Thursday, 31 December 2009
Japanese Salmon and Avocado Rice (adapted from Good Food Magazine August 2009)
300g sushi rice
350g smoked salmon, sliced
2 small, ripe avocados , sliced
juice 1 lemon
4 tsp light soy sauce
4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 spring onions , thinly sliced
Cook the rice in a rice cooker or follow these instructions if you don't have a rice cooker: Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Drain and put in a large pan with 400ml water. Bring to the boil, turn the heat to low, cover, then cook for 10-12 mins until the rice is almost cooked. Remove from the heat, then leave, covered, for another 10 mins.
Thinly slice the salmon and arrange on a plate with the sliced avocado. Drizzle over the lemon juice and soy, making sure everything is evenly covered. Leave in the fridge to marinate for 10 mins.
Carefully tip the juices from the salmon into the rice, then stir in with a little salt. Divide the rice between 4 bowls. Scatter the sesame seeds and spring onions over the salmon and avocado, then serve with the rice.
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
This is how it came out, I added a handful of mange tout to the dish, to add some crunch. It was delicious and worked perfectly as a dish, you could probably use pretty much any pasta sauce with this and it would work. It left me feeling full but not with the over full feeling I often get with pasta.
Spaghetti Squash as Pasta with Prawns, Scallops and Cream Sauce
1 small spaghetti squash
handful of raw prawns, deshelled
1 tsp old bay seasoning
handful of mange tout
2 tbsp creme fraiche
couple of squeezes of lemon juice
Put the prawns and scallops in a Ziploc bag with the old bay seasoning and shake so that the fish is coated. Leave to marinate for up to 24hrs.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Prick holes in the spaghetti squash with a fork and bake the squash in the oven for about 40-50 mins, until it feels soft.
About 10 mins before the spaghetti squash is ready heat a frying pan with a little oil. Saute the prawns and scallops for about 5 mins, until the scallops are cooked and the prawns have turned pink. Add in the mange tout about 2 mins into cooking the scallops and prawns.
Add a couple of squeezes of lemon juice to the pan and the creme fraiche. Stir until combined and the creme friache has heated through.
Take the seeds out of the spaghetti squash when it has cooked and scrape out the insides into a pasta bowl. Cover with the fish and creme fraiche mixture, and grate some parmesan over the top.
Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Our starter for Christmas Day was a Shellfish Selection from Waitrose. We had a last minute dash round Waitrose on Christmas Eve whilst waiting for my sister to have her hair cut. We went in for two items and came out with a basket full! The Shellfish Selection contained smoked salmon, prawns, crab and prawn mousse. It was really tasty.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
This is not a very Christmassy dish though but it was delicious. I had one piece of hot lightly smoked salmon and it went perfectly with the mustard and dill sauce. I think I might use less sauce next time though as it overpowered the dish slightly.
Hot-Smoked Salmon Pasta (adapted from Leiths Simple Cookery Bible)
450g hot smoked salmon cut into thick slices
4 tbsp creme fraiche
8 tbsp ready made mustard and dill sauce
ground black pepper
handful of frozen peas
lemon juice and 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the salmon slices onto a baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 mins until warmed through or if you have the uncooked kind like I did, cook for 25 mins in the oven until cooked.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, add the frozen peas for the last 3-4 mins of cooking time.
Drain the pasta and peas well. Return to the pan and stir through the creme fraiche, mustard and dill sauce and black pepper.
Divide between warmed bowls and place the salmon slices on top. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle over the dill. Serve.
Monday, 21 December 2009
On Thursday evening I went out for dinner with Hope and her partner D, to a wine bar in the Montparnasse area of Paris. Both Hope and I had the Andouille (I think) Sausage casserole which had lots of lovely green veg in it. It was called something funny on the menu but I can't remember what now! It was delicious.
D had duck breast on pureed potatoes, which looked really good too.
We did have pudding, but I forgot to take pictures of it! All in all I had a really lovely evening and it was lovely to meet both Hope and D.
I didn't even post last weeks menu plan! I went out for dinner 3 times last week, and the other two evenings were late nights, so I didn't do anything special! We had our work's Christmas dinner, which went ok and I went to the S&M cafe (Sausage and Mash), and had sausage and mash with a friend. Then on Friday I went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, with another friend and we had mulled wine and bratwurst sausages! It was freezing though and the market wasn't very good.
