Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leek and potato + lemon and sage

  • Peel and cube potatoes. Boil, drain, and mash with butter/cream if desired.
  • Slice leeks and cook slowly in butter til melty.
  • Combine the two with hot stock then whiz minimally with about two sage leaves per person and a generous squeeze of lemon
  • Season as you go!

What did it taste like? Quite simply, delish!

Tip: Check the potatoes you buy are good for mash and don't over-process them with the blender as they can go all gluey. Don't whiz at all if you prefer! Also, beware of sage (personally, I find it a bit scary (I have trapped the rest in the freezer and am keeping a close eye)); add a little at a time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jerusalem artichoke + black truffle and chives

  • Chopped onions meet olive oil on the stove. Let them sweat and soften. Peeled, cubed jerusalem artichoke into the pan. Ground coriander, saltandpepper. 
  • Give them five minutes to get to know each other.
  • Add stock. Boil then simmer.
  • Blitz when veggies have softened. Add milk/cream.
  • Finish with scissored chives, olive oil and if you wish, black truffle (I always have black truffles in my store cupboard (ahem)).

Super Extra: I grated, squeezed, paper-towelled, fried and seasoned (phew!) some of the raw jerusalem artichoke til it turned into crispy bits and sprinkled them on top.

What did it taste like? Silky, delicately earthy, sweet but less so than parsnip, moreish. Crispy bits on top were good for texture and tasty too :) 

Tip: I peeled my jerusalem artichoke with a soft-fruit peeler. They’re pretty knobbly so look awkward to peel but you don’t have to be religious about it. Alternatively, you can use a teaspoon as you would with ginger but it gets a bit flicky. Apparently you can also slip the skins off after cooking if you boil them whole. But you can also eat the skin too so it shouldn't affect your life in a significant way.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chorizo and chickpea + tomato and green chili

  • Half a chopped chorizo in the pan with olive oil, just a bit. Crisp it up. Diced onions and carrots in. Turn the heat down. Cumin, paprika. Ten minutes of indecisiveness.
  • Big fresh tomatoes, chopped and in (lots). Big squeeze of tomato purée. Garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. The other half of a chopped chorizo. Sizzle for ten then add water. Let it bubble for an episode or two of your favourite series.
  • Add water if it catches. Add olive oil if it makes you happy.
  • When the consistency pleases you, add a tin of chick peas.
  • Slice some green chili for the top.

What did it taste like? Good, hearty, spicy, wholesome.

Tip: For the leftovers I fried up some onions fast and slow (I couldn’t decide if I wanted them fried or caramelised) with some sugar and spices, then cooked some little potatoes and popped it all in to join the gang. I was then able to feed a friend :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Broccoli and cream cheese + nutmeg and potato

  • Cook a whole chopped broccoli head in water with (just a few) new potatoes.
  • Plop in a chicken stock cube at some point. If you do this, don’t use salt yet. Wait til you’ve tasted it at the end.
  • Whizz when tender. Add as much cream cheese (like Philadelphia or St Moret) as you want. I put three quarters of a pack, plus a bit more :)
  • Season and grate on some nutmeg.

What did it taste like? A lovely combination of good for you and bad for you :)

Tip: If you use too much water you will have a thin, bland soup. If you’re not sure how much to use, don’t worry, go with the flow but drain some of the water into another container once the broccoli is cooked - that way you can add some back in if it ends up too thick.