Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Simple Ginger Chicken Noodles

Needed to cook something quick and easy this weekend so I adapted a Jamie Oliver recipe and added some fresh spinach we had picked from our allotment. Absolutely delicious meal and by doubling the amount of noodles you have enough for lunch the next day. For vegetarians, simply replace the chicken with diced firm tofu.

Makes 2 portions

400g fresh egg noodles
groundnut oil
300g chicken breast, diced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 red chilli, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp five spice
3 spring onions, sliced
handful pak choy/spinach/anything leafy and green
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs honey

Fry the garlic and chilli in the oil before adding the spring onions. When cooked, add the chicken/tofu until browned.

Add ginger paste, spice, soy sauce and honey, stiring to create a smooth sauce. Add greens and cook until wilted, then stir in noodles until heated through (around three minutes).

Monday, 31 January 2011

Back on the Low GI Diet Bandwagon...

I'm back on the Low GI bandwagon big style this week, as I've noticed my health deteriorating.

I made a Mixed Grain Jambalaya last night, based on an Antony Worrall Thompson recipe who has written a couple of good Low GI cookbooks over the years.

This was very tasty... even with all the grains!

Makes 2 large portions.

250g chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup flour
sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1 red chilli, chopped
3 okra, sliced
400g chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
100g chorizo, chopped
75g brown basmati rice
25g millet seeds
250 king prawns (cooked)
25g pumpkin seeds

dust chicken in flour and set aside. Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add onion, garlic, chilli and okra. Fry until cooked. Add peppers, fry until soft, then add chicken. Keep stirring so it doesn't stick until cooked before adding chorizo. Add millet seeds and fry for a couple more minutes.

Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Lower heat and add rice. Cook until rice tender and liquid has reduced. Add prawns and pumpkin seeds until heated through. Serve.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Farfelle with Pancetta and Savoy Cabbage

Well it's been a while. There has of course been lots of cooking and eating since October, however no time. This I now intend to rectify...

I had half a savoy cabbage left from last week's Abel & Cole box and as it's currently the week before pay day I am trying to use everything up (I know, I know I should be doing this all of the time!). I Googled for recipes (my latest trick in my 'using up' campaign) and came across an old Jamie Oliver recipe which I have tweaked here.

(serves 2)

1 x packet of pancetta (strips)
1 x clove garlic (chopped)
1 x tsp crushed chilli
1 small savoy cabbage (chopped)
4 cups farfelle
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
200g buffalo mozzarella (I like the Laverstock Farm one)
handful of parmesan

cook pasta in salted water until al dente.

while pasta is cooking, fry the garlic in a good amount of the oil in a large fry pan until it has a bit of colour. add the chilli.

roughly chop the pancetta and add it to the pan, then add cabbage until cooked.

add pasta to the pancetta mixture, stir, adding a bit of the cooking water to loosen it if required. add the mozzarella (torn into small pieces), and then when melted, add parmesan with a bit of ground pepper.

serve immediately.


Monday, 25 October 2010

Crispy Beef Stir Fry

As the weather is getting cooler I have been making a concious effort to use my slow cooker each weekend. On Saturday I bought a lovely brisket of beef from Sainsbury's and made a pot roast with it (along with the help of half a bottle of red wine). The left over meat went into last night's stir fry which was lovely, and I also added some rainbow chard from the garden that I'd picked earlier that afternoon, but any veg can be used really, I've just listed what I threw in. I'd never attempted crispy beef before but it was so easy. Serves 3.

1 egg
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp sesame seeds
400g beef fillet (or left over beef, already cooked) cut into strips
8 tbsp groundnut oil

2 x sachets of fresh Udon noodles
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 cm piece of root ginger (chopped)
1 red chilli (chopped)
6 spring onions (chopped)
2 small carrots (chopped)
3 heads of pak choi
handful of mushrooms (chopped)
2 courgettes (chopped)
handful of rainbow chard
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
3 tbsp dry sherry

Beat egg with sesame oil and 1tbsp of water.
Mix the flour, cornflour, fives spice and sesame seeds together in a plastic bag, before adding the pieces of beef. Shake the bag to ensure meat is well covered. Take the beef out of the bag, dip in egg mixture and then return to bag of flour until coated again.

