Thursday, 26 February 2009

Apple Pancakes with Zesty Vanilla Whip and Maple Syrup

Receita em Português AQUI

Recipe Ingredients: (enough for 4 if not too sweet toothed)
  • 1 glass of self raising flour
  • 3/4 glass of full fat milk (or a little more if needed)
  • 3 soup spoons and one tea spoon of sugar
  • 1 heaped tea spoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 glass of whipping cream
  • 1/2 of a lemon zest
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla essence
  • 4 soup spoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 apple (skinless and cut into quarters, then finely slice all the quarters)
  • Maple Syrup (to taste)
In a bowl put the flour and the baking powder and the 3 soup spoons of sugar, and with the aid of a whisk, mix both very well. Now make a well in the flour and place the egg in there as well as the vegetable oil, start whisking from the centre outwards and as it gets thick start adding the milk little by little and whisking until is all incorporated, it should have the consistency of runny yoghurt. Now pour the thinly sliced apple into that and give it one stir, cover it with a cloth and let it rest around 10 minutes.

Mean while put a non stick frying pan on the stove with the flame just above minimum, and let it heat do this about 4 minutes before the end of the dough rest period. Meanwhile in another bowl put the cream there and start whipping it and when is almost at its peak add the vanilla, lemon zest and sugar, bet remaining to peak and your cream is done.

Now on the preheated frying pan, if this one is large enough like 26-28" you should be able to make 3 pancakes at each time, two soup spoons of dough for each pancake and once these are golden brown on one side turn them over. Always check that they are fully cooked through, that is why pan can't be too hot or it will cook the outside with still runny dough on the inside.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Fungi and Quorn Cooked in a Butternut Squash Sauce & Carrot and Tomato Rice (Vegan-Vegetarian)

Receita em Português AQUI

Recipe Ingredients: (enough for 4)
  • 1/2 Butternut Squash (very finely diced)
  • 1 small onion (very finely sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (very finely sliced)
  • 1 courgette (finely diced)
  • 300grs button mushrooms (whole)
  • 200grs Quorn pieces
  • 400grs rice
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tomato (skin removed to for rose, rest diced)
  • 1 soup spoon of tomato paste
  • 1/4 glass of water with a tea spoon of plain flour diluted
  • 1/2 tea spoon of paprica
  • 2 glugs of olive oil
Put a pan on the stove on high temp, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil, then once hot add, half of the garlic half of the onion and the butternut, start stirring it and as it starts to stick and dry add a bit of water (vegetable stock is better) mix again letting it cook it will dry again pour a little more water. the process is repeated around 3 to four times until the butternut starts disintegrating into a paste, when that happens season it (salt and pepper) add about 1/2 glass of water (or veg stock) and now add the courgette, Quorn and the mushrooms, put a lid on and reduce flame to minimum, letting it simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.

While that is doing let's do the rice, put a pan with water and salt on the stove on high, then pour the rice in and give it a stir, it will take approx 10-12 minutes until fully cooked, once done strain it passing also boiling water through to remove starch then add the carrot sauce.

While the rice is boiling you put a frying pan on the stove, with a little olive oil and once hot add the carrot, remaining garlic and onion as well as some seasoning, stir fry it for about 3-5 minutes and add a little water (or veg stock) and then let it cook another 10 minutes and at this stage will join the rice.

With all taking the 15 minutes the sauce takes to be ready all will be ready at the same time, so remove the lid from the butternut sauce and add the water with flour this will thicken the sauce further making it extremely smooth and nice.

Plate it up and eat it, it has a delicate sweetish taste due to the butternut which is in my opinion quite divine. If you want a meat one just replace the Quorn with the meat of your choice.

Herbed Pancakes and Mini Spring Burgers with a tuft of Salad (Pancake day Gastro Feast)

Pancake day gastro feast... Only had a small dinner as had some more sweet pancakes to come after as desert...this was really enjoyable.

Recipe Ingredients: (good for 3-4 people)
  • 1small glass of self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tea spoon of baking powder
  • 2/3 of a glass with milk
  • 3 soup spoons of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 tea spoon of garlic granules
  • 400grs lean beef mince
  • 3 spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • one bag of mixed salad
  • 1 hand full of bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/3 tea spoon paprika
  • 1 soup spoon of smoked barbecue sauce
  • also some barbecue and ketchup sauce to top burgers
  • salt and pepper to taste

With so many ingredients sounds difficult...No? Well it is not.
Dead easy, pour the flour in a bowl and the baking powder, whisk well together, then make a well and in the middle put 1 egg, oil, garlic granules, salt and pepper and start to mix, as it gets thicker add the milk a little a the time and continue mixing it in until all the milk is used up (it should be the consistency of thick bechamel, so add more milk if needed). Lastly add the parsley and set it aside to rest.

