miss_s_b: (Mood: Surviving)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-26 11:15 am

Slightly Late Challenge 20: Treats

This week has been a bit rough in a lot of ways* - which is part of the reason for the challenge being late - so I think we all need a treat. You can interpret that word "treat" how you like: tell me your indulgences, your comfort foods, your foods you turn to when everything is awful.

And then we can all feel a bit better reading about them :)

* this is British for "a city near me had lots of its children blown up, politics remains screamingly frustrating, and I have had a horrific migraine", if you're wondering.

Challenge 19: onions - the thing that reminds me of Zwiebelkuchen

Almost ten years ago, I was an au pair for my aunt and her family in a village near Frankfurt am Main in Germany. On one occasion we went to a fair and picked up a bottle or two of Federweisser - very, very young wine. And my aunt made Zwiebelkuchen to go with it. Because that's what you do.

'Every family,' says my aunt, 'has its own recipe.' Hers is a lovely tangly oniony mess on a bread base.

The following recipe is not really Zwiebelkuchen. In fact, the book I got it out of calls it Farmhouse Potato Pie, but to me it's much more about the onions. It's in no way authentic, but I find that it's very evocative. It's a hassle, so I don't make it often, but it's gorgeous, so I do make it sometimes. It's the right sort of hassle (for me, at least): you can do a bit at a time, and go and have a bath while the base is chilling, etc, and the washing up isn't too bad if you do it as you go along.

I usually have it in the autumn, with cider, but it's worked very nicely in May, with a Spanish red wine. So there you go.

Recipe under the cut )
norfolkian: Holtzmann from Ghostbusters licking a gun (Default)
[personal profile] norfolkian2017-05-21 12:39 pm

Challenge 19: Onions - Smoked paprika chicken with red onions

I cooked this last night and it ended up not being what I'd planned. We just got back from holiday yesterday and I didn't fancy venturing too far from home, so I popped out to the small local Asda for some ingredients in the afternoon. I'd been planning to do something with spring onions, but the spring onions in Asda did not look very appetising, so I bought some red onions instead. And this was the result.

I've suggested using more spice than I actually put in, because mine ended up being a little on the bland side, but you can adjust according to your taste. You could also make this with thighs on the bone which may help to make it more flavourful - you'll just need to increase the cooking time a little.

Serves 3-4

A small amount of olive oil (I usually use around 1 tsp)
4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 red onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, cut into strips
2 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan-assisted). Heat the oil in a cast iron casserole dish or a saucepan which can be used in the oven. Add the chicken thighs and cook until brown all over. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers and cook for a few minutes until it's all just starting to soften. Add the paprika, give it a good stir and cook gently for about a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, then place the lid on the casserole and then put it in the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is all cooked through and everything is soft and melty and yummy. Garnish with the fresh coriander. Serve with rice.
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie2017-05-19 11:29 am

Challenge # 19: Chingri Dopiaza (Shrimp & Onion Curry)

Wah, this challenge couldn't come at a worst time -- my dietitian's forbidden me onions for this month! But I wanted to share this recipe with y'all because onions are so important and I love them a lot. Like the holy trinity in Creole food, onions are also essential to Bengali cooking (along with ginger and garlic.) Growing up, I would watch my grandmother make chingri dopiaza on special occasions -- though onions are the definition of everyday food, shrimp can get expensive.

I think in Bangladesh, they used prawns in this recipe, but in the US, I use shrimp because that's what's easily available. (Please don't put me on the spot about the differences between shrimp and prawns -- I know there are physical differences, but there's also the divided by a common language thing.)

Recipe under the cut. )
miss_s_b: (Mood: Smug)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-19 11:21 am

Challenge 19: How to caramelise onions (a guide with photos)

I'm not going to lie to you guys, caramelising onions takes ages. I'm one of those people who can't eat immediately upon getting up, though, and the hour and a half or so that this takes is enough for me to work up an appetite.

recipe and lots of photos under the cut )
Here's a pic of my breakfast:

miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-17 02:35 pm

Challinj #19: Onions

Onions are the base for so many sauces, stews and curries it's ridiculous. Like, almost everything savoury can be made with onions in. There are also recipes that allow onions to shine out as a main flavour - French onion soup, onion tart, onion chutney. So there's a decent breadth of possibility this week, I think.