This weeks Menu Plan Monday is very short as, in case you didn't know, its Christmas on Friday! I'm going home to spend the break with my parents, and so there's no planning needed for the end of the week. The rest of the week is just using up left over veg and items from my fridge to create quick and easy meals.
Lunch: Roast Chicken, Stuffing, Potatoes, Carrots, Broccoli and Gravy
Dinner: Hummus and Pitta Bread
Lunch: Ham and Cheese Orzo Casserole, Salad
Dinner: Beef and Veg in Black Bean Sauce
Lunch: Japanese Smoked Salmon and Rice Salad with Avocado
Dinner: Out with my Dad at a Polish restaurant
Lunch: Fish finger Sandwich with Potato Croquettes
Friday, 18 December 2009
I spent Wednesday evening in the Louvre. I can highly recommend this. It is open until 9pm on Wednesdays and Fridays and after 6pm the price drops to 6 euros and the queues have disappeared. So I got in very quickly and the galleries that I went round (Dutch Paintings and French Paintings) were relatively quiet with a few groups and people drawing but not that many people, enough time to stand and admire the Lace Maker by Vermeer anyway!
On Thursday I went to L'age D'or Hollondaise in the morning with Hope from Hopie's Kitchen, more about this one later, and then for lunch I met my parents and we went to Les Bouquinistes which is a restaurant with Guy Savoy, I think this means its owned by him but he doesn't cook there? Not sure! Anyway we had the Lunch Menu which was 29€ for three courses and a glass of wine. We started with rillettes of salmon on a mousse with Carrot Soup, which was delicious, I took no pictures as we'd eaten it before I remembered the camera! For the main course, my Mum and I had guinea foul with a liver and nut stuffing and celeriac, salsify and artichokes. This was absolutely delicious.
My Dad had "Rasscasse", which apparently translated into English is scorpion fish, although the waiter described it as like cod, with veg underneath it. That was also really good.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
I called British Gas at 8am and they had an engineer out to me at 3pm that same day, who fixed the problem. He did say that I was very lucky to get someone the same day as they had had a very busy Monday, but it's fixed and I have heating! It is fantastic! I was amazed at how quickly the flat got really cold.
I also handed in both my pieces of coursework and my website is all up and running for the duration of marking anyway! Its so nice to have them in and now I can have a peaceful Christmas before term starts again in January. I had an amazing trip to Paris and I will write more about that later in the week as I took pictures too!
I thought I'd share this Chinese dish with you, its really simple to make but really tasty too. It could have done with a little more sauce however and I think I ended up squirting some tonkatsu sauce into the side of the bowl so that the rice wasn't too dry.
Stir-Fried Pork in Ginger with Onion (adapted from Japanese cooking for two by Kurumi Hayter)
1/2lb sliced pork
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
for the marinade
1 oz ginger, peeled and grated
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
Mix the ginger, soy sauce and sake together in a bowl to make the marinade. Add the pork and marinade for 30 mins.
Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the pork to the pan and saute for 3 mins
Add the onion and cook for 2-3 mins more.
Add the remaining marinade and cook for 1-2 mins. Serve with noodles or rice.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
I really enjoyed doing this Daring Cooks, I love eating salmon en croute but usually just get it out of a packet from the supermarket, so it was nice to try it from scratch. I cheated and used ready made pastry and I did have a small problem with the puree. I only have a tiny food processor big enough to make hummus and that sort of thing. So I had to use a hand blender to make the puree, it made the puree really liquid. I tried putting it in the fridge for a bit to see if that would stiffen it up, but that didn't work! So I tried to carefully pour it into the salmon parcels, but lots of it oozed out! So I heated the remainder of the sauce and put it in a jug to pour over, and then it thickened up! Very bizarre.
I made this for my parents when they came for dinner, and they really enjoyed it. I served it with celeriac mash, runner beans and sugar snap peas.
Salmon en Croute
Mascarpone or cream cheese 5.2 ounces/150 gr
Watercress, rocket (arugula) and spinach - 0.6 cup/4.2 ounces/120 gr
Shortcrust pastry - 17.6 ounces, 500 gr. Use a butter version such as Jus-rol which is frozen or dorset pastry. or... make your own!
Salmon fillet (skinless)- 17.6 ounce/500 gr
egg - 1 medium sized
1.Heat the oven to 200°C/390 F. Put the mascarpone or cream cheese in a food processor with the watercress, spinach and rocket and whizz the lot until you have a creamy green puree. Season well.
