What I'm cooking and eating

Monday, 6 March 2017

"Indian" cauliflower cheese

Well I was bored of our usual cauliflower cheese bake and I had half a packet of paneer that wanted using, left over from last week's mattar paneer. So, I thought, well, why not?

Spice mix:
Roughly 1 teaspoon each of
coriander seeds
cumin seeds
asafoetida
garam marsala
turmeric
fenugreek
ground ginger
ground chillis
mustard seeds


Or you could just use curry powder, of course

½ large cauliflower, cut into florets
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tin tomatoes + 2/3 tin of water (rinse out the tin!)
1 small tin sweetcorn
1 tablespoonful coconut milk powder
½ packet paneer, diced
2 tsp coconut oil

Grind the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar, and then add the rest of the spices, except the mustard seeds.  Melt the coconut oil in a large sauté pan or casserole dish, and add the mustard seeds.  When they start to pop, add the rest of the spices, stir well, cover, lower the heat and allow to fry for a minute or two while you chop the potatoes into bite-sized chunks.  Add these and stir well, cover and allow to cook for a few minutes while you chop the cauliflower and chilli.  Add these, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally.  Taste, and adjust the salt if necessary.

This made enough for 4, although I'd only intended it to serve 2!



Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ash Wednesday Casserole, revisited

Some years ago now, I posted my recipe for what I call Ash Wednesday Casserole, or Ash Wednesday Stew.  I have always made it in my slow cooker, as if there was an Ash Wednesday service in the evening, one could go, and it would be ready to eat on one's return.  However, this year, the services were in the morning, and what with one thing and another, I didn't have time to put it in the slow cooker.  And we reckon we like this version even better! 

1/2 cup of your favourite beans, soaked for at least 1 hour in boiling water, or overnight in cold
1 onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1 large leek (it is St David's Day, after all!)
1 chilli pepper
1 sweet red pepper
1-2 sweet potatoes, depending on size
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tinful water (rinse out the tin so you don't waste any tomato juice)
Seasoning to taste - I used salt, pepper, a little soya sauce and some chilli-garlic sauce.  You could use a vegetable stock cube of some kind, but I forgot!

To serve: 1 tbs peanut butter; peanuts or cashew nuts to sprinkle (apologies if you have a peanut allergy - either use some other kind of nut butter, or tahini, or I expect you could use grated cheese, but this is essentially a vegan dish).

Rinse the beans and cook in fresh water - if you use red kidney beans, make sure they boil hard for at least ten minutes.  Or you could use a tin of beans, drained and rinsed, but I prefer dried.  Traditionally the recipe uses red beans, but you could use any kind you like.

Chop onions and leeks and fry very gently in a little oil until they don't look raw.  Add the chopped chilli, red pepper and sweet potatoes (which you will have peeled and cut into chunks).  Stir well, then add the beans, tomatoes and water, and season to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.  Stir in the peanut butter and serve with nuts sprinkled on the top.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Mattar Paneer

Last week the Swan Whisperer and I took our grandsons to a local cookery course (they are regular attenders with one or other parent when it's on a Saturday, but as it was half-term the course was on a Thursday).  Normally the Walthamstow tutors use their own recipes, but this time, the recipe was taken from Bags of Taste, an organisation that teaches people how to cook cheap, nutritious and delicious meals for less than £1 a head.  We made a fish curry, but the vegetarians on the course made this delicious recipe, and I tried to replicate it tonight.

1 tsp coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Spice mix, as follows:
      1 tsp garam marsala
      1 tsp turmeric
      1 tsp ground fenugreek
      1/2 tsp each ground ginger and hot paprika
      Pinch of salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 packet paneer
Nice amount of frozen peas
1/2 cup raw rice, to cook however you normally would.

