Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Peppers
Serves: 2

2 peppers, 1 red, 1 green
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Handful coriander, chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 artichoke hearts, quartered
sea salt and black pepper
dash of balsamic vinegar
dash of Tabasco
olive oil
Chunk of goats cheese

Put the onion, coriander, tomatoes, garlic, artichokes, seasoning, balsamic vinegar, Tabasco and glug of olive oil in a bowl. Leave to marinate. Heat the oven to 200C.

Halve the peppers length ways and brush with olive oil before stuffing them with the tomato mix and placing them on an oven-proof tray, in the oven for 25 minutes.

Place a slice of goats cheese on each pepper and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Serve with couscous.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Courgette Potato Rösti with Pan Fried Tomatoes: Goats Cheese or Chorizo

Courgette Potato Rösti with Pan Fried Tomatoes and Chorizo
Serves: 2
2 King Edward potatoes, peeled and grated
1 courgette, graded
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Pan Fried Tomatoes: goats cheese or chorizo
Green salad leaves
Balsamic vinegar
V: Handful tomatoes
   Chunk of chèvre buche goats cheese 
M: Handful tomatoes
   Chunk of chorizo, cubed

Place the grated potato and courgette in a sieve and squeeze to get rid of excess moisture.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the rosemary to the grated potato and courgette mix, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and place half the mixture in the frying pan. Use a wooden spoon and press down to make a cake shape.
Fry the rösti for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden-brown. 
Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the rest of the rösti mix.

Serve with a green garden salad and pan fried tomatoes.

Pan Fried Tomatoes: Goats Cheese or Chorizo

V: Pan fry the tomatoes in a glug of olive oil, dash of balsamic vinegar and seasoning for 5 minutes. Meanwhile grill the goats cheese for 5 minutes or until soft.
M: Pan fry the tomatoes and chorizo in a little olive oil, dash of balsamic vinegar and seasoning for 5 minutes.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Soda bread

Soda Bread

Soda bread is a quick and cheap way of bread making that will always impress your guests (unless they know how easy it is). In Ireland, traditionally before being baked, the round dough is cut to make a cross; allegedly to ward off the devil and evil spirits. Although it is probable that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread and is a great guideline for even slices, I'll stick with the theory that it's there to let the fairies out.

300g plain flour
200g wholemeal flour
1tsp bicarbonate soda
1tsp salt
40g butter
340g buttermilk (or milk with 1tbsp juice of lemon)
1tbsp golden syrup

Heat the oven to 200C.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together using a wooden spoon. Use your hands to then knead the dough slightly and shape the bread into a ball. 

Using the stick of the wooden spoon press firmly on the dough and indent a cross shape. Sprinkle with flour before baking in the oven for 30/40 minutes.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mixed bean stew: Sweet potato or Chorizo

Mixed bean stew with sweet potato

Serves: 4

1tsp paprika
1tsp cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1 red chili, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Small bunch thyme
Small bunch rosemary 
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can borlotti beans, drained
1 can chick peas, drained

200g puy lentils
1 can chopped tomatoes
Squish of tomato puree
1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
1 green pepper, chopped into chunks
4 celery sticks, chopped into chunks
1 large onion, finely chopped 
2 cloves of garlic
1 pint vegetable stock
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
Sea salt and black pepper
Glug of olive oil
Glug of red wine (optional)

M: Chunk of chorizo, chopped
V: 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion, celery and garlic until they start to soften. Add the chili, ground coriander, cumin and paprika and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the lentils, beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, red wine, herbs and seasoning. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary (the stew should be almost covered in water at all times). Divide the stew into two adding potatoes and peppers to each dish.

V: Add the sweet potato to one dish.
M: In a pan, fry the chorizo for a few minutes. Add the chorizo to other dish.

Cook each stew for a further 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. 

Serve with crusty bead and dollop of yogurt.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Spicy avocado lime dip: prawns or feta

Spicy avocado and lime dip with prawns
This is a very healthy dish, full of refreshing flavour to kick start your day.

Serves: 2

Juice of 1 lime
2 Avocados
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
Handful coriander, chopped
Glug of olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Tabasco sauce - as much as you like
Dash of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and black pepper

V: Chunk of feta, cubed
F: Handful, prawns
F: Squeeze half the lime over the prawns, season with sea salt, black pepper, a few splashes of Tabasco sauce and leave to marinate.

Remove the flesh from the avocados and mash together with the olive oil, red onion, chili, coriander, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. 

Divide the mixture into two adding the prawns to one half and feta to the other.

Serve on toast with a soft-boiled egg.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Sweet potato Falafel with couscous salad and tzatiki

Sweet potato falafel
This sweet potato falafel recipe is based on one from the Leon cookbook but I have speeded up the process by boiling the sweet potato instead of roasting it. The sweet potato falafel tastes great in a pitta with tzatziki and a couscous salad.


2tsp cumin
2tsp ground coriander
1tsp cayenne pepper
handful coriander, chopped
150g gram flour
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks

Boil the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, mash and leave to cool. Stir in the spices, fresh coriander and gram flour. Place covered in the fridge for 30minutes until mixture is easier more sticky than wet.
Heat the oven to 180C.
Roll mixture into balls and place on an oiled tray. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with wholemeal pitta pockets, couscous salad and tzatiki. 