I'm sure you guys can show me some awesome recipes. I'm sure you... know your onions.

* I-made-a-terrible-joke proud face *
miss_s_b: (Hobby: Scrabble)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-16 03:55 pm

How to do a cooked breakfast with lots of elements for people who all want different things

tl;dr: use the oven and lots of butter.

Your options for this breakfast are:
  • sausages (meaty or veggie)
  • mushrooms
  • soft sliced onions
  • hash browns
  • black pudding
  • fresh tomatoes (not tinned, though)
  • baked beans
  • bacon (or facon for vegetarians)
  • fried bread
  • toast
  • fried eggs
this is how I do it )
I am aware that some people prefer scrambled eggs rather than fried for breakfast; that's not really practical with this breakfast, what with everything else that's going on, but you can check out a scrambled egg recipe here (good set of comments on that post too).
missdiane: (Kitty Chinese food)
[personal profile] missdiane2017-05-14 09:02 am
Entry tags:

Fancy schmancy breakfast

I used this challenge to make a decadent breakfast as a treat. Y'know, the kitties had to wish me a Happy Mother's Day somehow.

I did a spin on the traditional eggs benedict, using salmon instead of canadian bacon/ham and adding some other bits and bobs (some out of necessity). I hadn't tried it before but this pastrami-style smoked salmon looked yummy at TJ's - and BOY was it yummy.

I had intended to also use Trader Joe's crumpets but I really must stop buying them anymore. They have a tendency to quickly grow mold no matter how you store them. I'd only purchased them on Thursday and yep, little green spots already. I had a tube of buttermilk biscuit dough in the fridge that I'd intended to use on something else but it had to do - and it did very well. I did have a loaf of nice bread I purchased yesterday but with benedict, you need something more sturdy than soft bread.

Since I didn't purchase any asparagus for a side dish, I quick sauteed some thin sliced scallion and some baby spinach to put in between the poached eggs and the salmon. I used this recipe for blender hollandaise sauce, though either I used a smidge too much lemon juice or it could have used another yolk since it turned out thin. But the flavor was there so that's all that truly counts, right? 

Enough babbling, though, here was the result - isn't it pretty?

I'm definitely not going to be hungry for several hours *urp*
norfolkian: BB-8 and Rey walking through the desert (bb8 Rey)
[personal profile] norfolkian2017-05-13 12:52 pm

Challenge 18: Breakfast - Cinnamon porridge with bananas and strawberries

I don't really cook much at breakfast time. It's usually toast or cereal with the occasional boiled eggs or scrambled eggs at the weekend. But I thought I would try something a little different for this challenge, but still keeping it fairly simple as I'm still not in my own kitchen.

This BBC Good Food recipe was my inspiration, but I made a few changes - namely leaving out the sugar and adjusting the quantities. Generally, I do just prefer porridge on its own (made with milk), but this was a nice alternative, although I feel that strawberries are not yet at their best and this would be nicer in summer. I felt it gave me a good bit of energy before heading out for an archery practice session, though.

Serves 2

80g-ish rolled porridge oats
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
milk (amount according to packet instructions on the porridge - or you could do what I did and just guess...)
2 bananas, sliced
200g-ish strawberries, halved

Add the oats, cinnamon, milk and one sliced banana to a pan and cook according to the porridge oat pack instructions. Once it's ready, serve between two bowls and add the rest of the banana and the strawberries. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon if desired.
Porridge with strawberries and bananas
miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-10 08:11 pm

Challenge 18: Breakfast

Cooked or cold? Cinnamon Toast or Cherry Yoghurt? Croissant or Crepes? And that's just things beginning with C! Your challenge this week is to make a beautiful breakfast :)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Surviving)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-09 06:02 pm

Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb - 4 recipes for challenge 17

