Creamy Blue Cheese and Cucumber Salad

This super simple cucumber salad is punctuated with small cubes of blue cheese, giving it a creamy, strong flavour. If you don’t like the strength of blue cheese, it may be better for you to use something like a mild feta instead.

Ingredient List:
2 cucumbers
1 small onion
1 tsp. salt
250ml soured cream
75g blue cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly chopped dill
1 tbsp. caster sugar
Pinch pepper

Directions:
1) Peel the cucumber, cut in half and then scoop out the seeds. Slice into half moons, then sprinkle with salt. Leave for half an hour.

2) Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion. Mix with the soured cream, vinegar, dill, caster sugar and pepper. Gently stir in the cheese.

3) Pat the cucumber dry and then stir into the dressing. Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

Source: Cucumber Recipes.

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Published in: on December 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm  Comments (1)  
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Spanish Lentils

Try cooking lentils in a Spanish style rather than the usual Asian style by frying them in chorizo, garlic and shallots before simmering them in red wine. The dish is then freshened up with some herbs, making it perfect for serving with something meaty, such as pork sausage or chicken thighs.

Ingredients:
250g dried Puy lentils
1 410g tin chickpeas
150ml red wine
100g chorizo
6 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
Handful chopped fresh coriander
Handful chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Finely chop the shallots, chop and deseed the pepper and mince the garlic cloves. Slice the chorizo.

2. Bring the stock to a simmer and then add the lentils and simmer for twenty minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat half of the oil to a frying pan and fry the chorizo for five minutes. Once it has released some of its oil, add the shallots, garlic and pepper and fry for another 6-8 minutes until the pepper and shallots begin to soften.

4. Add the paprika and fry for one minute, then add the cooked drained lentils. Drain the chickpeas and add these, and then stir in the rest of the olive oil.

5. Add the wine and simmer until it has almost all evaporated. Once it is at this stage, season the dish well with salt and pepper and then stir in the freshly chopped herbs.

Source: Lentil Recipes.

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 10:49 am  Comments (3)  
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Fried Trout and Mushrooms with Lime

Ingredient List:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds trout fillets
¼ cup milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
¼ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges

Method:
1) Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high.

2) Place trout in a large bowl; top with milk and turn to coat. Place flour in a separate medium bowl; add trout and turn to coat, shaking off excess flour.

3) Place trout in skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a serving platter and cover.

4) In a separate medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring. Continue cooking until mushroom liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5) Add parsley and seasonings to taste to mushrooms; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Spoon mixture over trout; surround with lime wedges and serve.

Source: Trout Recipes.

Published in: on August 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Vegetable Nut Loaf

This yummy nut loaf is absolutely full of vegetables, making it great for serving to any reluctant children. The combination of walnuts and sunflower seeds is an unusual but tasty one, packing the loaf full of fibre. Serve the loaf with a spicy marinara sauce for extra flavour.

Ingredient List:
300g grated carrots
200g chopped celery
2 small onions, chopped
75g mushrooms
1 small green pepper
5 eggs
175g wholemeal breadcrumbs
75g chopped walnuts
45g sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano

Directions:
1) Prepare a loaf tin with non-stick cooking spray and greaseproof paper.

2) Finely chop the onion, mushrooms and pepper together so that they are all roughly the same size.

3) Heat the butter in a pan until foaming. Fry the onion, mushrooms and pepper until softened. Combine with the carrots, celery, eggs, chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper, basil and oregano. Once completely combined, stir in the breadcrumbs.

4) Press the mixture into the tin and bake in a 180C oven for 1 hour, until completely cooked through.

Source: Nut Roast Recipes.

Italian Leek Pizza Muffins

These muffins serve two or three people as a main course and four people as a starter. You could also add a slice of plum tomato to each muffin or you could use cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella.

Ingredients List:
250g leeks
4 savory muffins
4 slices ham, prosciutto if you can get it, cut in half
100g mozzarella
4 tbsp. fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1) Finely chop the basil leaves. Cut the mozzarella into slices and then finely shred the leeks. Cut the muffins in half.

2) Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the leeks over a relatively high heat for up to ten minutes with some salt and pepper until they’re softened.

3) Meanwhile, put the muffins under the grill so that they can toast.

4) Top each muffin half with the leeks, and then divide the basil between the muffins. Top each muffin with a half of a slice of ham and some mozzarella.

5) Put the muffins back under the grill until the cheese melts and browns, then sprinkle with some pepper before serving.

Source: Leek Recipe.

Published in: on June 10, 2011 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sweet Japanese Cucumbers

Serve this refreshing marinated salad alongside meats and seafood to help digest a heavier meal.

Ingredients:
2 medium cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded, very thinly sliced
4 red radishes, very thinly sliced
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Directions:
1) Combine cucumbers and radishes in a medium bowl.

2) Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl until dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; toss well to coat.

3) Serve on small plates; top with sesame seeds.

Source: Cucumber Recipe.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Red Beans and Rice

Originally hailing a Cuban recipe, red beans and rice gets its red color from sausage, spices, and lots of tomatoes—it’s heavenly.

List of Ingredients:
1/4 pound of thick-cut bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 pound of smoked sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes in juice
1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
2 cups of water
1 cup of long-grain white rice

Preparation Method:
1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium; when hot, add bacon. Cook until soft-crisp, stirring, about 4 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until softened, stirring, about 4 minutes. Add sausage, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste to saucepan; mix well to incorporate.

3. Add water and rice to saucepan; stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

See also: Rice Recipes.

Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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Lentil Moussaka

This lentil-based casserole bakes up almost like a shepherd’s pie—it is soft, chewy, and full of spiced vegetables. Finished off with a cheesy breadcrumb topping, it really takes the cake.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 cup dried lentils
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1) Preheat broiler. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

2) Lightly brush eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange evenly on large baking sheet. Broil until lightly golden on both sides, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Set aside. Lower oven temperature to 400°F.

3) Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, and salt; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring.

4) Add tomatoes, lentils, and tomato paste; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, about 15 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, melt butter over medium in a medium saucepan. Add flour and cook until golden, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add milk and bring to a boil over high heat. Stirring constantly. Cook until thickened, stirring, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

6) Assemble the Moussaka: Arrange a layer of eggplant along the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spoon half the bean sauce over the eggplant. Repeat with an additional layer of eggplant and sauce; top with a final layer of eggplant. Pour milk sauce over the entire mixture; sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.

7) Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.

Source: Moussaka Recipes.

Published in: on January 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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