In another bowl place the mince, and add: bread crumbs, 1 egg, barbecue sauce, spring onions (save a little for decorating), garlic "minced", paprika and salt + pepper (to taste). Mix it all in with your hands, and after make balls the size of golf balls, which then you squash to make the mini burgers, these are grilled in a hot griddle pan, and the pancake mix is made in a non stick frying pan (no oil needed as these already contain oil) two soup spoons per pancake should be the right size, make sure they are cooked on both sides.

Serve the burgers over the savoury pancakes, squeeze a dollop of BBQ sauce and Ketchup over each burger and add a little spring onions to decorate as well as normal sliced onions (you can also use mini tomato slices, cucumber etc. " i didn't have any in" lol) put also a tuft of mixed leaves salad in each plate and drizzle some olive oil balsamic vinegar and refined salt. there you are a nice little healthy pancake meal for your pancake day.!!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Spring Onion and Parsley Macaroni Cheese

Receita em Português AQUI

Recipe Ingredients: (enough for 4 people)
  • 400grs Macaroni pasta
  • 3 spring onions (chopped fine slices)
  • 3 garlic cloves (2 minced, 1 crushed)
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 50grs butter
  • 50grs cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 bunch parsley (chopped coarsely)
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 spoon of nutmeg (powder, or grate it yourself)
  • 1/3 of a glass with water and a heaped tea spoon of plain flour diluted in it
  • 1 glug of vegetable oil

This is an easy and delicious winter recipe, that I make all the time when I haven't got much time. not very healthy but is comforting and is definitely a filler.

Put a pan with some boiling water a glug of oil, 1 crushed garlic and a little salt, put the macaroni inside let it boil for 7-10 minutes, once cooked drain and pass through it some boiling water, and drain it again and put it in the sauce.

The sauce is made as follows, put the milk butter a little salt and pepper and the nutmeg in a little saucepan, take to the stove on a medium heat once it starts boiling add the spring onions, and the flour diluted in water, stir it and let it thicken, once it reaches that stage which will take around 2 minutes add the grated cheese and the parley, stir it again for another 1 minute, that will thicken some more. Now place the sauce in the large empty pan where you previously boiled the pasta, add the drained pasta to it, put a little on and let it rest about 2 minutes and serve. If you like a better effect and some crispiness, you may put it in a little pirex tray add a little grated cheese on top and dust also some oregano and goes in the oven 200c for around 10 minutes or under the grill till golden brown on top around 3-5 minutes, you decide...I couldn't wait so I ate it like that.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

"Valentino Hot" Chicken with chickpeas Wedges and Salad

Receita em Português AQUI

I call this chicken Valentino chicken as it has two discerning characteristics that live up to the name, is spicy hot and very red in'll see below why. :D

Recipe Ingredients: (enough for 3-4 people)
  • 400-500grs chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
  • 2 cooked beetroot's
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large chilli (chopped "including seeds and veins")
  • 1 chopped plum tomato tin
  • 2 soup spoons of tomato concentrate
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 chickpeas tin
  • 1/3 glass of light red wine or rosé
  • 4 spring onions (chopped finely)
  • some olive oil
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
Place a pan on the stove at high temp, put enough olive oil in to cover the bottom of the pan, and once it is hot add: the onion, beetroot and red pepper, let these cook for a little while (about 3 minutes) and then piece by piece add the chicken and as soon as it seal on one side turn the chicken around to seal the other side too as this helps to keep the juices in keeping the chicken moist and tender. Chicken which you previously marinated in the (garlic, chilli and wine " see photo") for around 30 mins to 1 hr.

After the chicken is completely sealed ad the marinating liquid including the chillies and garlic into the pan, and together with that ad also the two, tomato paste and chopped plum tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for a good 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Now temporarily remove the chicken, put the sauce in a jug and blitz it with the blender, back into the pan with the sauce and add the chickpeas and put the chicken back there too, and now cook for a further 5 minutes so that the chickpeas heat up properly (as is already cooked in the tin), then arrange it on the plate with the wedges and a little salad or do it your own way. Cheers!!

