Tag Archives: onion

Red Onion & Rosemary Bread

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I couldn’t decide what kind of bread to make so just made up a basic bread dough while I mulled it over in my mind palace and came up with this bread bad boy. Boom.

Ingredients

400g strong white bread flour
7g instant yeast
7g salt
250ml lukewarm water
1 large red onion
1 garlic clove
small handful of rosemary sprigs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp soft brown sugar

Method

Begin by making the simple bread dough. In a large bowl, weigh out the flour, salt and yeast – remembering to keep the salt and yeast on opposite sides. Mix in half the water with your hands, add the rest in smaller amounts until you get a soft, workable consistency.

Tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until elastic and smooth. Place in a large oiled bowl then place the bowl inside a plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-3 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, slice the red onion into your preferred shape (I went for small, thin slices) and gently fry in 1 tbsp olive oil, with a crushed garlic clove and finely chopped rosemary for about 5 minutes, until softened. Throw in the balsamic vinegar and sugar and fry for a further minute.

When the bread has proved, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface and gently knead in the onion mixture. You might need a little more bread flour to offset the extra moisture. When the onion is evenly distributed, roughly shape into a rectangle and place in a deep, rectangular tray. Place the tray in a plastic bag and leave to prove once again in a warm place for around an hour.

Brush with about 1 tbsp olive oil before baking at 180-200°C/360-390°F/gas mark 4-6 for around 20-25 minutes until brown and hollow-sounding when tapped.

Enjoy with cheese, chutney or dipped in oil and balsamic vinegar. Scoffscoffscoff.

Carrot & Chickpea Burgers

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I don’t know about you but when faced with a bag full of carrots and not much else I struggle to think of anything other than ‘soup’. However a quick browse on the BBC Good Food website unearthed these burgers. They’re a little more faffy than standard chickpea burgers but they stuck together better than any I’ve previously made so I thought I’d share the method.

Makes 6-8 burgers

Ingredients

350-400g carrots, grated
400g tin chickpeas, drained/rinsed
1 onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tbsp tahini or hummus or maybe even…smooth peanut butter?
1 egg
80-100g breadcrumbs (1 thick slice of bread, grated)
1 tsp ground cumin1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
flour

Method

If you have a food processor (which I don’t!) add 1/3 of the carrot, the chickpeas, onions, garlic, spices, hummus/tahini/peanut butter and egg and blitz to a paste. If you don’t have a food processor stick them in a large bowl and use a stick blender to blitz. If you don’t have a stick blender then maybe this recipe is not for you…!

Add a little oil to a frying pan and fry the remaining 2/3 of the carrot for approx. 10 minutes. Add to the paste in the bowl  along with the breadcrumbs and stir together. Get a large plate and cover with a layer of flour. Use your hands to form the carrot mix into patties (eurghk, I hate that word) and place on the flour. Handling gently, flip over and coat the other side in flour.

Using the same frying pan, to save on washing up obviously, fry up the burgers for a few minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Serve with salad, chutney, flatbreads, mayo, whatever!

No picture ’cause we too greedy. Sozz.

 

J

Cheese, Onion and Mustard Swirls

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We love swirls. Sweet or savoury, they are an easy way to make eye-catching office munchies or a traybake to share at a party. These swirls are a take on a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which we handily ‘borrowed’ from G’s sister on an extended (never-ending) loan. Oh well. More time to bake all of the deliciousness.

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Makes 24 perfect for sharing or 12 as more of a substantial lunch.

Ingredients

375g plain flour
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
7g dried fast-action yeast
150 ml milk
80 ml water
55g butter, melted, plus a bit extra
1 medium onion
170g cheddar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper
1 tbsp onion chutney

Method

Begin by making up the dough. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl and yeast to the other. Throw in the sugar and pepper wherever you fancy. Pour in the melted butter, add the milk and mix well, then continue to add the water more slowly until you reach a slightly sticky-consistency dough. Throw out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around ten minutes.

Leave to prove in an oiled bowl until doubled. Meanwhile if you fancy, you can begin grating the cheese and the onion into a bowl.

When the dough has proved, tip out onto a well-floured surface and roll out to approximately 48 cm x 30 cm if you want many to share, or 36 cm x 30 cm if you want them more for a substantial snack. Brush on a little melted butter to help everything stick before spreading on the mustard. Season well. Sprinkle on the cheese and onion evenly before rolling towards you, along the 48 cm or 36 cm edge, to make a tight roll.

