Tag Archives: Onion

Moussaka

The inspiration for this recipe came from the veg box again, having received three aubergines this week.  When I thought what I could do with aubergines my mind went back to growing up and my mum making delicious moussaka!

I did a quick search and the first recipe online that I found was from Rick Stein, who I love, so all in all a quick recipe search!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/moussaka_70308

The day started early in the supermarket trying to get lamb mince.  I don’t think it is so common in Spain but as in all good supermarkets, they have quite an extensive butcher counter we were able to get some minced for us.  A few eyebrows were raised when we said we wanted to mince that nice piece of leg that they had but anyway we achieved our goal!

The recipe does take a couple of hours so make sure you set enough time aside.

I started by browning the onion and garlic, before adding the lamb mince and frying for 3-4 mins.  I then added the wine, tinned tomatoes, half a teaspoon of cinnamon (I didn’t have a stick) and about 1 tablespoon of dried oregano (I didn’t have it fresh!).  I then left it to simmer for about 40 mins.

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I then started on the aubergine base, by cutting my aubergines lengthways into thin(ish) strips.  I used 2 rather than 3 in the end as it seemed like a fair amount already.  I think this was a wise choice also considering how full my dish got at the end!

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I fried the aubergine strips in batches adding a bit of salt and pepper as I went and then layered them at the bottom of the dish.

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The final step was to make the béchamel sauce.  I melted the butter, added the flour and then slowly added the milk, stirring constantly.  Then I let it simmer for 10 mins before adding the cheese and then beating in the eggs.  It made for a rich and thick béchamel.

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I layered the meat sauce on the aubergines, followed by the béchamel sauce.  Fairly straightforward but clearly my dish wasn’t big enough as I couldn’t fit all the sauce in and you can see it was pretty full!  The problem I have though is that in my very small kitchen, I have a very small oven so bigger dishes are not an option right now.  But in other exciting news, the renovation of our new place is reaching the final stages so possibly my next post will be from a normal size oven but still in a relatively small kitchen 🙂

Size issues aside, the recipe is great.  Yes, it does take a bit of time but it’s not complicated and the taste of the moussaka is rich and filling!

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Filed under Casserole, Cheese, Food, Herbs, Recipes, Slow cooking, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Beef stroganoff

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Another week brings another veggie box delivery and this week I had a fair amount of courgette and onion.  I also had frozen some nice cuts of beef and given that I usually have a good supply of cream and creme fraiche in the fridge, this dish came to mind.

I did a quick search and loosely based it on this recipe from Rick Stein:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/beefstroganoffwithma_71568

After a lot of Italian and Chinese cooking, it was good to make a recipe from a different place; Russia 🙂

I didn’t have mushrooms or sour cream but substituted the mushrooms with courgette and the sour cream with a mix of creme fraiche (about 2 tablespoons) and double cream (about 100ml).

I started by gently frying the courgette and onion in melted butter with half a teaspoon of chilli powder (didn’t have paprika either!) for about 5 minutes.  I removed them from the pan before adding the strips of beef and cooked for one minute.  At this point, different from Rick’s recipe, I added the onion and courgettes back in and added the cream/creme fraiche mixture and simmered for just over a minute before adding the lemon juice and fresh parsley and serving with rice (not matchstick potatoes!).

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It is a really simple dish, quite versatile as you can see by the amount of ingredients I changed and really, really tasty!  Another happy Saturday night meal and giving some comfort before watching England lose in the World Cup! 😦

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Filed under Beef, Food, Herbs, Recipes, Rice, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Chicken and Jerusalem artichoke pie (the, I love you, pie!)

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When I started this blog the first picture I used was that of me and 4 mini pies I had made.  Creations from la cuineta will soon undertake some changes with a house move planned so the time seemed right to bring out a pie once more!

I don’t want to jinx the move and we don’t have the keys yet but if all goes to plan, I will still be cooking from a small kitchen but a better designed one!  Also for that reason, you will see a picture of the very small oven which can lay claim to many of the recipes on here (it’s time it got some credit!).  Apologies for it’s dirty state but as I’m hoping to get a brand new oven, I’m feeling quite lazy to clean it!

