Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hint's, Tips, Recipes...and queries

With the comp. still working I'll keep going as long as I can. Grandson is getting a new one for us - with a flat screen, thanks be (the back of this one sticks out right into the window recess), he advises sooner rather than later as if the hard-drive (I do know what that is) could lose all its memory, so I am madly prinitng out all of my recipes I had put onto Word - which are getting on for 400 (have done about two thirds). I know they could go onto one of those shiny discs but I haven't one of those and wouldn't know what to do anyway. They need to be printed so that I can flick through them (far speedier than doing that on the comp.) Luckily I had already made an alphabetical index.

Today I am concentrating on an assortment of subjects. Firstly let me ask those of you who have told me that you are vegetarians - do let me know if you exclude ALL flesh, or just the red and white meats, but still eat fish? Normally, when asked for a vegetarian recipe I exclude all the above, but sometimes it is a bit limiting and I try to fit the recipes to suit any requests . However, I am collecting up recipes using tofu and Quorn that I can adapt, and am intending to try out both products myself to find out their potential.

LibrarySpy: You wanted ideas to use mint jelly, as - not being a meat-eater - lamb didn't come into the picture. So far, I am not sure which meat-substitute products are made with Quorn, but maybe you could serve the jelly with a Quorn burger or mock-chop if they do one. Mint sauce stirred into lamb mince when making Shepherd's Pie gives a good flavour, so worth trying a version of this using Quorn.

Eileen: yet another courgette recipe for you. I discovered this yesterday, and perfect for a meal-for-one.
Courgette and Pepper Omelette:
1 tblsp olive oil
1 courgette, cut into sticks
1 red (bell) pepper, seeded, flesh cut into strips
half a tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 eggs, lightly whisked
half an ounce (15g) mature Cheddar, grated
salt and pepper, parsley for garnish
Heat half the oil in a frying pan and fry the courgette and pepper until softened and just browning. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl and add the thyme. Add the remaining oil to the pan and when hat, pour in the eggs, season to taste. Lift the sides gently and tilt the pan so that uncooked egg runs to the side. When the top is just set, put on the cooked vegetables, scatter over the cheese and fold the omelette over - slide onto a plate, garnish with chopped parsley. Eat and enjoy.

Hints and Tips:
To use up the scraps of cooked chicken, ripped from a carcase either before or after making stock, shred and bind with one of the following flavoursome sauces and pile onto a plate to eat with rice or salads (good also spooned into those little curved leaves of Webbs' lettuce - to be eaten as 'finger food'.
Tuna Mayo Sauce: Blend a can of drained tuna with a good dollop of mayo. Add Greek yogurt if you wish. Season to taste. Fold chicken or turkey scraps into this dressing and serve as suggested.
Mustard, Herb and Nut Sauce: Combine 2 tblsp Dijon mustard with 1 oz (25g) chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon or chives), 1 oz (25g) flaked almonds, handful of seedless green grapes , quartered, and 6 fl.oz (175g) mayonnaise. Add seasoning to taste then fold in the chicken .

Chicken Patties: Take equal quantites of mashed potato and shredded cooked chicken, work together (as when making fish cakes). Add some crushed, crisply-fried bacon. Season well to taste. Mix together and form into patties. Dust with flour (or egg and crumb) and fry until golden on both sides. Serve in a sesame bap with cranberry sauce topping and salad.

Red-Radish Relish: serve this with any cold cooked meats that need a bit of a lift.
Trim 1 lb (450g) radishes and slice as thinly as possible. Put into a bowl with 1/2 tsp salt and the juice of one lemon. Mix well and chill. These will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Stir before serving.

To use up mushrooms past their best - roughly chop and put in a pan with a little well-flavoured stock and Simmer until the liquid has been absorbed by the mushrooms. Stir in some herbs, or add a few drops of Worcestershire or any other well-flavoured sauce. Season to taste. Pile onto hot buttered toast, or cool and use as a sandwich filling.

Rescue overcooked, sticky and/or fluffy rice by spreading on a baking tin and drying out in a hot oven for a few minutes. Remove, put into a bowl, add some peas and sweetcorn, tip into a pan containing a little hot oil, stir and fry, then add one beaten egg - stir this in immediately so it blends in with the rice. Serve as 'egg fried rice'.

When making a batch of pancakes, some may be smaller, uneven or even have holes. All can be used if you stack them, using the best shaped ones for the top and bottom. Either make a savoury stack by layering with alternate tomato sauce, spag.bol. sauce, a vegetable in cream sauce etc. Repeat until the pancakes are used up. Pour over a cheese sauce and sprinkle over grated cheese. Bake in a moderate to hot oven for about 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is browning nicely. Cut into wedges to serve.
For a dessert, alternate layers of mashed banana drizzled with lemon and honey, maybe a layer of lemon curd or jam, whatever you wish - tent with foil, heat and serve with cream. Serve as above.

To use up stale bread - make into Croutons. Brush slices with oil, remove crusts and cut into cubes. Place on a baking tray and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for up to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Before baking and slicing the bread could be rubbed with a clove of garlic to make Garlic Croutons.
Most recipes that require 'fresh' breadcrumbs often mean stale crumbs. Because they have dried out slightly they absorb liquid more easily and will make the end result somewhat firmer. Perfect for making bread sauce.

Must leave you now as I have to take the opportunity of printing out more recipes while I have the chance.