hellomagazine.com's homepage, The place for daily celebrity news

The Recipe Room

Get your own blog on "The Recipe Room" Register here
follow us on: Facebook Twitter

Cover: Gluten free cooking

May, 2012

31May 12

Menemen – Turkish Scrambled Eggs

Menemen - Turkish Scrambled Eggs

One of my fondest memories from a trip I made to Turkey a few years back has got to be the incredible breakfasts!  Nuts and cheeses, yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit and marmalades, and of course, menemen, a kind of Turkish scrambled eggs.  I can still remember falling asleep every night with my mouth watering in anticipation of the next morning’s breakfast!

This recipe, as with most scrambled egg recipes, is very quick and ridiculously simple to prepare.  The only thing you really need to keep in mind to make this taste as good as possible is to use the best quality vegetables you can find, preferably organic.  And if you haven’t switched over to organic free-range eggs, I strongly recommend you do so as soon as possible, as the difference in taste and colour is absolutely astounding!  Also, if you can find the Italian style green peppers (they’re longer and thinner), then you should use them for a more authentic experience.

If you like a big breakfast, why not also try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts? You can technically eat them for lunch or dinner, but to me, pancakes are for breakfast. And I usually prefer salty over sweet in the morning.

 

Menemen - Turkish Scrambled Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • 1 medium sized green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, washed and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • ¼tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium size frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking.
  2. Sauté the onion for 5 or 6 minutes, or until it's very soft.
  3. Add the green pepper and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove the cover from the pan and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the excess liquid has evaporated.
  7. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and season to taste with the salt and pepper and nutmeg.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Add the freshly chopped parsley and mix well.
  11. Serve immediately.

 

Continue reading
26May 12

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves

Greek stuffed grape leavesA great appetiser or party food, these Greek stuffed grape leaves have a more subtle and mellow flavour than the pre-made variety. For more Greek goodness, try these lamb kebabs with cucumber and feta relish.

You Need:

  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 250g long-grain white rice
  • 375g gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 can (about 200g) grape leaves
  • Juice of 2 lemons

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a medium heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add 125ml of the broth.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the rice mixture to a bowl and stir in the dill, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. Fill a deep, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid with water and bring to the boil.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and blanch the grape leaves in the hot water 5 for minutes.
  9. Drain the leaves on paper towels and trim away the stems and hard veins. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels.
  10. Lay a grape leaf on a work surface, shiny-side down. Put 2 tablespoons of the rice filling near the stem end of the leaf.
  11. Fold the stem end over the filling, fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up into a cylinder. (Don’t roll too tightly as the rice will expand as it cooks.)
  12. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling placing the rolled leaves in the pot, seam-side down in a single layer.
  13. Pour the remaining broth, olive oil, and lemon juice over the stuffed grape leaves.
  14. If the liquid doesn’t reach at least halfway up the rolls, add more water.
  15. Cover the pot and simmer 30 to 40 minutes over low heat, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  16. Can be served warm or cold.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

Continue reading
24May 12

Creamy Cheese Blintzes

Creamy Cheese BlintzesThese creamy cheese blintzes are great for dessert or brunch.  The sweet cherry topping is both colourful and tasty. For a saltier flavour, you could also try these crepes stuffed with ricotta and courgette.

You Need:

For the crepes:

  • 190ml milk
  • 30g sorghum flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 25g tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Additional butter for frying

 

For the filling and topping:

  • 230g ricotta cheese or firm silken tofu
  • 90g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar + 125g for dusting
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 can (about 500ml) cherry pie filling

 

Steps:

 

  1. Make the crepes: In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the additional butter, and process until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 205°C.
  3. Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Just before frying the crepes, blend again to reincorporate ingredients.
  5. Heat a 20cm frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water dances on the surface.
  6. Brush the surface of the pan with butter.
  7. Pour 60ml of batter into the pan and immediately tilt and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly with the batter.
  8. Cook until the underside of the crepe is crispy brown, then flip with a thin spatula and cook the other side for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the batter sets.
  9. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the remaining batter.
  10. In a medium bowl, beat the ricotta cheese/tofu and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth.
  11. Gradually beat in the 3 tablespoons icing sugar, lemon zest, and egg until smooth.
  12. Spoon 60ml of the cheese mixture in a line along the lower third of each crepe.
  13. Fold the bottom to just cover the cheese filling and keep rolling, ending with the seam side down.
  14. Place the blintzes in the baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked and the cheese sets.
  15. Dust with icing sugar, spoon cherry pie filling on top, and serve warm.

