Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tagliatelle with pancetta, gorgonzola and leeks

Here's another tasty recipe by Simply Italian. Pasta del Papa. Who knew that just a few ingredients — tagliatelle, pancetta, leeks, gorgonzola cheese — could taste so delicious together. And this recipe's really quick!

The recipe's published on the Chiappa sisters' website.

But what really inspired me to try it was watching them make it on YouTube (Jamie Oliver's Food Tube channel). 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Farfalle with tomatoes, olives and spinach

I recently discovered a cooking show called Simply Italian starring the Chiappa sisters, who are based in Wales. I have to say that I love their recipes. I've only tried two so far, but they've tasted fantastic and it's so convenient that they're only a few ingredients each. That makes shopping for them very easy. Here's the first I want to share with you:

Farfalle with tomatoes, olives and spinach. 

The base for the sauce is the Chiappa family's tomato sauce, which is lovely and easy to make. This recipe's oozy and gooey because of the addition of mozzarella cheese. The olives give it a nice, salty kick, and the spinach makes it super healthy.

Please click here to find the recipe on Channel 4's website.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Roasted pepper, goat cheese and chicken salad

This refreshing salad was perfect for lunch this week. Start with a couple of fistfuls of baby arugula in a salad bowl. Top with roasted red and yellow peppers, knobs of soft unripened goat's cheese and shredded rotisserie-roasted chicken meat. Dress with your favourite olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cashew chicken korma with coriander, peas and rice

This is my take on the great Indian classic that is chicken korma. The coriander, peas, cashews and raisins make it a sweet and fresh dinner for summer.

Cashew chicken korma

1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, grated or finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup plain yoghurt
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 black cardamom pod (optional)
pinch green cardamom seeds (optional)
canola oil for frying
fresh coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
1 cup toasted cashews for garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces until golden. They do not have to be cooked all the way. Lift the chicken pieces out of the pot, leaving the oil behind, and set them aside.

Toast the spices in a frying pan until aromatic and slightly "tanned." Grind them in a food processor or spice grinder. If you do not have whole spices, just use equivalent amounts of ground spices and don't toast them.

In the same pot in the same oil, saute the onion and tomato for five minutes or until they form a thick paste. Add the ginger, garlic and spices, and stir for another three minutes. Add half of the yoghurt, stirring in a tablespoon at a time. Do not allow to boil.

Return the chicken pieces to the pot. At this point, try not to bring the curry to a rolling boil because the yoghurt will curdle. Cover and simmer slowly for six minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add the rest of the yoghurt. Simmer again for another six minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and toasted cashews, if you have them.

Coriander, peas and rice

1.5 cups jasmine rice
1 Tbsp butter
2 star anise
handful chopped coriander
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup peas

Pour the rice into your rice cooker and rinse it in cold water four times or until the water runs clear. Add the butter and star anise. Turn the rice cooker on.

While the rice is cooking, boil the peas for five minutes and soak the raisins in hot water for 10 minutes to plump up. Drain both and mix the peas and raisins into the rice once the rice is cooked.

Garnish with raisins and coriander.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cinnamon rhubarb muffins

I'm not usually a muffin fan, but these are the best! They are light, fluffy and full of sweet melted fruit. The crunchy sugary topping complements the rhubarb really well. A great recipe from Fine Cooking.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Broccoli and cauliflower soup with cheesy croutes

This is a lovely, creamy soup and a great way to get a variety of vegetables into your diet. I often take this soup to work for lunch, and then feel good about having eaten broccoli that day :) Even my vegetable-averse daughter has been inclined to take a few bites of this soup. The recipe is adapted from The Complete Book of 400 Soups.

Broccoli and cauliflower soup with cheesy croutes
Serves four

1/4 cup butter
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 russet potato, roughly chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 head broccoli
1 head cauliflower
2/3 cup homo milk
1 small baguette
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pot and add the onion, stirring for five minutes until softened.

Bring a second large pot of salted water to the boil.

Cut the cauliflower into florets. Add half of the cauliflower florets and all of the potato to the onions. Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Cook the rest of the cauliflower in the pot of boiling salted water for six minutes or until tender. Keeping the pot of water intact, remove with a slotted spoon in batches and place in a colander. Refresh the florets under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Cut the broccoli into florets and add all to the boiling salted water. Cook for about four minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Set aside with the cauliflower florets.

Let the soup cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Add the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Heat gently until very hot. Add the blanched cauliflower and broccoli florets, but do not boil.

Preheat the broiler. Slice the baguette into croutes and top each croute with grated cheddar cheese. Place the croutes on a baking tray. Broil for two minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with two croutes.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Salmon patties with roasted pepper and goat cheese salad

This was a nice weekday supper and it used up my leftover mashed potatoes. We had enough patties to give some to the babies for dinner the next day. I roughly followed this recipe for salmon patties, adding about a cup of mashed potato. The salad was just torn red lettuce, and roasted red and yellow peppers made in the oven on the weekend. I dotted creamy goat cheese over the top and tossed it with Stonewall Kitchen's Olive Oil and Balsamic Dressing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Broccoli au gratin

Melt cheese on anything, and it is elevated to the delicious status of "au gratin." I usually eat broccoli blanched until just bright green because it's so quick and easy. But with a little more effort, this is an even better way to serve it.

Broccoli au gratin

1 head broccoli
handful dry bread crumbs (I use Panko)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dots of butter (1-2 Tbsp)
1 cup grated cheddar and parmesan cheese combined

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Trim the broccoli and cut into florets. Blanch the broccoli florets for four minutes, or until tender. Drain them and refresh under running cold water to stop the cooking process. Add to a casserole dish.

Completely cover the broccoli with the bread crumbs, paprika, dots of butter and grated cheese. Depending on the size of your casserole dish, these amounts will vary. Place under the broiler of your oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts into a golden crust.

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