Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mixed Veg Risotto

I bought some Arborio rice in Tesco, thought I may as well make an attempt at making Risotto. This is a dish my Mum makes a lot at home. So this is my first time. Let's just say it was a roaring success and my lovely girlfriend said "you can make this again, yum!"

Serves: 2

1 cup Arborio Rice (Tesco brand will do, or whatever you think)
2 1/2 - 3 cups of vegetable stock.
1/2 Aubergine (sliced and diced)
1/2 Red pepper (sliced and diced)
1 Red small onion (sliced and diced)
4-5 mushrooms (quartered is best)
1/4 courgette (sliced and diced)
some grated cheese (parmesan is preferable, I used cheddar, it doesn't matter)
any other vegetables you want to add in.

Now I've seen a load of recipes using butter, but I don't. I think it makes it too fattening, my recipe doesn't need it either. It's creamy enough.

Season your pan first, by adding some olive oil on a low heat. Then add the cup of arborio rice. Fry the dried rice for two minutes with some diced onion to give it some flavour. Add all of your other vegetables to the frying pan as well. If you have a second frying pan, I recommend frying all your veg in this and then add it later as they may shrivel and dissappear into the risotto.

Boil the kettle on the side and in a seperate bowl, make your vegetable stock. I use Marigold Swiss Bouillon Powder. This stuff is hard to find, if you live in Dublin, you can buy it in the health food store in the Pavilions, Swords. I'm sure it's available elsewhere, but I don't know. Oxo cubes can also work, but they need to be stirred into the boiling water, until they break down and they're not as nice.
Anyway, use about 1 tablespoon of bouillon powder in 2.5 - 3 cups of boiling water from the kettle.

Add the stock a little bit at a time, each time stirring until the stock has been absorbed. The reason it is done like this, is to help release the starch from the rice and help give it a thicker taste.

Once you've added all the stock, your rice should be soft enough to eat. Add the grated cheese. Whilst on a low heat, let the cheese melt. Once the cheese has melted and been mixed into the rest of the risotto, it is ready to serve.

Add some more grated cheese to granish.

Enjoy :D

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick Update

Hi, I know I haven't posted here in ages and to be honest I've been really lazy with this part of my blog. I probably should merge everything into the same blog.

Recipes I want to put here in the future include:

1) Quiche, short crust and puff pastry
2) Pizza dough
3) Savoury pancakes
4) Vol Au vents and what to put in them
5) French Toast
6) Eggplant Parmesan
7) How to make an easy soup
8) Hollandaise sauce
9) Thick creamy cheese roux

Until then, I suppose I'd best get back to work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pumpkin, Turnip and Sweet Pepper Lasagne

This is actually my Dad's recipe and I've kinda made up the exact meausurements and cooking times so adjust to suit who you're cooking for and the heat on your cooker.

Pumpkin, Turnip and Sweet Pepper Lasagne

1 Pumpkin
2 Turnips
2 Sweet peppers
Numerous Sheets of Lasagne Pasta (fresh or dried)

For Tomato Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic
500 ml Passata Tomato Sauce

For Cheese Rue
White grated cheddar cheese

1) Dice the pumpkin or butternut squash, turnip and sweet peppers into cubes as big as a sugar cube. Pour olive oil into baking tray, throw pumpkin, turnip and peppers into tray. Drizzle more olive oil on top and oven bake for 20 minutes.

2) Place the sheets of Lasagne into hot water and let soak for about 5-10 mins.

3) Make a tomato sauce using the Passata tomato sauce in a saucepan over a low heat. Do not allow to bubble or boil. Add the Oregano, crush the garlic and add as well. Add other herbs and spices as you see fit. Once the vegetables in the oven have finished cooking, add them to the saucepan.

4) To make the cheese rue, add a knob of butter to a saucepan on medium heat. Add a small amount of flour and mix around until all the flour has congealed with the butter. Add a little milk, stirring as you pour it until all the lumps from the flour are gone. Add more milk for the consistency you desire. Add the grated cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted and there are no lumps in the sauce. Do not allow to bubble or boil either.

5) Oil up a glass oven dish for the lasagne. Add a layer of tomato sauce with the vegetables. Add a layer of Lasagne. Repeat this again until you've filled the oven dish. Leave space at top for cheese sauce. Pour the sauce in, filling the dish to the top. Add more grated cheese to the top to garnish. Place in Oven and cook at 220 degrees until golden.

6) Remove, serve and enjoy.

BTW the image on the left is a robbed image, I'll replace it as soon as I get an original photo of my cooking.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Difference between Pancakes and Crepes

Whats the difference between pancakes and Crepes? My good friend Pat has taught me a valuable difference between pancakes and crepes. It would appear that I thought I was making pancakes for years, when in fact I've been making Crepes.

Now I honestly didn't cop the difference. But it's all down to the basic ingredients. There seems to be a few different recipes for them out there, but here's the key difference.