2. Roll the pastry out so you can wrap the salmon in it completely (approx. 2-3 mm thick) and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it will hang over the edges). Put the salmon in the middle. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under. Spoon half of the watercress mixture onto the salmon. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don’t have any thick lumps of pastry as these won’t cook through properly. Trim off any excess as you need to. Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like. Brush with the egg glaze.
3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned. To test whether the salmon is cooked, push a sharp knife through one of the cuts into the flesh, wait for 3 seconds then test it against the inside of your wrist; if it is hot, the salmon is cooked. Serve with the rest of the watercress puree as a sauce.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
I am sitting in the lounge at St Pancras waiting for the Eurostar to take me to Paris! Very exciting! I'm going to the Louvre this evening and ten tomorrow I am going to the Pinacotheque to see The Dutch Golden Age Exhibition. I am also going to meet Hopie of Hopie's Kitchen , my adopter from Adopt a Blogger, and we are going to the exhibition together! How exciting is that?! I am so looking forward to meeting her after months of swapping emails! It promises to be a fantastic couple of days.
That has absolutely no connection to the recipe below! I love noodles but I have never tried using them in Indian cuisine, although I am told they are quite popular. So this was an experiment for me, and a very tasty one. The noodles and the curry taste went really well together and I will definitely have to experiment with curry and noodles.
Masala Prawn Stirfry (adapted from Leiths Simple Cookery Bible)
300g large prawns, peeled and cooked
2 heaped tbsp tikka masala or korma paste
250g medium rice noodles
1 tbsp oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and cut into 1cm strips
2 courgettes, sliced
3 tbsp water or stock
handful of roughly chopped coriander
Mix the prawns with the curry paste and leave to marinate for at least 30 mins or overnight.
Cook the rice noodles according to packet instructions.
Heat the oil in a wok, add the onion and stir-fr for 2 mins, then add the red pepper and stir fry for 1 min further.
Add the courgettes and prawns to the wok and cook for 1 min or until heated through.
Drain the rice noodles and add to the wok wit the water or stock, stirring so that the curry paste coats the noodles. Stir in the coriander.
Serve in a warmed bowl.
Monday, 7 December 2009
One of the highlights of last week was this Green Tea Soba Noodles with Tuna Steak from My Cooking Hut. The flavours worked really well together and this was a really tasty dish.
I changed the recipe a little bit and added mushrooms and mange tout instead of courgette as that's what I had in the fridge.
This week is very short, I'm going away at the end of the week for a few days, so I'm trying to use up everything in the fridge and not buy any more. I'm also going home for Christmas so I don't want to have too much left around for then either!
Lunch: Fish Fingers and Potato Croquettes
Dinner: Breaded Veal with Japanese Curry, Noodles or Rice
Lunch: Macaroni Cheese, Salad
Dinner: Fish Soup, Bread Roll
Lunch: Broccoli and Mushrooms with Rice Noodles and Chicken Patties
Dinner: Out with my father
Dinner: Sausage and Mash with Onion Gravy, Veg
Lunch: Croque Monseiur, Salad
Dinner: Out for a Christmas Party
Monday, 30 November 2009
Last week's meals went ok, I had two delicious meals out, one was Thai fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce and it was absolutely delicious, then I went out for Thanksgiving dinner on Friday with a friend. I kept looking at all the delicious food on people's blogs and I wanted to join in! We went to an American Diner in Islington, and had the typical Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, cranberries, stuffing, mashed sweet potato, mashed potato, green beans and gravy, with pumpkin pie and toffee pie to finish, it was fantastic. All the waiters were dressed in costume and there were lights and balloons everywhere! The only disappointment was no marshmallows with the sweet potato! I will definitely have to go back to try their usual diner fare.
This week's Menu Plan Monday is light and easy. I have two pieces of coursework due on the 15th December so I need to spend time doing them rather than cooking, its a good job I have a well stocked freezer! I do, however, have my parents coming over for dinner on Saturday and I am making this months Daring Cooks meal which I am so excited about!
