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It doesn’t happen often when I invent a bright new recipe … but this time I have to say I was quite proud of myself.

This is a new take on grilled salmon … hope you like it …

Grilled Salmon on a bed of tagliatelle and spinach

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

Serves 2

You will need:

For the salmon:

2 salmon filets (no skin)

salt & pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp soy sauce

brown rice vinegar

raspberry vinegar

a quick squeeze of fresh lemon

For the tagliatelle:

200 g dry tagliatlle

olive oil

sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For the spinach:

1 bag of spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 small handful of roasted pine nuts

1 small handful of raisins

sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Mix the soy sauce, olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, a few drops of rice vinegar and a few drops of raspberry vinegar; season it all with salt and pepper. Marinade the fish in this mixture for approx. 1 hour or longer.

Get your grill pan hot and grill the salmon for 3 minutes on each side or longer but you want the fish slightly pink inside.

In the mean time cook your pasta in plenty of salted boiling water and according to the packaging instructions, usually it takes up to 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season generously with freshly ground pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach gradually and cook it for a few minutes but make sure the leaves are still tender and not overcooked. Towards the end add the raisins and mix into the spinach. Turn off the heat and finally add the pine nuts.

Warm up your plates in the oven or in the microwave. Divide the tagliatelle between the two plates, put a portion of spinach over the pasta and finish with the fish on top. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice all over the dish and garnish with herbs (flat parsley, celery greens, thyme).

Enjoy it!

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

grilled salmon by Asia Jo

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Darlings – I will be short: my house is almost demolished, it’s filled with boxes and covered with dust – but I still love this refurbishment inconveniences 🙂  It’s fun and it’s been amazing to see the transformation my apartment is going through …

Well, one-pot cooking continues 🙂

My dear foodies – enjoy this lovely pumpkin curry with chickpeas. Simply serve it with rice.

Pumpkin curry

Serves 3-4

pumpkin curry by AsiaJo

You will need:

1 tbsp olive oil

3 -4 tbsp Thai yello curry paste

2 onions, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

3 large lemongrass stalks, cut into halves

6 cardamon pods

1 tbsp mustard seeds

1 piece pumpkin or a small squash (about 800g – 1 kg), chopped into chunks

250 ml vegetable stock

400 ml coconut milk

400 g can chickpeas, drained

2 limes

1 handful mint leaves, to serve

Directions:

Heat the oil in a deep pan. Gently fry the curry paste with the onions, shallot, lemongrass, cardamon pods and mustard seeds for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.

Stir the pumpkin into the pan, coat in the mixture, pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to boil and simmer. Add the chickpeas and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.

Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, the second one cut into the wedges to serve. Tear over the mint.

Enjoy!

pumpkin curry by AsiaJo

Recipe source: Good food 2010 calendar

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My house is full of boxes and my kitchen cupboards almost empty but I still try to cook some healthy yummy food even though my relocation to Amsterdam is nearly there.

I think you will like this Sicilian dish – Fagiolini alla Peperonata. It goes great with meat and fish and tastes lovely on its own as well.

I served my Fagiolini alla Peperonata with veal escallopes filled with sage and Parma ham. Heaven!

Green beans with tomato and pepper

Serves 2-3

green beans with tomato and pepper @ frock & fork

You will need:

2 tomatoes

1 yellow/green/red pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

300 g green beans (2 handfuls)

1 tablespoon fresh or dry oregano

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

Peal and chop the tomatoes. Halve and seed the pepper, then cut into stripes.

Heat the oil in the skillet, add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden. Add the peppers and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Trim the beans and cook for 3-5 minutes in salted water. Drain and add to the other vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, add oregano and basil and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy!

green beans with tomato and pepper @ frock & fork

 

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Gnocchi di Patate served with tomato and porchini sauce makes a good, quick evening meal. You will love the delicate taste, smooth texture and the fabulous smell of Italian dry porchini. This is a delicious recipe that begs to be tried!

Gnocchi with tomato and porchini sauce

Serves 2

gnocchi di patate @ frock & fork

You will need:

500 g Gnocchi (De Cecco)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small shallot, chopped  (or regular onion)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

300 g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small handful of dry porchini mushroom, soaked in hot water for approx. 15 minutes, water kept

1/2 teaspoon dry Italian herbs mix

1 small handful of fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a skillet pan. Fry gently the shallot and garlic. Add the dry Italian herbs mix and continue frying on a low heat for a minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, adding 2-3 tablespoons of mushroom water throughout cooking. After 10 minutes add the soaked porchini. Cook the potato gnocchi in plenty of salted water, according to the package instructions. It will only take 2-3 minutes. Once the sauce is cooked, add the basil and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!

