Tuesday, 30 September 2008

meat is murder...

...but molluscs are marvellous! And pretty stupid, so they probably don't mind being eaten at all.

I could eat mussels all day, perhaps with occasional breaks to eat asparagus. I imagine that's a perfectly balanced diet.

In spite of this, somehow I'd never actually cooked them...

These ones (and the photo, obviously, is of the aftermath) were simply washed, and added to a pan of fried onion and garlic, over which I poured a 200ml box of white wine.
(200ml box of white wine? Is that for kids to put in their lunch boxes? How continental!)
The pan was covered, and simmered for a little over 10 minutes.

My supermarket sells them in netted bags, and I failed to notice their weight; I think it was less than a kilo...

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

discoriggall empanadillas

so this I DID invent.

a medium sized pumpkin
a medium sized onion
soft goat's cheese
an egg
salt, pepper, aargraavaard

Chop and boil the pumpkin and onion until soft, then drain and mash them roughly. Season the mixture, then stir in a handful of the soft goat's cheese (it's a lightly flavoured cheese, if it can't be found I imagine anything similar would do).

Make squares of thinly rolled pastry about 10cm squared, teaspoon some of the mash onto the squares and pull up the corners to make little packages. Make as many as you can/want to. Paint with some beaten egg.

Bake for 15 minutes (or until golden) at 180 million degrees.

They have been described as "wonderful" and "wow".

Friday, 13 June 2008

vegetarian bean burgers

I found this recipe in the Gruaniad last year, then lost it; in the mean time I´ve made them 3 times, and I imagine the recipe has changed enough for me to claim authorship...

They have been very popular too!
This makes a load of the mixture, which will feed 4 or 5 people at least, I would imagine.


1 large onion, chopped.
3 large potatoes, peeled, quartered.
tin of red kiddly beans.
150g baby spinach.
handful of dried bread crumbs.
an egg.
some flour (...)
mild curry powder
mixed herbs
pepper, salt blah blah blah

Fry the onion lightly for about 5 minutes, then add the spinach until it has wilted. Put it all on one side.
Meanwhile, be boiling the potatoes, for 15 minutes. After 7 minutes, add the beans. Once the potato is cooked, drain and put in a BIG bowl. Add the spinach and onion, seasoning, a heaped teaspoon of curry powder then mash it all about roughly - not to make a smooth paste, but rather a lumpy mix. I did it violently with the back of a spoon. Then crack open and stir in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.
Leave. To. Cool.

sprinkle a large plate with flour, then take small handfuls of the mixture, made into burger shapes, and roll in the flour until covered.

Once you have a few burgers, you can fry them! 5 or 6 minutes on each side, on a medium heat, in a reasonable amount of olive oil.

Serve with whatever you want! The mixture seems to keep quite well, so you can make it for use later (but I might be wrong and you might get salmonella, though so far I´m not dead)

Saturday, 19 April 2008

courgette soup

or "insert vegetable here" soup.

Two medium sized courgettes,
a big onion,
a meduim sized potato,
150ml cream (18%)
pinch of ground pepper,
1.5 teaspoons of salt,
2 glasses of water

chop everything except the water. The potato is best thinly sliced.
In a large saucepan, fry the onions over a low heat in a little oil, for about 5 minutes. Add the other vegetables, mix around, fry for a couple of mins, then add the water, salt and pepper. The water shouldn´t entirely cover the vegetables.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 mins.
Assuming everything is really soft, take of the heat, and carefully blend the mixture with a blending thingy. Add the cream, while blending, or stirring at the same time.

The onion/potato/water combo can be mixed with any vegetable I reckon, to make a soup (works with pumpkin and leek, anyway).

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

broccoli "stuff"

this is a wrong version of two different things, but it's quite nice!

enough for 4 people, I reckon.

A large chopped onion,
a "head" of broccoli (if that's the word),
4 med chopped button mushrooms,
100g cheese of your choice (NOT emmental(sic), it's rubbish),
250ml cream (18% stuff for cooking),
and egg yolk,
pinch of salt, pepper

serve with pasta or boiled potatoes; I've done both.

