Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cooking bonanza!

 My boyfriend is a chef, Well not the professional type as of yet but a chef in training... He works as a common chef in a restaurant, Nancy Murphy s in a nice little quaint countryside village, Enniskerry,

Anyway during the summer my Grandma moved house and she had a heap of recipe books she was planing to throw in the skip, But as my boyfriend is a chef in training I thought it would be a great idea if he took some of the books and learned some of the cooking terminology. It started off great first of all we made a raspberry cheesecake which he sent up to my mom as a birthday present..... We made several other things and then found out that following recipe books is rather expensive.... So we got lazy and the cooking terminology studying ceased. ...

But on Sunday we got inspired again... and made

Cauliflower and Blue cheese soup
1 small cauliflower, divided into small florets
2 small leeks, diced
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
900ml vegetable stock, made with stock cubes
125g Gorgonzola cheese, roughly chopped
Preparation Method
1. Put the cauliflower, leeks and potato into a pan and add the stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 14 minutes or until tender.
2. Transfer half the soup to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Return to the pan. (Alternatively, use a hand-held blender straight in the pan to process the soup lightly, leaving a chunky appearance.)
3. Heat the soup gently until boiling, then remove from the heat. Add the cheese and stir lightly. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

Honey and mustard salmon with crushed butter beans and spinach
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp clear honey
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 skinless salmon fillets, about 115g each
2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of crushed chilli flakes
180g fresh baby leaf spinach, rinsed
12 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes

Preparation Method
Make the marinade: In a shallow dish, mix together the vegetable oil, soy sauce, honey, mustard and 1 tbsp of the lemon juice. Add the salmon and coat with the marinade. Set aside.
2. Combine the beans and flavourings: Put the butter beans and garlic in a pan with the olive oil, remaining lemon juice, the zest and crushed chilli flakes. Set aside.
3. Wilt the spinach and heat the beans: Heat a ridged griddle or frying pan until hot. Meanwhile, tip the spinach into a dry pan with only the water that clings to its leaves and stir over a low heat for 2 minutes or until wilted. Drain and set aside. Gently heat the beans.
4. Griddle the salmon: Cook the salmon in the heated ridged griddle or frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side or until just firm and pink. Add the tomatoes for the last 1-2 minutes of the cooking time.
5. Crush the beans: Roughly crush the beans with a vegetable masher or fork. Stir in the spinach and seasoning. Divide the beans and spinach among four serving plates. Arrange a salmon fillet on top of each and scatter the tomatoes around the side. Serve at once.

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