Broccoli, Mushroom & Sesame Salad

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…The salad works well either slightly warm, straight after preparing or cold at some later time. It will make a perfect starter or a side dish when paired with grilled meats for example. It’s easy to prepare, it doesn’t require any unusual ingredients as most of them should be in your stock cupboard anyway and it can be on your table within 15 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 large broccoli; separated into florets
  • 6 medium size button mushrooms; thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onions; sliced at an angle
  • 2tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 clove of garlic; minced
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes – more if you like heat
  • 1/4tsp sea salt

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…Method:

Prepare a large pot of salted water, big enough to take all the broccoli and bring it to boil.

Heat up a large frying pan, add the olive oil and butter and allow to melt.

Add the broccoli into the boiling pot of water, turn the heat up high to bring back to the boil and then down to medium until the cooking time of 5 minutes is complete (count 5 minutes from the moment you added the broccoli, not from the moment it came back to a boil), then shock it under cold water or better yet an ice bath and then drain well. The cold bath will stop the cooking process which is necessary in order for the broccoli to maintain a slight crunch.

Add mushrooms into hot frying pan, add garlic powder and salt then fry on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until just soft and slightly brown.

Whilst your broccoli is cooking and mushrooms are frying, it’s time to mix the sauce.

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…Into a salad dressing shaker or a jam jar or even a bowl add the toasted sesame oil, dark soy sauce, cider vinegar, minced garlic, chilli flakes and half of the sesame seeds. Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.

In a large bowl mix the broccoli, mushrooms, spring onions and remaining sesame seeds, add dressing and gently toss around to coat completely.

Serve and enjoy!

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…

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What’s Cooking – Fresh Mushroom Soup

What’s Cooking – Fresh Mushroom Soup

I love mushrooms. I think my love for them has its roots in my childhood as every year we would go camping to the woods and one of my favourite activities (in addition to swimming and rolling on a sandy beach by the lake) was mushrooming. Every year we would come home with a car boot filled with dried mushrooms ready for the winter season.

My mum would often cook mushroom soup but it was always based on those dried mushrooms we had picked during the summer. So without even noticing it, it turns out I’ve never had a fresh mushroom soup… until now.

Ingredients for Fresh Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 300g mushrooms
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2l stock, I used a chicken stock from Knorr
  • 1 Knorr Garden Herbs Flavour Pot
  • Salt (optional)
  • Cream (optional)

Method:

Chop the mushrooms, potatoes, onions, and carrots into small cubes of your desired size.

Place the mushrooms into your cooking pot, add the stock, flavour pot and mix well. I used 2 Knorr stock cubes to make 2 litres of stock (the packaging would advice 4 cubes for this amount of water but I didn’t want my soup to have too strong chicken flavour).

Bring up to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes.

After this time remove any scum (if there is any) and add all remaining ingredients.

Cook for further 40 minutes.

After this time you are ready to serve.

Fresh Mushroom Soup in the making

I actually cooked my soup in a Redmond Multicooker (you can read all about it here). If you have one too the cooking instructions are as follows: Chop the mushrooms, potatoes, onions, and carrots into small cubes of your desired size. Place mushrooms into the bowl, add stock, flavour pot and mix well. Close the lid. Press “Menu” button to select “SOUP” program. Use “Hour/Min” and then “Cooking Time” buttons to set the time of 1 hour. Press “Start”. 40 minutes before the program finishes, re¬move the scum, add vegetables and stir well. Cook until the program finishes.

This is a really light and tasty soup. I think it would work pretty well with a veggie stock, but I simply didn’t have any. Depending on the type of stock you are using you might want to check the salt level and maybe add some if needed. For me it wasn’t necessary as the two cubes of chicken stock had more than enough flavour so I could skip adding any additional salt.

What’s Cooking – My Fresh Mushroom SoupWhat’s Cooking - Fresh Mushroom Soup.

The soup can be served “plain” or with added cream (much better in my opinion).

