I do a lot of the cooking at home, and during the winter months I reintroduce some favourites. I thought I’d share them here.
The smell of fresh baked bread is something that a lot of people enjoy. I don’t bother with those recipes that need yeast. I’d love to try them, I just don’t have the patience to wait for the rising / proving part to take place. Instead I used a yoghurt and bicarbonate of soda combination.
Not only does making your own bread simply feel good, the heat generated from your oven can warm the kitchen area for hours afterwards.
Here are the ingredients:
450g plain white flour
a little sprinkle or two extra for when you are shaping the dough
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon of salt
1 level teaspoon of sugar
2 level teaspoons of your favourite dried herbs (things like rosemary, thyme etc)
300ml of plain natural yoghurt
Heat the oven to 200 degrees C (fan oven)
Here is the recipe:
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt, sugar, bicarb and herbs.
In a measuring jug put the 300ml of yoghurt, and let it settle to an almost flat line for a minute or two. Add the 150ml milk on top of that and gift it a stir.
You have to work quickly when you get to this bit, so dust the table/worktop first and then quickly drop the milk/yoghurt mixture into the flour mixture. Use a woodspoon stir it and incorporate it altogether it might start off a bit dry or a bit sticky (it depends!) but it should come together after 20-30 seconds of stirring.
Empty out on to the dusted worktop/table, and knead it for up to about 5 minutes
Shape into a round, and put on a dusted bake sheet, or baking paper on a bake sheet.
Bake at 200 degrees C for 30 minutes
When it is ready you can whizz it out of the oven, tip it up and tap the bottom. If it sounds a but hollow, it’s done.
The whole thing is ready in about 45 minutes, including washing up.
Potato and Cauliflower Curry
We love our veggies, and we love our curries. We only do mild ones, but you can rev this up to whatever altitude you want to! We tend to make this curry in a huge pot, eat some, and freeze portions of it. Here is our potato and cauliflower curry recipe:
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, or coriander powder, or coriander leaf
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2-3 teaspoons of garam masala, depending on the mixture you have/want
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-2 teaspoons korma curry paste
1 white onion
splash of oil
1-2 cartons of passata
Heat the oil in a biiiiiig pan
Add the herbs and little this start to cook. Stir them and then chop up the onion quite finely.
Add the onion, and cook that for 5 minutes or so. Try not to get too much colour added to them, just let them sizzle away nice and slowly.
Add the garam masala, and korma paste
Stir lots for a few minutes. The mixture might go dry here, but it doesn’t matter.
Add the chopped up cauliflower and stir again for a minute or two.
Chop up the potatoes into 1-1.5cm sized chunks and add them to the pan as well.
Stir well for 30 seconds or so
Add 1-2 cartons of passata
Simmer the whole lot for 30-45 minutes, with the lid rest on, but a gap to allow some of the steam to come out. Check and stir every 10-15 minutes, and if it looks dry at all, add a little bit of water. If it looks too runny, add a little bit of tomato paste or have the lid slightly more off (to allow more steam to be released)
Serve with rice, and naan bread.
Leek and Potato Soup
Probably my favourite soup of all time is leek and potato. If you look on the internet there are a million and one recipes. Well, here is another one, which we love at home.
2 decent sized potatoes
bit of butter (10g or so)
splash of oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Stock cubes (enough to make about 1.5 litres of stock)
Chop the ends of the leeks and then cut them up into chunks.
Heat the butter and oil in a pan until it is reasonably hot, and then put in all the leeks.
Stir to fry them for about 5 minutes. You don’t want any colour adding to them, but they will start to soften and cook. Add a pinch of salt when doing this to bring out even more of the flavour of the leeks.
Whilst the leeks are cooking chop up the potatoes. No need to peel them particularly, unless you want to. Cut these into cubes of about 1 – 1.5cm in size.
Boil the kettle ready to make the stock.
Pop the potatoes in with the leeks and stirs them around for a few minutes, still sizzling the heat through the pan. Mixing them in here helps add the two flavours together.
Make the stock, whilst the potatoes and leeks carry on cooking. If, like me, you only have a one litre measuring jug, I usually make just 1 litre of stock, but make it ‘stronger’ ie use 2 stock cubes. Then when I add the stock to the pan, ie now, I add the extra 500ml of water directly.
Add the stock.. and make sure that the potatoes and the leeks are just covered.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Use a stick blender to blend the soup. Sometimes I leave a few chunks of potato floating around, they make a nice additional surprise to the soup when you’re eating.
If you have any favourites, let me know in the comments.