Now, I'd never actually cooked broccoli before - hope it wasn't one of those 1000 things you're supposed to have done before you're thirty (like sky-dive with Paris Hilton, eat a Ferrari and orchestrate a coup in Latin America etc etc etc). And I didn't ask for any advice.
So this is what I did: cut the small heads off the big daddy head, and boiled them for 8 minutes. I chose that number arbitrarily.
At the same time, I fried the chopped onion in butter over a low-ish heat for 5 mins, then added the mushrooms.
Drained the broccoli, and left it to think about its future for a while.

As far as timing goes, I wanted the potatoes to be ready at the same time, so with ten minutes to go (out of 15-20 for boiling potatoes), I added the cream to the onion etc, and heated it quickly, then lowered the heat again. Added salt and pepper. Not enough salt for anyone else's tastes, mind you.
Oh, you will have grated your cheese!
...which I stirred into the cream bit by bit until it all started to thicken. Once that was done, the egg yolk was next; stirred in as quickly as was possible without without making a big mess. Heat was lowered as low as low could go, and the broccoli dumped in and stirred about a bit.
I left it, again, while the pasta or potatoes were drained, and put on plates, then the broccoli mixture on top of or next to the carbohydrates.

That was that. It was good, according to the two reviews it has had so far.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Leek & Mushroom Pie re-edit


Here's a nice pie:

This fed 6 people, with more to spare: It was a big pie.
200g cheese of your choice
1Kilo mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1Kilo leeks, chopped,
2 big onions, chopped
1.5 tablespoon of flour,
glass of milk
an egg
salt and pepper

packets of frozen pastry (in my case accidentally puff pastry, but who knew?)
(enough pastry to line and roof a big oven dish, mine was about 45*25*10cm)

Sooo, in a pot, fry the onion, leek and mushrooms in a little oil, over a medium heat until they look cooked - the mushrooms will get a lot smaller, and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste at some point (I don't think it really matters when).

Low heat now. Then stir in the flour, and then the milk. Stir it quite vigorously. It should be a sticky mixture, not excessively liquid.
Line the dish with pastry, and cut a lid of pastry for the it.

Now, mix the cheese into the mixture... then fill the dish with it. Carefully put the lid on, pressing the edges with a fork so it's sealed. Make a couple of incisions in it, then brush it with some of the egg - which you will have beaten!

Use excess pastry to make decorative shapes, to stick on the lid of the pie (paint with egg too).

After that, stick the dish in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees (centigrade!), for about 45 mins, 'till the pastry looks golden brown.

It's done. We had it with a salad.... It was a very good pie! Thanks for the help :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Pancake Day/Amazing pasta

Pancakes, lemon juice, white granulated sugar.

Pancakes fried in butter, in a good pan. I would explain how to make pancake batter, but it wouldn't be helpful, as I did it like this.

Overestimate half a pint of milk; beat an egg into it; then beat flour into that until the batter is thick enough to work - this is thinner than you would think!

So as that is useless, I will describe the incredible Italian Pasta recipe I had given to me by Italians. Don't try to adapt this: I wondered aloud about that once, and got shouted at by irate Italians for doing so. This recipe is perfect already.


Pasta of your choice!

125ml 18.5% cream, (pouring cream, whatever)
an onion,
a handful of frozen prawns,
a courgette.

chop the onion into strips, the slice the courgette not too thickly.
Slow-fry the onion in olive oil until it softens, then add the courgette. When the courgette is softening, add the frozen prawns.
Things will get a bit wet as the prawns defrost. Once they have defrosted, fry for another couple of minutes, then put the gas on minimum, and pour on the cream. Let the mixture simmer, while stirring, for no more than 5 minutes.

Time everything so after that 5 minutes your pasta is also cooked.

Then serve together. This, by the way, was for 2 people. It's fantastic, too.