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Mar. 27th, 2013



Lasagne ratatouille


  • A red onion
  • Three cloves of garlic
  • An aubergine
  • A courgette
  • A red bell pepper
  • Some mushrooms
  • Thyme
  • A fresh red chili pepper, some ground chili pepper or some sambal oelek
  • 500 gram passata
  • 125 gram soft goat cheese
  • 75 gram walnuts
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Grated goat cheese to top
  • Olive oil


Chop all the vegetables in 1 to 1.5 cm cubes. Chop the garlic and, if using, the chili pepper. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Gently fry the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and chili pepper. Then add the rest of the vegetables, starting with the bell pepper, then the courgette, aubergine and mushrooms, frying for a couple of minutes after each addition. Finally, add the passata and bring to a gentle simmer.

Coarsely chop the walnuts. Chop the parsley. Crumble the soft goat cheese. Mix these three together. Grease a suitable oven dish with some olive oil. Put 1/4 of the vegetable mixture in the bottom, place a layer of lasagne sheets on top, and divide 1/2 of the cheese-nut mixture over those. Repeat vegetables-lasagne-cheese. Put another layer of vegetables on top, followed by a final layer of lasagne sheets and the remaining quarter of the vegetables. Top with grated goat cheese.

Cook the lasagne according to the instructions on the package. If necessary, cover the dish with tin foil at first, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking, to prevent the cheese from burning.

Nov. 7th, 2012



Rice with smoked mackerel, leeks and lemon

Rice with mackerel, leek and lemon

Serves 2

1 mug of basmati rice (the quick-boiling kind, or plan more time for
cooking it)
1/2 lemon
500 gram leeks
1 smoked mackerel (or around 200 grams of smoked mackerel fillet)
Olive oil

Small cooking pot with lid
Large skillet with lid

Put the rice in a small cooking pot with a lid. Add 1.5 times the volume
in cold water. Let sit for a few minutes.

Scrub the lemon clean (easier before cutting it in half). Grate the zest
off and juice it.

Add the lemon zest and some salt to the rice. Stir. Put the lid on and
put on the stove. Continue with the rest of the recipe, but keep an eye
on the rice: When the water boils (when some steam escapes from the lid,
try to catch it before boiling over too much), turn down the heat, put a
simmering plate (what are those called in English?) under the pot, give
the rice another quick stir and close the lid again.

In the mean time, chop and wash the leek, and saute it briefly on high
heat in a large skillet with some olive oil. The leek should start to
brown slightly. Clean the fish (removing the bones as much as possible)
and break it up into small pieces. When the leek is cooked 'al dente',
take it off the heat.

When all the water has been absorbed by the rice (check occasionally),
put the rice in a layer on top of the leek. Put the pieces of mackerel
on top. Sprinkle over the lemon juice and grind some black pepper over
the top. Put the lid on the pan and put it back on the heat. Put it on
medium heat for 3 minutes, then on low for two more. The fish should now
also be hot, if not, leave a little longer, but take care that the leeks
don't burn.

Serve immediately.

Feb. 16th, 2012

Jenny & Me


Fusilli con Peperoni e Capperi

For yady & ruthi
This comes from the B I G pasta book (ספר הפסטה הגדול), but it's a mix of two recipes twisted by my own brain...

500g fusilli
2 large red bell peppers (or red & yellow)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
100g black olives, pitted & chopped
a lemon's zest
large handful of basil
3 tbsp capers
salt and freshly ground pepper

How To
Quickly brown the peppers, make sure not to cook, only brown. Peel, clean the inside and cut into thin strips (I have in the past used jars of roasted peppers - be careful, their cooking time is a lot shorter).
Boil salt water and cook the pasta to al dente.
Meanwhile in a deep heavy pan heat the oil with the garlic. When the oil starts bubbling around the garlic, add the peppers and fry on high heat for 10 minutes, until they are done and the garlic is golden (if using pre-roasted pepper, start the pepper a bit later, and fry for 3-4 minutes, give or take).
While the peppers fry blitz the basil and capers in a food processor, until they become a fine paste. Add a bit of oil to make it properly smooth. Add the paste to the peppers, plus the olives and lemon zest, and cook for a minute before removing from the heat.
Drain the pasta and place in a warm serving dish, pour the dressing on top mix well, and if it looks too dry, add a little more oil. Salt and pepper generously, serve with grated parmesan (optional, except when you have a jelmer around).

