Sunday, 27 June 2010

Stuffed peppers (3 colours)

Red peppers - 2, halved and seeded
Cous cous - 40g
Tomatoes - 1 or 2, chopped
Dried apricots - 3, chopped
Pine nuts - 3 dessert spoons
Feta cheese - 40g, cut into cubes
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
White wine vinegar - 1 tsp
Vegetable stock - 40 ml

1) Halve the peppers lengthways. Remove the core and seeds. Place in a pyrex bowl and pour boiling water over until they're covered. Leave for 5 minutes and then drain thoroughly.
2) Put the couscous in a small bowl and pour over the stock. Leave until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
3) Stir in the oil, vinegar, feta cheese, pine nuts, tomatoes and apricots.
4) Fill the peppers with the cous cous mixture and place them in an oven-proof dish. Pour 75ml of boiling water around the peppers. Cover with foil and bake them at 180 degrees C for 1 hour or until the peppers are tender.
5) Remove the foil and place under the grill for a couple of minutes before serving. Serves 2.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Blackcurrant sorbet (2 colours)

My father is rather partial to blackcurrants (as are we) so I thought I'd try making this sorbet before he visits this summer. It was absolutely delicious and if I wasn't in a passionfruit craze and had I not had the most delightful passionfruit sorbet the other day I would say that this is the best sorbet I've ever had. It will have to settle for being joint best!

Blackcurrants - 4 cans in fruit juice, drained
Caster sugar - 100 g
Water - 120 ml
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Egg white - 1 tbsp

1) Heat the sugar and water in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved and then boil for 3 minutes. Leave to cool.
2) Blend the drained blackcurrants with the lemon juice and cooled syrup. Press through a sieve to remove the seeds (though I didn't manage to remove all of them I'm sure this did help with the consistency).
3) Freeze in a shallow dish with cling-film over the top until firm, but still slightly slushy. Cut into pieces and blend again, adding the egg white through the feeder of the blender. Return to the freezer.
4) 15 minutes before eating, remove the sorbet from the freezer and allow to warm slightly before serving.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Haloumi with pomegranate salsa (2 colours)

This is the first time I've had Haloumi cheese. It's got quite a chewy texture, similar to mozzarella, and a salty taste (because it's stored in brine). It's supposed to be the vegetarian's equivalent to bacon and I have to say I really like it.

Haloumi - 1 pack, sliced
Pomegranate seeds - handful
Parsley - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Red chilli - 1/2 (or less if preferred), finely chopped
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Honey - 2 tbsp

1) Mix together the pomegranate seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and chilli in a small bowl.
2) Heat the frying pan and then add the haloumi slices. Fry until golden brown on both sides (this will only take about a minute on each side if the pan is hot).

3) Meanwhile, heat the honey in a small pan until runny.
4) Serve the haloumi slices on four plates and top with the salsa. Pour the honey over the top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Red bean burgers (2 colours)

Onion - 1 large, chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed / finely chopped
Tomato - 1 large
Kidney beans - 1 large can, drained
Bread - 75g with crusts removed
Breadcrumbs - 3-4 tbsp
Egg - 1, beaten
Olive oil - 2 tbsp

1) Heat half the olive oil in a small pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, cover the tomato in boiling water, wait for a couple of minutes and then remove the skin, seeds and any hard bits. Chop the tomato and add to the pan with the garlic and onion. Cook for a few minutes until the tomato has softened.
3) Tear the bread and add to the pan with the (drained) kidney beans. Mix and then either mash well or process into a thick puree using a blender (I found the latter worked really well).
4) Divide the mixture into four and make it into flat burger shapes (not too thick or they won't cook in the middle).
5) Coat each burger in egg and then breadcrumbs. Fry in the remaining olive oil until golden brown on both sides and serve with salsa or sour cream. Serves 2.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Aubergine paninis with pesto (2 colours)

Aubergine - 1 medium sized, sliced into 1 cm thick slices
Paninis - two, halved
Tomatoes - two, sliced
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Green pesto - 2 tbsp
Mozzarella - 4 slices

1) Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the aubergine slices until golden brown, in batches if necessary.
2) Meanwhile, warm the grill and toast both sides of the paninis until lightly browned.
3) Top each of the panini halves with aubergine slices and spread with the pesto. Add the tomato slices on top, followed by the mozzarella and some more pesto.
4) Cook under a medium/hot grill for 5 minutes. Serves 2.