Recipe Ingredients: (for the wedges, enough for 3-4 people)
  • 400grs potatoes (cut lengthways in six, to form wedges)
  • 1 soup spoon plain flour
  • 1 pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch of fresh ground sea salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon of chilli powder
  • 3 spoons of olive oil
Place a pan with boiling water on the stove at high temp with a little salt, place the potato wedges inside and part-cook them (about 4-5 minutes) remove and drain the potatoes, and place them in a bowl, placing all the remaining ingredients in the bowl with the potatoes, toss them in the bowl not using any utensils, just toss them until they are fully covered by the ingredients.

Now scatter them in a tray and place them in the oven at 200c for about 15-20 until golden brown, and at this point they are ready to serve. Now these potato wedges are easy to make and very versatile, as you can pick and choose what aromatic herbs you put in if any you can put dry herbs or fresh, or even different of my favourite is paprika and garlic powder. Anyway have fun...that is what cooking is all about having fun and experimenting.

Bellow was another meal I made using some left overs from the above meal, I had a little sauce and chickpeas left as well as a couple of chicken pieces, so I cut the chicken in small bits, got the sauce (after heating it) and chickpeas in a blender added a couple of glugs of olive oil (extra virgin) blitz it to a smooth paste (to pesto consistency) . Cooked some pasta and and added the sauce with the chicken bits mixed in into the pasta (in this case spaghetti) also chopped up finely some spring onions and scattered over the top of the dish for added décor and taste. et voila...bon apetit...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Liver and Onions "classic" with Fresh cream and Spring Onion Mash

Receita em Português AQUI

Recipe Ingredients: (enough for 2)
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 2 bay leaves (cut in half)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 300grs ox liver
  • 4 large potatoes (pealed and quartered)
  • 4 spring onions (thinly chopped)
  • 100mls single cream
  • 1 soup spoon of butter
  • a pinch of nutmeg powder (or grate a little)
  • salt and pepper to taste (also a little milk if you find mash too thick)
  • a glug of olive oil
I am aware you all may know this recipe already as is a classic, but I am sure some people do not.
Peal and quarter the four large potatoes, put them in a pan with water, place it on the stove on high, once reaches boil reduce it to min, and let it boil gently, should take about 15-20 minutes till fully cooked. Once cooked drain the potatoes, place them in a bowl and mash them, once that is done add the butter, fold it in till it melts and mixes well, then add the fresh cream (salt and pepper to taste) nutmeg and spring onions, fold it in again and the mash is done ...simple hey!!!

As to the liver you should start cooking this after you put the potatoes boiling so all comes out at the same time, but about an hour prior to cooking the liver you should have it marinading in a bowl with the wine garlic and a little salt. Put a pan on the stove on high with a good glug of olive oil.

Once it gets very hot add the onions and a little salt and pepper, keep stirring and allow the onions to caramelize a little, once that happens shift them to one side and add the liver slices one by one, and as soon as it seals turn them over, as soon as it seals on that side too, add the marinade liquid to the pan mix it all in with the livers, once it starts boiling the livers will release a little blood which will help to thicken the lovely sauce, be sure not to cook them for too long about 3-4 minutes after sealed should be sufficient as they should be pink in the middle (that is quite safe) and this way they will remain soft and tender.

If you prefer well cooked, so be it but be aware that the livers will be a lot harder consistency, the secret to softness is to me medium cooked, still pink in the middle, arrange it on the plate with plenty of sauce and some onions on top as well as some mash, which you can dip into the sauce and have fun...

Lemon Chicken with Lemon Sauce - Blueberry Cottage Cheese Cakes

Receita em Português AQUI

Recipe Ingredients: (feeds 4-5)
  • 4 medium chicken breasts (each breast cut length ways to for two steaks)
  • 2 lemons (one of which is to be cut in slices) *
  • 2 soup spoons of butter
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little olive oil
  • parsley bunch (finely chopped)
After you made the chicken breasts into steaks, put them marinating in "vinha de alhos" roughly translates to Garlic Winery, which means you cut a couple of garlic into slithers, put them in the chicken in a bowl fill it with half white wine until it just covers the chicken, and add the juice of one lemon plus a couple of bay leaves and a little salt(these ingredients are not part of the recipes list, so these are extra), let these marinate for minimum 30 minutes best if over an hour.