Lunch: Breakfast Burrito
Dinner: Potato and Ham Gratin, Salad
Lunch: Ham and Cheese Orzo Casserole, Salad
Dinner: Ginger Pork on Sticky Egg Fried Rice
Lunch: Inarizushi with Prawns and Spicy Mayo, Dumplings, Japanese Wasabi Potato Salad, Prawns with lime and sweet chilli (Bento)
Dinner: Pitta Bread with Hummus and Olives and Salami, Pretzels
Dinner: Goats Cheese and Mushroom Risotto
Dinner: Hot Smoked Salmon Pasta (Leiths)
Lunch: Salad with cheese and salami etc
Dinner: Tuna Steak and Sesame with Green Tea Noodles
Lunch: Smoked Haddock, Rocket and Rice Salad
Dinner: Daring Cooks
Saturday, 28 November 2009
This is a really simple Nigella recipe that I adapted slightly as I got some leeks on sale and have been throwing them in everything! The flavours really complemented each other. It could have been added to with a dash of double cream or creme fraiche, but I didn't have any.
Smoked Haddock and Cannellini Beans (adapted from Nigella Express)
350g Smoked Haddock fillets, skinned
small sprig parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 leek, chopped
80ml white wine
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives
salt and pepper
Lay the fish fillets in a large frying pan with a sprig of parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns and leeks. Pour in the water and the wine and bring it to the boil.
Cover the pan with foil and simmer the fish in the poaching liquid for 3-5 mins. Take off the heat and remove the fish to a plate.
Tip out all but about 60-125ml of the cooking liquid from the pan, you will need just enough to warm the beans, and tip the cannellini beans into the pan and warm through.
Turn off the heat and place the fish on top of the beans in the pan. Add the oil, most of the parsley, the chives, and the salt and pepper. Stir everything together and breaking up the fish as you go. If the fish got a little cold whilst it was out of the pan, turn the heat back on and warm through.
Sprinkle with the rest of the parsley and serve.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
So I have been looking for really simple dishes that I can make with little effort. This chicken pie is one of them. Its starting to get chilly here, we seem to have had some unseasonably warm weather recently but I think there is starting to be a nip in the air, which calls for warming pies and hearty stews.
1/2 small onion, sliced
2 skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75-100ml chicken stock
handful of frozen peas
3 tbsp crème fraîche
handful parsley or basil leaves, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
Heat the grill. Fry the onion and chicken in the oil for 5-10 mins until the onion is soft and the chicken golden, add the leeks. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked. Stir in the frozen peas and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add 3 tbsp crème fraîche and the herbs.
Meanwhile, boil the parsnips until soft. Drain and mash with remaining crème fraîche, or milk and butter. Spoon the chicken mix into a pie dish and top with mash. Place on a baking tray, then grill until potato is golden.
Monday, 23 November 2009
A couple of weeks ago I made enchiladas. I've only ever tried them before as a Marks and Spencer's ready meal, and really liked them. I cheated with this one and bought ready made sauce, but it was at least Old El Paso! I also didn't stick to a recipe, I sort of made it up as I went along, and this is the result:
I fried some chicken pieces with some onion, a yellow pepper and some fajita seasoning to give it a kick. Then I added some premade chilli to the pan and warmed it through, I wrapped the mixture in flour tortillas and laid them in an oven proof dish. Then I covered the tortillas with a jar of enchilada sauce and topped with some grated cheddar cheese and baked in the oven for about 20 mins.
I ate it with some salsa and some guacamole and it was delicious. Not at all authentic, but really tasty.
One of my definite highlights from last week was the Easy Chicken Pie with leeks, peas and Parsnip Mash. It was a recipe from Good Food magazine which I adapted to the veg I had leftover, and it was so simple yet so tasty. I also loved the Prawn Masala Stir Fry, the combinations of the Indian spices with the noodles was delicious and it is definitely something I am going to have to investigate more!
This week I am really looking forward to the cassoulet. I have been meaning to make it for ages and never seem to quite get around to it, so fingers crossed for this week. I am also trying to increase the number of bento I made, I really enjoy them when I have them, but don't bento nearly enough!
Lunch: Macaroni Cheese, Salad
Dinner: Out at Browns, had flatbread with mozzarella, peppers, chorizo and ham and steak frites, delicious (Thank you Em!)
