Posted in American Cuisine, British Cuisine, Cheese, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Snacks

Cheesy onion rings in breadcrumbs

What could be better than an onion ring? A cheesy onion ring!! I found this recipe on the Tasty app, and it was just as easy as they said.  The only tricky part was placing the cheese between the onion rings.  Also a good piece of advice is to have the window wide open if possible due to the fumes from the onion burning your eyes. Very quick to make but bear in mind there is an hour of freezing time involved, so better to prep in advance.

Ingredients

Medium to large sized onions (thickly sliced)

Slices of cheese

Flour

1-2 eggs (beaten)

Breadcrumbs

Oil (for frying)

**Measurements are not given as you will use as much as you need depending on how many you are making.

Method

First of all, you need to sort your sliced onions so that you have one ring that will fit inside another with a clear gap between them.

Now you need to cut your sliced cheese so that it fits between the two rings of onion.

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Next you need to place on a tray covered in baking paper and freeze for about an hour.

While you are waiting, set out a bowl of flour, a bowl with the beaten eggs and a bowl of breadcrumbs.

Once removed from the freezer, coat the ring first in flour, then in egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.

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To cook, heat a pan of deep oil (I use vegetable or sunflower oil) over a high heat. Carefully place the rings into the oil using a slotted spoon.

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Allow to fry for a few minutes or until golden then remove onto some grease-proof paper.

Serve hot.

 

 

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Posted in American Cuisine, British Cuisine, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Mediterranean, Mexican, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Stir fry, Vegetarian

Perfect Rice

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Cooking rice can be rather hit or miss.  Either it can be bland, or puffy and over cooked, it isn’t as easy as you think.  But now I have a fool-proof recipe.  This recipe is based on 2 people so double amounts accordingly.

Ingredients

1 cup of rice (I use Jasmine)

2 cups of water

a pinch of salt

1 stock cube (chicken, meat or vegetable)

1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Put the olive oil, rice and salt in a flat bottom pan (as in the photo) and fry over a medium heat on the hob for about a minute stirring continuously.

Add the water and stir.

Cover pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat until all the water has evaporated (approx 20-25 minutes).

Serve hot.

**You can also add grated ginger or turmeric powder for added flavours.  Ginger goes nice with Chinese dishes, and the turmeric for Indian.

Left over rice can be chilled in the fridge over night and is then perfect for fried rice dishes.

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Cheese, Mexican, Oven, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Snacks

Doritos / Nacho Cheesy Bake

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This is a quick and easy dish to prepare.  It can be a side for any Mexican meal, on its own with dips, you can build more layers around edges and fill centre with Chilli Con Carne… many possibilities.

Ingredients

1 packet of Doritos corn chips or Nachos

A load of grated cheese (as much as you like)

1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp mixed herbs (Thyme/Oregano)

Method

Preheat oven to 180°c.  In an oven-proof dish, put a layer of the crisps. Now sprinkle with grated cheese.  Repeat with another layer of crisps then cheese until whole packet of crisps has been used.  Finally cover with grated cheese.  Sprinke with herbs and chilli peppers as desired.

**If you plan to serve with Chilli Con Carne or a dip such as salsa in the centre, then after the first layer, place crisps around the edges to form a well in the centre.  You could also tower up in a pyramid shape too.

Place in the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and serve immediately.

 

 

Posted in Cheese, French, Potato Dishes, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Cheesy Potato Gratin Bake

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It is no secret that I love cheese, and dishes with potato and cheese are my favourite.  I recently found fresh parmesan cheese in a local supermarket (A101) at a really cheap price, which is generally unheard of here in Turkey.  This recipe includes step by step photos of how I prepared it.  Serves 2 – 4 people depending on portion size.

Ingredients

9 – 10 baby potatoes (in their skins)

Some slices of green and red pepper to decorate

A little grated parmesan to sprinkle over the top

Bowl of ice water (enough to cool potatoes)

Ingredients for the Cheese Sauce (Béchamel Sauce)

40 g butter

2 heaped tbsps flour

500 ml milk

2 tsps chopped chives

A handful of grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper (as required)

Method

Clean and place the baby potatoes in a large pan of boiling water and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the pan and place into the ice water, this helps the skins to peel off easily. Set aside while making the cheese sauce.

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Method for cheese sauce

Place the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.  Once melted, stir in the flour allowing it to bubble.

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Next you add the milk, a little at a time while continuously stirring (if you add all at once you risk the sauce becoming lumpy).