Now place a pan on the stove on high, put a couple of glugs of olive oil enough to cover the bottom of the pan, once hot add the chicken steaks one by one, and turn them around as soon as they sealed, at that stages ad the remaining contents of the marinading bowl, also add the juice of one lemon, cut the remaining into slithers and throw it in also and add on as well the garlic, lemon slices, the butter, white wine, bay leaves + salt and pepper to taste, bring these to the boil, then ad a lid to the pan and reduce it to min. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, stir occasionally, and check if it does get low on liquid (it shouldn't) add a little more White wine.

*(tip this chicken will get quite zesty and lemony, if you don't want that zesty after taste (a little bitter) just remove the yellow part of the skin of the lemon before you juice it and/or cut into slices and ad it to the food. One more thing if you want the slices of lemon to remain more intact, only add these 10 minutes before it is all done)*

Now that the 30 minutes passed add a tea spoon of flour to a little water mix well than pour it in the pan as well as the parsley, swirl it around and that will form the nicest lemony wine sauce, really great, and if you not afraid of you stomach lol add a little cream (optional, for a more smooth cream).

Serve the chickens steaks on the plates top them with a little sauce, and place a slice or two of lemon from the sauce on top. Serve with that your roasted/boiled vegetables, mine were roasted potatoes, parsnips, butter steamed red cabbage, and some boiled Brussels Sprouts with garlic butter.

Recipe Ingredients: (enough for 6 ramekins)
  • 300grs Cottage cheese.
  • 150grs self raising flour
  • 1 large egg (separate yolk to one side, white to other and beat the with to peak)
  • 250grs blueberries (any other berries will do: strawberry, raspberry etc etc)
  • 6 spoons of sugar (2 to one side) (4 to another side)
  • a little water and lemon juice.
  • 200ml whipping cream

On a little pan you put the 2 soup spoons of sugar, 2 soup spoons of water and the fruit. Take this to the stove high temp and let it start to boil, once it reaches boiling point reduce it to minimum temp, and let it simmer until the fruit is cooked about 3-4 minutes, mash it with a potato masher let it cook for a further 2-3 minutes (if it starts getting to dry add a little more water) you want a consistency of runny jam.

For the cake, in a bowl put the cheese, egg yolk, 4 soup spoons of sugar and two thirds of the fruit jam, mix this very very well, once that is done mix in the flour bit by bit fold it in, it will get quite tough and sticky, so now add the beaten egg white and fold this one in too, now you should have a more caky mixture, spoon it into ramekins (that have been previously greased and floured) up to two thirds full, them add a tea spoon of the fruit mix into the centre of the dough, now add one more soup spoon of the dough to completely cover the jam you just put in and goes in the oven at 200c for 20 minutes depending on oven so check at 15. You want a golden brown top see picture. Once cooked let it cool down a little and serve it warm topped with icing sugar a dollop of whipped cream and the remaining jam add a little lemon juice heat it up and pour a spoon over the cake and cream see picture,,,,,is delicious....have fun!!!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Potato and Mushroom Halloumi Grattin with Sticky Pork Ribs / Crumed Garlic Chicken / Fish Cake

Receita em Português AQUI

Another simple yet effective recipe, very tasty indeed, if I may say so, and the accompaniment is so versatile that goes with many things, some of which I listed here, the rest is up to you. Above you can see the Potato and Mushroom Halloumi grattin, bellow are the sticky ribs YUM!!!

Recipe Ingredients: (grattin, feeds 4 people)
  • 1kg potato red skin (washed and thin sliced)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 300grs Large open mushrooms (sliced)
  • 200grs cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 200grs Halloumi cheese (thinly sliced , about 1/2 cm thickness)
  • 1/2 glass full fat milk
  • (optional) few bits of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • salt pepper and olive oil (to taste)
Place a pan with boiling water on the stove, and put the sliced potatoes in, once it reaches boil again let them cook for 4 minutes. While that is doing you can pan fry with a little olive oil the mushrooms and 1 garlic clove (minced), and once that is that do the same to the onion and another garlic clove (minced).

You then assemble the dish for the oven, after draining the potatoes, one by one cover the bottom of a pirex dish, then scatter covering those potatoes with the onion, followed by the mushrooms. On top of those pour half of the milk you have in the glass evenly throughout the whole area, and then the grated cheddar, follow that by a little seasoning salt and pepper, and layer another section of potato slices using the remainder of the potato, once that is done pour the remaining milk evenly to cover all area and position the Halloumi to be well spread over al of the potatoes (see picture). Then goes in the oven for 30 minutes at 180c.