Lunch: Mushroom Rice, Chicken Tenders, Asian Cucumber salad (Bento)
Dinner: Beef Fajitas
Lunch: Pitta Bread with Hummus, Salami, Cucumber
Dinner: Out for pizza with my Dad
Lunch: Out with a friend
Dinner: Black Bean and Pinto Bean Chilli with Cornbread
Lunch: Mini Quiche, Cocktail Sausages with Mustard, Pesto Potato Salad (Bento)
Dinner: Old Bay Seasoned prawns with crème fraiche and lemon pasta
Lunch: Teriyaki Salmon with Stir Fry Noodles (Bento)
Dinner: Out with a friend
Lunch: Prawn and Pesto Pasta Salad
Dinner: Cassoulet with Chicken Thighs, Smoked Sausage, Kielbasa and Haricot Beans
Sunday, 22 November 2009
I used a combination of two recipes one from Leiths Simple Cookery Bible and this one from BBC Good Food. I made it in a loaf tin, as I was only making it for me and that was the smallest metal tin I had. I ended up with rather a lot of the batter but it was perfectly cooked inside, and the gravy was really tasty as well. I served it with parsnip mash, broccoli and mange tout.
Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy
1 tbsp oil
8 pork sausages
1 onion, sliced
For the Batter
110g plain flour
pinch of salt
150ml water mixed with 150ml milk
For the gravy
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion , thinly sliced
2 tsp plain flour
2 tsp ready-made English mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
Make the batter; sift the flour into with the salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre, break the eggs into this well. Beat lightly,then gradually pour in half the milk and water, beating all the time to form a smooth,thick batter.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Put the sausages in a large roasting tin (preferably metal). Scatter over the onion and drizzle with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the sausages are starting to colour and the onion is tinged brown at the edges.
Remove from the oven and quickly pour the batter over the sausages. Return to the oven for a further 35-40 minutes until the batter is crisp and well risen.
Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the mustard, Worcestershire or soy sauce and stock and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 15 minutes, then taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
I was a little confused by the recipe, it says "place in your bag with the creamy sauce", I'm not sure whether it means mix the ingredients for the sauce together and then add them to the bag, or just add the ingredients to the bag. I did the latter and the sauce split, so clearly I did the wrong thing! It was also a little bland for me, I served it with parsnip mash.
Chicken Breast in a Bag with Cannellini Beans, Leeks, Cream and Marjoram (adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef - Jamie Oliver)
2 chicken breasts
1 leek, chopped
400g tin of cannellini beans, drains and washed
1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small handful of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
1 small glass of white wine
140ml double cream
salt and pepper
Using wide tin-foil, make your bag by placing 2 pieces on top of each other, folding in three sides and leaving 1 side open.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Put the leeks into a pan and cook in boiling water for 2 mins just to soften. Drain and mix in a bowl with all the other ingredients, including the chicken, mushing a handful of the cannellini beans to a pulp in your hands.
Season well, then place in your bag with the creamy sauce, making sure you don't pierce the foil. Close up the final edge, making sure the bag is tightly sealed and secure on all sides, carefully slide it onto a baking tray. Place in the middle of the oven for 25 mins.
Remove from the oven, place the bag on a big plate,
Monday, 16 November 2009
Last week had quite a few highlights, although I didn't make the kipper cakes from scratch, they were so delicious I had to give them a mention. I bought them from a little fish shop in Craster on the North East coast, which also had a whole lobster, deshelled for about £4, and these kipper cakes were so good, they were basically all fish and no potato and completely stunk out the staff room at work but were totally worth it!
The other highlight was the Toad in the Hole, now the last time I tried to make toad in the hole was years ago when I was at uni and it was a complete disaster, where the batter didn't rise at all. This time was different, I had to make it in a loaf tin as it was the only thing I had small enough for a one person toad in the hole and the batter rose perfectly. It was lovely with the onion gravy I made.
In this weeks Menu Plan Monday I am really looking forward to the Prawn Masala Stir Fry. Its from my new cook book which is Leiths Simple Cookery Bible. It has some fantastic simple recipes in it that I want to try out. I've also never tried an Indian noodle recipe so I'm wondering what the combination will taste like.
