Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Coconut, Potatoes, Beans

Meera Sodha’s East is excellent! Here is a gentle coconut-milk curry called an ‘istoo’, which is apparently derived from the English word ‘stew’. She recommends serving with aubergine pickle, and rice or an Indian flatbread. Some fried aubergine slices also go well.

Potato and Green Bean Istoo
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
10 curry leaves
4cm cinnamon stick, broken in 2
1 medium onion (or 2 small onions), sliced
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
1 green chile, slit in 2
650g small potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
250g green beans, topped and tailed

Preparation
In a casserole dish for which you have a lid, heat the oil on medium heat. Once it is hot add the curry leaves, cinnamon stick and onion. Reduce head to low and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not brown. Add the ginger, garlic and chile, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the potatoes, salt and pepper and stir in the coconut milk. Then swill out the tin with about 100ml of water and add that to the pan as well. The potatoes should be just covered, so add more water if need be. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the beans, cover, and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Now it’s ready!

Recipe adapted from Meera Sodha, East (2019).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: In Praise of Potatoes

In honour of the recent potato harvest, here is a splendid Nepalese potato salad from the Idaho Potato Commission. The Andean potato probably reached Nepal some time in the 1700s; it is now become a staple. In 2017 the country harvested 2,691,037 tonnes. This salad combines potatoes, fresh coriander, and spiced yoghurt to create a complex and satisfying dish. Eat with shredded carrot salad, and perhaps some flatbread.

The Potato Commission thinks this will serve 4 people, but we ate most of it in one sitting. ‘This is scrum’ declared Matt.

Chukauni: Nepalese Potato Salad

Ingredients
700g potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 cup yoghurt, plus additional yoghurt, to serve
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ Canalside chile, finely chopped, seeds removed if desired
½ teaspoon turmeric

Preparation
Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring slowly to the boil. Cook over very low heat until tender. Fish out the potatoes, drain, and set aside, keeping the water in the pan. Turn off the heat and then tip the peas into the hot water. Leave them there for 60 seconds and then drain them as well.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 2cm cubes.
Combine the peas, red onion, coriander, yoghurt and salt in a serving bowl. Stir and add the potatoes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it is hot add the coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Let sizzle for about 30 seconds, until they turn reddish brown. Remove from the heat and add the chile and turmeric. Toss so that the oil turns a sunny yellow.

Pour the oil–but not the seeds—over the salad. Keep as many seeds as possible back in the pan. Mix the oil into the salad and taste.

Now you have a choice: if the salad strikes you as perfectly delicious as it is, then you’re done. Serve and enjoy, with additional yoghurt on the side if you like.

If you think it needs a little more oomph, then scrape the seeds into a mortar and pestle and grind them until they’re a coarse powder. Sprinkle some or all of this into the salad, tasting as you go along. Once you’re pleased with the result, serve and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from the Idaho Potato Commission.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Salad Improvisation

I got home late last night so dinner was a spontaneous improvisation based on what was in the fridge. The result proved to be very tasty! The smooth roasted peppers (you could use sun-dried tomatoes, I think) combine with the crunch of the celery and the boiled potatoes to give a satisfying complexity. A salty miso dressing pulls it all together.

You could serve this with a poached egg, or some grilled meat or fish, or, to be honest, on its own. You could add some feta, as well. I’ve not given precise quantities; that would go against the entire spirit of this dish.

Potato-Pimento Salad with Miso and Herbs

Ingredients
The salad
Potatoes
Celery, sliced
Tinned Spanish pimientos de padrón, sliced, or sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
Lots of fresh parsley and/or coriander, coarsely chopped
Toasted pumpkin seeds, or almonds
The dressing
1 part miso paste
2 parts olive oil
1 part lime juice
Lime zest
Freshly-ground pepper

Preparation
Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil, and simmer very gently until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes cook, combine the other salad ingredients in a bowl and shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar.

