Tuesday, 31 March 2009
This is not something that I have cooked, but it something I am now addicted to! Steamed Buns! There is nice little stall just as you go out of China Town in London which sells Steamed Buns nicely warmed and ready to eat, in a variety of flavours. They also sell croquettes and rice in banana leaves which I will have to try!
This one was a Chive Steamed Bun, which I had never tried before so I was surprised by the egg inside, but it was delicious. I also bought a Pork one at the same time and that was really tasty too. I have found a recipe on Just Hungry for them that I want to try, but I think I'll make plain ones to eat with the Chinese Lentil Dish I made a little while ago.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Wednesday's Bento was leftover rice salad from Tuesday evening, with a green chick of sweet chilli sauce. The top layer held three fish balls, 2 cherry tomatoes, a cucumber slice and a mini cadbury's caramel.
Thursday's Bento held a cheese and onion quiche, with salad, and then a side car of chicken samosa, blue strawberry of raita, a babybel and a mini flake.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
This is what I'm entering into Presto Pasta Nights this week, back with Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, the founder! Check out the round up for lots of delicious pasta and noodle dishes.
Creamy Ham and Artichoke Pasta (adapted from Good Housekeeping 30 Minute Suppers)
500ml carton creme fraiche
280g jar roasted artichoke hearts, drained and halved
80g pack ham, torn into strips
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
40g parmesan cheese, grated
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to packet instructions.
Drain well, reserving some of the cooking water, the put the pasta back in the pan.
Add the creme fraiche, artichoke hearts, ham and chopped sage and stir everything together, thinning with a ladleful of cooking water. Season well with salt and pepper.
Spoon the pasta into bowls, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the pasta and garnish with sage leaves.
Friday, 27 March 2009
I also found out on Tuesday that I have been accepted to do a Masters in Library and Information Studies at UCL! This is fantastic news as it means I can finally become a qualified Librarian, and although it will take two years and be really hard work, I can't wait to start!
Monday's dinner was Quorn and pesto fillet with roast cherry tomatoes, lemon spaghetti and steamed veg. I had never tried Quorn before, but was always curious as to what it tasted like, so I bought some pesto filled fillets which were on offer in Sainsbury's to try. The packet suggested roasting some tomatoes with it and this worked a treat and provided some liquid to what I think would otherwise have been a very dry meal. This I teamed with this Lemon Linguine recipe that I had had bookmarked for quite a while. I used spaghetti instead of Linguine as this is what I had in the cupboard, it was a huge success and both parts of the meal went really well together, and actually the Quorn wasn't too bad, tasted like chicken really!
On Sunday I tried another recipe that I had bookmarked, this time it was French Baguette Casserole (with Egg, Spinach, Mushroom, Onion and Gruyere). I left this one in the oven a little too long hence the too brown colour! But it was really tasty and I have frozen some into portions for lunches in the next few weeks.
Tuesday was the first and only night of proper cooking this week. I went for Seared Tuna with Asparagus and a Hot Rice Salad. I had been to a private view of an exhibition near Kings Cross earlier in the evening, which was bizarre and very dark. You couldn't really talk to people as the room was too dark to see people's faces! The installation itself was also a bit strange.
This was slightly tipsily made which may explain the slightly empty plate and that there was no effort made to wipe the plate before photographing it! This is one of those dishes that I made a lot a little while ago but have not had recently, and it was still delicious. I also had lots of leftovers to make a bento for the next day.
Seared Tuna with Asparagus and a Hot Rice Salad
1 tuna steak
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the hot rice salad
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 asparagus spears
½ pepper, deseeded
140g/5oz rice, cooked
For the dressing
handful of basil, coriander, parsley and chives, roughly chopped
½ lemon, juice only
pinch of curry powder
Drizzle oil over the asparagus and griddle for three to four minutes until tender.
Griddle the pepper until the skin blisters and goes black.
Remove the skin and slice the pepper.
Make the dressing for the salad by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
Add the rice, peppers and asparagus and stir through.
Drizzle the tuna with oil and season.
