Archive for red onion

Beef Skewers with Stuffed Peppers…

Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe, Summer with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2010 by helenphillips

…as well as corn-on-the-cob and a bit of salad.

Despite the lack of barbecue equipment, the hot weather means that summer themed dinners are high on the agenda. The best way to cook kebabs or skewers is always going to be over charcoal, but they are still delicious cooked by indoor methods such as the grill. I use a grilling machine, which also means that they can be cooked pretty quickly. You do have to keep a close eye on them, and keep rotating them so that they don’t dry out.

Beef Skewers with Red Onion

These are very simple to put together. Firstly, the beef needs to be marinaded for an hour. If this can be done overnight, then even better. Prepare the beef by cutting into even sized cubes (I used around 240g / 0.5 lbs for 2 servings). Put the cubes into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and some chilli sauce. How much chilli sauce depends on personal taste, and what sauce you are using. We are currently using Sriracha hot sauce (no, I don’t know how it’s pronounced, and yes, it is hot). I’m a bit of a lightweight, so added just 1/2 teaspoon to the sauce, and put the bottle on the table so Eddie could add extra to his.

Once the beef has stewed in it’s own juices for a while, it’s time for the impaling. For tonight’s feast, I simply alternated the meat with some red onion (I used 1/2 a large one). Cherry tomatoes are always delicious on skewers, but awful to clean off the grilling machine afterwards. Other alternatives are mushrooms or peppers, but I used both in the accompanying dish.

Stuffed Peppers

They say that everything in the US in bigger (whoever ‘they’ may be). If the bell peppers (aka sweet peppers) in my local supermarket are anything to go by, then ‘they’ are correct. So big, I felt that half a pepper per person was quite adequate as an accompaniment to the skewers. To keep it simple, I decided on a filling of spring onions (aka green onions) and mushrooms. There are several ways of cooking a stuffed pepper, but as I’d left it rather late in the day, I opted for a quick and dirty method.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°F / 190°C
  • To prepare the pepper, remove the stalk, but cutting around it, and then chop in half. Remove the seeds and the white ‘seams’ (what’s the real name for these?). Bring some water to the boil, add the peppers to the pan, and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Chop 3 or 4 mushrooms, and 2 or 3 spring onions, and dry fry in a non-stick pan. Once they have started to soften add 1/4 cup (60ml) of rice, and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the rice is almost cooked (it should still have some ‘bite’ as it will finish cooking inside the peppers). Season to taste.
  • Once all components are ready, carefully spoon the rice mixture inside the peppers. This is the part I find most difficult due to my distinct lack of grace! Wrap the peppers in foil, and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes. The foil parcel keeps everything nicely moist, and cooks the rice.

Getting your 5-a-Day!

Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by helenphillips

Today was a day of a few missed photo opportunities. This morning, I braved the chill to return to work after a 2 week break. Not fun. After scraping the ice of the car, I finally pulled off. And then stopped. I had noticed the temperature on the dashboard display. Minus 6.5 °C. I can imagine in some other countries you will scoff at this, but it’s the coldest reading I have ever seen here. I whipped out the camera, only to get the frustrating ‘change the batteries’ message. I suspect the poor little thing was objecting to the cold. The drive to work was atmospheric, with the area around work submerged in a good old-fashioned pea-souper. This cleared through the day, and blue skies emerged.  Then at around 4.15, I noticed a glow in the reflection of the building opposite. It seemed that a beautiful sunset was developing behind us. Of course, I still didn’t have any batteries, so did my best to ignore it.  The weather predicts 2 more weeks of the ‘deep freeze’, so I’m not too disappointed. I’m sure I’ll get another chance soon!

My own obsession is to take a Photo A Day, but no-one can have failed to notice the general obsession to eat 5 portions of fruit & veg each day. In fact, some advice now has been modified to 7 portions a day. Generally I don’t do 2 badly at this – today’s count consists of a banana, rocket salad with cherry tomatoes, 2 satsumas, 1 strawberry yoghurt, and tonight’s dinner, which was Tagliatelle al Ragu, aka Spag Bol.  If I had children who didn’t eat veg, then this dish is perfect for ‘stealth vegetables’. As it is, I don’t have children, let alone fussy ones, but enjoy using vegetables to bulk out the meat sauce. My recipe has evolved over the years – it’s still based on the recipe I used as a student, but now I get more vegetables use. My version uses mushrooms, red pepper and aubergines, as well as onion, garlic and tinned tomatoes. This is basically what I do, giving around 4 good portions.

  • 250g minced beef
  • 100g diced pancetta
  • 1 onion (white or red), diced
  • 1/2 large aubergine, diced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 150g mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (a good glug, probably around a tablespoon)
  • Red or White Wine (again, a good glug! Maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons….)
  • 400g tinned tomatoes (preferably chopped)
  • Herbs & Seasoning

Dry fry the minced beef and pancetta in a non-stick pan until the beef is browned. Drain into a bowl through a colander to remove the fat.

Use the same pan to sauté the onion and aubergine for a couple of minutes, then add in the sliced pepper and sliced mushrooms.  Add the chopped or crushed garlic. Stir well, and cook for another few minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the tomato purée to coat the vegetables, then add in the L&P sauce, and then the wine (de-glaze the pan if necessary).  Bung in the meat, add the tinned tomatoes, refill the tin half-way with water to rinse, and then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, and use any seasoning or preferred herb (generally I use salt, pepper & basil).

Serve with Pasta of your choice – I prefer Tagliatelle or Penne – and top with grated Parmasan.

January 4th 2009 - Tagliatelle al Ragu

Chorizo, Chickpea and Potato Stew

Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2008 by helenphillips


This is a delicious dish, full of flavour, easy to prepare, and a firm favourite on a certain forum I use. We really don’t eat enough beans and pulses in our household, so this is a good way to include chickpeas.
This recipe should make enough 2, with some left over for lunch or to freeze (unless you’re really hungry!)

Potatoes – around 200g – any type suitable for boiling
1 small red onion
Chorizo sausage (chunks are better than the thin sliced stuff you can get, the one I used was 225g)
1 tsp paprika
1 tbspn red-wine vinegar
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas (400g)
Olive Oil

Peel and cube a handful of potatoes. Boil until they start to soften.
Chop the red onion, and sautee in a little oil until soft, and then add the chunks of chorizo, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chunks of potatoes, cook for another 2 minutes.
Sprinkle on the paprika, then add the vinegar, tomatoes and (drained) chickpeas.
Cover and simmer for around 10 minutes to allow the potatoes to finish cooking, and to allow the flavours to develop.