Wednesday, 28 January 2015

20-Minute-Dreamy Satay

This is one of the tastiest shortcuts I have EVER taken! I literally wolfed this down, and you know when you have the last bit of something and it almost makes you sad you have to part with it? Happened with this stuff!

Got some leftover rice from earlier on or yesterday that you can steam? Or perhaps that ingenious fast-cook wholegrain rice? Spiffing! You'll have yourself a lovely little satay in about 20 minutes *smiles*

I had one and a half cup of cooked amaranth that I heated up to serve with it, but yuo know what? Just get a big bad naan for dipping, because it's all in the peanutbuttery sauce, that I lightened up a little bit. I hope you like it!

20-Minute-Dreamy Satay
(Serves 2)

200-300g Quorn "chicken-style pieces" (from frozen works just fine ^ ^ )
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cm fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar/sukrin gold/xylitol
2 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp dried coriander leaves (optional)
1/2 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A good pinch of turmeric
2 heaped tbsp peanut butter
1/2 onion, grated (I used the cheese grater)
1 cup Alpro coconut milk (carton coconut milk or light from a can)
Cooked rice to serve
Matchstick cucumber to garnish (optional)

- Start by having the quorn pieces in a large casserole together with everything except from the coconut milk, rice and cucumber. Fry for a few minutes so that the onion gets softened and the garlic and herbs become fragrant. Add the coconut milk and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

- In the meantime, prepare your rice/naan/accompaniment of preference, and cut the cucumber into matchsticks.

- Simply serve the Satay with your sides of choice and a little bit of garnish, aaaaand let it sweep you off of your feet! ..or...something like that.

I know what I'll be making in the very near future again..... *sneaky grin* Do you like Satay sauce? And do you have a favourite "shortcut" recipe?

Also, we need your help! My friend and I, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, are having a little competition against each other, and need your vote! So pop by here and let's hear who you reckon deserves to win! So far it is a tie - the tension!

Original source:
Den Lille Kokebokserie - Thai, p. 68

- Jules

Monday, 26 January 2015

Cross-Asian Salad, Burns' Night & A Sassy Sarnie

So last night was Robert Burns night! I had a few people over for a traditional Burns' Supper, but as I was cooking, I caught something in the corner of my eye. The label for the organic garlic had caught fire (I normally don't use the hob that it was close to....). Thankfully I managed to put it out within seconds, and the end result was a slightly shocked Julie and a rather amused friend (she was my helper, both with cooking and laughing at me when it happened.. It's what friends are for, right?!)
Anywhoo, I had six lovely people over for vegetarian haggis, with "neeps and tatties", and there were drams for everyone, and desserts aplenty, including a few games. It was a lovely night, despite a slightly turbulent start.

A little while ago, I made a salad I thought was worth mentioning. This is open for alterations and swaps for whatever you like really.

Soy sauce and Chaat Masala, a little peculiar you'd think, and fennel? Well, I improvised, which I am quite glad about, cause this tasted lovely!

Omit the cayenne if you want a little less of a kick to it

Cross-Asian Salad
(Serves 1)

1/2 tbsp oil
4-5 Spring onions, chopped
30g Fennel, cut into matchsticks
100g Quorn mince
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chaat masala
Pinch of cayenne
1/3 tsp garlic powder
Splash of water
1 small tomato, chopped
Chunk of cucumber, finely chopped
Mixed leaves to serve

- Start by heating the oil in a large frying pan and soften the spring onions for about five minutes. Add the fennel and fry for a couple of minutes to soften.

- Once fragrant, add the mince, soy, spices, and a splash of water along with the mince and fry until cooked through. Add the chopped tomato and cucumber and let it sizzle for 2-3 minutes.

- Serve warm over some fresh, washed leaves and tuck in! Lately I have found myself somewhat addicted to a ruby chard and lambs lettuce duo leaf-pack - it goes with everything!

Aaaand for the bread lovers out there... I have a little heads up for you!

A couple of years ago, I mentioned how topping a slice of bread with peanut butter, thinly sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle or salt and pepper actually worked incredibly well (I stumbled upon this tip on a blog somethere). Well.... I had some leaves and salsa at hand a little while ago and decided to make a twist to this, squished between two toasted slices of bread and a good dollop of peanut butter and you have yourself a perfect breakfast, lunch, or evening snack!

It doesn't take much for a sandwich to look appealing...I mean really!

I hope you have had a wonderful week so far and not set fire to garlic... Have you been up to much? And have you ever tried haggis before?

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Ready - Steady - Cook! (Home Edition)

Do you remember that show? Hosted by the ever so charismatic Ainsley Harriott, no less!

I recall when I was younger and living in Norway, BBC Food was one of the few British channels we had and so I ended up watching it, a lot.... It was so fascinating how these chefs could make 5-6 dishes using just a small bag of key ingredients.