Sear in a hot pan for one minute either side, or a little longer if the tuna is thick.
Serve the tuna on top of the rice.
Monday, 23 March 2009
One of the highlights of last week was my Neice's christening in Bath Abbey. I was very honoured to be asked to do a reading, as well as very nervous. Luckily it was only in front of 40 people most of whom I had met before, rather than a whole church congregation. Afterwards we had a meal at the Guildhall There was a choice of main courses including a Beef Stew, Chicken, and a Vegetarian option. I went for the Chicken, which was Chicken and Bacon in a Dijon Cream Sauce with New Potatoes, Broccoli, Carrots and Courgettes. It was really well done and amazing that they could serve 40 people with something so delicious.
I did however fail to make my cook book recipe! I looked in the freezer and there wasn't enough room to store the leftovers, so I ate a ready made Beef Steak Pie from Moorhouse Farm instead to clear out a bit of room. This weeks cook book recipe is Artichoke and Ham Pasta from Good Housekeeping's 30 Minute Meals. I have been meaning to make this one for a while and I finally have some artichokes in stock.
Lunch: Bread and Cheese etc
Dinner: Out, my sister cooked for me (Lamb Curry, Rice and Naan. Scrummy!)
Lunch: French Baguette Casserole, Salad
Dinner: Quorn and Pesto Fillet with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Spaghetti, Salad
Lunch: Salad with Kielbasa and Cheese, Croutons etc
Dinner: Tuna Steak with a Hot Rice Salad (Make extra)
Lunch: Fish Balls and Cold Rice Salad (Bento)
Dinner: Ham and Artichoke Pasta, Salad (Good Housekeeping Meals in 30 Minutes)
Lunch: Cheese and Onion Quiche, Salad
Dinner: Smokey Shrimp and Polenta Cakes, Veggies
Lunch: Egg Salad Bagel
Dinner: Veal Piccata, Sauteed Potatoes, Veggies
Dinner: Celeriac and Smoked Salmon Gratin
Sunday, 22 March 2009
On Friday afternoon I went to the opticians to have my eyes tested again, which took forever, and my eye sight has changed, which means new glasses. So that was £250! I know that these are essential items, I can't see without them, but really £250!! At least I do have some nice new red frames.
Earlier in the week, whilst moving the table in my bedsit, I knocked all my white plates and bowls that I use for this blog off the table, and smashed all but two of them. I was so cross. That warranted a trip to Marks and Spencer to replace them, they are only about £2-3 each so it wasn't too bad and they had a 3 for 2 offer on, even cheaper! I also found some gorgeous retro red coffee cups for £1 each so I bought 4 of them.
I arrived home with a much lighter purse and wanting something yummy and comforting for dinner. I had planned to make this sea bass dish a couple of weeks ago but didn't get around to it, so I tried again this week.
It was very simple to make, but the flavours were delicious. It also came out slightly spicy, and I still can't figure out why, other than that the garlic I used had been near some chilli. The original recipe called for pak choi, but I didn't have any, so I just used some sugar snap peas and broccoli. I served this with jasmine rice which I boiled in some vegetable stock, something I've never tried before, which definitely added some flavour to it.
Steamed Sea Bass (adapted from Good Food Aug 2006)
small piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
splash of sherry or saki
2 x 140g fillets sea bass
veg such as pak choi, sugar snap peas, spinach or broccoli
In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients, except the fish and the veg, together to make a soy mix. Line one tier of a two-tiered bamboo steamer loosely with foil. Lay the fish, skin side up, on the foil and spoon over the soy mix. Place the fish over simmering water and throw the veg into the second tier and cover it with a lid. Alternatively, add the veg to the fish layer after 2 mins of cooking - the closer the tier is to the steam, the hotter it is.