 

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

Continue reading
22May 12

Indian-Style Brown Rice

indian style brown riceLately I’ve been trying to eat more whole-grain foods, but at first I had a hard time getting down plain, whole-grain brown rice.  It’s just so heavy and seemed to always get stuck in a ball at the back of my throat.  I’ve always loved Indian pilau rice, so I decided to try and make something similar with organic brown rice.  This Indian-style brown rice recipe is the result.

As with most Indian dishes, you need a lot of ingredients that you might not have in your kitchen, so a trip to the shops might be in order before you can start making it.  In any case, I’ve tried to keep the ingredients list as short as possible and only use the most common Indian herbs and spices.  I also added frozen peas to the mix to try and make it into a full meal in itself, although the best thing to do is to top it off with your favourite curry.  It also goes quite nicely with my baked tofu in peanut butter sauce recipe.

You Need:

  • 500g organic brown rice
  • 1.5L water
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • Seeds from 8 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Melt the butter in a 3 litre pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic slices, cardamom seeds, fresh ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon sticks and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  3. Add the rice and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly and making sure all the rice gets coated and toasted with the butter and spices.
  4. Add the water, salt and turmeric and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the frozen peas.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.  The exact time varies greatly depending on the brand of rice used.
  7. Drain off any excess water.
  8. Mix the fresh coriander into the rice and serve with your favourite curry.

Ready In:  30-45 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:  2 out of 5

Note: Now that I enjoy brown rice, I also eat this brown rice salad with pecans and sultanas. Simply scrumptious!

Continue reading
13May 12

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Vegetable Black Bean SoupBack in my university days, there used to be a café near my school that served the most delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Soup every Friday, and at a price that even us struggling students could afford.  Ever since then I’ve tried to keep up the tradition at my home, where Fridays are still known as Black Bean Soup day.

The original version used smoked tofu, but I’ve substituted it for firm tofu, fried with paprika and cumin. Of course, if you’re a meat-eater, you could go ahead and substitute the tofu for ham; just make sure you remove it before puréeing. Another hearty broth is this bacon, carrot, butterbean and coriander soup.

You need:

  • 500g dried black beans, soaked overnight in 5 litres of water
  • 250g firm tofu, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.25 litres water
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (lemon may be used)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

Steps:

  1. Put the beans in a 5 litre pot with 1.25 litres of water, the bay leaves, half the salt and the baking soda.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.
  3. Cover and let it cook for 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Take out the bay leaves and set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large (at least 9 litres) stock pot on a medium-high heat until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  6. Add the onions, celery, carrot, tofu and more salt.
  7. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and add the cumin, paprika and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  9. Add the beans and their cooking liquid back into the mix along with the vegetable stock, molasses and red pepper.
  10. Bring to the boil; then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from heat and put half of the soup in a blender and purée until smooth.
  12. Mix the purée back into the rest of the soup.
  13. Add the lime juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with the chopped fresh coriander as garnish.

Ready In: 2 hours

Serves: 6

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Continue reading
12May 12

Easy Onion Bhaji

Easy Onion BhajiI’ve always loved getting onion bhajis from my local Indian takeaway, but I imagined they would be quite difficult to make, so I never seemed to get around to making them myself.  Then, by pure chance, I happened to see them being made while I was waiting for my order and quickly asked the cook if he would mind telling me the basic recipe.  I didn’t have a pen or anything to write with, but luckily I’ve got a pretty good memory.  This easy onion bhaji recipe is what I made the next day by memory from those instructions.

The only real change I made (as far as I can remember) was in the frying methodOnion bhajis, sometimes known as vegetable or cheese fritters served in soups, are usually deep fried, but I wanted to try and make them a little bit healthier and lighter, so I decided to just fry them in a frying pan with a little bit of oil.  They turned out perfectly and were much lighter and less greasy than the typical takeaway fare, while still retaining all of the flavour.

Once you get the hang of making them, you can try substituting the onion with courgette or whatever other vegetable tickles your fancy.  I personally recommend eating them with tamarind sauce, but feel free to use whatever sauce you prefer, or even just eat them plain.

