Wednesday, 30 September 2009
This dish is one that I haven't eaten in a little while, I never seemed to have all the ingredients in at once. It is a really simple and quick pasta dish to make and really flavourful. I did however have a little accident with it, I made the dish fine and then whilst I was eating I managed to tip an entire glass of red wine into my plate. I poured most of it out but it still tasted slightly weird!
I am sending this into Presto Pasta Nights, this week back being hosted by Ruth.
Spaghetti with Chicken, Spinach, Blue Cheese and Beans
enough pasta for two
1 chicken breast
1 tin of canellini beans
couple of handfuls of spinach
small piece of Stilton, crumbled
tiny bit of double cream
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Cut the chicken breast into cubes. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat, add the chicken and fry until golden brown.
Add the spinach and the beans and stir until the spinach has wilted and the beans are heated through.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan, and add the blue cheese and a tiny bit of the cream, heat on a low heat until the cheese melts a bit. Serve.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
I added salsa, sour cream and grated cheese on top, which I'm pretty sure is not how its normally made, but it was really tasty and cured my Mexican craving, all be it briefly!
Monday, 28 September 2009
Last Sunday I made these gorgeous little cheese and spinach mini fritattas from a recipe on joeandbetsy.com and had a couple for breakfast. They were fantastically easy to make and really tasty. I have frozen the rest of them to enjoy at a later date and they will go really well in bento.
Lunch: Spanish Rice, Salad
Lunch: Japanese Wasabi Potato Salad, Chicken Tenders, Bean sprouts
Lunch: Sorrel Omelette, Salad
Lunch: Macaroni Cheese, Salad
Lunch: Quiche, Salad
Lunch: Greek Pasta Salad
Friday, 25 September 2009
Kedgeree is one of those dishes that reminds of childhood and my mum's cooking. It was one of the meals that we had regularly, that I absolutely love, but that I don't have all that often anymore. I'm not very good with chilli, all I taste is the heat, but this only has curry powder in it, and tastes spicy but without too much heat.
I made this one quite a while ago, and I added peas as well, which added a different texture to the dish. It worked really well.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Whilst doing the ironing, I watched Jamie's American Road Trip on 4OD. I haven't watched any of the series on TV, so I watched the first four today. It might just be because I watched them all together, but his incessant use of the word "brother" really started to grate and it seemed like he's used the trip as a really good excuse to go out, get drunk and do a little cooking. That said, I actually really enjoyed watching them, they are fun to watch, but with a serious element to each of them, and some of the food he tastes and makes looks fantastic. I am fascinated with the US , so its a really good insight into variety of the cultures and food available, which you don't get to see as a tourist. I'm hoping to return to the States for a week or so next year.
I also love trying out new recipes, this is inspired by the mustard pork chops recipe in Nigella Express, with a few adaptations of my own, as I didn't have all of the ingredients. It was really tasty, although I left the cream sauce on the hob a little too long, waiting for the gnocchi to cook, so it was a bit thicker than I would have liked.
Mustard Pork Loin Steaks (adapted from Nigella Express)
2 pork loin steaks
2 tsp oil
Glug of calvados
1 tbsp grainy mustard
75 ml double cream
Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan and cook the steaks over a moderately high heat for about 5 mins a side. Remove to a warmed plate.
Pour the calvados into the pan, still over the heat, to deglaze the pan. Let it bubble away for a minute or so, then add the mustard and stir in the cream.
Let the sauce continue cooking for a few mins before pouring over each plated chop.
Monday, 21 September 2009
This week's Menu Plan Monday is a saving money week, as I get paid on Friday and can't buy any more groceries until then. I have all of the ingredients either in the fridge, freezer, or the cupboard. I am particularly looking forward to the Coriander Potatoes with Chickpeas and Tomatoes, from my Lebanese Cook Book, and I'm adding an egg on top to give it some more protein. I am also still battling with portion sizes, but I am definitely getting better at stopping when I'm full. I am also looking forward to a trip to Borough Market next Saturday as well, as I want to buy some Poussin for one person roasts and a rabbit to make stew from for the winter.
Lunch: Prawn Cocktail with Salad
Dinner: Out at Wagamama
Lunch: Potato Gratin, Salad
Lunch: Somen Noodles with Fish Pasta sauce, Gyoza, Runner Beans with Oyster Sauce, Hard boiled egg (Bento)
Dinner: Spaghetti with Spinach, Blue Cheese, Chicken and Canellini Beans
Dinner: Coriander Potatoes with Chickpeas and Tomatoes (Lebanese Cookbook), with an Egg
Lunch: Leftover Bean Stew with Bacon
Dinner: Yakisoba Noodles (leaflet from Japan Centre)
Lunch: Greek Pasta Salad
Dinner: Baked Sausage Parcels
Dinner: Daring Cooks
Friday, 18 September 2009
I served the curry with egg fried rice and it was delicious.
