5.29.2011

Asparagus and Pea Ragout

Asparagus and Pea Ragout

Only three weeks of asparagus season left to go. This is a simple dish of fresh vegetables and to me at least the star of the show are the fresh peas.


Asparagus and Pea Ragout

Adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Ingredients:

3/4 pound green peas
3/4 pound green asparagus
3 Tbsp butter, divided
3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup water
salt
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Method:

Shell the peas and snap off the ends of the asparagus. Slice the asparagus at an angle into inch-long pieces. Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a pan and add the spring onions. Cook for about 4 minutes. Add the water, salt.asparagus and peas and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the rest of the butter and the parsley. Adjust the salt to taste.


5.23.2011

Asparagus-Lemon Risotto

Asparagus-Lemon Risotto

Let's move on with cooking asparagus. Somehow, this year I seem to be drawn to combinations of asparagus with rice as this risotto seems similar to the pilaf of almost three weeks ago.

Asparagus-Lemon Risotto

Adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine

Method:

Peel the asparagus and cut into 1/4 inch-long pieces.

Melt the butter in a deep pot and fry the onion until translucent. Add the rice and stir well. Add the wine and let the alcohol cook off. Add about half of the stock, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. After about 12 minutes add the asparagus and the rest of the stock and continue to cook until the rice is almost tender and all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. About 20 minutes total time. Adjust with salt and lemon to taste.

5.15.2011

Pasta with Sausage

Pasta with Sausage

IHCCPlenty-o-pasta is the current theme at IHCC. Don't be mislead by the unassuming name of the dish; it's great when you don't have the time for a slow-braised bolognese. (Come to think of it, I might try adding some fennel and chile the next time I make a bolognese.) Go easy on the chile to let the other flavours come out. One chile might be enough.


Pasta with Sausage

Adapted from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:

2 tsp fennel seeds
1 dried chiles
olive oil
600 g salsiccia or coarse Bratwurst
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 glass white wine
juice and zest of 1 lemon
500 g pasta
salt and pepper
butter
1 handfull grated parmesan
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, minced

Method:

Grind the fennel and chile in a mortar into coarse flakes and set aside. Remove the casings from the sausages. In a skillet, heat a splash of olive oil, add the sausage meat and divide the meat into small portions with a wooden spatula. Let the meat take some colour, then divide it further until it resembles coarse ground meat. Add the fennel and chile and fry on medium heat for about 10 minutes more.

Add the oregano and the wine and let reduce by half. Add the lemon juice and zest and cook on low heat while you cook the pasta. Drain the pasta and keep some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Stir in a bit of butter, the parmesan and the parsley. Add some of the cooking water as needed. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

5.08.2011

Sweet Potato Cakes

Sweet Potato Cakes

As a little break before the next asparagus dish, here's something I made some time ago and forgot to post about it. Which was not the fault of the recipe, since it's a tasty preparation for sweet potatoes rounded off with some tangy yoghurt sauce.

Sweet Potato Cakes

Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:

1 kg peeled sweet potatoes, roughly diced
2 tsp soy sauce
100 g flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1/2 tsp red chili, finely chopped

butter for frying

50 g yoghurt
50 g sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp coriander, chopped *
salt and black pepper

* Omitted.

Method:

Boil the sweet potatoes until very tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Transfer the sweet potatoes to a bowl and mash with a fork. Add all the other ingredients and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Add more flour if the dough is too liquidy.

Melt the butter in a frying pan. Using a spoon, place blotches of the dough into the pan and press down until they are about 2 inches in diameter. Fry on medium heat until nicely browned, about 6 minutes. Serve with the yoghurt sauce.

5.04.2011

Asparagus Pilaf

Asparagus Pilaf

Since asparagus season is in full swing, how about using some of those spears in a rice pilaf? It's a bit like a dry risotto with some yoghurt sauce on top.

Asparagus Pilaf

Adapted from Tender Vol.I by Nigel Slater

Ingredients:

about 1 pound green asparagus
1 cup basmati rice
1 Tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
4 green cardamon pods, lightly crushed
2 cloves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
1/2 bunch flat-leaved parsley, chopped

1 cup yoghurt
1 tsp dried mint

Method:

Peel the asparagus and cut into inch-long pieces. Cook the asparagus in salted water for about 4 minutes, drain, put into cold water. Melt the butter and fry the bay leaves, cardamon pods, cloves and thyme until fragrant. Add the rice and cover with less than an half-inch of water.
Add a dash of salt, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to let it simmer. After ten minutes fold in the asparagus, spring onions and parsley. Cook for another six minutes or so until the rice is tender. Meanwhile, whisk together the yoghurt and mint. Serve the pilaf with some of the yoghurt sauce.

5.01.2011

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese

IHCCAs we will be outward-bound and heading into summer for pretty much the rest of our journey with Jamies' recipes, it seemed like a good idea to bring this version of mac'n'cheese to the potluck before the weather gets to hot to use the oven.


Macaroni Cheese

Adapted from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:

500 g macaroni
salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp dried marjoram
100 g parmesan,grated
100 g talegio
100 g sour cream (1 tub)
nutmeg
50 g parmesan, grated

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Boil the pasta in salted water until they are about 2 minutes underdone and drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the marjoram until fragrant. Add the cheeses and the sour cream and stir on medium heat until the cheese has melted. Add some of the cooking water to adjust the consistency of the sauce, if necessary. Add the drained pasta and toss well. Add a generous amount of grated nutmeg and transfer the pasta to an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is nicely browned.