Recipes

Here are some ideas if you fancy cooking something different (or, indeed, at all). One of these days I'll try some things from Danny's list too.

Chocolate cake

Mix the sugar and butter together, then stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and eggs. Bake at 180 Celsius for 40 minutes and cover with the chocolate. Let the heat of the cake melt the chocolate, then spread it with the back of a spoon.

Fajitas

Chop the onion into small pieces and cook in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Cut the mushrooms in half, cut the courgette and pepper into small strips (about 5cm long), and add them to the onions. Cook them on a moderate heat until everything is soft. Meanwhile, drain the kidney beans, heat them in a frying pan until they start to boil, and mash them. The results don't look too pretty but don't worry about this (yet)! Finally, mix the beans with the vegetable mix and turn the heat down (enough to just keep everything warm).

Heat the tortillas under the grill until they start to brown, then add a small amount of filling to each one. You may wish to add some grated cheddar cheese before wrapping the tortillas and serving.

Gnocchi e ricotta

Crush the garlic and heat it gently in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes along with a pinch of salt, and cook for about 20 minutes. Boil the gnocchi in lightly salted water for three minutes, drain, and mix with the ricotta. Finally, stir in the sauce and serve with grated parmesan.

Leek and potato bake

This one's from Danny.

... you layer steamed leek and boiled potatoes in a dish, pour a really cheesy white sauce all over it, and then bake it.

Hmm, that sounds really nice - how do you make the sauce?

Melt a decent bit of butter in a pan, add some wholemeal flour and cook it for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in a half pint of milk. Heat gently until it thickens, then add a bit of mustard, a pinch of nutmeg, black pepper to taste and as much grated cheddar as you think you'll be able to cope with...

More recently, I received the following clarification from the author.

The potatoes should be floury ones. "Waxy" new potatoes are not allowed. Who likes eating wax?

Morag pointed out a variation on this theme.

I've had scalloped potatoes - slices of onion and potato, layered with butter, salt, pepper etc and all soaked in milk and baked for an eternity. I think that's supposed to have nutmeg in it too.

Sancocho de pollo

There are many different ways to make sancocho. This recipe is from Nariño, Colombia. The quantities are only approximate, but should serve 2–4 people depending how much carbohydrate they can take.

Peel and dice the plantains and potatoes, and boil them for ten minutes. Meanwhile, lightly fry the onions and garlic in a frying pan, dice the chicken, then fry it with the onions and garlic for five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the contents of the frying pan to the pot containing the plantains and potato, and cook everything together for a further five minutes.