Spicy Mushroom Stew With Home Made Gnocchi

In most Eastern-European countries, stew is everything. Hungary, where I’m from, is no different, we have all sorts of stews including goulash, which Hungarians eat as a soup. I know, we’re weird. The cuisine is of course heavy in meat dishes. Luckily, a lot of meat based dishes can be turned into a lovely vegetarian meal quite easily. My mum used to make a great mushroom stew, but it can be a little bit bland for some tastes. So I spiced it up a little bit and decided to serve it with home made gnocchi (dead easy, don’t get scared!) instead of the traditional Hungarian pasta pearls. (That is something I don’t have the time and the patience to make.)
Although the word “stew” somehow indicates that it’s heavy and fulfilling, this dish is lovely both in summer and in winter, not heavy at all. Well, as long as you can resist eating too much gnocchi, which I find very hard! I’m all for pasta and bread. Requires about an hour of your time to prepare this yummy dish.

Yield: 4

Ingredients:

For the spicy mushroom stew

250g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced

250g portobellini mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 onion, chopped finely

100ml wine (of any kind)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

200g creme fraiche

3 heaped tbsp of full fat greek yogurt

3 tbsp of olive oil

2 handfuls of fresh, chopped parsley

2 tsp of lazy chilli or chilly flakes

2 tbsp of ground, sweet paprika

1 tbsp of flour

For the gnocchi:

2 large potatoes (you’ll need 250g cooked, mashed potatoes), diced

250g plain flour

1 egg

Method:

No need to add water as the mushroom will produce some liquid when cooking.

Caramelise the onion on the oil for 15 minutes using low heat. Let them turn golden brown. Use a large pan. This will allow you to make a creamier, tastier sauce. Add the paprika, the chilli and the wine. Cook it for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, simmer for 5 minutes, then comes the parsley in. Cover it and cook it for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the creme fraiche, the yogurt and the flour, then add the mixture to the mushroom stew, bring it to boil. Reduce heat and cook it for a further 10 minutes.

To prepare the gnocchi, cook 2 large potatoes until they are cooked, but still a bit firm, approximately 10 minutes when diced. Mash them with a fork, let it cool and measure 250g of mashed potatoes. Add the flour and the egg and combine well using your hands, forming a bread like dough.

(For the future: all you have to remember is the measurements: 250-250-1. Easy.)

Divide your dough into 3-4 portions and form snakes of approximately 1.5cm diameter of each dough ball. Keep dusting with some extra flour to avoid stickiness. Cut them into 2-2.5cm diameter pieces.

Bring the water boil in a large pan, add your gnocchi and cook them for 3 minutes or until they start to rise to the top. Drain them and all done.

Serve it immediately.

Mummy in a Tutu

Sweet, Spicy Roasted Christmas Snacking Nuts

I have to confess: I am addicted to this fantastic winter snack. When making them at home, the divine smell will turn your house into a German-style Christmas market. So why not make some mulled wine too? They could also make lovely, handmade gifts, if you fill small cellophane bags or glass jars with them. If you think the measurements in the recipe are dangerously big, and you’d eat them all in one afternoon, just reduce them.

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Ingredients:

500g mixed nuts: walnuts, almonds and pecans

2 tbsp of Indigo Nutrition Organic Dark Maple Syrup

1 tbsp of honey

2 tbsp of Indigo Nutrition Organic Coconut Sugar

3 tsp of grounded cinnamon

1 tsp of grounded nutmeg

1 tsp of grounded ginger

 

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Method:

In a medium pan over low heat, start stirring the maple syrup, the honey and the spices until they form a runny, dark brown mixture. It should only take 2 minutes. Then add the nuts and mix them well, until they are all equally coated and sticky. Transfer them into a roasting tin and sprinkle half of the coconut sugar all over them.

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Roast them for 25 minutes on 175C in the pre-heated oven. When ready, sprinkle the rest of the coconut sugar over them and remove them from the tin. Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Roast Leftover Recipe: Coronation Chicken Salad

This is another great way to use what’s left from the Sunday roast or chicken soup. We always have plenty of meat left, because it’s cooked for the carnivores in my family, my husband mainly, as Bobcat seems to have an aversion to meat, like me. This is a healthy version of the good old coronation chicken, but still spicy and tasty. Perfect light meal for Monday lunch or dinner. Really easy and quick. The recipe below serves 2-3 adults and takes around 20 minutes to prepare it.

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Ingredients:

250-400g whatever chicken meat you have left with

100g fresh watercress, washed and dried

1/2 cucumber halved and thinly sliced

1/2 lemon’s juice

2 tsp of medium curry powder

100ml greek yogurt

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbsp of mango chutney

50g toasted almond flakes

Method:

Cut the chicken into small pieces, whatever shape and size you prefer, you can even flake the meat. Heat the olive oil in a pan or wok and add the chicken pieces. Fry them for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the curry powder to the yogurt and mix them well. Add the mixture to the chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes. Set it aside. Place the watercress into a big salad bowl, drizzle generously with lemon juice. Add the chicken, the cucumber, the chutney and the almond flakes and combine your salad. Add a hint of freshly grounded black pepper and serve it immediately.