Reciplease



My wife's an American vegetarian and I'm an English omnivore. Perfectly suited right?

It's fine though, because I love to cook and enjoy discovering interesting and tasty non-meaty dishes.

This is a blog to document, archive and share some of the best recipes I find for any couples out there with similar dietary requirements - I'm not anticipating big site traffic.

Warning to vegetarian purists, there might be some fishy finds thrown in here because I've recently gotten the wife to start experimenting with maritime produce. For the most part though, this tumblr will be a vegi haven appealing to both sides of the Atlantic and all non-specific dietary requirements.

Salade Not-Quite-Nicoise

Tuna Salad 

So this is the first post to feature a fishy ingredient - I did warn - but there are plenty of green ingredients backing it up.

This is a variation on a traditional salade nicoise but without anchoives or eggs.

Ingredients

(Serves 2)

2 x Tuna steaks (I went with the frozen kind for economy, so leave to defrost if also doing so)

Bag o’ salad (I always prefer ones with rocket leaves in)

Half an avocado

Good handful of cherry/bell tomatoes

Good handful of sourdough bread

Some cucumber

Cooking

Put the tuna steaks on a plate and season well on both sides with salt, pepper and then splash some soy sauce over to marinade for an hour or so.

Chop the sourdough into little crouton size chunks, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and throw in a preheated oven (200c) for about 10minutes.

Heat a pan up with some olive oil and place your tuna in, cooking for 3-4 minutes each side.

Whilst the tuna and croutons are cooking away, chop the tomatoes and cucumber, slice the avocado into strips and throw them all into a bowl with the salad leaves.

Get the croutons out the oven and throw in with the salad. Plate up and place each tuna steak atop the mound of salady-goodness.

Not sure what the correct dressing is, but a classic french dressing seems to do the trick.


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Sunday Salad

A Reciplease original today. If you’re feeling a little tender at the end of the week, craving something greasy and substantial but at the same time wanting to stay reasonably healthy, then this one is for you. There’s no real method to it, and I’m sure bonafide chefs would tell me some of the ingredients don’t work well together, but I don’t care because a big bowl of this is one of my favourite weekend meals. So here it is - the Sunday Salad.

Ingredients

Salad leaves (bag of mixed lettuce salad from the supermarket is fine)

Cherry/Bell Tomatoes

Edamame/Soya Beans (Usually get a bag of frozen ones from Tesco)

Bunch of Asparagus

Sourdough loaf/baguette

French Dressing

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt

To make…

Pre-heat the oven to 200c and put a saucepan of water on the hob to boil.

Halve the cherry/bell tomatoes and put in a large bowl with the salad leaves and mix up.

Cut up the sourdough into small chunky croutons, drizzle in the olive oil and put on to a baking tray in the oven for 8-10mins depending on your oven and crispy preferences.

Chop the asparagus into bite-size pieces and cook in a pan in some olive oil for about 6-7minutes.

When the water in the pan boils, throw in a good handful of the soya/edamame beans, bring back to the boil and cook for 4mins. When done, drain and season with salt.

Get the sourdough croutons out the oven, mix up all your ingredients, drizzle with the dressing and you’re set.

 


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The Dippy Egg

This morning I went with a classic breakfast, a soft-boiled egg with soldiers - that’s strips of toast. This is a meal that takes me back to childhood - I’m sure the ‘dippy  egg’ has that effect on many.

Ok, so this recipe isn’t the most interesting or elaborate but you’d be surprised - or not - how many times I’ve messed it up with the egg either coming out too hard or just not cooked enough. 

I thought it worth putting on here because a while back I discovered the ‘Delia method’ - my Grandmother will be proud - that has given me more consistently perfectly cooked soft-boiled eggs than any other method I have tried.

The link to Delia’s page is here with some variations, but the one I go for, because I like a really runny yolk, is to put the egg in a saucepan of boiling water, cover, and leave the heat on for precisely one minute. Then as soon as that timer beeps, turn the heat off and leave covered for - and here’s where I differ from Delia - five minutes if you have a good thick saucepan that holds its heat, or the full Delia-recommended six minutes if it doesn’t.

When the timer goes again, get that egg out of the water and tap the top off lickety split because eggs continue to cook inside their shells until you crack them open.

Serve with some good quality toasted bread, buttered with real butter - oh go on, it’s an important breakfast. Also don’t just finish the yolk and leave the rest, that white is some good eating. Season it lightly if you think it lacks flavour.


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Simple Spaghetti

Ok, so this is the second recipe in a row that involves spaghetti but it’s a favourite and we make it at least once a month. This is more Italian than Mexican though and I like to think it’s a good authentic Italian dish because it’s simple ingredients, cooked simply and it’s light but packed with flavour.

Ingredients

(Serves 2 - again, proper portions)

Spaghetti 280g

20 or so ripe cherry/bell tomatoes (the little ones with the sweet flavour)

4 cloves garlic (oh yeh, this is a good strong garlic dish)

1/3 tsp lazy chilli or as much of a whole one depending on your heat preferences

4 tbsps good extra virgin olive oil

2 good handfuls of rocket/arugula

Parmesan cheese

Salt/Pepper to season

Cooking

Slice the garlic cloves into thin wafers and add to a pan with the chilli and the extra virgin olive oil.

