A photographic food adventure

Posts tagged ‘recipes’

Cheat Lentil Tikka Masala

Hey guys,

This recipe is a bit of a cheat, I bought a jar of Tikka Masala sauce and added a couple of my own things but it was yum, simple, cheap and easy, which is the point of this blog so it definitely counts. Although, I’m sure Nurul can do better and I challenge her to do that! Although in hindsight it would have actually been cheaper to try and make it myself but I have NO idea how to make a curry from scratch so spending up to $5 on a jar of curry sauce was a good choice and $5 is still cheap.

As a vegetarian, lentils are a very healthy high source of protein and a great meat alternative. I don’t eat a lot of lentils but I should start eating more.

Ingredients:
1 jar of tikka masala sauce (could also use butter chicken sauce or any other sauce of your choice)
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped and crushed
1 tin of lentils
Extra chilli if needed
1/4 cup of rice (That’s enough for me, you can make more if you like rice or are cooking for more than one person)
Naan bread from the supermarket or from your local Indian restaurant/take-away shop

Method:

First, boil salted water for rice.

While you’re waiting for your water to boil, open your tin of lentils. Tinned lentils are usually kept in brine, which is a gross brown liquid that I think smells like catfood. To avoid the brine, I always wash my lentils well so put your lentils in a colander and run cold water over them for a couple of minutes.

Add rice to the boiling water and cook til soft.

Chop and crush your garlic. (I really just wanted to show off my new knife, which I got from Countdown supermarket by saving stickers they give you after every $20 purchase). You could probably add diced onion too but I didn’t have one at the time. Like Nurul, every dish I make has a garlic or onion/garlic base, it’s called FLAVOUR. Although, I’m pretty sure, as a meat eater I never used garlic but now I’m unsure where I’d be without it. I use so much I can’t even taste it any more!

Fry the garlic in olive oil but not til it goes brown. Like Nurul, I start everything on high and turn it down when it starts to get hot. Garlic is best cooked on medium heat, it is gross as soon as it goes brown so it’s best to saute it on a low heat to get all the flavour  out.

Add lentils and fry on medium heat for 2-5 minutes. The lentils are already pre-cooked so you just need to heat them up.

Add your sauce, while on high heat then when it starts to boil, turn it to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While your sauce is simmering, take your rice off the heat and drain it (if you cooked it using heaps of water like I did).

Also while my sauce was simmering, I went to my local Indian restaurant and got a couple of pieces of garlic naan to go with the curry, naan is always my favourite part of a curry and although my local Indian restaurant (2 minutes walk from my house) makes terrible curry, it makes good naan so that was perfect for this situation.

Plate everything and enjoy!

Tory.

Advertisements

Tomato and Red Capsicum Risotto

Hey guys,

This is one of my favourite recipes, something I make SO often. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes and or capsicum, this risotto can have anything added to it, including meat (if you MUST ruin a perfectly good recipe with meat).

I often make this recipe using mushrooms instead of tomatoes and capsicum. The only difference in that scenario is to fry the mushrooms before starting the risotto then leave them aside and re-add them later in the process. But anything can be added at the right stage (which I’ll specify in the recipe).

I made this with a friend this time and he said “this risotto is delicious” (he told me to quote him!), but also, I made the mushroom version for him once and even though he doesn’t like mushrooms, he still loved it so it’s proof that if you make something well, if you add heaps of flavour to food, it can be yummy even if someone doesn’t like an ingredient in the recipe.

This recipe is originally from Jamie Oliver, it’s his Basic Risotto with a few added twists from me. I know you may be thinking “OMG, if Jamie Oliver is making this recipe, how the heck will I be able to cope with it?!”, But just read the recipe and try it, risotto may be something you eat at nice restaurants but it’s actually REALLY easy to make.

 

Ingredients:
2-4 cups of vegetable stock (start with 2, if the rice isn’t cooked with that much, add more.)
Olive oil
Half an onion, diced (I always use half an onion but you are welcome to use a whole onion if you like onion)
2-5 cloves of garlic, crushed (Like Nurul, I love garlic, as a vegetarian it is THE most important ingredient you will ever use)
1 cup of Arborio rice (Any rice can be used but Arborio rice is specifically used for risotto so works better. Can be found in your local supermarket in the rice section).
2 glasses (or half a bottle) of white wine (I enjoy using Sav Blanc wine, usually a cheap one, at that but the professional chefs always say “don’t cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink yourself”, of course, I love drinking cheap wine so quite happy to use it in recipes!)
One red capsicum, diced
One can of tomatoes
A sprinkle of dried mixed herbs
Salt
Chilli (Something you know I use in every recipe, can be left out but great for flavour)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Method:

Heat the stock in a pot on low heat. Meanwhile in a frying pan or pot heat the olive oil, add the onions and garlic and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring.

When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt, the chilli and the herbs. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, make sure the last ladleful of stock is absorbed before adding the next in every step). This will take around 15 minutes.

