Pumpkin, ginger, and potato gratin

I’ve had this recipe for years and years. I think it is best with a firm squash or pumpkin, like butternut squash.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lb pumpkin or squash, cubed
  • 1 1/2 lb potatoes, boiled for 15 minutes and cubed
  • 1 oz grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 oz butter (omit for a vegan version)
  • 3 floz olive oil
  • 1 oz wholemeal breadcrumbs

METHOD:

  • Melt the butter and the olive oil together and add the ginger, cumin and cardamom, and start to fry, for around 30 seconds
  • Add the potato, pumpkin and fry for another 10 minutes, until the pumpkin is softening and the potatoes are starting to brown.
  • Season with salt and pepper, put into an oven-proof gratin dish, and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
  • Place under a hot grill for a few minutes, until the top is crips and the interior is bubbling.

Green beans with coconut

I have three recipes for green beans with coconut. This is a very easy version.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb green beans in 1 inch lengths
  • 2oz grated coconut
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander leaf
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

METHOD:

  • Combine the coconut, coriander, asafoetida, green chilli and salt in a dish.
  • Blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes
  • In the oil, fry the sesame and mustard seeds together with the cayenne pepper – after about a minute, the seeds will pop, so take them off the heat at that point.
  • Add the beans to the mixture, and cook on a low heat until they are tender
  • Add the coconut mixture, and serve

 

 

Fried liver with cumin

This is another favourite recipe from the Moro cookbook. We are often shocked by how few people will eat offal, but the waste of not eating the whole animal is anathema. This recipe is very quick and easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sliced liver (we had lambs liver) around 400g
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Cut the liver into strips around 5cm long and 2cm wide.
  • Season the flour with cumin, salt and pepper,
  • Just before frying, dust the liver strips with the flour
  • Heat the butter and oil in a pan until the butter starts to foam.
  • Quickly, place strips of liver into the hot fat, and cook on each side until it is sealed: the outer layer should be browned, but the centre should still be pink and juicy.

Serve with mayonaise, or with chopped salad, or with a yoghurt and cumin dressing.

Celeriac and Potato Mash

This is good with sausage and game stew.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large celeriac, approx 1 lb
  • Equal weight of potatoes
  • 150ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Peel and chop the celeriac, and boil until tender
  • Meanwhile, peel and chop the potato, and boil in a separate pan until cooked
  • Warm the milk, butter, salt and pepper until the butter has melted
  • Purée the celeriac with the milk and butter
  • Add the purée to the cooked potato and mash with a potato masher (don’t try to purée the potato)

I’ve seen similar recipes elsewhere, using cream or créme fraiche, which I am sure would be delicious as well.

Mashed potatoes and pears with ginger

This is an astonishingly good combination to serve with pork.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Enough potatoes for the number of people being served
  • About half that quantity of hard pears
  • Salt, pepper, butter
  • A tiny amount of finely chopped crystalised ginger

METHOD:

  • Peel and boil the potatoes as you would normally for mashed potatoes. Drain them, saving the boiling water
  • Peel and core the pears, and poach them in the potato water until they are soft
  • Mash the pears and potatoes together with salt, pepper, butter and the chopped ginger

Broccoli with pine-nuts and cheese

I had a lot of broccoli. Children bought it, chopped it up, and then went to the mainland on the ferry. What else do I have to say. This is very easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • About 30g butter
  • A handful of pine-nuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 50g grated hard strong cheese

METHOD:

  • Steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan and fry the pine-nuts until slightly browned
  • Mix the butter, pine-nuts, salt, pepper and broccoli with the cheese

Green beans with onion, garlic and tomato

This is a recipe from the Philippines. It is great with rice.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 700g fresh green beans
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of organic chopped tomatoes
  • 4tbsp organic vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • Trim the beans and cut into 3cm lengths. Cut the onions in half and slice crosswise to fine slices, and chop the garlic very fine.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for a few seconds, before adding the onion slices. Stir and fry for another 3 minutes or so, until the onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and 100ml water
  • Bring to the boil, cover, and then simmer for around 15 minutes until the beans are cooked.
  • Remove the lid, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce until it is quite thick. Stir while you are doing this to stop it from sticking.

Spinach with chickpeas

This recipe and the spices are from Seasoned Pioneers, who do a range of organic spices.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp Baharat spice mix
  • 1 can of organic chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can organic chopped tomatoes
  • Around 500g spinach
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint.

METHOD:

  • Rinse the chickpeas, and set aside.
  • Chop the garlic, and fry for 1 minute in the olive oil.
  • Add the onions and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices and fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the chopped tomatoes and chickpeas and bring to a simmer, cook for around 5 minutes, until the chickpeas are hot through and the sauce is reducing down a little.
  • Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil, and cook the spinach for 5 minutes until wilted.
  • Mix the spinach into the tomato mixture, and put into a serving dish
  • Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and mint, and dribble over the top just before serving.

This was very tasty indeed.

Kohlrabi with garlic & parmesan

I have successfully grown a lot of kohlrabi in my garden, and I have a number of recipes. I have usually sliced it thinly and braised it in butter and a little stock, but this is much more delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 apple-sized kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into batons
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 200ml stock
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

METHOD:

  • Heat the butter in a small pan, and add the kohlrabi and garlic, and cook for around 3 minutes
  • Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper, stir in parmesan cheese

Quick-braised celery

I got this recipe out of ‘how to cook’ book 2 by Delia Smith. Word of warning – takes a little longer than I anticipated.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of celery, trimmed and cut into 5cm batons
  • 25g butter
  • 75g carrots, cut to match the bits of celery
  • 1/2 large onion, finely sliced
  • 200ml marigold stock
  • Salt, pepper, chopped parsley

METHOD:

  • Melt the butter in a pan, and cook the onion over a medium to high heat, until golden
  • Add the carrots and celery, and cook for another 5 minutes, until beginning to brown
  • Season with salt and pepper, and add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes
  • Take the lid off and boil the juices down to a reduced and thickish stock.
  • Serve with the juices poured over the celery and garnished with chopped parsley

I served this with Roman Beef Stew.