Lunch: Pasta with Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce
Dinner: Went to Wagamama's with my sister
Lunch: Courgette Soup and Pate Sandwich
Dinner: Chickpea Curry with Curry Sauce and Rice
Lunch: Pesto and Sour Cream Pasta Salad with Hot Smoked Salmon and Mange Tout
Dinner: Prawn Masala Stir Fry (Leiths)
Lunch: Out, treating myself, not sure what yet
Dinner: Paprika Pork Loin Steak with Couscous and ratatouille
Lunch: Ham and Cheese Orzo Casserole, Salad
Dinner: Beans on toast
Lunch: Rice Noodles with prawns, sweet chilli, lime and soy sauce, Pak Choi, Gyoza (Bento)
Dinner: Black Bean and Vegetable Curry
Lunch: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with ham
Dinner: Easy Chicken Pie with leeks and peas and Parsnip Mash (Good Food)
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
It uses a naan bread as a base, I then put about 3 tablespoons of home made tomato sauce on the base, added some spinach, olives and goats cheese and baked it in the oven for about 8-10 mins. It was so quick and easy to do and delicious to eat
This week's Menu Plan Monday I am trying out loads of new recipes, I'm still slowly working through the cookbooks on my shelf and trying different recipes from them. I wasn't a big fan of Sunday's dinner, but I will write more about that later in the week. I am looking forward to the toad in the hole, Its the first time I've tried to make it for just one, so I'll see how the batter goes.
Lunch: Dumpling Noodle Soup
Dinner: Chicken Breast in a bag with cannellini beans, leeks, courgettes, cream and marjoram(Happy Days with the Naked Chef)
Lunch: Out with my Mum
Dinner: Crispy Prawns, Egg Fried Rice, Spring Rolls and Wontons
Lunch: Kipper Cakes, Salad
Lunch: Croque Monsieur, Salad
Dinner: Toad in the Hole with Parsnip and Potato Mash, Veg
Lunch: Macaroni Cheese, Salad
Dinner: Maple Salmon with Courgette and Pesto Pasta
Lunch: Chicken Tenders with Egg Fried Rice, and Soy Sauce and Ginger Courgettes (Bento)
Dinner: Smoked Haddock with Cannellini Beans and Leeks (Nigella Express)
Lunch: with my parents
Friday, 6 November 2009
I served it with steamed broccoli and pasta with cabbage and pesto. The chicken was delicious, but I didn't really like the cabbage. It left a very strange after taste in my mouth!
Sun dried Tomato, Sage and Goats Cheese Stuffed Chicken Leg with Gravy
1 chicken leg
1/4 small log soft goats cheese
2 sun dried tomato pieces, sliced
3 sage leaves sliced
Preheat the oven to 200C
Make a pocket between the skin and the flesh of the chicken leg.
Slice the goats cheese, sun dried tomatoes and sage thinly and stuff the pocket with the cheese, sun dried tomatoes and sage.
Cook the chicken leg for about 30-40 mins until the skin is golden and crispy.
I left it to rest a bit whilst I made gravy with the pan juices by adding a little plain flour to the roasting pan and then some hot water and stirring. I put it back in the oven for about five mins
and voila lovely thick gravy.
Monday, 2 November 2009
Dinner: Cheese and Ham Orzo Casserole, Garlic Bread
Dinner: Beef Yaki Soba
Dinner: Pesto Pasta Salad with Mushrooms, Garlic Sausage and Green Beans
Dinner: Kipper Cakes with Veg
Dinner: Cassoulet with Smoked Sausage
Dinner: Potato and Courgette Gratin
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Thursday, 29 October 2009
I also went to Lille for the day yesterday with my Mum and sister and we had a fantastic time. We ate lunch at La Compostelle, where I had an Asian beef salad and then dourade with red pepper and walnut pesto, a cream sauce and courgette risotto, and they were both delicious. We then looked round the shops and went to the supermarket where I stocked up on all the things I love but can't buy here. We also had tea in Meert and bought the most delicious cakes to eat on the train on the way back, it was a little tricky to eat them as we had no forks, but really tasty none the less.
As the evenings get colder here, although this week its been unseasonably warm, I start making lots of soups and casseroles. I love Asian style soups, especially noodle soup. This one was originally just a fairly plain Chinese fish soup with no noodles and not much veg, so I used the basic recipe and jazzed it up a little, adding egg noodles, spinach, sugar snap peas and mange tout. It was delicious.
Chinese Style Fish Noodle Soup (Adapted from Ken Hom's Hot Wok)
1 egg white
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornflour
1.2 ltrs chicken/veg/fish stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp finely shredded root ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp chilli oil
2 tsp rice vinegar
mixed stir fry veg
2 packets of straight to wok noodles
Remove the skin from the fish fillets and then cut them into small pieces, about 2.5cm square. Combine the fish, egg white, salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornflour and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 20 mins.
Pour the stock into a wok and bring it to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, shaoxing rice wine, ginger and spring onions and simmer for 30 secs. Then add the veg and noodles and simmer for 2 mins.
