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Cover: Quick cuisine

May, 2012

30May 12

Pasta with salmon, carrot and courgette

Pasta with salmon, carrot and courgette

This is a great dish for a lunchbox, so easy to make and still healthy and delicious. Pasta is so versatile that I, being a student, probably eat it several times a week. Good thing that nowadays you can buy the supposedly healthier versions made of spinach or other vegetables, or the wholemeal version.

It is not often that I use lime in my cooking, but lime and salmon is a great combination, and lime is a very tasty and healthy fruit. They are a great source of vitamin C, and historically they were used to treat scurvy among sailors and soldiers. And apparently, due to their vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, limes are also very good for your eyes, something that I try to keep in mind since I read a lot.

Lime juice can be stored for use at a later time if you place freshly squeezed lime juice in ice cube trays until frozen. A great way to use these little zesters in drinks or food! (Also try this prawn and courgette tagliatelli.)

Pasta dish with salmon and lime
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is a great dish for a lunchbox, so easy to make and still healthy and delicious
Ingredients
  • 200g ravioli
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • 175ml milk
  • ½ a courgette
  • ½ a carrot
  • 1 tablespoon pressed lime juice
  • 150g smoked salmon (steak)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of cornflour
Instructions
  1. Boil the ravioli according to instructions on the package.
  2. Fry the salmon steak in a frying pan in the oil. When ready, cut into small pieces.
  3. Wash and peel the courgette and carrot and cut them into small pieces.
  4. Pour the crème fraiche, milk, lime juice and cornflour into a saucepan and bring it to the boil while stirring the whole time.
  5. Add the courgette and carrot and let it all simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the salmon pieces and the dill to the sauce.
  7. Add the pepper and more lime juice according to taste. Let it all simmer for 2 minutes.
  8. When the pasta is ready, add it to the saucepan and mix carefully.
  9. Serve immediately.

 

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28May 12

Japanese-style rice dish with shrimp and ginger

Japanese style rice dish with shrimp and gingerI tend to use Japanese soy sauce quite often when I cook. It is really versatile and adds a little saltiness to a dish. I prefer it to the Chinese version as Japanese soy sauces typically have a slightly sweeter taste than their Chinese counterparts.

 

 

A few years ago, I lived with two Japanese flatmates and they taught me many different ways how to use their soy sauce. Since then I have used it in everything from avocados to eggs, like this scrambled omelette with cherry tomatoes. In coming recipes I will tell you more about how you can use Japanese soy sauce in ways you might not have considered before.

If you love the flavours in sushi, but like me, can’t afford to splurge too often, then this Japanese-style rice dish with shrimp and ginger is for you. It combines several main ingredients in sushi: ginger, rice and soy sauce. I have also added shrimp and sun-dried tomatoes for an extra salty taste.

What we need:

  • 100g of peeled and washed shrimp (use de-frosted if you like)
  • 300g of rice
  • 6 big mushrooms
  • 50g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce
  • Around 1 centimeter of freshly grated ginger (about a teaspoon)

How to make it:
1. Defrost the shrimp on a plate for later use.
2. Place the rice in a sauce pan and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
3. Grate the garlic into a frying pan and fry in the olive oil for 2 minutes.
4. Peel and chop the onion and add to the frying pan. Let it fry until soft.
5. Chop the mushrooms and add to the frying pan.
6. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the frying pan.
7. Add the soy sauce and let it all blend together until soft.
8. Add the shrimp and the ginger. Mix it all carefully and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
9. When the rice is ready, fluff it and add it to the frying pan.
10. Mix very carefully into a rice dish and serve immediately.

Serves: 2

Takes: 20 minutes

Level: easy

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21May 12

Baked potatoes with aubergine and salmon and mustard filling

Baked potato with aubergine and salmon and mustard fillingBaked potatoes are my favourites for Friday evenings because I just love the smell of potato that fills the room and the anticipation after it has been in the oven for a long hour. Also, you can be sure that it will be tasty with just about any topping. A baked potato with a savoury topping and a glass of white wine sets me in the mood for the weekend!

 

Here is a recipe that uses mustard and honey as base for a yoghurt sauce. I have also used aubergine and tomatoes, mainly because I hardly ever eat aubergine, but this recipe would work just as well with almost any vegetable. I use smoked salmon in the yoghurt sauce because I wanted to make it more “meaty,” but it can also be made as a vegetarian dish.

Baked potatoes, if small enough, also make for a great accompaniment to a meat dish. If you are a meat and potatoes person, try this recipe for lamb with crushed baked potatoes.

What we need:

  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 100g smoked salmon (optional)
  • 1/2 aubergine
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 170g full fat yoghurt for cooking or crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 of grainy French mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or slightly less honey

How to make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
2. Wash the potatoes carefully and place them in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes.
3. Wash and peel the aubergine. Cut into small pieces and place in a frying pan in the olive oil.
4. Wash and chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Place in the frying pan. Let it all fry together until soft and mushy.
5. Take the yoghurt or crème fraîche and place in a bowl. Add the mustard and honey or sugar. Mix carefully. If you are using smoked salmon, cut it into the yoghurt sauce.
6. When the aubergine and tomato mixture is soft, press a clove of garlic into it and mix carefully.
7. When the potatoes are soft and ready, place on a plate and cut a cross in them. Place 2 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture in the potatoes and top it off with 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt /mustard mix.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 60 minutes (in oven)
Level: Easy

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17May 12

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaks

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaksDid you know that potatoes are delicious with green pesto? I find that making potato bakes (or potato au-gratin, if you want to sound sophisticated) is an easy and comfy way of making a proper dish if you are looking for more variety instead of always eating boiled or mashed potatoes.

