Category: Comfort Food

Steak & Potato Soup

Sreak Potato Soup, photo by JMorton

Steak & Potato Soup

This soup is a complete meal in itself.  It has got everything going for it.  It is just right for the in between seasons of winter and spring – warming and appetising, perfect meal right after doing some garden works. 🙂

Ingredients

Melt the butter with the oil in a large casserole pan over medium heat.  Gently stir until the butter had liquified completely.

Stir in the steak cubes and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat and onions are brown.

Meanwhile, mix together the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle this flour mixture over the browning meat.  

Pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil.

Add the bay leaf and mixed herb.  Stir throughly.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole pan and leave to simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the beef is tender.  Ensure to stir occasionally.

Drop in the potatoes, carrots and celery.  Stir in the tomato paste.

Continue cooking for a further half an hour under low-medium heat.

Check the adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper if necessary.

Fish out the bay leaf and discard.

Serve the soup steaming hot with some crusty bread.

Enjoy!

Egg Rolls Recipe

I have been seeing lots of egg rolls as a side dish in many Korean and Japanese drama.  It looks so good that I thought I should try making some.

It is fairly easy to make and quite quick as well.  Just remember to cook these under very low heat to give you a chance to manoeuvre the egg pancake into a fairly neat roll without burning it.

Egg Rolls Recipe

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green part of spring onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
Instructions
  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, beat in the milk and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Whisk until combined and no lumps are left, otherwise run into a sieve to remove any remaining lumps.
  2. Add in the carrot, onion and spring onion and stir until combined.
  3. Lightly oil a medium size frying pan or a pancake pan over a low heat.
  4. Pour in half of the egg mixture into the pan, when half-way cooked, slowly and carefully fold the omelette into a roll using a flat spatula and a pair of chopsticks (if available) and push it into the left side of the pan. As a space is created from the omelette roll, pour in half of the remaining egg mixture to it.  When the consistency starts to set, connect it by rolling it to the first batch, thus creating another layer.  Finally pour in the remaining egg mixture; do the same, roll in to make a stack.  Just imagine making a Swiss Roll. 🙂
  5. Transfer to a chopping board and slice into bite size pieces.

Enjoy!

Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe

The Leek vegetbale an other emblem of Wales

Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe

Happy St David’s Day!!!

Let us celebrate this day with a traditional Welsh cawl, which is very warming and filling,  appropriate for this still cold and damp weather.

Below is Jamie Oliver’s recipe:

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 kg lamb neck fillet , bone in, cut into 5cm chunks (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 1 kg swede
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 Maris piper potatoes
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 large leaks

Method

  1. This traditional Welsh recipe was given to me by the five-time cawl-making world champion, Sue Jones – I can’t argue with that! This one is left to chill overnight before serving, but if you want to let the flavours develop and mature, leave it in the fridge for up to three days. Now, over to Sue…
  2. Place 2 litres of water and 2 teaspoons of salt into a large pan. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
  3. Peel and add the whole onion and the lamb. Bring to the boil, then use a spoon to skim away the scum from the surface. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and leave to cool. Strip the meat from the bone, then return the meat to the pan.
  4. Peel and cut the swede into 1cm chunks. Add to the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the swede is tender.
  5. Peel the carrots and slice at a slight angle into 1cm chunks, then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into quarters so they’re all roughly the same size. Once the carrot has softened, add the potatoes to the pan and repeat the process until tender.
  6. Peel the parsnips, strip and discard the outer leaves from the leeks, then cut into 1cm slices. Add the parsnips and most of the leeks to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Taste and season, then add the raw leeks. Place the lid on top, then pop in the fridge to chill overnight (or for up to 3 days for even tastier results).
  7. When you’re ready to serve, gently simmer the cawl until warm. Ladle into serving bowls, then serve with lots of black pepper, a wedge of mature Caerphilly cheese and a slice of bread and butter.

Quick Kimchi Rice Recipe

Quick Kimchi Rice, Photo by JMorton

Quick Kimchi Rice Recipe

My quick kimchi rice was really the quickest most basic recipe ever.  It was just kimchi, freshly boiled hot steaming basmati rice, a bit of olive oil and kimchi juice.  I also added the heated marinade from the peri-peri chicken I was cooking at the same time. 🙂  Mix together to make a delicious rice dish to go with meat  (in this case the peri-peri chicken) or vegetable dish.

Below is the more standard Korean recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups boiled rice
  • ¾ cup kimchi, chopped
  • ¼ cup kimchi juice (if are not making your own kimchi 🙂 , you can get the juice from packet or a large jar of kimchi available in any Oriental supermarket.)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons gochujang (hot red pepper paste)
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1 sheet of kim, (also known as gim is a Korean’s edible seaweed much like the Japanese’ nori) roasted and shredded
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Heat up a large frying pan or a wok.
  2. Add the vegetable oil.
  3. Quickly stir-fry the kimchi; for a minute under high heat.
  4. Stir in the rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang.
  5. Continue stirring the ingredients together for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  7. Finally sprinkle the chopped spring onion and crumbled roasted gim,
  8. Serve hot!

