Tag Archives: chopped garlic

Porcini Mushroom Edemame Risotto

8 Feb

A perfect love affair! I’ve never met anyone that does not appreciate a good risotto. Its just always so moreish, no matter what you add to it. Its comforting, warm, creamy and it only takes 30 minutes to make! Yes, I know a lot of people tend to avoid making risotto, because they feel it takes too long and you have to “wait” for it. I don’t necessarily agree. The therapeutic part is when you stir, and that’s all you have to do. Give it the love it deserves and it will love you back three times more! Risotto is as flexible as pasta. You can add whatever you want. My favourite though, will always be a mushroom risotto. Especially with dried porcini’s it lends a slightly wild and rich, earthy taste to the dish. Whenever I have no idea what to cook and our fridge is empty from meat for a roast on a Sunday, I turn to risotto. Its always there for me in my food cupboard and it may just be the big lion’s best friend. If I have EVER seen someone eat copious amounts of risotto, that’s my man with his mouth filled to the rims! porcini

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

1 x pack of dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup of fresh, chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups of dry white wine

1 x teaspoon crushed garlic

2 x cups Arborio rice

1 pack of bacon, cut into small bite size pieces

1 x onion, finely chopped

60g butter

2 x tablespoons olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt & pepper to taste

1 x cup fresh soya / edamame beans

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan

1/2 cup of chicken stock.

500ml hot water

risotto Place the porcini mushrooms in a measuring jug. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms and allow to stand. Meanwhile, add the butter and the olive oil to a wide,big pan. Gently fry the onions for until glassy. bacon Add the bacon and cook for about 5 – 8 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and mix through, making sure all the rice is glazed with the butter and olive oil. onion Pour in the white wine and mix through. When the liquid has almost been absorbed by the rice, add a little bit of the porcini mushroom liquid. lemon Stir through again. The secret to risotto is that you must keep stirring, and as soon as the liquid has been absorbed, you add some more again and keep stirring. Lemon juice Alternate your liquid with the chicken stock and the mushroom liquid. edamame beans For step by step, I borrowed a link from WikiHow to show those that might feel they’re not sure how much liquid to add at once etc. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Risotto-Rice lemon juice When you have used half of the liquid, add the mushrooms and the soaked porcini mushrooms. edamame beans Mix through and keep stirring until all the liquid has been used. edamame beans Add the edamame beans and the lemon juice and mix through. risotto Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper. risotto Mix through the parmesan cheese.Plate up and grate over a little more parmesan cheese, and tuck in! risotto

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Tuna Melt Casserole

1 Feb

You know what they say: A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it. Where in this case, I know everyone has their little special touch for their casserole. Mine? Two things, wine & cheese! Best combination, whether you use them together in food or just as is, from where I come from in SA, it is definitely a winning pair!

This was last weekend’s indulgent Sunday coach potato food. As you know, its pretty cold in London at the moment, so no one is going out. Best thing to do is have a proper lie in, coffee in hand and then when you get up start cooking a heart warming casserole! My big guy tends to have the best ideas when I ask him on a Sunday morning what he’ll like for lunch. Even if it is a very straight forward dish, I strive to make it extra yummy and extra indulgent! Lets just say there’s no shortage of cheese in this dis. It can be gluten free by using gluten free pasta, and corn flour for the béchamel sauce ( if not using cream).

For those that choose to make the béchamel sauce, you can click on this link for a step by step guide. Just before I turn off the heat, for the béchamel sauce, I add a handful of grated cheese and mix it through until melted.

onion

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-B%C3%A9chamel-Sauce

Tuna Melt Casserole

Ingredients

Rigatoni pasta ( cooked to packet instructions)

1 x onion roughly chopped

1 x handful of chopped mushrooms

1 x teaspoon of butter

1 x teaspoon of olive oil

1 x cup bacon lardons / pieces

2 x tins of chunky tuna

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

Salt & pepper to taste

1 x cup of cream ( if not making béchamel sauce)

