We made two new recipes today. The first was carrot cake. Emma's aunt recently gave us some apples from the tree in her garden. I ate most of them and we decided to bake something with the rest. Emma had read about using apple sauce as a replacement for vegetable oil in recipes. Last night I chopped the apples and simmered in half an inch of water until they had started to break down. I then liquidized the apples to make a smooth sauce.
We usually follow Delia Smith's recipe so I used that as the basis but replaced the oil with an equal volume of the apple sauce. I also reduced the amount of sugar from 6oz to 4oz. Delia's recipe suggests baking for 35--40 minutes but we found that it needed closer to 50 minutes.
This evening I make tuna and chickpea burgers, based on a recipe from the BBC Good Food magazine. I used leeks instead of onions and parsley instead of coriander but apart from that I followed the recipe fairly closely. The cooked burgers had a fairly soft texture but they tasted good.
For tonights tea I made a Tuna Bhuna, using the diced tuna from Waitrose and based on a recipe from the internet.
I made some onion and garlic puree by chopping 2 small red onions and a few cloves of garlic and simmering gently in a small amount of water. When they had softened I put them in the food processor and mixed until everything became a uniform paste. I made a seed mixture by taking a pinch each of coriander seed, mustard seed, onion seed and cumin and crushed them in a pestle and mortar. I dry fried the seed mixture for a minute then added a tablespoon of oil and 2 finely chopped red onions and fried them until they started to soften.
I made a paste from ½ tsp powdered ginger, 2 tsp curry powder, ½ turmeric, ½ tsp chilli flakes and a little water. This was added to the pan then the tuna went in. I then mixed a generous squirt of tomato puree and a dollop of yoghurt (I didn't measure how much) with the onion paste. This went into the pan and everything was simmered for about 10 minutes or so, until the tuna was cooked through. I then added 1tsp of garam masala and cooked for a couple more minutes before serving it with rice.
We ate it before I realised I hadn't taken a photo for here.
We like sushi but had never made it ourselves until now. The strips of seaweed came from Japan but all the other ingredients were bought from a local supermarket.
To make sushi for 2, boil 150g of sushi rice until it becomes soft, then strain and rinse with cold water. When the rice has cooled, dissolve some sugar and a little salt in rice vinegar and mix into the rice. For the rolls we put a sheet of seaweed on some foil, put a thin layer of rice on the seaweed followed by a few strips of tuna, chicken, omelette or vegetable. We used the foil to help roll the seaweed.
Serve with soy sauce, wasabi or picked ginger.
We don't have access to guaranteed fresh tuna to make sashimi-style sushi so we sliced and fried it first. Obviously the chicken was also cooked too. Different rolls had various combinations of vegetables, which included cucumber, yellow pepper and pickled chilli.
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Put 175g porridge oats, 200ml milk and 200ml of chicken stock in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add 100g of grated cheddar and stir in.
Thinly slice and fry 1 medium sized leek, 1 medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Stir into the cheesy porridge. Season if required. Mix in 1 tin of tuna (drained).
Pour into a non-stick baking tray and bake at gas mark 4 or 5 for about half an hour.
The recipe was made up as we went along but the end result was good. It was a bit sticky but adding some flour to the mix might help there. We were originally going to make a thick oat based stew but when the mixture became very thick we decided to bake it to see if it came out solid. As you can see from the photo, it did.
The pasta bake makes enough for 4 servings. We ate half on wednesday and put the rest in the fridge. We finished it off tonight and like a lot of such foods, the flavours seem to improve after a few days.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4.
Dice and fry some vegetables: 2 medium onions, 1 small courgette, 1 pepper, a couple of cloves of garlic.
Cook 250g of pasta.
Drain one tin of tuna.
Make a cheese sauce (approximately 400-500ml or so). We made a roux using 40g of butter and 40g of flour. We added 100g of grated cheese, 1 tablespoon of wasabi paste, and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
To assemble, mix the pasta and vegetables in a pyrex tray. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree and the tin of tuna.
Stir in the cheese sauce and top with a mixture of grated cheese and seeds and/or breadcrumbs. We used some ground-up Wasabi Peas (from Marks & Spencers) to give a crunchy texture and extra wasabi flavour.
Cover the tray with foil and bake for 40 minutes, removing the foil 10 minutes before the end to crisp off the toppings.
Clockwise from top left: 1) Pasta and vegetables in the pyrex dish. 2) Tuna and tomato puree mixed in. 3) Ready for the oven. 4) Close up of the crispy topping.