Aug. 1st, 2011



Stuffed bell peppers

Crossposted to DreamWidth.

Stuffed bell peppers with couscous and spinach

Serves 2 as (part of) a main course or 4 as a starter or lunch dish.


  • 120 grams of couscous (I used wholewheat)
  • 250 grams of frozen spinach (I used the kind not chopped too finely)
  • Two bell peppers (I used a red and an orange one)
  • A small onion, finely chopped
  • A little salt
  • A little lemon juice
  • A handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
  • A handful of pine kernels
  • About 50 grams of grated cheese (I used a feta-like sheep's cheese; I expect a sheep's, goat's or feta-like cheese will match the dish best.)
  • Oil
  • Water


Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celsius.

Thaw and heat the spinach. In the mean time, add lemon juice and salt to the couscous and then prepare it according to directions (on mine, this was roughly 'Weigh, put in bowl, add 50ml water for every 30g of couscous, stir, cover, leave for 5 minutes'; I usually do that by placing the bowl on the scales, adding the couscous and the seasonings and then adding the water, keeping in mind that one ml of water weighs roughly one gram*). Drain excess liquid from the spinach but don't press it much. Mix couscous, spinach, onion and coriander.

Clean the bell peppers and slice them in half, so that you have four nice pepper halves to fill. Coat the bottom of an oven dish with oil. Fill the pepper halves with the couscous mixture (it fit nicely in mine, your mileage may vary). Place the pepper halves in the oven dish. Cover them with pine kernels first (push these slightly into the couscous), then with cheese.

Place the oven dish in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

I served my stuffed bell peppers with sausages, which conveniently took about 15 minutes to fry, but they would go equally well with grilled meat or fish of your choice, or on their own as a vegetarian (if you choose your cheese right) meal. Personally I'd add a little more cheese and pine kernels if they were the entire meal, but then I require a fair bit of protein, so if you don't they should be fine like this.

* For the scientifically inclined, yes, under the correct circumstances one ml of water is exactly one gram. I expect the circumstances in your or mine kitchen are not the correct ones, and I don't think the correct circumstances usually include the water temperature to be close to 100 degrees celsius.

Jun. 3rd, 2011



Improvised yoghurt

In small bowl, put yoghurt and a wee dribble of coconut milk. Add another wee dribble of maple syrup. Add some frozen blueberries, or other fruit of choice.


May. 23rd, 2011



Mint lassi

The mint plant on my window sill was staring at me, calling out to me. 'Pick me, use my leaves!', it said. And I wanted to. I love mint. Only, I wasn't sure what to do with it, as it wasn't a meal time and I didn't feel like making hot tea.

Then I remembered that last week, I made a mango lassi to go with a curry, and inspired by the internet, I'd added freshly ground cardamom and fresh mint to it. It was wonderful. I didn't have a mango around today, and I didn't much feel like cardamom, but why not use the leftover yoghurt to make myself a tasty drink?

So, here's what I did:


  • 100 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 150 ml milk
  • A large handfull of freshly picked and washed mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar

I simply put all of these in the high narrow container that came with my stick blender, plugged in the stick blender and blended. Then, I poured the result into a tall glass, added a small sprig of mint on top and put in a straw.

