Roasted, Spiced Broccoli with Paneer

8 02 2015

I’ve been reading lately about the deliciousness of roasted cauliflower – just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, half an hour in a hot oven and out pops a delicious, charred side dish.

I wondered if I could do something similar with cauliflower’s green cousin, broccoli. To make it more interesting I added some warm spices and some cubes of paneer. Served with grilled nan and natural yogurt, this makes for a very easy supper.

Serves 2 to 3 depending on greed

1 large head of broccoli – cut into florets
150g – 200g paneer – cubed
1 onion – cut into 1/8ths
100ml light olive oil
juice of a lime
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon chili powder – more if you like it hotter
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

Put the oven on to 200C or 180C with the fan

Mix the olive oil, lime juice, salt and spices in a large bowl then add the onion, broccoli and paneer. Mix well to ensure everything is coated in the spiced oil.
When the oven is hot, tip everything into an oven proof dish and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes giving it a quite stir around every 5-10 minutes to prevent the broccoli from burning.

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Sunday Brunch

1 02 2015

I have a thing about eggs for breakfast. Poached, boiled, fried, scrambled. I love them all. I’ve now started baking them too. This is a simple and filling brunch for a cold, lazy Sunday with the newspapers. I usually add salt to potato dishes but the cheese is salty enough that it doesn’t really need any extra.

Serve with lots of ketchup and maybe a little sourdough toast if you are not watching the carbs.

This should make enough for two hungry people

4 large field mushrooms
4 eggs
about 20 baby new potatoes
1 onion – sliced
olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
50g Tallegio cheese

Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 5 minuts then drain and slice the large ones.

Put the oven on to 180C

Heat the butter in a frying pan (use one that you can put in the oven) with a little olive oil. Add the onion and fry until softened and starting to brown. Add the part-cooked new potatoes and fry gently, stirring occasionally until the potatoes start the brown. Place the mushrooms stalk side up in the pan, drizzle with olive oil then place the whole pan in the oven at 180C for around 15 minutes until the mushrooms have softened and shrunk a little.

Now take the pan out of the oven, make 4 holes in amongst the potatoes and crack the eggs into each one. Slice the tallegio and scatter over the mushrooms. Return the pan to the oven for 7-10 minutes until the eggs are done and the cheese has melted.

Scatter with a little chopped parsley and serve piping hot.

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Asian Style Tofu and Noodle Salad

3 11 2014

I made tofu banh mi over the weekend and had some of the baked tofu and pickled vegetables left over. I added some rice vermicelli and a few crushed peanuts and it made a great salad.

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recipe to follow when I remember the quantities but the ingredients include:-

firm tofu
mooli
carrot
red chili
spring or red onion
cucumber
coriander leaves
light soy sauce
dark soy sauce
lime juice
rice vinegar
maple syrup
ginger
unsalted peanuts





A cake for late summer

19 09 2014

I’m not one for cakes, but having had a bumper crop of raspberries this year I am running out of ideas. I’ve got jars and jars of jam, litres of raspberry vodka waiting patiently for Christmas to arrive and a freezer full of whole raspberries and coulis.

This is a very simple sponge recipe – the same one as in my apple cake – dolloped over late summer berries. In this version I used raspberries and blackberries, but you could use one or the other, or redcurrants, blueberries or even gooseberries.

Put the oven on to 180C and line the bottom of a 20″ – 24″ spring form cake tin with greaseproof paper or parchment. Scatter enough berries to cover the base of the tin. Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of demerera sugar over and the tiniest of splashes of vanilla essence.

Blend together 130g caster sugar and softened butter until pale and fluffy. Now beat in two medium free range eggs, then add 130g self raising flour and a teaspoon of baking powder for extra lift. if the mix is a little dry add a tiny splash of milk.

Spread the cake mixture carefully over the berries, then bake for 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the tin then turn out upside down on a plate. Alternatively you could serve warm with custard.

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Broad Bean Burgers

10 07 2014

For those of you who grow your own you’ll be aware broad bean season is once again upon us. Broad beans are one of the easiest things to grow, just watch out for blackfly and pinch out the tender tops as the plants grow to prevent the blackfly from spreading.

