Monthly Archives: February 2012

DIY Pot Noodle

Taken from the River Cottage Veg: Everyday! book, this recipe is a fantastic lunch or dinner solution for me when I’m in the studio late and need sustenance. Endless variations, with noodles as well as the veg and flavours to choose from, rice noodles are particularly good. My variation included bits I had in the fridge, mushrooms, spring onions, kale, fennel and some frozen peas. Hugh suggests a Kilner for the pot, I used my Aladin Bento box, separating the wet from the dry ingredients in the compartments.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s DIY ‘pot’ noodles

“I first experimented with these when I was looking at ways to improve workday lunches.  However the concept works equally well as a fast and very satisfying supper. It’s important to find the right kind of noodle – one that will soften nicely in boiling water from the kettle without the need for pan-cooking. I find flat, thin, quick-cook egg noodles fit the bill very well. The ‘pot’ should be covered once the water is added…with this in mind, a sealable heatproof jar, such as a kilner, is ideal.

1 nest thin, quick-cook egg noodles

1tsp vegetable bouillon powder

A big pinch of soft brown sugar

1 small carrot, peeled and very finely sliced

3-4 spring onions, finely sliced

6 sugar snap peas or frozen petit pots

1 leaf of spring greens/green cabbage/leaves pak choi, shredded

1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger

1/2 garlic clove, grated

1/4 red or green chilli, finely chopped

2 tsp soy sauce

juice of 1/2 a lime

Put all the ingredients, except the soy sauce and the lime, in a ‘pot’. Pour over boiling water to cover, and leave for 8-10 minutes covered. Stir, add the soy sauce and lime juice to taste and eat. ”

Catriona


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Yoga Re-fuel

Pure Yoga Fuel

After an intense led primary series class of Ashtanga yoga this morning, I was hungry, even after the big bowl of porridge I ate only 3 hours earlier. Since starting a regular morning practice of Mysore Style Ashtanga last week,  I have noticed a big increase in my appetite, and I am only too pleased to be gobbling down more and more food! A quick march home to ravage the cupboards and fruit bowl: I had one thing on my mind, a power smoothie.  Perfectly for my pre- or post-yoga practice, this is fuel in the simplest form. Bananas, honey and raisins for quick-release energy, oats for the slow-release to keep me going ’til dinner later (slow-cooker stew, watch this space!) and to bring it all together lots of yoghurt and milk. I’ve made this kind of oaty, banana, yogurt mash-up before, inspired by the fantastic Leon cookbook (number one, the original).

Breakfast Power Smoothie, page 141

‘Everything in there has a job: the oats provide a slow-release carb to keep you powering through til lunch, the bananas are loaded with potassium and other goodies to keep you strong, the honey gives it a touch of sweetness and the dairy pulls the whole thing together.

[Yeh, as I said.]

MAKES ENOUGH FOR 4

3 big handfuls of oats; 1 really big or two small bananas, fair trade; ; 2 tbsp clear honey; 250ml Greek yoghurt; 300ml whole milk; (+ any seasonal berries, eg strawberries in summer, blackberries in autumn)

Everything goes into the blender with a few cubes of ice. Whizz until smooth but not a total puree. That’s it.’

Mine was not this accurate in quantities, and had a few extra goodies – tahini, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins – I was possibly feeling the influence of my yoga teacher Susan’s raw food diet. Know as Wee Yogi, she keeps a food diary. My additions are only in the spirit of her raw food love of all things nutty and seedy, but it is a vegan diet as well as raw, so I’ve poo-pooed the no dairy with a double helping of smooth creamy white stuff – the raw foodies at Bristo Yoga School have not got me yet! Here we go:

Makes a pint glass full.

2 small bananas

a sprinkling of raisins (I would have far preferred to use dried figs but I finished them yesterday)

a small handful of sunflower and pumpkin seed mix

about 10 walnut halves

1 large tbsp of dark tahini

200ml approx Greek yoghurt

a few big splooshes of milk

a small handful of oats

a little drop of Scottish set honey

Blitz.

The tahini gave an almost peanut butter taste and thickness, and if I indeed had peanut butter I would have added a spoonful of that too. I did not add ice cubes but I think that would have been good, thanks Leon. More milk would make a more drinkable smoothie too, I could almost eat mine with a spoon but was not complaining.

Catriona

Well Delia, maybe ‘One IS fun’, at least when it comes to soufflés!

Today I went out for a wonderful and rather filling lunch (Nonna’s, Sheffield, http://www.nonnas.co.uk/), and since I had the evening to myself I decided to tackle something I’ve never before been brave enough to make – a lovely light souffle.

It’s frustrating trying to find a soufflé recipe for one, despite the fact that all sources seem to suggest that they are best cooked in small quantities. However, on this occasion Delia Smith came to the rescue with a book that has previously just sat on my shelf – ‘One is Fun!’ (something my mum sent me to uni with!). This particular soufflé is courgette and cheese which was great, as they were both in my fridge!

Heat the oven to 200 degrees (i put mine on at 185 as its a fan oven) or gas mark 6. grease a 13cm diameter soufflé dish with plenty of butter and fill a roasting tin with 2.5cm of water and place in the oven to heat up with it (the soufflé will be cooked sitting in this water). I don’t own a soufflé dish and whilst I considered using my house mate’s teacups (they’re pretty sturdy), I settled for my pyrex measuring jug on the grounds that a) it’s pyrex, what can go wrong? and b) when it goes wrong, it’s mine which will save a lot of guilt. Luckily, this turned out to be a remarkably successful soufflé dish!

Ingredients:

  • 175g Courgette(s – if they’re small)
  • 1 large egg, separated AND an extra egg white
  • 40g butter
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of flour (a dessert spoon)
  • 55 ml of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley 
  • 2 teaspoons of finely chopped chives or spring onion
  • 10g grated cheese – Cheddar or Gruyère or other hard cheese of choice
  •  Nutmeg
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Grated parmesan or more cheddar for the top
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Cut the courgettes into 4 quarters, lengthways. then slice finely to end up with little delicate quarters of courgette. The precision of this does not matter too much as the courgette melts away as you cook it, the important thing is that it is consistently small, allowing it to cook evenly and rapidly. Put this in a medium frying pan or saucepan (the milk will be poured in later so it must be deep enough to hold a bit more stuff!). Put the butter in with the  courgette and cook slowly on a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes with a lid on, until the courgettes look soft and melty, but make sure to stir to avoid burnt bits. Season with salt and pepper
 
2. When the courgettes are cooked to perfection, add the 2 teaspoons of plain flour and stir around to soak up the butter/courgette juices. Then gradually add the milk a little bit at a time, stirring to create a smooth mixture – this is essentially a courgetty roux. Remove this from the heat and stir in the egg yolk, parsley, chives/spring onion, grated cheese (coarsely grated!!), a good whack of nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste – for me also a good whack! As those of you who watch masterchef will have learnt this week, cheese for a soufflé must be coarsely grated if you want your soufflé to taste cheesey as finely grated cheese gets completely lost in the mixture, resulting in a disappointing cheese flavour.Taste this and adjust seasoning of the salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg.
 
3. In a separate large bowl beat the two egg whites. Make sure that no yolk has mixed in with the whites as it will stop the aeration process working effectively!! Beat until the whites are at the soft peak stage and be careful not to overbeat. Fold the whites a third of the mixture at a time into the bowl of courgettey roux. Gently coax into your souffle dish and sprinkle the top with more cheese. Place very carefully in the hot water in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. do not open the oven door to check until about 25/30 minutes (especially not early on in the cooking!). 
 
This is lovely served with salad and some tasty bread and makes a surprisingly filling dinner and a substantial lunch. I made waldorf salad with mine as apart from courgette I happened to have stilton, apple, celery and walnuts! This went quite nicely actually, and I had a few lightly toasted slices of the loaf I made yesterday with it (from the recipe posted by Jack a few days ago).
 
What amazed and delighted me was that this soufflé actually worked!! I think I may attempt a dessert soufflé next!
 
Image
 
So behold my very poorly photographed and extremely unglamorous but remarkably successful and totally delicious courgette soufflé. A great dinner for a freezing winter’s night and a wonderful treat for the lone diner!