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Archive for the ‘garlic’ Category

Stuffed Avocado



Avocados are such a strange ingredient – I often buy them when they are on offer and they sit in the fridge never actually getting used.   That is exactly how this dish was created.  We were looking for something to use up what I had in the cupboard and initially I threw this together.  Although we have now had it a few times, having bought the ingredients or saved them on purpose.

So what did I have in my fridge:

2 Avocados
oil
1/2 a large aubergine chopped to bite sized chunks
chilli  chopped finely 
onions chopped finely
garlic chopped finely
red pepper chopped in to slices
cheese





Fry the onions and as they soften add the garlic and chilli



Add in the aubergines and maybe a touch more oil followed by the peppers.  Allow all the vegetables to cook through particularly the aubergines.




Mean while  cut the avocados in half and take out the stone.  Place on a baking tray.



When the stirred vegetables are ready, fill the avocados with the mix and sprinkle liberally with cheese.  I used cheddar but stilton would go well with its strong taste.  Feta or even parmisan would both be good. 



Cook for about 20 minutes in a hot oven – if you cook straight from the preparation you could grill these but I prefer the Avocados to be piping hot all the way through.   

Bring to the table and serve.  We eat this as a complete meal; two half avocados each with a watercress salad.  You could serve just one as a starter or even as an accompaniment to cold meats and pickle.


Try it with your cupboard ingredients and see how it turns out like.

Enjoy 

Tiggy 

see what I have been up to on my other blog Tiggy Hayes









Stir Fry Veg


How often do we have odd vegetables left over; not quite enough to feed the whole family but you don’t want to throw them out? In my house they sit there and fester and end up being thrown out and I am annoyed at the waste and that I have not used them in something. 

A curry or a stew can take any left over vegetables cut up small and added to the pot.   One of my favourite methods however is stir frying them with sweet chilli sauce at the last minute and then serving them with the main meal.

Necessary ingredients 
Oil 
Onions  chopped finely 
Ginger chopped small 
Garlic chopped small
Sweet Chilli Sauce 
Spinach and or Watercress  -This is added at the very end and not cooked

Optional ingredients 
Carrots sliced
Green beans sliced
Courgettes sliced
Red and Green peppars
Fennel, Mange Tout, Celeriac cut very small 
Bacon Lardons 
Chilli chopped small depending on how hot you like it
Button Mushrooms or larger Mushrooms cut into small chunks 

Have all your vegetables ready chopped so you can concentrate on stir frying, take you eye off it and that is the point it will burn.   I find a wok the most useful pan for this , but a frying pan will do the job just as well.

We like the freshness of this dish and the crunch of vegetables. You can pre-boil the vegetables if you want but remember you take away the texture and goodness if you do this.  I don’t pre-cook them for this recipe.




About 5 minutes before serving heat the oil then add the onions and garlic to fry gently.  


Add the remaining vegetables,  root veg first with lighter vegetables at the end.  Keep the spinach and watercress out at this time.   If you are using bacon add it early as it requires thorough cooking.  Cut up small enough it will cook very quickly.  


Keep stirring  adding the other vegetables (keeping back the watercress and spinach still) as you stir.



Just before serving add in the sweet chilli sauce and make sure all the vegetables are coated.  You do not need a lot. 

Turn the heat off and put in the Spinach and Watercress, stir gently. Cover the pan and take to the table.  The steam and heat will wilt these leaves and allow them to retain all their goodness and vibrant colour.


Serve as a side dish or as a topping for baked potatoes. 

We had it with Risotto.   My children will not eat risotto with any additions so instead I add a separate dish and serve it as a topping. They are quite happy with this – so am I.  Not only do the children eat their vegetables, I have cleared the fridge of all the odds and ends.  

I have sometimes added left over cooked vegetables at the last minute as well.