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I am a great lover of herbs. I love them fresh, I love them dry and I love them finely grinded. Most of the time I buy fresh herbs and if possible or needed I freeze them. I also love it when my mom shares her herbs with me. She plants mint, sage, dill, parsley and camomile in her garden and then either air-dries them or hangs them up in her attic to preserve. Finally, I am a big fan of powdered herbs. A friend of mine, Anna, a very lovely Italian lady, once gave me a tiny little jar of some fantastic and aromatic eco herbs. She bought them in Castellina in Chianti, a small Tuscan town. A couple of years ago, she spotted a nice man selling those beautiful colorful jars at the local food market. Since then she regularly buys his great aromatic powdered herbs. Last April I went to Castellina in Chianti and met the same “herb farmer” who makes his products himself at his biological farm. I absolutely love his “rosmarino” (rosemary)! It smells fabulous and if you add a dash of it into your dishes (soups, pasta, meat, etc) – gosh – you will feel the difference! Anna told me never to touch these powder herbs with fingers but to use the end of a teaspoon. For the best result, you should add the herbs at the end of cooking. If you ever plan to go to Tuscany, don’t bypass Castellina in Cianti. I’m positive, if you find my herbalist, you will return home with at least two of his charming jars.

Here is my rosmarino:

powdered herbs rosemary

by Asia(Jo)

Here is the herbalist’s movable market stand:

donkey farm

by Asia(Jo)

My mom’s herbs:

dry herbs

by Asia(Jo)

Finally a very quick recipe – it tastes delicious if you enhance the falvour with those Aroma Da Cucina Del Chianti.

Baked potato chips

Serves 2

You will need:

2 large baking potatoes

3 garlic cloves

2 fresh rosemary springs, leaves picked

2 fresh thyme springs, leaves picked

sea salt

black pepper

olive oil

a dash of Rosmarino “Aroma Da Cucina Del Chianti” (optional)

by Asia(Jo)

by Asia(Jo)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200 ℃. Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes (don’t overcook them, they should be half cooked yet easy to cut). Drain and slice the potatoes. Arrange them in the ovenproof dish or baking tray. Add the garlic, fresh herbs and a couple lugs of olive oil. Sprinkle everything with some sea salt and some freshly grinded pepper. Bake the potatoes for aprox 35 – 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Towards the end, take the potatoes out of the oven and dust them with the powdered rosemary. Return to the oven for the last few minutes. Serve hot.

Happy Eating Everyone!



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Peperonata, a delicious accompaniment for fish or meat dishes. This fantastic Italian recipe, coming form Campania region, tastes luscious and can be flavoured additionally by capers and anchovy fillets.

Some time ago I found this recipe in one of my favourite and precious cookbooks Italy The Beautiful Cookbook, which is full of authentic recipes and wonderful photographs of all featured dishes and the Italian culinary regions.

This dish doesn’t require many ingredients but remember to use only fresh and good quality ones.

Peperonata – Pepper & Tomato Stew

Serves 6

by Asia(Jo)

You will need:

3 ripe tomatoes

6 red and yellow bell peppers (I tend to use green ones as well)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

salt & pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

a few fresh basil leaves

Preparation:

Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds; drain and peal. Chop the tomatoes; seed and slice the peppers.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent. Add the pepper slices, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano. Cover, reduce heat and cook slowly for 30 min, stirring from time to time. Add the basil and cook for a few minutes more to blend flavors. Transfer to a bowl and serve or enjoy it with a grilled tuna and lemon risotto on one plate.

by Asia(Jo)


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I love grilling! It is such an amazing way of cooking – fast, easy and full of flavours!

This recipe for chicken skewers is perfect for indoor and outdoor cooking. For those who don’t eat meat – it also works well with shrimps.

BTW, I found this recipe in my new cookbook (“The Complete Low-Fat Cookbook”), which I bought last week in a local charity shop for just ₤1! Those shops are worth checking – sometimes you can find there almost bright new cookbooks or incredible, out-of-print vintage ones. And the best thing about them is – they cost almost nothing!

Grilled chicken & vegetable skewers

Serves 3                          

You will need:

2 chicken breasts, diced

12  cherry tomatoes

12 small cup mushrooms

1 yellow pepper

2 baby courgettes

2 garlic cloves

rind of 1 lemon, grated

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh or dry oregano

1/2 tsp finally grated rosemary (optional)

salt & pepper

8 – 10 wooden skewers

Preparation:

Soak wooden skewers in cold water to prevent burning. Combine all the ingredients together and season with sea salt and freshly grated pepper. Toss well. Marinate for 1 hour or longer. Thread a piece of chicken onto each skewer, followed by a tomato, pepper, mushroom and then courgette. Repeat till the end of the skewer. Place the skewers on a hot grill or grill pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked and the tomatoes shriveled slightly. Serve immediately with a green salad and roasted potato wedges.

by Asia(Jo)

by Asia(Jo)

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