Green lentil stew

Lentil_Stew_Tile

I made a large batch of this, which provided:

  • 1 portion with added kale (cooked for 3 minutes in the stew);
  • 2 portions of pancakes (with 4 large pancakes, bechamel sauce, and grated parmesan; baked for about 25 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4);
  • 2 portions of ‘shepherds’ pie (with mashed potato); baked for about 25 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (chopped)
  • 2 sticks celery (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and chopped)
  • 150g mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • A large pinch of dried oregano
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 120g green lentils
  • 400ml vegi-stock
  • Black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery and red pepper, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Turn up the heat, and stir in the mushrooms and garlic, and stir-cook for two minutes.

Stir in the oregano, tomatoes, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. Season with black pepper to taste.

If not all used immediately, allow to cool and store in the fridge (using within the next few days).

Cajun rice and beans

I had half a can of red kidney beans, and most of the other ingredients, so this seemed like a good winter supper. This is another recipe adapted from Waitrose’s ‘Harvest 2015′ booklet. Enough for 4 people:

  • 1 tbsp oilCajun_rice&beans
  • 1 leek (chopped)
  • 3 tsp ‘cajun’ seasoning
  • 1 chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 courgette (roughly chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 200g parsnips (peeled and diced)
  • 60g brown rice
  • 60g Camargue and wild rice
  • 160g can of sweetcorn (drained)
  • 1/2 a 400g can red kidney beans
  • 1/2 a 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegi stock
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the leeks and gently cook for 5 minutes. Add the Cajun seasoning and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the courgette, red pepper, parsnip and the rice, and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in the sweetcorn, the beans, the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes until the rice is cooked (add more stock if necessary). Season with black pepper to taste.

I served mine with avocado (mashed with a little lemon juice) and grated cheddar.

Caponata

CaponataTileEnough for 3:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1  aubergine (chopped into largish chunks)
  • 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 celery sticks (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 a large red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp capers (rinsed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 750g ripe tomatoes (cored, deseeded and sliced (save the liquid from the tomatoes by rubbing the seeds though a sieve))
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • A handful of basil leaves

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large heavy pan. Fry the aubergine chunks in hot oil until they begin to colour. Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the onion, celery, pepper, capers, garlic and raisins, and cook gently until the mixture is soft.

Spread the mixture over a large baking tray and scatter the tomatoes over the top. Mix together the tomato liquid, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar and sugar, and pour this mixture over the vegetables.

Cook in the oven at 140C (Gas mark 1) for about a hour or until the tomatoes begin to fall apart (I cooked mine (in the top of the oven) with slow roasted lamb, increasing the oven temperature to 140C for the final hour). mix in the basil leaves before serving.

Red pepper and butternut squash soup

Redpepper&Butternut_SoupI made this with butternut squash which had previously been roasted and a red pepper which had been ‘charred’ (see below). Both processes greatly enhance the flavour of the soup.

Enough for 3:

  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped or crushed)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 of a large butternut squash (previously roasted (as one piece)) and cut into small chunks
  • 150ml passata
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp vegi stock powder
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • Season with black pepper and lemon juice

Char the red pepper by blackening the skin all over using a gas ring (on high) or a blowtorch.  Rub off the skin in a bowl of cold water, and slice.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for five minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the red pepper, the butternut squash, the passata and the water, and stir in the vegi stock powder. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.

Take off the heat and blend (using an electric blender or a liquidiser). Stir in the double cream and heat until just boiling.

Season and serve.

Warm Duck Salad

Duck_Salad2-horzThis is a recipe I thought up on a hot day – for 2 people:

  • 2 duck legs
  • 60g wild rocket
  • 90g quinoa (cooked according to the instructions, rinsed, drained and cooled)
  • 1 red pepper (charred (over a gas ring or with a blowtorch, skin rinsed off, and sliced (1/2cm wide))
  • 20 fine green beans (cooked, cooled and cut into 3cm lengths)
  • 40 (approx) pumpkin seeds (I used butternut squash seeds, as I roasted a squash at the same time as the duck legs)
  • 2 spring onions sliced (actually I used some cocktail pickled onions (quartered) that were lurking in the fridge)
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1 fresh pineapple ring (cut into thin wedges)
  • For the dressing:
    • 2 tsp honey
    • 2cm cube of fresh ginger (finely grated)
    • 1 small red chilli (finely chopped)
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp shaoxing rice wine
    • Juice of 1/6th of a lime
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • Pineapple juice squeeze from the left-over peelings

Prick the skin of the duck legs all over, and place on a trivet over a roasting tin. Roast for 1.5 hours at 160C (Gas mark 3) or until the skin is crispy and the flesh cooked, basting occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the quinoa, rocket, red pepper, green beans, pumpkin seeds and onions.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix half the dressing with the salad.

When the duck is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Then cut into rough slices, (I found a pair of kitchen scissor were useful here, as you need to cut around the bones).

To serve, divide the salad between two plates. Place the duck pieces on top and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and the remaining dressing.

 

Brazilian bean stew

Brazilian_Tile

This recipe is based on one I found on the internet, but the ingredients are what I had left-over or in the cupboard/fridge, so it’s unlikely to be very authentic. Enough for 3:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • A 10cm piece of chorizo (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red pepper (roughly chopped)
  • 1/3rd of a large butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed and cut into approx 2cm cubes) or equivalent amount
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp vegi-stock powder
  • Hot water
  • 400g tinned borlotti beans (drained)
  • Some green vegetables (I used about 70g of kale)
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • Black pepper
  • A few torn coriander leaves

Gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli until they have softened (about 5 minutes); add the sliced chorizo and fry for 3 minutes (stirring occasionally); add the red pepper and butternut squash and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, the stock powder, and sufficient hot water to cover the mixture; bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes (or until the butternut squash has cooked).