Leave everything to steam for 6-8 mins until the veg has wilted and the fish is cooked. Divide the greens between two plates, then carefully lift out the fish. Lift the foil up and drizzle the tasty juices back over the fish.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
The first one is partly left over Chinese from Friday night; Pork Balls with Stir Fried Noodles and Veggies, and sweet chilli sauce in the green chick pot. The other layer was some ardennes pate, with a cherry tomato and some crackers underneath, and an inarizushi. I forgot to bring any soy sauce for the inarizushi, but had some left over sweet chilli sauce from the pork balls which was I used to add some flavour.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
I am also adding this to Presto Pasta Nights, this week hosted by Aquadaze of Served with Love. Check out all of the delicious pasta dishes at the Presto Pasta Nights website
Dijon Pasta Salad (adapted from Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson)
(Makes 8-10 Servings)
1 pound tricoloured fusilli or rotini pasta
2/3 cup vegetable/sunflower oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2/3 cup mayonnaise
6 rashers of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 cucumber chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Cook the pasta in boiling water until done, usually 11-13 mins. Drain. Run cold water over the pasta until it is completely cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard and mayonnaise.
Add pasta and all other ingredients to dressing, mix carefully, and taste for seasoning. Chill thoroughly before serving.
Monday, 16 March 2009
This weeks Menu Plan Monday is mostly things out of the freezer, and there is not a lot of actual cooking involved! I am also trying to get back into making bento but none of my pretty boxes are microwave safe so I'm using lots of the lock & lock boxes instead. This weeks cook book recipe is Black Bean Curry from my Slimming World Curry book. Its also the only vegetarian meal this week.
Out at my Niece's Christening
Bread and Cheese
Noodles and Veg, Pork Balls (Bento)
Smoked Haddock Fishcake, Salad
Salad with Cheese, Ham etc
Out for dinner
Frankfurter, Potato Salad (Bento)
Sausage and Mash with onion gravy, Veggies
Baked Cabbage and Fish Risotto, Salad
Chicken en Croute, Salad
Pate and Lettuce Sandwich
Steamed Sea Bass with Pak Choi
Bread and Cheese
Black Eye Bean Curry (SW), Naan Bread
Things to make and freeze:
Gorgonzola, Leek and Tortellini Bake
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Yesterday I went for a couscous salad, really simple and quick to prepare. I used half a sachet of couscous and poured the required amount of boiling water over it, and then left it for 5 mins. The night before I had sauteed some courgette until it looked soft and cooked. When the couscous had adsorbed all the liquid, I added some butter and fluffed it with a fork. Then I added the cooked courgette, some halved cherry tomatoes, some halved olives and some feta cut into cubes, and voila, a lovely filled salad.
Dinner last night was Baked Sausage Parcels. I had lots of ends of vegetables left over from other recipes and this is a perfect dish to use them up in. This time it was red pepper and courgette but I have previously used mushrooms and cabbage which worked just as well. I also used merguez sausages as it adds a nice spicy element to the dish. I served the parcel on top of a potato and carrot rosti, but you could add potatoes to the pepper mix, after boiling them for about 10 mins.
Friday, 13 March 2009
I'm going to add this to Presto Pasta Nights, next week hosted by Pam of Sidewalk Shoes. Do check out the round up on Friday, full of delicious dishes.
Mushroom Lasagne with Hollandaise Sauce (from Leiths Vegetarian Bible)
450g assorted mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
8 sheets of plain or spinach lasagne
Cut Mushrooms into even sized pieces about the size of a walnut. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add butter and when foaming add the mushrooms and fry briskly until tender. Stir in the garlic and fry for a further 1 min. Add the parsley, and season with salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add lasagne sheets and cook for 5-10mins until al dente.
Meanwhile, you can make the hollandaise if you want to, I just used a jar.
Preheat the grill. Drain the lasagne sheets thoroughly and arrange them slightly crumpled in a single layer in a warmed oven proof dish.Put spoonfuls of the mushrooms mixture on top of each sheet of lasagne and top with a spoonful of hollandaise sauce.
Flash under the grill to brown the top of the hollandaise.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
I wanted to do something simple with the shark, so that the flavour of the fish still came through, and I found this recipe whilst browsing through the Internet, which really fitted the bill. I teamed it with some noodles and stir fried veg, but I have to admit that I cheated with the sauce for the noodles as it was just a packet of Chow Mein Noodle Sauce! The flavour combination worked really well though.
