Friday, 19 June 2015

Roasted Vegetable and Avocado Pita Pizzas

Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a problem. A problem with how ridiculously adorable these little bastards are! Look at them! They’re so cute they should be locked up. Or eaten.

Oh, and I promise this’ll be the last bready recipe for a while. Seriously, tortillas, tacos, burritos and now pitas. I gotta try branch out a little. But I had to share this recipe, ‘cause it’s become my go-to vegetarian dinner. I’m a sucker for anything with avocado, and as far as I’m concerned there’s not a meal out there that couldn’t be improved by the addition of roasted garlic. Spiced crunchy chickpeas and soft chunks of sweet potato are really just the icing on the cake. And if all that sounds like something you can get on board with, then you’ll love these Pita Pizzas.

To save time, you can just buy pita breads from the supermarket. But if you want to go full-homemade, making your own pitas is as simple as throwing together this dough, rolling it into little disks and baking them in the oven for a few minutes. Easy.

Credit where credit’s due, this recipe was ripped off from inspired by Pinch of Yum’s version. Lindsay’s photos are a constant source of deep burning jealousy inspiration, and her recipes are just depressingly amazing so inspiring. I’m not bitter, shut up.

You should be. She’s much better than you in every possible way. Just sayin’…

Friday, 29 May 2015

Mozzarella Mustard Meatball Marinara Madness

Italian-style meatballs are a true comfort food. There’s something undeniably joyful about sitting down to a big plate of spaghetti meatballs, slathered in sauce and cheese. That dangling participle was just for you, grammar nerds. But you know what isn’t just for grammar nerds? These marvellous marinated meaty miracles with a mild mustard makeup.

I know what you’re thinking. “Is there anything more appetising than alliteration?”. How ‘bout rich, flavourful meatballs soaking in a tomato and red wine sauce, covered in a blanket of grilled mozzarella cheese… That do anything for you?

In all seriousness though, I did actually come up with the idea of packing these meatballs with dijon mustard when I was pondering a way to gratuitously shoehorn another word starting with ‘M’ into the title. True story.

Should I really be taking cooking advice from you?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

All Day Breakfast Burrito

You know that saying “necessity is the mother of all invention”? Well, random stuff in the fridge is the mother of all recipes. Or at least is was for this recipe. Throwing stuff together to see what works and what doesn’t is a really fun part of cooking. And by damn is this one of the things that works!

I’ve called this a breakfast burrito because that’s when I first ate it. And also it’s got an egg in it. Which I’m fairly sure is, like, Latin for breakfast, or something. But it’s an All Day Breakfast because you don’t have to wait for the man to tell you when you can and can’t eat something deliciously awesome.

This recipe is pretty much as quick as you want it to be. You can make the tortillas and the hummus completely from scratch, or you can just use pre-made stuff from the shops if you wanna save a bit of time. Hummus is crazy easy to make though, so I’m gonna include the instructions for that. Best part is, you can adjust it to how you like it. Want more lemon? Less garlic? You the boss.

Then it’s time for breakfast á la Boss!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

3 Cheese, Courgette and Rosemary Pasta

The last tendrils of a fading winter are clawing at the door, the world outside my rain streaked window is one of steely greys and bending boughs.

It's still cold as balls out there.

Spring has most certainly not sprung, and I ain't coming out until it does. So with food being the cure for pretty much everything wrong with this latitude, I've been eating a lot of comfort grub lately. That's where this little creamy, cheesy number comes in.

Don't worry, it's got like... an orange... vegetable and a... a green vegetable in there somewhere. So that's like, most of your 5 a day right there! Just make up the other three with cheese. That's how it works, right?

Yes. Yes it is.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Irish Tacos with Spiced Chicken

With Paddy’s Day coming up I wanted to have a little fun and make a twist on an Irish culinary classic, like… em… uhh… huh. I guess Ireland doesn’t really have much of a culinary legacy. Screw it, let’s just make something with potatoes in it and call it Irish. That work for you?

I kinda made these by accident when I was experimenting with my tortilla dough. Exactly like the discovery of penicillin. Alexander Fleming was trying to make tortillas, right? Only I’ve got a feeling this discovery’s actually gonna change the world. You tried your best Alex, I respect that. But it’s not as though you invented the potato taco.

Yup, you read that right. Potato. Taco.

When I found out that to make genuine hard-shell corn tacos, you need specially treated corn meal, my response rhymed with duck fat. I’m sure I could get Masa Harina from a specialty store, but frankly that’s more trouble than I’m willing to go to. You don’t plan ahead for tacos. They just sorta happen. Like that kid who’s ten years younger than their siblings. We’re all thinkin’ it.

Except no, because I’m thinkin’ ‘bout TACOS!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

East Meets West: Plum Duck and Sausage Pizza Dumplings

Dumplings. Hot damn do I love me some dumplings. And with it being Chinese New Year up in this joint, I decided to make my own for dinner. What could go wrong?

It was halfway through my 8th pork dumpling dipped in vinegar and soy sauce that I realised serving them as a main course could actually be a violation of the Geneva Convention. There’s no taste variation, they’re waaaay more filling than you remember them, and they pretty quickly become a chore to keep eating. The law of diminishing returns is strong with these. But I still really wanted a way to make dumplings work as a main, because they're too much effort for just a starter or side.

So I mooched around for a day, wondering how I could make them better. More than one flavour would help, but most dumplings still wind up tasting pretty similar to a western palette. Which is when it struck me: Don't confine yourself to just Asian flavourings. So I made one set of dumplings inspired by shredded duck pancakes, and the other... by pizza. East meets west. Italianese!

The second problem I found with dumplings from my first attempt was how repetitive it is to make the damn wrappers (and no, I won't just buy them from the shop! What kind of operation do you think I'm running here?). But I solved that too, as you will see.

You truly are a visionary. The hero we need, but don’t deserve.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Chile Con Veggie and Pale Ale Tortillas

I’ve been trying real hard to think of more vegetarian recipes for this blog. Unfortunately, my thought process usually goes:

Meat -> Things that go with said meat -> Recipe.

So I haven’t been hugely successful in that department. Meat simply makes almost everything more awesome. I’m just holding out for bacon ice-cream… wait, that’s already a thing?! Well then. Game-set-match, I guess. But taking a break from meat for a couple of days a week is probably a good idea. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that. Or grow healthier, either works.

As awesome as Chile con Carne is, there’s so much going on besides the meat that it makes a great candidate for going full veggie. The trick to a great chile is to use way more chillies than you think could possibly be safe. Just remove all the seeds and ribs, and I promise it won’t taste like the surface of the sun. And once you smother it in cheese, sour cream, avocado and lime juice before bundling it into a warm, fluffy, beer infused wrap… yeah, you won’t miss the meat. You’ll be too busy proposing to your veggie burrito.

Now for the elephant in the room. Choice of spelling. I call the pepper a “chilli”, because I’m Irish. And due to a rather long and colourful history, that means I speak English of the Queen’s variety, as opposed to the Ronald McDonald dialect. I call the dish “chile”, because, in case the “con carne” didn’t give it away, it’s Spanish. As in “not English”. So with that cleared up, let’s be on our way.

Less linguistics, more cooking.