Debi's Recipe Pages

 

 4. Tasty Bit On The Side

It doesn't have to be chips with everything, even when you're married to a computer programmer!

OK, so the general dislike of healthy green stuff may be somewhat limiting, but here are a few ideas for peripherals ;-)

Mashed or Whipped Potatoes (For Two)

2 medium potatoes

1/2 oz butter or cream

Salt

 

 

 

 

Method

Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil in a pan of salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl. Add salt to taste. For mash add a good knob of butter, then mash well with a fork until fluffy. For lighter, whipped potatoes, mash up the potatoes with a fork, then add a swirl of cream and whip together.

Note

OK, so this isn't anything new or different BUT, I'm including it as its one of those lovely things that you can leave in the bowl in the fridge then reheat in the microwave in a couple of minutes when you need it. A nice easy side dish when you're cooking something complicated.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes (For Two)

Mashed potato (recipe above)

Cheddar cheese, grated

Method

Add a handful of cheese to the mashed potato and mix in well.

 

Croquette Potatoes (For Two)

Mashed potato (recipe above)

1 egg, beaten

Fine breadcrumbs

Plain flour

Olive oil

 

 

 

Method

Make the mashed potato and allow to cool. Line up three shallow bowls and put some milk in the first ,the beaten egg in the second and some breadcrumbs in the third. Divide the mash into six. Take one section at a time and roll into a sausage shape, then roll it in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in turn, making sure the croquette is evenly coated in the crumbs.

Now you can put them on a plate in the refrigerator until needed. To finish, heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the croquettes on a mediumm heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden all over. Remove from the pan and put them on a paper towel to drain excess oil before serving.

 

Sweet Potato or Yam Mash

Sweet potato or yam

Butter

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

Peel and cut the potato into 1/2" slices. Boil for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Mash well with the butter and seasonings.

 

Roasted New Potatoes

Small new potatoes

Butter

Olive oil

Salt

Method

Wash the potatoes, without removing the skins. Place in a stove and ovenproof pan with the butter and oil and a sprinkling of salt. Sauté over a hot ring for about 5 minutes, then place in a preheated oven at 400ºF, 200ºC for about 20 minutes.

 

Warm Potato Salad

New potatoes in skins

Heinz Salad Cream

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

 

 

Method

Boil the new potatoes for about 15 to 20 (depending on size) minutes until tender. Drain and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool for a few minutes. Pour over salad cream before serving.

Note

It has to be salad cream not mayonnaise. I don't know why, its just good!

Cheesy Baked Potato (For Two)

1 large baking potato

2 oz cheddar cheese, grated

Butter

Olive oil

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

 

 

Method

Wash the potato and pat dry with a paper towel. Prick the skin all over with a fork. Spray or brush the skin with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in a preheated oven at 425ºF, 220ºC for a hour to an hour and a half (depending on size of potato), until soft inside.

Split potato in half lengthwise, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place it in a bowl. Mash up the flesh with a small knob of butter, then mix in most of the cheese and season to taste. Refill the potato skins with the mixture, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and place under a grill for a minute or two to brown the cheese topping.

Note

You can add chopped cooked bacon to the filling and have a whole potato each for a great supper. Great with sausages!

 

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables (For Two)

1 small aubergine (eggplant)

1 courgette (zucchini)

1/2 red pepper, deseeded

1/2 yellow pepper, deseeded

Olive oil

Salt & freshly ground back pepper

Feta cheese (optional)

 

 

 

Method

Blacken the pepper halves by placing them skin side down directly on top of a gas ring or under a grill. Rub off the black skin with a paper towel, slice into long strips and heap in the centre of a serving plate.

Slice the aubergine lengthwise quite thinly (less than 1/4"). Cut the courgettes in half, then slice lengthwise thinly. Brush both sides of the vegetables with olive oil and place on a very hot griddle pan until dark stripes appear, turning to stripe both sides. Arrange in a fan around the peppers on your serving plate and sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.

You can leave these in the refrigerator until you need them. To reheat place in a microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

If you like feta cheese, sprinkle crumbled feta over the vegetables before microwaving. Leave off the salt in this case as the cheese is salty.

