Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Indian summer Sunday lunch

We had a lovely glimpse of Indian summer during last weekend. After chilly night and foggy morning sunny day followed.
I went cycling to Emo Court - my usual 14 km route - on both Saturday and Sunday and did a fair bit of gardening on Saturday. Come Sunday midday and I was so, so tired that wanted nothing more than nice, uncomplicated seasonal meal in the garden followed by fruity dessert.
Even cat was so hot that he slept inside - true Irish cat though, can't stand a bit of hot weather.

Lunch preparation was the easiest thing: I just threw most of our homegrown vegetables - such as potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes, red onions into baking dish, tossed in olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and baked it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Served with pan-fried salmon steak.

Earlier in week I bought some nectarines which did not look exactly pretty by now. But there was nothing wrong with the taste, so I turned them into simple tiramisu-inspired pudding.
I put pieces of ladyfingers to the bottom of glass, added stewed nectarines (stew them with a bit of sugar and splash of amaretto) and topped with mascarpone cream (whipped cream with mascarpone, sugar and amaretto). Delicious!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Risotto with courgettes, parmesan and basil

Summer is definitely over. It rains even more often (as if it was possible) and the soil in our garden has gone all soggy. But luckily enough, my courgettes continue to provide me with beautiful produce. For past few weeks I have been enjoying creating different meals with lovely zucchini and anything else I could find in my garden - herbs, chillies, broccoli, fresh peas, runner beans, potatoes, onions and even tomatoes.

One of my favourite dishes is risotto - perfect comfort food for rainy evening. Nice and creamy, with a hint of interesting flavours. Basic risotto recipe is easy to follow and by adding one or two different ingredients you can create lots of tasty meals. Here is one I had yesterday:

Risotto with courgettes, Parmesan and basil

1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
150 g risotto rise
1 small glass of white wine
500 ml hot vegetable stock
2-3 courgettes, grated (if very small, sliced)
handful of grated Parmesan
basil leaves (purple basil looks particularly pretty)

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion and garlic and let sweat. When onion is soft, but not coloured, add rise and stir. When rise is all well coated with oil, add wine and let alcohol evaporate.
Then ladle vegetable stock, stirring continuously. Only add more stock when the liquid has been absorbed. Halfway through add courgettes. You may want to squeeze some water out of them before adding, but it is not necessary as the moisture will be absorbed by rice.
When the rice is cooked, season to taste with freshly grated pepper and salt and add half of Parmesan and half of basil.
Spoon to bowls and garnish with remaining Parmesan and basil.
Serves 2.

Welcome to Midlands Kitchen

I was wondering if world really needs another food blog with about one million others already out there. But I can't help it - there might be at least one reader who finds it interesting or tries the recipe. I will be happy to share with you my passion for food. like to eat, bake, cook, grow my own food, travel in search of good food, even buy food.

With my mixed background (Slovak, Hungarian, distant Russian), relatives and friends all over Europe and love of travelling I have plenty of inspiration for cooking and eating.

So welcome to my kitchen in small Midlands town in Ireland where I live with my husband and cat. This is going to be not just recipes, but also kitchen garden, self-indulgence, easy living and traveling. All aiming to one thing - THIS-IS-GOOD-FOR-ME state of mind.