This is a recipe I made recently for Mr C’s grandad’s birthday. By all accounts it’s the best cheesecake he’s ever eaten and at 81 years old I reckon he’s tried a few! You won’t tell him how easy it is to make, will you? […]
I absolutely adore this recipe, it’s wonderfully versatile and makes great use of whatever seasonal produce is available. You can switch the vegetables in and out depending on what you have, what’s in season and what you do (or don’t) like. For example I can’t abide celery so I don’t use it but you can add a couple of sticks if you’re less picky than me.
This is a deliciously hearty soup too, wonderful to come home to on a chilly evening. It’s packed with nutritious, flavourful veggies and filling pulses and pasta. It’s a real meal of a soup. And best of all – it’s super cheap to make, ideal for January and the post-Christmas pinch. It’s also completely vegan, great for those of you participating in Veganuary!
makes a vat!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion/2 shallots
2 medium carrots
1 medium potato
2 fat garlic cloves
2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 ltr vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can (400g) beans (anything you like)
50g small pasta shapes or spaghetti snapped into short lengths
salt and pepper to taste
50g greens, shredded (anything you like)
First of all you’ll need the biggest saucepan you have because this makes a lot of soup!
Dice the onion, carrots, squash and potato, I like mine fairly small but you can make it chunkier if you prefer. Heat the oil in the pan over a low heat and add the onion, cook gently for a few minutes until it starts to become translucent. Add the carrot and the squash and continue to saute the vegetables over a gentle heat, this helps to release their natural sweetness. Crush the garlic before adding this and the potato to the pan. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for a moment or two longer.
Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable stock and herbs and bring the whole lot to boiling point. Let it bubble for a minute or two and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are just starting to feel tender and then add the beans. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then season to taste with salt and black pepper before stirring in the pasta. Cook until the pasta is tender and add the shredded greens just before serving, so that they have just enough time to wilt.
If you don’t need/want this to be vegan then a little sprinkle of grated parmesan before serving is really delicious!
Christmas is a time of year when those of us who love to cook (and eat) have the chance to show off a bit and create wonderfully indulgent and delicious dishes. It is also, unfortunately, a time of year when no-one really has an hour or so to spare in the kitchen. This dessert is the ideal compromise, it’s quick to prepare, tastes divine and looks pretty fancy and festive. Using ready-made meringues is a great time saver and they’re the perfect sweet complement to the rich dark chocolate ganache and velvety chestnut cream filling.
6 meringue nests (you can make your own if you have time)
100g dark chocolate, chopped
300ml double cream
150g chestnut puree
1 tbsp brandy, whisky or rum (optional)
sugar to taste (optional – I never need it)
edible glitter or chocolate shavings to decorate
Heat 100ml of the cream, so that it is quite warm but not boiling. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream over it. Let it sit for a minute or two so that the chocolate can melt and then stir it well to create a smooth ganache. Leave to cool a little before spooning a tablespoon of the ganache into the centre of each meringue nest. Place in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
Whip the remaining cream until it starts to thicken, you want it to remain quite soft. Fold in the remaining ganache and the chestnut puree (plus the alcohol and sugar if you’re using it) and whip the mixture again until it holds a fairly firm peak.
Transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped tip and pipe the cream mixture generously onto the meringue nests, piling it up to create a Christmas tree effect. Finish them off with a dusting of edible glitter or chocolate shavings.
You can also find Coriander Cooks over at www.brandballot.com
Something about the onset of the cold grey weather makes me want to eat cheese. ALL THE TIME! Toasty, golden, melted cheese is my favourite and these scones, warm from the oven, fit the bill perfectly. They have a lovely combination of flavours. The rich […]
Quick, delicious and impressive. Are there three better words to describe a dessert recipe? I don’t think there are. This recipe is so easy, you don’t even really have to weigh anything (doesn’t that sound good?).
Buttery, crispy, flaky pastry wrapped around a filling of sweet pear, rich chocolate and warming ginger – this is just delicious at this time of year. And it really is so quick to make, it’s a perfect last-minute pudding but it look fancy enough to show off to your dinner guests. I really can’t recommend this recipe enough!
You can use dark or milk chocolate for this – I prefer dark though.
375g ready-made, ready rolled puff pastry
500g pears (about 5-6)
75g chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tbsp crystallised ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Peel, core and chop the pears into bitesize chunks. Combine this with the roughly chopped chocolate, ginger, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cornflour in a mixing bowl.
Un-roll the pastry and pile the filling mixture along the centre of it. With the short edge of the pastry facing you, make cuts along each of the long edges, about a third of the way in, at approximately a 45° angle upwards. Cut out and discard the corner sections.
Fold the top and bottom ends over the filling and brush them with the egg wash. Wrap the edge pieces over the filling, alternating them and bushing with egg wash as you go to ensure that they stick, creating a plaited effect.
Give the whole thing a final glaze with the egg wash and sprinkle it with a little Demerara sugar to give a crunchy finish. Bake the plait for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry has puffed up, covering with a piece of foil if it starts to get a little too brown on the edges. Serve warm with a dollop of clotted cream.
Thick, rich and velvety, this is the perfect winter soup! It might sound like an odd combination of flavours but it really works. The sweet, earthy parsnip and the slightly peppery celeriac, the tangy apple and the warming horseradish, it’s all just wonderful together. Like […]