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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Less than 30 minutes

06Sep 12

Curried Apple Soup

Curried Apple Soup
I don’t think I can be enthusiastic enough about just how much I love this sublimely delicious curried apple soup!  Who ever would have imagined that apples and curry would go so well together!?  It was certainly a surprise for me the first time that I tried it.

Red apples are really the ideal type for this recipe. But as with any dish, you can play around and change things to suit your own personal preferences.

You can use either chicken or vegetable broth – it won’t matter much to the final taste. And if you want to make a slightly lighter (low calorie) version,  you can replace the double cream with single cream or milk and use oil rather than butter.  But be warned: this will take away from the taste, at least a little.  After all, Indian food is meant to be a bit decadent!

And for dessert, munch on this hot apple tart with cream. Delicious!

 

Curried Apple Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A decadent mix of apples and curry
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
  • 55g butter
  • 2tbsp curry powder
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 60ml cold water
  • 1 litre vegetable or gluten-free chicken broth
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Thin slices of unpeeled apples for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the onions in the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  2. Stir in the curry powder.
  3. Blend the cornflour with the cold water in a glass, making sure there are no lumps and all the cornflour is dissolved.
  4. Add the cornflour paste to the onions and curry powder.
  5. Add the vegetable or chicken broth.
  6. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until slightly thickened and clear.
  7. Add a little bit of the hot liquid to the egg yolks, let sit a few seconds and then return the liquid and egg yolks to the pan.
  8. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute.
  9. Add the double cream and then remove from the heat.
  10. Add the diced apples.
  11. Process in an electric blender or food processor until smooth.
  12. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  13. Serve either hot or chilled.

 

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19Jul 12

Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan

Baked Asparagus with Feta and ParmesanI remember one time  as a kid being given some lukewarm, mushy canned asparagus for lunch and thinking it was the absolute worst thing in the world and vowing never to eat asparagus again!  Fortunately, I eventually grew up and tried some grilled asparagus at a restaurant. Imagine my surprise when I realised it was nothing at all like that mushy stuff I remembered!

Since then I’ve become quite a connoisseur of this wild green vegetable, although I have to admit I’m still not much of a fan of the canned variety.  In any case, this baked asparagus with feta and parmesan recipe is made from sweet and crunchy fresh asparagus, and the tangy cheese highlights the juicy baked goodness of the vegetable astoundingly well. (I also recommend this asparagus and cheese pudding.)

 

Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 300g fresh asparagus, washed
  • 150g feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • 25g butter
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Cut the hard, thick ends off the asparagus.
  3. Steam the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are just tender.
  4. Grease an oven safe dish with the butter and lay the asparagus lengthwise along the bottom of the dish, with the tips all pointing in the same direction.
  5. Sprinkle the feta cheese over top of the asparagus, then the Parmesan and the oregano.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  7. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and brown spots form on top.
  8. Serve hot.

 

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03Jul 12

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers

Deep-fried onion flowerThese delicious,  deep-fried onion “flowers” make for a very visually impressive appetiser with which to astound your friends!  The best thing about them is that although they look very impressive and hard to make, they’re actually very easy and will be ready in less than 30 minutes! Serve them with a side of mustard sauce for dipping.

I also recommend these aloo bonda snacks, which are deep-fried potato balls.

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions
  • 150g white rice flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml water
  • Canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Remove the skin from the onion and remove a ½ centimetre slice from the top of the onion.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, cut down from the top through the center of the onion to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom, leaving the root end intact.
  3. Turn the onion 90 degrees, and slice through the centre of the onion, again to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom.
  4. You now have an onion with 4 vertical sections.
  5. Keep rotating the onion 10 degrees at a time, cutting down through the center of the onion until you have made 16 slices.
  6. Spread apart the layers of the onion slightly so the coating can reach the innermost parts of the onion "flower".
  7. Repeat with the other onion.
  8. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour,
  9. garlic powder, salt, oregano, cayenne, thyme, cumin, and pepper. Set aside.
  10. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and water until very foamy
  11. and all the egg membrane has broken up.
  12. Using a pastry brush, coat the onion layers with the egg mixture.
  13. Place the flour mixture in a sieve and liberally dust the onions with the flour mixture.
  14. Heat the canola oil to 175ºC in a deep fryer or a deep pot. There should be enough oil to completely cover the onions.
  15. Carefully place the onions right side up in the oil and fry for 10 minutes, or until it they are browned.
  16. Using a large slotted spatula or spoon, remove the onions from the
  17. oil and drain them on paper towels.
  18. Serve immediately.

 

 

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25Jun 12

Mashed Potatoes with Onion Gravy

Mashed Potatoes with Onion GravyMashed potatoes and gravy, so yummy, and so many memories!  I’ve been trying to stay away from beef and chicken lately, and the ingredients list on most gravy mixes just make me shiver, so I decided to come up with a vegetarian version of this traditional favourite.  This mashed potatoes and onion gravy recipe is the result.

You can serve it as a side dish to accompany pretty much any meat if you want, or alternatively you could throw some bangers into the mix for a quick and easy bangers and mash.  If you want to keep it vegetarian-friendly, just use veggie-bangers or serve alongside some seitan or veggie burgers.  If you’re a vegan, substitute the butter for margarine or oil and replace the milk with soy or rice milk – just make sure you choose one that’s not too sweet as that can ruin the taste.

