| Subscribe via RSS

yet another risotto

November 12th, 2014 | Comments Off | Posted in recipe

IMG_3291

Actually, that’s unfair, because we haven’t had a risotto in ages. But we did last night.

We bought a pack of chicken thighs in Aldi last week. Pete manfully skinned and filleted them on Saturday, and they’ve been stowed in the freezer (yes, for this was just *before* PumpkinGate) for stir fries or whatever; the cats had the skin, with much enjoyment but no gratitude *at all*, and I slung the bones in the baby slow cooker with some water, with a view to soup making. But then, after the Graet Pumpkin War of 2014, soup was already well over-catered, and I couldn’t freeze this stock either.

I reboiled the bones yesterday, and it made a lovely gelatinous stock. Which seemed absolutely ideal for a risotto, especially as there were little shreds of chicken as well. So I strained the bones out, and rinsed them off with boiling water, to get every drop of chickeny goodness from them, and then topped that up to a pint*.

Sliced a leek and a red pepper, and set them to saute off in a little olive oil and butter. Then added 5oz of Arborio rice and stirred it round to coat it, and then started adding the stock bit by bit, stirring all the time. During the process, I discovered that making risotto is yet another thing that doesn’t go with  watching Borgen with subtitles; no wonder it’s taking me so long to get through it. I digress.

When about 75% of the stock was added, I seasoned with salt and black pepper, and when all the stock was absorbed, I added half a block of feta cheese and stirred until it was melted.

And I can tell you that, although a bowl of risotto in those quantities (we halved it, obviously) doesn’t look much, it’s plenty, and it was delicious.

 

*This is one of the few recipes I still cook in imperial – easier to remember the mantra of 1 pint / 5 oz.

Tags: , , , ,

barley and butternut squash risotto

November 18th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in recipe

barley

image from Real Foods

 

I’ve been meaning to try this for ages, so here you go.

1 cup barley (you should strictly speaking, use pearl, but I used what was in the cupboard, and it was fine)
1 butternut squash, peeled (ugh) and diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 cups water
1 chicken stock cube (or use stock, if you have it handy)
1 shallot, finely sliced
some thyme, fresh or dried
about ½ small glass white wine (or cider would work, or vermouth)
some feta cheese (optional)
seasoning

Soften the shallot and garlic in a little oil or butter, add the thyme, (or sage, in our case, as Pete had a mad moment and picked the wrong herb from the garden),  and then the barley. Cook  until the grains are toasted.

Put that in a slow cooker on high, add the squash and the water/stock cube, bit of salt and black pepper.  Leave well alone for 4-5 hours.  At that point, I thought it looked a bit dry, which is when I added the wine, and ⅓ of a block of feta cut into cubes, and left it for another hour or so.

Feel free to garnish with flat leaf parsley; having sallied up the road to buy a huge bunch (because the Indian and Continental don’t sell small ones), I completely forgot, so will have to think of something else to use it up.

Very nice indeed., and a great alternative to a rice risotto for those of us who aren’t supposed to eat many carbs. Um.

This was supposed to feed three; it fed two greedy folk, with a bit left over, which went into the soup pot.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

broad beans with feta and pasta

June 28th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in recipe

broad beans, originally uploaded by ramtops.


I shelled these last night, because I knew I wanted to cook them for lunch – I have taken up Morris Dancing (yes, really!), and practice is on Tuesdays, so I prefer to have my main meal at lunchtiime then.

So: chopped an onion, and put it in some olive oil to fry down. Put some pasta on to cook, and then added the beans about 7 minutes before the end.

Diced half a block of feta cheese, and tore some fresh basil into pieces (we keep a pot of basil on the kitchen windowsill – it is just the most gorgeous herb).

When the pasta/veg was cooked, hurled it in the onion pan with the cheese and basil, and added a little lemon juice, and some black pepper. Stirred it all round, ate from bowls.

Lovely summer lunch.

Tags: , , , ,

moussaka

September 27th, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in recipe

moussakaLamb is so expensive, so when I see some on offer, I grab it. Sainsburys were doing 1kg of minced lamb for a fiver a few weeks ago, split into 500g packs, so I stowed a couple in the freezer. And then Friday was such a miserable damp day, we decided to construct a moussaka, not least to use up the aubergine lurking within the veg drawer in the fridge.

So … cut a couple of carrots, a courgette and a couple of celery stalks into small dice, chopped an onion and a few cloves of garlic, and set them to saute down.

Sliced the aubergine thinly, laid it on a baking tray lined with tin foil (saves washing up!), drizzled with olive oil, and set in a hot oven for about 30 minutes.

Browned the lamb mince off, and set it aside, draining off the fatty juice. Added some Ras el Hanout to the veg mix and cooked it down for a few minutes, then bunged in the lamb, a can of chopped tomatoes, a slosh of red wine, and some salt and pepper. Left that lot to simmer for about half an hour.

Made a white sauce with wholemeal flour (always do these days, as it’s better for us than white).

Then into the dish went meat/veg mix, then the sliced baked aubergine, then the white sauce, and finally some feta cheese, cubed small. This lot went into the oven at 200 for about 25 minutes.

It made four generous servings, so we had the rest yesterday. Om nom nom :)

Tags: , , ,

chicken with feta and basil

May 15th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in recipe

Regular readers will know that our regular fare is Indian, middle Eastern, Italian, but rarely, very rarely, something that involves potatoes and veg and so forth.

