Monday, 21 March 2011

Leek Soup w. Bacon Bits

Just happened to have come in possession of lots of leeks. So how do you quickly get a handful of them out of the way? Make leek soup.
5 Leeks
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 l. chicken stock
1 squirt of sherry
Salt, pepper
Bacon for the non-vegetarians

Start by removing the outer leaves and cut the leek open lengthwise, stopping just before the root end. Rinse them thoroughly.

Chop them and sweat them in butter. Add a bit of salt to draw out the water from the leek.

When they are all soft and cooked, add the grated nutmeg and the flour. Stir it in and let the flour cook a bit. Make sure you keep stirring. The Flour will start to stick to the base and make the leek lump together. Don't worry, it's all part of the plan.

Add the chicken stock and stir. The flour will thicken it.

Fry the bacon, or place it between two pieces of kitchen towel and blast it in the microwave for aprox. 2 minutes. It'll be crispy and have less fat and less cleaning to do. Set aside.

When the soup has simmered for 5-10 minutes, blend it with a stick blender.

Add a bit of sherry for effect, taste for salt and pepper.

Cut the bacon in small pieces and sprinkle them into the soup.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Grandma's Warm Potato Salad

This is my grandmother's recipe for warm potato salad. It's a sweet and sour side dish which goes great with pork, sausages. Simple to make and a good everyday dish, but not sure why she calls it a salad, though.

Potatoes (as many as you'd normally make, depending on how many you are)
1 onion
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
Salt and pepper

Start by boiling the potatoes. Better a bit overcooked than undercooked.

Meanwhile, slice the onion finely and fry the in the butter with some salt until they start going translucent. Then add a cup of water and the sugar. Let it simmer 10 minutes.

By then the potatoes should be about done. Drain the water, slice or cut them into chunks. Add them to the onions and stir. The starch will thicken the liquid. Add the vinegar, pepper and taste for salt. You might want to add extra vinegar according to taste.
Serve warm.

Blueberry Milkshake in 10 Seconds

Super-fast, delicious and probably quite good for you. We were short of a dessert after a lovely lunch at our new balcony, so while rummaging round for any forgotten ice cream at the base of our freezer, I came across a bag of frozen blueberries. 'I'll make my own ice cream,' I thought and proceeded to blend the berries with some sugar, vanilla and a glass of milk. It wasn't as much of an ice cream as I had hoped, but more like a cool blueberry milkshake. But 'oh, boy' was it delicious. I know what I'll be drinking throughout the summer now. Try it, it's great.

You'll need:
1 glass of frozen blueberries
1 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla sugar
1 glass of milk

Just blend and enjoy.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Broccoli Soup

I'm not the biggest fan of broccoli, but, somehow, I've become a big fan of broccoli soup. And it's so easy to make. You don't need anything apart from broccoli, water and a bit of salt. If you want to make it fancy, you can spice it up with some walnuts, almonds, bits of fried bacon, parmesan, or my favourite, blue cheese. Of course, it's healthier on it's own. High in vitamin C and lots of nutrients with anti-cancer properties. I'll show you how to make it.

Wash your broccoli, turn it upside down and cut off the florets. Cut the stalk into thin slices.

Put it in a big bowl of boiling water. At plenty of salt. The trick is to cook them as fast as possible. Put a lid on and boil for 4-5 minutes or until a knife goes through the broccoli.
Put the broccoli in a blender. Fill it up with halfway up to the height of the broccoli with the same water you boiled it in.
By holding a kitchen towel on top of the blend and giving it light pulses to begin with, you will avoid it explodes and scolds you. Blend till smooth.
Serve with a slice of toasted bread and any of the aforementioned fillings. I've used walnuts and Cabrales blue cheese.