For the pork ribs, make sure when you buy these that they are quite meaty, but they also must have a little fat, as they helps with being tender when cooking.

Recipe Ingredients: (ribs enough for 2)
  • 400-500grs pork rib rack
  • 2 soup spoons of ketchup
  • 1 soup spoon of condiment of mustard (or American style mustard)
  • 1 tea spoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tea spoon of chilli powder
  • 1 soup spoon of smoky BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 orange in juice
  • 1 soup spoon of denmerra sugar
Mix all the ingredients (apart from the pork to form a basting and sticky sauce. Brush it on both sides of the rack, once that is done place the rack in the oven at 180c for 30 minutes (so you see this will cook at same time as the potatoes), however set a timer every ten minutes of those thirty for you to brush more sauce on the rib rack, so you get to brush it 3 times in all and I want you to (by the last brushing) use all the sauce. that will make the ribs very nice tender and sticky, obviously tenderness of the ribs will also depend on the quality of pork. YUM!!

The chicken is just some rests I used to not go to spoil, basically I de-boned a couple of leg/thighs and took the skin off, tempered them with salt lemon and garlic, and let them marinate for 30 minutes before I started the whole coking. Then I pass them through flour (mixed with garlic granules and pepper), and some egg (mix) and finally through bread crumbs. And deep fried these until golden brown (see picture)

The fish also a rest of fish, weigh it and boiled the same weight of the fish in potatoes. So 50% fish 50% potato, mashed the potato and minced the fish, mix the two together, adding an egg yolk some seasoning and some parsley chopped, once well mixed I beat the egg with to peak and folded that into the mixture, formed some cakes pass these through flour, and then egg (mix), finally bread crumbs and deep fried, same as the chicken...well YUM!! again,,, you can top it up after fried with a little lemon juice, and some tartare sauce if you like... have can use many more left overs. If you ever have difficulties thinking what to do with left overs asked I might be able to

Friday, 13 February 2009

Fish in Courgette Wraps and beer batter with Mandolin Crisps and Steamed Pak Choi + Courgette Fritters

It looks complicated, but I assure you was not. It was a little fiddly. But it sure was worth it afterwards, when eating my creation.

Recipe ingredients: (feeds 3)
  • 1 large fish fillet (I used Cooley) remove skin and cut into small chunks
  • 1 large courgette
  • 2 soup spoons of flour
  • 1 egg
  • a glug of beer
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pan with about 3 fingers deep of frying oil.
  • 3 Pak Choi
  • a small courgette (chipped)
  • 6 medium potatoes (or 8 small, very thin sliced, to make the crisps)
First fry the crisps in the oil, while that is doing, with a potato peeler cut thin slices of courgette (large) until it's all used up, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the fish chunks and once that is done wrap each fish portion into two slithers of courgette, setting it aside on top of an absorbent tissue to remove excess water.

Once the crisps are made (it will take you about 3 go's) stick them on a plate on top of some absorbent paper to remove excess oil, also you can place them in the oven at 50c to keep them hot and dry. Meanwhile put a pan on the stove with about 6 soup spoons of water, with a lid on and wait till starts boiling reduce heat to minimum and placed inside the pak choi (washed) place the lid back on and now move on to the fish.

get two bowls one put just a little flour, the other the 2 sp of flour + egg + glug of beer + salt and pepper to taste, mix into a batter, dip one end of the fish rolls into the flour and then into the batter, then place them in the oil, once the batter is cooked tip them on their side to cook better it will only take about 3 minutes to cook the fish and courgette. once done place them on an absorbent paper to remove excess fat and water released by courgette. Please remember this is not a crispy batter, but a soft one, once all the fish bits are done use the excess batter to coat the other courgette chips and fry them too. Once all done the pak choi will be cooked and now is just a matter of assembling it on the plate and eating, I added a little lemon juice on top of the fish and pak choi after was delicious. But like i said in a comment bellow, i feel I done to many fried things together if I made this dish again I would have made some mash with a little butter cream (salt and pepper to taste) pinch of nutmeg and some chopped chives ...Hope you like it.

Continental Pork Meatballs & Cranberry Sauce Panini

Receita em Português AQUI

This was an excellent sandwich I made, is a classic in some places but nothing like a home made one. With all home made.