But we had a dying basil plant and half a block of feta that needed using up, and some chicken breasts in the freezer, and Jersey Royals, and English asparagus, so some combination was called for.

I chopped the feta into small cubes, and bunged it in a bowl with a finely chopped shallow and clove of garlic, some black pepper, some chopped basil, lemon juice, and olive oil. Cut a pocket into the chicken breasts, and bunged as much of the mix in as I could – there was far too much stuffing, of course.  I tied the chicken breasts round with string, put them in an ovenproof dish, and scattered the rest of the feta mix over the top.  Into the oven at gas mark 5 for 20 minutes, then turned it up to 6 for another ten.

Boiled the potatoes, steamed the asparagus on the top.  Utterly lovely.

Tags: ,

squash, sage and feta risotto

August 10th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in recipe

Two small papaya pear squash in the veg box this week.  We chopped and peeled them both on Saturday, and one is in a bowl in the fridge, with some chopped red onion (because Pete chopped a huge one, and it was way too much).

Boiled the risotto squash for about 12 minutes until it was soft.  Drained and reserved the water.  Sautéd the onion in some olive oil until it was soft. The squash water was just about exactly a pint, which was handy; remember – 1 pint water, 5 oz risotto rice for two people.  I put a goodly pinch of Marigold bouillon there to give it a bit of a boost.

Ladled in stock and rice in instalments, added squash and sage when we were nearly done, added cubed feta at the end.  Scoffed.

Then we had a blackberry and apple cobbler.  Nom nom nom.

Tags: , , ,

broad beans, feta and pasta

July 8th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in recipe

Another big bag of broad beans in the box this week. I wanted something quick and simple for supper, but of course failed to allow the time required to shell a big bag of broad beans. Ho hum.

Once they were released from their furry prisons, I set (far too much) pasta on to boil, and simmered the beans for about 7 minutes. Chopped an onion and sauteéd it in olive oil. Chopped the half a pack of feta that was in the fridge. Hurled everything into one pan when done, and stirred round with a little more olive oil and the juice of the half lemon lurking in the fridge.

Nice quick, fresh, summer supper (even with the bean depodding time).

Tags: , , ,

leek and feta risotto

June 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in recipe

I looked at all the pods from the broad beans, and thought “I should be able to make some stock with those”, so I threw them in the slow cooker with some water for a few hours.

There were two rather tired leeks in the fridge, so they were sliced and sautéd in olive oil and butter, then I added 5 oz of arborio rice and stirred it round.  I added some finely chopped lemon balm from the garden too.

Then in went 1 pint of the pod stock (which was not great, but OK), bit by bit, stirring as I went to allow the rice to absorb it..  Some sea salt and black pepper, and half a block of feta at the end, chopped into small chunks, which made it nice and creamy.

Tags: , , ,

asparagus and feta risotto

June 11th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in recipe

asparagus and feta risotto

There are some foods we only eat when they’re in season in the UK, and asparagus is one of them; thus we tend to rather gorge ourselves on it at this time of year.  Although we are back on a veg box, we couldn’t resist a big bunch of the glorious green stuff while we were mooching along Gloucester Road last weekend.

As my regular reader (waves to Giles!) will know, we like risotto – for two people, 5oz of risotto rice and 1 pint of liquid (and yes – I know I should go metric on this, but it’s easy to remember), and you’re away.

So – chopped up a red onion and sautéd it in some olive oil, while I chopped half the asparagus into manageable lengths, and cooked it for five minutes.  The liquid was the juice of half a lemon, about half a pint of apple juice, and topped up to the pint with water.  Usual process – add rice bit by bit, add stock till rice plump, rinse and repeat.  Before the last add, I hurled in the asparagus, and a dash of salt and pepper.

At the end, I stirred in half a block of feta cheese.  Fab.

Tags: , , ,

aubergine, spinach and lentil bake

June 8th, 2009 | Comments Off | Posted in recipe

lentil and aubergine bake

Using up: aubergine, some red wine that had gone vinegary, 1/3 of a bag of spinach

We love this sort of food, and eat it often.  In the fridge was an aubergine, spinach, and some feta cheese, and Pete had  opened a bottle of red wine last week and inexplicably failed to drink most of it, and it had gone over, despite being properly stoppered.

So … I fried a roughly chopped onion and some garlic in a pan until it was soft, then put in about 1 tablespoon of Ras El Hanout spice mix, a fab standby in the cupboard, and fried that round.

Then I added two mugfuls (mugs full?) of red lentils and stirred, 2.5 mugfuls of water, and about 2/3 mug of red wine.  Stirred well, brought to the boil and set on a low light to cook for about 45 minutes.  You might need to add more fluid – lentils can go splurp and stick to the pan in an unexpected way.

While the lentils were cooking, I sliced an aubergine fairly thinly and fried it till browned, in batches, in olive oil, and set to drain on some kitchen paper.  Then I made some basic white sauce with nutmeg grated into it.

Then into an ovenproof dish went the lentils, then the washed and drained spinach, then the white sauce, and topped it off with the aubergine slices.  Then we put half a block of feta cheese, diced up small, on top of all that, and bunged it in a hot oven for about 25 minutes.

Cheap (because it works perfectly well with water, or vegetable stock, rather than wine) and delicious.

That amount of lentils made enough for six servings, by the way, so two tubs went into the freezer.  You can use it for a faux lasagne too, should you wish – works very well.

And I split the rest of the red wine into two small boxes and froze that too – it might not be good enough to drink, but it’ll be fine to cook with!

Tags: , , ,