Archive for the 'recipes' Category

Goat’s cheese and sun-dried tomato risotto

December 29, 2007

I just made this and, no kidding, it was the finest risotto I have ever made, and possibly the finest I have ever tasted. I suggest you go and make it RIGHT NOW even if you’ve already eaten. It should serve 3-4, depending on hunger. You will require:

  • an onion (chopped)
  • two spring onions (chopped)
  • a clove of garlic (minced)
  • about eight button mushrooms (sliced)
  • a chilli pepper (seeded and chopped finely)
  • about a quart (1 litre) of water
  • a chipotle stock cube (any stock cube will do)
  • 12oz (350g) arborio rice
  • 1-2oz (30-60g) goat’s cheese, to taste
  • 4oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of cream

Fry the onion, spring onion and garlic together on medium-high heat until the onion goes translucent, stirring throughout

Add the mushrooms and chilli and keep on cooking until the juices start to release; turn down the heat.

Stir in the uncooked rice and add the stock cube.

Gradually add the water, a cup (250ml) at a time; don’t add the next cup until the previous one is absorbed. This can take some time (maybe half an hour? I wasn’t keeping track). Keep stirring.

When all the water is absorbed, mix in the tomatoes and the cheese, then stir in the cream. Serve straight away.


Roast vegetables

October 26, 2007

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe here, but the roasted veggies I put together the other day were so good they needed to be shared. As usual, the recipe is more of a guideline – if you don’t like aubergines, use something else. If you think onions or pineapples might work, bung them in. See what happens. Experiment.

Anyway, my way of cooking went something like this. It fed three pretty heartily, and would doubtless suffice for four. Preheat the oven to 375F / 190C. Chop up half an aubergine, a courgette, a red pepper and half a pound / 100g of mushrooms. Take a teacup and pour in olive oil – I generally go about 1/3 of the way up, but you might want more or less. Add some balsamic vinegar, maybe half as much again, and any herbs you like the look of. (I used some crushed ginger, thyme, oregano and chilli powder). Spread the veggies on some aluminium foil on a baking tray, then drizzle the garnish over the top. Cook for about 15 minutes then shoogle them around. Once they’re back in the oven, start boiling some water for pasta – my preference is penne for this, but whatever you have handy is good. Cook the pasta according to the instructions, ideally so that it’ll be ready 15 minutes after the veggies went back in the oven, because that’s when they should come out. Put the veggies on top of the pasta and devour.

Easy chilli

July 4, 2007

Chop an onion quite finely and crush two cloves of garlic. Fry them in some vegetable oil together with two shakes of ground cumin and chilli powder. Stir often enough than nothing burns. Chop a red pepper, a green pepper and a serrano chilli (if you like); add these to the pan once the onion starts going translucent. This is probably a good point to start some rice if you want it, or to microwave a couple of baking potatoes. Once you get bored (a couple of minutes, I guess), throw in some chopped mushrooms. A couple of minutes more, and throw in a can of chilli beans and a can of tomatoes with jalapeƱos. Reduce the heat and stir from time to time so that it doesn’t burn.

… and that’s it. Serve over the rice or potatoes, sprinkle some grated cheese over the top if you like. Keep sour cream on hand in case it’s too hot and some chilli sauce in case it’s not hot enough.


Recipe notes

May 12, 2007

I should mention a few things about the recipes I’ll be posting here. Although I’m from the UK, I’ll tend to use American measures because that’s where I am. When I remember, I’ll convert things. The main one to be aware of is that a cup is eight ounces (half a pound), about 225g or 225ml, assuming what you’re measuring weighs about the same as water. I’m not always very specific about measures, particularly when it comes to small amounts (how much milk is in a dash?) and I know that’s annoying if you’ve not done much cooking. Alas, it seems the only way to figure out how much milk you need is to keep trying until you get it right.

Who am I to tell you how to cook? No-one. I could tout my experience living and working in France, but all that really taught me was how to make really good scrambled eggs, and that French bread. But I’m starting to enjoy cooking again after losing some fear of screwing up, and would like to share my discoveries.

All the recipes are vegetarian; some may be vegan, and I’ll flag them up using a tag. I imagine most of them can be made vegan, but I’ll leave that to the vegans to figure out.

Which brings me to the important thing: these recipes are just the way I happened to make the dish. They are more guidelines than instructions, and if you’ve got a good idea of something else to throw in or another way to cook things, I’d love to hear it. I always appreciate feedback, comments and suggestions, and will doubtless edit recipes (or any other articles) to incorporate the good ones, with appropriate credit.

Bon appetit!

Australian damper bread

May 12, 2007

I think I stole this recipe more or less wholesale from There was self-raising flour left over and I didn’t know what else to do with it. It came out ok, but a bit floury, perhaps because I had excess self-raising flour to begin with. It’s a nice recipe for when you want bread fairly quickly – you get a loaf in under an hour, which is less time than my bread machine needs to make dough.

– 4 cups self-raising flour in a big mixing bowl
– 1 tsp salt mixed in
– 1 tbsp softened butter also mixed in
– 1 cup milk poured into a well in the middle and mixed in
– 1/2 cup water likewise
– mix until doughy and put in a loaf tin or on a baking tray
– bake at 425F (220C) for 25 mins, 350F (180C) for 5 more.