Recipe ingredients:
  • Pork mince 300grs
  • 2 garlic clove minced
  • 1 hand full bread crumbs (I just grate old dried baguettes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea spoon of smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • some fresh panini's (I used Morrison's, they great 5 for £1.00)
  • 150grms cranberry's
  • one soup spoon of sugar
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • some olive oil
In a bowl mix in the pork mince, the garlic, egg, paprika, salt and pepper (to taste), once is all very well mixed make little balls. put a frying pan on the stove with some oil once very hot add the meat balls and keep swirling occasionally until the balls are all sealed, to better retain flavour. Once that happens, let them cook about 3 minutes on each side, so 3 minutes and turn and three minutes more, take them out to a plate with some absorbent paper to takes excess fat.

On a little non stick milk pan or similar size put the cranberries a soup spoon of sugar and a soup spoon of water + a little lemon squeeze, cook them for four to five minutes then mash them with a masher and cook for a couple minutes more until is quite thick, but you don't want jam, so don't cook much longer than that if is still too liquid don't worry the bread will absorb some juice will just make it nicer. Cut the panini's in half (see picture) cut the balls in half fill the panini place some cranberry sauce on top and their ready to eat, this is a delicious and fast snack. really really nice with some latte. When you doing the cranberry sauce if you want to add some more mystery add a couple of thinly sliced mint leaves...yum yum !!! Hope you really enjoy this one.....

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Smoked Fish and Prawns in a Pasta and Cream Grattin

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 1 large courgette cut in half and then in stripes.
  • 6 carrots with skin (well washed, thinly sliced)
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (two minced, one crushed)
  • 300mls double fresh cream
  • 150grs grated cheddar
  • 800grs pasta (use a mixture of two nice ones, different types)
  • 400grs smoked filet's like haddock or another smoked fish( skinless and boneless cut into little cubes)
  • 250grs fresh uncooked king prawns skinless (cut in half's)
  • 2 soup spoons of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little olive oil

Easy recipe to make. Place a large frying pan on the stove and a deep pan with water salt and the crushed garlic to cook the pasta, once the water is boiling add the pasta, leave it cooking for 10 minutes, while on the frying pan ad a glug of olive oil, and once hot add the two minced garlic, onion, courgettes, carrots and seasoning (salt and pepper to taste), stir these frequently until the onion and carrot are half cooked, at this stage add, the butter and then once melted the fresh cream, wait now until the cream starts to bubble, and at this stage add the cut smoked fish, reduce the fire to medium and let it simmer for 3 minutes, lastly add the prawns and let it simmer a further 3 minutes.

Get a couple of large Pyrex, cover the bottom with some of the boiled pasta (half) dividing equally between the both. After that split the sauce into two parts reserving a little liquid with veg bits, put each of those two parts over the bed of pasta, and then cover the sauce with another layer of pasta on each dish until all the pasta has gone, now pour half of the reserved liquid evenly over the pasta of both dishes and over that the grated cheese over the two trays (for more cheese flavour you may add some grated Parmesan "optional") season a little salt and pepper and goes in the oven at 200c for about 15 minutes, well ...until golden brown on top to your liking, this serves 10 people easy. At least that is how many ate this at my house, and to be honest they all loved this dish, so hope yours like it too, if your people eat a lot make this dish for 8. Luv ya ...and thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment.

Lamb Fillet with Paprika Potatoes and Grilled Halloumi Cheese

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 10 Small potatoes with skin (cut into quarters)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 6 sliced of halloumi cheese about 1/2cm thick
  • 1 Lamb fillet (about 300grs, marinated in salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice..for 20-30mins)
  • 300grs mushrooms (cut into quarter, I used mixed brown and white for greater flavour)
  • 1 parsley bunch (finely chopped)
  • 1 soup spoon of butter
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 tea spoon of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little lemon juice

Place a pan with water and salt on the stove, once boiling add the quartered potatoes and let these cook until they are about 3 minutes from being fully cooked (is intentional that I am not giving you times as cooking times vary depending on potato quality and time, you should know the potatoes you use cooking times). Once that happens remove them from the stove and drain them and place them in a bowl, adding to them salt pepper a drizzle of olive oil 1 garlic minced and the paprika, toss the potatoes in the bowl (not using instrument, only by moving bowl as you want potatoes to remain whole), and once they are all covered you place these in a tray and in a pre-heated oven to 200c for about 25 minutes.