The result

The verdict
It tasted great! It was a little thinner than I'd hoped, though. I think next time, I'll use 150 ml yoghurt and 100 ml milk. The amount of sugar was just right for me, but if you want to try, use what seems right to you. And in retrospect, I think a bit of cardamom would have worked quite nicely in it after all. But all in all, this is certainly a thing to repeat.

Now the basil plant on my window sill is staring at me. I wonder if the same thing would work with basil instead of mint. That'll be an experiment for another day, though, as I've had my share of milky drinks for now.

Dec. 25th, 2010

Jenny & Me


Devil's Pot

As per sessifet25's request, here is the devil's fish pie.

400 g fish / seafood (which ever you feel like, but the original is crab meat)
1 cup crackers, blitzed through a food processor
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 hard boiled egg, diced
1 egg
1 cup good quality mayonaise
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
2 tbsp coarse mustard
2 tbsp royal sauce
dash tabasco
salt & pepper

How to:
Preheat oven to 190°c.
Mix all the ingredients together. If the mixture is too hard, add some more mayo.
Flatten out in a round pie dish, 24-26cm.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the pie has a golden-brown crust.
Serve with lemon wedges.
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Nov. 13th, 2010



Creamy fish stew

I've done things like this more often, usually improvising, but this time it turned out so well that I thought I'd better write it down. Sadly, no picture, as it was all eaten before I thought of that.

For two people:


  • Quick cook basmati rice for 2 people (how much that is depends rather on the people involved)
  • Salt
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 100 g white button mushrooms
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 2 different frozen fillets of fish (I used salmon and tilapia)
  • 125 ml creme fraiche
  • 125 gram shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon stock powder
  • Olive oil
  • 400-500 g fennel bulbs

Put the rice in a small pan. Add 1.5 times its volume in cold water. Put on the lid.

Chop the celery into moons, the onion into quarter rings and the carrot into quarter slices. Thinly slice the garlic. Heat a little oil in a large skillet that has a lid and lightly fry the chopped vegetables for a couple of minutes.

Add a little salt to the rice and give a quick stir. Put it on medium heat. Keep half an eye on it, once it boils (you'll be able to tell even with the lid closed), you need to turn the heat down to the lowest, place a flame divider between the hob and the pan (if cooking on gas, no clue how this works for electric), stir the rice once more and replace the lid.

Slice the mushrooms and add them to the other veg. Fry until just not raw any more. Chop the tomatoes, removing the hard part where the crown used to be, and add them to the other veg. Fry a little more, until they start to fall apart. Then add the wine, give a stir, place the frozen fish on top and close the lid.

After a few minutes, the fish should be thawed and partially done. Pull apart the bits that already flake easily. Replace the lid.

Now, chop the fennel. Heat some more oil in another skillet. Add the fennel.

Remove the lid from the fish pan. The fish should be pretty much done by now and at the very least you should be able to pull all of it apart into flakes. Do so. Add the stock powder and stir carefully. Leave the lid off now, to allow some moisture to evaporate, but turn the heat down.

Give the fennel a stir.

Once you are sure that all the bits of fish are done, the rice has absorbed all the water and the fennel is (nearly) to your liking, turn off the heat under the fish pan. To this pan, add the shrimp, the cream, the dill and the paprika. Stir.

Serve immediately.
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Nov. 1st, 2010



Weird green punch

I made this for Halloween and it went down well.

1 litre pineapple juice
1 litre (about three normal size cans) ginger beer
3 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons sugar
A few drops of green food colouring

Mix the juice and ginger beer in a bowl. Add food colouring until it turns a suitably ghoulish shade of green. Add the sugar last (it froths and bubbles as the sugar goes in) and stir it all together.

For extra ghastlyness, float some canned lychees in it and pretend they're eyeballs. Obviously the food colouring is optional, but compared to the murky yellow colour it was before I added the colour, it was actually more appetizing in pea-soup-green.