You Need:

  • 500 g Gram flour
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 150 ml water
  • 1.5 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Mix the Gram flour, cumin seeds, chilli powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the onions and fresh coriander and mix well.
  3. Add the water and mix to form a thick batter, making sure the onions are evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  6. Drop a tablespoon at a time of the batter into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  You will need to add more oil for each new set of bhajis.
  7. Remove the finished Bhajis from the oil and let them drain on a wire rack or kitchen paper.
  8. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce or chutney.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

Continue reading
10May 12

Baked Tofu in Peanut Butter Sauce

baked tofu in peanut butter sauceIs it a dessert?  Is it a main course?  It’s hard to classify precisely although the one thing that’s for sure is that it is 100% awesome yumminess!  I pulled this Baked Tofu in Peanut Butter Sauce recipe out of my hat last Sunday after a meat-loving friend bet me I couldn’t prepare tofu in a way that he would consider delicious or even edible, for that matter.  Since he is notorious for having a sweet tooth, I decided to mix things up a bit and go for something leaning towards dessert than your typical savoury tofu dish.  This was the result.

So, to make a long story short, I made the dish, he tried it, and he was absolutely blown away!  The saltiness of the tamari contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the peanut butter, and the ginger, chilli pepper and garlic seemed like a good idea to give it a bit of a Thai feel.  (Another Thai dish that can be made with tofu is Pad Thai.) It may be a bit rich for some tastes, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth or just love peanut butter, I definitely recommend you try this one right away!

You Need:

  • 400g soft tofu
  • 3 tbsps gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 6 tbsps smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh chilli peppers, finely chopped (can substitute ½ tsp paprika)
  • 200 ml boiling water.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Mix the peanut butter with the boiling water in a bowl.  Stir until all the peanut butter is dissolved.
  3. Sauté the ginger, garlic and chilli peppers in a little oil for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  4. Add the spices to the peanut butter and tamari sauce and mix well.
  5. Cut the tofu into ½ cm slices.
  6. Lay the tofu slices along the bottom of a deep, non-stick baking pan or casserole dish.  If you don’t have a non-stick pan, grease the bottom with a little oil or butter before laying out the tofu.
  7. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the tofu slices.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the peanut butter sauce solidifies and starts to bubble at the edges.
  9. Serve on top of rice or alongside some steamed veggies.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  3

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

Continue reading
02May 12

Cheddar Cheese and Courgette Quesadillas

Cheddar Cheese and Courgette QuesadillasQuesadillas basically means “Little Cheese Things” in Spanish, and are simply mini toasted cheese sandwiches made using tortillas instead of bread.  These scrumptious cheddar cheese and courgette quesadillas are made with finely sliced courgettes as well as the cheese, but feel free to make them with just cheese or add your own favourite fillings such as  shredded chicken, beef, or pork; caramelized onions; black olives; or avocado. (For more Mexican flavours, I recommend these chicken fajitas with red onion and guacamole.)

 

You Need:

For the filling:

  • 250g shredded cheddar cheese
  • 65g chopped fresh coriander
  • About ½ a small courgette, washed and sliced as thin as possible

 

For the tortillas:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 gluten-free tortilla wraps

For the garnish

  • 100ml sour cream

 

Steps:

 

  1. Combine the cheese and fresh coriander in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the tortillas, brush half of the olive oil over the surface of a flat, non-stick grill pan or frying pan large enough to hold the tortillas.
  3. Lay a tortilla down directly on the pan, but do not turn on the heat just yet.
  4. Spoon the cheese and coriander mixture evenly spaced over the tortilla.
  5. With a spatula, gently spread the filling evenly over the tortilla to within a centimetre or so of edge.
  6. Place a layer of the thinly sliced courgette over the cheese, not too close to the edges.
  7. Gently place a second tortilla on top of the filling and gently press down.
  8. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, covered with a lid large enough to cover the tortillas, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until tortillas are gently browned.
  9. Carefully turn over the tortilla either with a large spatula or by flipping it with the pan as with an omelette.
  10. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Gently lay the cooked tortilla on a flat surface, such as a large cutting board, and cut into quarters with very sharp knife.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat to let it cool off a little.
  12. Repeat the process for the rest of the tortillas.
  13. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream or salsa.

 

Ready In:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   1 out of 5

Continue reading