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Posts Tagged ‘main course’

Gratineed Gnocchi with Spinach and RicottaI made this yummy recipe from Gourmet magazine the other night with a pack of store-bought gnocchi in my cupboard. I had been struggling to come up with what to do with them and was drawn to this recipe because it wasn’t gorgonzola or tomato based as most gnocchi recipes seem to be.

I followed the recipe on the Gourmet site except for two substitutions. I used a few tablespoons of single cream topped up with milk because I didn’t have any double cream on hand and because it was healthier. This did make it a bit more watery though and I had to cook the cream sauce for a bit longer. I also didn’t have any mozzarella, strangely I find it hard to get in the UK because all the stores seem to have is fresh mozzarella, so I substituted some grated cheddar.

The recipe says it serves four, but I had half of it the first night with a green salad and the rest for supper the next night.

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Delicious Big Bowl – Quinoa

I’m moving out of my flat in a few weeks and I’ve been trying to use up some of my many opened bags of grains in the cupboard. I have paella rice, risotto rice, wild rice, basmati rice, long grain brown rice, buckwheat groats, quinoa, millet and bulghur. I made kasha for breakfast the other day and today I decided it was a day for quinoa so I had a quick search on 101cookbooks.com for quinoa. I have previously made Heidi’s Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad and it was fab so I had high hopes for the Delicious Big Bowl – Quinoa. And let me say, it did not disappoint.

I substituted some green beans and a courgette for the asparagus, toasted some pine nuts and for the dressing I used lemon juice, parmesan and freshly ground pepper. I wouldn’t normally think to put potatoes with quinoa, but the textures and flavours in this recipe combined wonderfully. I’ve just eaten a big bowl for supper and am looking forward to eating the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. It was one of those meals where I constantly thought” wow how good is this”. Thanks Heidi for another great recipe. You’ve really perked up my day.

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Pork Stroganoff

Tim made this Pork Stroganoff recipe for me last week from the BBC Food website. We didn’t have any blue potatoes, so he used some white ones in the pantry. He also added some sliced runner beans which went very nicely. I find that pork can often be quite dry when cooked, but I liked this recipe because there was lots of good sauce.

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Mustard-crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato

Mustard-Crusted Tofu with Kale and Sweet Potato

I came across this Bon Appetit recipe in my weekly Epicurious Recipe Flash a few weeks ago. I’m always looking for new tofu recipes and I had some wholegrain mustard in the fridge that I needed to use up so I thought I’d give it a try. I made sure to dry the tofu well as recommended by lots of the reviews on the Epicurious site to make sure the mustard would stick. Some of the mustard seeds did fall off, but I just poured the crispy seeds from the pan on top at the end and they were great. I thought this recipe would have a strong mustardy taste, but there was actually very little mustard flavour in the end. I thought the lime juice went really nicely with the kale but next time I would put the kale in nearer the end. By the time the sweet potato was cooked the kale was overdone. The recipe says to grill the tofu for 2 minutes on each side but I found that to get a nice crust on it took at least 5 minutes a side. Although the recipe says it makes four servings, I only had enough kale and sweet potato for two servings using their amounts.

In short, interesting flavours and good way to eat kale, a source of calcium, iron and lots of other minerals.

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This is another great recipe from delicious magazine (July 2007). I have made it four times and it is always a crowd pleaser. Usually I stick to the recipe below, but when I was staying at my dad’s we didn’t have Thai fish sauce, baby spinach or a red chilli that was big enough. For the fish sauce I substituted anchovy paste and we used salad greens in place of the spinach. I think the fish sauce tasted better than the anchovy paste, but it will do in a pinch. We only had a small bit of red chilli so I cut up some jalapeno peppers as well. They weren’t overly hot but they added a bit of crunch and I thought they were a nice addition. If you don’t want chilli on your hands for days, use a glove or small plastic bag to hold the chilli while you cut it up.

Since there are not many calories or carbs in this dish, I serve it with brown rice on the side so people who aren’t watching their carb intake can make it a larger meal.