Couscous with feta and walnuts
Serves: 4
The Ume plum seasoning used as a dressing adds a refreshing zesty flavour.

Handful walnuts
Handful coriander, chopped
Handful mint, chopped
Handful mung bean sprouts
Handful, feta, chopped
¼ zest of lemon
Olive oil
Sea salt and Black pepper
Pinch of saffron
200g Couscous
Ume plum seasoning

Put the couscous in a bowl and sprinkle over sea salt, black pepper, saffron, a glug of olive oil and just cover with boiling water. Stir once and cover with clingfilm for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

Use a fork to fluff up the couscous and stir in the lemon zest, feta, mint, coriander, walnuts and mung beans. Dress with a glug of olive oil and a few dashes of ume plum seasoning.


Tub of greek yoghurt
Handful mint, chopped
¼ cucumber, finely chopped
Sea salt
1 garlic clove
Olive oil

Add a good glug of olive oil to a mixing bowl. Crush the garlic with a large pinch of sea salt and finely chop, keep crushing and chopping until you have a salty garlic paste. Add the garlic paste to the olive oil and stir in a little of the yoghurt at a time, making sure the garlic and olive oil are evening distributed.  Add the mint and cucumber, stir and season to taste.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Baked Frittata: Mushroom or Chorizo

Baked Frittata with Mushrooms

Baked Frittata with Chorizo

Serves: 2

1 red onion, sliced
½ red pepper, sliced
Chunk of Goats cheese, crumbled
6 free range eggs
Sea salt and black pepper
Olive oil
Splash of milk

V: 1 field mushroom, chopped
½ tsp paprika

M: Chunk of chorizo, chopped

Heat the oven to 180C.

Fry the onion and pepper in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Divide into two small ovenproof dishes.

V: Fry the mushroom in a little oil until the colour turns. Add to one of the dishes.

M: Fry the chorizo for a few minutes until the colour starts to turn. Add to the other dish.

Whisk the eggs together with a little milk and season with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the egg mixture over the dish with chorizo in it. Stir the paprika into the remaining whisked egg mix and pour over the vegetarian dish (this will give the vegetarian a smoky flavor similar to what the chorizo gives the meat-eater).

Place both dishes in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with crispy potato discs and a side salad.

Crispy potato discs

Crispy Potato Slices
4 king Edward potatoes
A few glugs of Vegetable oil

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan until very hot. Gently place a layer of thinly sliced potatoes into the hot oil and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes on eat side, set aside to drain on kitchen paper and repeat until all slices have been cooked through and the edges have browned. Leave to cool and repeat the process to crisp up the slices before serving. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Morrocan style rice: Chicken or Sweet Potato

Morrocan Style Rice with Chicken
Morrocan Style Rice with Sweet Potato

I was lost and staring aimlessly at the ingredients in my cupboard this evening when my friend Claudia called with the genius idea of mixing them all together with a bit of spice. The vegetarian was happy with his sweet potato combo while I enjoyed a tasty bit of free-range chicken. 

Serves: 2 with leftovers for lunch

200g rice
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 peppers 1 green, 1 yellow, chopped into chunks
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp chilli flakes
Handful parsley and mint, roughly chopped
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Boiling water

V: sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled

M: 1 free range chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled

Fry onion and garlic in olive oil until soft then stir in the spices until distributed evenly. Add the peppers and fry for a few minutes. Divide the mixture between two pans.

V: Par-boil the sweet potato in salted water, about 7 minutes, drain and stir into one of the pans along with the vegetable stock cube and 100g of rice.

M: Add the chicken to the other pan and fry for a few minutes until the colour changes then stir in the rice and stock cube.

Pour boiling water into each pan to just cover the rice. The ratio 2:1 can help which means adding about 200g of boiling water into each pan. Stir, season and cover each pan using tin foil and a lid to ensure minimum steam gets out. Cook on a low heat for 12 minutes and leave to stand for 5 minutes before stirring in the chopped herbs and serving.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup

I made this soup for friends after my mum insisted I helped get rid of a massive pumpkin that had appeared in her kitchen over Christmas. I'm usually not a big fan but the pumpkin and butternut squash worked well together and the chilli added a spicy kick. All my friends asked for the recipe so I hope that means I did something right.

Serves: 6-8

1 pumpkin, deseeded and chopped into large chunks
1 butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into large chunks
2 onions, chopped
1 knob ginger, chopped
6 garlic cloves, 3 peeled and left whole, 3 chopped
Chilli flakes, sprinkle
Handful sage leaves, chopped
1 litre veg stock
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 180C. Toss the pumpkin and butternut squash in a roasting tin with a glug of olive oil, seasoning, the 3 whole garlic cloves and roast for 30 mins until golden and tender. Leave to cool and scoop out the pulp.

Meanwhile, gently fry the onions, ginger and remaining garlic until soft. Add the pulp, roasted garlic sage and a sprinkle of chilli before covering with the veg stock. Simmer for an hour partially covered (add more water if necessary, the vegetables should stay covered).

Gzoozh with a hand blender until smooth. Serve with homemade rolls and a dollop of crème fraiche.