Roquefort and Walnut Salad with Garlic Croutons

This was an attempt to use up some more of the seemingly endless Xmas leftovers…

For one person you need:
3 walnuts, shelled and broken into bits
1 slice bread, cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
olive oil
salad leaves e.g. watercress and endive
leftover cheese
walnut oil
white wine vinegar

Toss the bread in a bowl with the garlic, salt and pepper and some olive oil. Toss on to a baking sheet and cook in a hot oven for about 10 mins, checking every couple of minutes. DO NOT LET THEM OVERCOOK!!! Remove and leave to cool.

In the same bowl you made the croutons in, place the salad leaves and walnuts. Season with pepper but no salt. Drizzle over some walnut oil and white wine vinegar. Toss the salad and place on a plate. Top with the croutons and cheese.

Butternut Squash and Tofu Laksa (v)

I made this last night. Oh my! It was splendiferous even if I do say so myself..! It’s based on the recipe in Celia Brooks Brown’s New Vegetarian.

For 3 portions you need:
1 pack tofu, drained and cut half widthways, then in half lengthways and then into 10 triangles
2 bundles ramen noodles
1/2 butternut squash cut into 1.5cm dice
2 cups boiling water
pinch salt
1/4 cup light soya sauce
1 can thai coconut milk
1/2 jar thai red curry paste (about 2 tbsp)
1 red chilli
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger
2 tsp brown sugar
1 lime
1 cup beansprouts
2 inch piece cucumber cut into fingers
handful corriander, roughly chopped
1/4 cup peanuts
oil for deep frying
1 tsp tumeric

Begin by frying the tofu till golden all over. Drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile boil the squash in the salted water for about 10 mins till tender. Drain but reserve the water.

Blend the onion, tumeric, ginger, garlic, chilli and thai paste together till smooth. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan and fry out the spice paste. Add the coconut milk, reserved water and noodles and cook for about 5 mins till the noodles are cooked. Add the squash to heat through.

Divide the tofu, cucumber and beansprouts between the bowls and ladle in the noodles, squash and broth. Top with the corriander and peanuts and add a squeeze of lime juice.

Banana Toffee Cheesecake (dairy free)

This is in Nigella’s new book Kitchen. She describes it as a way to use up leftover over-ripe bananas and I decided to use up the dregs of the biscuit tin too and some vegan cream cheese that had just been sitting the the fridge looking sad. Whilst the cheesecake is dairy free, it does contain eggs and is therefore not vegan, obviously… and the sauce contains cream and butter. This recipe was also an opportunity to try out my new silicon cake tin i.e. one that won’t ooze wet cheesecake mix out the bottom or need lining with clingfilm/baking parchment. Quite how I remove it from the tin is another matter!!

For 10-12 portions you need:

For the base:
250g mixed biscuits (I used a mixture of royal danish butter and ginger)
75g unsalted butter, softened

For the cheesecake:
4 overripe medium bananas
60ml lemon juice
700g vegan cream cheese
6 eggs
150g light soft brown sugar

For the toffee sauce:
100g unsalted butter
125ml golden syrup
75g light soft brown sugar

You also need a 23cm springform tin or I used a 21cm silicon tin.

Start with the base. Blitz the biscuits with the butter in a food processor till it’s come together. Press into the tin and chill in the fridge.

Mash the bananas with the lemon juice. Nigella says to use a fork but frankly life is too short so use a potato masher instead and be done in a quarter of the time…

In the cleaned food processor, lob in the cream cheese and blitz. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the sugar and then the bananas and lemon juice. Mix well till smooth.

Pour the batter on to the base and bake in a moderate (160 degree) oven for about 1hr 15 mins. Remove and leave to cool then chill over night.

For the toffee sauce melt everything together then boil for 2-3 mins till light golden brown and bubbly. Leave to cool.

Serve the cheesecake drizzled with the sauce with more sauce on the side for greedy buggers like me. Yum yum yum.

Number 86 aka Special Vegetable and Tofu Chow Mein (v)

This is quick, easy and tasty. What more could you want…!