 

Pork Sinigang with Vegetable Variety

Pork Sinigang, photo by JMorton

Pork Sinigang, photo by JMorton

Pork Sinigang with Vegetable Variety

Ingredients:

  • 2 Lbs of Pork Belly cut in bite size pieces
  • 1 medium radish (labanos aka as daikon) cut in pieces diagonally or crosswise
  • 1 Medium Onion sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced (tomatoes add sourness to the dish)
  • 1 medium aubergine (eggplant) cut diagonally
  • 1 cup of string beans, topped and tailed and cut in halves
  • 2-3 pieces Siling Mahaba (Finger Peppers)
  • 1 packet Mama Sita Sinigang Mix (available in most Oriental supermarkets)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pints water

Directions:

  1. Using a large pan, add the pork and cover with the pints of water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat; then turn down the heat and cover the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Ensure to check regularly while it simmers, remove any scum that gathers on top of the water or simmering broth.
  4. Gently drop in the onions, tomatoes, siling mahaba and the sinigang mix and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add the sliced daikon (radish). Cover the pan and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Add the aubergine and the string beans (sitaw).  Cook until all the vegetables are softened but not mushy.
  7. Serve with freshly boiled rice with a dip of fish sauce (patis), Make the patis spicy by fishing out the siling mahaba (chilli) from the sinigang and mash them in the fish sauce.

Sarap (tagalog word for delicious)

Sausage Balls Minestrone

sausagemeat balls

sausage meat balls

Sausage Balls Minestrone

Chill in the air, some hearty soup can only be a good thing, especially when they are scrumptiously delicious.

We have got an Italian recipe that is a total winner to whet the appetite, perfect for the autumn weather.

Ingredients:

350g pork sausage meat

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, topped and tailed and finely chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 ½ pints chicken stock (4 chicken cubes dissolved in hot water)

175g macaroni

200g peas

a bunch of parley, roughly chopped

salt & pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Preparation:

Shaped the sausage meat into balls.

Heat a large frying pan, add the oil and and fry the sausage balls until golden brown on all sides.

Remove the sausage balls from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan over a medium heat, fry the onion, celery, fennel and carrot for 10 minutes of until they’ve softened.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add the macaroni and cook until al dente.

Return the sausage balls to the pan and simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Add the peas.

Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve topped with parley and a generous dusting of freshly grated  Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with some crusty bread.

Yum

 

Crab Fried Rice

Crab Fried Rice, photo by JMorton

Crab Fried Rice, photo by JMorton

Crab Fried Rice

This is recipe comes easily as a comfort food because during one of those lazy days, crab fried rice can be a complete meal in itself.  It is delicious and aromatic, enough to tickle and satisfy the taste buds.

Ingredients:

2 cups Jasmine or Basmati rice (or your favourite boiled rice) , cooked
2.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 large eggs, beaten
150g picked white crab meat
1/2 cup peas
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (so rice won’t go too dark and will have a lighter taste)
Salt and pepper
 

Method of preparation:

Using a wok or a large frying pan, heat half 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, cook until fragrant.  Ensure not to burn to prevent any bitter taste from the garlic.

Add in the rice  and the peas and stir-fry until the they absorb the goodness from the spices. This should take a few minutes (5 – 7 minutes)

Add the fish sauce and soy sauce. Stir fry to combine thoroughly.

Make a well in the middle of the rice, add the remaining vegetable oil then pour in the beaten eggs, stirring until cooked. Break into pieces and combine with the rice.

Add the crab and spring onions and cook, stirring until the crab meat is warmed through.

Adjust the seasoning by sprinkling a little salt and pepper, according to your taste.

TIP!!!

Fried rice is better made from left-over rice or something that has been cooked a day before, giving it time for firm up.

Chicken Tagliatelle in Tomato & Basil Sauce

Chicken Tagliatele in Tomato and Basil Sauce

Chicken Tagliatele in Tomato and Basil Sauce, Photo by JMorton

 

Chicken Tagliatelle in Tomato and Basil Sauce

The picture is as delicious as it tastes!  Peter and I really enjoyed it.  Very easy to make.  One can even make a short cut by using ready made tomato and basil sauce! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 500g tagliatelle, cook according to packet instructions
  • 2 large chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size
  • 100g green beans, topped and tailed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 cup hot water (preferably with 1 chicken cube dissolved in it)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • few basil leaves, chopped finely

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and onion, then gently fry for 1 min, do not allow to burn.  Add the chicken pieces and cook until golden.
  2. Put in the carrot and stir-fry for a minute of two, then add the green beans.
  3. Tip in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and basil leaves, heat for 3 minutes and then add the hot water then bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat, simmer uncovered for 5 mins. .
  5. Stir in the cooked tagliatelle, cover every stand of the pasta with the sauce.

Serve immediately with some warm crusty bread.

Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. photo by JMorton

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. photo by JMorton

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Autumn or fall is just around the corner.  The air is definitely chillier, the evening shorter.

Warming soups are now much needed and appreciated more if they are really tasty.

And we have just the business here, spicy sweet potato soup is a delicious one dish meal.  It is easy to make and really filling and warming, a true taste of home.

I love sweet potato or camote as a child.  But I have come to love them all over again after watching Korean and Japanese dramas where boiled sweet potatoes were often shared and enjoyed by lovers and within families.  So sweet! 🙂

Anyway, for the recipe:

Ingredients:

1½ tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and diced

250g sweet potato, peeled and diced

350g tomatoes, chopped (2 cans plum tomatoes, drained and chopped)

¼ tsp of turmeric powder

¼ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp ground cumin

½  tsp caster sugar

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1½ pints vegetable stock or 3 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1.5 pints of hot water

Method of preparation:

Using a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the garlic and onion then gently cook until softened and translucent. This may take about 3 – 5 minutes over moderate heat. Do not brown or burn. 🙂

Put in the the red peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.  Also tip in the turmeric powder, chilli powder and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften.

Turn up the heat and pour in the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat,  cover the saucepan and leave to simmer for up to half an hour or until the vegetables are completely tender.

Remove from heat and allow the soup to cool down.

It can then be pureed using a blender or run into a sieve, leaving off all solids such as tomato rinds.

Return the pureed soup to the pan and heat up.

Serve by adding a tiny pinch of salt and ground black pepper as well as a squirt of olive oil.

Enjoy with some buttered bread!

Yummy