2x cups of mature cheddar, grated

pinch of nutmeg

2 x tomatoes, finely sliced

1 x cup of chicken soup sachet

1 x teaspoon of Italian herbs

1 x white wine

chopped mushrooms

Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Fry your onion in the pan for about 5-8 minutes and add the bacon lardons with the mushroom. Add the garlic and mix through.

chopped garlic

Add tuna and fry together for 5 minutes. In the meantime, add your pasta to boiling water and cook according to cooking instructions.

chopped mushrooms

Now add the soup sachet and mix through. Increase the heat and add the white wine. Mix through and lower the heat again. Keep mixing, as the wine will thicken due to the soup powder.

butter

If you’re using cream instead of béchamel, add it now and mix through. Add the pinch of nutmeg and mix through. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Flavour with salt and black pepper to taste.

grated cheese

If you’re using béchamel, mix the tuna, mushroom & bacon mixture into the sauce and mix through. Add this to your cooked pasta and mix through. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.

bechamel

Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta, distributing it evenly.

cooking wine

Place all the tomato slices evenly over the pasta. Sprinkle with the Italian herbs, season with salt and black pepper.

pasta

Cook in the oven under the grill until the cheese is super crispy!

pasta

To add a little extra indulgence, I’ve sliced over a little avocado for extra creaminess!

pasta

Oh SHANKS! It’s winter!

9 Dec

Not one of my favourites when you live in the UK… It starts when you realise you are one of the few households in London with such  an old boiler that it doesn’t have a self timer and when you wake up in the morning, it looks like you are on the set of “Sleepy Hollow” with all the mist in the room created from your breathing… Yup, that’s winter for you! The only answer I have to that is my mother’s wisdom… warm food! Always food! Combine that with my lion cub studying ( also picture a big bear with a thorn in his paw and its cartoon-like facial expression) and still the best option to take away grumpiness, cold and frustration = Roast.

I remember when I studied, my mother used one of her many special powers – treats and our favourite food. Since the naughty lion cub took it upon himself to go “treat” shopping, which I don’t have to tell you involves a lot of sugar, I took it upon myself to make sure he had a nice, cosy and heartwarming meal. Now one thing I can say is that the british aren’t too adventurous when it comes to cooking meat. They stick to the more well known cuts of meat, this is why I think if you steer away from the well known cuts, you might just pick up some top quality meat for a great price!

On the other hand… I do like a challenge. Ever had pork shanks? Me neither! So.. walking along in the supermarket, I found a pack of pork shanks for a very good price, so why not? If Lamb shank is delicious why not pork? It is all in the imagination and then preparation. Whenever I am in doubt with meat.. I use alcohol. Yes, alcohol! You can never go wrong. It makes all meat tender and tasty 🙂 So while the lion cub was busy with his daily dose of studying, I got on with my preparation of our shank roast.. let me tell you, it warded off the winter blues if only for a short while! Nothing can beat a heartwarming roast 🙂

pork shanks

2 pork shanks, skin scoured

1 pint of Strongbow or apple cider

3 teaspoons of chopped garlic

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of season all spice ( or chicken spice)

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 pinch of black pepper

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 apple, roughly chopped in slices

1 leek, chopped

handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 handfuls of freshly chopped coriander

1 big carrot, finely chopped ( food processor)

 

Preheat your oven to 200 C.  Mix all the spices, garlic and olive oil together. Rub this into the scoured shanks. Make sure it is rubbed in thoroughly into the shanks. Place your chopped leeks, apple and mushrooms in the bottom of your roasting tray.

pork shanks1

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and scatter around 1 handful of the coriander. Place the shanks on top.

pork shanks2

Now place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the chopped carrots and remaining coriander  around the shanks. Pour over your cider. Turn the oven down to 190 and cook the shanks for 2 1/2 hours or until it is falling off the bone. Do set a timer to baste the shanks with the juices.

pork shanks3

That’s it! No fuss! Serve it with roasted potatoes, mash, rice or anything you fancy. I made some polenta with soya cream and coriander. What a hearty meal! I hope you enjoy it!

pork shanks4

Chutzpah chicken!!

