Saturday, 25 May 2013

Stuffed onion (“Olivier") with parsnips chips

So, my friend came to work the other day, pulls out this massive onion from her bag and say… look! I brought this for you!

I took the onion and It was the most perfect onion I have ever seen; the colour, the shape… I proceeded to make and exposé to my colleagues about the onion for the rest of the week. I displayed it on my desk and everyone passing by asked me why I had this onion on my desk… we had by now named it “Olivier”. Unless you can see beyond the fact that it was an onion, you’d know why “Olivier” was on my desk. I thought about exhibiting it in the London National gallery but the urge to cook something special with it was much stronger! So here it is:
Stuffed “Olivier” with parsnips chips and tahini sauce.

Olive oil
“Olivier” the onion
Fresh parsley

 5 Brazil nuts
1 table spoon of flour
3 garlic cloves
1 carrot
10 soya meat balls
3 parsnips
1 vegetable stock cube.
1 table spoon of Tahini and mustard paste.

Ready to be stuffed!
Start by hollowing the onion leaving at least 3 layers for the shell.  In a hot frying pan with olive oil, brown the extremities of the onion shell and leave aside.

Prepare the stuffing:
Boil some water and pour over the soya meat balls with a pinch of salt. Leave to soften for 10 minutes, then squeeze out the water and cut finely.
The soya meat is a bit like a sponge and need a lot of seasoning. So, after cutting it finely, fry it for 3 minutes in Olive oil and chopped onion. Set aside.
Roast and grate the brazil nuts, peel and grate the carrot, finely chop the parsley, chop onion and garlic.
Now in a hollow dish mix all the above with the flour and 3 table spoons of water, a bit of salt and pepper, half a crushed vegetable stock cube and the fired soya meat.
Olivier halves ready for the oven
Scoop the mélange into the onions halves, put them in an oven dish and drizzle olive oil on the top. Cover the dish with aluminium and put in the oven at 175C for 1hr.
The aluminium will help produce the steam needed in to cook through the mince. Remove the aluminium after 30 minutes and leave the onion to finish cooking and browning for the other 30 minutes.
For the tahini sauce.
In a frying pan, add a table spoon of olive oil, add a hand full of onion and brown. Add the tahini paste and mustard paste with half a glass of water. Leave to cook for about 5 the time for the water to dry and you can no longer smell the mustard on it own or taste the bitterness of the tahini.
For the parsnip:
Peel, cut and fry like regular potatoes chips… (simples!)

All is ready to serve.
Here it is... Stuffed "Olivier with parsnips chips & Tahini sauce". Enjoy!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pulse Party for 2

Proportions here are for 2 portions 
For this colourful pulses salad we need the following:
½ Chick peas tin
100grs of green lentil (preferably dry) – or half a tin

100grs black kidney beans (preferably dry) – or half a tin
 1 small tin sweet corn
Toasted sesame seeds (1 table spoon)
 Sundried tomato (5 pieces)
Orange sweet pepper (optional)
Salt & ground thyme
2 Table spoons of garlic flavoured olive oil. You will get this if you buy a jar of garlic in Olive oil
If you are thinking of making this dish, it is best to use dried bean & lentils. This is just because they remain firm after cooking compared to the tinned beans for example. And they maintain their colour, plus it works out cheaper on the quantity purchased. And you just cook the quantity you need for the dish that you are making.
If using dry beans and lentils start by soaking them for 12 hours or more… What? Tasty stuff takes time so get on with it! After soaking rinse them out. Put them to boil in salty water for about 30 minutes minimum. When cooked to your taste. Drain and leave aside.
Open the tin of sweet corn, and half a tin of chick peas, rind them out under running water.
Take the sundries tomato slices and cut them as small as the beans be about the size of the beans.
Roast the sesame seeds until slightly brown.
Now all you have to do is mix all the above in a bowl, with a pinch of salt and grounded thyme.
once served, drizzle on it the of garlic flavoured olive oil.  A squeeze of lemon work well in place of olive oil too.
Et voila!
This can be served with fresh baguette or rice cake like mine.
Bon Appétit

Monday, 6 May 2013

Mustardy Lentils soup

 Mustardy Lentils soup - Soup served with hard baguette.

1 onion, 5 garlic cloves
4 medium potatoes
300 grams of lentils – preferably dry
Two chilli peppers
1 stock cube
Mustard oil & black Pepper
Part cooked baguette
Roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds or poppy seeds
For the lentils:
If using dry lentils, soak them for 20 minutes and bring them to boil with a pinch of salt for another 20. Rinse and drain. Put aside.
For the hard baguette:
Buy a part cooked baguette from any supermarket, cook in the oven following instructions on the package. Slice and leave it to dry and harden or an hour before using for the soup. It could be cooked in the morning and used in the evening. You will find the part cooked baguettes in the bread aisle in Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose or Morrison’s.
Cooking the soup:
Heat 2 table spoons of mustard oil in a cooking pan

Throw in a twig of thyme, chopped onion and garlic.
Add the peeled and cut potatoes, fry until really brown. This will add to the flavour of the soup.
Once the potatoes are brown on all sides, add the lentils, stock, water and chilli peppers. Cover the pot and leave to cook until the potatoes are completely cooked and nearly mushy. Add a bit of black pepper if necessary. Then blend to taste; smooth or with bits. It is ready to serve. 
Once the soup is in the bowl, top with a drizzle of mustard oil and a dust of poppy seed… I just love the way that poppy seeds crush under the tooth…
Yeah! I changed my mind about the seeds.
For best taste, It is better to dunk the bread... uhmmmmm the rush... mouth watering thinking of it again.
Bon appétit!