Tuesday, 10 May 2011

May cooking and eating

Yesterday I flicked through a few cookbooks for inspiration when planning this weeks menu. I take great comfort in menu planning. It makes shopping easier and saves me spending the whole day thinking about what to cook. For Monday I landed on Nigel Slater's Aspargus and Lemon risotto from Kitchen Diaries. Aspargus are in season at the moment and one must make the most of it. This risotto ticked all the boxes for us and the flavour was very satisfying.

Butter: A thick slice, about 50 g.

One small onion, finely chopped.

Arborio rice: 200 g

A glass of white wine or Noilly Prat (I used schloer, a sparkling grape juice)

Aspargus: 400 g (I used 320 g), chopped.

Hot chicken stock: 1 litre (you could use vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian risotto)

Lemons: 2 (I used juice of 1/2 and zest of 1)

Grated Parmesan: 3 tbsp

I used a mixture of olive oil and butter for frying the onion. Had half a red onion lying about so I used that. I also added a finely chopped stick of celery for more flavour. Then add the rice and let it get coated by the butter, and then your schloer. Then pour in a ladleful of stock and let it cook, when it is evaporated add chopped aspargus and more stock. Then proceed with adding stock, lemon zest and juice until rice is cooked. This will take approx. 20 minutes. When you are satisfied , add parmesan (and a nut of butter if you wish) and check seasoning. The recipe serves 2, according to Nigel Slater, but it fed 2 adults and 2 kids last night :)

Pasta with sweet tomato sauce

I had some lovely sweet British tomatoes that I wanted to use. Of course, they are quite excellent uncooked in salads or just for munching.. but I fancied a tomatoes-in-season-pasta-sauce. This is what I did:

1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp butter for frying

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp tomato puree

150 g sweet tomatoes

150 ml stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)

A handful of flat leaf parsley

Basil infused olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Parmesan cheese

110 g wholewheat spaghetti (that was what was left in the pack!)

Saute onion in olive oil and butter until soft, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomato puree and the fresh tomatoes. Let it cook for about 3 minutes. Put your pasta on, according to packet instructions. Now add your stock and let it simmer on medium heat. When the pasta is almost done and your sauce has thickened, add the parsley to the tomatoes and stir. Turn the heat off and stir in about 1 - 2 tsp of Basil oil (or if you have fresh basil that's all good). Check and adjust seasoning. Drain your spaghetti and add it to the sauce, give it a good stir and plate up! Grate some parmesan over if you wish. This served me and Miss 1 generously.

This will be my entry for Presto Pasta Nights (www.prestopastanights.com), which is hosted by Jacqueline over at http://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/ this week.

Greek lamb chops with lemon and potatoes

I am not awfully keen on lamb, but this is a surprisingly tasty dish which I have made a few times. It's from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson. I love the spices used here and next time I am roasting potatoes I am going to use this as flavouring (garlic oil, dried mint, dried chilli flakes, sea salt, lemons - zest and juice- and parsley).

Southern potato curry

Another reicpe from I love Curry by Anjum Anand. I fancied adding some greens to this curry which went well. Served with roti and salad.


  1. What a lovely collection of recipes. I want to eat dinner at your house.

  2. Oh yes please to the risotto and the pasta dish and that is after eating my toast. You will know what I am on about LF :)

  3. The risotto looks so delicious! I love to menu plan but don't do it often enough.


  4. Such a scrumptious food you have here. They making me hungry.

  5. Aaaarg... note to self: do not read this blog when you`ve gone to bed hungry!! Looks delicious :)

  6. simply irresistable...any left overs plz..
    first time here...wonderful blog you have..love your presentation..
    Am your new follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite