Thursday, 31 October 2013

Store Cupboard Recipes - Three Bean Chili, Mushroom Gratin,Aubergine 'Parmigiana' Pasta Bake

It gets hard to keep the magic alive. Not with that, with cooking. In the quagmires of 'arghhhh am I going to tutor forever WILL THAT BE MY LIFE?' I had little time to peruse the many food blogs I like for inspiration. (Side note, the word 'thinspiration' is the worst word ever.) But, I have discovered that I can now just throw things together and make food! I haven't used recipes for a while now (although I do read them for inspiration and tips) but now I can truly do what my other/other adults seem to be able to do: cook food just from what's around rather than having to make a specific trip to the shops!
Three bean chilli
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 yellow pepper, 1 green pepper, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Over medium heat, heat some vegetable oil and then sweat the vegetables until browned and very soft.

1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp hot paprika

Add the spices to the vegetables and cook for a further minute.

1 tsp tomato puree
1 can tomatoes
1 can water

Add the tomatoes and puree.

1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 bay leaf

Add the beans, water and stock.
Simmer, lid on but with a crack to let the steam escape, for around 1 hour (or as long as you have).

Fresh coriander
Grated cheddar, rice

Stir in fresh coriander and serve with grated cheddar and rice.

Mushroom gratin
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
250g mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp creme fraiche
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced very finely
150g grated cheddar

Sweat the onions and garlic in a frying pan until starting to brown.
Add the thyme and the mushrooms.
Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Stir in the creme fraiche.
Transfer the mixture to a casserole or baking dish.
Add the potatoes, season well with salt and pepper.
Add the cheese.
Mix everything so it's well combined.
Place in the oven for 40 mins - 1 hour until that potatoes are soft.
You may need to cover with foil at some point if the top is crisping but the middle isn't cooked.

Aubergine 'parmigiana' pasta bake
500g pasta
1 aubergine, thinly sliced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
Tomato sauce (I made this by sweating onions and garlic, adding tomato puree and canned tomatoes, saltand basil and letting simmer)
1 ball mozzarella, cubed

30g parmesan
1 slice toast made into breadcrumbs
Handful of parsley, chopped

Season the aubergines with salt and fry in a little oil in a non-stick pan until soft and slightly crispy.
Place aubergines in a baking dish.
Boil the pasta. Once cooked, stir in the tomato sauce and add to the baking dish.
Stir pasta well to combine with aubergine. Add the mozzarella.
Season well with pepper.
In a food processor, mash together the parmesan, parsley and breadcrumbs.
Top the pasta with the crumb mixture.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the top is crispy.

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