Add the 8 tbsps groundnut oil to a wok until hot. Add the beef, frying until crispy (around 5 minutes, maybe 3 minutes more if the beef is raw), before removing the pieces, placing them on a paper towel to soak off the excess oil.

Add 1 tbsp sesame oil to wok, when hot, add garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onions. The smell will be delightful, once they gain some colour, add carrots, courgettes and mushrooms. Add soy sauce at this point, and then pak choi and chard (if using). Once the greens are starting to wilt, add the teriyaki sauce and sherry; add the beef to heat through and then stir in the noodles, which should take no more than 2 minutes to cook.


MEDIUM GI rating.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Trouty Pasta

One of my absolute favourite meals is Trouty Pasta. I came up with the recipe about 6 years ago, inspired by a trout with fennel recipe i saw on the back of a box of pasta once.

I bought some gorgeous organic trout from Abel & Cole yesterday and instead of freezing it like I usually do decided to cook it fresh.

This is the absolute ultimate in yumminess.

2 x fillets of rainbow trout
4 cups of conchiglie
half punnet of cherry tomatoes
25g salted butter
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp basil

Add pasta to a pan of boiling water, cook until al dente.

Skin the trout fillets and chop fish into small pieces, removing bones. Chop cherry tomatoes in half.

Add butter to frying pan. When melted, add tomatoes and then pieces of trout 2 minutes later.

Fry on a low to medium heat until trout has lost its raw colour and its edges start to get slightly browned/crispy.

Drain pasta, reserving a tbs of cooking water. Add pasta to frying pan, along with the cooking water. Stir in nutmeg and basil (to taste) and serve.

Makes 2 large portions.

LOW GI rating

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

One for the vegans amongst you...

Last night I was only cooking for myself so decided to indulge my tofu obsession a little bit.

I have always loved tofu, and thinking back I think this is because of a character from the Baby Sitters Club books I used to read as a kid - one of the characters (Dawn, I think) was all exotic, from California, and constantly brought tofu salads to school. I have had a fascination with it since. (So much so that I judge the quality of a Chinese takeaway by how many tofu dishes they serve).

I dabbled with being a vegetarian in high school until I became anaemic and realised there was only so long I could go without my mum's beef schnitzel. However the tofu legacy remained and I went through a phase in year 12 of frying cubes of tofu in teriyaki sauce for breakfast each morning...

Last night I resurrected an old favourite of mine - Chilli Tofu with Couscous. I get a weekly organic veg box from Abel & Cole and a couple of weeks ago they sent me a free bag of assorted chillies. I decided to use an entirely innocent looking one in this dish and it certainly had the desired effect... Enjoy.

400g firm tofu (cubed)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 hot chilli (chopped, leave seeds in if you like it hot, otherwise remove)
1tbs olive oil
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g tin of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup couscous

Fry the garlic and chilli until golden, add tofu and cook until golden all over.

add chopped tomatoes and kidney beans, mix and then simmer whilst you prepare the couscous.

Add 300ml boiling water to 1 cup of couscous, stirring occasionally until all the water is absorbed.

Gently stir the couscous into the tofu mixture, sprinkle a small amount of basil to taste and then serve.

Makes 2 large portions.

LOW GI rating.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Spaghetti with Anchovies and Asparagus

A fantastic cookbook called 'Pasta' by Theo Randall was released this year and it has become somewhat of a bible to me. When I cook I very rarely follow recipes to the letter and usually aim at making them my own, the book just providing inspiration.

Last night I cooked spaghetti with asparagus in an anchovy sauce which was delicious, and truth be told, even nicer reheated today for lunch. Before I cook tonight's tea, this is how I did it...

500g spaghetti
bunch of Asparagus (chopped)
olive oil
handful of breadcrumbs
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
60g of anchovy fillets
basil (preferably fresh, i used dry this time)
1 tsp crushed/dried chilli
150ml double cream
handful of grated parmesan

Fry the garlic in a tablespoon of oil and golden, add anchovies and break them up with a wooden spoon (they will virtually disintegrate). Add chilli and asparagus and simmer.

Boil spaghetti; add cream to anchovy sauce, bring to a simmer and then turn down to thicken the cream.

Drain spaghetti when ready, leaving a small amount of cooking water in pan, return spaghetti to pan and add anchovy sauce, mixing it through the pasta. Add breadcrumbs and basil, mix again before finishing with parmesan.

This gives four good portions.

LOW GI rating