No More Tummy Rumbles

Some things I've cooked and liked - some of it will be happy accidents and some will be ripped off from other people. Enjoy!

Monday, 10 December 2007

The Best Cheese Toastie

I'm not too sure why this is so good. I discovered it by happy accident, but now I keep reaching for the butter whenever I go to make a cheese toastie. The peanut butter goes really creamy and delicous. Again no quantities as I tend to just eyeball it.

2 slices Bread
Crunchy Peanut Butter

  1. Plug in your toastie maker
  2. Butter the 2 pieces of bread and lay them butter side out on the toastie maker. Shut the lid. This will help the outside of bread get a head start at getting crispy so you dont end up burning your mouth on the filling
  3. Thinly slice the cheese (cheese planes are grate for this, if not just use a knife) Remove the bread from the toastie maker, and spread one piece with peanut butter
  4. Put the cheese on the other piece, return both pieces to the toastie maker and leave until the bread begins to turn brown and the cheese is melting, about 3 mins

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Roast Beetroot and Mash

I got a load of Raw Beetroot in my Veg box this week, and wasnt sure what to do with it - I had a look in my veggie cookbook, and after adapting the recipe slightly I found this really nice winter comfort food - and its simple too. Roast beetroot is so much nicer than pickled beetroot - I absolutely love it.
There are no quantities in the recipe as portion sizes vary from person to person so I tend to just eyeball it based on how hungry I am.

Raw Beetroot (not pickled)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Cumin seeds, crushed in pestle and mortar
Horseradish sauce

Time: 1 hour
Ease: Easy peasy

  1. Preheat the ove to 200 degrees C
  2. Peel and chop the beetroot into 1 inch squares. Peel and Chop the onion into chunks. Drop into a raosting tin, drizzle with plenty of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar (not too much - you don't want it to taste like its been pickled). Sprinkle with the cumin seeds and roast for about 40-45 minutes, until beginning to caramalise.
  3. Meanwhile peel the potatoes, chop and boil them for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and mash lightly, Add the butter, Mash again. Add a generous amount of horseradish and stir.
  4. Serve the beetroot on top of the potatoes.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Butternut Squash Risotto

I Love Butternut Squash - I could eat it every day. I always hated peeling them, but then somebody suggested that i put the whole squash in the microwave for 2 minutes on full power to soften it first and it really makes a difference. This is a recipe for a yummy risotto - it looks bland but it really isn't!

1 small Butternut Squash
3 spring onions
2 sticks celery
5 tbsp butter
2 cups (500ml) of rice, long grain or arborio (long grain will take longer)
250ml rose wine (or white if you don't have rose)
1.5 - 2 litres stock (veg or chicken)
1 tsp Thyme
4tbsp grated Parmesan

Serves: 4-6
Time: 1 Hour
Ease: Moderate

  1. Put the whole butternut squash in the microwave for 2 minutes to soften it slightly. Then cut in half, scoop out the seeds and slice the squash horizontally. Slice off the skin then dice the flesh.
  2. Slice the onions and celery. Melt 4tbsp of butter in a large pan, add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes, until the onions are transparent and the celery is slightly softened
  3. Add the rice, stir so it is coated in butter and then cook for a few minutes,
  4. Add the wine, stir until the wine is absorbed or evaporated
  5. Add a few ladlefuls of stock, to just cover the rice, and cook, stirring constantly until the stock is absorbed, repeat until most of the stock is used and the rice is cooked (with long grain rice this stage takes me about 45 minutes). Towards the end of cooking time add the thyme
  6. Stir in most of the Parmesan and the butter. The risotto should be really creamy by now, but if you are feeling really decadent you could stir in some Gorgonzola or goats cheese.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top and serve

Friday, 12 October 2007

Chunky Coleslaw

Another Jamie Oliver rip off - He's not my favourite chef in the world, one day I will start showing some rip offs from other people. Its chunky because I don't have a mandolin and my knife skills (and knives) aren't really that good. And I like it chunky. Seems to go down ok at bring and share!

