Leek and Potato Soup

I am such a winter person, it’s almost offensive how winter I am.

I’m sorry carefree, sun-kissed, golden-haired sun goddesses. I do not function properly in the summer, I don’t know what to cook, wear or do. As soon as any sign of cold peeks its head out I start functioning like a real person in the real world again. For instance this recipe right here; just off the top of my head (based obviously on 17 years of living in the depths the icy north; aka Scotland) I just cannot think that way with salad or any kind of cold foods. My brain works well in the cold; puddings, soups, stews, roasts and layering. Also I think I study better in the cold dark weather.

I think I just came out as a yeti?

Anyway, soup is amazing.

Leek and Potato Soup

Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic
1 Brown Onion
2 Rashers Bacon
1 Teaspoon of Thyme
1 Large Leek
1 Litre of Chicken Stock – I used Campbells Chicken stock, but If you make your own that’s pretty awesome!
5 Small Potatoes or 3 Medium
1 Tablespoon of Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot, enough to thoroughly cover the onions and soften the leeks, roughly 3 tablespoons. Dice onion and garlic and add to heated oil.

Add the bacon and thyme to the pot; keep bacon whole. Fry bacon until it is nearly crispy, then remove and place on paper towel to drain and cool.

Chop the leek roughly and wash. Add washed leek to the pot and stir until softened.

Add half of the chicken stock. Dice potatoes and add to pot.

Cover with the rest of the stock and stir.

Cover all the luscious green goodness with a lid and simmer for half an hour.

I hope you’ve read all of this in a Welsh accent; did you know leeks are the national dish of Wales?

Hopefully after that half an hour the potatoes are soft! Mash them up a bit.Add the parmesan at this point, freshly grate it!Making sure you have a deep pot so you don’t get splattered, blend the soup with an immersion blender.  I had to change pots, that’s totes cool.

Serve with chopped crispy bacon and fresh crusty bread. Ah-mazing.I’ll admit I probably didn’t invent this (read: definitely didn’t) however these are all my measurements and I did this off the top of my head.

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Popcorn Tofu with Lemon Infused Rice

Sometimes when you love someone you just have to show it to them with food. Sometimes, just sometimes, a dead animal just does not cut it. I present to you, popcorn tofu, loved by boyfriends everywhere; sorry that’s not proven, my boyfriend liked it, obviously I did not make dinner for your significant other.

I’m going to go ahead and class this as my first Asian-fusion recipe. It counts. It totally counts. It’s crunchy, delicious, fried fun and chickens love it too*. My boyfriend stated that if KFC used that crumb he would eat there; I’m not really sure if that’s a compliment, but I’ll take it.

*Not actually tested, chickens may not love it.

This recipe is super easy and taken from a myriad of places so I’m gonna go ahead and call it my own.

Ingredients

1 packet of Organic Firm Tofu

1 Egg

3 tablespoons of Plain Flour

1 tablespoon of Seasoning

+ Salt & Pepper

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 teaspoon of Semolina (optional; adds extra crisp in my opinion)

Oil, lots of. Preferably Vegetable or Canola.

1 cup of Rice

1 1/2 cups of Water

1 Lemon

Recipe

Cube the tofu and blot on paper to remove the moisture, this ensures the outside goes crispy.

With two small bowls prepare the flour/seasoning mix in one bowl and in the other crack an egg and whisk.

Heat the oil in a pan, oil should be deep enough to completely submerge tofu pieces.

Cook rice according to packet instructions adding 1/2 a lemon cut into quarters.

When oil is hot, start dipping the tofu in egg then into the flour mix then straight into the oil. You’ve gotta be quick and nimble!

Remove tofu pieces when they turn a light golden colour and drain on kitchen roll.

Serve up in bowls with fresh slices of lemon.

We served with quickly pan-fried broccolini in a lemon dressing. Serve with whatever sauce takes your fancy. Eat and enjoy.

Green Pea Pesto Ravioli

Writing one of these blog situations is hard, because obviously on one hand, you want people to read them; but at the same time you kinda definitely don’t want your friends to read because it’s embarrassing/strange for the to read all of this stuff. Awkies. The best way is to pretend all of your readers will never ever meet you.

This ravioli is something I actually made ages ago, but never got around to posting. But now I have no times to cook delicious things and too much homework, so out come the lost-in-time recipes. And actually it’s been warm recently and this is super fresh and lemony. The warmth has also led me to believe that I should be spending all day in a beer garden, but I can’t do that either. Sad times.

If you like cheese and lemon this is the recipe for you. If you don’t like peas, well, I’m not sure we can be friends. This is total week night dinner, made to be eaten hanging out with your boy/girl/dog/imaginary friend Troy.

Granted folding up the ravioli takes time, but it’s time that can be spent also discussing life and painting your nails; actually you can’t paint your nails. Bummer.

I stole this from Joy the Baker.

1 package prepared wonton wrappers

1 16-ounce bag frozen peas, blanched until just cooked through

1-2 small cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons diced shallots

1 tablespoon lemon zest

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup bread crumbs ( just toast some bread and crumble it up)

1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add a bit of salt.  Boil the frozen peas for about 3 minutes, until just warmed through.  Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, combine, peas, garlic, shallots, lemon zest and juice, parsley, bread crumbs, and cheese.  If your food processor is small, you may need to do this in two batches.  That’s fine too.  Pulse until peas are broken down and the mixture is well incorporated.  With food processor on, drizzle in the olive oil until you have a thick and glossy pesto.  Remove from food processor and place in a bowl.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the ravioli you’ll need the wonton wrappers, a bowl of the pesto, a small spoon, a small bowl of water, and a bit of time.

Place a square in front of you so that it shapes a diamond.  Place a generous teaspoon of pea pesto on the bottom half of the diamond.

Dip your finger in water.  Run your wet finger along one bottom edge of the diamond and the other.  You’re moistening two edges so they act as glue when the ravioli gets folded over.

Fold the top half of the diamond over the pesto dollop.   Use your fingers to press the triangle edges together.  Make sure that the triangle is not filled with air, and well sealed at the edges.

Grab the two farthest points and bring them together in the center.  Use just a bit of water to seal the two points together.

Set ravioli in a single layer on a plate.  Marvel at your work as your ravioli numbers increase.

Ravioli can be cooked immediately in boiling, salted water, for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.  Drain and serve with spicy tomato sauce and more cheese.

Ravioli can also be placed in the freezer, in a single layer until frozen.  Once frozen, they can be sealed well in a plastic bag until ready to cook and serve.  Cook in boiling, salted water for about 7-9 minutes, or until warmed through.

*ps how good is spell check? Apparently Wonton is not a word. Go Spell check!

My Favourite Pudding

Hey there!

So you know a while back I was talking about doing a classics, well, here is the first one; Rice Pudding. I freaking love this stuff, whenever my mum came home with ambrosia it pretty much made my week/month. This pudding is my childhood in a can, except this is home-made which kind of makes it a little bit more classy. However this is not fancy, this is common. This is warming comforting milky goodness.

Listen to Common People whilst making this, stop feeling classy right now!

I stole this from Joy the Baker, man I love that women!

Risotto Rice Pudding with brown sugar and vanilla

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup Arborio rice

3 1/2 to 4 cups milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

large pinch allspice

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (we use the seeds only for this dish) (or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract) – I used Vanilla bean paste, I love this stuff!

Berries for topping – I used frozen Raspberries!

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, scald 4 cups of milk.  Bring the milk to just under boiling, turn off the flame and let it rest.

In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter.  Add the rice grains and stir to coat.  Ladle in just enough hot milk to cover the rice.  Stir (with an awesome wooden spoon, if you have one) over the low flame.  The rice will begin to absorb the milk.  When the milk is almost fully absorbed, ladle in more hot milk.  Stir until absorbed.  Continue this process, standing over the stove, stirring milky rice.  Taste the rice as you near the end of the milk.  You may only need 3 1/2 cups instead of 4.   As you add the last bit of milk, also incorporate the sugar, salt, spices, and scraped vanilla beans.  Stir well to combine.Stir over low heat until the milk is gone and the rice is tender, with just a hint of a toothsome bite.  About 15 minutes.

Serve warm or cold, I prefer warm. Like a hug for your belly. If you want it thick cook it longer!

Rice pudding will last, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.  Good luck with that.