Sunday, 18 February 2018

Brisket Beef with Green Beans

A 1.6 kilo joint of Brisket beef was oven cooked at around 180 deg C for two and a half hours in the middle of the oven (actually inside a casserole dish intended for a whole medium size chicken).After the first hour I added half a cupful measure of boiling water to the dish.

Once cooked the joint was allowed to cool overnight on the hob inside the casserole dish.

The joint was carved with an electric knife, and stored in plastic containers in the fridge until required.

The basis of the gravy was beef stock, vegetable stock, water, and some finely ground cornmeal, as a thickening agent (a flat dessert spoonful in about half a pint). The water and cornmeal were first mixed cold, in order to get a smooth gravy with frequent stirring when the gravy was in the saute pan. Plus the herbs Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano. Finally, one dessert spoonful of tomato puree was added to the gravy.

Once boiled and thickened, I added the pieces of beef and simmered under glass for up to half an hour. Stir occasionally.

The potatoes were semi-peeled and cooked for twenty minutes. The trimmed green beans were added for the final seven minutes, under glass. Serve with a little black pepper. Fabulous!


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Pork Sausage with Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Sage

An Italian style dish. Pork sausage pieces with shredded or shaved Brussel's sprouts, sage and garlic, topped with a little grated cheese.

Cut four pork sausages into between six and eight pieces each. Add to a pan of hot olive oil, and cook until evenly browned (about fifteen minutes or so, partly under glass at a medium heat). Turn the pieces occasionally.

Shred about fourteen Brussel's sprouts and add to a bowl. Add three crushed or chopped garlic cloves to the bowl. Heat a second pot drizzled with a thin layer of olive oil. Add the sprouts and the crushed garlic and stir frequently. Allow the sprouts and garlic to brown slightly, and then add about two tablespoonfuls of boiling water. Add half a teaspoonful of dried sage. Continue to stir. Turn the heat down when most of the water has evaporated (five to seven minutes depending on the heat).

Decant the shredded sprouts to a pasta bowl. Add the sausage pieces and stir together. Add about thirty grammes of finely grated cheddar cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano is another option.

One of the best dishes I've enjoyed! Cooked this way the strong flavour of the sprouts is considerably muted. Sometimes served also with some pasta.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Garlic and Black Bean Soup


This simple and tasty soup takes very little preparation time (about ten minutes), and is ready to serve in an hour.

Some cheap leeks from the Co-op prompted this dish. Cut a large leek in two length wise, and divide each half into four strips. Gather the strips together, and cut into centimetre lengths with a large bladed knife. Add to a saute pan of hot olive or sunflower oil, and cook until the leek is soft and translucent.

Add half a teaspoonful of powdered cumin, then add about half a pint of boiling water. Add either chicken or vegetable stock, and some tomato puree. Add three desert spoonfuls of garlic and black bean sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee brand - this saves a lot of time with mincing garlic and blending black beans in a soy sauce). Add some onion gravy granules (about a desert spoonful). Stir together thoroughly. Allow to simmer at a low heat under glass for an hour.

That is the basic process. At the end of of it, add either some fresh coriander, or dried coriander (about half a teaspoonful). It is ready to serve!

Sweet and Sour Egg Noodles

A simple Chinese style dish made with mixed vegetables. I used diced carrot, courgette,  a third of a yellow pepper, plus a dessert spoonful of diced ginger root. A wide range of other vegetables can be used, including cabbage, sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, etc.

The vegetables (plus the ginger) were cooked in a little boiling water for twenty minutes until they were soft. Then left to cool under glass.

I used a shop-bought sweet and sour sauce (Aldi own brand), but it is easy to make one with some tomato puree, sugar, salt, and white spirit vinegar. It can be thickened with a teaspoonful of cornflour. It is best to make it separately. Stir in the sauce, and heat until the vegetables and sauce come to the boil.

Serve in a bowl with egg noodles, which cook in less than ten minutes. Stir the sauce and vegetables through the noodles. Add some Szechuan pepper, or black pepper. Delicious and easy to make!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Beef Chilli with Potato, Mushroom and Sweetcorn

A ground beef chilli made with sweetcorn rather than red kidney beans.

Ground beef, browned in a saute pan for twenty minutes to half an hour. Add sliced onion, diced carrot, and cook until the onions are softened and beginning to brown.

 Add some boiling water, plus six chillies with the stems removed, three chopped cloves of garlic, half a tin of sweetcorn, bay leaf, and six to eight chunkily sliced mushrooms. Add three squirts of tomato puree, a pinch of paprika (or smoked paprika), beef stock, and some chopped basil leaves.

Turn down the heat and simmer the beef for two hours under glass, until tender. Stir occasionally. Remove the chillies before serving if you do not want to eat them. They provide lots of heat just by being in the dish while it is cooked.

