Cheesy Potato and Aspragus Puffs

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These are great for a party snack or for a side dish to accompany your lunch or breakfast. You can experiment with adding different things in place of the asparagus.

Cheesy Potato and Asparagus Puffs (makes 12)

500g potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
8 asparagus spears
2 medium free range eggs
50g grated cheddar cheese
25g butter
3 tbsp milk

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Grease a 12 hole muffin tin. Make sure you do it really well, these ones take a bit of manuoevering to get them out of the tin!

3. Bring the potatoes to the boil and simmer for around 15 minutes until soft.

4. Meanwhile cook the asparagus anyway you choose, I usually steam or cook it in a skillet on the hob. Cut the asparagus into 1 cm long pieces.

5. Seperate two eggs. Whip the whites until fluffy and set to one side.

6. When they are cooked, drain the potatoes well and mash thoroughly.

7. Mix the cheese, asparagus, milk, butter and egg yolks into the potato until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the whisked egg whites.

8. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

9. On removing the tray from the oven, run a knife around the edge of each puff to ease it away from the tin, but wait until they have cooled before extracting them.

Spicy Potato and Cabbage Stew

IMG_0875This recipe is somewhere between a soup and a stew – a stoup maybe?!

It’s very easy to make and really healthy.

Spicy Potato and Cabbage Stew (serves 4)

1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
Splash of olive oil or vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into very small pieces
1 heaped tsp Nigella seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 heaped tsp medium curry powder
1 litre vegetable stock
800g potatoes, peeled and cut into squares
150g shredded cabbage

1. Cook the onion, garlic, chilli, Nigella seeds, turmeric and curry powder in a large saucepan with a splash of oil, until the onion has softened.

2. Stir in the vegetable stock and the potatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes. Add seasoning if required before serving.

Winter Warmers

Spring is definitely on the way here in Yorkshire, but there is still a chill in the air and it’s nice to spend cosy evenings with the heating on enjoying being indoors. Here are a couple of suggestions for hearty treats.

Leek and Potato crumble (serves 2)

1 large onion
3 leeks
2 medium potatoes
150ml milk
75g butter
125g plain flour
30g cheddar cheese
1 tsp paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Slice the onions and leeks. Peel the potatoes and dice into small cubes.

3. Put in a pan with the milk and 25g butter. Cook over a medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Cover and allow to cook until the veg is softened.

4. Blend 25g flour with 4tbsp cold water and stir into the veg. Cook for 3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season as needed.

5. Meanwhile dice 50g butter and rub into 100g flour to make crumbs. Mix in the cheddar and paprika.

6. Tip the vegetable base into an ovenproof dish and top with the crumble. Cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the crumble is golden brown.

Hot buttered Rum (serves 2)

My Dad and his partner bought me some little bottles of Rum back from their recent Caribbean cruise and I wanted to try doing something different with them.

25g butter
3tsp soft brown sugar
Orange peel (use a potato peeler to cut a few long strips of peel)
100ml Rum, spiced rum works particularly well.
2 cinnamon sticks
300ml boiling water

1. Melt the butter and sugar together in a pan with a strip of orange peel.

2. Stir in the Rum and boiling water.

3. Serve with the cinnamon stick to garnish.

Tips

Seeing Spots has set the challenge to write about Tips for attending events. (Interestingly, I’m attending a conference for work in Glasgow today, so have had to pre-write and schedule this post.)

I decided that it would be more useful to record my top 5 cooking related tips.

1. Use a teaspoon to peel ginger.

2. If your hands smell of garlic when you’ve been cooking, rub them on a stainless steel sink or tap for a few seconds before washing them to help remove the door.

3. Did you know you can freeze leftover coconut milk from a tin in icecube trays?

4. Read the whole recipe fully before you begin! (I speak from experience after making Scottish tablet for my brother-in-law and only realising part way through the process that 30 mins of vigorous stirring was required!)

5. This is one I’m going to try next time I’m making mash. The tip is from Wolfgang Puck, via the Foodnetwork.com site. “When making mashed potatoes, after you drain the potatoes, return them to the hot pan, cover and let them steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry out so they’ll mash to a beautiful texture and soak up butter and cream easily.”

Leek and Potato Casserole

I decided to treat myself to a casserole dish, mainly because I thought it was beautiful, not becuase I cook many casseroles!  I always felt that a casserole dish wasn’t really a key piece of equipment in a vegetarian kitchen, particularly as I associated casserole dishes with recipes that took a long time to cook.

I did like having a great big pot full of food and I’ll be looking out for other recipes.

This is more of a construction suggestion than a recipe.

Leek and Potato Casserole

Leek and potato casserole

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Peel and slice 4 potatoes thinly.  I used a mandoline.
  • Wash and chop 1 large leek into 50mm slices.
  • Drain and rinse one tin of butterbeans and one tin of sweetcorn.
  • Prepare 500ml vegetable stock.  I used a stock cube.  Stir in 2 heaped teaspoons of wholegrain mustard.
  • Construct the casserole by layering up the potatoes, then a layer of the vegetables, then more potatoes.  After a few layerspour over a covering of the stock.  Keep repeating until you end with a layer of potatoes.  Dot the potatoes on the top with a little butter.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until the potatoes are soft.