Archive for March, 2012

Recipe 23 – Stir-Fry.

Easy Recipes.

Also posted under Savoury.

Stir-Fry.

Everything in it is good for you!

Ingredients:-

Carrots

Leeks

Cauliflower

Red and green peppers

Mushrooms

Sweet Potato

A few sticks of celery

Onions

Green beans

Bean sprouts

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil or sunflower oil

1 vegetable stock cube

A little boiling water.

(And how about some tiny slithers of lemon peel’ or a few tiny pieces of fresh ginger?)

HARD PART – nothing hard about this one!

 How to make it:-

Make sure all of your vegetables are prepared, before you switch on the wok or deep frying pan.

Carrots – peel then cut the carrots into 1 inch rounds.  Now stand the carrot round like a barrel and cut it into matchstick pieces, ready for the pan.

Leeks – slice the leek down its length then, still keeping the leek together, slice it crossways every half inch, so you get loose circles of leek.  Separate all of its thicknesses, so you have lots of separate leek pieces, then wash and drain, ready for the pan.

Take two or three florets and cut off each baby flower from each floret (maybe as many as twelve baby flower on each floret).

Red and green peppers. – cut the peppers into rounds from top to bottom, then cut each round into two or three pieces. Discard the stalks and the seeds.

Mushrooms – wash the mushrooms, remove their stalks, and then cut the heads into thin slices.  Cut the stalks into thin rounds, as well.

Sweet potato – peel then cut the sweet potato into matchsticks, similar to the carrots.

Celery – slice the sticks of celery every half inch across their length, so you get ‘c’ shaped pieces.

Onion – peel and cut the onion into thin slices.  Then cut through the diameter of the slices and separate each thickness like to you did for the leeks.

Line up five or six green beans at a time, and cut across all of them to remove the tails at both ends.  Discard these.  Now make the same cut every ¾ inch through the beans, ready for cooking.

It’s going to be best to parboil the cauliflower pieces and the green beans, before these are added to the wok or deep frying pan, so bring some water to boil in a little saucepan, add a little salt, then add the cauliflower.  Remove after three or four minutes, then put the bean pieces into the same boiling water for about five minutes.  Drain and keep both of these parboiled items to one side.

Pour the oil into the wok or pan and switch on the heat.  When it is warmed through, add the carrots, peppers, sweet potato and celery and cook these by stirring them around in the oil, until they are starting to soften slightly.

Now add the onions, leeks and mushrooms and continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes more.

When everything appears cooked but still with a crunchy bite, dissolve the stock cube in some boiling water and add to the pan.  The amount of liquid you use shouldn’t flood the pan but should be just enough to cover the bottom and allow the vegetables to be tossed around in the liquid to finish cooking.  Add the bean sprouts at the same time as you add the water (and the lemon and ginger, if you want to add these), then, a couple of minutes, later, add the parboiled cauliflower and green beans, so they can finish cooking in the boiling water.  Allow another two minutes of boiling time and there you have it – Stir-fry!

You can change its flavour by adding whatever spices you wish to add and by adding some small pieces of any cooked meat (I think I’m slowly becoming a vegetarian ….), like chicken, beef or ham.

What can be better or more nutritious than all of those not overly-cooked vegetables?  If you want to go a step further, slice a cabbage into thin slices and add this at the same time you add the onions.  I often make myself a meal of just fried cabbage with a little onion added.  Once it’s fried through, I add a little vinegar or soy sauce and it’s delicious!

With stir-fry and the meagre cabbage and onion, we’re talking nutrients galore!!

You can tell I love these plates, can’t you.  Nothing is too posh for me (?)!

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An Amazing Thing (but just what was going on ….?)

Hubby and I were out walking our dog Jack when, on the road into our village, we saw what looked like a dried snake skin.  But then we realised that it was actually moving and was a line of caterpillars nose to tail, crossing the road.  I wonder if anyone has any ideas why this would be happening?

 

 

Recipe 22 – Chicken Risotto (.. except with barley ….)

Rice is lovely but barley is so good for you, so I tried this recipe and it was gorgeous.

Easy Recipes.

Also posted under Savoury.

Chicken Risotto.

Full of goodness, with barley, ginger, garlic, peppers and onion.

Ingredients:-

2 tsps. Olive oil

2 cupfuls of cooked pearl barley

1 cooked chicken breast, cut into small chunks

1 green pepper, cut finely.

1 red pepper, cut finely

1 onion, finely diced

3 eggs

1 tsp. garlic salt or three fresh cloves, cut finely

½ tsp. ground ginger, or a small piece of fresh ginger (about the size of a stock cube), grated

1 tbsp. soy sauce

20 slivered almonds (optional).