Serve with boiled potatoes. Delicious!


German Potato Salad


German potato salad most often features bacon instead of peppered salami, parsley or chives instead of dill, and uses dijon mustard instead of German mustard. But then most of the recipes you see for this dish come from the US, where preferences are slightly different. 

 The ingredients are: semi-peeled boiled potato; 2 finely chopped small onion, or shallots; 1 tbsp light olive oil;1 tbsp white wine vinegar; 1 tsp German mustard; 4 diced gherkins; chopped fresh dill, or half a teaspoonful of dried dill; 8 slices of thin finely shredded pepper salami.


The potatoes were boiled for twenty minutes under glass in salted water. Then decanted to a bowl, and allowed to cool. The onions or shallots were finely diced, and soused in white vinegar. The gherkins were also finely sliced and added to the onions. Then the teaspoonful of German mustard was stirred through the onions and gherkins. Add the dill and stir through.Put in the fridge for a couple of hours.  


Once the potatoes are cool, the onion, gherkin and mustard salsa can be added to them, Dice the peppered salami and add to the dish when you are ready to serve. Stir through thoroughly. 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Salami Dominicano Guisado (stewed Salami)

Slice the Salami.  Slice the onions and place them in a dish. Add one tablespoon of vinegar to the onions, and toss. Slice the green peppers (do not add vinegar). 

Add the olive oil to the pan over a high heat. Fry the salami. The salami I used was pre-sliced, so required a short cooking time, and a medium heat. Remove the salami and put on a plate. 

Turn the heat down to medium, and fry the red onion and the green peppers. Once they have softened, add half a can of chopped tomatoes, or the equivalent in tomato puree.

 Add some water and stir. Do not allow the mixture to become too thick. Add the salami and simmer for a few minutes. Add the olives (stuffed with pimento). Also add about a tablespoonful of the juice from the jar of olives, if you like the flavour. Add pepper if desired. I added none, since I was using German peppered salami.  

You can start to prepare the basmati rice about halfway through the preparation of this dish (the rice will be cooked in about 8 or 9 minutes). 

I was casting around for a salami recipe using tomatoes, and found the basis of the above recipe at:
By someone calling herself Diana. Her recipes at: https://snapguide.com/diana-12/ are well worth checking out. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Sweet and Sour Vegetable Soup, with Ginger

A simple Chinese style soup made with mixed vegetables. I used diced carrot, courgette, and a third of a yellow pepper, but a wide range of other vegetables can be used, including cabbage, sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, etc. Plus a dessert spoonful of diced ginger root.

The vegetables (plus the ginger) were cooked in a little boiling water for twenty minutes until they were soft. Then left to cool under glass (while I went shopping).

I used a shop-bought sweet and sour sauce (Aldi own brand), but it is easy to make one with some tomato puree, sugar, salt, and white spirit vinegar. It can be thickened with a teaspoonful of cornflour. It is best to make it separately. Stir in the sauce, and heat until the soup comes to the boil.

Serve in a bowl with some Szechuan pepper, or black pepper. Delicious and easy to make.

Sweetcorn and Carrot Salad

A simple vegetarian salad that requires no cooking at all. Mix 100g of tinned sweetcorn with one dessert spoonful of mayonnaise and some white pepper. Grate half of a medium sized carrot. Serve with a four leaf salad of chard, rocket, purple lettuce and spinach. Less than ten minutes of preparation.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Beefburger with Mayonnaise and Four Leaf Salad

A quick and easy meal to make. Shop-bought beef burgers from Sainsbury's, two sliced or shredded salad tomatoes, two dessert spoonfuls of mayonnaise, and some four leaf salad from the Co-op.

The burger was cooked in a flat pan at a high heat for the first minute, then the heat was turned down. Cooked for twenty minutes at a lowish heat, and turned three times. For the last ten minutes the burger was under glass.

It took just two minutes to prepare the rest of the meal (tomatoes, mayonnaise and the four leaf salad). Plenty of time to wash the dishes and clean the worksurfaces!

Serve with black pepper.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Thai King Prawn, with Rice and Green Finger Chillies

Thai style king prawns from Vietnam. With coconut, lime leaves, and lime juice.

A  prawn dish which was intended to be consumed as part of an Asian salad with Asian pickles. I chose to make something different with them.

I made a Thai style sauce, using a teaspoonful of Thai spices, with red peppers, onion, coconut, garlic and four green finger chillies This was allowed to simmer for ten minutes before the prawns were added.

The prawns were pre-heated in a steamer for about ten minutes. Add to the sauce, and simmer for three to five minutes.

Served with basmati rice on a spiral of dark soy sauce.  Garnished here with two padron peppers.