Thanks so much for the birthday wishes everyone! :)
On Tuesday night I went to my foodie group. My friend Sam set up this fantastic group at the beginning of this year - once a quarter (and sometimes more often) we meet at each others houses and cook, and talk about food. We've had a cheese making night, a pasta making night, shared our favourite recipes - and on Tuesday night the theme was meals that take no longer than 30 minutes to cook - those things you throw on when you have a busy day and don't feel like cooking. We all shared our recipes for making the weekday cooking less of a chore. I thought I would share my list of recipes with you all - it was called:
My Boys Like Soup :)
Chicken and Leek Soup
2 chicken breasts, diced chunky
2 leeks, washed and finely sliced
1 large carton of chicken stock
1 cup of risoni pasta
Handful of chopped parsley
Loaf of sourdough
Heat the oven to 180c. Slice the sourdough almost all the way through but not through to the bottom. In a bowl mix a teaspoonful of garlic with a good knob of soft butter, and salt and pepper. Pull the bread slices away from each other and "butter" the slices with the garlic butter. Wrap the bread in foil and put it in the oven for 15 mins.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and when it's hot add the chicken and leeks and cook until the chicken is browned. Add all the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the risoni. Simmer until cooked (about 8 mins), season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and serve with bread.
Miso Salmon Soup
4 pieces of salmon with skin on
1 full packet of soba noodles
Packet of frozen edamame
8 shallots, sliced
Handful of bean sprouts
Japanese rice seasoning
4 packets of instant miso soup paste
Garlic and ginger
Pour some sesame seeds into a saucer and press the meat side (not the skin side) of the salmon onto them until the salmon is coated in seeds. Heat olive oil in a pan until hot, add the salmon skin side down.
In a saucepan heat olive oil and add a crushed garlic clove and about a teaspoon of grated ginger. Fry for a few mins then add 4 cups of water and stir in all the miso paste. Bring to a simmer then add half the packet of edamame.
Cook the noodles according to the packet and divide into the bottom of four bowls.
Check that the salmon skin is crispy them turn it over to the sesame seed side. When the seeds are browned and the salmon is cooked through, ladle the soup and veggies on top of the noodles and top with the shallots and beansprouts. Put the salmon fillet on the top, sprinkle with the rice seasoning, drizzle with sesame oil and serve.
Chilli Black Bean Prawn Soup (This is good with chicken too)
500g raw prawns, shelled and de-veined
Chilli black bean paste (from Asian grocer)
4 baby bok choy, quartered
Bunch of snake beans, chopped into batons
Packet of rice vermicelli
Garlic and ginger
1 large carton chicken stock
Cook the noodles according to the packet and divide amongst 4 bowls.
Heat olive oil in a wok and add a clove of crushed garlic and about a teaspoon of grated ginger. Fry for a minute then add 2 tablespoons of the chilli black bean paste. Fry for 1 minute then add the prawns and cook until nearly cooked through.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bok choy and snake beans and simmer until cooked but crisp, about 3 mins. Stir in another tablespoon of chilli paste (taste first - my boys don't mind hot!) and ladle the soup, veg and prawns over the noodles. Top with coriander and serve.
I make my own tomato sauce every Sunday. I use it all week for bases for quick pasta sauces, lasagne and cannelloni, soup seasoning etc or the boys use it as ketchup on toasted sandwiches or steak. It means I have a flavour base made and ready to go and the family isn't eating something processed.
1.5kg Roma tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic with skin on
1 red onion, quarteres
Handful of herbs - oregano, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, 3 black peppercorns
Red wine vinegar
Heat oven to 180c. Toss together everything except the red wine vinegar with some sea salt. Put in oven for 1.5 hours or until everything is looking really soft and juicy and a bit browned.
Take out and cool, pick out herb stems and peppercorns. Add about 1/4 cup of vinegar and blend to a puree. Taste and add more salt, or vinegar if needed. If it's a bit thick I add some water and blend again.
Put jars and bottles through the dishwasher to sterilise and then pour in tomato sauce and put the lid on tightly. Will keep like this for 3 or 4 weeks, any longer and you need to can it properly.
Have a good Saturday night everyone - I have a house full of 15 year olds watching horror movies for Charlie's birthday. Send your earplugs here.