Add some vegetables, such as mushrooms and red onion, and blend pesto with yoghurt or crème fraiche for a creamy sauce. Within the hour, you’ll have a dish that looks like a lot of work has gone into it, when really it was a doddle to make!

If you prefer chicken, use chicken breasts instead of salmon steaks in this meal. For more pesto and chicken recipes, I recommend this pesto chicken with caramelised aubergine, roast tomatoes, and olives.

What we need:

  • 4 small salmon steaks (500g)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 big mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 250g Greek natural yoghurt (for cooking) or crème fraîche
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese (about 6 slices)

How to make it:
1. Defrost the salmon steaks.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
3. Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop into thin slices. Place on a plate for later.
4. Wash and chop the mushrooms, onion and pepper into medium-size pieces.
6. Grate the garlic into a frying pan with some of the oil.
7. Add the onion and pepper and let it all become soft.
8. Add the mushrooms, mix it properly and let it all fry for 5 minutes.
9. Pour the yoghurt into a bowl and add the pesto. Mix it carefully.
10. Cover the bottom of an oven-safe form with some of the yoghurt /pesto mix.
11. On top, place slices of potatoes.
12. Next, alternate between yoghurt/pesto mix, vegetables and layers of potatoes.
13. On top of the last potato layer, sprinkle the grated cheese.
14. Place in oven for 60 minutes or until potatoes are ready.
15. 10 minutes before the potato au gratin is ready, and when the salmon is defrosted, place the steaks into a frying pan with some of the olive oil and fry until lightly brown.
16. Serve the salmon steaks with the potato au gratin and a rocket salad.

Serves: 4

Time needed: preparation 15 minutes + 60 mines in oven

Level: easy-intermediate

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08May 12

Rice salad with spinach and avocado

Rice and Spinach SaladPopeye was right – spinach is a superfood! Using spinach in salads is particularly healthy as spinach is extremely rich in antioxidants and has a high nutritional value, especially when fresh. It is also good for your eyes as it contains lutein. For you gents out there, it is believed that spinach can help fight prostate cancer, and girls, take note: it is good for keeping your iron levels high.

Since I have just discovered the health benefits and many uses of spinach, expect to see more recipes containing this health bomb. This rice salad with spinach and avocado is a yummy alternative to pasta salad, using rice in a cold salad together with vegetables and topping it off with a tasty yoghurt dressing.

Having added another superfood to this salad – the avocado, this salad becomes a virtual health injection and the boost you might just need after a long sluggish winter. This is the perfect spring salad! (I also recommend this chicken, spinach and feta salad.)

What we need:

  • 130g rice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 5 small mushrooms
  • 30g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small tin of tuna (80g)
  • 100-150g of fresh spinach
  • 1dl of natural yoghurt
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon of ground herbs

How to make it:

1. Wash and boil the rice according to instructions on the package.
2. Peel and pit the avocado and cut it into small pieces.
3. Wash the mushrooms and cut them into medium-sized chunks.
4. Wash the tomatoes (both sun-dried and natural) and cut them into thin slices.
5. Wash the spinach and break into small pieces with your hands.
6. When the rice is ready, take it off the heat and let it cool, at which point you can add all the vegetables and mix in the tuna.
7. Take 1dl of natural yoghurt and add ½ – 1 tablespoon of salad herbs (according to taste) and mix.
8. Mix it carefully into the rice salad or keep it separate for each person to add according to preference.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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03May 12

Time-saving sweet chilli fish

Time-saving sweet chilli fishAttention fish lovers: Sweet chilli fish with rice is a dish for those of you who like the taste of the delights from the sea but don´t really have the patience to cook dishes which use up a lot of your precious time.

You know who you are: you are always on the run, and your greatest wish is for food to cook itself, but you also want your food to be healthy. You are tired of ready-made microwaved food and of counting just how many E-numbers have been thrown in.
Here you will learn how cooking fish dishes need not be difficult or time-consuming, and your health will thank you.

This dish literally cooks itself; while the rice is simmering, you have time to tend to other things. All you have to do is chop an onion or garlic, mix the ingredients, and the rest takes care of itself.

This sweet and sour chilli fish dish is an easy, no-fuss, midweek dish. Just don’t forget to put the timer on!

What we need:
• 600g of cod
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 garlic clove or 1/2 yellow onion
• 1 decilitre of parsley
• 50-75g of butter
• juice from 1/2 a lemon
• 1 tablespoon of honey
• 1 teaspoon of sambal oelek

Tip to save time: You can also use a ready-made sweet chilli sauce instead of lemon, honey and sambal. It can be found in most food shops. With the remaining sauce, try sweet chilli and lemongrass prawns!

How to make it:
1. Set the oven to 225 degrees Celsius.
2. Place the cleaned fish in an oven-safe form and sprinkle some salt over it.
3. Chop the garlic and parsley.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix in the garlic, lemon juice, honey and sambal oelek.
5. Slowly pour the mixture over the fish.
6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
7. Serve with whole grain rice mixed with lightly cooked vegetables. (These can be defrosted frozen vegetables which are added at the last minute to the rice.)

Time needed: approximately 25 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy (especially when using the ready-made sauce)

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