Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Spinach and courgette soup - fresh from the garden

This is another recipe made from some freshly picked garden vegetables. In the recent got weather, all my veg have started to grow like mad. I am getting about half a dozen courgettes to pick every couple of days. So, if anyone has any good courgette based recipes i would love to see them.

I am writing this post on my mobile, a new feature i have just discovered so i can post whilst out and about. Right now i am waiting for my a train in the under ground station fully aware that i will miss my mainline connection. Anyway, back to courgettes?

This is a pretty basic soup recipe, and ready in under half an hour, like a lot of my recipes.

Finely cos some garlic and an onion, and fry in a little oil. Meanwhile, wash and slice the courgettes, then saute for a few minutes with the onion and garlic. Cover with vegetable stock, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes then add some Spinach, and herbs... I used thyme as this goes well with courgettes.

Simmer for another couple of minutes til Spinach is cooked and remove from the heat. Liquidise, season to taste, and serve immediately.

You can see in the picture i swirled a little bit of cream into the soup when serving. Well, i say swirled maybe glooped is a better word!

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Sunday, 27 July 2008


This is my mint plant now. I planted in spring and it is contained in a 9cm plant pot in the ground. There is tons of the stuff! So what can i do with it? Suggestions please, I am looking for sweet and savoury please and I like the idea of a cool, minty drink like lemonade but with mint.. Does anyone know a recipe for such a drink?

Answers on a post code please, or using the comments box below.

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Tzatziki fresh from the garden

We have had a few nice hot days this week, and as a result my garden is doing very well. I still don't have any ripe tomatos but some are nearly ready. My mint plant is going crazy and the cucumbers are coming along well too. These are two ingredients i can put to good use in a quick simple Tzatziki.

I picked one cucumber and a big bunch of mint, washed and chopped everything up very small. In went a pinch of salt and a large spoon of yogurt. Mix it all together and thats it ready.

You don't get food much fresher than that.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Ryan's Recipe Store - Kitchen bits and pieces

Ryan's Recipe Blog Store - Kitchen bits and pieces

I have just set up an Amazon store to go with my recipe blog, I will be adding more of my favourite products as I get time, so please have a look!

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Beef Burgers (yes... it does involve the Magimix 4200)

Yes, another recipe using the famous Magimix 4200. My previous blender was not powerful or sharp enough to chop meat, so I was pleased to read in the instruction manual that this one is. What better way to test it out than making beef burgers. I am always a bit unsure of exactly what minced meat is really made from, and I assume it is not the best quality meat and all the left over bits. Now I can make minced beef right in front of my eyes.

Take some beef, roughly cut into chunks, an onion, a few chillies, and some garlic.

Place the big blade in the bowl of the food processor.

Chuck in the meat and other ingredients. Grind in some salt and pepper. You can add other ingredients - herbs, spices, tomato, peppers - or whatever you fancy.

Pulse the food processor a few times, until you reach the desired consistency.

Now shape into burgers, using your hands. Cook in the normal way. I find you don't need to use egg to hold the meat together, and I don't like to use bread crumbs in the burgers either.

So, another thing the Magimix can do - mince beef to make burgers, quickly and easily.

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Slicing and grating (Magimix 4200)

I mentioned earlier about how great my Magimix 4200 is and what I have been making with it. Well, here are some of the things you can do.

Fix in the slicing/grating blade - one way up for slicing, the other for grating - simple! There are two of these blades, a thick one and a thin one. Then just feed in whatever you want processed.

And here we have a carrot and a pepper, grated and sliced respectively in under 30 seconds each. I liked the way that the slices are nice and uniform, but that may be my OCD coming into play.

I probably do have new food processor syndrome still. Even though it is very quick to do the processing, I think unless you are making a LOT - like for a big family meal or something like that, then the time taken to wash up the bowl and the blade afterwards kind of wipes out any time saving on the preparation.

Later, I did some sliced potatoes for pommes boulangere, and it was here that I found the Magimix 4200 to be pretty useful. I was able to slice the potatoes really thinly, and evenly all the way to the end. I seem to have forgotten to take any pictures of that though.

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Liver and Onions

I am really pleased about my rediscovery of liver and onions! We used to have this as children and hated it, something about the texture of liver. But I had calves liver recently in a French restaurant and loved it, so when I saw these lambs livers at 69p in Tesco I just had to buy them. I was checking out the reduced-to-clear bargains but in fact its only 89p a packet normally so a really cheap meat.

Its really quick to cook, and the trick is not to over cook livers - that is when the texture goes all tough and dry. I sliced them quite thinly, floured them, then quickly browned each side in a hot pan. Next, out with the livers and in with some sliced onions, fried them on a high heat until starting to brown, then back in with the livers, some gravy (I used instant), and a splash of white wine. The whole lot was then left to simmer for about 10 minutes, meanwhile I cooked some new potatoes and peas to go on the side. All done in under half an hour and on the table! The result was quite tender, and not too dry.

Even better, liver is good for you too - it is packed with lots of iron, fairly low in fat, and lots of protein too.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Magimix 4200 Review

I have been suffering from "new food processor syndrome" of late. What is that? Well, it is a propensity to process everything whether it need it or not. I mean, how often do you need to grate a carrot? Well, since I bought my Magimix 4200 I have been going processing mad. I have grated carrots, thinly sliced potatoes for making pommes boulangere, juiced oranges, mixed cakes, kneaded some dough and minced some beef to make burgers.

I opted for the 4200 rather than the 4200 XL as I thought I am never likely to need an extra large feeder tube, and everything else is pretty much the same.

So it obviously works well! It looks good as well, it has those classic clean lines that one could associate with an iPod! It is the sort of thing that won't look dated in 10 years time, which is good as the motor is gauranteed for 12 years! The look of it has a practical purpose too, it is very easy to wipe off. When running, the motor is pretty quiet, and certainly quieter than my old blender I used to use before I got this.

There are tons of attachments with it -

Regular blade
Dough hook
2 slicing/ grating blades of different thicknesses
Midi sized bowl
Mini sized bowl with mini blade
Orange juicing attachment

And a storage box to keep them all neatly in as well, which is a nice feature. It means no chance of slicing your finger off on the blade whilst rummaging in the kitchen drawer for something else.

There are some bad points about it - the handle feels a bit flimsy and I can't see it lasting the full 12 years that the motor will, and the orange jucer is a bit tricky to clean out, but all in all I am really pleased with it and I will continue to process away! At least until the novelty wears off.

As I continue with my processing adventures, I will post what I have made so you can get an idea of just how amazing it is! I will tag all the posts with Magimix 4200 so just click on the link to see all the other magimix related posts!

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