Pancakes contain baking soda, yeast, some sort of raising agent. The way to remember, cakes raise, they get bigger, hence why they're called panCAKE's.

Crepe's are made with flour instead of baking soda. As a result, this means they are lighter and easier to eat. Crepe's can also be used for both dessert and as a savoury dish.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Simple Nachos

The other night I was feeling very lazy and looking to eat junk food. So I made myself some nachos.

Here's what ya need:
Big bag of nacho's (any type you want)
Cheddar cheese
Jalapeno Peppers
Salsa sauce or Sour Cream or Guacamole or all

Put the nacho's on a plate, pile them high. Grill the nacho's under a grill for a wee bit to heat them. Add your sauces on top, in any fashion you like. Add jalapeno peppers. Grate the cheese on top of this and place under the grill again until the cheese starts to go a golden colour.

Eat while hot and enjoy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Very Tasty Sambo

Ok, here's a sandwich I really enjoy. It's big, full of salad and really is very tasty. It's easy to overload it, but sure have fun, go mad.

What ya need:
Ploughman Pickle
Tomatoes (sprinkle salt on top to bring out the taste)
Sliced Edam cheese or mild cheddar cheese

I don't think I need to explain how to make a sandwich. So go mad, use three slices if ya like. Toast it if you really want. Have two layers of cheese, add mustard, whatever. It's just a great mix of ingredients, so enjoy.

Caprese salad

Tis a fancy sounding name for something so simple. Basically it's tomatoe, mozzarella, bit of olive oil and basil. It's simple and works great as a starter to a pasta dish.

What ya need:
Big beef tomatoe, the redder the juicier
Mozarrella (the one that comes in the pouches in water are the best)
Olive oil to drizzle (extra virgin olive oil is a safe bet)
Fresh Basil leaf

Slice the tomatoe into big thick slices. About a centimeter thick. Add one or two per plate. Slice the mozarella ball into slightly thinner slices than the tomatoe. Drizzle olive oil on top. Add three of four fresh basil leaves to garnish.

Basil Plant

I suggest buying a herb plant or two, it really makes a difference when making a meal. Fresh supplies will always increase the taste and can look good too.

I've gone and purchased myself a little basil plant, it's looking a little worse for wear but with a little work, it should be grand in a while. I love basil, it works well fresh on a Caprese salad.

Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Sage and Rosemary are good options. They grow all year round and you can even have them on you windowsill in your kitchen so you can take a leaf whenever you want.

Tasty grilled sandwich

Here's something I made earlier today that I thought was delicious. Maybe I was just hungry and would eat anything.

What ya need:
2 slices bread
1 egg
Edam or mild cheddar cheese (or whatever you prefer, the block cheese is best)
1 spring onion (scallion, whatever you call it)
Aromat to season

Toast the bread, butter it, put the cheese on the toast, slice up the spring onion and sprinkle on top, sprinkle aromat on top to season and put it under the grill to let the cheese melt. Fry the egg on a low heat (it may be slower but it tastes so much better). You can have your egg sunny side up or over easy, you pick. Take the toast out, put the egg on the toast, close the sandwich and cut it diagonally. There ya go, nice and tasty.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Avocado Salad

Here's my very own one that I created while away in Australia. While living in Cairns, my girlfriend and myself would often go to the fresh fruit and veg market called Rusty's. If you've ever been to Cairns you'll know it, it's just next door to Gilligan's hostel.

Here's what ya need:-
1 Avocado (slightly soft for best taste)
some tomato diced
1/2 clove of garlic
some diced up red onion
lemon juice
salt and pepper (salt is necessary to bring out the taste of the tomatoes)

Here's what ya do, cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and keeping the avocado in the shell, mix it all up using a fork. Add the garlic, red onion, tomato, lemon juice, salt and pepper and then mix it all up. Serve in the skin of the avocado straight to the plate or store in the fridge until ready.

Tis simple and it looks cool.

Recipe Stuff

Well, here's to the start of another blog of mine. I know my other one is boring as hell, computer stuff can be a lot of the time.

Anyways, I want to try and list a number of recipes that I either come across or that I've made up myself.

I'm a Vegetarian so this limits what I can eat. I've been a vegetarian all my life, so don't go bothering trying to convert me, it's too late, I've no idea what it tastes like and I've no interest. Just to let you know, I won't be including anything that contains meat, chicken or fish. I won't be including in my recipes any fish oils or lard or anything that involves killing of the animal.

Right that's enough of what I can't. I eat everything else. I love trying new food and new recipes as well as cooking and eating what I make. I like to cook with my girlfriend as well. I find I actually try harder to make something nice when I'm cooking for her or for friends. I think nothing can be cooler than to make a delicious meal and see how everyone enjoys it and comments on it to help advance the taste and improve it for future use.

I suppose I should add comments on Restaurants I've been to and those that I wish to go to as well.

I'm a member on MenuPages.ie and I've availed of their special deals with their points system and I think it's a great way to find hidden gems of restaurants and read reviews on restaurants before you go, so you're not completely clueless about it.