Drain the potatoes and leave to dry off a bit for a few minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks and add them to the salad. Toss well and serve with additional black pepper, to taste.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Salad Dressing for Salt Fiends

This is pretty addictive. It delivers a big dose of umami and makes an outstanding dressing for robust vegetables. I’ve been eating it on a salad of finely shredded red or white cabbage, grated carrot, and chopped coriander. It would be good on grilled tofu or fish, or roasted butternut squash. Or use it as a dip for whole potatoes—the little ones we’re getting in our shares—roasted at 200C for 30 minutes.

Miso-Tahini Dressing
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation
Combine the ingredients and blend well, using a fork. Taste to see if it would benefit from a little more vinegar. The mahogany-dark dressing is now ready to use. This makes enough for half a small cabbage, shredded, together with several grated carrots.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: What to do with an Entire Celery. . .

Is that head of celery from a fortnight ago still lurking in the back of your fridge? Here is what to do with it.

Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients
200g onions
200g potatoes, peeled or not, as you prefer
200g fennel
400g celery
40g butter
1 litre water or stock
150ml Greek or full-fat yoghurt, or single cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Reserved fennel fronds, minced, for garnish
A handful of rocket, dandelion greens or watercress, finely shredded, for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Chop all the vegetables roughly. Reserve any of the soft fronds from the fennel to use as a garnish.

Over low heat, melt the butter in a pan with a lid. Once it has melted add the vegetables and turn to coat in the butter. Put the lid on the pan and leave the vegetables to sweat and soften for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock or water, bring slowly to a simmer, and leave to cook over low heat for another 20-30 minutes.

Liquidise the soup. Stir in the yoghurt or cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Celery is surprisingly salty, so you may not need salt at all.

Serve garnished with the reserved fennel fronds and optional greens.

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: For a Courgette Moment

We have a bonus recipe from Pip Smith, after thinking that last week was going to be her last contribution for now! Our resident Recipe Meister, Rebecca Earle, will be back next week.

Having a courgette moment? Don’t feel like making courgetti? Luckily warm soup is also a great idea in the hot weather – it’s all about keeping on top of your fluids when you are losing so much in the heat. This is a really simple ‘recipe’ and a hit in our household even during the summer months.

Potato and courgette soup

serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large or 2 medium courgettes in thick slices
4 medium potatoes
1 white onion
1 organic stock cube
2 tbsp margarine

Method:
Chop the onion and potato into small chunks.
Heat the margarine in a large pan.
Add the potato and onion and sauté for 5-10 mins
Add the courgette for 1 min
Add 800ml stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins.
Whizz with a hand blender

We like to serve ours with a drizzle of single cream.

 

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: Potato and Summer Veg Salad

Our resident Recipe Meister, Rebecca Earle, is having a break during July, and so newly joined member Pip Smith has stepped forward to tantalise our tastebuds in Rebecca’s absence. Here’s this week’s recipe:

Lemony potato and courgette salad with garlic greens

I’ve always been a fan of garlic greens and when I realised you could use the leaves of the Kohlrabi and that they are a good source of b vitamins and carotene it all seemed to come together. In this recipe the courgette is boiled whole then sliced, which is a nice quick way to add it to a warm salad.

Ingredients:

800g potatoes
2 courgettes
The leaves from one Kohlrabi
200g french beans trimmed if you prefer
Salad leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 – 2 unwaxed lemons
3 tablespoons Olive oil (not extra virgin for cooking)
1/2 tsp Black pepper
Salt to taste

Method:

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the washed potatoes and simmer for 8 – 12 mins. Add the washed whole courgettes one minute before the end. Once cooked drain the potatoes and courgettes, and place in a large bowl.

Toss with 2 table spoons of olive oil and the zest of 1 – 2 lemons.

While the potatoes cook, steam the French beans adding the kohlrabi leaves a little later until tender.

Gently heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add two cloves of crushed garlic, heat for about a minute gently fizzing and being careful not to burn the garlic.

Toss the garlic mixture with the steamed veg.

Finally top the potato and courgette with the garlic greens and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of cracked black pepper.
Sprinkle with salt to taste.

This recipe was inspired by several recipes in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Veg Everyday’.

 

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Wild Soup

Now that the snow is gone and spring has sprung, you can start foraging.* There are young nettles everywhere, so start picking. Wild garlic is in season as well, and if you can find any it combines magnificently with nettle to make a sumptuous, bright green soup whose vibrant colour alone will lift your spirits. Eat this with bread and some cheese for an easy dinner.