Add the fish and stir gently for 1 min. As soon as the fish turns white, immediately turn off the heat. Add the chilli oil and vinegar. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, garnish with fresh coriander and serve immediately.
Monday, 26 October 2009
Anyway on Saturday night I made a delicious rabbit casserole from a recipe found through google. It was Provencal Rabbit Stew with Olives and Capers from We Are Never Full.
It ended up being a little too salty for me, but I made a fantastic pasta sauce by watering down the leftover liquid and adding sour cream to the leftovers for dinner yesterday.
This weeks Menu Plan Monday is like normal full of quick and easy meals. My Mum is coming to stay on Tuesday night as we are off to Lille for the day on Wednesday. I told my friend that I was basically going to Lille to grocery shop and she laughed and said that was typically me! So on Tuesday evening I'm trying something different to feed my Mum! I bought green tea noodles and had absolutely no idea what to do with them, but I found a fantastic mushroom noodle recipe so I'm going to try that as a side dish with some miso salmon.
I am so looking forward to going to Lille and all the exciting ingredients I can buy which I can't get here, especially lots of cheese!
Lunch: Smoked Duck and Sesame Salad
Dinner: Goats Cheese and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Leg, Pasta with Pesto and Veg
Lunch: Onion Bhaji with Curry Fried Rice, Indian Spinach, Raita and Mango Chutney (Bento)
Dinner: Leftover Rabbit with Creamy Sauce and Pasta
Lunch: Pesto and Tomato Potato Salad, Sausages with Ketchup and Mustard (Bento)
Dinner: Miso Salmon with Green Tea Noodles and Mushrooms
Lunch: Out for lunch in Lille
Dinner: Picnic from Lille
Lunch: Hoi Sin Smoked Duck with Yakisoba Noodles (Bento)
Dinner: Pitta/Naan Bread Pizza with Goats Cheese, Spinach and Olives
Lunch: Quiche and Salad
Dinner: Goan Fish Curry, Lentil Curry, Rice
Lunch: Courgette Soup, Bread
Dinner: Chicken Nuggets, Baked Beans and Chips
Monday, 19 October 2009
I spent a couple of days at my parents last week and was cooked for by my Mum. We had a lovely swordfish dish on Tuesday night and then steak and chips on Wednesday, and there really is nothing better than a home made chip! The highlight of last week for me was the Shrimp and Grits, I completely forgot to take a photo of it, but I loved the texture of the grits, which I added loads of cheese and butter to. I adapted one of the recipes from Jamie's America, which I bought last week, which added meatballs to the recipe, and the meat and prawns worked really well with the smokey flavour of the Old Bay.
I also participated in a snack swap through Live Journal this month and received my box of goodies over the weekend. I swapped with a lady in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and all the snacks she sent were local to her area, the nearest five minutes away and the furthest an hour away!
Dinner: Out at an Asian Fusion Restaurant
Lunch: Macaroni Cheese, Salad
Dinner: Vegetarian Chilli in a Tortilla with Cheese and Sour Cream
Dinner: Chinese Style Fish Soup (Ken Hom)
Dinner: Steak Pie, Potato Gratin, Veg
Dinner: Chicken and Bamboo Shoot Stir Fry, Jasmine Rice (Chinese Food Made Easy)
Dinner: Out for dinner with a friend
Dinner: Spaetzle with Sausage and Tomato Sauce
Friday, 16 October 2009
Pizza (from Leiths Cookery Bible)
(makes 2 10 in Pizzas)
10g fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
110ml warm water
200g strong flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 quantity of pizza sauce
225g mozzarella, shredded
3 tbsp Parmesan, grated
a selection of toppings
Cream the yeast with the sugar and 2 tbsp of the lukewarm water.
Sift the flour with the salt and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining water and oil. Mix together to make a soft but not wet dough. Add more water or flour if necessary.
Turn out onto a floured surface and need well for about 5 mins until the dough is smooth. Place in a clean bowl and cover with greased cling film. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 230C. Divide the dough into 2. Roll each piece into a 10 in circle. Place on a greased and floured baking trays.
Crimp or flute the edges of the dough slightly to help keep in the filling. Spread with the pizza sauce. Sprinkle with the cheese and toppings and pour over a little oil.
