Tag Archives: Sweet Potatoes

The Veg Box Challenge

Say hello to the vegetable box, she’s called Small Gourmet. As if by magic, she comes to my house every Friday and presents me with delicious, fresh, seasonal vegetables (8 different ones!). I like her, a lot.

Ok so here’s the deal. For my birthday, my lovely mum gave me a vegetable box subscription from Abel and Cole. There’s lots of different vegetable (and/or fruit) boxes to choose from and you can even add fresh milk, yoghurt, herbs, eggs, meat, fish etc etc to your order. I’ve gone for the small gourmet box: 8 types of seasonal veg with the more adventurous things included. Interesting huh? 
Each week you can check out online what vegetables will supposedly be in your box, and if there’s one, you just know, you won’t eat, you can put it on your dislike list and they will replace it with something else.
Obviously this comes at a cost, but the prices start at 9 Pound which isn’t too bad, if you consider that it’s brought to your doorstep and that you will get super fresh and delicious veggies! I also like it, because it gets you to try out new things, that you probably wouldn’t have picked up at the supermarket.

Anyway, I’ve just received my second box today and I thought I’d share the whole experience (I also think I’ll try even harder to really make use of everything, but we’ll see).

Here’s what I got this week:
- Avocado
- Beetroot Bunch
- Purple Carrots
- Red Pointed Cabbage
- Baby Spinach
- Chard
- Red Pepper
- Sweet Potatoes.

I’m currently trying to work out, what I can make each of the above ingredients. If you have any recipe that really brings out the best of any of those veggies, please do share : ).
I will try and keep you updated how I use all these lovely ingredients as we go along.
Have a wonderful weekend!

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RECIPE: Caramelized Mushrooms with delightful Red Wine Sauce and Dumplings

This is probably not something you want to make during the week. It requires patience, well time rather than patience, because you don’t have to actually be in the kitchen for most of it. Just at home. You know… reading a good book, or watching trashy TV or anything that’s not work-related/stress.

It’s based on this lovely recipe from JoytheBaker for Caramelized Mushrooms and Dumplings. And it’s delightful. It’s super super nice and definitely more of a candidate for an under the week meal.
So I remembered this dish this weekend, and then I remembered how much I like red wine sauces that have cooked for hours (mmmmmmmmmh!!), soooo I figured, why not combine the two? (It’s all about combining things in my opinion. Which also does go wrong a lot of the time, but let’s not talk about that on the blog). So here it goes.

RECIPE: Caramelized Mushrooms with delightful Red Wine Sauce and Dumplings 

1. Start with the chopping. Here’s what needs chopping:
- 2 Leeks (thin slices)
- 2 Carrots (rough cubes)
- 1 big or 2 small Sweet Potatoes (rough cubes, similar size to carrots)
- 500g Mushrooms (very rough, you want them to stay juicy)
2. Melt a tablespoon of Butter in a big frying pan, and once melted add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes. When they’ve taken on some colour, put them in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add a splash of Olive oil to a saucepan and then caramelize the leek for a couple of minutes (if you like it a little sweet (like me), also add some honey)
4. When the leek has softened, add the carrots and sweet potato cubes and fry for about 2 minutes.
5. When it’s all sizzling (now it gets exiting!!) Add about 250ml of red wine (or however much you fancy… quite a lot anyway) and let it cook off a little, then add 500ml of vegetable stock, 2 teaspoons of dried Thyme and the mushrooms.
6. And that’s it pretty much for this part of the dish. Now you just have to leave it for a couple of hours (2-3) on fairly low heat (obviously stirring it every now and again) until it’s become fairly thick. Not thick thick, but thicker (so it’s not soup-consistency anymore)
7. Stir in 1 cup of frozen Peas.
8. Make the dumplings (oh and this would also be a good time to preheat the oven, 200° please)
- Mix 2.5 cups of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar, some black pepper, 1/4 cup of chopped chives (I used frozen)
- Quickly incorporate 170g of Butter with the dry ingredients with fingers.
- In a separate bowl mix 1 egg with 3/4 cups of natural yoghurt and the juice of half a lemon.
- Mix the yoghurt mix with the rest.
- Shape into dumplings (add more flour if the mix feels too moist!!)
9. Fill the mushroom mix into a casserole and put however many dumplings will fit on top (have the others for breakfast the next morning)
10. Put in a 200° hot oven for approximately 25 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.
11. Serve with some crème fraiche.