Chop the tomatoes into halves (or thirds depending on how thick they are) and put into a deep salad bowl.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add some olive oil, a pinch of salt and put the pasta in. Should take 9-10mins depending on how al dente you like it. If, like me, you’re a messy spaghetti eater, I find breaking the spaghetti in half makes it far more manageable.

While the spaghetti is cooking, turn the heat on the olive oil/garlic and when the cloves start to sizzle, switch off and let the oil cool down again. If you leave the heat on too long then the garlic will overcook and toast up.

When your spaghetti is cooked, drain and add to the salad bowl with the tomatoes. Pour the oil and cloves over the spaghetti and toss with a suitable implement until the spaghetti and tomatoes are lightly coated all over.

Season well with salt and pepper and grate some parmesan on top. Last but not least, add the rocket/arugula and mix it in. Enjoy in a deepish pasta bowl with some warm ciabatta. 


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Skyline Chilli - Vegetarian style

Last night I made one of the wife’s favourites - chili. I’ve spelt it with one ‘l’ because we were making Skyline Chili, a style of chili loved and devoured in Cincinnati, Ohio where the Skyline franchise exists.

Skyline Chili is served up slightly differently to the typical Mexican style in that you have spaghetti instead of rice and it’s traditonally topped off with a mound of American cheddar “cheese” - if you can call that yellowy rubber stuff they serve there, cheese - and crumbled up oyster crackers. 

It’s actually a great dish and the chili has a very distinctive flavour thanks to its secret - and therefore speculated - ingredients of cinnamon and chocolate.

To make this dish vegetarian style you’ll need the following. (Apologies in advance for the basic recipe and instructions, I’m new to actually providing the recipe).

Ingredients

Serves 2-3 (Proper portions!)

200g Vegi mince

100g Tomato paste

850ml water

1 packet of Skyline Chili Mix (available from their website or most Cincinnati grocery stores or by using an unofficial recipe

Spaghetti (5oz or 140g per person)

For the topping:

Grated cheddar cheese (the real kind)

Roughly broken Jacobs Crackers (UK equivalent of oyster crackers)

Cooking

Combine the tomato paste and water in a large saucepan, add the chili mix, vegi mince and crank the heat up. Bring to just below boiling and then reduce to simmer, uncovered, for 1.5-2 hours or until you’re happy with the consistency - it’ll reduce right down. The spice mix will take care of the flavour but some basic seasoning is fine and a splash of Tabasco if you like some heat - it’s a pretty mild chili as is.

About 15 minutes before eating, bring some water to the boil in another pan, add olive oil and a pinch of salt and throw in the spaghetti.

Serve spaghetti first, a good dollop of chili on top and sprinkle with cheese and the crackers.


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Black Bean Enchilada Casserole - Easy Vegetarian Casserole Recipe - Mexican Enchilada Casserole - Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinner

Not been cooking much this week but as Friday was a relaxing night in, we knocked up one of our favourite internet discoveries - Mexican Black Bean Casserole. 

Mexican food is a firm favourite in the household, in fact I think the wife might have an unhealthy obsession with burritoes. They just opened a Chipotle chain in central London and she’s already visited and written up a full comparison with the American version.

This dish is particularly easy to make and the ingredients can be thrown together and in the oven within about 10minutes. It’s great on its own - deliciously more-ish even - but if you fancy some variation on the side then rice tossed with fresh coriander (cilantro) goes well, as does sliced avocado. Buen apetito!


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Asparagus And Pea Risotto | Food | Channel4.com

Risotto is a popular dish in the UK-USA household because it’s incredibly versatile and provides a substantial meal to fill up even the most protein-hungry meat-eaters.

There’ll be numerous risotto recipes cropping up in this blog, but as it’s summer - by month only, it’s like November outside - this refreshing asparagus and pea one is going up first. We actually had this two nights ago and it’s one of my favourites.

The only things missing from this perfectly adequate recipe link are a squeeze of lemon juice which gives it some zest - other lemon-related adjectives welcome - and a generous dusting of fresh parmigiana. Serve with some good garlic bread. Buon appetito!

Asparagus & Pea risotto  


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BBC - Food - Recipes: Fluffy American pancakes

This is the best recipe for straight-up, cook from scratch, American style pancakes either of the Brit or the Yank has found. It’s served us well on many lazy Saturdays and if you’re ravenous then the 4-6 portions quoted in this recipe actually translates into more like 4 good pancakes for two hungry people. I also think it’s worth making the teaspoon of baking powder a heaped one to get some extra rise from the batter.

To go with? Well pancakes can be done in as many ways as you can think. Syrup is traditional - and delicious - but as the Maple variety doesn’t come cheap in the UK we’ve found Golden Syrup is an acceptable substitute.

A recent discovery whilst cooking up a hiker’s breakfast in Snowdonia is to heat up a can of black cherries together with a tablespoon or two of caster sugar - a fantastic fruity accompaniment. Blueberries are another great topping but tend to be expensive if your local supermarket isn’t running a promotion.

My personal favourite though, is to slice up a banana and scatter a few sections into the pan just after you add the batter for banana-infused pancake thrills - topped off with far too much syrup for my own good.

Ingredients

135g/4¾oz plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

130ml/4½fl oz milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking.

Cooking

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.

Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.

Serve with lashings of real maple syrup and extra butter if you like.

 


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