Oct. 25th, 2010



Pumpkin-apple soup

I couldn't get warm this past saturday and decided there should be a big pan of wintery soup. This is what I ended up with:

1 smallish pumpkin
4 sweet-sourish apples
1.5 litre chicken of veg stock
pepper and salt
sesame, walnut or hazelnut oil

Cut the pumpkin and apples into bits and boil them in the stock until soft. I left the apple peel on. When all is soft, blend/process until smooth. Season to taste with the salt, pepper and allspice. Add some of the nut oil to taste. The original recipe suggested hazelnut oil and sprinkle some roasted hazelnuts over the top, but I used sesame oil and it was very nice.

Aug. 17th, 2010

cake slice


Steak and Couscous with lemon and coriander

Snow accused me of making shiny dinner, so I figured I'd share it with you lot.

Mostly based on a recipe I found online, but it's in Hebrew so I'll translate it.
This has *no* salt and pepper in it, which is baffling, but works very well.

To make 4 portions:
2 entrecôte steaks, about 250g each (or so says the recipe. I opted for 450g of plain steak for 3 people)
350g couscous (I used instant, if you really feel like it go the extra mile and make the real stuff...)
5-6 tomatoes, chopped

a generous handful of coriander leaves
2 spring onions
2cm ginger root, peeled and sliced
peel of one lemon (peel, not zest)
juice of one lemon
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 green chilli pepper, deseeded and sliced (vary quantity by how spicy you want this to be - I used 3/4 of a pepper)
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small food processor until you get a smooth paste.
Rub onto the meat, and marinade an hour (out of the fridge) to 4 hours (in the fridge, but remove from fridge one hour before cooking).

Cook the couscous as per instructions on the packet. Scrape the marinade from the steaks onto the couscous, add the tomatoes and mix well.

Sear the entrecôte, preferably on a very hot grill pan, until you think it is ready. We went for "very red on the inside", but you may differ.
Set the meat aside for 3 minutes, and then slice it thinly.
Serve immediately on nice big heaps of couscous salad.

Very nice, very simple to make, and has the approval of the entire household.

Jul. 9th, 2010



Fruit Salad

I've had a lot of mediocre fruit salads in the past, but I think I rolled a 20 on this one.

Red and yellow fruit salad
Serves 2

1 banana, only just ripe
1 nectarine, barely ripe
A large handful of strawberries
A large handful of raspberries
orange juice

Slice the banana
Chop the nectarine into small chunks
Cut the strawberries into quarters
Leave the raspberries whole

Mix everything together, add a tablespoon of sugar and a splash of orange juice and stir it all up until the orange juice has stuck to everything.

Serve with that single cream that came free with the strawberries because the supermarket has a ton of it to get rid of after Wimbledon.

(If you happen to have much riper bananas and nectarines than me, then you could probably miss out the sugar, but the underripe nectarine did give it a nice crunchy texture.)
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Jun. 18th, 2010



Mocha Pecan Torte

My youngest brother graduated from a paramedicine program yesterday. This is what I made to celebrate.

You will need...

6 egg whites, room temperature

6 egg yolks
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp crushed instant coffee granules

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups ground pecans

1. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside.
2. Beat yolks well. Add sugar, vanilla, and coffee; beat again. They
are very naughty egg yolks. Fold into previously cowed egg whites.
3. Gently fold in flour and cocoa, then fold in pecans.
4. Bake in two greased 8-inch pans at 350/180 for about 25 minutes. Cool.

2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar (I used less)
1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tbsp boiling water

1. Dissolve coffee in water. While that's cooling, beat cream and
sugar until quite stiff, then beat in the coffee. It will be a very
violent day. Spread between layers of cake and on top and sides.

Optional extras:
Toasted pecans
Fried pecans in butter and brown sugar
melted chocolate drizzles
caramel sauce (cream, brown sugar, cornstarch and butter; boil and
then simmer until thick)
All of the above

Jan. 2nd, 2010



Soups (suitable for mass catering)

As made for many at New Year.