For 3-4 people you need
2 bundles noodles (soba, udon or egg if not vegan)
1 pack marinated tofu
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 pack baby corn, halved
1/2 pack snow peas, halved
1 jar chow mein sauce (yes yes I know…)
4 spring onions, whites cut on the diagonal and the green bits sliced
handful corriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 cups beansprouts

Cook the noodles as per the instructions. Meanwhile stirfry the onion for 2-3 mins then add the other veggies (apart from the beansprouts) and tofu and the sauce. Cover with a lid and steam cook for 2 mins. Drain the noodles and add to the pan along with the tofu. Serve in bowls topped with the green bits of spring onion, corriander and the soya sauce.

And so it ends…

The last recipe I blogged took me to 31 for December 2010 which meant I have achieved my goal of blogging a recipe a day for a whole year. I can’t believe I managed it! At times I did wonder whether I would make it; and cluster blogged (mainly at weekends) in order to ensure each month had at least as many recipes as days. But I’ve enjoyed it, and it’s made us eat different meals which was one of the aims. L is also enjoying the blog, and often asks me to blog something “so I have have it when I leave home mummy”. So aim two met as well.

I’ll keep going with it; but maybe not commit to a recipe a day each month for 2011. But many of my twitter followers ask me where my recipes are if I don’t blog one for a while so I guess the constant links sent via aren’t *that* annoying!

Thanks for following and for commenting and for eating!

Cheese and Ham Croissants

This is sort of a croque monsieur in a croissant and is an excellent speedy brunch or snack. It’s also a good way to use up stale croissants and the last of the christmas cheese pile…

For one croissant you need:
1 croissant (the round ones work better than the long ones)
1 slice quorn ham
1 slice smoked cheese
1/2 slice gruyere cheese
1 thin spreading of french mustard

Cut the croissant in half. Smear the mustard over one half. Top with the ham and cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 mins in a hot oven. Scoff.

Snowflake Biscuits

My wonderful moogi made these for Christmas and oh my! They’re divine. I can’t stop eating them! This is her recipe, adapted from one for lemon puffs in the January Good Food magazine.

You need:
200g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour.

Mix sugar and butter together and then add the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour and knead in to a dough. Chill if you want or else roll out and stamp into shapes. Cook in a medium oven for 10-12 minutes and leave to cool. Ice if you want and then try not to eat the whol batch in one day..!

Boxing Day Breakfast (v)

This is an excellent way to use up those leftover potatoes…

For one person you need:
2-3 leftover potatoes (roast or boiled)
1/2 onion
salt and pepper
handful tomatoes, sliced
if you’re veggie then add an egg
1-2 vegan bacon style strips (or a handful of bacon bits salad crispy thingies)

Roughly dice the potatoes and finely chop the onion. Fry on a high heat in a little oil for 5-10 mins till crispy and golden all over. Add the bacon strips if using and the tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Season to taste. Fry the egg if using and serve with copious orange juice and coffee.

Old School Melon Boats (v)

I ended up doing three starters yesterday as blue cheese has been giving me a frightful migraine recently 😦 So this was my starter, much to the disgust of L who wanted it for himself too…!

For one portion you need:
3 slices of melon
3 slices of orange
3 cocktail cherries
3 cocktail sticks
1/2 tsp ground ginger.

Lay the melon slices on a plate and slice the flesh from the skin. Cut into segments. Carefully thread the orange on to the cocktail stick and top with a cherry. Stick into the middle of the melon slice. Repeat. Dust with ground ginger. Feel like you’re stuck in the 1970s eating the height of novel and new cuisine…

Boxing Day Soup with Cheese

This is an excellent way to use up those leftover veggies and cheese.

For as many portions as you need simply take:
1 cup veggies per person
1 cup stock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup leftover cheese e.g. stilton; blacksticks blue; st agur etc also works with cheddar, gruyere or mature gouda. Not so good with brie…

Heat the veggies in the stock and then blend when hot. Crumble or grate in the cheese and let it melt. Blend till smooth and enjoy. Vow to buy less cheese next year. Fail. Repeat.