Saturday, 23 July 2016

Is it a moussaka? is it a cottage pie? it is tasty and filling

Currently at Kitchen Fairies HQ there are 4 people.  These people are all special! in that special! kind of way.  1 - me - lactose intolerant, allergic to pineapple (not that that worries me, pineapple is easy to avoid!), 1 - vegetarian, but will eat fish and loves cheese,  1 - omnivore, but by preference would avoid all vegetables, 1 - lactose intolerant omnivore, likes vegetables but hates celery, wary of too many spices - so, making meals which are inclusive can be a challenge.  Making a round of tea is a challenge, to be fair, as 4 people now requires 4 sorts of milk (soya, semi-skimmed, lactose free dairy, coffee mate creamer (don't ask))... Anyway, long story short - I thought about a moussaka, as we had aubergine and courgette in the fridge, but then we were too hungry to assemble it all and have it bake longer - so we ended up with a lentil stew with separate potatoes, and cheese for those who can handle it.  The meat eater just had to put up with it for once!  Actually - everybody went back for seconds, so it was a success.

Olive oil
Celery (shhh)
Mixed herbs
Brown lentils
Tinned tomatoes
Pinch of chili
Small pinch of cinnamon
Grated cheese

1.  Sautee chopped onions in olive oil, add finely chopped carrots and celery and crushed garlic.  Sprinkle in mixed herbs.
2.  Add brown lentils and a jug of stock, simmer.
3.  Slice and boil potatoes.
4.  Add chopped aubergine and courgette to the lentil mixture, sprinkle in chili and cinnamon, simmer more.
5.  After about 15 minutes add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, simmer more, season to taste.
6.  Drain potatoes and put into oven dish, slosh with olive oil and put in the oven to crisp up (for a bit  longer than we managed to get them nice and golden.
7.  Just before serving add spinach, stir it in to wilt.
8.  Serve, with or without grated cheese.  Scoff - return for seconds (thirds in one case).

Friday, 22 July 2016

Nectarine, raspberry and yogurt smoothie

The ingredients are the recipe - chop and zizz. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Tortilla with fennel, carrot and avocado salad

The organic box gave a lovely bunch of vegetables this week, and the biggest carnivore was away, so we figured on a meat free meal.  So, tortilla (or spanish omelette) with salad it was.

Olive oil
Sesame seeds
Avocado oil
Orange infuse olive oil
balsamic vinegar
eggs - lots of them

1.  Chop onions and fry until soft in olive oil.
2.  Cut potatoes into slices and boil.
3.  Finely chop fennel and carrots, sprinkle on sesame seeds.
4.  Beat together eggs, seasonned with salt and pepper, add a little water to loosen the mixture.
5.  Drain the potatoes and put into a large mixing bowl, add the onions, stir gently, then pour on the eggs.
6.  Tip the eggy potato mix into olive oil, in a large frying pan.  Cook over a a gentle heat for a few minutes  Then place in a medium oven, under a medium grill to cook the top.
7.  Finish the salads by drizzling orange infused oil and balsamic onto washed lettuce leaves.
8.  Slice and avocado and add to the fennel and carrot salad, squeeze on the juice of half a lime to prevent it from browning - drizzle with avocado oil.
9.  Serve, scoff.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Summer smoothie burst

I'm not very good at eating fruit.  Dead good at veg, but not so good at fruit - also, thinking of slightly more healthy eating I am going to have smoothies for lunch at work... fruit care of Garry the veg in Tod market, of course.

Today - nectarine, apricot and strawberries.  Wash, chop and zap.

Burgers and "chips"

Burgers and chips - a perennial favourite - made a bit more special by mixing caramelised onions into steak mince, topping with mushrooms and onion - and served with a simply dressed salad.

Olive oil
Steak mince
Cos lettuce
Balsamic vinegar.

1.  Saute finely chopped onion until it's caramelised (you could add a sprinkle of sugar to help).
2.  Mix onion into steak mince, form into burgers and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
3.  Cut potatoes into wedges, toss in olive oil, and roast in hottish oven for about 45 minutes.
4.  Chop onions, sautee in olive oil, add chopped mushrooms and cook through.
5.  Wash and shred lettuce, lightly dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
6.  Fry burgers in hot pan to taste.

This was delish - I am hungry writing it up now.

Steak, new potatoes, summer vegetable medley

Delicious!  You can't call it a recipe, but you can call it delicious.  All ingredients available from Todmorden market - The Mediterranean Pantry, Bracewell's and the greengrocers outside.  The broad beans were from our allotment, and super sweet.

The only "recipe"  part is the herb and polenta encrusted courgettes - like this crispy courgette batons, but with herbs as well.

New potaoes
Olive oil
Mixed herbs
Broad beans
Black pepper

Finished in 20 minutes, if you follow these steps...

