Friday, 31 January 2014

Special Spicy Noodle Stir Fry

This is a dish that is very flexible in content - basically depending upon what we have to hand - but is broadly made up using nuts, rice noodles and vegs with added gluten free soy sauce (or tamari) and sweet chilli sauce.  It's vegan, spicy and quick to make.

The pictures used in this post are from two different meals but you can see that the general ingredients are as listed above!

We gathered together the ingredients, chopped/sliced the vegs - in this pic it was orange and yellow peppers, carrots, cavalo nero leaf and stem, cherry tomatoes, frozen peas and sweetcorn, garlic, root ginger and spring onion.  Also, we added cashews (although peanuts work OK too).

Using a tablespoonful of oil, we fried off the garlic, ginger and spring onions. 

The rice noodles were put in boiling water for about 5 minutes whilst we stir fried the veg mix trying to stirfry them to make sure they cooked consistently.  So we cooked the carrots and stems first then added the peppers and tomatoes.

Having drained the noodles, they were also added to the wok with the soy sauce and chilli sauce and it was mixed through.

That's it... as simple as that!  Once the prep is done (which I often get done before the evening dog walk) it's a case of heating the wok, adding the ingredients, stir frying and serving up.  We often also have prawn crackers to accompany the dish.

The picture at the top and below shows a completed stir fry which used red peppers, cauliflower florets, broccoli, carrots, cashews, rice noodles, peas and sweetcorn.  Basically, we make the stir fry as colourful as possible and it's one of Sous Chef J's meal of choice.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Slow Cooker Potato Layers

To make this simple store cupboard dish, we gathered the ingredients - garlic (2 cloves), onion (one large), potatoes (we used about 6 small ones), butter, cheese (grated leftovers from Christmas) and vegetable stock.  The amounts you will need depend on how big a potful you want to make - you'll need enough potatoes, onions and garlic for the layers and can add as much (or little/no) cheese as suits.  We used cheddar cheese, finely grated but gruyere or others could be used if they're what you've got to hand.  Here's what we did -

Whilst the onions were sliced thinly and the garlic was chopped, we switched the slow cooker on high to warm it up. 
Next, we sliced the potatoes thinly (and carefully) using a mini-mandolin device we have... it's always a bit of a worry to use such things as digits get very close to blade - hence I did this rather than delegate to Sous Chef J.
Once everything was prepared, we greased the inside of the slow cooker pot with butter, then began assembly...
 .... which is simply layering onion and garlic, then potato slices and cheese... repeat until all ingredients used up.
On the top layer, we added some knobs of butter and a good grind of black pepper.
Finally, vegetable stock (we made ours up using a Knorr stock pot and used about 300ml, enough to just about reach the top of the layers) was poured into the pot and the slow cooker was turned down to low. 

The lid was placed on and the dish was left to cook for about 6 hours.  (It can also be cooked on high for about 3 hours -  which is useful if you forget to start the dish in time to leave it to cook for hours and need to eat earlier!)

The end result was judged as being "very tasty".