What I'm cooking and eating

Monday, 1 February 2016

Kidney bean, cauliflower and peanut curry

When you have a meeting at 7:30 and need a quick supper..... I had been going to make ratatouille with beans, but had neither courgettes nor aubergine and hadn't got round to going to Lidl to get some!  But the kidney beans had been soaking all afternoon, and needed to be used.  So it was a matter of finding what to cook with what I had - and the end result was surprisingly delicious!

1/2 cup red kidney beans (or you can use a tin of)
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp curry powder
Additional spices if liked - I used asafoetida and turmeric and some dried garlic powder
1 onion, chopped
1/2 small cauliflower, chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 tinful water
2 tbs salted peanuts
1 tbs sultanas
1 tbs coconut milk powder
Vegetable "Stock pot" (optional)

1/2 cup long-grain rice

To serve: mango chutney

Soak the beans in water with a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda for a few hours.  Then drain and rinse, and cook in fresh water, making sure they boil hard for at least ten minutes before you turn the heat down.  They'll probably take 30-45 minutes to cook, depending on how old they are.

Meanwhile, fry the spices in the coconut oil for a couple of minutes, then add the onions and stir well.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except the rice, but including the cooked beans), bring to the boil, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes while you cook the rice.

Serve with the cooked rice and with some mango chutney (spicy or not, as liked) on the top.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Mum's cheese biscuits

Until this year, Mummy made these every week in the shooting season, and very good they are too.  I have just found the recipe again, so thought I'd post it here where I can find it again!

This makes a baking trayful:

2 slices bread, and the same weight of flour, cheese and butter. Any kind of bread; plain flour (wholemeal is fine) and any kind of cheese, but the stronger-tasting the better.

Whizz in food processor until beginning to come together, knead lightly and roll out. Stamp out with cookie cutter, bake on greased baking tray at Mark 5, 180 (fan oven) or 190 (non fan) for 15 minutes.


Edited to add: Forgot to say you can season this with Tabasco and/or dried chilli flakes, 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder, and a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs. And, of course, you can scale up the quantities really easily - the idea is equal quantities of bread, flour, butter and cheese!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Douceur de courgettes au Vache qui Rit

I first came across this rather odd-sounding soup in a Tetrapak in a French supermarket, and liked it.  These days they seem to do it with goats' cheese, instead, but when I wanted to make soup for our lunch the other day, I thought I'd have a go.  And it is very good, although I used too much garlic (but we both have viruses, so I did that on purpose) - more than the recipe says.

1 tbs coconut oil
1 smallish onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
About 750g courgettes (zucchini, to my American friends), chopped
1 Knorr (or supermarket own brand) vegetable Stock Pot
1 litre boiling water
 2 Vache qui Rit (Laughing Cow) triangles
1 tbs crème fraîche
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 small tin sweetcorn (optional, but if you like a bit of crunch in your soups, as I do....).

Place the oil, and all the chopped vegetables, in a heavy-based pan, and allow to sweat for a bout 10-15 minutes, stirring cocasionally.  Then add the water and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes. 

Blend until smooth, then return to pan and add the crème fraîche, cheese triangles and sweetcorn, if using.  Bring back to the boil, stirring, until the cheese has melted.  Serve at once. 

You could, of course, use grated Emmenthal or Cheddar instead of the cheese triangles, in which case I would add them to the soup bowl, rather than to the main body of the soup.  Or as well as.....


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Mushroom, pepper and cream sauce

This goes with steak or magret de canard - it would probably also go with salmon, or anything you fancy, really....

1 small or 1/2 large onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 punnet (c 125 g) button mushrooms, or 2 large field mushrooms
1 large tablespoonful crème fraiche
1 tsp each black and Szechuan peppercorns
2 tsp cognac, armagnac or Calvados (optional, but does add to it!)
A little butter for frying

Chop the onion, crush the garlic, and halve the mushrooms if they are small; larger ones can be cut into relevant-sized pieces. Fry the onions and garlic gently in the butter until transparent, then add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they release their juices. Meanwhile, crush the peppercorns coarsely in a pestle and mortar. Now add them, and the remaining ingredients, to the sauce, bring to the boil, and serve at once.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Courgette crumble

Missed a phone call from the Daughter last night, but she texted me this morning to say not to worry, she had just wanted my recipe for courgette crumble, which she then found in a bunch of recipes I'd typed up for her when she first left home in 1998.  Quite why I included this one, when she was not, at the time, fond of courgettes I don't know, but I did.  I've actually adapted the recipe over the years since then, mostly making it smaller, so I'll say this amount serves 4.... you could halve it, of course, for two, but obviously you can't halve an egg, so just use a whole one - or maybe use two if you use this amount!