After the wine has incorporated and you have added your first ladleful of stock and it has also incorporated into the rice, this is the step where you should add anything you need to add, whether that be fried mushrooms, capsicums, meat or whatever. However, don’t add the tomatoes just yet. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully.

Add another ladleful of stock. Wait for it to incorporate. Taste the rice to see if it’s soft yet. It shouldn’t be completely soft so add the can of tomatoes. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock until the rice is soft. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

Once the rice is oozy and soft and 98% of the liquid is absorbed, your risotto is ready to be served. Do not, I repeat DO NOT serve if the rice is swimming in liquid, the liquid must be mostly absorbed.

This is how your final plate of risotto should look, it should be able to stand by itself without oozing all over the plate but a bit of ooze is all part of it. Here you can add some parmesan and enjoy!

I hope you find this recipe as easy as I do. If you have any questions though, please contact me through the blog and I’ll be happy to help. I want everyone to enjoy this recipe as much as I do and not be scared of it.

 

Tory.

Fettucine with Creamy Spinach and Roasted Tomato

Hi guys,

This isn’t the most exciting recipe ever but it’s actually better than I thought it would be, I thought it would be bland but if you season it right, it’s a tasty, fast, cheap meal.

This recipe, like my last recipe, is from Vegetarian Cooking, A Commonsense Guide.

Ingredients:
I don’t usually put measurements in my ingredients list because I’m usually cooking for one or two so I make enough for what I need, I believe cooking is about estimation rather than measurement. This particular recipe serves 4-6 but I didn’t make that much. Also, the times in the method are what the recipe says, I don’t usually time what I’m doing, it’s fairly obvious when something is cooked or has simmered enough or whatever. 

A tomato
Butter
Half an onion, chopped roughly
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Spinach (I used frozen spinach)
One cup vegetable stock
Half a cup of cream
Fresh fettucine

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius. Cut tomatoes in half lengthways then cut each half into three wedges. Place on a lightly greased baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes or until softened.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft, add the spinach.

Add the stock and cream, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Simmer rapidly for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well and return to pan. (Here I also took the tomatoes out of the oven).

Remove spinach mixture from heat and season well. (Note, the stock makes the sauce salty enough but taste it to see and if it needs more salt, add it. I also added my usual ground chilli here too.) Cool slightly then blend in a food processor until smooth.

Toss through the pasta until coated.

Divide in serving bowls and top with roasted tomatoes.

Enjoy.

Tory.

Introduction and Mushroom Pot Pies

Welcome to The Young and Hungry.

Before I start with my first recipe, I’ll introduce myself to you: I’m Tory, I’m from Wellington and I’m a vegetarian with a passion for desserts, so now you know what to expect from my recipes. However, I do eat fish so there may be some fish recipes included every now and again.

As you may have already read in the “About” section, I’m not the only author of The Young and Hungry, you will hear from my friend Nurul later on as we’ll post twice a week each starting from next week.

My first recipe is Mushroom Pot Pies from “Vegetarian Cooking, a Commonsense Guide”, a recipe book I’ll use fairly frequently.

I will add my own commentary to the method in italics, as well as some notes at the start or end of each recipe that are helpful or interesting about my experience of the recipe.

Ingredients:
Olive oil
A leek (white part only) (I used half an onion instead)
A couple of crushed garlic cloves
Large field mushrooms, peeled and diced
Thyme
1 cup cream
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
Note: Meat such as bacon can be added to this recipe if you feel it’s necessary to ruin a perfectly good pie with meat.

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 C . Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté the leek/onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the leek/onion is soft and translucent. Transfer onto a plate.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms have released their juices and are soft and slightly coloured.

Add leek/onion and garlic mixture into frying pan with mushrooms. Add thyme and salt. (Fresh thyme can be used but I used dry thyme from a packet). Here I also added a sprinkle of ground chilli, something I do often in my cooking, as I love a bit of a kick, it is not on the recipe and is optional but I personally find it adds to the flavour.

Turn up the heat to high and add cream.

Stirring occasionally, cook for 7-8 minutes or until the cream has reduced to a thick sauce. Remember to taste as you go and add more salt and pepper if you feel it needs more, because I add chilli, I usually don’t use pepper.

Divide mushrooms into ramekins or ovenproof bowls, I had enough mushrooms for two pies but if you want to make a bigger batch, add more mushrooms.  Cut the pastry into rounds about the same size as each ramekin.

Brush the rim of each ramekin with some beaten egg yolk, place the pastry rounds on top and press down on the pastry to seal. Brush the tops with the remaining egg yolk.

Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve hot.

Finished product:

Note: This was my first time making these pies and I found, when I took the pies out of the oven and cracked open the pastry, the creamy mushroom mixture had separated slightly so some of the oil from the cream was visible and although not visually appealing, it didn’t seem to effect the flavour of the pies. I’m not sure if there is a way to prevent this separation, let me know if you know.

Tory.