23 Aug

Or… now that I think of chicken.. wobbly chicken neck!!! This is my new name for my fellow passengers on the train in the morning. A floppy chicken neck as their sleeping heads move with the train’s rhythm, which I might add has become very entertaining in the morning. That is the lifestyle here at the moment. It seems like everyone’s lifestyle has increased with (dare I say it) the speed of Usain Bolt’s world record! No time, only rushing.. everywhere.. the whole time…so maybe the “headless chicken” is a better comparison for the last few months. Tonight I want to make a dish with some chutzpah!

 

Something that will make me slow down, smell the food, taste it, relax and enjoy! Usually, it is really busy, but I still find time to photograph my food, think about recipes and actually do my blog posts. I have decided to do this today, no matter how tired I am or what time it is. This is my little energy patch.. it keeps me smiling and happy and inspired J So just because I focused myself to do a post tonight, I am inspired with a new idea! Or not.. maybe just in the mood for comforting home cooking… to be honest.. my mom’s cooking. This brings me to say that she is coming to visit… So I am sure mom will spoil her “babies” once she is here J Hoorah!! Cant wait!!!

 

Some leftover red wine.. some chicken thighs.. some mushrooms.. olives.. why don’t I just toss them all together and make a little party dish.. since it is almost Friday.. AND since this will be a long weekend J

 

Celebration Chutzpah Chicken

 

1 pack of chicken thighs

2 handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1 heaped teaspoon of chopped garlic

Handful of fresh thyme

Handful of olives

1 cup of red wine

1/2 cup of white wine

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of corn flour

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Add olive oil to a heated casserole dish like Le Creuset or anything similar. Brown your chicken. Remove and place aside.

Now add your onion, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook until the onions are browned. Now, add your chicken and mix through. Add salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle over the cornflour and mix through.

Now, add the red wine, cover and simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes. 10 minutes before you dish up, add the olives. Quick and happy all in one casserole dish!!  Serve with rice… and maybe a few glasses of full bodied red wine ;-p

 

Do you feel like slowing down.. then do and make it tasty

22 Feb

with a very helpful slowcooker! Compliments of my friend Amanda Celliers! I WOULD say that this great gift is my new best friend, but that would be lying, as she has helped me through many frustrating days in a VERY boring working environment. So I have been testing this little wonderful invention a few times, and I think I might just have perfected it 🙂 This also becomes very helpful when budgeting, because you can buy very cheap cuts of meat and it comes out tasting like richman’s food!! Well.. I have always felt rich, I suppose it depends on what you add value to, and to me that would be great friends, good food and laughter. Most of all, Love. My Johnny Bravo makes me feel like a princess so often, I might even be one ;-p That would be without the hourglass barbie figure and perfect long hair ;-p

So here we go, let me educate you on my slow cooker education that I have recieved over the few days… and if in doubt, I always ask my friend Amanda which route to take, she has a lot of tips!!  If you don’t have a slow cooker, you could always use a pressure cooker, then the meat will probably be ready within about 30 – 40 minutes. If you are using the slowcooker, you will put all your ingredients in the cooker in the morning, before you leave work and put the setting on slow.

400g Beef skirt / Any cheap cut of meat

2 cans of beer ( I used Fosters)

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of salt

Black pepper

Place your beef in the cooker and season with the salt and some pepper. Now pour over your beer. Put on the lid and switch on your cooker, and when you come home, its succulent and tender, walla!!

So all I did now was make some veggies 🙂

1 courgette, finely chopped

1 big red onion ( 1 small one & 1 medium) finely chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

Juice of half a lemon

2 shots of dry white wine

1 tablespoon of olive oil

4 or 5 fresh asparagus

handful of finely chopped mint

Pour olive oil in a heated pan. Add your onion and fry for 5 minutes. Now add your courgettes and asparagus. Fry forabout 10 minutes, add your mint and add your lemon juice.

Allow to simmer for a few minutes and add the white wine.

Serve up with some rice, dish up your beef and your veggies and walla!!