What I'm cooking and eating

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Udon with butternut squash, tomato and feta

Sorry there aren't any photos - wasn't thinking!  But this was seriously delicious.

2 tbsp oil
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tsp za'atar or rosemary or something similar
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
1 large clove garlic
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tsp home-made pesto (if you happen to have any!)
1 packet udon noodles
1/2 packet feta cheese

 Put the squash into a lidded frying pan with 1 tbsp of the oil (I used stir-fry oil on this one) and the herbs, and cook gently until really soft and squishy and beginning to caramelise.  This takes up to 45 minutes, so if you're in a hurry, do it in the microwave for 5 minutes before transferring to the frying pan.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce by putting the remaining tbsp of oil (I used rapeseed, but olive is also vg), vinegar, crushed garlic and pierced tomatoes into a saucepan, cover, and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until the juices run.  Put this into a food processor with the pesto, if you have any, or some fresh basil or, if all else fails, some dried marjoram or thyme, and work until smooth.

Cube the feta cheese, and prepare the udon according to the instructions on the packet.

Once the squash is cooked, combine everything in the frying-pan and make sure it is all piping hot.  Serve at once - we weren't sure whether to eat it with chopsticks or a spoon and fork!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Bacon and sweetcorn chowder

I had a couple of corns-on-the-cob that wanted eating, and not very much else in the house.  And the Swan Whisperer has a cold, and I'm recovering from one and now have a bad cough, which is leaving me very drained.  So this was rather comfort food!

1 ½ corns-on-the-cob (it was going to be 2, but there was a Nasty on one of them, so I had to throw half of it out)
1 small tin sweetcorn
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 packet lardons
4 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
About 300 ml milk and the same of water (I didn't really measure)
Pepper, and a dash of chilli sherry (use any chilli sauce, or even powdered chilli, but not too much)

Cook the corns-on-the-cob however you usually do - I usually use my microwave steamer.  Let them cool a bit.  Put the lardons in a heavy-based pan, and cook gently.  Add the onions, garlic and potatoes, cover, and let them cook in their own steam for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, put the contents of the tin of sweetcorn into a blender and process with a little milk until smooth.  Cut the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife, and add these to the saucepan.  Add the creamed sweetcorn and the rest of the milk.  Top up to a nice amount with water.  Season.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.  I actually did this in two lots, letting it stand for about an hour as I was busy.  This may or may not have improved the flavour!