Proper Quick Miso Soup

Miso soup from packets can be hit and miss… And expensive. So in my quest to make Miso a daily experience I’ve got to this super quick and easy recipe. You need to fork out for a few bits the first time, then after that its a 2 minute job and usually better than most Sushi bars (I’m talking about you Yo Sushi!).

You’ll need:

  • Toasted Sesame oil
  • Fish sauce
  • Soya paste
  • 1 Spring onion
  • 2 or 3 Shitake mushrooms (optional but worth it)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot water

First chop up your lone spring onion as finely as you can and your mushrooms cut into thumbnail size pieces.

Chuck this into a measuring jug and add in 1.5 pints (approx.) of hot water from the kettle. Then with with a table spoon gouge out a large chunk of the soya paste and stir it into the jug of hot water. The soya paste takes a while to “melt”, just make sure that it has, it should only take a minute or two.

Add a few drops of the sesame oil, and a dash of the fish sauce and stir again. I’m not sure why I started to put sesame oil into the mix, but it just seems to work. It’s probably something to do with the pleasure receptors in your brain (or summat). Finish off with a twist of black pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir again.

That’s it. It literally takes until the kettle has boiled to prepare. It always tastes good. You can pretty much add any mushrooms, Shitake are the best by far and definitely have the best name 🙂 You can of course add in anything really, left over cabbage (really), peas, shrimps, tofu, etc. Always try to keep the spring onion (or a leek), though if you can.

Simple Italian Tarts

I found this recipe in Leiths Simple Cookery… I just couldn’t resist a little italian flavoured tart (who could?). They are delicious and quick to make and easy enough even for me (OK I admit I didn’t understand some of it).

I’m starting to really like this book. I reckon I’ll cook some more from there and post the results here…

The ingredients are:

  • Puff pastry (1 roll of)
  • A blob of Mozzarella
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green Pesto
  • A little olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Ingrediants
Ingrediants

Get your sheet of ready rolled puff pastry, I know it’s cheaper if you roll it yourself. But do I really take the risk?

Get a large mug and cut out some reasonable sized circles from the pastry, then get a smaller mug and push it gently into the middle of your circles (try not to get it all the way through; more of a scoring), this will get the nice raised edged look when the pastry’s cooked. The inner circle needs to be about a centimetre in from the edge.

Put a large teaspoon of pesto (try out the MCC pesto) into the inner ring, cover the tray and put in the fridge. Not entirely sure why this is necessary but there you go  (not the pesto bit; the fridge).

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Get you cups out

While your waiting for the “pesto to dry” you can slice up the Mozzarella and tomatoes.

Fifteen minutes after putting the pesto pastry in the fridge take them out, cover the pesto with the mozzarella, tomato slices and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stick into an oven preheated to 200c.

In twenty five minutes you’ll have some of the loveliest italian tarts you’ve ever tasted. Add a bit of shredded basil on top of the tomato to finish it off.

Getting read for the oven
Getting ready for the oven (see the inner circles)

Maximus Fruiticous Cous

Cous cous, rocks. This one was a bit of an experiment on Sensi’s part. We made it with the Pokey Pork and veggies a few weeks ago and although we all concluded that it could be improved it was pretty flippin’ good to start with. There’s just summat about adding fruit to cous cous that is so right.

Ingredients

  • About 20  grapes, sliced into small chunks
  • a good bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • a punch of toasted pin nuts
  • olive oil
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 “c” cup of cous cous

Add the cous cous, the grapes, half the parsley, the pine nuts and salt to a bowl. Add 2 seconds of olive oil (ensure bottle has a slow pour nozzle). Mix this together and cover with boiled water from a kettle. Then cover the bowl with cling film and leave to stand for 10-15 minutes. If unsure the water will have gone and the cous cous will have absorbed the lot…

Like I said in the beginning, this was an experiment, I think you could make this fruitier (I would though), maybe with apricots or similar.

