Roasted Asparagus, Halloumi and Potatoes

It’s finally the UK asparagus season again, hooray! I love asparagus, and particularly like it roasted. This recipe is an adaptation of one in Three Good Things by the Whipping Tool.

For 2 portions you need
1 bunch asparagus
2-3 potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
4 garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled
1 pack haloumi, cut into large chunks
2 large handfuls of sprouting broccoli
Juice 1 lemon
1 thai chilli, sliced
olive oil
Salt and pepper

Begin by tossing the cubed potato in oil with salt and pepper. Bash the whole garlic cloves and place with the potatoes on a roasting tin. Place in a hot oven and roast for 30 mins until the potatoes start to brown.

Snap the asparagus off at their woody bases and cut into inch long sections. Trim the broccoli and cut into similar size lengths to the asparagus.

Once the potatoes have had their 30 mins and are browning, add the veggies and cheese to the tray and roast for a further 10-15 mins until the cheese is browned and the veggies are cooked.

Toss in a bowl with the chilli and lemon juice and then scoff like no tomorrow. It’s very good cold the next day too, assuming there is any left!

Mixed Vegetable Makhanawala (v)

I am slowly working my way through Rick Stein’s India, a very fine book on curries and Indian food. This recipe caught my eye as I was meal planning over the weekend, and Abel and Cole obliged by providing most of the ingredients for it in their weekly box this week. The curry is delicious, rich and creamy but not heavy. Spiced and fragrant with a little kick of heat but not searingly hot. It might look complicated but it’s not, it was very easy to make and was definitely worth the effort.

For 4-6 portions you need
800g mixed vegetables – I used potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and french beans
50g butter or oil
1 medium onion, sliced
5 large garlic cloves, finely minced
5cm stick of ginger, finely grated
400g fresh tomatoes pulverised to make passata (don’t use tinned or a jar, you want the lightness of fresh tomatoes)
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, garam masala and tumeric
1 tsp desiccated coconut
1.5 tsp salt
25g cashew nuts
1/2 tsp sugar
75ml yogurt/soya yogurt
4 tbsp double cream/soya cream (or coconut cream)
Handful of fresh coriander leaves to finish

Begin by boiling the carrots and potatoes until just cooked. Drain and leave to one side.

Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add the spices, salt, coconut and 100ml of water and cook for a further 10 mins.

In a mini food processor blitz the cashew nuts with a little water until smooth. Add this to the pan along with all the vegetables apart from the potatoes. Add another 100ml of water and simmer for 10 minutes until the veggies are cooked. Add the yogurt, cream and potatoes and heat through for 2-3 mins. Serve garnished with the coriander. It’s truly delicious.

Aloo (Potato) Curry (v)

It was a friends 40th at the weekend and we went out for a curry to celebrate, but I wasn’t hungry enough to truly appreciate the food so recreated curry night last night to satisfy a craving. I love the flavours of curry with potatoes but have never had much success making this type of side dish before. The potatoes either didn’t cook properly, or they stuck to the bottom of the pan, or I’d burnt the spices and they tasted bitter, but thankfully the curry gods were smiling last night as this was DELICIOUS!

For 4 portions you need
3-4 cups peeled and diced potatoes. I’d suggest a 1cm dice but don’t worry about making them mathematically perfect…
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp each black mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, dried red chill flakes, garam masala, tumeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, coriander seed.
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
150ml boiling water

Place the oil in a heavy based pan and heat. Add the curry spices and ginger to it and cook for 2-3 mins until the seeds pop and it’s come together into a paste. Add the potatoes and water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or so. Stir often to ensure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a little more water if necessary but the aim is to steam the potatoes, not boil them.

Serve on their own or as a side dish for a curry.

Clam, Prawn and Smoked Haddock Chowder

Fuz loves fish. I am not that keen. Upon Ocado delivering the ingredients for this, we realised the cat also loves fish! This is quite a rich recipe and not one I would make on a regular basis, but for a nice dinner with friends it was the perfect choice. It didn’t take long to make either and is based on a recipe by Marcus Wareing in How to Cook the Perfect….

For 4 portions you need
500g frozen, cooked clams, defrosted
300g cooked and peeled prawns
450g smoked haddock, skin left on and cut into four portions
200g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
1 large leek, cut into 1cm dice
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50g plain flour and 50g butter for a beurre marnie
100g butter
200ml dry white wine
750ml fish stock
150g can sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
150ml double cream
Handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley

Begin by mixing the butter and flour together to make the beurre marnie. Leave to one side.

Melt the 100g butter in a large heavy pan and fry the onion, garlic and leek until softened. Add the potatoes and cover. Cook gently for 10 mins until slightly softened. Make sure it doesn’t catch or colour.

Meanwhile, place the wine and stock in a shallow pan and bring to the boil. Add the fish and poach for 2-3 mins until cooked. Remove the fish and leave to one side. Thicken the wine and stock mixture with the beurre marnie and add the cream.

Pour the stock into the cooked potato mixture and leave to simmer gently until the potatoes are 1-2 mins away from being cooked. Add the sweetcorn, clams and prawns and bring back to a simmer. Finally add the cooked fish to the soup to re-heat gently.

Serve in large bowls, garnished with the parsley.

Kale and Smoked Paprika Stew with Butter Beans and Potatoes (v)

Yeah, another kale recipe! Again from the BBC Good Food website for initial inspiration… Tho, clearly this doesn’t have chorizo in it! But the echoes of the juicy flavours from chorizo are there in the sweet smoked paprika that is added. If you can get hold of Redwood Vegan Chorizo style chunks then add those to this for a delicious vegan alternative, but it works just as well without. Lex loved this as much as I did and it was the perfect dinner for a cold, dreary January evening.