OK, so, I had 800g of Rhubarb, a bottle of champagne we got free at Christmas, and a jar of Opies' stem ginger in syrup to kill. This is what I did:

Firstly, cut the rhubarb into 1cm chunks, and threw it in a big pan with 300g sugar, 600ml water, and all the syrup from the jar of stem ginger. Bring it to the boil and then let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb lumps are tender and the liquid is pink and rhubarby. You now have some nice tender rhubarb chunks and a lot of pink, sweet, rhubarb-with-a-hint-of-gingery liquid, and can move on to the actual recipes:
Rhubarb Fizz Jellies )
Rhubarb and Ginger Muffins )
Rhubarb Bucks' Fizz/Mimosas - with picture )
Rhubarb Gin Cocktail )

So there we go, four nice easy recipes to use up some store cupboard staples. I think I might have to send some of the muffins to school with daughter, though...
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-08 06:23 pm

A Question

I've got plans for the rhubarb challenge, but it's waiting for my rhubarb to arrive from Ocado (I know, I know) tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to ask:

What's your one most essential piece of kitchen equipment?

I mean, once you get past the sink and the oven and the hob and the worktops which every kitchen has (and I'm totally willing to have the gas v electric v induction fight on the hob - gas FTW!!!) what is the one item you could not cope without?

For me, it's a really good cast iron frying pan. I used to have one that was my grandma's, and was given to my dad when he went to uni, and was given to me when I went to uni, and finally died a couple of years ago having done 60+ years of solid service to three generations of pretty arduous cooks. I was initially surprised at how hard it was to find a replacement, but then worked out that a thing that lasts 60 years is going to not be easy to replace. Eventually, after several years of looking (I knew my nan's pan would die eventually) and finding lots that were too small, or didn't have a pouring lip, or were not capable of being ovenned, or were thin and flimsy, or had other problems, I finally got one from Ocado and I've not looked back. I use it several times a week. It's great for caremelising onions or making pancakes or frying eggs or bolognese sauce or even tarte tatin.

So go on then, what's your favourite bit of kitchen equipment?
norfolkian: (three headed monkey)
[personal profile] norfolkian2017-05-07 08:21 pm

Challenge 17: Rhubarb - Rhubarb crumble

I went for something very simple this week, because I am currently not in my own house/kitchen. I was therefore suffering from a lack of store-cupboard ingredients, plus an unfamiliar oven and not really the right equipment. It was only after I bought the ingredients that I realised that I had no weighing scales. Therefore I used a method of vaguely converting grams to tablespoons, plus some guesswork.

It was sort of based on this recipe, though: Rhubarb crumble. But I used caster sugar for both rhubarb bit and crumble bit, and I think I used less sugar than the recipe suggested as mine was quite tart, but still good. The crumble bit also wasn't as crumbly as I'd ideally like, but again, still good. I added in some oats to the crumble for good measure. I was also a bit drunk as I was drinking some sparkling wine while I was making this.

Conclusion: crumbles are VERY forgiving.

miss_s_b: (Mood: Brain Hurts)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-07 09:45 am

Revisiting Old Challenges: my variation on Nigella Lawson's hangover breakfast (challenge 5: eggs)

I went to the Visit Wakefield Wakey Tweetup last night and am a teeny bit delicate. If you have a hangover, you need protein and you need vitamins. Therefore Eggs In Purgatory is the way to go. Nigella's original version is here for those who want to compare and contrast.

My version under the cut )

I hope you enjoyed this trip through my hungover cooking abilities. The breakfast really was very good.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Smug)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-04 01:35 pm

Revisiting old challenges: aka my lunch was yummy and I want to post the recipe

For various reasons I ended up with an unexpected bunch of asparagus today. I also had a migraine and very little motivation to cook anything complicated, so Hollandaise Sauce was right out (which is a shame because asparagus with Hollandaise sauce is of of the yummiest things in the world). This is what I did:

Recipe under the cut )

I expect this could also be a side dish for a sunday dinner or similar, but I quite like it as a light lunch. You could add a poached egg if you need a bit more protein; being all migrainey I just wanted vitamins today.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Sorry)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-04 01:24 pm