 HARD PART –  nothing hard about this one, except remember to put the dry barley into a bowl of boiling water, to stand overnight, or for at least six hours.  This way, it softens before cooking and therefore cooks a lot faster.

 How to make it:- 

Boil the softened barley in a saucepan of water for about forty five minutes, or until it is soft and cooked through.  Then drain it, ready for use.  If you want, the barley can be done well before you start making the actual meal, as all it now needs is to be added to other ingredients and warmed through.

Melt the oil in a big frying pan or wok and add the barley, diced chicken or other cooked meat (e.g. ham, pork or lamb), peppers and onion, then fry for about four or five minutes.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the garlic salt and ground ginger (if you are using fresh garlic and ginger, add these to the pan when you are adding the peppers etc., so that these two ingredients can also cook through).

Pour the beaten egg mixture into the pan and stir into all of the other ingredients, allowing the eggs to cook through.

Add the soy sauce and the almonds and stir into the hot mixture.

Mmmm…!

 

There’s enough mixture here four eight servings but, if this is to be the whole meal, there is enough for three or four people.  Still, my husband and I consumed the lot, as it was gorgeous.

If you don’t want to add the eggs, you don’t have to and, to be honest, I think I would have enjoyed it just as much. Also, add whatever you like to spice it up.  Rosemary, a little mint, a little curry paste can all go in, to make it taste just how you want it to.

Enjoy experimenting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmm … .

Poor Badger.

Last Friday night, when we were returning home at 11.30 p.m., a badger stepped out in front of us and, though my husband tried to avoid it, the badger didn’t make it.  I only hope that it was a male and not a female with babies waiting anywhere.  I lifted it off the road, to avoid other cars maybe swerving to avoid it and, the next day, we realised the damage to our car.  The cost of repair comes to 800 euros, as the bumper bar is broken, the fog light casing is broken and the fog light needs to be replaced as well.

Still, it’s a shame about the badger.

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Recipe 21 – Rabbit (or Chicken ….) and Black Pudding.

Easy Recipes.

Also posted under Savoury.

Rabbit.

No real goodness to brag about but to die for!

Ingredients:-

For two people:-

Half a rabbit.

Some black pudding.

One or two onions.

I beef oxo cube. 

HARD PART –  nothing hard about this one.

Set the oven to gas mark 4, or 200F / 150C.

How to make it:-

Place your half a rabbit in a small casserole dish and add just enough boiling water to cover the bottom of the dish.

Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and put the rabbit in the hot oven for about half an hour.

Cut the black pudding into thickish slices or oxo-sized cubes, then peel and quarter the onions.

After that half an hour, remove the partly-cooked rabbit from the oven, add the broken beef oxo cube, give it a stir then add the black pudding and the onions.

You don’t have to but, at this stage, I covered the partly-cooked rabbit with the inviting flavour of cranberry sauce (I don’t know why I did this – I just did) and added four bay leaves.

Cover with tinfoil again and place back in the oven for a around a half an hour more, until the rabbit is cooked and everything is warmed through.

 I served this meal with some potatoes boiled until cooked but still a little crunchy.

Mmmmm …. .

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The reason I decided to cook rabbit is because hubby’s blood test says his cholesterol level is a little high and, as far as meat goes, sausages and bacon are out but eating rabbit or chicken presents no problem.  If you’re not into rabbit, then use chicken instead!

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The ‘State’ of Texas …… (hmmmmm. ….).

An American man is walking around Alton Towers attraction park, when he starts to talk to a man from the north-east of England. Thumbs in his trouser belt loops and his bold cowboy hat there for all to marvel at, he says, “Why, hello there.  I’m from the state of Texas.’

‘Oh, ay?’

“And where are you from?” continued the American.

‘Well, I’m from Morpeth, me like.’

Interested in knowing more, the American asks, “and what state is Morpeth in?”

“It’s in a bloody hell of a state, man!’ replied the ‘Geordie’.

See what I mean?  English humour resting on the understanding of the word ‘state’. A Spanish friend couldn’t get the punch, until he realised the two uses of the word ‘state’ in this joke.

Don’t you just love ’em?

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English Humour.

Living here in the non-tourist part of Spain, we regularly talk to our Spanish neighbours and friends and I have been told on more than one occasion, that Spanish people love the English sense of humour.  They tell me that English people can laugh at themselves, something which Spanish people can’t do.  Of course, when I try to explain a joke to some Spanish person, I am aware that many English jokes are based on the use of a word or phrase which other cultures might not be able to identify with, as they use words in different ways.

Anyway, words aside, I’m going to post the odd joke here because, sometimes, laughter is the best thing.  They’ll be posted under the category of ‘jokes’ and will appear alongside any graffiti under the ‘scrapbook’ tag.

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