Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Savoury Mixed Rice

This recipe works really well with 'alternative' rices such as brown, wild and red camargue, but should still be pretty good with your regular rice. The flaked almonds help give this dish a really good texture and I've served it with chicken or venison casserole.

1 Cup Rice (rinsed)
1 Small Leek (finely sliced)
1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
1 Clove Garlic (minced)
1 Small Piece Fresh Ginger (finely chopped)
500 ml Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock if making as a vegetarian dish)
200 ml White Wine
A Handful of Flaked Almonds
Groundnut or Olive Oil

1) In a saucepan, fry the leeks, onions, garlic and ginger in a little oil until soft and slightly golden.

2) Add the rice, almonds, wine, chicken stock, seasoning and enough water to make sure the rice is covered by about 1 cm.

3) Simmer gently until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally and adding more water if it is required - I find it takes about 30 minutes using Waitrose Wholesome Rice.

I'm Loving... Waitrose 'Wholesome' Brown Basmati, Red Carmague and Wild Rice

We're always being told about the benefits of brown rice but until recently, I've really not been able to convince myself that I like it... until now. Wandering around Waitrose the other day, I came across a display of their new 'Wholesome' range, which includes dried fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and healthy pasta and rice. Intrigued, I had a good look around and found a bag of Brown Basmati, Red Camargue and Wild Rice that I thought looked kind of interesting.

A few days later, I was experimenting with recipes for acorn squash (I got one in my organic veggie box) and found one where the squash was stuffed with a savoury rice. An absolutely perfect opportunity to try out the new stuff, and with a bit of adaptation I had a very passable result!

To cut a long story short, I overcooked the squash so it was really a bit too 'squishy', but the rice inside it was amazing. The Red Camargue and Wild Rice give the brown rice a bit more 'bite' and a slightly nutty flavour which was lovely. Having frozen the leftovers, I had the savoury rice again for dinner this evening with a Creamy Chicken Casserole that I put in the oven before going to the gym - result?

A Perfect Match!

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Coconut Rice Pudding

This Sunday I did a Chinese-style roast chicken and wanted to try something a little different for pudding. This is an adaptation of Delia's Traditional Rice Pudding recipe - very scrummy but you can't eat a lot at once! Goes really nicely with slices of fresh mango.

1 cup Jasmine Rice
400ml Can of Coconut Milk
500ml Milk
50g Sugar
1 Sachet Coconut Cream
2 tbsp Dessicated Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Ground Nutmeg
Whole Star Anise (optional)

Preheat oven to 150 Celcius

1) Heat coconut milk, milk, sugar, coconut cream, vanilla essence and dessicated coconut in a saucepan.

2) Add rice and simmer until the rice just starts to soften.

3) Pour into a greased dish and place in the oven. Stir after 30 minutes.

4) Cook for another 30 and stir again. Sprinkle well with nutmeg, decorate with star anise and bake util the rice is cooked and the top is golden.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Baked Mushrooms with Mozzarella and Bacon

I *really* fancied a cooked breakfast this morning but really couldn't be bothered with all the washing up they entail. I've made a similar recipe as a vegetable dish using goats' cheese and garlic but I figured that mozzarella would be much nicer for breakfast and make the dish more 'creamy'. If you play around a bit, this would probably make a great vegetarian starter if you melt cheese over some spinach, or you could make it into a 'bigger' breakfast with a slice of black pudding or tomato under the cheese. The best thing about this recipe - only one dish to wash up (except for the scrambled eggs pan!).

2 Large Portabello Mushrooms (the big flat ones)
2 Slices of Firm Mozzarella (Buffalo mozzarella would work as well)
2 Rashers of Back Bacon
Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 Celcius

1) If the mushrooms have large stalks, slice them down so the mushroom has a 'flat' inside.

2) Place a slice of mozzarella on the inside of each mushroom and wrap the whole thing with a rasher of bacon - tuck the ends underneath and place in an ovenproof dish.

3) Grind some fresh pepper over the top and place in the centre of the oven to bake for 25 minutes.

4) Serve with scrambled eggs and the mushroom 'juice' spooned over the top.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Comforting Cottage Pie

I put this together to make use of a load of veggies I got in my delivery box.

500g Lean Minced Beef
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
4 tsps Bisto Powder mixed with a little cold water
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
approx 6 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 Small Swede, cubed
4 Carrots,
A Little Oil
Parmesan / Pecorino Romano (optional)

- Serves 4
- Preheat oven to 180 Celcius

1) Put the potatoes on to boil in one pan, and the carrot and swede on to boil in a second pan.

2) Fry the onions until just golden, add the minced beef and cook until browned.

3) Stir in the tomato puree, Bisto and enough water so the meat isn't too dry, and allow to cook for about 15 minutes.

4) When the potatoes are cooked, drain and mash with a little butter (or milk) and put aside.

5) Roughly mash carrot and swede together with a little butter and pepper.

6) Layer the meat at the bottom of an ovenproof dish, followed by the carrot and swede mash and topped with the mashed potatoes

7) Grate a little parmesan or pecorino romano cheese over the top (optional).

8) Bake for 20-30 minutes and serve with something like broccoli and gravy.