Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ARGHHH

Last week of uni + two exams this week + general hectiness = not much new cooking.

Tonight, I'm making Gordo's Fish, last night was danish fritters, and that aside, its been snacking on rice crackers. Thank goodness I decided to buy snack food, I don't know how I usually survive without it in the house. It feels like cheating to put a recipe for "spinach, tomato, cheese and pepper on rice crackers", though, I feel you can figure that out yourself from the title.

Meanwhile enjoy this picture from happy things

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to: Chop an onion

So I thought I had this down until I was at Levi’s a while ago and his dad showed me this way to chop onions. It’s a lot easier. Good work, Keith. I took a lot of photos in case I am awful at explaining what I mean.

For this (surprise!) you will need an onion and a sharp knife. This is what an onion and a sharp knife look like.



Cut off the top and bottom of the onion.



Slice down through a layer of skin and peel off. I normally take off one of the white (see through?) layers as well because lately the outside layer has been kinda gross. Up your game, local shops.




Stand the onion on one of its newly flat edges (where you cut off the top or bottom), and slice in half.





Get one half of your onion, and make incisions lengthways along the onion, leaving a gap at the top so it holds together. I’ve left quite large gaps because I only wanted it roughly diced, but you can put them closer together for a finer dice.



Holding your onion sides and being careful about that knife, cut the other way along the onion to dice it.



Once you get to the bit that has no incisions on it, you can just roughly chop that into pieces.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Curry

Welcome back, Blogger! If you aren't someone who uses Blogger you probably didn't know that it has been out of action for a few days. If you are, you probably also considered jumping ship and moving to WordPress (but I haven't, because I like it here).

So now you can finally get my recipe for sweet potato curry. Trust me, it is a ripper. It takes a little longer than I would usually spend on a dinner, but its quite worth it. I made this on one of those days where nothing goes quite right and you don’t have all the ingredients. News flash: after a year of diligently keeping my cupboards stocked with 400g tins of diced tomatoes, I didn’t have one when I went to cook this; I forgot to add cauliflower to my shopping list; I couldn’t find ground coriander so smashed up some coriander seeds and then when I was looking for cumin, found the ground coriander so added that too; cashews were too expensive so I didn’t top it with cashews - and hopefully Levi doesn’t read this because I neglected to tell him they were in the recipe in case the dish tasted worse in comparison to how good it could have been with the cashews.

If you want to follow the normal recipe, sub the tomato paste and water for 400g tin tomatoes. And if I can make a suggestion - cube the sweet potato quite small, because it will cook faster and you won’t be standing over the pan dying of hunger. I’ve added a lot of options into this recipe, because depending on what you have available, things can be added at a myriad of times. I’ve also not given any measurements for garlic or ginger - go with what you like. I substituted the cauliflower for frozen peas, because they added a bit of colour as well. This is quite a nice, easy dish served on rice, and the leftovers were good for lunch the next day. I’m a little concerned at how much I eat if the recipe is meant to serve 6 and I got 3-4 servings out of it, but it was SO GOOD.


SWEET POTATO CURRY
Serves 4
Total time commitment: 1 hour
From Leon: Naturally Fast Food Book 2

1 onion
Oil
Ginger
Garlic
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 sachet tomato paste
200ml warm water
4 baby sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
400g tin coconut milk
Frozen peas

1. Chop the onion and fry in oil for 5 minutes. If you are using minced garlic from a jar (hello, self), add it with the oil; if you’re using *proper* garlic, then add it after the onion has softened a bit. If you’re using *proper* ginger, add that with the garlic; if you are using ground ginger, add that, along with the other spices, about a minute after the *proper* garlic/once the onion has softened.

2. Add the sachet of tomato paste and the warm water/tin of diced tomatoes, and the sweet potato. Cook for 30 minutes, adding water if it seems to be drying out.

3. Add frozen peas (as many as you like) and coconut milk to the pan, put the lid on and simmer for 10 minutes (or until soft). Delicious.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pasta with Peas

I've spent the last two days trying to post and blogger hasn't been loading. How awkward for blogger.