1.  Wash and boil new potatoes.
2.  Chop and gently fry onions in olive oil, until soft.
3.  Pod beans, shred cabbage, pu over water to steam.
4.  Make courgettes - in batches - drain on kitchen paper and keep warm until the rest is ready.
5.  Fry steaks in HOT pan, leave to rest.
6.  Drain potatoes, serve things.
7.  Scoff.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Salmon (almost) tacos with potato wedges and coleslaw

I fancied something a bit spicy, but it's also a firmly established tradition to have fish and "chips" on a Friday - so a bit of a deconstructed salmon taco, with wedges, was invented.

Start with the potatoes, then gently chop stuff for the salads, make the dressing and fry the salmon ... easy peasy really.  Takes about an hour from walking in the door.

Olive oil
White cabbage
Spring onion
Fennel seeds
Cherry tomatoes
Natural yogurt
Chili sauce
Cajun seasoning

1.  Cut potatoes into wedges, toss in olive oil and microwave for 10-15 minutes.
2.  Roast wedges until they are crisped and browned - about 30 minutes.
3.  Shred cabbage, peel and grate carrot, finely chop spring onions - mix together with a good pinch of fennel seeds, the juice of a lime and a splosh of olive oil.  Chuck some finely sliced radish on top.
4.  Halve the avodacos, remove the stone, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, and slice into wedges.  Mix with halved/quartered cherry tomatoes, spritz wiwth a little lime juice, to prevent avocado from turning brown.
5.  Put nachos in the bottom of the oven, turn the potato wedges over.
6.  Mix natural yogurt and a splash of hot sauce (to taste), and juice of half a lime to make the dressing.
7.  Sprinkle cajun seasoning on the salmon, and pan fry in a hot pan - about 3 minutes each side.
8.  Shout troops from wherever they may be, serve, scoff.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Dhal and rice, with mushroom curry.

Open fridge, shrug, shut fridge ... hmmmm onions and mushrooms - open fridge again, and get mushrooms and greek yogurt out - ahah!  curry it is then.

Red lentils
Spring onions
Curry spice mix
Chili flakes
cumin seeds
fennel seeds
coriander seeds
curry leaves

1.  Cook rice - I use the adsorption method.  Rice in pot, add water to 1 inch over the surface, bring to boil, slam on the lid and turn right down.  Leave for 15 minutes.
2.  Dhal - boil lentils.  Make the tarka right at the end.
3.  For the curry sautee spring onions briefly in oil, add crushed garlic and a good pinch of spice mix, add sliced mushrooms.
4.  Tarka - to hot oil in a frying pan add a few curry spices and some curry leaves, and fry briefly.  Pour the hot crackling mixture straight onto the lentils.
5.  Finish the mushroom curry by taking it off the heat and stirring in a tablespoon of greek yogurt.

Serve with onion bahjis

Onion bhajis

Onion bhajis seem to strike fear into many people, and they would only consider getting them as part of a take away - but they are simples ...
Bicarbonate of soda
Gram flour
Oil, for frying.

1.  Peel the onions and cut into fine(ish) half moons.  Shake the pieces apart into a big bowl.
2.  Sprinkle on salt, shake around - leave for about half an hour.  This will draw the liquid, and somehow, some of the bitterness from the onions.
3.  Sprinkle, and mix in, a pinch of chili flakes and of cumin seeds.
4.  Add a teaspoon of bicarb and mix quickly, it will start reacting with the liquid drawn our of the onions.  Add a few spoons of gram flour and mix until evenly distributed.
5.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of cold water, and mix to form a batter around the onions.
6.  Fry spoonfuls in oil.  Don't overcrowd the pan - fry in batches - drain the bhajis on kitchen towel and keep them warm in the oven until they're all done.

Roast lamb dinner

Beautiful leg of lamb from Bracewell's in Todmorden market hall - really good garlic and olive oil from The Mediterranean Pantry - and this is an exceptional Sunday roast dinner.

Home grown broad beans were the star of the vegetable medley, matching the cavolo nero in vegetably gorgeousness.  I LOVE cavolo nero.

Olive oil
Broad beans
Cavolo nero
White cabbage

Cooking takes under 2 hours, start to finish, but much of that time it's quietly getting on with it by itself.

1.  Stab the lamb all over, inserted sliced garlic into each of the holes.  You can go really quite bonkers with the garlic, I keep the slices quite chunky, so that you can see them when you carve the lamb.
2.  Roast the lamb on quite a high heat for the first 20 minutes, then turn it down a bit, or move it to the lower shelf of the oven.
3.  Put olive oil in a roasting tray for the potatoes, put it in the oven to heat up.
4.  Peel the potatoes, and par boil.  Drain well, add a couple of tablespoons of dry polenta and toss about a bit - put into the hot oil, and roast for an hour or so.
5.  Now make a cup of tea and read the paper or do the crossword :)  you are not needed for 40 minutes.
6.  Peel and chop carrot, pod broad beans, slice cabbage.  Steam the lot together (carrots on the bottom, then beans, then cabbage)
7.  Have a look at the roast, it may need basting, or turning.  Drain pan juices to start the gravy.
8.  Make a simple gravy using meat juices and stock, or wine, thickened with cornflour (slaked in water).
9.  Bring the lamb out of the oven to rest for at least 10 minutes.
10.  Serve, scoff, smile.