Archives for category: Vegetarian
cookmakebake 'MAKE'

a different sort of vegetable salad side dish

a small red onion

1  a yellow pepper

3 large juicy plump tomatoes

3 stalks of celery

1 garlic clove

Juice of half a lemon

¼ teaspoon of hot mustard

a glug of Irish rapeseed oil (okay use Olive oil if you need to)

1 tablespoon Capers (optional)

1 green chilli (optional)

Salt

Pepper

A pinch of hot paprika

Take the bowl you are going to serve the salad, chop the garlic clove in half and run it around the bowl, it adds a hint of garlic and is a wonderful technique to add an extra layer of flavour.
Chop the onion finely and place it in the bowl season it with salt and pepper, mix and add the lemon juice.  this wilts the onion slightly. Add the mustard and mix.
Chop the yellow pepper and celery finely add to bowl.
Keep the tomatoes  large add to bowl. Pour the glug of rapeseed oil over the salad – sparingly it does not need much.

Chop the chilly finely add to bowl and use as much as you want. I liked this salad with a kick.

Add the capers to bowl. If you are using salted ones wash them and dry them off on kitchen paper.

Mix and leave to sit. Sprinkle the paprika over it before you bring it to the table and toss nce again before serving.

I made this to accompany crab claws and some left over monkfish that was served cold. I had a little mature cheddar on the side too. It was delicious and think it would go great with BBQ meat, roast chicken and steak too.

I suppose it is an unconventional way to make a salad dressing making it in the bowl as you go along. But it works and I will make this again.

Hope you try it, if you do let me know what you like about it.

Happy making!

At the end of a bright beautiful blue skied spring day and after a lovely dinner I felt everyone need something sweet.

Raspberry whizz

Frozen Raspberries a small handful per person
1 frozen banana* (one per 3 handfuls of berries)
100ml milk or juice

Put everything in a deep container and whizz. Scoop and serve. It really is that fast.
It is a cross between and ice cream and a sorbet.

I think the frozen banana makes this sweet enough but add honey if you think it needs it.

This is perfect for those over ripe bananas at the end of the fruit bowl. *Peel the banana’s and slice them before freezing them. If you don’t slice them they are tougher to whizz through and you can’t make smaller quantities.

This is also good with any frozen berries.

Enjoy.

Saturday morning I got up wanting something tasty and different for breakfast. I mean really different.

I had cooked myself some lovely short grain brown rice the night before and put an extra portion in the fridge. I thought yes some nutty brown rice and egg like a stir fired rice but no eggs did not appeal. Tofu did. The plainness of tofu oft deters me but I love that it is like a blank canvas and it holds flavours well. I had not cooked with the delicious nutty Happy Heart Rapeseed oil, I had been savouring it in an unheated state. But I reckoned the tofu would pick up the flavour well and compliment the nutty rice.

So I sliced up the tofu and marinated it for about ten minutes in soya sauce, lemon juice, sambal (an Indonesian shop bought hot salty chilli condiment) and then I added a surprising element marmalade.

I heated the oil in a small frying pan, the smell of the rapeseed oil filled the kitchen, when it was good an hot I placed the tofu slices in to fry them. They quickly browned and I turned them over adding the rice then gently mixing so as not to brake up the tofu. I added the marinade and cooked it off. Two sliced scallions were added at the end. The result a surprisingly delicious tofu and twice cooked rice.

I started to make white soda bread pizza again last week and made an extra batch sans pizza topping into scones. I vary how I make the soda bread sometimes if son#3 excema is really bad I’ll make it with spelt and soya milk. Otherwise I’ll mix it as follows

WHITE SODA BREAD

1lb white flour
3/4 teaspoon bread soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
360ml buttermilk (or more often I’ll use plain yogurt mixed with milk)

Set the cooker to 220 C.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. You can sieve it if you like but I don’t. Have a floured tray ready to go in the oven.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredient and pour in the buttermilk. Mix until just brought together. Knee the dough three or four times only. The less handling the better. Flour the surface and tip the dough on to it. You can roll it flat and using cutters make scones*. Remember the size of the cut shape will influence the cooking time. The bread will make a hollow sound when tapped underneath when it is cooked. Cool on a wry rack. Be warned eating the bread hot from the oven with melted butter and homemade jam is delicious but can induce stomach cramps.

This is a great recipe to let children help with. They really enjoy getting the ingredients, weighing, mixing, getting the dough rolled out and using different cookie cutters to shape out scones. The more they play with it the tougher it becomes but in my experience they are so happy to eat their creations it won’t matter to them.

