Posts Tagged ‘Dinner’

Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

December 3rd, 2011

Shepherd's pie with lamb

I love lamb.  This puts me quite alone in my family – my father refuses to eat “the cute little baa-lambs” and my mom isn’t a fan of the “strong” flavour.  However, in my very humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl full of lamb casserole on a cold winter night.  A shepherd’s pie treatment is the ultimate, with the saucy lamb smothered in a toasted layer of mashed potato.  Just the perfect combination of flavours and textures when you need a warm serving of comfort food.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
8-10 white mushrooms, quartered
1 tbsp white flour
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup white wine
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper

4-5 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

In a large, deep frying pan, cook the lamb in the olive oil over medium heat.
Once the lamb is no longer pink, add the onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened and the lamb has started to brown.
Sprinkle over the flour, stirring quickly to incorporate.
Add the tomatoes, white wine and seasoning.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid has reduced to a gravy thickness.
While the lamb is cooking, boil the potato chunks in salted water until soft enough to mash.
Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and mash along with the butter and milk.
To assemble, spoon the lamb mixture into individual ramekins or one large casserole.
Top with the mashed potato, leaving it nice and lumpy for browning purposes.
Stick in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, until the top of the potato layer is nice and browned.
Allow to cool slightly before serving – it will be very hot!

Tofu Saag Paneer

November 7th, 2011

Okay, so I know that this isn’t technically a proper saag paneer, what with the complete lack of paneer.  But for the sake of searchability and easy naming, I’m sticking with the title.

Tofu saag paneer

This is a veggie version of one of my favourite Indian dishes.  I came across this tofu version in a great new seasonal veg cookbook, Eat Greens. I’ve become a big fan of tofu in the past few years, grilling it on the barbecue, giving it a quick stir fry with some ginger and hot sauce, but I had yet to try baking it. Turns out it’s a great way to get puffy, crisp squares of spiced tofu, perfect for tossing with a pile of greens for a winter veggie dinner.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp salt
1 block of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes

2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp hot chili sauce (or more to taste)
1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup plain yogurt

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the olive oil and spices.  Toss with the tofu cubes until completely coated.
Spread the tofu cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer, with some space between all the cubes.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350, until slightly crisp and puffy.

When the tofu has almost finished baking, heat the garlic, ginger and chili sauce in a large frying pan or wok over medium-low heat.
Once the garlic has softened, add the spinach.  Stir gently until wilted.
Stir in the tomatoes and yogurt and cook for another 5 minutes.
When the tofu comes out of the oven, stir it and any extra spiced oil through the spinach mixture.
Serve over rice – I like this with brown rice, but Basmati would be a more traditional fit.

Broccoli Salad with Grilled Tofu

June 14th, 2011

Dinner outside

My patio furniture is out, my flower pots are overflowing – must be time to start eating dinners outside.

Spicy Grilled Tofu

1 block of extra-firm tofu, sliced in half horizontally
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil

Take the half block of tofu, wrap it in a smooth cotton napkin and press it with something heavy for at least 15 minutes to remove excess moisture. (I use a wide-bottomed jug of water from the fridge)
Mix together the rest of the ingredients to form a spicy marinade.
Once the tofu is sufficiently squashed, lay it in the marinade for at least 30 minutes, turning over ever 5 minutes or so.
Heat up the barbecue.  Once it’s nice and hot, smear on some canola oil and grill the tofu.
As the tofu is grilling, flip with a quarter turn every 1-2 minutes to make pretty grill marks.

Grilled tofu with broccoli salad

Broccoli, Tomato and Chick Pea Salad

1 crown of broccoli, cut into florets
2-3 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Steam the broccoli florets until tender-crisp. As soon as they are done, rinse them in icy cold water to stop the cooking process.
In a large bowl, whisk together the green onions, mustard, parsley, vinegar, oil and seasonings.
Stir the dressing and vegetables together and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).

BBQ Chicken Pizza

June 5th, 2011

BBQ Pizza

After a dreary, wet spring, there’s a chance that summer may actually happen.  What better way to celebrate than a barbecued chicken pizza?

3 cups flour (more or less)
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp canola oil

barbecue sauce
cooked chicken, cut in chunks
mushrooms, sliced
red onions, thinly sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, stir together 1 1/2 cups of flour, yeast and salt.
Add the warm water and beat for 3 minutes, regularly scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Using a dough hook, stir in the rest of the flour, mixing until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for another 5 minutes.
Split the dough into two smaller balls and cover with a light tea towel.  Let rise for 30-60 minutes.

Once the dough has risen, form each ball into a thin pizza crust.
Preheat a side burner of your barbecue for about 5 minutes.  To cook the crust, you want low, slow, indirect heat.
Arrange the dough on the grill, making sure it isn’t directly over the lit burner.  Cook, rotating occasionally, until the bottom is lightly browned.
Flip the pizza dough, top with sauce and toppings, close the barbecue lid and turn the burner down to low.
Grill the pizza until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

Tubettini with Beans and Salami

February 10th, 2011

Nursery supper a la Nigella

I love Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home.  I’ve loved all her previous books, but this one, being so homey and welcoming, is the perfect cookbook fix for a cold winter’s reading.  It’s really too bad it only comes with one red ribbon bookmark – there are so many recipes I want need to try that I’ve resorted to marking the pages with Post-it notes.  The entire edge of the book is now rimmed with pale yellow.

Most of Nigella’s recipes make entirely too much for one person to eat at one sitting. Thankfully, she’s included options for freezing, re-heating and most usefully, re-using leftovers in new iterations of the dish.  This means I get one initial meal, one re-made meal, and a couple of re-heated work lunches out of each dish I make.  Lovely, cozy and sensible.  Just the cookbook I need right now.

This funny little pasta dish was the one of the first recipes to catch my eye when I opened up the book.  I’ve had a bag of Tubettini sitting in my cupboard for a while now, waiting for another batch of minestrone to be made.  Instead, it got used in this snuggly little nursery supper, squidged together with tomatoes, salami and Cannellini beans.  It was great the first time around, and even better after sitting in the fridge for a day and being reheated.  All the best winter pasta dishes are like that.

150 g salami, sliced into thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large can of tomatoes
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
4 cups cooked Tubettini pasta

In a large dutch oven or deep saucepan over medium heat, fry the salami and garlic in the olive oil.
Once the garlic has softened, add the tomatoes, beans, rosemary and seasoning.
Cook the sauce for 15 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
Remove the rosemary and take the pan off the heat.
Stir in the pasta, spoon into bowls, top with a bit of grated cheese (if desired) and serve.

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