Thursday, 30 August 2012

Porotos granados (4 colours)

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 2, chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
Butternut squash - half, peeled and chopped into cubes
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Frozen sweetcorn - 400 g
Chilli pepper - 1, finely chopped
Ground cumin - 1 tsp 
Paprika - 2 tsp
Vegetable stock - 450 ml
Haricot beans - 400 g tin

1) Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for five minutes, then add the squash, tomato, sweetcorn, chilli pepper, cumin and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2) Add half of the vegetable stock and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
3) Add the beans and the rest of the stock and cook for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Serves 4.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tuna melt potato wedges (1 colour)

Frozen potato wedges - 500 g
Tinned tuna - 198 g can, drained
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Cheddar cheese - 100 g, grated
Mayonnaise - 0.5 tbsp

1) Cook the potato wedges on a baking tray in the oven as per the instructions on the packet. Meanwhile, mix the tuna, onion, cheese and mayonnaise together in a bowl.
2) Tip the potato wedges into a large heatproof serving dish and spoon over the tuna mixture. Cook in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. Serves 3.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Blueberry sauce (2 colours)

As a change from the endless blueberry cakes, puddings and pancakes I decided to make a healthy main meal that included blueberries. Looking on the web for ideas I found that lots of people recommended blueberries with salmon. I admit I thought it sounded odd (as did Ian and he will eat pretty much anything), but since I love the combination of tuna and peaches I decided that this was definitely worth trying. Boy was it worth trying. Overnight it has become my favourite way of eating salmon. It's also great for finishing up those slightly mushy blueberries if you've left them in the fridge for too long.

Cornflour - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1.5 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar - 2 tbsp
Blueberries - 150 g
Thyme - 1 tsp
Water - 50 ml

1) Mix the cornflour and lemon juice together in a small pan. Add the other ingredients and then simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly. Serves 4.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Double chocolate cake (0 colours)

I've made quite a few different chocolate cakes in the past, but this is by far the tastiest and has a lovely consistency too. I kept it in the fridge because the chocolate topping would melt in our warm kitchen, but the cake tastes equally good warm or cold.

Golden caster sugar - 175 g
Butter - 175 g
Eggs - 3
Self-raising flour -140 g
Baking powder - 0.5 tsp
Ground almonds - 85 g
Milk - 100 ml
Cocoa powder - 4 tbsp
Chocolate chips - 50 g
6-8 pieces (total) of white and milk/dark chocolate for decorating

1) Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl.
2) Whisk in the eggs, flour, baking powder, ground almonds, milk and cocoa powder until smooth.
3) Stir in the choclate chips then pour into the loaf tin and cook at 160°C for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin.
4) When the surface of the cake has cooled melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Drizzle over the cake with a spoon. Repeat with the milk or dark chocolate and then cool the cake in the fridge. Serves 8-10.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Macaroni chilli & cheese (4 colours)

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1, chopped
Red pepper - 1 large, chopped
Yellow pepper - 1 large, chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves, finely chopped
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Ground cumin - 0.5 tbsp
Dried oregano - 0.5 tsp
Chopped tomatoes - 400 g tin
Cooked kidney beans - 350 g
Courgettes - 2, chopped
Tomato puree - 1 tbsp
Macaroni - 250 g
Cheddar cheese - 125 g, grated

1) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and peppers to the pan and simmer for a few minute until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
2) Add the chilli powder, cumin, oregano and tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3) Add the kidney beans, courgettes and tomato puree to the pan and simmer for another 30 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and then add to the pan containing the chilli. Stir and then pour into a large baking dish.
5) Cook in the oven at 200°C for 15 minutes. Top with the cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serves 6.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Stuffed pasta shells (1 colour)

Conchiglioni (jumbo pasta shells) -  20 to 25
Ricotta cheese - 1 tub
Egg - 1
Chives - handful, chopped
Mozzarella - 1 ball, grated
Bolognese sauce - 1 large jar
Red chilli flakes - pinch (optional)

1) Add the pasta shells to a pan of boiling water and cook for a few minutes until al dente (in other words don't let them get too soft or they'll break when you try to fill them). Drain and set aside for a couple of minutes until the shells are cool enough to handle.
2) Mix the ricotta and egg together in a bowl. Add the chives and mozzarella and mix well.
3) Pour one quarter of the sauce into a large baking dish and spread with the back of a spoon. Fill the shells with the cheese mixture and place in the baking dish.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the shells and sprinkle over the chilli flakes. Cover with foil and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. Serves 3.

Rhubarb crumble (1 colour)

This is the actually the first time I've made a crumble from scratch - previously I've cheated by buying ready-mixed crumble topping. This one was much tastier, even if it was a little less crumbly and more gooey than I'd intended.

Rhubarb - 500 g, chopped into 3 inch pieces
Golden caster sugar - 100 g
Ground ginger - pinch
Self-raising flour - 140 g
Butter - 85 g, cold
Soft brown sugar - 50 g
Demerara - for sprinkling

1) Combine the rhubarb and golden caster sugar in a saucepan. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pinch of ginger.
2) Meanwhile, rub the flour and butter together to make crumbs. Add the soft brown sugar and stir.
3) Pour the rhubarb into a baking dish and cover with the crumble topping. Sprinkle over a little demerara and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. Serves 4-6.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Baked felafel (1 colour)

Dried chickpeas - 150 g, soaked overnight and boiled for 90 minutes
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Wholemeal bread - 2 slices, crusts removed and broken into crumbs
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 0.5 tbsp
Ground cumin - 0.75 tbsp
Flour - 4 tbsp

1) Drain the chickpeas and mash them in a large bowl until they form a paste. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Put the bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours.
2) Form the batter into 8-10 balls - I made them flat so that they would cook easier.
3)  Line a baking tray with foil and grease lightly. Place the felafel on the tray and cook at 190°C for 10 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serves 4.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Blueberry and lime drizzle cake (2 colours)

Butter - 225 g, softened
Golden caster sugar - 225 g
Eggs - 4
Limes - 2, juice & grated zest
Self raising flour - 250 g
Ground almonds - 25 g
Blueberries - 200 g

For the syrup:
Lime juice - 8 tbsp
Lime - 1, grated zest
Golden caster sugar - 140 g

1) Line an 8 inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour towards the end to prevent curdling. Beat in the zest of two limes, then fold in the flour and ground almonds. Stir in the juice of the two limes.
3) Add three quarters of the blueberries to the bowl, stir gently and turn into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface, then scatter the remaining fruit on top - it will sink as the cake rises (I must remember to do this with my blueberry cake because the fruit usually sinks to the bottom).
4) Bake for about 1 hour (cover with foil if beginning to brown too much), or until a skewer comes out clean.
5) Meanwhile make the syrup - add the lime juice, zest and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer then pour over the syrup. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin. Cut into squares when cool. Serves 16.