1/2 White Cabbage
3 large carrots
1 onion
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp lemon Juice
1/2 Jar mayonnaise
2 tsp English mustard

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage, if the strips are too long chop them in half
  2. Peel the carrots, then using a peeler, make long thin slices of carrot. Thinly chop these carrot slices on the diagonal to make short thin slices (to me using a peeler is easier than Trying to slice the carrots thinly)
  3. halve the onion and then thinly slice each half
  4. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle with the dried parsley and lemon juice
  5. Mix the mustard and mayonnaise together and then mix in with the vegetables.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Saag Paneer

This is a really nice vegetarian indian dish which you can make as hot or as mild as you like. Its not really traditional as I used coconut milk, but it tasted really nice so who cares. The spinach is adapted from a Jamie's Dinners recipe (I think), it also makes a really nice side dish without the paneer or coconut milk. Because of the way its prepared you don’t even need to use baby spinach, older spinach or chard leaves works instead. Incidentally if you get bored of plain vegetables Jamie Oliver has some really good recipes in his books. Paneer is an indian cheese that won’t melt when you cook with it. You can buy it or make it, there is a recipe here. I use plain rice but I have had it in restaurants with pilau rice and it was lovely really well.

Enough rice for 2 people
1 bag of Spinach, washed
½ tsp Ground Coriander
½ tsp Curry Powder
Sprinkling of Chilli Flakes
Sprinkling of Cumin Seeds
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed or 1 tsp Lazy Garlic
1 block of Paneer, chopped into cubes
1 can of Coconut Milk
Red Curry Paste (optional)
Mango Chutney

Serves 2
Ease – Easy
Time – 25 minutes

  1. Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear and then cook according to packet instructions
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add all the spices, mustard and garlic and cook over a low heat for about a minute, until it starts sizzling
  3. Add the spinach and allow to reduce down (depending on the size of the pan you may have to add it in batches) Cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly
  4. Add the Paneer and stir
  5. When the spinach is nearly dark add the coconut milk. Stir to allow the spices to mix in with the coconut milk (It should begin to turn yellow) taste to see if it spicy enough for you. If not stir in a little curry paste
  6. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  7. Wash the rice in boiling water, put on a plate, top with the Saag Paneer and serve with mango chutney

Tomato, Leek & Pine Nut Pasta

This is a really yummy pasta dish. I made it for some friends, one of whom asked me to come and be their cook afterwards so must have been ok. It can easily become vegetarian (just leave out the bacon) or vegan (leave out the bacon and fry the leeks in oil). The olive oil forms the liquid part of the sauce and helps get the flavours all round the pasta, so use lots (Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat which can reduce the risk of heart disease!). Using halved cherry tomatoes makes the dish look really nice, and they taste much nicer than tinned tomatoes. The pine nuts give the dish some extra crunch. Be sure to wash the leeks thoroughly as the soil is piled up around them when they grow to extend the white part . This means that soil can get in between the layers of the leek so you should always stand a leek vertically under a running tap to wash it(GCSE Food tech taught me something!). I have served this with parmesan but I think its probably nicer without, but it would go really well with green salad and bread to mop up the tomato juice on the plate. (Thanks to Jono for the suggestion of Bacon.)

300g Dried Pasta (spaghetti works well)
3 leeks, washed and sliced
1 clove garlic chopped, or half a teaspoon of lazy garlic
2 tbsp Pine Nuts
6 Rashers Bacon (optional) chopped
500g Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 Bunch of fresh basil
Olive oil

Serves 4
Ease - Easy peasy
Time - 10 minutes

  1. Put the pasta on to boil
  2. Put the butter in a cold pan, put the heat on to medium and allow to melt. Add the garlic and leeks and fry until the rings are falling apart and tender.
  3. Turn up the heat, add a little olive oil (the spray works type works ok for this bit if you are health conscious) and then add the pine nuts, keeping the contents of the pan moving to stop them burning.
  4. Add the bacon, if using, and fry until just done, but not going crispy 9by now the leeks will be beginning to colour, which is lovely
  5. Add a generous amount of olive oil (dont use the spray for this) and the tomatoes and basil reserving a little for garnish. Cook until the basil has wilted and remove from the heat
  6. Serve over the pasta, with a sprig of basil on top as garnish,