Now place a frying pan with a glug of olive oil on the stove and once very hot, place the lamb fillet within. The idea is to seal and brown off all the way around the fillet, once this is achieved you set the meat aside and let it rest, until there is only about 15 minutes till the potatoes are done, once that happens, place the fillet in a Pyrex and insert it in the oven as well.

Five minutes away from what is in the oven being cooked, place the same pan you used for the meat, on the stove add a little more olive oil, the butter , and the remaining garlic (minced) a little seasoning salt and pepper, and the mushrooms, as it get hot with the pan start tossing the mushroom, regularly until they are 1 minute away from fully cooked (as they take about 5 minutes in all) at this stage add the parsley turn the fire off and toss them a few times. And as you can see all is done at the same time.

While someone serves, you should have a hot griddle, and a little pepper and lemon drops over each halloumi cheese, the griddle must be non stick (don't have one use a non stick pan or frying pan) put a drizzle of olive oil and grill the cheese for about 1 &1/2 minute on each side, and then plate it ...see picture.

This meal also goes well, if you want to replace the meat , with for example home made fish decide.. bom apetite!!!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Mascarpone and Creme Fraiche Mousse with Blueberries

This was made when I received the day before yesterday all my family in my house for diner (they had come from Portugal) so I wanted to impress a little, and may I say with a big head I didn't disappoint them ...according to their comments.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 8 digestives
  • 1 soup spoon of butter
  • 1 pkt of mascarpone (about 200grs)
  • 1 pkt of crème fraiche (about 250grs)
  • 1 punnet blueberries (about 250grs)
  • 4 soup spoons of sugar (+ a little extra)
  • 1/2 lemon (just the juice)
  • 1 lid of vanilla essence
Just put a the lemon juice the sugar and the berries in a little pan and take it to the stove medium heat, after about 3 minutes the berries start bursting (you know this as the liquid starts to gain the berries colour) squish them with a potato masher, and then let them cook for a further about 5 minutes. Set it aside ready to mix with the mousse.

Prior to making the mousse, you need to line the base of the ramekins with the digestive, so to prepare the digestive for this, in a bowl with your hands crush the digestives until they nothing but powder, then put the butter and the vanilla essence in and still with your hands mix it in until it resembles crumbs, at this stage divide them equally through the ramekins and flatten it down with the base of a glass that fits into the ramekin. They are now ready for the mousse.

On a bowl mix the mascarpone and the crème fraiche and a little sugar (about one heaped then spoon) with a whisk until a smooth paste achieved , pouring in a bit at time of the blueberries compote keep whisking and add it till all is in, than spoon them evenly to the ramekins and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving and that is it.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Chilli con Quorn over Pasta Shells (vagetarian)

Receita em Português AQUI

Very easy recipe that I do repeat several times during the month, as my wife is a vegetarian, and this turns out very similar to the meat one (my opinion) I also enjoy it too. The kids are not so keen, don't take me wrong they still like it but called it fake meat and say would prefer with real meat.

  • 2 red chillies (finely sliced) medium hot
  • 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper (diced)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 large carrot (thinly sliced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 soup spoon tomato concentrate
  • 1 tin of tomatoes (diced) can also use fresh ones but de-seed them and remove the skin first about 3 large will do (diced)
  • 1 tin mixed beans (or just kidney beans will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tea spoon full of cumin powder
  • 300grs of Quorn (or alternatively soya mince)
  • 400grs of pasta shells (cooked in water with two crushed garlic cloves)
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • 4 soup spoons of olive oil

Well this recipe is very simple, place the oil in pan and once very hot add the following: Onion, Garlic, chilly, peppers, carrots, cumin powder, salt and black pepper (to taste), let it all cook stirring occasionally until the onion is semi transparent, at this stage add the tomato, the tomato concentrate and the wine, reduce to medium heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Now add the Quorn or Soya and let it continue to simmer stirring occasionally for a further 5 minutes, at the of which you add the beans and let it continue to simmer for a further 3-5 minutes more and the sauce is ready. So remember to put the pasta on cooking around the time you added the Quorn to the sauce.

Once all is ready place the pasta on the plate (you can also do this with rice or Bulgar or even cus cus) and pour a good couple of serving spoons over the pasta, (optionally) you can add some grated cheddar and a little Parmesan on top. makes it just delicious, of course is also good without it. For a meat one just replace the Quorn with beef or pork or lamb mince.