Spicy Pumpkin “Boo” Soup

The nights are drawing in, the clocks have changed and it’s darned cold. I sit here shivering, wearing a big coat and rather fetching fingerless mits. I look hugely attractive, I can tell you, hunched over my liitle keyboard, gleaning heat from the whirring mechanics of my machine. No better time for a thick, seasonal, spicey soup. And it is spicey. Trick or treat?

Ingrediants

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pumpkin (half the size of a football)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 big leeks
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 thumb of ginger
  • A punch of curry powder (madras, or whichever you fancy)
  • A pint of chicken stock
  • 2 dollops of sour cream
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Fabulotastic Falafel and A Yoghurty Minty Dressing

Are we becoming less manly at the MCC? There seems to be alot of food without meat in it and we all know that meat is manly. maybe there is something Sensi is not telling us. A deep dark secret that is trying to force itself to the top of the cooking agenda. perhaps he is collating a menu of vegetarian specialties so we can have our own stall at glastonbury festival next year. Well, ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die, as into the kitchen of Pat, rode the three blokes.

Ingredients

  • 250g (or a couple of D-Cups) of Dried Chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 dollops of tahini
  • A punch of ground coriander
  • A punch of ground cumin
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh corriander
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper
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Braised Savoy Cabbage

Ok. To start with I shall give the dictionary deffinition of “braise”. Mainly because, if you you asked me, my answer would begin – um, er, well um, you know it’s sort of….blah, blah. So; “braise” v. to fry (food) lightly, then stew slowly in a closed container”. Now you know. We had braised cabbage with our very English bangers and mash, of which you can see a picture a few posts ago. A picture that my wife pointed out, looks rather phallic. Well, it is a men’s cookery club.

Ingredients

  • A splash of Olive Oil
  • A splash of water
  • 4 pinches of fennel seeds
  • Savoy cabbage (the wrinkley one)

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Vegetangles

This is not really a recipe as such. It’s a robust looking selection of chunky roots, a veg melange feauturing the carrotangle by Sensi, that went rather well with our Tuna fishcakes. mmmm, robust and chunky.

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Runner beans
  • Courgettes
  • Garlic
  • Lime juice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

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Rocinantes Red Pepper Sauce (Homage to Barney)

Sometimes food can be a tad dry or lacking in a bit of colour. So you need a wet and vivid saviour. A bit like me. I am often wet and invariably vivid. This Homage to Barney was made with the Tuna fishcakes and the two went together like Tommy Canon and Bobby Ball without the braces. I suppose the Vegetangles (patent applied for) could be a bit like braces but, I digress. (Our American friends will have to insert their own quality comedy double act for Canon & Ball)

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 chunky garlics
  • Good splash of Balsamic Vinegar
  • and a good splash of Soy sauce
  • 1/2 a cup of water
  • Olive oil
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • Salt and Pepper

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Righteous Red Pepper and Onion Relish

Isn’t relish great? its so versatile. You can put it on stuff, under stuff and between things. You can also smear it. I love smearing, it gives me a sort of warm feeling, especially when it is the smearing of a relish of this unimaginable magnitude. We had it with Burger Me, its Veggie burgers but you could smear it ‘pon whatever tickles your fancy. Post Tom for smearing ideas.

Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 second of white wine vinegar
  • A splash of hot water
  • Half a punch of raisins
  • Punch of sugar
  • salt and Pepper

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Burger Me, Its Veggie

Doesn’t seem very manly does it? Well, it matters not, because behind these manly facades, lurk some jolly camp fellows itching to get out of their butch straight jackets. And anyway, we need five a day and this helps us get there. Five what I hear you ask. Some things are best left to the imagination.

Veg Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of button mushrooms
  • 3 chunky garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 handfulls of hazelnuts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 handfulls of pinto beans
  • 1 green pepper
  • Small handfull of oregano
  • Small handfull of thyme
  • Pinch of mild chilli powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 childs breakfast bowls of chick pea flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • Salad
  • Baps

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