Wild Garlic & Nettle Soup
serves 4.

Ingredients
500g mixed nettles and wild garlic leaves
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
25g butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, chopped
salt, to taste
1.5 litres flavourful stock
3 tablespoons milk

Preparation

Wearing gloves, strip the nettle leaves from the stalks. Roughly chop the wild garlic and nettles and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, leek, carrot, potato and a good pinch of salt, and stir until everything is well coated. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure that the vegetables don’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Pour in the stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. At this point you can turn off the heat and leave the pan until you’re ready to eat.
When you are ready to eat add the nettles and wild garlic in several batches, stirring to blend everything together. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and blend using a stick blender. Add the milk, and then warm over very low heat until it’s a pleasant temperature. Check to see if it needs any more salt.

Serve, drizzled with a little extra oil over the top, if you like.

Recipe adapted from Barney Desmazery, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/wild-garlic-nettle-soup

* Brandon Marsh Nature Centre is offering a foraging course on 27 May, in case you’d like to sign up. They promise wild garlic, among other delicacies. http://www.wildfooduk.com/events/warwickshire-coventry-brandon-marsh-spring-foraging-course-1/

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Potato Bread

This is my grandmother’s recipe for potato bread. Anne Griffith, my paternal grandmother, was born on a dairy farm in Wisconsin in 1901. In 1930 she married Clifford Earle, like her a committed Presbyterian. They moved to Chicago, and later to Philadelphia, after my grandfather was ordained. She often made fresh bread. I remember these fluffy, sweet rolls from my childhood.

Anne Earle’s Potato Rolls
I’ll give you this recipe exactly as she wrote it out in her neat handwriting on a small index card.

1 US cup measure is 8 fluid ounces, and 400F is about 200C.

1½ cups water
1 package yeast or 3 tb of yeast
1 c. mashed potatoes
½ c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
2 eggs—beaten
7 to 7½ cups flour.

Dissolve yeast in water. Mash potatoes, while hot add shortening, sugar & salt. Cool. Add 1 to 2 cups flour, stir in, add yeast, beaten eggs. Sir in remaining flour. Knead until smooth and elastic—8 to 10 minutes. Grease bowl, cover with plastic bag. Refrigerate over night. Shape into rolls, let rise 1½ to 2 hrs. Bake 15. 400°.

Dom’s Recipe of the Week: Frittata from the oven

This is a great way to use up odds and ends of fresh veg, and leftovers too. You can use more or less whatever you fancy from the list, though I do think some kind of onion is essential. As the egg is poured straight into the roasting dish full of hot veg, you don’t need to fry this frittata at all, but it helps to have a heavy ceramic or cast-iron dish, which retains the heat well. And the eggs should be at room temperature, not cold from the fridge.

Oven-roasted roots frittata

Ingredients

About 600g mixed winter veg, such as onions, carrots, squash or pumpkin, parsnip, celeriac, beetroot, jerusalem artichokes, black spanish radish, potatoes
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
7 large or 8 medium eggs
A handful of mixed herbs, such as curly parsley, chives and thyme, finely chopped
About 20g Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Meanwhile, prepare your chosen veg: peel shallots or onions and quarter or thickly slice; peel carrots and cut into 5mm slices; peel squash or pumpkin, deseed and cut into 2–3cm cubes; peel parsnip, celeriac and beetroot and cut into 1–2cm cubes; cut potatoes into 1–2cm cubes.

Put all the veg into an ovenproof dish, about 23cm square. Add the garlic, oil and plenty of salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the veg are all tender and starting to caramelise in places.

Beat the eggs together with the chopped herbs and some more salt and pepper. Take the dish from the oven, pour the egg evenly over the veg and scatter over the grated cheese. Return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until the egg is all set and the top is starting to colour. If your oven has a grill, you can use that to accelerate the browning of the top.

Leave to cool slightly, then slide the frittata out on to a plate or board. Serve warm or cold. Perfect lunchbox fare…

Thanks to River Cottage

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