*I used to do that now I make into a long narrow loaf shape keeping it tall and narrow so I get two rows on the tray.Then using a good knife I cut the dough 3/4 of the way down to make smaller rolls. They cook together but are marked so are easy to break off and give nice open white bread sides with a nice soft crust on top and bottom.  These take about 12 minutes to cook in the oven. I usually turn them after 9 minutes. But you will start to smell them being cooked and filling the kitchen with the wonderful aroma of fresh bread.

I had forgotten how much the whole family love fresh white soda bread. It also solved some school lunch box dilemmas.

This is a great recipe for variations here are some I make:

Soda bread pizza. Before you mix the dry & wet ingredients have the following ready to go. Your choice of tomato sauce, grated cheese, oregano. You can use a passata about 250ml, add salt, pepper, 1tsp mixed herbs, large crushed clove of garlic and  mix well. Otherwise I recommend Bunalun, Tomato and Vegetable Sauce is excellent and tastes pretty much like my homemade tomato sauce. As a rule I don’t buy ready made pasta sauces as I find them too sweet or too oily. For the cheese my kids prefer cheddar but for grown up pizza soft goats cheese has featured. Make the soda bread, roll out flat, place on a floured tin tray. Using a spoon cover the base with tomato sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese over and finally some oregano. Put in the oven and set the timer for 7 minutes. Turn the pizza and set for another five minutes. When cooked the smell is delicious and it lifts off the tray easily. Remove to a rack. Slice, serve and enjoy.
This is a great recipe for children’s parties and teenage hangout sessions.

Herby bread scones. Add 1 teaspoon of a mixed herbs into the dry ingredients and mix well then continue as above. Would be excellent severed with soup or some nice hard cheese like an Ardsallagh.

Olive flat bread. Add 2 tablespoons of sliced black olives into the weighed wet ingredients and mix well. Add to the dry and continue as above. Roll this out flat to fill the tray and bake in one piece as a tear and share bread or cut into squares. Start to check after six minutes.

Cheats focaccia. Roll the white soda bread out flat about 2cm think. Impress your thumb print on it and put sprigs of fresh rosemary into each. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Drizzle olive oil over the dough. Pop into the oven. I love this with a bowl of spinach soup.

This beetroot relish can be served to spice up a salad or a main meal. I like it served as a salad in it’s own right and it is rather good with pecans.

1 medium beetroot
1 small red onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of salt

Peel the beetroot I prefer to do this with a small sharp knife. Using a large toothed grater grate the beetroot. Or chop into small pieces.
Finely chop the onion.
Mix all the ingredients together and leave for at least twenty minutes to let the flavours mingle.
Serve as a side dish and allow people to help themselves  or pile on top of a green salad to add… well a kick.
You can add more cayenne pepper to suit your pallet.

This year I have discovered I like beetroot raw rather then vinegared or cooked. But I am the only one who likes it in our house.

Beetroot is said to have very positive effects on the blood and other health inducing properties.

This is based on a party starter where you bake tomatoes with garlic, herbs, olive oil and rounds of soft goats cheese to a melting deliciousness. Served with chunks of bread to dip into and enjoy.
But it was last Friday night after a long hard week. I’m was exhausted. I wanted some thing wholesome. No meat but goats cheese, chickpeas or just veg?

Ingredients:
1 Aubergine
1 courgette [zucchini]
1 small red pepper
2 small/medium red onions
4 large cloves of garlic
500ml Passata
6 sundried tomatoes
8 pieces of dried porcini mushrooms
1 can of chickpeas
3 table spoons sliced black olives
4 large potatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon of olive oil
good grist of black pepper

Set oven to 200C.

Boil the kettle . Place the dried porcini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes into 300ml of boiling water from the kettle for 15 minutes.
Cube aubergine, courgette and pepper and place into a large deep casserole dish. Quarter the onions, crush the garlic and add them along with herbs to the dish mixing well to coat everything.
Add the passata and stir well.

Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.

Drain and reserve the liquid from the mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Discard the mushrooms. Chop the sundried tomatoes.
Open the can of chick peas, drain and rinse.
Peel the potatoes and cube. In a bowl coat the potatoes with olive oil and grist of black pepper.
After twenty five minutes remove the vegetables, stir and add the chickpeas, reserved liquid, sundried tomatoes, black sliced olives. Stir once more. Place the potatoes on top of the dish and place back in the oven cook for a further 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and nicely browned.

Vegetarian Friday night comfort cooking

Friday night one dish bake bliss.

Serve with a fresh green salad dressed with lemon juice and a splash of olive oil.