As a follow up to Blue Plasters And A Glass Of Wine I’ve been cooking all kinds of things again. Although I’m much better now so I’ve had less need for plasters and running burns under cold water. The wine has featured (and I even cooked with it in one recipe) but it’s surprising how thirsty you get when cooking. (Please drink sensibly and don’t get drunk when you’re cooking because that’s not safe and I don’t want to be held responsible for your own cooking chaos).
Cupcakes – Easiest thing in the world so I’m not going to bother with a recipe because I used a victoria sponge one and just divided it between cupcake cases, baked them, then topped them with as much buttercream icing as I could make. I just wanted to share this picture of my pretty creations. The Great British Bake Off is to blame for this!
Puff pastry – I haven’t attempted to make my own yet, but it’s available in every supermarket, just get it out of the fridge 20mins before you want to start rolling it out (I use a bit of flour when rolling out just so it doesn’t stick to everything). I cook mine for 5-7mins on its own on gas mark 6, just so it crisps a little and some parts of it are the lightest brown. This also helps prevent a soggy bottom. I then add whatever I’m having, in this case it was mozzarella, goats cheese, red peppers, spinach and mushrooms. I then cook it for about 20mins, until it’s all a lovely golden brown. I add salad as well just to make me feel slightly better about having 2 types of cheese.
Stuffed Mushrooms – I didn’t follow any real recipe for these,
I just looked at one for stuffed peppers and thought to myself ‘how hard can this be?’. The answer: Not very. It’s a nice, easy dish that can be used as a starter or a main. A definite love for this in-2-weeks-officially-a-student student. Sorry, I’m just really excited to be a student! Anyway. Peel the mushroom (these are the big ones you see in the supermarket, not the little ones) and pull out the stork, I’m sure that you can take out some more of the insides (ewww) but I love mushrooms so I left it in, plus there’s no point wasting food. I then added some sunflower (can be olive if you like) oil to a roasting tin/tray thing (I still have a lot to learn) and roasted it on its own for about 20mins (it depends on ovens and size of a mushroom) on gas mark 6. I then added onions and peppers around it and roasted it for another 20mins then took it out and added goats cheese. I had mine as a very light lunch, but you could add salad or rice to make it into a yummy main. BUT, the mushrooms do excrete a large amount of grey-ish mushroom juice so be prepared for that to build up as you eat!
Baby onions & mushrooms a la Grecque – This I actually have a recipe for!
Although, I didn’t actually follow it to the letter. It’s from ‘Greatest-ever Vegetarian Recipes’ edited by Valerie Ferguson:
- Peel 2 carrots and dice them (small). Peel 350g baby onions and cut off the roots and tops.
- Heat 45ml of olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add the carrots and baby onions and cook for about 20mins (stir occasionally), until the veg has browned lightly.
- Add 120ml of white wine, 5ml coriander seeds, 2 bay leaves, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 350g button mushrooms and 4 seeded and chopped tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30mins, until the veg is soft and sauce has thickened.
- Leave to cool and pour over some olive oil, add parsley and crusty bread when serving.
What I actually did was use normal onions, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. I also used vermouth instead of white wine and added some spinach to the pan about 30secs before serving. I served it hot with fresh bread (not made by me this time but come on, that looks good!), I also left out the cayenne pepper, bay leaves, parsley and coriander seeds, instead I just used an italian herb mix. As I used normal, chopped onions I cooked the carrot on its own for about 15 mins and then added the rest. The recipe doesn’t give temperatures so I started low with just the carrots then turned it up to a high heat once everything else had been added, this helps to evaporate most of the oil and vermouth/wine. This recipe also only serves one or two if you want it as a main, but as a small starter it’s fine for up to 3 I’d say. I actually feel very accomplished as I managed to adapt a recipe to what I had in the house and only bought the bread especially!
The puff pastry, stuffed mushroom and Baby onions & mushrooms a la Grecque all used similar ingredients because that’s what I had in the house, plus I’m trying to cook as many things with the same ingredients as possible so I don’t have to go shopping every day when I’m a student. You should add/change/remove any ingredients that you don’t like to make recipes work for you.
Haha. I actually sounded like I know where the colander is in my kitchen.
P.S My cooking music is muse, Lana Del Ray and whatever awful rubbish ends up being played when I put my MP3 on shuffle. I love Lana Del Ray’s ‘Serial Killer’ and ‘TV in black and white’