Cook Arford

Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Category: Main courses (page 2 of 7)

Make your own pitta breads

You might think – for 90p a pack of six in Tesco what’s the point? But these are awesome.

  • 500gm plain flour
  • 4gm dried yeast (half a sachet)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp sugar
  • Glass of warm water 40 deg C

Ideally, use a food processor. If not you may reconsider going to Tesco.

Pour the dry ingredients into the processor. Give it a whizz to aerate the flour. While the motor is running gently and slowly pour in the water. The mix will start to look like crumbs. Very gently add more water a splash at a time until the dough forms a ball. Whizz for another 40 seconds. Now take the dough out and let it rise in a warm place covered in oiled cling film or plastic bag. After about an hour when it has grown by at least 50% it is ready. Pull off a fistful of dough and roll thinly, about 4mm thick. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan (no oil) , and cook the pittas on the dry pan turning once when the under surface has brown spots. When cooked through from both sides, keep warm in a kitchen towel while you make the rest. This mix makes about 6 large pittas.

Greek lemon chicken skewers

Serves four:

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano or marjoram
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Chop the chicken into 2cm cubes. Mix everything together and leave to marinate for 1 hour.

The above plus

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

Thread on skewers and grill until charred on the outside and no pink shows on the inside.

Serve with pittas and tzatziki

Turkey and Chorizo Burgers

This is my favourite non-beef burger. You can make this with turkey leg mince or chicken thigh mince. Breast mince will be too dry.

  • 500g turkey or chicken mince
  • 120g diced chirizo
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Whizz skinned, boned thighs in a food processor with the chorizo, or if using mince, finely dice the chorizo and munch to mix. Form into burgers. Grill, fry or BBQ. Best served in a brioche bun with lettuce, mayo, tomato and melted cheese.

Swedish Pickled Herring

First catch your herring! (See www.boat-angling.co.uk) This apparently is a classic recipe for Swedish pickled herring called glasmastarsill, or glassblower’s herring. You need:

  • 450gm herring fillets (or as many as you can fit in)
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 4 cups water

Mix the salt with the water (if you use boiling water let it cool completely) the soak the fillets in the brine for 24 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile…

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups distilled vinegar
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 3 cloves

Boil that lot for 5 minutes and let it cool completely.

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced

Drain the herrings. Now assemble the herrings, cooled pickling liquid, bay leaves, onions and lemon in jars, dividing the spices between the jars. Try and make the jars look pretty by showing the skin side of the fillets, lemon and bay leaves. Fill to the top and jiggle about to release any air pockets. Leave in the fridge for two days before sampling. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Best Chilli (easy)

Found this on the Internet and it is a good one.

  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tbs chopped jalapeno
  • 400g tin chopped tomato
  • 400g tin red kidney beans
  • 400g tin black beans
  • 1 pack passata
  • 125ml water or stock
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbs ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of cooking oil

Heat oil in an iron casserole. Chop the onion and green pepper. Heat in the oil to soften. Add the mince and stir around until the pink has gone. Add the spices and jalapeno. Cook for 1 minute more. Lob in everything else and simmer for an hour. Keep checking and if it looks like drying out add more water.

Server with rice or tortillas, plus grated cheese, sour cream, avacado and beer.

Instant pot method:

  1. Press “Saute”. Fry onion, pepper and beef as above.
  2. Chuck the rest in.
  3. Cancel Saute and put on “Chilli” for 30 minutes.

Lebanese Pickle

If you buy a kebab from a genuine takeaway or van you will usually be offered (or find) some bright pink pickled vegetable with a nice crunch and a bit of a tang. These are surprisingly easy to make, and go well with your own kebabs at home. You will need some sort of glass jar, I used a Kilner but others are available. Wilco is a surprisingly useful source for these. There are other recipes available on-line. This one does produce good pickles though. Others appear to have more salt and less vinegar. Experiment!

  • 1 large or 2 small turnips, 400-500g total
  • 1 small uncooked beetroot.

Trim off the peel and slice into sticks the size of French fries, or shorter chunkier pieces.

  • 175ml water
  • 175ml distilled vinegar (white)
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 chilli stabbed with a knife (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole.

Mix the pickling ingredients and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Pack a jar with the beets and fill with the liquid. Place in the fridge and check it each day to see the pink tinge grow! The original recipe advised swirling around every few days. After a week it will be ready to eat. Keep it in the fridge and it will last a few weeks I am told. It didn’t last that long here – it was eaten. The Lebanese call these pickles “lift”. Yes, you can see Rudi in the photo.

Burritos

Easy Mexican. Serves Four.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 400g lean beef mince

Heat a dash of oil in a pad and fry onion and garlic gently for a few minutes. Add the beef and continue frying and stiffing until all the pink has gone.

  • 1 tbs chipotle paste
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes plus a teaspoon of minced chilli or 1 packet of Passata and minced chilli or 1 tub of bought tomato and chilli sauce

Add to the pan, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Heat the oven to 200C

  • 4 tortilla wraps
  • 100g cheddar cheese (or more if you like cheesy)

Spoon a quarter of the meat mix into the centre of each wrap. Top with cheese. Roll up into a neat parcel and place in an oven-proof dish (like a lasagne dish). Sprinkle with more cheese. Bake 10 minutes until golden.

Serve with tomato rice, shredded lettuce, avacado, diced tomato, jalapenos, sour cream – in fact all the Mexican add-ons you fancy! Like a Sol…

 

 

Vegan Nut and Tofu Roast

This is pretty simple if you have a food processor. Here are the steps.

  1. Chop an onion finely in a food processor.
  2. Fry in oil gently with two cloves of garlic.
  3. Whizz 4 slices of bread to breadcrumbs – put in a bowl
  4. Whizz 200g cashew nuts to crumbs. Put in bowl.
  5. Whiz 250g plain tofuĀ  and 140ml vegetable stock to a paste. Add to bowl.
  6. Whizz 200g mushrooms to a fine chop and fry in a little oil
  7. Add the onion to your bowl, and mix in with half a teaspoon dried thyme and half a teaspoon dried rosemary
  8. Grease a 2lb loaf tin or equivalent size pie dish and put half the mix in, pressing down.
  9. Add the cooked mushrooms and spread out.
  10. Add the rest of the mix and press down.
  11. Cover with foil and cook in an oven at 180C for one hour.
  12. Allow to rest ten minutes.
  13. Turn out and carve.
  14. Eat hot or cold.

Vegan “sausage” rolls

As a non-vegan, I was surprised to discover that Jus-Roll pastry was vegan. Very useful. (So is Bisto gravy, can you believe that?) Quantities are a bit vague because we made this from leftovers so you may need to tweak a bit.

  • Half a pack of Jus-Roll puff pastry
  • Tin of Borlotti beans (or any beans really), drained
  • salt and pepper
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Small pinch of chilli powder
  • Large spoonful of Vegan Bolognese
  • Tablespoon of vegan milk

Mush the beans with a stick blender, fork, end of a rolling pin or a clean jam jar. Mix with the other ingredients. It should form a stiff paste. Roll out the puff pastry to about 4mm thick. Cut into rectangles about 200mm by 150mm. Spoon a “sausage” up the centre line of each pastry rectangle on the long dimension. Roll the pastry round the filling and glue the join with a bit of water. Roll over so the join is underneath. Place on a greased baking tray. Brush the milk over the top to make a glaze and slash at an angle across the top of the rolls to allow steam to escape. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes.

PS if you don’t have any vegan bolognese you could enhanced the mix with some finely chopped and fried onion, and a contrasting type of bean (white or red). You could add more seasoning, garlic and herbs if you prefer.

 

Vegan Bolognese sauce

In my opinion as a meat-eater, this is very nearly as good as the beef version! This makes a batch good for 4 meals at least.

  • 400g dried green lentils
  • I onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 litres vegetable stock
  • Oil
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

First cook the lentils in the stock for 45 minutes. Add more water if it threatens to dry out.

Meanwhile chop the vegetables or if you have one, pulse in a food processor. You need to consistency fine not chunky. Now sweat in a pan with the oil until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes, cooked lentils with their liquid and season. Cook another 20-30 minutes. Now for the clever bit. Use a stick blender or fork to mush half the mix into a paste and stir into the rest of the mix to make a thick gloopy sauce. If it is too dry add stock, if it is too runny, boil it away a bit with the lid off. Real vegans will add yeast powder to the mix.

Serve as a pasta sauce, or make a lasagne. The problem with a vegan lasagne is making the creamy topping. Vegetarians will be fine with a standard bechamel sauce and grated cheese! Vegans will have to improvise with tofu alternatives. Keep some back to use as an ingredient for vegan sausage rolls!

 

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