Sunday, 5 September 2010

Pasta with Capers, Olives and Tomatoes

What you need
  • capers - ca 60g
  • black pitted olives
  • parsley (fresh)
  • 1 onion, 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tomatoes
  • red pepper powder
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper, oil
Equipment: pot, frying pan

How you do it
  • drain the capers
  • chop the pitted olives
  • peel and chop the onion, garlic into small bits
  • wash and cut the parsley
  • wash and cut the tomatoes into quarters. If you don't like the skin - put the tomatoes into a pot of hot water until the skin cracks. then peel.
  • bring a pot of water to the boil. when boiling add 1 teaspoon salt. when the salt is dissolved add the pasta.
  • add 1 tbl spoon to the frying pan and heat until hot.
  • add the capers, chopped olives. add a bit of salt and pepper.
  • cook for ca 1 min. then add the chopped parsley, onion and garlic.
  • cook for ca 2 min until the onion/garlic get soft
  • then add the chopped tomatoes. add 1 tea spoon of red pepper powder.
  • stir frequently and cook for ca 5 min.
  • add the glass of red wine. cook until the most of the wine evaporates and the sauce gets thicker.
  • in the meantime - when the pasta is ready: drain it.
  • when the caper/olive/parsley/tomato sauce is thick add the pasta.
  • stir and cook for another 5 min.
  • serve hot with freshly grated parmesan

Pasta With Porcini

What you need
  • Farfalle (ca 150g/person)
  • porcini (dried mushrooms), ca 100g - for 2 persons
  • parsley (fresh)
  • oil, salt, pepper
  • a glass of dry white wine (e.g. Chardonnay)
  • 1 garlic clove, 1 small onion
  • parmesan cheese
Equipment: pot, frying pan

How you do it
  • put the dried porcini into a small bowl. add the glass of white wine - and let rest for at least 30min. However, I usually leave it for ca 2 hours.
  • wash and cut the parsley
  • peel and chop garlic/onion

  • put ca 1ltr into the pot. bring to the boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt. when dissolved add pasta.
  • put oil into the frying pan and heat up until hot
  • add the garlic, onions and half of the parsley. add a teaspoon of salt and freshly grated pepper.
  • stir and cook for ca 4-5min.
  • add the porcini with the white wine.
  • cook until most of the wine has evaporated and the sauce gets thicker. stir frequently to avoid burning.
  • when the pasta (farfalle) is ready - pour the content of the pot through a sieve to drain the pasta. But try to keep ca 100ml of the pasta water.
  • add the cooked farfalle to the frying pan. stir well.
  • add the other half of the parsley.
  • add a bit of the retained pasta water to it.
  • cook for ca another 5 min.
  • then serve - with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sweet Potato and Chilli Soup

What you need
  • 1-2 tbl spoons vegetable oil, salt, pepper
  • 2 chillies
  • 3 parsnip roots
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh chives and spring onions
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 litre water
Equipment: food processor, pot

How you do it
  • cut chillies in halves, wash and remove the seeds. then chop into small bits
  • peel onion, garlic cloves, parsnip roots and sweet potatoes
  • wash chives and spring onions
  • chop the onions, garlic cloves and parsnip roots into small bits
  • put the vegetable oil into the pot and heat up
  • when the oil is hot add the chopped chillies, parsnips, garlic and onions. add salt and pepper. stir and mix and then let it cook for ca 5 min.
  • in the meantime, cut the peeled sweet potatoes into smaller chunks. chop the spring onions into small pieces.
  • add the sweet potatoes - cook for 2-3 min then add the chopped spring onions.
  • cook for another 5 minutes while stirring
  • now add the 1 litre water and bring to the boil.
  • when the soup boils reduce heat - put a lid on the pot and let simmer for ca 25 min.
  • remove from cooker and let it cool down for ca 1 hour.
  • in the meantime chop the chives - but do not add them just yet.
  • when the soup is cooled down - process it in the blender/processor until smooth.
  • put it back into the pot and heat up until it just boils.
  • then add the chopped chives, mix and cook it for another 1-2 min.
  • either serve - or remove from cooker.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Roasted Pepper/Tomato Soup

What you need
  • 3 peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt, pepper, basil leaves, oregano leaves
  • 8-9 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 small potatoes
  • ca 1 litre water
  • 3 tbl spoons oil
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
Equipment: baking form, a pot, food processor/blender