Crap! I knew I forgot something yesterday! Challenge 17: Rhubarb

Actual Rhubarb, not sotto voce actor's mutterings. And yes, I realise that as I live so close to the Rhubarb Triangle I have it easier than some of the rest of you might. SorryNotSorry.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Progtastic!)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-05-03 01:00 pm

Challenge 16: Chickpeas: Nachos with Cheats' Salsa & Mojito Hummus a.k.a. What I Had For Lunch

I'm going to eat some nachos man
(click image for a much bigger version in which you can actually see how garlicky I like my salsa because you can see all the motes of garlic in it)

If there's one thing I can't bear it's guacamole. Luckily, if you're having nachos you can substitute Other Things for the traditional guacamole; this is one of my solutions.

Recipes below the cut )

Any leftover salsa and/or hummus can happily be stored for future use in Jars. They want to be kept in the fridge and used within 3 days.
norfolkian: Holtzmann from Ghostbusters licking a gun (Default)
[personal profile] norfolkian2017-04-30 07:38 am

Challenge 16: Chickpeas - Chunky chickpea veggie chilli

Chickpeas are one of my favourite things to use in veggie/vegan meals (a lot of the meat-free meals I cook at home end up being vegan because my partner is lactose intolerant). I always used tinned, because I generally don't have the time or energy to deal with soaking dried beans, but I've heard some people say that using dried beans is better. But equally others say there's nothing wrong with tinned.

I actually have a favourite brand of tinned chickpeas (Napolina) and I try and stock up on them when they're on offer, as they're quite expensive compared with other tinned chickpeas - but I like them because they are large and soft. East End brand chickpeas are also pretty good, and they're a lot cheaper. I've found some own brand tinned chickpeas to be small and hard and not a pleasant texture for my palate.

I make many different versions of veggie chilli, but this one was inspired by a veggie chilli that I had in a restaurant once.
Veggie chilli

Serves 4

Olive oil
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 peppers (I used a yellow pepper and a red pepper, but it doesn't really matter), deseeded and cut into 1cm-ish chunks
1 medium courgette, halved and cut into thick slices
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika (optional)
1 pinch of dried chilli flakes (alternatively you could use 1 tsp chilli powder or a fresh chilli, finely chopped)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
400ml vegetable stock
1 400g tin chickpeas
1 400g tin red kidney beans (or other beans of your choice - borlotti, canellini, black eyed, mixed etc.)
8 - 10 sundried tomatoes (optional)
Salt and pepper to season

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook gently for 5 - 10 minutes until starting to soften. Add the courgette and cook for a minute more. Add the spices, stir well and cook for another minute or two. Add the tomato puree, tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil briefly, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas, beans and sundried tomatoes (if using). Simmer for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The idea is that the courgette should be soft but still (mostly) holding together.

Serve with rice, bread, jacket potato or cous cous.

miss_s_b: (Fangirling: AA Milne)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-04-26 11:07 am

Challenge 16: Chickpeas

Thanks to everyone who answered the poll; there seems to be a clear wish to go for an ingredient over a cuisine this week, although many of you are Not Fussed. I'm therefore going to pick up [personal profile] meepettemu's suggestion. This week's Challenge is to do something with chickpeas. They're a very versatile ingredient: you can make everything from burgers to vegan meringue with them, and of course Gram Flour is ground chickpeas, so they're great for gluten-free baking too. They're also heavily used in North African cuisine, which covers [personal profile] angelofthenorth's burning suggestion too.

miss_s_b: Christopher Lee's Dracula hovers over Joanna Lumley (Fangirling: Sir Lee Dracula)
[personal profile] miss_s_b2017-04-25 11:16 am

What should we do for next week's challinj?

Poll #18272 Next Week's Challenge
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 15

What type of challenge should we have next week?

View Answers

7 (46.7%)

2 (13.3%)

Something Else
0 (0.0%)

Not fussed
6 (40.0%)

I have a burning suggestion for what the challenge should be! It is...