Cut the roll into 24 x 2 cm slices if making them to share or 12 x 2.5 cm swirls if making them for lunch. Line one or two deep baking trays with baking paper (depending on how many you’re making). Fit 12 swirls snugly into the tray – obviously if making 24 smaller swirls, you will need two trays. Leave to prove for around an hour in a warm place until the swirls are merging into each other.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 170*C until golden brown. Whilst they are still hot, mix the chutney with the water in a small glass or bowl. Brush the tops of the swirls with the glaze to give a wonderful sticky shine that makes them look irresistible.

Yum.

Spanakopita (Greek Feta and Spinach Spiral Pasties)

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More flipping swirly things! (Sorry)

Sadly, I haven’t ever managed to capture a shot of these little things. Once they come out of the oven, they are so elusive, you’ll be lucky if you can catch one for lunch the day afterwards. Inspired by a number of recipes, I have amalgamated the ‘best bits’ of each into this tasty concoction.

Ingredients

6 sheets of filo pastry (no, I don’t make my own – maybe one day I’ll give it a go)
1 bag of spinach (approx 500g)
200g block of feta
1 medium white onion
1 tsp garlic paste or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
handful rosemary (fresh, chopped), or 2 tsp dried
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 medium egg
a sprinkling of plain flour
a little bit of milk

Method

Start by chopping up your spinach quite finely. Squeeze out as much of the water as you can from it, over a sieve to catch any bits you drop. This will seem tiresome, but it really is worth it. Grate the onion and similarly, squeeze the water out of that. Add the squeezed spinach and onion to a bowl. Crumble over the feta, herbs and mix well before adding 1/2 of the egg to bind it all together. Save the last bit of egg for later.

Open out your filo sheets onto a well-floured surface. Begin by brushing egg round the outside of the first sheet. Add 1/6 of your spinachy mixture in a long line along the longest edge of the filo sheet, leaving 1 inch around the edge clear (which should be covered in egg). Fold over the filo 1 inch lengthways and widthways, to fully cover the line of spinach and begin rolling the pastry to form a long sausage. Try not to catch any big bubbles of air.

When you have a spinachy sausage, brush one side of it with egg and use this as the glue to hold your spiral together. Roll the sausage around one end fairly tightly and use a bit of egg to glue down the last centimetre. You should have something that looks like this.

Brush the outside with egg and place on a greased tray. Repeat for the remaining 5 sheets of filo.

Bake in the oven at 160*C for around 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Take a photo before they all get nommed.

Middle-East Feast

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We would certainly recommend this as a lazy weekend afternoon set of recipes. There’s nothing particularly difficult here, but it’s nice to get everything together in a leisurely manner – even factoring in time for a mid-aftermoon cocktail! Equally you needn’t cook everything here, feel free to mix and match as you see fit!

feast

Serves 4-5

Harissa Lamb Kebabs

Ingredients

400g lamb steaks, cut into inch cubes

Marinade

1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp tomato purée
juice of one lime
2 garlic cloves, crushed/finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
a few cloves, ground
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Method

Mix up the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Stick in the lamb and smush around till all sides of are coated. Cover with clingfilm and stick in the fridge. 15 minutes before you plan to eat, remove from the fridge and stick on a skewer, leaving a small gap between each cube. Stick under a medium grill for 10-15 minutes (or to your preference) turning every so often until the outsides are slightly charred and hey presto.

Oven-Baked Aubergine

Ingredients

1 large aubergine
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed/finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
few handfuls of raisins
handful walnuts, chopped up

Method

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Halve the aubergine lengthways and slash the cut side. Wipe all over with olive oil, stick in a roasting tin and season with salt, pepper and a little paprika. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile sweat the onions and garlic in a little oil, add the spices and cinnamon stick, raisins and nuts and a little water. Cook till the onions are translucent, adding water if things start to stick. Remove the aubergine from the oven, take off the foil, cover in the mush and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Flatbreads

See here

Hummus

Ingredients

1 tin of chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika

Method

Drain the chickpeas, preserving the water in a separate jug. Whizz them up with a blender until they are crushed, before adding the tahini paste, lemon juice, paprika and seasoning. Whizz a little more, a cautiously add bits of the chickpea water until you reach the desired consistency.

Tasty Tabbouleh

Ingredients

2 tomatoes, chopped
2 inch piece of cucumber, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large handful of herbs: mint, parsley, coriander, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper

Method

Add all the chopped vegetables and herbs to a bowl. Drizzle over the oil and lemon juice, season well.

Yoghurt, Two Ways

Ingredients

400g natural yoghurt
1 tsp harissa paste
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 inch piece of cucumber, chopped
handful fresh mint, basil and coriander leaves, roughly torn
squeeze of lemon juice
pepper

Method

Add half the yoghurt to one bowl, stir in the harissa. Add the rest of the ingredients to a separate bowl, stir and that is essentially it! Time to enjoy all this incredible food!

J&W

Rosemary-Skewered Jacket Potato

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Or alternatively The Most Inventive Thing I’ve Ever Done In The Kitchen. And I didn’t use ginger. I didn’t even use chilli…!

Ingredients

1 baking potato
6-8 stalks of fresh rosemary

Tomato Ragu

1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp tomato purée
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas Mark 7. With a sharp knife, carefully cut slits all the way through the potato in a semi-regular pattern.

Optional: Spread a little rock salt on a plate, wet the skin of the potato and roll in the salt. Apparently this helps draw moisture out of the skin so it gets super-crispy.

Put the baked potato in the microwave on the highest setting for approximately 5-6 minutes. Remove when the potato gives under a little pressure from your hand – but be careful, it will be hot!

Leave the potato to cool on the side. Fetch your rosemary sticks and use a knife to carefully whittle down the ends to sharper points – this makes for easier insertion…*snigger*. Once your potato is cool enough, poke the rosemary stalks through the pre-cut slits until it comes out the other side. If you have any bit sticking way out of the potato, cut them off and save them or insert them in another slit, otherwise they’ll just crisp up in the oven and be horrid. Once done your potato should look something like this:

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Put your potato into the oven for 30-40 minutes, until a nice crispy skin has formed. Be careful, leaving it too long will lead to a dried out interior – I’m sure you all know your ovens best so just cook as you would a normal jacket potato. Meanwhile make up your ragu.

Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Sweat for 6 minutes before adding a glug of balsamic vinegar. After a further couple of minutes add your tomatoes, tomato purée, a really good twist of pepper and a good pinch of salt. At this stage I also threw in the “leaves” of rosemary that came from cutting my rosemary stalks. Lower the heat, cover and stir occasionally. If anything starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a drop of water, stir and recover. Cook for approximately 15 minutes then remove the lid and reduce sauce to a really thick, sticky, gooey, gloopy, pan of wonderment.

Remove the potato from the oven – remember hot! Tadaa:

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Cut open gently – you could remove the rosemary stalks if you want to but I chose to leave mine in and eat around them. Slather your potato with lashing of butter and top with the ragu. Simple yet damn delicious.

J

tasty ragu

Spiced Parsnip Soup

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My my, it has been a while. What with the revelry of Christmas and the misery of revision I’m afraid I’ve been a bit off the cooking scene recently. I’ve still been making the standard student nosh – kidney bean chilli, sausage & tomato pasta, but nothing really worth putting finger-to-key over. However I am now over halfway through my exams and I can just about see the light at the end of the tunnel! So I had some friends over and we rustled up some tummy-warming spicy soup – the perfect antidote to the snow outside. The almonds really top this soup off nicely.

Initial inspiration, as seems to be customary, from HFW and his excellent Veg Everyday book.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 large parsnips, peeled & cut into 1-2cm cubes
2 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large cooking apple, chopped into 1-2cm cubes
5cm piece fresh ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
a few chillies/1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
handful almonds, crushed in a bag with a rolling pin
plenty of salt and pepper
1 litre veg stock
200ml milk

Method

Find a big ol’ saucepan, heat some oil over a medium heat and add the onions, cook for 10 minutes. In the meantime make up the stock.

Add the ground spices, garlic and chillies and grate in the ginger. I’ve found you really need not bother peeling ginger if you grate it as you never notice the “skin” when it’s so fine. Plus it’s apparently very good for you! Cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the parsnips and apple. Stir to ensure everything is coated with spices then add the stock and simmer, lid on, for 15-20 minutes until the parsnips are really soft. Check every so often and add water if you’re finding parsnips poking out high and dry.

When the parsnips are soft, remove from the heat. Zhuzhh with a hand-blender, the longer you do this the smoother the soup will get (up to a point). Add the milk, seasons generously and put back onto a low heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile toast the broken up almond pieces in a frying pan – keep an eye on them and toss every so often as they’re liable to burn.

When ready, serve topped with the almonds and a couple of twists of black pepper, with some freshly made bread*.

*or more realistically one of those amazing bake-in-the-oven baguettes