Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Pasta with a chilli butter and sweetcorn sauce

So continuing with the theme of saving money and eating what’s actually already in the house. I made a very random pasta sauce out of:

  • butter
  • garlic
  • chillies
  • sweetcorn
  • coriander
  • green onions
  • red wine vinegar (because it was close at hand)
  • garlic peri-peri sauce (I would have preferred lemon but I didn’t have any in the house, so used this as an acidity substitute)

Really simple… boil pasta, mix with sauce. But how to make the sauce…

Take a chunk of butter and slowly melt it in sauce pan. Add salt + pepper and chopped garlic and red chillies. Cook it slowly so that the butter doesn’t burn but slowly froths. Add in a little splash of olive oil and some canned sweetcorn. Mix. Then add in some garlic peri-peri sauce and whisk so that it all emulsifies. Keep the heat low and allow to cook through / warm. At the end add a teeny splash of vinegar and the chopped spring onions + coriander. Once the pasta is boiled mix through.

I know this sounds like a really strange “sauce” but it’s actually quite tasty. I got the idea from a friend who for my birthday made pasta with grilled cajun prawns, in a lime-butter sweetcorn sauce. A little tequila would have been perfect with that as well…. but never mind.

Anyways budget friendly and tasty! Enjoy x


Scallion pancakes

So next week my blog turns 1. Unfortunately I’m not at home pretty much all next weekend so no chance to cook something then. I decided instead to do something special now as an early celebration! I spent all day yesterday thinking what to make… the usual suspects came up: cakes, fairy cakes, pasta, etc. Then I thought… Chinese food! Why? Well my parents live in Beijing at the moment and I love Chinese food as well. Also I haven’t really featured much Chinese food on the blog, so I thought it was quite fitting.

I’ve made two of my favorites today: Scallion Pancakes and a version of Wasabi Prawns. I still remember the first time I had Scallion Pancakes – it was in the Philippines and one of my Mom’s friends gave us some pre-made dough to fry at home. Since then I’ve been hooked. But I’ve never made it at home before (pre-made or home-made) so today was the first time and it was super easy! Yummy too.

Ingredients (to make 2 big pancakes)

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (you’ll need extra for dusting)
  • 1.25 cups warm water
  • Big pinch sea salt
  • Spring onions
  • Green chilies
  • Vegetable oil
How to do it!
Sift the flour and salt into a big bowl. Mix it together. Then add in the warm water and use your hands to slowly form the dough. Knead it until a round ball is formed. Let the dough sit about for half an hour or so. It needs a rest after all that kneading!
Once rested, split the dough ball into two roughly equal smaller balls of dough. Flour a large clean surface, because now you’re going to need to roll the balls out. Try to get it as thin as possible (don’t worry if there are a few holes) – the thinner the better because it creates more layers. Needless to say, work with one ball at at time.
Once your dough ball is stretched out as much as possible, generously paint on some veggie oil. I did this by pouring about a tablespoon of oil into hands and spreading all over the dough. Use more if required. Then spread your chopped chilies and green onions (spring onions, scallions, whatever you want to call them) all over the dough. I used about 2 chilies and 2.5 spring onions. I only used the green bits for this.
Now for the fun bits! Rolling the dough. Start with the edge closest to you and roll the dough into a long sausage shape. Pinch the ends together. Then take the sausage and make a snail shape. After which smoosh the snail down and roll the dough back into a circle.
Then fry your pancake in a little oil. About 3-4 mins a side, or until golden. IF the pancake isn’t done yet then place it in the oven for a little while, as you don’t want to burn the pancake in the pan. Once finish slice and eat with a little sprinkle of salt and chili oil OR however you want. Enjoy! x

Gruyere and scamorza flat bread pizza

This is another dish I threw together with what was already in the house. (To be fair though, usually when I go grocery shopping, if I see something interesting (like scamorza – smoked mozzarella) I’ll buy it with the intent to figure out what I will make later.)

For lunch I decided to make pizza. As I couldn’t be bothered to make pizza dough, I just used a large flat bread instead. I used a large pita bread… well more accurately a large white flour Lebanese bread that I bought at Waitrose (same one that can be bought EVERYWHERE).

Anyways I made it using: home-made tomato sauce, grated gruyere, scamorza, mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes, and green olives.


Tomato sauce

Saute some chopped onions and garlic in a little butter. Then add in some chopped fresh tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Put in a squeeze or two of tomato paste and a splash of red wine. Then pour in a little boiling water and let the sauce reduce until almost all the liquid is gone. Then finish with a little truffle oil.

Building the pizza

Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce all over the bread. Then spread a thin layer of the grated gruyere all over the pizza. Add sliced mushrooms, sliced olives, and semi-dried tomatoes. Then add small pieces of the scamorza all over the pizza.