Make sure you buy good steak and don’t overcook it. If it is juicy and tender it will melt in the mouth.


Thai-style Beef with Spinach

Serves 4.
Ready in 20 minutes.

Thai-style Beef with Spinach

400g fillet or sirloin steak, sinew and excess fat removed
4 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
1 tsp groundnut or vegetable oil
100g beansprouts
1 large shallot or 3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
175g baby leaf spinach
Handful fresh coriander leaves

For the dressing:

1 small red chili, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp caster sugar

1. Cut the steak into 2 long strips and put into a bowl. Add the soy sauce, season with freshly ground pepper, toss to coat evenly and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until charred and and cooked medium-rare (cook for longer if you like). Transfer to a plate to rest for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.

4. Add the beansprouts, shallot or spring onions, spinach and coriander leaves. Thinly slice the beef, add to the salad and gently toss together.

Serve immediately.

Per Serving: 222 kcals, 11.2g fat(3.8g saturated), 24.7g protein, 8.1g carbs, 7.2g sugar, 1.7g salt.

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When I was growing up we raised free-range organic chickens, which meant we usually had a good supply of chicken in the freezer. These days you can buy free-range organic chickens and chicken pieces in supermarkets but it’s still not the same as chicken you’ve raised yourself.

From my mom’s cookbook, this is one of my dad’s favourites. I made this tonight for Tim who thought he only needed one piece but then he tasted it.. and soon returned to the kitchen to get another.


Chicken Farmer’s Chicken

Serves 4.

Usually entails finding a small chicken 4-6 lbs which is then cut up into pieces. The carcass is kept to make chicken soup or stew. Be wary of any situation that provides you with chicken fingers. “Cut-up” chicken pieces from a supermarket are also suitable.

1. Chicken pieces are washed and dried with paper towel.

2. In a medium sized bowl, mix enough wholewheat flour, herbs*, salt, and pepper to coat the chicken pieces – all guess work! (about 1 cup).

3. Coat the chicken by rolling pieces in bowl or sprinkle both sides lightly with coating. Then place these pieces on a rack in a broiler pan (lined with aluminum foil or greaseproof paper to facilitate clean up).

4. Melt some 20/80 or butter to lightly baste or dribble over the pieces (baste once or twice during roasting). Sprinkle with paprika and more herbs and place in oven at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour or until crispy.

Sprinkle with juice of a lemon before serving.

*Suggested herbs:
oregano or Greek oregano
summer savoury
thyme
rosemary

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Grana PadanoThis recipe is from a supplement to my September delicious magazine called Modern Italian. A few of us were curious as to how Grana Padano was different from Parmesan, so my friend Denis made this for us tonight. We decided that although they seem to be quite similar, Grana Padano is milder and sweeter than Parmesan. I don’t always like chicken breasts because I find them too dry, but as the recipe says, they stayed juicy in their cheesy crust.


Pan-fried Chicken in a Grana Padano Crust

Serves 4.
Ready in 20 minutes.

Cooking chicken breasts quickly, and in a crust like this, guarantees they stay juicy and succulent. Any leftovers make a great sandwich filling with a bit of garlic mayonnaise.

Pinch of saffron threads
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
4 tbsp olive oil
8 tbsp finely grated Grana Padano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
Herb mash and lemon wedges, to serve

1. Put the saffron in a bowl, add a tablespoon of boiling water and set aside for a few minutes to infuse.

2. Meanwhile, cut the chicken in half widthways to make 8 thin pieces and dust very lightly with flour.

3. Crack the egg into the bowl of saffron. Add a good grinding of black pepper and beat well.

4. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Mix the cheese and thyme together on a plate. Dip the chicken first in the egg mixture, then coat in the Grana Padano mixture. Fry in 2 batches, adding the remaining oil with the second batch, until crisp, golden and cooked through. It should take about 5 minutes each side, but don’t be tempted to lift of turn the chicken too soon or the crust might stick to the bottom of the pan.

5. Serve 2 chicken pieces each, with herb mash and lemon wedges to squeeze over. Garnish with thyme.

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