So, a friend and I decided to do a home version of this. Two parts, and the "gourmet" budget of £10.

One of us bought ingredients, and the other one had to cook something with it. On the second night we swapped, so that the other one bought in ingredients and the other one had to think of something.
We had pre-decided that anything else we had in out pantry could be used, and that the end result had to consist of a two-course meal. Both of us went for the combination of a starter and a main, and surprisingly enough, despite having no recipes - it all turned out delicious!

I'll feature a few photos from the evenings, and then... I am going to need your help!

Because if there is a bit of friendly competition, there should be a winner, right?

So, one of us got these ingredients:

Large mushrooms, lime, red pepper, vegetarian pepperoni, flaked almonds, smoked cheese, baby sweetcorn, one red onion, giant couscous, and papaya.

This resulted in these two dishes:

A starter of stuffed mushrooms with vegetarian pepperoni and smoked cheese, an eggy red pepper with a papaya and lime purée.

As a main, a creamy cous cous risotto was made, packed-full of sweetcorn, onion, pepperoni and whatnot. It had a lovely texture, and was really hearty! Let's call this team the Red Tomato, shall we?

Second up we have the Green Pepper!

Oyster mushrooms, gnocchi, red onion, Mediterranean spicy tomato "umami" paste, river cobbler (which neither of us had ever heard of before...), parsnip, carrot and bird eye chilli (flippin' wild by the way!).

Whiiiiich turned into:

A spicy carrot and parsnip soup with coconut, this tasted a little Moroccan actually!

And then the main consisted of lime- and panko-crusted river cobbler with buttered oyster mushroom gnocchi.

We have decided that whoever wins this competition will be treated out to a meal by the opponent... It's getting intense!

As Ainsley would say: Will it be the Red Tomatoes, or the Greeeeen Peppers that will end up winning this? It's all up to you! I will hold the post open for votes for a week from now, and then I will count the end results and draw a winner.

Stuffed cheese and chorizo mushrooms and eggy peppers with a fruity purée followed by a main of a luscious cous cous "risotto" with chorizo (vegetarian and all), onion, garlic, and other goodies VS a spicy carrot and parsnip soup for starters and a breaded river cobbler served with gnocchi and mushrooms.

Take into consideration the ingredients we were given, and the final outcome. Next time... we might up the game a little and lower the budget, making it even more of a challenge! It's all down to you know. So please vote!

Have you ever had a cooking competition with friends before? If so, I would love to hear about it!

- Jules

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Corn Broth with Tuna (or Crab!) for Two

Hello and a wonderful Wednesday to you! Have you had a good day so far?

Here is a second recipe from one of my new Thai books (gotta make the most of them!)

This here soup is a delicious broth mixture, thickened slightly with the help of an egg. In the original recipe, it called for crab, but I tried with canned tuna instead and it worked a treat!

Use 1 tin (about 120g) per person for a main meal or 1 tin for the whole batch for a nice lunch.

Corn Broth with Tuna (or Crab!) for Two
(Serves 2)

1 tbsp soy oil or 1 tbsp oil plus 1 tsp soy (add the soy later)
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped (or 1-3 tsp dry ginger)
400ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
200g corn (from tin works perfectly fine)
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1 or 2 tins of tuna or white crab meat, depends on how hungry you are!
1 egg
Good pinch of salt
A dash of pepper
To garnish:
A drizzle of smoked paprika
Freshly chopped coriander or parsley

- Start by heating the oil in a pan and adding the garlic, fry for a minute before adding the ginger. Stir for a little bit until fragrant and add the stock, corn, fish sauce, and tuna/crab. Heat through for about 5 minutes, adding a little salt and pepper, plus soy sauce if using normal oil.

- Now, add the egg, turn off the heat and stir well for about half a minute/a minute until the egg is cooked and incorporated into the sauce.

- Divide the soup between two bowls and sprinkle with paprika and chopped fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Today so far I have had a leisurely one, as it has been my day off. I met up with a friend for lunch, and we had a lovely lunch and coffee (a complimentary piece of millionaire shortbread on the side!) at Naked Soup, just off Great Western Road. We were quite sleepy after an hour and a half of catching up, but decided to go charity shopping regardless. I came home with a couple of nice things, and a DVD, and somehow, despite lack of energy - we got really quite hyper and started talking gibberish. I love whenever you hang out with close friends and just get to goof about!

Later on, I will have a friend over for a little "Ready-Steady-Cook" event, so he will bring the ingredients, and I have got to come up with a two course meal that I have to make for us - this will be a bit of a challenge, as I usually depend on recipes... But I cannot wait to see what the result is. There's a take-away just down the road from me should it go awfully wrong, but I will try my best! Wish me luck, and have a lovely rest of your day! Any plans?

