July cooking

This month’s dishes included my current favourite vegetable, the mighty marrow! The dish you see above was made the following way:

1 marrow
2 peppers
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
black mustard seeds
cumin seeds
black pepper

Wash marrow. Cut marrow in half, de-seed and rub with a little olive oil. Place in roasting tin upside down (skin showing upwards).
Wash peppers. Cut peppers in half, de-seed, cut into squares, rub with a little olive oil, and add to the roasting tin next to the marrow. Roast until tender, turning/stirring everything once. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
A little later, heat some oil in a pan, add quite a few black mustard seeds, some cumin seeds and paprika. When mustard seeds start to pop, add chopped onion and garlic. Stir until turned golden.
Chop marrow into chunks and add with the peppers to the pan. When they are nicely re-heated and have blended with the spices, add salt and pepper to taste. You can also make the dish hotter by adding appropriate spices!

The marrow dish goes very nicely with carrot bulgur (also on the plate). For this, you need:

1 pot with a lid. If you haven’t got a lid, use a plate or something.
2 parts coarse bulgur
3 parts vegetable stock, mixed with a bit of tomato puree (tomato puree is optional)
finely chopped onions and carrots
(you can also add chopped parsley, chives or spring onions – I added some spring onions)

Heat quite a bit of oil in a pot. Add chopped onions, carrots and garlic. Stir for a while.
Add bulgur and stir some more.
Add tomato-infused vegetable stock & stir.
Leave on low heat for about 20 mins. After 20 mins, the liquid should have been soaked up by the bulgur.
Turn heat of, stir and leave for 20 more minutes, lid closed.
After 20 minutes: major tastiness! : )

I also made this other dish in the picture by special request. I normally make it when it’s colder, because it is quite hearty and rich. It featured the above crab eye beans and some black Indian lentils, and lots of leak & philadelphia. I actually prefer it a bit thinner, as a soup, without the crab eye beans, but it’s good to have some nutty beans in it to have a nice flavour stock. Black beans are the best for taste, but will turn the colour of the dish even grimmer…

Ingredients (for about 20 people):
1 small packet of crab eye beans, dried
1 small packet black lentils, dried
4 huge leeks
2 broccoli (or some more leeks)
2 onions
8 garlic
1-2 packets of veggie mince
About 600g (not for the faint-hearted) Phiadelphia
cayenne pepper

Soak beans (and lentils if you wish) over night. Boil beans, leaving about a half a hand of water on top for stock. Boil until tender. Transfer beans & stock to big bowl(s) and set aside. In a big pot (I use a giant stock pot), heat some oil, add onions, garlic & the chopped leeks and broccoli (the broccoli is meant to fall apart to add to texture). Fry for a bit. Add veggie mince. Fry some more.
Now add the beans & stock, as well as the lentils. The leeks will nearly vanish & the lentils will soak of the excess liquid and thicken the dish. When lentils are done, dissolve the philadelphia in the remaining liquid, using salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste. Goes well with rice or thinned as a soup. A friend likes it with potatoes and puts extra mushrooms and pork chops in it.

I also made some more broad bean hummus as a snack with pitta bread, which I rescued from the reduced to clear bin…

For a small bowl of broad bean hummus you need:

about 2 pounds of broad beans
olive oil
1 garlic clove
dash of lemon or lime juice
you can also add tahini or other sesame-based stuff, but I didn’t have any

De-shell broad beans (if you are making large quantities, stick some nice music on and sing along loudly to scare the neighbours…)
Boil beans tender with just a little water.
Drain, but keep a bit of the water, so you won’t need too much oil to make the paste.
Blend beans into a paste with some of the water and the olive oil.
Add garlic, salt, pepper and lemon or lime juice.

Roasted carrots with thyme, roasted mushrooms & millet burgers.
Must try crossing millet burgers and nut roast in winter!

For the millet burgers you need:
1/2 packet of millet
about 4 slices of old bread
vegetable stock or water
chopped onions
crushed garlic
depending on your bread, about 2-4 eggs, and maybe some flour
caraway, seeds or ground
coriander, ground
mustard powder
salt, pepper

Soak bread in cold water.
Roast millet. When it starts to smell nice and millet-y, add quite a bit of vegetable stock (about half a litre). Simmer until millet is tender. Leave to cool.
Take bread out of the water, squeeze dry. Mix with millet.
Add all spices, onions and garlic. Mix well.
Add eggs, and, if necessary, flour.

Do a test burger to see if it needs more salt/spices/flour/egg. Burgers should not fall apart, but not have too much fluffy-egginess, either.
Make lots of burgers.

For the carrot roast, just put some sliced carrots in a glass bowl or roasting tin with a little oil, water, salt, pepper and thyme (you can also put in the thyme a little later to prevent it from turning dark and losing flavour). Roast until carrots are tender.

Here is the most simple okra dish imaginable. I make it when I’m lazy and need a light meal. I have this dish with shortgrain rice, which is the most simple rice to prepare (soak in a little water for 30 mins, boil with a little salted water for 10 mins, let it rest for a bit & eat!)

Okra & Tomato (makes 2 meals, unless you are very hungry like me)
about 8-12 Okra
dash of lime juice
Some kind of tomato-y stuff e.g. I used a tin of chopped tomatoes and some tomato paste
garlic (lots of – I used 8 cloves, I have to confess!)
onion, parsley (optional)
cayenne pepper
salt, pepper
other spices (optional)

Wash & trim okra ends carefully. Do not cut into the seed pod. Heat oil in pan (with spices if you like) & fry okra for quite a while. Add garlic (and onions if you like). Fry some more.
Add a tin of tomatoes or other tomato-y stuff and a bit of lime (don’t use too much, the dish is already tangy from the tomatoes). If your pan has a lid, close lid. If not, transfer the stuff to a pot with a lid, and simmer until the okra are tender. They may crack open, but that’s ok. Add parsley, if you have any, salt, pepper and any other things you like in there. Dish is good with pitta bread or rice.

My new obligatory dessert of the summer. I made too much frozen yoghurt the other day (as if there can ever be too much frozen yoghurt!) and put some in the freezer to see if it freezes ok. The next day, it was rock hard, but actually thawed into a very pleasant texture, a bit like a sorbet!


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