You need:

For the Gravy:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the mash:

  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 50 grams butter

Steps:

For the gravy:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent but not brown.
  3. Add the vegetable stock cube and thyme and sauté another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the water and bring to the boil.
  5. Mix the cornflour with 1.5 tsp water to form a thick paste.
  6. Add the cornflour mixture to the boiling liquid a little at a time, stirring continuously, until the desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Let simmer on lowest heat possible until you’re ready to serve it.

For the mash:

  1. Boil the potatoes in abundant water with a little salt until they are very tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and place the boiled potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter and milk.
  4. Mash it all together with a potato masher.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

  1. Spoon the mash onto a deep plate and pat down the middle so that it forms a bit of a bowl.
  2. Pour the desired amount of gravy on top.
  3. Serve hot!

Ready In: 30 minutes

Serves: 3

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

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22Jun 12

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut PancakesThese coconut pancakes are made with coconut flour, which lends a delicious and intense coconut flavour and is also a great ingredient for gluten-free baking because of its high fibre, high protein, and low carbohydrate content.  The addition of the shredded coconut and coconut-flavoured extract make the pancakes even more delicious and sweet.

It can be difficult to get these pancakes right the first time, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully, mix all the ingredients very well and don’t skip any steps, such as letting the batter set.  For best results, make sure you use a good non-stick frying pan whose surface isn’t scratched or worn. (For mini treats, try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts.)

 

You Need:

  • 65g sorghum flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 60g coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 200ml to 250ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut-flavoured extract
  • 65g sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional butter or oil for frying

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, sift together the sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix well until very smooth.
  3. Mix in the shredded coconut. Let the batter stand 5 minutes and then add more milk, if necessary, just until the batter is thin enough to pour.
  4. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan until hot but not smoking. Pour 65ml of the batter onto the frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on top of the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancake over and cook until it has browned on other side.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the batter to make the rest of the pancakes.
  6. Serve immediately, either plain or with maple syrup or your favourite pancake topping.

 

Ready In:  25 minutes

Serves:  2

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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18Jun 12

No-egg Caesar Salad

No-egg caesar saladIf you’re like me and you don’t like to eat raw eggs, then this no egg Caesar salad will soon turn into your new favourite salad recipe!  The crispiness of the romaine lettuce and the tanginess of the Worcestershire, garlic, mustard and vinegar in the sauce come together to make a winning combination that’s been a favourite for discerning diners around the world for years.

As for the omission of the raw eggs, I can guarantee you that you won’t even miss them – in fact, I’m having a bit of a hard time understanding what they were doing in the original recipe in the first place! (Also try this chicken salad with roast tomatoes, almonds and balsamic dressing.)

 

You Need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 65ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200g chicken strips
  • 375g gluten-free bread cubes, crusts removed, and cut in 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (omit for vegetarian-friendly guests)
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, patted dry, and torn
  • 50g (1⁄3 cup) grated Parmesan cheese or soy alternative

 

Steps:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC and place a rack in the middle position.
  2. Make the chicken: Fry the chicken in a frying pan until cooked thoroughly. If you prefer it hot, you can serve it immediately with the salad. If you prefer it cold, you can make it the night before and store it in the fridge until ready to add to the salad.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mash the minced garlic with the salt and the oil; set aside.
  5. Make the croutons:
    1. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are just lightly browned.
    2. Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl, toss them with half of the garlic-oil mixture, and return to the baking sheet to bake for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until golden brown and crisp.
    3. Remove the croutons from oven and set them aside to cool just a little.
    4. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the remaining garlic-oil mixture, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovy paste, if you’re using it.
    5. Add the Romaine lettuce and toss thoroughly.
    6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, chicken strips and croutons, toss again, and serve immediately.

 

Ready In:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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07Jun 12

Courgette and Leek Fritters

Courgette and Leek Fritters

Known in Turkey as Mücver, these absolutely scrumptious courgette and leek fritters are typically eaten as a snack in the mid-afternoon between lunch and supper, but they also make for a great appetiser or side dish, and you could even make a full meal out of it by serving them alongside some salad and (gluten-free) bread. (I also recommend these potato and Gruyére cakes. Absolutely delicious!)

Fortunately, the original Turkish recipe only calls for one tablespoon of flour, so it was no problem whatsoever to substitute that for cornflour and make these gluten-free.  They are traditionally eaten plain, as far as I know, but I like to eat them with a bit of sour cream or Greek yoghurt, as I find the tartness offsets the earthy flavour of the fritters quite nicely.

 

Courgette and Leek Fritters
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml plain yoghurt
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 2tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3tbsp cornflour
  • 250g courgette, diced
  • 250g leeks, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Grease a large baking tray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and then mix in the yoghurt, the feta cheese, the baking powder, the parsley and the mint and stir well.
  4. Add the cornflour, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper and blend well.
  5. Add the courgette and leeks to the mixture and stir well.
  6. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray, leaving a few centimetres between each heap, and press down lightly with a fork.
  7. Bake the fritters in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven and turn the fritters over.
  9. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 2 or 3 more minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
  10. Transfer the fritters to a serving plate and repeat the process with any leftover mixture.
  11. Serve warm, with a bit of sour cream or yoghurt if you like.

 

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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

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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

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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

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