Marinated Shark Steak
4 shark steaks
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice or wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Minced green onions and parsley
Place the Shark Steaks into a bowl.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, parsley, garlic and black pepper. Pour over fish. Marinate for 30 minutes, turning once.
Remove fish, reserving marinade. Put under a hot grill, 4 to 5 inches from heat, about 4 minutes per side. Brush with marinade before turning.
Serve with minced green onions and parsley sprinkled on top
Monday, 9 March 2009
Menu Plan Monday this week is again really simple. I am going to my Parents house for a night this week for a doctors appointment, so I will get some good old home cooking on Tuesday, which I am really looking forward to. This weeks cookbook recipe is Dijon Pasta Salad with Bacon from Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson. I have been reading lots of culinary mysteries recently and many of them have recipes at the end of chapters, so I'm going to try one out! I will some day write a comprehensive list of food in fiction. I have found many lists on the topic but they all seem to have different books on them!
Lunch: Helping friends move (Ham Sandwiches, Mummy Highfield's Lemon Curd Cake, and Sparkling Wine, Yum!)
Dinner: Pork Paprikash with Pasta, Salad
Lunch: Cheese, Ham and Orzo Casserole, Salad
Dinner: Chinese Lentil and Rice
Lunch: Salad with Cheese etc
Dinner: Out for Lebanese with a friend
Lunch: Mushroom Lasagne, Salad
Dinner: Ham and Mustard Sandwich
Lunch: Courgette, Olive and Feta Couscous Salad
Dinner: Merguez sausages in a bag with peppers and potatoes
Lunch: Dijon Pasta Salad with Bacon (Dying For Chocolate)
Dinner: Steamed Sea Bass with Bok Choi
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Whilst cabbage risotto doesn't sound like the most exciting or flavoursome dish, it was actually really tasty. I bought some Basa fillets from Sainsbury's a couple of weeks ago as they were on offer and I was curious. The recipe originally called for smoked haddock, but said you could use any white fish, so in went the basa, and it worked really well! I served it with a tasty green bean and tomato salad.
Baked Fish and Cabbage Risotto (adapted from Good Food)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
300g risotto rice
1l fish or vegetable stock
280g white cabbage, thickly sliced
400g skinless white fish, smoked haddock etc
3 tbsp crème fraîche
50g Parmesan, freshly grated
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat oil in a 2-litre casserole dish, then soften the onion over a medium heat for about 5 mins. Tip in the rice and cook for 2 mins, stirring well. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then add the cabbage. Cover and bake for 20 mins.
Remove the pan from the oven and give the rice a stir. Place the fish on top of the rice, replace the lid, then bake for 5 mins.
Flake the fish into large chunks and stir into the rice with the crème fraîche and half the parmesan. Season with freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan to serve.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
The salmon was really simple, I just put the fillet in a square of greaseproof paper and tin foil, minced a clove of garlic and sprinkled it over the top of the salmon, ground some salt and pepper over it and a squeeze of lemon juice and then baked it for 20mins at 200C. It was slightly over cooked for me though, so I think 15mins in the oven would have been better, but it still tasted delicious. The vegetables were a mix of steamed green beans and cabbage, with some vinaigrette over the top.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
This is one of my yummy lunches from last week. Smoked Haddock and Poached Egg Salad with sprouting beans and pulses.
Lunch: Chicken Orzo and Ginger Soup
Dinner: Out with my sister
Lunch: Left over Chinese from Friday
Dinner: Chicken Curry, Bombay Potatoes, Naan Bread
Lunch: Salad with Olives and Feta etc
Dinner: Smoked Salmon Omelette/ Fritatta, Salad (Good Food 101 Easy Suppers)
Dinner: Out with friends
Lunch: Tartiflette, Salad
Dinner: Chicken en Croute, Veggies
Lunch: Prawn Cocktail, Salad
Dinner: Marinated Swordfish Steak, Sauteed Potatoes, Salad
Dinner: Roast Pigeon, Roast Potatoes and Veggies