in our good ol' fashioned curry houses back in Blighty. The sweet cauliflower matched with the soft spiced potatoes make this recipe a delicious- and very cheap!- dinner, paired with some steamed basmati rice and peshwari naan bread. A big dollop of mango chutney on the side goes very nicely with it as well!

Aloo Gobi (serves 4)

500g potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp oil
60g butter
1 white onion, diced finely
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 green chilli, finely diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp mild chilli powder
½ a cauliflower, diced
350g passata
400ml water
1 tsp salt
Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
Sugar and black pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In another large pan, fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and cumin seeds In the oil and butter, for 10 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the potato and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add all the other ingredients, and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
3. Season to taste, and serve with extra fresh coriander!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recipe: Loaded Jacket Potato Skins

Hey guys, I hope you all had a lovely fun and foodie filled Christmas! Mine was good fun, with lots of yummy things, but a little bit stressful to be honest. I got the 23rd, 24th and 25th off work, but i had to do a big three course dinner for a client on the 23rd, and the other two days felt a bit...i dunno...like i was kept thinking about pressures and how much work annoys me/ Univeristy worries me. And i've had to start work at 9am this morning. Can't switch off- I'm terrible! Anyway, this is a nice recipe I cook fairly often- it's very easy to make, and good as a side dish, starter or main course. Whenever I bake jacket potatoes, I always bake about 6, because I know with any I have leftover the next day I can either stuff them with something nice (like with this recipe) or cut them into wedges and fry them for an easy brunch.

Loaded Jacket Potato Skins (serves 4 as a starter or side dish, serves 2 as a main)

2 baking potatoes
2 thin rashers smoked bacon, diced very finely
6 spring onions
20g butter
75g garlic and herb Boursin
Splash of milk
Salt and pepper
20g parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Bake the potatoes for 60-80 minutes or until soft on the inside and the skin is crispy. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool a little.
2. Meanwhile, fry the bacon and spring onions in a non-stick frying pan, for about 5 minutes- or until the spring onions are cooked and the bacon has started going crispy.
3. Whilst still warm, slice the jacket potatoes in half, and scoop out the flesh. Mix the flesh with the butter, boursin, spring onions, bacon and seasoning. Re-stuff into the potato skins, top with parmesan, and put under the grill for 5 minutes- or until golden!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Recipe: Italian Meatballs with Cirio Sauce

Hey guys. So I won a lovely little prize draw, from My favourite recipes (who i still write for) and Cirio- an Italian food company. I got sent a lovely tomato hamper- with these sorts of products in it: tinned tomatoes, tomato sauces, pizza sauces, tomato puree, and a few other bits and bobs.
Both me and the boyfriend have been lucky lately actually- Nicky won a hamper too! He won a hamper from New covent garden- a lovely fruit, veg and nut collection just in time for Christmas! These meatballs are scrummy- my tip for the perfect meatballs, is whiever "flavour" you make them with herbs and spices (e.g. spanish, spicy, scandinavian etc.) use half pork and half beef mince. The fat in the pork keeps the meatballs moist, and the beef gives them rich flavour. If you can't get cirio tomato, garlic and herb sauce- just use your favourite pasta sauce.

Italian Meatballs with Cirio Sauce (serves 4)

250g pork mince
250g lean beef mince
1 very finely chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Handful fresh basil, chopped
1 egg
50g breadcrumbs
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
¼ tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper (plenty of!)

4 tbsp olive oil
1 jar Cirio garlic and herb tomato sauce
400g spaghetti

1. Mix together all the meatball ingredients, shape into medium sized meatballs (makes about 30) and put on a plate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put a pan of salted water onto the boil for the spaghetti. In a large frying pan (you will probably have to do this in batches) fry the meatballs on a high heat, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Put the meatballs in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
3.Heat up the tomato sauce, drain the pasta, and serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti with whichever garnishes you might fancy (grated parmesan/cheese, freshly chopped herbs, extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, etc.).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Recipe: Chorizo and Broad Bean Risotto

Ugh, finally!! Finally submitted my lame lab report. I had to write a 2000 word lab report on how bacteria grows in egg mayonnaise- seriously!! And I actually already hated egg mayonaise, and don't understand how people can eat the stuff- now I can barely even look at it at work! Lol! This is a nice risotto recipe, bit of a strange combination, lots of strong flavours together, but it's gorgeaus and earthy and comforting. You can use soy beans or peas as well as or instead of the broad beans if you fancy it.

Chorizo, broad bean and wild mushroom risotto (serves 2)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 knob of butter
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
800ml vegetable stock
120g chorizo, diced
15g mixed dried wild mushrooms
800ml vegetable or chicken stock
Pinch of mixed herbs
120g frozen broad beans, soaked in boiling water and podded.
1 tbsp parmesan (plus extra for garnish if you want)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Sautee the shallot, celery and garlic in the olive oil and butter, in a large sautéing pan, for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the chorizo and fry for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the rice, stir to coat, and add the drained soaked mushrooms, mixed herbs and stock(adding the stock gradually, and stirring often). Cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the stock and is al dente. Around 5 minutes before the end of cooking, add the parmesan and the broad beans.
4. Meanwhile, put the chorizo in a roasting dish and roast in the oven for 8 minutes. Serve the risotto with the crispy chorizo garnished on top, and some extra grated parmesan if desired.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Recipe: Onion, Mushroom and Brie Tart

Hey guys, sorry about the lack of posting lately- but I must admit there is most likely going to be fewer posts than normal, until June next year probably- because of my degree. Got a lab report due in a week from now, which is absolutely horrifyingly boring and scary. Any way, this is a lovely quick dinner i made for myself last week- I had some brie to use up from when I went to a cheese fair. The brie was lovely actually- it's made in tipperary, soft and a great flavour, and some lovely nice old man sold it to me- Nick told me i'm such a sucker for an irish accent!!

Onion, Mushroom and Brie Tart (serves 4)

Knob of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ tsp oregano
6 cherry tomatoes
8 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
50ml tomato juice
1 tsp sundried tomato paste
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
200g brie, sliced thinly
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
Egg (for brushing- optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes on a low heat, or until caramelised. Add all the other ingredients (except pastry, brie and egg) and cook for a further 5 minutes.
2. Roll out the pastry onto a baking try lined with greaseproof paper. Mark a small border around the edge of the pastry with a knife, and then prick the middle with a fork to stop this part from rising. Spread with the onion/mushroom mixture, and top evenly with slices of brie.
3. Brush the edges of the tart with beaten egg or milk, and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes- or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Serve, with a healthy green salad.