Monday, 30 August 2010

Lentil and cashew loaf (3 colours)

The original recipe for this suggested cooking the loaf in a slow cooker, but I cooked it in the oven. I haven't perfected the cooking time / temperature yet, so use your judgement and if in doubt try popping a skewer in to see if it comes out clean.

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Celery - 2 sticks, chopped
Carrots - 4, grated
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Red pepper - 1, chopped
Red or green chilli pepper - 1/2, finely chopped
Cashew nuts (unsalted) - 1 cup, coarsely chopped
Cheddar cheese - 2 cups, grated
Green or brown lentils - 1 large (~400g) can, drained and rinsed
Eggs - 2

1) Heat the oil in a frying pan and when hot add the onion and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
2) Add the carrot, garlic, red pepper and chilli pepper to the frying pan. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes, then set aside.
3) In a large bowl mix together the cashew nuts, cheese and lentils. Add the carrot mixture and stir well.
4) Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then add to the mixture. Stir well.
5) Grease a loaf tin and fill with the mixture. Cover with foil and cook for an hour at 160°C. Remove the foil and cook for another hour at 180°C. Serves 4.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Rhubarb shortcake bars (1 colour)

I got the recipe for these lovely sweet cakes from Lara Ferroni's blog. Unfortunately the rhubarb here in the UK (whether it be from the shops or from our greenhouse) is mostly green in colour rather than the lovely pink that they have elsewhere in the world. I assume that's related to the number of hours of sunshine or something similar.

The colour of the rhubarb curd turned out to be yellow rather than pink, but these still tasted delicious.

For the curd:
Rhubarb - 400g
Caster sugar - 1 cup
Water - 0.25 cups
Egg yolks - 6
Salt - pinch
Unsalted butter - 50 g, cut into chunks

For the shortcake:
Salt - pinch
Plain flour - 136 g
Caster sugar - 0.25 cups
Butter - 115 g at room temperature

1) Begin the curd by slicing the rhubarb into 1 cm slices. Place in a large pan with 0.25 cup sugar, stir to coat and let sit for a few minutes. Add the water and cook on a low heat until the pieces have broken up. Leave to cool to room temperature.
2) While the stewed rhubarb is cooling, preheat the oven to 175deg;C.
3) Place the butter, flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon. It will first become breadcumbs and finally a soft dough. Press the dough into the bottom of a small baking tin (around 6 inches by 5 inches) and leave to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
4) Bake for about 20 minutes until the shortcake is lightly golden. While the dough is baking, finish preparing the curd...
5) Whisk the egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt in a bowl over boiling water. Add the rhubarb and stir until the mixture is warm. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
6) Pour enough curd onto the crust to make a layer around 0.5 - 1 cm thick. There should be quite a bit of curd left over that will keep in the fridge for a few days. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the curd has set. Leave to cool. Once the cake is at room temperature, refrigerate for half an hour before cutting into squares. Makes around 9 squares.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Green bean and corn hash (3 colours)

This recipe is adapted slightly from Lisa's Kitchen.

Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Fresh green beans - 1 pack, cut into 1 inch pieces
Sweetcorn - 0.75 cup kernels (either frozen or from a can)
Potatoes - 2 large, diced
Onion - 1, chopped
Spring onions - 2, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped / crushed
Red chilli peppers - 2, finely chopped
Black beans - 0.25 cups
Chilli powder - 0.5 tsp
Dried oregano - 0.25 tsp
Sour cream and cayenne pepper for garnish

1) Soak the black beans overnight. Drain and cover them with several inches of fresh water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the beans are soft. Drain and lightly mash with a fork.
2) Place the potato pieces in a small pan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, adding the green beans to the pan for the last couple of minutes.
3) Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Drain the potatoes and beans. Add the potatoes to the frying pan with the spring onion, onion, garlic and oregano. Stir to coat the vegetables with oil and then cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are turning golden brown.
4) Add the chilli peppers, green beans, sweetcorn and chilli powder. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
5) Mix in the black beans and cook for another minute or two until the black beans are warm. Serve with sour cream and a little cayenne pepper. Serves 3.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Pear terrine (2 colours)

Pears - 1.5 kg
Juice of 1 lemon
Cloves (whole) - 10
Water - 90 ml
Caster sugar - 115 g

1) Peel, core and slice the pears. Place in a large saucepan with the lemon juice, sugar, water and cloves. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cloves and leave to cool.
2) Blend the pears and juice in a blender until smooth. Freeze in a pyrex bowl covered with cling film until firm, but not solid.
3) Spoon the pear mixture into the blender and blend again until smooth. Pour into a loaf tin lined with cling film.
4) 20 minutes before serving remove the tin from the freezer, turn out on to a plate and place in the fridge to soften. Serve on its own or with chocolate sauce. Serves 6.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Vegetable and cashew pilau (2 colours)

This was lovely as it was, but I'll probably try adding some raisins or sultanas next time.

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Carrots - 2, peeled and thinly sliced
Onion - 1, chopped
Leek - 1, washed and thinly sliced
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed or finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Basmati rice - 200 g
Turmeric - 0.25 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Cashew nuts (unsalted) - 70 g

1) Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the carrots and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leek, garlic and cumin seeds. Stir and cover.
2) Meanwhile, wash the rice and add to a medium sized pan with 0.75 pints of water, the turmeric and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
3) Just before the rice is ready, cook the cashew nuts under a hot grill, turning once until golden brown on both sides.
4) Remove the bay leaf from the rice and discard. Drain any excess water from the rice, add the vegetables and cashew nuts and stir well. Serves 2.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Roasted vegetable salsa (3 colours)

Green pepper - 1, pricked all over
Green chilli peppers - 2, pricked all over
Tomatoes - 2 ripe, halved
Red onion - half
Garlic - 4 cloves, skins on
Lime juice - 2 tbsp
Olive oil - 1-2 tbsp

1) Place the pepper, chillis, tomatoes, garlic and onion on a small baking sheet and grill for 10 - 15 minutes, turning now and again until the vegetables are slightly charred.
2) Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside for a few minutes in a bowl covered with cling film or in a bag (keeping the steam in helps to loosen the skin).
3) When cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skin into a blender. Remove the core and seeds from the chillis and pepper. Remove the skin from the peppers, chillis and tomatoes if desired (i.e., if you can be bothered) and add to the blender with the onion. Add the lime juice and some olive oil and blend for around a minute until all the ingredients are combined.
4) Serve with tuna steaks or with chicken. Serves 3.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Cauliflower tomato cheese (3 colours)

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 1, crushed / finely chopped
Chopped tomatoes - 400g can
Cauliflower - 1 small to medium, trimmed and washed
Cheddar cheese - 125 g, grated

1) Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and tomatoes.
2) Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
3) Break the cauliflower into even-sized florets. Cook in 2 inches of boiling water for 5 minutes until tender, then drain.
4) Mix the cauliflower with the tomato mixture and place in a shallow oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and then grill for a few minutes until the cheese is golden-brown. Serves 2 as a meal or 3-4 as a side dish.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Pear and walnut cake (1 colour)

I made this with freshly bought pears, but next time I shall leave them to ripen for a day or two.

Plain flour - 250 g
Caster sugar - 180 g
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Pears - 3 ripened, peeled and coarsely chopped
Walnut pieces - 80 g
Eggs - 2, beaten
Milk - 100 ml
Butter - 125 g

1) Melt the butter in a pan and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease a 9 inch round baking tin.
2) Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the pear and walnut pieces and mix well.
3) Place the milk and eggs together in a small bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes.
4) Add the milk and egg mixture together with the butter to the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
5) Pour into the baking tin and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Serves 6-8.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Mango ice cream (1 colour)

Once you get the hang of getting the flesh off the mangos this is a really easy ice cream to make.

Mangos - 3 large, peeled and stones removed
Caster sugar - 170 g
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Double cream - 500 ml
Vodka - 1 tbsp (this is optional, but prevents the ice cream from freezing solid which makes it much less hassle to serve)

1) Blend the mango flesh in a food processor. Combine with the sugar until it has dissolved and chill in the fridge.
2) Mix the cream and lime juice together in a large freezable container (I just used a pyrex bowl). Add the mango mixture and mix well. Finally add the vodka if desired and mix once. The mixture will look as pale as vanilla ice cream at this point, but the colour darkens during the freezing process.
3) Cover the bowl or container (I used foil) and then freeze for 2 hours. Remove from the freezer and whisk well to break up the ice crystals. Repeat the freezing and whisking process a further 1 or 2 times and then leave to set.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with aubergine sauce (3 colours)

Although this was from a slow cooker recipe book I'll probably just bake it in the oven next time. Not sure how long for though.

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Aubergine - 1 large, cut into 2 inch cubes
Cannelloni shells - 9
Ricotta cheese - 250 g
Baby leaf spinach - 50 g, shredded
Egg - 1, beaten
Tomato passata - 400g

1) Fry the aubergine in the olive oil, in batches if necessary, until golden brown.
2) Add the tomato passata to the aubergine and bring to the boil. Set aside.
3) Meanwhile, mix together the spinach and ricotta in a bowl. Add the egg and stir well.
4) Using your fingers push the spinach mixture into the pasta shells. Place the shells in a slow cooker, layering if necessary.
5) Pour over the tomato and aubergine mix and cook on high for 4 hours. Serves 3.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Moroccan vegetable and chickpea stew (5 colours)

Chickpeas - 200g, soaked overnight or 1 large can
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Shallots - 3, chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed / finely chopped
Yellow pepper - 1, seeded and chopped
Carrot - 1 large, chopped
Ginger - 1 inch fresh, peeled and chopped or grated
Ground cinnamon - 0.5 tsp
Ground cumin - 0.5 tsp
Paprika - 0.25 tsp
Turmeric - 0.25 tsp
Green beans - 1 pack fresh, ends removed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
Vegetable stock - 450 ml
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Tomatoes - 400g can
Peas - 100 g
Dried fruit - 125g, chopped (I used a mixture of apricots, sultanas and raisins)

1) Cook the chickpeas in advance, as per the instructions on the pack. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, simply drain the can of pre-cooked chickpeas.
2) Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots, garlic, carrot and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
3) Add the ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika and turmeric to the frying pan and stir. Cook for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
4) Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the chickpeas, green beans, tomatoes, lemon juice and vegetable stock.
5) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 20 minutes before serving add the peas and dried fruit. Serve with cous cous. Serves 4.