If you decide to add cream I would suggest adding it just before serving to each bowl; this way your remaining soup will last longer in the fridge.

If the lumps are going to be a problem for you, such as if it is for young children then a quick blast with a blender and bingo you have a type of cream of mushroom soup.

What’s Cooking – Fresh Mushroom Soup.What’s Cooking - Fresh Mushroom Soup

Do you like mushroom soup?

If not, why not? what‘s wrong with you?

What’s Cooking – Layer Potato Bake with Sausage, Mushroom & Onion

Layer Potato Bake with Sausage, Mushroom & Onion

This is a recipe my Mum used to make from time to time, and now that I am all grown up I make it… from time to time; though not often enough according to Mark 🙂

My Layer Potato Bake includes sausages, mushrooms and onions but you can adapt it to suit your needs. If you don’t have or don’t like sausage stick some bacon in… Not a fan of bacon? Not a biggie, just skip the meat part entirely and make a veggie version.

In a minute I will give you just one of the possibilities but really the filling options are endless and it is really up to you what you will stick between the potato layers. Some of our other favourites used in variation of this recipe are: peppers, sweet corn, grilled chicken, tomatoes and basil (not all at once, let’s just make that clear)

Ingredients list to make my Sausage, Mushroom & Onion version of Layer Potato Bake:

  • 12 large potatoes
  • 3 Polish sausages (they were called Śląska)
  • 3 large onions
  • 150g mushrooms (any mushrooms but field ones are the best)
  • 150g spicy cheddar cheese
  • 100g grated mozzarella cheese
  • Salt, pepper, sweet paprika to taste
  • Splash of olive oil for frying

Method:

We have to start with the potatoes. Peel and part boil them whole but ensure you just part boil; they can’t be overcook as you will not be able to slice them. I normally cook them for 15 minutes counting from the moment the water started to boil in my pot. Of course don’t forget to add salt into your potatoes for enhanced flavour.

Once they are cooked, drain and put them aside to cool and turn your oven on to 180C.

Now, it is time to start working on the rest of the filling.

Chop sausages, onions and mushrooms and get ready to fry them a bit.

Normally I would start with sausages. They are a bit fatty so I will have a nice amount of fat in my frying pan to fry the onions in. Just in case there isn’t enough add some olive oil. Fry your onions until lightly coloured, after 5 minutes add mushrooms. Just before the onions and mushrooms are ready add your spices – in my case I only use salt, fresh cracked pepper and sweet paprika.

Depending on the cheese you have, you might want to grate it or cut it into fine chunks. This time I used grated mozzarella (leftover after pizza night) and sliced spicy cheddar, which I cut into small cubes.

Now, it should be the perfect time to slice our potatoes. Ideally you want them about 0.5cm thick. Once all chopping is done, let’s build 🙂

Oh, you will need an oven proof dish with a lid. Add a little bit of olive oil, just to grease the bottom to avoid any potatoes sticking into it.

Layer Potato Bake with Sausage, Mushroom & Onion..

Step one: layer of potatoes.

Step two: layer of onion and mushroom mix.

Step three: layer of sausage.

Step four: layer of cheese

Repeat 🙂

You can add a little bit of cheeses on top of your potato layer as well if you want, I added some mozzarella at this point. You just keep filling until you run out of ingredients, but remember a potato layer needs to be second to last and then a pile of cheese on top to finish the dish.

Layer Potato Bake with Sausage, Mushroom & Onion...

Bake in the over covered for about 1hour. 45minutes into your bake remove the lid to allow the cheese to crisp on top.

Layer Potato Bake with Sausage, Mushroom & Onion.

Serve with salad… or not 😉

The bake can be a bit messy when you take it out of the oven. Everything is freshly cooked and it might not keep its form, but after few hours when everything is nice and cool, you will be able to cut a perfect piece and it should keep its shape… This way you can use it as a packed lunch for next day. Just pop into a microwave for few minutes and job jobbed… lunch is served.

Layer Potato Bake with Sausage, Mushroom and Onion

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