See how this goes down.  It also would be great for a student all in one pot – add some sliced new potatoes (pre-boiled if possible) and keep the bacon, then use the vegetables available.    They could add kale or  spring greens a few seconds before end if they cannot get watercress or spinach.  

Let me know any other combinations that could be added.  I have served it with bbq sauce instead of sweet chilli, as a warm side salad to burgers or sausages.

Tiggy

See how life is treating us in  my other blog Tiggy Hayes

Curly Kale


I like my vegetable side dishes but so often to entertain the pallets of young unadventurous children I end up serving boring boiled veg day in, day out.    If I take the time and effort to produce a really nice meal it is good to have some side dishes that compliment the meal.  

This is definitely a dish to keep mum about the ingredients when talking to the children; yet it all disappeared so quickly.  We were having slow roasted lamb which had been infused with garlic and rosemary wrapped in anchovy fillets and the combinations worked really well.

Ingredients 
Butter
Olive Oil
Kale (stalks removed – cabbage or greens would work as well)
Onions sliced 
Garlic – chopped finely
Anchovy fillets – chopped very finely



Heat the butter with the oil to prevent it from burning. 

Add the onions and garlic and soften 



Chop the anchovy fillets very finely; don’t worry nobody will know you have them in there.  Add to the pan.



Meanwhile blanch the kale in boiling water for a minute or so.  This keeps the colour vibrant and rich and does not lose any goodness in over boiling.



Drain and add to the onion pan –  toss quickly with all the ingredients and turn into serving dish.




Both the garlic and anchovies are invisibly infused within the soft almost caramelised onions but they give a richness of taste with no salt required.

Give this a try.  See how it goes down particularly with the lamb or a fish dish would be good.

 Enjoy and let me know what other combinations you can come up with.

Tiggy

Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Tiggy Hayes





Slow Roast Lamb



This is great if you are out for the day and want to come back to something tender and succulent.  There is a little bit of effort first thing but then leave to slowly cook and tenderise.   The vegetables also should be cooked and served with as much love.    A great meal to serve if you wish to impress someone.

Ingredients 
Lamb shoulder / leg  Hoggitt or Mutton are better than Spring lamb
Garlic – whole peeled cloves
Rosemary sprigs  lots
Anchovies  – these are the cocktail ones from the jar but plain not with herbs
Red Wine / Flour / oxo cube for the gravy


Don’t worry if you can’t stand anchovies these are in the lamb to add depth of flavour and you will not know or taste they are there.

It was when I was discussing this blog and mentioned in conversation my ingredients that both my mother and husband told me in horror that neither like anchovies.  They do however both adore my slow roast lamb.

Heat up the oven to a high heat while you dress the lamb.

Cut holes in the meat skin, then wrap 1 garlic clove and one small sprig of rosemary in an anchovy, place them in each of the holes.  This could do then with a sprinkling of good rock salt and ground pepper but these are optional.  Any spare rosemary can be lain on top of the joint.

Put into the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes then turn right down to 150° and leave to slow cook for several hours.   Prior to the meal, remove the meat from the oven, transfer to a carving dish and leave to stand.  Save the delicious juices for a gravy. 


If you have a second oven use it now otherwise bump up the heat again to at least  200° to cook the roasties.  Remember par-boiled and shaken in the colander will give them a crispy texture.

Add red wine – a good glug to the juices, mix a little veg water with flour and oxo cube then add to pan juices then reheat.

If like me you are using pampered chef stoneware that cannot go on the hob, stir well and put back in the oven.  Stir often and then serve up with your meat.  It helps clean the dish and leaves the gravy full of flavour.

Serve with all the trimmings including mint sauce, no carving required as the meat falls off the bone and melts in the mouth.


Do give this lamb a try and let me know which vegetables you prefer to serve and how you add taste to these as well.  I use my base flavours of garlic, rosemary and mint to bring the vegetables alive.

Enjoy

Tiggy 


you can also enjoy my writing blog at:  Dawn Chorus



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