Saturday, 17 January 2009

Another bread recipe...

But you really need to try this one! It is a no knead recipe where you make the dough in advance for 2 weeks and just take out pieces as you need it. So far the bread has been good, but not perfect (tastes great but I am having trouble with getting it the shape I want). But it is so worth doing to be able to make fast naan breads and pizzas whenever you like! I can see there being a bucket of dough in my fridge on a permanent basis.
The recipe is from a book and there is a free sample online here. And a blog with a handy Q&A section and some more recipes.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Roasted chickpeas

Sometimes you need something to nibble on and these are really tasty. Sadly not so quick but well worth the wait.

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or equivalent of dried peas, soaked and cooked)
curry powder (optional)
salt and pepper

Take the cooked chickpeas and toss them in the salt and pepper, curry powder (I use a teaspoonful or so) if using and oil. Place them on an oiled baking sheet and put them in the oven at about 450oF/230oC/gas mark 4. They will take 30-40 minutes to get crispy (you need to keep checking on them towards the end as there is a fine line between crispy and crunchy and burned!). When they are ready they will rattle when you shake the baking tray.

You can use various seasonings on them. Different spices, garlic salt, etc.

Honey Baked Lentils

I can't believe I've not posted this recipe yet! Its cheap, tasty and easy to make. Another one from the mothers at MDC - and everyone should know this recipe!

1 cup lentils
2 cups stock or water
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Combine the ingredients in an oven proof dish, cover with tin foil and bake for between 1 and 1 1/2 hours until the lentils and veggies are soft. You can vary the veg according to what you have and what your family likes. You could also make this in a slow cooker.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Baked egg custards

These would make a great pudding. But they make an even better breakfast! They can be made in advance and keep nicely in the fridge. Especially if you were lucky enough to get a set of 1 cup glass ramekins with lids for Christmas (thanks Mum)! This recipe came from a mother on the traditional foods board of MDC which is always an inspiration.

Makes 2 ramekins full

2 large eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (or less if yours is strong)
1/2 cup berries (I've used raspberries and blueberries and both are great)
1 tbsp honey

Mix ingredients together and pour into ramekins or a small baking dish. Place the containers into a larger baking dish filled with water. Bake at 350oF/gas mark 4 until set (takes quite a while - 45 mins to 1 hour).

Thursday, 8 January 2009


This is so easy to make and is a really great cooking oil. You can either make it on the stove or in the oven. I do mine in the oven usually, after something else has finished baking.
Put unsalted butter into a pan or oven proof dish. Heat the butter until it melts and then simmer gently until the white particles have turned golden brown. Strain through a double layer of cheese cloth or handkerchiefs. It doesn't need refrigerating (but can be if you like or don't use it much). I just keep mine in a jar by the stove and use it for frying most things (especially onions).

Crab risotto

This served me and the kids but if you are cooking for 4 then you will probably want to double it.

500 ml stock (fish, vegetable or chicken), hot
1 tbsp butter
1 stick celery
1 - 2 leeks
1 onion
100 ml white wine
200g arborio (or other risotto) rice
Dressed crab (or small tin crab meat)
Dash of cream
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a pan. Add the (finely chopped) leeks, celery and onion and fry until soft. Add the rice and fry for a minute or two until the rice starts to turn translucent. Then add the wine. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, until the wine is absorbed. Then start to add the stock, a ladle full at a time, stirring. Keep adding the stock when the last lot has been absorbed until the rice is soft and creamy. Gently stir through the crab and cream and season to taste. Serve topped with finely grated Parmesan.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Potato cakes

These make a great lunch or breakfast with some veggies and a slice of cheese, or a great side dish for a main meal. Always worth making extra mash so you can have these the next day!
Don't worry too much about quantities. I've never measured this out so I am guessing. Just use what you have. You can also add chopped cooked meat and/or veggies to the cakes for extra flavour and goodness. Sliced spring onions or leeks are particularly good.

2 cups cold mashed potato
1 egg
2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper
Oil for cooking (I use lard)

Beat the egg and mix into the flour and potato. Season. Heat a frying pan and when it is hot add the fat and turn down to a medium heat. Add the potato mixture in spoonfuls and flatten them to form cakes. Fry until golden and crispy then turn and repeat!