Put the coconut oil in a deep frying-pan and add the onion.  Cook very gently for several minutes, until beginning to be transparent, then add the spice mix and crushed garlic (you can also use fresh ginger, but for a variety of reasons I chose not to this evening).  Stir vigorously, and then add the chopped tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and leave to cook  while you cook the rice, adding a little water if it looks like drying out.  Just before the rice is ready, add the cubed paneer and frozen peas, and bring back to the boil before serving.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Curly Potatoes

I do love my spiraliser.  This is an interesting alternative to chips, and very quick to cook.

3 potatoes, spiralised on the larger holes
1 tbs cooking oil
Salt and pepper

Spiralise your potatoes (sorry, if you don't have a spiraliser - I don't think I've seen spiralised potatoes in the vegetable department of the supermarket, even if they did have spiralised courgettes when whole ones were unobtainable last month!), and put in a large frying pan or sauté pan with the cooking oil, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently but keeping it covered in the meantime. 

I served this with fish, but it would be lovely with an egg, or even a steak.....

Friday, 3 February 2017

"Egg pancake"

My grandsons are not very good at eating eggs. But I wanted to cook them something quick for their evening meal yesterday, and with vague memories of this post from Chocolate and Zucchini in mind, I told them they were going to have an egg pancake, and would they like it with cheese, ham, both or neither?  As it turned out, there didn't seem to be any ham in their fridge, so I made it with cheese.... but I'm sure it would be lovely with ham, or herbs, or a mixture....  They had a slice of bread and butter with it.

Serves 2

2 eggs
Small amount (c 25-30 g, but I didn't measure!) grated cheese
A little black pepper (they don't have salt in their food yet; I would have added a little for an adult)
Butter for frying

Whisk the eggs until they are a uniform colour and texture.  Stir in the cheese.  Melt the butter in a frying pan and pour in the eggs, which you allow to spread out (or use a spatula) until they are as thin as a pancake (crepe type).  Allow to cook until it is beginning to dry out on top, at which point use a fish-slice to turn it over and cook for one minute on the other side.  In an ideal world you then roll it up and cut it in half, but mine didn't exactly turn over very well.... so I just divided it into two and watched it disappear......

Their mother tells me they will eat omelettes if they are called crustless quiches, too!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Mushroom Soup

We spent a day and a night with a friend in France recently, and she made the most delicious mushroom soup for lunch.  I was moved to try and emulate it, as it was so good, and this was the result.  Very quick and easy.  Serves 4, unless you are greedy and have all of it, as we did!

1 punnet mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tsp plain flour or cornflour
500 ml milk
500 ml stock (or water, and then you add a Stock Cube/Stock Pot to it)
A couple of dollops of butter
Salt, pepper, parsley

Slice 2/3 of the mushrooms and fry up in 2/3 of the butter with the peeled and crushed cloves of garlic.  When they are cooked enough to release their juices, sprinkle on the flour or cornflour and stir well, then add the liquids and season, and bring to the boil.  While this is happening, chop the remaining mushrooms finely.

Transfer the soup to a blender, and while it is not in the saucepan, cook the chopped mushrooms in the remaining butter.  Once they have released their juices, pour the soup back on top and bring back to the boil.  Serve at once.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Potato gratin, sort of.

This is definitely not a gratin dauphinois, as that does not have cheese on it, as any foodie will tell you!  Nor, I think, does it contain onions, but only garlic.  But I wanted a warming potato casserole to go with salmon and Brussels sprouts for Sunday dinner, and wanted to play around with spiralising potatoes and onions.

Heat your oven to Gas Mark 4, 180 C.

1 medium onion, which I spiralised on the flat blade of the spiraliser
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 potatoes, spiralised into noodles
The end of a 200 ml pot of creme fraiche, filled up and then refilled with milk (so c 400 ml milk/cream mixture in total)
Salt and pepper, to taste
The end of a packet of grated Emmenthal - probably about a tablespoonful.

Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes in vegetable oil in a casserole dish that will go on both the top of the stove and in the oven.  Add the potato noodles and stir well.  Season, and stir again.  Now add the milk/cream mixture, and top with the Emmenthal.

Bake for about an hour, until the potatoes are cooked.