Original source:
Den Lille Kokebokserien: Thai, p 52

- Jules

Monday, 19 January 2015

Sunflower Pancakes

Hello and top o' the morning to you! Had a good start to your week? I hope so! Either which way, pancakes always make you feel pretty spiffing, don't they? Have you tried adding different seeds to the batter and see what happens? They add a bit of crunch as well as flavour, which - let's be honest - isn't a bad thing!

Originally, sesame seeds were used in this recipe I found, but I only had sunflower seeds so I used them instead, and it worked a treat!

Sunflower Pancakes
(Makes 2)

For the pancake batter:
1 egg
5 heaped tbsp wholemeal or gluten-free flour
1/2 cup milk (125ml)
1 tsp oil such as sunflower or rapeseed
1 tbsp syrup (maple, agave etc) plus more to serve

Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
2 bananas
2 tbsp sunflower or sesame seeds
1 tbsp oil (neutral, like sunflower oil)

- Start by mixing together the ingredients for the pancakes, and leave to set for about 5 minutes.

- In the meantime, squeeze out the citrus juice into a small bowl, slice the bananans - and dip them into the juice. Make sure it is all coated slightly, and set aside.

- Now, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add 1 tbsp of the seeds in, lightly toast for about a minute, before pouring half of the pancake batter over it, using a ladle. Swish the frying pan around a few times so that the whole bottom is coated and the edges are even. Cook until you can see it is cooked through (when the batter is set in the middle), this should take 3-4 minutes. Flip over and fry until slightly golden. Repeat with the remaining half.

- When the pancakes are done, simply serve with the citrus banana, fold over and douse with 1 tbsp syrup each, and enjoy!

On another note, the other day when I was at some friends' for a clothes-swap (so much fun! Ever done it?), I got a jar of homemade chutney! (you know who you are!)

I have already demolished half of the jar-ful of the chutney, and it was delicious! Especially with a bit of cheese. But check out the beautiful colour!

Presents like these really make me warm and fuzzy inside!

Have a lovely Monday - and practice making pancakes for the National Pancake Day, less than a month to go! x

Original source:
Friske Vegetarisk Oppskrifter, p. 212

- Jules

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Citrus, Ginger & Coconut Smoothie

I came across this recipe over at NITK and after having just bought an extra large piece of ginger (I always feel kinda bad when I only break off a little bit....) it seemed like the right thing to use some of it for!

This smoothie contains two of your five a day, and is a great way to detox your body a little. It's zingy, sweet and fresh - perfect when you need a little something to wake you up!

Citrus, Ginger & Coconut Smoothie
(Serves 1)

1 cup (about 130g) peaches (can also use apricots or pineapple, or a mix!), choppped
Optionally a few icecubes (or just freeze the fruit overnight)
1 cm ginger, grated
200ml coconut milk from a carton, not tin
1 tbsp coconut cream (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 1/2 lime
5 drops stevia

- Simply have all the ingredients in a blender or process with a stickblender until smooth, and serve!

The sunshiney-colour just wakes you up a little instantly!

Do you have any favourite smoothie combinations?

Original source:

- Jules

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Golden Potatoes & Almonds

A recipe that is good for your muscles as well as your bones, imagine!

I had never tried saffron in any savoury dishes until I made this. But it works really well! Normally, I use it for St. Lucia "lussekatter" the 13th December, I am glad however - that I stumbled upon this recipe *smiles*

You can serve it as lunch, breakfast, or a side with any main you see it fit for really! And even though it features potatoes, it doesn't take long to cook, promise.

Golden Potatoes & Almonds
(Serves 2)

1 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of saffron
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g potatoes, finely diced
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
500ml vegetable stock (1 cube)
25g almonds

Optionally: Bread for mopping

- Heat oil in a casserole and fry the almonds until they're dark golden. Set aside.

- In the same pan, add the potatoes, and stir for a few minutes. Add the saffron, garlic and parsley (if using), and fry for a minute before adding the stock. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

- Once the potatoes are done, add the almonds and serve!

Have you ever tried saffron in savoury dishes before, and have any hints and tips for me?

This week has been interesting; some customers at work who had their photo-shoot in one of our rooms insisted that I had a couple of photos taken, despite me not having the best of days having braved the weather on my way to work earlier that morning, but it was something else I suppose, haha!
Now I've got my feet up and am ready for two days off. Tomorrow, I'll be going to a few friends' for a clothes swap, and on Saturday evening I'll be making sure to see some lovely faces too. In between, I'll try and cook up a few tasty dishes and cross my fingers and toes that the weather will get better. It has been brutal the past few days with storms and rain, brrrr!

Original source:
Friske Vegetariske Oppskrifter, p. 233

- Jules