Bake in the oven until everything is melty and the base is a little crisp.

Slice up and eat (with a salad).

Enjoy x

Leek, mushroom and gruyere tarts

I had a few pieces of puff pastry squares leftover from before and thought about what I could do with them, with what’s in my fridge. In my fridge, I had some baby leeks, mushrooms, gruyere and olive and tomato chutney. So I decided to make a leek tart.

Another very very easy and quick recipe.

Spray a muffin tin and line your pastry squares into the holes. Place a tiny amount of the tomato and olive chutney on to the pastry square. Then fill 3/4 the way to the top with leek and mushroom mixture (more on that below), and then top with a little gruyere. Bake for about 10 minutes, until pastry is crisp and golden and cheese is melted. Finish with a tiny bit more tomato and olive chutney.


Leek and Mushroom mixture

Cut off the roots of the leeks and clean. Then chop finely – saute in butter with some sea salt over a medium heat. You want the leeks to be translucent. Also finely chop the mushrooms and then add to the leeks (you should have more leeks than mushrooms – roughly a 60:40 split), also add some red chilies. Cook down. Season with pepper and a little rosemary (add more salt, if needed). Taste. If you’re happy remove off the heat and add to the tarts.

Enjoy x

Ricotta and Spinach Parcels

First of all…. gah I hate working with phyllo. I’m so clumsy and phyllo is so delicate but aside from my difficulties I still use it because its delish!

The mixture

Saute diced onions in butter with a little garlic. You do not want to brown the onions so cook on a low temperature. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Then add in chopped spinach – you only want to wilt the spinach. Season with a little paprika and more lemon juice. Then remove off the heat and allow to cool.

Once the mixture is cooled mix with ricotta (I used buffalo ricotta because there was some available in Waitrose.) Taste and season with more lemon juice, salt, pepper or paprika as you like. Grate a little mozzarella and mix in, then stick into the fridge to cool.

Defrost your phyllo sheets. Once defrosted, melt some butter for brushing. Take a phyllo rectange and brush one half with butter, and then fold the other half over to make a square. Brush with butter. Add one more layer (half a rectangle) and brush with butter. Then spoon some of your ricotta mixture onto the phyllo sheet and fold over. You could make a triangle or sausage shape. Or if you’re me… go free form! As long as there are no holes or gaps its all good. Brush a little more butter on and then stick into the oven to bake. Remove when the phyllo is browned. Take care its not burnt. I flipped my phyllo parcel over mid-way through as the bottom cooked quicker than the top.

Afterwards remove and eat up! I ate my parcel with some of the salsa from before and it was yum!!

Enjoy x

Jalapeno Cheese Balls

These are super easy and quick and perfect for drinks with friends or snacks while watching sports. They’re delish and pop into your mouth releasing spicy, cheesy, crunchy goodness.

In a bowl mix: finely minced onion, chopped jalapenos, chopped coriander. Season with salt, pepper, tabasco, chili powder (I used ancho chili powder), a little olive oil, and a little of the jalapeno juice. Taste to see that you like it.

Then grate some mozzarella and red leicester (or cheddar). Mix the cheese into the jalapeno mixture. Then add in flour. You basically want to form a slightly goopy dough. Add milk as you need to achieve this.

By goopy dough, I mean the mixture should all form together and be able to tear apart and form into balls… but you still want the mixture to be a little sticky / wet.

The pull off and form in your hands little bite size balls and roll in bread crumbs. Shallow fry until golden brown and cooked through. Then drain on some paper towel. Eat with a little fresh salsa.

Fresh Salsa 

In a blender toss in some fresh tomatoes, a little onion, a few jalapenos and green chilies, some coriander, salt, pepper and olive oil. Tomatoes should make up the majority of the mixture. Blend. Taste and season a bit more if you need to.


Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble for 1 (or more). With Steve Jobs’ passing there have been loads of status updates and tweets and comments about Apple and apple images – which inspired a craving for apple crumble!

Super easy peasy recipe and a quick one too – because the mini nature of the crumble.

Get an individual ramekin and set aside. Finely chop a granny apple and season with sugar, lemon, cinnamon and vanilla. Chop enough apple to fill your ramekin(s) three-quarters the way to the top.

To make the crumble rub some room temperature butter with flour and sugar. Quantities will depend on how many you make, but the texture you need is crumbly. Basically the flour, butter, sugar mixture should not be sticky and be like (soft) biscuit crumbs. Fill the rest of the ramekin mixture with the crumbly mixture and bake in the oven until the crumble is browned (but not burnt). Eat with a little ice-cream.

Enjoy x