 

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Things to Try Thursday, 1st of March *2012

SWEET

1. Salted Caramel. Chocolate. What else do you really need in life?
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

2. I’ve never made one, but red cakes/cupcakes certainly have something about them. These sound really interesting: Beetroot and Poppyseed Muffins (they’re gluten and dairy free too btw, in case any one of you is suffering from an allergy to either!)

3. Elegant AND indulgent: Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake (everyone likes a good cheesecake? Right?!)

4. Mmmmmmhhhhh. I imagine these to be the most delicate little cupcakes with just this subtle hint of calming chamomile and sweetness of honey.Delicious: Honey Chamomile Cupcakes

SAVOURY

1. Amazing little canapés: Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Chevre and Roasted Tomatoes 

2. Got to love a nice Quesadilla. Especially when it’s filled with sweet potato goodness: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

3. YEAH. Just make them, not much to say, it’s all in the name:Caramelized Mushroom and Onion Biscuit

4. Summer is coming: Gazpacho

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RECIPE: Grilled Sweet Potato Soup

This is the best soup I have ever made (maybe even that I’ve ever tasted). I saw the recipe on the hungry birdie and I knew straight away, that I was going to have to try it! I love love love sweet potatoes especially when they’re grilled. I also just got a blender stick thing, so I’m trying to make more soups to make up for the soup-less time, when I didn’t have this magic thing.

The result was so so good, I can’t even describe it, I’m afraid you’ll just have to try it yourself. I did some things slightly differently, so I’ll post my version of the recipe here. But you should definitely all go follow this blog. It’s the first recipe I made from it, but it was so good, that it’ll end in a lifetime subscription for me.

My soup wasn’t vegan anymore in the end, because I made it a tad less thick with regular milk and I used some actual mayo in the dip, but you could easily keep it vegan, by just using more stock to make the soup less thick and by using the recipe on the hungry birdie to make the dip. Oh and one more thing, I’ve decided to post the recipes in German underneath the recipe in English now, because there might be some people who don’t like reading English as much as I do :)

Grilled Sweet Potato Soup with a Lemon and Garlic Dip
1. Peel and cut into cubes (1cm^2 roughly) 3 Sweet Potatoes (aim for the biggest ones you can find).
2. Put them in a bowl and mix with salt, cayenne pepper, herbs de provence, some curry powder and olive oil. I find it hard to put measurements on this one, because it’s up to your taste. If you don’t like it spicy obviously go light on the cayenne pepper. Generally I’d say don’t be shy about the spices though!
3. Spread the marinated sweet potatoes on an oven tray covered in silver foil and put under the (hot) grill for about 25 minutes. They’re done, when they’re really soft inside, but slightly burny on the outside (that’s how I like them anyway).
4. Whilst they’re in the oven, you tidy the incredible mess you made, you get on with the dip. Mix 1 tablespoon of Mayo, 2-3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (or if you’re feeling fancy greek yoghurt), garlic powder (or fresh garlic, I just get fed up with garlic some days), lemon juice, salt, pepper, a tiny tiny tiny bit of mustard (if you’re not using french mayo that is) and sugar.
5. Put the dip in the fridge, whilst you finish the soup
6. Chop 1 leek (obviously) and let it caramelize in some olive oil whilst you chop 2 carrots, which you add once the leek is nicely caramelized. (Sugar helps, but I don’t want to get you on the unhealthy track)
7. Add in some garlic (fresh or powdered, either will do the job)
8. And now quickly, before the garlic gets bitter, add some vegetable stock and let it simmer until the liquid’s mostly gone. Now (optional) if you’ve got other stuff to do like tidying the mess you made in the process  you can keep going with the adding stock until you want to finish the soup. The longer it cooks, the better it will taste (although there’s probably some sort of asymptotes line concerning how good it can get, just by adding the same ingredient again and again)
9. Add the soft inside, crispy outside sweet potatoes to the pan.
10. Add 200ml of coconut milk
11. Purée the soup
12. Adjust the consistency with either milk or more vegetable stock
13. Serve with some nice baguette and the dip which is waiting for you in the fridge :)

And now I just have to wait for it to turn lunchtime so I can eat the rest of the soup NOM NOM NOM. Thank you hungrybirdie, I think this will be one of my favourite recipes of all times!
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