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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with pepper

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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14Feb 12

Pasta with egg yolks and walnuts

Pasta with egg yolk and walnutsAs the temperatures plummet to negative numbers, and we are all tucked up at home, shivering and dreaming of warm beaches and barbeques, it is often a good idea to eat food that provides us with plenty of energy, such as pasta with egg yolks and walnuts.

Since we might not have the time to cook hearty stews for hours on end, pasta is one particularly high-energy and easy-to-prepare food which is perfect for wintertime. This will keep us warm when -or if- we dare to venture out, since you can actually eat yourself warm.

In this recipe, we have added egg yolk and walnuts for an even more energy-packed dish, and as though that wasn’t enough, topped it off with cream and bacon. This dish is probably not for the calorie-counting people out there, but bear in mind that in these freezing temperatures, your body needs more of them than usual. Calories can be counted when spring arrives in a month or so! In the meantime, while winter is still here, you can use the leftover walnuts to make an apple and walnut crumble for dessert.

So, put your favourite film in the DVD, take 15 minutes to make this easy dish, and cozy up on the sofa knowing that this is a yummy way to give your body that extra boost that it needs and deserves!

What we need:
• 300 grams of spaghetti or Tagliatelle pasta
• 300 grams of bacon
• 1 clove of chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 deciliter of grated parmesan cheese
• 1 deciliter of cream or full-fat milk
• 2 pinches of ground pepper
• 4 egg yolks
• Parsley
• Top it off with chopped walnuts

How to make it:
1. Boil the pasta in lightly-salted water according to instructions on the packet and drain.
2. Mix the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic in a bowl.
3. Fry the chopped-up bacon in a frying pan and take off excess fat with a tissue.
4. Pour the bacon and the mix of egg yolk, cheese, olive oil and chopped garlic into the pasta and stir it together carefully.
5. Sprinkle the chopped up parsley and ground pepper over the pasta and serve immediately.
6. Add more parmesan cheese according to taste, and add chopped walnuts as desired.
7. Crawl under a warm blanket with a bowl of this amazing pasta, and enjoy with a good film – just until the weather improves.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Level: easy

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