2 onions, chopped finely
Any other veg you want, carrots, celery, red or green pepper etc
Thursday, 17 September 2009
In the mean time, last week I made an awesome noodle soup. I love noodle soup, it is one of my favourite comfort foods, along with many other foods of the oriental persuasion. I spent yesterday morning in China Town again, hanging around waiting for the steamed bun stall to open up just so that I could have my fix. Seriously those things are so good.
Anyway back to noodle soup. There is nothing better than coming home after a ten and half hour day at work and making a lovely bowl of noodle soup, and this one was no exception. It was so tasty and warming, and although I'm usually really funny about eating fish skin, it didn't seem so bad in this, and it was made all in about 20 minutes. What could be better?
Marinated Sea Bass with Green Vegetables and Ramen Noodles (from Wagamama's Ways with Noodles)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp cornflour
1 ltr chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime
handful of french beans, trimmed
2 tbsp frozen peas, defrosted
handful of spinach
handful of coriander leaves
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
I am usually absolutely rubbish at time management, and it was really nice to be able to practice this with all the different parts to this recipe, which could be made in their own time and let on the stove to keep warm. I made it just for myself so I halved all of the recipes, and ended up with a really thick dosa pancake, but I still have loads of leftovers of the curry filling and sauce. I served it with rice with cloves, cardamom and star anise, and some cucumber. It was delicious, so thank you to Debyi and Daring Cooks.
Coconut Curry Sauce
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp ground cumin
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced
1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2. Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3. Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4. Let it simmer for half an hour.
Curried Garbanzo Filling
5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 tbsp (16gm) cumin, ground
1 tbsp (8gm) oregano
1 tbsp (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 tbsp (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
2. Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.
Monday, 14 September 2009
I then went to the Japan Centre and bought two new Bento boxes and some noodles. They are moving on October 17th to a new home just around the corner on Regent Street, which will have even more Japanese food. I finished off the trip with a stop at John Lewis' Cookware department in Oxford Street and bought a house warming gift for a friend. It was such a nice way to start the day before getting on with all the boring jobs I had to do at home! I ended the day with Japanese beef curry and I watched Amelie, which I love.
This weeks Menu Plan Monday is lots of recipes I have tried before, mainly for ease and speed as I have a lot to get done this week. I am really looking forward to the Mustard Pork Chops with Gnocchi on Saturday, I am completely in the mood for some more comforting dishes now the weather has got colder.
Lunch: BBQ Pork Bun
Dinner: Japanese Beef Curry, Egg Fried Rice
Lunch: Fiorentina Pasta Bake, Salad
Dinner: Confit de Canard with Potatoes, Veg
Lunch: Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
Dinner: Out at a friend's new flat
Lunch: Bratwurst Sandwich
Dinner: Devilled Mackerel with Spinach and Potatoes
Lunch: Stir fry veg and noodles, Battered Prawns, Sweet Chilli Dip (Bento)
Dinner: Breaded Plaice, Veg
Lunch: Pesto Potato Salad, Mini Quiche, Salad (Bento)
Dinner: Macaroni Cheese, Salad
Lunch: Somen Noodles with Fish Pasta Sauce, Gyoza, Green beans with Soy Sauce (Bento)
Dinner: Mustard Pork Chops with Gnocchi (Nigella Express)
Sunday, 13 September 2009
The main dishes were mushroom risotto and leek and blue cheese quiche, which were absolutely delicious, and then I made a couple of salads and some bread to go with it. The food in the picture is basically my handiwork for the day! I laid out the smoked salmon and helped with the green salad.
I made a multi bean and olive salad, it was supposed to be three bean but I ended up with loads of three bean salad mixes and mixed them altogether, using a recipe from epicurious. I also used olives stuffed with garlic instead of pimento as that's what I had in the cupboard and the flavours went really well together.
I also made a cherry tomato, mozzarella and basil salad with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. This was a real hit and there was only a tiny bit left at the end!
My last contribution was a loaf of courgette and cheddar picnic bread. This is made more like a cake than a bread, as there is no kneading or rising involved, but was really easy to make and came out lovely and moist. It went really well with a little bit of butter and a slice of smoked salmon. It also got rid of one more of my overgrown courgettes! I have just bought a book called What will I do with all those courgettes? by Elaine Borish,who my parents met on their recent holiday to Seattle, so hopefully that will give me some more ideas.
