Sunday, November 15, 2009

chickpea, brown rice & spinach pilaf

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 x 250g packets microwave brown rice
400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable stock
120g baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (55g) raisins

Heat the oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until the rice is softened. Add the rice, chickpeas and stock, bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover & simmer for 5 minutes ot until the rice is cooked through. Remove the pan from heat, stir in spinach and raisins. Cover, stand for 5 minutes to wilt spinach slightly, then serve.

this was very tasty and really quite simple/fast to make. Will definitely be making it again :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tuscan Bean Soup with Crunchy Croutons

I love italian style cooking it's so simple & so very tasty!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped finely
leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 x 420g cans cannellini beans (I used organic)
1 litre vegetable stock
cracked black pepper & fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve (I skipped these0

1. Heat oil in frying pan and gently fry onion, thyme, garlic for 3 to 4 minutes (I chose to do this in the frypan to increase flavour & save on dishes). Drain cannellini beans and rise well with cold water.
2. Transfer onion, thyme & garlic to saucepan, add beans, stock and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
3. Using blender or food processor, roughly puree soup. Season to taste. Serve garnished with croutons & parsley.

The croutons
The recipe I used has it's own version of how to make croutons. But I have my own method (comes from watching far too many cooking shows!). Cut or rip bread into pieces (i've used the bread I use for sandwiches & toast). Place on baking tray, drizzle with good quality olive oil and season with salt & pepper. The salt will help draw extra moisture out of the bread and make for crunchier croutons.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Linguine with Crab & Lemon

300g dried linguine 2 tsp salt plus extra 250g cooked crabmeat Handful baby rocket (argula) leaves 1 tbsp grated lemon zest 1 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed Lemon Sauce 1/2 cup chicken stock (I used vegetable stock) 2 tbsp lemon juice salt & cracked black pepper 50g chilled butter diced 2 tbsp cream or creme fraiche 1. Bring saucepan of water to boil. add 2 tbsp salt and pasta, cook for 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. 2. Meanwhile, make sauce. Bring stock to boil in saucepan. While whisking, add lemon juice, salt & pepper. Over gentle heat, whisk in chilled butter, a few pieces at a time, without allowing the sauce to boil. Stir in cream or creme fraiche. 3. Drain pasta, keeping aside a cupful of cooking water. 4. Add pasta, cupful of cooking water, crabmeat, rocket, lemon zest, capers, salt & pepper to sauce. Toss lightly until rocket has wilted and pasta is well coated.