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A great one if you have veggie friends to impress for dinner (you could even add a little meat to the filling for yourself after you’ve dished up for your veggie guests!) …
knob of butter
2 cloves garlic
1 lb leeks sliced into one inch slices and washed thoroughly
1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms (button, wild and chestnut)
1/4 bottle stout (e.g. Black Sheep Ale)
1 teaspoon yeast extract
1 oz flour
½ tbsp sugar
¼ lb bag garden peas
Salt and pepper
½ block jus roll puff pastry
– serves 2-3 –
1 Finely chop the onion and cook in the butter until soft. Add the garlic and leeks – sweat down until the leeks are soft. Add 1ib of the mushrooms, a dash of soy sauce, the sugar and yeast extract.
2. When the juices have come out of the mushrooms make a roux with the flour, then slowly stir in the stout. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 25 mins, diluting a little with water if necessary.
3. Add the rest of the mushrooms and the peas to the pan, and Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7. Roll out the pastry to around 1cm thick and cut out the shape of your pie lid using the top of a pie dish as a guide.
4. Oil a baking tray, place your pie lid on it, brush with milk or a beaten egg, and put it in the top of the oven. Cook for 8 – 12 mins until it has puffed up and turned golden brown. Take the pie filling from the pan and spoon on to a plate, then remove the pastry lid from the oven and place on top.
Enjoy with lots of creamy mash and carrots
A great starter, and a nice way to use up any leftover risotto
2 pints vegetable stock
1 knob of butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
300g risotto rice
1 glass white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g freshly grated Parmesan
1 pack feta cheese
150g cherry tomatoes
Sunflower oil for frying
NOTE: THIS RECIPE NEEDS TO BE MADE THE DAY BEFORE EATING It’s also great if you have left over risotto – then skip straight to day two!!
1. Finely chop all of your ingredients, leaving the cherry tomatoes to the side.
2. Heat a large pan and add the olive oil.
3. Throw in the garlic and onions, and cook until softened
4. Add in the rice and ensure it’s well coated in the oil, cook for approx 30 seconds
5. Pour in the white wine, stir and then leave until the wine has been absorbed
6. Turn the pan down to a medium heat and then add in the chicken stock a little at a time, pouring in more when it’s been absorbed (do not let the rice go dry and stick to the bottom of the pan!)
7. When you’ve used all of the stock, and you’re happy that the rice is cooked – add the knob of butter and seasoning to taste
8. Leave the risotto on the side to cool for around half an hour, then add in the chopped feta and cherry tomatoes. Mix well.
9. Take handfuls of the risotto mixture, and shape into fish cake type shapes and sizes.
10. When you’ve moulded all of them, place them on top of a sheet of kitchen paper, on a plate, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge over night. This will help the cakes to keep their shape when cooking the next day.
11. 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, take a frying pan, heat with sunflower oil and place each risotto cake in for approx 3 minutes each side, or until you have a golden crispy outer.
12. Place all of the browned rice cakes onto a heated backing tray and pop in the oven on gas mark 6 for 20 – 25 minutes, turning once in the cooking process.
13. Serve on a bed of rocket with some cherry tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon and some black pepper
Thanks to Maria for sending in this lovely tomato and sweetcorn soup…
Fancy a simple healthy homemade soup but don’t have much in the cupboard? Here’s what I blitzed up last night: Creamy tomato & sweetcorn soup (cooking time – 10 minutes!)
1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 Small tin of sweetcorn
Ground Black Pepper
Chilly pepper (optional)
One vegetable stock cube
Dash of soy sauce/worcester sauce
Quarter cup of milk
Rustic Crusty bread (I used a delicious Turkish flatbread)
– serves 3-4 –
1. Gently soften the chopped onions and garlic in a little olive oil.
2. Add the tin of tomatoes and half of a small tin of sweetcorn and the stock cube (previously dissolved in a little boiling water).
3. Blitz the lot together in the saucepan with a hand blender, once you’ve got it to a smooth consistency add the milk and blitz again.
4. Put your rustic bread in the oven to warm.
5. Put the soup back on to gently simmer, add the remaining sweetcorn, pepper, chilli, soy/worcester sauce and salt (if you use it).
6. Dish up and serve with lovely warm crusty bread.