This recipe really does benefit from the extra time spent shelling the beans. Even young broad beans will work best if you remove the tough husks. I think I used about 30-40 pods when making this. I got 4 decent sized burgers out of it. You can shape the mixture into burgers and freeze for use later if you have too much to eat in one sitting.

Broad beans
2 large potatoes
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 red chili
2-3 slices of bread
Large pinch of turmeric
Large handful of parsley and coriander
1 egg
salt

Remove the beans from their pods, place in boiling water and boil rapidly for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove the skins and place the shiny green beans in a large bowl.

Peel and chop the potatoes. Cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer until tender. Drain and add to the beans. Mash roughly.

Finely chop the onion, garlic and chili and fry gently in olive oil until tender. Add to the mashed beans and potatoes. Add the turmeric, egg, chopped herbs and season with salt. Mix well then blitz the bread into crumbs and add those too.

Heat a pan with a little olive oil. Take a handful of the burger mixture and shape into a round burger. Fry gently on both sides until browned.

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Deep-fried Ricotta

6 07 2014

Deep frying anything always make it taste better, especially cheese. Inspired by a recent lunch at Luna Rossa in Notting Hill.

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Makes 8-12 balls

250g ricotta cheese
70g parmesan (or vegetarian equivalent)
1-2 eggs
breadcrumbs (panko work best here)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
sunflower oil for deep frying

Drain the ricotta and put in a bowl. Finely grate the parmesan into the same bowl. Mix well and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

Take 2 bowls

In bowl 1 crack one of the eggs and beat well
In bowl 2 tip out some of the breadcrumbs, mix in the oregano

Take the cheese mixture from the fridge and shape into small balls – smaller than a golf ball.
Dip the cheese ball in the egg, then the breadcrumbs. For extra crispy coating, repeat again. Place the breaded balls on a plate
Repeat using the second egg and more breadcrumbs as you need them until all the cheese has been used up then return them to the fridge.

Heat the oil in a pan. When hot, fry a few balls at a time. They need about 2-3 minutes – just until the breadcrumbs brown.

Serve immediately with a tomato and garlic sauce (like the one used here) or chili jam





Spinach Pie (Greek Style)

25 06 2014

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I’m not quite ready to surrender to the fact my holiday for this year is over. Having spent a week in Kefalonia (or Cephalonia, or is it Keffalinia) I am continuing with the Greek themed food. Kefalonia is a beautiful island: Stunning scenery, crystal clear water, hot sunshine and some great food. Somewhat surprisingly none of the bakers sold flat, pitta style bread and none of the restaurants had hummus on the menu. They did however have spinach pie and cheese pie (made from “yellow cheese” they told me).

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This made a pie big enough to feed 6-8 people
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions – finely sliced into quarter rings
about 650g spinach (raw weight)
4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 tablespoon za’atar
1 egg
1 block (200g) halloumi cheese – grated
8-10 sheets filo pastry
lots of butter
a sprinkling of sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a large pan then add the onion and fry gently for 15 minutes stirring occasionally until starting to brown. While this is cooking, wash the spinach then place in a large pan, lid on and heat until wilted. Drain in a sieve then squeeze as much liquid as you can from the spinach. Chop well.

Ass the garlic to the onions and fry for a further 5 minutes before adding the spinach. Turn the heat up and stir fry the onion, garlic and spinach until quite dry. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once cool add the egg, za’atar and grated halloumi. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.

Take a large round dish then melt the butter and brush it over the base and sides of the dish. Take 4-5 sheets of filo pastry and brush with more melted butter, then layer over the base and up the sides of the dish. Spoon in the spinach filling, fold in the overhanging filo, then butter the remaining filo sheets and cover the base. Turn the whole thing out onto a baking sheet, dusted with semolina or polenta.

Heat the oven to 200C. Before placeing the pie in the oven, cut into 8 slices. If you don’t do this now, slicing it will be tricky once the pastry has crisped. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and crispy, allow to cool a little before serving.

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