Baked Vegetable Rice

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					                                 SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES

Baked Vegetable Rice
I just love baked rice with lots and lots of vegetables in it. It’s such a good way
to cook up an all-in-one main course (or side-dish if you prefer), that is very
satisfying. Of course, you don’t have to stick with the same selection of
vegetables as I have listed here - once you’ve tried it, then you can start playing
around with what goes into it. For a non-vegetarian version, try adding shreds of
cooked chicken or turkey, or maybe sautéing some bacon or pancetta or chorizo
with the vegetables.

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 stems celery, trimmed and diced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
150g (5 oz) shelled peas, frozen and thawed
1/2 tin (around 200g/7oz) chopped tomatoes,
400g (14 oz) basmati rice, rinsed
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) vegetable stock (or chicken stock, if this is not for
1 good pinch saffron (optional) or turmeric
1 big sprig thyme (optional)
salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying
pan over a high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until they are
beginning to brown – this will take around 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic, and
sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Draw off the heat, and mix with all the remaining
ingredients in a shallow oven-proof dish (I use one that is about 30 cm x 20 cm
(12” x 8”)). Cover with foil and bake for 45-55 minutes until the rice is tender and
has absorbed all the liquid, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning
and serve.
                                 SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES

Quick Tomato Sauce for Pasta
Serves 4
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of thyme
salt, pepper

Put all the ingredients into a pan and add half a can of water. Stir, then bring up
to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer very gently for some 20-30 minutes, stirring
frequently, until the tomatoes have reduced down to a thick sauce. You may
need to add a little water to prevent catching. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Fish out and discard the thyme twig and the bay leaf.

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, Broccoli and Poor Man’s Parmesan

Serves 4

400g (14 oz) spaghetti
300g (10 1/2 oz) broccoli, cut into small florets, stalk sliced
tomato sauce (see above)

Poor Man’s Parmesan:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tinned anchovy fillets, roughly chopped (optional)
4 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs

Cook the spaghetti as normal in boiling salted water. About 4 minutes before it is
done, add the broccoli to the pan to cook with it. Drain and toss pasta and
broccoli with the tomato sauce.

As soon as your spaghetti goes into the water, heat the oil in a medium sized
frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and fry gently,
crushing down the pieces of anchovy with the back of a spoon or the fork, so that
they dissolve into the oil. As soon as they’ve mulched down, add the
breadcrumbs and fry the whole lot together, stirring virtually constantly, until a
rich golden brown. Pile into a bowl, lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess
oil. Ease the paper out just before serving.

Serve the spaghetti with tomato and broccoli piping hot and sprinkle a couple of
teaspoons of the ‘poor man’s parmesan’, i.e. the fried crisp crumbs, over the top.
Eat immediately (with or without genuine Parmesan, depending on how rich you
are feeling) before the deliciously crisp crumbs become soggy.
                                SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES


Serves 4

Around 350g (12 oz) large potatoes
15g (1/2 oz) butter, softened
1 x xx tin tuna chunks or steaks in brine, drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or coriander
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
plain flour
salt and pepper

15g (1/2 oz) butter
1 tablespoon oil for frying

To serve: 4 lemon wedges, tartare sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Bake the potatoes in their skins in
the oven until soft – about 1 hour. If you don’t have time for this, prick the skins
all over with a fork and cook in the microwave on full power until tender.

Halve the potatoes while still warm and scoop out the flesh. Place in a bowl.
Add the tuna, along with the softened butter, parsley, spring onions, lemon zest,
lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add about half the beaten egg. Mix the whole
lot together with your hands, squidging up the chunks of potato and tuna, but
leaving the mixture slightly rough and uneven. Divide into quarters.

Dust your hands with flour, then shape each quarter of the mixture into a round,
flat ‘cake’, about 1 1/2-2 cm (1/2-3/4”) thick. Coat each one in flour, then cover
loosely and leave in the fridge until almost ready to eat.

About 15 minutes before you wish to sit down and eat, put the butter and oil for
frying into a frying pan over a moderate heat. As soon as it begins to foam, lay
the fish cakes in the pan, Leave until browned underneath, then turn and brown
the other side. Serve extremely hot with lemon wedges and/or the sauce.

Replace the tuna with 225g (8 oz) cooked salmon. Buy a couple of juicy pieces
of salmon fillet, then wrap it in lightly oiled foil, and pop into the oven with the
potatoes for the last 10 minutes of their cooking time. That should be enough to
cook the salmon sufficiently, but if necessary, give it an extra 2 or 3 minutes in
the oven so that it flakes easily.
                             SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES

You can use practically any well flavoured white fish in a fish cake – cod is
another favourite, which you can cook in the same way as salmon. Smoked
haddock or smoked cod are also superb – either bake in the oven, or poach in a
little milk with a few bay leaves, a slice of onion and 4 or 5 peppercorns.

Tartare sauce is mayonnaise spiked with herbs, capers and cornichons or

Serves 4

200 ml (7 fl oz) mayonnaise
20g (2/3 oz) very finely chopped shallots or red onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped chervil (if you can get it)
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped pickled ‘cornichons’ or chopped pickled gherkins
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and store
in the fridge until needed.
                                 SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES

Three Bean and Pepper Tortillas
A fabulously quick and delicious family meal.
Serves 4

8 wheat tortillas or corn tortillas
soured cream
grated mature cheddar (optional)

For the filling:
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into fine strips
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into fine strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
400g (14 oz) tinned beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2-1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

To make the filling, sauté the onion and peppers in the oil until just tender and
beginning to brown. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander seed and saute for a
further minute. Now mix in the paprika and beans and cook until sizzlingly hot.
Toss in the coriander leaf, lime or lemon juice and season generously with salt
and pepper.

Reheat the tortillas according to packet instructions (I usually do them in the
microwave), and put bowls of soured cream and grated cheese on the table
along with the hot tortillas and the beans. Let everyone make up their own
                                SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES

tortillas, filling them with the bean mixture and cheese and soured cream if they
want it.

Four Fabulously Quick and Simple Icecreams

Butterscotch Icecream
Mix half a jar of dulce de leche with 150 ml (5 fl oz) whipping cream, lightly
whipped. Spoon into a freezer container, smooth down lightly, cover and freeze.

Marmelade Icecream
Mix half a jar of good quality marmelade with 150 ml (5 fl oz) whipping cream,
lightly whipped. Finish as above.

Apricot Icecream
Mix half a jar of good quality apricot jam with 150ml (5 fl oz) whipping cream,
lightly whipped AND the juice of 1/2 lemon. Freeze.

Lemon Icecream
I discovered this many years ago, and it has remained a favourite quick
pudding. Make it a day in advance so that it has time to freeze.

Serves 8

Juice of 4 lemons
1 x 400g (14 oz) tin sweetened condensed milk

Strain the lemon juice to remove stray pips and pulp. Scrape the condensed milk
into a bowl and gradually whisk in the lemon juice. Spoon into a shallow freezer
container and cover. Slide into the freezer and leave until frozen. Transfer the
                               SOPHIE’S QUICK STORECUPBOARD RECIPES

icecream from the freezer to the fridge about 20 minutes before serving so that it
has time to soften a little.

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