Monday 30 September 2013

Peas and Greens Parcels

From Wrapped in Pastry, Leigh Drew, Aduki, 2012.
This recipe was actually called ‘Beans and Greens Parcels’ but I have changed the ‘beans’ to ‘peas’ because I only used chickpeas and not the cannellini beans.

I began by mashing a can of chickpeas with a couple of tablespoons of tahini with salt and pepper. This was put aside as the vegetables were prepared.
Three stalks of spring onions were sliced and a garlic clove was chopped. These went into a large frying pan to cook in a little oil for a couple of minutes as I prepared the broccoli and cauliflower. I used 100g of each vegetable and cut them up into pieces. These now were added to the pan to cook for another couple of minutes. A little water, about ¼ cup, was added and a lid placed over to let the vegetables steam for a few more minutes.

I washed 500g silver beet and cut out the hard centre stalks. The leaves were roughly cut into pieces and added to the pan with the juice of ½ lemon and a teaspoon of chilli flakes. When the leaves had wilted the mashed chickpeas were added and stirred in. The mixture was left to cool completely.
The parcels were now prepared. A sheet of filo pastry was brushed with oil and another sheet added on top. The vegetable mixture was divided into six lots. One of these was added to the long end of the pastry strip that was folded over and over until about half way along. The sides were folded in and the wrapping continued until fully rolled. It was placed on a baking tray with the end of the fold down. Now brushed with oil it was ready to go in a 180ºC oven. The remainder of the vegetables were treated the same way until there were 6 parcels. About half way through the cooking the parcels were turned over.

These were certainly filled with green goodness. They came out like a variation on spanakopita without the cheese. If making in future I think I would increase the broccoli and cauliflower to double because I enjoyed their texture and they were a little overbalanced by the silver beet.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

Thursday 26 September 2013

Chilled Split Green Pea Soup with Mint

From The Bean Book, Rose Elliot, Fontana, 1979.
This recipe was for a chilled soup but when I tasted it after making it I decided it was worth having heated. Any left over was to be saved for serving chilled the next day. And the next day we had it chilled and it was very good, even a little better than when warm.

An onion and a celery stick were chopped and added to a hot pan with olive oil. When they had softened, into the pan went a litre of stock, 125g split green peas, 10 mint stalks denuded of their leaves and tied into a bundle, a pinch of ground cloves and a bay leaf. This was brought to the boil and simmered for about ¾ hour when the peas had softened completely. The bay leaf and the mint stalks were rmoved and, using a stick blender, I pureed the soup. It was tasted for seasoning.
At serving time it was spooned into bowls, a drop of cream was added and on top some chopped mint leaves were sprinkled over.
A pleasing soup, very cheap and easy to make. Worth remembering.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Cheese and Chive Soufflé

From Dinner Party Cookbook, The Australian Women’s Weekly, ACP Publishing, undated.
I seem to be going through a soufflé-making phase. One made last week and now another this week. This time it was to be individual ones whereas the last one was a shared one.

To begin I melted 65g butter in a saucepan, then took it off the heat to add ¼ cup plain flour with salt and pepper. One it was well mixed it was returned to the heat and ½ cup milk added all at once. It was stirred until it had thickened. Now, off the heat, 45g grated cheddar cheese was added with about a tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Once these had melted and the mixture had cooled 2 beaten egg yolks were stirred in and then a little under 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Now two egg whites were beaten until soft peaks had begun to form. The whites were folded in and the mixture went into buttered ramekins, then into a 180ºC oven to cook for about half an hour.

As the oven was heating up I made some celery croutes. Two slices of bread were de-crusted and cut into batons. These were brushed with melted butter and celery seeds sprinkled on. They went into the oven to become crisp.
Cheesy soufflés are so good to eat and these went so well with their gentle oniony flavour from the chives. Crunchy celery flavoured croutons were a good accompaniment.
Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Goat’s Cheese and Mango

From The Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.
I was intrigued by this recipe when I read it for it seemed to be an unusual mix. Now I am pleased I tried it.

To begin, I took a 7cm biscuit cutter and cut circles from slices of bread. These were brushed with a little oil and went into the oven to dry a little but not to brown.
I chopped a red chilli and some mint leaves finely. I roasted some sesame seeds and mixed them with the mint and chilli.
I pulped some tinned mango and mixed it with a pinch of salt and a touch of white wine.

I sliced some goat’s cheese and moulded it into rounds a little smaller than the bread rounds. I warmed a little honey and brushed it over the goat’s cheese rounds. These were then dipped, honey side down, into the chilli/mint/sesame seed mixture. They were placed on the bread rounds and put into the oven to heat until the cheese had softened.
To serve a smear of mango pulp went on each plate. Some rocket leaves were placed on this and it was all topped with the bread and goat’s cheese rounds.
I was well pleased with this. The flavours were varied and went together far better than I had anticipated. Peppery rocket over sweet mango and topped with tangy goat’s cheese—really tasty.
Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔ 

Monday 23 September 2013

Asparagus Milanese Style

From Mietta’s Italian Family Recipes, Mietta O’Donnell, Black Inc., 2000.
Asparagus is a vegetable that works well with a simple treatment. This style of serving asparagus is so good.

A pot of salted water was put on the stove and the asparagus added when it reached boiling point. Now a pan was put on to heat up and butter was added. When the butter had begun to froth eggs were added to be fried. When the white were cooked a little salt was sprinkled on.

Now the asparagus was taken out and placed on the plates. Grated parmesan was sprinkled over and an egg placed on top.  The dregs of butter in the pan were poured over as a sauce.
This is such a quick dish to make and wonderful eating. The vegetable still had a slight crunch to it, the parmesan had slightly melted from the heat of the egg and the yolk made a golden sauce with the butter. Writing this makes me want it again right now.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