How you do it

Prepare the peppers
  • preheat the oven to ca 200 C
  • wash the peppers, cut in halves. Get rid of the seeds.
  • peel the garlic cloves and chop into small bits
  • lay the washed and cut pepper halves into the baking form
  • sprinkle the chopped garlic over it
  • pour the oil over it
  • put the form into the oven and bake for ca 1 hour
  • remove from oven and allow to cool down.
  • save the oil in a cup
  • wash the tomatoes, basil and oregano leaves
  • peel the potatoes
  • peel the onion and spring onions - and chop into small bits
  • cut half of the basil and oregano leaves very small
  • remove the stems from the tomatoes and cut in quarter
  • use the oil from the pepper roasting and put into a pot
  • heat up until hot
  • add the roasted pepper, onions and the chopped oregano leaves. heat for ca 5 min
  • add the potatoes. heat for another 5 min. then add the tomatoes and basil leaves and cook for another 5 min.
  • add the teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
  • add the water. stir. heat until the soup is on the boil.
  • reduce heat, add the cover the pot and let cook for 10 min.
  • after 10min add the other half of the oregano leaves
  • cook for another 5 min then add the chopped spring onions. Let it cook for another 10 min.
  • Turn off the heat and add the basil leaves.
  • Let it cool off. When cool put the soup into the blender and process the soup until it is smooth.
  • you may retain a few basil leaves when the soup is going to be served.

Broccoli Stilton Soup

What you need
  • broccoli
  • stilton ca 75-100g
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbl spoon oil
  • salt, pepper, muscat
  • flat leaf parsley
  • 4 small potatoes
  • vegetable soup stock cubes (you need 2 for 1 litre)
  • 1 litre water
Equipment: pot, food processor/blender, knife, chopping board.

How you do it
  • peel potatoes, onion
  • wash broccoli, parsley
  • chop onion and parsley into as small pieces as possible
  • put oil into pot and heat until very hot. put chopped onions and half of the chopped parsley into it. add salt and pepper.
  • cook for ca 3 min until onions turn slightly brown.
  • add 1 ltr of water and bring to the boil. add the vegetable soup stock cubes and stir until dissolved.
  • add broccoli and potatoes. Bring to the boil briefly - then turn heat down and cover the pot with a lid. Let cook for ca 25min.
  • Let it cool down for ca 1 hr.
  • Put the cooled soup into a food processor/blender and process until the soup is thick/creamy.
  • Put the soup back into the pot and heat up again and boil briefly.
  • Add the Stilton cheese and stir continuously until the cheese is melted. Grate fresh muscat into it (be careful with it as it has quite an intense taste).
  • In the last 2 minutes add the rest of the parsley to it.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fruit Salad

What you need
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 peaches
  • 2 apples
  • 2 kiwis and/or strawberries
  • dried fruit mix, i.e. raisins, lemon/orange
  • sugar, cinnamon, vanilla
  • 1 lemon
How you do it
  • get the juice from the lemon and keep in cup.
  • wash the peaches, apples (strawberries).
  • cut the peaches/apples into 1/4 pieces. Remove the seeds/stones. again cut the 1/4 pieces into halves. Chop the remaining pieces into small pieces. add to a bowl.
  • peel Kiwis and chop into small pieces. peel banana and slice into small pieces. add to bowl.
  • add the dried fruit.
  • sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of sugar. if you have access to vanilla sugar you can take 1 tblspoon normal sugar and 1/2-1tblspoon vanilla sugar. otherwise extract the vanilla from the pod and add to the fruit mix.
  • add the lemon juice.
  • mix well.
  • cover the bowl and put into fridge for 1-2 hrs.
The dish goes very well with either whipped cream and/or Advocaat (egg based liqueur)

Black Olive Paste

What you need
  • black pitted olives (ca 100g)
  • salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

How you do it
  • peel the garlic cloves
  • put the pitted olives, garlic, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar into a food processor/blender
  • add ca 1-2 tblspoons balsamic vinegar
  • add 100mL olive oil
  • close the lid and switch on the blender. If the paste gets too solid add olive oil.
  • let it run until it is really creamy.