Bake in the top third of the oven for 5 mins, then turn down the temperature to 200C and bake for a further 15 mins.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
I have wanted to make pho for as long as I can remember, but never seemed to get around to it. I was also scared of how spicy the dish was, I'm not very good with chilli as I have said many times before, but with this recipe each person can control how much they put in which was fantastic. I invited my sister round for dinner and made this for us both, we loved being able to pick and choose what extras we put in. I have one criticism, not of the recipe itself, but probably more of traditional pho, we felt that it could have done with more green veggies and next time I make it I will add some to the accompaniments tray. Otherwise the broth was really flavourful and it was a delicious filling meal. Thank you to Jaden and to Daring Cooks.
This one was mine:
This one was my sisters:
Vietnamese Chicken Pho
For the Chicken Pho Broth:
2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tbsp sugar
1 to 2 tbsp fish sauce
1 lb (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)
2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed
Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice
To make the Chicken Pho Broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.
This is how it looked on the table. I was pleased because it gave me an excuse to use my Chinese set of dining ware, so we even had chopstick rests and bamboo ladles, and we used chopsticks to eat the meal!
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
I am coming to the last of the veg which is growing in the garden, the courgette plants are still producing, but thankfully at a much slower rate and size than before, my average size being a couple of inches. I also planted some sorrel quite late on and now that is producing with abundance, and I had no idea what to do with it. I came across this chicken recipe on the Good Food Channel website and it was delicious. The sauce worked really well with the flavours of the sorrel and the chicken. It was definitely the highlight of last week.
This week I'm home for a couple of days, so no cooking and I'm also trying shrimp and grits. I could only get instant grits at the supermarket, so I'm not sure how well they will turn out, but hopefully if I add enough butter and cheese it'll be ok!
Lunch: Out with my Mum and Sister (had Eggs Benedict)
Dinner: Out at Yo! Sushi
Lunch: Chicken, Green Bean and Pesto Pasta Salad
Dinner: Chickpea Curry, Curry Sauce and Rice
Lunch: Ham and Mustard Sandwich
Dinner: Home at my Parents
Lunch: Spaghetti, Chicken, Blue Cheese, Spinach and Beans, Salad
Dinner: Shrimp and Grits, with Old Bay Seasoning, Veg
Lunch: Mini Quiche, Potato Salad, Ham and Cheese Wraps
Dinner: Chinese Style Fish Soup (Ken Hom)
Lunch: Potato and Chicken Croquettes, Broccoli and Mushroom Noodles
Dinner: Grilled Sausages with Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes, Egg
Thursday, 8 October 2009
I actually ate this quite a while ago, but never got around to writing about it. It was really simple to make and a great one pan dish. I served it with mash potato, green beans, sugar snaps, samphire and mushrooms.
4 pork loin chops
2 tbsp butter
12 baby carrots, halved lengthways
1 medium apple, sliced and pips removed
1/3 cup maple syrup
Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper. In a frying pan melt the butter over a medium heat and add the chops. Brown for 2 mins, turning once. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add carrots, apple and maple syrup. Cover and simmer for 8 mins or until done.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chops, carrots and apples to a warm plate bring the syrup mixture to a boil, and boil gently for 1-2 mins until thickened. Pour over the chops and serve.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Lunch: Prawn, Broccoli and Noodle Stir Fry
Lunch: Courgette and Watercress Soup, Bread Roll
Dinner: Japanese Beef Curry with Noodles
Lunch: Bagel with Lox Spread and Capers
Dinner: Chicken and Sorrel with Crème Fraiche, Potatoes, Veggies
Lunch: Salmon Ravioli with Peas and a Crème Fraiche
Dinner: Out with my Dad
Lunch: Special and Egg Fried Rice, Chicken Nuggets with Orange Sauce
Dinner: Spinach and Feta Pasty, Veg
Lunch: Pesto and Prawn Pasta Salad
Dinner: Out? If not Chickpea Curry, Curry Sauce, Rice
Lunch: Quiche, Salad
Dinner: Out with my Dad and Sister
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
This Coriander Potatoes with Chickpeas and Tomatoes dish was definitely one of the tastiest chickpea recipes I've tried. The egg wasn't in the original recipe, but I added it in for a bit more protein and it went really well with the flavours of the dish.
Coriander Potatoes with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and an Egg on top (adapted from Australian Women's Weekly Lebanese Cooking)
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 medium potatoes, sliced thickly
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups/310ml water
300g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves