Sunday, 31 July 2011

Roasted root vegetable and goat's cheese hash (3 colours)


Ingredients
Olive oil for roasting
Carrots - 4 large, peeled and chopped into large pieces
Parsnips - 3, peeled and chopped into large pieces
Beetroot - 3 small, cut into wedges
Garlic - 1 clove, finely chopped
Pine nuts - 1 tbsp
Butter for frying
New potatoes - 700 g
Goat's cheese - 250 g

Methods
1) Roast the carrots, parsnips and beetroot with the garlic sprinkled on top at 200°C for 40 minutes or until cooked.
2) Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in their skins. Drain and slice.
3) Heat a frying pan and toast the pine nuts, being careful not to burn them. Tip the pine nuts into a large bowl and return the frying pan to the heat. Add the butter.
4) Fry the potato slices in batches until golden brown.
5) When the root vegetables are cooked add them to the bowl with the pine nuts and stir well. Crumble three quarters of the goat's cheese over the top and stir.

6) Tip the root vegetables into an ovenproof dish and top with the potato slices. Crumble over the remaining goat's cheese and cook for 15 minutes at 200°C. Serves 6.

Yoghurt and lemon buns (1 colour)

These were referred to as biscuits in the recipe book, but they're so large and fluffy we both agreed they were definitely buns. They have a lovely flavour, but are a little plain so I may ice them with either plain or lemon icing next time.

Ingredients
Plain flour - 250 g
Granulated sugar - 2 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda - 0.5 tsp
Salt - 0.5 tsp
Grated lemon zest - 2 tsp
Butter - 76 g
Plain yoghurt - 250 ml

Methods
1) Sieve the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Addd the lemon zest and stir.
2) Add the butter and mix until it forms coarse crumbs. Add the yoghurt all at once and stir to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.
3) Form the dough into a ball and knead on a floured surface for a minute. Pat into a 1 inch thick round.
4) At this point the recipe stated to use a 2 inch cutter and to cut rounds from the dough. We tried this, but the dough was too sticky so we just tore pieces off and made them into bun shapes. Place on a greased baking sheet.
5) Bake at 220°C for 12 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they cook very quickly. Cool on a cooling rack. Makes 12-14 buns.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Tomato and aubergine sauce (4 colours)

This makes a large quantity (2 litres) of sauce which can be stored in the fridge or frozen.

Ingredients
Aubergines - 2 large, chopped
Red onions - 2, chopped
Garlic - 8 cloves, finely chopped
Vegetable stock - 300 ml
Dried chilli flakes - 0.5 tsp
Ground coriander - 1 tbsp
Ground cumin - 1 tbsp
Paprika - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes - 4 400 g tins
Fresh herbs - finely chopped

Methods
1) Combine the aubergines, onions, garlic, stock, spices and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes and then uncover and simmer for around 20 until the aubergine pieces are soft and the stock has been absorbed.

2) Add the tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 20 minutes until thickened.
3) Blend the sauce in batches and mix in fresh herbs of your choice. Use over pasta or to make soup (recipe coming soon).

Blackberry and apple jam (2 colours)


We've been keeping an eye out for brambles in our local area this year with the aim of picking and cooking lots of blackberries. We picked our first this week - not far from our house and upon weighing them realised we had enough to make a mixed fruit jam. This jam is really easy to make and the house smelled incredible while it was cooking.

Ingredients
Bramley apples - 2 large, chopped
Water - 0.25 pint
Fresh blackberries - 450 g
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 600 g
Butter - knob

Methods
1) Put the apple pieces and water into a jam pan or large saucepan and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the apple is soft.
2) Add the blackberries and lemon juice and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes until the blackberries have softened.

3) Add the sugar and stir well until dissolved. Stir in the butter. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 15 - 25 minutes until the jam has reached setting point - we didn't really know how to tell, but when the excess liquid had gone we turned the hob off and the jam turned out fine. Leave to cool down a little for 15 minutes.
4) Spoon into sterlised jars (place them upside down on a baking tray in the oven at 140°C for 15 minutes and fill while hot), cover with wax paper discs and their lids and leave to cool. Makes 1 kg.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Peach salsa (3 colours)

This summer salsa is great served over tuna steaks.


Ingredients
Frozen peach slices - 400 g pack, defrosted
Tomatoes - 3 large, chopped
Red pepper - 1, chopped
Chilli pepper - 1, finely chopped
Spring onions - 4, thinly sliced
Lime juice - 2 tbsp
Pure orange juice - 1 tbsp

Methods
1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and leave for a couple of hours with a plate on top to warm to room temperature. Serves 6.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Dishes I want to cook

Over the last couple of weeks I've been compiling a list of dishes that I want to cook. I'm sure I've missed lots of obvious ones so feel free to leave a comment if you can think of any.

Butterbean and cherry tomato tagine (2 colours)

This is really simple to make and very tasty.

Ingredients
Dried butterbeans - 115 g, cooked as per the instructions on the packet or a 400g tin of butterbeans, drained
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
Root ginger - 20 g, finely chopped or grated
Cherry tomatoes - 1 pack
Cinnamon - 1 tsp
Paprika - 1 tsp
Parsley - 1 handful
Cous cous for two

Methods
1) Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan and when hot add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring regularly for 5-10 minutes until cooked, but not brown.
2) Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and then add the butterbeans.
4) When the butterbeans are hot an the tomatoes have just started to break up add the cinnamon and paprika and stir well. Cook the cous cous and serve the tagine with the parsley sprinkled over the top. Serves 2.