Courgette and Cheese Picnic Bread (adapted from Leith Baking Bible)
Makes 1 large loaf
225g/ 8oz self raising flour
pinch cayenne pepper
115g/4oz cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
85g/3oz butter melted and cooled
55ml 2fl oz milk
225g / 8oz courgettes grated
Heat the oven to 180c , oil a 2lb loaf tin and line the base.
Sift the flour with the salt and cayenne into a large bowl. Stir in cheese. Make a well in centre add eggs butter and milk.
Mix in the courgettes to make a thick mixture. spoon into a loaf tin and spread flat. Bake for 45/50 mins or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Unfortunately they went mouldy really quickly after only 3-4 days, even though I kept them in an airtight container. I wonder if it was the moisture from the courgettes that made them go mouldy so quickly.
Chocolate Courgette Muffins
10 oz self raising flour
3 oz sugar
2 medium eggs
8 fl oz milk
4 oz butter, melted
3tbsp good cocoa
1 medium or two small courgettes, grated
Sift flour and cocoa into large bowl, add sugar and stir well. Add grated courgettes. Beat eggs with milk and melted butter, pour on to dry ingredients and mix lightly. Keep turning and folding the mixture until everything is incorporated.
Spoon into muffin cases and bake in a hot oven for 25 - 30 minutes until well-risen and firm to the touch. Cool on wire rack.
Monday, 7 September 2009
I made a soy sauce and wasabi sauce to go with them, and we also had prawn crackers and sweet chilli dip and I have to say they were really good. Much much better than the cheesecake I made for pudding which was just plain, and lacked any real flavour other than cream cheese. I will definitely have to try that one again, and she will definitely have to make me some sushi again ;)
I am definitely getting creative with my courgettes, not only did I make the courgette cake last week, but I also made courgette and chocolate muffins and courgette and feta mini quiches over the weekend. I will also be making courgette and cheddar picnic bread this week for a family party we are having on Saturday. It has been arranged by one of my relatives and is at her house but I have been asked to make some salads and extra things for the party as there will be 14 of us!
This weeks Menu Plan Monday is full of quick and easy to make food as I have a busy week ahead, with two theatre trips and hopefully I am going to see Julie and Julia on Friday. I am so excited! After listening to everyone in the States talking about it, or rather avoiding them talking about it, for a month, it finally gets released in the UK, so I can find out if it really lives up to the hype!
Lunch: Courgette and Feta Quiche, Salad
Dinner: Fillet Steak, Horseradish Mash, Veg
Lunch: Quiche, Salad
Dinner: Sea Bass with Green Veg and Ramen Noodles (Wagamama Ways with Noodles)
Lunch: Wild Rice, Feta, Courgette and Olive Salad
Dinner: Spaghetti Carbonara, Garlic Bread
Lunch: Twice Baked Jacket Potato, Salad
Lunch: Kedgeree, Salad
Dinner: Duck in a Tin, Veg
Lunch: Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
Dinner: OUT? Tortelloni with a tomato sauce
Saturday, 5 September 2009
It was really moist and had a beautiful texture, you couldn't really see or taste the courgette in the cake, probably because they were yellow courgette and I was thrilled at how well it turned out. I took it to Bath with me and we ate it as my sister's birthday cake. Even my 14 month old niece loved it! The cream cheese frosting turned out quite yellow and I'm, not sure why but my sister loved the frosting!
250g butter, broken up into pieces (at room temperature)
250g (1 cup) caster sugar or brown sugar
350g (3 cups) self raising flour
juice and zest of 1 an orange
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
350g (3 cups) courgette, grated
50g (1/2 cup) walnuts, roughly chopped
80g (1/2 cup) sultanas
Cream Cheese Icing
125g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
300g icing sugar
Courgette Cake: Grease and line a 25cm deep cake tin with baking paper. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time while mixing until the eggs are well incorporated.
Sieve the flour with the cinnamon and mixed spice. Fold in a 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/2 of the orange juice and zest, repeat this using the remaining flour and orange, so that all the ingredients are well combined. Stir in the courgette, walnuts and sultanas and incorporate well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place on the centre shelf of the preheated oven. Leave the cake to cook for around 1 hour or until the cake is firm to touch (if preparing 2x20cm cake tins, reduce the cooking time to 30-40 minutes). Turn the cake out on a rack and allow to cool.
Orange Cream Cheese Icing: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until you have a smooth creamy icing. Spread over the cooled cake. If you have prepared 2x20cm cakes, spread some lemon curd over the top of the one and sandwich the two cakes together and then cover the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting.