Breakfast Burritos

A remedy for over indulging the night before, or if you just feel like you need a good breakfast.  They’re also pretty good at any time of day.

This how a breakfast burrito starts life

These freeze really well and I usually freeze a couple for days when I’m on the go, it takes a few minutes to microwave these once they’re defrosted.  This is a vegetarian recipe and is tasty as it is, but meat eaters can add bacon or chorizo if they feel they need to.

All rolled up and ready to devour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 Large potatoes

1 Large onion

2 Bell peppers

1 Chilli pepper

Handful of chopped parsley or coriander (or a mixture of both if you have them)

4 Flour tortillas

8 eggs

3 Tbsp. Olive oil

50 gm Grated Cheese (I use cheddar, but use what you have at hand)

Salt and pepper to taste                 

Method

  1. Wash potatoes and chop into 1cm squares, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large frying pan, and potatoes and cook over a medium heat.  Turn every 5 minutes, or whenever they are starting to brown
  2. Chop onion and peppers, and add to the potatoes after the potatoes have started to brown
  3. When the potatoes have browned and the onions and peppers have softened add the herbs and season with salt and pepper
  4. In another pan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, in a bowl whisk the 8 eggs and add to the pan. Scramble until light and fluffy and season with salt and pepper if needed
  5. Lay out a tortilla, add one quarter of the potato mixture, the scrambled egg, and grated cheese along the middle of the tortilla.  Using the edge closest to you, fold this side over, tucking the two outside edges and the tortilla to make the burrito.
  6. Serve immediately, or allow cool, then wrap and freeze (you can double these quantities if you want to make a larger batch to freeze)

Red pepper and cannellini bean dip

I love dips, along with crudités, oat cakes, tortilla chips etc. (usually with something alcoholic).

Red pepper and cannellini bean dip

Most shop bought dips are pretty awful, and this dips is quick, and, easy to make and tastes so much nicer than the gloop most supermarkets try to pass off as dip.  If you’re having friends round, it’s also something you can give the poor vegan who has to miss out on the cheese based scrumptiousness that usually goes so well with drinks.

Ingredients

400gm Can of cannellini beans

Juice of half a lemon

2 Roasted red peppers (I use the ones in jar, but you can roast your own peppers if you prefer)

1 Clove garlic

1 tbsp Olive oil

Salt

Method

  1. Drain the beans, and retain some of the water the beans came with.
  2. In a blender or food mixer, add the beans, peppers, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic and blitz until the mixture is smooth
  3. If the mixture is too dry, add a little of the water the beans came in.
  4. Taste the mixture and season with salt if necessary

Sunshine in a Bowl

Don’t freak out if you see ingredients here. My advice is, find an Asian supermarket close to you.  They sell spices and some exotic fruit and veg at a fraction of the price of large super market chains. You’ll never look back.

This soup is a great way to clear out your fridge.  I rarely use the same vegetables twice.  Basically use what you have, it’s also fine to use frozen vegetables like green beans or spinach.

I call this soup sunshine in a bowl, not just because of the cheery yellow colour but it’s so tasty and wholesome it’ll make you feel good.  I’m not vegan but I really enjoy this, especially with some toasted cashews, and deep fried shallots (who has time to make these, I buy them ready made in the Asian supermarket, they’re also really good sprinkled over salad, you can also use the tubs of fried onions sold at a certain large Swedish furniture store)

Serves 4 -6

Ingredients

100 grams Green beans

1 Red pepper

1 Courgette

250 grams Bok Choi, or other green leafy vegetable (I’ve used broccoli before and it works well too)

400ml Can of coconut milk

4 Kaffir lime leaves

1 Stalk of lemon grass

3 Cloves garlic

1 Tsp. Turmeric

1 inch Piece of ginger (I keep ginger in the freezer, this stops it going off and makes it easier to grate)

1 Red chilli pepper

1 Handful of chopped coriander

Juice of 1 lime or ½  a lemon

2 Cups of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Vegetable/coconut oil

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pot, and chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces, bruise the stalk of lemon grass (I usually do this by bashing it with the base of a pot), and add to the vegetables along with the turmeric and kaffir lime leaves
  2. Gently fry the vegetables until they start to soften
  3. Grate the ginger, chop the garlic and chilli finely before adding the vegetables
  4. Add the can of coconut milk and vegetable stock (I use a vegetable stock cube, because who has time to make the real deal)
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes, and add half the lime juice and taste.  This is the time to adjust seasoning, so check if you want some more lime juice or salt.
  6. Stir in the shopped coriander and serve

Quail’s eggs with rock salt and roasted cumin

These beautiful speckled little eggs may sound posh, but they can be bought pretty cheaply (I get mine from an Asian supermarket).

This is a really simple canapé if you want to impress dinner guests, or go down pretty well with a few cold beers. They can also be made well in advance so that you’re not running around like a crazy person. (Just remember to leave an extra dish out for your guests to throw their discarded egg shells in).

Method

  1. Put a medium sized pan of water on to boil
  2. Put a small frying pan on to heat
  3. When the water is boiling, add the quail’s eggs and boil for 4 minutes. 
  4. After the 4 minutes, take the eggs out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking
  5. In the frying pan add the cumin seeds and toast until you can smell the cumin, remove from the heat and mix with the salt
  6. Serve with eggs in a dish, with the cumin and salt alongside to dip the eggs in

Arancini (Risotto Balls)

I had these for the first time in New York, with a cocktail in an air conditioned bar which felt like I’d arrived in heaven after pounding the streets on a hellishly warm day. 

These make a great little starter, or are divine with a glass of wine or a cold beer.

If you are organised enough to have made the mushroom risotto a day or two before then these are pretty quick and easy.  Some people like these with a marinara sauce, but I think these are delicious enough on their own.

 500 grams Mushroom risotto

100 grams Mozzarella (dolcelatte also works really well)

2 Tbsp. Plain flour

2 Eggs

*100 grams White breadcrumbs (See food hack)

Olive oil for deep frying

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Cut the mozzarella into 1.5 cm cubes, or you can use the little mozzarella “pearls” you can buy in some super markets
  2. Take a tablespoon of the cold risotto mixture in your hand and flatten it.  Add a small piece of cheese and form the risotto around it to make a ball.  Do this until you have used up all the risotto (it’s useful to have a bowl of water handy to wet your hands and stop the risotto sticking. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat oil on a large heavy based pan or deep fat fryer.
  4. Put the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper, which the eggs in a separate bowl, and add the breadcrumbs to another dish
  5. Heat oil on a large heavy based pan or deep fat fryer.
  6. Role the risotto balls in flour, then beaten egg, and finally the breadcrumbs
  • Add the breaded risotto balls to oil and fry until golden brown, remember to drain any excess oil on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.

* Food Hack  – When you’re shopping pick up bead that has been reduced because it’s going stale.  When you get home, take 5 minutes and whizz the bread up in a food processor until it’s crumbs.  Put these breadcrumbs into a large freezer bag and keep in your freezer.  Bread crumbs are an amazingly versatile ingredient, that you can use in everything from gratins, deep fried crusts, stuffing or even thickening sauces. 

Mushroom Risotto

This is a big batch, but there is method in my madness.

Firstly this risotto is really unctuous and yummy so you’ll have to fight with yourself not to keep spooning it into you plate.  But if you can resist eating it all, the left over risotto makes the most amazing risotto balls or arancini (if you’re feeling posh).

A lot of people are purists about the type of rice to use whether it’s Arborio or Carnaroli, and to be honest I haven’t found much of a difference.  So use whatever you can find and what you prefer. 

Ingredients

500 grams Carnaroli or Arborio rice

2 Tbsps. Olive oil

1 Large onion

500 grams Mushrooms

4 Cloves of Garlic

3 Tbsps. Dried porcini mushrooms

1.5 Litres Chicken or vegetable stock (made with stock cube/s is fine)

1 Glass of white wine (this is optional, I usually prefer to drink wine than cook with it, but it’s also the perfect excuse to open a bottle)

Grated parmesan (you can also use Grana which is similar to parmesan, but is a bit cheaper)

Herbs to finish, again this is optional but it does add another layer of flavour

Method

  1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in enough warm water to cover them
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.   Finely slice the onion and add to the pan, cooking until soft.
  3. Slice the fresh mushrooms and garlic, add to the pan and cook gently until the mushrooms have softened and started to brown (don’t move the mushrooms around too much in the pan).
  4. Add the rice and stir the grains are coated in the oil.  Add the stock a ladleful at a time.  Yes I know this bit is a total faff, but who am I to argue to with generations of Italian Nonas’.
  5. Depending on the type of rice you use, you may not need all the stock, or you may need a little. Keep adding the stock until no more will be absorbed by the rice.
  6. Now is time to stir in the grated parmesan.  Personally for me the more cheese the better, but this is up to your own personal preference.

Don’t forget to use your left over risotto for arancini balls (you’ll love them)

Kitchen Sink Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower cheese has always been a favourite of mine.  Unlike most purists, I use it as vehicle to help use up what’s in my fridge.  In this recipe I’ve included what was in my fridge when I made it. 

In the past I’ve included ingredients such as sautéed mushrooms, bacon, red onion or sweetcorn.  As with most of my recipes, you can adapt them to suit your own taste.  I usually eat this on it’s because it’s pretty substantial, but can also use it as a side dish.

As everyone has got obsessed with low carb eating, cauliflowers have started to get expensive. (I don’t care what anyone says cauliflower rice is not as good as proper rice).  I’ve learned that you can also eat the outer leaves of cauliflowers and they’re pretty tasty (think a milder version of cabbage).

Ingredients

1 Large cauliflower

6 Spring onions/scallions

100 grams Chorizo

500 mil Milk

50 grams Flour

50 grams Butter

100 grams Grated Cheese (I use a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella, because it’s what was in the fridge, but use whatever you have

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Wash the cauliflower and separate the head into florets, and chop the outer leaves and stalks.
  2. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the cauliflower until just tender.  Once cooked, drain well and transfer into a shallow oven proof dish
  3. Chop the chorizo and spring onion, in a deep sided frying pan fry the chorizo until the it starts to release it’s oil, and put to one side, 
  4. Gently fry the spring onion in same pan for one minute and put to side with the chorizo
  5. In the same pan again melt the butter and then gradually whisk in the flour and milk.  Cook for a further 4-5 minutes over a gentle heat until you have cooked out the flour (this means the sauce shouldn’t taste floury).  Season with salt and pepper 
  6. Add the chorizo and spring onion back to the sauce and combine with the cooked cauliflower in an oven proof dish.
  7. Sprinkle the combined ingredients with grated cheese and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown