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Indo Chinese Paneer Rice

Indo Chinese Paneer Rice

If you love a mix of flavours then this is a great rice dish. It has subtle flavours of Chinese and Indian flavours. You can eat it as a meal on its own or serve it as part of an Indian or Chinese dinner.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  1. 2tbsp Oil
  2. 1 Clove of Garlic- Finely Chopped
  3. 4 Large Handfuls Basmati Rice- Washed and Drained
  4. 1 Medium Carrot- Julienne slices
  5. 1 Medium Onion- Finely Sliced
  6. 4 oz Shredded White Cabbage
  7. 7 oz Paneer- Cut into small Cubes
  8. Salt to taste
  9. ½ tsp Garam Masala
  10. ½ tsp Turmeric
  11. 2tbsp Soy Sauce
  12. 1tbsp Chilli Sauce
  13. Large Handful Chopped Spinach (you can add more if you like)
  14. Water to cook the Rice

Method

Take a wide bottomed pan, preferably non stick and heat the oil and add the onions. Cook until translucent.  Add the Paneer cubes and fry until golden in colour then add the carrots and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add all the other ingredients apart from the rice. Give a good stir and add the rice. This is the important part; add water approximately 1cm above the rice. If you add too much the rice will get overcooked and mushy and if you add too little the rice will remain uncooked. Another good way to make sure you have enough water is if you dip your index finger straight in, the water level should reach the first line on your finger. That gives me a perfect measurement of how much water is needed.

Cook on low heat with the lid closed until the water has rice has absorbed all the water and there is no more water left at the bottom. Please do not be tempted to stir at any stage during the cooking process of the rice. To check if there is water left, simply take a spoon and dip it through to the bottom and move a little to the side and you will see if there is any water left. Once the rice is cooked leave to stand for 10 minutes before separating with a fork. Serve hot!

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Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

This is a lovely, warming dish which is really filling and therefore does not need anything else.  I have used Quorn Mince which is really versatile to use.  For Non Vegetarians you can use minced lamb. It is a very healthy and wholesome dish.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for the Mince

  1. 2tbsp Olive Oil
  2. 2 Cloves of Garlic- Finely Chopped
  3. 1 Red Onion- Finely Chopped
  4. 1 Tin/400g Tinned Tomatoes- Blended
  5. 1 Medium or 2 Small Carrots- Finely Chopped
  6. A Good Handful/28g Fresh Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
  7. 1tbsp Worcester Sauce
  8. 1tbsp Soy Sauce
  9. 1tsp Dried Thyme
  10. 1tsp Dried Oregano
  11. 1tsp Dried Basil
  12. 2 Large Handfuls of Frozen Peas
  13. 250g Quorn Mince
  14. Salt
  15. Pinch of Dried Red Chilli Flakes
  16. ½ tsp Paprika

For the Mashed Potato You Will Need:

  1. 6 Medium Potatoes- Boiled in Salt Water and Mashed with;
  2. 1tsp Mustard
  3. Salt
  4. Fresh Grounded Pepper
  5. Good Knob of Butter
  6. Some Milk to Loosen

Method

Take the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and stir. Then add the carrots, dried herbs and cook for a few minutes until the carrots have slightly softened. Add all the other ingredients for the mince. Give this a good stir and add enough water to cover the mince but not over that you cannot see the mince. Cover the pan and let this sauce reduce on low heat for a good 25-30 minutes. Do check in-between that you still have enough water. You will know when it is done when the sauce has reduced and the colour has darkened. Please make sure that you do not completely evaporate the sauce as this dish should still be saucy. Once done leave aside to cool a little.

Transfer the mince into a deep casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top evenly. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190c until the top turns golden in colour. Serve hot! Yummy.

For a slight variation: You can add some grated cheese in the mash to make it richer. Also what is nice is grated cheese sprinkled on top whilst you are eating!

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Crab and Parmesan Cheese Tart

Crab and Parmesan Cheese Tart

This tart is packed with flavour. The finished result is a moist and tasty middle with a crumbly and yummy crust. For this recipe it is important to use fresh crab meat which is readily available in most supermarkets. The flavour is much fresher.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  1. Ready Shop bought Short crust Pastry –Roll it out to a 5 mm thickness
  2. Meat of 1 Whole Crab
  3. ½ of a Courgette- Finely Chopped
  4. 6 Mushrooms- Finely Chopped
  5. 1tbsp Olive Oil
  6. A Good Handful Fresh Parsley- Finely Chopped
  7. 60g Parmesan Cheese- Grated
  8. Freshly Grounded Pepper- To Season
  9. 3 Eggs
  10. 100ml Milk
  11. 170ml Single Cream
  12. Salt to taste

Method
Roll out the short crust pastry and place in onto a 10inch round quiche dish or a round dish will do. Cut out a round piece of baking sheet to fit the pastry, and put some baking beans inside. Cook in a preheated oven at 180 for approximately 15-20 minutes. Take out the baking sheet and the beans and leave to cool.

In a pan, take the oil and add all the vegetables. Sauté for a few minutes until just soft. Turn off the heat and add the parsley. Once the mixture is cool add the crab meat, half of the parmesan, pepper and a touch of salt.

Meanwhile, in a pourable jug or container, whisk the eggs and add the milk, cream and the rest of the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Take the vegetable mixture and sprinkle in the bottom of the pastry, and then pour the egg mixture all over the top. Cook in a preheated oven at 190 for 30-35minutes or until cooked.
Serve with a fresh salad.

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Medley of Potatoes

Medley of Potatoes

This is a great side dish to serve with fish, roast or any main dish. I have used sweet potatoes and white potatoes to give it a slightly different taste. It is very simple and quick dish and tastes really nice. As Christmas is approaching, I thought it would be nice to give an alternative to roast potatoes which is usually used. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative and also very healthy for you. You can use all sweet potatoes if you prefer.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  1. 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes
  2. 2 Medium White Potatoes
  3. 1 ½ tsp Paprika
  4. Few Sprigs of Rosemary
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Freshly Grounded Pepper
  7. 1 ½ Tbsp Olive Oil

Method

Peel the potatoes and cut them in a diagonally to form chip shapes. Take a non stick roasting dish and spread the olive oil. Add the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients and give it a mix with your hands to ensure all the potatoes are covered with the oil.

Cook in a preheated oven at 190-200c for approximately 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Turn the potatoes occasionally.  Serve hot.

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Chestnut Mushrooms cooked in a Butter Parsley Sauce

Chestnut Mushrooms cooked in a Butter Parsley Sauce

Chestnut mushrooms have a great earthy flavour and are a good alternative to the white mushrooms. Again a very simple and quick dish which also tastes delicious. You can serve it with a main dish or simple just with bread.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  1. 12-15 Chestnut Mushrooms- Cut in four
  2. Knob of Butter
  3. 1tbsp Olive Oil
  4. 2 Cloves of Garlic- Crushed
  5. Small Handful Chopped Parsley
  6. Freshly Grounded Pepper
  7. Salt to taste

Method

Take a pan, add the oil and butter. Turn up the heat quite high as mushroom release a lot of water and you still want a bite to the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, garlic, pepper and parsley. Cook on high heat until the water starts to evaporate. Once all the water has evaporated add the salt and turn the heat off. I always put the salt at the end when cooking mushrooms as I find it you add it in the cooking process then the mushrooms release more water and I do not like disintegrated mushrooms!  So to avoid this add the salt right at the end.

Serve hot! Yum

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Bombay Potatoes

Bombay Potatoes

These potatoes are just too good! The taste is extremely flavoursome and for those who love potatoes, then this dish is definitely for you to try!! I must admit, I am not a great fan of potato in a curry but I just love the flavours in this dish and also it is not very saucy, so you do not really need anything else with it. You can serve this as a starter or as a part of a mail meal. Kids will love them too.

Serves 4 (As a starter)

Ingredients

  1. 500g Miniature Potatoes
  2. 1 ½ tbsp Coriander and Cumin Powder/Thana Jeera
  3. ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  4. 3tbsp Tomato Puree
  5. 4tbsp Oil
  6. 7 Curry Leaves
  7. 1tsp Pureed Garlic
  8. 1tsp Pureed Ginger
  9. 2 Green Chillies- Finely Chopped
  10. 1 ½ tsp Garam Masala
  11. 1 Small Onion- Pureed
  12. 1tsp Poppy Seeds/ Rye
  13. 1tsp Whole Cumin/Jeera
  14. ½ tsp Amchur Powder/ Mango Powder
  15. Salt to taste
  16. 1 Cup Water
  17. Chopped Coriander- For Garnishing

Method

Peel the potatoes and boil in salt water until tender. Drain and leave aside. In a wide pan, take the oil, add the poppy seeds and whole cumin and let it crackle. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and sauté until translucent. Add the chillies and tomato puree. Let this cook on low heat for a few minutes. Add all the rest of the dry spice powders and again cook for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and gently coat with the mixture. Add the salt and the water. Cook to allow all the flavours set in the potatoes. Let the water evaporate slightly until you have a thick reduced sauce. Taste for salt at this stage. Sprinkle with coriander and serve hot.

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

These noodles are so versatile and appealing to all ages. They are packed with vegetables and are very nutritious. You can add your own favourite vegetables and for those who eat seafood and meat, you can add that to the noodles to make a real wholesome and filling dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients 

  1. 300g Fine Noodles
  2. 2tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1 Small Red Onion
  4. 1 Carrott
  5. ½ Cup Shredded Cabbage
  6. ½ Red Pepper/Capsicum
  7. ½ Green Pepper/Capsicum
  8. ½ Yellow Pepper/Capsicum1 Courgette
  9. 12-13 Florets of Broccoli
  10. 1-2 Aubergine
  11. 2tbsp Soy Sauce
  12. 3 Cloves Garlic- Crushed
  13. 1tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
  14. ½ tbsp Madras Curry Paste
  15. 1tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce- Optional

Method

Boil the noodles as per packet instructions. Leave aside and add a little oil to prevent them from sticking.

Take a wide wok and heat the oil. Shred all the vegetables very fine. Add the onion and carrot first and slightly soften. Make sure the heat is fairly high as you do not want to overcook the vegetables; you should still have a bite to the vegetables. Also there should be not water left in the cooking process, so keep the heat high. Add the curry paste and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly; add all the vegetables and soy sauce. Keep stirring until the vegetables are slightly cooked through. Switch of the heat and make sure there is no water left in the wok; if there is then cook on high until all the water has evaporated. I cannot stress this point enough as you will get soggy horrible noodles if you do not follow this instruction well.

Finally add the ginger, garlic and sweet sauce. Give the vegetables a stir. The reason I have put the garlic and ginger at the end is because I really want the freshness of this flavour to come through and I did not want to cook it. You will taste the difference.

Check for salt and add if necessary.

Add the noodles to the vegetables and gently with a fork mix through. Serve hot!

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