More Yarn Will Do The Trick

Friday, 13 January 2012

Ditch the diet, time for comfort food!

First frost of the year today, maybe it'll help kill the bugs? I've been aching all over for the past couple of days, shivering one minute and flushed the next.  Strange, but when I'm ill my thoughts always turn to food.  I know, I know, feed a cold and starve a fever, Chaucer's old adage from Canterbury Tales is ringing in my ears, but although I don't feel much like eating,  cooking always lifts my spirits.

So thought I'd share with you a couple of recipes which can be thrown together in no time at all, comfort food in cold weather and most importantly punch above their weight for flavour.

A couple of days ago we had some leftover rice and a few vegetables in the fridge and they formed the basis of supper that night which turned out to be a cross between a stirfry and a risotto - a stirsotto.  This recipe is veggie, but omit the parmesan and it's just as delicious vegan.  Will easily feed three.

Here's how:
bowl of leftover rice, I used organic long-grain but any will work.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium sized onions 
3 cloves of garlic
1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 small aubergine
6 chopped sundried tomatoes (the ones in oil)
1 can of cannellini beans
1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder
salt and black pepper
teaspoon of oregano
grated parmesan


Chop all vegetables finely, then saute in the olive oil, adding the bouillon, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  When the onions have turned translucent, add the cannellini beans and sundried tomatoes and the leftover rice.  Turn up the heat until hot, then serve immediately topped with grated parmesan.

The second recipe was last night's supper.  Suffice to say I was not feeling up to taking pics so you'll have to take my word for it that it looks as good as it sounds. Makes generous meal for four.

half a pound of dried pasta.  I used Seeds of Change organic spinach trottole, but any other pasta would be fine
1 lb ripe tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
6 chestnut mushrooms
optional handful of pine nuts
half a jar of pesto
1 desertspoon capers
1 desertspoon split black olives
Third of a pound strong cheddar, grated
grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
oregano
torn basil leaves
salt and black pepper to taste


Slice the tomatoes, halve the mushrooms and place in a flat dish with the unpeeled garlic and pinenuts. Sprinkle the tomatoes with oregano, then drizzle first a capful of balsamic vinegar then a liberal amount of olive oil over everything.  Season to taste. Bake in a hot oven Gas Mark 6/200C for about half an hour till tomatoes are soft and squelchy. Follow the directions on the packet for cooking the pasta, timing it to be done when the tomatoes etc come out of the oven. 


Then put the drained pasta in a large bowl and stir in the tomatoes, mushrooms, pinenuts, cheddar, capers, olives and pesto. Squeeze the garlic skin until the squidgy flesh comes out and mix in along with several torn basil leaves, adding some olive oil from the tomatoes (not necessarily all).  Serve immediately with grated parmesan.

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