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June, 2006

  1. Coriander and Mint Couscous

    June 17, 2006 by Lisa

    Obviously you can put anything you like in couscous, but I was rather pleased with this combo:

    • 250g couscous
    • Boiling water
    • knob of butter
    • 2 ripe tomatoes, cubed
    • 1/2 large cucumber, cubed (cucumbers in the UK are massive, so use a whole US sized one)
    • crumbled feta cheese to taste
    • handful of chopped fresh mint
    • handful of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
    • juice from 1 1/2 limes
    • 2 tblsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Prepare couscous according to directions and let cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and chill for an hour.

  2. Pasta e Fagioli

    June 17, 2006 by Lisa

    (AKA Pasta Fazool)

    Not really a summer recipe, but a great one for when you have nothing fresh in the house. Wonderfully filling and lovely. Used dried beans if you like, but soak overnight first.

    • 2 cans pulses (any sort: kidney, cannellini, flageolets or haricot)
    • 125g cubed panchetta or chopped bacon
    • 2 tblsp olive oil
    • 1 shallot or a 1/4 – 1/2 an onion, chopped
    • 1 carton or a can of chopped tomatoes
    • stock cube (any sort)
    • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
    • large handful of chopped herbs – oregano, rosemary, marjoran and thyme are nice
    • 200gms small pasta, like Conchigliette (tiny shell pasta)
    • Salt and pepper

    In a large saucepan, fry the pancetta and shallot or onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Drain about half the water from the beans and add to the pan with the chopped tomatoes and the stock cube and boiling water. Add the chopped herbs and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or more or until the beans are tender. Longer is better as some beans can remain hard. Watch it carefully as the water can easily cook away and you run the risk of burning the soup. Add additional water if required. 15 minutes before the end, add the pasta (and a little more water if necessary).

    When the pasta is cooked, serve with crusty bread or polenta as desired. I like to make a double batch of soft polenta to serve the first time, then let it harden and slice and grill it for the next day’s serving. The second day is always the best.

  3. Enchiladas de Pollo en Inglaterra

    June 13, 2006 by Lisa

    A rather time-consuming, fattening and messy proposition, but nice, nevertheless. “En Inglaterra” refers to ingredients you can get here easily. The corn tortillas from the grocery here are not really acceptable to me. Too… icky. Buy proper white corn tortillas at Mexgrocer online. Delicious.

    Mexican food is not always spicy and this recipe is very mild with a creamy sauce.

    Anyway, for the chicken, place 4 chicken thighs in a covered oven dish and add a couple of tablespoons olive oil, a good couple tablespoons of powdered cumin, some dried oregano and a splash or two of tabasco. Plop in a 200C oven for a while – between 40 mintes and an hour – until cooked through and falling off the bone. Shred the chicken and set aside. Keep the oily chickeny grease as you’ll need it later.


    Enchilada Sauce:

    • 2 Ramiro (large long red) Peppers
    • 1 tblsp Oregano
    • 1 tblsp Ground Cumin
    • 1 cup Chicken stock
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 chopped shallot (or 1/4 of an onion. I like shallots as I don’t use a lot of onion and they keep well).
    • scant 1/4 cup of the reserved chicken grease
    • 1/4 cup cream or milk
    • 1/2 tube of tomato paste

    Roast the peppers in the oven until fragrant and slightly blistered. Remove from oven and let cool. Scrape the seeds from the peppers and put in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend well. Pour into a largish saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes.

    For the Enchiladas

    • The chicken
    • The Sauce
    • 250gm cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
    • Soured Cream, avocado, sliced olives and cilantro (coriander) for garnish
    • 6-8 corn tortillas

    Place the rest of the chicken grease in a small frying pan and heat. You could use a cooking oil, but I like the flavour of the chicken grease. Fry a tortilla in the oil until just softened, then dip in the enchilada sauce, then transfer to a rectangular oven dish. Add a couple of tablespoons of chicken and a handful of cheese to the middle of the tortilla and roll it up gently. Repeat for the remainder of the tortillas until the pan is filled. Cover with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and some olives. Bake in a 200C oven for 30-40 minutes until heated through.

    Serve with the condiments, mexican rice and refried beans).