The recipe I found was able to utilise the artichokes that I had in my veg box delivery:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandjerusalema_85607

I started with the arduous task of extracting the hearts of the artichokes.  This is really not a favourite task of mine but I think I’m improving at it…

I still used this video here to help me:

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I was also able to utilise one of the giant onions I got in my veg box meaning we now have a little bit more space in the fridge!!!

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Once I’d got the hearts of the artichokes out, I put them in a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep them from oxidating while I chopped the onions, the chicken and could prepare the wine and the chicken stock.

I melted the butter and added the onions and garlic and gently fried for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped artichokes, orange zest and wine.  Once the wine had evaporated slightly I sprinkled over the flour and then gently added the chicken stock to make the sauce.

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I actually found the sauce to be quite thick before before putting a lid on it and cooking for the proposed 10-15 mins, so I reduced this time slightly and then added the cream for the final few minutes on the hob.  See what you think, when you have it all mixed together.

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Once the sauce was done, I moved on to the constructing of the pie.  I had cheated a little and bought ready made puff pastry but after the artichokes, this was a welcome respite 🙂  They make so much mess for what you get out of them and I guess there is some significance of whenever I mention using artichokes to most people they say they just take them from a jar.

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For my left over pastry pieces I decided to write a nice message.  That was easier for me than trying to make a flower and was probably more appreciated too! 🙂

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The height the puff pastry got to in the little over was quite impressive!

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All in all, it came out really well!  I do still love pies!!!  The pastry was nicely crispy and the orange zest made for a different kind of pie.  We both went back for seconds so a good sign that it was a tasty dish.

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I’m hoping to squeeze in another couple of blogs from my existing kitchen but we will see how the next couple of months go and the demands on my time.  I have to say that designing my own kitchen is very exciting and something I will be able to spend many more hours doing!

 

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Filed under Chicken, English, Food, Food blogging, Pie, Pies, Recipes, Uncategorized

Pork with spinach and cabbage towers with a mushroom cream sauce

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I’ve been away for most of Easter at my in-laws being cooked for 🙂  We brought back some leftover pork (escalopes and sausage) from the farm and with some of the last veggie box contents still left in the fridge, it seemed a good chance to create something from these ingredients and get back in the kitchen!

First I boiled some green cabbage and steamed the spinach over the top.  Meanwhile I cooked some mushrooms and chopped onion in butter for about 3 minutes before adding some chopped garlic and cooking for a further 2 minutes.  I took some of the water from the cabbage and mixed with a chicken stock cube in a small bowl.  I added a couple of tablespoons of creme fraiche, freshly ground black pepper and oregano and stirred.  Then I added it to the mushroom and onions and cooked on a high heat for about 3 minutes to thicken.

Once the cabbage had softened (after about 10 minutes boiling) I added slowly to a ring on plate to start creating the tower.  I put the cabbage first and topped it with the spinach

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I heated the leftover pork in the microwave for a couple of minutes and added to the plates with the stacked cabbage and spinach.

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I poured the mushroom, onion, garlic and cream sauce into a serving jug to serve separately at the table.  As the pork was breaded, I wanted to use the sauce slowly and as needed with the dish so as not to end up with soggy escalopes.

The end result was good!  I guess a cheat’s recipe with my mother-in-law doing half of the work already preparing the meat (although I do have to add that most likely, I helped make this sausage a while ago on the farm!) but the veggie stacks looked and tasted good and the sauce added something extra to the dish.  All in all, pretty fast and a nice looking dish.  A good example of clean food as well with the pork coming directly from the farm, the veggies from the organic vegetable box with just a bit of cream to balance the dish 🙂

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Herbs, Pork, Recipes, Sausage, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Pasta with fresh fava beans, chard and pancetta & Cream of butternut squash soup

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I had my second veg box delivery this week after being on holiday for a week and the main item was fava beans or at least that was how it seemed based on size.  There was also butternut squash, lettuce, chard and leeks but the fava beans were the ingredient most unfamliar to me.