Add the beans and the green vegetables; bring back to the boil and cook until the green vegetables are sufficiently cooked.

Stir in the mango chutney. Add black pepper to taste, and serve sprinkled with coriander.

Paella

Paella-tile

For 2 generous portions:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast cut into approx 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium red pepper (cored, deseeded and finely sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped/crushed)
  • 3 cooking chorizos (sliced) – or equivalent of dried chorizo
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron (or you could use a small amount of turmeric – but it won’t taste the same (or leave it out altogether))
  • 120g of arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 chicken stock cube (crumbled)
  • Hot water
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 10 large raw frozen prawns
  • Lemon juice
  • Black pepper

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large, thick bottomed saucepan, metal casserole dish or paella pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir until brown. Remove the chicken.

Add 1 tbsp of oil and gently heat the pan. Add the onion and pepper. Stir and cover, leaving to cook very gently for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally). Stir in the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the chorizo and stir for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil together with the saffron and rice. Stir to ensure the rice is coated with oil, and cook gently until the rice starts to go transparent.

Crumble in the stock cube and add enough hot water to cover the rice. Bring to the boil. Stir, turn down the heat, and cook very gently (covered) for about 25 minutes (or until the rice is almost cooked), stirring frequently and adding more hot water as necessary.

Mix in the frozen peas and ‘bury’ the prawns (it’s fine if they are still frozen) in the paella. Turn up the heat (to moderate) and continue cooking until the prawns have turned pink.

Season with lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Serve.

Sweet and sour pork casserole

Sweet&Sour_Pork_Casserole_Tile

This has the taste of classic sweet and sour pork, but avoids fiddling around with deep frying the pork.

For 2 to 3 people (more with additional vegetables and more rice):

  • Oil
  • 500g diced pork shoulder
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • A piece of ginger, about 2cm square (finely chopped)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 stock cube (crumbled) – I used a mix of chicken and beef
  • Hot water
  • 2 heaped tsp cornflour
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and cut into 1x3cm pieces)
  • 8 baby sweetcorn (halved lengthways and cut into 3cm pieces)
  • 12 sugar-snap peas

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Tip the meat into the oil and stir constantly until browned. Turn down the heat and add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.

Mix together the vinegar, sugar, tomato purée, soy sauce and the stock cube in a jug. Add about 200ml of hot water. Mix well and pour over the meat mixture. Top up with more hot water until the meat mixture is covered. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes (or until the meat is nearly cooked).

In a jug combine the cornflour with a little cold water, so that it turns into a smooth liquid. Add about 5 tbsp of the cooking liquid and mix well. Return this mixture to the saucepan and bring to the boil, while continuing to stir the mixture until the sauce thickens.

Add the red pepper and baby sweetcorn and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the sugar-snap peas and boil for 3 minutes.

Serve with boiled rice.

Tortilla

Tortilla_side

This is my version of a ‘Spanish Omeltte’. It can be served hot or cold; with salad, or in a baguette (as a packed lunch). I think my version differs slightly from the real thing as I use very little oil and also add some cheese at the end. This will feed 3 people:

  • 2 large potatoes (or equivalent smaller ones), peeled and cubed (sides about 1.5cm)
  • 3 tbsp olive
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • A pinch of oregano
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp cold water
  • A little grated cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes. When cooked, drain and return to the pan over a very low heat for about 5 minutes (this will dry them out).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan (one that can go under the grill). Add the onions and the red pepper. Stir and turn down the heat and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and the oregano and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and make sure the mixture is well combined.

Turn on the grill to high.

Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cold water and some black pepper, and whisk together with a fork. Turn up the heat on the frying pan, and add the egg mixture. Use a fork to make sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed. When the egg starts to solidify, turn down the heat (to low) and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the frying pan from the heat. Sprinkle to surface of the tortilla with grated cheese, and place under the grill. The tortilla will be ready when the top is brown.

Pork belly stir-fry

Stirfry-tile

Last weekend I bought a ‘reduced to clear’ pack of tat soi (it’s a bit like pak choi, but with longer, narrower stems and the leaves are a darker green; it looks a bit like a less robust version of celery with greener leaves). I used half of this as the main component of a stir-fry, and served it with roast pork belly strips. I used half the pork belly strips in this meal and the rest together with the remaining tat soi were later used in Nasi Goreng (the tat soi replacing the peas). For 2:

For the pork:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • a slug of Thai chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 5 strips of pork belly (this is the number you get in a pack at my supermarket)

To make the marinade, mix the soy sauce, chilli sauce, vinegar, and oil together in a flat bottomed dish. Ensure that the pork belly strips are coated in the marinade. Cover the dish and allow to stand for at least 2 hours (if it’s a hot day leave this in the fridge). Then roast in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4). It should take about 1 hour, but take a look after 30 minutes and turn the meat over, sprinkling with any remaining marinade. [This is slightly different to the Pork belly noodle soup recipe, I decided that the slower cooking improved the texture of the pork.]

The meat will be cooked when it is soft and easily pulled apart. Cut half the pork into 1cm slices. Leave to rest to cool and either store in the fridge to use within the next three days or freeze.

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion (roughly sliced)
  • 1 medium red pepper (deseeded and roughly sliced)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 piece of ginger (2cm cube) finely chopped
  • a shake of Chinese five spice powder
  • 100g tat soi (chopped into 4cm lengths)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion, pepper, chilli, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry at a high temperature for about 2.5 minutes. Shake in the five spice powder and stir. At the tat soi and stir-fry for a further 1.5 minutes. Mix in the soy soy sauce and pork. Ensure that the wok contents are piping hot and serve. This could be ‘padded out’ with boiled rice.