Showing posts with label Vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetables. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Roasted Garlic Vegetables and Brown Rice

Ever since I stumbled on the secret of making a sauce out of roasted garlic, I have used this trick many, many times. I usually make a pasta dish but figured one day that it would probably go well with rice as well. The best thing about this dish is that you can use any kind of vegetable and you will still get a delicious tasty dish.

The Lovely Wife had bought some brown rice and I decided to serve this dish with it. The irony of brown rice is that in days of yore, it used to be eaten mainly by those who didn't have enough money or who were sickly. Nowadays, where most of us are more health conscious, we realise that brown rice is actually much healthier than white rice and is in fact more expensive now. Funny how things work out!

This is how I made the vegetables.

1 tsp oregano
200 g mushrooms - sliced
1 stalk celery - chopped
1 stalk leek - chopped
2 zucchini - sliced
200g spinach - blanched and chopped
2 tomatoes - chopped
2 red capsicums - cut into large squares
1 large bulb garlic
Black Pepper
Cut the end of the garlic and then place the garlic bulb in a small dish. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over it and roast in a 200C oven for about 20 mins till soft. Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skin and process to make a paste.

Fry the oregano till fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and cook till juices are released. Add in the leek, celery and zuchini and cook till just tender. Add in the spinach and tomatoes. Pour in the garlic paste and mix well. Finally toss in the capsicum and cook till slightly tender. Serve with brown rice

The brown rice has a nice nutty flavour and a nice bite to it. It went really well with the vegetables and it was a most satisfying meal. The Lovely Wife rates this as one of her favourite dishes and I like it too. I also have to admit that with this kind of dish, you really don't need meat to enjoy it. Then again, maybe some meat may make it better...

Monday, 25 January 2010

Tau Miu with Garlic

This is a super easy dish that is really tasty, nutritous and is wonderful when you need a quick vegetable dish. Tau Miu is some kind of sprout. A search on Google produces different answers - and different spellings too (Tau Miew) but that is only to be expected when Tau Miu is really the Chinese name for this vegetable.

As I mentioned earlier, it is some kind of sprout/shoot and I think it is the Snow Pea sprout or at least some kind of pea sprout.

As I mentioned, there couldn't be anything simpler than this as all it takes is to:

Chop up some garlic, fry it, toss in the sprouts, give it a quick stir fry and then season with a little soy sauce and/or oyster sauce.

This dish is a favourite in many local Chinese restaurants. Try It!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

A gift of Cheese and a Pasta called Primavera

I'm trying to clear up my backlog of outstanding posts or drafts that I have done where I've uploaded pictures but not the text or worse still not even the recipe! This post goes way back to October 2009 when a close friend, Naomi, came to visit and brought along a slab of Pecorino Cheese for us.

I've never sampled Pecorino before so the gift of cheese was most welcome. My little princess loves her cheese and as soon as she heard that I had some new cheese, she wanted some of it. We ate a little of it with crackers and the cheese was a little strong but very, very tasty.

A few days later, The Lovely Wife asked me if I could make this Pasta dish that she had seen in the California Pizza Kitchen cookbook. The secret to this dish, according to the book, was the roasted garlic sauce. As I never follow recipes to a tee, this is my version of Spaghetti Primavera inspired by the CPK cookbook. Apparently Primavera is Italian for springtime and that is why this pasta is made up of a variety of vegetables and herbs.

1 bulb garlic (about 8-10 cloves)
1 medium onion - chopped
3 stalks fresh oregano - leaves removed and chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
200g button mushrooms
1 red capsicum - sliced into large pieces
1 orange capsicum - sliced into large pieces
1 zuchinni - sliced
2 stalks celery - thinly sliced
200g cherry tomatoes - halved

Cut the end of the garlic and then place the garlic bulb in a small dish. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over it and roast in a 200C oven for about 20 mins till soft.
Meanwhile, fry the onion, oregano and thyme together till fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and cook till tender. Add in the celery and zuchinni and mix well. Add in the tomatoes and press them lightly as you stir the mixture to get the juices out. Reserve a few tomatoes. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables as you want them slightly crunchy.
Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skin and process together with the reserved tomatoes to make a nice paste. Add in some water if necessary.
Add in the garlic paste to the mixture and cook well. Finally toss in the capsicum and cook till slightly tender. Toss togehter with pasta of your choice.

A most delicious meal and very, very healthy! I grated some of the Pecorino Cheese and sprinkled it over the pasta. The cheese went really, really well with the pasta and The Lovely Wife said she really enjoyed the dish. Who would have thought a vegetarian pasta dish could taste so good!

Thanks for the cheese Naomi - told you I would put it to good use!

I'm also sending this in to Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights. I haven't contributed anything to PPN for a while and this is my first one for 2010! This time around, PPN is being hosted by Sara of Cupcake Muffin. So pop over to her blog on Friday to see the roundup!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Potato Gratin and Cauliflower Gratin

One of my favourite dishes to cook whenever I am stumped for a side dish or if I need to 'beef up' a meal is to make a Gratin. To get a bit technical, culinary wise, a Gratin is usually layers of a vegetable mixed with cream and topped off with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs or grated cheese. The gratin is baked and is traditionally served in its baking dish.

My preference when making gratins is to use potatoes as I love the starchiness of the potatoes and the cream and butter just seem to meld so nicely with potatoes. I also love to top it off with crispy bacon. This is what I do for a Potato Gratin.

6 potatoes thinly sliced
1.5 cups cream
40g butter
6 slices bacon - chopped
150g Cheddar Cheese - grated

Grease a shallow baking dish. Fry the bacon until well cooked - it will crisp a little more in the oven but not much. Heat the cream and butter over low heat until butter is melted whisking to combine. Layer the potatoes in the dish and then pour over the cream between layers. Top with cheese and bacon. Bake in a 190C oven till potatoes are nicely cooked through.

If you prefer a variation on the same these, just substitute the potatoes for cauliflower, or broccoli or any other vegetable you like really. Sometimes I add some garlic to the mix or even fry some onions first and add it in.

This is how the Cauliflower Gratin looks like. I didnt fry the bacon quite as long as I did for the potato gratin and so it turned out slightly less crispy. Still delicious though!

This dish is really simple and yet makes quite a stunning side dish. Enjoy!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Roasted C3 = Loge(Carrot.Capsicum.Corn)

Okay, Okay, so mathematically that just doesnt make any sense. I know that. Sorry. Just trying to have a bit of fun. Trying to act smart....

It's a good thing cooking is not as complicated as Maths can be. It's been a really long time since I did any complicated Math and although I did enjoy my Math and Physics, I have to admit it was all rather complicated. Sometime I wonder how I managed to get through my Engineering degree!!

So anyway, having gone off tangent (once again), let me just say that off late, I have become quite fixated with corn. I love the crunchiness, I love the sweetness, I love the taste. I just love it. So any opportunity I have to use it to throw together a vegetable dish, I grab very quickly.

Not too long ago, I posted my Steamed Vegetables tossed in butter and my Snowy Vegetable Combo - both of which featured corn. This is along the same lines except that this time I roasted everything, including the corn.

This is what I did.

2 Carrots
2 green Capsicums
1 Can of Corn
Black Pepper
Cut the capsicum into large pieces
Cut the carrots into strips
Add in the Can of Corn. Toss together with rosemary, oregano and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast in a preheated 200C oven for about 20 mins or till carrots are tender. Some like the carrots crunchy, some like them soft - your choice!

I've always loved roasted vegetables and adding corn to it just gives it that little bit of an extra kick. See how simple this is? If only Math and Physics were just as simple - although when you really think about it, cooking DOES rely a lot on Physics - especially Thermodynamics and Heat and Mass Transfer but I guess I'll leave the analysis of that for another day...

Friday, 24 April 2009

Snowy BZC Combo or Snow covered Broccoli, Zucchini and Corn

To go with the Burgers we had the other night, we needed a vegetable dish. If it was completely up to me, I reckon the tomatoes and lettuce in the burgers were enough vegetables. The Lovely Wife however, had other ideas. She offered to make a salad but I thought that would just be more tomato and lettuce. So instead, I decided to stir fry a combination of Broccoli, Zucchini and Corn.

Now where in the world did the idea for snow come from? Well, I must admit it was an afterthought when I saw how nice it looked. You see, I had some extra egg white from the Portuguese Egg Tarts I made and so rather than keep them for another day, I opted to throw them into this dish. The result, as you can see, is small specks of white that look like snow!

This is what I did.

3 cloves garlic - chopped
2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
2 zucchini - julienned
1 Broccoli - cut into small florets
1 can corn
2 egg whites

Fy the garlic with rosemary and basil. Add in the broccoli and zuchinni and cook till just tender but still a little crunchy. Add in the corn and stir well. Season with salt. Add in the egg whites and quickly stir everything together to break up the whites to form the small specks of 'snow'.

The Lovely Wife and the kids enjoyed this vegetable dish. In particular, both the kids loved the corn. I have to admit that I loved the corn too! My princess was excited to learn that there was egg in the dish as she just loves egg but was a little disappointed that there was no runny yolk - another thing that she takes after Daddy.

All in all, a very simple yet tasty dish and eye pleasing too.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Ratatouille with a fishy twist

One of our dear friends, Priya, who has been vegetarian for a long time has recently taken to eating fish as well. Usually, I would make something vegetarian just for Priya while the rest of us would indulge in meaty goodness. However, this time, I decided to make things a little easier and make one hearty dish filled with loads of veges and throw in some Tuna. A Ratatouille with fish in it!

I also wasn't really too fussed about the main meal simply because this was the same night that I was serving the Chocolate Valentino and Ice Cream tested and made for the February DB Challenge that I co-hosted.

As it is, the Fishy Ratatoullie turned out really, really well! This is what i did.

2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp oregano
2 eggplants
2 carrots
2 zuchini
2 leek
2 green capsicum
350g Button Mushrooms
4 tomatoes
1 can stewed tomatoes
3 cans tuna chunks
Black Pepper

Cut all the vegetables into large chunks.
Sautee Onion and garlic till soft. Add in basil and oregano and fry till fragrant. Stir in the egglplant and lightly fry before adding in the rest of the vegetables. Mix together and cook well, seasoning with some salt and pepper. Add in the can of tomatoes, and allow to simmer till everything is cooked. Add in the tuna, taking care not to break it up too much. Mix well, allow to simmer to meld all the flavours and season with more salt and pepper.

I served this with rice and it was a very tasty and hearty meal. The kids loved is as not only had they had watched the Ratatouille Movie but they also love Tom and Jerry (the cartoon). They joked that about how Jerry had cooked the ratatouille together with a fish that Tom had caught. Obviously my warped sense of humour has rubbed off on them!


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