For this recipe I was able to utilise both the fava beans and some of the chard and it led to a tasty pasta dish:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/fettuccine-with-fresh-fava-beans-and-pancetta-recipe.html

I would definitely recommend this recipe but with the disclaimer that to use fresh fava beans, you should set aside a good few hours!!!  The ones I got seemed to be very small and the process of taking them out of the pods took almost an hour alone.  Then after blanching them in the water it was probably close to another hour to take them out of the shells.  Due to the fact they were so small, I’m not 100% convinced I could really taste them in the recipe either!  But well, one of the aims of this blog was to learn more about different foods so I will think twice about including them in a recipe in future 🙂  Also it is Sunday, so a couple of hours working on a dish is a treat anyway!

All the favas at he beginning:

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Step 1; taking them out of the pods

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Step 2; about to be blanched:

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Step 3; taking them out of their shells after blanching:

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The easier parts of the recipe…:

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From my box this week I also made a tasty butternut squash soup. The butternut squash was the complete contrast to the fava beans as it was enormous, meaning I made quite a thick soup!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/creamybutternutsquas_88084

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Italian, Pasta, Recipes, Soup, Starter, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Spinach, spinach and more spinach!

Following the veg box delivery last week, I had a lot of spinach in my fridge so this weekend has been dominated by recipes including this green vegetable!!!

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It started Saturday morning with Eggs and Spinach en cocotte.  I had done a cocotte before:

https://creationsfromlacuineta.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/oeufs-en-cocotte-eggs-in-pots/

They are really tasty, a real treat for a weekend breakfast so a good way to use the spinach.  Again it was really tasty and you can find the recipe I used here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/eggsandspinachencoco_88059

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Next up was Saturday dinner 🙂  I really fancied a curry, so I did this Chicken and Spinach Balti recipe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandspinachbal_86977

Really nice flavours from the yoghurt marinade and the spinach gave it something extra for sure.  I usually don’t have spinach in my curries and I’ve eaten a lot of curries over the course of my life so quite a turning point!

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And now this brings us to Sunday night!  As I’m writing this, I’ve been cooking a Ghanaian Beef and Spinach Stew for about 2 hours by now!

http://www.girlcooksworld.com/2011/03/shoko-ghanaian-beef-and-spinach-stew.html

It comes from a really nice blog which features gluten free recipes.  I didn’t have all the ingredients (serrano peppers for example) but I have suitable substitutes and also was able to add a couple of my organic carrots and some leeks.  You can see what it looks like below!  I just need to add the spinach and it will soon be ready to eat!

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For anyone who has not yet had enough of spinach while reading this post, you can find all the health benefits of spinach here:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-spinach

I should definitely be feeling stronger and ready to tackle Monday!!!

Thanks to the BBC for providing a lot of inspiration this weekend!

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Filed under Beef, Casserole, Food, Food blogging, French, Healthy, Herbs, Indian, Recipes, Rice, Slow cooking, Stew, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Chickpea curry

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I’ve been ill for a few weeks now, with this week being particularly bad, so this recipe is an illness busting one!  I hope!  No meat or dairy which should be avoided with a cold and also containing chilli and turmeric which are good spices to help fight cold like symptoms.  I’ve been eating a lot of spicy food these days!

You can see the full chickpea curry recipe in the link below although I supplemented it with mushrooms, used dried ginger powder instead of root ginger and added some fresh coriander (which appears in the picture on the recipe below but not in the ingredients ;-)):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickpeacurry_2213

It’s a really simple, fast, straightforward recipe but with a lot of taste!  I’m someone who is reluctant to cook vegetarian food but with the chickpeas in this, it had a good texture so I didn’t miss the meat too much (I did think “ah, this would be great with some chorizo in also” but it is much healthier without it and cheaper too!).

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All in all, I think it took me only 15 mins to cook (mainly because of the rice cooking time) and is a really easy dish to cook when your fridge may be looking sparse!  If you have a jar of chickpeas in your store cupboard then you are pretty much there!

The jury is still out on whether it got rid of the illness though… 😦

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Filed under curry, Food, Healthy, Herbs, Indian, Recipes, Rice, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian