Archive for the ‘Mains’ Category

Griddle waffles

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013 by admin 2 Comments

I’m such a sucker for waffles you have no idea. But I don’t have a waffle iron. And I don’t really want one! My kitchen is full enough as it is to have too many individual gadgets for specific foods. Although I miss waffles, so when I heard of this recipe from my sister, I couldn’t believe my luck! A grill pan is a pretty awesome and versatile pan. Close to a BBQ if you’ve not got one of those. We heard that Jamie Oliver had an awesome grill pan waffle recipe, but when you search for it and click the many links back to it – Jamie’s site tells you it’s gone! It’s really weird. We wound up writing the recipe down from his TV show. After a few modifications – this is perfection. The crispy waffle lines are to die for. Why not make 2013 the year of the waffle?

  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml (1 1/4 c) milk
  • 100g (3.5 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g (1 3/4 c) self-raising flour
  • (or 220g plain flour plus another 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and the milk together. In another bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt to combine. Whisk the dry into the wet gradually so as not to get lumps. Then dribble in the butter in stages and stir. Rest for 20 mins if you can, but I usually pour the batter through a sieve a few times to remove the bubbles.

Get your griddle pan quite hot and melt over a large knob of butter. Pour in some of the batter across the ridges in a line – it will spread down the lines. Then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes. Flip it over (this can be tricky with the grill lines) and then cook the other side for about 8 mins.

We like ours with maple syrup, fresh whipped cream and berries.  But go wild!

Song for this recipe:

“Dirty dishes” – Deer Tick Dirty Dishes - War Elephant

Deer Tick is an American alt-country band from Providence, Rhode Island led by guitarist and singer-songwriter John McCauley. Deer Tick’s music is kind of  a combination of folk, blues, and country.  Nice and Southern sounding, perfect for a waffle and grits Sunday breakfast on the porch.

Happy birthday Mum!  I’ll make you some waffles for breakkie ♥

Squid ink pasta and easy bolognese

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

I’ve always loved squid ink pasta.  Black food is just kind of bizarre and fun. Really this pasta - Tagliatelle al nero di seppia – is a delightful change from everyday golden pasta.  If you like making your own pasta (mmm) you can usually buy squid ink from decent fish mongers or some specialty stores (I included a great site with tips for using squid ink below).  Initially I always thought the color was mainly for effect – to impress guests at dinner parties and such, but actually squid ink has a subtle briny flavor that pairs well with seafood, ideally squid. Nevertheless it will impress your guests and I like the flavor with regular bolognese too.  I didn’t make my pasta, but bought mine dried, it’s not really expensive either.

Prepare pasta as your packet informs.  It’s much the same as regular tagliatelle. Or make your own!

Easy Bolognese

There are lots of bolognese versions, this particular recipe is really simple to make and incredibly tasty.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200 g mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 x 400 g tin tomatoes (or thereabouts)
  • (I will sometime use half a tin and 2 big fresh tomatoes, finely diced)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic and beef mince and brown over high heat, stirring constantly to break up the mince, then add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes on high. Add tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes until lots of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick.

Spoon bolognese over top of your cooked pasta and sprinkle generously with shaved or grated parmesan cheese and parsley if you have it.  Serve with salad, maybe garlic bread and red wine!

If you would like to make your own pasta, there’s a wonderful recipe here as well as great tips for working with squid ink.

Song for this recipe:

“Sea legs” The Shins Sea Legs - Wincing the Night Away

The Shins album, Wincing the night away, it still one of my favorites.  They recently released a new one – Port of Morrow, which is proving to be equally comprehensive, even with a band member switch-up.  The American indie rock band is lead by James Mercer who has an impressive talent for writing and singing.  I alway enjoy an entire Shins album, which is a big plus now a-days, when people tend to buy songs more than whole albums.  I like track ten as much as 1, which is a great accomplishment in my book.  I think you should listen to as many ‘sea’ songs as you can while eating squid ink pasta, it makes you feel like you’re on holidays, preferably in Italy.

Puffy pancakes

Posted on: August 5th, 2012 by admin 3 Comments

I love puffy pancakes!  They were my dream breakfast when I was young, but we always had thinner ones at my house.  Which I must say were equally tasty, but I craved the fluffy ones.  Beans does not eat pancakes, so we never used to make them, until we discovered he loves making them and I love having them made for me!!  Ha win win.  This is his recipe – I don’t know how he got it so right, but he makes these for me often on Sunday mornings. What a champ.  You will love them as much as me I’m sure.

