Stuffed portabello mushrooms

We normally cook portabello mushrooms on the barbecue in the summer as a vegetarian alternative.   We love mushrooms and could not pass up the offer on some large portabello mushrooms on a recent shopping trip.   We also had some gluten free bread in the fridge and used the crusty end pieces to make a tasty bread crumb stuffing.   We can’t wait for the summer to try this dish on the barbecue.

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What do I need to make it?

 

  • 3 large portabello mushrooms (skin peeled)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How much will I make?

3 mushrooms

How do I make it?

Roughly chop the garlic, onion and parsley and place in a mixer with the crusty bread slices.    Blend to a coarse mixture and season with salt and pepper.   Place a couple of heaped tablespoons of the stuffing on top of the mushrooms, drizzle a little olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or till done.  Enjoy hot.

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Mediterranean chicken for kids

Here’s a quick recipe for some mini chicken fillets marinaded with Mediterranean flavours which so far has gone down well with our two fussy eaters.   We marinade enough to prepare over a few days by either pan frying it or baking it in the oven and serve it on its own with fries or as a filler for a wrap.   Our son loved the marinade to the point he actually enjoyed eating it on its own (we though it was amusing).  We’ve also found that by involving the kids in the preparation of a meal they seem more likely to enjoy it when it’s cooked.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gm mini chicken fillets
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Normally 12-14 fillets depending on size

How do I make it?

Place the minced garlic and chopped onion in a mixing bowl.  Add the Italian seasoning, sumac, salt and pepper and give it a good mix.  Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, mix and finally add the chopped parsley.   Place the chicken fillets in the marinade and refrigerate for an hour or more.   Heat a non stick pan and cook the fillets on both sides till they are done.   We make the same marinade for ourselves but add a teaspoon of crushed red chillies for a spice hit.   Hope your little ones enjoy it as much as ours do.

Italian flavoured casserole

Off all the casseroles we have pulled together over the last month, this has to be our favourite only to be matched by the Creole/Mexican flavoured dish we made earlier.  The weather continues to go from bad to worse and this Saturday was no exception – non stop rain from dawn to dusk coupled with a definite bite in the air.  We decided to make a hot comforting casserole for dinner and as promised earlier we were going to experiment with Italian flavours in our next casserole, so here’s the recipe for it.  Our next challenge given to us by one of Anna’s friends is to develop an Indian themed casserole – stay tuned…

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gms boneless chicken thighs (6-8 pieces)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 small shallot chopped
  • 1 medium leek sliced
  • 1 courgette cubed
  • Handful of green beans chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 5-6 baby potatoes halved
  • 6-8 button mushrooms quartereded
  • 8 cloves of garlic – 3 chopped for marinade
  • 400 gm tin of cannelini beans drained
  • 400 gm tin of barlotti beans drained
  • 400 gm tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 tbsp oilve oil
  • Few sprigs of fresh basil and parsley chopped to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

First marinade the chicken thighs with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of crushed red chilli flakes, 3 chopped garlic cloves, chopped shallot and salt – set aside for a few hours.   Heat your oven proof casserole dish and sear the chicken pieces on both sides and remove.   Add remaining olive oil, garlic and rosemary to the same dish and stir for 30 seconds before adding sliced onions and  leeks – stir for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.  Sprinkle 1 tsp Italian seasoning, l tsp crushed red chilli flakes and the stock cubes – add about 500 ml of water and stir.  Stir in the cannelini beans, borlotti beans and chopped tomatoes.  Place chicken on top of the vegetables, cover with lid and place the casserole in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree Centigrade for an hour or till the chicken is cooked through.   Garnish with chopped fresh basil and parsley.

 

Parsley chutney

In the South of India you get two different varieties of chutneys – either one with fresh ground ingredients or the cooked type.   We tried using parsley as the core ingredient for a cooked chutney and were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.   The taste is slightly unusual at first as parsley is not a native Indian herb but after the first few mouthfuls your taste buds get used to it and it is quite enjoyable.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Large bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped with stalks
  • 3 tbsp split urad dahl
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • Piece of asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

A cereal bowl full

How do I make it?

First heat a tablespoon of oil and temper the urad dahl, red chilli and asafoetida till the dahl changes to a golden brown colour.  Cool and dry grind the ingredients to a powder.   Heat a pan and add a tablespoon of oil and then add the chopped parsley and cook for five to ten minutes till the parsley has wilted and cooked.   Transfer the cooked parsley into a blender and add the tamarind paste and a bit of salt and blend to a paste.   Place paste in a bowl and then add the powdered ingredients till it is full incorporated into the paste.   Enjoy with plain boiled rice or as a spread on toast.