Special Rice

Background

This has been my ‘go to’ rice dish for many years.   It started as a Caribbean style (coconut rice with kidney beans) in around 2005, and then gained influence from a bunch of other regions from around the world over the next few years, to add a multitude of contrasting flavours and textures.  

It typically uses white rice and a regular rice cooker.  Then after buying a pressure cooker in 2016, there is now a variation with brown rice too.

Serves 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 small tin coconut cream / coconut milk (165ml)
  • 1/3 cup washed basmati white rice (use the small coconut tin as a volume reference)
  • 1 regular tin regular black beans (unflavoured)
  • 1 small tin whole sweetcorn kernels
  • 1 small block marinated style tofu, drained, but also optional.
  • a small handfull pine nuts
  • a dash of soy sauce / tamari sauce
  • a small glug of sweet chilli sauce
  • a big pinch of yeast flakes (optional)

Regular Method:

  1. In a regular rice cooker, add the small tin of coconut milk or cream, refill that tin with the basmati rice and put in the rice cooker, and then fill the tin again with water and put that in too.
  2. Give contents a good stir, and then start it cooking (10-15 minutes or so).
  3. After a couple of minutes, add the rinsed black beans to the rice cooker, stir briefly, and then continue cooking.
  4. Meanwhile lightly fry the optional pre-marinated tofu, diced up, in a little oil on a medium heat, to get the surfaces a little crispy whilst soft in the middle (about 5 minutes or so).
  5. About 2-3 minutes before the rice is cooked (most of the water has been cooked off, add the drained tinned sweetcorn, and mix in briefly.
  6. Once the rice cooker is done, add the small handful of pine nuts, stir through the mix.
  7. Transfer to serving bowls.  Top with the fried tofu as appropriate.
  8. Add a small dash of soy sauce, and a bigger dash of sweet chilli sauce.  Top with a pinch of yeast flakes if desired.

Method using brown rice & pressure cooker:

  1. Add just the coconut milk, brown basmati rice, and 160ml of water, to the pressure cooker, give it a stir, cook for 10 minutes at High Pressure, and then allow to ‘warm’ for 10 minutes after.
  2. If using tofu, fry this first (as above) and then set aside.
  3. Using the same fry pan (emptied of tofu), fry the rinsed and drained black beans in a non-stick pan with a little oil (and crushed garlic if you’re so inclined) for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the sweetcorn to the pan, stir, and cook through for a few minutes.
  5. Once the brown rice is done, add that to the pan too, stir and cook off any remaining water for a couple of minutes.
  6. Then turn off the heat, add the handful of pine nuts, and transfer to serving bowls.
  7. Add the tofu, dash of soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to taste, plus the yeast flakes as desired, but don’t mix through too much.
  8. Munch!

Cinnamon Pinwheel Date Scones

Makes around 18 scones / wheels.

Developed from here.

Ingredients:

Dough
  • 2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 60g Butter (straight from the fridge)
  • ¾ Cup of Milk
  • 60-100g dates, finely chopped.
Filling
  • 70g Butter
  • ⅓ Cup Soft Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
Glaze (Optional)
  • 1/2  Cup Icing Sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Water

Method

  • Preheat Oven to 200C
  • Prepare squares of baking paper (around 8x8cm) , to line a muffins tray.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a medium bowl.
  • Add cold butter that’s been cut into smallish pieces.
  • Using your fingers, or a pastry cutter (looks large a large knuckle duster), rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs and no large bits of butter are there.
  • Add almost all the milk at once, keeping a little aside in case. It should be soft and sticky, if a little dry looking add the remaining milk, stir in quickly, but be careful not to overstir
  • Add the finely chopped dates, and mix in.
  • Tip the dough onto a floured board or bench. Knead and fold 8 – 10 times, sprinkling flour as required.
  • Then roll out to a square about 30 x 30cm, trying to keep the edges as even as possible.

Filling

  • Melt butter in a small bowl (or microwave)
  • Add to this the soft brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well.
  • Using a spoon or knife spread the butter & sugar mixture over the dough, up to the edges.
  • Roll carefully and tightly, and seal the edge with a little of the left over filling mixture.
  • Using a sharp knife slice the pinwheels between 1-2 cm thick and place in the middle of each square of parchment paper, and then place each within each muffin tray well.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and remove from the oven.
  • While cooking prepare the glaze.

Glaze (optional)

  • In a medium bowl or mixing jug, add the icing sugar
  • Add water a small amount at a time stirring well until you have a smooth but drizzle-able consistency.
  • Once the scones are removed from the oven, using a dessert spoon drizzle the glaze over the pinwheels.
  • Serve still slightly warm.

 

Tomato Soup – from the vine

Tomato Soup

A favourite from Jamie Oliver,  updated to feed 2 adults:

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 vegetable stock cube / 2 level teaspoons of veg stock powder
  • 1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (on the vine ideally)
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh basil
  • Very finely grated cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrot, slice the celery, peel and roughly chop the onion, peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Crumble the stock cube into a jug, cover with 750ml (3 cups) of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add the stock to the veg pan with tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!).
  5. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the basil leaves.
  7. Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve.
  8. Sprinkle on some freshly finely grated cheese as preferred.

Vegan Gluten Free Belgian Waffles

Quick Background Story

I historically plan ingredients that don’t need to be fresh (and particularly not being kept in a fridge or similar).  So these are all generally ingredients I keep in the cupboard at all times.

These are two current variations of the ingredients.  I’m still fine tuning options, and trying to bring the price down per waffle, and take out as many common allergens as I can.

The ‘lots’ mix was recently used commercially, at the Circus Hub for one of their events.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 @ 1/2 cup of mix per full deep Belgian Waffle
  • 1/4 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 2 tbls Cashew Milk Powder
  • 2 tbls Soy Milk Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder (Gluten Free version)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda (Gluten Free version)
  • About 20ml Oil (1tbs + 1 tsp)
  • 1 tbls Maple Syrup
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbls water
Makes 4 @ 1/2 cup of mix per full deep Belgian Waffle
  • 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 4 tbls Soy Milk powder (or soy Flour, but that’s not as good)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder (Gluten Free version)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda (Gluten Free version)
  • 2 tbls Oil (Rice Bran or similar)
  • 2 tbls Golden Syrup (or Caster Sugar)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup + 1 tbls water (to get the right consistency)
Makes about 16 Deep Belgian waffles
  • 8 tsp Baking Powder (Gluten Free version)
  • 4 tsp Baking Soda (Gluten Free version)
  • 250g Buckwheat Flour
  • 300g Glutenous Rice Flour
  • 60g Soy Milk Powder
  • 2 tbls Ground Cinamon
  • 4 tbls Cocoa
  • 80g Rice Bran Oil
  • 80g Golden Syrup
  • 1 litre (1kg) Water

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients with a whisk.  The mix should resemble the consistency of fresh double cream.
  2. If using the larger mix, you may find it easier to put the liquid ingredients into a bowl first, add then the dry ingredients on top. Mix slowly with a mechanical mixer.
  3. Cook for around 5 minutes in a pre-heated deep Waffle Press (1/2 cup of mix per waffle)

Naked chocolate waffles
with some toppings