  • 1 c flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 egg

Makes enough for 2 people.

Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt).  I like to mix the egg and milk together next, then add the wet to the dry.  Mix thoroughly so that there are no floury lumps.  This is quite a thick mixture, so don’t be alarmed or add more milk.

Heat a non stick frying pan or skillet to medium low heat.  This is around mark 3 on my stove-top if that helps.  You don’t want it too hot, because they’re thick, they need to cook a little slower so that there’s no uncooked centre.

Spoon big spoonfuls into the pan and let cook for about a minute.  Flip when there are lots of bubbles on the surface.  Check your first one by tearing it in half to make sure the middle has cooked through.  Beans likes to pour a little maple syrup into the pan and re-cook/caramelize the pancakes at the end.

We always serve ours with bacon, fresh fruit and real maple syrup, but you can use whatever you like!  Lemon and sugar is another favourite, or like Dad always made them, sprinkled with ground hazelnuts and honey.

Song for this recipe:

“Specialty” – The Breakfast Club Specialty - Breakfast Club

Classic one hit wonders from the mid ’80′s.  I don’t know why the Breakfast Club wasn’t more successful?  They had a lot going for them.  Although they performed for over a decade together, there was only one album.  The band features 2 of Madonnas ex’s, in fact, she was drummer for a while, before leaving to try and take over the world. Despite having a few big hits, they disbanded right after the album was released.  At least we have the one – full of classic 80′s pop beats and synths, Sunday morning fun.

Sunday breakfast

Posted on: February 5th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

I know I’m not alone when I say that Sunday breakfast is probably my all time favourite thing in the world.  I am very lucky because when it comes to a big breakfast – no one makes a better one than Beans.  He is a breakfast master chef.  He is calm cool and collected in the kitchen at all times, but at breakfast, his timing is so impressive, I like to just sit with a cup of tea and watch the coordination in awe.  (I make the double cappuccino’s that keep him going).

There are a lot of recipes for treats on eatpress, but we eat other things too!  So today I thought I would show you a couple of our Sunday breakfasts we’ve had the last few weeks.  If we don’t have a big one like this we have scones – devonshire tea style, or I make crepes, using Helga’s amazing recipe.

As you can see we usually like poached eggs, crispy bacon, tomatoes, home fries, French bread (one of the great perks of living in Montreal) and assorted fruits or veggies.  I drink strong tea and Beans drinks strong coffee.

This morning Beans made an extra special treat – a pink grapefruit ‘soup’ made with pink grapefruit wedges and juice, halved grapes and thin slices of Meyer lemon.  What is your favourite breakfast?

Song for Sunday:

“Sunday Sun” – Neil Diamond  Sunday Sun - Velvet Gloves and Spit

I never really knew about old Neil or his songs much – just that he’d been around forever, and written and released a million songs.  But I have a bunch of albums of his now, collected recently and this song winds up getting played in my Sunday playlist for obvious reasons, which I love.  Neil’s getting married for the 4th time soon, so look out for a new beaded shirt at his next concert.

Avocado and Ginger Pasta

Posted on: September 14th, 2011 by admin 7 Comments

More often than not, cooking shows just make me hungry, but there was one I loved so much (it is sadly off air now, but their website is still full of information.)  It was called The cook and the chef. For all you Australians it was on Wednesdays on the ABC, I think they still might occasionally do shows?  But for the rest – check out their website.

They were interesting, Maggie Beer (Australian home-cooking royalty) and Simon Bryant (executive head chef at the Adelaide Hilton), an unexpected duo. As the cook and the chef, they often had very different ideas in the kitchen, but they communicated well, despite their varied backgrounds and came up with some real culinary treasures. Generally they concentrated on 2 ingredients per episode and did a range of 4 or 5 dishes with those ingredients.

We absolutely love to make this recipe from an episode that aired exactly 5 years ago today!

Avocado and ginger pasta

  • 2 large or 3 smaller avocados chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 6 Tbsp almond flakes
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger almost to a mince
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g (just over a pound) tagliatelle pasta
  • 1/3 c coriander leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C to roast the almonds. This won’t take long so keep an eye on them. Remove from oven when ready. About 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the pasta al dente.

In a large bowl place the warm pasta with the oil and minced ginger, toss. Add some salt and 3/4 of the roasted almonds, toss. Then add the coriander and then the rest of the roasted almonds and toss. Add the avocado last, serve with some freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste, and some lemon juice then add the shaved parmigiano (just a handful).

Be sure to visit The cook and the chef for more lovely recipes.  Or Maggie’s cookbooks, which have won numerous awards.  I particularly like Maggie’s Harvest.

Song for this recipe:

“What you know” Two Door Cinema Club What You Know - Tourist History

Two Door Cinema Club are an indie rock band from Northern Ireland.  Their upbeat album Tourist History is pretty fun for a mad dance around the kitchen – which is obviously a theme for me these days.  I think this song is perfect for this recipe, as both are fresh and zingy (highly technical terms for explaining music and food- I know).

Soup for the sick

Posted on: July 31st, 2011 by admin 3 Comments

Being sick is the worst.  I’ve been hit pretty badly this time, so for a week being out of action- what to eat?  Luckily Beans makes me a simple soup that is the most perfect thing for when you’re feeling bad (yes sick in the middle of summer – the injustice).  Then again I love this flavorful broth so much I wish it wasn’t reserved for ill health.

Simple Chicken soup

  • 1/2 L (2 1/4 c) water
  • 1 chicken breast (organic would be best)
  • 2 big nubs of ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic

Add the water to a small pot and bring to the boil.   Peel the ginger and slice it from the halfway point, so that the whole piece stays together but has a lot of cuts in it.  Peel the garlic cloves and give them a gently bash.  When the water is boiling add the chicken breast and ginger and garlic and let the whole thing boil for about 10 minutes, then turn it down to a simmer for another 10 minutes or so, depending on how large a chicken breast you used.

Serve some of the chicken with the delicious broth and get well soon.

Song for this recipe:

“Get me away from here,  I’m dying” – Belle and Sebastian Get Me Away from Here, I’m Dying - If You’re Feeling Sinister

A Scottish ‘wistful pop’ indie band, who’s intricately titled songs are usually a pretty good listen.  Sometimes their sound is compared to the Smiths, but I find them a little more cheerful.  Although this song was chosen more for how I’ve been feeling lately.

Kohlrabi, apple and walnut salad

Posted on: June 27th, 2011 by admin No Comments

We eat tons of salads and I always assume everyone else does too and therefore who needs recipes?  But of course we all get into our regular salad routine and sometimes forget to try something new or different, so we thought we’d post a few of our more unusual favorites.  The more varied vegetables you eat, the better.

For those who don’t know what kohlrabi is, it looks like this…

It has a mild taste and when eaten raw, has a similar texture to a young broccoli stem, but for those in winter you can cook it too.  I’d say it is best raw in salads and slaws and it is particularly delicious roasted and/or made into soup.  I would recommend peeling them, just because sometimes the outer layer can be a bit stringy, but you don’t have to.  Also in Kashmir, where they are used commonly, they eat the leaves in salads too, but I find them a touch bitter.

Serves 6 – 8

  • 3 kohlrabi (any color), peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 crisp apples, cored and diced (skins on or off, up to you)
  • 2 little gem lettuces or 1 boston lettuce, shredded
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a handful of watercress (optional)
  • 75g walnuts, lightly toasted (do this in a pan or in the oven but keep an eye on them!)

for the dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp walnut oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper

Toss together the salad ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with a squeeze of lemon to keep from browning.

For the dressing I like to use a jar with a screw cap to just shake up all the ingredients in, which also makes it great for saving to use later. You could always make a creamy dressing and leave out the lettuce to make this more like a waldorf salad if you’re so inclined.

If you’re living in winter at the moment and want to make this a warm salad.  Roast your kohlrabi in slightly bigger chunks in a 180ºC (350ºF) oven for about 20 minutes.  Add them and the walnuts to the salad hot and serve immediately.

Dress the salad before serving and enjoy.

Recipe originally from the Riverford Farm cookbook.

Song for this recipe:

“Ready to Start” – Arcade Fire Ready to Start - The Suburbs

Definitely popular these days, but rightly so,  Arcade Fire’s new album – The Suburbs, is, in my opinion, their best yet.  Their indie rock sound is not as predictable as many other bands in this genre.  I like the structure of their songs, the lyrics and thoughtful use of many instruments. They are based in Montreal – like me.