What I'm cooking and eating

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Courgette crumble

Missed a phone call from the Daughter last night, but she texted me this morning to say not to worry, she had just wanted my recipe for courgette crumble, which she then found in a bunch of recipes I'd typed up for her when she first left home in 1998.  Quite why I included this one, when she was not, at the time, fond of courgettes I don't know, but I did.  I've actually adapted the recipe over the years since then, mostly making it smaller, so I'll say this amount serves 4.... you could halve it, of course, for two, but obviously you can't halve an egg, so just use a whole one - or maybe use two if you use this amount!

1 cup (250 ml by volume) rice (uncooked)
4-5 small courgettes (zucchini)
3 slices wholemeal (wholewheat) bread
3-5 oz cheese, grated
1 egg
1 gill (about 1/2 cup) milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook rice in the normal way. Slice courgettes very thinly. You can saute them briefly in a non-stick pan with a spray of olive oil, but I don't bother. Drain rice, and stir in the courgette slices, the egg, milk, seasoning and half the cheese. Put into ovenproof dish.
Make bread into crumbs and mix with remainder of cheese. Spread on top of rice mixture, and bake in moderate oven for about 30 minutes until crust is crisp.

We had an interesting variation on this this evening, as I had two leftover cooked sausages, so instead of putting cheese in the rice mixture, I put the sliced sausages.  The topping still had cheese in it, though!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Home-made lemonade

Two posts today!  But I don't think I've posted this recipe yet, and it is so very good when one is poorly, as I have been the last few days.  In an ideal world, you will possess a large plastic jug - holding maybe 2 litres.  We have a lovely one that fits into the door of the fridge.  But you can use a plastic measuring jug for the first bit, and then transfer into a non-heatproof jug when it has cooled a bit.

3 lemons
3 level tablespoons granulated sugar

Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler or zester or similar, being careful to get as little of the white pith as possible.  Put the peel and the sugar into a heatproof container, and cover with boiling water.  Stir vigorously until the sugar has dissolved.  Now add the juice of the lemons, and about a litre of cold water, and then a tray of ice-cubes.  You'll probably drink the first glass straight away, but put it in the fridge to chill right down.  It will keep about 24 hours in the fridge, but may well not last that long!

More inspiration

I was originally going to make this, from the Amuse Your Bouche blog (I'm not, as readers will have gathered, vegetarian, but we do eat quite a lot of vegetarian meals).  But we had far more cherry tomatoes that needed using, and I do like a bit of onion in my supper, and she didn't say what, if anything, she served it with.... plus I only had feta, not halloumi, which was going to make it a bit different anyway.  So I ended up with this, and very good it was, too.  Serves 2.

½ aubergine
 1 onion
1 pack cherry tomatoes, plus any you might have over from another pack
½ pack feta cheese
100g pasta - I used coquillettes, but use whatever you have.



 Chop the aubergine and onion, and place them in a lidded pan with a tablespoonful of cooking oil - well, all right, maybe a bit more than that.  Pierce the cherry tomatoes and add these.  Cover, and cook for about 20 minutes on a lowish heat, stirring occasionally, and turn down the heat if it looks like catching.  Season with salt, pepper, and what else you like - I used pomegranate molasses and za'atar:

Chop the cheese into cubes about the size of the cubes of aubergine.

Meanwhile boil the pasta for the length of time specified on the packet, drain it, and add it to what's in the pan, together with the chopped feta.
Cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly, until everything is mixed together and the cheese is hotted through - it doesn't really melt.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Banana pancakes

You will have seen these online everywhere, I shouldn't wonder, with massive great headlines: she made these wonderful pancakes with just two ingredients, or similar.

But the point is, they are delicious, and they are easy, and you can make them for afternoon snack with your five-year-old grandson in a very few minutes.

You simply whisk 1 egg per small, or 2 eggs per large ripe banana together until everything is smooth - my daughter, at whose house I was making these, had small bananas, so we mashed them first and then whisked them until they were more-or-less smooth.  Then I heated some oil in a frying pan - not a lot, only about a tablespoonful, if that, and when it was hot we ladled tablespoonfuls into the pan.  You cook them like drop scones or Scotch pancakes, nice and thick.  It looked disgusting in the frying pan.  The Boy said it looked like custard, but actually, it looked like puke (it was not as smooth as it could be, and the bananas were somewhat over-ripe).  Anyway, once they are dry-ish on top, you turn them over and cook the other side until golden, and serve immediately.  A professional cook would probably dust these with icing sugar, but they are actually sweet enough as it is, and really don't need anything with them.  And of course they tick all the boxes by being gluten-free, low carb and no added sugar!  And vegetarian....

Well worth doing.  Even my grandsons, who don't like eggs much, like these.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Fusion Trout

The Swan Whisperer wanted trout for his supper yesterday (Sunday), and I was wondering how to serve it, as there are so very many ways of cooking and serving trout.  So yesterday and today (it was a large trout) we had it, first with a Chinese-style stir-fry and then with a Moroccan-style couscous.  And I cooked the trout "à la Meunière", which is French..... 
1) The Trout

1 large trout, defrosted if frozen
A little milk
2 tbs flour, seasoned to taste

Dip the trout in milk, and then in the flour.  Fry in butter in a covered pan for about 7-8 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

2. The Stir-fry

 ½ cup (125 ml by volume) rice
1 cup (250 ml) boiling water, possibly with a Stock Pot.  I wanted to use a fish one, but found I had none, so used a vegetable one instead.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 courgette, chopped
1/3 pack beansprouts (which I happened to have)
(You can use whatever vegetables you like here - peas and broad beans work well.  The onion is pretty much mandatory, but apart from that....)
1 egg
Soya sauce

Chinese stir-fries traditionally contain crushed ginger and garlic, and chopped chillis, and are seasoned with 5-spice, but I didn't what to overwhelm the trout, so left out the ginger and chillis, and didn't fancy the 5-spice, so used Lidl's "Stir-fry seasoning", which I'm not sure what it contains but is very nice.

Put the rice in the boiling water or stock, bring back to the boil, cover, turn the heat down to the bare minimum, and leave undisturbed for 15 minutes (40-45 minutes if it's brown rice).  Meanwhile prepare the vegetables (and cook the trout), and stir-fry them for about 5 minutes.  Add the cooked rice and soya sauce to taste, and then make a gap in the middle of the rice and add the egg, which you stir and stir through the rice until it's cooked.  Serve with the trout on top.

3. The couscous

I actually had some of the vegetable stew left over from last week, which had spent the weekend in the freezer, but I make it like this:

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 leek (optional)
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large or 2 small courgettes, chopped
Either 1 tin chick peas, drained and rinsed, or 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight then boiled for about 30 minutes, drained.
About 12 dried apricots, cut in half
1 tin tomatoes, chopped or pureed.

Put all this in a frying pan or saucepan with some oil, and cook on a low heat until all the vegetables are cooked, probably about 30-35 minutes.  Season with ras-el-hanout, if you have any, and/or Moroccan seasoning, and then make a hot sauce with some harissa paste diluted with the juices from the pan, or with boiling water if you haven't quite enough juices.

Meanwhile, put ½ cup (125 ml by volume) of couscous in a bowl or jug with some salt and 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water and allow to sit for 10 minutes; then stir with a fork to break up any lumps.

Serve the couscous at the bottom, the stew in the middle, and the trout (as this was leftover, I hotted it up in the microwave) on the top, and pour over the hot sauce to taste.

Sorry there aren't any photos.