Leek and potato soup
The ingredients and recipe given is to serve 4-6 people - multiply up as required

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
225g/8oz potatoes, cubed
2 medium leeks,sliced
1.5 litres/2 ¼ pints vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, potatoes and leeks. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
2. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
3. Remove from the heat and whizz with a hand blender until as smooth as required. Reheat and serve.

Pea and ham soup
The ingredients and recipe given is to serve 4 people - multiply up as required

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped
4 rashers bacon chopped (smoked bacon works best)
2 large or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1.5 litres/2 ¼ pints vegetable or chicken stock
500g frozen garden peas
4 slices cooked ham cut into small pieces

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onions and bacon over a low heat for about 10 mins until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked.
2. Add the potatoes and stock to the pan, bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 10 mins until potatoes are cooked.
3. Add peas into pan, simmer until peas are cooked. Remove from heat.
4. Add chopped ham and seasoning to the pan, then blend until as smooth as required.

Dec. 26th, 2009



How to cook the perfect sprout

I should have posted this up before Christmas - never mind :-)

Trim and clean sprouts - put a little cross in the base of each one (helps to cook the middle). Put into cold water and bring to the boil - as soon as the water boils turn the hob down to as low as you can without actually switching it off. Leave for 10-15 minutes - the hot water will have gently cooked the sprouts without letting them turn to mush. Serve.

Dec. 15th, 2009



Steak and Ale Pie

(On my journal too, so sorry if people see this twice)

Steak and Ale Pie (8 portions, more or less)

1kg braising steak cut into large cubes
4 large carrots cut into chunks
1 *extremely* large and fat leek cut into slices
2 large onions, roughly chopped
half a bottle of old speckled hen
some plain flour, salt and pepper, a bay leaf
about 1.5 pints of beef stock (from a stock cube)
1 packet pre-made puff pastry

Made in a slightly odd order because I realised halfway through that my saucepan wasn't as big as i'd thought:

Onions and carrots sauteed on a medium heat in a little olive oil. Taken out and put to one side. Heat turned up high, beef added in batches with about a tablespoon of flour sprinkled over per batch with salt and pepper (normally i'd toss the meat in flour before adding to the pan but I was being lazy because I didn't want to get another bowl dirty). Meat taken out and put to one side. About 3 tablespoons of beer poured into the pan, and used to scrape up all the browned flour to make a sort of beer roux. (this again was not how i'd usually do it, but it worked really well!). Thick goopy roux taken out and put in a jug, a little more oil added to the (now pretty mch clean) pan. Leeks sauteed on a medium heat until softened. Everything previously set aside except the roux added back into the pan and given a good stir. A pint of beef stock added, plus the rest of the beer, plus the roux. Stirred and brought to the boil, then left to simmer for about 2.5 hours. I added the remaining half a pint of stock after about an hour.

Pie filling placed in a pie dish and cooled (I put it in the fridge overnight at this stage, because it turned out hobnobs wasn't going to be home in time for dinner. So I had leftovers from the previous night and the pie got postponed). Pastry rolled out thin enough to cover the entire dish, laid over the top with the edges overhanging slightly and pinched in to stick to the sides. Baked for about 40 minutes to an hour until the pastry was puffed and brown. Nommed with mash and boiled cabbage!

Nov. 29th, 2009



Recipe for Boiled Fruit Cake

You will need:

1/2 pint milk
1/2 lb margarine
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of dried fruit
1 cup of cherries (optional)
10 oz Self-Raising Flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 beaten egg

Place milk, margarine, sugar, fruit and cherries together in a large saucepan, and heat until margarine has melted and milk is almost at boiling point.
Leave to cool to room temperature. I do this by filling a bowl of cold water and placing the saucepan in it until it cools.
Stir in flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, and egg.

Pour into large-ish tin.

Bake at around 180C (350F) for 1 hour (may need more time sometimes)
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