After my little holiday at the NHS’ pleasure, I have finally got back into cooking. I have made two new recipes this week. The first, an old favourite, Ratatouille. This recipe I found in the Guardian by Felicity Cloake. Its a delight – the vegetables are mostly roasted rather than bubbled in a pot which gives it a lovely roasty flavour. Heaven. Here is the original: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/jul/15/how-to-make-perfect-ratatouille
- 2 peppers – whole
- 1 medium onion – small dice
- 8 tomatoes – 4 chopped, 4 sliced
- 3 courgettes – sliced
- 1 aubergine – sliced
- 5 cloves garlic – minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs of thyme (I used dried as a substitute)
- pinch of saffron (I didn’t have any so left this out)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I added a tbsp Madeira instead)
- Roast the peppers at 230deg.C (20mins-ish) then leave to cool.
- Soften the onions with 2tbsp olive oil (8mins). Add garlic 5mins in. Then add the tomatoes, thyme and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Peel and dice the peppers and add to the pan with the Madeira (saffron & vinegar).
- Put in the oven-proof dish with the other vegetables, cover with foil and roast at 140deg.C for 2 hours. Remove foil & roast for a further 30mins.
The second recipe I tried was a Hungarian lentil soup or stew made with a Hungarian paprika sausage. I found it on a website called Starving Chef: http://starvingchef.com/2012/12/good-luck-lentil-soup-traditional-hungarian-recipe/ It made my partner very happy & nostalgic for Hungary which was my intention (risky because I have never been there and he has). I added diced potato & mushrooms to bulk it out a bit. You could add more lentils but they are rather wind inducing.
- 1 tin green lentils
- 2 carrots – thickly sliced
- 3 medium potatoes – peeled & diced
- 2 large mushrooms – sliced
- 2 celery stick – thickly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic – crushed
- 2 medium red onions – diced
- 1 Gyulai Hungarian dry sausage – sliced (Needs to be a paprika based sausage if you need to substitute. I found some ‘Hungarian Pepperoni’ which was the closest I could find. I suspect Spanish Chorizo would also work)
- 1/4lb Kolozsvari bacon – diced (I used British bacon)
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 stalks rosemary
- water (I added about about 3mugs full)
- Saute the sausage & bacon till its brown and crispy (~5mins) & remove from pan
- Add all the vegetables, rosemary, bay leaves & lentils and sweat for about 5mins then add the puree & water. Season as necessary and simmer for about 50mins.
- Return the bacon & sausage and cook for another 10mins.