Spicy Pasta Salad

What you need
  • pasta (e.g. penne) ca 200g
  • salt, pepper
  • parmesan finely grated
  • prawns - ca 100-150g
  • 1-2 chillies, 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • coriander, parsley

How you do it
  • bring a pot of water to the boil. then add salt - then the pasta
  • chop the garlic cloves.
  • chop the parsley and coriander leaves. keep separate
  • cut the chillies into halves, remove the seeds and wash thoroughly. then cut into thin slices
  • wash and dry the prawns
  • in the meantime, put 1 tblspoon olive oil into a frying pan and heat up until the oil is hot.
  • add chopped chillies, salt, pepper, prawns and parsley into the frying pan. fry for ca 5 min and stir well.
  • remove the frying pan from the burner and let cool down.
  • remove the pasta from the pot when ready and let cool down until luke warm.
  • add the pasta to the prawns/chilli mix in the pan. stir and add the chopped coriander. Mix well.
  • let it rest for a 5 min - then add the finely grated parmesan cheese and again mix well.
  • put the pasta mix into a bowl. ready to serve.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Sugary Cinnamon Buns

What you need
  • Bread baking machine. Fast acting yeast - 1 sachet
  • 300g white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 table spoons of raisins, dried lemon/orange pieces
  • cinnamon, brown and white sugar
  • 120-150ml skimmed milk
  • pinch of salt
How you do it
With Bread Baking Machine
  • In the Panasonic breadbaking machine add the yeast first.
  • whisk the eggs
  • Put flour, milk, whisked eggs, 1 tblspoon sugar a pinch of salt into the bread pan
  • select 'Dough' programme
Without breadbaking machine
  • use a clean bowl. pour the flour in. in the centre of the bowl dig a small hole.
  • heat the milk until lukewarm - then add yeast and sugar. whisk until all is well mixed.
  • pour the mix into the small hole of the centre of the flour in the bowl.
  • cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for at least 30min. before you proceed check that the yeast is actually expanding.
  • next put the whisked eggs into the mix and knead the dough. add flour if necessary. It is useful to cover your hands in flour - so the mix won't stick to your hands.
  • form a ball and put back into the bowl. cover again with the towel and let it rest for another 2 hours.
Making the Buns
  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees (centigrade)
  • put the dough on non-sticky baking paper. roll out and form a rectangle. again cover your hands in flour to avoid the dough sticking to your hands.
  • once a rectangle cover the surface with a slight film of milk. this is so the fruits will stick.
  • cover the surface next with cinnamon and brown sugar. then add the raisins/lemons/orange bits evenly.
  • then start rolling up the dough. start at the long axis of the rectangular dough. continue rolling until the whole dough is rolled up and forms some kind of 'sausage'.
  • take a sharp knife and cut the dough into separate bits.
  • put the pieces on non-sticky baking paper. you may cover the buns with additional sugar/cinnamon.
  • put into oven for 20-25min until slightly brown.

Classic Green Pesto

What you need
  • Olive oil (ca 20 tablespoons)
  • 80-100g pine kernels
  • parmesan cheese finely grated - ca 50g
  • 1-2 bunches of basil leaves
  • salt, pepper, 3 garlic cloves - and a pinch of sugar
How you do it
  • wash basil leaves, peel garlic cloves (but don't chop).
  • add everything into food processor and let run until it is creamy. Add oil if necessary.

Red Pesto

What you need
  • ca 200g sun-dried tomatoes
  • ca 20 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt, pepper, chilli flakes and powder
  • pinch of sugar
  • some 8 basil leaves
  • ca 80g pine kernels
How you do it
  • put a small pot on heat and add pine kernels. Roast until slightly brown then remove from burner/oven
  • put everything into a food processor. turn the machine on and let it run until the pesto is of creamy consistency. Add oil if necessary.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Why not make your own salad dressing

What you need
  • olive oil, groundnut oil
  • salt, pepper, sugar
  • vinegar - for the dressing with mustard use either cider or white wine vinegar. Without mustard you can also use red wine vinegar
  • chilli flakes
  • mustard (Dijon)
How you do it
Basic Recipe
  • put 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper (freshly grounded) and chilli flakes into a mug
  • add 2 table spoons vinegar, 6 table spoons groundnut oil and 2 table spoons olive oil
  • take a fork and whisk for a couple of minutes
Mustard Recipe
  • put 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper (freshly grounded), chilli flakes and 1-1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard into a mug
  • add 2 table spoons of white wine or cider vinegar, 6 tbl spoons groundnut oil, 2 tbl spoons olive oil
  • take a fork and whisk for a couple of minutes

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Pasta with an Asian Touch

What you need
  • Veggies: mangetout, carrots, onions, garlic
  • Penne (150g per person)
  • Cheese - I'd recommend Emmental or Gruyere.
  • Wasabi
  • Single Cream ca 100ml
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil
  • a mix of seafood - or simply prawns

