Thursday, July 19, 2007

Recipes by Request

Oodles of Noodles Stir-Fry Soup: serves 2
1 tblsp sunflower oil
6 closed cap mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
half a red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 head of broccoli,
1 pack 'straight-to-wok' noodles
soy sauce
5fl oz (150ml) water/chicken stock
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Remove stalk from broccoli and cut this into thin strips. Separate the head into florets. Into the oil put the mushrooms, garlic, pepper, broccoli florets and stalks and stir-fry until beginning to soften (about 3 - 4 minutes). Tip in the noodles and heat through. Add water or stock, soy sauce to taste. Serve in individual bowls.

Thai Coconut Curry with Broccoli: serves 4
1 tblsp Thai red curry paste
6 fl oz (175ml) water
1 lb (450g) diced chicken breast OR use a meat substitute (Quorn)
8 oz (225g) broccoli florets
6 fl oz (175ml) coconut cream
handful of fresh coriander
Fragrant rice to serve (jasmine or lemon and coriander)
Blend the paste with a little of the water, then add the rest of the water. Put this into a pan with the chicken and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until the chicken is tender. Meanwhile, in another pan, boil the broccoli for about 5 minutes until that is tender. Drain, then add this to the cooked chicken. Stir in the coconut cream and simmer for about 3 minutes. Chop the coriander, stir thalf into the pan. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle over the remaining coriander. Serve with fragrant or long-grain rice.

Warm Potato , Tuna and Broccoli Salad: serves 4
1 lb (450g) new or salad potatoes, halved lengthways
8 oz (225g) broccoli florets
1 can tuna, drained
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tblsp mayonnaise
little warm water
chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, mint etc)
handful of baby spinach leave, lamb's lettuce, rocket
Cook the potatoes (no need to skin) in boiling water until tender. Drain and keep warm. Boil the broccoli for five minutes until just tender. Drain and keep warm. Mix together the mayonnaise with a little warm water to slacken it slightly and stir in the finely chopped herbs. Put the potatoes and broccoli in a bowl and pour over the herb dressing. Toss to coat. Tip this into a serving bowl, Flake the tuna and add to the salad with the halved tomatoes and the salad leaves. Serve while still warm.
Tip: Instead of the mayo dressing, use a couple of tsp. of pesto sauce diluted down to a pouring consistency with olive oil.

Vegetarian Summer Couscous: serves four (easily extended)
Traditionally made using meat with seven vegetables, this meatless version can be made all the year round using vegetables in season. As butternut squash seems available all year round I have included this. Cut the vegetables into good, even sizes.
3 carrots, scrubbed, topped and tailed, cut into chunks
2 courgettes, topped and tailed , halved and cut into chunks
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 aubergine, quartered
8 oz (225g) butternut squash, peeled and quartered
(alternative vegetables which can be used are: shelled broad beans, parsnips, turnips, white cabbage, tomatoes)
8 oz (250g) cooked chickpeas (home-cooked or canned)
1 pint vegetable stock
good pinch each paprika, gr. cinnamon, gr. cumin, gr.ginger, and cayenne
8 oz (225g) couscous
half a pint of boiling water
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 oz butter
1 tblsp runny honey
Into a large saucepan put a little oil. Add the spices and cook for one minute then add the stock and bring to the simmer. Add the prepared potatoes. carrots and any other root egetables (if using) and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables (except the onion) to the stock. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Put the couscous into a bowl and pour over the boiling water, cover and leave to stand. In a frying pan melt the butter and fry the onion until softened. Stir in the honey. Add the chickpeas to the vegetables.
Fluff up the couscous, draining through a sieve if necessary, season with salt and pepper, and turn out onto a fairly shallow warmed dish. Top with the vegetables/chick peas and scatter over the onions. Serve any broth in a jug for everyone to help themself
Note: For a more elaborate serving, garnish with flaked, toasted almonds, pre-soaked raisins, some chopped dates. For a spicier (Tunisian) version, stir one to two tsp of harissa paste into the broth and serve this separately to pour over each portion. If no harissa paste, spike up the broth with 2 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne pepper.