Archive for summer

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.

Strawberries & Cream

Posted in Cooking, dessert, Food, Home Cooked Food, recipe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2008 by helenphillips


I don’t think I’ve written about a dessert on here yet, so it’s probably about time I did. I don’t really cook desserts or puddings that often, hence the lack of recipes.  This one was yet again a bit of an experiment, but inspired by a ‘raspberry pizza’ recipe I saw in Good Food Magazine (July 2007). It’s really a twist on Strawberries & Cream – a real summer delight. The quantities quoted are just right for 2 people. Or you could be mean and stretch it to 4!

For the bases you will need around 300g shortcrust pastry (I cheated and bought pre-made stuff), and a pastry cutter (I used a 88mm one). The pastry needs to be rolled allowing 4 bases to be cut.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c, and then bake the pastry for 10 minutes.

For the topping you will need:

Around 75 ml Double Cream, whipped until fluffy. Then add one tablespoon of caster sugar (I used vanilla which I make at home), and fold in until completely dissolved in.

To make a caramel, melt 1 oz butter, 1 tablespoon double cream and one tablespoon of caster sugar (again I used vanilla). Cook gently for 5 minutes, and then mix in the Zest of one small orange (or my case Satsuma!), and around 250g berries (I used strawberries & blackberries). I also added in a tablespoon of chopped mint.

Pile the Berry mix onto the bases, and add a spot (or dollop!) of cream to the top. Serve, and eat quickly before the cream melts!