How you do it
  • wash mangetout and cut into halves
  • wash and dry seafood/prawns
  • peel carrots and chop into small pieces. Same with onion and garlic.
  • grate the cheese
  • prepare a pot with hot water. Bring it to the boil. Then add salt and then the pasta. Cook until tender.
  • remove the pasta from the pot and let dry.
  • dry the pot. put 2 tablespoons olive oil. put the pot back on the burner and let the oil heat up. i use a medium gas burner at full heat.
  • add chopped garlic, onions, mangetout and carrots and seafood/prawns. add salt and pepper. cook for ca 5 min.
  • add the single cream.
  • cook until the sauce starts to thicken.
  • now add the wasabi. be careful with the wasabi - as it has quite an intense taste. you may also want to add salt/pepper to your taste.
  • now add the pasta and stir until all of it is covered in the sauce. put on low heat now.
  • finally add the grated cheese and stir. Let the cheese melt a bit.
  • serve immediately.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Lemon Cake

A very simple recipe I have been using for many, many years

What you need
  • a rectangular baking form, a fork
  • 200g butter/margarine
  • 300g plain white flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar. Difficult to get in the UK - but I found it in Waitrose (Baking department)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 lemons
  • icing sugar
How you do it
  • grease the baking form
  • get the juice from the 2 lemons. then grate their skin.
  • store the juice in a jar and mix with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • mix butter (soft), eggs and sugar into one bowl. Whip until creamy.
  • add the vanilla sugar and the grated lemon skin.
  • add the flour and baking powder until all is well mixed. Add a bit of flour (spoonw-wise) if the dough is still too liquid.
  • pre-heat the oven to ca 175-180 degrees.
  • pour dough in greased form.
  • bake for 45min - 55min. the dough should have risen and only slightly darkened.
  • let the cake cool down a bit before removing from the form.
  • pinch the top of the cake with a fork. then pour the lemon/sugar juice over it - so that the juice gets into the cake.
  • sprinkle with icing sugar.

Lemon/Almond Cake

What you need
  • 100g plain white wheat flour
  • 200g grated almonds (powder)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • icing sugar
  • a baking form. the best is a round quiche form.
  • butter/margarine
How you do it
  • grease the form
  • get the juice from 1 the 2 lemons. Grate its skin.
  • mix almond powder with salt, flour and grated lemon skin.
  • put eggs and sugar in a food processor and whip until creamy
  • mix the egg/sugar cream with the flour/almond mix. Add the lemon juice to it.
  • pour the dough into the greased form.
  • slice the 2nd lemon very thinly. Spread the lemon slices along the edge of the cake/form
  • pre-heat oven to 170-175 degrees
  • put in oven for 30-40min.
  • when removed from oven sprinkle icing sugar over it.

Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce

What you need
  • Spices: chilli flakes, salt, pepper, salt, red pepper powder
  • Herbs (fresh if possible): parsley, basil
  • olive oil
  • olives (pitted)
  • tomatoes (3-4/person)
  • red wine
  • tomato puree
  • 1 red chilli
  • pasta (penne, macaronis). 200gr/person is quite generous
  • parmesan cheese (try to buy a whole piece - freshly grated parmesan is so much better).
How you do it
  • pot with water. Bring to the boil and then add salt (no oil).
  • add pasta and cook until tender
  • Chop garlic, parsley and pancetta (bacon) into small chunks. Halve the red chilli, wash, remove seeds and cut into small pieces.
  • wash tomatoes and cut into 1/4 pieces. (if you don't like the skin - bring a pot of water to the boil, insert tomatoes until the skin cracks and then peel them).
  • 2-3 table spoons olive oil into the pan. Heat on a medium burner until hot.
  • add garlic, parsley, pancetta (bacon), olives. Add salt and pepper. Cook for ca 5 min.
  • Add quartered (skinned) tomatoes and cook for another 5 min while stirring. Tomatoes should be soft.
  • Add a small (125ml) glass of red wine and a table spoon of red pepper powder to it. If you like it spicy you may also add chilli flakes to it.
  • Cook for 15-20 min. By then the tomatoes should be well cooked. Make sure you stir ever now and then.
  • add the tomato puree. Adding the tomato puree should thicken the sauce. If the sauce is still too watery, let it cook for a while longer.
  • for the last 2 min add the basil leaves to the sauce.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Peter's Recipes

I LOVE cooking. Over the years a gathered a nice collection of recipes I'd like to share.