1 cup (250 ml by volume) rice (uncooked)
4-5 small courgettes (zucchini)
3 slices wholemeal (wholewheat) bread
3-5 oz cheese, grated
1 egg
1 gill (about 1/2 cup) milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook rice in the normal way. Slice courgettes very thinly. You can saute them briefly in a non-stick pan with a spray of olive oil, but I don't bother. Drain rice, and stir in the courgette slices, the egg, milk, seasoning and half the cheese. Put into ovenproof dish.
Make bread into crumbs and mix with remainder of cheese. Spread on top of rice mixture, and bake in moderate oven for about 30 minutes until crust is crisp.

We had an interesting variation on this this evening, as I had two leftover cooked sausages, so instead of putting cheese in the rice mixture, I put the sliced sausages.  The topping still had cheese in it, though!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Home-made lemonade

Two posts today!  But I don't think I've posted this recipe yet, and it is so very good when one is poorly, as I have been the last few days.  In an ideal world, you will possess a large plastic jug - holding maybe 2 litres.  We have a lovely one that fits into the door of the fridge.  But you can use a plastic measuring jug for the first bit, and then transfer into a non-heatproof jug when it has cooled a bit.

3 lemons
3 level tablespoons granulated sugar

Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler or zester or similar, being careful to get as little of the white pith as possible.  Put the peel and the sugar into a heatproof container, and cover with boiling water.  Stir vigorously until the sugar has dissolved.  Now add the juice of the lemons, and about a litre of cold water, and then a tray of ice-cubes.  You'll probably drink the first glass straight away, but put it in the fridge to chill right down.  It will keep about 24 hours in the fridge, but may well not last that long!

More inspiration

I was originally going to make this, from the Amuse Your Bouche blog (I'm not, as readers will have gathered, vegetarian, but we do eat quite a lot of vegetarian meals).  But we had far more cherry tomatoes that needed using, and I do like a bit of onion in my supper, and she didn't say what, if anything, she served it with.... plus I only had feta, not halloumi, which was going to make it a bit different anyway.  So I ended up with this, and very good it was, too.  Serves 2.

½ aubergine
 1 onion
1 pack cherry tomatoes, plus any you might have over from another pack
½ pack feta cheese
100g pasta - I used coquillettes, but use whatever you have.



 Chop the aubergine and onion, and place them in a lidded pan with a tablespoonful of cooking oil - well, all right, maybe a bit more than that.  Pierce the cherry tomatoes and add these.  Cover, and cook for about 20 minutes on a lowish heat, stirring occasionally, and turn down the heat if it looks like catching.  Season with salt, pepper, and what else you like - I used pomegranate molasses and za'atar:

Chop the cheese into cubes about the size of the cubes of aubergine.

Meanwhile boil the pasta for the length of time specified on the packet, drain it, and add it to what's in the pan, together with the chopped feta.
Cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly, until everything is mixed together and the cheese is hotted through - it doesn't really melt.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Banana pancakes

You will have seen these online everywhere, I shouldn't wonder, with massive great headlines: she made these wonderful pancakes with just two ingredients, or similar.

But the point is, they are delicious, and they are easy, and you can make them for afternoon snack with your five-year-old grandson in a very few minutes.

You simply whisk 1 egg per small, or 2 eggs per large ripe banana together until everything is smooth - my daughter, at whose house I was making these, had small bananas, so we mashed them first and then whisked them until they were more-or-less smooth.  Then I heated some oil in a frying pan - not a lot, only about a tablespoonful, if that, and when it was hot we ladled tablespoonfuls into the pan.  You cook them like drop scones or Scotch pancakes, nice and thick.  It looked disgusting in the frying pan.  The Boy said it looked like custard, but actually, it looked like puke (it was not as smooth as it could be, and the bananas were somewhat over-ripe).  Anyway, once they are dry-ish on top, you turn them over and cook the other side until golden, and serve immediately.  A professional cook would probably dust these with icing sugar, but they are actually sweet enough as it is, and really don't need anything with them.  And of course they tick all the boxes by being gluten-free, low carb and no added sugar!  And vegetarian....

Well worth doing.  Even my grandsons, who don't like eggs much, like these.