This recipe is one that, as the book says, could probably be whipped up in the depths of a nuclear winter. Considering how quick and easy it is, I was expecting it to taste a lot more bland than it did. I actually timed this to see exactly how long it took to cook - 22 minutes and 7 seconds - but most of that was waiting for the pasta to boil. It was very easy and didn't take a lot of effort, which is what you need on a Sunday night.



PASTA WITH PEAS
Serves three
Total time commitment: 22 minutes 7 seconds
From the second Leon cookbook

1 leek
1 onion
Olive oil
Bit of butter
Garlic
Peas
Parmesan
Pasta

1. Boil some water for your pasta. I think you can cook the pasta without much direction.

2. Heat a little bit of oil and butter in a pan. Don't have the heat too high or it will burn. While this is warming up, or beforehand if you are not speedy with your knife skills and worry about hot oil spitting at you out of the pan, cut up the leek (thinly) and onion (diced).

3. Chuck some garlic in the pan for extra flavour, and then add the leek and onion. Let them soften a bit.

4. Add some peas - I didn't measure, just added until it looked nice.

5. Hopefully your pasta is done - top the pasta with leek and pea mix, and top that with as much parmesan as you can handle.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day!

Happy mothers' day Mama and Grandma and Aunty Mel and other mums who read my blog!

I strongly considered posting a picture of mum busting a move at Tara's 21st, but this one (from the same night) is just too lovely.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spicy Burmese Cabbage

So I mentioned my new cookbook, and I am so excited to own it. I was so excited to post it that I didn't even explain why I am so darn excited about it. Remember that whole England escapade in 2009? Levi's friend took us to this place with food and I was like "Eh, sweet potato falafel, looks a bit expensive but I'll get it." NOT EXPENSIVE FOR HOW MUCH YOU GET. OMG. I was so pleased I took a photo.

I actually pulled this picture from Facebook (I was sure I had one of the actual food, but nonetheless) and it is captioned "I will miss you, Leon, and your tasty sweet potato felafel."

So when I was walking past a new cafe near my place a couple of months ago and saw the spine of a Leon book in there, I ran in and opened it and was excited and then ran back out to text Levi a picture of it. Lois was there, she can verify. And now I own the book (albeit the second one, which doesn't have the sweet potato felafel recipe, but I DONT EVEN CARE)! Huzzah! 

HUZZAH, I SAY. 

I was kind of skeptical about this recipe, because I've never had cabbage outside of coleslaw. I'm not entirely sure why it was the first recipe I decided to cook from it, to be honest, but it ended up being delicious. I think it would be good with the little black seeds they have on turkish bread on it. We ate it with plain rice, and it was great and filling. The recipe is insanely easy, and I've pared it down even more because I hate peanuts (you heard me) and I didn't want to buy fresh ginger or garlic, and couldn't use fish sauce because I was cooking for Levi.



SPICY BURMESE CABBAGE

Serves 2 hungry people (eaten with rice) with leftovers for tomorrow, or 4 as a side dish
Total time commitment: 15 minutes

400g green cabbage
Ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp turmeric
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
100ml hot water
Garnishes - chopped fresh coriander, peanuts, sesame seeds, whatever tickles your fancy.

1. Slice cabbage thinly. Heat oil in a pan, and chuck on the garlic with it (the recipe says to do this after the cabbage, but because I was using minced garlic/am a maverick I swapped it around). Put the cabbage in the pan and let it soften for a minute or two.

2. Meanwhile, add turmeric to the hot water, stir until smooth, and then add the lemon juice and soy sauce.

3. Back to your delicious cabbage - add the hot water concoction and watch it change colour.

4. Stir for a minute or so, add any garnishes you want, and serve however it pleases you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Birthday!

I've been kind of absent lately, and I apologise, but I am in one of my lazy spells.

I did,  however, have a birthday in all that time, and got some pretty radbiscuits presents.

Expect many recipes from this in the next few weeks.

Cooked in my new Weber Baby Q, because I am SO EXCITED ABOUT HAVING A BARBEQUE.