For 3-4 portions you need
3-4 potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks, skin left on
2 leeks, sliced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can butter beans in water
1 tsp vegan stock
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
pinch sugar
2-3 cups kale, stripped from the inner stalk and well washed
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 pepper, cut into bite sized chunks

Begin by sauteeing the leeks in the oil. After 2-3 mins add the garlic and smoked paprika powder. Add everything else apart from the kale and peppers and bring to the boil, adding a little more water if you want a thinner sauce. Simmer for 10 mins then add the kale and peppers. Continue to cook for a further 5 mins until the potatoes are done, then serve with crusty bread to soak up all the gorgeous juices. Delicious!

Proper Potato Rosti (v)

These are a cinch to make, as long as you give them enough time, but taste amazing and are such a nice contrast to the ubiquitous chip.

For one rosti that feeds 2-3 you need
3-4 small to medium potatoes. Floury ones are best, waxy ones won’t work!\
1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp vegan marge (or butter)

Coarsely grate the potatoes. Heat the oil and fat in a large non stick frying pan till the fat bubbles. Place the grated potatoes in the pan and squish down to form an even layer. Season with salt and pepper.

Over a low to medium heat cook the potatoes until the bottom side is totally golden brown and starting to crisp. Place a dinner plate over the pan and invert, then slide the uncooked side of the rosti into the hot pan and cook for another 10 mins or so until both sides are golden, crisp and cooked. Serve as you wish. I had it with seasoned puy lentils and a soft side salad. Utter bliss and total comfort food 🙂

Nigella’s Steamed and Sauteed Potatoes (v)

I have never, ever, steamed a potato before in my life. I mean why would you? Surely it would take f-o-r-e-v-e-r given how long they can take to boil. But Nigella recommends doing this as a way to ensure dryer potatoes, perfect if you want to sautee them afterwards as they won’t be so steamed and claggy as they would be if they were boiled. But I broke with tradition last night after reading a recipe for steamed and then sauteed potatoes in her new book Nigellissima (p52). There were actually very good. I can’t vouch for them being sweeter as she suggests they would be, but they certainly crisped up better than I have ever seen them do when sauteeing… This dish makes for a nice side dish. I had it with a fried egg for my dinner but obviously omit if you’re vegan 🙂

For 2-3 portions, depending on greed, you need
3-4 waxy potatoes
pinch dried chilli flakes
pinch dried mint
1 tbsp olive oil

First cut the potatoes into 1-2cm dice. Then steam for about 10 mins until just tender. Allow the steam to dry the potatoes (I find holding the steamer insert outside for a few mins is sufficient to allow them to start to dry). Pre-heat the oil, chilli, salt and mint in a pan and then tip in the potatoes. Sautee over a medium heat for 3-4 mins, shaking the pan from time to time. You want a nice even browning on the slices. Serve with whatever you fancy.

New Potatoes with Feta, Olives and Garlic

This is a cinch to make but benefits from being made ahead of time to let the flavours develop and infuse. Perfect for a lunchbox 🙂

For 2-3 portions you need:
1 pack baby new potatoes, cooked till tender
1 pack feta
1 red onion, chopped
1 pack chilli olives
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic crushed

Place the lemon juice, olive oil. garlic, pepper, olives and red onion in a bowl. Mix well. Once the potatoes are cooked cut in half and to the bowl. Crumble over the feta. Leave to infuse then scoff. Yum.

Potato Hash with Spinach and Mushrooms (v)

The refuelling plan post geocaching bike ride last night was bacon butties, but the bread was mouldy 😦 A rummage through the cupboards provided potatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach and, of course, quorn bacon and so this dish was born. It was very yummy and it’s not just the post bike ride OMG I’m so hungry and need to eat NOOOOOOOOOOW that’s talking 😉 Leave out the bacon for a vegan dish (or use a vegan version).

For 2 people you need:
250g new potatoes (waxy ones, not floury), skins on, cut into small dice
1 onion, diced
1/2 bag spinach, washed
125g mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
a little soya margerine
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Begin by sauteeing the potatoes in a shallow pan for about 15 mins. Cover if you can to speed up the process. Make sure you stir thoroughly to stop the potatoes from catching on the bottom. Season and add the herbs and paprika. After about 15 mins add the onion and mushrooms and a little soya margerine. Continue to cook for another 10 mins or so until the potatoes are tender and the onions/mushrooms are beginning to brown. Add the spinach and cover to wilt. Cook the bacon in a separate pan and serve. A post cooking improvement to recommend is to chop the bacon and add with the spinach.

Greek Salad with Potatoes

Boychild loved this. OMG. He’s never eaten Greek Salad before and professed to not like feta but he ate this. And had the leftovers in his lunch the next day. Wonders wil never cease it appears…

For 3-4 portions you need:
1/2 pack new potatoes, jersey royals if you can stretch to them 😉
1 pack chilli olives
1 pack feta. crumbled into 1cm cubes
2 peppers, cut into chunks
2 red onions, cut into 8ths
2 tomatoes, cut into 8ths and then in half again (so roughly chopped…)
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for roasting
salt and pepper
large handful of fresh oregano, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon

Cook the potatoes. Toss the peppers and onions in a little olive oil and season. Roast in a hot oven for about 10 mins till tender. Place the tomatoes, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and feta in a bowl. Add the peppers and onions once cooked. Drain the potatoes and cut in half if large. Add to the bowl. Mix and serve.