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Add the chives, then over a medium heat bring to a boil stirring slowly until it thickens.  Turn off the heat and add the handful of cheese then salt and pepper to required taste.

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Remove the skins from the potatoes using a flat edged knife, then slice and place to cover the bottom of an oven proof dish (which has had a little olive oil rubbed over to avoid sticking).  You do not need to pack tightly.

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Once you have one layer, gently spoon over some of the cheese sauce.

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Then repeat with another layer.  Potato and cheese sauce.  You should end up with about three layers.  Finally, de-seed and decorate with some red and green peppers, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese over the top, and bake in the oven at about 180°c for around 35 – 40 minutes, or until top is golden.

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Serve immediately.

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Posted in Condiments, No cooking involved, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Garlic Butter

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Garlic butter can add a magical touch to many dishes.  Rub it along a corn-on-the-cob, or stick some in a jacket potato.  Make garlic bread to have on the side of many main courses or even with a cheese plate in the evening, the options are endless.  I have not included strict quantities as you can make as little or as much as you like.  I generally make enough to keep in a small pot in the fridge, ready to use.

Ingredients

Soft butter (approx 50-70 g)

2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

Salt and pepper

Thyme or oregano

Method

Mix all the ingredients together, place in a tub and keep in the fridge.

 

Posted in British Cuisine, Cheese, Oven, Potato Dishes, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Cheesy Potato Boat

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Jacket potatoes are an old favourite in most British homes. Traditionally they are baked in the oven for a couple of hours, then slit open and butter is added.  This cheesy boat has been prepared slightly differently, so if you are a cheese lover and have a creative streak then go ahead and give it a try.

Ingredients

A large baking potato (per person)

a knob of butter (about 1 tsp)

1-2 tbsps milk

1-2 handfuls of grated cheese (plus some for decorating)

Salt and pepper (as required)

Thyme and oregano

Tomato and cucumber slices (decoration)

Method

Wash and pat dry the baking potatoes.  Using either a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the potatoes on each side taking care not to make large cuts.  This is to allow the steam to be released as they cook.  Place in the oven on about 180°c for 2-3 hours, turning once halfway through.  The time really does depend on the size of the potatoes, but if a knife slips in easily then they should be done.

Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes to avoid burning your hands.

Using a knife with a sharp tip, run the knife down the centre of the potato on one side, lengthways.  Now make another smaller slit to form a cross.  Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut away the top potato skin to form an oval opening, resembling a boat deck.

Using a metal spoon, carefully dig out the soft potato into a large bowl, being careful not to break the skin. (Even if cooking more than one potato you can use the same bowl).  Add the butter and milk and mash until creamy.  If it seems a bit dry you can add a tiny bit more milk. Salt and pepper according to your preferences then add the grated cheese.  You can add less cheese if on a diet, or more if like me you just love cheese.  Mix the cheese and potato together until well combined.**

Spoon the potato mixture back into the skin, pressing down to compact it.  Decorate the tops of the potatoes with the last of the grated cheese and sprinkle some thyme and oregano.

Using wooden kebab skewers or even toothpicks, push slices of cucumber and tomato on them to look like sails then press down into the potatoes.  Return to the oven for around 5-10 minutes, until cheese starts to bubble, or even place under the grill (be careful not to burn them).

Serve hot.

Suggestions

Goes well with coleslaw, and is quite tasty along side Chilli Con Carne… or just eat with a lovely crisp salad.  You can find the recipes for these on my blog.

**You can also add a variety of Ham or pepperoni in with the mix before re-stuffing the potatoes.

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Barbecue, British Cuisine, No cooking involved, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Coleslaw

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Coleslaw is the perfect side for many dishes including Jacket Potatoes, Cheese Toasties and all kinds of salads. It is very easy to make and requires only 4 basic ingredients.  The quantities vary depending on how much you want to make, if it doesn’t seem enough just add a little bit more cabbage and carrot.  In Turkey, where I live, the size of cabbages vary from small to enormous, so adjust the ingredients accordingly.  In this recipe (and photo) I have used a small red cabbage as they are readily available all year round, but a regular green cabbage can be used too.

Ingredients

1 large onion (finely chopped)

1-2 large carrots (peeled and grated)

Approximately 1/4 of a small round cabbage (finely chopped)

2-3 large tbsps mayonnaise

Salt and pepper (to taste, as required)

Method

Place the grated carrots, chopped onion and cabbage in a bowl and mix.

Add the mayonnaise and again mix well to ensure all the vegetables are well mixed.

Add salt and pepper as required and serve.