Tip: for fairly hot use the whole chillies sliced, if less heat is required just cat the chillies in half and remove the seeds and the white veins, before cooking them.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Eggs with Peas "My Way" (portuguese traditional)

This is a very well known traditional Portuguese recipe, at least I remember eating this since I was a little boy, there are some differences like, it used to take also chorizo slices (cooked in at the same time as the bacon, you can do this if you want).

Recipe Ingredients:
  • 1 Onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • 4 soup spoons of olive oil
  • 300grs potatoes (thick sliced)
  • 300grs peas (or Petit Pois)
  • 2 large carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 eggs per person (as each egg is equivalent to 100grs of beef)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (good quality don't skimp on this)
  • 2 soup spoons of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika

Again another very easy to prepare and very healthy meal. Put a large pan on the stove high heat, put the oil the garlic and the onion inside + the salt and pepper to taste and the chilli. Let these cook until the onion is nearly caramelized, at this stage add the carrot, let it cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes adding little bits of water when needed, then add the peas and let it cook for a further 5 minutes, again stirring and adding little bits of water when needed.

Now add the potato and the tomato + one glass of water and the paprika let it cook until the potatoes are done about 15 minutes (with the pan lid on, and on a med heat) take the lid of the pan and add the eggs gently on the top of the veg so that they poach. leave it for another 3 minutes with the lid on....and it is done serve this with a side of fresh bread to dip in the sauce, it is lovely full of protein and vitamins and virtually fat free apart from the oil and being olive oil , very good for you.

I submitted this recipe to be shared on the foodie virtual tour ran by Joan of Foodalogue in February the stop is in Portugal my place of birth, and this dish reminds me of when I was a kid around 9 years old and my mum used to call me from playing outside to come in for dinner at winter time, and this dish always brought me comfort, my mum used to make it with chorico too, but currently I opt not to make it like that as my wife is vegetarian, and she loves this dish too. The Culinary Tour Around the World event is design to raise awareness with regards World Food Hunger, and see what you can contribute to prevent it. Please visit BloggerAid for more details.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Pan Fried Pork Rib Steak with Apple and Mustard Sauce + Sauteed Rosemary Potatoes

Receita em Português AQUI

I invented this one at the last minute, as I had some pork chops that were just about to run out of date, and some old Granny Smith apples getting very crinkly.

S i decided to use these as main ingredient, I also peeked in the fridge and found a jar with just a little of mustard with mustard seeds, and the idea started to emerge in my head. I encountered some old potatoes and ping ... the idea was complete.

Recipe Ingredients: (feeds two, double for four)

  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 2 rib pork chops
  • 8 small new potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1/2 garlic granules
  • 1/4 of a glass of full fat milk
  • 1 soup spoon of butter
  • 1 soups spoon of mustard
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • a pinch of fresh or dried rosemary
  • a glug of olive oil

Place a large frying pan on the stove on high, and pour a glug of olive oil into it once hot add the potatoes sprinkle over them some salt, rosemary and garlic granules let them get golden on one side then turn them around, and let this side achieve the same golden colour. Once done remove them from the pan and put them drying on a plate with some tissue to drain the excess fat.

Add another glug of olive oil and now add the pork that you'd previously marinated with some salt, pepper and the minced garlic (for a minimum of half hour) which should start sizzling straight away also on the other half of the pan put the apple (previously pealed and sliced) spread it so it cooks evenly (see picture). Make sure to turn the pork immediately once sealed on one side so that the other side gets sealed too preventing the juices and flavour from escaping from the pork. The pour will cook quite quick as you want it slightly pink in the middle (no blood though) the whole thing takes about 5-7 minutes, also turn the apples once they start caramelizing, the juice from them will help flavour the pork too.

Finally remove the pork and arrange it on the plate with the potatoes, and on the pan add the butter first let it melt then add the milk and the mustard, which will thicken it to a sauce consistency, very quickly, place this over the pork and there you are a perfect meal.

****Note I used whole grain mustard, which I didn't like too much as leaves a little too much vinegary taste to it, so I would suggest using just English mustard. (your choice though*****


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Rico - Tried and Tested Recipes

Hi my name is Rico (short for Ricardo) will regularly add more food content to this blog, all my recipes are tried and tested, as I make them and eat them as well as my family, so I wouldn't give you something that is not good.

Recipes published here, will try to conform to the following criteria:

-Easy to create or bake.
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