Monthly Archives: October 2013

Green tea miso soup

A simple, savoury and satisfying soup! I make this when I’m craving hot, buttery marmite toast when I’ve just had dinner and really shouldn’t be eating anything else…

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Make a large mug of green tea. Make sure you brew the bag for at least 5 minutes! Add a heaped teaspoon of miso (there are loads of different types, I haven’t yet found one that doesn’t work, but at the moment I’m using ‘Mugi Miso’ which is rich and very savoury) and stir very well until the paste has completely dissolved. And drink up! It couldn’t be simpler. Liz x

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Leek and caper cheesy pasta bake

A great way to get the kids to eat their vegetables is to smother them in a cheesy sauce and this pasta bake has countless variations.

I love putting capers in mine, they are salty little bombs of green in an otherwise bland-looking white sea of sauce and they work very well with sweet, softened leeks. (They also work with cauliflower, broccoli, roast squash, mushrooms…use whatever vegetables you have around!)

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Boil pasta.
In a separate pan sweat a chopped and washed leek and a couple of crushed garlic cloves in olive oil and a generous knob of butter.
When the leeks are sweet and soft add a couple of heaped tablespoons of flour (I like to use spelt but any flour will work) season well and stir.
Add small splashes of milk, stirring continuously until the sauce is cooked and the right consistency. Think thick yoghurt.
Add a couple of heaped teaspoons of small capers, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and some grated cheese. Taste for seasoning and combine the sauce with the now cooked and drained pasta.
Pop under the grill or into a hot oven until it starts to bubble and colour.
Serve straight away with some steamed veg or crisp salad leaves. Enjoy! Liz x


Smoked cheddar, mushroom and leek pearl barleyotto with marmalade roast kuri squash

This is a recent creation that will turn anyone who thinks they don’t like marmalade. Marmalade is beautiful paired with a lovely smoked salty cheese. Think sweet and bitter, salty and smokey. This recipe takes the cheese and marmalade toasty up a notch.

Start by preparing your squash. Hack the squash very carefully into slim wedges, slather over some oil and season well. Bake in a hot oven for about 1/2 an hour until they start to colour and soften.

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Meanwhile soften chopped onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and leeks in a hot pan with oil and garlic. Remember this is an English version of a risotto (using pearl barley instead of risotto rice) so think ‘English’ when adding herbs and veg. I added sage, thyme and rosemary and a bay leaf. Add the pearl barley with a generous splash of white wine, season very well and stir. Add warm water from a kettle (you can use stock if you like but I think this is unnecessary here as the veg and herbs used pretty much equates to a stock, you want these veg to speak for themselves), about a mug at a time letting the liquid absorb each time before adding the next, keep stirring and adding warm water until the barley is cooked through. Taste for seasoning, bearing in mind you still need to add the cheese which will be quite salty.

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Take the squash out of the oven and spread over some lovely glistening marmalade. About a teaspoon per wedge is plenty. Pop the squash back into the oven for another 5/10 minutes until they are properly caramelised and sticky. Grate a generous amount of good smoked cheddar into the barley and stir. Taste for seasoning and spoon into bowls. Top with the marmalade encrusted squash wedges and enjoy! Liz x

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Birthday breakfast

We have moved in and it has been non stop so far, work, family visits, housewarming and birthdays… Here is what I made for Adam’s birthday breakfast.

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In a sauté pan, fry peppers in a little oil until they soften and start to colour. Add cumin seeds and a teaspoon or two of Harissa. Crushed garlic, coriander and fried onion are optional extras.

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Tip in a tin of chopped tomatoes, or use fresh if seasonal. Season and heat until simmering. Poach eggs in little dips in the pan. Carefully whisk in the whites if you are feeling impatient like I always am and watch the yolks closely. You don’t want them to loose their golden-rich, glossy goo! Serve with bread and thick natural yogurt. Liz x

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