Bean Curd (Tofu) and Mushrooms with Vegetables

I have mentioned my ancient Chinese cookbook before, the one direct from the 1970’s, bright orange cover, published by Sunset, and absolutely falling apart now. It is held together with a bulldog clip. It is still available online, I see – leftover copies and second hand ones.  It is not surprising, the recipes are great. Mostly non-veg, but with enough veg recipes for me to still want to keep it on my bookshelves – at least until I have cooked every one of the veg dishes.

Today’s dish is simple but delicious. Tofu in a mushroom sauce with either broccoli, beans or carrots. Delicious. I have replaced oyster sauce with miso – you might like to use a mushroom based vegetarian oyster sauce if you prefer.

Similar recipes include Broccoli and Chickpeas with Orange Butter Sauce, Chinese Cold Cucumber, Green Beans with Garlic and Sesame, and Sizzling Rice Squares.

Browse all of our Tofu dishes and all of our Chinese fare. Have a look at the recipes we have made from the cookbook Chinese Cooking. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Easy Summery Weekend Breakfast and Brunch Dishes

Think outside the box for Breakfast, especially in Summer.

Prepare your breakfast dishes, make a large pot of coffee, set the table on the verandah, deck, or under the grapevines, take the newspaper or a book, and enjoy a leisurely Summer breakfast.

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Cucumber Raita

Amongst non-Indians, Cucumber Raita must be the most well known accompaniment to Indian meals. It is not a surprise, really. It is a tasty and cooling dish that easily cuts through the heat of Indian food. Because of it’s popularity, the wealth of different Raita and Pachadis (Sth India’s version of the raita) sadly do not feature in restaurants.

In Summer, in this 42C heat of recent days, even we reach for this cucumber cooling goodness. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Pachadi with Coconut, Spinach Pachadi, and Carrot Sambol.

Browse all of our Pachadi and Raita. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Mid Summer collection of recipes.

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Sweet Potatoes and Deep Fried Tofu in Coconut Miso Broth with Noodles

Oh deep fried tofu! Sssshh, don’t tell tofu-haters how good deep fried tofu is! I think we should keep it to ourselves. Deep frying changes the soft mushy texture of tofu to a crispy outer skin with a pillow soft inner. If you are drooling already, have a look at this deep fried tofu with a peanut sauce. Sensational.

This recipe takes some deep fried tofu and cooks it with sweet potatoes in a coconut green curry broth, and then serves it with noodles and coriander leaves. It is typically S. E. Asian, like the curries of Thailand and Malaysia. I also make it as one of my Miso Soup options, adding a little more broth to the ingredients. Miso Soup with Sweet Potato, Tofu and Noodles.

Similar recipes include Chinese Bean Curd with Mushrooms and Vegetables, Lemak Style Vegetables, and Black Pepper Tofu.

Recipes with Rice Vermicelli Noodles include Green Mango and Vermicelli Salad. Or read about other Asian Noodles.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes and all of our Sweet Potato dishes. Our S. E. Asian dishes are here. Or explore our Late Winter set of recipes.

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Cheesy Baked Aubergines with Saucy Tomatoes

Winter brings that longing for hot, oven baked dishes that are filling and so comforting on a chilly night as the wind whistles around the house. The oven warms the kitchen and living room, and the aromas make everyone hungry (even the neighbours). How I love baked dishes in the cold cold days. I am warm and so is the kitchen, and I potter around doing this and that in my favourite room. The results are always delicious.

This is another baked eggplant dish, and it is layered with cheese and a tomato sauce. It’s great! Wintery and lovely – another quick and simple cold weather dish.

This recipe first makes a tomato sauce, and then layers golden eggplant slices with the sauce and cheese, before baking it until bubbling and browned. What more do you need in cold Winter weather? Serve with a salad for lunch, or as part of a larger meal for dinner.

Because it is Winter, tinned tomatoes might be your best option for making the sauce, but this year we’ve had really good quality tomatoes available all through Winter. Another option is to use those tomatoes that you threw into the freezer last Autumn. Also, if you made your own Tomato Pastes or Purees to keep in the freezer for Winter, now is the time to use them in place of the Tomato Puree. You can even make it with one that includes a little chilli! As little as 0.25 cup and up to 1 cup of puree is needed.

Similar dishes include Cheesy Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.

Are you looking for Eggplant recipes? Try Creamy Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce, Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Cheese and Tomatoes, and Cheesey Eggplant Torte.

You might also like to browse all of our Eggplant recipes. And browse Baked recipes. Or take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.