Extra Creamy Cauliflower Cheese (For Two)

Cauliflower florets

1 oz butter

1 heaped tblsp plain flour

1/2 pint milk

2 oz Philadelphia cream cheese

4 oz cheddar cheese, grated

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

 

 

Method

Place the cauliflower florets in a pan of boiling water for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender. Drain and place florets into a shallow baking dish.

Over a medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour to form a roux. Add the milk, stirring vigorously to get rid of lumps. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and stir in the cream cheese until combined. Stir in half the cheddar cheese and season to taste. Pour sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese on the top. Place under a grill until the cheese topping is bubbling and slightly browned.

Note

You can refrigerate until needed, then reheat in a moderate oven before grilling. You can pep it up a bit by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or even a finely chopped chilli. This recipe makes loads of cheesy sauce for two people, so great with plain grilled chicken or fish.

Parsnip Mash

1 medium parsnip per person

Butter

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

 

Method

Peel and slice the parsnips, removing the hard inner core. Boil in salted water for about 10 minutes, or until quite soft. Drain and mash with butter. Season to taste.

Can be refrigerated and reheated in a microwave.

Note

A dash of cayenne pepper is an interesting addition!

Leeks with Sour Cream (For Two)

1 leek, white and pale green part only

2 tblsp sour cream

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Wash the leek thoroughly, split in half lengthwise and chop into 1/4" slices. Put the leeks into a microwave safe bowl with a sprinkling of water. Cover with clingfilm, with a couple of slits in and nuke on Full power for 3 minutes. Drain, stir in sour cream and sprinkle with pepper.

Ratatouille (For Four to Six)

1 large aubergine (eggplant), sliced in thick rings

2 large cougettes (zucchini), sliced in thick rings

1 green pepper, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 tin of tomatoes

1 tblsp tomato purée

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

 

 

 

 

Method

First, dégorge the aubergines (Sprinkle the slices with salt, place in a colander for an hour). Rinse and pat them dry, then chop into 1/2" cubes.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the onions until golden. Add the garlic and vegetables and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Season to taste, add the tomatoes, purée and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally.

You can serve immediately or allow to cool and chill in the refrigerator until needed. Reheats well in the microwave or a saucepan. Can also be frozen in small portions for future use.

Note

Very versatile dish! Can be served with crusty bread for supper; with rice or couscous for a vegetarian meal; as a tasty side dish with plain grilled meat or fish; great with Wiener Schnitzel.

Use this recipe as a base for other things - you can throw in chopped dry Italian sausage, black olives, chiles, etc.

 

 

Stuffed Aubergine (Eggplant) (For Two)

1 medium aubergine (eggplant), halved lenthwise

1/2 small red pepper, chopped

1/2 small green pepper, choppd

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tin tomatoes

1 tblsp tomato purée

1 tsp dried basil

6 fresh basil leaves

Mozzarella cheese, grated

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

 

Method

Cut the flesh out the aubergine leaving a 1/4" lining inside the skin. I find a curved grapefruit knife the easiest tool for this job. Cut the flesh into cubes and dégorge (see Ratatouille recipe above).

In a large frying pan, fry the onions in olive oil until golden. Add the garlic and aubergine (you may need to add more oil as the aubergines really drink it) and cook until the aubergine is golden. Stir in the peppers, tomatoes, purée, dried basil, salt and pepper to taste, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Place the aubergine skins into a lightly oiled baking dish and brush the insides of the skins with olive oil. Fill the two halves with the mixture and top with slices of mozzarella. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350ºF, 180ºC for 40 minutes.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Note

Can be served as a starter, side dish or a vegetarian main course.

 

 

Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 lb tomatoes, cored, de-seeded and chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 Jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 lime

1 tblsp fresh coriander, chopped

 

 

Method

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate.

Note

Used with many Mexican dishes. Also great with grilled swordfish or salmon.

 

 

Cranberry Sauce

2 cups cranberries

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tblsp ruby port

Spice Bag: 4 peppercorns, 4 allspice berries, 4 cloves, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp cinnamon

 

Method

Put everything into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until syrupy. Remove the spice bag and allow to cool before putting into sterilized jar. Keep in refridgerator.