Tomato and Chorizo Rice

Oh Hi!

Me? Well I was getting a bit sick of this poor lonesome blog giving me guilt trips so after spending most of my recent spare time watching YouTube constantly (oh my Sprinkle of Glitter
you are truly addictive!) I decided to just jump in and do a vlog, eek, please be gentle, here it is…

I’m attempting to post this from my iPad so not sure how to embed the video from here, I’ll have a tinker on the pooter later.

Anyways, please comment on the video, like (if you like it), and subscribe to my channel and then I’ll have some idea whether you hate it or not.

Be nice x

20131110-175732.jpg

Advertisements

My Instagram Feast

Clockwise from top left: the ever amazing cress (sewn by my even more amazing 3 yo on cotton wool, can’t beat it), a griddled courgette, aubergine, mozarella and tomato salad; good old strawberries and ice cream; pesto and spinach potato salad with carrot, tomatoes and fruit salad for al fresco eating on the grass outside our flat, more potato salad with yummy smoked salmon; home made ice pops – a daily habit at the mo; feta, cucumber, spinach and mint salad with the new Genius tomato and basil pittas – approved, very scrummy cheese and potato pie from Clives at the Allergy and Free From show; and my lazy dinner du jour of pasta, pesto and sugar snap peas – I know I’m a real gourmet!

Aubergine Curry with Gram Flour Flat Breads

I was pretty surprised at just how delicious this curry was.  I cooked it without any oil, just a little of that spray light and it worked really well, it also means it’s practically fat free and good for the diet (zzzzzz).  I think the secret is the grilling of the whole aubergine until charred and smoky and then using the scooped out flesh.  I’ve made the flat breads before, they are kind of a mix between socca and dosas in that they utilise the basic concept of the socca recipe, gram flour, water and seasoning, yet I make them like a dosa style pancake.

Aubergine Curry with Gram Flour Flat Breads and Cottage Cheese (yeah that's right, COTTAGE CHEESE!)

Oh yeah and I served it up with some cottage cheese, now I know I’m going to sound a little like a diet obsessed freak here but it worked really well, almost like a creamier yoghurt type substitute with a bit more body and the cool, soft cheese provided the perfect partner to this spiced aubergine and made a change from the more traditional yoghurt.  In fact I read somewhere someone talking about how cottage cheese was pretty much the same as ricotta and although sadly underrated made a much cheaper alternative.  Right enough said, it’s alright you know!

Serves 1 or 2 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 smallish onion
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • an inch of ginger
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of mild curry powder
  • salt
  • Spray light (or if you are not watching your waistline they go ahead pour a load of yummy oil in the pan *evil eyes*)

Method:

Turn your grill on.  Whack your aubergine under the grill and turn every few minutes until it is charred and saggy.  Set aside.

Slice your onion and soften in the microwave with a splash of water, ie put in bowl, splash with water and cover with a plate, I normally put it in on high for about 3 minutes.

Finely chop your garlic and ginger with some salt.  Heat a small frying pan and spray with oil.  Add your softened onions and ginger and garlic and fry until slightly browned.  Add the curry powder and fry for 30 seconds.  Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and fry for another min.  Scoop out the innards of the aubergine and add to the pan.  Stir and season to taste.

Serve with the flat breads, see recipe here, some cottage cheese and maybe a bit of mango chutney.  I serve it all separately but it would make a great wrap if you were wanting a fajita vibe.

Gnocchi with a Tomato and Basil Sauce

I think it was Annie from Annies Supper Club who was tweeting about her gnocchi the other day and I was like, yeah that sounds good I must have a go.  So I roughly followed a recipe from Practical Cookery.  This book is great, it’s one of the books catering students are advised to buy when doing their NVQs and it’s perfect for looking up classic recipe formats and ratios.  I halved the recipe and exchanged the plain flour for gluten free plain flour to suit me. 

Serves 2

for the gnocchi:

50g flour (gf for me)

150g of mashed potato

1 egg (well actually about 2/3s of an egg, I just scooped out a bit of the white before mixing

salt and pepper

a small handful of parsley, chopped

Method:

First cook your potato, I nuked mine in the microwave, wasn’t sure how much would be 150g cooked so I cooked a large jacket, you could bake or boil it, and then weighed it afterwards.  Microwaving or baking is best because it dries out the potato but you can boil or steam if you wish. 

Mix the mash with the flour, seasoning and herbs.  Mix the egg and stir into the mixture, you might want to get your hand in and combine until in a soft dough.  Break off small pieces and roll into walnut sized balls. Gently flatten balls with a fork. 

Then poach gently in boiling water until they rise to the surface.  Drain and set aside until you’ve made your sauce.

I then made a simple tomato sauce the recipe is the same as the one I used for meatballs in an earlier post so go check it out if you want to.  Once the sauce was ready I put in my gnocchi and warmed through.  Then chucked in a handful of chopped basil, stirred through and served with some grated parmesan. 

Ha ha, I made pasta!!

Cod with Crispy Chorizo and a Tomato Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the tomato sauce,

  1. Tin of chopped tomatoes
  2. 1 onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 veg stock cube
  4. 1 teaspoon of sugar
  5. 1 desert spoonful of balsamic vinegar
  6. Freshly ground pepper

Method:

Soften the onions in a little olive oil until translucent (about 10min in pan, or 5 in microwave).  Add tinned tomatoes, vinegar, stock cube, sugar and pepper.  Simmer for about ten min then blend and set aside.

Other ingredients:

  1. 2 cod fillets or other chunky white fish
  2. About two inches of chorizo, chopped into little bits
  3. 4 Spring onions, sliced
  4. Mashed potato (potatoes, creme fraiche, butter, salt and pepper) to serve with.

Method:

Pan fry the fish about a minute each side (you will need to vary this depending on the size and thickness of your fish).  Place in the oven on top of a mound of mash on a very low heat.  Meanwhile fry the chorizo and spring onion quickly on a high heat until crispy.  Drain. 

Spoon tomato sauce around fish and mash.  Sprinkle with crispy chorizo and spring onion.  Serve.

Tomato Soup

Another lovely soup.  I did this one with fresh tomatoes from the market but it can be made with tinned.  My local market is Surrey Street Market in Croydon and they do the most amazing bargains on fruit and veg.   These tomatoes were only a pound a bowl and they were lovely ripe, red, vine tomatoes.  

Ingredients:

About 1400g of fresh tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped into small pieces

1 stick of celery, chopped into small pieces

1 vegetable stock cube

A small cup of water

A couple of pinches of sugar

Salt and pepper

Splash of Worcester Sauce

Squirt of ketchup

Two dessert spoons of creme fraiche or cream

Method:

Soften the onion, carrot and celery in a pan for ten min or so (or put in the microwave with a splash of oil, cover and cook for about 4/5 min).

Add roughly chopped/quartered tomatoes and a cup of water to pan and bring up to simmer.

Add stock cube. Simmer gently for about 10 min.

Blend.

Sieve.

Add seasonings: salt, pepper, sugar, ketchup, Worcester sauce.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Stir in creme fraiche.

Serve with a an extra dollop of creme fraiche or a swirl of cream.

Some garlic bread or a crusty loaf and butter would go down lovely with this.