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Beetroot, Yoghurt and Preserved Lemon Relish

How I love Autumn. Small bulbs of beetroot hit the shops with their stalks and leaves on, and are intensely earthy and sweet. Trim the stems and leaves leaving a little of the root if you are going to cook them. But beetroot is also very very good raw. Julienne it, or shave it paper thin and use in salads – you will wonder why you have never done this before.

Today’s salad can be made either way – with wedges of cooked beetroot or slices of paper thin raw beetroot. Either way is delicious! I will leave it to you to decide. Beetroot and yoghurt are a great combination either way!

And by the way, the leaves of the beetroot are delicious too. Saute them in a little olive oil with garlic and caraway seeds, for example, and served with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.

This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty. The photos today show the salad made with the slices of raw beetroot, but the original recipe chooses cooked beetroot. We have made it both ways, and can recommend both.

is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking mainly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Kohlrabi, Beetroot and Celery Leaf Salad, Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad and Dip, and Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad.

Browse our Beetroot Salads, and indeed, all of our Beetroot recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Black Olive, Herb and Chilli Pine Nut Cream Cheese

Cream cheese still features in our kitchen, despite its fall from grace. Over-used in the ’80s and ’90s, cooks have relegated it to supermarket shelves. But, thank goodness, really good cream cheese still exists if you look around. It makes very easy, simple but flavoursome dips and spreads, and snack balls.

This spread mixes cream cheese with olives and herbs. Cream cheese is quite bland, so we spice things up by incorporating some chilli toasted pine nuts. It is hardly a recipe, it is that simple. But we share it here anyway.

Use the spread on crackers, on hot toast or crumpets, and with roasted vegetables.

Similar recipes include Quince Molasses and Tahini Spread, Miso and Tahini Sauce, and Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread.

Browse all of our Cream Cheese dishes and all of our Spreads. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Tahini and Yoghurt Sauce and Dressing

This is an awesome dressing for salads – think green salads, or salads of warm vegetables. It is also perfect for hot potato chips, and a great sauce for snacks. Try it with Falafels! Or use as a dip for celery and carrot sticks. It is made in seconds, all you need is a bowl and a fork for whisking.

Are you after similar dressings? Try Minty Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce and Dressing, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Green Tahini Sauce, and Lemony Yoghurt Dressing.

Browse all of our Dressings and all of our Sauces. Or take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sweet Quinoa and Oat Congee with Poached Oranges and Vanilla Ricotta

Congee, back in the Ming dynasty, was used as a vehicle for medicinal herbs. Even without the herbs, it is such a great vehicle for love, comfort and nourishment. It is comfort food indeed, eaten at any time but especially when one is feeling under the weather, or has stomach trouble. It is also reputed to be suitable for eating when one has a hangover.

Most people think of congee as a rice porridge, but depending on where you lived in Asia, your congee might be made with millet, barley, corn, mung beans or other legumes, mixed with or without rice. Sadly, it is only the South China version made with rice that has become known more universally, probably because it is so creamy and mild. Congee has lots of names across the world too, eg jook (Cantonese, Korean), jok (Thailand), zhou (Mandarin), kanji (Tamil), chao (Vietnamese), canja (Portugese). In Thailand, they mix additional ingredients into the congee, but in China, it is served with toppings and sides.

Congee is a great way to prepare a meal out of nothing. A cup of rice, lentils or grain can be cooked with 8 – 10 cups of water and whatever flavourings are available in the pantry at the time. I prefer to cook congee in a clay pot, easily available from any Chinese store, as it gives a better flavour.

And most of all, congee is a meal that’s all about personal preference. Cook your chosen grain or lentil, for as long as it takes to get your perfect texture, flavour it as you will, and add the toppings that you enjoy. Today’s congee is made with Oats and Quinoa, a delicious combination that is perfect for breakfast or day time snack. Unlike our other congee recipes, it is one that is sweetened with the addition of dried fruit while cooking.

Similar recipes include CongeeRice, Millet and Lentil Congee, Black Glutinous Rice Congee, and Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and all of our Quinoa and Oat dishes. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Yoghurt and Barley Soup

In India, yoghurt curries are very common – yoghurt heated gently and flavoured with spices. In the Middle East, yoghurt is used for soups, and they are also incredibly delicious.

This soup has bite and substance thanks to the handful of pearl barley. The creamy yoghurt and a wealth of spices makes this is a such a nourishing bowl.

Try similar recipes – Turkish Spinach Soup with Chickpeas and Barley, Turkish Cacik, Pineapple Curry with Yoghurt Sauce, and Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings.

Barley Soups include Farmhouse Barley Soup and Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage.

Browse all of our Yoghurt recipes and all of our Barley dishes. All of our Soups are here. Middle Eastern delicious recipes can be found here. Or browse all of our Mid Winter dishes.

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